Book Review: Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel

Author, blogger, and “stingy scoundrel” Phil Villarreal recently sent me a copy of his new book.  To say I was surprised by the book’s content would be huge understatement.


If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I enjoy the more “personal” side of personal finance more than long drawn out blog posts about housing rates and the stock market (yawn).  If you are like me, then this book will be right up your alley.

Everyone in America has recently hopped on the frugal train to financial freedom – but let me ask you this: Have you considered buying a ticket from the nearest scalper for the “Stingy Scoundrel” train?

Phil’s book is chock full of “dirty little money-grubbing secrets” – 100 to be exact.

Readers, you’ve heard of being frugal and you’ll probably bored with it.  I dare you to try stingy on for size and have a little fun with these hard times.

Here are a few tidbits from Phil’s book:

“Who says soup kitchens are only for the homeless?  Every night, especially in the dead of winter, there’s a bounty of free, delicious food available without a catch.”

“When it’s time to propose to that special lady with whom you’ll spend the rest of your life, do so with a cheap cubic zirconium ring you picked up at a department store…”

My personal favorite (which I’ve actually been guilty of doing back when I was younger…):

“Whenever [my friend Tim] goes out to the clubs, he always keeps a tin flask filled with vodka inside his coat pocket.”

Phil’s book is a hilarious read; it’s perfect for those cold winter nights at home since it’s too damn expensive to go out these days (unless you bring a flask).  Although you may not be able to use most of his tips with a good moral conscience, I think if you get a little creative, you can use some form of his stingy secrets to save you a couple bucks.  If anything you’ll have fun doing it!

Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money Grubbing Secrets is a great book for a good laugh if our country’s economic situation has got you down – especially if your sick of reading article after article on how to save money clipping coupons or taking ice-cold showers.  This book is just the refresher our country needs right now.  Get to a bookstore and check out Phil’s book today – and then try to sell it to your friend for more than you spent on it!

Phil Villarreal is a freelance writer for the Consumerist website, Arizona Daily Star, and OK! magazine.  He also write a blog and posts pictures of his book protestors regularly on twitter.


  • Everyone has been raving about this book. I think I may just go have to pick it up…well, actually to be a Stingy Scoundrel, I’ll probably just go to the library or read it right in the bookstore. Haha.

  • This book looks hilarious. I’ve been feeling a little too stingy for my own good lately but such is the way of life when you have no spending money. I’m intrigued enough to go read it at the nearest Borders. (I’m stingy like that.) ;P

  • If I were you guys I’d be doing the same thing. Can’t fault you at all, and in the original manuscript one of the chapters advised people to read the book for free in a bookstore. You can make up for your cheapness by writing me great Amazon reviews and raving to all your friends about its wonders.

  • I read this book also and found it to be hilarious! Personally I don’t have the nerve to do most of the things suggested, but it was definitely good for a laugh. Great review!

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