Review – Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel


About the Book

Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel is essentially extreme tips for saving money and losing any semblance you may have of dignity. Phil Villareal provides 100 tips to help you learn how to do things like:

  • Get free meals at restaurants
  • Finagle your way into a cheaper hotel room
  • Save money at the club and,
  • avoid contributing to company gifts

What I Liked

This was an honestly entertaining tome. The tips were wildly outrageous and in some instances down right dirty. If you are willing to take the advice with a grain of salt then you will be entertained. Added to all of that there are actually some good tips you can actually use mixed in with the tips that will get you shunned socially. A few of the decent tips include:

  • Troll around campus when the semester is over looking for left behinds from snotty college kids.
  • When hitting the clubs pack a flask so you aren’t paying out the rear for drinks
  • Walk the extra distance to get to your own ATM and avoid paying costly out of network charges.

What I Didn’t Like

Some of these tips are down right evil, and borderline illegal. I am not certain of the laws associated with credit card fraud. I am pretty sure that running up a $300 tab and then calling the card company later and claiming it should have been $30 is shady. Other things are shady, take the recommendation that you purchase a cubic zirconium engagement ring and claim it is a family heirloom. The author even suggests you SHOULD theater hop at the movies, and pick up stray unattended tips sitting on the bar.

About the Author

Phil Villarreal is a film critic for the Arizona Daily Star, contributer to OK! Magazine, runs two blogs, and is the author of Stormin’ Mormon. He has worked as the movie critic at the Daily Star since 2001.

Overall Conclusion

The book was entertaining and it is certainly worth the read, just please don’t go through and actually do all 100 of these tips. I thought I was going to have to write a scathing review of a book about cheating the world. Instead I found the book to be written well enough that people would find the gems in the mess of humor.


{ 1 comment }

1 Jesse September 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Maybe my soul is a bit more twisted or impressionable than I always thought because I was really tempted by many of the tips in the book though the 300 to 30 tip was over the top for me, and I wouldn’t want to be taken in the back and roughed up for stealing bar tips..

I just finished it this weekend and am giving away a copy on my blog

Now you’ve got me questioning my ethics.. 😉

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