Book Reviews · cooking

Giveaway Alert! The Good Life for Less

Who would love a chance at receiving a copy of the soon-to-be released The Good Life for Less: Giving Your Family Great Meals, Good Times, and a Happy Home on a Budget book?


Amy Clark, of MomAdvice, has her first book coming out at the start of the New Year. One lucky winner though will get it before then! The publisher, Penguin Books, sent me a copy to read and one to share.

The book is a great guide – part cheerleader, life coach, interior designer, recipes, fabulous shopping guide. It is written for those with an actual life that is busy, often complicated and sometimes scary. I thought her story of her husband being laid off and how life changing it was to be very reflective of how life has been for many of us these past few years with the economy. In my life my husband had worked for a certain PNW company that was seized in the fall of 2008 – he had left the company a few weeks before, jumping before the rest did. He was working for another tech company, which was swept under painfully by the recession within 6 months. Suddenly we wondered what the future held in 2009. We went into huddle mode and have stayed there pretty much since. We found that it wasn’t a bad place to be. Thankfully my husband was only unemployed for a month or so, and was picked up by a head-hunter for another tech firm, who he happily works for still. But we did learn what we could live without and that we needed to be better prepared. For example, on page 16, she talks about cutting monthly expenses by slashing cable – and that they saved $70 a month doing this. A year or so ago we gave up cable, not because we couldn’t afford it, but rather we asked ourselves “do we actually use it enough to justify spending…$90 a month?” Yeah, $90!! Holy crud. When I found out how much our overpriced HD cable was, I was gagging. And I felt guilty having a latte every few days at ol’ Starbucks?? At least I enjoyed my $5 latte!

It is always nice to read ideas on how to trim a budget, to get new ideas for my home and recipes? Always. While the recipes are more “meat and potato” sort, there is plenty that can be done with the kids as projects. I’d probably save even more if I wasn’t a foodie though 😛

Looking through the recipes I saw an easy one for Homemade Chocolate Syrup. With my love of making lattes/mochas at home I am always going through it! I whipped up a batch as I made dinner, no stress come tomorrow morning when breakfast rolls around…


Homemade Chocolate Syrup (Adapted from Page 131)


  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract


Mix the cocoa and the water in a large/tall saucepan. Whisk to dissolve the cocoa over high heat. Add the sugar and whisk to dissolve. Boil for 3 minutes, whisking constantly, turning the heat down as needed to maintain a boil.

Take off the heat, add the salt and vanilla.

Pour into a sterilized pint jar, and store covered in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 cups syrup.


Follow the nifty link below to enter via Rafflecopter for your chance(s) to score a copy of The Good Life for Less:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


20 thoughts on “Giveaway Alert! The Good Life for Less

  1. I agree about the giving up cable. I have thought about that myself. Honestly, I never watch tv and pretty much only turn it on to watch kid DVDs for my daughter, so it’s pretty much a waste of money! Oh, and I have a really fast chocolate syrup that I make that you can whip up in no time and is so easy! I just mix pure maple syrup with cocoa and voila, tastes just like chocolate syrup!! Try it sometime, it’s yummy and so flipping easy 🙂

        1. It is kind of funny/sad – 10 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed that I could take my “computer” with me – and how much I would depend on my smartphone and or my iPad when out and about!!

      1. I know! And get this…I just broke my IPad last week and have been without going nuts. I dropped it and the screen shattered. Only had it 3 months. 🙁 Luckily, my husband got a groupon deal to get it fixed for a fraction of the cost. Thank God!! I’ve been lonely without it, haha!

  2. I definitely need tips on trimming from the budget in a realistic way. Our medical expenses have overtaken our budget this year and we need to get control of it for next year. I am thinking I can do away with my smartphone and save $25 from the data plan. I don’t use it for work, the only thing I will miss is gps. But, I have a regular ol’ dash mount gps. I need more suggestions.

    1. Do you have TMobile in your area? Kirk moved my phone onto it (I was using AT&T, my phone is a Nokia Lumnia – which I own outright). I paid a few bucks for the new SIM card and now pay $30 a month for my plan, it is considered a “pay in advance” type. I have unlimited texting, web use, etc but only 100 minutes call. For $30 a month I can take that!!!! The only downfall is my phone is useless in the mountains, but I can take that over spending $70 a month!!

      1. For me, I need the call minutes. I use at least 300 a month but send/receive less than a couple hundred texts. Data use is mostly a toy – email/googling/toddler entertaining etc. My husband uses his iphone for work and needs unlimited data/web. He also travels a lot so he needs one of the major carriers for consistence and reliability in outlying areas. I should add we don’t have a landline

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.