Two good book tips…


So my plan was to write out a thoughtful article around frugality for you today, but after an off chance conversation with a stranger I’m gonna hit you with two quick book tips here instead ;)

With the first one coming from my newfound friend! (Thanks Ed!)

Turns out he’s an expat currently living in Taiwan teaching English, and as we got onto the topic of money which usually ends up happening (he doesn’t get social security working there, NOR can he invest in Vanguard funds, eek!), he asked if I ever heard of the “Millionaire Teacher” book before. Which is apparently the Holy Bible of all things finance in his community ;)

I told him I’d heard of it before and even given away a few copies on the blog over the years, but I admittedly hadn’t checked it in depth mainly just because I’m not a teacher.

He said it was a great book for *everyone* though, so below is a quick snapshot of it for anyone who might be interested in giving it a shot:

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School

by Andrew Hallam

millionaire teacher book

Per Amazon:

Millionaire Teacher shows you how to achieve financial independence through smart investing — without being a financial wizard.

Author Andrew Hallam was a high school English teacher. He became a debt-free millionaire by following a few simple rules. In this book, he teaches you the financial fundamentals you need to follow in his tracks. You can spend just an hour per year on your investments, never think about the stock market’s direction — and still beat most professional investors.

It’s not about get-rich-quick schemes or trendy investment products peddled by an ever-widening, self-serving industry; it’s about your money and your future.

This new second edition features updated discussion on passive investing, studies on dollar cost averaging versus lump sum investing, and a detailed segment on RoboAdvisors for Americans, Canadians, Australians, Singaporeans and British investors.

More can be found on the book here: Millionaire Teacher Amazon page
And then more about the author here:

(Another great blogger around finance and teaching, btw? Ed over at Super NICE guy, and always hacking the system to pound out more investments – highly recommend :))

Tip #2 today comes from yours truly who started doing this about three years ago when he ran out of boxes to ship books in…

And that’s using Trader Joe’s paper bags to wrap up and mail out all packages! No boxes required! Which not only gives you that nice old school feel to it, but also serves as an excellent – and FREE! – way to repurpose your bags :) And since Trader Joe’s likes to double bag all your groceries, you actually get more than enough to ship out a small army worth of books whenever needed, haha…

Here’s one I just wrapped up for one of our recent giveaway winners:

trader joes wrapping paper

So nice and clean looking, right?!

Just be sure to *flip* the bags inside out or else they might come across more tacky than frugal, haha…

Other great uses for it:

  • Drawing paper
  • Gift wrapping
  • Carrying SUPER heavy stuff! (Those bags are sturdy!)
  • Getting really nerdy compliments

I’m not sure if *all* communities would appreciate this as much, but here in the $$$ world it certainly goes over well ;) Here are two messages I recently got from people who seemed more excited about the packaging job than the actual items they contained, haha…

“Love the frugal packaging…never thought of that. And I’m eclectic!”

“Props to you for wrapping [my book] in a Trader Joes bag! I’ll definitely keep that in mind for the next time I send a book through the mail. No Trader Joes around here, but I have a pile of Aldi bags from those couple of times I forgot to bring my own. They’ll be perfect.”

So there you have it – a good book, and a good way to wrap your books!

It’s the small things in life, my friends ;)

What frugal things have you got into, lately?

UPDATE: Be sure to mail books “media mail” too! Which will get the costs down as low as possible, so long as you don’t mind them taking an extra couple of days to get there :)

// Killer photo up top by MysticsArtDesign
// Links to amazon above are affiliate links…

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  1. Bryan June 19, 2019 at 7:29 AM

    The Best Things in Life are Free :-)

  2. Victoria B. June 19, 2019 at 7:33 AM

    Don’t forget about the “book rate” for mailing your books via the US Postal Service. You have to request it at the counter, not the self service kiosk, but as long as your mailing only books you can save on postage.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2019 at 7:40 AM


      Totally forgot to mention that – thank you :)

  3. MK June 19, 2019 at 7:49 AM

    Back when I was in school & plastic shopping bags weren’t around yet, I would use paper grocery bags to make book covers for my school books. The paper was pretty sturdy so it held up pretty good & you could write all over it & not get in trouble :) When my kids reached that age, they wanted to buy book covers from the store – thin, stretchy things that didn’t last at all.

    Also, I reuse plastic bread bags. I use them for loaves of my own homemade bread, breading chicken, sending home cookies with the family, etc. They are very handy for many things.

    1. Adam June 19, 2019 at 8:23 AM

      Oh man, now I’m having vivid flashbacks to the late 1980s and my dad teaching me how to do that. Didn’t even need tape if you folded it the right way. Next time I borrow a hardcover book from the library I’ll have to give that a shot just for nostalgia’s sake!

      1. J. Money June 19, 2019 at 3:13 PM


        That was where it was AT back in the day! I guess that’s why I subconsciously thought this was “old school” haha.. We literally DID it at school and now we’re all OLD! (Bah dum-ching)

  4. LIsa O June 19, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Reduce, Reuse & Recycle…it makes us feel rich when we can save! When you start thinking of things that could save you a few pennies/bucks then you know how much you really have. You brought me back to my school days….with covering books and then decorating them according to the subject :) I reuse bread bags for picking up dog droppings on our walks. I can not bring myself to buy the bags when I have a solution that is free and just as good. I also reuse dog food bags for sloppy garbage and keep it in the garage so my garbage in the house doesn’t smell and it helps to assure I have one bag a week. I never take a plastic bag when I buy something. If it is a small item, I carry it out. If it is a large item I bring my cloth bags.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2019 at 3:18 PM

      Excellent uses for plastic bags :)

      I had to raid my parents’ house the other day to get more as we’ve long since stopped getting them from stores but use them for our cat litter… Turned out my parents never use them anymore now that their dog has passed so it was like hitting the lottery getting 100+ extra bags! And all for FREE!! :)

  5. Joe June 19, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    Heh, the paper bag wrapper reminds me of the DIY cover we used to make for our textbooks. Did you guys do that too or was it just in Los Angeles? I wonder if kids still do that today.
    We use the TJ bags for our dry trash and recycle.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2019 at 3:21 PM

      We did it all over the world as I grew up military!

      But come to think about it I think one of the *first* times I learned about it was when we were stationed in California :) Had to make sure I brought it all the way to Korea after but I’m pretty sure they were already doing it there too, lol…

  6. Rho | Their Money Goals June 19, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    We made paper bag covers for our textbooks in NJ, too! Never thought to use paper bags to mail books, but that’s a great idea.