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THE FRUGAL LIFE NEWS
Published Weekly by Randal Watkins https://www.thefrugallife.com September 30, 2002

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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.

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PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large volume of email we receive from The Frugal Life site and response from the more than 20,000 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.

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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:

A NOTE FOM RANDAL
Had A Bad Link
Your Contributions Are Dated

FINANCES
A Pre-emptive Strike on Your Wallet

GARDENING COOPERATIVE EFFICIENCY –
The Honeybee

SIMPLICITY
Ways To Save On The Purchase And Care Of Floor Covering

FRUGAL TIPS

SHARING WHAT YOU KNOW

ANSWERS TO PREVIOUS QUESTIONS

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

SUBSCRIPTION INFO


*************** A NOTE FROM RANDAL

Hello Everyone,

I included this note in the last ezine. Many of you have told me this link wouldn’t work.

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Editor’s Note: There were too many contributions to include in the ezine… Therefore, I have put together a page at https://www.thefrugallife.com/holdayparty.html

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Unfortunately, I misspelled “holday” and many of you couldn’t access the new page just click on https://www.thefrugallife.com/holidayparty.html and you will be able to see all the holiday ideas.

I am so grateful for all your contributions and wish that I could post everyones idea. However, as you know, space and time won’t permit the posting of all entries. Just a reminder, if you submit a response and you don’t see it in the ezine or on the website then your entry was a duplicate entry. I make sure that I post all entries based on the date I receive the suggestion.

Hope you have a great week. Please let us know if we can be of service to you.


Until next time!


Randal


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FOCUS ON FINANCES A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE ON YOUR WALLET

Have you noticed the price of gasoline creeping up lately? Maybe we’re going to war with Iraq, maybe we aren’t, but the oil companies aren’t waiting for bombs to fall. Rumors of war are enough rationale to charge more for gas…. just in time for the holiday driving season.

While you’re in the midst of reducing expenses so that you can make better use of excess cash by paying off debt, keep an eye on those everyday expenses that can develop “leaks” in the form of price increases.

Don’t just ignore this attack on your debt-freedom goal, do something to combat these leaks — like squeezing every last mile out of your tank of gas.

If you have a 20-gallon tank, every $0.10 price increase costs you $2.00 per fill-up. If you fill-up 4 times per month, every dime increase steals $8..00 per month from your ability to pay off your debts fast.

Here are 17 tips to use to reduce the impact of gas price increases:

1. Check Tires Regularly Keep tires properly inflated to avoid premature wear and mileage loss. Under inflated tires can waste 5%-10% more fuel than needed.

2. Maintain Momentum Scan the road ahead to anticipate when slowing will occur. Maintaining even a ‘crawl’ will save you gallons as opposed to constantly stopping and going.

3. Air Conditioning Using the car air conditioning unit during heavy traffic can really burn-up gas quickly. If it’s bearable, try to keep the windows or sunroof open for fresh air.

4. Lighten Up Remove car racks, tool-boxes, cement blocks, and any items of considerable weight. You’d be surprised at what an extra 50-100 lbs can do to your gasoline consumption.

5. Keep Filters Clean This can save you and your engine a lot of extra work. Most filters cost between $3-$15 and can be replaced without much work – especially the air filter.

6. Higher Octane Gas Only use the higher octane only if your engine is starting to ‘ping’ (engine knock). There are no other benefits.

7. Cruise Control Maintain an exact speed allowing for better fuel consumption. Effective on open highways.

8. On Highways Try to keep windows and sunroofs closed, especially at high speeds. Use the built in ventilation system for fresh air for optimum aerodynamics.

9. Comparison Shop Gasoline stations are the only retailers I know who advertise their prices to each other, often right across the street. Some grocery stores, Costco, and Sam’s Warehouses now sell discount gas.

10. Pay Cash Some stations, like Raceway, offer a discount for cash. You’ll save a penny or two per gallon.

11. Regular Maintenance Keep your car well maintained. A tuned engine uses less gas, and is less likely to surprise you with an expensive breakdown.

12. Combine Trips Pick one day to run all of your errands. A warm engine uses less gas.

13. Wash/Wax/Polish Ever notice how slick your car feels right after it’s been detailed? That’s because there’s less friction, which means less wind resistance, which means better fuel efficiency.

14. Don’t Warm Up Letting your car “warm up” while it sits in your garage gets exactly ZERO mpg. Warm it up by driving it moderately.

15. Avoid Long Idles. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. Idling burns more gas than restarting the engine.

16. Avoid High Speeds. You can improve your gas mileage about 15 percent by driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph.

17. Buy gasoline during coolest time of day – early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind – gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to “volume of measurement”.

These tips, and anything else you can do to stay on track to debt-freedom, will be well worth your effort.

————- Payoff All of your Debts in 5-7 Years using the money you ALREADY make! Greg Moore is the author of the Debt Freedom Course, “DebtIntoWealth — Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom”. For your FREE Lesson 1 of this course, CLICK HERE:

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FOCUS ON GARDENING

Cooperative Efficiency – The Honeybee

The beehive presents an amazing picture of efficiency. To ensure productivity among thousands of bees, a delicate chemical balance must be maintained. The queen bee must lay 2,000-3,000 eggs each day and the worker bees must mature, passing in sequence through six distinct stages of development and responsibility. Each worker bee functions in the roles of cleaner, nurse, storer, repairer, guard and finally scout during its brief lifetime of cooperative effort.

What happens when a hive is damaged and vital functions impaired? In a remarkable way, the body functions and abilities of the other bees change in order to assume new responsibilities for the emergency state. How does each be know what duties to assume? What keeps the hive from becoming totally chaotic and unable to function?

The secret is contained in the message of the honey the bees pass among themselves. Each bee contributes a distinct glandular secretion to the honey according to the function it performs. When all secretions are present in sufficient supply, the hive is balanced, functioning normally. When one secretion is inadequate or missing, such as that which comes from a queen, a moaning sound travels throughout the hive. All the bees throb as though they were afflicted with fever. This is their signal to quickly adapt themselves – even change roles – in an effort to make up the loss and re-establish the balance of the hive.

Without precise communication, a crucial imbalance could go unnoticed in the beehive and it would inevitably collapse. The bees demonstrate loyalty for their common goals and to each other through their amazingly accurate system of intercommunication.

Source: Character Sketches, Vol. I, Institute in Basic Life Principles

Taken from an issue of “A Touch of Nature.” See more issues of this free newsletter here: http://www.theherbsplace.com/atn.html


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FOCUS ON SIMPLICITY

WAYS TO SAVE ON THE PURCHASE AND CARE OF FLOOR COVERING by: Dr. Charlotte Gorman*

1. If possible, wait and buy floor covering when it is on sale. Since most floor coverings normally will be reduced in price one or more times throughout the year, you should rarely ever need to pay full price.

2. Purchase discontinued and closeout floor covering rather than the regular stock. You should be able to get a good deal. Try to bargain with the merchant for even a lower price than the one being offered.

3. Buy floor covering in “squares” if the price of the total number of “squares” you need is cheaper than one piece of wall-to-wall floor covering and install them yourself.

4. If you can’t afford to buy wall-to-wall carpeting, buy a less expensive room-size rug.

5. If you can’t afford to buy wall-to-wall carpeting and your floors look reasonably good, consider inexpensive area rugs or no rugs at all.

6. Purchase remnants if they are large enough for your needs. Maybe a store has just the amount you need left over from a large floor-covering job. Remnants should be substantially cheaper than the same amount of floor covering cut directly from a roll. Make sure, however, that you are not really being charged the regular price.

7. Shop around for good, used carpet. Check the advertisements in the newspaper, go to garage sales, ask at carpet stores, and call remodeling and construction companies. For example, you may find some good, used carpet taken out of a residence simply because the new owners wanted to change the color scheme throughout. There should be a very wide gap between the price of new carpet and that of used carpet.

8. When buying carpet or rugs, buy colors which will not easily show spots, stains, and dirt; therefore, the carpet and rugs shouldn’t need to be cleaned or replaced as soon. As a result, you can delay the time when you will need to spend additional money.

9. If your carpeting or rugs need cleaning, check with several carpet-cleaning establishments for their prices. Also, call rental stores and other stores (such as some drugstores) which rent carpet-cleaning equipment and ask for the cost of renting such equipment and the cost of the carpet-cleaning solution. You should be able to save money by renting the equipment and doing the cleaning yourself. If so, consider that option. Consider using dry cleaning equipment and preparations instead of water based cleaners. Some of them do an excellent job and they eliminate the problem of wet carpets.

*Dr. Charlotte Gorman is an Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas Cooperative Extension , Texas A & M University System. She is the author of The Frugal Mind, The Little Book of Living Frugal, and Speak For Yourself: A Handbook on Practical Public Speaking.


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FRUGAL TIPS – From Our Subscribers

Hi, my friend recently had foot surgery and had to use a walker for several weeks. it was hard to carry stuff and move too. i took an old pair of large jeans- cut off the legs, sewed across bottom several times and up by the zipper. this made nice pockets for the phone, Kleenex, Book, etc., I fastened it to the walker using a ribbon through the belt loops. Hope this helps someone else too. – Barbara


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SHARING WHAT YOU KNOW

Q. Does anyone have any ideas for decorative outdoor columns. I have been pricing them and they run anywhere from $200 to $300 each for 8ft x 10in aluminum ones. All ideas would be welcome. – Attia

Q. I loved the answers to the Family Holiday Parties, so I thought I would ask suggestions for Family Birthday Parties. Our family is rather large consisting of 8 parents, 9 children and 6 grandchildren. It doesn’t seem like an overload but when you try to celebrate everybody’s birthday it can get out of control. My oldest daughter is turning 21 and I would like to throw a Birthday party that allows everyone the opportunity to get together to celebrate the big event without putting any financial burden on family members to buy yet another present. I’m sure that your readers are full of creative ideas. Thank You,

Q. Does anyone have ideas on getting rid of/repelling squirrels from our garden? They eat our tomatoes right off the plants before they even ripen. They eat about half the tomato and leave them lying on the ground. We have caught them with the tomatoes in their creepy little paws. – JF

Q. Hi – Loved the Thanksgiving meal suggestions…how about Christmas ideas…We have a large extended family on my husband’s side. We need suggestions for Christmas gift exchange without breaking the piggybank (i..e. exchange only items you received as a free-premium throughout the year or homebaked) and are also very interested in other non-traditional giving ideas (i.e. give to a local need/charity during the year and on Christmas, give a praise report of how the funds were used. (Money given mid-year also saves stress at the Christmas crunchtime.)

SIDENOTE: We lost our home and loved-one to a disaster and learned about this Christmas idea by being the recipient of a stranger’s Christmas tradition. Midyear, a family of strangers, who had heard about the tragedy, sent us a explanation note and the $70.00 they typically spend at their adult-Christmas gift exchange. At their Christmas gathering, we were their Christmas story to share of how that $70.00 bought back the daily essentials-of-life and some dignity for us. (When disaster strikes, it does not leave you a packed suitcase with toothbrush, comb, razor, deodorant or change of clothes…That $70.00 helped!) The money was a tremendous blessing to us at our time of need…and the giver said that, rather than spending monies for an adult family-gift-exchange (buying unneeded meaningless trinkets that would be tossed aside a few days after Christmas), they were blessed by giving to the real-life needs of others and teaching future generations a new Christmas tradition!!!) Anyone have any other Christmas gift-exchange ideas or alternative Christmas giving ideas? – Thanks, Julie

Q. Does anyone know a way to catch or eliminate ground hogs ? They are becoming a real pest in our area, dangerous holes can cause injury and damage equipment . Thanks, John

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


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ANSWERS TO PREVIOUS QUESTIONS

Q. I’m hoping some of your inventive readers can help me with ways to repel armadillos before they completely ruin the yards and flower beds in our gated community. Is there anything safe for pets that can be used to repel them? Thank you for any suggestions.

A. There’s some great content on problems and solutions about armadillos at this site:

A. This may be a bit tongue in cheek here, but my terriers (dogs) take care of any vermin in my yard, including opposums and rats……

A. When we moved into our new home outside of Houston in the early 1960’s, the rural area was literally “alive” with critters, among which were armadillos invading my new flower beds and bushes. I would fill up the holes, and the next morning the holes would be back again as the armadillos eat bugs, worms, ants, etc. A neighbor who had first hand experience with armadillos suggested that I buy the largest can of Cayenne pepper that I could find, and sprinkle it where they liked to dig. I did. We heard a lot racket during the night, but the next morning there were no more holes in the flower bed. Ole ‘diller got a snoot full, and as they have a rather long snoot, he certainly got the point. You might have to replinish the pepper a time or two if it rains. It worked wonders for me. Sherli

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Q. Does anyone know how to safely remove stains from the inside of a crock pot? I am referring to the outside metal cooker that gets warm, not the actual pot you cook food in.

A. Try using rubbing alcohol which is cheap and effective. Just put some on a cloth and rub it into the stain. Never immerse an electric unit in any kind of liquid, even if it is unplugged! Tracy

A. Why not Brillo or SOS?(steel wool pads) – Bill

A. I use vinegar to clean my facial steamer, it gets rid of all sorts of rust and mineral deposits (apple cider vinegar smells better). It doesn’t harm the metal and it’s non-chemical so no worries working around food. BB

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Q. What are some natural ways to repel mosquitoes?

Editor’s Note: I have made a page for this question at https://www.thefrugallife.com/mosquitoes.html

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Q. We recently purchased a used vehicle.  The vehicle smells strongly of cigarette smoke.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to get rid of this odor?

Editor’s Note: Please go to https://www.thefrugallife.com/cigarettesmell.html to see the great ideas.

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Q. The rubbery back of my bathroom throw rugs are shredding and peeling. Not only is it a nuisance, but now the rugs are slipping on the tile floors and I’m afraid someone will get hurt. It seems that laundering the rugs cause the backing to flake and crack off. Is there a way to wash them so they won’t do that? And is there anything I can use to fix the rugs that have now lost the non-skid coverings? Even the mosquito gets a pat on the back for a job well done. – Crystal

A. Dear Crystal, I think that the non-skid backing comes off in the dryer, not the washer. I air dry my throw rugs. Although you can buy rubber non-skid pads to put under old rugs, don’t! Check the price on rubber non-skid shelf-liner! It’s far less expensive. Good Luck, – Katie

A. Hi! I have a solution for the lady with the slippery rugs…Franks’ Nursery and Craft stores up here, I live in SE Michigan, they sell a spray that leaves some kind of residue on the back of the rug that makes it non-slip. It’s about $6.00 a can, and once you spray it on the rug, I think you have to let it sit and dry for a few hours…repeat as often as needed. Hope this helps! – A faithful reader.

A. Usually when these mats are put in the dryer, it will deteriorate the rubber backing. If you have not put it in the dryer it could be the wash water is to hot. As far as repairing the backing of your current delappated one, I realize this is the frugal newsletter, but come on it’s an item that’s under 10.00 at any chain store. Repairing it isn’t worth the time or the cost of getting the supplies.

A. I wash my throw rugs in the tub. If they are stained I put a stain treater like ‘SpraynWash’ on them for 5 to 15 minutes. Next I let them soak for about 20 minutes then I scub out the dirt. I rinse them, let the excess water drip off, then I hang them outside to dry. My last rug lasted about 15 years or so (No kids). The current rugs are 3 years old and still in great shape. From CSinbad

A. Crystal, To help prolong the life of your rugs, don’t put them in the dryer, just hang them up instead. They still dry soft and it has made a difference for us. Plus then you don’t get all of the rubber backing in your washer and dryer-which can be a mess to clean (and probably not good for the machines!) – Val

A. Run a big bead of hot glue on the back of the rug; when it dries it should help it not stick. – Cheryl

A. Scraps of thin rubber carpet padding can usually be found at companies who install carpeting. Athough they usually throw them away, should be ideal for you.Consider purchasing NEW throw rugs. I saw some the other day for $2. – Bill

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Q. Our house smells sour (motel room like) no matter what we do!! We are very clean people– got any suggestions on how to permanently get rid of the odor. I’m tired of covering it up with candles, sprays, etc. I’ve even tried baking soda in the carpets! I also have to be careful because my children have horrible asthma/allergies. Thanks, Heather 🙂

Editor’s Note: There were too many contributions to include in the ezine… Therefore, I have put together a page at https://www.thefrugallife.com/sourhouse.html


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LEGAL DISCLAIMER

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.

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