December 29, 2009

My Mentors: Dacyczyn; Kellam & Cooper; Myers

I have seen on other blogs references to Amy Dacyczyn as I share the feeling that she was the one that got this frugal movement started. 

In January 1993 with my newborn son in tow I flew to Los Angeles to visit my in-laws.  I was going through post partum depression and the loss of a job.  I was exhausted.  My mother-in-law graciously paid for my plane ticket to the warm weather of Southern California.  One day we were at a mall and we walked into a bookstore.  There on display was "The Tightwad Gazette." This was the first book.  I had heard about Amy as she was making the interview circuit and I had seen her interview on the Phil Donahue show.  I was intrigued.  I bought the book and read it while I was in California and when I got home I started to put many of her suggestions into practice.  I also subscribed to her newsletter.  Over the years I purchased "The Tightwad Gazettes II and III."

When I found a new job, and with working full time, I decided that I didn't necessarily have the time for frugalness as I was now earning a paycheck.  I was stupid.  Many of the suggestions in Amy's book do not take a lot of time.  Instead I was feeling entitled to spending the money that I had earned.

Flash forward 11 years.  One night I was on the internet doing some searches on frugal recipes.  Our oldest son was in college and we needed to tighten our belts.  Somehow I came across Tawra Kellam's website Living on a Dime.  I bought her cookbook then titled "Not Just Beans" and later on purchased her revised cookbook now titled "Dining on a Dime."  Tawra's mother, Jill Cooper, also posts many articles on her site and they both share their experiences of paying off debt and living on a small sum of money.  For me, Tawra and Jill picked up where Amy left off and their site is one of my favorites.  Since I have been home full time, I turn to "Dining on a Dime" for many recipes.  This book not only includes food recipes but also recipes for cleaners and beauty products. 

Over time I have purchased many e-books from Living on a Dime and have never been disappointed.  Dining on a Dime is on my bookshelf next to The Tightwad Gazettes I, II and III. 

I would say that after the above two people I have become a big fan of Hillbilly Housewife.  Susanne Myers does a wonderful job with this site and the information that she provides.  I particularly like her emergency menus that she has listed.  This has inspired me to come up with my own versions of these menus tailored to my family's tastes.  I have become a member of the Hillbilly Housewife Club and I enjoy getting to know other women and learning from them. 

Susanne complements Tawra and Jill.  I find that when I log on to their sites I feel as if I am going into the homes of friends that are willing to take me by the arm and mentor me in ways to save money and manage a home.

What are your favorite sites?


Tammy said...

I wonder what ever became of the Dacyczn family? Do you think they ever finished "this old farm"? Bet they did!!

Martha said...

Yeah, it would be nice to have an update every now and then.

Anonymous said...

If you google her name, you can find recent articles this year.

Personally I don't think anyone is as frugal as Amy D. was. I'm not as fond of Living On a Dime. A little too preachy to me. But to each their own. :)

Miserly Moms (Jonni McCoy) for those who don't want to be radially frugal. If you are more adventuresome, go for The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I have lots of books on frugality, but that will always be my favorite. I don't think anyone will ever fill her shoes though.


Martha said...


I agree with you re Amy. If we were in dire straits due to further reduced income, I would definitely put more of Amy's advice into action. She is the one to go to if you have to make sincere drastic reductions. Thanks for your comment