I don’t know how I ended up in possession of The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb- and I have since lost my copy and had to borrow it from the library in order to write this – but this small, strange book really changed my life. Or, rather, it changed my perspective on my life. I have been living green and living frugally for my entire adult life and, while I wouldn’t say it’s been rough, I also wouldn’t say it’s been a joyride (actually, I have had to stop going on joyrides). The Art of Frugal Hedonism helped me to see and appreciate the hidden joys and benefits of living green.
What’s “frugal hedonism”? Put simply, it’s living small so you can focus on the joy of living. It’s appreciating the small things in life – the geese flying overhead and the smell of fresh baked bread – and letting those guide you, instead of the ever-increasing lure of the big house, big car, and big travel. Frugal hedonism reminds us of the elemental joy of eating good food, spending time with friends and family, and being in nature. These pleasures are cheap or free and they are so much better than anything we can buy online.
Formatted as 51 rules or suggestions to follow if you’d like to become a frugal hedonist, this small book really packs in a lot of great advice. Advice ranges from the specific (#9: Stop reading those magazines, #14: Don’t buy drinks, #18: Grow your own greens, #26: Reinvent Christmas, and #44: Acclimatise to the seasons) to the general (#1: Create your own normal, #20: Indulge your curiosity, #31 Have a fine ol’ peasant time, and #36 Undercomplicate things) to the refreshingly direct (#21: Don’t be a selfish %$*^ and #40: Don’t be a snooty bum bum).
The Art of Frugal Hedonism turns much of what Americans have held as gospel on its head. The authors challenge us to enjoy what we have, take good care of it, and enjoy ourselves as much as we can without spending money or wasting resources. In other words, to simply enjoy being human.
I hope you enjoy this book. Reading it, you will definitely see why it appealed to me personally. The authors are a bit quirky, but don’t let that keep you from taking their advice to heart. They are following #1 and good for them!