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The Frugal Life News – 10/14/022015-09-16T10:55:36+00:00

Published Weekly by Randal Watkins October 14, 2002


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Please Vote For Our New Website Look

Squeezing Money Out Of A Tube…

Making Moth Bags







Hello Everyone,

We have been busy redesigning our shopping cart and our other website found at

We are having a contest and asking you to come and vote for our new colors. Please see the ad above for more details.

I see more each time I write The Frugal Life News the practicality of this ezine. Each issue, I notice some wonderful ideas that are submitted to solve some timeless problems we have struggled with for years.

Personally, we had a big odor in our new kitchen that no one could find the source of. Applying some of the ideas from a previous issue the odor is just about gone. It never ceases to amaze me, how we can take simple ingredients and solve some very complex problems.

Thanks for all your input, all your contributions are much appreciated.

Until next time!




When you get your home paid off, you’ll look at it differently. It will be beautiful, of course, because it’s really YOURS… and not shared with some mortgage company. Also, because it’s yours, you’ll start to notice little things that need attention.

You have 3 choices regarding what to do about this:

1. Deferred Maintenance: That’s realtor-speak for “neglect”. 2. Hire someone to do it: Can be costly. 3. Do it yourself: Having your child or spouse do it is the same as doing it yourself.

Theoretically, doing it yourself will save you money.


If you’re from the “Tim The-Tool-Man Taylor” school of home maintenance, save even more money by hiring a pro.

With winter approaching in the northern hemisphere, it’s a good idea to get your home in energy-saving-shape before it’s too cold to move.

Caulking looks like a relatively simple and inexpensive job to do yourself with a big potential return on investment. For a couple of dollars of caulk, you can keep winter, summer, and crawlies outside where they belong.

This will free money from your heating and cooling costs to be applied to paying off your debts. I’ve heard this energy-saving, money-saving theory about caulking for years, but I’ve never heard exactly how you are supposed to caulk… that is, where do you go to “caulking school” to learn how to do it?

I’m not a complete Tim Taylor. I know that the idea is to squeeze the goo from the caulk tube into the crack. What I want to know is, how do I do it and get those nice, clean, sharp, smooth caulk lines like the pros?

My lines look like they were applied during a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Until now…

Ha, ha! Yes. I have discovered the secret. The missing component. The knowledge of the masters.

Here’s how to make your caulk lines look really neat!

You’ll need caulk gun, tube of the right kind of caulk (read the label), bowl of water, chisel (or some other caulk removing tool), and masking tape.

Remove the existing old cracked and mildewed caulk. Don’t caulk over it!

Apply masking tape on both sides of the crack to be caulked, creating a channel of the desired caulk line width.

Squeeze caulk into this channel for the entire length of your caulk line.

Dip a finger in your water bowl and SMOOTH your caulk line by drawing your damp finger along the length of the caulk line. Excess caulk will squish onto the masking tape and onto your finger. Guys, avoid the reflex impulse to wipe your finger on your pants.

Remove masking tape and discard.

Voila! Caulk lines even the “This Old House” guy would be proud of. And a house you can be proud of too, because it’s YOURS!

————- 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:



Avoiding those toxic chemicals that are used for moth protection isn’t hard. Moths are attracted to the odor of wool, cashmere, and other animal hair fibers. Make moth bags:

Sew little pillowcases about 3″ x 5″, using porous fabric such as cheesecloth, muslin or linen. Tie the bags with a string, looped so you can hang it on a closet or hanger. Make the mixture with 1 oz. each of ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, and caraway seeds with 6 oz. of powdered orrisroot. Pour the mixture into the little bags and tuck into your sweater drawer or hang.

Source: Household hints book published by the Ladies of Monte Vista, CO, in 1927.

FRUGAL TIPS – From Our Subscribers

I have a comment about “debt cards.” My husband found out recently, the hard way, that if your card is maxed out and you only make the minimum payment that is billed, you will be charged an over-the-limit fee. It seems, that the minimum payment does not take into account any finance charges. So, when he made his payment that month, which was only the minimum due, it was sufficient enought to allow the “playing room” needed for the finance charge. Therefore, since he was near his credit limit, the finance charge put him over the limit, which in turn caused him to be charged an over-the-limit fee. – Charlotte


The person with the squirrel problem. I actually had the same problem years ago. My grandfather told me to put black rubber snakes around..

It worked. It’s their natural born enemies.


Regarding the following on PAPER BAG RETURNS

Also, just wanted to mention that in our area, when we bring paper grocery bags back to the store for a second or third or fourth use, we get a 5 cent credit per bag….That’s money in my little boy’s pocket on those days! See if your market does it too. Thanks for all your great work! Kelly

Editor’s Note: This is a good example of simplicity/sustainability not just recycling but using it 3-4 times then recycling and getting rewarded by the company.

This is something I have been doing for over 20 yrs… and not getting any type of reward for, but with the infusion of plasic grocery sacks has been harder to do, but I found a way… 1. I bought canvas “grocery sacks”. Sure, I had to spend $3 for each bag, (I have 4) but I was happy to do so. The bags not only serve to carry groceries, they come in handy when going to visit anyone I am taking something to, or whatever I need a sack for. 2. When I make an unscheduled stop at my grocery store and don’t have my canvas bags with me, shame shame! (they’re supposed to go right back out the truck as soon as I get the groceries put away), and since I have a pickup truck without a cover over the bed, I have the baggers bag my groceries in a paper grocery sack and then put the paper one into a plastic one. The paper bag is much stronger, keeps it’s shape and won’t fall over and roll around the back of the truck, yet the plastic bag on the outside makes it easier to carry more than 2 bags into the house at once. I save both bags as they are and take them with me the next time I go to the store, and have my “wet” and “perishables” loaded into them rather than the canvas bags. If something leaks, the plastic bag keeps everything together long enough for me to get it unloaded without having the bag break apart on the way into the house, and then it can be discarded in my recycle bin, unless of course it’s the meat juices… then it’s in the “real” trash can, and it saves me from having to wash my canvas bags so often. – MH

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This recording artist doesn’t take credit for her music. Her life has inspired many songs such as “Still in Your Hands,” a song about trusting God even though it seems He’s not there, “Jesus is the Reason” reminds us what Christmas is really about, and “Precious Little Friend,” a tribute to fur-baby, Dusty. Hear these songs and others in RealAudio format here:


Q. The suggestions on Christmas gatherings were good, especially the last one on handmade gifts. I’d like to hear some other suggestions about practical gifts that can be made, other than food. My family is not into gifts that aren’t practical, i.e. they wouldn’t appreciate decorative items.

Q. Hi! I am looking for a banana cake recipe that was found inside Swan’s Down cake flour in the late 1950’s. It called for flouring two round cake pans and then putting wax paper on the bottoms before adding the batter. I am desperate to find this. Thank You!

Q. Does anyone know how to keep the dog out of the cat’s litter box? I have no place to put it that is not accessible to the dog.

Q. In response to the question about keeping cats out of their childrens sandbox and their horseshoe pits, amonia was brought up as well as something with a citris fragrence. (Mid August 2002 Issue)… Anyway, I actually have a brood of cats, some that I have adopted from the local animal shelter and others, ferals I have taken in because their mother was poisoned, leaving behind a whole litter I couldn’t let starve to death… as well as the “local” strays who come to my house to eat…. and not only do the cats use our horseshoe pit for a literbox, they constantly tear up my flower beds, to which I have given up creating and tending. Thus, my yards, both front and back are an eyesore. Is there ANYthing I can use to keep them from digging where I want to plant? My brother suggested using chicken wire, laid out flat and covered with soil… says you can cut the chicken wire if need be to plant something and it works for him. I thought about it a bit and decided to try it but when I was looking at rolls of chicken wire at my local Home Depot, I noticed this plastic mesh with holes about the same size as chicken wire. It is actually for tacking up against a fence for vine type plants to grow on, but I liked the plastic idea better because knowing me, I would probably end up cutting myself on the chicken wire if I were to cut it to plant something. But the plastic mesh hasn’t worked… they dig all over it anyway. Since the cats dig everywhere and we’re having a drought season, I have let the grass die back and quit planting, but I am hoping to relandscape my yards this Fall and Winter with plants native to the area. But I would love it if I could find something that will keep the cats from digging everything up. – MH

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


Q. I will be getting a new kitten next week. Does anyone know how I can save on shots and other things? Can I give the injections mylself? – Janice

Note: We received so many good ideas that I made a page at


Q. Please help looking for bread made without yeast. Have to use rice or millet flour for baking. the problem is I like to toast bread for breakfast and can’t find any bread without yeast. I would like to make the bread at home. I have to stick to a gluten free,yeast free, and sugar free diet due to health reasons Thanks

A. For the person with the bread problem, My cousin’s little boy is allergic to yeast. Quick breads are all over the recipe sites on the web. Did you do yourinitial search online for gluten free bread recipes, or check the web sites of the makers of your allergy free flours? Flour sites almost always have recipes. Good luck. – Maria

A. Yeast-Free Gluten-Free White Bread Recipe By : Ruth Domingo

2 1/4 cups whole-grain rice flour 1/4 cup soy flour — (or quinoa flour) 1/2 cup cornstarch 2 tablespoons potato starch flour 1envelope unflavored gelatin — (1/4 ounce) 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon soda 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 3/4 cup small-curd cottage cheese 3 tablespoons oil

This white bread is very tasty and not as crumbly as some gluten-free breads are.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three small loaf pans (7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 inches). 2. Sift all dry ingredients together 4 or 5 times. Place in large bowl. 3. In medium bowl, beat the eggs on high speed for 2 minutes until frothy. 4. Add buttermilk, cottage cheese, and oil to eggs and mix well. 5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes. 6. Divide batter among the three prepared loaf pans. 7. Place all the pans on one cookie sheet (for ease of handling) and bake about 45 minutes.

Mary Azusa, CA


Q. Does anyone know the best way to eliminate moles from ones yard? They seem to be tunneling through the whole yard and eating my bulbs with abandon. Thanks, Virginia

A. For some good ideas go to

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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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