Dumpster Diving For Dinner on TLC's 'Extreme Cheapskates'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

September 28th, 2012

via press release:


Six episodes will premiere Tuesday, October 16th at 10/9c


TLC introduces America’s most extreme penny pinchers with the new savings series, EXTREME CHEAPSKATES.  The series follows individuals who look for unique ways to cut costs by any means necessary, from dumpster diving for dinner, once-a-week toilet flushing and reusing dental floss.


Airing over three weeks, the first of six half-hour episodes will premiere on Tuesday, October 16th at 10/9c. The network aired the EXTREME CHEAPSKATES pilot on December 28th, 2011 which garnered a 1.2 HH rating and was viewed by an average of 1.6M P2+. This series is continuing the network's exploration of people who go to remarkable lengths to save money for themselves and their families.


Meet the nine nifty-thrifty folks who are determined to live life on the cheap:


  • Kay- [New York, NY] finds most of her savings in the dumpster. Living in Manhattan means having access to fine dining, and the discarded perishables that go along with it. Kay also saves big by washing her clothes when she showers, and shutting off the gas valve.


  • Terence—[Oakland, CA] goes through life without spending money: he picks up loose change, doles out a tiny allowance to his family, refuses to buy furniture and never takes his family out to eat.


  • Greg—[Cincinnati, OH] is a Zumba instructor who only flushes his toilet once per week. Greg reuses plastic utensils, and makes money by participating in medical tests… even if it means applying ointment to his rear end.


  • Victoria – [Columbus, OH] is a self-made millionaire who obsessively keeps track of her budget, and is thrown for a loop as her boyfriend Steve moves in on a trial basis to see if he can handle her “flush free” lifestyle, which involves personalized urine jars.


  • Roy—[Huntington, VT] reuses his dental floss, picks through trash, and makes his own household cleaning supplies. He reuses coffee grinds several times, takes advantage of ice cream samples and gets free refills at the movies from leftovers discovered in the trash.


  • Ben – [Austin, TX] is very crafty when it comes to his miserliness. Ben uses his dishwasher to clean his clothes, makes his own toothpaste and uses cornstarch to keep himself cool since he lives without air conditioning in the sweltering Texas heat.


  • Jeff – [Accokeek, MD] has been living the cheapskate lifestyle for most of his adult life. Jeff uses his bicycle as his primary means of transportation and claims he’s saved over $50,000. He takes low-cost vacations by couch surfing and helps a family participate in a cheapskate boot camp that includes a “trash can autopsy.”


  • Vickie—[Ashton, ID] a mother of five who refuses to shell out cash for a telephone, a television or even new clothes for the kids.  Vickie hunts for road kill in order to save money on gifts for the kids.


  • Abdul – [Sioux Falls, SD] is the ultimate haggler. He takes pride in negotiating a cheap price for everything, from fast food, gas, and utilities, right down to the balloons and cake for the anniversary party he plans for his wife.


TLC follows these cheapskates as they take savings to a whole new level, even if it means mortifying friends and family. EXTREME CHEAPSKATES is produced by Stephen David Entertainment and Stephen David serves as EP of the series.

  • bluejoni

    They all sound disgusting !!

  • jay

    Just when you think this network can’t stoop any lower, they find a way.

  • Gregory

    Can TLC go back to actually being The Learning Channel and not a disgusting reality TV channel? This is sickening.

  • Gregory

    Why won’t the FCC get involved?(I don’t care if it’s cable. Something has to be done.) TLC is getting worse and worse.. I feel sick just reading the description of the show.

  • Tyson

    I don’t think of dumpster divers as cheapskates. I think of them as desperate. Maybe homeless.

  • Lisa

    Most of this stuff is gross or incredibly stingy, but some I don’t have a problem with. For instance, I think negotiating for lower prices is smart. I also don’t see anything wrong with riding a bike, making your own toothpaste, and participating in medical tests (as long as you meet the qualifications).


    @ Tyson

    Sad, but true–have seen many of the homeless in my life diving for food


    I’m so with you on this one

  • EvilMrM

    Apparently, the “L” in TLC now stands for Lunatics…

  • a p garcia

    This would be a great promo for Limbaugh’s Homeless Update.

  • Ellen in NYC

    I’ve met many “Freegans” here in New York City and most of them aren’t homeless, poor or uneducated. They also tend to be very generous with sharing their “finds” with others (I guess they know they’ll always be more available in some trash bag yet to be discovered.) That said, I’ve never accepted any food from any of them. Makes me queasy.

  • connie

    I could swear that chick who dumpster dives was on another TLC show. Her voice sounds so familiar and she looks familiar. Was she on the wedding dress show set in NYC?

  • Jodi

    I feel these people are much more balanced than the people working like dogs their whole lives for “things.” Or most of the rich and famous wasting more money a month than people need for a lifetime. I personally went dumpster diving at a college just for fun last year and found a coach ring, in its original box, with the receipt.

  • Trevalyn

    I think that the majority of people showcased were probably mentally ill. Why else would they chose to live that way. What are they saving their money for. Not using toliet paper is disgusting. What about furniture- a one time purchase last a lifetime.

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