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Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less Hardcover – May 5, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This indispensable guide starts with a penny and shows how to thrive―which is what the word “thrifty” in fact means. Thrift is not simply about saving money. Thrift is practical, and thrift is smart. It’s about good sense, about being independent and self-reliant. And Be Thrifty is exactly what’s needed to get there, bringing together expert advice, shared wisdom, hundreds of innovative ideas, step-by-step directions, and more.

About the Author

Pia Catton is a journalist and the coauthor of The Comfort Diner Cookbook. She lives in Washington, D.C.


Califia Suntree is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. She writes about food at spooningblog.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (May 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761156097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761156093
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Califia Suntree is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. She writes about food at spooningblog.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very handy and practical book Be Thrifty is chock full of useful information on a wide variety of ways to save time, money, be more self sufficient, live healthier and empower folks to husband a household, a family, our leisure,our garden, our pets, our diets and a host of other areas where we tend too often to waste rather than save.
In addition it is cleverly written and designed for quick access.
Current economics beg for compilations like this but even if things were hunky dory and Goldman Sachs was a church, Be Thrifty is a must for every library. I have already applied its basic common sense wisdom to my own household and garden as it informs the reader about easily available cost saving solutions with a view to ecological health and economy all with an insistent focus upon "a happier,greener,healthier life." ( e.g. I got rid of powdery mildew on my peach tree after following one of many tips provided by a hoard of unpretentious experts.)
Thrift does not mean "cheap", in fact the authors point out that the root meaning of the word is:" intelligent,of excellent quality." The thriftiest idea about this book is to buy and use it. I have already handed copies out as gifts. Responses have been enthusiastic as there seems to be a corner of every one's life that needs a useful prescription to make living, well... thriftier. Usually, for me, thinking up presents is like asking stones to dance, but this one is a no brainer and I am covered through Christmas of 2011.
Be Thrifty is like an old fashioned almanac on how to live smarter.( It even shows how to cut hair.)
I shuttle my copy between kitchen and greenhouse; it's growing fat and leafy with earmarks already.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the only book I've bought full price new at Retail. Since I'm naturally thrifty, I have learned a lot from parents who grew up through WWII and whose early childhoods were spent while the country was in the Great Depression. Most of that was in this book, and a whole lot more. I found it useful to actually read it, and once having done that, kept it as a reference for the steps and recipes suggested. So many time I feel that saving money is looked down upon, it was pleasant to read an entertaining book that champions this point of view and teaches it too. The book covers a lot but is not encyclopedic, just enough to add to a typical person's repertoire of DIY and cooking knowledge. Also a good discussion of why we should do this. Surprisingly it doesn't feel like it is preaching to the choir, but reinforcing good ideas and showing how to implement them. And not so big as to be intimidating.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've learned through a life of poverty while I was growing up, then the past 20 years of attending college in one form or another, most of the ways to do things in the least expensive way possible. Most times, I've done without, though, simply because I didn't have or chose not to spend the money to do things. I thought I knew everything there was to know about low-cost living.

This book has been a wealth of information, though. What I love the most about it, beside the tone of the authors' writing, is that it's practical advice that goes beyond the basics into a realm that's really very useful. And simple.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of the book has some good ideas and plans but some of the ideas presented are old or you should know if you have been frugal for sometime. Well written however.
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Format: Hardcover
Just the book I was looking for. I love the common sense tips and information. It makes me wonder why my mom never knew this stuff or at least never taught me. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to save money everywhere in their budget.
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By pds on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so impressed after leafing through - well honestly I was reading it like a novel because the writing style is so pleasant - that when I finally put it down I ordered another copy for my daughter. I own several books on being thrifty but I this is my flat-out favorite. I consider some of my other books to be a little preachy or giving advice that I find down right weird. I feel that this book was well thought-out and useful for the kind of 'every day folk' life style that I am accustomed to. No dumpster diving here! Just good, sound advice on how to be thrifty while still living a life that includes entertaining, good food, old-fashioned values and fun (who doesn't like to have a picnic on a nice, lazy day?). Why not learn to grow a few vegetables or make your own cleaning supplies and do basic home repairs? Truly useful book if you are looking to keep the budget under control without resorting to picking up old furniture on the curbside!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides useful information that has seemed to escape this day and age. I bought the book in attempt to find ways to be more thrifty and to help convert to a more natural living. It has some great useful tips. I wish I was the kind of girl to do plumbing and home repairs. I love how it explains the difference between being thrifty and being cheap. I'll be cloth diapering, breast feeding, and using natural products on a newborn soon so this book had some great tips. A lot of the things in here reminded me of my great grand parents in a nostalgic way.
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