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America's Thriftiest Family (On Oprah Today) - Page 2

post #21 of 88
I don't think it's THAT unpractical to say an average family of 6 would spend $500/year on haircuts. $20 haircut including tax and tip which is actually pretty darn cheap x 6 people x 4 or 5x a year = between $450 and $600.

She did give one recipe for the $4 meal - 1 whole chicken, potatoes, veggies, olive oil, and bbq sauce. Sounds about right if it was on sale.
post #22 of 88
Okay so the family that was being helped on the show said their monthly income was $8000, that's $96,000 in net income! Now, the wife said she had recently been laid off so I'm assuming the $8000 is only the husband's income??? Definitely not an average American income.

I missed the first part about the "thriftiest family in America" so I'm not sure what all their tips were.

I know most of these shows don't really cater to the people on this board that already live frugally by nature. However, I think they are helpful to "average" Americans. Americans are so excessively wasteful. It is sad that we have to have shows like this and there are people that really don't know what they are spending money on every month.
post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
I don't think it's THAT unpractical to say an average family of 6 would spend $500/year on haircuts. $20 haircut including tax and tip which is actually pretty darn cheap x 6 people x 4 or 5x a year = between $450 and $600.

She did give one recipe for the $4 meal - 1 whole chicken, potatoes, veggies, olive oil, and bbq sauce. Sounds about right if it was on sale.
huh??? we just bought a whole chicken a few weeks ago and it was almost 20 dollars! Where are you finding four dollar chicken?!
post #24 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryFields View Post
Well, I didn't watch the show, but the Parade article sounds more like "America's Most Average Family" to me. Honestly, nothing in the article really stood out to me. I don't exactly hang with people who consciously pinch pennies or live a thrifty life but most everyone I know buys their kids clothes second hand or on the Target clearance rack. No one I know hires out for home repairs, has a fancy new car with a DVD player, or waters their lawn. I thought it was all a part of being regular, ordinary members of the working & middle class. Little did I know that it would qualify people who I don't even THINK of as pinching pennies as "the MOST THRIFTY family in ALL OF AMERICA."
ITA. You said it much better than I.

I do know people who don't shop clearance, wouldn't use coupons, don't care about prices, etc... But, they definately aren't "average" income (they are usually two income, high wage, often no kid households). Living on $58K after taxes a year isn't frugal, it's barely "average" to me.
post #25 of 88
I also didn't think the haircut thing was way out of line.

DH (military) $7x 50 weeks = $350
Me = $30 x 6 times a year = $180

Luckily, my toddler doesn't mind me cutting his hair. I refuse to pay $15 at one of those kidcut places.
post #26 of 88
The chicken looked to me to be leg quarters at 49cents/lb. I saw mostly thighs and legs. I did see a big 49cents/lb sign.

I have never seen a $20 chicken. The cheapest I can get whole chicken though is $1.69/lb at the Mennonite butcher.
post #27 of 88
OMG!! Whole chickens costing close to $20!!! The cheapest whole chicken around is $1.69/lb!! <<faint>>

I buy whole chickens here when they go on sale for $.58/lb or less (sometimes I get them for $.29/lb). Granted they are non-organic, just plain/regular chickens.....but still. We'd probably never eat chicken again if we had to pay close to $20 for a single, whole chicken. I usually pay around $3.00 (-ish) for a whole chicken when I buy one.

Anyhoo.....to comment on the thriftiest family, I did read the Parade article months ago. They were doing very little different from what I do and what other *thrifty* people I know do in their daily lives. Maybe Oprah should put Amy Daczygen (I know I didn't spell that right......) on her show sometime!
post #28 of 88
What? A $20 whole chicken?? They don't even cost that much if you get it rotisserie here! A raw whole chicken is often on sale for around $5 here, and sometimes we can get a rotisserie chicken from the deli for 2.99.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
She’d love to send the three oldest boys to science camp, “but $500 is $500. I have to think about what we could do with even half that money.”
i don't understand this bit. if my home and car were already paid for and we were bringing in 4800 net a month, you'd bet that i'd send my kids to science camp if they wanted to go even if it cost $500. i don't see not sending them as being frugal, i see it as being tight. sure enough they are trying to pay debt off.. so are we.. but if there was an enriching oppurtunity that my dd's wanted to go to and we could clearly afford it (like this family can), then i'd have no hesitation in sending them and delaying that $500 extra debt payment till the next month.
i don't know.. this just kind of peeved me off about the article. there is a fine line between being frugal and smart with finances and just being plain ole tight.

[putting my flame proof suit on]
post #30 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
I don't think it's THAT unpractical to say an average family of 6 would spend $500/year on haircuts. $20 haircut including tax and tip which is actually pretty darn cheap x 6 people x 4 or 5x a year = between $450 and $600.

She did give one recipe for the $4 meal - 1 whole chicken, potatoes, veggies, olive oil, and bbq sauce. Sounds about right if it was on sale.
20 dollars a haircut? Are you serious? Sheesh, we spend 7 dollars a haircut for DH but that's only in the winter. In the summer we use clippers at home. Same for DS. DD doesn't have enough hair yet and I just have my mom trim mine.

And there's no way I could get a whole chicken, veggies, olive oil and bbq sauce for four dollars. That would cost me at least 20 dollars here.
post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamelia View Post
i don't understand this bit. if my home and car were already paid for and we were bringing in 4800 net a month, you'd bet that i'd send my kids to science camp if they wanted to go even if it cost $500. i don't see not sending them as being frugal, i see it as being tight. sure enough they are trying to pay debt off.. so are we.. but if there was an enriching oppurtunity that my dd's wanted to go to and we could clearly afford it (like this family can), then i'd have no hesitation in sending them and delaying that $500 extra debt payment till the next month.
i don't know.. this just kind of peeved me off about the article. there is a fine line between being frugal and smart with finances and just being plain ole tight.

[putting my flame proof suit on]
I had the exact same thought. Some things in life are worth it.

I'd rather have a memory of a lifetime than $500. And I do remember trips and camps (well... not ALL of them, but the ones I liked!). And so I'd rather have my kid have a memory of a lifetime than $500. Don't get me wrong, if we need that $500 (for bills... consumer debt... or FOOD) then sorry kiddos, no science camp. But if we're in the clear like they are... well, sheesh, what's the point of the money if you can't enrich your lives?

$500 on designer outfits? Nah.
$500 on a DVD collection? Nah.
$500 on science camp my kid is dying to go to? YEAH!!!!!!!
post #32 of 88
Cheapest haircut around here is $16. Not such a great haircut, either... Anyway, I was dissapointed with the show, too. I mean, I cannot imagine anyone putting that family's budget on this board. Can you imagine what we would all say? Hey, $650 a month on clothes is $50 more than my whole family's clothing budget for a year. But, still, almost everyone lives up to their current income, so when it suddenly drops by 1/2 or more, of course there is an adjustment. Ss I didn't learn anything from that show. And, yes, I am very doubtful of the electricity savings on the first woman. We put almost everything on a strip switch and kept circuits off about one year ago. And we saved maybe $20 on electricity a month. But, then again, we may not use anywhere near as many appliances as the "upper average income" family in America. I wish someone would do a show on people with lower incomes. There are so many people making it on lower salaries... But Oprah's demographics are really higher middle class, so that might not appeal to her audience.
post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
20 dollars a haircut? Are you serious? Sheesh, we spend 7 dollars a haircut for DH but that's only in the winter. In the summer we use clippers at home. Same for DS. DD doesn't have enough hair yet and I just have my mom trim mine.

And there's no way I could get a whole chicken, veggies, olive oil and bbq sauce for four dollars. That would cost me at least 20 dollars here.
Yes, totally serious. I'm a former hairstylist and worked at cost cutters (basically like Great Clips). Last time I looked a haircut was $13.95. Add tax and it's basically $15. Add tip, anywhere from $2 to $5 is average, and you get $17-$20. Where are you all finding $7 haircuts?! Or is that just for military people? (We had a military discount as well, though i can't remember what it was.) And $20 chickens for that matter?! I hate to say it, but I just don't buy that the cheapest you could buy a whole raw chicken is $20.

She only factored in what they USE of the olive oil and bbq sauce - not the whole containers. If I shopped on sale, and my dh didn't eat past when he was full, it would not be that hard to make that meal for $4 and it would feed our entire family.
post #34 of 88
Military hair cuts are usually $7 on base. DS gets his hair cut at the base barber shop too. I haven't seen that price off base though.

I don't think they're particularly frugal, just average. They make more than a lot of families.

I also think the year and half old chocolate is gross.
post #35 of 88
I missed it cause dd wanted to watch Arthur and Cyberchase and then I was too sleepy to watch it when it re-aired at 1 am. I just read the article, though..eh, the tips were so-so...we basically do all these things..including remodeling our own 195o's style ranch that used to belong to my grandparents. Good luck getting into the cheapy movie theatre with the smuggled goodies now guys...oops...shouldn't have let that cat out of the bag...looks like they are going to have to start paying full price..here come that Heinz family! Check the tote bags! No don't...it's full of old nasty candy! EEWWW!
post #36 of 88
Ubermama...guess I'm not all that thrifty..how does one get free chocolate eggs?? And does this work on Halloween candy too? :
post #37 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
I had the exact same thought. Some things in life are worth it.

I'd rather have a memory of a lifetime than $500. And I do remember trips and camps (well... not ALL of them, but the ones I liked!). And so I'd rather have my kid have a memory of a lifetime than $500. Don't get me wrong, if we need that $500 (for bills... consumer debt... or FOOD) then sorry kiddos, no science camp. But if we're in the clear like they are... well, sheesh, what's the point of the money if you can't enrich your lives?

$500 on designer outfits? Nah.
$500 on a DVD collection? Nah.
$500 on science camp my kid is dying to go to? YEAH!!!!!!!
well yeah exactly! money is meant to enrich your life, your not meant to drown in it (whether it's drowning by debt or by having too much for your own good). i just got the feeling that they were tight and not necessarily frugal.
post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
Ubermama...guess I'm not all that thrifty..how does one get free chocolate eggs?? And does this work on Halloween candy too? :
This is just one way, but -- around each candy holiday (Halloween, Easter) there are usually coupons in the newspaper for $1 off two bags of Cadbury, Hershey's, etc. The bags are probably around $2 each full price, but go on clearance close to or after the holiday, sometimes as much as 75% (or more!). Those $2 bags of chocolate eggs are now $.50 each, and with your $1-off-two coupon they're now free.

The trick is in the timing -- these coupons often expire on the day after the holiday, and the clearance is often really picked over almost immediately. It helps to befriend the clerk at the supermarket or CVS so you can ask them when they'll be doing their markdowns, and get there first. I especially like it when I know the computer is ringing 75% off, but the clerks haven't changed the signs yet.

ETA -- I just wanted to add that I eat my free candy right away, I don't ever save it for the next year!!
post #39 of 88
dr worm, no free chocolate eggs.. she just bought them at 75% off last easter and is saving them.

umm, one of my favourite parts is shopping for eggs.. and there are always sales, especially the day before easter sunday when they are ridding of stock - everything is at 50% off. i'll pay the 25% extra and have my eggs fresh thanks. there are some things just not worth the small saving.. chocolate is FOOD (i.e to be consumed). it's not like we are talking about clothes from a thrift shop where there is no difference in them being this year or last years stock.

ok i'm gonna shut up now.
post #40 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ13 View Post
ugh!
: How about doing a show where people are being creative and really "shaving" money ($10 or $100) here and there because that's they only way they can live and not rack up CC debt and be materialistic. Not "shaving" 2k off. a month...
I totally agree!
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