The Complete Tightwad Gazette
I’ve been a fan of the Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn, for ten years. Over the last decade, this book has helped me to save thousands of dollars on our housing, transportation, food and clothes. Almost every sentence, in the massive 788 page tome, is a gem.
Recently, I’ve started rereading tightwad gazette with an eye to crafting and cooking. Though these aren’t the main topics of the book, Amy has included some surprisingly good ideas on saving money in these areas. To varying degrees, the Tightwad Gazette touches on sewing, quilting, decorating, woodworking, baking and creating gifts of food. Though these sections are short, they are packed with great ideas.
My favorite story is a detailed accounting of how Amy made a $1.00 quilt for her daughter’s room. Amy designed her own pattern, gathered coordinating fabrics from free or inexpensive sources and set about making a simple but lovely quilt. All done, in her usual frugal way.
What were some of the take away tips in Tightwad Gazette?
- Consider building twig furniture for your outdoor furniture needs
- Wood can be recycled from curbside throw aways to create new and useful items
- Sew with the fabrics already on hand, rather than running to the store for new fabrics
- Adult size clothing can be cut down to make clothes for kids
- Learn to cook and bake from mix and match recipes that allow you to take advantage of the cheapest foods (recipes included)
- Make your own patterns for simple items of clothing like vests (how-to’s included)
- Remove buttons, elastic and zippers from clothing before throwing out. These items can be reused.
- Clothes can more easily be refurbished by taking away the more dated and garish elements, than by adding new embellishments.
These tips, plus plenty more, make Tightwad Gazette a very worthwhile read.
Note: There are several versions of the Tightwad Gazette. Be sure to pick up the last and most comprehensive volume, The Complete Tightwad Gazette.
Amazon Affiliate Link: The Complete Tightwad Gazette