America’s Cheapest Family: The Economides Family From Arizona
America's Cheapest Family, the Economides Are Sharing Their Tips on How to Live Well For Cheap
The Economides are a family of seven, with no credit cards, no car loans or home equity borrowing; they live in Scottsdale, eat healthy nutritious meals and their children wear brand-name clothes - all on $44,000 a year.
What is their secret?
The family say the key it to plan, plan, plan, always look for bargains and avoid impulse buying.
They have just released their new book, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half - With America's Cheapest Family and they want to teach people how to live well on a small income and not have to sacrifice too much of what they want.
NBC cameras followed the Economides through a typical grocery shopping expedition. Before entering the store, Steve and Annette sat down at the dining room table and pored over food coupons, eyeing their cost-cutting prey like hungry lions. Annette used sales as a guide to planning 30 days of family meals before the family headed out the door.
The Economides only spend $350 a month on their grocery bill, even though some American families spend about $2,000 a month. The family calculates everything and will buy meat for example that is near their expiration date.
“I’m sure that people probably get squeamish over that,” Lauer commented on that part of the prerecorded segment. But Steve Economides wasn’t having it. “We’re talking about being smart,” he told Lauer. “If you look at the meat and the color is right, there’s no juice around it, it looks fine; it’s probably safe to buy.”
They grind and slice all the food themselves and store it all in the freezer. They do admit that the coupon cutting is exhausting, but it is worth it.
Even when the family go out to eat, they will go to a restaurant such as an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet and take home a container stuffed full of food and then feed themselves for several meals.
The proof is in the pudding: They paid cash for their late-model cars, paid their first home off in just nine years and, most importantly, raised five healthy, happy kids while never going into debt.
The Economides Family will also appear on the Today Show on Friday.