America’s Cheapest Family is surviving and thriving on less

The cover of the Economides' book "Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half"

Learn to economize like the Economides, "America's Cheapest Family." (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Tiffany Muehli/Self-Reliant Yuppies)

The Economides family of Scottsdale, Ariz., understands what it takes to make it during a recession. While most people struggle to make ends meet and scratch for emergency money, “America’s Cheapest Family” (the Economides’ trademarked title) lives well by the simple principles of making a budget and frugal living. According to, the Economides are the model of what a modern American recession family should be.

‘America’s Cheapest Family’ avoids credit whenever possible

Credit cards, auto loans and squeezing as much equity as possible out of a home are not on the agenda for America’s Cheapest Family. Despite having an expensive home in the golf resort community of Scottsdale, the Economides are able to live on $44,000 per year. And theirs is a family of seven that eats healthy food and wears designer clothing. Their life may seem impossible, but the Economides tell anyone who will listen that bargain hunting and avoiding impulse buying are their key economic strategies. Their current book, “Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half – With America’s Cheapest Family,” is promoted as a game-changer for people who want to embrace frugal living without sacrificing quality.

Having a plan

Planning spending is vital for any family, and that includes planning meals. The Economides economize by planning meals well ahead of time. Forethought saves them from having to make the kind of spontaneous food choices that cost many people more than they should be spending. And the proof is in the numbers for America’s Cheapest Family. Where other families of similar size might spend as much as $2,000 per week on groceries, the Economides spend $350. It can be done. Reasonable portion sizes play a significant part.

Fashionable, but not trendy

The Economides don’t wear ratty, hand-me-down clothing; they wear fashionable brand names. However, as they recently told Matt Lauer on “Today,” they avoid the hook of pricey new trends. Designer jeans may go for $200 in a mall boutique, but if a quality pair of jeans – even one with a designer name – can be had for $10 in a thrift store, it makes sense to buy for less. Saving money carries the day. That’s the philosophy that put the “economy” in Economides.


Shop like an Economides

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