‘The Tightwad Gazette’ by Amy Dacyczyn

This was a great book for me years ago when I was first starting out – I read it from cover to cover (and at 900+ pages, it’s a lot of book!). Amy was ‘green’ before being green was even in style.

                                     tightwad

While transferring my books to another bookcase last month, I saw The Tightwad Gazette and put it aside. I have read about a third of it since then, and it has changed my life again, but for different reason this time. It has really forced me to look at my lifestyle, and my recent need to move to a house with more space. In this effort to create more space,  I have spent much time decluttering, and getting rid of countless items, trying to sort through the seemingly endless piles of stuff I am surrounded by.   Since starting to read her book again, I start to question my purchases and wants, and ask myself, “can use something I already have, or make do without”? It’s amazing how many times I have answered ‘yes’ to that question and save a trip to the store.  It’s amazing how fast I would run out and buy something, but wouldnt stop to think if there was another solution.

And an interesting thing has happened – my grocery bill has gone way down as part of the ‘let me use up what I have and see if I can only buy the essential groceries this week’.  And I made cakes instead of buying them for two recent birthdays, which collectively saved about $40.  I havent bought lunch at work for over two weeks (in the mornings, I consider that my decision not to make my lunch will cost me $8-10. Is that worth it? So far it hasn’t been.) And I take coffee in a mug instead of buying it at the coffee shop.

So instead of feeling the stress of “one thing out, two more in” in the midst of my decluttering effort, I now feel good about the fact that nothing is coming in unless it is something we really need. The saving money part doesn’t hurt either. And when I feel myself starting to slip into my old ways, I take out Amy’s book and sit down for a refresher.

 

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