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Frugal Living Tips, Issue #004
March 01, 2009

Welcome to March's Frugal Living Tips newsletter.

I can feel spring just around the corner, the crocus's are up and the birds are starting to sing. I can't wait.

Not just because of the better weather but also I might have my house back by then. Major building works have taken over my home and I feel like I am camping out. Luckily my frugal lifestyle has helped me cope as I live quite simply anyway, so I am very adaptable.

The website has kept me busy (and not worrying) and you will find lots of great new content and frugal tips. Thanks to all those who have submitted their own tips and recipes etc., they really do help make the site a truly friendly frugal community.

Enjoy this newsletter and I hope you will come and visit us soon at Frugal-Living-Tips.Com

Best Wishes Kate



1. What's New On Frugal Living Tips

2. Tip of The Month - Cuticle Cream

3. Competition - Recipe Competition

4. Coupons. - Money Off Coupons

5 Your Money - Spring Planting The Frugal Way


1. What's New On Frugal Living

Confessions of a Butcher

Sounds saucy doesn't it? Well be assured it is nothing of the sort, in fact it is all about some rather useful tips for the meat eaters amongst us.

Frugal shopping tips can sometimes be hard to come by, but every now and again I am approached by someone who can really save you money by letting you in on some of the secrets of their profession within the industry.

John Smith, a butcher for many years, is one of those people. He has written a book which is rather unique and could save you from either the pitfalls of buying low quality cheap meat or spending too much on quality cuts.

Read Johns Introduction to his book HERE.

Judi Harris from Love To Sew

Let me introduce you to Judi Harris from Her website and teaching school are one of the best I have found on the Internet. She has many years of experience and is bringing home sewing back into fashion by showing us all that we can all do it and just how much fun it can be too.

I interviewed Judi about her love of sewing and how she is providing some great advice for those wanting to get into sewing themselves. Please see Judi's Interview HERE



Don't forget about our cash back sites info page. Visit the cashback page here and find out more about the best three cashback sites I have found and use myself.


Don't forget to come and join in with Frugal Talk our questions and answers page.


2. Tip Of the Month - Cuticle Cream

A cream to soften cuticles and which helps to prevent hangnails.

To make 15 treatments:

3 tablespoons melted wax

4fl oz/115ml mineral oil

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon glycerin

Slowly heat the wax with the mineral and coconut oils until blended. Stir in the glycerin, remove from heat and cool.

To use, apply directly to the cuticles with cotton wool, or soak fingertips in the cream for about 5 minutes.

Store in the fridge.



3. Competition - Your Recipes

olive oilEvery Month we hold a Best recipe of the month competition where you can win a variety of prizes. This Month the prize is a copy of the book Olive Oil, The Good Heart Protector. A great little book about all the many uses for olive oil from cooking, skin care and health.

It is amazing just how many different uses there are for this versatile little oil.

Simply Submit your recipe with any serving suggestions to us here and we choose a winner every month. All the recipes will feature on the website.

Click here to submit Your Recipe




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.


5. Your Money - Spring Planting Free e-book
by Mira Dessy Article from Dollar Stretcher

Spring is here! Well not really, but my seeds just arrived. Even though my actual planting date is several months away now is the time to get the garden started. By starting early I can get a jump on the growing season for those things that take a long time, like squash and tomatoes. I can also start an early crop of those plants that I would like to have a lot of for canning or freezing such as peas and beans.

Although beans grow quickly by planting them indoors I get three crops, one 2-3 weeks after I transfer them to the garden, one in the middle of the season (I plant those in the ground after the first frost free date) and another crop at the end of the growing season (planted 3-4 weeks after the second crop). In addition to ensuring that I have lots of extra beans for canning and freezing this method also allows me to use less space in my garden for these items.

There are a couple of ways to really save money when you start your garden early. First is to realize that you don't need to plant the entire packet of seeds. Many seeds, if stored properly, will continue to remain viable for up to 4 years. The best way to store them is to carefully reclose the package (or use an envelope if the package is too damaged to reuse) and then place them in a Rubbermaid-type container. In the bottom of this container you should have a thin layer of powdered milk covered by a piece of wax paper. The powdered milk acts as a desiccant, drawing moisture away from the seeds and the wax paper is a barrier between any excess moisture and the envelopes. I write the year I first used the seeds on the envelope. This box needs to be kept in a dry dark place after you have planted all of your seeds.

After three years I start testing my seeds for germination by placing 10 seeds in a damp paper towel. Keep the paper towel moist but not sopping and check for 7-10 days. However many begin to sprout is your germination rate. As far as I am concerned if I get at least half to germinate then I continue to use the seeds. If less than half sprout then I buy new seed.

Another thing that can be done is to use a paper pot maker. It is expensive, $18 from Gardener's Supply, but definitely worth it. Basically this little device creates a pot out of newspaper. It's a great way to recycle and the pots can be put directly into the ground so that you don't disturb the roots when you plant. The pots are fairly sturdy and last just about long enough to get them into the ground. This saves having to buy or scrounge plastic pots that break on a fairly regular basis. Also, because these paper pots are smaller it is easier to get a lot of them in front of the window sill. I usually place them in aluminum pans and then wash the pans for reuse after the plants have been moved outside. I also only plant 1-2 seeds per pot thereby avoiding the "thinning" factor of having to rip plants out of the ground and throw them away. If you are interested in learning more about how to economize with your seed "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew is an excellent source book.

One other way to save money by starting your plants indoors is to buy seed for perennials. This year I bought some lavender and some sage. These will be started indoors to allow them to grow under carefully cultivated conditions. By the time I get them outdoors they will be the same size as those I would have bought from the nursery. At the nursery they usually cost $1-2 each. A packet of sage seed cost me $1.40 and there are lots of seeds in the package. I will save some in case some of the plants don't make it. I usually start more than I need to accommodate failed germination, but also because then I can make nice little "gift" baskets to give to friends.


Mira G. Dessy is a computer consultant, educator and writer. Her other interests include gardening, canning and baking. She and her husband live in Vermont with their three children and a dog.





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