Inspiration – The Tightwad Gazette

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While many of us frugal weirdos have an inner voice urging us to exercise restraint and save our money, it is also helpful to draw inspiration from others.  Sometimes I am just looking for a general morale boost when I’m tired and stressed.  I am reminded that it’s worth the effort to be frugal when all I want to is take the easy way out of my current situation.  Other times I am looking for new ideas and ways to be frugal so I can up my game and my savings.  Not every idea works for me, but the process of looking for new ideas usually sparks my own creativity.

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One of my earliest influences on how to be frugal was my mother.  She was a great role model and she, in turn, subscribed to The Tightwad Gazette.  This newsletter was published monthly from June 1990 until December 1996.  If you are lucky enough to have the original newsletters, then congratulations.  Most of the content was made available in a series of books.  Now there is The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle that is the compilation of the three original books.

Are all of the articles relevant now?  Of course not.  I don’t think many people have a need to know how to reuse typewriter ribbons these days.  However, the theories and skills are still very useful.  The prices may seem ridiculously low to anyone who has gone to a grocery store recently, but the formula to calculate the price at which boneless or bone-in meat is the better deal still holds up.  I periodically reread the issues to inspire myself to look at the options around me with a different perspective.  I see what speaks to me at that moment, what is useful as it is written, and what sparks new ideas that I hadn’t thought of before.

Who or what inspires you to be creative, to find new ways to stretch your frugal muscles?  Do you read older books about tightwaddery that others may find interesting?  Please share in the comments below so we can all get a morale boost.