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America’s Cheapest Family

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This is Steve (Top Row Right), Annette (Bottom Row, Second From Right), and their kids and they are “The Cheapest Family in America.”  What makes this family the cheapest family in America?  Here is a short snippet from their website:

Steve worked as a graphic designer earning $6.50 per hour, while Annette stayed home to figure out how to stretch their pennies until they begged for mercy. In just nine years, on an average income of just $35,000 they purchased and paid-off their first home.

They have also paid cash for all of their cars, taken fabulous debt-free vacations, spent only $350 per month to feed their family of seven, and put their kids through college without any school loans.

On $35,000 dollars they were able to pay of a house in nine years, pay for their children’s college, and buy all of their cars outright with cash. Many people can’t seem to even do that on $100,000 let alone $35,000! They’ve been a very busy family lately appearing on shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, Dr. Phil, and they’ve authored two books:

But Books and interviews aside, we wanted to highlight some of the most helpful, and interesting tips we’ve seen them offer so far.  Some of our favorites include:

  • Plan meals ahead of time
  • No impulse buying (one exception below)
  • Save coupons
  • Negotiate prices (further explained below)
  • Work as a team

Tips Explained

Many of those tips seem like no-brainers, but it’s easy to skip these things.  Planning meals ahead of time, for example, requires a lot of effort up front, but can pay back huge dividends if you can do it.  Impulse buying is a huge “no no” unless it is a deal that you absolutely can’t pass up.  Saving coupons is an obvious one as well, but up until recently coupons were generally frowned upon by the general public.

The tip that surprised me the most was the “Negotiate prices” tip.  There explanation for this is that if something is going to expire soon, it is in the store’s best interest to lower the price, or else they’ll have to toss it out and take a complete loss on it.  A little profit is better than none!  The other tip that I really enjoyed was the “work as a team tip.”  All too often a husband and wife will leave each other to do their own things, but we can accomplish so much more as a team.

A Great “Stocking” Tip

While browsing their website, I stumbled upon an excellent tip that even my wife and I have had a problem with: stock.  Stock can be used in a number of dinner, but it can get quite pricey!  This tip suggested that you just make it yourself!  That’s obvious, right?  Well, the tip goes a bit further.  If you buy the vegetables to make your stock, then you’ll end up throwing out a lot of perfectly good food.

The solution: Make your meals like normal, but save the pieces of vegetables that you throw out, like the celery stock, the outer part of your onions, etc.  Put them into tupper ware and save them until you have enough to make stock with.  This will allow you to make your own vegetable stock, without wasting a whole bunch of perfectly good food.

Now we leave you with a video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhBQliLydpg]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhYuqFOp5X4]

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