I’m going to get right to the point with this one. I watched TLC’s new train wreck of a show called Extreme Cheapskates last night. Or. I watched as much of it as I could stomach, and it’s just 100% trash television meant to shock you into watching every week.
Now, I don’t get to watch much television because (1) I work late and have a 1.25 hour long one way commute, and (2) my boyfriend usually kidnaps the remote control. I’ve learned to live with Youtube and Hulu or whatever when I feel a need to watch something.
Anyway I got home last night close to nine, made myself a ham sandwich and settled in to write the announcement for my massive giveaway (coming soon). Lo and behold, my boyfriend was in a brutal online card game and actually gave me the remote. So, I flipped through the channels to see what was on and landed on the show, Extreme Cheapskates. Anything with the word ‘cheapskates’ in the title will catch my eye for obvious reasons. I’m pretty open minded, so I actually put the laptop aside and started watching the show.
The very first couple that was profiled had horrible spending habits and ended up with over $70,000 in debt on their credit card. The husband makes a six figure income, but they decided to cut their spending. Okay, I have no problem with that. Right on! So, they started timing the kids’ showers. Fine. They made the babies bathe in the same bath water. Okay, no problem with that either. But then, they started to lose me with the next one. They eliminated toilet paper. That’s not bad either, right? Europeans use bidets and stuff, so no toilet paper could be okay, right. No, no, kids, this is where it gets, er, messy. Instead, she cuts little squares out of cloth and uses those as “reusable” toilet wipes. So, next to the toilet is a stack of these cloth squares that you use for – you get the idea. After you’re finished using them, you drop them in a bin next to the toilet, and I guess she washes them in the machine every week. Let’s just marinate on this for a moment.
I don’t judge. I don’t. But the show cuts to her pulling out a stack of these toilet wipes from the dryer with her and one of her children stacking and folding them. The cloth CLEARLY had brown stains all over them, and the child pointed out that it wasn’t clean. She responded that the cloth was perfectly clean. At that point I think that my mouth actually popped open. I believe in squeezing pennies out of dollars but I am NOT willing to buy cheap toilet paper and I am certainly not willing to completely eliminate toilet paper. Guests were expected to use the same non-toilet paper system that they had in place.
There was more to this messy, messy, show including the same woman taking her kids and others that she was babysitting to the playground. Nothing wrong with that, any mom would do that. But then she took the kids to the grassy area for them to forage for things to put into the salad. You’re probably thinking that it’s a little weird but not bad. Oh no, my friends, it gets nasty. Not mere feet away from where the kids were foraging was dog poop! Of course one of the kids stepped into it and she told them to wipe it off in the grass – where they had just been foraging! What are the odds that there was dog poop and pee and God knows what else already on the things that they had picked?! I have a little reflux even now, just thinking about it.
There’s more to this, but I could just keep ranting on and on about this show. Like how she bought two year old tomato sauce and fed it to all of the kids! TLC used to have things that were not just for shock value, but now, they just keep cranking out shows meant to leave you aghast and wondering if these people are crazy. I’m ashamed that by watching this show last night, I just made them money and reinforced their belief that these shows should continue.
Look, if you’re in serious debt, it’s not from toilet paper or the tomato sauce. Chances are that you have some serious habits that you can eliminate to help whittle down your debt. Going to the bathroom isn’t a ‘habit’. It’s a fact of life. Why make it less comfortable than it has to be just to save maybe $20 a month for a large family. It’s just not worth it.
And just in case you think that I’m kidding, here is a clip. Enjoy.