Being a frugal soul I love reading as a form of entertainment, it’s cheap and enjoyable and I can learn new stuff. Of course as a good frugal soul I don’t go rushing out and buying new books, the library is my go to place in the first instance.
As you will see from my recent post on the best frugal books to read many of them are classics that have stood the test of time.
What I have found a little lacking is fresh meat – new books on frugal living that meet the standards I have set for my frugal bookshelf.
For a book to make it onto my bookshelf, and stay there, it needs to have great tips, of which some are new to me.
It needs to have the authors’ life interwoven in it so I get to know them a little and how they have lived frugally. I don’t just want a list of tips – I’ve already got plenty of those.
In essence the author needs to not just talk frugal living, they need to walk it and prove they live it.
New Kid On The Block
Earlier this month I got the chance to get my hands on a brand new book by Amanda Kintz who has a lovely blog CrunchyHippieLife.
I already knew her blog so her book was one I wanted to read as a potential new (frugal) kid on the block.
Amanda’s story is right up to date, no 20th century living here. She and her husband got married in 2013 and had a baby the following year.
To say they lived on a low income doesn’t quite cut it. They lived on an extremely low income, just $16,000 (£13k).
They didn’t just live on that low income, they continued to pay down their student loans and support 2 children through a monthly sponsorship programme.
With that kind of summary I knew they had to know some extreme frugal living tips and I wanted to know more.
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Down To Earth
What I found really refreshing was the complete lack of a pity party throughout the book. There was no hint of feeling hard done by because of their low income.
It’s all about, hey look we happened to have a low income and this is how we made it work.
Amanda has also renamed the Jones’ – you know the people we apparently are always trying to keep up with? Now they are the Jones-ashians, a perfect name for the millennial version.
The down to earth honesty is a bit of a wake up call. When talking about their extremely low grocery budget she is upfront about her soapbox.
“If your budget is tight out of necessity and you have to eat cheaply, your health cannot afford for you to be a picky eater”.
She is speaking my language. When you want or need to live on a low income you cannot have a long list of foods you ‘don’t like’ or won’t eat.
Learn to like them folks – especially the cheap healthy stuff like lentils and beans!
You may also like: When Money Is Tight, How to Enjoy A $35/£30 Grocery Budget For 2
Focus On Frugal Health
One of the stand out features of Dirt Cheap Adult is the no nonsense information about making your own natural products that Amanda provides.
She is minimal on the fuss and focuses on what is good for your health, naturally and cheaply.
The chapters on natural medicine and DIY hygiene products are why this book will remain on my bookshelf.
She provides solid, honest advice and reassuringly explains how you don’t need lots of expensive ‘natural’ products, nor do you need to grow acres of weird and obscure herbs.
You may also like: 50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly
My favourite paragraph and one I think should actually be at the very beginning instead of the last chapter talks about the lessons Amanda and her husband have learned.
The paragraph is entitled “Not A Victim” and is a powerful message that I think everyone should read and take on board. A short excerpt from that paragraph is:
“You are not a victim of what your money “did” to you”.
That is a message I think we could all do well to remember. We are not victims of our money and therefore we can control our money if we make the right choices.
And that is the premise of Amanda’s book. She provides you with advice, tips and opportunities to make the right choices for you and your individual circumstances.
You won’t choose every aspect of how Amanda and her husband survived on such a low income.
But you will have an arsenal of tips for every aspect of your life so you can save money or live on a low income if that is what you want or need to do.
This is a frugal book I definitely recommend you read, especially if you are keen to live more naturally and tread lightly upon this earth.
If you want to know more you can buy Dirt Cheap Adult here.
I received this book free in exchange for a review but my opinions, thoughts and words are all my own.