The Complete Tightwad Gazette Paperback – Dec 15 1998
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Though tightwad seems like a derogatory term, author Amy Dacyczyn wants to assure you that it's okay to be a penny-pincher. This self-styled "Frugal Zealot" wrote and published The Tightwad Gazette for over six years to spread the frugal gospel. Each issue contained tips from her personal experience and from her many readers. The wealth of information contained in all these issues has been compiled into one volume for the first time. You'll find literally thousands of ideas for saving money, from the simple or practical to the difficult or bizarre. On the simple, practical side, Dacyczyn advises would-be tightwads to keep track of price trends at several stores in a "price book" and to buy in bulk when prices are low. Other, stranger offerings include tips for turning margarine-tub lids into playing-card holders, old credit cards into guitar picks, and six-pack rings into a hammock or volleyball net. More helpful are inexpensive recipes for making homemade versions of pricey, well-known products and ingenious ways to fix broken or damaged items. The book's disorganization encourages browsing, but the detailed index will point you to the exact page for specific items. Dacyczyn's occasional "thriftier than thou" tone is balanced by the friendly support for frugality that infuses every page. She even reminds her readers that it's okay to "sweat the small stuff"--because this small stuff is the essence of frugality. --C.B. Delaney
Top Customer Reviews
I think the Dacyczyn children are very blessed to be raised in a family where worldly values are put in perspective and the important things in life are stressed. My daughter and I are reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's books together, and while reading the Tightwad books, I was struck at how many parallels there are between the beloved classic books and the Dacyczyn family's values.
Children do not need fancy, expensive new clothes to develop properly. There is nothing wrong with used clothes, in the first place. Secondly, Mrs. Dacyczyn makes clear her clothing philosophy in a little article about how she spoke with all her children about what they wanted to wear on the first day of school. She spent a good deal of time planning this with them, and actually made a special item (a vest, I think) so they would feel special. She didn't have to throw money at them to show that she loved them. She spent time talking and listening.
As far as the bath issue... hello, children do NOT need a bath every single day. Where did that myth come from, anyway? It does not jeapordize their health if they don't get scrubbed every night. Most of the people I know give their kids a bath "as-needed" during the week, and then on Saturday night so they're extra-clean for church on Sunday morning. Baths are more frequent in the summer, when they're outside getting dirty, and less in the winter (sometimes only once a week in our house) when they spend all their time inside, and I'd rather not send them to bed with wet hair. It's not so much a matter of frugality as it is common sense.Read more ›
The author is a black-belt tightwad and has been from the beginning of her marriage. She and her husband did things "right" from Day One. Which is great for them, but that's where the discouragement from this book came in for me. My husband and I didn't do things "right" from the beginning and consequently weren't going to be able to live in a big, beautiful farmhouse in the country while our children were still small. It was sort of depressing to read about all the wonderful benefits that frugal living brought to the author's life. We'd made some major mistakes in the past (both of us were raised in spend-thrift homes so we really didn't know another way until we'd hit rock bottom ourselves) ... and all of the penny-pinching in the world now wasn't going to allow us to live out our "dream."
Anyway, please know that I LOVE this book for it's tips and ideas! Frugality really is an alternative lifestyle in this day of easy credit and disposable everything, so the author's voice is desparately needed by those of us looking for some frugal encouragement.
But because of the depressing aspect of feeling like the author doesn't "get" the situation of people who've made financial mistakes, I found that reading Mary Hunt's books (especially "The Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover") has helped to balance things out a bit for me.Read more ›
Yes, some of the ideas can seem extreme. I think when you prioritize you life, you'll see it really isn't. If you are truely serious about changing your life/situation, you'll open your mind to anything.
This book isn't just great for stay-at-home parents, but college kids, newlyweds, even folks who want to get rid of debts. I recommend the Tightwad Gazette books to anyone who wants to save money.
The true tightwad will make a run for the library. I also recomment the monthly Tightwad Newletter.
Most recent customer reviews
I purchased this book with another and found book lice .
This was a great book when I read it the first time ages ago and I was looking forward
to seeing what I had... Read more
A big and thick book.Lots of information and ideas about saving money.When i received the book from amazon it looks boring but after a year i read it again now i appreciate it... Read morePublished on April 28 2012 by jessielyn
This amazingly huge tome of almost 1000 pages contains a wealth of money saving knowledge, good sense, and formulas to help you calculate savings and create your own recipes. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2011 by The Pine Book Shelf
There are just so many great money saving ideas in here and other useful information.Published on Sept. 9 2009 by A. Jarvis
This book offers great money saving advice for those who don't care what others think of them. Many of the tips given result in obviously "home made" solutions. Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2006 by L. A. Turner
While I enjoy and have used much of the information in this book, my big gripe is that the index is done terribly. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Amazon Customer
I agree with some of the authors advise like not to spend money on disposable things like diapers,paper towels,paper plates etc... Read morePublished on May 26 2004 by saadia
I originally wrote a review back in 2002 and was scanning the more recent reviews today. I was saddened to see that the controversy continues over how extreme some of the measures... Read morePublished on April 28 2004 by Dena R. Sigman
The book filled with money saving ideas, some of which I found helpful, others that were impractical for me, and others that I doubt are useful to anyone without an excess of free... Read morePublished on March 13 2004
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