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Save your plants with an old pantyhouse and a plastic bottle

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 2:41AM

Going away and afraid that your plants will dry up, particularly now that you've become a container gardener? Or maybe you're just too forgetful to keep them watered.

Michael Nolan's Frugal Mania presents the cheap way to make your own self-watering device.

It doesn't get much cheaper than this. All you need is a plastic water or soft-drink bottle and a piece of old pantyhose.


Find out how to maximize your savings.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 2:37AM

This is something that retailers won't want to hear, but January is a particularly good time to shop at thrift stores, The Thrifty Chicks advise. Thrift store shelves and racks are full of end-of-year charitable contributions of things and Christmas gifts the recipients didn't like.

Before you go, get over the silly notion that "if it's not new, it's EWW." Once there, follow the shopping tips from The Thrifty Chicks, a site dedicated to thrift store shopping. "Our tips will turn a novice into a master," thrifty chick "Ms. Shopping Golightly" says.


Dress well and don't discuss religion or politics.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 2:32AM

It goes without saying that you shouldn't chew gum, drop bad-word bombs or wear your gym clothes when you're at a job interview.

Or does it? Based on the experience of "Gibble" and that of his readers, job candidates sometimes violate these basic rules and a bunch of others. As a guide for job applicants, Gibble offers "10 things not to do during an interview" at Gather Little by Little.

Gibble, who interviews a lot of candidates in his job as an IT manager, said those 10 violations "pretty much make me cut the interview short and walk out."


Subjecting your friends to advertising? No thanks.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 2:28AM

It's undeniable that large amounts of money can be saved by using cloth rather than disposable diapers. But Madison's husband nixed the idea for their two kids in diapers. He's the one who does the laundry in their house.

In a post at My Dollar Plan, Madison lists that and other frugalities she won't embrace and explains why she prefers the more expensive alternatives. They include brown-bagging lunch and that "annoying" Brring.


If you're struggling to care for a pet, help is available.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 2:20AM

This post comes from Lisa Wade McCormick at partner blog

Leanne Potts can't shake the painful image.

A distressed pet owner told Potts she'd lost her home and business and could no longer afford to take care of her beloved dog. The Chattanooga woman then asked Potts' organization to take her 8-year-old basset hound.

The story is one her animal-rescue group in Tennessee is encountering often during these tough economic times.


It's not hard to beat fast food prices (and the food tastes better, too).

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 2:06AM

This post comes from partner blog The Simple Dollar.

This is a question I had from a reader (we’ll get to the cheeseburger in a minute):

"My question is about budgeting for food. I’ll be starting my first real job soon so I’m setting up a list of monthly expenses. I haven’t yet lived on my own, so I don’t have a good basis for estimating monthly food expenses. Could you shed some light on the matter?"

My rule of thumb is this: For one month, save the receipts for every food item that you buy, whether it’s at the grocery store, eating out, or anywhere else. Then add 10 percent to that. That should be your food budget for a month.


Many of these tactics prey on our desire to do good.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 1:46AM

This post comes from Linsey Knerl at partner blog Wise Bread.

The cost of food isn't going down, and for some, it's making the task of feeding a family more painful than ever. It doesn't help that ad agencies and PR companies are getting better at creating snazzy gimmicks to get you to buy.

Instead of providing you with better food at larger quantities, some of them are selling slicker packaging and empty promises. Here's a look at some of the biggest marketing myths designed to keep you spending.


Blogger recounts finding wallet with $1,100.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 1:26AM
This post comes from partner blog Five Cent Nickel.

I recently asked readers how they would handle finding a large sum of money in a wallet with no ID. My wife and I ran into this situation just over 10 years ago.

We were living on a shoestring and about to have a baby. In fact, my wife's due date had passed, and we were out walking to get things moving. We ran across a wallet containing 11 $100 bills and nothing else. No identification, no credit cards, nothing.

I must admit it was tempting, given our situation, to pocket the money, but $1,100 is a lot of money, and walking off with it would have been not only wrong, but also possibly devastating to the person who lost it.



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