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The Complete Tightwad Gazette Paperback


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The Complete Tightwad  Gazette + America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams + Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won't Have to Cut Coupons
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 959 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (December 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375752250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375752254
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From the Inside Flap

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 collection as "the book I wish I'd had when I began my adult life." Packed with humor, creativity, and insight, The Complete Tightwad Gazette includes hundreds of tips and topics, such as:

¸   Travel for tightwads   ¸   How to transform old blue jeans into potholders and quilts   ¸   Ten painless ways to save $100 this year   ¸   Picture-framing for pennies   ¸   A comparison of painting versus re-siding your house   ¸   Halloween costumes from scrounged materials   ¸   Thrifty window treatments   ¸   Ways to dry up dry-cleaning costs   ¸   Inexpensive gifts   ¸   Creative fundraisers for kids   ¸   Slashing your electric bill   ¸   Frugal fix-its   ¸   Cutting the cost of college   ¸   Moving for less   ¸    Saving on groceries   ¸   Gift-wrapping for tightwads   ¸   Furniture-fusion fundamentals   ¸   Cheap breakfast cereals   ¸   Avoiding credit card debt   ¸   Using items you were about to throw away (milk jugs, plastic meat trays, and more!)   ¸   Recipes galore, from penny-pinching pizza to toaster pastries   ¸   And much much more . . .

Three books in one--a $38.97 value for only $19.99!

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Customer Reviews

Fun book, and very useful.
Lynn
Written by Amy Dacyczyn who refers to herself as the Frugal Zealot, It is the most informative book on not just saving money, but adjusting you mindset to make it fun.
julie-elizabeth mack
From those early years, we learned how to live well with less and now it is natural for us to do money saving things because we enjoy them still.
SuperFrugal Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

572 of 577 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
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.
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454 of 465 people found the following review helpful By C. Walker on September 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
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263 of 273 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By "bluereef_auctions" on October 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
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.
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