You are here:--The Frugal Life – Living Well With What You Have
The Frugal Life – Living Well With What You Have2014-02-25T10:25:04+00:00

Published Weekly by Randal Watkins
July 29, 2002




The Frugal Life News is sent to subscribers only.
If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter,
please DO NOT reply to this email. Please see the
bottom of the newsletter for instructions.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large volume of email we receive
from The Frugal Life site and response from the more than
15,600 subscribers, we cannot reply to your questions and
suggestions, but we will try to post all of them as time and
space permits within the context of this newsletter. This is
a caring and sharing newsletter, so feel free to participate.



Summer Doldrums

Your Money Or Your Life

Yellow Jackets

Top 20 Homesteading Tools







Hello Everyone,

Seems summer is the likely time to take a vacation. Although, almost
everywhere you go you can tell everyone else has the same idea too. Too bad
there isn’t some way to know where everyone will be ahead of time. Much
like, what we get on the radio about the traffic during “Rush Hour.” Sure
not likely to happen in the near future, I am confident! However, there is
something we can do about vacations, starting today! I.E. “Plan For Them”

Vacations can blow our budgets very quickly and sneak up on us at the same
time. However, I am confident most of you have some frugal ideas for
vacations and travel that would help us plan better and prepare better for
them at the same time. I would sure enjoy hearing of those ideas. Please post your ideas to our new bulletin board. You can find directions here.

I have included an article in the Finance section that was written some
years back. However, I am hopeful it will give you some frugal insights you
haven’t thought of or revive some you may have forgotten. Also, I have
included a website of the organization (in the article below) referenced
that still seems to be a very viable source of frugal living direction and

Stay cool as you can!

Until next week!

Randal Watkins



As this story, the high-pitched and strained voices of newsmen and women on
the radio are beginning to betray a less than journalistic anxiety in the
wake of a panic selling session on Wall Street. The market has plummeted
five hundred points in a single day and the paper mansions and yachts built
in the bull market of the past year are blowing in the wind.

rugality href=”
term=frugality “>

The New Road Map Organization –



Although they can be a nuisance, yellow jackets and other wasps are actually
very beneficial in the garden. They feed on grasshoppers, flies,
caterpillars and aphids. You might even get a chance to watch as they feed
on newly emerged sphinx moths. They will first eat the wings and eventually
consume the entire moth. Sphinx moths, also known as hummingbird moths, are
fun to watch in early evenings when they feed on flower nectar, but the eggs
they lay hatch into the infamous tomato and tobacco hornworms, which damage
garden crops.

The insects can become aggressive in years when there is an abundance. If
anybody is stung, everyone should go inside because the wasps release an
alarm scent that prompts others to sting.

Natural Solution:
If you must, you can trap yellow jackets with a homemade trap made by
drilling 3/8″ holes in a plastic two-liter bottle, then baiting it with 10%
molasses and water, a pinch of yeast, and a few drops of dish detergent.


TOP 20 HOMESTEADING TOOLS – by John Vivian Mother Earth News: April, 2001

If you’re serious about swapping the urban rat race for a life of frugal,
back-to-the-land self-sufficiency, the right equipment will make the
difference between paradise and peril. We looked back on 30 years of
building, tilling, harvesting and fence stringing to come up with the
following list of essential tools we wish we’d had when we first stepped off
the well-paved map and went homesteading.

More …
term=%2Bfrugal+%2B2001 href=”
jhtml?term=%2Bfrugal+%2B2001 “>

FRUGAL TIPS – From Our Subscribers

I have found when travelling by air that if you use the free luggage tags
they are not very reliable, and are prone to ripping. Instead of investing
a great deal of money into expensive luggage tags, I have made my own. I
used copies of my business card, which actually have my home address and
phone number on them. If you don’t have these, you can make your own very
easily, with index cards etc. I then had these laminated, and attached
colorful ribbon to them. These can take wear and tear, and will last a long
time, without being expensive – Raquel


Q. Is there any cell phone company that sells minutes that you don’t have
to replace on a monthly basis? I don’t use my cell phone enough to have a
contract plan or buy the minutes on a monthly basis. At the present time I
must buy minutes monthly or lose the minutes I don’t use. It might take me
six months to use up 60 minutes. Thanks, Debbie

Please post your questions/answers to our new bulletin board. You can find directions here.


Q. I like to keep a feeder in my back yard but it seems the birds are
getting a little picky with the seed I put out. They push so much out onto
the ground I have a patch of “who knows what” growing! I think it’s mostly
weeds but it is starting to look like a mound. How do you prevent this from
happeneing? Thanks so much! – Kathy

A. Using regular “Wild Bird Seed Mix” (the cheapest kind) gives a variety, but not all of it is preferred by all birds. Each will choose the kind he likes and scratch the rest out of the way. Much of it is preferred by “ground feeding” birds.

“Sunflower Seed” is preferred by many, but a lot will still get dropped/knocked onto the ground. If you have squirrels raiding the feeders, as I do, they will also knock it onto the ground.

In addition, the “husks” (inedible part) from the Sunflower seed will also be discarded onto the ground. There is no “prevention”, that I know of, but the “cure” consists of raking up and discarding the droppings – Agnes

A. About the bird seed which ends up on the ground growing a mound of
something—I just read recently where one person placed a tray under the
bird feeder. This caught the seeds which were knocked out of the feeder
and allowed other birds to eat from the tray – Toni


Q. Is there an easy remedy to removing a water stain on a small lazy susan without ruining the painted design? Patty

A. Vinegar…apple cider vinegar smells better, puts some on a cotton ball and wipe the stain away. brooke 😀

A. Try holding your hand on the stain (it may take a while). The heat from
your body will remove the stain (I think this assumes that it is varnished
or has some kind of finish on it). I know this will work shortly after the
stain appears, but I’m not sure about later. One thing, it doesn’t cost
anything to try it and it won’t ruin the finish. Hope this helps – Toni


Q. Hi. does anyone know what to use when dying a polyester fabric? Rit dye
says not to use on polyester on their package and i’m not familiar with any
other products.

I have this great pair of polyester stretchy super comfy pants that would
serve me quite nicely throughout my entire pregnancy (i hate to spend a lot
on maternity clothes when i only will wear them a few months) but the only
problem is that these pants are a remnant of my college days and i have
since outgrown snakeskin print. (don’t ask) if i could just dye them a
basic black they would be perfect. any ideas are greatly appreciated.
thanks. – Carmen

A. I have had good success with using a color remover product available in
the same packets as the Rite dye packets and then dying the fabric the
basic color you want..

I used this on a top that I purchased from KMart and when I washed it the
decoration beads ran into the body of the blouse. When I tried to redye
it, it didn’t cover up the stains, so I did this and I liked the natural
fabric color I was left with.

This worked so well that I have done it to redye to a different color..
Good luck Joan

A. Generally only natural fabrics dye. Are the pants a 100% polyester, or
are they a blend? Most stretch pants are lycra-spandex (polyester) mixed
with cotton. The cotton will hold the dye, but the other stuff won’t. The
other stuff is dyed or printed during manufacturing.

My suggestion is to use the Rit dye anyway. It won’t hurt the physical
integrity of the pants, but it will dye the cotton part. The worst case
scenario is that the pants won’t dye right. You’ll have nothing to lose for
trying but the pants. Good luck! – Gretchen


Information in The Frugal Life News (TFL) has been derived from sources
believed accurate and reliable. In no event shall *The Frugal Life,* Randal
Watkins, 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. 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’ names with their suggestions, tips, and ideas unless a
reader requests otherwise at the time of the submission.

Skip to toolbar