Tightwad Gazette remembered

Recently reader Sam commented that my blog reminded her of the old Tightwad Gazette from the 90’s. She said it was a compliment and I definitely took it as one because I love that book. It is an absolute classic. When I first came across it about ten years ago I consumed it from cover to cover, and have read it several times since. I often take a look through if I need some frugal inspiration. The Tightwad Gazette is a worthy addition to my Frugal Bookshelf.

Frugal inspiration

It is a fantastically inspiring text totally packed with money saving ideas and great drawings throughout. The author, Amy Dacyczyn, was a graphic designer who had always wanted to live in a historic New England farmhouse and have lots of children. She didn’t want to go out to work and leave her kids with a nanny to pay for her dream and set about proving she didn’t need to.

Amy decided that by saving money on every single thing she purchased, by making things last and by only buying what she really needed, her family didn’t need two incomes. She became a ‘student of thrift’, buying clothes from yard sales, carefully costing food purchases to work out the cheapest way to eat healthily, learning to make and repair rather than buying new, and planning ahead and saving for big purchases rather than buying them on credit.

A game changer

She shared what she had learned in a newsletter, and the first edition of the Tightwad Gazette book was born. As well as her own sensible advice, it contains correspondence and moneysaving tips from the readers of the newsletters. It is aimed at an American audience and somewhat dated in places (how to make typewriter ribbons last longer by spraying them with hairspray 😄). However, it is still a fantastic course for those who want to find ideas and inspiration to help them save money. It is a real game changer and I really recommend it. Mine is well thumbed and rather dog eared now so it really was worth every penny.

I wish Amy would come out of retirement and write her own blog. We need her common sense approach to life more than ever!

I have signed up to the Amazon affiliates scheme so if you choose to click through and buy this book on my recommendation I will earn a small commission.

14 thoughts on “Tightwad Gazette remembered

  1. I have a copy and also love to re read, another book that also helped me was “Swimming with Piranha makes you hungry” by Colin Turner.

  2. I have all three Tightwad Gazette volumes, particularly as my oldest two were the ages of her youngest twins, so the advice on thrift as kids got older was useful. I recently came across online followup from her daughters. All doing well and now understand and used their mom’s wisdom, even the one most resistant as a teen.

  3. Yes, I have that book, I studied it from cover to cover when I cut down my working hours. It helped me immensely.

  4. How lovely that one book can have been – and continues to be – so beneficial to so many! I’d not heard of it, but there were other similar penny-pinching Newsletters and desktop-printed magazines in the 1970s although I cannot remember any of their names now, the aim of which was to help people to save money.

  5. Just bought an old copy from eBay. Under £4 with postage. Thanks for the recommendation. If you and Ilona think it is worth having, then I’ll bet it is!

  6. I allways enjoyed the newsletters, I wish I had kept them. The first two books were better than the third, I thought. That is the one I have, I should read it again, I need all the help I can get, even after all these years, smile.

    I might just look up the first two, it would be good to get a whole set!
    I read the other blog as well, she did present it well!

  7. I had a subscription to the newsletters and looked forward each month to them dropping on the mat, I read them from cover to cover and filed them away for safekeeping.

Comments are closed.