A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing in a used book store when I found a couple of diamonds amongst all the coal. Sitting on the shelf were hardcover copies of Amy Dacyczn's "Tightwad Gazette" and "Tightwad Gazette II". They were in near mint condition, despite their age. For only $5.99 each. I felt like I was robbing the store owner! I paid for them out of my discretionary spending, not even blinking at the price. That $12.00 is an investment in our frugality.
I only wish that "Tightwad Gazette III" had been sitting beside I & II. :(
If you've never read "The Tightwad Gazette", I suggest you head to your local library and borrow a copy. These books cover frugality in ways you never thought were possible. Please keep in mind though, that the Newsletters that make up TTG were written in the '80's, so the price points for things have changed. The basic saving strategies have not.
Now, I have to caution you. These books are not for everyone. Nor will you be willing to implement every strategy that Amy's family used. But almost anyone can find at least one or two good ideas within the pages that will help cut costs for their family.
I will leave you with a quote from Amy Dacyczn:
" For most of us our relationship to the financial edge comes down to a matter of choice. The choice may be the decisions we make today, or we may be living with choices we have made in the past. While the past choices cannot be changed, remarkably the ones we make today become tomorrow's past choices. We can make choices that allow us to take a giant step back from the financial edge and set up a cushion. A sustained effort to scale back will result in savings for more than just a cushion. We can save for long-term goals and increased financial indepence. "