Steve and Annette Economides and their seven children have been – self-proclaimed – “America’s Cheapest Family” since 1982. They garnered a great deal of media attention in the free-spending 1980’s for their eccentricities: grocery shopping once per month, buying nothing on credit but their homes, paying one home off entirely in nine years and generally eschewing consumerism as a lifestyle. In the midst of the recent economic recession, their budgeting and financial skills no longer seemed eccentric, but essential. In 2010, they published Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family. An MSNBC program on the book shows video footage of their savings in action and provides budgeting tips demonstrating how the Economides feed their family for about $350 per month.
Throughout all of their interviews, books, speaking engagements and dedicated website, the family emphasizes the necessity of planning, organization and dedication in order to embark on a thrifty lifestyle. Many of their tips can be gleaned from media interviews with Steve and Annette easily found on the Internet. Often lost in the excitement of cash savings cited is one of the Economides’ main messages: saving money translates into more time available to be spent with what matters most to you.
The Economides now have a website fittingly named AmericasCheapestFamily.com. Their books are offered for sale on the site, as well as their newest multimedia CD’s, downloadable MP3s and budget packs. Their income is also now partially derived through speaking engagements and seminars. However, if you’ve decided to take their advice to heart, sign up for their free frugal tips by email and check with your local public library to arrange to obtain the books by a free library loan.