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The Good Life for Less: Giving Your Family Great Meals, Good Times, and a Happy Home on a Budget

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  192 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
When Amy Clark and her husband found themselves in unexpected financial trouble right before the birth of their first child, they quickly learned the importance of smart budgeting and making a little money go a long way. In this book, Amy offers up a clever lifestyle plan that is long on creativity and short on cost to help you achieve a peaceful, thrifty home and a loving ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published January 2nd 2013 by TarcherPerigee (first published December 31st 2012)
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Nov 26, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Of course, I am biased on this review, but I am awfully proud of this book! Thank you all for your love and support over the years for our family!
Laura DeLuca
Jan 02, 2013 Laura DeLuca rated it really liked it
The very first thing I liked about this book, was the look. Horribly, I do judge a book by it's cover, and this cover already had me sold and excited to read it. This book covers everything from budgets, to family time, crafts, meals, and holidays.

The budgeting and food budget areas weren't really applicable to my family, as I already do a budget and we eat differently, but the crafts, decorating and gifting ideas were very useful. I always struggle with finding new ways to celebrate the holida
I had such high hopes for this book, but alas, it didn't really come through. I did come away with a few good ideas but overall it was not very helpful. It turns out I am much more frugal than I thought, since I already do a majority of the things suggested in this book. If I were your average eat-out-all-the-time, sit-and-watch-cable, meat eating American this probably would have been great. But I am your less than average frugal, home cooked meals, no TV type of American. I definitely like the ...more
Kristen Doyle
Dec 01, 2012 Kristen Doyle rated it it was amazing
Getting finances and household management under control takes time and effort. Amy's book gives readers simple and practical advice for how to make a happy, organized, debt free home. Her tips for frugal living with a focus on building family traditions are something every family can gleam insight from.
I will keep Amy's book handy and will refer to it often!
Nov 27, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
This book was full of practical tips and recipes that I'm sure I will refer to many times in the future. My favorite takeaways were all the ideas of ways to make holidays special without breaking the bank. Highly recommend this book for all moms!
Jan 07, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Good tips and recipes especially for families with younger children. Not as relevant to those with teens and preteens. But would highly recommend for those with younger kids or someone looking for some household basics.

I loved the recipe section and used the homemade bbq sauce right away to rave reviews. I will definitely try more of her make yourself seasonings and sauces. I also look forward to trying some of the homemade cleaning solutions.

I hope Amy continues to share her homemaking tips as
May 13, 2013 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: smart-homemaking
This book had a few good ideas in it, but quite honestly the main theme is pretty common sense stuff; don't eat out, make budgets. As a person who tries to lives within my means, I think the author could have included a few recipes for homemade stocks, and basic rib sticking food or more ideas for leftovers. I, personally, consider myself the Queen of leftovers! Times are tough, I think that no frugal living book is complete without a few such recipes. I really did like the slick appearance of ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting, nonfiction
A quick, easy read that touches lightly on many areas of household budgeting but wasn't as in-depth as I would have liked. This could be a good introduction for someone who is brand new to managing a household and needs starting ideas to save money, but for many moms a lot of this info is nothing new. For me, the recipes are the most useful part of the book, both for the food and homemade cleaners. Some cute birthday party ideas too but I would have liked more. Three and a half stars.
Dec 11, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I am really wishing this book had been around when I was a new wife, when I didn't have a CLUE how to keep house, cook, or manage our finances! I love that Amy makes living on a budget sound glamorous! And who says it isn't? ;) I especially loved the chapter on holidays. It really motivated me to start some new family traditions. I think this book would make a great gift to any young woman, newlywed, college student, etc!
Dec 20, 2012 Carrie rated it it was amazing
Immensely readable, full of practical tips for all moms, this book is both instructive and full of charm. And did I mention the recipes sound superb?!
Feb 28, 2013 Sheri rated it it was amazing
I really thought that this book was great! It is filled with realistic ideas about how to enjoy life on a budget. But regardless of your means, Amy's ideas emphasize that time spent simplifying and organizing your home, your life and your budget brings a quality and enjoyment of family time that is often lost while we are busy racing the rats. The traditions that she has made for her family, once a necessity (i.e. Friday pizza nights, board game nights) are ones that anyone can implement on any ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Nichole rated it really liked it
I've been reading Amy's blog for years and love her style. I enjoyed reading this book and reading about how it came to be on the blog. The book flowed well and was packed full of good tips (things I wish I would have known 7 years ago before becoming a Mom and wife). Many of the things mentioned in the book I knew, but I enjoyed the recipe and cleaning sections. It would have been nice to have the option to tear the recipes out of the book and I would have liked pictures. Check out Amy's blog a ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book by a great local "mom blogger!" How fun to pick up a book at the library with some familiar faces on the cover :)
Loved the recipes and the great ideas for creating frugal yet memorable times with your kids and family. There are useful tips for streamlining your household chores, cooking, etc so that you can have time to enjoy doing things that you love. I liked the general theme of being thankful for what you have.
Apr 22, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it
I really like this book. The copy I read is from the library, but I think I may have to buy myself a copy. She has a lot of good tips and ideas in there, some I wish I had known when my kids were small. Everything makes sense and makes me want to be more frugal with things that I buy. There are also a lot of recipes using basic things that sound very good. I will definitely be trying some out.
Dec 19, 2012 Alicia rated it it was amazing
I wish I would have had this book years ago! Although, I still got a lot of great ideas and recipes I think new mothers would gain a lot from this book! I will be giving it as gifts to my friends and family members! This book is easy reading and reads in a way that you feel your best friend is talking to you.
Bernice Deng
Jan 15, 2014 Bernice Deng rated it really liked it
Very helpful, very honest lots of great ideas... even though alot of info does not apply to me as i have no children and live in China i still found useful tips and ideas to save money and create meaningful memories on a budget!
Aug 17, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it
I am a sucker for books on ways to do things better, whether it is organizing or saving money. This one had some nice recipes (although it was interesting to note that some of them called for store-bought mixes rather than home-made ones) and some good ideas to help you live within your means.
Mar 29, 2013 Vickie rated it it was amazing
Quick to read and stuffed full of valuable information for families who are seeking to live a healthier lifestyle. Clark shares recipes, helpful suggestions and testimonies to give you a good start in living more frugally, more organically, and more healthely. I learned a great deal.
Mar 17, 2013 Leanne rated it really liked it
This would be an excellent book for a newlywed to read. It has tons of advice for how to live frugally, yet well. She has great recipes for making mixes from scratch instead of relying on convenience foods. It was well-written and concise.
Melanie Mauer
Jun 13, 2014 Melanie Mauer rated it liked it
so often this genre can be filled with ideas that don't really inspire me but this book was truly helpful - and i appreciated that it was filled with recipes as well.

there were tiny tweaks that i was happy to learn and it spurred some brainstorming on implementation.
Mar 30, 2013 Hilary rated it really liked it
Great money saving advice and some basic recipes for make your own mixes and other simple recipes.
Meagan Church
Jan 07, 2013 Meagan Church rated it it was amazing
This book is full of great tips for simple, frugal living. Packed full of tips, recipes and cleaning solutions, it is full of useful information that I will definitely be putting to good use.
Jan 12, 2013 Bridget rated it liked it
Great tips and recipes! She's really helped me to finally conquer meal planning!
Audrey Snyder
Feb 21, 2013 Audrey Snyder rated it really liked it
Shelves: frugal-budget
Especially loved the collection of fun and frugal recipes. I've tried 3 or 4 and they've been a hit!
Dec 01, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
This book has good recipes that I want to try.
Apr 17, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Well informed, great ideas and not too pushy
Dec 21, 2012 Renee rated it really liked it
Lots of great ideas and tips. Practical and inexpensive. I can't wait to try some of the recipes and other tips.
Nov 28, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Overall a good book to help live a frugal life. I enjoyed the recipes as well.
Jan 20, 2013 Tanya rated it it was amazing
Great book! I have been following Amy's website for a couple years now. So happy she wrote a book full of tips, ideas, and recipes. As a mom and wife this book will be a great resource.
Denise Cochran
Feb 28, 2013 Denise Cochran rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I have read a lot of 'frugal home' books but this one offered some 'new' ideas and approaches. I loved the book as much as her blog. Hope she keeps them coming.
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Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her kids, she has served as spokesperson for Minute Maid, Walmart, Cascade, Glade, Cheer and is currently the home management "genius" for Kenmore.

Amy also has appeared in various media outlets such as The Early Show, Parents Magazine, Redbook, Marth
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