Monday, January 2, 2012

TBR welcomes Maria Zannini

It's TBR's official launch! I'm very excited to have Maria Zannini as the inaugural guest, and especially excited that she chose TBR to announce her latest release. Please help me welcome Maria!

Welcome to 2012!

I am honored to kick off Cate Masters’ TBR blog. It seems especially apropos because January is celebrated as the month for fresh starts and clean slates. What better time than to introduce a book that will start you thinking about ways to get ahead of the rat race without going broke.

Many of you might know me from my fiction, like my post-apocalyptic titles, Touch of Fire and Apocalypse Rising, my SF novel, True Believers, or my current angel series: The Devil To Pay and Chain of Souls.

But this year I’ve decided to write about my true passion and publish a series of books on a subject I know intimately. Frugal living.

I love living frugal! It’s got a pioneer, can-do spirit that puts me in charge. In a world where everybody else but you seem to be calling the shots, frugal living is empowering. It’s never been more important than today.

Every day, you meet people bemoaning the economy. Let’s face it. No matter where you live, the economy sucks. People are out of work, or dealing with higher prices, lower wages, or more mouths to feed. But I am living proof that it’s a vicious circle you can escape.

I live a pretty good life, despite being married to a man who likes to spend money like a Rockefeller. (Bad husband!)  Luckily, early in our marriage we came to a meeting of the minds and came up with a game plan that not only erased our debts, but is allowing us to retire early.

My frugal lifestyle became part game and part challenge. I found ways to save on everything from homes to lampshades. And if you think you can’t do it, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. Anyone can do this. All you need is a plan of action—and the right resources to keep you fabulously frugal.

As a matter of fact, the first book is exactly on creating your lifetime strategy. It’s called Smart Budgets for Busy People.

Every book in The Frugal Way series will be to-the-point, full of resources, tips, and real life experiences that back up my claims. Best of all, every Frugal Way Guide is CHEAP! Just 99 cents.

There will be more than a dozen guidebooks in total, with a new title coming out every two to three months. Budgets, Shopping, Food, Pets, Holidays, Gardening, and more. Each book will be tightly packed little explosions of information and links to get you the best deals and the smartest online tools to make your new frugal life easier.

I’m on a mission to get you solvent and on the road to retiring rich. Welcome to The Frugal Way.  

Leave a comment and tell me what’s the hardest part about saving money for you. One lucky commenter will win a copy of Smart Budgets for Busy People. I’ll choose a winner on Friday, January 6, 2012. Please be sure to leave your contact information in the comment if you’d like to be in the running.

PS  And be a pal to Cate and add yourself as a follower to this blog (TBR).

Maria Zannini is a writer, homesteader, and dog lover (not necessarily in that order). You can follow her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and now her BRAND NEW Facebook page, The Frugal Way.

The Frugal Way page is so new, I haven’t even told anyone about it yet. You’re the first. When you like the page, you’ll be kept up to date on any good deals I come across or any bits of lofty inspiration. Feel free to post on the Wall and share your thoughts and struggles. The Frugal Way is more than a series of books. I want to turn it into a community.

Buy Smart Budgets for Busy People at Amazon and Smashwords.

I hope you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Thanks so much for kicking off TBR with a bang, Maria! Best of luck with your new project.


  1. Sounds like a great new series, Maria! And really looking forward to TBR and the authors who will be blogging!

  2. Can't wait to read the series! I think my biggest challenge is keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the house this time of year when they are out of season and astronomically priced. Maria's series sounds like something we should all be reading!

  3. Cate: Thank you for letting me hang at your place today. It just feels right, both of us launching today.

    Melissa: This blog is a great idea! And I love that it's so well organized. Three times a week, three new authors.

    Margi: Oh, honey. Wait until you see Smart Grocery Shopping. I've been doing my research.

  4. Welcome Maria! Thanks again for helping to launch TBR in style. :)
    Your series is very timely and knowing you, a wonderful resource. I'm looking forward to using it (especially the grocery part - our bill is astronomical).

  5. I love you! A book about saving money that is only 99 cents! SOLD. I can't wait to read this one.

    My biggest problem is gas. I work about 20 miles away from my home so I'm spending a lot of money on gas. Although my car is very economical when it comes to gas, but still it kills my budget.

  6. Sounds like a great way to spend a dollar. We can all learn how to save money, especially in this economy.

  7. What a great way to kick off this new blog!

  8. Cate - Wonderful blog! Thanks for kicking it off with Maria. She's wonderful.

    Maria - I love your new series idea. It sounds like a series of the heart for you :)

  9. Wish this book had been around forty years ago. But we're never too old to save money. I'm going to love this series. Thanks, Maria.

    (And I "followed" TBR.)

  10. Angelina: There are tips on saving gas in the first book! I hope you enjoy it.

    Clarissa: It's cheaper than the Dollar Menu and McDonald's--and better for our waistlines. :P

    Alex: What's a new year without thinking of exercise and money? :)

    Rula: I have to thank my hubby for pushing me over the edge. He's been bugging me for YEARS to do this series.

    Linda: I still pick up tips even today. We're never too old to learn.

  11. This is the perfect book for this new blog. Best of luck with your new series, Maria!

  12. What a great idea!!! I had no idea you were frugal!! (grin) great idea and great way to launch the new blog!

  13. Wow, this sound like a great and timely series! And the book itself is a bargain to boot!

  14. First congratulations on TBR official launch, to Maria for your new series(I am looking forward to the one on Gardening for my husband!) Also noted this on Twitter and Google+ so hope others will as well as we all could stand a little bit of advice on being more frugal!
    Hardest thing for me is the monthly expenses incurred by my husband eating out at lunch and dinner time all week when he is working. His company took his expense account for meals away about 8 years ago and I hate credit card bill every month that we could use to save money instead of wasting so much as most meals are not cheap ones!

  15. Congrats on TBR's launch.

    Huge congrats on the book Maria! The time is definitely ripe for it.

  16. Congrats, Maria, on starting this new series and to Cate for this new blog.

    I've already downloaded my copy of this so no need to add me as part of the giveaway. I enjoy Cate a great deal so I'm glad to follow her here :-)

    What's the hardest thing for me? Sheesh, I think I have the "I live on the rocks but want to spend like a Rockefeller" syndrome. Though I'm not crazy with it, I sometimes have to yank myself from the brink *shaking head in shame*

  17. I always seem to run out of money before I run out of month. It always seems hard to find money to save that is not already tied to a bill! Great idea for a book! Roland

  18. Frugal living passes me by whenever I see shiny costume jewelry. Most times, I can restrain myself. When I feel I can't, I just shove my wallet into my husband's hands and tell him to run.

  19. These books sound great, Maria! Just the thought of getting such info for that price is wonderful. Congrats!!

    And congrats to TBR for this great new blog.

    Happy New Year!

  20. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! And for helping Maria celebrate her latest.

  21. ooh yeah, i could probably use this book. i've been living broke for close to a half a year. it's pretty tiring. Some of it's just bad luck, with sick pets and stuff. But most of it is just spending a bit beyond my means.

    email =

  22. Maria, thanks for this and upcoming books for frugality. In times like these, the books will come in handy.

  23. Our biggest economic challenge right now is having kids in college. The tuition and costs go up even when our salary doesn't. None of the planning we did to pay for this was enough. We're working extra and saving bits and pieces here and there but we're falling behind.

  24. I definitely NEED books on frugality. My greatest difficulty in the frugality department is keeping that weekly grocery bill down to a "bearable" level rather than the "ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?" spike at the check out. My daughter is an avid "couponer" but I'm afraid keeping track of all that makes my head spin. I'll welcome any tips you've got, Maria! :-)

    Oh and best of luck with the new series - but I bet you're not going to need it. After all, can't EVERYBODY use tips on being frugal?

  25. First off...Congrats to Cate on her kick off blog!

    Maria, your books sound inspiring. Even if you can't use all of your recommendations/suggestions..every little bit you do is a help.

    The hardest thing for me in keeping on task of not overspending is picking up take out on days I work. I'm usually so tired, I don't want to cook, or even wait for a microwave meal to heat I know if I cut it out, I'd save more, but it's hard to fight the convenience.

    Happy New Year..and just in case I'm lucky enough to win, here's my contact info :)

  26. I heard this was the place to be! :-) Maria, I am way excited about this book and it is exactly what I need to start off the new year. With starting my own business and leaving my corporate is WAY tight and it scares me.

    Nice to "meet" you, Cate and I am looking forward to following!

  27. Julia: It was kismet that Cate and I hooked up when we did.

    Pauline: Oh, honey. I could tell you stories. LOL. I earned my lumps the hard way.

    Southpaw: When I thought about pricing, I felt it needed to be at the lowest I could afford in essence, to make my point.

    Jackie: You know gardening is my passion. But it's an expensive endeavor. Over the years, I've really got it down to a science when it comes to shopping for gardening supplies and plants.

    Ref: husband
    I got one of those too. :) He's better, but it took some serious training. LOL

    Raelyn: January is when I really start thinking about my financial health--especially with taxes around the corner. I figured if I was thinking about it, others would be too.

    Angela: Thank you! You made my day!

    Roland: My first year of marriage was like that. We were always living on next week's paycheck. It didn't take us long to realize we'd be in trouble if we didn't take control of our spending.

    Kaye: I hope I can always keep it at this price.

    Sarah: Boy, do I know sick pets. LOL. And that is expensive.

    Dru: Thank Greg for pushing me. LOL.

    Susan: Oh, that's a toughie. It requires not just a financial readjustment but a change in attitude too. My parents could barely afford us. I started paying for my own education when I was in high school.

    Maeve: I think groceries are the single most outrageous expense we have to suffer. I touched on a few tips in the Smart Budgets book, but I'm devoting an entire book to grocery shopping because the subject is so big.

    Christine: I hear ya. Seriously. I am exactly the same. I hate to cook especially for myself. But I can give you one trick I used when I worked in an office. My friends and I got together and each of us would have a day where we would bring lunch for the gang. I only had to prepare something once a week. The rest of the time, someone else was cooking. I loved it!

    Tracy Jo: Told ya this was the happening spot. :) You'll like Cate.

  28. Maris, saving is always a good thing. Your new series sounds great, especially looking forward to the installment on pets.

    Cate, great start to your blog. Looking forward to what comes next.

    Thoughts in Progress

  29. Hey everyone! *waves* Thanks for the great turnout for Maria, and for TBR!

  30. Mason, you KNOW the pet book is going to be jam-packed with every resource I can find.

    Cate: Thanks again for hosting me. I'll pop in tomorrow and select a winner for the book.

  31. Looking forward to your next visit, Maria! :)

  32. Drum roll, please.

    The winner of Smart Budgets for Busy People is...


    Congrats, Clarissa!


Talk to TBR guests!