Many people might ask what Kelly knows about living on a budget given that he's a television celebrity, but he addresses this criticism head on, stating:
"You don't know my life!" Sure, I've got some money now -- not as much as Honey Boo Boo -- but for years I was broker than broke, to the tune of $87,000 in debt and making $24,000 a year. Good times. But I didn't want to be reminded every day that I was living hand-to-mouth, so I always kept my apartment looking somewhat upscale. And I did that by being clean, shopping wisely, and getting crafty.
This passage is precisely what I loved about the book as a whole and what I love about Kelly as a TV personality: he isn't afraid to just put it all out there and be honest. Whether he wrote this book himself or had a ghost writer do it, I felt Kelly's voice and personality throughout, which is what made it such a worthwhile read. I didn't find the food section particularly inspiring because most of the recipes he includes are very classic and traditional, but they are simple and elegant enough for someone new to cooking to tackle without feeling too intimidated.
Which is why I think this would be a great book to gift to a college student or new college grad who isn't making a lot of money but likes to live a rich life. As Kelly says in the introduction:
Fabulousness has absolutely nothing to do with money. Fabulousness comes from within. It's about living your life the most conscious way possible. Are the foods you're putting in your body the highest quality you can afford? Are the clothes you're wearing telling the world you're glad you got out of bed this morning? Does your abode make you happy the second you walk in the front door?
Which is a good lesson for many of us, not just college grads to learn. You don't need a lot of money to lead a rich life, which is why I absolutely adore this book. Not to mention, Kelly's humor that is peppered throughout:
Freakin' Fabulous on a Budget by Clinton Kelly
Published: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Disclosure: Library Copy