Frugal Secrets of America’s Cheapskates

What if you could travel the country and pick the brains of cheapskates far and wide?

cheap-green-blog-lgThat’s what Jeff Yeager did — on a bicycle, no less. He not only went searching for tips on frugality but also set out to discover what cheapskates had in common. He details the findings in his new book, “The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below their Means.”

Yeager, 52, is hard to impress. In his first book, he calls himself the “Ultimate Cheapskate.” He has soft-boiled eggs alongside the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and has “re-canted” box wine into bottles with premium labels.

In his journeys, he was most struck by the wide variety of people and lifestyles among those who consider themselves cheap. He also noticed that most cheapskates, because they limit spending, are weathering the economic recession fairly well.

“They’re not unconcerned about it,” he said. “They might have had a spouse who lost a job. That’s not good news, but, unlike their neighbors, it’s more of an inconvenience than a catastrophe.”

Yeager highlights some general philosophies of the American cheapskate, but the biggest part of being frugal is attitude, he said. Cheapskates don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses. In fact, Yeager describes their attitude as, “The Joneses can kiss our assets.”
Below, Yeager shares specific and unusual cheapskate advice:

—Weekly brown-bag lunch. Taking lunch to work daily instead of buying it is typical advice for spending less. But it takes effort to pack a lunch each day. Yeager coped with his own lunch-packing laziness by taking a sack of groceries into the office once a week and making his lunches there. He stored a loaf of pumpernickel in the file cabinet. Cold cuts, fruits and vegetables went in the office fridge. The method even saves a few bucks on brown paper bags and plastic sandwich bags.  For more ideas, read the whole article at:  http://rismedia.com/lowes/8355/8741

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>