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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening and inspiring
This book is more than a "tip" book to give you ideas to save money. Instead, it makes you *think* about our culture's wasteful habits and gives practical suggestions on how we as individuals, families, groups or communities can do "more with less." Yes, this book is written from a Christian (Mennonite) standpoint, and some people may be put off by...
Published on December 3, 2000 by Fanshawe

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59 of 78 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, but. . .
This book is certainly inspiring in that it points out shocking ways in which we consume much more than our neighbors in less wealthy countries. However, I didn't find many practical ways to accomplish frugality that I consider acceptable. One woman's helpful hint is that plain water is generally sufficient to wash oneself as dead skin cells are sloughed off anyway...
Published on February 27, 2003


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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening and inspiring, December 3, 2000
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
This book is more than a "tip" book to give you ideas to save money. Instead, it makes you *think* about our culture's wasteful habits and gives practical suggestions on how we as individuals, families, groups or communities can do "more with less." Yes, this book is written from a Christian (Mennonite) standpoint, and some people may be put off by that. Though I am not a churchgoer, I found that I was not, and found many of the biblical references to be universal and thought provoking. Firsthand stories from MCC missionaries about life in other cultures were pretty amazing. I feel like sending this to every church I know of in hopes that perhaps someone recognizes the waste/extravagance in many churches themselves! Some passeages in the book pointed this out and reminded me of "church functions" I've seen in which styrofoam cups and plates were used liberally, piled high with processed foods and artificially colored jello salads! A new trend I'm seeing involves churches and other groups promoting organizations in which corporate food companies give a handout of processed and non nutritious foods to hungry families in the US without teaching them better cooking habits or nutrition for growing children. Again, maybe flipping through this book might open their eyes, as it's written from a Christian standpoint instead of what they might perceive as an "environmental activist." Though this book is 20 years old, I find that most of the messages are still holding water. How sad that the author, fighting cancer while writing this, passed away before the book was completed, leaving a husband and two young daughters. One wonders what more she would have done/written had she lived.
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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great source of inspiration!, March 30, 2000
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
I read this book frequently in order to keep me "on track" in my journey towards simplifying my life and living frugally. I was shocked to read about the contrast between how wastefully North Americans live and how people in other nations are much more careful with their resources.
This is much more inspiring than the usual frugality books, which teach how to save money for money's sake. This book made me realize how being frugal and careful with the resources I have can have an impact on the world and others' lives. I am much more appreciative of what I have and use my resources much more carefully now.
Some may be turned off by the biblical quotes, but I didn't find them to be intrusive while reading the text. Readers need to remember that this is a book written by a Mennonite woman, whose faith was integral to the way she lived her life, and that most of the testimonials are from missionaries in other countries. I found the approach refreshing and insightful.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting more from life with less material goods, August 15, 2000
By 
Edward Vielmetti (Ann Arbor, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
Living More with Less is a very practical book about living simply and being less attached to wealth and material possessions. It is full of hundreds of small and workable suggestions for making do, getting by, reusing old materials into new ones, and generally changing your attitude about more-more-more and must have the latest.
Unlike a lot of other books about simple living, this one is not primarily about saving money for the sake of having more money. You won't find elaborate schemes for tracking your purchases like in "Your Money or Your Life", and there's nary a word about investments at all. (The author, a Mennonite, quotes from a lot of people who give generously to their church. If you find that off-putting, you might find the whole book difficult to read.) Instead there's a focus on activities and interests that don't require a lot of money to begin with.
It was written in 1980, after the energy crisis and during a relatively non-prosperous time. A lot of the suggestions require significant time commitments that are hard to imagine now 20 years later, if even back then. But it's such a rich source of ideas I thought I should pass it along.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical, inspiring book on voluntary simplicity., October 26, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
This is the best voluntary simplicity book I've read. Mrs. Longacre first discusses the reasons for voluntary simplicity, and the universal values (like compassion for those in need) that undergird the decision to resist a me-oriented culture. Then she discusses half-a-dozen areas in which we can live creatively and simply (food, housing, clothing, celebrations, etc.). For each area after a brief discussion of what is meaningful and needful in that area, she presents letters from many different people detailing specific things they did or changes they made in trying to work out the values of voluntary simplicity in thier lives. These examples range from the very small (using less tin-foil) to the drastic (communal living) but they are all creative, practical, and inspiring.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book really makes you THINK!, June 29, 2000
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
This is book is a great place to start if you are thinking about "voluntary simplicity".It really gets you thinking about how much we have in this country and how conserving and saving even a little bit can ultimately help the planet and its inhabitants.I really started looking at myself as a "world citizen" after reading this book.The book is broken down into chapters that cover areas such as housing,transportation, and even housekeeping.I may not use every suggestion offered but it has inspired me to come up w/ my own ways of simplifying.I do not think that the biblical passages were distracting at all.I am saddened that the author died in 1979 and cannot write another book in her down-to-earth style.It is a book that I will probably read again and again!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less is more. For everybody!, February 27, 2004
By 
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
I first read this book in the early 1980s. I still reread it occasionally today, partly for its practical tips (which are more reasonable than the Indianapolis viewer below suggests) but largely because it helps remind me to take a break from materialistic culture. In this book, Doris Janzen Longacre has compiled an anthology of mini-essays on world living. The text is not about the evils of materialism, but rather focuses on how simple living increases the preciousness of everyday life. The stories, and the ideas they suggest, remind us to enjoy experiences and people rather than things. One suggestion, for example, is to have a dinner party in which the food is simple. This helps remind us to have solidarity with our world neighbors, and helps us focus on friendship, not on making an impression through fancy food, wine, and presentation. In postmodern America, nothing could be more refreshing, or more clearly a testament of faith.

This is a humble, unglamorous, life-changing book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are so fortunate, October 17, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
When I read this book, the one thought I come away with is:
I am so fortunate.
My circumstances are tight by American standards, but reading this book fills me with gratitude. As a "poor" American, I am richer than most people in the world ever will be.
Even if you read the book and never implement one change into your life, you will walk away from this book realizing your good fortune in the grand scheme of planet Earth. It is humbling and gratifying.
As Benjamin Franklin said, "Constant complaint is the poorest sort of payment for all the gifts we enjoy."
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Call To Voluntary Simplicity, March 2, 2000
By 
Zenobia (Carpal Tunnel) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
When I first read this book, I was living in a camper and feeling pitifully sorry for myself. I was shaken awake by its message , and found myself nor only grateful for having to live in reduced circumstances, but looking for ways to further cut back and conserve. I think that night was the first time I ever watered plants with dishwater and would have felt guilty if I wouldn't have. It really helped instill in me a sense of responsibility for the way I use the resources around me.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the problem with the biblical references?, February 9, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
I loved this book, as much for its quiet reaffirmation of my faith, as for the delectable recipes. I ordered it today, after exhausting my library's renewal policy. This is worth buying; I first found the book 23 years ago and often wondered what happened to it. I am delighted to learn that it is still in print. Check out the cheese straws - mm, good.
The biblical references are unobtrusive and should not offend any practising non believer (whatever that means). Please grant us the same rights you stridently demand for yourselves - and I wouldn't think of trying to convert you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Resource for Simplifying your Life, June 1, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Living More With Less / Out of Print (Paperback)
This extremely practical book is filled with practical suggestions from Mennonites on how to simplify your life.
An excellent companion to the More with Less Cookbook, this resource covers just about everything. Its topics include: money, clothing, homes, homekeeping, transportation, travel, celebrations, recreation, meetinghouses, eating together, and strengthening one another.
This book came out long before the popular Tightwad Gazette. It's just as meaningful today as the day it was written.
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Living More With Less / Out of Print
Living More With Less / Out of Print by Edward Longacre (Paperback - June 2, 1980)
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