More Free Books- and excerpts
These books are free at Amazon at the moment that I've listed them. Their free status doesn't last forever, alas. So check prices carefully before you order. These are downloadable e-books- you don't need a kindle to read them, though that is my favorite approach. You can download Amazon's free reading app. Click through to find out how.
When faced with the loss of her husband's job and a significant loss of income, the author of this book figured out how to stretch every last ounce of value out of every dollar that made its way into her bank account. She shares her tips on saving money on groceries in the first book of a planned series on the art of saving.
Many tips, most of them fairly basic, but we can all use reminders now and again. One of them I hadn't seen- you can have clipless coupons added directly to your store discount cards, if you use them and live in the right area. PGe.Saver.com is one place to look. Shortcuts.com through America Online is another.
Frugal living means living better by spending smarter. You can save money and still not live like a pauper.
This book is filled with strategies to help you cut costs while maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. I've shared my best tips and techniques for saving money in this book. Use them to literally save thousands of dollars a year off your bills and expenses
Some of her tips:
For a baking stone, buy an unvarnished quarry tile from the home improvement store instead, usually for around five dollars.
Make extra biscuit dough when you make biscuits, roll out thin, and make pocket sandwiches from leftovers in your fridge.
If you get to the check out line and realize you've forgotten your coupons, it doesn't hurt to ask- most stores, she says, will issue you credit if you come back in with the receipt and the coupons.
Buy eggs when they are sale and freeze them by breaking one egg at a time into ice cube trays. Remove when frozen and place in plastic bags. Take out as needed, defrosting and using quickly after defrosting. She says they work great in scrambled eggs. I'd probably stick to other recipes- breads, etc.
Lots of other excellent tips here.
I love this magazine. This issue has information on laundry, blueberries as a cash crop, training or breeding dogs for income, growing peppers, making a survival store-room, brewing your own root beer and much, much more.
101 Best Money Saving Tips
Really, really basic and not big on how-to. Tips are more like, "turn out the lights when you leave the house." Sell your collections, or at least duplicate items. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Your kids don't need so much stuff, they can be entertained with simple things you have around the house.
How to Host a Frugal and Fabulous Christmas
It's a good read for jump starting your thinking, but keep your wits about you. Some of the 'tips' are actually more expensive than the activity they allegedly replace (make sugar cookie place cards instead of ones printed on paper because the paper just gets thrown away. Really? Maybe if you are making sugar cookies any way it's cheaper. But this isn't cheaper adn it's not environmentally better, either). Decorate the tree with ornaments made of family photographs, spread the children's table with butcher paper and give them crayons and colored pencils, look for discounted gift cards for presents by using websites like Plastic Jungle- and much more.
And because the frugal life is a *life* and not merely an accounting system, I offer this interesting read which should remain free for a while:
The Quest of the Simple Life- a series of essays following William Dawson's late 19th/early 20th century efforts to pursue the 'simple life.' Excerpt:
The question that soon comes to obtrude itself upon the mind of a thoughtful man in a great city, is this old persistent question of whether his method of life is such as to answer to the ideal of fulfilling his best self? It seemed to me that the inhabitants of cities were too busy getting a living to have time to live.
Let us take the life of the average business man by way of example. Such a man will rise early, sleep late, and eat the bread of carefulness, if he means to succeed. He will probably live--or be said to live--in some suburb more or less remote from the roaring centre of affairs. The first light of the winter dawn will see him alert; breakfast is a hurried passover performance; a certain train must be caught at all hazard to digestion, and the most leisured moments of the day will be those he passes in the railway carriage. Once arrived at his office he must plunge into the vortex of business; do battle with a thousand rivalries and competitions; day after day must labour in the same wearisome pursuits, content, perhaps, if at the end of the year he shall have escaped as by a miracle commercial shipwreck. He will come back to his residence, night after night, a tired man; not pleasantly wearied with pursuits which have exercised his complete powers, but tired to the point of dejection by the narrowness and monotony of his pursuits. I say he returns to his residence; I scorn to say his home, for the house he rents is merely the barrack where he sleeps. Of the life that goes on within this house, which is nominally his, he knows nothing. In its daily ordering, or even in its external features, he has no part. He has chosen no item of its furniture; he has had no hand in its decoration; he has but paid the tradesmen's bills. His children scarcely know him; they are asleep when he goes off in the morning, and asleep when he returns at night; he is to them the strange man who sits at the head of the table once a week and carves the Sunday joint. It is well for them if they have a mother who possesses gifts of government, sympathy, and patient comprehension, for it is clear that they have no father. He gets a living, and perhaps in time an ample living; but does he live?
It may be said that this picture is exaggerated; on the contrary, I think it is under-estimated. I have myself known men whose average daily absence from 'home' is twelve hours; they disappear by the eight o'clock morning train, and in times of special business pressure it is not far from midnight when they return. The trains, cabs, and public vehicles of London convey, day by day, one million three hundred thousand of these homeless men to their employments in the city. Here and there a wise man may be found who resents this tyranny of suburbanism.
The chief discovery which I have made is that man may lead a perfectly honourable, sufficing, and even joyous existence upon a very small income. Money plays a part in human existence much less important than we suppose. The best boon that money can bestow upon us is independence. How much money do we need to secure independence? That must depend on the nature of our wants. Becky Sharp thought that virtue might be possible on 5000 pounds a year; and, apart from the question of whether money has anything to do with virtue at all, it is obvious that she put her figure absurdly high. Most of us put the figure at which independence may be purchased too high. If our idea of independence is the possession of an income that allows extravagance, if life would be intolerable to us without the gratification of many artificial wants, if our notion of a lodge in the wilderness is the
Cottage, with a double coach-house, The pride that apes humility,
at which Coleridge sneered, then only a very few of us can ever hope for our emancipation. The first step toward independence is the limitation of our wants. We must be fed, clothed, and lodged in such a way that a self-respecting life is possible to us; when we have ascertained the figure at which this ideal can be realised, we have ascertained the price of independence.
My experiment I regard as successful, but there are two features in it which diminish its general application. One is that I took with me into my solitude certain tastes and aptitudes, which I may claim without the least egoism to be not altogether common. I had an intense love of Nature, a delight in physical exertion, and a vital interest in literature. I was thus provided with resources in myself. It would be the height of folly for a person wholly destitute of these aptitudes to venture upon such a life as mine. He would find the country unutterably wearisome, its pursuits a detestable form of drudgery, and the unoccupied hours of his life tedious beyond expression.
In reconsidering what I have written I perceive that unconsciously I have chronicled only the pleasant episodes of my existence. There is another picture that might be painted of mountains clothed in cloud, roads deep in mire, work done under drenching rains, early darkness, lack of neighbourship, isolation and monotony, a life separated by continents of silence from all the eager movement of the world. There are two pictures of the country, equally true; the country of Corot, idyllic, lovely, full of soft light and graceful form; the country of Millet, austere, harsh, bleak, impressive only by a certain gravity and grand severity. We all imagine that we could live in, and we all desire, the country of Corot. But could we live in the country of Millet? I confess that I could not have done so without resources in myself. It required a genuine pleasure in hard physical exercise to get through the duties of the day, and a genuine interest in literature to supply the place of those artificial forms of pleasure which relieve the tedium of towns. I do not know what I should have done without books in the long winter evenings. Nowhere is a 'city of the mind,' into which one can retire, so necessary as in the country. There is also needed an enduring and genuine delight in Nature and outdoor occupations, which creates its own sunshine under dreary skies. The mere sentiment of rusticity, created in the townsman's mind by pictures and novels, soon dissolves before the realities of a genuine country life. It is Millet, not Corot, who is the most frequent comrade of the man who looks for months together on the same expanse of fields, and moves upon the same unchanging round of labour. Therefore it is necessary to insist that no error could be greater than for a man with no real aptitude for a solitary life, and no resources of intellectual pleasure in himself, to attempt such an experiment as mine. He would weary of it in a month, and would flee, like a child afraid of the darkness, back to gaslit streets again, with reviling on his lips and bitter anger in his heart.
It must also be remembered that I did not go into the country with the intention of deriving my livelihood from the soil. My sources of income were separate from my mode of life; and although my income was at the best very small, yet it was sufficient to secure me ease of mind. … those who know the country best, know that, except in a very few districts, it is next to impossible to live by the land.
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