November 10, 2008

OK Book : How to Pinch a Penny Till It Screams

This is a review of the book How to Pinch a Penny Till It Screams by Rochelle LaMotte McDonald. The copy I read was published in 1994.

The book presents a variety of cost cutting tips. There are probably a few hundred tips overall. There are a number of chapters organizing the information into a few broad categories: grocery bills, housing, energy, car costs, leisure time and others.

Most of the the tips in How to Pinch a Penny Till It Screams are pretty basic in nature and covered in a variety of other resources. There are few suggestions that were new to me personally. There were also a couple tips that I strongly disagreed with. At one point the author suggested leasing a car and in another section they said renting furniture. Neither of these are generally going to be a frugal route and I don't think they belong in a book that is about penny pinching.

How to Pinch a Penny Till It Screams wouldn't be a bad read. It presents the tips in easily digestible way so you can easily skim through the book and capture any new information and make sure you're not missing anything. But the book is really geared towards the beginner audience. If you're already pretty frugal and consider yourself familiar with cost saving measures then this book isn't for you.

So, overall I'd recommend the book marginally for someone who is a beginner to penny pinching. How to Pinch a Penny Till It Screams isn't bad for a quick skim. But I don't give it a strong recommendation since it doesn't cover advanced topics much and virtually everything in it is pretty common cost savings practices. I'm sure there are better books out there on this topic. I give it an 'ok' recommendation only for beginners. Check to see if your library has a copy.

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