Is 'So Freakin Cheap' the Real Deal? TLC Viewers Are Skeptical


Jul. 19 2021, Published 4:24 p.m. ET

The Tran Family on 'So Freakin Cheap'
Source: TLC

TLC is the go-to channel for some of the most cutting-edge reality shows on television. The network, which airs “remarkable real-life stories without judgment,” recently launched a new show – So Freakin Cheap – that will have viewers clamoring for more from Episode 1.

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So Freakin Cheap follows four incredibly frugal families who will go to crazy lengths to pinch pennies. But with the families — who aren't all necessarily strapped for cash — going to such extreme lengths, many viewers wonder whether So Freakin Cheap is real or faked for the cameras.

So Freakin Cheap
Source: TLC
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Is 'So Freakin Cheap' fake or real?

Most people agree that saving money is a good thing and that there’s no reason to frivolously spend your coins when you don’t really need to. However, the families on So Freakin Cheap take this concept to another level.

The reality series follows four families in different parts of the United States who all follow strict rules when it comes to spending money. From dumpster-diving and washing clothes in a river, to making their children believe they share a birthday so they can save on the celebrations, these families take saving to the absolute extreme.

But some fans think that their antics go a little overboard and suggest that the show might be faked.

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This isn't the first time one of TLC's reality shows has faced this kind of speculation. Fans had previously uncovered that TLC’s predecessor to So Freakin Cheap, Extreme Cheapskates, was apparently fake when one of the show's stars, Melody Rose Gravitt, revealed that she and her family had been given a script to follow, and that 90 percent of the things they said on the show weren't true. So, the theory that So Freakin Cheap might be fake is not completely without merit.

so freakin cheap on TLC
Source: TLC
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But is the new show really fake? There’s no actual proof of the show being fake as of this writing, but fans are already convinced that it’s not real. This thinking mainly stems from Melody Rose’s allegations that Extreme Cheapskates was heavily produced and also from the fact that the Watson family from So Freakin Cheap were also cast members on Extreme Cheapskates.

Fans of Extreme Cheapskates who tune into So Freakin Cheap will recognize Shelley Watson, who had dubbed herself the “Princess of Cheap” when she appeared on the first show. The overlap again suggests that the participants of the show might actually be actors rather than everyday people.

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In addition to overly produced storylines, fans on Reddit also claim that Kia Campbridge from Extreme Cheapskates was actually an actress who also appeared as Christina Oster on Food Network's Worst Cooks in America. But despite all the speculation, there’s no real proof that So Freakin Cheap isn’t the real deal.

Of course, there’s a high probability that certain situations are played up for the camera, but that’s just par for the course when it comes to reality shows. Whether or not the entire show is fake is up to you to decide!

Catch new episodes of So Freakin Cheap on Mondays at 10 p.m. on TLC.

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