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Good Reads: The Good Life for Less by Amy Allen Clark

For years, Amy from has inspired with her knitting and baking and no-spend challenges. A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet her in real-life. She’s fun, bubbly, energetic. and just plain cute!

When I heard she had a book coming out, I knew I had to get a copy. If anything, I wanted to support a first-time author. But I also was sure that if it was coming from Amy, it would be very inspiring.

And I was right. Her book, The Good Life for Less, is so practical, down-to-earth, and motivational. If you’ve struggled with job loss, credit card debt, or feeling like you’re completely green when it comes to cooking, you’ll be motivated by her story of how they’ve struggled to make ends meet, crawl out from under a mountain of credit card debt, and how she’s learned that stew can actually come from somewhere other than a can!

I loved the unique and creative ideas she gave for cutting your budget. And if you don’t have a budget in the first place, you’ll find the percentages she gives for each category to be a helpful guide.

Chapter 3 is packed with make-it-yourself recipes. You’ll find recipes for homemade salad dressings, mixes, soups, crockpot meals, Starbucks knock-off drinks, and much more.

One of my favorite quotes in the book was in chapter 4. She said: “Make it your goal to leave your family with a legacy of happy memories, not expensive gifts, and you’ll be well on your way to creating the kinds of special times they’ll always hold in their hearts.” Love that!

The Good Life for Less is a quick read (I read it in about two hours!). It will leave you feeling inspired to beautify your home, bless others, and make food from scratch. Many of the tips and ideas in this book are things I’ve heard before or currently do, but it’s always good to have a frugal living refresher at least a few times a year. Plus, there were some new perspectives I’d not thought of and Amy brought her own unique angle to everything — which I loved.

My only two complaints? I wish this book were a little longer and I would have loved to hear more of their story. She told it in snippets, but maybe in her next book, she can delve more into all the details of their frugal journey. I know that it’s a story that would be inspirational to so many!

Have you read any good reads in the past few weeks? Tell us about them in the comments!

See the full list of books I’ve read so far in 2013 here. See my list of 48 Books I Plan to Read in 2013 here.

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  • Need A Nap2 says:

    I’ve loved Mom Advice for a long time, it was probably one of the first blogs I read. I’m glad to see they used her and her family on the cover! 🙂

  • Sarabell says:

    I love the quote! So true and meaningful!

  • Kelly says:

    I haven’t read her book yet but I love her. I’m looking forward to picking it up.

  • Melissa says:

    I read Amy’s book to and really enjoyed it. I also just read Eat, Pray, Love. I haven’t read much in the last few years and finally just have time to pick up the habit again, so I am probably one of the last people who has read this book. 🙂

  • Blessed Mama says:

    How funny! I just ordered this book on two days ago and should be getting it in the mail today. It looks like a good read!

  • AM says:

    I’ve been reading and loving ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin. She also started a blog along with the book, and it has some great printables about motivation and tracking goals. Though her life is completely different than mine (lives in apartment in New York, very well to-do, etc), she has a husband and two children and works on being content in her life. I liked reading about the history and psychology of happiness through the ages. I have tried and really liked many of her ideas about being more happy and content in my own life.

  • Anna says:

    I hadn’t heard of the blog or the book, but both look great. I will definitely be checking them out!! 🙂

  • Tj says:

    Bought it on your recommendation and can’t wait to read it on my Kindle! Thank you!

  • Cheryl says:

    I’m currently reading both of these titles which were covered this past week on Focus on the Families radio show: Just too Busy, Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical by Joanne Kraft and Cleaning House A Mom’s 12 Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma. I’m a librarian so I’m always reading something (sometimes I even finish one) New to the site and already love it!!

  • I read Almost Amish, a fictional Amish book, (notice a pattern?!), and YOUR book! I started Grace Based Parenting, but had to stop. It was a library book, and so I stopped when I realized I was practically re-writing the whole book in my notebook. I ordered a copy from Amazon so I can mark it up!! I am currently reading Have A New You by Friday. I love Kevin Leman!!

    • Crystal says:

      What did you think of Almost Amish? That’s on my list to read, along with Grace-Based Parenting!

      • I thoroughly enjoyed Almost Amish. It was an easy read, and easy to set down for a while and come back to a few days later. Her ideas were very practical, and very doable. Now I will say, she is BIG on community. My family lives WAY out in the country, so our church family is about 40 minutes away. We fall far short on her community recommendations. But we also have 10 kids, so I guess we kinda have the community thing covered for now. LOL!
        Grace Based Parenting…WOW!! I posted about it on my Facebook page. By page 20, I had to stop. My copy should be here this coming week. I can’t WAIT to dig in and really study it!! My parenting needs it.

  • Katherine says:

    I bought this book a few weeks ago and really loved it. I think the recipes are great and if anyone on here is an Aldi fan like me if you go to momadvice there is a whole section devoted to recipes made entirely from Aldi food which is so helpful. The ideas for holiday fun and kids parties were really fun too.

  • Gina says:

    I am currently reading Ann Voskamp’s book, 1000 Gifts.

    I have not found a better book to answer the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Or the other question, “If God is love, why does he allow evil things to happen?”

    The book is actually about gratitude. What does gratitude have to do with bad things? Well, you’ll just have to read it. 🙂

    I’m reluctant to say this book is “life-changing” because change happens within. But this book can almost be considered a life-changing experience. At least, for me, it has proven to be so.

    To me, it has been an absolute godsend. For those who are not familiar with Ann Voskamp, she is the author of

  • Gina says:

    I just started Home Improvement by Dr. Scott Turansky with my parenting group at church. So far, I’m enjoying it.

    “It’s the parenting book you can read to your kids.”

    My kiddos think it’s funny because they can relate to the scenarios.

  • Oh, I am so honored to be featured here, Crystal! It means so much to me and to our family. I agree on the critique about sharing more about our family. I wish we didn’t have such a limited word count so I could have divulged more of our story and struggle overcoming the mountain of debt that is now behind us. I am hoping there will be a follow-up book to this so we can do just that!

    Thank you again for featuring our book and sharing it with your readers! It meant so much to me! xoxo

    • Crystal says:

      I totally understand the word count thing and will be waiting in line for your next book.

      Oh and I plugged one of the ideas from your book & your book on a radio interview I did yesterday. 🙂


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