Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guest Post: Do It Yourself to Save Money

by Raine Parker

I do what I can to save money, and one of the best ways I've come up with is to cut out paying for services I can do myself. I might not be able to generate my own electricity or cable programming, but there are a lot of monthly expenses I can save by doing it myself.

Take a haircut, for instance. Even at a discount-friendly chain store, a haircut can be $20 or more with shampoo and a tip. Why pay it? I've started cutting my own hair, and aside from a few minor mistakes at the very beginning, it's been a fun process. It's a frugal, smart way to eliminate a regular cost.

Another great idea is gardening, since you'll be able to raise some fruits and vegetables on your own and not have to pay the grocer's prices for them. Check with your local plant shop or garden center to see what kind of vegetables grow best in your location.

I've also boned up on minor repair procedures for things like leaky faucets or faulty fuses. Paying a plumber or electrician to come out and fix a problem can be costly, and there are many things that you can fix on your own with some basic tools and rudimentary knowledge. has an array of helpful articles to guide you through such repairs.

A lot of consumers want to save money but aren't sure how to start doing it. Eliminating certain expenditures by performing the services yourself is a great way to start, and you'll see the savings add up right away.

This guest post is contributed by Raine Parker, who writes on the topics of online accounting degree. She welcomes your comments at

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Work at home and/or make money without a job

It's historically proven that new jobs and industries are created during an economic lull, as in this recession. People become more creative in finding ways to make money and in creating jobs for themselves. All is not lost because an employer doesn't hand you a regular check.

After doing quite a bit of research, I wrote two articles: one about finding valid work at home jobs and the other about making money without a job.

I have done some of the work in each article and I know they work. Not everything will work for everyone, of course, but if you're out of work, or need a part time or second job, take a look and see what you can come up with.

Top 10 Valid Work at Home Jobs

How to Make Money Without a Job

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Frugalizing the government

I don't often get into politics. Even less often do I get into polarizing comments about politics, but frugal is my game and it irritates me - no, it infuriates me - to see blind, uncaring waste in our government.

Oh, I could rant about "pork" in bills, and I could scream about wasteful practices in government projects, but why not tackle something we might even have a chance (?) of changing?

Why not demand a few things from our government "servants"?

How about....

Cut the pension of every one who has ever been a senator, representative or president, to 20% of what their income was.

Say NO to career politicians by demanding that no one serve more than two terms. No more life long Senators or Representatives.

Put a cap on what candidates for any office can spend on campaigning. Let's say a half million dollars. That would create a level playing field and no one would win just because they had more or could raise more money than anyone else. Good fund raisers do not necessarily make good leaders.

Just those three things could change the face of politics and the overall efficiency of the government in the US but of course they're just the tip of the iceberg.

Can you imagine what a nation we'd live in if we would really frugalize the government??

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is your indoor air polluted?

I can answer that. Yes, it is.

All indoor air is polluted to a certain degree, and if you're on the tail end of winter when the house has been closed up for heating purposes for a few months, it's very polluted right now.

It still may be too cold to open the windows and doors and let the house air out, which is the best and most frugal way to clean the air, but there is another way to clean it up and make your home fresh again. No, you don't need to use an electric air cleaner that contributes its own pollution and costs you to operate.

Check out the article "A Simple Solution to Indoor Pollution" and you'll see what I mean.

This solution will outlast any air cleaner and it's a lot more pleasant to look at.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Survival seeds

You may have noticed the "Hometown Seeds" link on the side bar. The story goes that they emailed me and asked me to put put up the link. I went to their site and looked around. They have a good variety of seeds at a good price, and besides that, I like their attitude, so I put up the link.

A couple of days ago, Saturday to be exact, I received a package of "Survival Seeds" from them, with a very nice hand written note thanking me for linking to their site.

The seeds were totally enclosed in a mylar looking package, so of course, I had to open it. We're not even close to planting time for even the early crops here... but I opened it anyway. Oh, my.

It felt like Christmas.

An exciting (gardeners, you know what I mean!) pile of seed packages slid out onto the table. Beans and radishes, corn and tomatoes, squash and lettuce and more. And more. There are enough to plant well over half an acre!

If I had paid for the package (which I did not, by way of disclaimer), I would have been very pleased. (Since I didn't pay for it, I was even more pleased, but that's the frugal in me!)

These survival packets, according to the label, will keep 5 years in a cool place. No hybrids so you can save seeds from the plants and expect perfect results the year after, and no GMO's so you can be sure you're eating healthy, real food.

So I'm happy today. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

People helping people

With so many people out of work or having to make do with part time or low paying jobs, there are a lot of needs out there.

I was reminded of the site Modest Needs and took a closer look than I had before.

Part of living frugally is being able to help others who need it. Sometimes all it takes is a few dollars tossed into the pile along with a few others' dollars and that's how this site works. You can give a one time donation or set it up to give a donation each month, then you can choose where the money is used.

People who need help apply for it and are screened and checked out by Modest Needs, then their pleas are listed on the site and you can choose which one to help. If you can't decide, your "points" (dollars) go into a fund and the organization uses it wherever it's needed.

The organization is legitimate and your donations are tax deductible.

If you have an extra $5 or $10 a month or just once in awhile, consider donating to them. It's a lot more personal and you'll feel better than just writing a check to a charity and hoping that someone, somewhere, will get the help they need from it.