This frugal woman is a treasure hunting expert

Meet Jenny, the extreme frugalist who cuts down on speading by no electricity days and "treasure hunting" around New York City

Video Transcript

- Being frugal and being minimal-- actually, they go hand-in-hand because when you're frugal, you're not buying too much stuff. And, by nature, if you don't have too much stuff, you're kind of a minimalist, too.

Hi, I'm Jenny, and I am extremely frugal.

I think being frugal is being smart with your money. So it's not like you can't spend any money or that you have to live a life of deprivation. But it's more about being thoughtful. There are a lot of things that I practice-- one being no electricity days. So there are actually days throughout the year where I would just turn everything off, and I would just practice living that way.

On a typical no-electricity day-- or a blackout day is what I like to call it-- I just get up. I'm opening the window blinds. I'm using completely natural sunlight. And I just get ready for the day, head out, and most of the day I'm not even in the apartment anyways.

So another way I save money around the city is to go treasure hunting or trash picking, if you will. All right. So it's trash day in New York City today-- Sunday at the end of the month-- which is the time you find the best kind of trash. I know that every single Sunday at the end of the month or mid-month is the best time to go trash hunting because that's when they take out the trash and move it to the sidewalk. And so I will walk around the neighborhood, and while I'm walking I'll have a little peek here, have a little peek there, and see what kind of treasures I can find.

[? Oh, I ?] [? could ?] use one of these. You put files in there for work. Look at that.

I feel like a lot of people do purchase more than they need. And we can see that just from the trash that's being laid out in the street-- not weekly but basically daily. All right. So I just got home from trash picking, and I have a designated bin over here that I call the treasure bin full of items that I found completely in the trash. So now I'm going to put everything back inside, including my brand new rainbow accordion folder.

So I've always been extremely frugal. Like, as a child I never wanted any new toys. I never asked my parents for new clothes. And I think it's just kind of ingrained in me. I just kind of knew that we didn't have a massive amount of money. And I was always in conservation mode. And I think I'm still kind of in that.

So what I like to do is when I look through trash, I have to think about whether I actually need this item or not, or whether I know anybody who might find some use out of it. A lot of people throw things out, and they don't think about how much value they can add to other people's lives. And I find that you can really find a lot of treasures out there if you go looking.

So I've decided that I am not going to take any of these. And I'm going to save them for someone else and put it in an area where it's dry, so we can save them. And it's really important to remember how you got to the place that you are in right now and to always give back. And if it means sacrificing a little bit on myself so that I can spoil somebody else, then I'm all for that.