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Frugal Living For Dummies Paperback – January 17, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Saving money has never been this simple!"
?Gary Foreman, Editor of The Dollar Stretcher

Tips to help get the whole family involved in saving money

The helpful guide to living the good life on less

Need help keeping that New Year's resolution to eliminate credit card debt and live within your means? Then Frugal Living For Dummies is for you! Packed with tips on cutting costs on everything from groceries to gifts for all occasions, this practical guide shows you how to spend less on the things you need and save more for the things you want.

Praise for Frugal Living For Dummies

"A must-have for those wanting more out of their money!"
? Jonni McCoy, author and founder of Miserly Moms

"Nobody knows frugal like Deborah Taylor-Hough. Don't shop without this book!"
? Judith Waite Allee, speaker and coauthor of Homeschooling on a Shoestring

About the Author

Deborah Taylor-Hough teaches people how to live well on less and is the publisher of The Simple Times Newsletter, which reaches more than 18,000 frugal readers around the world.

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Best Books of the Month
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (January 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554032
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nearly thirty years ago, our family of five bucked the tide of late-20th Century American life. We became a one income family in a two income world. We set out on a journey toward frugal living and simplicity that quickly became an education in itself -- and a rewarding, joy-filled lifestyle.

Through hard work and determination, our family:

~ paid off outstanding consumer debt and medical bills...
~ radically reduced spending in every area of our lives...
~ and most importantly, lived to tell about it!


During our family's lean times, we learned creative ways to stretch our limited finances while not sacrificing our quality of life. Between the demands on our time and a very limited budget, I discovered the benefits of preparing meals ahead of time to store in the freezer. My family of five regularly sat down for homemade meals -- for less than $300 per month -- without sacrificing nutrition, variety, or flavor.

I share my knowledge of cooking for the freezer in my first book, Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month (Champion Press, ISBN 1891400614). I've taught freezer-meal techniques to thousands of people through in-person workshops, discussion groups, radio programs, television spots, and a variety of on-line resources.

In my second book, A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity, I share some of what I've learned firsthand about raising a family and managing a household with limited time and money. And staying sane in the process.

I have several other books on the market including Frugal Living For Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Feb 2003), Frozen Assets Lite & Easy, Mix and Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Busy Kitchens, and Frozen Assets Readers' Favorites.

I regularly teach classes and workshops through women's groups, churches, conferences, and community education programs on the topics of:

~ living within your means
~ simple living
~ cooking for the freezer
~ general homemaking
~ identifying personal priorities
~ simplifying the holidays
~ easy educational ideas for children
... and more!


I also edit several free email newsletters including Simple Times, one of the longest running consistently published email newsletters online. You can subscribe via my website at: TheSimpleMom.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 102 people found the following review helpful By W. Paul W. on July 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Frugal living is such a broad topic that one really can't expect all advice offered to apply to them; however, this book was evidently aimed at people living in at least moderatly large cities, and with families. It is also much more oriented toward the homeowner as opposed to the apartment dweller.
Even granting that, it is not really a worthwhile book. Some of the information is questionable; much of it that is really valid is so basic it's really below even common sense level (buy generic brands...duh!).
The book is in several parts, each of which I will review independtly.
Part one is about the adjustment to frugal living. It's really a mixed bag. I don't have kids, and my fiancee and I agree on the budget and goals, so most of the tips on how to cope with combative family members are lost on me. However, most of it is incredibly basic: catalog your expenses. Catalog your income. Decide what your priorities are. The one decent section is where she talks about how to maintain a positive outlook after the shift to being a cheapskate. Suggestions include a log of good things in ones life, and ideas of that nature. Still basic, but a step up from the other sections of Part 1.
The rest of the book is based on saving in differing areas: saving on groceries and food, saving on education, saving on clothing, saving on furniture, etc.
These sections really aren't all that great. For the grocery/food section, a large percentage of her ideas depend on having a lot of freezer space; the buying in bulk (esp. of perishables), the cooperative cooking (wherein a group gets together one day week, everyone cooks a full meal per group member; you freeze the meal and eat later). Probably at least half of the possibly good ideas dictate a chest freezer.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Just a quick reminder for all of those reviewers who seem to have forgotten this one little fact: "FOR DUMMIES" books are written for self-proclaimed "Dummies" ... people who know nothing about a given topic, but want to learn the basics.
For example, when I wanted a basic book on birdwatching (because I knew NOTHING about the topic but wanted to get a good, solid start with basic, accurate information) ... I bought "Birdwatching For Dummies". When my teenage daughter needed help with her classes in Algebra and Biology ... I bought her copies of "Algebra For Dummies" and "Biology For Dummies".
These "FOR DUMMIES" books have a particular place in the book market ... they're written for BEGINNERS -- people who know absolutely NOTHING about a topic. "Frugal Living For Dummies" accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do ... it provides a basic introduction and simple framework for people unfamiliar with frugal living basics.
Keep in mind when reading reviews of this book that say things like, "It barely scratches the surface of frugal living," that this book is part of the trademarked "FOR DUMMIES(R)" series ... it's a book that's obviously NOT written to people who've been living frugally their entire adult lives and already know a-thousand-and-one ways to recycle styrofoam meat trays.
If you're a long-time frugal person, buy a copy of "Frugal Living For Dummies" as a gift for your spendthrift friends ... but if you've read every frugal book on the market, you'll honestly be happier just sitting around hugging your Tightwad Gazette books.
REMEMBER: Don't buy a "For Dummies" book on ANY topic if you're not looking for a simple overview of the absolute BASICS!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Toni book maven on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I see this book as an intoduction to frugality. In the last 2 years I have read everything I could get my hands on frugality. I am now debt free, my only bills being my mortage and utility bills. No credit card debt! I think this book is an introduction to being frugal. It is not as comando as the tightwad gazette, and the ideas can be easily adapted for a newby.

Geting started is always the first step, and this is a friendly introduction to the concepts of frugality. I think it is laid out well. And can help anyone it does not seem so radical. A lot of these books make the reader feel deprived, this book does not, it is an alternative. When ever we feel deprived we don't stay on track. Thats budget wise, diet wise, or anything else in our lives we want to change. This is the book for you if you want to change your spending habits. I would buy it if I were new to frugality, if you have been frugal for a while you may want something diffrent as this book has a lot of ideas I have read in other books. I think it is great for a beginner, but not for advanced frugal zealots.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Karen Jogerst on March 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Congratulations, Deborah Taylor-Hough, on another book well done! Simplicity, frugality, good old-fashioned common-sense. It's all there in one very easy read.
There are two things about this book I'm most impressed with. First, this book tackles the solid, time-honored principles associated with frugal living head on. The author knows first-hand the information generations of reckless spenders need to develop new habits and consolidates these time honored ideas really well. Second, Deborah's honesty and enthusiasm for simplicity is contagious. Who knows? I may even give make-ahead cookery another try!
If you're looking for quick fixes, frugal fads, or the latest and greatest ideas on how to live cheaply without having to sacrifice or change your spending habits, I can promise you there is a lot of junk out there to read which will continue to amaze you and amuse me. But, dearly beloved fellow dummie, if you want to know what works-- read this book. You'll be glad you did!
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