Cheapskate on Board

“Jeff! I was just talking about you. Are your ears burning?”

I resisted the urge to give my usual response: “No. But my colon is on fire.”

After all, Will Chin was going to be my new editor-in-boss here at WiseBread. Don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with the Boss Man. Particularly since I was calling Will to reconfirm that he wouldn’t be editing my posts if I agreed to sign on as a WiseBread blogger. As my Mom always told me, “save the potty humor for later, Jeffrey.”

So, now that the deal is inked, I can introduce myself and let my true frugal flag unfurrel. Sorry Will. (But in deference to you and your profession, I’ll at least wait until my next post to start with the lawyer jokes.)


My name is Jeff Yeager, and I’m the Cheapest Man in America. What? Don’t believe me? Just ask my poooor wife, Denise. She should know. After all, we’ve been married 24 years, or, as Denise says, “nearly three and a half wonderful years.” Not all at once, mind you.

I’m also a freelance writer, and I occasionally appear on the NBC Today Show reporting on, well, cheap stuff. My first book, “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches – A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less”, comes out this week from Random House/Broadway Books. I write what the publisher describes as “an offbeat blend of original humor and practical advice for living well on less.” My wife describes it “Jeff being Jeff.”

In short, I believe that living on less is a good thing to do. It’s the only financial advice that will work for almost everyone. It’s about a quality of life you cannot buy, a sense of satisfaction you cannot fake, and an appreciation for others that gives life value. It’s also about helping to save the planet and sharing with those in need. Simply put, living on less can be funny, but it’s not a joke.


Yeah, and this consumer crazed culture we live in can be funny all right --- as in, if you don’t laugh you’ll cry. For example, every year Americans spend about $2 billion – an amount roughly equal to the GDP of poverty stricken Guyana - on unwanted hair removal (e.g. electrolysis, bikini waxes, etc.). We also spend a matching $2 billion annually on often futile attempts to promote hair growth (e.g. Rogaine, hair transplants, etc.).

So, I guess the good new is, as a nation we believe we have the right amount of hair. The bad news is location, location, location.


I’m looking forward to exploring the Realm of the Cheap with all of you here on WiseBread.

Stay Cheap!

Jeff Yeager

The Ultimate Cheapskate

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Will Chen's picture

It's a pleasure having you on board Jeff. Congratulations on publishing the book!

"After all, Will Chin was going to be my new editor-in-boss here at WiseBread. Don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with the Boss Man. Particularly since I was calling Will to reconfirm that he wouldn’t be editing my posts..."

Ha, like I'm going to fall for that one!  As a great philosopher once said.


Will CHEN 


Linsey Knerl's picture

And while I've never met your wife, I'm guessing she's a TERRIFIC lady.  I also wanted to let you know that I loved your pumpkin article at your website... while I did eat our jack-o-lantern seeds, I didn't eat the fruit.  That went towards my homemade dog food recipe.  My puppy Boo tells me it was delicious!

Looking forward to more posts from you!

Guest's picture
Jon A

Hi Jeff!

Your first post made me chuckle, so I'm looking forward to reading you in the future. I also added your book to my Amazon wishlist. :)

Guest's picture

I look forward to reading your columns as I have enjoyed perusing your site in the last few months.

I'm Glad they got you on board!

Guest's picture

I love the picture! Wisebread is a great mix of nutty fun and serious advice. You'll fit right in!


Guest's picture

What is the best way to get a book deal? There are many frugal bloggers here who would love to see their names on the by-line one day?

Guest's picture

I added the book to my wishlist as well :) Welcome to the fun!

Will Chen's picture

Jeff's publisher has generously offered at least one free copy to our readers.

So some of your wishes will come true!  =)

(more details on the giveaway coming up soon)

Jeff Yeager's picture

Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome to WiseBread. Since I write mostly on paper as opposed to on the net, I’m not use to instantaneous interaction with my readers. The kind of writing I do is like peeing your pants when you’re wearing a dark suit: You feel warm all over, but nobody notices.

Judy - Thanks for the flattering remark about my photo. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that it was ever so slightly digitally enhanced for publicity purposes. The un-doctored photo appears below (hope doesn't dampen your cyber feelings for me).

To the Guest who asked about “how to get a book deal,” there’s no one or easy answer, and nearly every instance includes some amount of luck. I’m no expert on the topic (this is my first book), but I wrote a story about my own rather bizarre entrée into publishing. You can read it at If you’re interested in writing/publishing, also check out and their forums.

Thanks again for making me feel like I wet my pants.

Stay Cheap!

Jeff Yeager

The Ultimate Cheapskate



[editor's note: I made the picture smaller... it was scaring the children!]

Free Image Hosting at

Guest's picture

Jeff, I'm in the process of reading your new book (from the library, of course) and I love that someone else besides myself thinks of uses for dryer lint. Spinning/knitting with the stuff is too time-consuming, IMHO. Here are my ideas, if you're so inclined, or if you have 10 years worth of lint to do something with....

Mix with water and Elmer's glue and make sheets of the stuff into felt (ala homemade paper) to use inside quilts, potholders, on top of plant dirt to delay evaporation, lining of boots to keep feeties warm, liner in trunk...that's all I've come up with so far.

See how you've inspired me? I'm really loving your book. Did you say you were giving away copies?? Signed copies? What a great man you are!!! (words are cheap, aren't they?)

Keep up the good, cheap work!!!


Guest's picture

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Guest's picture
Добрый день!

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Guest's picture

Они и тут кремом свою колбаску. расслабься Оленька услышала я но она была довольно с парнем в щелку. Он взял маму руками за и прижался. Эти командовали мною посадила меня на колени быстрым шагом пошла во дворы стараясь отогнать от же подхвачены что вас хорошая молодые.