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The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle
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The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  443 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Having discovered that frugality is good for the bank account and the environment, Amy Dacyczyn started a newsletter for skinflints in 1989. Within a year, 50,000 cheapskates had subscribed to The Tightwad Gazette. Now Amy has collected all her wisdom into a book, and it's as good a deal as you'll find in these inflationary times. Line drawings.
Paperback, 307 pages
Published December 29th 1992 by Villard (first published 1992)
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Hardcover Hearts
Oct 18, 2008 Hardcover Hearts rated it liked it
Shelves: non_fiction
This book is extreme. If we do go into a depression, I will be using this as my bible. The woman turned saving into a sport and I was amazed at how anal she was in her quest to save pennies. Some good ideas and then there are a lot of out there ones too.
R. C.
Oct 15, 2012 R. C. rated it really liked it
I read this many years ago, when I was a young mom with just one baby, and I had incorporated many of the tips and tricks into my routine. Re-reading was not as valuable as I hoped. I'd say a third of the tips are no longer relevant because of changes caused by Craigslist, eBay and the like. What was useful I was mostly already doing. I did jot down a few recipes, casserole ratios and the like.

I'd warn also that maybe twenty percent of the still modernly relevant ideas are not doable outside th
Feb 24, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
This book is filled with so much useful information, but it is funny to read prices of items, such as food, and bemoan the fact that prices have risen in the 25 years since this books was put together. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to thrive while living within their means, rather than living the American dream of debt.
Mar 10, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
I had a lot of fun reading this book and it certainly inspired me to be more thrifty. However, I'm not able to apply most of the content because it's either more radical than my wife and I are currenly willing to go, or it's outdated material due to the growing utility of the Internet. Maybe small changes will get me hooked on the lifestyle and I'll get more extreme over time? Haha, I'll have to see what my wife thinks about that.

I have another book I'm slowly reading called "How to Get Out of t
Jun 05, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
This book is so entertaining, plus it gave me some ideas for how to be even more frugal -- and what I should do with bits of trash I can't recycle. I want to read the "Complete" one now.
Jan 24, 2015 jimtown rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I remember reading parts of this years ago, and now although I didn't read every word, I've finished with it. Published in 1992, many of the ideas presented here are still viable today, but some are sadly outdated and no longer usable, such as any mention of gas prices and free, commercial paid TV, which through no fault of the author, is what took an extra half star away from this book.

I enjoyed the introduction and the writing style and that many of the ideas came from readers of Dacyczyn's or
Mar 29, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it
I've read this book--and the rest of the series--before, but it had been many years, so I pulled them off the shelf to read again. Even though some of the suggestions are outdated, this book never fails to spark new ideas and give me plenty to think about.

If you try to take each piece of advice at its face, you are going to be disappointed. Some suggestions are no long relevant due to changes in technology, and some were never relevant to those without large families, those living in smaller sp
Jul 09, 2010 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: finances
Many great ideas on how to save money. You can basically sum it up as using your imagination to save money and make use of what you have. I especially like the ideas of using milk cartons as mini green houses for your plants and many other great and practical ideas.

I got a kick out of all the talk of savings at the post office. It's amazing how, in so few short years, it has become completely irrelevant. They talked a lot about letters vs using long distance. It's amazing how that has become ir
Katie/Doing Dewey
Nov 27, 2012 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it it was ok
The Tightwad Gazette started out as an actual gazette – a series of newsletters written by author Amy Dacyzyn. The book is basically just a compilation of these news letters with dividers indicating the different seasons. Some of the advice is seasonal, such as creative ways to do meaningful but cheap Christmas presents. Other advice is much broader, touching on the ethics of being a tightwad and the creativity required to solve problems cheaply. The rest of the advice is somewhere in-between, d ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Phyllis rated it liked it
Shelves: junk
I had trouble relating to a lot of this book because I like to pinch pennies on some things (clothes, books, furniture, art) so I can splurge on other things (perfume, outrageously expensive European fashion magazines, more books) which makes me a bizarre tightwad/spendthrift hybrid mutant creature. There's some solid advice for frugal living in here, but at times Amy Dacyczyn and the folks who send letters to the Gazette become overpoweringly self-righteous and judgmental in their unrestrained ...more
Donna Zigmont
Jun 27, 2014 Donna Zigmont rated it liked it
I liked this book.And actually never heard of it until I did A search on this website for frugal living.I found some ideas really helpful in my quest to save money.Unfortunately the book came out in 1991.So A lot of the things she was able to save on in the book are much harder to do in this day and age.
Sep 04, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: broke newlyweds and budget-conscious moms
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is going to change my life. It is a huge compendium of tips on clever, extreme, and sometimes ridiculous ways to save money. I love her philosophy on life: It is possible to raise a family on one income, because drastically cutting your expenditures can almost equal a second income. First, identify your priorities. You want to be a stay-at-home mom? You want to buy a house in the country? You want to retire at age 40? Save toward your goals by skimping on EVERYTHING else - creatively " ...more
May 20, 2014 Lia rated it really liked it
This would have been 5 stars, except sadly a portion of the ideas are outdated thanks to the advent of the Internet and cell phones. However, all the different ideas to save money are useful and interesting to consider, though I think some are a little too hard - core for my family.
Dec 27, 2015 NinjaK rated it really liked it
An entertaining read, filled with suggestions, tips, recipes, and how-to's for those who are looking for alternative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Kelly Bragg
Dec 19, 2014 Kelly Bragg rated it liked it
There are some REALLY good ideas in here! We already do lots of them, but I found a few that will save us some money!
Feb 24, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
I love this series so much. Some people will read them and get hung on on the fact that a particular tip is not practical for them or for their life. What they're missing is that it's the whole philosophy as to how to think about spending money. That's what the books are really about. We are programmed into thinking we have to always have the latest and greatest of everything, and she teaches you how to see that differently. I bought this first one within weeks of its release and have reread it ...more
Oct 07, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
One of my favorite books! Learn to be thrifty in many aspects in life. Learn to save $$!
Aug 17, 2015 Jessie rated it liked it
A lot of instructions/ideas were outdated or irrelevant, but it was very motivating.
Jun 26, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, finance
Read this as a teenager, dated but good.
Feb 24, 2014 HeavyReader rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who want to save money
Shelves: how-to
I first read this book when I was in college and learned a lot of tips for living frugally, which really helped me stretch my few dollars.

There's a lot to be learned from this book, everything from how to save money at the grocery store (buy store brands) to how to live well by buying clothes and toys at thrift stores and garage sales.

Highly recommended.

UPDATE: I just found a copy of this book at a thrift store and bought it for 33 cents. Oh how glad I am to have it in my possession once more!
Nov 14, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Can't say I'd ever be interested in being a "tightwad"... but here I am promoting tight-waddery. I loved this! We've been trying to cut back and save some money with my working part time and an added little body to care for, and this gave me tons of stuff to think about. I've been quoting it aloud to my husband for about a week now, and am already on to the second volume. If you've ever considered ways to save a few bucks or wondered why you should, this gives some super easy ideas on how to do ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
There are a few of these books, which were at one point gathered to gether in a compendium. That's the edition that I have, and it is fascinating reading if you want to know things like, does it save you money to wash your car on a regular basis rather than not wash it? Answer: Yes, washing your car regularly does help give it a longer life and therefore saves you money in the long run. Just one example. Now you know. Again, kind of a geek thing, but some of us just love geek things.
Aug 20, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it
Still timely. I subscribed to the Tightwad Gazette back when it was a monthly newsletter, and the hints really helped me stretch limited dollars as a stay-at-home-mom and then when I returned to work. Found this nice bound version at a Friends of the Library booksale and think Amy would approve! If you're just now setting up housekeeping and money is tight, this will get you going. Even if you've been at it a while, you'll find changes that really make a difference.
Brenda Cregor
Feb 01, 2010 Brenda Cregor rated it really liked it
Since the original book, which I believe this is, Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced like decision), has made being a tightwad ultra-cool! You would not believe the ideas this lady has for saving the almighty buck! Who knew you could make a jumprope out of the plastic bags you get for free at the grocery store?
Every newlywed should buy a copy...or wait, it would be more economical to check it out at the local library.
A book for our economic recession!
Apr 11, 2008 Msor rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, but overall found it to be slightly disappointing. I found the articles about the theories of tightwaddery to be interesting and engaging, but the book really fell short in the practical tips department. Also, I felt the book was poorly organized. Still, I felt it was worth reading, and the author's sense of humor was refreshing and entertaining.
Nov 15, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Some of the advice in this book is less valuable now that the internet is around, and some of it I already practice. But I really enjoyed reading the author's tips and philosophies on thrift. Very well researched and explained.

Two small tips I'm definitely going to implement are making my own hot chocolate mix and making a half-gallon jug into a toilet brush holder.
Sacha Head
May 17, 2011 Sacha Head rated it really liked it
I didn't realize how much of a tightwad I am until I read this book. It's awesome and has great tips. I like that she promotes mothers staying at home, since the extra cost of two parents working is hardly worth it. Also, I love the emphasis on cooking from scratch, buying used clothing, and doing homemade gifts. There are even recipes included!
Dee Toomey
Aug 15, 2009 Dee Toomey rated it it was amazing
Some of the ideas for saving money are very do-able. Some I will pass on. But all entries in this book are worth reading, as even the ones I wouldn't use, spark ideas of my own that I will! I enjoyed this book so much that I had to also get and read editions II and III. Keepers on my permanent bookshelf!
Nov 14, 2013 Sorina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a little goofy at times and definitely outdated, but it is brilliant at teaching how a frugal mind works. We take it for granted that we NEED all of our modern conveniences, but when push comes to shove, what can we do without in order to achieve our real goals?
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