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The Frugalista

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

When I was growing up, my mom subscribed to The Frugal Gazette, "a monthly newsletter dedicated to provide information and encouragment [sic] for those in pursuit of frugality." Amy Dacyczyn published it from her house in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the preface to her book, The Tightwad Gazette, she includes "A Word of Caution."

Tightwads are by nature unconventional. We push the normal limits to make things las longer. We reuse things in unusual ways. We experiment constantly to find new, cheaper ways to do almost everything.

As the value of the dollar continues to diminish, frugality is en vogue once again. I can't find a website for The Frugal Gazette, unfortunately. Did it go out of business? Natalie P. McNeal, a reporter for the Miami Herald, is pinching pennies. And blogging about it.

McNeal, alias "The Frugalista," has decided to "go a month without shopping, eating out, manicures, eyebrow waxing and/or hair salon visits."

Have you become a frugalista, too? What are some of the challenges you've faced, cutting back, saving money?

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David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.