The ultimate Cheapskate’s roadmap to true riches – Jeff Yeager

The ultimate Cheapskate’s roadmap to true riches
The ultimate Cheapskate’s road map to true riches – Jeff Yeager

“Please forgive my husband, he has spending phobia”

Conduct your own “what the hell was I thinking” audit each week / month.

Never ever go first when negotiating, always negotiate from a position of nice.  “ Do you have a special discount for nice guys like me?”.  Also “people give to people they like”

Diet based of foods costing 1 dollar a pound?  How much money do you spend demolishing your health with crappy food? Then how much money do you spend trying to repair it?

Uses for vinegar:

The not so big house *****

Would anyone drive a 60.000 car if no one were there to see them in it?

Energy and equity:

Live well without a car… Chris Balish *****

The cheapskate: someone who proudly consumes less and conserves more, because it increases the quality of his own life and the lives of everyone else on the planet.

Good health means good wealth, also there is a strong correlation between good health and good wealth because of the awareness of small errors in judgement.

Once we’re above the survival level, the difference between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude. —Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.

If you’re up for a cheap challenge, I’ve posted an annotated version of the official Cheapskate Next Door Questionnaire on my website,, so you can see how you stack up against the cheapskate next door.

You need to do the math and figure out how much something costs based on how long it’s going to last, not based on how long you’re going to keep it before you throw it away.

Amish or not, when the cheapskates next door shop for things like furniture, homes, automobiles, and even clothing, they tend to approach it as an exercise in acquiring assets rather than simply buying disposable commodities.

Julia told me: “One of the most useful ideas I was ever exposed to was the idea that the object we wish to purchase really represents a feeling we want to have. A woman buys clothes so that she can ‘feel’ attractive. We buy houses in certain neighborhoods to ‘feel’ secure … and ‘feel’ respected and of higher status. Once I understood that idea, I was able to break the connection between the object and the way I felt, which opened up a whole world of other possibilities (for getting what I really wanted). If what I really want is to feel attractive, perhaps I can try a new hairstyle, combine my existing clothing in new ways, or buy used clothing at a fraction of the price.”

“It took a while for me to explain to our kids that if a company needs to advertise its products all over the place, there must either be something wrong with it or it’s something that people really don’t need”.

The best way to double your money these days is to fold it in half and put it back in your wallet.

“If you can’t afford to pay for it now, you can’t afford it.”

“That’s one of the primary reasons we don’t own a television,” Wayne Curry told me. “We don’t want our kids to be seduced by all that advertising … The advertisers aren’t just trying to get inside the kid’s piggy banks, they’re trying to recruit our kids against us, so that they’ll try to tell us what we need to buy.”

Toy libraries are often operated in conjunction with existing book libraries, and sometimes they are established as independent organizations. Contact the USA Toy Library Association ( for a directory and more information, or get involved in your local public library and encourage them to add a line of donated toys.

buying them used on websites like,,, and You can also rent textbooks at Always find out the exact International Standard Book Number (ISBN) of the textbook you’re looking for, and go online at to compare prices from various retailers.

Americans are only 5 percent of the world’s population, but we consume roughly 30 percent of the world’s resources.

Unplug electrical leeches when they’re not in use, or for greater convenience attach multiple appliances to a single power strip (like my favorite, the Gem Sound SP-8500) that can easily be flipped on and off. Savings: A 10 percent savings on the average U.S. household electric bill would be more than $120 a year.

Xeriscaping: landscaping in such a way as to eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation (see

Bottled water is 240 to 10,000 times more expensive than water from the tap, usually costing more than $10 a gallon … Think about that the next time you complain about gas prices.

*** Emergency Food Storage & Survival Guide (Three Rivers Press, 2002).


Freecycle Network (see Cheap Shot), but a complete directory of local reuse groups is available on Also check out and the “Free” stuff listed in the For Sale category for each city featured on

Free software ( Free alternative to Microsoft Office. Bill Gates, watch your back, there’s a cheapskate on your tail. Free meals for the kids ( A nationwide directory of thousands of restaurants where kids can eat for free when accompanied by an adult. Free audio books ( Volunteers record books found in the public domain (i.e., no longer covered by copyright), and you can download their recordings from this nonprofit website. Free calling ( Use Skype software and worldwide computer-to-computer calling is free. Another cheap—but not free—favorite is the $40 magicJack device ( in canada that plugs into the USB port on your computer and allows you to make unlimited local and domestic long-distance calls for $20 a year. Free foreign languages ( Jumpstart your training in a wide range of foreign languages using these online audio and visual teaching tools, compliments of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Free puppy love ( Search a nationwide index of pets available for adoption from humane societies and other animal shelters. Free stuff on your birthday ( An unscrupulous acquaintance of mine claims it’s his birthday whenever he eats in a restaurant. Based on the number of free pieces of birthday cake he’s finagled, the jerk is over 1,200 years old. Check out this website for an impressive list of legitimate freebies you’re entitled to on your birthday. Free wheels ( Plan your travel around transporting someone else’s car, and you’ll avoid rental fees and other costs. Free cocktails ( I stopped at a tavern once on the Tour de Cheapskate that had a sign above the bar reading free beer tomorrow. I was so excited that I changed my travel plans so I could go back the next day to partake. The sign said the same thing the next day, but the bartender got a good laugh out of it. MyOpenBar can help hook you up with free—or really cheap—drinks in various cities. More free stuff!: Other top sites for product samples and all things free include:,,,, and the granddaddy of free-stuff websites,

*** The Scavengers’ Manifesto (Tarcher, 2009).

Travel the world without having to pay for overnight lodging? CouchSurfing (

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. —Buddy Hackett

Google “promotion code”

Online barter clubs, like and, help facilitate trading. Some barter sites allow users to trade goods and services for credits instead of actual stuff, thereby increasing trading flexibility. Credits can be redeemed at any time for the goods and services you want, rather than depending on finding a swapping partner who just happens to be looking for what you have to offer, when you have it to offer. Specialty bartering websites are popping up on the Internet like cheapskates at a going-out-of-business sale. Your can swap books at sites like and, trade kids’ stuff at and, and swap just about everything else at You can trade clothes, shoes, accessories, and even cosmetics at, and specializes in music, DVD, book, and video game trading.

Help you trade your time for the services and goods you need, all without the exchange of money. “Time banking” (

And at, you can swap your time walking dogs or washing cars, for example.

They swap plants with friends and neighbors and at plant-swap meets (see

On the other side of the debate are cheapskates like Tim Cuddy. “Ninety-nine percent of coupons are for overpriced, overpackaged, overprocessed crap that you don’t need and isn’t a good value even with the coupon! Crap is crap, no matter how much you save with a coupon!”

Menu mug shots: I was surprised by the number of cheapskates who mentioned in passing that they keep a photo album of favorite recipes and meals they’ve cooked as a reminder and inspiration for future menus.

“Eat more soup”: One of the touchstone questions I like to ask cheapskates is, “If the economy totally falls apart or you have a personal financial emergency, what would you do?” The answer time and again: “We’d eat more soup!” In good times and bad, we cheapskates love our soup. It’s the economical, healthy, easy way to make a meal out of what you have and what you can afford.

BOILED OMELETS FOR A BARGAIN BRUNCH When entertaining, brunch is the occasion of choice for many cheapskates. Breakfast foods tend to cost less, with breads and dairy products as the star attractions rather than meats and alcohol.

Give everyone their own quart-size ziplock bag with their name written on it in permanent marker. Guests crack a couple of eggs into their bags, add a dash of milk, and choose their own omelet ingredients from a large selection displayed on a serving tray. The ingredients—bits of meat, shredded cheese, diced veggies—can literally be leftovers from the fridge, tiny portions of each, and the more bizarre the better. Pickled onions, celery tops, or capers, anyone? Seal each bag with no air trapped inside, shake it up good, and drop them all in a large pot of boiling water for fourteen minutes. You’ll be amazed at the perfect omelets that emerge, probably costing less than a buck apiece and healthfully prepared without butter or oil.

Two favorite slow cooking recipe websites of the cheapskate next door are: and

Check for fine wines at fine prices. The secret to their 20-to 40-percent discounts? As the name implies, they sell quality wines that have been in a little accident … like the label on the bottle was damaged in shipping or has been replaced with a new design. Cheers!

If there’s a new car sitting in your driveway, you probably can’t afford it. Are you parking your stupidity in the driveway for everyone to see? “People think that if they can make the monthly car payment, they can afford the car. People also think that having a monthly car payment is a fact of life,” Miser Adviser Carl Weiss told me, shaking his head with disbelief. And that’s just the mindset car salesmen are hoping that you’ll walk into the showroom with, because boy, do they have a deal for you.

“Keep a continuous list of clothes you need to buy. NEVER buy anything if it’s not on the list … and then only if it’s on sale.” —Miser Adviser Betty Jacob Once again, organization and premeditated shopping saves the cheapskate mucho dinero.

Buy an Entertainment Book ( for the area(s) you’ll be visiting for savings on travel, dining, and special attractions. See Chapter 8 for other savings tips on restaurant meals when you’re traveling, including discount-meal gift certificates from

Deeply discounted travel deals on sites like and

The world that are affiliated with the nonprofit organization Hostelling International ( Buy an annual membership for $28 ($18 for seniors, and free for kids under eighteen) and you’ll have access to special discounts on travel and at hostels in more than eighty countries, which charge a nightly fee of about 80 percent less than hotels in the same locations. Plus you’ll have use of the hostel’s kitchen if you want to save even more by cooking some of your own meals.


Link to book on Amazon: The ultimate Cheapskate’s road map to true riches – Jeff Yeager