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The Frugal Life News – 2/11/02

The Frugal Life Newsletter The Frugal Life February 11, 2002 131st. 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. To view the HTML version of this newsletter please go to: + CONTENTS: o A Note From Keren o A Cheap Used Car  –by Gary Foreman o CLEVER AND FRUGAL PARTY FAVORS — By Mary Ann o Readers Needs o Readers Tips o Disclaimer o Subscription info ******Advertisement Southern Living At HOME(TM). Bring the pages of Southern Living magazine to life! Share beautiful home and garden decor and accessories with friends and family! Be the first in your town to be a part of this exciting Party Plan company. E-mail mailto:Li************@ao*.com" data-original-string="y/1qngxL6Hoks7jyFfrCC4B5uXi+UK/YZKTAww4Dca8=" title="This contact has been encoded by Anti-Spam by CleanTalk. Click to decode. To finish the decoding make sure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser. or call 256-685-2567. ******* A Note from Keren   Boy, have I missed you!!  Finally I am able to send  a newsletter.  My computer died… the reason?  125 viruses.  Tried to restore the system and did not work after all.  For having a frugal site and preach about frugality, I feel (and it hurts), I have spent a lot of money trying to fix the computer with not good results.  I have lost all the emails that I received before January 5th, 2002.  My parents are so kind to let us use their new computer, they live in Kansas, my father shipped it to us which I am very grateful.  So, daddy if you read my newsletter like you say you do, thanks a million, love you guys!! Well, going back to business:  We have added a new section at the beginning of January – Home Based Business Opportunities –   This section is dedicated to give you legitimate business opportunities to work from home.  I am making sure we include only legitimate, honest and good information.  I decided to include such section in the website due to an overwhelming request for resources for Home Based Business.  I will be including more information as we go. Also I was planning on building a new design for the website, which is greatly needed, but due to all the problems I had with the viruses I am postponing such plan.  And for those that have sent me emails, I will be replying to them as soon as possible, I have 560 emails in my inbox.  I am very sorry for the delay on the newsletter and everything else, but we are back and remember that we are here to serve you in any way we can. And, before I forget, please send us your frugal tips and needs.  One more thing, I found this great website, you should check it out,  in some way it is better than ebay, it is FREE!! A great way to buy, sell and trade on line without the hassles of online auctions.   If asked who referred you, please use my name Keren Wells. I wish and pray that all of you have a blessed year… Let’s Roll!! :-) Blessings,   Keren Wells editor p.s. I need Juanita Bryant to email me please!! please email me at I need to get in touch with you ASAP.   ~~~~~~~~ A Cheap Used Car The Dollar Stretcher by Gary Foreman Dear Gary, I’m a struggling, hard-working single mother who is in dire need of a car, but I can’t stand the thought of making car payments for 5 years because of my bad credit. I have $3,000 saved and I’m considering going to an auto auction. If this is not a feasible way to get a car, could you please tell me the best way to get one? Julie Julie is wise to avoid car payments. Paying interest on a car loan only jacks up the price of the car. And, while Julie should be able to find an acceptable car in her price range, an auction might not be the best place to look. She probably already knows that any car in this price range will have some defects. The trick is avoiding major repairs. She would be wise to ask a mechanic or knowledgeable friend to look over any car before she buys it. Most major failures do not happen suddenly. There are warning signs. Watch out for cars that have been ‘totalled’ or flooded and rebuilt. Many are recycled to unsuspecting consumers. Julie might want to visit For a small fee she can check a car’s VIN number for accidents and other problems. Always make sure that you get a good, clean title with your car. If a seller cannot produce the title at the time of sale don’t buy the car. Unless Julie is in desperate shape she should take her time. There will be many junkers within her price range. It takes time to find the good rides. Julie can expect to spend some money on repairs each year. But that’s not an argument for a new car. Payments would be more expensive than repair bills. Should Julie begin her search at an auction? There are some good buys to be had. But there are also big risks. The best deals are at wholesale auctions. Julie will need a someone who has a dealers’ license to get her in. If you want to try an auction, plan on getting there early. Examine your potential purchase carefully. Take a Kelley’s Blue Book or NADA guide with you to help with pricing info. Then hope that no one else bids on your favorite car. Auctions bring some risks. Cars are sold ‘as is’. So if it doesn’t run that’s just too bad. Generally you be unable to get out of an auction purchase unless the title is defective. So you need to carefully examine any car that you bid on. And you must do it at the auction site. You can’t take the car down to your favorite mechanic for an an unbiased opinion. The vast majority of auction sellers are honest people that you’d be happy to do business with. But auctions are an easy place for the dishonest to move a car with a bad history. It’s hard to judge a seller’s honesty when you don’t even meet them. Finally, Julie should remember that auctions have something called a “buyer’s premium”. That’s a commission that’s added to the winning bid. Sometimes it’s a fixed amount. Other times it’s a percentage of the winning bid. Perhaps a safer option for Julie would be to buy from a private party. It’s takes more time, but could get her a better car. Remember her goal: a well maintained car. Where can she find one? Naturally she can look in the local paper. But, Julie’s best bet is to tell friends and co-workers that she’s looking for a car. A well maintained car won’t get much more as a trade-in for the seller. So they’d actually do a little better by selling to Julie. She’d have the advantage of knowing more about the seller. And she’d have enough time to have her mechanic look at the car. What can Julie expect to find? We went to for pricing. We priced three popular family models. All three cars were assumed to have 100,000 miles. And all three were 4 door sedans with automatic transmissions, air conditioning and the standard engine. A twelve year old Toyota Camry and eight year old Ford Taurus were under Julie’s $3,000 limit. A twelve year old Honda Accord was slightly over. So it is possible for Julie to find the bargain that she’s looking for. She’ll need some patience. A good mechanic or friend who knows cars will be helpful. Hopefully Julie will find a dependable set of wheels for her family. ________________ Reader’s Needs Q. I have a question on a recipe I am looking for.  There are resturants/fast food places that sell soup in a bread bowl.  I would like a recipe for these bread bowls–the individual size.  I wonder if anyone has that? ~~~~~~~ Readers Tips o Keren,   as parents with adult children, we sometimes get this from our children; “Why didn’t you get that when we were at home?”     Truth is it costs a lot to raise children and there are some things parents cannot afford to get until the children are on their own.    But, we always whenever possible got things that would not have to ever replace.  This is a frugality I know my parents never learned.   It is always less expensive to think in long term cost not the immediate ‘can I afford it now’  kind of thinking.  Whenever possible go for endurance, even if it is a little pricey now.  The cost of children doesn’t even come close to the cost of teen-teenagers and young adults.  So make sure the ‘expensive’ things will outlast their tenure as your at-home children.    Thank you, Michael   o When my fleece blouses and jackets start to get matted looking I use a slicker brush for dogs/cats to “fuzzy it up” again.  The brush bristles are tiny little wires and I just use a gentle picking sort of motion to lift the nap. Can’t pull too hard when it grabs the fabric or you’ll probably wind up with thin or bald spots.   o   I am not a Mom but I am a working wife, and I try to live frugally. Even thou both my husband and myself work full time, we still need to watch our funds.  I really despise any prepared foods. They are not only expensive, but I think bad for you, and not as good as real food. Here are a few of the ways I avoid using the convenience foods in my kitchen. Some save money, some save time. 1.) Instead of gravy mixes, I purchase bouillon cubes. Have them on hand as well as flour, and you can whip up a sauce in no time.If you can add some of the juices from the meat, all the better for flavor.Serve over rice or pasta , or, cook your meal in the gravy,(chop veggies and meat in bite-sized pieces) then serve over the pasta. It’s great, a basic two pot meal! 2.) Try making your own soups and stews. They are so easy, once you have tried it. I used to be intimidated, but really they are fast, easy and a great way to use up veggie leftovers. Need a recipe? or, saut� onion and celery in butter or oil in a pot. Add meat, brown, cover with water and simmer about 30-45 minutes. Add veggies, bouillon, and continue to simmer 10-20 minutes or until veggies are done. Thicken with flour and cold water if desired(not necessary).The smaller you chop your components, the quicker they cook. 3.) home baked cookies are nice, but the ingredients are very expensive for the more popular ones. Buying the cookies which are baked in the store(Safeway in my case) really is less expensive, in most cases.And, not as time consuming! Well, I hope you find these helpful. Thank you for your website/newsletter, I look forward to it every month! Jani, Denver, Co. o  I wanted to comment about the article “Trouble getting Mortgage.” The question was from a lady named Sally. She said her debts were written off after 5 years. My Husband had credit card debt that stayed on the credit report for 7 years. At this time there was no way to pay them off.  After 7 years it disappeared. We had to get a vehicle and went shopping for one, not sure if we could get one. We found our credit was actually fine then. About a year later when Our finances were better we thought about getting a house. We found our old credit debt back on the credit report. We were told that someone had bought our old debt. We had no idea this could be done.  We had always heard that bad credit cleared up after 7 yrs too. We found this not to be true. –Robin 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 ideas. 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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