Oprah on Thrifty Ways to Manage your Money and Stretch your Budget

I am loving Oprah today for showing us the goods on the 'Thriftiest Family in America'.

I started our new budget one month ago and the changes have been nothing short of a miracle.

Changes in our spending. We have even started saving. That has NEVER happened since the day we got married 16 years ago.

Even though we have saved a ton of money since we started, I know that we can do better with some frugal education and money stretching tips.

Oprah to the rescue.


Here are a few of the things from the show that I found particularly interesting and helpful. 

Since the recession has hit the news, people have been making a shift in the way they think to be able to live within their means instead of beyond their means.

We certainly have this past month. My only regret is that we didn't do it A LOT earlier.

Like 10 years earlier. 

Yet, some people are afraid that they will feel like they are missing out.

I haven't felt that way at all. In fact my life feels so much richer that I am in complete awe. As Oprah says, many are feeling that their lives are richer. I am!


When the money's gone, it s gone. 

Use the envelope system (life changing).

Take calculator to the grocery store.

The spending just stops at a certain point.

Friends swapped their living room sofa's for a new look for both.


Holiday at home – backyard camping.

A lady had a plum tree in her back yard and made jam for gifts. Shock and awe that she could do it herself with fruit from her own backyard. Why do we never notice to use what we have in our own backyard? Time to get self sufficient. Woo Hoo!

And guess what? There is NOTHING like home grown food. Nothing. 

Plan your garden this year! You can do it in containers. Stay tuned for more coming on this idea. 


So I couldn't wait to find out all about making healthy meals for $4 per meal.

Guess what Sue Heinz said when Oprah asked what they are eating.

She said, healthy, nutritious meals.

Guess how much you save when you leave the junk and processed food on the shelves?

Enough to get veggies and good food. That's how much. 

What else? Base your meals around what's on sale. It's all about planning.

Never pay full price.

I'm off to get the grocery store sales flyer and see if I can get me some coupons! 

Oprah says in the past 18 months that milk and eggs have gone up 19%, cheese 23%. I'm not surprised. We used to shop on under $100 per trip. That went up to an average of $240+ in what seemed like a very short time.

Our milk? Used to cost 2.99. Now it is $5 – $7. You do the math.

So here are some grocery budgeting tips from the show.

Coupons. Coupons. Coupons.

That seems to be the first tip. They call her the Coupon Mom.

Plan meals around store sales. About 1/2 hour a week planning can make a real difference.

You can get coupons off the internet.

Plan grocery shopping online.

Take your clipboard! Keep notes.

Buy fresh produce when on sale in season or buy frozen. 

By your meat by featured sale, shop ahead so you never pay full price.

Shop at the bakery mark down table or cart. You can get some amazing deals in these in the bakery, produce and grocery section. 

Always ask your store if they double coupons.

Ask how does the individual store's buy one get one free work. Sometimes they charge half price for one of the items rather than making you buy two. If you use a coupon with it, you rock!

Bottomline. Bring a load of coupons.

Gotta store loyalty card?

You CAN combine store promotions with coupons.

Buy two or three copies of paper that has coupons if you can use them and the paper costs less than the coupons of course.

Electronic coupons can go on store loyalty card. Find details in the store.

The Coupon Mom figures that she has saved 72,000 dollars. US over the past 15 years!

See more about using coupons and Stephanie's tips on how to save big on Oprah.com

She calls it strategic shopping. CEO of your family. You betcha! 

You can get a few download sites to get coupons online in Canada and the US at my other blog

Save On Groceries 


I love the tip from Dylan Ratigan from CNBC Headquarters to talk to your grandparents or parents about the days when it wasn't so easy to get credit.

I guess I am older than I thought because I remember those days well.

I remember when it was odd to even have a credit card.

If you didn't have it, you didn't spend it.

Not only because you couldn't, but because it was like a badge of honour to be out of debt and not to borrow.

To live within our means.

Man, times have changed. 

Looks like we've come full circle. 


Anything that is not essential goes.

After sitting down and doing a tally, it is found that the 'challenge family' is on the road to spending beyond their means after a job layoff.

Many family's do indeed live beyond their means without knowing it. 

How can this happen?  How can a family be living beyond their means and not even know?

It's called credit.

Happens to the best of us.

Or at least it did.

Not any more!


I was really surprised when they hubby was impressed with the concept of using a debit card to pay as you go, and how it would really reduce stress come bill time. But it's a really good illustration of the way our mindset works once we fall into a habit. Especially a habit of using credit.

Somehow the obvious and logical goes right by us. Along with our money. 


Research is your friend. Google your towns name plus free stuff or free meals etc and things pop up. Great tip!

Dropping land line and using cell instead can save a ton of money.

Unplug to save $$$ on your hydro bill. I can't wait to try this one myself. The hydro bill is next on our cutting block.


That's the key. I call it a control.

Common sense. What are you spending? Need vs want.

A lot less stress.

Amen. That's the thing that has amazed me the most.

Oprah says that living within in your means enriches your life. She is right on the money.

I feel so good that I can clearly see that spending on credit was vastly reducing my life.

How ironic.


It's about making the most of your local resources.

Local library. Love it!  You can get free movies, books and lots of other goodies right at your local library. If you have smaller kids, it makes a great outing.

Kids eat free day. Lots of restaurants have these days. Use the google tip to find them. 

Local Trails. If you've got them, most places do these days, use them! Walking, biking, roller blading etc is a lot of fun, and even more fun as a family. Most of these trails are free to use and great exercise.

Beach; If you have a beach handy, you have it made in the shade all summer long.

Your Own Front Lawn. There is so much that you can enjoy in your own home. Many of us don't get to spend enough time enjoying our homes. Now is the time.

Mini Vacation. Rather than go for a full hog vacation, do a one nighter at the local hotel. Make sure it has a pool. Kick back. Let the kids bring friends. Do it in the winter when rates are discount. We do this and I love it. It seems like a lot but it's a lot cheaper than a full out holiday and it is refreshing and revitalizing. And fun! 


Oprah ends the show by talking about learning what you CAN control.

This is key because often times we are frozen with inaction because we feel that there is nothing we can do, or that what ever we do will not be effective.

That is so untrue.

All you need to do is find out what you CAN do. There is always something.

And often it is so much more than you think.

Often, it's just a matter of doing something. Of focusing on the solution. Of getting out of lala land and back into your own life. 

This applies to your budget. And it applies to keeping your house in order and functional. And pretty much anything that is up to you. That is waiting only for you to take action.

Move that booty.

That's what it takes. 


I mentioned that I've been on a totally new path this past month after saying enough is enough and sitting down to put together an easy budgeting system.

It's so good, I can tell you truthfully that it has changed our lives around here.

I've started a saving account. It has money in it!

We as a family are working together. We used to be busy going in all directions. Now we are a team.

I spend less. And have more.

More clear spaces. More peace. More time because there is less to look after and trip over. And stress about because I know I shouldn't have. Now I don't.

I couldn't be happier.

I knew right away that I had to share, that many of you could really be 'Making Change' of your own..

And then I came up with a great idea.

Even though I have been working on it every chance I get for weeks now, I'm going to give it away free.

When you see how much money it is saving you after the first month and how much you love being back in control of your money, you can send me what ever you think it has been worth to you.

I'm going to make this offer for the next month to see how it goes. So grab it now.

I have set up a notification list. All you need to do is sign up (nope, I'm no going to sell you name and address to anyone :0) and I will let you know when it's ready and send it to you.

That's it.

I'll include my paypal address and mailing address so that you can send me a cheque for the amount of your choice when you change your life. I know you will be so happy that you are going to want to.

No strings. If you don't find that it does anything for you, send nothing. 

That's better than any guarantee out there.

So, here's the sign up page. You'll also get a free ecourse called Frugal Living on a Budget.

And you will get the complete Making Change package which includes everything you will need to make change. Don't miss out.

Making Change Simple Home Budget System – Get your money for nothing. 

About the Author

Jan Ferrante

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Want More Great Content?

Check Out These Articles