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.
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For many families, Thanksgiving Day – which this year falls on Thursday, November 22nd – marks the beginning of the holiday season. It is a beautiful holiday that encourages us to count our blessings, just as our Pilgrim forefathers did throughout Thanksgiving history.
As Thanksgiving approaches, there are reminders everywhere of the abundance of the things that truly matter: loving families, good friends, plentiful food and the simple joys of nature. As the spirit of the season spreads this timely message, it also offers a gentle reminder that there are others less generously blessed.
Whether you’ll be hosting a feast or hitting the road to join family and friends for a celebration, you probably have a long list of things to do to get ready for Thanksgiving. By the time Turkey Day arrives, it may seem as if the only thing you can feel thankful for is a minute to sit down.
By involving the whole family in your Thanksgiving dinner preparation, you’ll get some help and your spouse and kids will take pride in putting their mark on the festivities.
Finding time to relax, even for a few precious moments, is just as important during the hectic Thanksgiving period as any of the tasks on your to-do list. As Thanksgiving approaches, with the December holidays right on its heels, it brings along a lot of holiday stress. And nothing ruins festivities faster than catching a cold or getting a migraine.
How do you share your wealth, even when you’re feeling broke? Although money has its inherent worth, it is not the only thing of value that we can give to help people in need. Time is precious to all of us, and so sharing some of your time can be a powerful and rewarding way to celebrate the Thanksgiving season.