Is Extreme Cheapskates Staged? Reality Behind The Reality TV Show

Is Extreme Cheapskates Staged?
Is Extreme Cheapskates Staged? (Credits: TLC)

TLC reality show Extreme Cheapskates has made the headlines many times because of its intriguing nature and head-scratching ideas. The show premiered on 16th October 2012 and ran across three seasons before getting canceled. The show made us take a dive into the world of people who always went the extra mile to save every penny possible.

The network always seemed to deliver the stories and life hacks of people with the craziest as well as creative ideas who intend to survive a low-cost life. Many ideas mentioned in the show were highly popular, but many of them were so bizarre and unconventional that viewers did not know what to make of some of these frugal ideas.

The show has always been a recipient of mixed reviews from its audience. While some enjoyed the nature of this show, others found some suggestions of the show exaggerated, crazy, and a bit far-fetched. A number of ideas were termed as disgusting and unhygienic in the pursuit of saving money. A lot of watchers also questioned the reality behind the cameras and expressed about the show being staged.

Is Extreme Cheapskates Staged?

It seems to be the case that parts of the show were staged or not filmed with real situations or ideas. Over the years, viewers have pointed out instances of the same. In fact, there is a Reddit thread dedicated to the same question.

Is extreme cheapskates staged
Is Extreme Cheapskates Staged? (Credits: TLC)

It was revealed by Melody Rose that 90 percent of the show is staged, and what we have been seeing on the screens is not true. She claimed that the scene showing her family substituting newspaper with toilet paper is something that isn’t really practiced by her family. She further revealed that her family requires only $1400 a month since they make their own bread, crackers, and tortillas, as well as avoid buying boxed food.

Another contestant, Jordan Page, claimed that there were some ideas suggested by the producers on which she had to compromise. For instance, the scene where she begs her neighbors for leftovers is highly exaggerated and seems unrealistic to the viewers. This mother of five is very impressive since her whole family managed to live a decent life on her husband’s annual income of $31,000.

is-extreme-cheapskates-staged
Is Extreme Cheapskates Staged? (Credits: TLC)

Across three seasons, the show has also aired some hilariously mortifying ideas, such as a woman washing her clothes in a pool, claiming that the chemicals in the pool were the same ones found in laundry detergents. Or the woman who peed in a jar to reduce the cost of water bills.

Surely, we cannot forget the couple who had a BYOB wedding, claiming that their guests were very happy to do it. However, it was later revealed that the participants of the show were fairly compensated.

The casting director, Brooklyn Bagwell, explained how the network was looking for frugal people who always found creative ways and solutions to live a low-cost life. They wanted outgoing, entertaining, and adventurous people with big personalities to be on television.