Penny pinchers come in many forms. Some fill binders with coupons while others pride themselves in taking advantage of Black Friday sales.
There is another form, however, that surpasses the average saver: a cheapster. A cheapster is someone who goes above and beyond the usual budgeting norm. They use their creativity and determination to save money in situations that the average penny pincher overlooks.
Last year, Zions Bank created an online reality series called “Cheapster” that gives these individuals an opportunity to prove their thriftiness by competing in intense budgeting challenges. The second season was filmed on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and is scheduled to air in the upcoming weeks on the Cheapster TV Facebook page.
13 contestants from schools across Utah and Idaho were chosen out of over 1,000 applicants to head to the Theater in Murray, UT and compete for a $10,000 prize for themselves as well as $10,000 for their school.
Senior Caleb West, 24, was one of these lucky cheapsters. West was first introduced to the “Cheapster” competition when he saw a booth set up on campus offering free pizza. In order to have a slice, students were asked to answer the question, “How cheap can you be?” West’s reply impressed the judges enough for him to be invited to submit a 60-second video further explaining his frugal habits.
The example West used to illustrate his thriftiness was his “two for one” method. According to West, instead of purchasing two gallons of one percent milk, he and his roommates buy one gallon of whole milk and dilute it with water, making two gallons of one percent milk.
“It may not be the most nutritious, but it works,” West said.
The competitors were kept in the dark as far as what to expect going into the competition. West didn’t know what the challenges would consist of, but he was prepared for eliminations at each round. West was hopeful that his frugal habits would be enough to keep him afloat each round.
According to West, he has been frugal for his whole life.
“It comes from my family,” West said. “We didn’t have a choice because we were never really that well off.”
West’s mother has always been an example to him of how to “get a lot out of a little.”
“I don’t need a lot of money to have a ton of fun,” West said.
Each contestant has been told to be discrete when discussing the events of last Tuesday so the winner is still unknown. If West was able to prove that he is the ultimate “Cheapster,” he plans to buy a new car and pay for school.