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The Frugal Life – Living Well With What You Have


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Published Weekly by Randal Watkins

November 18, 2002

The Frugal Life News is sent to subscribers only.

REFER US TO A FRIEND – If you enjoy what you read today, please forward this to your friends and suggest they subscribe! It’s how we grow! To subscribe to The Frugal Life News, Click Here


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.



Baby Food Jars
Earthworm Composting

Finished With Credit Card Debt

Diatomaceous Earth Good For All Kinds Of Bugs

Heartworms With Addison’s Disease







Hello Everyone,

I received an email from a person responding to an old page on our site.
The page was about baby food jars. The reader was asking was there anyone
that could take their excess baby food jars? This person writing in has
agreed to take any excess baby food jars you may have. I suggest you write
him directly if you are interested.

His name is Phillip – He says, “I would gladly take all your baby jars. we have a use for them. we supply our customers with touch up paint when they request and baby jars are just the right size thanks – phil”

I have been studying earthworm composting this week. The place where we are
moving to may have too much chance of bears visiting a regular compost bin.
I thought the worm composting might be a good alternative that we could do
in our basement. Do any of you have any experience with this form of

Thanks for all the tips, questions and suggestions. Please share us with
your friends that is how we grow!

Have a great week!




Q. “Greg, This month my wife and I are done with debt card debt. Hooray!
We’re very glad we found out about Debt Into Wealth. Seven grand of debt
card debt vaporized in a little less than a year… we’ll have both cars
paid off by the start of 2003… then we’ll be down to just the mortgages on
two rental units and our house, and feeling a whole lot better about the

My question is, what is your opinion about prepaying the mortgage on the
rentals? – Howard”

Dear Howard,

First of all, congratulations on the fantastic progress you are making
towards Debt-FREEDOM!

Keep up the good work.

Regarding paying off mortgages on investment (rental) property…

This brings up the opportunity to discuss business debt vs. personal debt.
In my opinion, business debt should be kept separate from personal debt when
creating your Debt Freedom payoff plan.

I don’t particularly like business debt any more than I do personal debt,
but the ability to treat interest incurred on business debt as an expense
against income makes it a little less distasteful.

Your first objective is to secure everything that is essential to your
lifestyle by paying off associated debt. I would put your family’s home in
this category.

Use the profits from your rental properties as additional boost for your
personal debt payoff. Once you get everything paid off, including your home,
then turn your attention to the mortgages on your investment properties and
quickly pay off these mortgages.

When you do, you will have no personal debt. You will have the highest
possible net income from your rental properties since you’re only paying
maintenance and hazard insurance. This rental income may be enough to
completely cover your personal living expenses now that you have no debt.

And, as an added bonus, when your properties become vacant, you won’t have
to sweat making mortgage payments on a rental unit that’s not producing any

Thanks, Howard.


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:



Diatomaceous earth is great for all kinds of bugs, not just ants. In
California there’s a company called “Fleabusters” – they come with a fancy
reverse-vacuum and put DE into the carpet – to dehydrate the fleas.
Another pest company came out to handle a cricket problem and they used DE
too. It’s the same stuff used in swimming pool filtration systems . .. and
it’s also used in the process for making beer. – Cheryl



“I can’t thank Robin enough for helping with my Duncan. I thank God for the
internet, because I don’t know how I would have ever found the natural
program for Duncan. I took him back to the vet today for his check up. He
was on Bandit’s Program for only two months, and his heartworms are gone!!!
His test was negative, and the doctor was surprised. He wants me to email
him what we did! This is so wonderful, because I didn’t have to have him
treated with poisons and it was much cheaper than the $600 near-death
experience vets were willing to put him through that probably would have
killed him, being that he’s nine years old and has Addison’s Disease. I’m
keeping him on the preventive treatment now. He looks better now than he
has in years. He’s doing great. Although he had a mild case of heartworms,
I was really afraid it wouldn’t work, since we had to go easy on him due to
the Addison’s disease, but it really came through for my German Shepherd. I
don’t know how to thank you enough. I’ve told all my friends if their dogs
get heartworms, they need to call Robin at The Herbs Place. With my most
sincere gratitude, April Scott, Fort Worth, Texas

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FRUGAL TIPS – From Our Subscribers

A tip I learned years ago to make your bath/face soap last longer is to
immediately take the bars out of the wrapper when you get them home, and
store them unwrapped. This process “hardens” them and makes them last
longer in the soap holder. You can store them in what ever drawer you want
to smell nice, or in the linen cabinet amongst the towels, etc. Hope this
added tip brightens your day. Sherli


Regarding the use of credit cards – If you’re lucky enough to have GOOD
CREDIT, you can do this with some of the new ‘low interest rate’ cards
without paying a yearly fee.

I charge just about EVERYTHING(gasoline, groceries) on my VISA card, but I
always pay it off IN FULL at the end of the month. I could charge utilities
as well and save postage, but there’s always the occasional mix up where
they misread the meter, so I prefer to write checks for those – Bill R.


Regarding a sticky substance on pots and pans – I somehow missed the
question in an earlier edition about removing sticky residue from cabinets
and pots & pans. It sounds like your readers thoroughly covered cleaning
the cabinets. For the pots and pans I use baking soda. It is a lot less
toxic than most commercial degreasers and you can even use the old box that
has been in your refrigerator keeping it fresh. That makes this a two for
the price of one frugal idea. Just make a past of water, baking soda, and a
little dish detergent. Scrub the pan thoroughly with this and it will take
off even the burnt on grease. This may sound a little arduous but it really
does not take very long. Hope you can still use this. – Celia

Another answer on the sticky pots and pans – This is in reference to the
woman that had got a buildup on her pots/pans and counters. I use a quick
and organic cleaner: mix cream of tartar and white vinegar. I use about 1/4
cream of tartar to 1 cup of vinegar, works like a charm. For hard to get off
goo, mix the 2 into a paste and leave it sit for awhile, it will come off.
Try a test patch on counter tops, but it does work great on stoves and other
enamel surfaces. She can keep a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water
and spray after the pans/stove cool – this will help keep the buildup gone.
– Erika

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Q. I searched for and couldn’t find any issues on good ways to remove wall
paper. I have a room that has 30 years of old wallpaper on it, any ideas???
It is stuck! – Christina

Q. Boy do I need help! We recently bought a 15 year old house and the
water bill has been outrageous! Over 90 dollars a month! Usually, it was 45
dollars a month and we had a bigger house! I have tried the dye in the
toilet to check for leaks and it was ok. Does anyone know how we can check
for a broken pipe underground without digging up the whole yard? Thanks!

Q. Hi I have 13 yr old calico that just started urinating in different
areas of our carpet? How do you get the smell out and stop the problem?

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


Q. Is there anyone that makes Christmas trees from baby food bottles?
Please email me the response. Thank you. – Peggy

A. I saw a Christmas tree made from baby food jars lying on their sides.
Turn all of the jars the same direction (bottoms facing one way). The front
of the tree is the bottom of the jars. Using hot glue or superglue, glue a
row of jars together of eight jars. Place a jar in the spaces between the
bottom row that you just made and continue to pyramid the jars using one or
two less on each row, as you see fit, and let dry one row at a time. Finish
the top row with one jar. Glue a flat piece of dry styrofoam packing or
heavy cardboard as its base (decorate as desired) to allow it to stand
upright. Place a small string of lights within the open back of each jar to
illuminate. This works well with a small sprig of holly or tinsel in each
clear jar. Here you can get very creative. Makes a lovely buffet
centerpiece or small tree for a classroom. Hope you much holiday cheer. –

A. You use 20 baby food jars and you make a hole in the lids big enough to
poke a small Christmas tree light in. You can hot glue the jars together in
the shape of a tree. Poke a light into each jar. There are stings of
lights that only come with just twenty in one string. Starting on the bottom
glue together with the lid side to the back and continue up the tree with
the lids to the back. Bottom up 3 then 2 then 5 then 4 then 3 then 2 then 1.
Stagger them so the next layer up is in between jars. Put on lids and stick
lights in each lid. Could add glue and sprinkle glitter or other ornaments
on if you would like. Here is a drawing don’t know if that will help
explain it. Merry Christmas. Marilyn


Q. About composting, can one use for small gardens and yards
those large Rubbermaid containers to hold your soil and compost stuff? I
have done that for a year now and it appears the stuff has changed into
“organic” compost. I’ve only used vegetable, fruits and suitable grass and
leave findings. But I don’t have the “manpower” to obtain the large
turnstyle compost tumbler. Anyone know if there is anything wrong with my
compost cause I use the Rubbermaid? Thanks for any info – Jaimie

A. I have been using my Rubbermaid composter for about 10 years or so. I
have grown wonderful tomatoes in big pots with the stuff directly out of my
composter. I do find that any shrubs, weeds, etc. near it grow wonderfully.
Mary Azusa, CA

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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
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TFL does not knowingly accept ads from advertisers deemed detrimental to
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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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