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Tightwad Gazette Book Review

Updated on March 28, 2007

Do you want to learn more about frugality? Then The Complete Tightwad Gazette is for you. This wonderful book written by Amy Dacyczyn is what I would consider to be the bible of frugal living. If you are looking for new ideas, or just want inspiration to live a simpler, more frugal life, then this is the book for you.

The entire concept was started in the 1990's as a newsletter on frugal living. It was published for around seven years and was such a hit that they turned the newsletters into three books. After a few years of selling these books separately they combined them into The Complete Tightwad Gazette. And this book is definitely complete.

Are you looking for ways to slash your grocery bill? How about slashing your trash? There is information on budgeting, cooking from scratch, saving on electricity, understanding wealth, rebates, cutting your dry cleaning costs, creative deprivation, compost bins, dating, wrapping paper, dumpster diving, laundry detergent, making pies, storing food, credit cards, shaving, goal setting, washing machines and much, much more. This 927 page book covers just about everything.

One of the great things about this book is that it isn't just Amy Dacyczyn preaching to you about how frugal you should be. It is a book filled with ideas and a wealth of knowledge. Many of the ideas and tidbits of information come from readers of her newsletter. Ideas that have worked for many people over the years. Most of this information is tried and true stuff.

I have read this book many times and each time I get different things out of it. Most people can not possibly do everything all at once. Each time I have read this book, I have been at a different place in life. Starting with married, no kids and working outside of the home. Moving on through the years of having babies and staying home. I still stay home, but my kids are getting older now and things change. Each time I read this book I get new ideas of things to try.

Not only does this book offer lots of ideas, but Amy Dacyczyn does a great job of teaching how things are done. The ins and outs of things. She breaks down the information and gives you the tools to figure out for yourself the best way to do things. She doesn't just tell you that she only spends $185 a month on groceries for her family of eight. She explains exactly how they go about achieving this incredibly low amount. She walks you through a shopping trip for groceries. She explains how to do cost comparisons of the items you buy, so that you can figure for yourself what the best deal in your area is. She gives a two week menu plan of what her family ate for every meal. She offers lots of recipes that make cooking from scratch a breeze.

This is not just a book to read if you are looking for new ideas though. This is such an informative book that many times when I am wanting more information on a topic I will look in the index of The Complete Tightwad Gazette and find an article or letter written on the subject that answers many of my questions.

Being frugal is not just about saving money. It is also about saving resources and time. It isn't about being a cheapskate, but about spending your money wisely, so that you can achieve the things that matter the most to you. What is your main goal in life? Is it to travel around the world? Stay at home with your kids? Retire early or work only part time? Living a frugal life and spending as little money as possible in areas that don't matter so much to you, will allow you to pile up cash to achieve your goals as quickly as possible.

So if you are looking for some great ideas on the frugal life and want an interesting and informative read, The Complete Tightwad Gazette is for you. Many books can be read once and taken back to the library, but this is a book that I think everyone should own.


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      Poetic Homemaker 10 years ago from PA

      Nice review!