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Confession: Amy Dacyczyn really bugs me - Page 2

post #21 of 120
What worked for me was comparing prices in different shops. We buy mainly organic or natural wholefood, so it is more expensive than what you could buy. But I compare the two local organic shops, and 3 ordinary shops in our area. One of the organic shops has the best selection. But I know that for some products (dish washing liquid, washing liquid, jam, peanut butter, some pasta varieties etc) the big shop in the city is cheapest, unless the shop closest to us have deal on these products.
post #22 of 120
I read her books back when they first came out when I was first married, and they were helpful to get someone started...but I do think some things are outdated now, and would love to see the 'aftereffects' on her family now!
post #23 of 120
I found many things helpful, many things validating, and many things that simply did not apply to me or my values. I have a copy of the "complete" version and it still deserves a place on my shelf.

I do have to laugh at a lot of the things in it, but more than anything it inspires me to creatively use what we have for previously-unrealized uses. It bugs my DH though (he's always making fun of it - 101 ways to make junk out of pantyhose, etc. I don't wear pantyhose so he thinks it is funny).
post #24 of 120
I also didn't care for the book, it really did seem dated and most of the tips just seemed awful. I live in Maine, maybe I should go look her up. LOL

Shay
post #25 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I just take what I think is useful and drop the rest. I don't really care if powdered milk costs less, I've tried it its awful. I guess I agree, she does go further than I would, but I just discard what I don't find useful.
That's what I do too. I like the ideas and I also like that alot of the contributions are from her readers so you get a variety of input and not just the extremeness of one zealot (as she calls herself). My family could not get behind every idea she shared through out and I guess I skimmed over the stuff I didn't find relevant to me. Overall I like her books, preachy or not. I know my dh and I will never cut back enough to pay cash for a house, but we've made lots of changes that have enriched our lives.
post #26 of 120
I view her books as a medium. it's just one source but made up from a lot of people aside from Amy as well. Granted some of her ideas are not for me and my family but it at least gets me to consider that everything is a choice.

I can choose to eat better quaility foods that she does but if it was a make or break situation it's nice to have the resources to fall upon. I liked a lot of her creative thinking. The lids from frozen juice cans and using them from crafts is something I would have never thought of. Have I done it? No, but she does make me reconsider something I think is trash, can I reuse it? Can it be recyeled into something else?

I also admire her organizational skills. She gave a lot of great ideas.

Books are just a medium like any other type of media, TV, movies, newspapers even the internet. I might not agree with everything I see on TV, but some things get me thinking.

Overall, I like her even if I don't follow all her suggestions.
post #27 of 120
I agree that I have gotten loads of great tips from her books. The hand-me-down (or bought at yardsales/on super discount) clothing organization system works GREAT for me. Some of the stuff just did not work for us. I too would rate the book as "medium" and would love to see an update! I wonder if she has email, we could all request more info...

I looked up USDA guidelines for "sell by" and "use by" dates when I discovered the scratch and dent stores. Here is a helpful Link. , And one more link.
post #28 of 120
There are no "informational, how-to" books that I have followed completely by the book. What I took from her book is to be more creative about being frugal, and to not be so embarrassed about being frugal, especially if working toward larger goals.

She says herself, many times in the book that you have to use the information she supplies as you see fit, not everything will work for everyone. Also, if it were entirely written by her, it would seem preachy to me too, but it wasn't. It is newsletters over years of time that were compiled.

Not every book works for everyone.
post #29 of 120
I think that the biggest thing I got out of her books (and I read them when they were new and every few years since then; my parents were subscribers to the newsletter back in the day) was the attitude of frugality.

If frugality is a chore, well, then it's a miserable way to live. If you have a goal in mind---no matter if it's an odd goal to other people---then it makes all the frugality worth it. I mean, if I am frugal so that I can afford to have 17 children like Jim Bob Duggar, then more power to me, right? And, those folks that say I'm insane to eat the same 5 meals over and over cause I should only have 1 child, well, they have different priorities. (this is an extreme example. I'm too old to have 17 children. And, my fat butt likes more variety than 5 meals. )

So, that book helped me to be happy with what MY life is and to stop comparing MY priorities to other people.
post #30 of 120
I'm really amused by the whole "I don't like her thing". I think one poster said it, It's a tool and all the books were a compilation of the newsletter that they published. I don't want to defend her. and the books are dated becuz times changes, but there's little denying that the books are really about considering how you spend your money, choosing to be frugal to obtain financial freedom and peace of mind. I think that's an idea most of us can get behind.
post #31 of 120
Thread Starter 
If it were just that I thought a lot of her ideas were silly or over-zealous, that would be fine. Then it would be easy to take what works for me and leave the rest. But it's actually her attitude that I don't like. And I can tell it's her attitude, because the articles she writes bother me way more than the letters from readers. Mostly, it's the "if you make different choices than I do, you must be stupid" thing. She says she doesn't do that, and it's all about what is important to you individually, but I don't think that holds true.

I'm also bothered by the way she talks about her kids, honestly.
post #32 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
If it were just that I thought a lot of her ideas were silly or over-zealous, that would be fine. Then it would be easy to take what works for me and leave the rest. But it's actually her attitude that I don't like. And I can tell it's her attitude, because the articles she writes bother me way more than the letters from readers. Mostly, it's the "if you make different choices than I do, you must be stupid" thing. She says she doesn't do that, and it's all about what is important to you individually, but I don't think that holds true.

I'm also bothered by the way she talks about her kids, honestly.
Oh wow, I'm going to have to go back and reread that stuff. I never got that at all. I too read them when they first came out since I was already in my late 20's and setting up my household. I guess I read them with the thought that they would offer me some ideas to lead a more consciously frugal life. I'm a classic skimmer when I read so I'll be the first to admit that I probably took half of the stuff she herself might have written with a grain of salt since I knew from seeing her on tv that her lifestyle was much more extreme that I was interested in. I though that I could take some ideas away and find the balance that worked for me, which is something that I've read that she advocates in her book.
I also never really picked up on her talking about her kids in what I guess was a negative way. Although I know that all the values she expoused again weren't for me. I think she was trying to teach her kids that you have to work hard for thing. Although I do think it's sad that they would NEVER have anything new. Not that new means everything...I dont' know even if it's homemade you should have something special once and awhile.
post #33 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
Mostly, it's the "if you make different choices than I do, you must be stupid" thing.
I agree with that. I remember one article where she talked about traveling to (I think) L.A. to do a talk show, and she wrote about how extremely frugal she was, in this city she'd never been to, to bring her own food and stay in the hotel the whole time so she didn't spend unnecessary money. Not only was I thinking, "Good GRIEF, what a wasted trip to a new place!" but that attitude she had was definitely one of, "You are completely wasting your money if you feel the need to actually see the place you've traveled to."

She SAYS it's all about what's important to you, but she leaves no room for people to SPEND MONEY on what's important to them. It's all about NOT spending money, ever. It really comes across as, "If what's important to you requires financial outlay, then you're worried about the wrong stuff."

dm
post #34 of 120

Links?

Does anyone have links to her television appearances? (I realize they were ages ago, but I would like to see them if possible.)
post #35 of 120
For me, it really comes down to this-- the reason that we live frugally and the reason we try to save as much money as possible is because we want to have a better life. I want to stay home with my children, for instance, and still live in the house I love in the area I love, eating good food and keeping nice rooms. I want to have money to spend on my kids' activities, clothes, etc, and on my pets and hey, occasionally even on myself and my partner.

For me, it's really about choosing what means the most to you and then pushing yourself to save on everything else. You can be the cheapest person in the world, but it doesn't mean that all that savings is going to make you happy, IMO.
post #36 of 120
She bugs me a lot, too. I think she is setting up her kids for food issues later on in life (making them eat everything on their plate whether they are hungry or not........that causes one to tune out one's hunger and satiety signals.)


I gleaned a little from reading her books but not a lot.
post #37 of 120
I'm with those who say, take what you want and leave the rest. I do clearly remember two pieces of advice from her that I considered particularly irksome; one was, "Nobody ever died from not having fresh vegetables in the house". Well, no, but nobody ever ate a really nutritious diet without fresh vegetables, either. The other was when she was talking about how she makes time for all of her grocery charts and other frugal activities, and she proudly said that she doesn't read to her kids. (Or maybe it was that she strictly limits them to one book per night? I don't remember exactly.) I thought that was a bit ridiculous.

But, I did learn a lot from her ideas about how to do grocery shopping. I don't limit myself in the same way she did, but I do use the grocery notebook concept and save quite a bit of money that way. I also liked where she talked about how to calculate the amount of energy your appliances use so that you can decide, for example, whether it's more frugal to run the crockpot or the stove. That opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about energy expenses and how to calculate what's frugal and what's not.

So, a lot of her specific ideas are simply not workable for my family, but the underlying philosophy (or theory, I guess) of how to be frugal, was helpful to me.
post #38 of 120
In a roundabout way, Amy D. brought me to MDC. When DH and I decided to TTC I was thinking about cloth diapers. I did a Yahoo search and here I am.

Yes some of her stuff is dated. Some of her recipes are out there nutritionaly. Her approach to money helped me change my attitude about stuff.

I do wonder about her kids.
post #39 of 120
I do love her. She reminds me of nearly all other women of that generation. There was not alot of emphasis on nutritional value, beyond the basic four food groups. My mom, for example, believes organics are a big hype. So, it's not that she's being cheap - she just honestly didn't see any benefits! Also, the big problem with powdered milk is obviously that it's no fat = no calcium and actually draining your bones of calcium. BUT, those facts were not known when those newsletters came out. And folks from that generation aren't all that likely to just jump on the new trend bandwagon, KWIM?

I don't see what's really not to like about her frugality on food. Her basic idea is to buy when cheap, and buy in bulk, that can go for powdered milk or doritos or organic almond butter. Make a pricebook, scout out sales or work hard to find your cheapest source of the foods YOU eat and then buy enough to last until the next sale. I don't believe I ever read her saying that you should eat exactly what she eats. She's just giving tools for shopping - not eating. She does advocate organic gardening, eating most produce that you grew or was grown locally, as well as cooking from scratch, using whole grains, etc.

I have heard she's doing really well. They are financially independent, all the kids are grown, I think she has grandkids now. They do great things like use their time to volunteer, support local charities, businesses and artists, etc.

About what her DD said - I think that's bull! She clearly states in her book that her kids are free to buy what they want with their own money. They are free to earn their own dang money and buy overpriced sneakers themselves She'll even help the cause, by paying what she would consider a good price for new shoes (or whatever it is), and then the child has to make up the difference. Seems fair to me!
post #40 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanB View Post
I'm with those who say, take what you want and leave the rest. I do clearly remember two pieces of advice from her that I considered particularly irksome; one was, "Nobody ever died from not having fresh vegetables in the house". Well, no, but nobody ever ate a really nutritious diet without fresh vegetables, either. The other was when she was talking about how she makes time for all of her grocery charts and other frugal activities, and she proudly said that she doesn't read to her kids. (Or maybe it was that she strictly limits them to one book per night? I don't remember exactly.) I thought that was a bit ridiculous.
I think that's not entirely correct info there She's not advocating NEVER having fresh veggies in the house. They grow LOTS of fresh veggies at their house, in the garden and in cold frames, all organic. They also trade with other gardeners to fill in gaps of what they didn't grow. I think she's saying you don't need fresh veggies every day - it's okay to eat frozen veggies once a week, or every-other week, etc. We do this, usually the day before grocery-shopping day!

She did say she only read one book a day to each child (that's 6 books folks!). She also paid the older kids to read to the younger ones because she was too busy, as well as many of the books her little ones wanted read (over and over and over) were irritating her! I run a daycare in my house and can DEFINATLY empathize! We'll read more on rainy days or something, but usually we're all busy, I don't like to read more than a few books per day.

Just my .02
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