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Published Weekly by Randal Watkins

October 28, 2002


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Laptop Page
Composting With Bear

Can You Do Better?

Carrot Juice

Cornfield Mazes







Hello Everyone,

We have had more rain and I am extremely grateful. Thanks for all your
prayers and thoughts. I have made a page for those of you that want to see
the suggestions on a Mac laptop at
https://www.thefrugallife.com/maclaptop.html href=” https://www.thefrugallife.com/maclaptop.html “>

I ran an article last issue on composting. Composting is something I am
very interested in but I am wondering if I can do it at my new place. Here
is my dilemna, we have bear in that area and I need to know if any of you
have composting experience where bear are known to come around. I have
thought several years about getting a ComposTumbler and particularly wonder
if that is designed to not attract the bear or if a bear can get into it or
not. Any ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks for your continued interest in The Frugal Life News. Remember to
share us with a friend, that is how we grow!

Until next time!




That’s a simple question…

“Can you do better?

Pose this question to a merchant of goods or services you want to purchase
and you might be pleasantly surprised. They might apologetically say they
can only discount the price a certain amount… say 10%… without
“management” approval.

If you spend $500 a month on goods and services, that’s 50 Tax-Free dollars
to help you invest in your debts each and every month to help pay them off
in years rather than decades.

And it takes about 5 seconds of work.

This is the ancient art of Negotiation, a.k.a., haggling or bargaining. This
is a good skill to develop. Everything you want someone else already has.
Improving your negotiation skills helps lower the cost of transferring them
from someone else to you.

American consumers aren’t too good at this. Price tags and high incomes
(compared to the rest of the world) have weakened this skill.

But, all merchants have the power to “adjust the price”. You only have to
ask, and the worse that could happen is they say, “No.” And since we know
that we’ll get a certain number of “No’s” and a larger number of “Yes’s”,
getting a “No” simply means a “Yes” is just around the corner.

You are in no way harming the merchant. They aren’t in business to lose
money. If they can’t make a profit at a discounted price, they won’t sell it
to you.

With holiday travel coming soon, try this question for your next hotel stay.
Talk directly with the hotel, not the nationwide reservation service.

If you can give a reason for the discount, so much the better.

You want a bookstore book that’s been thumbed through a few times? Ask if
they will take less.

Paying a few months in advance for your yard service? Ask how much better
can they do for your upfront money.

Buying a case of apple juice or wine? Do a combo: Ask for a case discount…
when the juice is also on sale… and ask for a cash vs. debt card price.

Brand new display model electronics are good for at least 10% off. Ask. Be
sure to point out the fingerprint smudges.

Do you pay for your own health care expenses using a “self directed” health
care plan? Ask for a discount on your medical bill. 17% of consumers asked
for a discount on their medicall bills in 2001 and over half received one.

Your truckload of compost was delivered but the driver backed over your
flowers? Ask for a credit of the delivery fee.

The compost truck gets stuck in your driveway when the truck battery dies
and it has to spend the night blocking access to your garage? Ask for a
discount on the compost for your inconvenience.

Are you a senior citizen or a student – or look like one? Ask for the
senior citizen or student discount. The implication is that you might need a
little financial help.

Get the idea?

You’re setting yourself apart from the everyday sticker price transaction
because of special circumstances – or because you’re special.

In this way, everyone feels good about the experience.


Payoff All of your Debts in 5-7 Years using the money you

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: http://www.debtintowealth.com/frugal.html


Compost isn’t just for your garden anymore: Scientists at the University of
the West of England have created a microbial fuel-cell battery powered by
organic waste. The miniature battery converts biochemical energy from food
into electricity, using E. coli bacteria that release hydrogen atoms as they
break down carbohydrates. The fuel cell runs on sugar cubes, and the
scientists are currently using it to run a light-sensitive robot. But
eventually a series of connected cells, sold for about $15 each, could power
home appliances, the scientists say. And possible creative improvements
abound: “They aim to move on to carrot power,” New Scientist magazine



There’s nothing better than getting lost in a maze of cornfields. Fun for
kids and definitely a great getaway for adults! This site lists the states
and towns where you can find one. Check it out and schedule a special event
for your kids or grandchildren! Do something different! For more information, Click Here!

FRUGAL TIPS – From Our Subscribers

Last Minute Ideas – Years ago, my dog was always invading the cat food bowls
AND the litter boxes… Since the cats’ bowls and litter boxes are in the
laundry room, I simply attached one of those expanding/swinging baby gates
to the doorway. I left enough space at the bottom so the cats could
crawl/slip under, but the dog could not. When I needed to go into the
laundry room I just unlatched the fastener and swung it open or folded it up
out of the way. It worked GREAT!!!

Shrinky Dinks – Take the Styrofoam meat trays cut (big) shapes (smiley
faces, Christmas trees, etc…) , color with markers (poke hole if you want
to hang anywhere and putin microwave for a few seconds, tada shrinky dinks!
Simple and inexpensive crafts for a young child! n Christine

Eggshell Chalk –

4-5 eggshells

1-teaspoon flour

1 teaspoon very hot tap water

Food coloring (optional)

Wash & dry eggshells. Put into bowl and grind into a powder (a mortar and
pestle works great). Discard any large pieces. Place flour and hot water in
another bowl and add 1 tablespoon eggshell powder & mix until a paste forms.
Add food coloring if desired. Shape & press mixture firmly into the shape of
a chalk stick and roll up tightly in a strip of paper towel. Allow to dry 3
days or until hard. Unwrap from paper towel & use for sidewalk chalk.



Many pet owners are discovering the horror of what
is actually in the pet foods they buy — even the natural
ones. What our pets eat makes a big difference in their
health and your emotions of seeing them suffer. Good
food takes away many common health problems that
people are paying a lot of vet bills to solve, such as,
skin allergies, dry coat, lack of energy, constant fleas
and other parasites. Good food pays for itself in lower
vet bills and the animals eats (and poops) less.

Read about Flint River Ranch Oven-Baked Pet Foods.
SHIPPING IS FREE! 100% Guarantee or Your Money Back!
Healthy Food for Pets


Q. Can anyone give me ideas or information for at home jobs? My daughter
is 5 1/2 months pregnant with a 2 1/2 year old boy. She is a high risk
pregancy and had to take leave of absence from work because she has been
having contractions and been hospitalized several times. Her husband left
her a month ago. She is left with a house payment, car payment, utilites
and everyday expenses. She has applied for assistance, but it will not come
close to covering her expenses. Her husband has paid some bills but he was
in a car accident and will not be able to work for a couple of months. My
husband and I are doing what we can, but we will have to pay for her divorce
attorney. We both work full time and not able to take on a second job. I
am a crafter and working hard to create items for local craft shows to help
her out. I am just needing some great ideas for this young mother to work
from her home. She knows she will probably loose her home, but she wants to
hang on for as long as she can because she will have felt the husband took
everything from her. She has no money for investing into products and
because of her high risk pregnancy will not be able to work physically hard.
Babystitting for others is out because she may have to go to the hospital
unexpectedly. Any ideas will be truly appreciated. – D.J.

Q. Can anyone help me with an idea about how to get the moldy caulking off
my shower tile? We put the caulking around the shower basin where it meets
the tile a year ago. It was supposed to be mildew and mold resistant but
proved not so. We would like it gone, but it is stubborn and won’t give up
it’s grip on the seam. Any ideas? Thanks – Don

All questions and responses are now posted on our new bulletin board. Go here for more details.


Q. A friend recently told me about the many uses of a product called DMSO.
You can buy it at health food stores. She said it can releive just about
every ailment you can think of from acne to joint pain and that it works on
pets too. I looked it up on the internet and it certainly sounds like a
“wonder drug”. Has anyone heard of this before or has anyone used the
product? Are there any testimonies out there? I would like to hear from
others who may have used it. Thank you. – Ana

A. For all the responses go to https://www.thefrugallife.com/dmso.html href=” https://www.thefrugallife.com/dmso.html “>


Q. We just bought a house that has a well. The well was tested, and came
back with good results. Yesterday I got the keys, and started cleaning. The
hot water smells like sulfur (rotten eggs)! The cold water is OK. There is
a water softener for all water to go through. Why would it be only the hot
water? There is a rental house on the property (on the same well), and he
has smelly hot water also. His house has a separate filtration system.
What can we do about this? Thanks for your help. PS The dirt around here is
bright red clay. (Sonora, CA)

A. Perhaps a good flushing, or if electric it needs a heat element replaced

A. There is a core in your hot water tank that can be removed and will
eliminate the smell, although I always wondered how efficient the hot water
tank was with the core gone. I only lived in that particular house 3 years,
so I don’t know how long that tank lasted. Also, there is piggy back system
that uses permanganate and can be attached to your water softener that will
fix the problem and will also take care of the staining of tubs and toilets.
But first check with your hardware or feed store. There are other salts
that can be added to your water softener salt that may do the trick. And
check with the realtor. I was able to get the former owner to pay for
fixing the problem because I had specifically tried the water before buying
the house (because of running into this situation in another house). Never
hurts to ask. – Crystal

A. Your reader with the “rotten egg” smell (hydrogen sulfide) probably has
natural gas seeping into the well. The county health dept or state geologic
survey folks should be able to make a positive ID and offer suggestions. –

A. If the hot water heater is new, the company puts a rod in the middle
(not sure what for) . When we lived in Illinois everyone took that rod out
to get rid of the sulphur smell. Of course, it voided the warranty, but it
worked. Not sure of the mineral content in California water, but may be the
problem, since it is only in the hot water.. Ruth


Q. I am looking for a natural alternative to the plastic chair mat to be
used on hardwood floor at my desk. I have searched the internet and haven’t
come up with anything. Do you have any suggestions or know what type of rug
would work for this situation? Thanks for any help you might have and for
your newsletter also. Thanks – Janice

A. My husband used a piece of Masonite type material under his desk chair
for many years. He bought it at an office supply store many years before
Office Depot and those type of stores were in existance, but I don’t know
if they make them anymore out of that material.
Wouldn’t Masonite bought at a building supply and cut to the size you
want work as well?


Q. My husband and I are in the process of adopting a child from the foster
care system. In the meantime we have our 3 year old neice over and we have
spent money on play doh and silly puddy among other things. I remember
seeing receipes for both but can’t find them. – Janet

A. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE ADOPTION. I have a recipe for play-dough that my
own two girls ages 3 & 8 play with. Best of all the items are usually in
your pantry.


1 c. Flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 C. Salt
food coloring
1 C. Water
1 Tbsp. oil

Mix together all ingredients and knead till right consistency. Keep in
airtight container. – Neta

A. Under the craft link on the website you will find tons of play dough
and fun make at home recipes for kids. I reference it frequently for my
Daisy Scout Troop. – Elaine

A. Here’s a recipe for play dough
I’m not sure that you can make your own Silly Putty, but I did find a site where you can buy it in bulk – DEAD LINK REMOVED



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