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The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less Paperback – 2 Jul 2009

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The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less + In Your Prime: Older, Wiser, Happier + Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet: From Pig to Twig
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141038233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141038230
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

India Knight is the author of three previous novels: My Life on a Plate, Don't You Want Me and Comfort and Joy. Her non-fiction books include The Shops, the bestselling diet book Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet, the accompanying bestselling cookbook Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Cookbook and The Thrift Book. India is a columnist for the Sunday Times and lives in London with her three children.

Product Description


India Knight shows you how to say no to waste, save pots of money and look good while you are doing it (Sunday Times)

A joyous read, The Thrift Book might be the only surefire investment out there (Harper's Bazaar)

A blueprint for living well, however broke you are, with thrifty tips on looking fab, cooking, pampering and partying (Cosmopolitan)

A triumphant treat and a useful and sensible manual (Independent)

Brims with tips on how to live well on little cash (The London Paper)

Endearing and informative (Fay Weldon Observer)

Belt tightening at its most fun (Closer)

From the Author

Thrift is a book for anyone who's ever been a disaster with money and who'd quite like that to stop. It's for anyone who feels the need to tighten their belt and hunker down until the storm is over, but doesn't want to stop having fun or living graciously. It isn't a book called How To Be Tight, so anyone interested in gathering up all their elastic bands to turn into a marvellous rubber ball for the children's Christmas present might do better elsewhere. Nor is it a book called How To Be A New Puritan - my tips for having cheapo fun don't involve wearing a hair shirt and lying with your face turned to the wall, contemplating the sinfulness of shopping. Thrift is a book about all sorts of small (and some big) ways of saving money without feeling like your life's gone down the dumper, with precise advice (websites and so on) and recommendations. If you liked The Shops, I think you'll like this one: we're talking saving rather than spending, but the ethos is the same - it's about finding joy in small things, except this time around the small things are likely to be home-made or extraordinarily cheap. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

367 of 377 people found the following review helpful By J. Williams on 24 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a big fan of India Knight and someone who is actively trying to cut back I was delighted when I saw she had written this book. Having read it though I have to say I am quite disappointed. It's written in her usual entertaining style but the content consists mainly of patronising rubbish backed up by endless lists of websites which anyone good at Googling could have put together. It's also clearly aimed at townies/Londoners which is highly annoying for the rest of us. The suggestions for saving money seem to be split into three categories - a) things lots of people already do because they don't have much choice like taking a packed lunch to work or holidaying in the UK, b) 'trendy' ideas that people have actually been doing for years like making jam or handing down clothes and c) 'investment buying' such as the suggestion that you buy one Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress instead of 10 Primark tops which is all very well is you have £200 up front but that's not the case for most of us. She claims to advocate thrifty living but every chapter is packed with references to 'good' food (why do writers/chefs insist on referring to everything in this annoying way? - 'some good olive oil', 'some good bread' etc) and how you should buy organic/natural whether it's food or beauty products. She also contradicts herself, in one chapter suggesting we shop at Lidl because it's cheap then in the next advocating M&S (definitely not cheap) because of their environmentally friendly fishing policies. Most of the tips are common sense such as planning your shopping list and the stuff about joining the WI and knitting scarves for friends are just bandwagon jumping. This could have been a really good and useful book if she'd looked more at why we like spending money so much (10 Primark tops = 10 shopping 'hits') instead of churning out patronising junk and other people's ideas in the hope of cashing in on the current economic climate.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Birtwistle on 22 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you were a younger person than I, then perhaps this book would be of more interest. It was enjoyable, but a lot of the tips and hints are ones I already implement. This is probably more useful to those who have had a really nice life-style which has suddenly come to an end. It is still a well-put-together book, however, and a good read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Schiehallion 1977 on 27 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I love India Knight's writing, adored The Shops, and was really pleased to get this book as a gift. But my feelings are mixed.

The bad points:
* Whatever IK says, this book is very London-centric, and where it's not London-centric, it's urban-centric. The country is where you go on your UK-based, money-saving holiday, not where you might actually live, apparently.
* If you need to save money because you're completely broke, i.e. to the point of being so worried about money that you cry, this book will be no help and you'll want to find the author and brain her with it.
* If you've been trying to be thrifty for a while, you'll be doing 50% of the stuff in this book already, and some of it you'll be doing more thoroughly than the author.
* Some of the really thrifty options are skirted over. For example, buying veg plants is a really pricey way of growing your own - seed is way, way cheaper, and also greener because it costs less to transport. And you can swap seeds with friends, making it even cheaper. But this is 'difficult' (it's not) so it's not explored.

The good points:

* The writing is warm, witty and engaging.
* The stuff about how bad excess consumption is, and how we need to conserve resources, and how good it is to share stuff, is all absolutely true and I'm glad someone is saying it.
* If you are having to cut back on the extras, this book may well make you feel better about it.
* If you are completely and utterly clueless about money then I can imagine this being really useful.
* If you sew, cook or knit then there are some really very good links to websites and blogs where you can get how-tos, free patterns and inspiration. For me, the web resources are the best bit of the book and well worth a few quid.
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful By moodyoldblue on 21 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Written by the wonderful India Knight,so i was looking forward to this book.Yes, it does have her usual humour and lovely language but I cant help feeling that she was more at home in The Shops- her incomparable book on where to buy almost anything.Funnily enough that tome has saved me from numerous expensive mistakes by directing me to the best place each time for quality and style.Sadly the Thrift book doesnt have the same infectious enthusiasm.It seems a bit rushed and lightweight- most of us know how to bake cakes or make jam.I can balance my chequebook because i have always had to! Its not a novelty for most of us. My childen have always worn handmedowns alongside their new clothes and we have swapped toys etc. Holidays in UK are the norm.I felt close to being patronised in parts of this book

Bandwagon? maybe. Well written- yes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By V. Ashdown on 25 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
First of all, I really enjoyed reading this book. It's kind of reminded me to go back to some money-saving habits I'd dropped over the years like yogurt making, card making etc. However, it's definitely aimed at someone more middle-class than me and more used to "running around town spending money" than me. As an ordinary working class gal who has always had to be sensible with her wage packet I can see it would take me a long time to save the price of the book just by using India's tips and hints! By the way, of course, I will be passing the book on to my friends and family so that they will have a good, thrifty read.
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