About Frugal Guru Guide
I’m Jenny, the resident Frugal Guru here, a homeschooling work-at-home mom of three. I work hard for my money, and I know that you do, too. Everyone wants to get the best “bank for their buck,” but many people struggle figuring out how to do that.
I’m here to help!
Frugal Guru Guide began as not so much as an idea as an argument!
For many years, I have watched our finances closely, developing strategies that let me spend money where it would help my family the most. We live on the East Coast in one of the most expensive regions of the country, and at times, we’ve suffered tough financial setbacks, from getting caught with two houses when the housing market crashed to this year grappling with a fifth mouth, a 4% increase in our tax rates, and no raises for my husband.
Yet through thrift, luck, and the grace of God, we’ve kept our heads above water in the hard times and pushed forward into the good. One painful year, the only thing that stood between us and foreclosure was my ability to buy the things we need for a fraction of the price that families usually spend.
Over that entire year, I fed my family of three on $35 of groceries a week. That was before I understood how to coupon–today I could do the same thing for $25 to $30. And we ate well, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and wholesome cuts of meat. In fact, since we simply couldn’t afford junk food, we ate more healthily then than we do now, I’m ashamed to say!
Then and later, I frequently found myself in heated discussions with people about the true cost of living and what people really need to pay for things like food, clothes, and transportation. I have met people who are absolutely convinced that eating out is cheaper than cooking, and I’ve found many more who argue that the maximum monthly food stamp allowance is far too restrictive to actually feed a family.
But even now, when money isn’t tight, I spend less than half the $130 per week that food stamps provide. When I explain this, these same people either say that we must be eating nothing but rice and beans or that I am either mistaken or lying.
That left be frustrated and baffled until I realized that just telling people what I do without showing them how I do it doesn’t help anyone. However I puzzled I was about how they can walk into a grocery store and manage to spend four or more times what I do, they are completely at a loss to understand how I could possibly spend so little, especially when my family eats so well.
So rather than argue, I decided to talk to people to figure out what they were doing that resulted in their spending so much, and then I wrote a book to teach people like them how to transform their expensive habits into thrifty ones. In this way, I could actually create a service for people who want to control their costs but don’t know how.
And that would help families build wealth, too. My may have heard, “a penny saved is a penny earned,” but it’s not true. Saving a dollar is even better than making a dollar for most Americans! Even if you don’t pay net federal income tax, everyone who is employed has to pay Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and often state and local and sales taxes. It would take most Americans $1.10 to $1.50 earned to equal the value of just one dollar that’s saved.
So over the course of a year, I researched and wrote and researched some more until I produced my first how-to book to teach people of any level of shopping and cooking skill how to save tons of money on groceries.
Yet as I was working, I realized that groceries were just one of many areas of their financial life where people spend far more than they need or want. Cars, clothes, housing… The list went on and on. So instead of stopping at groceries, I created this website, the Frugal Guru Guide, where I could publish books about all kinds of consumer spending as well as money management.
I renamed that first book The Frugal Guru’s Guide to Groceries and More. And the rest is history.