The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money
Are you a Frugal Duchess fan? Can’t keep from tuning in to her blog to read about luxury living for less? Then you’ll be delighted to know that Sharon Harvey Rosenberg has a new book out.
Having worked with Sharon a couple of times now, and having previously interviewed her for Wise Bread, I have to admit: I was thrilled when asked to review this book. As those who know her are already aware, Sharon’s “real people.” And of course, any time real folks successfully carve out a luxurious frugal life, I’m the first one in line to ask how they did it. What were the most powerful strategies used? Challenges? Did this lifestyle get pulled off with kids? Pets? As predicted, The Frugal Duchess didn’t let me down. My top three tip picks?
Hotel liquidation sales.
While I’ve head of this strategy before, I admit to having a skewed perspective. On the few occasions I’ve tried to take advantage of this strategy, the sales were for older, shabbier hotels. And while those items certainly weren’t without value, they weren’t exactly offering a home fashion statement I particularly wanted to make. What Sharon points out in this book however, is how much better the inventory from these sales can be if you are in an area loaded with trendy hotels and large on tourist traffic. Competition is tight in the hospitality industry, and hotels in high traffic areas are upgrading their furnishings more frequently. So if you are living in South Beach or a comparable area, this home decorating solution just might be for you. Bonus? Hotels tend to purchase industrial strength furnishings, so chances are any gently used items you pick up at these events are likely to go the distance with kids and company.
Joining or starting an organic food club.
As someone who’s been struggling to fully research this option for some time now, I was psyched that Sharon had some fresh information on how to approach this. One super tip? Going straight to the source by tapping into the Community Supported Agriculture system. Localharvest.org was also suggested as in informational resource.
Sharon’s streamlined system for fabulous frugal coffee.
Those who know me will find it no great surprise that something coffee related made my top three list. Any ideas for pulling off a high-end coffee experience for less are worth their weight in gold at our house. Her top pick for a bean brand? Eight O’Clock. Definitely less expensive than other specialty brands, and this company earned high marks for taste in a Consumer Reports’ blind taste test, according to The Frugal Duchess. Speaking of beans, she also recommends starting with whole beans whenever possible. Sharon’s other tips for great coffee creations? Filtered tap water, customizing the grind with various spices, and splurging on real cream or half-and-half. She also doesn’t use expensive machinery. Her two top picks? A good grinder and a French press coffee pot. She also mentioned great results from a Moka stove top coffee brewer, a style of pot that’s been popular in Italy for decades, as an additional option that can be obtained for under thirty USD.
In addition to providing great tips for living large while spending less, Sharon has shared some very personal stories about her frugal upbringing, the spendthrift days of her early twenties, financial lessons learned, and detailed info on how she and her husband pull off this luxurious lifestyle with children and pets. With its whimsical cover and the warm personal style The Frugal Duchess is known for, this book would be a fun home library addition for fans and those interested in expanding their collection of frugality titles.