Review: The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rowland

Review: The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rowland

Review by Julie Martin

On the 17th March I attended a talk at Bunjil Place library by Annie Raser-Rowland.

The talk was about her book “The Art of Frugal Hedonism”.

The talk was absolutely fantastic and very inspiring, so I purchased the book and have set about to change a few things in my life to become a bit more of a frugal hedonist myself.

After talking to Anna Berkelmans about the book she has asked me if id like to write a kind of review on this book for the Body yoga newsletter.

So here goes,  Im going to select just a tiny few of my favourite parts, to try to give you a taste of what the book is all about.

Firstly Id like to give the dictionary meanings for the two words that make the contents of the entire book.


Frugal: Being careful or economical.

Hedonism: The pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasure of the senses.


The book encourages us to look at the habits we have formed via living in a time that encourages consumption at every moment.

The book is set out with 51 chapters that contain brilliant ways on how you can put together your own toolbox of how to become a frugal hedonist.

If you’ve read this far I can presume you have some level of interest in the title of this book and I would highly recommend you purchase the book so you can dive in and absorb each and every word that Annie has written.

Here goes. Just a few of my favourite parts. (I’ve got heaps more favourites, but i can’t type out the whole book)


Copied from the forward:  In the 1950’s they had fridges but no air travel, telephones but no iPhones, pets but no pet jewellery, barbecues but no $7000 outdoor kitchens, and fast food meant fish and chips.

Can you just re read that a couple of times and really absorb just how much things have changed since the 50’s ?.


There is a tip in the chapter titled  “Relish”  to stroke your dog’s ear between thumb and forefinger and marvel at its silkiness…

Also in this chapter Annie writes how she remembers being a kid and running around the bulk foods store with her friend, plunging her arms into the giant bins of dry beans and rating the different varieties for how much fun they were for arm-plunging.

Can you stop now and think of a sensory pleasure that you could relish in?


In another chapter of the book Annie writes about getting things that are well made to avoid the constant consumption involved in replacing poorly made items. You can then recognize and respect their value.


The chapter titled “Hate Waste” has a mind blowing statistic that in the US, around 150 million tonnes of unrecycled municipal waste is collected every year. 150 million tonnes is the equivalent of 882,000 full size blue whales, which lined up end to end would reach around 26,000 km, two thirds of the way around the earth.

Here in Australia it is said that we throw out around a whopping 20% of all the food brought home.

In this chapter Annie  gives some great tips on how we can reduce this excessive waste.


The chapter titled “Don’t be a sucker” it highlights the excessive amounts of money that are spent on advertising. Annie gives us tips of how to ignore advertising and inturn avoid over consumption.


I love the chapter  “Don’t be a snooty bum bum” There is a particular part in this chapter that Annie has written about a French study where all 54 wine experts failed to notice that they were tasting two identical white wines – except that one had been dyed with a tasteless dye. They had described the white using terms like honey, lychee and straw, and the dyed red with words like coal, raspberry and clove.

The chapter highlights for us to forget about brands and expensive price tags.

Annie writes “The frugal Hedonist is a master of the art of enjoying, and you can enjoy anything you damn well enjoy enjoying”


Another great chapter is titled “Acclimatise to the seasons”

Annie writes: Weather should be one of the great flavour enhancers of life. If we heat and cool our buildings and cars to the same temperature year round, we deny ourselves this flavour – of snuggling into wooly jumpers and going a bit foetal on the couch with duvets and hot chocolate for entire evenings; of throwing the doors and windows open on the first proper spring day to let the smell of warming earth and jasmine rush in; of briny sweat licked from your upper lip as you demolish a slab of watermelon on a summer’s afternoon.


Last but not least is a chapter titled  “ Give something” Annie writes “Giving asserts that you have enough to spare, which keeps you from conning yourself into a mindset of not having enough. And it helps other people. Genius.


So there it is. I have given you just a few of my favourite sentences from only 8 of the 51 chapters in this book.

Again if you’ve stuck with me and read up to this point I would just like to again encourage you to do yourself a favour and purchase this book as there is just so much fantastic wisdom to absorb from Annie. You can then do as I have done and grab your highlighter and highlight all the tips that interest you and collate your very own toolbox of ways to become a little bit of a frugal hedonist too.