After watching election coverage nonstop early in the week, I decided to switch over to programming of a less serious nature. I ended up on TLC, formerly known as "The Learning Channel" and now filled with shows that probably don't make viewers think too hard about much of anything.
Specifically, I watched a few episodes of a show called "Extreme Cheapskates." The show offers personal stories of people who go to "extreme" lengths to save a buck or two. It's not that they don't have money to spend; they just choose not to spend it.
One man, for example, showers with his clothes on so he doesn't have to do laundry. He only flushes his toilet once a week and leaves the tags on all of his clothing. When he decides he has taken a shirt into the shower one too many times, he returns it to the store.
Another episode follows a woman who doesn't use toilet paper, dumpster dives and sleeps on yoga mats. At one point, she invites friends over and feeds them food she dug out of the trash. But don't worry; she said she only looks for "sanitary" food. Her guests complained that the food didn't taste fresh. Who would've thought?
Then, the show featured a man whose frugal ways cause unrest in his home. While working at a school, the man said he picks up $2-3 in change daily. Of course, that money eventually totals a substantial amount.
Instead of rolling his change and exchanging it for bills at his bank, this man carries it in a large plastic bag. He took his family out to eat and paid the bill with his coins. It was quite funny watching the cashier's reaction as this guy stacked coin after coin on the counter.
He also tried to purchase just three plates at a buffet-style restaurant for his six-person family. They weren't too pleased with him.
His children complained that they didn't have enough furniture in their home when they knew their father had the money. He admitted he has well more than $100,000 in the bank. It did appear, however, that his family was allowed to do laundry and flush the toilet, so there's that at least.
I don't know if I'll watch "Extreme Cheapskates" again. It provided me with some mindless entertainment, but I definitely didn't learn anything useful.