My friends S and S have mentioned the Tightwad Gazette before. I’ve even seen Amy Dacyczyn (pronouced like “decision” in case you are curious), TWG’s creater and writer, mentioned on other blogs and websites. What I didn’t know until this past weekend was that Amy is a fellow Mainer!
Figuring this out was the equivalent of finding out I was just sitting next to a celebrity in a restaurant: at first, there was some denial and then excitement. I just wanted to tell everyone about it.
Amy started a newsletter called the Tightwad Gazette in the 1990s and it’s slowly grown to this following. The newsletter includes reader submitted tips as well as well researched articles by Amy. She contacts experts in whatever field of frugality she is tackling and does these impressive painstaking calculations (3 cents a minute to run a microwave, the cheapest appliance to run in her list). Reading her stuff is like having a really good friend whose writing you can always learn something from. (My goal is for this blog is like that for people who read it.)
I’ve most appreciated her articles about concepts like raising her kids to appreciate a frugal lifestyle. She’s an activist but not in a preachy way, taking on an overly consumptive culture and our environmental problems as one person or one household. It makes you feel like there is a lot you can do.
I agree with others who have said the random organization of the newsletter allows them to read about topic they wouldn’t normally read about (I now know how to clean stinky cloth diapers and the benefits of synthetic motor oilfor example). Headings make you skim but having everything sort of pasted together makes it much more likely that you run into information you aren’t necessarily looking for.
The Tightwad Gazette isn’t a blog but you can a) subscribe to the newsletter for $12 a year or b) buy/borrow one of the books. (I happened across the book at my local library.)
I hope someday to cross paths with Amy in real life but until then, I’m a Tightwad Gazette convert!