A red 1965 Ford Mustang sitting on wet blacktop.

This Dad gave his 16 year old a 1965 Mustang! Would you?

We are on an email list for family issues and were sent a link to an intriguing article about a family with 12 kids. The dad of the family wrote the article and shared how as an engineer he earned a good salary, but determined not to financially support his kids at HIS EARNING LEVEL.

Instead he taught them to work and to save and to plan. All of the kids paid for their own college education (and several paid for graduate degrees).

BUT . . . They almost lost us when he said that he gave each of his kids a car when they turned 16.  This Dad gave a 16 year old a 1965 Mustang! 

You've got to read what he did . . . it is ingenious, clever, smart and . . . something we wish we had done! 

The Thompson Family followed many of the same principals we wrote about in our award winning book, "The MoneySmart Family System - Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age." MoneySmart, Smart, Money, Ramsey, Economides, Cruz, allowance, kids, chores, entitlement

Read the entire article here:

How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves

By Francis L. Thompson.

My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22.  I have always had a very prosperous job and enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.

I will share with you the things that we did, but first let me tell you the results: All 12 of my children have college degrees (or are in school), and we as parents did not pay for it. Most have graduate degrees. Those who are married have wonderful spouses with the same ethics and college degrees, too. We have 18 grandchildren who are learning the same things that our kids learned—self respect, gratitude, and a desire to give back to society.

We raised our family in Utah, Florida, and California; my wife and I now live in Colorado. In March, we will have been married 40 years. I attribute the love between us as a part of our success with the children. They see a stable home life with a commitment that does not have compromises.

Here’s what we did right (we got plenty wrong, too, but that’s another list):


A round head of iceberg lettuce, wrapped in plastic wrap, sitting on a produce scale.

Use Your Head When it Comes to Lettuce

Do you know which costs more: Head or Leaf Lettuce?

Did you know that one of them costs about 60% less than the other?

In our book, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, we chronicled Steve’s test of weighing more than 200 pounds of produce to determine if bulk packed or loose produce was a better deal.
We discovered savings as high as 54 percent! You can read the results here if you’re a website subscriber.

But in this blog post, we ask the question How much does a head of lettuce cost?
And how can you get the most for your lettuce dollars?

The other day, we were buying some produce and Steve decided to compare leaf lettuce ($.89 per head) versus iceberg / head lettuce ($.99 per head). Lettuce prices fluctuate widely depending on the time of year. We've seen prices as high as $2 per head and as low as $.50 per head. And there are many varieties of lettuce: Iceberg, Romain, Boston, Bibb, Butterhead, Red Leaf, Green Leaf, and they all vary in price also. We usually look for the greenest and least expensive lettuce, but there is one more factor to consider . . . the weight of each head.

How much does that head of lettuce weigh?

We know that leaf lettuce contains more nutrients; higher iron content (because of it's greener color), but what we hoped to discover was the actual cost per pound for each. It was an amazing discovery.  

Leaf Lettuce Weight and Cost

A Head of Leaf Lettuce on an aluminum produce scale.

Steve weighed several heads of leaf lettuce and discovered that the average weight was 16.75 ounces per head (just a touch over one pound each). At 89¢ per head, the actual cost per pound was $.848.







Head Lettuce Weight and Cost


A picture of a beautiful natural wood kitchen with words that say-save $6000.

Kitchen Tool Series #1: Scoop Up the Savings

5 Kitchen Tools That Will Save $6000 #1

Saving money on groceries could revolutionize your family budget!

As a matter of fact, there are dozens of simple strategies that can cut your grocery bill in half with out clipping a single coupon. But, instead of shopping strategies, we want to introduce you to five relatively inexpensive kitchen tools that can save you thousands of dollars and lots of time too!

What’s at stake? When it comes to feeding a family, there is a lot of money at stake. The average family is spending $200 per person each month on groceries. That means that a family of four will spend nearly $10,000 on food this year!

Large expenses always present LARGER opportunities for savings—especially if you’re willing to think differently. Many of us could use this found money to pay off debt, reduce medical bills, save for a vacation, or accomplish some much needed home improvements.

What if the tools we describe in this 5 week series (every Wednesday) could:

  • Save you $6000 in the next 12 months?
  • Could pay for themselves in a few months?
  • And lastly, -savings you accumulated would continue year after year for the next 10 or 20 years?

Would you be interested?

We’re not blowing smoke or selling snake oil; we’re talking about tools we’ve been using for many years!

Clean up in your kitchen. SpoonULas Save Time and Money.  spoonula, spatula, scoop, silicone, hi, temp, clean, kitchen, save, savings, pampered, chef, rubbermaid, rubbermade, industrial, chef, kitchen, food, savings

Let’s start with the least expensive tool and work our way up to some really big savings.

Scoop It Out: This simple tool won’t save you much money, but it will save you lots of clean-up time. The humble Spoonula is different from a spatula. Most rubber spatulas have straight edges, whereasSpoonulas are curved, creating a flexible scoop for quickly cleaning out pots, pans, bowls and jars of peanut butter, jelly, cans of soup and much more. But even more than the food savings, a Spoonula helps keep the environment cleaner with less food waste in the trash or down the drain and less soap and water used for cleanup.

Savings: Annette uses her Spoonulas four to five times each day. We estimated that a Spoonula, costing between $4 and $10 (depending on size), saves us about $40 each year.

Checkout Amazon's selection of SpoonULas here.

We thought this was interesting—a listing of

Email @ sign painted on black garage door.

Creating Efficient Email Newsletters

Email marketing tactics are becoming one of the most successful ways to strategize your company’s outreach to multiple consumers and markets. Check out how a doc 2 pdf converter can help you create streamlined and accessible newsletters that will garner more clicks and greater business!

Engage Your Audience

Your first step is to capture your audience’s attention so that they will want to click on your email newsletter and read more. With the onslaught of modern technology and advancements people have smaller attention spans than they used to have. That means that it is going to take a clever tagline to engage your target demographic and get them interested at first glance. It helps to put emoji or emoticons in the title of the newsletter, especially if you want to capture the attention of a younger demographic. Once they open the newsletter, try keeping it uniform yet intriguing. Include the aesthetic that matches your company’s colors and font style. Avoid being garish and using redundant language; it is a major turn-off for readers. Opt for an ideal combination of graphics and text for best results!

Make it Accessible

Moreover, it is crucial that you make your newsletter accessible to whoever opens it. A doc to PDF converter can help you make sure that your newsletter content can be readable to computer users whether they are using a Windows PC or a Mac computer. Nothing it worse than having someone open your email only to have it display in HTML format (HyperText Markup Language) or some other incompatible format. The Soda PDF converter ensures that the files and documents are accessible to your target audience no matter what operating system or platform they are using.

Include the Right Information

Finally, the right information needs to be included in your email marketing efforts if they are going to be successful. As we said, a striking tagline will pull the readers in so that they click on any links or images you have in your newsletter. Make the text clear and concise and try to use short and easy to read paragraphs. People will be opening this newsletter while they are at work or multitasking, so they don’t want it to be a huge time commitment or require a ton of effort. And of course, the doc to PDF converter will ensure that the text is readable and downloadable to whoever opens the newsletter. Get on board with this hot new technology and sell more services and products!

If you want to learn more about the MoneySmartFamily email newsletter, click on this link:

A mom helping her young daughter try on school clothes, while the daughter holds a fuchsia umbrella.

Saving on Back-to-School Clothing — 6 Frugal Fashion Tips

Saving on Back-to-School Clothing — 6 Frugal Fashion Tips

6 Ways to Save on Back-To-School Clothes

Parents spend a lot of money for Back-to-school sales for clothing each year. According to a survey of 1000 families, 60 percent said that they would spend more on back-to-school clothes for their children than they will on school supplies. The survey revealed that these parents are expected to spend about $130 on clothes and only $48 on school supplies for their children.

National statistics for kids clothing expenses are all over the board, but we’d like to focus on five ways that you can reduce what you spend on back-to-school clothes whether you shop thrift stores or fashion outlets. As with any expense, when you’re spending great amounts of money, there are always a great number of ways to save.

Fashion Tip 1: Start with a Clothing Inventory

We inventoried our kids’ clothes twice each year. If you have several children, start with the more easy going one first, then tackle the fashion challenged, more difficult child, then finish up with the rest of the kids—that’s the way Annette survived this task.

As you get better at conducting your inventory and as your kids get older, you can have several children going through the task at the same time. Here are the steps:

The Individual Evaluation Process

Have each child evaluate all clothes in their drawers, closet and any bins, being careful to include accessories.

Bring the outgrown or unwanted items into another room.

We used our family room, and designated a specific area for each child’s rejected clothes to be neatly stacked. Annette reviewed the stack together with the child and sometimes, asked them to reconsider a discarded selection. This piling, sorting and evaluating process will help you move through the clothes much quicker.

Let the bargaining begin.

It was amazing to watch our kids haggle with each other over certain clothing items. Because our kids managed their own money and bought their own clothes, there were times when their special hand-me-downs, were traded or sold to younger siblings. This didn’t happen all of the time, only with more expensive – “cool” clothes.

Fashion Tip 2: Build a List with Each Child

As you eliminate clothing items and add hand-me-downs, build a written list  of what each child would like to have to round out their wardrobe. Of course with younger children this task will fall squarely on your shoulders, but with pre-teens and teens they can take almost all of the responsibility.

Help them to prioritize the greatest needs as “A” priorities or “Needs” and the less important items as “B” priorities or “Wants.” This will help your kids understand that life is full of choices and priorities — a great way to help them understand budgeting principles too, especially if you do as we did and allow them the privilege of buying their own clothes with money they earned.

Help them include accessories in their lists. Include things like shoes, socks, undergarments and also scarves, gloves, jackets, coats and boots. Also consider planning and obtaining a nicer outfit for each child, so if you’re family is invited to a special event, like a wedding, holiday, business party or fancier church event, they’ll be ready.

Fashion Tip 3: Consider Buying Used

Have you ever considered shopping chain thrift stores like Goodwill, Savers or Kid to Kid for back-to-school clothes? Remember that smaller local thrift or consignment stores that benefit non-profits (hospice or animal rescues) in your area may have some great deals too. These local stores can discount their clothes heavily since volunteers often staff them. We have found amazing deals for our kids at these places, and our kids dressed as nice or nicer than their peers. Be sure you know the “deal days” for each of the stores you’re planning on visiting. These discount days can really make a difference in what you pay.

Fashion Tip 4: Start Early / Finish Late

Start your thrift store and consignment store shopping early in the season, as other parents in your area will be scouring the stores for deals too. If you start early you’ll be sure to get the best quality for the lowest price, so don’t procrastinate. There is usually a glut of items donated over the summer as families are moving or cleaning things out. Plus many Read More...


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