Author Archives: Annette Economides

About Annette Economides

Annette is the mom of America's Cheapest Family

Saving on Back-to-School Clothing — 5 Frugal Fashion Tips For Kids

Back-to-School Clothes: 5Frugal Fashion Tips for Kids!

We’ve got Frugal Fashion Tips for Kids when you’re shopping for back-to-school clothes. These will help your kids to look nice, be a little trendy, and not cost a fortune.

We outfitted 5 kids with wardrobes each year. We also found lots of ways for them to look fashionable while staying within our frugal spending limits.

5 Ways to Save on Fashionable Back-To-School Clothes

Parents spend a lot of money for Back-to-school sales for clothing each year. According to a Parents.com survey of 1000 families, 60 percent said that they would spend more on back-to-school clothes for their … Read more »

15 Ways to Wreck Your Food Budget

15 Ways to Wreck your Food Budget - Tips for Saving Money!

Learning to manage your food budget is one of the fastest ways to start turning around your family household budget. We see so many families practice grocery shopping habits that drive their food costs through the roof.

If you’ve never been shown how to master the art of food shopping and meal prep, don’t feel bad.

It’s a much easier game to learn than you realize.

Take the Quiz and See How You Do

Put a check mark next to any statement that describes something you’ve said or done in the past six months:

 

 1) I go to the store several times each week.

Going to … Read more »

Saving on Back-to-School Supplies — 5 Black Belt Tactics

Back to School Supplies - 5 Ways to Save Big Money.

The late summer months are the best time to stock-up and save money on Back to School Supplies. 

Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, this can be one of the most expensive times of the year for families with young children. Why?

The reason is that back-to-school costs can really take a toll on your family’s household budget.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers expect that consumers will shell out more than $80.7 billion during this back-to-school shopping frenzy (k-12 and college combined).

50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary school. So if you do the math it comes out to almost … Read more »

Finding the Cheapest Place to Buy Meat Near Me

Discounted cheap meat - family sized.

Are you looking to save money and find cheap meat near your home? These strategies could save you thousands of dollars this year.

Years ago, it was the man’s “job” to hunt for the meat to provide for the family. All it cost was a few days’ trudging through the forest, and some bullets or arrows. Then there was time to clean and dress the meat, a man’s muscles to lug it all home and space to store it.

Today, in our more “sophisticated” society, both sexes are responsible for putting meat on the table. The … Read more »

Best Dish Soap Test: Which Brand Gives Most Value?

Two bottles of dish soap with a ruler in front of them - Dish Soap Testing

Have you ever wondered which dish soap works best and gives you the best value for the money?

We love saving money and were wondering if we should buy the cheapest dish detergent or a more expensive one. Our curiosity finally got the best of us and we put together this test.

Have you ever thought, “Hmm, this name-brand product costs twice as much as the generic; is it twice as good? Oh, it’s all just advertising hype, there can’t be that BIG of a difference — I’m going to save the money and buy the generic.”

Well, when it came to dishwashing … Read more »

Inexpensive Summer Activities – For Kids & Families

Inexpensive Summer Activities - Fun for Families and Kids #SummerFunKids #ReadingProgramsKids #SummerMoviesKids #SummerActivitiesKids

If you need Inexpensive Summer Activities for kids and families this summer, we’ve got 13 great recreation ideas that you’re going to love. These Summer activities are perfect for kids and adults.

It’s June and school’s out …what do you do to help your kids have healthy fun in the summer? Is it an afternoon at the movies, a visit to an amusement park, or an afternoon at the mall? How much will that cost you?

Perhaps you might want to consider tackling a large project, learning a new skill or participating in community service. These activities can also be fun and … Read more »

How to Do a DIY Property Tax Appeal and Lower Your Taxes

DIY Property Tax Appeal - how to lower your monthly payment.

Doing a DIY Property Tax Appeal is not something many homeowners think about. But, if you own a home or are getting ready to buy one, you should consider what you will pay in property taxes.

And you should probably look into what similarly sized homes are paying.

When you purchase a house, be aware that many counties base their revised valuations, in large part, on the sale price. The basis for the valuation may be correct, but the details of your property may be misrepresented, which can result in higher taxes.

No matter what … Read more »

Can a Family Live on One Income?

Mom with two kids and a dog in the forest. Can we live on one income?

If you’ve ever wondered whether your family can live on one income or not, the 5 questions below should help answer your question.

Living on One Income for a SAHM Wannabe

First I would like to say that I am very grateful to have found your book America’s Cheapest Family because ever since I picked that book up my husband and I have started changing the way we live.

We aren’t out of debt yet, but we have paid off some and are working towards paying off the rest.

I really want to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. My husband is very supportive of … Read more »

Buy Meat in Bulk Online & Save Money

Buy Meat in Bulk to Save Time & Money!

We have always thought about buying meat in bulk online, but have never jumped in until now. We were recently introduced to The Savory Butcher and their local fresh meat deliveries.

You know that we are bargain shoppers. However, the quality and the pricing that The Savory Butcher offers really piqued our interest. This is a really great way to lock in a good price on a large quantity of quality meat. If you don’t have time to hunt for meat bargains in the traditional way, this could save you a lot of time and money.

What is Savory Butcher?

Read more »

Pets on a Budget – Ultimate Guide to Caring For Pets for Less

Pets on a budget - Why you should have them & how much they cost. #PetsBudget #PetsSick #PetsTime

 

Do you need to have your family pets on a budget? Pets are viewed as best friends, companions, family necessities, nuisances and trainers for children. We are talking about the family pet. Do economizers have them, and if so, do they think of them differently than other people do?

We both grew up having a variety of pets. Annette sees pets as an indispensable part of family life. Steve originally found pets a nuisance but is warming to the idea that slobbery dog-kisses can be a valuable part of life. After we married, we discovered that in addition to being an … Read more »

Linen Closet Organization Ideas: 9 Brilliant Tips, Tricks (and Hacks)

Linen Closet Organization/ Linen Closet Storage DIY/ Organize Linens

Reorganizing your linen closet probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list! But this task can really free up time and mental energy – here’s why and how.

The Last Time We Reorganized our Linen Closet

For us, it had been about 10 years since we organized our linen closet. With raising five kids,  writing books and speaking around the country, we had little time to think about this type of organizing task. We truly had lost track of what was in the linen closet.

 Watch the video at the bottom of this page … Read more »

Expired Meat – How Long is Meat Good After Sell By Date?

Is Expired Meat Dangerous or a Deal?

Want to see people turn up their noses in disgust? Just mention that you often purchase expired meat or meat that is going out of code.
“Code” refers to the date placed by a grocer or manufacturer on a grocery item revealing its use-by, sell-by or freeze-by date.
We did an interview on ABC’s 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas. When she saw a video clip of Steve selecting some discounted ham in a grocery store, she was puzzled.
She said, “You are picking up bargains on items most of us would avoid, like expiring meat.”

She continued, “Most people don’t want to buy meat that … Read more »

30+ Creative Crockpot Recipes, Ideas & Uses—Crazy! (Soap?)

An amazing collection of creative uses for your crockpot - making soap . . . really?

If you’re looking for creative slow cooker cooking ideas for recipes or crafting we’ve got answers. If you want lots of delicious and favorite recipes and some really outrageous uses for a slow cooker, you’ve also come to the right place!

The slow cooker or Crockpot is one of the most versatile time and money-saving tools we have in our kitchen. We use them so much that, over time, we now have three of them. They help us on our once-month cooking day and for other daily needs.

Related Article: If you want to know how much money you can save … Read more »

Amazing Ways to Save Money & Eat Healthier this Year (12 Tips)

Save Money & Eat Healthier this Year - 12 Amazing Tips!

We’re always looking for easy ways to save money & eat healthier. And to be more aware of the nutritional value of the foods we buy and eat.

Here are 12 ways can we save money & eat healthier without going to extremes.

It’s a well-known fact that some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are to lose weight and to get finances in order.

We’re hoping that this blog will inspire you on both fronts if you’ve made either of these resolutions this year. You can lose weight by eating healthier and you can eat healthier without spending a fortune! So let’s … Read more »

New Year’s Eve Party – Fun & Frugal!

New Year's Eve Party - Family Fun for Everyone!

Planning a New Year’s Eve Party means ringing in the New Year with family and friends.

We host a New Year’s Eve Party full of Family Fun each year.  It is a tradition that started years ago and is an open house. And it doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon. Even though our kids are grown, they love inviting their friends and helping put on a great event.

When the kids were younger we would invite several families whose kids were the same ages as our kids. Now, we just invite anyone who wants to come. And we have every age group … Read more »

What to Make for a Thanksgiving Potluck with Children

What to Make for a Thanksgiving Potluck with Children & Hosting it!

Are you hosting a Potluck Thanksgiving or attending a large gathering for Thanksgiving? Here are lots of ways to save money and reduce stress when feeding a large group for Thanksgiving Dinner or being a guest at someone else’s event. We will also talk about what to make for a Thanksgiving potluck.

Hosting a successful Potluck Thanksgiving dinner

There are so many details to hosting a successful dinner: Where will they sit; what time will you serve dinner; how much help will you need; how many days will it take you to prepare; and what about cleaning all of those dishes?

How Did … Read more »

Do Warehouse Clubs really Save You Money?

Aisles of a warehouse club with logos of Bjs, Sam's and Costco over them.

The concept of shopping in a warehouse and buying directly from a distributor is an appealing idea for money-saving minded people. But do today’s warehouse clubs really save you money or are they merely a carefully marketed retail store that has lots of stuff in it, designed to separate you from your money?

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of shopping at the warehouse clubs AND we’ll tell you how you can do it without buying a pricey membership.

What is a Warehouse Club?

Warehouse clubs are in truth a retail store, that has been strategically designed to look like a warehouse. They … Read more »

Homemade Halloween Party Games, Crafts and Food for a Harvest Festival Party

Homemade Halloween Fun & Games for Families!

Are you looking for some Fun Homemade Halloween party games? We’ve assembled a great list to make your party a frugal and fun success. We started with 13 games, but the list keeps growing. We’ve also added some crafts and fun food ideas.

Halloween and the Fall can make for some really fun homemade Halloween party games. We know some people are squeamish about taking their kids out “Trick-or-Treating” so why not borrow some of these ideas. We’ve used variations of some of these for our kids birthday parties.

They work great as carnival-type booths or as party games for a small … Read more »

10 DIY Non-Scary Halloween Costumes that are Easy, Cheap & Fast

10 Non-Scary Halloween Costumes - Cheap, Fast & Easy!

We’ve got tons of ideas for non-scary Halloween costumes that are easy and cheap to make.

Have you thought about Halloween costumes for you or your kids yet? Does the cost of costumes scare the fun out of Halloween for your family?

Planning for Halloween Costumes Cuts the Cost

Halloween will be here before you know it. And costume-loving families know that putting together a unique and inexpensive costume takes some planning and some time.

The earlier you start, the more complete and creative your outfit will be—plus you’ll have more time to find great deals.

We know it may sound strange, but our kids … Read more »

Grocery Store Sales Cycles for Holidays/ Stocking up on Groceries/ Our Grocery Stockpile List

Grocery Store Sales Cycles/ Stocking up on Groceries/ Grocery Stockpile List

Knowing the Grocery Store Sales Cycles by month and for each holiday is a great way to save tons of money on food and to fill your pantry and freezer bargain-priced groceries.

One of our best money-saving grocery strategies is to stock up on loss-leaders around the holidays. Grocery stores drop the price on various food items each month and on each holiday to entice shoppers to come to their store. That’s the time we swoop in and pick up deals to last several months.

Every holiday brings an opportunity to find great bargains because most grocers put traditional foods on sale. That … Read more »

Tips for Freezing and Cooking Meat (Delicious)

Great Tips for Freezing Meat!

Freezing meat bought on sale is a great way to save money at the grocery store. But if you don’t properly store and protect the meat, your savings can be wasted due to freezer burn. If you follow the steps listed below you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Reader Question about Freezing Meat

How do you freeze filet mignon, and keep it from getting dry and tough? We recently purchased filet mignon from Costco, ate two of them (they were delicious) and froze the others. When we defrosted and cooked them, they were awful. Is there is a better way to store them to preserve … Read more »

Fun Family Tradition Examples: For the Holidays and The Whole Year

Fun Family Traditions for Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween and more.

Are you looking for some new and fun family traditions?

Whether your family is large or small, young or old, establishing traditions can cement relationships. It can also evoke warm feelings and create memories that last a lifetime.

Over the years, we’ve read numerous books about the value of family traditions.

These habits and rituals add stability to the yearly calendar as the kids eagerly anticipate and participate in the preparations for each special event. Traditions don’t need to be expensive or elaborate to be memorable.

We hope our most enjoyable ideas will provide the impetus for you to create your own family traditions. … Read more »

Family Christmas Traditions: 8 Inexpensive, Fun Holiday Activities

Family Christmas Traditions for the Holidays. 8 Inexpensive Christmas Activities

Family Christmas Traditions can occur whether your family is large or small, and young or old. Establishing traditions can enhance relationships, evoke warm feelings and create memories that last a lifetime.

Over the years, we’ve read numerous books about the value of family traditions. They add stability to the yearly calendar as the kids eagerly anticipate and participate in the preparations for each special event.

Our Family Christmas Traditions really are a “month-full” of activities and routines that we’ve established over the course of many years. Here are a few of the many we have:

Holiday Music / Performances

There are many holiday musical … Read more »

Dressing Up at the Holidays for Less

Holiday Clothing that looks great but doesn't cost a fortune!

Holiday Clothing can be expensive, and everyone wants to look fantastic for the holidays. How can you get a great Holiday look without spending a fortune of money? We’ll share how you can dress up for the holidays with a minimal cash outlay, and look fabulous in the process.

Reader Question About Holiday Clothing Expenses

I know that I’ll be invited to several holiday parties this season and will need to get dressed-up. And there isn’t money for new clothes right now. But I want to look good, and not put a balance on my credit card. What should I do?

Less Stress … Read more »

Thanksgiving Stock Ups!

Thanksgiving Stock Ups - A Great Time to Capture Sales on Grocery Food Items!

Thanksgiving Stock Ups – It’s time to stock your pantry and freezer!

Thanksgiving Stock ups means that grocery retailers will be featuring loss-leaders on many of the trimmings for your Thanksgiving meal. Which means they put a lot of food items on sale, to lure you into their grocery chain store for shopping. There is a lot of competition for stores to capture your grocery dollars. And having sales is a way to get you to visit their store. Grocers are even willing to take a loss on some grocery items like the turkey, so you will shop with them. So … Read more »