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The Smart Spending Guide
by Faye Prosser

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Magnolia Way, December 2005
Paperback, 168 pages
ISBN: 0977343642
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Review by Sherri Allen:

book cover of The Smart Spending Guide

Whether you need help stretching your paycheck from month to month or you just want to build your retirement nest egg, the advice and tips provided by Faye Prosser in her book, The Smart Spending Guide, will teach you how to get the most from your hard-earned money. I know, because I learned Prosser's grocery shopping techniques while editing the book and have been experiencing big savings for the past few months. (Note: I was hired to edit the book and paid for my services. I have no stake in the success of the book and am not receiving any compensation based on book sales.)

The Smart Spending Guide begins with a solid introduction to debt-reduction and budgeting and even includes helpful worksheets. Then comes my favorite part of the book, the grocery system. Prosser gives you an easy-to-follow lesson in combining several money-saving shopping techniques to maximize your grocery savings, including where to find coupons (did you know you can BUY coupons?), how to organize your coupons (the bottom of your purse just doesn't work!), where to buy food (it's not always the grocery store), planning your grocery shopping trips, and much, much more. Next, there are several chapters full of useful information about frugal living. The frugal tips provided in The Smart Spending Guide cover a wide range of topics, showing you how to save money on meals (adding to the grocery shopping strategy), gifts, vacations, and your health and well-being, as well as around the house and more. Finally, the book provides some suggestions and resources for making extra money and presents ideas and motivation for continued saving.

Thanks to Prosser's conversational style of writing, The Smart Spending Guide is very easy to read. As you go through the book, it feels as if she's a friend imparting helpful advice. The grocery system is well-explained and made to seem simple, so you won't be too overwhelmed to give it a try. The frugal sections are smart and mainstream; easily adopted by busy people living in modern times. Prosser has avoided the more radical ideas often found in frugal-living books which end up intimidating beginners, such as 101 ways to recycle dryer lint or goat farming to save money on milk.

The Smart Spending Guide is perfect for frugal beginners and people who are already moderately frugal. People who don't know anything about frugal living will be amazed. The moderately frugal will pick up several extra good ideas and be motivated to try more. I highly recommend The Smart Spending Guide. After all, I saved more than the book's purchase price on my first grocery shopping trip!

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