You may have watched a day time talk show about a cheap family that saved their aluminum foil or washed out sandwich baggies or shared one tub of water in order to save a few pennies on their budget. I remember cringing when I heard a story about a dad who stood outside the bathroom door and asked his kids if they were going #one or #two so he could hand them the toilet paper. They just couldn't be trusted with that fabulous toilet paper. They were allowed two squares for #one and eight squares for #two.
Some people allow their frugality to run amok. They start saving and it becomes an addiction or a competition for them, and then they turn into that toilet paper guy or worse. I heard of one man who would hang a strand of dental floss across a towel rack so he could reuse it several times.
Occasionally frugal folks put their own health at risk to save money. I remember a news article in which a nurse said she thought a bird was an excellent pet for a senior citizen. She had witnessed some of the elderly die from the cold because they were not willing to put the heat on. She said they would not be worried for themselves but they would keep a home at a safe temperature for their bird.
I'm frugal myself but not that far gone into it, I enjoy life too much. I may not have turned on the more expensive overhead heating, but I do use a space heater on cold nights. I can't live without air conditioning in the summer. I do eat out occasionally as well. Sometimes I even purchase fast food because I am just too tired or rushed to cook.
My father was an extremist at times and his point was completely lost on his children. He actually went as far as searching our trash to make sure we didn't throw anything out that still held value. My favorite story involved a simple lunch time meal. I came in the door to find my father making a sandwich. He had two slices of bread which he was covering with sliced ham. Then he grabbed a bottle of barbecue sauce and started pouring it on his sandwich.
"Ewe Dad," I gasped, "Why are you putting barbecue sauce on your ham sandwich?"
"I have to have something to cover up the taste of this rotting meat." he replied.