The Penny Pincher's Club

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Overview

Bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer offers up a timely (and recession-proof) treat about the things money can-and can't-buy. Living in New Jersey-the state that boasts the most malls per capita-Kat's favorite recreational activity is a no-brainer: shopping. But when she discovers that her husband, Griff, has been hiding a secret bank account, her joyful consumerism suddenly loses its appeal. Are their fights about money more serious than she understood? Is he, as her friends suggest, preparing for a divorce? Just...

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The Penny Pinchers Club: A Novel

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Overview

Bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer offers up a timely (and recession-proof) treat about the things money can-and can't-buy. Living in New Jersey-the state that boasts the most malls per capita-Kat's favorite recreational activity is a no-brainer: shopping. But when she discovers that her husband, Griff, has been hiding a secret bank account, her joyful consumerism suddenly loses its appeal. Are their fights about money more serious than she understood? Is he, as her friends suggest, preparing for a divorce? Just in case, Kat decides it's time to start saving.

Drastic times call for drastic measures: Kat starts by canceling cable and kicking her $240-a-month Starbucks habit. But what starts out as a simple effort to cut costs becomes an over-the-top obsession when Kat joins an eclectic but lovable group of savers called the Penny Pinchers Club. Soon she is pumping her gas at dawn (when it is thicker) and serving dinner made from food she retrieved at the grocery store dumpster. Kat is saving money, to be sure, but what she's really saving is time-time she spends with Griff, their two kids . . . and an old flame who resurfaces at precisely the wrong moment, offering Kat a life where money is no object.

An irresistible and wonderfully warm-hearted novel about the unexpected ways hardship can lead to happiness, The Penny Pinchers Club is the perfect pick-me-up for these troubled times.

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Editorial Reviews

Kristi Lanier
…offers a playful look at that No. 1 relationship killer: money…Bills are a buzz kill, but Strohmeyer deals handily with this subject, injecting a very real problem with humor and charm. She even leaves the reader with a few practical tips on cutting expenses—the perfect recession escape.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Strohmeyer's bubbly farce finds a shopaholic New Jersey wife worried about hanging on to her husband and trying to curb her lavish lifestyle. Katarina "Kat" Griffiths, a 40-something interior designer, joins the eccentric supersavers of the Rocky River Penny Pinchers Club to get out of debt, put her daughter, Laura, through college and save her marriage to Emerly College economics professor Griff Griffiths. Suspecting that Griff is having an affair with the more economically sound Bree, his sexy assistant, Kat vows to save her marriage, even if it means giving up her Lexus and her Starbucks triple venti lattes. Hilarity ensues as Kat discovers, among other things, two Mint Tingle condoms in the pocket of her husband's khakis right before their 20th anniversary as well as his secret $10,000 bank account. When newly divorced Liam Novak, Kat's first love, returns to town, complications ensue. While Strohmeyer's plot may appear overly cutesy, she (The Cinderella Pact) finds ample humor in her family-centric story, and the list of Top 15 Dos and Don'ts from the Penny Pinchers Club is spot-on. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Now in her early forties, shopaholic Kat Griffiths has been blissfully unconcerned with finances her whole life until she realizes that her husband plans to leave her. In order to save enough money for the divorce that she is sure Griff wants-she's made a few assumptions after snooping through his email-Kat joins the Rocky River Penny Pinchers Club, which friend Libby has been asking her to check out. The club turns out to offer more than a lesson in frugality. Kat meets a group of supportive people who help her figure out what she really wants to do with her life, which is most important when Liam, the man she rejected 20 years earlier in favor of her husband, moves back to town and Kat revisits the love triangle she experienced in her twenties. A fast-paced and engaging read with a truly timely topic, this book is sure to be a winner with Strohmeyer's (Sweet Love) many fans and women's fiction fans who need a summer read. [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/1/09.]
—Karen Core

Kirkus Reviews
A spendthrift interior designer, fearing that her economist husband plans to divorce and impoverish her, joins a support group of eccentric skinflints, in the latest from Strohmeyer (Sweet Love, 2008, etc.). Without regrets, Kat jilted fiance Liam, now a billionaire big-pharma exec, for her soul mate, Griff, a charismatic economics professor at a small New Jersey college. Twenty years later, daughter Laura is finishing high school, and Griff and Kat, always strapped for cash, are worrying about how to put her through NYU. A long-term factotum for Chloe, a social-climbing designer, Kat yearns to go independent, if only her paycheck weren't already dedicated to paying off her ever-ballooning credit-card debt. She rationalizes her mall habit, Lexus SUV and daily venti lattes by arguing that interior designers have to ape their wealthy clients. When she discovers condom wrappers while laundering Griff's pants, her busybody sister Viv goads her to investigate further. There's a fancy restaurant bill, unusual for famously frugal Griff. Is he wining and dining his young, sexy assistant Bree? Griff has a secret MasterCard, and he has somehow diverted $10,000 to a separate bank account. Kat's denial evaporates when she finds e-mail exchanges between Bree and Griff indicating that he is going to "break it to" Kat when Laura graduates high school. Kat has about seven months to amass a divorce contingency fund of $15,000. Enter the Penny Pinchers Club, endearingly fanatical misfits who introduce Kat to the secrets of samurai saving, e.g. swarm en masse in search of discounts and rebates, buy in bulk and freeze, etc. Kat is arrested while dumpster-diving with "freegan" former investment banker Wade.Griff and Bree are increasingly closeted, allegedly researching his book about a reclusive ex-Fed chairman. Liam resurfaces, seeking a designer to refurbish his new mansion. As Liam, still smitten, offers her a safe harbor, Kat is increasingly tempted to question the choice she made years before between financial security and the love of her life. Thanks to Strohmeyer's penchant for humor, Kat's adventures entertain despite the transparently contrived plot.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525951179
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/2/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Strohmeyer is the author of Sweet Love, The Cinderella Pact, The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, and the popular Bubbles series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2010

    Have to read!!!

    This was a very good book, I read it in a day and a half. Could not put it down, absolutely loved it! A must read!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Easy Read, Enjoyable

    This book is good, not intellectually stimulating perhaps. But, I didn't expect that. The book flowed, characters were interesting and I found myself taking sides and favoring characters, I was invested. To me it's a quick, easy summer read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Had potential

    I really wanted to love this book. I found there to be too many side stories that just wernt needed. I also found the reconcilliation to be unrealistic

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    The Penny Pinchers Club A great title for anyone living in today's economy and some very good lessons and ideas.

    This book was not what I was expecting at all. I have never read the author before and the title was recommended by my sister. I picked it up because I was looking for a new author and she is now on my list of must reads!
    New Jersey housewife trying to cut down on her spending? Sounded like something I might have seen on a reality show. It was much better than a TV show. It has humor, romance, more humor and some really good money saving ideas. Sarah Strohmeyer makes learning how to save money and energy fun. How is that possible?
    Kat, the main character, is believable. She is mom who had to go to work to supplement the family income but is still struggling every day. She is terrified of the day she has to tell her daughter that they have no money set aside to send her to college. How many of us can relate to that. I have never thought about all the "things" we have that cost us money and we don't even think of or worse know about.
    This was a fun read, a book I had a hard time putting down and even learned from. I can't say I have read too many other books that I can say the same of.
    I already have several of Strohmeyer"s books on my list of must go and get right away!
    Try it, you won't be sorry.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Lots of Fun to Read

    This book was a real hoot and very originally written. The author takes a unique approach as she combines real places in NJ with a fictional story of a middle class housewife who is forced to change her bad spending habits and become a super saver. Kat, the main character, is a smart, resourceful woman who underestimates herself and her abilities. As a result of her husband's philandering, she is forced into a financial corner. She must learn how to control her spending and start saving before she attempts to get out of her marriage. She joins a super saver club and meets a cast of characters that are witty, funny and very unique. What follows is a series of mishaps and funny adventures that make the book move enjoyably fast. Also, the author includes many real websites for readers who are trying to budget like our heroine. I give this book a big thumbs up, but I would not recommend for gift giving as I believe the title and subject matter could be offensive if the recipient has a real problem with spending.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Penny Pinchers Club

    Really a good read - very enjoyable! The characters are excellent and the plot was great. Especially good in these trouble times - alot of ideas throughout the book. Would highly recommend this book and am looking forward to her next book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2009

    Fun Read

    This is by an author I don't usually read, but I found the book to be very entertaining. It's also very topical with the recession we're enduring. Some good saving ideas. Really liked the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A penny saved is.....

    a great read!

    The first book I read by Sarah Stohmeyer was the Sleeping Beauty Proposal - a great fun chick lit read that I enjoyed. So on a rainy Sunday I happily settled down with her latest - The Penny Pinchers Club.

    Kat Griffiths is unpacking her husband's luggage after his business trip. But when she discovers two Mint Tingle Trojan wrappers and a receipt for a fancy dinner on a night she couldn't reach him at the hotel, she is caught unawares. Convinced he is having an affair with his young assistant, Kat visits a divorce attorney, who advises her that she will need at least $15,000 of her own money to land on her feet. The problem is - Kat loves to shop. What she doesn't love is knowing what she spends - Visa bills are the enemy. But forced with no choice, she vows to stop shopping, cut corners and save money. To that end, she joins the local 'Penny Pinchers' club. The plot thickens when a former lover appears back in her life.

    Strohmeyer is a witty writer. The dialogue is funny and fast paced. Her characters are warm and engaging. The members of the club are an eclectic interesting group that I enjoyed. The secondary plots involving their lives added to the story. The group has some good realistic ideas on saving money - especially timely in today's economy. There's a list of their suggestions included at the end of the book. Although it's a light hearted entertaining read, the degree of happiness Kat achieves without the purchase of 'things' is worth noting, as is the degree of satisfaction she finds in taking control of her own life. The ending isn't quite what I envisioned or would have preferred, but I enjoyed it very much. If you're looking for a fun light hearted read, this would be a great choice. A little more hen lit than chick lit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    Great book for these recession days

    As always, Sarah has produced a fun/easy reading book. You begin to feel like you are part of the club and know the characters. Good tips for these recession days when we all need to get realistic with spending and learn how to stretch paychecks.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Pinch of love

    When I read that Sarah Strohmeyer was writing " The Penny Pinchers Club, I let out a squeak! Ms. Strohmeyer has never failed to deliver a wonderful, heartwarming and hilarious story. She writes to you like a girlfriend would chat, over a chippy Barry White tune, while huddled in a coffee shop.
    Being one of the many feeling the effects of the recession, I was thrilled for some new ideas on pinching pennies. Ms. Strohmeyer certainly did her research! The advice was insightful, yet amusing and quirky. I know I will never dumpster dive! I found "Penny Pinchers" to be about much more than money-saving advice. It is awash with humor and thought provoking situations. It hit me to the core.
    Who hasn't spent more than they have on occasion? How many of us have found our soul mates or are even happy in marriage? How much do we know about those close to us? The main character, Kat, in due time, comes to realize what is REALLY important; what matters in life. She is encircled with wonderful friends that entertained me with their own stories. Kat's old love, Liam, resurfaces to potentially complicate life. Liam's earnest feelings toward Kat took my breathe away!
    I nodded while I read about cable bills, self-service gas stations, cutting out coffee shop coffee, and buying in bulk. But I was reminded, what we really need to know about life isn't always that obvious or simple-that digging deep for inner strength and committing to change is difficult; that the fight for what we want is so worth it. Please read the other reviews for the whole story line. I prefer to share how Ms. Strohmeyer made me feel while I read her story.
    She made me think about life's uncertainties and how stepping out of your comfort zone CAN be good. She made me laugh. She made me think about the meaning of trust, marriage, family, friends, and recognizing how we are human. So, make your tea and block out a good chunk time from your calendars to read Ms Strohmeyer's "The Penny Pinchers' Club". This will certainly make you laugh and think.
    I am not a writer nor do I play one on TV, but I know truer words were never written, "True love is proved not by what it does for us, but what is makes us do for those we love" Thanks Sarah!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This entreating timely contemporary drama is an enjoyable often amusing but always poignant tale

    In Rocky River, Griff and Kat Griffiths have been fighting for a long time over her out of control spending habits. She thinks he is a penny pinching miser and he feels she is a spendthrift with no discipline. As their daughter leaves the nest for the first time to attend college, Kat is stunned to find Griff has a secret bank account and seems to be spending an exorbitant amount of time with his research assistant. Those two findings open up Kat's eyes that she nothing in her name, which means a sudden change in demeanor before filing for divorce.

    Kat joins the Rocky Rivers Penny Pinchers Club to learn how to save money whole also having a support group. She cancels cable television and stops drinking gourmet coffee. She begins scavenging dumpsters near the groceries to find thrown away food. Kat saves money, but apparently not her marriage. When a wealthy former lover reenters her life, Kat knows she must choose between an apparent failed marriage and a new start, but love is making her selection difficult.

    This entreating timely contemporary drama is an enjoyable often amusing but always poignant tale with a deep message subtly included. The fast-paced story line focuses on Kat who has spousal issues while obsessing to squeeze the penny starting with no more Starbucks; in fact she pulls a reaction formation so much so she gives Lincoln a headache with her squeezing. Fans will enjoy the newest penny pincher as she begins to understand more than just saving money; though in her forties and a mom, she begins to understand what matters; something many people never learn.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Entertaining!

    This is a good book to read for relaxation. I looked forward to reading it each day.

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    Posted November 13, 2009

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    Posted March 20, 2011

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    Posted July 28, 2009

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    Posted December 11, 2009

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted January 31, 2011

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    Posted November 6, 2010

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