April 13, 2011

Tightwad Gazette II Reading - Day Five - April 13th

There are a lot of reader tips in today’s reading. Does anyone else love their glue gun as much as duct tape?

Remember all of these ideas came from Amy Dacyczyn’s second book the Tightwad Gazette II. I have underlined my comments.  Amy does a good job of profiling the frugal or tightwad lifestyle. What I love about her books is that you are given a lot of great ideas and although you may not use all of the information now, when money gets really tight you can pick up her book and put her ideas into action and will immediately save money.


The Plastic Stuff Fix – To repair a laundry basket and other plastic items, first seal the crack with a hot glue gun. Then take the flat plastic tabs used on bread bags and hot glue these to the crack to reinforce it.

Shower Curtain Fixes – If the top is tearing at the hanger holes, then just fold down the top and make button holes through the doubled material about a half inch below the old holes. The shower curtain is fixed and will only be a little shorter.

The Screen Door Fix – One reader used fishing line to “sew” a patch of screen material into a hole in her screen door.


A mother wrote in to say that her family absolutely loves pizza. She makes pizza crusts four to six at a time, then “par” bakes them for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, cools them and stacks them in a large freezer bag. She lives near a local dairy that has a cheese outlet and is able get ends of mozzarella or provolone at a very low cost. She buys 5 lbs. at a time and goes home and grates it all, spreads it on baking sheets to freeze. Then she puts it in Ziploc bags. By doing this she saves a lot of money and is able to put pizza on the table very quickly.


I’m not sure if you can still buy Breck shampoo now, but a reader wrote that this shampoo will remove grease, blood, grass stains, ink, and more. She has used it as a pre-stain treatment for years. I find that the best way to remove stains is to take care of them immediately if at all possible. Take the garment and run it under cold water to remove as much of the stain as possible. I use Dawn Dish Soap – original blue as a pretreatment on the majority of stains. Rub both sides of the fabric together to get as much of the soap into the stain. Then let it sit for awhile and rinse it to see if the stain is gone. Sometimes it takes two applications but I am rarely disappointed. Dawn dish soap goes on sale all the time and I usually have a coupon.


A reader said that she restores limp but otherwise good condition yard sale clothing with a light rinse of starch. It makes the clothing new looking.


“When most people think of thriftiness, all those active images come to mind. They imagine patching pants, baking bread, hanging laundry and rebuilding car engines. It all sounds like so much hard work. But most of frugality is about the passive stuff – it’s not what we do, it’s what we don’t do.”

Amy goes on to talk about the passive ways they save by not eating at McDonald’s or buying potato chips at the grocery store.

Each of us makes the choices of what we will and won’t do to save money. We make these choices based on what we like to do, what quality issues are important to us and how much time and energy we have.

Amy would rather work in her garden than buy vegetables at the warehouse store. She doesn’t like sewing outfits so she won’t make matching Easter outfits for her children, but she will buy nice outfits at a yard sale.

When it comes to quality, Amy likes antiques and she will spend hours refinishing furniture. On the other hand, eating complicated meals everyday is low on her quality list, so they eat simple, humble foods.

The most important factor between active and passive is time. There are times when you get busy and you may not be able to bake bread as you normally do, so you buy your bread at the day old bread store. It’s okay to save time when you are busy because when life gets back to normal, you can go back to more of these frugal saving tasks.

 I can totally identify with this article and particularly the busy part. Painting my living room is a long process and while I am working on it, I don’t have the time to bake bread, bagels and buns. So during this time I am buying store bought bread as needed and when it is on sale. Right now it’s more important to get the living room done, than to spend time baking bread.

Beginning the Faux Finish
Trust me - It will look great when I am done.
The white paint is really a light gold.
I will be ragging a darker gold over this.

The same will be true next month when we will be hosting a graduation party for our son. There will be too much to do to get the house ready so I will have to take a break from spending time on frugal tasks. It will only be for a little time and then I will get back on track.

If you have noticed, I have cut down the amount of pages to read each day as it was taking quite a long time for me to read and compile the information. 5 or 6 pages at a time is far more manageable.

For tomorrow we will go over pages 44 thru 50.

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