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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly Frugal
After retiring suddenly from my job and learning to live on just one income I absolutely love this book. One of my favorite tips I already adapted before reading it.....learn to love cooking at home again and the tip of planning ahead is right on. Also the microfiber cloths which I buy in the auto care department of walmart. I hardly ever buy a paper towel anymore. I...
Published on March 11, 2010 by Carol J. Dingwell

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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of useful websites
It's so nice to see frugality becoming acceptable in our society. I am about halfway through this book and it is full of helpful information. The websites are fantastic and this author has done her research. However, if you have ever read the 'Tightwad Gazzette' books by Amy Dacyczyn, you will be disappointed in the author's claim to save you $25,000.00. There isn't so...
Published on January 20, 2010 by Book Worm


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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of useful websites, January 20, 2010
This review is from: Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Paperback)
It's so nice to see frugality becoming acceptable in our society. I am about halfway through this book and it is full of helpful information. The websites are fantastic and this author has done her research. However, if you have ever read the 'Tightwad Gazzette' books by Amy Dacyczyn, you will be disappointed in the author's claim to save you $25,000.00. There isn't so much new information on how to save money, but updated information with the websites being the highlight of the book. This book is well-organized and the author practices what she preaches. It's nice to see her transformation from being a spendthrift to her newly-found frugal way of life. This book is an enjoyable read and, having been a tightwad for many many years, I found this book reenergizing.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly Frugal, March 11, 2010
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This review is from: Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Paperback)
After retiring suddenly from my job and learning to live on just one income I absolutely love this book. One of my favorite tips I already adapted before reading it.....learn to love cooking at home again and the tip of planning ahead is right on. Also the microfiber cloths which I buy in the auto care department of walmart. I hardly ever buy a paper towel anymore. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who needs the "nudge" to save and keep more of their money. Using up your items before buying new like our parents did is also a good one.I use a lipstick brush to use up all the lipstick in the tube and can't believe how much is wasted.I love the term "conspicuous consumption". I have only just begun to read it and can't wait to get all the way through and check out all the excellent tips and websites. Thanks for writing this book and sharing with us all you have learned. This book deserves way more than five stars!!!!
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly Frugal?, June 2, 2010
This review is from: Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Paperback)
As a whole, the book is not bad. Most of the information is readily available for free on the internet but it is nice to have it in one place. I do think BeCentsAble is a better book but this one is fine. That said, I do find it hard to believe she was suddenly frugal. I understand the author wanted to get out of debt and save money but when she suggested in chapter 3 that I use the water from my dehumidifier to "flush" my toilets, Ms. Ingram lost a lot of credibility with me. If she is that broke, or cheap, I suggest she move to home with a septic system so she does not have to purchase water. Just my thoughts.

UPDATE: The author contacted me and was very nice and had a great sense of humor about my blog post on her book so in all fairness, I wanted to let you all know. She did say the dehumidifier was needed and she frequently used the water for her plants. That makes her seem much more level headed about the whole thing, so I am glad I got to hear from her.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best for Families and Homeowners, August 4, 2012
By 
T.J. (Texas/Italy) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
As someone who is already frugal, I was appreciative of some of the new things I picked up on in this book. I was able to quickly go through the book in one day, so that was another nice thing. I also really enjoyed that she summed up the information at the end of each chapter. This made it handy because while you're reading this book you think, "that's a good idea!" and then you want to write things down (be sure to read this book with a notepad near you). A few notes though...

This book is best utilized by a family, who are homeowners, living in the U.S. However, as a single man living in Europe, there are still good things in here, just not nearly as much. There are some GREAT websites noted throughout.

I particularly enjoyed her idea about using a dehumidifier to make it feel cooler in your home when it's warm. This is a brilliant idea.

I questioned a few of her frugal ideas, such as using the grocery gift cards, and credit card reward programs instead of cash. I was surprised because every study that has ever been done between credit card use and cash always shows that when you use a credit card, you tend to spend more, and not just a little more, sometimes 30% more, so the "rewards" aren't much of rewards at all since you're overspending. Pay cash and save so much more.

She mentions dumping the seeds of fruits and vegetables in her back yard so they can grow and this is how she got some pumpkins. One very important thing she didn't mention is that of the company Monsanto's. Monsanto's provides most of the seeds to the vegetables that you buy in the store. They are genetically modified so that you can't harvest the seeds and grow your own fruits and vegetables, forcing you to keep them in business. If you want to grow your own fruits and vegetables and harvest the seeds for use later on, go online and buy non-GMO seeds. This will save you months of frustration when you're wondering why your seeds aren't germinating.

My heart about jumped out of my body when she started to go down the road of timeshares. She does not directly recommend buying a timeshare, thank God, but she does talk about doing timeshare swaps if you own one or borrowing timeshares if possible. I think this is an absolutely terrible area to go into because I think she is indirectly endorsing timeshares (because she owns one and then gives you the website address for them). Look online to see how many people want to get out of their timeshare and can't. They are a monumentally bad, horrific, financial black hole that is almost impossible to escape from without losing your shirt. 5% of people love them, 95% of people would never do it again; she's the 5%. I'm convinced that the 5% have convinced themselves they are a good deal because they can't escape it. A simple Google search of "should I buy a timeshare" will explain to you why you should never buy a timeshare. Every time you turn around you're having to pay another fee; they are anything but free once you buy into them. If someone offers you a free weekend to hear their timeshare sales pitch, run.

Another area she didn't cover which I thought was odd, was that of the public library for electronic versions of books (she covers regular books). Most libraries now allow you to get electronic versions of books from their website, without even having to leave home (once you register with them in person.) Through my local library, I was able to download her book for free and keep it for 3 weeks on my Kindle.

This is a very good book so long as you disregard the section on timeshares and avoid using credit cards for the "rewards" and instead pay cash. It's easy-to-read, and practical. You can start to immediately apply her recommendations and start saving right away.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too much you couldn't get from another book, a website, or even some common sense..., March 24, 2011
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...but still an easy and enjoyable read. Like many other reviewers said, a lot of this information is readily available in other places (blogs, other books, etc.). And I found that some of it was a bit of common sense, like when she mentioned not turning your heat as high in the winter or as low in the summer. So while it doesn't necessarily stand out from the competition in terms of extra knowledge, there are pluses in it's favor that made it a 4 star rather than 3 star.

-She talks a decent amount about farmers markets and composting, which other frugality books I've read either don't touch on, or just mention briefly.

-After reading numerous blogs and books on super couponing, I appreciated not having to wade through another drawn out chapter on the specifics of super couponing; a mention of it was fine for me (though she didn't use that term, just mentioned combining sales and coupons)

-I liked that she made the point that frugal living and green living can overlap. Since the green movement has begun, a lot of advertising goes to green or organic products that actually cost more than regular products, so I feel that green living got a bad rep and that it had started to be thought that it was 'your planet or your wallet.'

-She did have a few ideas I had never considered, common sense or not. One that I never really had given too much thought to was a dehumidifier for the summer (stupid of me, right?). And where not to put your overflow fridge.

-The updated websites for reference was excellent. I learned of new sites I'd never heard of, and learned more about sites I had kind of heard of.

-It was enjoyable to read. She has a chatty style without being too chatty, she gives good information without being preachy or condescending, she gives places where it is OK to 'splurge' in order to be frugal, and she really seems like she practices what she 'preaches.'

(Though I did find it funny when she was talking about buying cars and went into this long speech about used VS new and seemed to imply that there may be cases where leasing or buying new would be cheaper in the long run...only to show that the 5 year costs of a used vehicle are something like 1/4 the cost of buying new or leasing. With such a buildup, I figured she would go more into devaluation of one car over another, how to determine when a used car isn't a good deal (can someone say lemon?), etc.)

All in all, if you are a well read frugal queen (or king), this probably isn't going to be anything enlightening, but it is still a good choice for the frugal library. And for those starting out, it provides good information into most of the frugal categories (though Be CentsAble is probably a better handbook...same range of topics, but more indepth).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Single City-Dwelling Males, October 29, 2011
This review is from: Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Paperback)
Recently made jobless and seeking new ways of saving money and cutting back, at first, I was intimidated by this book. Here's a book on tips for how to be frugal, yet it requires an 8-page introduction and a tip on how the book is set up to be used? Is this book a kind of gadget requiring instructions in order to be used and to run properly?

After putting down the book thinking it required a lot of patience and quiet time in order to be read and understood properly and frustrated about spending money and time on a book that I'm not reading, especially one on frugality, I picked the book up again, and, at random, selected a page from the book and started reading it and found -- wow! the writer was enjoyably pleasant to read, just like a next-door neighbor in the chatty and brisk ways the best of good-spirited neighbors can be. What had I been thinking?

Merrily, I began diving into the book, going back to the beginning in order to read it "properly," enjoying Leah Ingram's writing style and quite hopeful of soon landing on a tip that I just had to use to appease my eagerly frugal heart, but I waited and waited and then waited some more, reading tips about dryers and dishwashers, about cars and laundry, about shopping and saving all of which had really only to do with the tastes and circumstances of the suburban (not urban) housewife and mother who completely controls the family budget.

Disappointed, I began going through the entire book fairly quickly looking for, searching for advice and tips applying to a city-dwelling man's tastes and interest.

The best I found was the tip to use the cardboard on a roll of toilet paper to store plastic bags in!! I'm NOT kidding!

I live in a rented one-bedrroom, junior apartment in the city and it has only two small closets (one of which is a utility closet) and no washer and dryer, let alone a dishwasher, and I do not own a car. How can I be more frugal than I already am? Leah Ingram writes as if such people as I do not even exist and so has really nothing to say to me. So sad.

Beware frugal single males of the city! This book cannot possibly help you!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly Frugal, April 10, 2013
This review is from: Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Paperback)
Our lives are full of opportunities for insight & inspiration - we simply need to be open to them. Author Leah Ingram & her family found themselves in deep debt. It was time to cut back on spending by getting creative on a budget. With a little research & some straightforward changes, they saved $25,000 in one year.

Yes, $25,000 ... that is the average low-to-middle class income for an entire year!

Leah has been chronicling her enviably penny-pinching on her Suddenly Frugal blog for nearly 3 years. The site is a progressive resource for affordable ideas, events, recipes, & oodles more. On Monday, January 18th, Leah is taking her frugal ways to a new audience with the release of the Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier & Healthier for Less book.

I'm delighted to have read the book already and ... are you ready ... this book R-O-C-K, ROCKS ROCKS ROCKS! Leah's writing style is friendly,open, and informative. Having grown up in a frugal family in a small Indiana town, living well for less is familiar territory. Though I was already aware of a number of the concepts Leah shares, it is uber-helpful to have them all in one book. My blue highlighter was very busy, yet I was still about to finish the book in 2 days.

Thanks to Suddenly Frugal, I'm finally going to start doing DIY things I've been attempting for years, like:

+ Making my own laundry detergent
+ Using my AAA & Borders Rewards discounts
+ Buying microfiber clothes & using less paper towels
+ Renting more DVDs from the library & trying Redbox
+ Look for more affordable-to-free local events

If you still think that saving money means living a dull life, check out the book's introduction. Here, you'll find the truth behind the 4 most common myths about frugality - you can still have fun, eat well, go shopping, and keep the kids happy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only helpful for the Unititiated, March 11, 2011
This book had a lot of concrete cost cutting steps, but they were of the most common garden variety. One of the suggestions was to stop by pre-grated cheese and start grating the cheese yourself. If you are the type who regularly pays for these conveniences, then this book may be helpful. For those of us who have some experience in living on a modest amount of money, there is nothing new or even inspirational to be found in this book. I would sooner recommend one of Jeff Yeager's books, or "Early Retirement Extreme" by Jacob Lund Fisker for more advanced tactics on frugality. Also, both of those books were a more enjoyable read than Suddenly Frugal.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This Book is for Noobs, August 8, 2013
By 
S. Humphrey (St. Louis, Mo United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
She doesn't say a single thing that most of us cheapskates don't already know.
Example:
Use rags instead of paper towels
Wear your clothes more than one time before you wash them
Use Netflix instead of going to the movies
Use craigslist for free or cheap stuff.
Shop at the good will.

However, if you are new to the thrifty game this might help you a lot.
Thank goodness I borrowed this from the library and didn't pay for it....which is one of her suggestions. What does that tell ya?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, April 21, 2013
By 
Lisa C. Mann "lcm559" (Northampton, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This book gives you plenty of ideas to help you save money. It was very informative. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to save money.
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Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less
Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less by Leah Ingram (Paperback - January 18, 2010)
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