I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure Phil Villarreal is the guy stealing all of the great peelies off products in the stores.
I’m also pretty sure he might be the guy who signs up for freebies using 20 different e-mail addresses.
No, I don’t have proof. Not unless you count his new book Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets.
Villarreal, who is a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star and a contributing editor at one of my favorite blogs, Consumerist.com. uses his book as a pulpit for the evil side of frugality. Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel outlines all of the low-down, no-good strategies for saving a buck. This book undoes all of the work I’ve done here to erase the stigma of “cheapskate.”
A few examples from the book:
- Swapping your scratched DVD with a good one you’ve borrowed from Netflix.
- Dumping your pet at an animal shelter to get vet care for it, then adopting it back later.
- How to benefit from free illegal labor (Hint, rope your neighbors and their kids into doing your work).
- Getting your fiance a cubic zirconia engagement ring, then telling her it is a family heirloom so she won’t get it appraised.
Anyone with this little dignity when it comes to saving a buck, has to have a slight sense of humor, Right? And that’s exactly why Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel is listed as a humor book, not a personal finance book.
Amid all the dark, twisty, not-so-nice methods of saving money, I did gather a few pearls of frugal wisdom from the book:
- Take a Pac-Man approach to money (Pick it all up, no matter what!)
- Head to a WNBA game instead of an NBA to save money.
- Learn to play hardball with car salesmen.
- Saving on magazine renewals. (Don’t!)
Read this book with the goal of being entertained and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at Villarreal’s cheap exploits. Read this as a frugal living guide book and fight back the dry-heaves as you become completely disgusted with the sadistic practices of one of the stingiest people on the planet.
Read Secrets of Stingy Scoundrel at your library, or maybe just one chapter at a time at your local book store. I’m pretty sure that’s what Villarreal would do.
Please note: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was not compensated in any other way for this review. The opinions reflected in my review are entirely my own, honest thoughts on this book, and were not edited by the book’s author, publisher or distributors. This post does contain affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Please read our full disclosure policy for more details.
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