April 03, 2011

TIghtwad Gazette I Refresher - Day 30 - April 3rd

We’re almost to the end of book one of the Tightwad Gazette series. Tomorrow will be our last reading of this book. I hope you have continued to enjoy this and I know you will enjoy the second book even more.

It has been my goal by going through these books to introduce people to Amy Dacyczyn, to encourage people to renew their quest of frugal living and to learn new ways to save via the “philosophy” of tightwaddery.

Let’s get started.


A reader had a question about the Amway Company. Instead of trying to condense the information that Amy gave about this company, I would recommend that you go online if you are interested in Amway.


A reader wrote in to say that contact lenses are not an area to be a tightwad. The reader is an optometrist and highly recommended taking good care of your contact lenses and do not take any shortcuts for the sake of saving money. She has seen firsthand improper contact lens care that resulted in infections and permanent vision loss. If you want to save money, then wear glasses instead. Amy agreed.

Health is one area that I agree that you should not try to skimp on. In the end you will pay for it. I know that there are some people on limited incomes that have to cut pills in half to take the half dosage because they cannot afford the full prescription. Anyone living in America should not have to ration their medications due to the cost. It is such a shame.


Amy gave a description on how to make party streamers out of an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. They are quick to make as I made two kinds from her simple instructions.

1. For the first one, take your paper and cut it in half lengthwise. Then cut the paper as shown in the above picture with the dotted lines being the cut lines. I cut my lines about 1/2 inch apart from each other. When you stretch it, it will look like this.

2. For the second one, instead of cutting the paper in half lengthwise, fold it in half lengthwise. Make the same cuts. When you unfold it and stretch it, it will look like this.

Bathroom door I'm refinishing.
To make a long streamer, make multiple sets and tape or staple the ends together.

While you are doing this, be prepared for your family to ask you what on earth you are doing. I will be making both of these types of streamers for our son’s graduation party in May.


A reader wrote in to say that he takes advantage of the temperature outside when it comes to cooling and keeping some foods cold. Let’s say you’ve made a pot of chili to put in the freezer, simply cover it and set it out on the back porch to cool down so that you can put it into freezer size containers and put in the freezer. Depending on where you live, you could probably keep it outside in a container and it will stay frozen.

During the holidays, I take advantage of our “back porch freezer.” This is a big Rubbermaid container with a lid. I bake cookies and I put them in Ziploc bags and then into this Rubbermaid container to freeze. When I have a variety of cookies baked, I go to the back porch freezer and take out the Ziploc bags and sort them onto plates for giving away. I then let the cookies come to room temperature before I deliver them.


Many readers had written Amy for a recipe for Worcestershire sauce. They tested a few. The original recipe was more costly than buying it in the store. The cheaper version is only slightly cheaper than store bought.

Original Worcestershire Sauce Recipe

Tie loosely in a cloth:

1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper pod
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cracked ginger
1 inch cinnamon bark
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds

Simmer spices in a large, heavy pan with:

2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tamarind pulp or 6 tablespoons lemon

Mix in a cup and add:

3 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 anchovy, mashed
1/2 cup water

While spices are boiling, caramelize 1/2 cup sugar by putting the sugar in a heavy skillet and stirring over high heat. Move sugar back and forth as it starts to melt and brown. Lower heat. Move sugar continuously and keep chopping at it, breaking the lumps until it is almost black and soupy, not burned.

Take the spice bag from the sauce, squeeze, and carefully pour a little of the boiling liquid into the skillet stirring briskly until dissolved. Return the liquid sugar to the large pan. Boil briefly. Pour into a bowl, replace the spice bag in the sauce. Place in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Stir from time to time. Strain and bottle. Keep refrigerated or process.

WHEW - that is quite the process, but I must admit that there is something weird about me that would like to try it. But I would have to find someone who likes anchovies to come over and mash one up for me. That sounds disgusting. I do love Worcestershire sauce and I use it in cooking quite a bit. Now for the cheaper version.

The Cheaper Worcestershire Sauce Version

Put in a large pot:

1 onion chopped (or 3 teaspoons onion powder)
3 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoons red pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix together and add to pot:

3 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup water

Bring to a boil and simmer 1/2 hour. While spices are boiling, caramelize 1/2 cup sugar using procedure given in original recipe. Cook another ½ hour. Store in refrigerator. Flavor will improve with age.

I have all of these ingredients on hand except the curry powder. I am going to find a friend to lend me the 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder and I am going to try this sometime. Can you imagine if I start telling people that I make my own Worcestershire sauce? They will look at me like I am Martha Stewart or something.

Tomorrow we will finish the Tightwad Gazette I and soon we will start the second book, the Tightwad Gazette II. For tomorrow read pages 290 through 295. Remember the Tightwad Gazette II is new information and of all three of her books, the second one is my favorite. I think it really gets more into saving money and the reason is because it is based on years 3 and 4 of Amy’s newsletters when subscriptions had grown and she was being sent more ideas from her readers.

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