"The Complete Tightwad Gazette" is one of my favorite books. It is a collection of newsletters over a period of six years. Ryan thinks I am a little crazy for reading it or perusing it as often as I do. But honestly it is a great read.
The whole premise of the newsletter (and therefore the book) is that frugality is a great way of life and can help you achieve your dreams. Amy (the author, who I feel is a kindred spirit and therefore I feel entitled to take the liberty of referring to her by her first name as if we were great friends) loves a challenge and she looks at being frugal as a great way to use her creativity - to fix a household item in need of repair or turn a failed batch of jam into something else useful and edible, etc.
I like Amy's no nonsense approach to life, parenting, decorating, organizing, etc. She is an upbeat person with a sense of personal responsibility - which I like. I also enjoy her sense of humor and her great drawings. Another aspect of tightwadding that I really appreciate is environmental. The whole idea that if you consume less you are causing less waste. I like her approach to recycling more than just bottles and paper - she finds new uses for all kinds of things. And I must say I am jealous that her family eats so well (and on so little). They have a tremendous garden and they can the surplus to use throughout the year. I have a few memories of eating home canned peaches and apricots and I can't remember anything store bought tasting quite as good.
For many years I have been a closet reader of this book with only Mary (I hope she won't mind me outing her) as my fellow tightwadder (I sent her a copy of the book for her birthday as soon as I discovered it - there are several other readers of my blog who almost received the same gift for your weddings, birthdays, xmas, etc.). My hope is that by telling the world that I am a proud tightwadder, perhaps other friends and family will join in the movement - it is really much more fun to be thrifty with friends. I do realize this is not for everyone, so do as Amy suggests and check it out from your local library first.