Cheapskate family wash dishes in pool used by kids and have deckchairs for sofas

A savvy mum and dad have taken money-saving to the extreme by completely changing their family's lifestyle including washing dishes in a paddling pool.

Melanie and Shawn O'Brien, from the US, refused to buy anything new and instead found ingenious ways of fixing their broken belongings leading them to make savings of £20,000.

Appearing on an episode of TLC's Extreme Cheapskates, which was first shown in January 2020, the couple asked their son and daughter to help washing up the dishes after their playtime in the inflatable pool.

Shawn said: "We save money on the water bill, we save money on the electricity bill. Are we going to become millionaires off it? Not per se but it helps us allocate that money towards a better purpose."

Other than saving money on water bills, the couple prefer to fix anything broken and find other tools to substitute the need of buying a new item.

Melanie said: "Shawn and I agreed that if we don't have to buy anything new, then we won't. We will make use with what we have, that's our lifestyle, that's our way.

"Our pots and pans broke, their handles broke off and instead of going out and buying brand-new pots and pans, Shawn made this wrench that doubles as the handle and the duct tape protects my hands from burning."

The couple have been following the routine for 10 years and claim it has saved them for more than $30,000 (£22,000).

Melanie then showed the filming crew their living room, where the family spent most of the time in the house.

The carpet-fitted area was filled with an ottoman, a beanbag, and a deckchair instead of the more expensive sofas.

As Melanie and Shawn tried to sell their house, a realtor suggested the couple replace the dirty carpet and fit the room with actual furniture.

But the savvy couple decided instead to borrow furniture from their neighbours and spent $20 (£14) on some carpet samples for some DIY patch-up work.

Viewers were left horrified by the parent's handicrafts.

One said: "Disgusting you just had children in that water imagine eating off a plate that has I don't know what on it."

"This is absolutely insane," a second added. "I feel bad for their kids like they are only kids once in their life, let them live a good life!"

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