America's Cheapest Family (cross-posted in N&CE) - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-30-2007, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Finally, a terrific story about a large family!

They are raising seven children on an annual income of $35,000 a year, with NO debt. Wow!
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:25 PM
 
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Amazing.

Though I have to wonder what their diet is like. If they only go shopping once a month they aren't getting much in the way of fresh veggies unless they have a garden.

And they where buying coolwhip. See, thats the thing the gets me is most coupons are for junk food.

But still WOW :
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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I agree, I wonder how much fresh food they are eating. I get their newsletter and its not bad and has some good ideas. Their pantry is a lot bigger than mine though! They had an interesting article about stocking your pantry in their last one.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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Thanks for the link- I will have to check their newsletter sounds like it might have some good tips!
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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I have their book on my desk right now.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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I'm thinking about trying to grocery shop less frequently after watching this family. I have done it in the past, and it does save money for us.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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I see all of you asking about fresh food, In the first few clips i saw plenty of fresh vegetables being cut up.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:13 PM
 
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Oh, yeah, meant to say...

When I shopped once a month, the first week, we ate all the stuff that was very, very perishable. That's the week we had salad with meals, asparagus, that sort of thing. The second and third week, you eat heartier vegetables. Stuff like cabbage and potatoes. And, by the 4th week, we're eating frozen vegetables. I don't have a big problem with frozen veggies myself, so I'm okay with that. And, I tend to shop once a month in winter, so the only veggies in season are cabbage and potatoes anyway. (We don't really eat, say, a tomato caprese salad in February )

We don't drink much milk, so I'll buy a 1/2 gallon the first week, it lasts about 10 days, we go about 4 days without, then I buy another 1/2 gallon for the rest of the month. Cheese will last the month. Sour cream--depends on the date on the package. We might have to buy more half way through the month. Eggs will last the month. (We are close to egg producers here, though, so I don't know if we get that long shelf life cause ours are pretty local) We usually eat about 2-3 loaves of bread a month, and I need to buy a loaf at the middle shop.

So, except for milk, sour cream, and bread, we're okay for the once a month.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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I don't understand how that is possible at all. How can they put extra toward their mortgage, to pay the mortgage off in 9 years? And at the beginning, they had a lot of kitchen gadgets and decor all over the house, how did they buy all that stuff? Do they just have no savings?

Single mom of 2 boys
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:22 PM
 
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BetsyS explained what I meant about fresh veggies.

$350 a month is what they spend on grocery's. Anybody know what state they are in? That IMO is important as far as cost of living
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Benji'sMom View Post
I don't understand how that is possible at all. How can they put extra toward their mortgage, to pay the mortgage off in 9 years? And at the beginning, they had a lot of kitchen gadgets and decor all over the house, how did they buy all that stuff? Do they just have no savings?
Good questions. I heard they get their furnishing off the internet used.

But i have no clue about their mortgage and how much was the house?
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure they're in Arkansas.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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They live in Arizona.

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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Old 08-30-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddlermama16 View Post
Finally, a terrific story about a large family!

They are raising seven children on an annual income of $35,000 a year, with NO debt. Wow!
Not to pick nits, but it's only 5 kids. Family of 7=2 parents+5 children.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benji'sMom View Post
I don't understand how that is possible at all. How can they put extra toward their mortgage, to pay the mortgage off in 9 years? And at the beginning, they had a lot of kitchen gadgets and decor all over the house, how did they buy all that stuff? Do they just have no savings?
different people have different prioritys and strict budgeting can make it possible.

also the kitchen gadgets dont have to be expensive or even brand new to have them. Most can br brought at goodwills etc for under $5, dollar general sells them brand new for very cheap, and if you follow sales and take advantage of rebates you can get appliances for $10 and under.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennnk View Post
Not to pick nits, but it's only 5 kids. Family of 7=2 parents+5 children.

Hmmm...I'm wrong, I think. I was thinking of the family with 17 (or so kids). I don't know where this family lives.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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I just finished their book (from the library, natch) and really like it. I'm even considering buying it, lol. Anyway, re: the fresh fruits and veggies, they lived w/ uber black-belt frugality to save the $$ for a house w/ land to grow fruits and veggies, so they now have a big garden and orchard. They also explain, as another poster already has, how to plan your produce purchases and meal plans so you're eating the more perishable fruits/veggies first. IMO they sound waaaay healthier eaters than say, Amy D., but they certainly aren't organic this-or-that aside from what they grow, I presume.

They're also homeschoolers! Their website kind of put me off (I thought it was too "BUY (our book/newsletter)NOW and SAVE!!!), but after reading their book, they seem like a really cool family.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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i saw them on tv earlier this year...i love the walkie talkies although dh would never talk to me about food prices via walkie talkie, i think it shows great teamwork!

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Old 08-30-2007, 10:00 PM
 
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The news clip shows them buying brussel sprouts, green peppers, etc.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennnk View Post
Not to pick nits, but it's only 5 kids. Family of 7=2 parents+5 children.
Yes, thank you, I was going to post this. NOT 7 kids, FIVE. Irritating that the video introduction guy says that.

Also, I don't want my family to eat the way they do. I read their book a few months back. They have some sound ideas. All of which I do. But I'll never save that much at the checkout counter because I will never buy a mountain of boxed cereal. Or the cheap mac&cheese because I can get a steal on it and feed my family for months on it. For some this works, and I am happy for them, as well as I envy their grocery bill.

I do recommend their book. I especially liked what they do with allowance.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
The news clip shows them buying brussel sprouts, green peppers, etc.
Yup, and frozen corn and a GIANT turkey. And I'm not sure why they're pureeing the carrots and onions (soup, maybe?) but the dinner it showed them ALL cooking & eating seemed pretty healthy to me. Would making their own whipped cream be healthier? Sure. But it wouldn't be cheaper, not when you can get cool whip for 89c on sale, and then a 50c off coupon makes it 39c, and then you have a double coupon discount (they were shopping at Safeway, they used to have these, not sure if they still do) and it winds up being free.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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Forgot to say the cover of their book is cute- looks like it is made from cardboard taped together

DH and I use the walkie talkies to shop and stuff. So handy!

ITA that coupons are for the brand name junk I'm not interested in for the most part.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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Did a quick read of the book (from the library) a few weeks ago. The advice that will have the biggest impact on our family's bottom line is to reduce number of grocery shopping trips. We are not quite ready for 1x/month, but would really like to work on every other week. Food continues to be a ginormous item in our budget, and each little trip for one or two items ends up being $50 because x,y, and z looked really good too. I have seen big non-grocery savings from avoiding Target this month; think I will try avoiding the co-op/grocery store in September (just going every other week)...hmm, this would also force me to get that meal planning in order!

I was also very envious of their orchard; would love to be able to wander into the backyard and gather fresh fruit!
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