Author Topic: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?  (Read 5763 times)

NonprofitER

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Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« on: February 03, 2016, 08:40:56 AM »
In looking over recommended readings, one book we never got around to is the Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy D.

For people who've read it:
If our family has been working with mustachian principles for going on 3 years (meaning, we meticulously track spending/saving, net worth, etc.), will we still find useful nuggets in this book? Or should we skip it?

I ask because our city libraries apparently only have one copy that is indefinitely on hold, so we would be looking to pick it up secondhand from Half Price Books...


pbkmaine

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 08:43:03 AM »
I still use it as a reference, and I bought it when it first came out.

Spork

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 08:55:40 AM »
I haven't read it, but wifey loves it.  She bought it years ago.

shadowmoss

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 09:48:10 AM »
It is more a practical how-to for saving money.  I'm remembering at one point she did a fairly detailed look on which was cheaper, using a dishwasher or hand washing dishes.  In the book that is the entire compilation of the articles you will probably find something you didn't think of before.  Taken at it's time, it was pretty ground-breaking.  She and her husband were (if I remember correctly) some of the earliest adopters of the ideas in Your Money or Your Life, and went on to show just how powerful the ideas in that book are.

Kitsune

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 05:41:21 PM »
I got it out from the library a few weeks ago, and put it down in relatively short order. I found that either we were already applying the principles and ideas from the book, or there was a reason we weren't doing so (didn't fit our lifestyle AT ALL for minor savings, usually).

Might be ok to get ideas from, depending on how smoothly and cheaply your household runs, but I would recommend library-ing it first.

Noodle

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 07:16:29 AM »
I think it sort of depends on what you're looking for from a frugality book. TG is one of the first books I read when I was in grad school and had just figured out that having my dream job was going to mean a frugal lifestyle pretty much indefinitely. What made it stand out at the time was that it was unusual in mixing articles about the theory of frugality, general principles that could be applied in multiple situations (like how to make muffins no matter what ingredients you had around), and then very specific tips. At the time, pretty much everything out there on saving money consisted of lists of tips without a whole lot of context. She did some case studies "dishwashing vs. hand-washing" but was clear that she meant them as an example as to how people could analyze their own situations rather than a rule to follow.

I haven't reread it for a number of years, but a lot of her "theory" articles have stuck with me--the ones about how to figure out whether the more expensive choice is worth it, what we owe to people who make poor financial choices, how she and her husband decided to divide up the household work, the idea of "creative deprivation" (by which she meant, limiting indulgences so treats are really treats). Amy D's gift was that she was able to put some concepts that would seem very off-putting or complex into everyday language or share a new perspective--she did cover some of the same topics as MMM but I find her style much more appealing.

A lot of the specifics would be very dated now. She was living in rural Maine before the internet took off, so her methods of shopping, etc. might not make a lot of sense now, esp to those of us in cities. She retired because she felt she had covered all the material worth writing about...and of course that was not long before the internet/mobile technology changed a lot of the rules and options. Wish she had kept at it...

So...overall, worth dipping in to? Considering that used copies are available for $4.50 on Amazon, I think it would be worthwhile purchase since the book can be regifted or donated if it doesn't suit.

Rubic

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 03:48:58 PM »
So...overall, worth dipping in to? Considering that used copies are available for $4.50 on Amazon, I think it would be worthwhile purchase since the book can be regifted or donated if it doesn't suit.

I picked up one of those $4 copies from Amazon.  When I finish reading it, I'll pass it along to my family.

Dicey

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 08:05:26 PM »
Huge Amy D fan here. Since MMM wasn't around when I first started adulting, Amy was my girl. There are three small books, but the one you want is what I call the Big Blue Book aka "The Complete Tightwad Gazette", which is a compilation of all three books, plus additional material from the last year of newsletters before she RE. BTW, she never took up the torch again, which should thrill the retirement police.

I re-read the BBB every year to keep my frugal focus sharp. Sure a lot of it is hilariously out of date, but this is no mere collection of tips. She was more of the "teach a person to fish" person, so there's a lot of theory and process that is still highly relevant. As you might guess, I highly recommend it. Even now, dated as it is. And its format makes it perfect for smallest-room-in-the-house reading material ;-)

Treat for Amy D fans: There are a couple of newer interviews in the blogosphere, including a series with the three daughters, who are all grown up now.

Polish_Hammer

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 11:41:54 AM »
The blast from the past. I still have all three books and an old yellowing article about them from Money magazine.  "living the good life on $17,XXX".  Definitely more extreme than me. I could never spend time gathering dryer lint:)

Basenji

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 12:18:13 PM »
The blast from the past. I still have all three books and an old yellowing article about them from Money magazine.  "living the good life on $17,XXX".  Definitely more extreme than me. I could never spend time gathering dryer lint:)

Me too, the three books, well worn. For a long time I would pull them out when I felt my life was out of control to remind me that I could get back on track. I love the old pre-Internet tips, make me laugh.

But most of the content is still pretty darn relevant.

Melissa

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 02:31:15 PM »
Another place to get the book is paperback swap.

I enjoyed this book when it first came out. Some of the projects were good cheap fun when the kids were younger. Amy was the first person I heard explain a price book for grocery shopping. It's still helpful today....though some of the items are a little outdated

jengod

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2016, 08:25:34 PM »
Huge Amy D fan here. Since MMM wasn't around when I first started adulting, Amy was my girl. There are three small books, but the one you want is what I call the Big Blue Book aka "The Complete Tightwad Gazette", which is a compilation of all three books, plus additional material from the last year of newsletters before she RE. BTW, she never took up the torch again, which should thrill the retirement police.

I re-read the BBB every year to keep my frugal focus sharp. Sure a lot of it is hilariously out of date, but this is no mere collection of tips. She was more of the "teach a person to fish" person, so there's a lot of theory and process that is still highly relevant. As you might guess, I highly recommend it. Even now, dated as it is. And its format makes it perfect for smallest-room-in-the-house reading material ;-)

Treat for Amy D fans: There are a couple of newer interviews in the blogosphere, including a series with the three daughters, who are all grown up now.

What she said.

Tightwad universal muffin recipe: https://lessisenough.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/recipe-week-seven/
Tightwad universal casserole recipe: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/some-thoughts-on-the-tightwad-gazettes-flexible-casserole-recipe/
Tightwad universal quiche recipe: http://www.cookingmanager.com/universal-crustless-quiche/

coolistdude

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 08:56:54 PM »
Huge Amy D fan here. Since MMM wasn't around when I first started adulting, Amy was my girl. There are three small books, but the one you want is what I call the Big Blue Book aka "The Complete Tightwad Gazette", which is a compilation of all three books, plus additional material from the last year of newsletters before she RE. BTW, she never took up the torch again, which should thrill the retirement police.

I re-read the BBB every year to keep my frugal focus sharp. Sure a lot of it is hilariously out of date, but this is no mere collection of tips. She was more of the "teach a person to fish" person, so there's a lot of theory and process that is still highly relevant. As you might guess, I highly recommend it. Even now, dated as it is. And its format makes it perfect for smallest-room-in-the-house reading material ;-)

Treat for Amy D fans: There are a couple of newer interviews in the blogosphere, including a series with the three daughters, who are all grown up now.

I used to read her books as a kid. They helped spark my interest in saving and earning money. I respect Amy for staying retired. Thank you for mentioning this treat!! I knew about Amy's interview where she explained she wasn't coming back and was happily retired and still frugal.

I bought my wife the 3 collection book and she has steadily employed new methods I wish I had the time to do. Like shopping habits, recipes, reusing plastic bags, sending me with PBJ lunches, etc. Although many of her methods are pre-internet, she focuses on actually processing the often creative options and determining the best, non wasteful fit. This is such a useful skill, but I am amazed at how few people grasp it. She also made saving money a game/fun.

Genevieve

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2016, 07:25:00 PM »
I loved the Complete Tightwad Gazette! I enjoyed the read. It motivated me to try harder, and it gave me a few ideas too.

grizz

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2016, 05:35:13 PM »

I ask because our city libraries apparently only have one copy that is indefinitely on hold, so we would be looking to pick it up secondhand from Half Price Books...

I'm a librarian. If you let your local library know that the sole copy of the book is always checked out they will most likely be willing to purchase another copy or copies to keep up with demand. It's worth asking and may save you a few bucks.

NonprofitER

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2016, 08:19:23 AM »
Great tip!  Thank you!

debbie does duncan

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2016, 08:50:13 AM »
I love this book. When I first came across this book  it was the 80's !
Totally changed my life b/c she had a long term plan with so many different ideas. 

I had to buy the book, used, as the librarys copy was always "missing".
Worth the chump change.

Mtngrl

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2016, 08:59:14 AM »
I periodically re-read these books (I have the three individual volumes). Even though all the ideas don't apply to me (I don't have kids) I also find them inspiring and motivating.

Gin1984

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2016, 10:04:53 AM »
I get them from the library occasionally to keep me in the butt.  It does do so.  :) 

Dicey

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Re: Tightwad Gazette - Good for an established MMMer?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2016, 01:41:47 PM »
I periodically re-read these books (I have the three individual volumes). Even though all the ideas don't apply to me (I don't have kids) I also find them inspiring and motivating.
Hey Mountain Girl, so glad to I'm not the only kid-less human out there who still gleaned a lot of useful stuff from The Tightwad Gazette. Just chiming in to say that "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" has material in it that was not included in the other three books. If you haven't read it, you'll love the bonus material.