RealPagan- Paganism for the Real World

Blessings all,

I have been watching a show called Extreme Cheapskates. It is available on Netflix and the new season is currently airing on the TLC network. This show has got me thinking.


So on the show it follows one to two people and chronicles their daily routine or lifestyle on how they save money. Some people dig in dumpsters for "good" "clean" food and that is all they eat. My issue with this is: Yes I know how much food people waste, BUT even if it is a prepackaged entrée it has been in the trash and while it may be "clean" it is obviously bad to eat because it has not been stored in the appropriate temperatures for food safety. Like one woman found a chicken asparagus with 2 sides, it was prepackaged and sealed. She took it home and fixed it for dinner. That could've been in the trash all day! You can see bacteria, just because there is no mold doesn't mean its okay to eat. She also found a prepackaged mini carrot cake. It might have been safe but I still wouldn't eat it. So I wouldn't do that.

This same woman also claims she has never paid for furniture. She digs in the dumpsters for furniture that is in good shape. I have never done this. My community hosts a clean up day once a year where you can throw anything out and the trash company will haul it away free of charge. It is common to see people driving around and picking up peoples furniture and appliances that they put out that still appear to be in good shape. One year my dad put out an old sophisticated looking chair that was upholstered with this mustard yellow velveteen like fabric. My dad had been storing this in this garage for over ten years, the upholstery was ripped and it needed a good cleaning. We were never gonna use it so my dad put it on the curb. Someone driving around picked it up. Nothing was really wrong with that chair. Whoever picked it up probably reupholstered it and kept it or sold it and make a good couple bucks. Just this year my hand me down microwave stopped working. It was a quasar from the late 60's. I loved this microwave. On clean up day we threw it out and after I left for work my husband said he saw some lady drive up and take it. My neighbor threw out a perfectly good bicycle and we have been wanting to get bikes so I called him and told him what I saw on my drive out of town and tried to convince him to walk over and pick up the bike, he wouldn't do it. I do not think there is anything wrong with that. People also put furniture out with a free sign on it all the time. However I would never haul anything away like a couch because you never know it could be infested with fleas, roaches, mice, etc. But a bike, computer desk, etc might not be so bad. It is on the curb so it is public anyone can go through it.

 Another woman pees in a jar, enough said, if I have a working toilet no thanks. I will say it is probably ok if its #1 to not have to flush every time. It is brown FLUSH it down! LOL


One man on the show reuses everything, he made a wallet out of old bike tire intertubing. This is a nifty idea. Reminded me of something my dad might do. Why not right? Reduce, reuse, recycle. That is what I was taught.

 This same man also makes his own deodorant. I DO THIS.

One man cleans with baking soda, water and vinegar, I DO THIS

This same man also puts a brick in his toilet tank to make it think its fuller than it is. He claims this saves him $8 a month. I told my husband this and he wasn't keen on trying it. But  I might just to see..


One woman shops at a salvage store and buys near expired or expired food. I have done this. HOWEVER not with way over expired food. Our local salvage store has vitamins and supplements that are a few months from expiration for really cheap. Typically vitamins and supplements are good for 6 months after expiration, but it color texture or odor changes discard immediately. You can also buy over ripe  bananas there and freeze them for a tastey mango banana ice cream that is all natural and healthy! There are many other things I can  buy there that are safe and save a significant amount of money. SO I kind of do this.


Another man on there reuses plastic bags and produce bags, aluminum foil, etc. I DO THIS.



There are many other things people do on here to save money. Some are reasonable and others are extreme! Check out the show.


On a final note, I think it is ok to buy used, shop at a thrift store, garage sale etc. Please be safe and think about what you are buying! I make my own deodorant, and cleaning supplies because it is natural and better for you body and the environment, and it just so happens that it also saves money. For my wedding, I wore a pair of white strappy high heels that I already owned. I bought them for my high school graduation. That was five years ago, they had just been sitting in a box in my closet. Why not wear them for my wedding? I think I paid under $20 for them at a payless. Some people I work with made fun of me and how I am too frugal. Stating that they paid over $200 for their wedding shoes! I think that is an unnecessary expense. IT IS OKAY TO BE FRUGAL! BE WISE!

Let me know that you think. I appreciate all the likes, views and comments!





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Comment by Ms. Witch(Sara) on November 14, 2013 at 15:28

Flammeous, thanks for the great comment! We sound a lot a like. I too try to make and fings before I buy new. Sometimes you can't always but it is always worth a try. My dad can do, make and fix anything. I have a few blogs about things he has done. I make my own body scrub, soap, deodorant, soon to be shampoo, use soap nuts for laundry and baking soda and vinegar to clean with. We use cloth napkins and huck towels in place of paper. I don't think I can stomach using cut up cloths as toilet paper and then washing them. Mostly we do this because there are so many chemicals in health and cleaning products that aren't good for us or the environment but it also saves loads of money. Yes you have to buy more things at first but they pay for themselves in no time! Check out more of my blog if you haven't already done so. I would love to continue to here from you.

Comment by Flammeous {De Empress} on November 14, 2013 at 12:27

I'm going to have to look into this show, just for any ideals. However I think I'll pass on the dumpster diving and relieving myself in a jar though. >./p>

I have been called "thrifty" over the years - mostly from my mother in law. I always thought it was just a polite alternative to calling me cheap or cheapsake.

I believe I get my 'thriftyness' from my own mother. She use to collect the small bars of soap in a jar, with a little water, and use it as laundry soap. Save the bacon grease in a designated can, to reuse (yuck!). We hardly ever ate out. You can save a lot of money, by just eating at home. She sowed clothes before ever buying anything new. If she could make it, she would do this first, before getting it already made at the store - I have the same mindset on this too. Like it's hard for me to buy scarfs and hats, knowing darn well I crochet these in a heartbeat.

I do many of these things. I make my own laundry detergent, because my husband is heavy handed with the soap, and the stuff is expensive!

I have made my own deodorant once. It didn't turn out so well with me. Apparently my skin just didn't like it. There should be a word of caution put out there with some of these homemade recipes that go on the skin. Just sayin'.

Keeping the heat/ac on low, is something we always do. If your hot, then put something cool on. If your cold, put more clothes on, is what I say to my kids. Space heaters and electric blankets is what we use in the winter.

I save and reuse plastic bags, aluminium foil/pans and food & candle jars. Once again, I get that from my mother.

Lights. Seems like every bloody room in my house takes at least 3 light bulbs, and utilities are not cheap! Until we can afford new light fixtures, we take the extra bulbs out, leaving one in the fixture. It does make it feel like we are living in a cave. Makes for finding things a bit harder. Meh.

I do buy near expired dates on food. Somewhere I seen, something addressing the expired dates can last a little longer than what is displayed on the package; that they are actually *sell by* dates to get them out of the store. However I'll pass if it's too close to the date, and I am certain that I won't be using it in that short amount of time. Every week, I hunt down the manager's mark down specials when I go grocery shopping, and I always browse the clearance section as well.

I did the coupon thing. I didn't feel like I was saving any money, as I was purchasing things I wouldn't normally buy, and it was taking up too much of the little time I have.

My sofa set - couch and loveseat, we purchased 10 years ago for $120 from craigslist. Had two little babies at the time, and with all the messes that little bugger's make. I wasn't willing to fork over the money for furniture that would get destroyed, just to turn around and have to purchase another set, to have the same happen. We have since got a new sofa set, giving to us by a neighbor, who had it sitting in their garage. Just need to make the swap now.

Some of the pieces of furniture I have, were made by my step dad, as he is a wood craftsmen. I either got it next to nothing or free, as a gift. Other pieces, were on clearance. Clearance, I think that's where the really good deals are. Two ceiling high book cases, a nice bedroom dresser set, was put out on the curb with a free sign, by our neighbors down the block.

I use to shop at thrift stores all the time for clothes, but over the years with the economy and all. I have noticed they have gotten ridiculous with their pricing. After all why pay two or three dollars for a used shirt, when a local department store is having a sale on new shirts for the same price? I do however, go there from time to time, searching for items for (witch) craft. Like unused candles, to melt down and make my own. I have found other great items such as a salt rock lamp, a beautiful gold pointed star plate, floating candle wicks, a dragon statue, divination books, and even a crystal/glass ball. All cleanse of course.

I make and take herbal tinctures, opposed to buying medicine, I think is another way I save money. However it's not about saving money, it's just that I'm more conscience about what I'm putting into my body, or maybe that's just the witch in me? Although my kids aren't as euthanistic about taking my herbal concoctions when they come down with something.

I have been wanting to collect rain water, however my husband continues to object to the idea, reminding me we are in the suburbs and not on a farm. Sometimes he can be so posh.

There is a friend of ours that went dumpster diving for nick nacks. Like beautiful beaded frames and lamps, that were missing beads, in which she restored. I was always envious of her finds, but I don't have the balls myself to go do that.

Btw, my mom puts overripe bananas in the freezer. She says this is her secret to making her yummy, famous banana bread. ;)

Blessings Always..

Comment by Ms. Witch(Sara) on November 11, 2013 at 18:36

Those were my thoughts on my wedding. I don't care if Im frugal. Right now we are trying to save money to buy a house(right now we live in one of my dads rental properties. I have lived here since I was 17) I don't have rent but I am responsible for all the taxes and insurance as well as maintenance and utility bills plus appliances. So my husband and I are living kind of cheap right now. SOme of our furniture is hand me down but they are nice. I occasionally use coupons if I can get a good deal and I only use coupons on things that I buy every week. FOr instance we buy and prepare a lot of fresh food, we don't eat hamburger helper(maybe once a year or something) so coupons don't really help us most of the time. But I do use coupons for things like: cat food, cat litter, toilet paper, dried fruit, canned food, Simply Orange, almond milk, and tea. That's about it. There aren't very many good thrift stores around here, but I have bought stuff like barely worn clothing at times. There is nothing wrong with that. We do donate our clothing to thrift store and good will. We have adjusted our toilets the proper way to save on water and not waste. We try and not waste electricity, I do not go around and unplug the oven or dryer when we are not using it or our TV. But I do rarely turn on lights. If I want to read I use a little LED book light instead of a lamp. I keep the AC at 80 in the summer or open windows, and I keep the heat at 62-63 and use a space heater in the winter and we bundle up, sweats, fluffy robes, thick socks, etc. Put extra blankets on your bed and cuddle up this winter!!! :)

Comment by Holly on November 10, 2013 at 19:30
My Dad used to get food out of a dumpster. He thought it was perfectly good if it was sealed. Granted it was just breads and cakes and such. I don't ever remember him getting meats or frozen foods like that. However, if it's been in a dumpster, I just prefer not to eat it. Dumpsters are nasty with all kinds of germs on and in them. Rodents, bugs, raccoons, and other animals crawl in them and eat from them. Even prepackaged stuff may have been exposed to any number of nasty germs or toxins from cleaners or other things that may be in there. I agree we throw too much away and that much of what is tossed out into dumpsters should simply be donated or sold at reduced price BEFORE it hits the germy dumpster.

Sara, those ladies that made fun of you seem pretty silly to me. First of all, a wedding isn't about spending huge amounts of money for clothes and items that will probably only be used once and breaking your bank or your parents. Who wants to start your life together in massive debt? A wedding is about celebrating your love and the happiness of being together, not to mention the joy of finding a companion, a soul mate, a friend. Not everyone can be so lucky though, so I suppose they have to compensate with $200 shoes and fancy expensive parties. I can't imagine spending $200 for shoes unless they were really comfortable, would support my feet better than any other, and would last more than ten years of daily wear. Even then it'd be a major stretch for me. It just doesn't make sense. You're not too frugal, you're smart and sensible.
Comment by Ms. Witch(Sara) on November 10, 2013 at 15:37

Most of these people have good jobs they just don't want to spend money so they dig their food out of the dumpster.

Comment by MoonCrone on November 10, 2013 at 6:12

I agree, why spend more than you have to? 

When I worked for a regular decent wage, I used to be something of a brand snob (which makes me blush somewhat now) and would only ever dream of buying certain things like Nescafe coffee or Heinz tomato soup, and so on, because the quality could be guaranteed... I even used to shop in Harrods in London for my shoes...  one of the most exclusive stores we have...  but I eventually learned some of the non-branded or "value" lines and that discounts shops like Peacocks, BonMarche, and Lidl and Aldi etc were just as good, if not better!

But health and safety, and common sense should come first.

Food that should be kept chilled is not good to eat when it's been stored at the wrong temperature...  you can't see the bugs that give you life threatening gastric problems... and if you are seriously THAT desperate for food, you should be seeking support from the appropriate authorities, not digging around in a dustbin.

I do buy a lot of things on short date code tickets and risk the odd thing out of code... when I was born, tins, especially, were kept for years, they didn't have expiry dates on things back then.

I guess it helps to know a little about what to look for to keep safe.

I would say if in doubt, don't.  Just to be sure.

I do buy second hand things like clothes and wooden furniture from time to time, I go to the charity shop that supports the LifeBoats and the one that supports the air ambulance...  but I make sure to clean them really well, both physically, and spiritually, before using them.

I would draw the line at shoes, and earrings, and underwear though.  There are just too many risks with those kinds of items.

"Make do and mend" and up-cycling is a big thing with me, I see things like old curtains and blankets or bedspreads etc as a valuable fabric resource... especially the more exotic types like the embroidered Eastern cloths...  and have made and worn skirts that were once table cloths or jackets that were eiderdowns,  and so on! 

It's fun, and it helps reduce the cost of keeping my wardrobe bright and cheerful and fresh.

Comment by Makoons on November 9, 2013 at 7:31

Omgosh for me there is nothing like getting a good deal. Most of my clothing is bought used on ebay, from thrift stores, or on clearance. Why pay full price? It takes more work to shop that way but is ultimately so much more satisfying.


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