I’ve been sharing some of my favorite books you should read if you’re broke and books you should read if you want to frugal, but I’m learning that there’s an art to keeping a household running smoothly, so I felt like I needed to make one more list for you.
Now when I say the word “Homemaker” – I don’t want you to think I mean “Stay-at-Home Parent.” Rather, I would like this book list to be useful to anyone who has a place to call their own. These are the books that are going to help you be a better home manager. These are the books that will give you ideas for creating efficiency and self-sufficiency so that you can enjoy what you have and be able to save money for the things you want.
5 Books Every Homemaker Should Read
Written by the author of the blog by the same name, Home Ec 101 – Skills for Everyday Living covers all aspects of cleaning your home, taking care of your clothing (including an excellent section on stain removal), some basic DIY solutions for making minor repairs around your house, and an extensive look at what you need to outfit your kitchen and keep it running smoothly.
The chapters on meal planning, cooking, and ingredient substitutions are especially useful for those of us trying to eat more meals at home.
The best part about this book – it’s written with a sense of humor. It’s this sense of humor sprinkled throughout the book that makes daunting household chores seem a lot more manageable.
The Good Life for Less is a book for the true home economist – the type of person who loves figuring out how to stretch their resources, reduce waste, all while providing healthy meals and creating precious family memories.
Clark covers a lot of ground in this book – like creating a family budget book, taking advantage of online discounts, cooking at home, saving money on gifts and home decor, and how to trim your utility bills.
About 1/3 of the book is made up of some excellent recipes (like Amy’s version of Starbuck’s Iced Pepppermint Mocha) that save time and money.
I adored The Good Life for Less because it shows you that a home without financial stress is a home that feels warm, comfortable, inviting, and safe.
Those of you trying to figure out what to do and when to do it will find All In Good Time: When to Save, Stock Up and Schedule Everything for Your Home very useful. The book outlines the best times to do everything you need to do to manage your home efficiently.
All in Good Time is broken into easy-to read sections based on rooms in your home. For example, in the Rec Room chapter, you’ll find tons of great tips for saving on entertainment, family fun, vacations and more.
The Kitchen chapter covers everything from when to clean your appliances to the stock-up prices for the most common household and kitchen pantry staples.
The Holiday and Event Planning chapter is especially useful in helping tame the chaos and cut the expense of special occasions.
When you know the best times to do things, you save time and money.
The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair is a book you’ll definitely want on your bookshelf when something in your home needs fixing.
This book is full of beautiful, useful photographs and lots of good solid advice for how to do 350+ household repairs. It is a great reference book for plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems in your home. We were able to fix our leaking toilet using this book – not something I ever expected to be able to say with any degree of confidence!
How To Make Your Car Last Forever takes you through the basics of doing that maintenance. It covers every aspect of your automobile from the engine to the exterior.
The book is full of color photographs and illustrations that demonstrate how things work and how to keep them working.
While parts of this book are geared more to the automotive enthusiast, the basic information in How to Make Your Car Last Forever is very good. I gained a better understanding of how my car works and what things to watch for. It helps you understand how the various systems in your vehicle work together.
Every person who owns a vehicle should read this book. It’s full of good advice – you know – the kind of advice you should have taken from your dad, but didn’t.
These are just a few of my favorite reads that will help you save time and money. Oh, and I have one bonus book you should read:
Debt-Proof Your Holidays by Mary Hunt shows you how to have a happy holiday season without resorting to credit cards. It’s quick-read, and it is loaded with lots of good ideas. Hunt teachers you how to find the extra cash for Christmas and how to make those dollars stretch. You’ll learn strategies for decorating your home on the cheap, creative (and inexpensive gift-wrapping), feeding your family on small budget, and scores of frugal gift ideas.
Whenever I get caught up in the consumerism of a holiday, I flip through this book for some good tips and gentle reminders. This is an oldie, but a goodie, so those of you who’d like a newer, updated edition should check out Debt Proof Your Christmas.
What are some of your favorite books that motivate you as a homemaker?
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