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.

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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