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Paperback The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle Book

ISBN: 0375752250

ISBN13: 9780375752254

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

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

At last--the long-awaited complete compendium of tightwad tips for fabulous frugal living In a newsletter published from May 1990 to December 1996 as well as in three enormously successful books, Amy Dacyczyn established herself as the expert of economy. Now The Complete Tightwad Gazette brings together all of her best ideas and thriftiest thinking into one volume, along with new articles never published before in book format. Dacyczyn describes this...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Dont say book is in good condition when its its clearly not

Said the book was in very good condition...stains, falling apart, and have it covered incat not the definition of very very good condition.....ugh. love the Tightwad concept and was excited for this...however I paid 12 for it and it should if been in better condition.

Bottom Line -- It Works! I am living proof.

I first read the Tightwad Gazette series in about 1995, at a time when I was living hand to mouth in a small and noisy apartment, was overwhelmed with my own foolishly-racked-up credit card debt, was afraid to go to the dentist because I could not afford one more bill. I had seen Amy Dacyczyn on Donahue, and while many audience members looked down their noses at her cleverly thrifty ways, I knew I had to get her books. The fact that she and her husband were able to save $49,000.00 within seven years while living on a modest income and starting their family of six children said they knew something I didn't. I came from a fugal household; there is no reason I should not have had better control over my financial life, but I lacked practical tools, and I was very ashamed of having put myself in the predicament I was in. Immediately, when I picked up the Tightwad Gazette and started reading, I felt a sense of encouragement and support rather than condemnation. Amy writes in a very practical and down-to-earth manner, with good doses of humor and personal anecdotes that are easy to relate to. I truly believe that her goal in doing this was to honestly help people rather than try to make another buck herself as many other "thrifty" publications seem to do. Her ideas are practical and easy to apply and easy to live with on a daily basis. There was no sense of deprivation as I worked to apply her prinicples and dig myself out from under because she opens a whole new world of creative adventure for the reader. Thrift becomes fun, and the results pile up quickly. As she puts it, the efforts you make increase into a snowball effect, an avalanche of good results and peace of mind as opposed to worry and frustration. I am living proof that her concepts work. Within three short years, I went from being in about 12,000.00 of high-interest credit card debt, having no savings, having no extra money to pay for things like a dental filling, and constantly worried about money, to having my credit cards paid off, buying a home of my own, having money in the bank, and having all my needs met comfortably. I did not have to get a second job, did not have to scrounge and scrape and feel deprived. The process of applying Amy's priciples and turning things around for myself gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and self-respect. I will always feel grateful to Amy for honestly sharing what works and genuinely wanting to help people like me drop the anchor of worry and stress over money and enjoy a new feeling of freedom, peace of mind, and control over their lives.

Her children are lucky

I am disturbed by some of the reviews that cruelly state that Mrs. Dacyczyn's children are being shortchanged--one reviewer called her childrearing philosophy child neglect and borderline abuse.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.And the reviewers who made snide remarks about nutrition... holy cow. These kids get organic, garden-fresh produce all summer, and home-canned and frozen produce (also organic, and no preservatives) the rest of the year. Their consumption of ready-made snacks (laden with fat, sugar and preservatives) is sensibly controlled. They get balanced meals from all the food groups (Mrs. Dacyczyn lists a week of her family's menus for us to look at). I would think that with all the problems that have come to light on child obesity this last decade, that people would understand that we need to pay attention to our children's nutrition. Keeping potato chips as a special treat (and telling the kids that, if they want something not on the family menu, they have to purchase it themselves) is not abusive. It is tender care and regard for a child's health.As far as showing love: her descriptions of the children's birthday parties are fantastic. The pirate ship birthday theme is wonderful, and her set-up in the yard of an actual ship play-area was awesome. How many parents take their kids to a party store, let them choose the newest popular cartoon character and get party hats, paper goods and "favors" in that theme (and th

This is one of my all time favorite books!

This book has had a huge, positive influence on my life. I read this book right before I quit my job to stay home and Amy Dacyczyn helped convince me I could do it. But if you are contemplating reading this book, be warned: it is highly addictive and potentially life-changing.I was already fairly frugal before I read The Tightwad Gazette. My husband and I used cloth diapers, shopped at thrift shops, bought secondhand and had only one car. Many of these actions came from our concern to live lightly on the earth, but had the side-benefit of saving us money. But when I read this book, Amy made me see how wasteful I was being in other parts of my life--throwing money away needlessly by spending too much on groceries, overinsuring my car, and overlooking the wealth of things that can be purchased very cheaply at yard sales. After I read this book, I immediately chopped about $100 a month off of my grocery bill, and IT WAS EASY! And I spent less time running back and forth to the grocery store and more time at home enjoying my family. I was so smitten with this book, that in the first few months after I read it, my husband got really sick of hearing about it. And he was a tightwad, too!For the last few years, I've been able to use some of Amy's recommendations for saving money, but I really had only scratched the surface in what I could accomplish. I was able to stay home and we were doing okay financially, but just okay--not great. Then earlier this year my husband and I got a wake-up call. Throughout our marriage, we had always managed to save money, even if only $100 a month. Our wake-up call came when we realized that for the first time in our marriage, not only were we not saving money anymore, but our hard-earned savings were slowly being depleted. Consequently, my husband was feeling a lot of pressure to work harder and harder, spending more time away from home and making our family life more strained.Re-enter the Tightwad Gazette. When I realized that we were losing money, I went into TOTAL frugality mode. First, I used Amy's suggestion to list everything we were spending, then I went over our spending with a fine-tooth comb and looked for places I could cut (fewer long distance calls, cutting back further on groceries, etc.). When I looked at the numbers, I estimated that we could be saving $500 a month. And we live near the federal poverty line! And we pay for our own benefits! Then I reread Amy's book (for about the 4th time), and this time I TOOK NOTES! When I was done, not only did I feel empowered, but I had 4 pages of ideas for new money-saving ideas to try--everything from new recipes to energy-saving strategies. I also realized some mistakes I had been making that Amy discusses at length. First, I had failed to realize that desparate circumstances call for desparate action. Second, I had been justifying a certain amount of wasteful spending on the basis of how hard we worked and how much we deserved it. Third

For rich or poor, a full spectum of tips and philosophies

Admittedly, the author is the diva of frugality, taking tightwaddery to a high art I wouldn't care to achieve...but she also discusses how the way we spend our money should--but doesn't always--reflect our own priorities, values, and goals. The author makes it clear that the book contains a full spectrum of tips for saving money to accomodate a wide range of frugal styles, and that not every idea in the book is for every person. There's no preaching, just cheerleading!Probably the most pleasant surprise in this book were the essays discussing the tightwad philosophy. The author addresses gratification, temporary vs long-term fulfillment, learned perceptions about "clean" and "dirty", the true "cost" of a double-income household, hourly "wages" based on money saved, and other interesting aspects of money attitudes.A recurring theme examines how frugality isn't about living a deprived scrimping lifestyle, but rather how to spend and save money in ways that reinforce your financial goals. Practical examples give tips for getting good deals, finding hidden treasures within your budget, and how to think "outside the box" when it comes to obtaining goods and services. In all, while this book contains a wealth of "how-tos", it is also a springboard to help you launch your own ideas on how to meet your life goals and find creative ways to do it. A fantastic and truly entertaining read.

Great. Some of the negative reviews are disingenuous

This book is an inspiration to help you save money. Kathryn F says "I won't dumpster dive, reuse meat trays or save dryer lint." Amy D. doesn't do any of this;she dove a couple times as part of her research for an article. She doesn't give out money advice like "buy gov't bonds" as others said. As for mealtimes, I agree with her "old fashioned" method of feeding kids, not letting them control the family diet. What Amy DOES do is give examples of ways to save, and articles on calculating real costs of things, etc. Her writing will inspire your own creativity regarding saving money, appropriate for your own situation. The fact that they saved the cash they did, living in expensive New England is amazing, believe me. She outlines options for you, it's up to you to decide what's best - are you truly desperate financially, just want to cut back a bit, or somewhere in between? Personally, what this book has done for me is that it has shifted my values a bit, I am far less interested in having "things", and more into enjoying life through direct experiences - hiking in the mountains, being outdoors. I'm not into the domestic scene like Amy is. But the beauty of the book is you can adapt the advice. Please check it out for yourself, even at the library. But I bet you'll want your own copy.
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