While most people see television as a form of entertainment, there are many shows that can help you live a more frugal life. Whether you want to find an alternative to an otherwise expensive product, learn to cut corners like a true cheapskate, or want to coupon with the best of them, these shows may be the ones for you.
Extreme Couponing is one of the shows that brought couponing into the limelight. Each episode featured a few extreme coupon users who would work to get the largest haul for the least amount of money. They would share information regarding their personal strategies on how to gather coupons and use them for the most savings, as well as indications about their organizational systems and the amount of time that had to be committed to the process. While not everyone can get results similar to those seen on the show, many of the techniques can be applied to anyone to help save at the grocery store.
That being said, a few of the episodes include people taking part in actions that would be considered unethical, while others should certain people actually breaking the law by stealing coupons from newspapers for which they did not pay. If those aspects are ignored, much of the other advice can be considered sound, and it often permitted at a variety of stores.
Later, a similar show called Extreme Cheapskates took it even further. The show introduced viewers to people who took the idea of saving money to the extreme. At times, it showed how a person would scrap every usable ounce out of a product, like shampoo or toothpaste, or would show people using amounts far less than what is normally recommended.
Some of the most outlandish episodes would feature people who consider themselves “freegans.” This would include people who would dumpster dive for usable food, and then use the items they found to create meals for friends and family. While these techniques are undoubtedly controversial, and can even be illegal in some cases, some of the advice is sound when used in moderation.
Hack My Life
For a show that took things in a different direction, Hack My Life is helped test a variety of shortcuts and product exchanges that can help viewers save both time and money. In some cases, it would demonstrate how you can use an inexpensive, common household item (or a combination of items) to stand in for more expensive options, or items you do not keep on hand. It also provided information about how to increase the lifespan of your items, through methods like getting tough stains out of clothes, as well as how to use appliances you already own to complete tasks that may otherwise require a new appliance.
These shows only scratch the surface of what you can do to save money on the necessities of life. The next time you need to replace an appliance, consider trying the Home Depot scratch and dent appliances for options that will work perfectly at a discount. You can also check stores that sell previously opened items, like Amazon and BestBuy, or scour the clearance section of your favorite stores to find great deals. Once you get the money saving bug, you may find it hard to go back.