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The Frugal Life News – 09/26/03


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Published Weekly by Randal Watkins
The Frugal Life
September 26, 2003

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Hello Everyone,

Hope you are doing well as we head into the Fall season. We have had 50 degree weather in the evening time. Hard to believe summer is gone and school has started.

Last issue I mentioned we were having some computer problems with our AOL subscribers. That particular problem has been resolved. However, when Isabelle came through it knocked out our power, DSL and telephone for a period of time. Hope all of you have power by now!

We have a new contribution in the Frugal Decorating Department, how to make a fall wreath. Take a moment to read the directions, I am sure it will be a great addition to your holiday planning.

We appreciate your readership. Thanks again for sharing with others The Frugal Life News.

Until next time,



The BLUE Zone

Lesson 25 in the “Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom” course discusses the benefits of purchasing a used car with cash over a new car with financing.

Purchasing a used car with cash saves you 50.4% over the cost of a new car when you factor in depreciation and interest costs.

In 2000, when I wrote Lesson 25, I presented a depreciation table that demonstrated the optimum used-car purchase age – the BLUE zone – to be 6 to 9 years.

This table tells you when to purchase your car, but not which car to purchase. Researching the reliability of your prospective used-car was left to your best efforts.

The latest Consumer Reports’ new Used Car Yearbook, which details 256 models from 1995 to 2002, can help you with your research. It’s available for $5.99 from their website,

but try to find a copy the next time you’re visiting your local library.

According to Consumer Reports, your best value would be a Japanese car made – interestingly – 7 years ago in 1996.

Of the 18 top used-car bargains highlighted by Consumer Reports, 15 were Japanese and 3 were U.S. models.

Eight of the 18 are 1996 models.

As stated in a Consumer Reports press release, these cars have “proved reliable, performed well in Consumer Reports’ tests when new, and offer excellent value for the money.”

Surprisingly, no German cars made the top 18. The vaunted Mercedes and BMW autos are conspicuously absent.

But just about any Japanese carmaker you can think of is represented: Honda, Mazda, Infiniti, Toyota, Acura, Nissan, Subaru, and include economy, luxury, mini-van, and SUV models… something for just about every driving need.

Do you need just your basic automobile to get reliably to and from work, run some errands, or send your child off to school with?

1999 Ford Escort — $4,000.

Need a little more economy of operation?

1996 Honda Civic EX or 1999 Mazda Protégé ES $6,000.

Reaching middle age and feeling the need for speed?

1996 Infiniti G20 $5,500

Still hauling the kids around?

1997 Honda Odyssey EX Mini-van $8,500

Kids are gone? Middle-aged crisis over? Ready to not feel every bump in the road? Want to reward yourself with a little luxury for sticking with your Debt Freedom plan?

1996 Toyota Avalon XLS $8,100

Astounding, isn’t it?

Highly recommended, high quality, many good looking, several luxury, vehicles… any of which could be yours CASH… which becomes easier to generate with each debt you pay off.

These are dealer average prices. Find a motivated individual seller, wave some cash, and cut an even better deal. Or, better still, if you’re lucky enough to drive a car that’s worth more than you owe, sell your current automobile, pay off the note, take your proceeds and buy one of these bargains.

Let’s see…

If you did so, you’d probably end up with an equal or better car, one less car note, and more money to pay off debts! Isn’t that a sweet deal?


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 and/or to find out why financial guru and best-selling author, Suze Orman, is advising her millions of followers to “Pay Everything Off as Fast As Possible!”, CLICK HERE:


From Kathleen Wilson


Here’s an easy way to make an inexpensive wreath for your door! You can also use a wreath flat on a table, (fill with candles, don’t allow anything to touch flame!) over a fireplace, or over your bed!

Materials needed:
Grapevine wreath
Silk garland
Dried flowers
Glue Gun
Floral Wire or wire bag closures

Use pieces of wire to secure the leaf garland to the wreath all the way around. If you have excess garland, cut it to fit. It is easier to insert the wire through the wreath near the edges. I use the wire twisties from garbage bags as a low cost alternative to floral wire. Secure it with wire about every 6 inches.

Use a single piece of raffia to tie a bunch in a little twist shape. Then wire the twists to the wreath. I like using three to five bunches and wiring them equal distances apart. You can just use one large bunch if you wish, or many smaller ones, it’s your wreath! I took dried flowers from my garden and simply poked them into the wreath. It doesn’t take much, and if you can’t get them from your garden, you can get them from the craft store quite cheaply.

I added a small birdhouse with a glue gun, and voila! Beautiful wreath for your door for very little money, very little time, and a lot of creativity!

I always encourage you to try your own materials, and discover within yourself a personal style. Trying a simple and quick project can give you the confidence to show yourself and everyone around you that you really can do it with Creativity, Not Cash!

For pictures of the above project, visit here:

Kathleen Wilson is the author of “Quick Decorating
Ideas Under $20: The Budget Decorator’s Bible” and
editor of the free ezine, The Budget Decorator. Find
more free ideas and info on her book and workshops at her site.


Visit Healthy Pet Corner for lots of information, products,
and links for birds, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
All for Pets


Here’s a kit with everything you will need to start making your own pampering and cleaning products for pennies with the easy-to-follow recipe guide.
Make Your Own



TSP is the Brand name for Tri Sodium Phosphate, a strong alkaline cleanser. It may be found at Home Depot, Lowes, or your local hardware.   I would advise  wareing gloves if you use a strong mixture.   It has many uses. One of which is to dull the high gloss on  paint before repainting, which will enhance adhesion and flow when applying the new paint.   Max,  TX


Maybe you can help these folks out with a few suggestions? Or post some of your own questions. LOG-IN TO POST Here’s the link: href=””> Forum

Questions Needing Answers at The Forum:

!. Critters Forum
I had little bugs get into some bags of dry mixes in my kitchen cabnets, I have sprayed them, but they still seem to come back. what can Iuse to get rid of them,I do not want to use anymore sprays and I am afraid they will also get into my pantry, they share a wall, I don’t know if they will try to travel  through it or not. I have thrown away all dry goods that are not in sealed containers or in original unopened bags. I remember this question came up a while back but at that time I didn’t have the problem so didn’t really pay thet much attention to the answer, just my luck. thank you for any and all help

2. Holidays and Special Days Forum
I am having an 18th birthday party for my daughter with family & friends. I’m looking for “coming of age” celebration ideas. Anyone have anything? Thank you.

2. Pets Forum
I live with 5 cats and i have had a cat hair in my mouth for like 3 days. I
can’t get it out, it is stuck to the back of my tongue. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is….any suggestions?PLEASE!!!!

Hi, has anyone ever figured out how to give a cat a bath when they hate water.  I know I haven’t.  But she will allow me to rub a wet cloth on her. She doesn’t like being sprayed.  I was wondering if anyone knows of a remedy or solution that helps get out tangles, especially on her back where she can’t clean hersef.  It would need to be something I could rub on a cloth. I am looking for a safe solution that would be good for her hair.  I am talking about a homemade solution and not something else that I have to buy.

3. Recycle/Reuse Forum
Hi!  I am always trying to figure out ways to recycle the tons of stuff we throw away at work (I work in retail).  One object eludes me, though.  We throw away the plastic cylinders that are in the middle of our register receipt rolls when the paper runs out.  They are white plastic, about 3″long, and hollow.  Any ideas on what I could do with these?  The only thing I have thought of so far is bringing them home for the kids to use to build something.



Life’s Abundance has great products by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse products, you will have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for pets and children. Visit this website for more information. This type of site is also available for $10.95/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee). href=””> Life’s Abundance


Have you noticed how popular bath and pampering products have become? The HomeSpa Party Plan taps into that craze. Guests at HomeSpa parties will learn how to make bath salts, personalized perfumes, body spritzers and more using essential oils, while you make a nice income from Nature’s Sunshine. href=””> Home Spa Party


If you’ve been a natural health nut, you have a lot of information others need to have. Earn an income selling over 600 natural health products, skin care, water filters, beverages, essential oils, and more. Earn trips and car allowance. Websites are also available for $15.95/month. href=””> Nature’s Sunshine


If you have pets, they’ll love Flint River and you can make an income providing good pet foods and other pet products to friends, neighbors and your family. Pets keep eating, so customers keep buying. If you love animals, this is a very rewarding home-based business. With only 100 volume a month you can earn 19% on all sales. href=””> Flint River Ranch


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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