Confession: Amy Dacyczyn really bugs me - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'm reading Tightwad III. I have a copy of the first one and haven't read the second (because my library oddly had I and III but not II). And I just can't keep it to myself any longer.

Amy Dacyczyn bugs the crap out of me.

At first, I was totally with her. Realize the vale of your time, and how much work really costs you. Got it. But she's SO preachy, and she makes this equation between "not frugal the way she is" and stupid that I just can't handle. She also seems to sort of fudge the truth on some things to make it seem as if all options are equal and it's just a matter of being smart enough to save. Um, no. Powdered milk and real milk are not the same things.

I think there's a line between frugal/thrifty (good) and cheap/miserly (bad), and I think she crosses it.

Does anybody else here really not care much for her? If so, are there other people who write similar books you prefer? I could use a recommendation.
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#2 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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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.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#3 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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I agree about sorting out the ideas that make sense to you & ignoring the rest which is indeed miserly & cheap. What I would love to see or read is an update on how her family is doing now & if they're all still with the program or have revolted.
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#4 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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I agree about sorting out the ideas that make sense to you & ignoring the rest which is indeed miserly & cheap. What I would love to see or read is an update on how her family is doing now & if they're all still with the program or have revolted.
Yeah, that would be interesting!

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#5 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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An update would be interesting. I love Amy Dacyczyn, but I can see how she'd get on folks' nerves.

For me, powdered milk and real milk are the same. Awful, yucky, smelly stuff that goes in baked goods. (no cereal gets eaten in this house )
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#6 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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Thought I'd google and see if I could find an update article or something, I did find that she is listed in the phone book as still living in leeds, maine. My bet is that they are financially independant, so since she no longer needs the income, we haven't heard from her. You could always call and ask

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#7 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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One of the "tips" in the Tightwad Gazette is someone mentioned finding a carseat set out for trash and then trash picking it. The person called the manufacturer and didn't know if it had been in an accident so the company sent out a new seat. I consider this dishonest, not a frugal tip. There's a few others in there that bug me.

I do like the Tightwad Gazette books overall. They are the first books that really made me think about how I spend my money. You may like Miserly Moms better. It didn't seem as extreme or preachy to me.

mama to six ('98, '00, '04, '04, '06, '08)
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#8 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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There were some things I found very useful in the Tightwad books, but Amy Dacyzyn does kind of get to me too. She does seem to cross the frugal vs. cheap line on a lot of things, there were a TON of things in the books that I found myself saying 'no way!' to along the way.

Baking mama to dd (7.5), ds (6), ds (3.5) and someone new in April
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#9 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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She totally crosses the line for me as well. I took away a few tips, but most of it was highly annoying to me. The ways she chooses to spend her time is not the way I would ever choose to spend mine. I think I put the book away for good when she got to the "give Christmas gifts that come from trash/yard sales" part.
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#10 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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I'm reading one of her books right now. I've been trying to like her, I really have, but I have to admit that I find myself skipping over more and more in the book. I'm trying really hard to be committed to a frugal lifestyle but a lot of her suggestions are just too cheap for my tastes. I'm trying to read the entire thing and happily take what works and leave what doesn't but it's hard. I'm looking forward to finishing the book and moving on to something that speaks to me in a more profound way. :
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#11 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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I personally found most of her advice dated and unhelpful. I was more motivated after reading Miserly Moms.
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#12 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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I think that her nutrition advice is terrible. Her sole concern is cheap, and generally with food, you get what you pay for. I would not want to have to eat her food.

dm
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#13 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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I remember seeing her on Dateline (or whatever) years ago. It was kind of sad. Her teenage daughter said that she got anything new ever. She had never even had a pair of shoes that hadn't been used by someone else first. She said "I just want to have one new thing just once." I just thought, Lord help her when she gets her first credit card one day.
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#14 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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I think that her nutrition advice is terrible. Her sole concern is cheap, and generally with food, you get what you pay for. I would not want to have to eat her food.
Yes! The show I saw her on also followed her as she bought food at a government outlet (like 50 cents for a box of 3-year-old cereal). The food was waaaay over expiration. She said it was still okay because there was no way the government would sell food that was bad. Yep, gotta have full faith and trust in the good ole' government.
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#15 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 08:37 PM
 
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Yes! The show I saw her on also followed her as she bought food at a government outlet (like 50 cents for a box of 3-year-old cereal). The food was waaaay over expiration. She said it was still okay because there was no way the government would sell food that was bad. Yep, gotta have full faith and trust in the good ole' government.
PLEASE TELL ME YOU'RE KIDDING?????????????
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#16 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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I love her. She got us through some times when I thought there was NO WAY we could make it through. Following her suggestions and ideas got us out of debt, repaired our credit and helped us buy our first house.

The success I had with small things she suggested helped build my self confidence and helped me believe that I could takle bigger things too. I could never thank her enough for all she has done for me through her newsletter/books.
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#17 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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I kept hearing about how great her books were so I went to the used bookstore and found I and II for $4 each. I flipped through them and they looked unuseful to me- like stuff I would never do (guitar picks out of credit cards?!?!) - so I figured I would be a tightwad and not purchase them.

ETA: Also I noticed they were published in 1992. I was only 8 then and times have def. changed!! Maybe if she made a more current edition...........

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#18 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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Honestly, she annoyed me too. You're not alone!

If it's one thing I will not compromise on, it's food. I will buy from farmer's markets, and most of it is organic. I will, literally, skimp on everything else but not food. Because I think my health is really important in the long run. So, all her food saving tips just bugged the heck out of me!

I go out of my way to walk/bike so that I only take a trip to the gas station 2 times per month. I use baking soda for everything from cleaning to laundry to my hair to my body wash to my teeth. I don't buy anything processed - including breads and crackers. I make everything from scratch. I go to bed close to sundown to avoid using extra electricity. So, I am extremely frugal ... some might say miserly when it comes to everything BUT food. That goes for my dog as well. I will not feed myself crap or my dog. I HAVE to be miserly in everything else in order to pay the bills and still purchase the healthy, whole foods.

So every time I read a frugal tip on food from her, I felt like she should have prefaced it with: Warning - medical bills might ensue if you eat like this for the rest of your life. :

First special delivery - April 2010 :
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#19 of 120 Old 06-21-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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I casually browsed through the books but found nothing that either I didn't already know through experience or wouldn't want to do. I wouldn't actually go out and buy the books, reason being I am truly frugal : .
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#20 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 05:50 AM
 
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I have just I, and am thinking of buying the complete guide...

I consider it good fiction. :

But no, there are a few things I have picked up and taken to heart. Just like AA, take what you need and leave the rest.

I too found the car seat thing icky, as well as her homemade formula recipe. However if a child is not getting BM, I am VERY leary of homemade formulas.

Steph
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#21 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 06:53 AM
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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.
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#22 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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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!
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#23 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 09:45 AM
 
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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).

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#24 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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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

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#25 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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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.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#26 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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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.
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#27 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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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.

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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#28 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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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.
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#29 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 12:30 PM
 
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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.
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#30 of 120 Old 06-22-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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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.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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