In these austere times Super Scrimper is a programme aimed squarely at us 21st century wastrels, surfing a precarious tidal wave of credit and suckered in to forking out fortunes on poorly made products we don’t need by brutal marketing campaigns that make us believe we’re inhuman if we don’t own their shiny new thing. Make do and mend? Knickers! We’re the generation who don’t give a tinkers cuss when it breaks - we just wang it in the bin and spend money on another. Having said that I was brought up in a moderately frugal household where “waste not want not” was a mantra, so for me the mad old dears who offer up their saving secrets on Super Scrimpers are not the alien species they may appear to many. My dad still covers the garden with broken egg shells to piss off the slugs.
This week cuddly Mrs Moneypenny, the show’s expert spendthrift, somehow cycles all the way to Kingston Upon Thames on her rickety steed. With her big daft orange trilby and mumsy smile she reminds me a little of Mr Tumble in drag, but she’s not here to play with the kids, she’s here to sort out Danny and Sareta Fontaine who are desperate to buy their own house.
Apparently, Sareta doesn’t have a job and loves to wander around the house all day butt naked… with the heating on full whack. That is until she discovers the gas bill is £96 a month. To say she’s a bit shocked is an understatement.
Danny is shocked by the £300 a month she spends on clothes she never wears. He thought he was to blame for their terrible financial affairs. He’s been buying shed loads of expensive musical instruments he never plays.
The rest of the county is shocked because they can’t work out how the Fontaines can afford all this stuff.
Mrs Moneypenny shocks everyone by throwing all their expensive gear in to the garden. For some insane reason she also throws their radiators out, but it’s all just for show. By filling the garden with junk she’s made them look like pikeys and now that they’re feeling humble she strikes with her cunning plan. She comes up with the unique idea of persuading Danny to sell everything except the kids. Then she orders them to never spend any money on anything ever again. No trainers. No pink wigs. No midi effects pedals. Not even food – at least not until they’ve emptied the cupboards of all the manky stuff that gets left in there for years like penis shaped pasta and pilchards.
She funds her globetrotting solely from the proceeds she saves by..wait for it…cutting off her husbands collars and sewing them back on the other way round!
Sareta is ordered to put some clothes on and go and get a flipping job. She doesn’t look very happy with that idea. Then they suddenly remember they have small children to support. They put the eldest to work by making him go round the house at night switching off their huge collection of flat screen tellys and Apple Macs.
They realise if they never spend any money on themselves and never use any gas or electricity they’ll have enough money to buy a house. They smile nervously as Mrs Moneypenny wobbles off on her bike cackling with glee. Later Danny tweets that he hasn’t sold anything and he’s drinking champagne. Unreality tv or what?
That’s the crust of this week’s pie, but how about the meat? Well, this week’s best scrimping tips are an education in professional penny pinching.
I learned that you can clean shoes with conditioner, although the savings in that are probably relative to the value of what you stick in your hair. I’m not sure my missus would approve. “Why the hell are you polishing your shoes with my expensive hair conditioner?”, she’ll scream.. “because I’m worth it ”, I’ll reply buffing my boots till they’re shiny enough to light the entire house – saving several thousand quid a month.
Danny is shocked by the £300 a month she spends on clothes she never wears. The rest of the county is shocked because they can’t work out how they can afford all this stuff.
There’s a great tip from Lynette who reckons you can stop kids wasting toilet paper by squashing the roll so they can’t keep pulling reams of the stuff off as easily. I need to try that on my little soldier as he always goes through about twenty sheets per poop - and to make matters worse his arse looks worse than when he started. What a waste. No wonder I’m watching programmes like this.
A little old lady swears blind that if you keep your tights in the freezer, they never ladder. Somewhere in comedy heaven Les Dawson cracks a hilarious gag about keeping his wife’s undergarments in cold storage. Meanwhile, another wise woman tells us to fill our freezers with scrunched up paper. It saves money on freezing food you haven’t got or something. Why not fill them with tights?
One lady boasts how she can do anything with a lemon. I push the thought from my mind and listen intently as she tells us that if you leave one in your kettle it descales it. Probably makes your coffee taste all lemony too, but it saves a fortune all those descaling products you probably never bought. Other useful fruit include bananas. Did you know that you can use the skin for cleaning all that silver you’re going to buy from saving money on cutting brillo pads in half?. Who’da thunk it?!!
This week’s winner though has to be an amazing tip from a lady who claims to go on holiday ten times a year. She funds her globetrotting solely from the proceeds she saves by..wait for it…cutting off her husbands collars and sewing them back on the other way round!
Brilliant! St Tropez here we come!
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