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The Frugal Life News – 12/01/03


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Published Twice Monthly by Randal Watkins
The Frugal Life
December 1, 2003

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Hello Everyone,

Sorry for the delay in getting this issue out to you. I have been making changes and provisions for one of our sites to go to a new hosting company and also we are bringing on a new shopping cart. This has consumed more time than we had planned and with the holidays the days have just seemed to come and go. However, we plan to switch over soon so most of the hard work will be behind us.

Please take advantage of the great offer Charlotte Gorman has offered us on The Frugal Mind. She and the publisher have offered The Frugal Life News readers a 50% off special deal on her frugal book. This deal also includes shipping charges too. More details are in the “Frugal Finances” section below. Charlotte has been a great contributor to The Frugal Life News over the years and I am sure The Frugal Mind will give you even more great ideas.

Hope your holidays are going well and are both relaxing and fun. We will have one more issue on 12/10/03 and then we will be skipping the issue for 12/26/03. As always, thanks for sharing and subscribing to The Frugal Life News.

Until next time,



by Dr. Charlotte Gorman*

Although major household appliances usually last for many years, the initial purchase can take a large amount of your money at one time if you pay cash. If you finance the purchase, you will have monthly payments (including interest) for an extended period of time. You will have monthly operating costs (utility bills) to pay also.

Below are some suggestions for keeping the costs of appliance purchases at the lowest possible level.

1. Ask yourself: “Do I really need the particular appliance I am thinking about buying?” “Do I really need a freezer, an automatic dishwasher, a clothes dryer, or a trash compactor?” “Could I use the money I don’t spend on the appliance for something I need more?” For example, if you are thinking about buying a freezer, consider such things as the initial cost of the freezer, the cost of electricity to operate the freezer, how full you realistically think you will keep it, how much you could save by purchasing items on sale if you had a freezer in which to store them, how much you could save on the cost of food by buying fresh fruits and vegetables and freezing them yourself, and how much you could save by buying in bulk if you had a freezer.

Don’t just assume that a home freezer will save you money on your food bill. Think about how much and what kind of use you will make of the freezer. Do some in-depth reading on freezers at your library before you rush out and buy one.

2. Sometimes replacing a particular appliance will be cheaper in the long run than having it repaired. Make the decision which will give you the greatest financial advantage.

3. Never be afraid or embarrassed to haggle for the best price possible on appliances. You may be surprised at the discount the dealer will be willing to give you.

For the rest of the article go here:
Ways To Save
On Purchasing Applicances


For a limited time Nottingham Books is offering copies of The Frugal Mind to subscribers of The Frugal Life Newsletter at a 50% discount or $10.00 per book. Nottingham Books will cover the costs of packaging and shipping. See for an order blank. Disregard the prices listed on the order blank and mark in $10.00 as the total price per book. Send check made out to Nottingham Books with order.

*Dr. Charlotte Gorman is an Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A & M University System. She is the author of The Frugal Mind, The Little Book of Living Frugal, and Speak for Yourself. ca******@di*****.net


Children’s wagons make great traveling miniature gardens – especially in the early spring – for lettuces and radishes. Pulling in and out of the garage for protection from cold nights.


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


By Annie B. Bond, author of “Better Basics for the Home”

Sparkling clean silver on the Christimas dinner table shimmers and dresses up any decoration. You can clean silver successfully using kitchen cupboard ingredients instead of products with synthetic chemicals. Using household basics may surprise you, but the techniques are easy, tried, and true! From here:


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


I’m new to this message board but wanted to give a little advice to someone looking for frugal wedding ideas.  One I used would be appropriate for petite brides.  I wanted a full-length dress, but at 4’11” (I wish!), everything in normal sizes overwhelmed me and was expensive to alter.  One sales woman suggested a “tea” length dress and found one that was supposed to be just below the knee in front and floor length in back.  On me, it was floor length in front with a small “train” in back.  It was perfect and much, much cheaper than anything else I had looked at.  Because I have small feet, I wore little girl dress shoes (size 3).  I carried a small bouquet of silk flowers–a large one would have overwhelmed me.  
I called several photographers until I found one in my home town 1 1/2 hours away who was willing to come that afternoon and still charge less than anyone local.  A few years before a student had made a photo album for me which I used instead of an overpriced album from the photo studio.
Our church offered printed programs at no extra charge.  Mom and I made the bird seed bags.  She also crocheted my garter, a basket for the seed bags, and several other objects.  My matron of honor chose her own outfit which she really could wear later (as I had  for her wedding).  Our reception was very simple; what I kept calling a “Baptist” reception–cake, punch (no alcohol allowed in the fellowship hall), mints, and nuts (all bought on sale at local stores).  A group of church ladies took care of the food details for a small donation.  I’ve also been to several weddings where friends and church members brought covered dishes for the reception.  

There are ways to pare down expenses.  You are just as married without all the extra money.  Besides, I’ve seen too many families spend a fortune on an elaborate wedding only to have the couple divorce just a few years later. If the family wants to spend money on a young couple, wouldn’t it be better spent on something they need like a house, furniture, appliances, etc.?


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:

Family Forum
1. My in-laws are extremely materialistic and I am constantly being tormented for my frugality. Does anyone else have this problem?

Gardening Forum
1. I was just wondering how the rest of you handle a fear of snakes that keeps you from getting started with a gardening job.I was raised in the country and of course as a kid we take alot more risks without a second thought.We were always playing in the woods and sticking our hands into berry bushes and honeysuckle vines even though the last thing we’d hear from our parents before taking off on another adventure was “always” “you’d better watch out for snakes” and “ya’ll be careful and watch for snakes”.We never really saw any but I don’t doubt they were there.Well we just recently bought a house with 4 acres and I am thrilled at the thought of the potential for gardens and flowers beds.But we have had several run ins with snakes already.We had one climbing up my bedroom window(outside after some baby birds),and several uncovered while raking leaves.So now I find myself putting off all the plans I had for my yard.I’m afraid I’m going to uncover them when I’m composting,or pulling back mulch in my flower beds,or raking.Our house is 50 yrs old and so I know it’s not as well sealed up as the more modern homes and we’ve had lizards get in so I know a baby snake could too.I want to get passed this and enjoy life in the country but I really don’t like snakes.I know some think they are pretty and wonderful creatures but they give me creeps.So how do all of you get past the possibility of having an encounter with one while gardening?Thanks

Holidays and Special Days
1. I’m looking for ideas for games at an office Christmas party.  This will be held in a restaurant.  All adult party.  Clean games, please  



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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