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Kay Jean, a wife and mother of two from Illinois, says that when she looks around her home, she regrets all the stuff she's purchased over the years. Though most of her cabinets and shelves are loaded with nonperishable food and drinks, Kay Jean says she still shops almost every day, stockpiling items for her family. "I think I got 50 or 60 boxes of granola bars, and 10 bags of chips," she says. "All this excess can put my life out of balance because I'm trying to keep my family secure."

Fifteen years ago, Kay Jean says everything she owned could fit into two suitcases. "I was really happy," she says. Now, she wonders if her husband, Jon, and their children would be better off if they learned to live with less.

To help this family simplify their lives, Oprah challenged them to follow six rules for one week:
  • No computer.
  • No spending, except $25 for perishables like bread, milk and eggs.
  • No eating out.
  • No car. The children must walk to school, and Jon must carpool to work.
  • No TV at night. They must do a family activity that doesn't involve the television.
  • Think about those struggling to make ends meet who may need what they don't.

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FROM: Oprah's "What Can You Live Without?" Experiment
Published on March 02, 2009

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