Meet the ‘Extremely Cheapskate’ who lives in NYC on a $200 Budget


New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but a memorable subject on TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates, Kate HashimotoWhen she revealed that she lives on a $200-per-month budget,, stunned viewers. Although it might seem unnatural to some, her methods, including dumpster diving for food and furniture, as well as not buying toilet paper, are what she swears to.

Accountant Dumpster Dives For Furniture

Kate Hashimoto, an accountant appeared on the show in 2012. But clips from her episode were removed Recently, they have been viral. “I have lived in New York for three years, although it’s the most expensive city to live in,”Hashimoto spoke. “I have found ways to get around it. If I have to spend money, I try and avoid it, I will try and pay as little as possible.”

Hashimoto stated that she has never paid money for furniture. She instead searches the streets and dumpsters for things to decorate her apartment. “I furnished my place by picking up discarded furniture on the street before the trash picks it up. I have saved a couple of thousand dollars on furniture,”She explained. 

She can’t find everything she needs on the streets, though. Hashimoto doesn’t sleep on a mattress; instead of paying “hundreds of dollars for a real bed,”She sleeps on a pile of old yoga mats that she found on the street. Similarly, her dining table isn’t a table at all, but a stack of old magazines. The accountant also doesn’t have a couch, but a small bed frame covered by a thin padded sheet. 

Furniture isn’t the only thing she saves money on. Hashimoto said she hasn’t purchased new clothes in over eight years, hasn’t bought new underwear since 1998, and refuses to pay for toiletries. 

How Hashimoto Reduces Costs on Laundry and Toiletries

​​“I don’t believe in paying for toiletries,”Hashimoto spoke. “I’m subscribed to many different mailing lists and I also keep my eyes on freebie sites.”She has amassed tons of free products through these sites, including toothpaste, deodorant, razors, and so on. “I’m a big fan of free samples,”She continued. “Maybe I’m an extreme sampler.”

Hashimoto is also against paying for laundry services. Instead, Hashimoto washes her clothes in the bath while she bathes. She doesn’t dry them, but wrings the wet clothing out by hand. Hashimoto estimates that she can save $6 per month by washing her clothes in the bathtub. 

Hashimoto goes through the trash for food

The accountant will also do her best to reduce food costs. “After graduating from college, I found I was spending around $20 to $25 on food each week. That ends up being like $100 a month,”She explained. “I was like, ‘How can I spend that much money on food?’”

Instead, Hashimoto disguises herself “as a bum”It goes through the trash bags outside of grocery stores and restaurants. “These stores often throw away a lot of high-quality foods, including organic foods and really nice prepared food,”She clarified, saying that she takes only pictures “sanitary” food, i.e. food that’s in sealed packages. 

Hashimoto’s cost-cutting measures means she spends just $200 on living expenses each month. For comparison, the typical New Yorker spends $1,341 each month — without factoring in rent. Maybe there’s something we can learn from her.

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