The Economides Family, a.k.a America's Cheapest Family has got to be serious about saving money when you realize their last name literally means "son of a steward" in Greek. Yup. It's their real name.
The cover of Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family by the Economides claims you can free up $3000 or more using their strategies, and they state that they only spend $350 a month (2010 prices) on groceries for a 7-person family. Preposterous hogwash? Not when you realize how they do it.
Their secret is common sense and having a plan and sticking to it. If you approach your grocery shopping with a strategic plan and have a plan on how to stockpile, store, cook and use those foods, you too will save money.
Why Try: The book is packed with common-sense tips such as how to utilize sales, buy in bulk, save on organics, and how to stockpile, store, and cook efficiently. Also included are chapters on how to feed kids and eat out for less, gardening, couponing, and saving strategies for singles/empty-nesters.
Who will most benefit: Newbie frugal shoppers who want to save their hard-earned cash but aren't sure where to start. However, frugal shoppers who already may know most of the tips, might come out with a few new ideas since there are so many strategies included.
Extra plus: Practical next-step summaries at the end of every chapter tailored to different skill levels from the novice ("Timid Mouse") to the big pro ("Amazing Ant"). The "Shopping to Win" chapter also rates strategies based on how much time it will take and the size of money-savings.
Glad they explained: How to do once-a-Month-cooking and getting the most out of a deep-freeze freezer.
Their other secret: Steve Economides gained his knowledge of food marketing while working in the advertising industry as a coupon designer and later on as an advertising sales exec.
What's lacking: Frugal diners out who know already how to save money on eating out will find the eating out chapter lacking. Eating at Arby's or fast food for under $18 may appeal to families but not foodies. There is no mention of checking out hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries or cafes for good prices on amazing food. But they do mention a great diner in New York (the Cosmic Diner) and admit they don't eat out much to begin with since Annette Economides' great Italian-Greek cooking satisfies so well.
In Summary: If you're looking to cut down on your grocery bills for the new year (or any time of year) try this book. It will reveal how stores market to the consumer and how you can keenly use this knowledge to your advantage. The tips can be tried in your next shopping trip, and over time will amp up the savings and grow your money-stewarding skills.