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Yankee Magazine’s Living Well on a Shoestring

I’ve always had a frugality that bordered on the obsessive. I don’t like to buy extraneous paper products. I almost never buy new clothes. I reuse and repari and recycle as much as I can. It never really occurred to me until reading this book that I might be that was because I’m ffrom New England. This book is a wonderfully attractive compilation of over 1.500 tips for being frugal. The author’s dont expect that everyone is living on povery level wages, but they do explain that saving money on things that you don’t care about leaves you more money to spend on things you do care about. To this end, they intersperse little quizzes between the tips asking questions like “which of these is actually a better buy?” and then explaining why one coupon for dining out might be a better value than buying a coupon book which costs and might encourage more eating out in order to recoup that money.

The illustrations are wonderful and the tips are geared towards people who live a rural or semi-rural lifestyle. It’s a delight to read a book that actually seems to be geared towards the way I live, instead of a city dweller who might have an organic grocery or hardware store two blocks away. The Yankee editors even include little anecdotes about thrifty living and special techniques that can help out as sidebars to the rest of the good information. The writing is good enough that you can just read this book cover to cover though it would also be pretty useful hanging out as a reference on a kitchen shelf too.