Author Archives: Steve Economides

About Steve Economides

Steve Economides is a NY Times Best Selling Author of 3 books, dad of 5 grown kids and a household finance and frugality expert. He and his wife Annette have been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Dr Phil and dozens of other national and international TV shows.

How to Get Ink out of Upholstery Fabric: 3 Easy Solutions That Work

Before and after picture if ink stains on upholstery

Do you have an ink stain on fabric or upholstery? There are several inexpensive ways to get the stain out of fabric.

We had a microfiber ottoman that was giving to us. It had blue and black ink scribbles on it. In the video on this page, we show the steps we used to return the ottoman fabric to like-new condition.

In this post, we’ll share several options and show you the two that worked best for us.

Step 1: Test the Fabric

Not all fabrics are created equal. If you have the manufacturers tag still attached to the fabric you should be able … Read more »

20 Online Dollar Stores with Awesome Deals – Best Bargains for 2021

Best Online Dollar Stores in the US

Online Dollar stores are amazing places to can find things that you need for less. For most of us, physical stores like Family Dollar and Dollar Tree come to mind. But you no longer have to drive to a store to find awesome deals.

According to NBC News, Dollar Stores, discount retailers, and discount racks are gaining huge popularity. This is true amongst all shoppers and especially with Millenials.

Today you have the option to shop discount and dollar stores without leaving the comfort of your house. We have scoured the internet and found the best stores to shop … Read more »

5 Secrets to Surviving a Financial Crisis or Economic Downturn

5 Ways to Survive a Financial Crisis.

Are you going through a financial crisis or cut in pay? Has the Covid Pandemic created financial hardship for you?

If your income were to dramatically drop tomorrow, would you survive?

Would you spiral into a financial crisis or would you be able to keep your head above water?

Many financial experts say that Americans who live paycheck to paycheck could be 3 months from homelessness.

We’re going to give you 5 Secrets that we’ve used to survive job layoffs, cuts in pay and a nationwide financial downturn. 

How are you doing Financially?

If you were to ask ten different people in your town, “How are … Read more »

College Home Study Program: Degree for $3100 – Dual Credit at Home

A College Degree for $3100? What About College Home Study? What About an Online College Degree? #CollegeDegree$3100 #OnlineCollegeDegree #CollegeHomeStudy

This College Home Study Program is amazing, clever, very different from other programs and inexpensive too.

If you have kids who want a fast track to a college degree or, if you’re an adult looking for an inexpensive and fast way to finally finish that degree, you’ve GOT TO READ what Becky and her kids have done. It’s absolute GENIUS.

We met Becky Muldrow in San Antonio, Texas at a conference where we were speaking. Becky is a mom and a smart one at that.

With 10 kids she has to be.

But what stood out most to us was her absolutely ingenious way … Read more »

22 Community Youth Organizations that to Help Build Integrity and Character

Top Club Activities for Teens and Youth

Can community youth organizations and programs help develop character in a child? There are many different types of youth activities that could contribute to your child’s physical, emotional and vocational development. We’ve been involved in a number of these organizations and have compiled a list of the 20 most popular youth organizations in the US.

If you’re looking for the names of groups where your kids can learn and grow in character and leadership keep reading …

Discovering the Hidden Potential in a Child

Like a majestic oak concealed within an acorn, boundless potential is wrapped up in the spirit of a child. From childhood, … Read more »

Family Game Night Ideas: 44 Activities and Games That Are Fun & Cheap

Best Family Game Night Games. Games for Kids. Board Games for Kids. Games for Groups.

Are you looking for family game games that are inexpensive, fun and will have your family wanting to play again and again?

Have you ever wonder about what are some of the best family game night games for different age groups? 

We’ve got answers and videos.

Nothing brings families together like some friendly competition. And it’s even more fun when you pick some fun games to play together as on a family game night.

And the games we recommend don’t cost a lot of money. As a matter of fact, some are completely free.

We’ve included an overview of each game, some instructions, … Read more »

10 Interesting Facts About The Declaration of Independence

10 Declaration of Independence Facts that you may not know!

The Declaration of Independence in the United States is one of the most revered documents in our history. It was a bold statement by oppressed men and women to gain freedom from a tyrannical English government. 

10 Declaration of Independence Facts You May Not Know

But do you know these 10 Declaration of Independence facts about this most famous document?

1) The Resolve to move toward Independence

It was Richard Henry Lee of Virginia who proposed the resolution that “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British … Read more »

Is Buying a Timeshare Really Worth It? Are They a Scam or a Good Investment?

Are timeshares worth it. How can you get out of a timeshare?

Are Timeshares Worth It? Are they a scam? Or are they a good investment?

Are you considering buying a vacation property? Or are you trying to get out of a fractional ownership property that you either no longer use or can no longer afford?

We’ve experienced the buying, using, and trading of timeshares for more than 25 years. Although we’ve never been an owner, we’ve observed a master vacationer—Annette’s dad Syl.

Over the past 25 years, he has accumulated 6 different timeshares. He owns actual weeks at properties and timeshare points. We’ve worked with him, trading, banking, and negotiating for alternative weeks at … Read more »

Want to have fun around the Dinner Table? Try these 11 Different Ideas!

Around the dinner table: Making Eating Together Fun. A family making pizzas for dinner together.

If you want to make eating together as a family fun, you’ll love some of the things we do around the dinner table.

The family dinner hour is going the way of the dinosaur and black & white movies. But is the desire to eat meals together an old-fashioned, outdated notion? And with today’s faster-paced, non-relational lifestyle is it even possible?

Eating meals together is a mainstay of a cohesive family unit. Without this time of connection, you could end up with a group of disconnected people just living under the same roof.

Many families aren’t able to do a sit-down family dinner … Read more »

Summer Jobs for Teens: Finding Work & Earning Money

Summer jobs for teens - be a barista.

Is your teen looking for a summer job? There are companies hiring AND lots of out of the box earning opportunities. 

We’ll give you tons of practical ideas to help your teenager find work this summer, and into the rest of the year. 


1. Paying Summer Jobs for Teens

There are lots of jobs for teens in the restaurant industry and others. Here’s a short list of the types of jobs a young person can get near home.

Courtesy Clerk at a Grocery Store

Our son Joe did this and worked his way up into helping promote his stores weekly $5 Friday Deals. Many grocery … Read more »

25 Free Online Movie Websites Like Crackle, YouTube and Hulu

17 Free Online Movie Websites Like Crackle, YouTube and Hulu! #FreeOnlineMovieWebsites #FreeDigitalMovieWebsites

This list of 25 free movie websites like Crackle, YouTube & Hulu can help you save money by dumping cable. Check out these sites and other Blu-Ray/smart tv apps.

One of the biggest budget busters is overspending on recreation. We recently did a “dinner and a movie” date night. If we hadn’t had movie gift cards and a restaurant coupon we would have spent $60. There has to be a better way to spend time together without spending a fortune.

We love cocooning at home after a long day of work. After selecting a good movie, we sit on the couch … Read more »

Best Car Rental Hacks: 7 Unusual Ways to Save on Renting a Vehicle

These Rental Car Hacks will save you hundreds of dollars on your vacation!

Want to save money on your next rental car? You’re going to love these cheap car rental hacks. We’ve tried every one of these and they really work to cut the cost of your trip.

Renting a Van for Vacation – Our Story

How these Rental Car Hacks saved us $200+! 

We were traveling to Richmond, Virginia to speak at a conference and to spend a few days vacationing with family and friends.

There were six of us traveling, plus luggage for one week … and 24 cases of books.

Keep reading to see what happened at the Airport.


1. Compare Prices

We reserved a minivan … Read more »

Plastic Surgery for Paying off Debt: 9 Steps to Being Debt Free

Get out of debt - screaming credit card

Do you want to get out of Debt? Have you been trying to pay off what you owe, but keep getting hit with unexpected emergencies.

Keep reading – we have 9 things you can do to kill your debt. And several things you can start applying today.

How is Debt is Like Being in a Car Crash?

Have you ever come across an auto accident where a battered, bloody victim was walking around in a daze? Asked if he’s all right, he stutters, “Y-Yes, I’ll be fine.” Obviously hurt, in shock and needing immediate attention, he still refuses help. “I’m all right,” … Read more »

Vacation Meals on a Budget: 11 Ways to Save on Food While Traveling

Save Money with Vacation Meals on a Budget!

Vacation meals can be expensive! But with vacation meals on a budget and a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy awesome food. Even while you travel, you can spend much less than the average person doing it. We’ve got lots of ideas for having a great vacation on a budget and it all starts with saving on vacation meals.


11 Ways to Eat Yummy Vacation Meals on a Budget

1) Eat out Selectively

When we fly to a destination and stay in a hotel we save money on food by minimizing the number of meals we eat at a restaurant. Feeding 7 … Read more »

Should You Buy Your Teenager a Car? Why this Dad Gave a 1965 Mustang

Have you wondered if you should give your teen a car?

Are other parents in your area doing it and you’re getting pressure from your child?

What should parents do about Teens & Cars?

Is it MoneySmart to give your kids a car and a computer?

One dad thinks so.

We didn’t give any of our kids a car. But we did help them save and shop and buy their first cars for cash.

When we heard about this dad who gave his teenager a 1965 Mustang, we thought he’d lost his mind.

Why We Think This Dad is MoneySmart

The dad of the family wrote … Read more »

27 Fun & Frugal Family Vacation Ideas!

Fun & Frugal Vacations- 27 Money Saving Tips for Food, Lodging & Activities.

Frugal Family Vacations don’t have to be boring. And fun vacations don’t have to be expensive to be memorable.

We’ve compiled a list of ways for you to have fun and frugal family vacations. This list comes from friends and our own experience. We’ll share more than two dozen money-saving vacation tips for meals, lodging, and activities. You’ll make great memories on a budget.

27 Fun Ideas for Frugal Vacations

Our Facebook Friends asked, “Can you share one of your tips for saving money while on vacation?” Our first book, America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money, has an … Read more »

Fathers Day Ideas: Serving & Teaching Your Kids to Work

Steve and Joe Economides standing in front of a cubbie hole shelf unit they built.

The typical Father’s Day celebration is to wait on Dad, hand, and foot, hand him the remote control and let him do whatever he wants for the entire day.

Try a Different Kind of Father’s Day

This Father’s day we’d like to encourage Dad’s everywhere to have a different idea or outlook on the day. We’re challenging you to make it a day when you serve your family. Instead of being served, give your time and love to their wife and kids. And in doing so, you’ll receive much more in return. 

There is no better Father’s Day present to receive than … Read more »

Sonic Drink Specials During Happy Hour Deals (Save 50%)

Sonic Happy Hour & Sonic Drive In = Happy Hour Deals Galore!

Have you ever gotten a Sonic Drink Special during their daily Happy Hour? Sonic is America’s Drive-In fast-food restaurant.

They serve up Happy Hour deals every day (Monday – Sunday) between 2 and 4 pm. We confirmed this information and updated it in June of 2021.

Download a .pdf of the most recent Sonic Menu & Happy Hour Info

We drive by a Sonic location several times each week. But it wasn’t until a few months ago that we discovered these half-priced Happy Hour Deals (an online friend gave us a tip).

You’ll … Read more »

Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich: Get Your Money’s Worth

Get your money's worth at Arbys. #rip-off, #sandwich weight

If you want to know how much an Arby’s Roast Beef sandwich is supposed to weigh, just read our story.

What would you do if you got 30% less than you paid for?

We got “ripped off,” but got it resolved quickly.

We had just completed a Once-A-Month cooking day (read more here) where Annette (with help from the rest of us) prepares between 10 and 17 dinner meals which we store in the freezer for use later in the month.

On our “Once-A-Month” cooking day, Annette gets the night off from preparing dinner (after preparing so many meals, she deserves a … Read more »

Home Meat Slicer Uses that will Save you $500 or More

Save $500 each year by slicing the cost of lunchmeat. Find out how

There are dozens of uses for a home meat slicer and the savings you can bank are amazing. In this article, we’ll talk mainly about how much money you can save using a meat slicer to cut your own lunch meat.

And we’ll also share other things that we use a meat slicer for.

Plus we’ll tell you how much our meat slicer cost and what you can expect to pay for a new one.

This is the fourth article of a 5 Kitchen Tools series that will empower you to save thousands of dollars on your food budget.


What’s at stake with … Read more »

How to Save on Lunchmeat: Slicing A Shank Ham!

A shank ham on a cutting board.

Are you looking for ways to save money on lunch meat?

Steve wanted to see what kind of “deal” we could get on ham lunch meat if we sliced up a smoked, shank ham for our sandwiches. Could we get quality sandwich slices for less?

We bought our shank ham on sale for 97 cents a pound. Because the Smithfield ham we bought was smoked, it was ready to eat (no need to cook it.)

In this article we’ve also placed two videos:

How to slice a shank ham for inexpensive lunch meatThree ways to buy lunch meat and save money.


Video: 3 Ways to … Read more »

Why You Should Adopt a Pet Rather Than Buy One

Should You Adopt a Pet Rather than Buy One? here's costs of pet ownership and where to adopt one!

Why You Should Adopt a Pet Rather than Buy One

We think you should adopt a pet rather than buy one for several reasons. Learn how to find the best pet and get the best deal when you adopt it.

Are your kids asking you to adopt a pet for your family? Or are your kids grown and you want a furry friend as a companion?

Many people think pet adoption is an expensive luxury. But don’t panic! Actually, getting and keeping a pet doesn’t have to cost as much as you think!

You could go to Craigslist or OfferUp. But whatever you do, … Read more »

Lactose Intolerance Pills: Costco Lactase vs Lactaid® which is Best?

Do you have Lactose Intolerance? Costco (Kirkland) lactase vs Lactaid® which is best?

Searching for the best lactose intolerance pills? Are you wanting a cheaper option that really works?

Have you tried different solutions for your digestive issues?

We’ve tried a number of natural and pill solutions for lactose intolerance.

We also did an in-depth comparison with Costco Lactase (Kirkland) or Lactaid brand pills. You’ll be surprised by what we found.

If you have lactose intolerance, finding a solution so you can enjoy dairy is not an easy or inexpensive research project.

We hope you’ll read all of the options we tried, but if you want to get the absolute bottom line, scroll to the bottom of … Read more »

11 Ways to Help Kids Save on Your Electricity Bill

In your home - kids save electricity!

We taught our kids to save money on electricity … and everything else. When we received this question from a website visitor from Australia, we thought we’d put our ideas in writing.

Question about how to get my kids on-board with saving money

Do your kids save electricity? How do you get your kids to appreciate ever-increasing electricity costs and to turn off lights and appliances? Mine just seem to walk away and have no care that Australian electricity costs are rising and rising and we now pay a carbon tax on top of this. I nag them to turn off lights … Read more »

7 Financial Decisions that Your Parents Need to Make

An adult daughter talking with her retired father about funeral plans.

Your parents cared for you for years, and now it’s your turn. As you parents start to reach an older age, there are several financial decisions that they will need to make. By not making some key choices now they could leave you and your loved ones with some difficult decisions later.

Talking about money and death is never a fun topic, but it’s important that you have those hard talks with your loved ones before it’s too late. It will save a lot of pain and frustration in the future.

1. Life Insurance

Let’s get one of the most difficult out of … Read more »