Why I Still Read The Tightwad Gazette

Tightwad Gazette

The Tightwad Gazette was a newsletter, published in the early 90’s, by Amy Dacyczyn. It was published in the days before email and the Internet. If you wanted to subscribe, you received your copies through the Postal Service. Eventually those newsletters were compiled into three books and, finally, into The Complete Tightwad Gazette which contains all three books plus some extra material.

Over the years, The Gazette became the “bible” for the frugal movement. The author provided tips on everything from cooking to making your own envelopes. Some of her tips seemed pretty far out there while others were immediately practicable. The books are a bit dated now, especially since


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18 Responses to Why I Still Read The Tightwad Gazette

  1. Gail says:

    Good personal finance books are always worth rereading. I read my copy of Surviving without a Salary by Charles Long so many times the book about fell apart. It was one of the first I found in the frugal journey, which incidently I never voluntarily joined but has been a part of my life forever.

  2. Euphemia says:

    I also reread Tightwad Gazette once or twice a year. It reminds me of concepts I sometimes forget, like buying something cheap with a coupon is still more expensive than making it yourself, examples granola, and coffee creamer. The author saw things differently. When I see a magazine with “Save $1000.00 with this issue” I always think of her article of saving hundreds of dollars by not buying an expensive car. I do wish that someone would update the book with internet links

  3. Minny says:

    I also reread the TG, and for many of the same reasons. Many of the tips are not directly usable here in the UK, but most have the germ of an idea that is.

    As you say, what was not relevant to me in the past is relevant now.

    The TG is also a funny read and it is truly inspirational.

  4. NMPatricia says:

    I also haul out my TG periodically just for the inspiration. Pretty soon, the thoughts of how to do some stuff a more frugal way or even “green” cross my mind. And it either gets me back on track or keeps me there.

  5. Therese Z says:

    I agree that it’s inspirational. She demonstrates a cheerful mindset about “living cheap” or cutting back or deciding not to buy or spend that at one time I didn’t realize could be had. She was a model at a time I needed to cut back and not grouse about it.

    I read mine probably once a year all the way through. The proof that the book remains relevant is shown in the pages I unbend and bend anew as items jump out at me.

  6. Snowy Heron says:

    I subscribed back in the 90’s for several years. I have fond memories of the newsletter and the information that helped me get through some financially challenging years. I have a couple of the books, too. Amy was great and way ahead of her time!!

  7. teresa says:

    I also have that book and have found it very useful over the years. I gave one to a friend a long time ago and she has used it even more than I have!

  8. Jennifer says:

    I can’t believe there’s someone else out there who reads this book annually and refers to it as the “bible.” I thought I was the only one! LOL.

  9. Angie unduplicated says:

    My ragged copies of “Gazette”, “Mother Earth New Almanac”, and “HowTo Live On Nothing” were my frugality library for many years. I’m waiting for savvy publishers to reissue them as e-books.

  10. PJ says:

    I’m the kind of person who gets rid of old stuff — a minimalist of sorts. And yet I have all of the old newsletters still, as well as the books. I just can’t let them go. I, too read them about once a year. Thanks for the reminder of why I do that. It keeps me on track.

  11. shirley pie says:

    i consider the complete tightwad gazette a bible too- many items don’t pertain to me – no kids for one thing- can apply to dogs though- the story about ice cream cones at the mall is one- it helps put so many things in perspective- some of the best concepts- number of wow’s per $, working to maintain things you don’t need or even really care about, net pay is huge. i keep mine handy and reread on a regular basis.

  12. Lori says:

    I read this book all the time! It is applicable to life….it does reset your retail sense and puts you back on track. She needs to come out of retirement and write one for the internet age.

  13. Diane C says:

    Inspired by Amy D, every February, I have a “Buy Nothing” month. Yup, not even food. To help me stay on track and avoid feeling deprived, I re-read my big blue Complete TG, (purchased used, of course). I never fail to find something new or be reminded of an idea I’d forgotten about. Glad to know I have so many TG friends out there in the world. Somewhere in cyberspace there’s a recent-ish interview with her. Google it for a real treat.

  14. De says:

    I reread the signed copy of TG Amy sent me to thank me for the idea I submitted. It never gets stale..

  15. Rebekah says:

    I’ve actually been re-reading TG the last couple of weeks in preparation for parenthood.

  16. BP says:

    Love the TG. Amy’s ideas have saved/earned me hundreds of thousands of dollars. But apart from that, Amy is a fabulous writer. I’d go as far as to say that The Complete TG is my favorite book.

  17. dawn says:

    The best thing about the Tightwad Gazette was knowing that Amy and her family truly lived it. I discovered the first TG and immediately subscribed to the newsletter. Once I started receiving the newsletter I sent for all the issues I missed in between the book and my first newsletter only to receive my check back with a note that the second book would be out and contain those issues. My check was for $26 the book cost about $13. If ever I needed proof that they wanted to educate people and it wasn’t just about making money that little act was it.

  18. Valerie says:

    Found her interview from a few years ago on video. Had only read her books and had written interviews. She is wonderful and funny.

    Love her tips. Her home is well kept up with painting – she did a whole article on that.

    When studying how some people save money we do need to point out some advantages they have: her husband was in the military and that means a much less expensive health plan and a good retirement plan.

    The typical $500.00 per month taken out of non military work or even paying private insurance totaling near $1,000.00 per month is a budget strain.

    Then again, many military families struggle even with this perk.

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