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The Complete Tightwad Gazette Hardcover – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House; 1ST edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739404393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375508783
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is one of my favorite books and something that will be read over and over again.
Kristin K. Rose
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
Several, like Amy's basic muffin recipe, have really changed the way our family eats.
Linda Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

576 of 581 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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467 of 478 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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266 of 278 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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77 of 78 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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