Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are You a Savvy Saver?

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” – we’ve all heard that phrase. And in these days of leaner paychecks and higher prices it’s suddenly become trendy to own less stuff. The new “in thing” is to have fewer pieces of furniture, fewer cars, fewer houses. Less is truly more.

Instead of buying that truck, save your money and pay cash for a fuel-efficient car. Or have money from your paycheck placed in a separate vacation account. Whatever you want whether money for college, a new house, a laptop, or increased dollars for retirement, now is the best time to begin reaching your goal.

How much interest does your money make at the local coffee shop or department store? Zip. Nadda. Zero.

Let’s say you want a new vehicle and you live close to a bus route. Consider buying a bus pass for additional savings. Car-pool with fellow employees at least twice a week. Walk or ride a bike to a local store. Bring your lunch to school or work. Use coupons to maximize your spending. Smoke fewer cigarettes. Small steps add up to big bucks over time.

Another benefit to more exercise and fewer cigarettes is you’ll be in better shape. A healthier you means fewer doctor’s visits and less cash outlaid for prescriptions. Maybe instead of buying a new car, you just might want to use your new found wealth to show off your trim and fit body on some warm beach.

What if you don’t live by mass transportation and you’ve cut back as much as you can and still are having trouble making ends meet? Consider a second job utilizing skills you already have. Maybe you’re an excellent vocalist. Talk to local religious groups or organizations about singing for weddings or special events. If you are good with animals, you could create flyers letting friends and neighbors know you’re available for pet sitting or walk dogs for people working two or three jobs. Do your neighbors love to decorate for the holidays but hate taking down the lights from their gutters and trees? Set up a business that focuses on seasonal help.

Too busy to start up a side business? There are still ways to reduce spending and save. Instead of buying wood chips and mulch around your plants use newspaper. That’s right. Spread out a ¼ inch deep section around veggies and flowers. Place rocks or a thin layer of soil on top of the paper. This method suppresses weeds, helps water retention and conditions the soil. Make your own window cleaner from vinegar and water – equal parts of each. Wipe the surface clean with newspaper for a streak-free finish. If you decide to clean out your garage or basement, sell your unwanted items on ebay, craigslist or take them to a consignment shop. More and more retail establishments offer money - usually 50 percent – to sell your gently used furniture, clothing, records, CD’s, jewelry or tools.

When you have a goal, anything is possible. Start saving today and you’ll reach your dream faster than ever.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall Planting

Recently, I made a raised garden bed out of southern yellow pine. I lined the box with landscape fabric and filled it with rich humus, manure, sphagnum peat moss and top soil then planted my fall crop. Not a huge garden in autumn, but nestled with cool weather plants. Plants like peas, arugula, radishes, lettuce, parsley and swiss chard. It's a nice mix that will carry into late November harvesting.

And lucky me - we had a lovely, light rain last night that lasted a couple hours. Perfect weather for starting a fall garden.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ryobi Pole Saw at Home Depot

What a deal! Home Depot has a 2-cycle, Ryobi pole saw for $49.07!!!! This brand new, in the box saw was $199.00. I know it is this price in metropolitan Detroit. Not certain if it's this price on line or in other areas of the country.