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The Tightwad Gazette

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


When I first read The Tightwad Gazette, I was surprised at the information that I found. I had heard about this book from others and got it at the library. Soon after that I purchased it. The author Amy Dacyczyn began publishing a newsletter in 1990, the book is a compilation of the newsletters over the years. It is full of tips from Dacyczyn as well as from her readers. The format can make it difficult to find solutions to specific problems, but it also allows you to easily explore and read about areas that you may not have considered being frugal in.


  • Humorous and helpful advice on saving money
  • Ideas cover every aspect of your life
  • Real life experiences and examples throughout the book


  • Some of these ideas swing to the extreme
  • Takes a commitment to follow through
  • A lot of information, but it isn’t organized very well

If you are looking for ways to save money or cut back this book has suggestions that can help. Dacyczyn covers everything from dumpster diving and yard sales to growing your own food and saving money on groceries. The advice she gives is practical and she often talks about how much an activity or choice is saving her. This helps her to figure out if it is worth her time or not. In reality you will likely not adopt every suggestion in this book, but it can change your overall outlook and help you to start looking at areas you can cut back on.

Another great factor about this book is that it is easy to pick up and read for a few minutes and then put down because of the format. Dacyczyn is practical in her writing, and takes time to break down the cost of many items, but she is also funny. This makes the reading much more interesting. She has advice that ranges from helping singles to large families. Her biggest suggestion is that of a price book for your groceries. This is a well known technique that allows you to track the lowest price of groceries so that you can stock up when items are on sell.

If you are looking for suggestions on how to save money in your daily life this is a great book. It doesn’t offer advice on investing or tell you what to do with your money, but rather focuses on embracing a frugal lifestyle. Dacyczyn also points out that frugality helps with conservation efforts and is actually greener than you may think. It is worth reading through this book at least once, but it is also great to go back and read again when you feel burned out on frugality.

This book takes you beyond basic budgeting suggestions. It really challenges you to look at your overall philosophy and lifestyle choices. While you may not take every suggestion she offers, you may be surprised at a few of them and decide to adopt those changes. This books is definitely worth reading.

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