Save your family $50,000

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Amy Buckman visits frugal mom Kris Hagopian in her Chester County home.  Kris has written a book, &#34;Brilliant Frugal Living.&#34;  How frugal?  Kris says she furnished her entire living room for about &#36;100.  The couch and loveseat were purchased from a thrift shop for &#36;20.  Kris made the covers and matching curtains using inexpensive fabric.</span></div>
May 8, 2009 9:59:27 AM PDT
We chatted with Kristen Hagopian, author of "Brilliant Frugal Living," in the antique-filled living room of her 19th century Chester County farmhouse. A living room she furnished for $100.

Kris bought her sofa and loveseat for $20 at a thrift shop along with $1 pillows. She made the matching curtains and slipcovers and got the accent chairs for free when a neighbor had new furniture delivered. And she bought the piano for $40 at a thrift store that specializes in antiques.

Kris has fancy taste, but since she quit the corporate world to become a stay-at-home mom, she and her husband have turned saving money into a lifestyle. Not to mention a book and a website.

Take the food shopping, which she does at a small "discount gourmet grocery" instead of a supermarket.

She says she and her husband used to spend about $800 a month on food, when you count groceries and dining out. Now, she spends about $300 a month to feed a family of four. A self-described "food snob," she chooses mainly organic items.

She showed us food she bought for just over $30 at B B's Grocery Outlet in Elverson. At a chain store, the total would've been $170.

Kris bought her children's summer wardrobes -- another $30 expenditure -- at a church sale. And she only buys name brands. She says she finds her kids wear through less expensive clothes and if you have to buy new clothes, they're no longer inexpensive.

Kris is so sure that her strategies will help other families save money, she offers a money-back guarantee on her book. If you use her strategies and don't save $10,000 in a year, she'll refund the purchase price.

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