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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review - Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won't Have to Cut Coupons by Steve & Annette Economides











Title: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won't Have to Cut Coupons
Author: Steve Economides, Annette Economides
Year: 2010
Page: 217
Genre: Non-Fiction - Finance

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from goodreads.com):
 
America's Cheapest Family shows readers how to save up to $3,000 annually on groceries with their proven strategies, tips, tools, and tricks.

The average American family spends 10 to 15 percent of its take-home pay on groceries. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half gives them a sure-fire opportunity to reduce that number forever. With the proven plan in this book, the average family can save more than $3,000 a year on its grocery bill.

"Can cutting coupons do that?" a consumer might ask. Of course, these money-saving experts teach coupon-clipping strategies, but they don't stop there. Readers learn how to plan their shopping to save big bucks, effectively store food and save cash, identify products that save time and money, beat the grocer at pricing games, and more!

The Economides learned to deliver healthy, tasty food to their family of seven on $350 a month. In this authoritative manual, the average family can follow their lead and fill its grocery cart without emptying its wallet.

First Sentence:
Cut my grocery bill in half?
  
Why did I pick this book?
Well, who wouldn't want to know more about cutting the grocery bill in half! While we're doing "okay", I am always looking for more ways to save for the future.


My thoughts:
  • There are some good tips there, but most of the tips aren't very new - e.g. check unit pricing, stock up when things are on sale and freeze them, use coupons, price check... their biggest tip is to go shopping once a month, and cook (and freeze) once a month. Husband and I don't like shopping much, so we tend to do one big trip a month, though he does go and stock up other things as needed (or if he sees them on sale) since there is a smaller grocery store on his way home from work. Since we don't have a chest freezer, it's difficult to do the things they suggest. Is it worth getting one? We need to think about it. Husband has been wanting one for a while, but I fear that we'd just put stuff in their and forget about it, then the food would get bad or have freezer burned - you need to be pretty organize and stay on top of things...
  • It's nice that they include other resources, e.g. the chapter on coupon, they includes links to other websites, and state some pro and con about such sites. I don't really coupon, when I come across one, I'll print it out... but then I usually forget to bring it with me, or that it expires before I get to do grocery shopping... 
  • I did learn a little bit of new info, e.g.:
    • (1) eggs - egg suppliers try to have the majority of their hens mature around the largest egg-consumption holidays (times when people do lots of baking such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas). At those times, with most of their chickens laying large or extra large eggs, they sometimes run short of medium eggs. Egg producers can exceed the USDA weights, so they often will substitute large eggs in the medium cartons - so we should check the size and weight of medium eggs to get more for the money at those times.
    • (2) pre-bagged vegetables, e.g. potato or carrots - weigh the bag, usually they weigh more than what the label said. If so, it's a better deal than getting it "loose" per pound.
    • (3) Sometimes, some brand name products do work better than generic products, so you end up using less. Their example was Dawn detergent - while it is more expansive than the others, their did a little experiment (not scientific by any means) and found out they used less than half. Husband and I love watching America's Test Kitchen, especially their product and taste test! And husband loves reading the Consumer Reports, so we try to buy something that gives the best value
  • Now, a lot of the "money saving" tips take time. So I guess my question is, is it worth spending the time to do this? Or is it going to make me more stressed to save a bit of money? I guess I won't know until I try and tally up the time spent and money saved... but with coupons, I found that a lot of time, I need to spend a lot of time to vett the offerings, and usually there are only 1 or 2 coupons I'd likely use (on products we'd buy regardless). Plus I don't want to have to go to several grocery stores to get different due to the time added and extra gas used... 
  • So, I think if you are already pretty savvy about cutting your grocery bills or being frugal, you won't get as much out of this book as someone who never pays much attention about their spending on food
  • You can also go to their website for more info: http://americascheapestfamily.com/
     
    Rating: 3.5 Stars



     
    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!


    Challenges:
    100+ Reading

    3 comments:

    1. We broke down and got a chest freezer, and it has been totally worth it. Yes, there is freezer burn on some stuff, but not all. And the ability to take advantage of great sales, and be ready for unexpected visitors, or for nights when you just don't want to put any effort into cooking, more than compensates!

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    2. I wondered about this book. Sounds like much.of what I do already. Coupons drive me crazy. Would rather buy generic on some to get the good stuff I really want.

      Hope to see you around the blog sometime.
      I am a follower.

      Best,
      Dana@ Book Girl in the Kitchen

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    3. @rhapsodyinbooks - glad to hear the chest freezer works for you! I guess we just have to wait and see if we can find a good deal (and well, need to clear out a space in the basement!) The book did talk about how to avoid freezer burn. I suppose I will need to be discipline and mark everything and organize and pack it well!

      @Dana - Thanks for visiting! I like your blog names, as you may or may not be able to tell, I love food, and I want to learn to cook next year! Sometimes coupons seem much of a hassle - right now I just keep what I come across easily, instead of out searching for them... we tend to be generic though (but some items we find generic is not as good, e.g. frozen sweet corn! The book also mentioned that Dawn detergent was better than the generic ones - they used less with Dawn so saved money that way as the bottle lasts longer.)

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