Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Complete Tightwad Gazette

I hate to start the day or week complaining but is snowed. Again. We already had eighteen inches and the extra six we got yesterday are making the trip to the chicken coop more and more difficult.

When the snow gets deep and the winds blow this hard, I tend to hibernate. I would be happy just spending the day in a chair in the backroom, a stack of books/magazines piled next to me. Unfortunately the kids like to eat and be read to, do crafts and get out of the house a little. In order to try and fill both our needs, we have been spending quite a bit of time at our library. L1 even got his own library card this year! I was so proud of him because although he isn't quite writing his name yet and he seems to have a strong dislike of writing at this point, when the librarian told him he needed to sign his name to get a card, he asked me to write it and he copied it to the best of his abilities, no complaints.

He checked out his first book that very day. I, on the other hand, have been checking out a lot of books and reading during nap times and after hours (after I lose all my decluttering energy).

One of the recent books I was very excited to check out was The Complete Tightwad Gazette. It has been recommended on many different sites that I read, all of them saying that it is a great way to find ways to save money.

Amy Dacyczyn, the author, began by publishing a newsletter in May 1990. The newsletter ran for over six years and provided people with tips and information on everything from buying cars to saving money on groceries. She went on to publish three books successfully. This book was a compilation of the three books and her newsletters.

Needless to say, after all the reviews, I was pretty excited to find out it was waiting for me to pick up at the library. I waited patiently for a day or two so that the kids and I could go to story hour at the same time and make only a one trip then started it that night, pen and paper in hand.
 
I didn't make it through more than the first third of the book. Most of the suggestions just wouldn't work for our family or were so dated that they weren't even useful. The author includes lots of pricing information, all from almost 20 years ago. Her tips often include which brands to or not to buy. She and a lot of it is processed food. For example, she has one article on how to pack the most cost effective lunch. We pack my husband's lunch most days but buying certain juice boxes and empty calorie snacks are not how we pack lunches. Also tips such as cut your milk in half with water and use powdered milk is not a cost effective way to use organic powdered milk. Powdered organic milk is expensive! I felt that a lot of tips were wasteful and not good for the environment. I was extremely surprised by this since she talks of reusing a roll of aluminum foil for two years.

Not that there aren't helpful tips but you can get the same tips from any frugal living blog, article or book. Those would most likely be more helpful since they won't be out of date.

I would recommend skipping this book and looking for something a little more recent.

Have you read it? What did you think? What are your favorite places for frugal tips?

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