When penny pinching gets extreme

roll of toilet paper

Saving money is a great idea, especially at this end of the year when there's so long to wait between paydays. However, there's a fine line between sensible money-saving, and crazy penny pinching, and there are plenty of people who have overstepped that line - dramatically.

We have tracked down 15 bizarre habits of extreme cheapskates.

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1. One reddit thread asked people to share tales of cheapskates they know. The stories included the tale of the couple who eat out once a week at a restaurant that offers baskets of free bread rolls to have with dinner. They take enough rolls home with them each time to freeze and have for lunch every day.

2. Another user doesn't just take tiny toiletries when he stays in a hotel - but all the toilet roll too.

3. One user said his parents were in the airline industry, so spent a lot of time in hotels. He wrote: "My "goodie bags" at every party were whatever free stuff they'd nicked from the hotel they stayed at over the past year. Because 8-year-olds love shower caps, shampoo and mini soap."

4. One wrote that his father keeps refilling soap dispensers with water until there's no soap left in them at all.

5. Another said his wife's aunt will rinse out cereal packets and use them as sandwich bags.

6. One said her office had a celebratory day where staff got free pizza. One of her colleagues had the day off - but came in anyway for the food.

7. One admitted to walking into hotels and taking apples from the complimentary basket for guests on the front desk.

8. Another admitted to visiting friends when it was cold and he didn't want to put the heating on.

9. In the US the TV series, Extreme Cheapskates, highlighted some incredible penny pinching, including the man who goes through cinema bins for empty popcorn and drinks containers, so he can take them inside for a refill.

10. Another takes her family scavenging for roadkill to cook up for dinner.

11. One couple shares everything - including a toothbrush and razor. When they die they even plan to share a coffin.

12. And another man visits the butcher and asks for the off-cuts - returning home with heads and bones to transform into dinner.

13. On Dr Phil a few years ago, they ran a segment on a man who wanted to be known as the 'world's cheapest man'. Perhaps his oddest tip was when he goes out, if he sees people have left food on their plate and haven't asked for a doggy bag, he asks if he can have their leftovers.

14. He also visits the bins behind the crematorium, to pick up discarded flowers for his wife.

15. He admitted he takes grapes off the stems and discards the stem before he goes through the till, so he's not charged for the waste.

But what do you think? Would you try any of these methods, and do you have any extreme penny pinching habits? Let us know in the comments.

Vintage money-saving tips
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Vintage money-saving tips
Back then there was no choice, because the mass-produced microwaveable meal was just a glint in a marketing guru's eye, but now, cooking from scratch can save substantial sums.
The older generation learned that there were meat-free days of the week to save money, and that if you had meat you''d stretch mince with breadcrumbs, or buy cheaper joints and use every scrap.
Perfect fruit and vegetables and top-of-the-range brands are a new phenomenon. Buy generic non-branded food and fruit and vegetables in whatever size and shape is most affordable

Nowadays we rush around the supermarket grabbing things we like the look of - with little idea of what we're going to do with it. Making a list and thinking about what you buy can save you thousands of pounds over the course of a year.

There's no such thing as 'left-overs' there's just the ingredients for tomorrow's dinner. The remains of the meat can be stir-fried the next day, the vegetables blended into  soup, and the potatoes saved for bubble and squeak.

Try an experiment and eliminate everything from your life with the word disposable in the title. Not only will you save money, but your bin will take far longer to fill too.

Before you bin anything, think twice about whether you can give it a second life. Think carefully, does your granny have her tried and tested tips that she has a habit of mentioning, for instance, washing out freezer bags? If you mock, you're missing a trick and wasting money and resources.
Cutting out draughts and insulating your home properly can cut 10% off your heating bill.
Back in the 1940s when no-one had central heating, people got used to wearing another layer at home. Try lowering your thermostat gradually, and only stop when those around you start to notice - you'll be surprised how much you can save.
If you save your washing and dish washing until you have a full load every time you'll save energy and save money.
Over the generations we have been sucked into believing the hype. In the days when adverts were few-and-far between, we managed without many of the things we consider essential nowadays. Re-consider what you buy, and why. Without advertising, would you buy any of it?
It's always cheaper to save in advance and plan a purchase than to rush in and borrow - which could end up costing you hundreds of pounds more in interest.
Older generations typically withdraw what they can afford to spend in cash and then leave their debit card at home or deep in their wallets. This has the advantage that they don't tend to reach for a debit or credit card and spend more than they can afford.
Because the older generations couldn't borrow their way out of trouble, they tended to plan more. Give your family a financial safety and a nest egg for the future.
Back when there were only a finite number of items of clothing to go around in a neighbourhood, people borrowed from each other for special occasions. Nowadays swapping and sharing can save substantial sums
Back in the 1940s when no-one had central heating, people got used to wearing another layer at home. Try lowering your thermostat gradually, and only stop when those around you start to notice - you'll be surprised how much you can save.
There was a time not so long ago when no-one could actually remember anyone who had actually bought a bike. They were passed through the siblings, then across family and friends networks, so that decades later, children were still learning to ride a bike for free. Of course it helps if you buy something gender-neutral, then you can hand it down, and reap the benefits as others hand expensive toys on to you.
In previous generations, neighbours would think nothing of asking each other to babysit, walk their dog, or to borrow a ladder. Nowadays we pay handsomely for babysitters and dog walkers, and each have an expensive ladder gathering dust in the shed.
The army of people who come to our homes to do odd jobs is a new phenomenon for all but the very wealthy. You may well have the skills required to complete these jobs, so get stuck in.

Ditch going out for dinner or browsing round the shops for taking a walk, visiting the beach with a picnic, or holding a family DVD night.

Nowadays we're constantly striving for a bigger TV, a flashier car and a better kitchen. Generations ago people never considered that they would ever be able to afford bigger, flashier and better, so they got on with the business of enjoying what they had.

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