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Thread: Revisiting Tightwas Gazette

  1. #1
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    Revisiting Tightwas Gazette

    While perusing one of my bookshelves, I decided to look again at the original Tightwas Gazette books acquired way back when. They were a great catalyst for living a frugal life along with Your Money or Your Life. I am struck by how detailed all of her analysis was on various purchases - down to the ounce. And it reminded me of some things I had forgotten like noticing how much detergent you add - it's often way more than you need because who measures anymore? Also interesting to note that the internet wasn't being used at that time so further information on books or products required snail mail. But the biggest eye opener to me was how wasteful by comparison we have become in present day culture.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I copied a number of her recipes for homemade products that are now sold in plastic containers triggering expense and significant waste in shipping and disposal. Think of the millions of small foaming hand soap containers that need to be bottled, shipped and discarded as one example.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I loved Amy D. Her book was great. In fact, now that you mention it, I think it might be one of the casualties of the downsizing I underwent, but I hope not. I saved it from being a library donation on more than one occasion. It is a fun read, no matter how "old-fashioned" she is now.

    Yes, I loved how she analyzed the cost per cup of hot chocolate, and coffee, and oatmeal and all those "little" expenses. I clearly remember her appearance on Oprah--the audience for the most part were not fans. When someone asked her if she had ever been to a restaurant and she said that her husband had taken her to McDonald's for their 10th anniversary, they were not kind. They also weren't kind when she admitted that she went to the breakfast buffet when she flew to LA for her TV shoot and she brought a muffin up to her room for lunch. That also generated a lot of flack. (That one I agree with. You go to a buffet and you eat there, and you don't hoard food for later.)
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I used to get the newsletter, before it became a book. A lot of it was not applicable to me (no kids) but I liked her overall philosophy regarding $ per wow. As in, I like this restaurant with the $ entree - this other restaurant has entrees that are 2x $- are they really twice as good?

    It was good for me at that point in my life to realize that there were others who lived intentional lives, and made different choices. This was at the tail end of the "yuppie" trend, where I was feeling a lot of social pressure to buy bigger and "bettter".

  5. #5
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    We need a lot more of her techniques in her daily life before we all are buried by mounds of garbage and plastic. An example of wastefulness, someone gave me a box of clothes to try on that were headed to the landfill. as I had lost weight and grew out of everything. In the box was a lands end bathing suit still in the plastic bag, along with half a dozen items with price tags like Chico’s on them she decided she didn’t like when she got home but never took back. Lucky me, a beautiful new wardrobe for free. Lines to get coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, Amazon’s one click ordering (something I am guilty of) what a change in our whole culture today..

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    I LOVE her books - have the Complete Tightwad Gazette on my cookbook shelf. It helped me get through some tougher times and also helped me think about what I have, what I want and what I need. Got my sourdough starter and bread recipe from there and am still using the same starter. After making her homemade rice a roni recipe, I never bought another box. I have several pages flagged, but I agree it might be a good time to go back and re-read.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

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    I really liked her approach to figuring out what was the most frugal alternative, and her idea about the satisfaction diminishing after a certain point--so that after x Christmas presents, the kids were done--so you find that x for every situation, like housing and cars. You need the functionality of something, and a certain degree of niceness to it, but past that degree, the satisfaction drops off.

    That's such a valuable concept when trying to arrange a sustainable life.

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