A few months ago, I received a copy of the book Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree to review. Because of the move and my own disorganization, I am just got around to reading through it. It’s so easy to lose things when you pack up your entire life! At first glance, I thought this was going to be yet another book about not buying a daily latte at Starbucks or washing your clothes only in cold water, but after digging a little deeper I found that it is actually a lot more than that. At 367 pages, it is a solid book packed with tips for being thrifty in your house, at the grocery store, with your family, on your body, and in your wallet. By concentrating on good old fashioned know-how, rather than just about how to be a cheap bastard, the book provides solid advice on how to make do with what you have, how to entertain yourself for little cost, how to fix broken items in your house, and how to shop wisely and avoid waste. There is a huge difference between being cheap and being frugal, as I have discussed before, and this book totally falls on the frugal/being smart side of things. In fact, right up front in the introduction, the authors ask a few questions I think that everyone should ask themselves before they buy any single product:
- Do I need it?
- Does it do what I need it to do?
- Can I fix it myself?
- Can I wash it in household machines?
- Does it take up a lot of space or can it be folded? Does it do double-duty?
- It is safe for my family and my neighbors?
- Does making it use up a lot of endangered materials?
- Does it improve with age? Or will it need to be tossed after a short life span?
- After its useful life, can it be repurposed or reconstituted into something else?
- Does it make me happy for reasons I can or can’t describe?
They also talk about the life lessons of thrifty millionaires, bartering with your friends to save money, buying clothes on Ebay, keeping yourself healthy at home rather than at the doctor’s office, and how napping can act as a free vacation. (And, truth be told, they are right. I nap all the time.) It really is a good book for those looking to be a little more thrifty while still enjoying life, and does it all without judgement or huge sacrifices. I recommend you check it out sometime if you have a chance, but I also have a copy to give away to a lucky reader!
All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post, with a working email address, with your own thrifty/frugal tip that everyone else can learn from.
Here are the rules:
- To enter, please leave a comment (with a valid email address, so we can contact you) with your tip
- Only one entry per person. Period. Please don’t try to use different email addresses, etc, as the IP numbers will be checked.
- Entries must be from residents from the U.S.
- 1 winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received
- Book will be shipped via Media Mail via the USPS
- Giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 26 11:59 pm EST
Good luck everyone!