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The Frugal Life News – 12/10/01


The Frugal Life Newsletter

The Frugal Life
December 10th, 2001
128th issue

o The Frugal Life* (TFL) is published every
Monday by, Keren Wells, publisher.
TFL is intended for subscribers only.
To subscribe, unsubscribe, or, change your
subscriber data, see the instructions at
the very end of the newsletter.


o A Note From Keren
o Trouble Getting Mortgage –by Gary Foreman
o Readers Needs
o Readers Tips
o Disclaimer
o Subscription info


A Note from Keren 
I have been thinking how can I improve this newsletter and website?  I want to be able to cater to everyone, young and retired, families with children and singles.  If you want to contribute to this newsletter or have a good idea that would like to include in the ezine, let me know editor.  I believe that we benefit when we hear someone else’s experiences on “How to Live Frugally”.  I am working on creating The Frugal Life Recipe Ebook, send us your recipe from now until the end of February.  This ebook is going to be free for all our subscribers of The Frugal Life.     I also would like to apologize for including the wrong link to cat hair in last week’s newsletter.  This is the correct link .  And remember this is a free newsletter and the only way we can keep the website and newsletter up and running is by visiting our sponsors.  
Keren Wells
editor   ~~~~~~
Trouble Getting Mortgage –by Gary Foreman   Dear Dollar Stretcher,
Several years ago I was told that I would have to file for bankruptcy.  I
did see an attorney and he suggested I wait until after I got divorced.  I
told my creditors that I was planning to file for bankruptcy after my
divorce.  I was not happy with the attorney during my divorce and never
filed for bankruptcy.  It has been almost five years now and my debt has
been written off and no creditors are bothering me.  I’m trying to get my
life back in order but I’m still struggling.  I need a place to live. With
rents so high I could pay a mortgage on a small condo for the same
amount.  This is what I would like to do but I have the debt issues hanging
over my head. I’m a 46 year old single parent raising two elementary school
age children. I feel like I’m going to end up living my old age in a
cardboard box.  I also feel like my life is in limbo and there’s no way
out.  Can you offer any advice?

It sure would be nice to tell Sally that there’s an easy solution for her
problem. But unless she has a wealthy friend or relative willing to step in
she’ll need to have patience, expend some effort and be willing to make
some hard decisions.

Only time will clear Sally’s credit history. Generally negative information
will remain on your report for seven years. Or 10 years for a bankruptcy.
There’s no legitimate way to erase truthful information quickly from her
history. Being careful to meet her current payments will help improve her
score over time.

To read the article go to:
Copyright 2001 Champion Press, Ltd
Used with permission.  All rights reserved.

It was the week before Christmas and all through the house
       you ran around preparing to feed all the mouths …
When what to your wondrous eyes should appear
       but the answer to stay out of the kitchen this year!

We’ve long that known commercialization has been draining
the joy from our holiday season.  But it isn’t the only drain.
According to a recent survey of women, one of the Christmas
season’s top stressors is cooking and preparation!  While
many women enjoy cooking a one day holiday feast, the
added cooking of Christmas Eve, New Years and meals for
company, can quickly wear one thin.

Deborah Taylor-Hough, author of “Frozen Assets: how to cook
for a day and eat for a month,” found that she was spending too
little time with family and too much time in the kitchen over the
holidays.  With a little imagination and some determination, she
solved the dilemma be creating a cost-effective Ten Day Holiday
Meal Plan that can be prepared quickly and feed everyone
throughout the holidays — without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
To read the article go to:

o    I have started a tradition with my kids so they know the real meaning of Christmas.
    My husband and I take them both to a toy store and they pick out something they would like to give to somebody else. My son picks out a boy toy and my daughter a girl toy. We then take them to our local Children’s hospital on Christmas and they pick out a boy and a girl they want to give the toy to. They learn in the process the happiness that comes from giving and possibly even make a new friend,also.
o Another item for decorating the tree can be made from Christmas cards
sent to you the previous year… I make small boxes from them and use
thread to string them together for a garland then wind them around the
tree.  My favorites are the ones I make from family that live far away(
nearly 1000 miles). Each time I look at my tree I am reminded of them and
how much I love them. These boxes can also be used for small gifts or to
place at each place on the table holding some after dinner mints.  

Gardening on a Budget –by Arzeena Hamir

Once the buzz of Christmas has passed, the task of paying off bills can
leave many gardeners on a strict budget. Gardeners who need to make frugal
decisions at this time of the year can take heart in a number of
alternatives that will not only lower the cost of gardening, but will also
enhance the pleasure! Here are five steps every budget gardener should
Plan ahead

Make a list of what you’d really like to see in your garden and stick to it.
There’s no use growing winter cabbage, regardless of how lovely it looks in
the frost, if no one in your family eats cabbage. A list will also keep you
under control when you see the end-of-season sales and are tempted to
purchase something on a whim. In addition, if you plan exactly where plants
are going to go, you won’t make last minute mistakes such as placing sun
loving plants in the shade.

Start a compost pile

It’s surprising to see how many gardeners haven’t constructed their own
compost pile and still pay to have their grass clippings and leaves hauled
away and then, in turn, purchase fertilizers every year. Compost is free
food for the garden! It helps break up heavy clay soils, absorbs water in
sandy soils, and encourages microbial life, thereby decreasing that chances
of any one disease becoming rampant in the garden.

To Read this Article go to:

Readers Needs
Q. I am wondering whether any other reader could help me with softening ‘stiff’ material.  I purchased some 65% polyester 35% cotton yesterday to make a couple of dresses.  I was assured by the sales assistant that my concerns over the stiffness of the material would be allayed by washing and that it was just a ‘dressing’ that remained on the material.  I washed both pieces with normal liquid and then a fabric conditioner and hung to dry.  Alas there is no change.  I made one dress up and it feels like wearing cardboard.  What can I do?  Is there a common household solution?  Thanks –Natasha   Send answers to
Q. What will remove smoke film from mirror glass?  I have tried everything, nothing will cut the nicotine build up.  [Quit smoking, praise God] Thank you,  –Betty/NC   Send answers to
editor   Q.Lately, whenever we run a load of clothes in the washing machine on the cold setting, the water just trickles into the machine.  The cold water flow from all of the other faucets is normal.  My husband has tried to clear the line into the washing machine, but cannot find any debris.  Does anyone out there have any ideas on what is wrong and how we can fix it ourselves?  Thanks!   Send answers to editor

Last Week’s Readers Needs
o Does good perfume go bad after a while?  I have some expensive perfume
which I use rarely but it seems that it smells differently now.  Is there
a way to get it to smell like it used to?  Is there a way to make it last
To read the answers go to:
o  Please help me!! I have a very expensive suit (Jones New York) light
color – sort of manila envelope shade that somehow has ink stains on one
of the sleeves. I have tried everything under the sun, including the
manufacturer suggestions but nothing has worked. If any of your readers
may have some ideas as to how to get rid of these stains, I would really
appreciate it. The dry cleaners won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. HELP!
–Patricia   To read the answers go to:   o When I leave my cushions out on my lawn furniture, the neighborhood
cats like to come and do their business on them.
What can I use on or near them to keep them away?? Sometimes it’s very
late when our friends leave in the evening and I’m a bit too tired to
clean everything away so I wait till the morning.. Thank you.. –Beverly

To read the answers go to:
Readers Tips

o Do not know if you already have this? Use Stick Glue for Christmas presents instead of Scotch Tape!! Faster and easier!    
o I was reading your letter to a “Fugal Life” reader about space-heaters versus center heating/air…I thought that what I did was a great idea, so I will share…I turn my heater down low at bedtime and use an electric blanket just at my feet or knees (not covering the whole body, so you won’t get over heated) and to make sure it was off when I left the house in the morning I plug the blanket into an outlet timer (available at most hardware stores)   o  Hi Keren.  Here’s my favorite kid craft at the moment – shrinky dinks!!  Although the sheets are expensive at the stores, you can get them cheaper on the website (  Or you can do it the really frugal way – with recycled #6 plastic lids.  I’ve found these lids on nut containers and apricot containers – scrape off the label and clean the lid, then you’re ready!  These can be used for inexpensive and creative gift tags and even gifts that the kids make themselves!!  Here’s how:   Take a piece of sandpaper and rough up one side.  Draw and color whatever you want on the rough side –  use either Sharpie permanent markers or colored pencils (much neater), but not paints or watercolors, they won’t stick.  Cut out the shape.  If you want it to be a tag or charm for earrings/bracelet/neckace, punch a hole in it before baking.  Bake it rough side up in your Easy-Bake oven (!) or regular oven or toaster over at 325 degrees.  After a few minutes (longer in EasyBake) it will curl up, then it will relax back to flat. After it relaxes wait another 30 seconds then take it out and let it cool.  Shrinks to 1/3 the original size and gets thicker.  Kids love it!     If you have any frugal tips, please send them to editor

+ DISCLAIMER – Information in TFL has been derived
from sources believed accurate and reliable. In no
event shall *The Frugal Life,* Keren Wells, or the
TFL staff be liable for any damages whatsoever
resulting from any action arising in connection with
the use of information herein.

TFL does not knowingly accept ads from advertisers
deemed detrimental to TFL’s readers, however,
publication of an ad in TFL does not constitute an
endorsement for such product or service.

There is no remuneration for suggestions, tips, or
ideas submitted by readers, other than occasional
prizes offered by TFL and awarded at the
sole discretion of TFL and it’s staff.

All suggestions, tips, and ideas, submitted for
publication in The Frugal Life, become the property
of The Frugal Life, notwithstanding similar rights
of the reader submitting such suggestions, tips, or

TFL publishes readers name with their suggestions,
tips, and ideas unless a reader requests otherwise
at the time of the submission.


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