Woman Does the Unthinkable to Save Money Around the House

toilet paperHow far would you go to save a few bucks? Most of us these days would go pretty far, but probably not as far as Keeley Newstead. She's been dubbed "Britain's Thriftiest Mum", and does some extreme things to save money -- and I mean extreme.

According to an article in the Daily Star, the 37-year-old mother of two says her way of living is necessary so that she and her husband, who is currently only working part-time, don't go into debt or have to rely on credit cards. So from using tea bags three times to rationing toilet paper (six sheets per use!), she has found some creative -- and perhaps not entirely ethical -- ways to save.

For example, she says she doesn't buy school supplies for her kids, instead they collect pens, pencils, and other office supplies from local businesses. Sauces and ketchup don't need to be purchased as they just grab extras from fast food restaurants and horde them. Ditto for napkins and even toilet paper, which they take from public restrooms when they can.

More from The Stir: 10 Completely Creative Ways to Save Money

She told the paper, "There is so much free stuff out there, we might as well help ourselves. It saves us a fortune. The kids love it. It is like a game.”

That may be, and I suppose technically the stuff she's taking is free to her, but someone has to pay for it. I won't say I've never asked for an extra packet of salad dressing to use for another salad the next day, or that we don't have more than a few pens laying around that I accidentally took from somewhere, but that's about as far as I could go. The guilt (and fear of getting caught) would be too much for me beyond that.

Oh, and she also complains to get free stuff -- both online and in person. She said:

I got complimentary drinks in a restaurant after complaining about the food. Then when I got home I wrote to the head office and got vouchers. I also got £25 from a bicycle retailer when I complained the wheels were wobbly. I was happy because I then took the bike back and got a refund.

Some of her tips are legit, like always buying buy-one-get-one-free items and going to the grocery store near closing time to grab reduced items, but many of the others just seem downright dishonest. Living frugally is admirable, but not when you go so low to do so.

What extreme ways do you save money? Do you think this woman's methods are unethical?

Image via Micah Sittig/Flickr

finances, home life


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

easun... easunshine

Seems she would save more money by not eating fast food, and cutting out purchasing tea bags all together. She isn't cutting costs, she's just being disrespectful and acting entitled and teaching her kids that.

Sierr... SierraLynn

If they are in such a desperate situation to save money, why are they going out to eat and buying bicycles? I doubt they just walk into a McDonald's grab some ketchup and leave.

Sounds like a trashy person who is teaching her children that its okay to steal. Smh.

nonmember avatar Cass

They sound like great tips! She forgot how to save money on furniture and electronics, though. Just wait until your neighbors aren't home, break in, and take theirs!

She is teaching those kids that stealing is okay, and that's disgusting. Frugality does not mean forcing hardworking small business owners to pay for your well being. It's not a big deal to grab a few ketchup packets to stash in your desk or hold into a favorite pen you accidentally grabbed. When you start teaching your kids to grab handfuls of packets and start taking pens that weren't offered, you cross the line into stealing- which is teaching those kids a terrible lesson. If they are truly so poor that they cannot afford ketchup, then maybe they should stop buying teabags and other luxuries- unless mom gets those from Starbucks when the cashier isn't looking?

Sierr... SierraLynn

My extreme ways to save money you ask? We don't love beyond our means. And if my husband's income fell, I'd be looking for a job to help support our bills. Not grabbing a handful of ketchup packets and sticking rolls of public bathroom toilet paper in my purse.

nonmember avatar Heather

These weren't helpful saving money tips, they were more like how to be a total loser tips. Those poor children will have zero ethics. It's not ok to teach children to be thiefs. I'm sure she'll end up in jail and the kids in foster care. But maybe that is her ultimate goal, then she'd be getting room/board for free too.

kitty... kittykal47

If she's stealing the TP, why does it have to be rationed? Paint the town red, lady. (eye roll)

Bruic... Bruickson

She's not thrifty. She is a thief and scam artist.

nonmember avatar Amber

So when she does all this complaining is she thinking of the poor server or cashier (who I'm sure is also making low income wages) that might have gotten fired because of her nastiness? This is why I will never go back to serving or bartending, there are more of these people than you'd think in the world. And the fact that she can admit it without feeling ashamed is appalling. I hope her children are learning integrity from someone else because they sure as hell aren't learning it from her.

lalab... lalaboosh

Wow, she's dumb. To save money on TP we cut up towels and wash them with our cloth diapers. To save on food we cook. To save on napkins we use cloth. To save on teas we buy herbs in bulk. Lady is dumb.

1-10 of 153 comments 12345 Last