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Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602397546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602397545
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,904,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

Review

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.


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 COED.com. He freelances for Engadget and MoneyUnder30.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. Fedder on 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 9 people found the following review helpful By DutchessofBlackhawk on January 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
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 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Breed on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
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 8 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Stucker VINE VOICE on April 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Green on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
*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 Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets, in exchange for a review. To be honest I haven't had a chance to read the WHOLE thing yet because:

1. I have two kids under the age of five
2. I don't get much time to myself to read or do anything else for that matter
3. I have a husband, a house, meals, laundry, cleaning, errands, grocery shopping, and finances to take care of

But I got about half-way in and so I will give you my review based on the first half of the book.

Phil Villarreal is c.r.a.z.y. Some of the ideas in this book are outrageous to say the least, and some of them even border on unethical (in my humble opinion), but somehow that seems to be the point or at least that is what I read between the lines. The comedic value of the book is great, and entertainment-wise you can't go wrong. I consider myself to be a pretty frugal person, but as it turns out not nearly as frugal as some apparently. The following are things that Phil talks about in his book that I personally have done:

1. I don't smoke, never have.
2. Peel coupons off packages in the grocery store and use them during that trip, or save them for later
3. Kept napkins, straws, and condiment packets for use at home (although only what I was given, never by the bagful!)
4. I don't have a land line
5. I do online surveys for points/cash
6. I RARELY use the ATM
and that's about as far as I got...

All kidding aside there are some good ideas in here, just don't go over-board as the author suggests (with tongue in cheek). At only $12.
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