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.

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 »

Managing a Windfall: What to Do with Sudden Money

Financial Windfalls - How to manage them.

What is a financial windfall?  Is managing a windfall something you are prepared to do?

Winning the lottery, a TV game show, a large inheritance or sweepstakes are all windfalls. What about smaller windfalls – like a tax refund?

How could this money help you? How would you manage it?

Have you ever thought of creating a plan for a financial windfall?

Will a Windfall be Coming Your Way?

What if you won the lottery? What would you do if you have $50 million dumped in your lap? Many of us would be able to quickly give an answer to that question.

Perhaps you would consider … Read more »

Cutting the Cost of Cutting Glass

How to Cut Glass at Home by Yourself. A Great Cutting Glass Project.

Do you know how much does it cost to have glass Cut?

Do you think that cutting glass at home is too hard, or dangerous?

Getting a piece of glass cut from a hardware store has become harder and much more expensive than 20 years ago.

Years Ago: We had 6 small pieces of glass cut for the outside lights/lanterns on our garage. We bought a large piece of glass for about $15 at Home Depot and they cut it for free.

Things have really changed since then.  We were looking at a $20 charge for 3 small pieces of glass.

Keep reading to … Read more »

9 Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: Get Debt Eliminated Legally

Student Loan Forgiveness - Get Rid of College Debt Forever!

Do you have college loans? Are you looking for a list of student loan forgiveness programs? Are you wondering if you can get loan forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness isn’t available to everyone, but it is a great way to pay off student loans that have already been accrued!

We’ve scoured the loan forgiveness landscape and found 9 different programs that might benefit you.

Covid Student Loan Forgiveness

Covid-19 has changes the Student Loan landscape with payments being delayed and the prospect of a huge forgiveness program being approved by the US Congress.

Read more »

11 Airbnb Hosting Tips & Secrets From a $20k Super Host

Airbnb hosting tips from a super host.

Are you thinking of becoming an Airbnb host? Are you looking for expert Airbnb Hosting tips? Do you want to earn an extra $10,000 this year?

We’ve been Airbnb Hosts for 5 years and super-hosts for 4 years. We are on track to earn $30,000 this year by renting out three extra bedrooms in our house.

Even though the travel industry is almost shut down right now, this is a great time to be preparing your home for hosting Airbnb guests.

In this article, we’re sharing our top Airbnb hosting tips. Our hope is that you can turn your vacant space into a … Read more »

Glass Bowls to Pack Up Your Lunch – Kitchen Tool #2

Glass Bowls to pack up your lunch can save $1000 a year!

Glass Bowls Provide Lunch Values

Having Glass Bowls so you can bring leftovers for lunch, is the second of our Kitchen Tools series. It will empower you to save thousands of dollars on your food budget.

Why glass bowls? 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! And using glass bowls for lunch can help slash these numbers.

Here’s our second grocery “tool” that will save you lots of money, … Read more »

Why we love Junk Mail

Why do we love junk mail? Find out how we save the planet and stretch our budget all at the same time.

We love junk mail.

Especially insurance agents who send us unsolicited quotes on white paper printed only on one side.

Why? It’s simple.

They’ve just provided us with free paper for our printer.

How we use Free Junk Mail to Save Money

We have a Brother Multi Function printer, scanner, copier fax, but this idea would work with any printer. We have two stacks of paper in bins under the printer: one bin is new paper, the second bin is paper that has been printed on one side (we call it scrap paper). 

Our printer has 2 trays, but … Read more »

29 Free or Cheap Places to Get Copies Made (Near Me)

Copies Near Me: Over 20 free or inexpensive options to choose from.

Copies Near Me is a popular Google Search! You never know when you might need to make a Black & White or Color copy. And finding a place to do that inexpensively, especially if you don’t have your own printer can be challenging!

Even though the world is increasingly paperless, there are going to be times when you’ll need a crisp, clean paper document in your hands.

If you find yourself in need of a copier, then browse this list of 29 different places (in 4 categories) for the best free or cheap copies that will make your life easier!

1. Places to … Read more »

Allowance for Chores? How the 5/50/500 Rule Applies to Your Kids

Should I pay my kids for chores?

Should you give your kids an allowance for doing chores?

“NOOOOO!” … that was our first response.

But years later we reconsidered this decision because we discovered the 5 / 50 / 500 money rule.

There are rules that govern our lives, our world, and the universe. There are also rules that govern the earning, saving and spending of money. Knowing how to operate within the rules usually means success and a more peaceful existence. Violating the rules has the opposite effect.

Preparing your child to live a financially independent life may not be on the top of your to-do list. But … Read more »

Frugal Living Helps You Hurdle to Early Retirement

Frugal Living Helps You Hurdle Towards Early Retirement!

Can Frugal Living make a difference in how soon you retire or is it just a waste of time? We’re going to give you one example of the power of frugal living as it specifically pertains to how soon you can retire.

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

First, let’s calculate how much money you need to retire for a moment.

Most retirement planning projection systems don’t adequately show the impact of frugal living in retirement estimate calculations—probably for good reason. Most people aren’t frugal!

However, the average person has rarely been shown “The Power of Frugal Living” regarding retirement calculation below. … Read more »

10 Great Places to Buy Quality Used Cell Phones & Save

Best Places to buy used cell phones samsung galaxy s8+ and iPhone 8

If you’re in the market to buy a used cell phone, try some of these sites to save some money and get a quality phone.

To make your research easier, we’ve included pricing for a couple of the most popular used cell phones. We’ve also listed the number of phones each site had available at the time of publishing.

Our strategy was to focus on these two phones to get an accurate estimate of platforms that cell phones for less. Our research should apply to other makes and models of cell phones. 

In this article, we researched 8 different places where you could … Read more »