Book review: ‘Look after the pennies’ by Tess Read


look after the pennies“Look after the pennies” is a book written by Tess Read and aims to get straight to the point with its tips, tricks and recommendations. Tess Read is a finance journalist and former Bank of England employee, as well as a money-savvy mum of three. A lot of thought and analysis went into this book and it should save you a bundle of cash.

Format of the book

I found it really easy to use. The book is broken down into 24 chapters covering a wide range of topics such as Shopping, Food, Mortgage, Luxuries, Weddings and Travel. The larger topics are broken down into small standalone paragraphs ranging anywhere from 30 words to a whole page. As a terribly impatient person I found the book extremely well organised and had finished three quarters  of it on my commute home and the rest over a couple of days as bath time reading.

Who would benefit from this book?

I think this is a great little book for pretty much everyone. There are some great tips you’d never have thought of, as well as some really obvious ones that are in the back of your mind but that you never put into practice! But by giving you the stats and putting these tips into context, Tess makes you realise how simple these things really are. You’ll be hard pushed not to do them from now on!

How can you buy this book?

You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon for £3.71 in paperback and £3.41 on the Kindle. The RRP is £5.99 so a pretty good deal on Amazon.

The tips I liked the most

  • Think counter cyclical: Stock a pressie drawer with goodies from the January sales. This is a great tip and I already do it. So nice to see I am on the right track! I can never believe how many parties kids are invited to – and with five nephews and all the other family members to think about too, this tip really takes the hassle (and expense!) out of last minute buying!
  • Gadgets that pay you back: Investing in a shower-powered radio (powered by flow of water) and wind-up phone chargers. I feel a visit to the camping shop coming on! With all of today’s modern technology, there is something quite nice about being able to go back to basics.
  • Switch the tap off when you brush your teeth.  This tip really hit home and I adopted it straight away: So simple, but so easy to ignore! It was the stats that shocked me the most. A tap pours six litres of water a minute; if you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, that’s 168 litres of water wasted a week – and that’s just for one person!
  • The many uses of bicarbonate of soda– To clean fruit and veg really well, put them in a bowl of water with bicarb, wash and rinse. I really liked this idea! With two small kids under five, I’m always worrying about the use of pesticides and bacteria. I can’t wait to start putting this one to the test.

What I didn’t like

Overall I really liked the book  easy to read and easy to flip to certain topics. But I felt that in parts it lacked enough meaty numbers for me to get my teeth stuck in to. I wanted to see more direct savings written in black and white so I didn’t have to work out the sums myself. I did mention I was impatient somewhere didn’t I?!

What made me laugh

Well, as my husband could tell you if you every got the chance to ask him is, I can’t stand touching cheese, in particularchedda. If I ever need cheese grated I have to ask him to do it or put it in a blender and I can’t scrape it out with my hand… On page 60, under Waste Not, Want Not, there is a cheesy tip: “Save packaging from cheese so that your next cheese purchase can be double wrapped”The thought of touching more cheese wrappers than I have to, made me dizzy and my fingers tingle! Hilarious!

Tess! Loved the book, but asking me to keep more cheese wrappers than I have to is never going to happen :-)