Moms around the world have been clipping coupons since coupons first hit the bargain scene. We've used cloth diapers in an attempt to save money as well as the environment. We've been wearing clothes that don't really fit anymore due to our bodies' constant ebbs and flows and we don't want to waste money. We've rummage saled, bargain binned, Black Fridayed as many deals as humanly possible to get the most bang for our bucks.
There are a select few moms who take their duty as Deal Finders a little bit too far. If you've had the luxury of watching Extreme Cheapskates on TLC you may have been like me and felt sick to your stomach afterwards. The lengths some parents go to in order to save a few cents is baffling and more-than-mildly disgusting.
Don't get me wrong, there are things I do to save money that other moms balk at. For instance, I have no problem buying underwear or bras from Goodwill (if they have tags on them). I have also purchased secondhand sheets and bedding. It just doesn't gross me out, yet others get green around the gills when I tell them of my penny-pinching ways. But what about the germs? Crabs? Skid marks? Um, I will be okay, I promise.
But, who are the women who go cross from gray area to complete whack jobs in order to save money. Well, here are 15 of the internet's most gag-worthy money-saving moms.
15 Frugal Mom Doesn't Do Laundry Or Use Toilet Paper
I don't mean in the, oh-my-husband-is-so-wonderful-and-washes-the-laundry kind of way. I mean, this mother hasn't-done-a-load-of-laundry-in-three-years kind of way. Pair that and the fact that they don't use toilet paper, it should be a very aromatic home, indeed.
Now, Kay Hashimoto isn't a heathen. While the Certified Public Accountant doesn't use a conventional clothes washer, she does throw her clothes in the shower with her while she washes her body. After it's all full of her body filth, she hangs it in the shower to dry.
Also, as far as toilet paper goes, Hashimoto has a system instead of using something you just throw away, she keeps a bottle of water next to the toilet that she splashes on herself if she goes #1, and, if it's #2, she uses the most microscopic shrivel of soap to wash her ass with her bare hand.
Don't believe me? Take a look:
14 Mom Makes Family Share The Same Bath Water
It grosses me out enough to have my twins share the same bath. The thought of them marinating in each other's filth turns my stomach and they are one-year old. This money-saving mother doesn't just stop at babies in the tub, oh no, her entire family shares the same tub of water.
Yes, Oklahoma parents Melody and Ron Rose Gravitt and their two sons, one 15 and one 9-years old, share the same bath water in order to save money. As expected, the teenager, Brandon Gravitt, is less-than-impressed with this personal hygiene situation.
"Sometimes I do actually want to take my own shower. [But I] can't really do it much because my parents like to save water," Brandon said.
This makes me weak in the knees, especially when you see the above picture with 9-year old Ronnie washing in his parents' leftover brown water.
But, why go to these extreme lengths? Turns out, Melody's gross tricks paid off, the family of four took an exotic family cruise with their budgeted savings.
According to Melody, the family sticks to a $1,000 a month budget -- their home has no TV, cable or indoor water to keep this budget as well as only eating out once a month at McDonald's and buying food in bulk.
Check out the family's unconventional bathing routine in the below video.
13 Family's Dinners And Gifts Made From Roadkill
Some cheapskates dive in dumpsters for gifts and even, gag, dinners, but one mom doesn't stop there. No, Vickie, John and her kids scour the side of the freeway for roadkill they can stew up for dinner or make into a gift for a friend.
Yes, when friends of this frugal family come to visit or get a gift from Vickie, they know it's made from a dead carcass -- squirrel wallet anyone?
“Here we go for roadkill! Here we go for roadkill! Eat meat!” this bizarre family chants as they search the ditch for dinner.
Now, Vickie and John aren't just looking for any old dead animal. They do have standards when it comes to what they eat.
“My mission is to find good roadkill,” John said. “If it’s fresh and good, well, I’m a butcher. I have no problem eating something fresh and good.”
By making furs, gifts and dinners with meat from already dead animals, Vickie has saved the family hundreds of dollars and, hopefully, not spent them at urgent care for some unheard of disease.
12 Mom Recycles Food And Water And Feeds It To Her Family
Now, I'm not talking some health conscience recycling of water and eating some leftovers, I'm talking about one mom's extremely unhygienic ways she uses water and food over and over again.
Mother, Stephanie, has a routine of keeping one pot of water that she reuses again and again when cookie -- showing off it's chunky foam in the video below.
That's not all. After dinner is eaten, Stephanie smears leftover ketchup from the plates back into the bottles. She also puts the already-cooked sauce back in the jar to be used again the next meal.
When Stephanie's husband forced her to have guests over, Stephanie begrudgingly made the group a lasagna -- in the dishwasher.
The cheapness doesn't stop there for Stephanie. She also uses only one light bulb to light her entire house, forcing her partner, children and even guests to share it when moving room to room.
11 Queen Of Frugal Rations Children's Cheerios
While she doesn't appear to be a cheapskate mom -- with her perfect makeup, hair and designer clothes -- one Utah mom takes the cake for food frugality as she rations her toddler's Cheerios for breakfast.
Yes, Jordan Page can be found each morning counting out the number of Cheerios her children get each morning, sure to not waste a single crunchy kernel.
"It's all about not wasting anything, and the way to do that is, we call it 'rationing,'" Page said on TLC's show Extreme Cheapskates.
And make sure you eat your entire plate at the Page household, or you're going to be hungry from now on. One morning, while feeding her toddler, she reminded him of the rules while doling out his Cheerios.
"We're going to give you fourteen," and she counts out 14 Cheerios. He quickly scarfs down the pile, "And remember, you need to eat all your Cheerios, or next time you only get twelve."
Page claims she was frugal her entire life, however, a financial crisis resulting in $15,000 in credit card debt inspired her current lifestyle and frugal blog Fun Cheap or Free.
"I love proving my sprawling fashionable wardrobe, the good food we eat, the beautiful home we live in and fun things we do as a family are because of how frugal we are, not in spite of it," Page said.
10 Mom Washes Family's Clothes In The Pool
I wish I had the motivation to do things like use the clothesline to dry my laundry. I think about my great grandmother who washed clothes by hand and feel ashamed that my lazy rear can't hang clothes on the line to save money. However, there's one cheapskate mom who isn't just happy with the clothesline -- she saves money by washing her family's laundry in the swimming pool.
Her name is Jeni and she convinced herself that the swimming pool is almost identical to a washing maching. She claims the chemical makeup of the water is the same as laundry detergent or bleach.
Even if this was the case, do people want to swim in the pool that just had someone's poopy underwear washed in it?
Jeni even skimps on what she uses to clean the pool -- forgoing pool chemicals for baking soda and using bubble wrap to cover the pool at night.
Jeni's kids are not too keen on their poolside laundry detail.
"It makes me feel like I'm in 1912," her child said.
9 Mom Reuses Wipes And Uses Free Gas Station Changing Table
A lot of Americans gasped at one cheapskate mom's willingness to use the breast milk of her friends for her child. This isn't too bizarre to me since women sell their breast milk on Craigslist, for gosh's sake. What really heebs me out about Apple Melecia's cheapness is her reuse of baby wipes and the duct taped changing table in her baby's room.
Yes, Melecia prides herself in making her own wet wipes. As you'll see in the below video, she isn't appeased with just wiping down her counters with one wipe, she says it's still clean and uses it to wipe her baby's butt.
The grodiness doesn't end there at the Melecia house. Apple's greatest savings when it comes to her daughter was when she scored a free gas station changing table when it went out of business.
You can see her in the video, with her toddler strapped into the duct-taped, graffiti-ed, unstable petri dish of hepatitis.
8 Mom Regifts Items She Stole From Her Family On Christmas
While extreme cheapskate mom, Sarah Gracel, isn't grossly cheap in a filthy way -- she's more gross in the way she steals from her family, wraps stolen items for Christmas and gives them back to their original owners, only spending $20 on Christmas.
Yes, the average American family spends $800 during the holidays, but Sarah saves nearly all of it, spending her $20 budget on wrapping paper. You know, to wrap the items she stole earlier in the year from her family.
In the below video, Sarah's sister is shocked on Christmas morning when she open's Sarah's gift and it's sunglasses she had been missing for a year.
"I knew you were gonna love them! You were looking for them, right?" Sarah said to her stunned sister.
7 Parents Make Kids Search Car Wash Trash For Candy And Money
This isn't just Mom this time, no, this mother/father duo are so disgustingly cheap (and slight scammers, in my opinion) they make their children dig through car wash vacuum bags for coins and treats in an elaborate scam.
Raul and Trisha Pinto have quite the scheme. The two bring their two younger children to a car wash, put the obligatory $1 in the vacuum and suck up an earring. Then, Raul tells the car wash attendant they lost their earring and they hunt through the vacuum bag -- digging out all the coins as well as candy.
"The first time that I had to dig into a vacuum bin, I was pretty grossed out," says Mr Pinto's young daughter, Francesca.
As you can tell in the below video, I can't imagine why little Francesca would be grossed out as she sifts chocolates through strangers' dog and body hair and hands over her money to her father, defeated.
6 Mom Dresses 5 Year Old Like Baby For Free Tickets
A YouTuber took to her channel to talk about her "extreme" cheapskate mom. While most of the stories are vanilla compared to the other gems on this list, there was one that made me feel all kind of yucky. The woman's mom dressed the YouTuber like a baby when she was five years old to get free tickets at the theater.
20 year old, Phanatanya, said she distinctly remembers being at least five years old and her mother would bundle her up like a baby wrapped in a blanket to get free tickets to the movie theater -- but the child had to be under the age of two.
Phanatanya went on further to explain that it wasn't about her mom not having the money, the tickets were a mere 50 cents, it was about her getting a thrill off saving money and tricking the system.
After unloading on her mother's cheapskate ways, Phanatanya seemed less than impressed with her mother.
"Wow, I had a rough childhood," Phanatanya said.
5 Mom Sews Together Thanksgiving "Churkey"
I'll give it to this mom, she get's an A+ for creativity but an F for appetizing when it comes to her cheapskate Thanksgiving dinner -- a chicken sewn together to appear like a turkey.
Mother-of-two, Shelley Watson, dreamed up this nauseating dinner after realizing she had to feed 40 people Thanksgiving dinner on a $100 budget.
Yes, this is definitely a good intention sort of grossness, but instead of making a turkey zombie, couldn't you have gone with just regular chicken instead? I'm sure the guests would prefer that...
Also, after dinner, she and her children scour area land for bits of branches to cobble together a Christmas tree and even make odd requests.
"Can I collect some of the sawdust because we're going to make potpourri out of it?" she asks a lot owner.
4 Mom Pulls Son's Teeth In Walmart Bathroom To Save Money
Instead of footing the bill at the dentist to get her son's "infected" front teeth pulled, one Utah mom headed to Walmart for pliers and hand sanitizer and performed the extraction right there in the store bathroom.
Now, here's the real kicker, Jeannine Isom pulled her seven year old son's teeth because she claimed they were infected. After being arrested for child abuse, a dentist examined the child's teeth and verified they were healthy teeth.
Even though the boy's brother said the teeth were loose, when extracted, they came out in chunks, meaning they were still very much attached to this child.
Isom was arrested and charged after her other son stopped the teeth pulling when he heard his brother's screams.
Isom does have seven children and a husband of 30 years, so I get that money can be tight, but let's draw the line before we start taking medical problems into our own hands -- especially without any type of anesthetic.
3 Dad Makes Goats' Heads For Cheap Meal
While Mom is just as cheap, she doesn't quite have the same stomach Dad does in this cheapskate family where Dad feeds the family organ meats and even goats' heads.
Obviously, the cheaper the type of meat the better when it comes to Jeff Yeager's tighter-than-tight grocery budget.
"I create my menus around what is least expensive," Jeff explained. "Not only does that save you a lot of money, but you tend to eat healthier. Like organ meats!"
Though Jeff is giddy over only spending $7.50 on a pair of goats' heads for dinner, his wife, Denise was not that impressed.
"Some of the food he eats, I just can't get myself to ... to fathom eating," she said.
My stomach is flipping just watching this man boiling goats' heads with eyeballs in them for his family to eat. I would settle for the Dollar Menu at that point.
2 Mom Is Such A Cheapskate Her Husband Calls It, "Painful"
Of all Torski Arnold's cheapskate habits, I would say the fact that she reuses a living Christmas tree year after year -- after it is brown, shedding and rotting, she still puts it up and decorates in order to not have to buy a new one each year.
Ronald and Torski Arnold keep their household on a $1,200 monthly budget -- just a third of their monthly income. Ronald thinks Torski takes her budget a little too seriously.
"It can be painful," Ronald said on Extreme Cheapskates.
Torski also only does household chores (including cooking dinners) between midnight and 5 am since her electric company discounts usage charges 50% during non-peak hours. Yes, she does laundry, vacuums, trims trees and even cooks the next night's meals during that time.
In the below video, you can see all of this as well as Torski throwing her 10 year old son, Donathan, a birthday party where she begs balloons off of strangers and creates a cake from smashed up throwaway pieces at a discount. The venue? A nursing home since she scored the best deal.
1 Entire Family Forgoes Toilet Paper For Toilet Rags
I entertained the idea of cloth diapers during my three pregnancies, each time I vetoed them due to the gross factor. I just can't. However, there is one other mother of four who makes cloth diapers look sanitary AF, she has her entire family using cloth toilet paper.
Yes, just like the cloth diapering process, you basically have a basket of rags on top of your toilet that you wipe your rear with and then drop in a bucket to be cleaned later -- of course by Mom.
I love money. I love saving money. But, I will never love it again to wash my husband's (many) diarrhea rags in order to save $10. I have a hard enough time wiping the sprinkles of pee my son leaves on every surface of the bathroom. How does one train four children to no plop poopy rags everywhere? Furthermore, what about washing guests' used toilet rags?
Beth, creator of blog Red and Honey, claims adult toilet rags are no different than cloth diapers.
"We cleaned all three of our kids’ poopy bums off with those cloths, washed them in our washing machine, and used them over and over again," Beth wrote on her blog. "Got that? We wiped poop and pee… washed them… and reused them. The only argument that is usually left standing after getting the basics out of the way is simply the ick factor. People think it’s just gross."
Sources: YouTube, Daily Mail, Caroline Vencil, Daily Mail, ET Online, ET Online, Daily Mail, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Gawker, AOL, Daily Mail, Daily Mail, LearnVest, Today, Daily Mail, Red and Honey