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The Frugal Life News
September 11, 2004 Edition

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A Note From Randal
Hello Everyone,

Hope all of you are doing well despite the hurrican season we seem to be experiencing. Our prayers go out to all of you that have been affected or may soon be.

Thanks to all of you who use and participate in the forum. Sharing the ideas collectively helps us all to have access to some great frugal tips and ideas.

We appreciate your continued sharing of all of our sites and ezines with your family and friends.

Until next time,


Frugal Finances –

What Do China’s Workers Know that U.S. Workers Don’t?

It must be a sign of the aging of the U.S. boomer generation. We’re worried about our future retirement lifestyle.

According to a recent survey of workers worldwide, almost 49% of U.S. workers say their standard of living in retirement will be WORSE than it is now. Even more disturbing, 24% don’t think they’ll have enough money to pay for basic expenses, like food, shelter, and clothes.

This is not a cause for worry. It’s a call to action!

But, not the traditional, tired, old action to ‘Save More.’ This has created a generation in which half of its members believe, after a lifetime of work, their standard of living will decline!

Clearly, ‘Save More,’ alone, is flawed advice.

If you have next to nothing to save — the personal U.S. savings rate was 1.4% in June 2004 — exhortations and admonitions to ‘Save More’ are insensitive at best, out of touch with reality at worst. And, trust me, you should treat financial advice from an institution that is out of touch with reality with caution.

As we’ve discussed in past articles, debt payoff creates Save-able money. Additionally, the faster you pay it off, the more money you save. This is the message politicians, economists, and financial planners should be shouting from their towers.

Instead we get ‘Save More,’ ‘Maximize your 401K,’ and ‘Invest in an IRA.’ Unfortunately, eliminating retirement lifestyle worry — using these investment plans — requires a lot more money than 1.4% of our income.

China is culturally averse to debt. This same study found that only 16% of China’s workers believe they will be worse off in retirement. They save 35-40% of their income, which, interestingly enough, is exactly what U.S. workers could save if they paid off their debts fast — and then ‘Saved More!’


Greg Moore is the author of the Wealth Building Course,
“DebtIntoWealth — Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom”.

To discover how to “Escape the Two Income Trap”, click here:

Free Lesson #1 – Debt Freedom Course

Pay off all of your debt in 5-7 years using the money you already make. 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!”
Free Lesson – Debt
Freedom Course

Frugal Home Communications –
Long Distance, Internet Service and Cellular Phone Service

Long Distance, Internet Access & Cellular Phone Options

3.9 Cent Long Distance With No Access Numbers to Dial
14.95 Internet Access
Shop the Plans for Cellular Phones
No hidden fees or charges!
Long Distance, Internet
Access, and Cellular Phone Options

Frugal Gardening

Frugal Weeding With Goats

Before college, Jim Guggenhime traveled and taught in East Africa, where he developed a fondness for goats. After graduating from the University of Colorado, he amassed a small herd.

He soon decided he wanted to turn the goats into his livelihood, but raising goats exclusively for meat was too difficult and too brutal. Recognizing goats’ other profitable asset, Guggenhime opened a grazing business called “Nip It in the Bud.”

His herd of approximately 200 now travels the region helping to keep the ecosystem in balance. Using goats to battle weeds is gaining popularity in the West, where noxious and invasive plant species are pervasive and poor management has left a lot of land in bad shape.

A company in California, “Goats R Us,” has been using goats to keep weeds in check since 1995. In the inland West, the grand dame of goat-herding is Lani Malmberg, whose herd of 1,200 has no home base but goes from one job to the next, migrating from Colorado to Wyoming to Idaho and beyond. Malmberg, who holds a master’s degree in weed science, helped Guggenhime start his company and sold him some of her goats.

“There’s a lot of awareness now of what chemicals do to the environment,” says Malmberg, who believes we are on the cusp of an “age of environmentalism.” “Plus, they’ve been using chemicals against weeds for 45 years, so there shouldn’t be a weed on this planet. Obviously it’s not working and they’re looking for something else, a logical way to slowly heal the land.”

Read the whole story here:

Editor’s Note:
When we lived in Alabama we lived rural and on a road back to our place there was some wooded land that was covered with kudzu. If you live down south you know that this vine can cover a house just about overnight and will kill trees.

One day on the way home, we saw a herd of goats in the area. They had recently fenced it in and now we knew why. The goats were doing what they love to do best: EAT and the owners were surely smiling as they were able to see the trees again.

If you’ve got an area of land that needs some weed or invasive plant control, welcome in a herd of goats to do the job for you. Surely you can find something local online or by asking around at Farmer’s Markets.

Frugal How-To –

How To Make A Grilled Cheese With an Iron

“Grilled” Cheese for Travel

If you’re going to be arriving at a hotel and don’t want to spend the bucks to eat out, but want something “hot” — plan ahead for grilled cheese sandwiches. Prepare your sandwich with bread buttered on the outside and as much cheese as you want inside. Wrap it in foil. When you arrive at your hotel, pull out the ironing board and heat up the iron. Once it’s hot, put the iron on top of the wrapped sandwich for a few minutes, then turn it over and do the other side.

From: Budget Travel, September 2004

Frugal Decorating

Make Your Own Home And Beauty Products
Bath, Beauty, Perfumes, Cleaning and Air Freshner/Deodorizer

Essential oil kits allow you to make your own safe non-chemical home and beauty products. You’ll save a lot and feel better about making your home less toxic for yourself, children and pets. The Starter Pack has a Recipe Guide with tons of ideas.
Make Your Own Home
and Beauty Products

Frugal Eye Care

Ways to Save on Eyeglasses and Eye Care Costs
by Dr. Charlotte Gorman*

1. After you get your written prescription for eyeglasses, shop around for the best price for filling the prescription. Call six to eight different opticians and optometrists for prices. Also, watch the newspaper for specials at various optical shops. There could be a wide spread in prices from place to place. Make sure the place you choose has a good reputation–ask friends, etc.

2. If you need eyeglasses only for reading and/or close-up work, consider purchasing inexpensive magnification eyeglasses available at various stores, such as K-Mart, Dollar General, and Wal-Mart. Simply go to the stores and try on glasses until you find a pair that gives you the needed magnification. The prices range from approximately $5.00 to $15 a pair. Some stores stock these eyeglasses in very stylish frames. My husband and I have several pairs of such eyeglasses.

3. When you are not wearing your eyeglasses, always keep them in a protective case to minimize scratching the lenses and breaking the frames. If you keep them in good shape, you could delay buying new ones until you need a different prescription.

4. Consider some do-it-yourself eye testing, and you possibly can save yourself the costs of some office visits. I secured a free “Adult Home Eye Screening” kit developed by the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Blindness and Preservation of Hearing. In addition to testing visual acuity, the kit also contains a test for early indication of macular degeneration and a list of questions to determine if a person is at risk of developing glaucoma. The tests in the kit are not meant, however, to take the place of thorough professional eye examinations. They are only meant to provide you with a clue to the health of your eyes. Self-testing could alert you to possible problems between regular professional exams.

5. If you know of families whose children need eyeglasses but cannot afford them, call your local Lions Club and make these needs known. Many Lions Clubs provide eye exams and eyeglasses free of charge to needy children. It is one of the Lions Club’s most important community services.

*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 ourself.
The Frugal Mind

Deodorize While You Kill Bacteria and Viruses

Essential oils will make your home smell wonderful without the dangerous air freshner chemicals that have been in the news. The big bonus is that you also get the anti-microbial properties of essential plant oils so you can kill germs throughout your home without bleach and toxic cleaning products.

The AromaBall is a handy plug-in appliance with a ceramic plate that holds a small pad on which you add essential oils. Easy-to-use as a night light.

Get more info and/or purchase here:
AromaBall for
Deodorizer and Anti-Microbial Home Defense

Frugal Pets

Herbal Heartworm Program and Prevention

Robin Sockness works with pet owners with an individualized program and has currently worked with over 300 dogs. Herbs are safer and less expensive so it’s a win-win situation for all. Prevention programs are available also. Read more about it here:
Herbal Heartworm
Program & Prevention

Free Information, Free Ecards, and Pet Foods Too!

Healthy Pet Corner provides lots of information and links for birds, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
Healthy Pet Corner – Your Pet

Frugal Tips From Our Subscribers –

Frugal Tip Submitted by Deborah Gilstrap:

We have recently had an issue with ants and spiders in our house. Over a year ago we fired our pest control company because it was so expensive. My husbands reaction to the problem was to call an exterminator. I thought about it and called a company which sells the chemicals to the exterminators (plus I know the owners) so I visited their shop and left with everything that I need to do my own exterminating. Plus I have enough supplies to last me a year and I got it all for about the cost of one exterminator visit. Our Comments:

Thanks for your comments, Deborah! There are also holistic services these days which makes it safe for the people in the houses since so much research is now being published about the ill effects of these chemicals and the stats on leukemia, etc. on people who spray them. I do hope you’re taking the necessary precautions.

Here’s a site that gives you a directory of several safer approaches:

What’s Going On In The Forum

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:

Question Needing an Answer At The Forum

Cleaning Forum
1. I would like to know if it is actually helpful to clean furnace vents, as far as dust is concerned.. Also, do vents ever need to be replaced? Our house was built in 1947. Thanks! – Mary S in MN

Home Based Business Ideas

Home Spa Party Plan – Make Bath and Body Products

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.
Home Spa Party

Flint River Ranch – Oven Baked Pet Foods

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. Websites are not yet available.
Flint River Ranch

Nature’s Sunshine Products – Herbs and Supplements

If you’ve been a natural health nut, you have a lot of information to share. Earn an income selling over 500 natural health products, beverages, essential oils, skin care systems, water filters, and more. Websites are also available for $15.95/month (plus an initial $19.95 set-up fee).
Nature’s Sunshine

Long Distance, Internet Access & Cellular Phone Options

3.9 Cent Long Distance With No Access Numbers to Dial
14.95 Internet Access
Shop the Plans for Cellular Phones
No hidden fees or charges!
Long Distance, Internet
Access, and Cellular Phone Options

Life’s Abundance Foods and Supplements

Life’s Abundance products by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse products, they have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for pets and children. Websites available for $10.95/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee).
Healthy Pet

Legal Disclaimer
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.