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Extreme Cheapskates: Saving Water

Extreme Cheapskates TV program from TLCExtreme Cheapskates is, well, extreme. It’s designed for entertainment value and to keep the audience engaged by showing how insane some people can be by trying to be frugal. The people on the show will risk public embarrassment and the judgment of others just to save a few pennies and avoid debt.

Here is one such example, in a video sure to make some of you cringe. This is Melody Rose. She makes her family of four use the same bathwater (cold only, of course). The family is also forced to ration the soap, as she only allows the family to use a couple of teaspoons of soap per month. Instead of toilet paper, they use free newspaper retrieved from the community. 

However, there are lessons to be learned. The woman above is more than extreme – we certainly don’t advocate communal bathwater (gross) or using the real estate section as toilet paper (extremely gross). I feel particularly bad for the kid who says “sometimes, I actually do want to take my own shower.”

But there are definitely ways to save water and lower your monthly water bills. Lowering your monthly water bills will help keep you out of debt and if you are in the red, make it that much easier to pay off your debt.

  • Make sure your showerhead is updated. Older showerheads pump out anywhere from five to seven gallons per minute. Modern showerheads have a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute, which can save you hundreds of gallons of water per month.
  • Check your faucets for leaks – a leaky faucet can drip gallons throughout a month. Often, it’s as simple as replacing an old washer, but tougher leaks will require the skills of a plumber.
  • Fill your dishwasher and washing machine when doing a cycle. If you wash only full loads, you will get the most bang for your buck, since the machine will use the same amount of water, regardless of fill.
  • If you really feel like reusing water, save the water from defrosting frozen vegetables, washing fruit, or pasta water and use it to water your garden or yard. You can do the same with any leftover ice from any iced drink.

As for her take on toilet paper, I’ve got nothing. As a staple, toilet paper is fairly cheap. You can always stock up when it’s on sale, and buying in bulk is cheaper. For the sake of anyone who visits your home, just buy toilet paper. Please.

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