February 27, 2011

Time to Dust off those Tightwad Gazette Books

As I work around my house or as I am cooking a meal, my mind tends to wander. This can be a problem if I am baking cookies and can’t remember if I put in the baking soda. As a side note, I think someone should invent colored baking soda that loses its color when baked. Then you can see if you added it to your cookie dough or not.
I’m a dreamer, a thinker, and maybe I think too much on certain things to my own detriment.

But high prices are on my mind and have been for several weeks. How do you effectively fight higher prices? Shopping sales, using coupons, driving less are some great examples, but what else?

I surf the web and I am constantly on the lookout for any new money saving ideas. I haven’t found any in a very long time. I do have all three Tightwad Gazette books that I refer to sometimes.

After a lot of thought I feel that the key to fighting higher prices is with “time”. The more time I have, the more time I can spend on saving money. Here are some examples: I can save money on gasoline by walking or riding my bike, which take more time. I can save money on groceries by spending time on the internet scouring for great coupons, clipping coupons and organizing them. I can save money on good whole wheat bread by making my own. I can save money on clothes by hanging them up to dry so that they last longer, by making repairs to our clothes on my own and by shopping at thrift stores. I can save money on groceries by making more and more items from scratch. I can save money on gifts, by making them. I can save money on haircuts by cutting my DH’s hair. Doing our own home repairs saves money. What about gardening and preserving your own food?

All of these examples take time in order to save money. I don’t have a job outside the home so I do have the time to do all of the above. And because I am home, I feel obligated to do as much as I can in order to save money in order to combat high prices.

I mentioned the Tightwad Gazette earlier. If you have ever read these books, you will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that there are definitely a few categories of saving. Many of the tips in these books involve different levels of frugality depending on, in my opinion, how much time you have on hand and what your financial situation is like. I have followed many of the tips in these books but some I never used due to time. Not anymore.

I am making it a point during the month of March to begin to go through these books and really look at every tip. I need to re-read these books in the light of today’s economy. So, not only will March be Random Acts of Kindness month for me, but it will also be Amy Dacyczyn month. Yep, I am going to go through her first Tightwad Gazette book and hopefully each day I will post a frugal idea from the book and see if I can save some money. I will also discover how much time each idea or tip involves and see if it is something that will work for me.

In April I will continue with the second book and then in May I will finish with her third Tightwad Gazette book. March 1st begins on Tuesday. The book starts on page 3 and ends on page 295. There are 31 days in March so we I will need to read and review 9 to 10 pages each day. So, are you with me? Do you want to read along with me and look at these books from a new perspective?

It’s time to get serious. I feel as if I am at war with this economy and with high prices. So, ladies (or any gentlemen that read my blog), dust off those Tightwad Gazettes and let’s start going through the first book together.


judy said...

Funny you should say this since I pulled my copy off the livingroom book shelf today to give the book shelf a dusing and thought..hmmm

So I am in with you. I forgot how much I relied on her newsletters everymonth when my kids were little.


colonialhomekeepings said...

I am with you!!!!! I have all her books also, got them in the mid-90's and you are so right - it is time to get them out and GET BACK TO THE BASICS!!!!! Love your integrity. Let's do it!

The Headstrong Housewife! said...

I really need to get these books, I wish my library had them :(

Martha said...


I received her newsletters also. When one would arrive in the mail I would immediately sit down and read and re-read them.


Yes - we need to get back to the basics.

@The Headstrong Housewife:

If they don't have them, just follow the posts and comments for the month. Maybe if you ask around someone might have a copy you can borrow or you can find a used copy on line.

Moderate Means said...

My very first frugality book :)

I've been working my way through a lot of handmade/DIY books lately and it's filling my frugal cravings. I made my own foot scrub yesterday and it was easy and cheap - my kind of product ;)

I'll follow along :)


Debs said...

I've been thinking about getting one/all/combo version of this book.
I've heard it talked about in lots of frugal places on line. Think i'll read your posts and then decide whether I should spend my hard earned swagbucks on them!

The Headstrong Housewife! said...

I definitely plan to stay tuned Martha, I can't wait!

Kris Watson said...

This may be my favorite blog !

I have never seen a Tightwad Gazette book, but will be checking used book stores so I can follow along with the rest of the class.

Ready for tips!!!

Maureen said...

Martha it,s almost as if you read my mind.
I have not been able to buy these books in Oz, so I have checked on ebay and Amazon and the cost of sending them to me was too much to get my No Spending Head around.
so now I,m hanging out for the tips ( as long as they are not all about baking LOL )

Anonymous said...

These books were my bible for frugality before it was the in thing to do. I remember talking about her tips on saving money and people thought I was nuts. The ironic thing is some of these people have ended up filing bankruptcy and losing their homes because they did not know how to live within or below their means.
Some have now come to me for tips on living frugally.

tammyyarbrough said...

My very first book into the world of frugality! Every since then, I have been hooked! Funny how the old never goes out of style :-0

I wonder if they ever got their farm house finished????????????