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Frugal Luxuries: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul Paperback


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Frugal Luxuries: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul + Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons: Celebrate the Holidays with Elegance and Simplicity--on Any Income + Joie de Vivre
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Later Printing edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553378864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553378863
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There is an incredible amount of wisdom between the covers of this book on how to live a totally fulfilling life no matter how much money you have."--Jack Canfield, co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul

"Think of Tracey McBride as the Martha Stewart of the cheapskate set."--Chicago Tribune

From the Inside Flap

Tracey McBride created the newsletter Frugal Times in 1993 and has since delighted thousands by elevating the skill of living frugally to an art form. Now Tracey's commonsense techniques for making "every day a feast" and her wisdom on how to cultivate abundance are gathered in one volume.

Tracey shows us how to savor the intangible gifts we receive when we create a nurturing home, share luscious yet low-cost meals with family and friends, master our budgets, learn to combine style and thriftiness, and cultivate our dreams and imaginations without spending a cent.

Filled with ingenious, heartwarming, and practical advice, Frugal Luxuries helps us remember what is truly of value in our lives--our time, our loved ones, and our inner sense of prosperity. Combining the spiritual nourishment of Simple Abundance with the practicality of The Tightwad Gazette, Frugal Luxuries is destined to become the classic on how to live every day with a sense of abundance, beauty, and luxury.


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Beth DeRoos HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of course the book is about her ideas and her life. Of course she has frugal Martha Stewart style ideas. Being involved in a voluntary simplicity community since the late 80's I have evolved from a Tightwad Gazette person to someone who wants class and frugality. Frugal to many people I encounter means cheap plain food or clothes and nothing fun or fancy. For me and many of my frugal minded friends it is about wanting quality as well as frugality. The Tightwad Gazette proved of little use to me since I like quality and classy clothes Martha Stewart style and not simply clothes that are simply cheap. Different strokes for different simple living folks.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I am a patsy for anyhting with "frugal" in the title. Yes, the book does have some drawbacks: Martha on a budget, and lots of neat things to do with little girls. I have two little boys and the ideas presented don't translate well. Tea parties and doll's birthdays, bone china and salt cellars are lovely, but my reality is dinos, mudpies, gravel in the pockets, and Curious George. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and have used several of the ideas with success. Frequently, frugality is seen as austere, and strictly cost conscious; however, "Frugal Luxuries" presents an interesting perspective that frugality doesn't have to be austere and a little beauty in one's daily experience can soften the economic reality. I do recommend this book as more philosphical than practical application.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Beth on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
An entire chapter is devoted to fan letters about the author's newsletter - and the "advice" consists of inanities such as "If you subscribe to magazines you never read, don't renew them". Well, duh! Who needed a $19 book to learn that?????????????

Stick with The Tightwad Gazette trilogy ... Many, many practical suggestions. Although not everyone wants to live as thriftily as TG recommends, you can find many practical ideas there for your situation (whatever it is).

This book could have been wonderful. Instead, it was just useless garbage. I've collected quotes since I was a teenager, but, even I found the author's endless quotations a waste of paper.

This book was a big nothing!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Moestl on April 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you want to be told that you should try on gloves at the thrift store before you buy them (duh!) or that you should always buy larger sizes of food, because they're always a better deal (they sometimes are, and sometimes aren't), then read this book. If you want something more intelligent, with real ideas and advice, try the Tightwad Gazette. Much, much better.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jade on August 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ever since the simplify scene has become popular we have been presented with various outlooks on the "less is more" lifestyle, but few have approached the theme with such style and grace. In fact, Ms. McBride�s attempt of bridging the gap between the Amy Dacyczyn and Martha Stewart approaches proves to be quite successful, particularly if one seeks inspiration and a sort of uplifting of the soul along with their reused Ziploc bags.
On the other hand, we found the book overly focused on the author's personal experience especially since she has been the editor of a newsletter since 1993. We were surprised to not see more information culled from her readers over the years. This would have fleshed out the book and provided substance with which more readers could identify.
Despite the lack of a varied viewpoint and a slight absence of practical tips (though we appreciated the tip on how to create home-made soup cups), readers who seek more soul than Dacycsyn and have less cash than Stewart will appreciate an evening in the garage-sale purchased armchair with this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
The author should perhaps try her hand at fiction. The writing style is so flowery the intent of imparting "how-tos" is hopelessly lost. After wading through page after page of Thoreau-isms I was fairly exhausted and finished this tome having learned precious little about how to bring luxury to my life without spending a fortune
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
First off- Tracey is definitely creative and she has a good attitude. However, it is all about her life and very little about anything else; She only has a few pages of suggestions from the readers of her newsletters. Also, I have a little boy, so a lot of her suggestions just won't work for us. I wonder- she says so much about gifts and ideas for her two girls, where does her son fit in?
I get the impression that the author wants to be from the Manor Born and is just making do by finding out how to get more for less money. She still seems to spend an inordinate amount of her life focused on shopping. Also, there were no environmentally conscious tips or angles, something that is very important to me.
There were times when she'd mention making something (ex: a garden arbor out of closet poles) and then neglect to include how to make it, which is frustrating.
She's a SAHM, and seems to have a great deal of time to shop, plant, do housework and do crafty things and while I like many of her ideas, I'd never be able to find the time to do them, unless I ignore my family and spend all my time perusing yard sales and spray painting masking paper, using florist wire, raffia, dried rosebuds and herbs to create things to give away to other people to impress themn with how poor we aren't.
Get it from the library first to see if you like it and then I recommend buying it used instead of paying full price.
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