Sunday, April 26, 2009
Save over 75% on your groceries!
Get Free items when you shop!
Come to our workshop and learn new resources for getting the
most out of coupons.
Bring a friend and register for a door prize.
Where: Faith United Methodist Church
1120 Dry Gap Pike, Knoxville Tn.
When: Saturday, May 2, 2009
10:00am to 12:00pm
Suggested Admission: Canned goods donation to
Faith’s Food Pantry
Presented by Gabrielle Blake, featured in the Knoxville
News-Sentinel for her couponing expertise.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
At first I was appalled by their extreme measures. Something scratched at my sketchy knowledge of Scripture, so I Googled around a bit and found what I was looking for: Matthew 6, which starts: "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." HA! I contrasted these people with my own state of living. I strive to achieve a look of normalcy. I don't practice cheapness to the point where, if you saw me on the street or came into my home, you could see nothing that overtly pronounces "CHEAP." I do not want to be a walking billboard for frugality.
So after I read the article, I am sitting on this point of view, feeling smug, when I read further into Matthew Chapter 7:
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."
After I realized how much I was judging those featured in the article, I decided to re-read it. Glad I did. My judging had kept me from understanding the lessons to be learned from these people's lifestyles. I will NEVER live like these people, but just because I won't doesn't mean I couldn't learn something from them. I got a lot more our of the article reading it a second time. Lots of tips in there! Hope you check it out.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Woodworker crafts furniture to die for
Waterville man offers tips on home funerals
During a session of Saturday’s Rural Living Workshop at Unity College, the Waterville woodworker cleared a little space at the front of the classroom and quickly assembled two of his handmade coffins. He also showed photographs of his more multipurpose models, which evidently can serve a useful life long before reverting to the traditional business of coffins. Attendees scribbled notes and asked him questions, their imaginations clearly tickled by the coffins.“Why isn’t every home furnished like this?” one attendee called out.
For Lakin, the customized coffins’ best use is that they spark conversations about something that often can make people feel uncomfortable — home funerals. “When my father died, I wanted to be part of whatever happened next but I didn’t know how,” he said. “What I would do now is that we would have built the box, and he would have been kept at home. I don’t think people know this is possible. I’m providing the possibility that they’ll have a more meaningful experience.”
Lakin and two like-minded colleagues have created a resource guide to do-it-yourself funerals, called “Last Things,” and they are working hard to educate Mainers about home funerals.
They are part of a trend that’s on the rise for reasons as diverse as economizing, environmentalism and an increased desire to honor loved ones at home, he said. The last time having home funerals was a widespread custom was during the 1950s, but that is changing fast.
“Home funerals right now are where home childbirth was 30 years ago,” Lakin said. “I’m not trying to put funeral directors out of business, but I just want people to know there is an alternative.”
Lakin shared some surprising facts about the funeral and cremation industries, including: ä One-sixth of the mercury pollution in the air comes from cremation.
ä What’s left after cremation is actually bone meal. People have opted to blast this into space, turn it into an artificial coral reef or a diamond.
ä Maine is home to two green cemeteries, the Cedar Brook Burial Ground in Limington and the Rainbow’s End in Orrington.
Perhaps the most surprising fact he shares is also the most basic.
“Home funerals are perfectly legal,” Lakin said. “There’s no part of the process you can’t do yourself.” He emphasized that people have the right to choose the funeral goods and services that they want, and that a funeral home can’t refuse or charge a fee to handle a casket bought elsewhere.
For Susan Lachlan of Waldo, Lakin’s presentation wasn’t just handy information to file away for an undetermined future. Lachlan’s mother is dying, she said, and has made it clear that she wants no part of a funeral home funeral.
“With her death being imminent, this gave me more of an idea for the possibilities,” Lachlan said. Lakin reminisced for a moment about the best part of his own father’s funeral — which happened after the burial.
“People sat around our backyard all afternoon, laughing, crying, telling me stories I’d never heard,” he said. “What a gift that was.”
Resource guide: Web site for Last Things: www.lastthings.net; Federal Trade Commission's "Funerals: A Consumer’s Guide:" http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro19.shtm
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I declared the computer dangerous to my husband and shut it down. He called one of those wonderful people, who have the gift of understanding all this stuff, who came, cleaned our system out and added some more protection software; and we were back and running within 24 hours after the crash. Our "computer guy" is a kind soul, and after seeing what kind of junk he had to clean out ("save here . . save there!"), I think he took pity on me and didn't charge us for the whole time he was here. But the final charge was, nonetheless, a major step back in my effort to penny-pinch. I felt some shame and last evening I declared to myself that I would never look at a money-saving website again.
In my pursuit of finding great coupons, I had gone too far. I should have known. Offers would pop up in my e-mail list, and I would sign up to get a free box of cereal, etc., but there were always page after page of having to enter a few more responses. Red Flag!!
The morning brought on a sense of renewal, but I was almost afraid to get back on the computer, like getting back on the horse after being thrown. Should I trust no one, including all those mommy-blogs about saving money? Of course not. Maybe they have better filters than I do. No, I know what I did wrong. I'll be more careful and am thankful for the extra software protection. It is reinforcement, though, that there truly is no such thing as a free lunch. Some people would call it "stupid tax."
Saturday, April 11, 2009
At the time we had to replace the washer, we had X amount of credit at Home Depot, which set our budget for a washing machine. That meant we bought the conventional top-loader type; which I think I would have bought anyway, because 1) I like using it to soak stained clothes: I can stop it after it has filled up, which you certainly can't do with a front loader, and 2) It doesn't sound like a jet airplane landing in the condo when it is in its final spin stage.
Recently I pulled up a table of wattage use, and I noticed that the clothes dryer was at the top of the appliance consumption list. With just the two of us in the house, all of our loads are half washer capacity, with the exception of the cotton knits and towels. I calculated that by eliminating two dryer loads of cotton knits and towels a week, I could save a whopping $14 a year. $14 is $14. And then I got to thinking an additional plus: eliminating all that lint, which made me think that my clothes and towels will probably hold up longer.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I moved into a four-year bachelor program in the College of Business called Office Administration. The next two years were pure business courses which included the secretarial core, but it also forced me to other business basics including economics.
I wasn't as good in economics as I was in sociology or zoology, but I enjoyed it. I feel fortunate to have been lectured at by the great Dr. Tony Spiva via recorded tv about the basics of economics, along with a few hundred other undergrads jammed into lecture halls across campus. He taught me a lot; but there was one important truth that I process every day: THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH or TANSTAAFL.
There are costs to saving money. Costs in time planning, reading other frugal people's blogs, clipping coupons, mapping out shopping trips, making those trips, mailing in rebates. It's all about making the commitment and maintaining the discipline. But as we all know, once a discipline becomes a habit, it's something to which one looks forward.
Gotta go--time for my exercise class!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
"Green stamps were in the North also. It was interesting to see that you said to ask someone from the south. Yup, us Michiganders licked them stamps and stuck them in the books too. As a matter of fact, that was one of my jobs as a child. The other one was ironing my dad's handkerchiefs on my little ironing board with my little iron that really worked."
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I was chatting with a Walgreens manager about this (fun fact: there are 36 Walgreens in Knox County. Yes, I thought the count would have been much higher, too.), and I made some comment about "well I got used to Green Stamps going away and I can get used to this."
Blank stare from the mgr. Not surprised. He looks just over 30. Green Stamps probably went away in the early 60's. But it started me thinking: what are the gimmicks that marketers use to get us loyal? Green Stamps in the 50's? I think I am right in remembering that my aunt bought her entire everyday tableware through Jewel Tea. Jewel Tea had one of those services where a man drove a truck by every week and delivered the goods you ordered the week before. There would be some dry goods as well as foodstuff. And my aunt would periodically order a new plate, bowl or cup at a "special rate." Did that desire to complete that set of dishes make my aunt a more loyal Jewel Tea customer? You betcha!
What's out there today? Banks have long ago given up on giving toasters for newly opened accounts. Do car dealers throw in a year's worth of gas to make the sale? It seems that the edgier sales gimmicks of today involve downloading something.
Have we become more sophisticated where we won't be swayed by dishes? maybe
P.S. If you don't know what Green Stamps were, ask someone over 60 who grew up in the South. I have asked my friends who moved here just 25 years ago, and they hadn't heard of Green Stamps, either. I'm figuring it was a southern thing. But I could be wrong.