I still remember my first introduction to Amy Dacyczyn’s* “The Tightwad Gazette.” It was waaay back in the early 90’s before there was a computer in every home…back when we scrounged home management and home improvement ideas from the newspapers or magazines or from chats with each other face-to-face or via the phone (certainly not from anything such as a “blog” or a Facebook or Pinterest site).
A friend of mine had started discussing frugal tips and ideas more and more. “Where are you getting this stuff?” I finally asked her one day.
“From the Tightwad Gazette,” she replied. “I get it once a month and it’s great!”
I immediately requested to see this paragon of newsletters that had so inspired my friend that she was gloating over the oddest frugal facts and watching her budget with a gimlet eye**.
“Hmmm,” I thought as she handed the most recent copy to me. “No big deal. It’s just a few pages.” But then I looked closer…and started to read… and didn’t want to give it back! Not only did the self-described “Frugal Zealot” share the obligatory, odd, frugal tips concerning what to do with such things as leftover toilet paper tubes, but she also applied philosophy and math to prove which tightwaddery tactics were actually better for your values and your budget.
As a newsletter, the Tightwad Gazette is no longer published. But as a book….oh, yes, as a book, it is. I found it years later on a library shelf and promptly located and purchased a copy for my own. You should, too. Never mind buying book I, II, or III. Instead purchase “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” (the all-in-one-and-more volume) and then start browsing. You’ll find all sorts of ideas you may or may not use (but that are sure fun to read) as well as other bits of info that will really get you thinking about your goals and the way you spend your family’s financial resources.
P.S. Best of all (as I discovered), the frugal tips you learn will more than cover the cost of the book!
*Pronounced “almost like the word ‘decision.’”
** “With a piercing eye; with a keen look”