Woman's World senior editor Kristina Mastrocola writes a series called Ask America's Ultimate Experts where she interviews people who give their best tips for saving money. In this article she interviewed:
Stephanie Nelson - CouponMom.com
Steve & Annette Economides - MoneySmartFamily.com
Sara Lundbert - MoneySavvyDiva.com
Ann Eckhart - SeeAnnSave.com
Click on the link at the top of this article, just below the magazine cover photo to see a readable version of the entire article.
Meghan Pembleton, Special for The Republic 11:16 a.m. MST January 26, 2016
It seems counterintuitive, but to save money on dinner this year, you might want to head to your supermarket’s prepared-foods counter.
Rotisserie chickens are a great springboard for quick and easy family meals. They’re a heck of a lot cheaper than hitting the drive-through, and they often cost less than roasting a chicken yourself.
Annette Economides of Scottsdale agrees that rotisserie chickens have earned a place at the frugal family’s table. That may be surprising, given that she and husband, Steve, run MoneySmartFamily.com and are the authors of “Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half.”
But trust “America’s cheapest family,” which has appeared on national television, including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” and in Money and other magazines.
“A whole rotisserie chicken is a far better substitute than fast food,” Economides said. “It’s a fine backup.”
Earlier this month at a Bashas’ store in Phoenix, fully cooked rotisserie chickens were priced at $5.99 for a small and $7.99 for a large, compared to $9 to $10 for a whole fryer chicken in the butcher case. While raw fryer chickens sometimes weigh a little more than the average supermarket rotisserie chicken, much of that weight is moisture that evaporates during cooking, and things like giblets that you’ll have to discard or find a way to use.
Gary Forman is a good and generous friend. For more than 15 years he has run the DollarStretcher website and impacted millions of families with spot-on financial advice. In this video we chat with Gary about how we paid off our home in 9 years on an average income of just $33,0000 per year. There are really only 3 steps to paying off any debt.
#1 Have a budget
#2 Consult and Maintain your budget every 2 weeks
#3 Be on the same page financially and work together toward the goal.
For many millennials, graduating from college with staggering amounts of student loan debt has become the norm. But it doesn’t have to be. This week, we talked about how to save and pay for college and options to explore to eliminate high student loan balances. Our panel included: Steve & Annette Economides – New York Times Best Selling Authors and Founders of MoneySmartFamily.com, Kasasa- a national brand of free rewards checking accounts offered exclusively at community financial institutions, which reward consumers with ATM refunds nationwide, high interest, and no minimum balance, Rod Griffin- Director of Public Education at Experian, and Mike Delgado- Social Media Community Manager at Experian.
Coming out of an advertising background was of little value for us as we started promoting our own business and brand. We discovered dozens of hacks to get hundreds of interviews on TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers and Blogs. This interviews resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in book royalties and millions of visitors to our website.
I’ve added a new item to my bucket list. Get invited to a home cooked meal at Steve and Annette Economides. She had me at lamb chops...
Steve and Annette have been married for the better part of 3 decades. This frugal family didn’t start out as money masters, but over the years they’ve learned how to do more with the money they had. Annette shares that finding ways to accomplish their goals without debt became a game.
This family started their early years learning to thrive on $835/month and decided from the beginning not to borrow money. Instead, they chose to scour garage sales, negotiate everything, and develop strategies to help them keep more of their hard earned cash.
The Economidies used a secret system to manage their money…well, it’s no secret at all folks. Living on a budget helped this family of 7 live on an average salary of $35,000 and:
Pay off their home in 9 years
Send all 5 children to college with zero debt
Pay cash for all of their cars
Take family vacations with no debt strings attached
Spend $350/month to feed a family of 7 (no Ramen Noodles for this clan)
When Steve and Annette Economides got married in 1982, they made a conscious decision to always live below their means. The couple from Scottsdale, Arizona, even made the pact a part of their wedding vows.
Then the car broke down.
This is usually the part in the story where taking on a little bit of debt seems perfectly OK to do. After all, Americans collectively owe nearly $12 trillion in outstanding household debt. Sometimes other alternatives are simply out of reach.
In this case, though, Steve was able to ride a bike to work, so he did – for a solid month. And they saved even harder.
“Friends lent us an occasional vehicle over weekends,” Annette Economides said. “They’re still good friends of ours.”
How back-to-school shopping can teach your kids money lessons
Back-to-school shopping represents one of the best opportunities all year for students to learn a few lessons before they return to the classroom — money lessons, that is.
"When they reach their high school years, kids have to be prepared to do some comparison shopping and live within a budget, because they're going off on their own in three to five years and they need to be prepared," said Steve Economides, who with wife Annette heads America's cheapest family, runs moneysmartfamily.com and has written books including "The MoneySmart Family System."
"We're not raising kids; we're raising future adults."
Americans will spend $68 billion during this year's back-to-school season, including back-to-college, according to the National Retail Federation. That's an average of $630 per family for school-age kids and $899 for families with college-bound students.
Recently, MattMoneyMan (MMM) had the pleasure of talking to Steve Economides (SE), the head of the Economides family, which is well-known for its budgeting and money saving tips. The Economides have been teaching Americans and people all around the world their brand of frugality for more than a decade. They’ve appeared on widely watched shows like Good Morning America, 20/20, The Today Show, and many more. They’ve been featured on magazines like Good Housekeeping, Real Simple and People. They’re the authors of 3 bestselling books on personal finance. Their website www.moneysmartfamily.com is a wealth of money saving tips and advice. Nowadays, they’ve renamed themselves “Money Smart Family.” Personally, I prefer “America’s Cheapest Family”; being cheap to them was a badge of honor.
To preview, here are the five lessons Steve offered: