>I have a lot of respect for people who not only talk the talk, but can walk the walk. Leah Ingram is a writer who made major lifestyle changes and wrote a blog and a book about them.
Suddenly Frugal is a practical guide to cutting expenses down to little or nothing. Her family set out to save money in order to buy a nicer home. When they closed on the home and moved in, they realized their frugal ways needed to continue in order to afford the upgrade in housing. When our U.S. economy tanked, others found themselves in frantic states of “OMG, how can I stop spending money?” Leah’s blog reassured them that they could.
The book is much more than the blog. I’ve been a regular reader of the Suddenly Frugal blog for several years; her link is in my blogroll on the left sidebar. In book version, Ingram added more details for each topic, including the estimated savings. Her stories are both personal and practical, involving tips that vary from getting “ring around the collar” out of her husband’s shirts with Do It Yourself laundry soap to finding attractive landscaping plants on Freecycle.
Many of her frugal tips are eco-conscious as well. Buying CFL bulbs saves both money and energy. Backyard composting cuts down on garbage pickups, which reduces her bill for that service (If my city charged for garbage pickup, we’d be saving a bundle). Growing vegetables, buying from the Farmers’ Market, and joining a CSA organization saved money and raised the nutritional value of her family’s menus. Ingram kept her records and has the numbers to prove it.
I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite chapter or tip because every section has valuable advice. I carefully read the piece on purchasing a vehicle because we’ll be in the market in June. I also browsed her advice on washing machines; mine is making ominous noises, and I’d like to do my research and replace it before it collapses.
And that’s what Suddenly Frugal is all about. It’s not about deprivation, but budgeting carefully and wisely. By avoiding wasteful spending, families can live comfortably and worry less, despite dire financial headlines.
I offered to read and review this book for Leah Ingram because I enjoy her blog. She sent me a copy free of charge in order to review it. You can read her blog or follow her on Twitter (leangreenmom).