This Frugal Family Has Mastered Living Cheaply

Lauren and Mark Greutman share their secrets for helping families get out of debt.
6:13 | 01/23/15

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Transcript for This Frugal Family Has Mastered Living Cheaply
Already this year, plenty of folk are in need of a financial makeov makeover. Tonight two experts at living on the cheap are going to show us how it's done. They say if you're broke, fix it. And your own home could be the key. Wait until you discover the hidden gold mines that may pave your way out of debt. Here is my "Nightline" Co anchor, juju Chang. Reporter: Hello! The Williams' family is on a treasure hunt with a twist. Coming up with items from their own house with Lauren grutman. We can turn around and sell this in eight hours, cha-ching! Reporter: They can maybe 500 bucks in five minutes. The goal, a rainy day fund to particular start a financial makeover. But some of it isn't easy. The chair. So you have $150 sitting right here. Reporter: And later than is just getting warmed up. This is very expensive. We roast our own coffee at home. Reporter: Why are they willing to auction off their reach it confidence? They're drowning in student loans. They say in their case, $150,000 worth. I understand there is a lot of credit card debt. I used to think it was free money. Reporter: For Lauren and her husband mark, it's a story not just familiar, they lived it. We had no idea where our money was going, suddenly we turn around and $40,000 in debt. But the grut mans say they have gone from being stressed and in debt to financially flush. We wanted to know more about these crash crew swayeders. It's all of 4 degrees. Hi, nice to meet you! Come on in. They have four kids of their own, but they had to start from scratch after losing their dream home during the mortgage crisis. Each and every room of their more modest home is a shrine to penny kitchening. After realizing he was spending thousands every year on takeout coffee, mark started roasting his own. I have this DIY could have me roaster I made. You put the green beans in mere, and turn it on -- And how long does it take to roast the beans? About 12 minutes. So one way I save on laundry detergent. This is $50 of laundry detergent I paid $8 for. What? How do you do that? Coupons and a sale. They basically buy meat from a farmer and have enough frozen to last an entire year. We have a half cow we bought from a local farm in here. That's ground beef. And that's incredible. That's steak. And planning is key. A week's worth of precooked frozen meals saves time and money. Those 22 meals we made this week costs us $150. So we have macaronty and cheese and chicken en chill las. Up in the bedroom, decor designed on the cheap. That's $70. It's incredible. Really beautiful. Thank you. If you were to buy it in the store, it would have easily within a few hundred dollars. They turn the attic from a playroom to an office. And the blog, I'm that lady, dishes out her meal plans to 10,000 followers. We enjoy being frug ral. Reporter: Watching her use coupons at the grocery store is like asking a computer hacker to crack the code. I'm going to get three loaves of bread for $3.79. The bill is down to ten bucks. They estimate over $10,000 in savings every year. So I saved $51. She's just not saving on food bills. She saves on high-quality passion. I can imagine someone raised in an upper middle class family saying I'm not shopping in a thrift store. My values have changed every year. But she has school district rules about what she'll buy. What's this one? That's faded glory. That's Walmart brand. Now that her family's finances are turned around, she says it was much an emotional makeover as a monetary one. We had to get on the same page financially, together. It really was more I think an emotional connection we had to make, rather than a Numbers connection. With all these savings, they said they not only got rid of their debt. They're putting money away for retirement. They enjoy helping other couples, facing financial ruin. Which brings us back to the Williams' and that treasure hunt. Oh, look, there is a foosball table. I think you could sell on craigslist 25 to $50 range. The savings adding up fast. It's literally been 12 minutes since you started. Wow. How much money have you found? Over $1,000 worth of stuff. The grutman's encouraged the Williams yamly to make a budget and cut out expenses like TV channels. . We have to go upstairs and try and find Stevie's shoes. But there is one last closet Steve is nervous to share. These are some of my prices, so, I mean, these are -- these go for 150, $150 a pair on Ebay. $1500 worth of stuff they can sell right now. It's painful. It's sentimental, liens a not. Yeah, you have to give up speakers, I legal I'm losing part of myself. Finding New Jersey savings gives you momentum to you sent have to go into more debt. And that is something this family feels is worth praying for. The total cost for this dinner tonight was right around $7. $116 per person. For night, I'm juju Chang,

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