The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (aka The Frugal Zealot)

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Title: The Complete Tightwad Gazette
Author: Amy Dacyczyn (aka The Frugal Zealot)
Category:  Non-fiction
Genre: Thrifty Tips
Format: Softcover, 959 pages
ISBN: 0-375-75225-0
How did I get this book: I purchased this book many years ago

Overview: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle.
The author established herself as the expert of economy.  The Complete Tightwad Gazette brings together all her best ideas and thriftiest thinking into one volume, along with new articles never published before in this book format.

Many years ago (back in the 1990s) I had a subscription to The Tightwad Gazette newsletter, 1990-1996.  I loved it and looked forward to each issue. I had no idea that the issues were compiled into not only one book, but three.  Then, this book was written encompassing all three previous books along with new information.  When I stumbled across it, years after I had received the final newsletter issue, I was thrilled, and bought it on the spot.  It has been on my shelf for many years and although I have enjoyed all the tips, it may be time for it to be passed on to someone who has not yet experienced all the thrifty tips it contains.

The Tightwad Gazette
The Tightwad Gazette II
The Tightwad Gazette III
The Last Issues

The author and her family live a thrifty life. And because of this, she wrote not just about a topic she enjoyed, but about her way of life.  The book is laid out as her newsletters were and includes letters from readers asking questions, as well as her responses.  The index in the back of the book is a great help when needing to go back and find some specific topic or tip.  But the book is truly meant to be read cover to cover. Although I’d suggest reading each section and taking action on what may apply to you before moving on.
Dislikes: As with many books, some of the links and resources no longer exist or do not apply in our current digital age.  Some ideas are a bit outdated.  But with that said, many of the frugal tips and stories stand the test of time.

In Closing: After many household moves, I have no idea what happened to my original issues of The Tightwad Gazette.  At one point I had all the issues, but no more. Thank goodness for the index in the back of the book.  You’d have a hard time going back and finding what you were looking for without it.

When I read this book for the first time, I had a note pad and paper with me to take notes.  I quickly found myself writing entirely too much information on that notepad. So, I began again. I read the book as I used to read her newsletters, one issue at a time.  I’d make a note of any to-do’s and tips I’d like to try, and then I tried them.

Recipes and tips that worked well for me (that I thought I’d use again), I simply copied into a folder.  What did I use to clean the jewelry?  I just pull out my folder and there it was.  

I recommend giving this a try! 


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Don’t want to purchase a book?  Visit your local library.  It’s a great resource!

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