Extreme Frugality: 25 Weird But True Stories from Around The World

By | January 29, 2019

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Truth is stranger than fiction. You won’t think these weird stories of extreme frugality from around the world are real, but they are!

These were postings from walletpop.com and were published in Sandra and Harry Choron’s book Money: Everything You Never Knew About Your Favorite Thing to Find, Save, Spend & Covet.

Marvel at the weird stories or be amused, but whatever your response is, you won’t get bored.

Will you dare try #17 and #18 for Valentine’s Day? The best advice? Do NOT do these things!



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1. “My uncle was so cheap that before he went to bed he removed the battery of his watch and put it back in the morning to save battery life”.

2. “My friend brings library books, CDs, tapes, and movies to parties as gifts, then he expects the recipient to return them to his own library by the due date. He lives far away, and the recipient has to mail the items back to his local library on time, or pay the late fees”.

3. “Someone I know actually charged me for text messaging him, believe it or not”.

4. “I know someone who would go to the cemetery, get the flowers off the graves, and make a bouquet of flowers for his wife at different occasions. This went on for a couple of years until she found out”.

5. “My grandma was so cheap that she would only bathe on holidays, to save on soap and water. Boy, did my grandpa love Christmas and New Year’s, because her baths were a week apart”.

6. “For the four years he worked at a national park, my stepson dressed in clothing from the park’s lost and found pile”.

7. “My father-in-law recently came to live with us; he told us that he sleeps on one side of the bed one week and the other side of the bed the next week just so he is not washing a clean side of the sheets and wasting money”.

8. “I caught my boss running out into the rain to wipe down his Audi. He admitted he was doing it to save the price of a car wash”.

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9. “My dad’s uncle was so cheap he uses a teabag and then dries it and uses it again”.

10. “A guy I work with lunches on samples at food stores and just drinks water”.

11. “I have a friend who goes to a fast-food joint and orders a senior coffee to go. He then fills the bag with creamers, sugar, and napkins to last a month. All for just 49 cents”.

12. “My mom would buy two-ply toilet paper and split it in half to make one-ply paper”.

13. “My friend’s Dad used to put the person he wanted his mail to go to in the return address area, and purposely forget postage. When it was returned, it wasn’t returned to him; it was brought to the person he wanted to send it to”!

14. “One person at my office would have a totally free lunch every day composed of many packets of ketchup, salt and pepper, hot water, several packets of saltine crackers, and a glass of cold water”.

15. “My ex-boss used to water down the Windex bottle and hang up the paper towels to dry and reuse them on the glass”.

16. “When his grandmother passed away my friend refused the funeral home’s charges for the hearse. He rented a black minivan instead to transport his grandmother’s casket to the cemetery”.

17. “My ex-husband bought me candy and flowers for Valentine’s Day. He said I could look at the flowers for about an hour and have one piece of the candy and then he took the candy and the flowers to his mother and his sister for their Valentine’s gifts”.

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18. “My hubby and I were at the store the night before Valentine’s Day picking up kids’ treats. We were in the card lane and he handed me a sweet mushy card and said ‘Here, read this so I can put it back. It’s $2.79’.

19. “I know a woman who refused to buy a refrigerator with an ice maker. She would put her lunch in a plastic cooler and take it to work. At work, she would go to the canteen and fill her cooler with the ‘free’ ice”.

20. “I got a golfing buddy that is so cheap (and he’s a millionaire) that he saves his dental floss and re-uses it. He puts the floss on a nail in his garage, and saves it, to be used again once it’s dried out”.

21. “I have a friend who used to come for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners armed with a paper sack full of empty Tupperware containers (and nothing else). At the end of the meal, he would scoff up the leftovers to take home”!

22. “I have an aunt who doesn’t even use toilet paper, she uses a hand towel and rewashes it. Now that’s what I call cheap”.

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23. “My wife’s friend and her mother have a collection of restaurant cups that they take back and get free drinks on return trips. Hopefully they will be caught someday and arrested”.

24. “My boss recycles her bathwater. She uses it to wash her car, wash her hair, clean the house, water the flowers, mop the floors. And get this, she puts a little bleach in it and uses it to wash her dishes”.

25. “I took a friend out to dinner for his birthday, I paid for the meal and left a tip. The cheapskate returned to the table and took the tip, and said he could use the money to purchase cigarettes”.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. Hope you’d some fun reading them. If you’ve enjoyed it, share it with others!

I wouldn’t recommend adopting some of these frugal tips though. They’re too extreme even for me!

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