Extreme Cheapskates Revel in Their Frugality

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The current economic crisis has altered the behavioral patterns of everday consumers, but some people really take it to the extremes. Meet the ultra-tightwads:

Amy VanDeventer has always been a cheapskate. The recession is taking her to new extremes.

Before the economy tanked, she was still wearing maternity clothes from her last pregnancy, clipping coupons and using hand-me-downs to dress her daughters, ages 2 and 3. Now, she's salvaging bagel scraps left on their plates for pizza toppings and cutting lotion bottles in half so she can scrape out the last drops.

"I was already cheap," said VanDeventer, a 36-year-old mortgage loan underwriter from Broomfield, Colo. "Now I am neurotic about it." [...]

What surprises frugality bloggers is that many cheapskates such as VanDeventer haven't lost their jobs and are not in danger of losing their homes. Many have stashed a good chunk of cash away. But the economic uncertainty is catapulting them to new levels of thriftiness.

"I do it out of fear because I would rather put that money in the bank or purchase something we really need," said VanDeventer, who now saves about 50 percent of her take-home pay, up from 25 percent before the recession began more than a year ago.

(Photo: Ed Andrieski/AP)

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Newest 5 Comments

LOL, DOJ

I used to be that coupon lady, but then two things happened:

1. I was using coupons to get things just because I had a coupon for them, and not necessarily because I needed them.

2. In using coupons to get things I did need, I was sometimes buying a brand I didn't like. Now, for most things, brand isn't an issue and the product is roughly the same across the board. However, for some, it just doesn't work that way, and I would end up with an inferior product just because it was £1 less.

I still use coupons, but only for a product that I like or will actually use. I am of the opinion that it is better to spend £10 on something I like and will use than £1 on something that isn't any good or useless to me.
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The other day the woman in front of me at the grocery store bought over $70 of food but used over $50 of coupons

The line didn't move fast, but I was in awe
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My mom isn't cheap, she's just not wasteful.
She washes our ziplock bags and reuses them multiple times.
She also washes out the containers meats come in from the store. Sometimes the plastic ones, sometimes those foam ones.

My husband and I reuse water bottles and plastic silverware. We also keep all of the plastic tupperware containers we get from the chinese places we go to when we get soup heh.
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I wonder if she spends 25 cents in gas to drive out of her way to save 10 cents on toilet paper…

This story has been packaged by the media to be about the recession, when really it’s just about a certain personality type. The news media will grub and grab at any story that appears to pertain to a “hot” issue, then present it as such. Let’s all go out and buy vinegar and make our own cleaning supplies! Panic! Panic! No wonder consumer confidence levels are down.

As for this type of person, if they aren’t hurting anyone (including themselves), it can be a personality quirk that is just exremely irritating for everyone around them. I’m all for not being wasteful (and we as a society are far too wasteful), but please don’t water down my liquid soap. It’s just going to make me use more.
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