Reading to a child is one of the best gifts a parent can give them. The closeness shared when cuddled together to explore "Where the Wild Things Are" or "Goodnight Moon" is irreplaceable and can lead to a lifelong love affair with reading.
The National Education Association created Read Across America Day to motivate children to read and increase awareness of the importance of reading. The NEA chose March 2 for the annual event to celebrate the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.
Parents who read are far more likely to share this love with their children. So, in celebration of Read Across America Day, Coupon Sherpa offers 10 frugal and fun reads under $20 (in no particular order).
1. "The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better," by Chris Farrell, Bloomsbury Press, $16.32.
"The New Frugality" by Chris Farrell, host of Public Radio's "Markeplace Money," is a guide to creating a healthier relationship with your money. Personal finance is more than just money; it's about deciding how to live a good life, figuring out what you really cherish and value, then putting your money behind those goals and beliefs. Farrell also writes about how living environmentally conscious is a natural outgrowth (and happy consequence) of living within your means.
2. "The Frugal Millionaires" by Jeff Lehman, Mentor Press LLC, $17.56.
"The Frugal Millionaires" contains more useful information than found in a year's worth of of Wall Street Journals. If you'd like to know how some people grow their wealth while others continue to struggle, "The Frugal Millionaires" details exactly how they do it so you can too. Author Jeff Leman discusses why being frugal doesn't mean being cheap, provides over 800 wealth-growing ideas, and discusses "The 15 best practices of the "model" frugal millionaire.
3. "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping," by Judith Levine, Free Press, $3.75.
The award-winning journalist and author of "Do You Remember Me?" traces a year during which she and her partner agreed to avoid consumersitic spending practices. "Not Buying It" discusses how the effort had a profound impact on their careers, family relationships and personal identities.
4. "Money Can Buy Happiness: How to Spend to Get the Life You Want," by M.P. Dunleavy, Broadway, $5.16
In "Money Can Buy Happiness," New York Times Business Columnist M.P. Dunleavy focuses on overcoming the behavioral impulses that prevent us from getting the more important things we want from life. This can mean everything from living a jetset lifestyle to buying an alpaca farm to ditching a newly-purchased suburban home for a return to big-city living. Dunleavy creates a holistic and realistic approach to financial planning by emphasizing quality over quantity and provides quick exercises to help prioritize what matters.
5. "5 Meals for $5 -- How to Feed 5 People 5 Meals for $5 - $8 or Less!" by Jaci Rae, North Shore Records, Inc., $6.98.
The only thing most of us spend more money on than groceries is rent or a mortgage payment, yet many of us don't pay attention to how we can reduce this outlay. Jaci Rae's "5 Meals for $5" cookbook is filled both with delicious and plentiful recipes as well as details on how to vastly reduce our grocery bills.
6. "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker," by Deniece Schofield, Betterway Books, $19.19.
"Confessions of an Organized Homemaker" reports on how Schofield once needed "a camel, a canoe, a priest, and a tourniquet" to move throughout her home. Her book details how she personally discovered and tested methods that will help you gain control of the house. Through trial and error, Schofield figured out the best organizational techniques and strategies to help streamline housework, cooking and home management.
7. "The Frugal Senior," by Rich Gray, Linden Publishing, $11.01.
Gray has written a humorous and innovative guide that will help you understand and apply frugal-living methods to obtain financial and lifestyle goals. "The Frugal Senior" is a user-friendly reference for the aging "frugal" lifestyle that comes highly recommended by readers of all ages and economic levels.
8. "The Smart Mom's Guide to Staying Home: 65 Simple Ways to Thrive, Not Deprive, on One Income," by Christine Walker, Trafford Publishing, $14.35.
In 2002, Wendy Chamberlin resigned as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan because, "There are many people who can be an ambassador...but nobody else can be my daughters' mother." From grocery shopping and eating out to fashion and feedback, "The Smart Mom's Guide to Staying Home" will help you plan and achieve your financial goals, personal fulfillment and greater life balance.
9. "The Frugal Gardener," by Catriona Tudor Erler, Rodale Books, $4
Gardener, author and lecturer Erler shows readers how to create a fabulous garden without spending a fortune. "The Frugal Gardener" includes tips for paring down expenses and shaving costs on just about anything you need to garden; including such necessities as soil amendments and garden tools to prized perennials and beautiful garden structures.
10. "The World's Cheapest Destinations" by Tim Leffel, Booklocker.com, Inc., $13.45.
Updated in January 2009, the third edition of "The World's Cheapest Destinations" includes countries that meet three important criteria: They're affordable, have an infrastructure capable of serving travelers, and offer attractions and adventures that make it worth visiting. This practical, easy-to-read book is unique in its niche. Leffel also wrote the popular "Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler's Guide to Getting More for Less."
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