Jean Chatzky and the Bradleys

When money coach Jean Chatzky moved in with the Bradleys, she discovered an empty kitchen. Instead of shopping for groceries and cooking at home, the Bradleys were eating out three times a day, seven days a week—but all that's about to change. As Jean points out, the family can save $20,000 if they stop dining out.

To get Lisa started, Jean sets up the Bradley's kitchen with all the supplies they'll need to prepare meals at home. Lisa used to spend $800 a year on plasticware—now, her kitchen is stocked with real dishes that she can wash and reuse.

With a simple four-slice toaster, Jean estimates the Bradleys will save $2,500 a year on breakfast. A coffeemaker will save them another $1,300 a year. Thanks to a new blender, the Bradleys can make their own milk shakes and save an additional $200.
Jean and Lisa go grocery shopping.

It's hard to believe but Lisa tells Jean she has never actually pushed a cart through a grocery store before! Although the supermarket is foreign territory to Lisa, Jean teaches her how to be a savvy grocery shopper on a budget of $150 for a week's worth of meals.

Once the refrigerator is stocked, it's time for Lisa to start cooking. Lisa is a little nervous because she's only prepared a handful of meals in her lifetime, but with Jean's help and her new kitchen accessories, Lisa cooks up a homemade dinner for her family. The Bradleys enjoy their first sit-down family meal in years.

Jean says that she can see the difference that sitting down for family meals has made for the Bradleys. "When I got [here] the first time, this was such an empty house," says Jean. "There were people here but no conversations, no communication, no family time. What putting food on a table does for a family is forces that interaction, forces you to talk about everything—including your money—which helps you get on the right road."
Jean and Lisa enjoy a brisk walk.

Jean says Lisa needs to find an activity to replace her old shopping habits, so she puts Lisa on a pedometer plan—every time Lisa gets the urge to shop, she has to walk instead.

Although shopping makes Lisa happy, Jean says that walking 10,000 steps a day is a much healthier way to boost your mood. So far, the walking is paying off. "It's kind of challenging to try to get to that 10,000 steps a day, so it's like a little competition within myself," says Lisa.

The more Lisa walks, says Jean, the more it will feel like a natural part of her life. "It's not so much that she's breaking the shopping habit," Jean says. "She's replacing it with a good habit. And research has shown you have to do anything 21 times in order to make it a habit."

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