Monday, 18 January 2016

Miserly Moms

This is another book which I found really helpful when we first started trying how to work out how to live on what we actually brought in rather than what we thought we had ! Jonni McCoy lives in the USA and there are quite a few things that are different about shopping over here, for example our newspapers do not contain flyers for local supermarkets advertising their weekly specials and we do not get coupon inserts with our local papers either. That said I still find Jonni's advice useful and keep the above edition of the book on my bookshelf.

The book does have a more up to date edition and Jonni also runs a website of the same name which I'm sure that someone starting out on thrifty living would find useful. I think there are no plans to continue to publish the book in paperback format so if you want one after this review it might be worth getting it soon.

Jonni concentrates on one possible motivation for being frugal and that is to allow a parent to stay home with young children.  This motivation not to have two earners outside the home could equally apply to someone needing to look after an elderly parent or someone looking to change careers. Jonni offers eleven guidelines for becoming more frugal and then devotes a chapter to each one. For instance Guideline 1 is that Frugality does not mean Depriving Yourself.

We still follow Guideline 10 about having soup and bread one night for supper and also other guidelines about buying in bulk and keeping track of food prices. These are both topics I plan to talk about later on. In addition to the main chapters on the guidelines, Jonni also has chapters on all sorts of other things you might want to make savings on, such as birthdays and other special occasions; clothing; adding to the family and lots of recipes.

One of the most useful chapters Jonni includes is the one where she works out exactly how much going to work is costing you if you have to pay for transport, clothing, childcare, gifts for people who are leaving and all the additional hidden costs that working brings with it. My real wage as opposed to the one I thought I was earning was a bit of a shock when I used Jonni's chapter to work it out and helped to inspire us to think about early retirement since we might very well be better off once we reach financial independence !

This book has been to the USA and back so I have had it for quote a few years and always find something useful in it when I re-read it, so think about having a look ! Wouldn't it be great if there was a lending library that specialised in the topic of thrifty living ?

My challenge to you today is :- Have another look at your favourite thrifty book or blog, is there more information there that you could be using ?


  1. I have read this one as well. I also like the Tightwad Gazette. It was a paper on frugal living that my Aunt gave as a gift subscription to my mom when I was a child (because she thought it was her style) and then they complied all the papers into a book. It is fun to read.

    1. Many thanks Abbi, I sometimes think blogs are like those papers on frugal living. I shall look out for the Tightwad Gazette !