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Tightwad Gazette: Thrift is Good

Updated on May 18, 2015
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Dr. Penny Pincher founded the popular personal finance blog Penny Pincher Journal in 2013 and has published two books about saving money.

Tightwad Gazette- A Frugal Classic

The Tightwad Gazette is a frugal classic by Amy Dacyczyn from the 1990s advocating a frugal lifestyle. The Tightwad Gazette was originally published as a newsletter that reached over 100,000 subscribers and was then published as three books:

  • The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift As A Viable Alternative Lifestyle (1992)
  • The Tightwad Gazette II: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle (1995)
  • The Tightwad Gazette III: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle (1996)
  • The Complete Tightwad Gazette (1998). Three books-in-one. This volume contains Volume 1, 2, and 3 as well as some new material.

Tightwad Living- Save Money Every Day
Tightwad Living- Save Money Every Day | Source

Tightwad Gazette- The Frugal Zealot

Amy Dacyczyn is known as the "frugal zealot" for promoting the money-saving principles of the Tightwad Gazette. With a title of "frugal zealot", you might think she would share the frugal philosophy of some extremely frugal people seek to live "off the grid", become self-sufficient, use barter extensively, and largely avoid dealing with money at all. This is not really how Amy approaches frugality in the Tightwad Gazette.

The Tightwad Gazette provides tips to participate in the economy and and obtain consumer goods, but to do so by spending less money. The Tightwad Gazette provides tips for all kinds of ways to save money by doing more with less. For example, you can find tips ranging from how to save money on groceries to how to decorate your home using thrifty materials to how to reduce your electric bill. Even though the Tightwad Gazette is now over 20 years old, many of the tips are still relevant today.

Tightwad's Treasure!
Tightwad's Treasure! | Source

Readers value the Tightwad Gazette for more than just specific tips to save money. The frugal zealot promotes a frugal philosophy that encourages people to find ways to save money while still doing the things they enjoy. Another useful thing about the Tightwad Gazette is that it provides concrete examples of how to live a frugal life. This goes beyond ideas and theories, showing how living a frugal lifestyle can work in practice- even when raising 6 kids!

Will There Be New Tightwad Gazette Books or a Tightwad Gazette Blog?

Wouldn't it be great if Amy Dacyczyn wrote a new Tightwad Gazette book? Even better- what if she started writing a blog on frugal living! I'll bet she could build a very popular blog in a short time. The topic came up in this 2008 interview- and it sounds like there is no chance this will happen. She's retired for good. We'll have to look to other authors for new frugal living advice for today.

Tightwad Gazette Author Amy Dacyczyn

Frugal Tips for Today

Amy Dacyczyn retired from writing after the publication of the Tightwad Gazette compilation book in 1998. Back in the early 1990s, newsletters were printed on paper and distributed by snail mail. Today you can find tips for for frugal living and saving money on the Internet on blogs and websites. When the Tightwad Gazette books came out in the 90's, you cold buy them at bookstores. Today, you can download e-books about frugal living and saving money.

Tightwad Gazette Savings
Tightwad Gazette Savings | Source

Many of the ways that worked to save money in the 90's still work today. Some things have changed, however. New expenses have emerged such as internet service and bills for smart phones with data plans. Craigslist and eBay have emerged as efficient ways to find and purchase secondhand items- and for people to sell their own secondhand items to make money. Information about products is much easier to obtain through product reviews on websites such as amazon.com. Entirely new classes of products have emerged such as tablet computers and smart phones. With mobile technology, people can now do comparison shopping while standing in a store and decide whether or not to buy a product.

Personal finance blogs and blogs on frugal living have emerged that fill the role of the Tightwad Gazette in today's world. Some people enjoy saving money and sharing tips so that others can save money as well. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Penny Pincher Journal: You'll see right away why this is one of my favorites! Dr. Penny Pincher provides advice on how to save money every day, including money-saving tips, frugal fitness ideas, and reviews of technology and products that can save you money.
  • Get Rich Slowly: J. D. Roth worked his way out of debt over a period of years and shares advice on saving money to get rich slowly.
  • WiseBread: Living large on a small budget to reach financial independence.
  • HubPages Frugal Living: Articles from HubPages authors on frugal living and money-saving tips. You can find a wide range of frugal advice here!

Recommended Reading:

Frugal Living Blog: Learn how a penny pincher saves money every day in one typical day.

The Millionaire Calculator: How long will it take to for your saving from frugal living to grow into 1 million dollars?

© 2014 Dr Penny Pincher

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    • drpennypincher profile image
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      Dr Penny Pincher 3 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Victoria Lynn, I have to say I am surprised that Amy Dacyczyn isn't writing a Tightwad Gazette blog or website. I think she could build an audience very quickly from the popularity of her books and newsletters. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yes, she could definitely do more of the Tightwad publications--or blog! There are so many ways to save. Great hub. I like the links and recommendations at the end.

    • drpennypincher profile image
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      Dr Penny Pincher 3 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Kidscrafts, that's a great story about the sewing machine- it was even better than free! As they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure... Thanks for reading and for sharing your story!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Another great hub, DrPennyPincher! I love the video of Amy Dacyczyn; she is an interesting lady! I remember that I bought an old sewing machine (not electrical) in a church sale and I had that in my classroom. The kids loved it :-) I paid $ 5 for that machine.... well worth it :-) And even better, I made some profit when I sold it :-))))

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