View Full Version : Stingy housewives slave to save

John Lindsey
10th March 2003, 18:18
Full story at: http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/waiwai/0303/0310tight.html

Some people are so tightfisted they throw their money around like somebody with no arms. Loads of Japanese housewives in particular seem to have made parsimony into some sort of an art form, making scrimping and stinginess the backbone of their lives all for the sake of saving a few yen, according to Shukan Taishu (3/24).

Kosaku Yamamoto's decided a monthly water bill of more than 10,000 yen was too much for a family of four, so she now limits everybody to washing their face once a day from the same bowl of water. To cut down on the amount of water used in dishwashing, all cutlery at the Yamamoto home is covered with plastic wrap, which is removed and discarded when the meal is over but leaves the utensil sparkling clean and in no need of a wash.

Miyuki Otake of Tokyo boasts of going even further.

"I wash the plastic wrap in water after every use, then leave it out to dry and use it again," the niggardly homemaker tells Shukan Taishu. "After a few washes, the wrap doesn't cling to the cutlery so well anymore, so I use elastic bands to hold it in place."

Shinji Nakazawa is also troubled by his wife's closed fists.

"She's not bad looking and she's pretty well built. But she's a real skinflint, so she won't spend a single yen to make herself look a bit better," the electronics manufacturer employee says. "Naturally, she wouldn't consider using anything other than the cheapest cosmetics. And when she gets a ladder in her stockings, she only wears black ones, she'll simply pull out a marker and paint the areas of her leg that are near the whole the same color.

"What gets me most are her sanitary napkins. She thinks the real ones are too expensive, so instead she uses a few sheets of toilet paper bundled together. It creates a huge bulge between her legs and her walk becomes ridiculous. I wish she'd give it a break."

Hayako Kohata, arguably Japan's pre-eminent expert on money-saving tips for around the home, is disgusted by how far some women are prepared to go to save a handful of yen.

"My ideal way of saving money is for first and foremost people to look after the items they've got, which will cut down how much they spend," the save slave expert tells Shukan Taishu. "The trouble is, there are so many people who go to extremes, like eating out at friends' houses or only having one bath a week even during the heat of summer, that they cause a nuisance for other people, not to mention how they act in a most unhygienic way. You can only have your doubts about people who'll go so far for a few coins."