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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE:
A NOTE FROM RANDAL
“The More You Share, The More You Will Have.”
FOCUS ON HOME & GARDENING
Transforming A Lawn For Wildlife
FOCUS ON SIMPLICITY
There Is A Way Out!
SHARING WHAT YOU KNOW
ANSWERS TO PREVIOUS QUESTIONS
A NOTE FROM RANDAL
Sorry we missed last week! We had several things require our time that we
hadn’t expected. Mainly, we made an unplanned trip to Pennsylvania because
Donna’s Father was having bypass surgery. Everything went well! We are now
in the process of planning for the respective holidays and attending all the
neat functions that go along with that time of year.
I have realized that there needs to be a better way to get information
exchanged like we do in the tips section and the Q and A section in this
ezine. I have found a bulletin board that I believe will meet our needs and
permit you to exchange ideas more frequently.
I enjoy creating and editing The Frugal Life News. However, it is very time
consuming particularly when it comes to formatting the tips and Q and A
sections. The bulletin board will permit you to share tips, answer
questions and post questions online and in the proper categories. This will
be available online 24 hours per day – 7 days a week and it also has a very
strong search feature to search accumulated information. Information
to-date will still be on the site and categorized better for easier access.
The next ezine will have a new format and will announce the redesigned
website at The Frugal Life. We should be totally complete early January. I
will keep you informed as things progress. Until then, have a great
Until next time,
FOCUS ON FINANCES
“THE MORE YOU SHARE, THE MORE YOU WILL HAVE.”
Stop by your public library and check-out a copy of the book,
“Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude”
by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.
In it you will find this astounding “Sharing” idea in which you can have
more of what you want simply by sharing what you have.
The authors offer a simple test of this idea:
“Give a smile to everyone you meet; a kind word; a pleasant response;
appreciation and warmth from the heart; and time for a worthy cause.”
In so doing you will learn that what is left when you share it with others
will multiply and grow; and what you withhold from others will diminish and
How can you apply this concept to assist you in your journey to Debt
When you pay off one of your debts, you will have extra cash that you can
use to celebrate getting one more debt behind you and one giant step closer
Why not substitute a “Sharing Opportunity” for a night-out-on the-town
celebration and use your recently liberated cash to fund it?
If you tithe, boost your tithing for that month.
If you have friends and relatives also struggling in debt, you could
accelerate one of their debts. Not make their regular minimum payment, mind
you, but add your gift to their regular minimum payment. This will make both
their payment and your gift go much farther.
Given how hard times are these days, pay the grocery bill for the senior
citizen standing in line ahead of you.
Create your own “Beanie Weanies” scholarship fund. You’d be surprised how
many cans of “Beanie Weanies” a college student can buy with a $50 bucks.
For this holiday season, adopt a family in need. Our local grocer will
prepare a complete turkey dinner for 4 with all of the trimmings for less
You get the idea. You are celebrating successfully paying off a debt by
sharing your increased wealth.
In so doing you will learn that what is left when you share it with others
will multiply and grow!
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
FOCUS ON HOME / GARDENING
TRANSFORMING A LAWN FOR WILDLIFE
Lawns fill the American landscape. They are where we play, relax, and enjoy
a personal piece of nature. But there’s a price tag on the traditional
carpet of grass. Lawns reduce the habitat available to wildlife. Their
upkeep requires constant watering (30 to 60 percent of U.S. urban water
soaks lawns) and the use of herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides (each
year U.S. lawns are dosed with 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides). A
gas-powered lawn mower pollutes as much in one hour as does a car in 350
miles of driving.
During this time indoors for the winter, consider redesigning all or a part
of your own lawn to benefit wildlife, environment, and your pocketbook. Read
FOCUS ON SIMPLICITY
THERE IS A WAY OUT!
This article is too long to print in this newsletter, but here is the
beginning and a link to the completion of it:
Many Americans are finding that a life of consumption is consuming their own
lives. What it takes of their lives to buy all the disposable things
available in our world is not really providing what the advertising
promises….more time for better things.
Disposable dishes, diapers, storage containers, rags, baggies, razors,
daily-wear contacts, paper towels and napkins and the list goes on and on.
All of these are sold with the concept that they will save you time, when in
actuality, your time is only spent making money to pay for them and the
increased garbage fees to haul them away.
Instead of the simplicity that disposables seem to offer, we become used to
buying, and that in itself consumes our time having to shop for something
almost every day of the week. We’ve become used to an instant mentality.
‘Have it now’ breeds compulsiveness in many areas of life.
Our homes become bogged down with clutter which forces lives to be lived in
a continual state of stress. That stress is at the basis of 85% of all of
our diseases. People encumbered with unnecessary weights that threaten to
strange even the rare moments of happiness. The quest for materialism has
diminished the family’s values, relationships, and sense of satisfaction of
a live well lived.
Read more here
FRUGAL TIPS – From Our Subscribers
This is an old question but due to the holiday season, I thought it would be
good to print this answer.
Regarding, Christmas trees from baby food bottles or jars? I make Christmas
trees with empty scotch tape rolls. You put them together similar to baby
food jars, only instead of using hot glue guns, use green ribbon to tie them
together in a pyramid style. Use red ribbon randomly for decoration and
then tie on the trunk at the bottom using a brownish colored ribbon. Then
you can hang them on the wall or on the front of your house. They make
really cute decorations. – Sue
Regarding excess baby food jars – Here is another suggestion: donate them
to your local elementary school. According to my daughter’s Pre-K teacher,
the schools always have a need for them. Kim Joppa, MD
About water leaks – We thought we had a water leak so we called the city
water department to see if they would check it out for us. They told us not
to water the yard for at least a week. When the man came to check it out he
had a tube about four feet in length that had two prongs on the end. He
walked around the yard jabbing the prongs into the ground. When the prongs
detected moisture a buzzing sound was heard. The pipe was replaced without
digging up the entire yard. You might find a water detector at a hardware
store or Home Depot. Good luck. – Jo
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SHARING WHAT YOU KNOW
Q. Hi, Am looking for the old fashion cookies that were made in a long,
thin rectangular shape. Cookie on either side with raisin layer between.
‘Seen them around? B
Q. Does anyone know how to take the cheap cat litter and turn it into the
All questions and responses are now posted on our new bulletin board.
Go here for more details.
ANSWERS TO PREVIOUS QUESTIONS
Q. Does anyone know how to store large quantities of night crawlers taken
off pavement after a heavy rain? I would like to know what to put them in,
feed them, etc. to keep them alive and maybe reproduce.
A. My husband says dirt mixed with coffee grounds is a good mixture in
which to keep the night crawlers. He doesn’t have an idea on a container.
I’d use a 3 lb. coffee can or a shoe box. – Betty G.
A. Regarding the question about the night crawlers, I recommend that you
find a sturdy container with a lid that is approximately 3 X 3″ square by 3
or 4″ high for each dozen of night crawlers you collect. Fill this
container with thick, black soil and then add the night crawlers so they can
dig their way into the dirt. Poke holes into the lid and fasten it
securely. Place this container in your refrigerator away from your food and
beverages, of course. The worms should keep at least to 2 or 3 weeks just
by doing this, if not longer. My husband uses this method all the time when
he goes fishing and doesn’t use all of his worms during one trip – this
keeps them alive until his next adventure. Tracy in Watauga, TX
A. When I was a kid, my dad made a half barrel, put a screen in the bottom,
filled it with dirt, and I of course provided the worms that I found under
logs and rocks. I would feed the used coffee grounds. We put dead leafs on
top of the dirt and kept it moist. there for I had worms everytime I wanted
to go fishing, which was every day!!! He also taught me how to “hunt” for
worms, after a good rain, go out with a flashlight, walk in the grass very
lightly, be quite, and look!!!! Have fun, I know I did. – Brenda
A. Hi: Regarding keeping Nightcrawlers….good luck! After raising worms
for a number of years, I’ve found the only way to keep them temporarily is
in the frig in a covered styrophome container. You can also try placing
them in earth with leaves under a light. Worms don’t usually crawl when
there is light on them, otherwise they will take a hike! I would suggest
that you just go harvest those fast moving suckers where they live and not
try to bother to “feed and raise” them as they do a pretty good job of doing
that themselves. Keep the area moist and covered in leaves or cut grass
clippings. You can “feed” them corn meal now and then too. The old folks
use to say you could harvest Nightcrawlers by sticking a rod or stick in the
ground and tapping on it causing vibrations in the ground…and they are
suppose to come to the surface. Anyway, with my experience, I’d leave them
where they lay and keep the source to myself! – B. M.
Q. Does anyone have a recipe for making my own Scope type mouthwash. It is
so expensive in the store and also has alot of added dyes and chemicals that
probably aren’t necessary. Thanks for your help. Joanne, Calif.
A. No, but Wal*Mart sells their own brand(Equate) that comes in a large
economy size that is much cheaper and tastes and smells exactly like Scope.
I buy this giant size and use it to refill the smaller Scope bottle. – Bill
A. For the lady who wanted to make her own mouthwash. There is no need to
make your own, just go to any “dollar” type store and you can buy a big
bottle of mouthwash that is just as good and has the same ingredients as the
expensive “name brand” types, for just a dollar to a dollar-fifty. – JF
A. 2 T fresh parsley, 2 T fresh mint, 1 cup water, 1 T vodka
Combine ingredients in a blender and process on high until well blended
(about 2 min). Pour liquid through a strainer. Use about 4 t and swish
around in mouth for about 30 seconds. Don’t swallow.
A. Hi, I have the answer for the person looking for homemade mouth wash.
My dentist recommended using hydrogen peroxide and plain water– about
50-50. It may not have a great flavor but it works. – Susan
Q. I was wondering if anyone out there knows any substitutes for
dishwashing detergent? The more environmentally friendly the better. Thanks,
Dishwash Detergent #1
Half 20 mule team Borax
Half Baking soda
Put this in a ziplock back, shake to mix and use 2 tblspns per load.
Dishwash Detergent #2
1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 drops tea tree extract (or oil)
1/4 cup white vinegar
Store in squeeze bottle. Use 2 tablespoons per wash in a standard size
Do not substitute conventional liquid soap for the Castile unless it is a
‘low sudsing’ soap. Regular soaps will produce too many suds and overflow
Dishwash Detergent #3
1 c. baking soda
1 c. salt
2 c. washing soda
A. If you want a cheaper dishwasher detergent just go to the dollar store.
Theirs is just as good as the name brands. I have also gone to
Pic-n-Save store or really any discount grocery store and buy their
brand; same results. Even Wal-Marts Great Value brand gives very good
results. My dishes are always sparkling clean even though I don`t use
“brand name” brands. It doesn`t even pay to make your own. – JF
A. I have used Sunshine Concentrate for many years for dishes and many
other cleaning chores. It lasts so long because you use so little of it for
things. I love it because it’s a one bottle solution to my cleaning and
laundry. Allows me more cabinet space for fun things. You can buy it at
The Herbs Place. Search for the name. It doesn’t give you all those
bubbles that other chemical detergents do, but it cuts the grease. Dee
Q. Hi, My daughter is expecting in April 2003, my first grandchild. We
have been looking for Curity cloth diapers, they are 20″ by 40″. She can’t
see going the expense of disposable diapers but the “cloth” diapers on the
market now are awful, made of gauze, thin and the pre-fold don’t work like
the old curity ones I used many years ago. I see why people went to
disposable diapers. Can anyone help? Thanks
A. For the future grandmother looking for Curity diapers — I don’t know
where to find them but I’d like to put in a plug for the “gauzy” Gerber
diapers. (I think they’re called Birdseye Weave and come in a package of
12.) We like them the best of anything we have used, including the expensive
“all-in-ones”. The gauzy cloth diapers have to be manually folded, but you
can fold them to whatever size fits your baby as he or she grows. They
really do absorb well, even better than the “pre-folds” in my opinion! Just
wash them 4 or 5 times before first use… they get fluffier and softer each
time they’re washed, and they dry super fast if you give them a little shake
to unbunch them on the way from the washer to the dryer. (We just fold into
a rectangle and lay them inside a Bummi “Super Industrial Whisper Wrap”
cover and close the velcro, no pins, no mess.) — Nancy
A. I have a 4 month old. I use a diaper service that uses nice thick cloth
diapers. It is cheaper than disposable diapers and they pick up the soiled
ones and drop off a whole batch of clean ones every week. They are
environmentally conscious and don’t use harsh chemicals to wash the diapers,
but they get them cleaner than I ever could.
A. Home Life, the company owned by Bill and Mary Pride of homeschooling
fame, sells diaper service-quality cloth diapers. These are not cheap, but
it’s what the lady is looking for. Large diapers are $25 per dozen; small
diapers are $20 per dozen. Missouri residents add 6.075% sales tax; shipping
and handling int he U.S. is 10% or a $5 minimum. If you would like to see
the quality of the diapers before committing to buying a whole dozen, a
sample pack of two large or small (specify!) diapers is $5. (Home Life,
Inc.; P.O. Box 1190; Fenton, MO 63026.)
I have also made cloth diapers out of old receiving blankets. I once had too
few diapers and too many blankets, and simply folded the excess blankets
into an appropriate size and sewed together with a zigzag stitch. They were
very absorbent. The local Salvation Army thrift shop or Goodwill might have
cheap receiving blankets that could be used for this purpose. They can be
harder to keep clean.
Another hint for those using cloth diapers: You can buy “diaper liners” that
make cleanup much easier. About the consistency of a dryer sheet without the
chemicals added, diaper liners are placed in the diaper before pinning up.
Then, if there is a large load in the diaper, you just gather up the liner
and flush. If the diaper is merely wet, you can wash the liner with the
diapers and use over!
Diaper pins get dull, but if you either jab the point into a bar of soap or
run it through your hair, it will slide through the cloth fairly well again.
Stained diapers are ugly, but be careful of how frequently you bleach, since
chlorine bleach breaks down the fibers in the fabric. Borax may be used in
the washload instead of chlorine bleach. Borax can also be added to the
diaper pail to keep odors down and start working on germs. Anything that
kills bacteria and germs will eventually have a deleterious effect on your
septic system (it will kill the good bacteria that make the septic system
work), so keep chlorine/borax use to a minimum and be sure to use a
bacterial additive such as Drano (not the lye type) or Rid-X etc. on a
regular basis. Vinegar may be used as an alternative to borax in the diaper
pail, but vinegar has a strange effect on new-baby poop stains. It turns
them a bright shocking green color.
Do not use fabric softener on diapers, nor dry your diapers (or towels) with
a dryer sheet. It will eventually make them less absorbent. Just dry on the
line or in the dryer without the softening treatment. I hope this helps!
Mary L. – Kentucky
A. You might try JC Penney’s. They had the better cloth diapers when my son
was in them several years ago.
A. I found this posted on a website: Sorry, but Gerber bought out
Curity many years ago and discontinued this particular diaper. The only
place you will find them now is the second-hand market or on E-Bay. However
they have become something of a collector’s item and usually cost around
$10.00 per diaper! There is nothing on the market today just like them – I
have checked everywhere! This is the site:
A. Now..regarding the cloth diapers..boy do I have loads of experience with those! I think what your reader may be looking for what were called “birdseye” diapers. They were cloth with the sewn-in extra layers in the middle. There are actually some sites online that tell you how to make them if you cannot find them anymore. Hope this helps. Really enjoy reading frugal life! Thanks….B. McElveen
A. We got our diapers on an American military post in Germany almost 11
years ago and are still using them for foster babies today. We have not
seen any quality diapers in the stores but here are 3 options. 1. Call
around to Diaper Services and see if they have any diapers to sell. They
are thick and of good quality. 2. Make your own. We have some flannel
squares that make EXCELLENT diapers. The diapers we got from Germany
have a thick cotton fill sewn into the middle. This can be easily done
with some soft flannel and batting from the craft or fabric store. 3.
Look on the web for the Natural Baby Company. They sell Nikki’s and
other truly superior natural diapering products. They are a part of two
or three other companies for children that sells quality products. Hope
A. I did a little research and found some helpful sites. Check them out:
you can order just about every known type of cloth diaper 🙂
Q. How do you start a compost pile? Thanks for any advice! – Carol
A. One of the best compost piles I have ever had was when I lived in town.
I had a couple of pieces of wire rolled into about a 1 foot circle – they
were about 3 foot tall. Every day I would run my garbage thru a blender
with as much water as needed to blend it up. I purchased the blender at a
yardsale for this purpose and used it only for this purpose. I stood the
wire roll on end. I would pour the blended garbage into the wire roll. I
would then cover the blended garbage with leaves which I kept nearby. The
leaves served as the “brown” stuff that helped the “green” stuff to break
down. They also helped to keep the smell down. I never used meat, bones,
milk products, or grease. This was to keep from attracting rodents and
other animals. I did use coffee grounds, chopped banana peels, all kinds of
fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, any cooking water that I poured off
vegetables, leftover vegetables, bread, etc. Sometimes I would shovel on a
bit of dirt in the layers of blended garbage and leaves. This also helped
provide the bacteria that breaks things down. Food products break down
faster when they are broken into small pieces. I figured you couldn’t get
smaller than being blended. When I would fill my wire compost tower to the
top I started filling a second one. When the second one was full, I would
lift the wire from the first. On the outside it just looked like old
leaves. On the inside was the most beautiful potting mix! Our household
did not produce enough garbage to make a lot of compost this way, but it was
high quality! Sometimes I would break my leaves up with the lawnmower and
that made the compost even finer. When I would lift the wire off the tower
of compost I was able to reposition the wire and start a new tower
immediately and start using the one I had just “harvested”. Marilyn
A. This should answer 2 questions, at least partly.
I keep a compost ‘pit’ in my backyard. I made it out of an old, discarded,
child’s wading pool. I compost my fallen leaves in the fall, plus vegetable
waste all year long. I started the compost working with a jar of bacteria, I
bought from a garden store.
The compost pit is a great place to get earthworms. They really grow good
there. I regularly use them for fishing. While some of the earthworms, I
probably threw in there when they were too small to use for bait, there seem
to be more than I put in there. Probably there were worm eggs on some of the
stuff I threw in there.
I am not a regular reader of your column. This is the first one I’ve seen. A
friend forwarded it. I’d like to receive it regularly. – V. Lee Grover
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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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There is no remuneration for suggestions, tips, or ideas submitted by
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Frugal Life, become the property of The Frugal Life, notwithstanding similar
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publishes readers’ names with their suggestions, tips, and ideas unless a
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