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October 30, 2008


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Should be titled "How to Exaggerate Numbers for an Eye Popping Headline"

$5200/year savings on groceries (plus another $200 for "going generic")? Isn't that more than the average family spends total?

If your appliances are not too old, say 15 years or less, then its not really worth it to upgrade to new just for the energy savings.

But If your appliances are 15-20 years or older then it very well might be time to look at replacing them. They keep making appliances more efficient. So the really old ones are particularly inefficient compared to todays models. If your fridge is from the 1980's it may be using $150-200 annually in electricity whereas a new model uses only around $40-50.

Many placses have programs to recycle old fridges :
My utility company even has free pickup plus a cash rebate for recycling an old fridge.


And I agree with Strick that the numbers seem pretty exaggerated. The average American family spent about $3400 for food at home in 2006:

Its probably gone up a ways in the past couple years but I doubt its even hit $5200 yet.


Pretty useless if you are already frugal, we spend less than $5k a year on food so yeah I guess if we stop eating completely we could save that much. I also could live in a cardboard box on skid row and not have to pay for housing, that would save a ton. I hit starbucks maybe once a month, the appliances are new enough to not justify the replacement cost, already buy generic and don't carry a balance on credit cards. Lastly, don't have kids except the 4 legged kind that don't require baby sitters (though they'd probably love the company).

I totally agree on FMF's sitter sharing idea. Not only is the savings huge in terms of cash, but the only "cost" is when it is your turn to sit and, frankly, my kids are easier to watch when there are other kids to play with anyway. Plus, I do feel much more comfortable with my friends watching my kids than some 16 year old who has never raised a child.

I agree on the groceries, too -- I am a frugal shopper in many ways, and yet we buy a lot of organic products, luxury items like cheeses, bought 1/4 organic cow from a local ranch for beef, have an organic CSA farm membership for produce ... and our average monthly grocery cost (including those expenses) is still around $400. We are frugal in many areas, so this is a place where we splurge somewhat -- if it were unimportant to us or we were in dire straits (have been before!) we could cut it, but not by that much. And the problem with the coupon-focused shopping is that you do not save much on things like protein foods, produce and whole grains -- where the nutrients lie!

$6.64 on starbucks a day? Really?

We spend a total of $100 a week on groceries (for 2) and we shop at an organic co-op half the time! They are also assuming a 50% savings from coupons which to me seems quite optimistic.

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