I like reading new frugal books. Even though I find some of the advice repeats, I can always glean something new from a good frugal book. The best thing is that each time I read a book on frugality / couponing / saving money, I am inspired. I am inspired to do more (or do less), and save more (or spend less).
Such was the case with Amy Allen Clark’s new book about The Good Life for Less. Amy is the founder of the website Mom Advice, which I have read occasionally. For that reason, it was interesting to learn more about Amy and, as her tagline says, how to “give your family great meals, good times, and a happy home on a budget.”
The beginning of the The Good Life for Less was my favorite because that was where the focus was on really saving money – via your budget and grocery shopping. Two of Amy’s points here really stuck out.
First, never underestimate the power of a good list. Whether grocery shopping or for life in general, I find this very true. Second, Amy recommends to make fewer trips to the store, even if you spend more per trip. For someone who doesn’t like to grocery shop (like Amy), I can see how this would be very helpful. I do like to grocery shop, so don’t mind the trips to the store, as long as I stick to my list. Otherwise, fewer trips will tend to save you money.
Amy featured a lot of simple, homemade recipes in the middle of her book (75 pages of recipes, to be precise). While they looked like good recipes, and I jotted several down, this was my least favorite part of the book. I would have liked to see fewer recipes and more actual content. I agree with the reasoning behind the recipes, as Amy shared the following quote (page 67).
“For most families, achieving peace and love within the budget begins not just at home, but in the kitchen. This is the place where you can both save and share, pinch pennies and show love. It is the heart of a family’s frugal, happy home.”
I enjoyed reading about bartering and swapping, something I would like to practice more. I also agreed that when you are cooking, you should double everything you can. Make one dish for tonight’s dinner, and another for later. You are saving yourself quite a bit of time by doing this!
Amy also wrote about being productive with your time, and doing every week chores. For example, I do our laundry on Saturday, coupons and menu planning on Sunday, and grocery shopping on Monday. Routines like these help you stay on track with accomplishing chores in the most productive manner possible.
I appreciated the positive outlook of The Good Life for Less. It was an easy and conversational read with many helpful ideas from which any home can benefit. I know mine will! I recommend this book as a good frugal one to read.