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Be a Penny Pincher

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Two favorite things are explored in this article-saving money and reading. Recently, a book called "The Penny Pinchers Club", by Sarah Strohmeyer was read and it was a fun story with a great lesson.

Briefly, the book was about a woman who loved to shop but found that her husband had a secret bank account. Fights about money suddenly seemed much more important and it made her wonder, was he preparing for divorce? Just in case, she decided to start saving. She started by canceling her monthly cable and kicking her $240 monthly Starbucks habit. And that was just the beginning. She soon became obsessed with saving and joined The Penny Pinchers Club. This was loosely formatted after the 12-step program, with each member dedicated to a variety of causes from paying off debt to living on a tiny income. And while going through her cost cutting measures, she discovered more time with her family and improved relationships, realizing how much time was spent apart when she was out shopping or they were all in separate rooms with their own electronics. As the family grew closer, the idea of divorce seemed even more distressing to her. Of course, you will have to read the book to find out the ending, but as you read, think about your own life. Can you cut costs too? The book ends with the "Top Fifteen Dos and Don'ts from The Penny Pinchers Club", many which are great ideas for those who are trying to cut down on the dollars spent each month.

So where can you cut back? Look at your monthly bills and see if all is necessary. Cable bills usually run pretty high and could be replaced with an $8.00 per month Netflix bill if you are not a heavy TV watcher. Can you make changes to your cell phone bill? Cut minutes that you never seem to need or change companies? Or how about at the grocery store? Is your cart mostly filled with boxed items? They cost the most and are the most unhealthy items you can buy. Start cooking "from scratch", join a grocery co-op, cook for a month and freeze, buying family sized packages that are cheaper per pound. There are many ways to save a little or a lot! Or, how about quit smoking. How much could that save you per month?

This entertaining book, "The Penny Pinchers Club" ends with acknowledgements from the author where she mentions being the child of Depression Era parents who tried to teach her thrifty habits, though these were lessons she ignored. Sound familiar? Parents of that time had to make do with a lot less, lessons that may be necessary for a good number of people now. Also mentioned are several websites and blogs which offered excellent money-saving tips: betterbudgeting.com, frugal-families.com, usesupermarketcoupons.blogspot.com, and couponmom.com, to name a few. And, visit Pinterest to find many cost saving recipes, freezer/crock-pot ideas, and recycling ideas which will save you money.

The book can be found at the Vineland Public Library, in the large-print section. And, if you are interested in forming your own penny pinchers' club, you can use this story as a guideline.

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