Amy Dacyczyn of “The Tightwad Gazette”

by Katy on May 3, 2010 · 39 comments

Please enjoy this wonderful interview with the amazing Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette, and all around legend. I love this woman, and it wouldn’t be exaggerating to say she is one of my greatest inspirations. To be able to see her in her home is a joy that brings tears to my eyes. She is a stranger to me, yet she changed my life in deep and profound ways.

Thank you Amy.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Alea May 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for sharing this video. I recieved Amy’s first book as a young wife and it had a profound impact on my life. The fact that her husband was also a naval officer, and they chose to live frugally gave me the courage to follow a financial path that was healthier for our family. I found more useful, as well as less costly pursuits than engaging in “retail therapy” which was a popular pass time for the other wives when our husbands were deployed.


A. Marie May 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I don’t have many heroes, but Amy Dacyczyn is one of the few. It’s great to get this update on her and her life.


Jacquelyn May 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Omg, omg! I’m feeling a little verklempt! 🙂


Kayla K May 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I have had this bookmarked and look back on it occasionally. I agree with what she says about saving money all of the time so that the bad times aren’t even bad. This is one thing my parents did very well because I did not feel deprived as a child. I hope this same practice will help keep my boyfriend close to home instead of traveling when work is slow.
I wish this video was more widely circulated than just around us frugal folks, who understand how valuable thrifty living is to achieving long-term goals.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl May 4, 2010 at 2:26 am

Yup, I thought the same thing when I saw this interview a while back. Saving money when times are good is so, so wise.


Mary Beth May 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Thank you for sharing this. What a delightful lady she is!


NMPatricia May 4, 2010 at 5:13 am

As you and so many, Amy Dacyczyn had a profound effect on me. She made conscious many practices that I was doing and gave me more toward which to strive. This warmed my heart. She is someone who I wished lived next door and I could sit down and have a cup of coffee (or tea in my case!)


Jana @ The Summer House May 4, 2010 at 6:40 am

What a lovely woman…someone we might pass on the street and not pay much attention to but truly beautiful. You can see that she really enjoys living.


Shannon May 4, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thank you!!! I’ve never seen even a picture of her before but I always felt like I knew her!


Deb May 4, 2010 at 10:35 am

I first became an “Amy fan” before she’d ever published a book. There was a time when she put out the Tightwad Gazette newsletter, which eventually became her books. I would 3-hole punch the news letters and keep them in binders. Those newsletters eventually became very dog-eared and worn from all the use they got — not just from me, but I shared with family and friends. Now I have the Complete Tightwad Gazette book, and still share with family and friends!
Her ideas were a god send to me when my daughter was little and we were barely scraping by. Many of my current habits were born from trying out ideas of Amy’s all those years ago.


Lisa May 4, 2010 at 11:28 am

Thank you! Her advice is as sound as it was in the ’90s. She is such a smart, smart woman!


Molly On Money May 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm

That was a great clip.
I recently found out about the ‘Tightwad Gazette’ (it may have been you who recommended it). I purchased a used copy on Amazon and paid for it with a gift card. Now that I have read it I lend it out to friends that can use the inspiration.


Hiptobeme May 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I kid you not, I JUST received my copy of TCTWG from amazon this very day!


Karen @ Abundance on a Dime May 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this clip! Amy has had a profound impact on my life. I’ve always wondered what their home looked like, so it was a treat to get a “tour”. The thing I most admire about her book is how she emphasized such a creative approach to frugality, and that you can figure out a frugal way to achieve just about anything if you’re willing to think far enough outside the box.


Marie-Josée May 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Thank you so much Katy for posting the video. I loved watching it and loved reading your comments about Amy and the Tightwad Gazette. What an inspiration.


Judy May 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Katy, thanks it was fun to see the video and hear her talk about her kids and the impact on them. I always remember seeing her on one of the AM shows when she was first starting out and she commented on how many times she got really negative comments from people about how awful and unfair for her to impose her tightwad ways on her kids. Sounds like they’re all doing just fine. Fun to see inside her house too.


Amy May 6, 2010 at 5:43 am

I find that if I have say $20 in cash I fritter it away. By using bank card I always see on my statement exactly what I spent on art supplies, food, wine store! etc. I know where I went a little wacky and rebalance. Anything on Discover or Visa I pay off every month. It is the small stuff and the lack of being on top of your spending that gets you.


Lisa May 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Amy D. is one of my heroes – I read her books (borrowed from the library, of course) years ago and still remember much of her advice. Good stuff!


Ada May 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

I had never seen a picture of her or her home until this video, but she is exactly how I pictured her. What fun to see this interview. She has been such an inspiration to me!


Mary Ellen July 19, 2010 at 7:04 am

Thank you so much for posting this video. I have been a huge fan of Amy D. since I first saw her on the cover of Parade Magazine back in 1990 the year my second child was born. I used so many of her wonderful ideas over the years she feels like family to me. I still have all my dogeared copies of The Tightwad Gazette and all three of her books autographed by her. I had hoped that some day I would see an update on her life . I would love to know what her children are doing now. She has made such an impact on my family. Thank you Katy and thank you Amy.


S. Kenshin July 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Wow—and I just took out my old issues/copies of TG this week to re-read.

Even more timely today, when the national debt is running wild. Thanks for posting the interview.


KeithTax August 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

A couple of times a year I do a search to see if Ms. Dacyczyn has conducted any new interviews. Men also love to save money and promote the frugal lifestyle. This interview gives me hope my oldest daughter will make the connection eventually.


Trixie September 5, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I found all three of the Tightwad books at my local new and used bookstore recently ($3.95 each in the used section). In just the past two weeks I’ve become more aware of my money leaks and I have saved (not spent, rather) $100 already just by noticing where my money was going.

I’ve done it mostly by taking my lunch, buying as much in bulk as possible with the space I have, and cooking everything from scratch. Just this afternoon I used the pizza dough recipe in The Tightwad Gazette II book (page 8). It is WONDERFUL and I will never order pizza again. I made a large pepperoni for about $2.50 with the best crust ever. Absolutely no sense of deprivation saving that kind of money over calling Domino’s, that’s for sure! And for fun, you can make any kind of pizza you want.


Carole September 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for the update on Amy. I check once in awhile to see any updated interviews or information on her. She is the reason I was able to stay home for 14 years to raise my two children. I still have my TG book and am trying to get back into that way of living.


Elizabeth November 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I’m rereading the book.

I got it free the other year from Amazon for obtaining a credit card. $25.00 free for getting one. I got this book and my other favorite one (to give as a gift) Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

The Amy D. book I read twice years ago; first time in 2001…and again a few years after; and this time around I drifted away from frugality and rereading the last month has already saved me so much money grocery shopping again. I’m baking again etc.

I love the Youtube interview too.. thanks..


Queen96 February 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm

The part where she says it’s FUN to see how little you can spend on cerain items (she mentions CD’s); I totally agree! That’s exactly the way I look at it. I used to hunt crayfish in a river near my home, and I remember the thrill when I caught one. “Got one!” That’s the way I feel when I get a great deal – it’s addicting!


Susan Smit March 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I still have all Amy’s Tightwad Gazette newsletters and when they would come each month I would read them cover to cover and use many of her ideas. Getting her newsletter was enlightning and made me feel less alone in myt quest for frugality! Thank you Amy you allowed me to not feel guilty in my saving quest!


Gloria Lindsey June 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

Oh, how I love Amy Dacyczyn!! I too read her books in the 90s…she made such an impact on my life and my way of thinking about spending money! I wish she was on the public scene more often!!
“Amy Dacyczyn for President!”


yvonne benschop July 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

I am from Holland and I have read en reread the complete tightwad gazette, I even own 2 copies (both secondhand of course 🙂 Amy Dacyczyn has been and is a daily inspiration for me !


Terry Espinosa July 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I have learned alot from her book, and she makes it all fun.


Carol July 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

She’s a classic frugie to be sure!


Mand August 16, 2011 at 3:17 am

I have been reading and rereading her books for a decade or so – I have never seen her in person. What a great interview, and an inspiration.


Ellen September 14, 2011 at 11:52 pm

It’s nice to hear what Amy is doing now. I need to buy, again, a copy of TWG. I’ve drifted! But many years ago I was a devotee. Thanks to Amy’s book my husband and I were able to buy a house, two newish cars, new furniture and pay off all our debts. Best of all, I was able to stay at home with my four kids. All on my husband’s smallish salary! But then my husband’s earnings really went up and I got lazy. Now all these years later we have found ourselves with a grandchild to raise. So I’m going back to frugality. It was fun and I miss it.


Robin La Vois December 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

How did Amy get her husband to be frugal? I feel like it would have to be a team effort. I believed everything Amy said and still do. The problem was I was a teacher in the south who was married and I’m from Massachusetts and I just didn’t put it together how if you lived in New England it could help you to be that way. If you live in the south, though, I mean, doing stuff like that just gets you into trouble with people. Okay, this was my personal experience.


Eviva F December 29, 2011 at 8:39 am

Thank you so much for posting this interview. I have all Amy’s books (after being on her email list for so long it was nice to get the columns in nice-n-neat book form). The Tightwad Gazette quite literally changed my life and how I look at spending money. (Am still thinking in terms of “the wow factor” to evaluate spending, not to mention that the concept is a fun, nonthreatening, thought-provoking way to introduce frugality into a conversation about finances).


Nonna March 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I wish she still published her newsletter today…there’s such a need..


Sandra December 14, 2012 at 6:44 am

Amy is one of my favorite people. I was trying to turn my spending around in the late eighties or early nineties. Her book and newsletters made the difference. I still follow a lot of her stuff at this late date.

I often give her books, although not published any more, as graduation and wedding gifts, along with a gift card, of course.


Marilyn Perrault Flynn July 24, 2013 at 8:53 am

The Tightwad Gazette II donated to Sr. Center Orlando, Fl was such a fun read. Being a girl and the oldest of six in a military family, my Mother’s (Frugal McDougal) frugality was a necessity. My Queen of the half’s is almost remembered daily by mine and others frugality, still necessary. She cut every thing in half, visitors got whole homemade donut, children got half. We loved unloading groceries from the base commisary as there was always a treat of 1/6th of a three musketeer and we kids kept close track of who’s turn it was to get one of the ends, as they had the most chocolate covering….We ate a great dinner called pizza, unaware, it was sold on the outside market. It was full of some sauted hamburger, ground wiener, chopped finely things like 1 Tbsp of green beans, a leftover from one nights dinner, some beans (came in a brown glass bottle), chopped onion, tomatoe, and anthing else which could occupy space that was leftover from week, scrap of meat from tail of chicken. Remembering chickens, were smaller than the three, four pounders we buy now, Mom served family of 8 with one chicken and we thought everyone got a good piece. I could write a book on growing up in a poverty level military family. We were blessed, Mother kept us clean and in clean clothes always worn at least twice before washing, fed and sat with each as we said our prayer, she tucked us in and gave each a kiss.
Good night, I love you.


Marilyn Perrault Flynn July 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

Sorry I forgot to thank Amy for the book, hope to find the other two of which I believe there are. Thanks to all who donated ideas I had never heard of in my frugal upbringing. Had it not been for this mindset, I chose not to have children am now 71 and could not survive in this outside world, at $890 a month and happily share my frugal life (always ask for the short fat white lady discount) with surprises for others and even have enough to have a six lb taco dog and a 14 lb Garfield cat. What a blessing to have had a Mother like mine……..Hugs in full to all…..


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