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Frugal Living Tips, Issue #017
July 01, 2010

Welcome to July's Frugal Living Tips newsletter.

It seems to me that as each month goes by we have to tie our belts tighter and tighter lately. It looks like this will be the case for quite some time to come, so being frugal has become even more important and necessary for most of us.

i hope this months frugal living newsletter will give you some more ideas on how to save money and lead a simpler life.

Please come by and visit us at Frugal Living Tips Soon and don't forget if you have a money saving tip or idea do drop us a line and pass on your knowledge.

 

Till next month

Best Wishes Kate

 

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CONTENTS

1. Recipe - Spicy Vegetable Flan

2. Eco-tip: Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

3. Tip of The Month - Managing bee or wasp sting pain

Join In Our Frugal Forum

4. Coupons. - Money Off Coupons

5 Article - Shoe String Travel

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1. Recipe - Tasty Spicy Vegetable Flan

vegetable flan picture byWordRidden flickr.com

I am a lazy cook but like my food to be full of flavor and also not cost the earth. I came up with this very simple and frugal recipe because I like flans but hate the cost of them in the shops plus I find them to be rather bland.

Buy savoury pastry flan case 59p as i write
1 courgette, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
large tin of chopped tomatoes
Paprika to taste
Grated cheese

Cook the all the ingredients together for about 15 minutes
Use a sieve spoon to spoon out into the pastry case
Cover with grated cheese and put in the oven 150c for another 15 minutes

Serve with potatoes and peas or salad

I save half the flan for lunch the next day. This gives me and my partner two meals each. It is so easy and cheap.

More Frugal recipes

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2. Eco-tip: Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (can be purchased online at amazon.com and a number of online soap making suppliers)
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
essential oil if desired for fragrance

Grate the soap and add to a saucepan with the water. Stir continually over med-low heat until soap is completely dissolved.

Fill a clean 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water and add the soap, soda, and Borax. Stir until all the powder has dissolved. Then fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water.

Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.

The next day you should have a mixture that looks a lot like egg drop soup. Then you can add 5-7 drops of essential oil per gallon of soap and stir well.

Take a clean, used laundry soap container and fill it 2/3 full with your soap mixture. Be sure to always stir your soap before adding it to your dispensing container. Then fill the container the rest of the way with water. Shake the container before each use as soap will separate.

Top load machines use about 1 cup per load.
Front load machines use 1/2-3/4 cup per load depending on the size of the machine. My machine holds about three large top loads full of clothes so I use a little more than a cup per load. Most front loaders are not that large, however. This detergent is very low sudsing so I have had no problem using it in place of HE detergent and our clothes have come out just as clean and we save approximately $40.00 per month on laundry soap since the entire batch costs less than $3.00 to make and lasts for months.

More Frugal Laundry Tips

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3. Tip Of the Month - Stings

Site Build It!

Summer is here and with it comes the little stingy insects too. Not to worry here is some handy tips to help sooth the pain of a wasp or bee sting.

Apply either a:

  • cold compress,
  • bag of ice
  • or surgical spirit

to the sting to help reduce swelling and elevate the pain.

Calamine lotion is also good to ease the irritation.

If the sting is still in your flesh try to remove it by gently scraping at it with the side of a credit card or the dull edge of a knife. Do not use tweezers as this may result in some of the sting being left deep inside your skin.

More Frugal Tips

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Don't forget to join in our frugal forum. ask questions and help answer those of others.

FRUGAL FORUM

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4. Free Downloadable Coupons

These are just some of the coupons you can download for free this month. Click on the image to see the full range available. Please use Internet explorer to view coupons.

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5.

Shoe String Travel
by Neil Cogbill

article from Dollar Stretcher
Site Build It! 

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." Travels With a Donkey, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1878. Stevenson (1850-1894), the Scottish adventurer and writer, may have suffered from wanderlust, but along the way, he saw and wrote about some pretty exciting things.

In the spirit of Stevenson and legions of other wanderers, Alan Barney and I have been making day and weekend trips throughout the Chicago region (150-200 miles) to a variety of interesting and enjoyable destinations for the past three years. Avoiding raging rivers, malarial swamps and venomous snakes (21st century TSA personnel too), we have had a blast on a shoe string. Prior to starting our journeys, we had traveled far and wide without giving much thought to the practical possibilities in our own backyards.

Like it or not, the United States is largely an urban-suburban society with diversions galore (the Chicago region being no exception), but in between its population centers, vast stretches of little known or forgotten landscape begs to be explored at modest cost in time and expense. Too often, Americans armed with credit cards take off from A, B or C and land in X, Y and Z without knowing or thinking about what lies below, only to confront a giant credit card balance later. Undeniably national and international vacation destinations are fun, but trying economic times (or not), there are places to go and things to see without breaking the bank. Alan and I have made a virtue of doing so on a shoe string.

A budget conscience starting line is not unique. All urban-suburban U.S. areas offer a multitude of inexpensive travel opportunities. East and West, North and South, America is bursting with under appreciated and under utilized frugal destinations that celebrate the American experience and are not hard to find or get to. From community, county and state historical societies bulging with artifacts of local interest to historic house museums with period furnishings and art work, a great deal can be seen and learned while staying close to home. For those of us on a reduced budget, medium size art, history and science museums offer a respite from daily concerns at a reasonable price or oft-times free. Whether an automobile or railroad museum, a botanic garden or arboretum, a state park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps with bike trails and camping or an historic farm, frugal day trips can be exciting. If art, science and history are not a family's cup of tea, nature holds something for everyone. A person and his or her family do not have to be botanists to derive pleasure and peace of mind from nature. Nature is non-judgmental!


 

Nurtured on television and flagrant commercialism, kids will automatically protest not going to Disneyland, Disney World or NASA Space Camp, but in adversity lessons can be learned and new values established, providing there is parental backbone and honest dialogue. No parent enjoys the consequences of the "no" word, but there is some consolation in knowing that not many generations ago during the Great Depression "no" was often heard and nobody had to be committed to an asylum.

In the Chicago region, Alan and I have discovered an odd-ball and half abandoned community (Bishop Hill, Illinois) founded by misguided religious adherents as well as a town (Dwight, Illinois) whose fortunes were tied to curing alcoholism. We have toured a famous theater couple's summer residence (Ten Chimneys in Genensee Depot, Wisconsin) that defies gravity as well as numerous other funny oddities, all without ruinous debt.

Using road maps, a plethora of available Internet information and a determination to see and save, almost everyone can find rewarding and exciting places to go not too far from home. Because conventional headings such as "travel" and "weekend" or "getaway" often produce advertisements for the type of places a frugal traveler is trying to avoid, searching via the Internet can be frustrating. The use of "historic" usually produces more finite results. Not surprisingly, asking friends and colleagues can produce results too. Guide books to everywhere exist in abundance, but a little known series of travel guides published in the late 1930's by the Works Progress Administration has been reprinted in recent years. Much of the information is dated, but still relevant in starting a search for unusual places to see and experience. They are fascinating to read without going anywhere, too!

Rarely have Alan and I spent much money while exploring. Day trips are the least expensive, but weekend escapes can be frugal adventures if "touristy" destinations are avoided. In hard times, there is an urge to hunker down, but getting away is vital and part of the fun is the challenge of discovering unusual places and things on a budget. In touring our Chicago region, we have enjoyed ourselves immensely and learned a lot we never knew before. We have had so much fun that we started a website called www.getaway-chicago.com where we share with other adventurers our discoveries.

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