I got my first Tightwad Gazette book back in the 90's. I was much younger then and I remember scoffing at some of the ideas in it, though some were actually very good. The book got misplaced somewhere along the road and disappeared.
Fast forward to 2015, when I was going through some boxes in the basement, and guess what I found? Yep, my Tightwad Gazette book. Considering that my husband and I are in a very different place now, than we were over a decade ago, I decided to give it another read. We are looking for a homestead to buy for retirement and I have been been spending a lot of time recently reading about self sustainability, going more green and changing to a simpler lifestyle where less is more. This book fit in nicely with the research I've been doing.
So I Decided to Read the Book Again
When I read this book again, I was stunned at the good ideas that were in it. How could I have missed them the first time? It just goes to show you how a "few" years can change your perspective on things. Of course, there are a few ideas that are a bit over the top. (putting on your wedding invitation to bring a dish to pass??!) Most of the ideas she has are sound, if you have the time to see them through. Of course, the author began her journey into frugality because she wanted to quit her job and be a stay at home mom, so she had to learn to live on one income. She not only successfully did it, but she is saving money as well!
One of the things I liked best about this book was that it was written for the reader. It is not just a list of categories and tips, it is written in the format of someone talking to a friend. This is probably Amy Dacyczyn's reason for being so successful. Her writing style is down to earth and one on one. She tells you how she does it. She does not preach at you, or tell you that you should do this or that. She simply writes what she does and the results she got and you are left to make your own decisions.
Another thing I liked about the Tightwad books is that Amy talks about frugality (she calls it tightwaddery) as a lifestyle, not just something you are forced to do because you have no choice. She chooses this way of living and she lets you see that living frugally does not mean deprivation. You can have a full and happy life being a tightwad, and so can your family. It just takes effort and knowledge. The first part is up to you, and the second part you can get from these books.
I highly recommend them!