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Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets [Kindle Edition]

Phil Villarreal
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Phil Villarreal is not a Harvard MBA or a professional financial advisor or a talking head on a cable television network focusing on business, but he can change your financial life—if you are willing to move into the gray areas of money and ethics. His advice is as funny as it is useful as it is a little bit evil.

Instead of playing straight and saving money by cutting back on things you need or want, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel has a better plan to save money by working the system and sticking it to “the man.” Here’s how to get free Internet service, never pay for ketchup and plastic straws, get refunds on already opened DVDs, clothe yourself using free swag from credit card promotions, benefit from the bonanza that is the garbage thrown out by college kids, how to get in free to sporting events, score free on-demand movies in hotels, and more!

Hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, and sardonically practical, this is the book for everyone who loves rule-bending, loophole-exploiting, money-saving madness. In this economy, it’s every man for himself and dog-eat-dog—and this book can help.

Editorial Reviews


This book not only pays for itself within the first few chapters, but Phil unearths ways to subvert the scams of cellular companies. Eye opening at the very least, this money-saving manuscript is less an ode to parsimoniousness, and more a call to arms. --Maddox, author of New York Times Bestseller "The Alphabet of Manliness" June 16, 2009


Phil is a devious mastermind. He'd be the Lex Luthor of tightwads if Lex Luthor was hilarious. Most of the advice in this book will at best destroy your treasured personal relationships and at worst get your butt kicked, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is awesome. If you've ever done something cheap and blushed slightly, you'll be gratified to know that not only is there someone else doing that exact cheap thing -- he's perfected a system and is willing to share his knowledge with a grateful public.

Not only did Phil get me to write this blurb for him, he also convinced me to give him $20 from my wallet.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3653 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1602397546
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (September 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NIFL0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't imagine living with this person August 18, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I actually bought this book (paid real money for it). The author strikes me as a person who most people would not want to befriend. His ideas are written in a sometimes funny way (except when he marginalizes women) but he is like a person who would rather throw litter in the street than use the garbage can. He is totally out for himself at the expense of all others and he comes across as a person without any real kindness and generosity of spirit. So he tells you to take the coupons off of groceries that you are not even buying so that the next person loses out. He tells you to stuff ketchup packages in your pocket along with mustard when you are at a fast food place. Can you imagine his apartment or house with little soy sauce packages and mustard and ketchup stuffed in a Tucks box. The laughs don't take this book very far. He reminds me of the person who has his car broken into and claims that he had $10,000 golf clubs in the trunk (although it would be more likely mini golf cub that he stole from the kids park) so that in the end we all wind up paying higher insurance costs. It's an ugly book written in an ugly manner. Also, if your teenager ever read it, he/she would be on the road to a petty and unlawful life. Keep away and save your money for the $1.99 supermarket ketchup that will last you a year or so.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the musings of a small mind January 15, 2011
This book is nothing but the musings of a small mind and a borderline petty thief. If you're the type that feels good about being a complete skinflint this is your book. Yeah, break up with your girlfriend before valentines day/holidays to save a few bucks. Sign up for promotions just to get the free hat or shirt, yeah, that's classy.

So if you want to read a couple hundred pages of this rubbish, have at it. Otherwise, just stay away.

Finally, if you're truly cheap and if you really want to read this, get it from the library don't buy it here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book would be useful to someone lacking any morals, character or basic human decency. Everyone else should avoid it.

The so-called "author" advocates committing fraud and theft in the name of getting undeserved freebies. And let's not even think about what he suggests doing to your friends and significant other.

If you are willing to sell your soul for a free movie, this book is just what you are looking for. Otherwise, stay far away.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not ethical to teach to cheat August 31, 2010
By juego
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
just not ethical to teach to cheat and lie.part of the degenerating cultural times being promoted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a horrible, despicable person! August 7, 2012
By Ken
A few of the strategies are useful, but most are absolutely unethical if not completely illegal. I was totally appalled by the author's lack of morals. If I employed these strategies to save a few bucks I am sure that I would be run out of town sooner or later.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Review from my Website September 14, 2009
Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel could not be more aptly named. Within these pages lie some of the most despicable and outrageous ways to save money you could ever imagine, many that even border on illegal. Now, I am a relatively hard person to shock or offend. Anyone who knows me personally also knows that I am gross, inappropriate, idiotic and almost completely desensitized to everything. This book shocked me.

I was unprepared for just how money-grubbing and unethical the tips in this book would be. Add to that the writing style (which is uproarious) and what you get is a book that [...] me right in. I would love to say that I did not like Secrets, but I enjoyed every second of it! Even those tips that I completely disagree with on a moral basis (like taking post-it notes to the grocery store with made-up prices for the store to match) are delivered with such wit that it is hard to even be irritated. It takes a special kind of writer to tell you to basically steal from a company and do it with a sense of humor that makes you laugh out loud as you sit alone on the porch, book in hand.

Although I am steadfast in my plight against some of the borderline criminal tips in this book, there is enough sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek expressions to show that much of the author's seemingly unethical tips are nothing more than entertainment. For example, in the section of Secrets regarding relationships and what a drain they can be on your finances, Phil recommends instigating fights before holidays and special occasions. This way, you will get to avoid gifts, dinners and other holiday fare. Here is a sample of his writing, which (if serious) is disturbing to say the least:

I recommend at least four, I-never-wanna-see-you-again (till next week) throw-downs.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Suitable for Children September 26, 2009
This book is a great, lighthearted read. The author writes with a certain undeniable charm like that of a grungy sailor coming into port.

The advice in the book can only be taken half seriously and with a grain of salt. From a financial perspective many of the tips would and have been used by many but the author says it best, "Honor. Integrity. Honesty. Dignity. If you live by any of these values, you may as well drop the book right now(...)"

I would say leave your pride at the door as well because digging through dumpsters or posing as a homeless person are part of the curriculum covered in detail in the book.

Each of these 100 juicy secrets are quite detailed and clearly written from experience. Phil's tongue-in-cheek commentary on each tip is hilarious and just adds value to the great ideas as well as the horrible ideas.

I admit to having done and still do about half of the tips in the book. The other half, most of which I am kicking myself for not coming up with and the rest make my moral compass go haywire, are extremely tempting and almost make me want to take up a few new hobbies.

What you will find in this book:

* How to "dine like a cheap SOB"
* Ways to dodge costly relationship milestones
* Instructions on getting freebies in every situation
* What it means to really pay yourself first
* Doing all of the above while looking like the hero

What you won't find in this book:

* The same tips everyone else already knows
* "Honor. Integrity. Honesty. Dignity."
* How to score points with the man upstairs
* Tips on building healthy relationship with friends or family
* Anything boring!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous and savvy!
I loved this book as much for its money saving advice as for it's humor! How often do you read a book about money that makes you laugh? Not very often. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Julia Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have read it sooner!
I received a copy of Phil's book- Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets in 2009 and it's taken me a year to read it. Read more
Published on October 19, 2010 by Big Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not read while consuming a hot beverage
It takes a lot for the written word alone to make me laugh. Phil succeeds where only a few have before. Read more
Published on January 24, 2010 by Jennifer Mccoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious if not embarrassing at time
This book cracks me up. It's irreverent humor makes me blush at times since I can be frugal at times. Other parts are way too crude. Read more
Published on January 10, 2010 by K. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile parody of frugality and personal finance books
This past week while I was on vacation I finally had the chance to read a book that I've been meaning to read for a while. Read more
Published on October 22, 2009 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars It looks nice next to my Bible and Entertainment Weekly | Life Without...
Show of hands - how many of you have paid for one movie only to stay at the theater for another two or three? Read more
Published on October 22, 2009 by Matthew Cheuvront
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel Reviewed
*As written on my personal finance blog My Money Story*

A few weeks ago author Phil Villarreal was gracious enough to give me a copy of his new book, Secrets of a Stingy... Read more
Published on September 30, 2009 by Tracy Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain Babe digs the Stingy Scoundrel!
I like to laugh, and I bet you do to. Which is why I'm digging Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel. I can tell this book is funny from the Table of Contents, which makes me like it even... Read more
Published on September 29, 2009 by bargainbabe
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More About the Author

Phil Villarreal is the author of "Secrets of a Stingy Scounderl: 100
Dirty, Little Money-Saving Secrets" and "Stormin' Mormon." He has been
a movie critic since 2001, writing for the Arizona Daily Star, OK!
Magazine and He freelances for Engadget and MoneyUnder30.


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