"There should be a tax on every man that wanted to get a government appointment, or be elected to office. In two years that tax alone would pay our national debt." --American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)
In Cheap We Trust!
More Shopping Hints to Save Money
Drink tap water. Almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody ever needs to drink water from Italy or France. Getting the recommended eight glasses a day from bottled water costs as much as $1,400 annually. If you don’t like the taste of your local water, buy a faucet filter or filtering pitcher.
Eat first. This tried-and-true tactic bears repeating. Going to the grocery store hungry is one reason we buy on impulse
Don’t buy toiletries at the grocery store. Make a separate list of toiletries and paper products for the discount stores, such as Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club, where they’ll cost 20% to 40% less.
Check all sources for coupons. Americans saved an estimated $30 billion with manufacturers’ coupons last year. Most of the 278 billion coupons redeemed came from Sunday papers. But it can really pay to check manufacturers’ Web sites, as well as specialty Internet coupon sites, such as DealCatcher (www.dealcatcher.com) and CoolSavings (www.coolsavings.com).
Also: Take advantage of double- and triple-coupon policies at local supermarkets
Save money by:
--Cut your brillo (scouring pads) in half. You seldom need the entire pad.
--Don’t run your dishwasher; few folks really need that appliance. The exception: run a load after large family get-togethers.
Some other ‘extreme’ tips on saving cash…
· Dump your car and use public transportation. An automobile is an expensive item to own and maintain – especially car insurance today. Thanks to government policies, public transportation isn’t always a viable option. If you must continue owning a car, drive it longer (find a good mechanic to keep you auto in good running condition); pay your auto insurance annually or twice a year to avoid ‘billing’ fees.
· Drop any phone company services that you don't need (call waiting, caller ID, three-way calling).
· Drop high speed and opt for dial up. There are several like Netzero that offer cheap dial up.
· Stop eating out; bag your own lunch
· Dump cable TV – most networks offer rehashed, trite crap anyhow.
· Go meatless and/or only buy items on sale for your dinners and be sure to garden in the summertime.
· Freeze your leftovers. Make your own TV dinners; use them in soups & stews
· Practice the art of indoor composting during cold winter months (see: http://journeytoforever.org/compost_indoor.html)
Send us your best money-saving ideas…even if they’re outlandish (skip the splitting your toilet paper into two sheets – old news). Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org (tips in subject line)….we’ll send you a PDF of 99 Painless Ways to Save Money.
Consumer Complaints…we offer links to the Attorney General’s Office for all 50 states at our Poor Man site. Here are other resources you might use…or use the RipOffReport site to air your grievances.
Go to the Consumer Help tab at the Poor Site to see updated links for getting consumer revenge. http://poormansurvival.com/ConsumerHelp.aspx
How to Jump-start a Car Like a Pro
From MOTHER EARTH NEWS, by Troy Griepentrog
If your car won’t start, you may want to jump-start it so you can drive it to a mechanic or recharge the battery. But before you attempt to jump-start a car, you need to determine if the battery is really the problem. If the headlights or other lights still work, the battery isn’t completely dead, and jump-starting may not help. Jump-starting the vehicle is also not the answer if the motor cranks, although the battery may be partially drained if the engine turns over sluggishly a few times.
Before you connect the jumper cables, get ready by following these steps:
1. Park a running vehicle near the car with the dead battery, but not so close that the two vehicles are touching.
2. Put both vehicles in park (or neutral for vehicles with manual transmissions), and be sure both parking brakes are on.
3. Turn off both vehicles and anything that would use electricity: fans, lights or audio equipment.
4. Remove any corrosion from the battery posts (the short metal rods coming out of the battery) or the bolts that attach wires to the battery. Special metal brushes are available for this, but you probably don’t carry one in your vehicle, so do your best to brush or scrape off the corrosion.
5. Check the dead battery for leaks or cracks. If the battery is damaged in any way, don’t try to jump-start the vehicle.
6. If the battery is not the sealed type, pry off the caps (or unscrew them) and make sure the battery has enough water in it. It’s rare to have to add water to modern batteries, but the water level should be up to the bottoms of the holes that the caps fit into. If it doesn’t have enough water in it, add distilled water. Do not try to jump-start the battery if the liquid in it is frozen or the water level is too low.
Car batteries contain acid, so you can get an acid burn if you touch the liquid inside the battery. It will also eat holes in clothing. Wear safety goggles and gloves.
Connecting the Jumper Cables
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should have information on jump-starting (or tell you not to jump-start it). If you can’t find the battery easily, the manual will tell you where to attach the jumper cable clamps.
Don’t allow the clamps to touch each other while you are connecting them to or disconnecting them from the batteries.
Batteries create hydrogen, which can build up and, if ignited, explode. (Do not smoke while jump-starting a vehicle.) When an electrical circuit is being closed, there is a possibility of creating a spark.
This procedure for connecting jumper cables minimizes sparks near the batteries:
1. Connect one red clamp to the positive (+) post of the dead battery.
2. Connect the other red clamp to the positive post of the good battery.
3. Connect one black clamp to the negative (-) post of the good battery.
4. Connect the other black clamp to bare, clean metal away from the battery of the dead car.
Brackets or bolts on the engine are usually good places to connect the clamp, but check the owner’s manual for suggestions.
Most jumper cables have red and black clamps, but if your set uses different colors, that’s OK. If you have cables with yellow and black clamps, for example, replace the word “red” in the above instructions with “yellow.”
Before starting either vehicle, be sure the jumper cables won’t be damaged by moving parts (fans, belts or pulleys) when the cars are running. Close vehicle doors so dome lights don’t draw power.
Run the engine of the vehicle that starts for about three minutes. Then try starting the vehicle with the dead battery. After it starts, disconnect cables in reverse order from when you connected them and drive the car for about 30 minutes to charge the battery — if you turn it off before the battery charges, you’ll have to jump-start it again. The other option is to drive it to a mechanic who can check it over or charge the battery for you.
If the vehicle doesn’t start after a few tries, give up; you may have a different problem. Disconnect the cables in reverse order.
Excerpted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from Mother Earth News, please visit www.MotherEarthNews.com or call 800-234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2009 by Ogden Publications Inc.
Are Americans Really Free? Terrific book by Edward de Bono
I have several copies of this book available by the author best known for his thinking courses. These are new hardbound editions and priced at only $1.95
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Citizen Preparedness category has been added to the Poor Man Site
Some of these useful resources and sites are included in the Poor Man II CD ROM and have been available as a download to our subscribers. Now, I’ve added a new tab (Citizen Preparedness) to the site, which offers links to FEMA and other resources. If you offer related information, drop me an email and we’ll include a link to your site, blog, etc.
Other Poor Man news of note…we’re getting closer to offering our first Recession Survival Workshop here in the ‘Thumb” of Michigan. I’ve been gathering localized resources to assist folks in the areas of job hunting, saving money, getting medical care and emergency assistance and more. Within a few weeks we’ll be posting the details on our site. If you’re interested in attending or offering resources, let me know.
Finally, request your free copy of What You Need to Know About Native American jewelry, buying-selling gold and silver. I wrote this awhile back for my fellow dealers and it contains useful information about conversion tables (grams and ounces, etc.) for silver and gold. It’s in a PDF format and is only 7-pages. Send me an email with the word “Turquoise” in the subject line. email@example.com
The most overrated [political concept] is freedom. When faced with economic uncertainty, people don't want freedom. When they can't see their economic future, they want the nanny state." --John McLaughlin, of 'The McLaughlin Group'
News Roundup…all is not well in the land of OZ
Pump prices on pace to top 2009 high by weekend
Open your wallet: Gasoline prices headed past 2009 highs by this weekend
The cost of filling up the car is rising in the wake of soaring crude and by this weekend, pump prices will race past the highs for all of 2009.
Tracing the ascension of crude, up 14 percent since mid-December, energy prices across the board are catching up. On Tuesday, benchmark crude prices closed higher than they had on any day last year.
It's part economic and part meteorologic.
Vicious pockets of cold stretched from the Northeast to the South, where farmers in the Florida panhandle tried to save tomato and strawberry crops. Four deaths in Tennessee were blamed on low temperatures.
The frigid blast has squeezed heating oil supplies in some areas during a year when demand had been very weak and refineries have been operating at low levels.
Huge surpluses have been falling in recent weeks, contributing to prices already driven higher by the falling dollar. When the dollar falls, investors holding stronger currency can essentially buy more dollar-based crude and they have, doubling oil prices last year.
State Tax Revenue in U.S. Drops Most Since 1963, Study Says…
The Poor Man Predicted earlier last year this would occur along with a prediction that states ( & the feds) will be seeking new revenue sources…mainly from you!
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. state tax collections fell the most in 46 years in the first three quarters of 2009 as the recession shrank revenue from sources including personal income, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government said.
Revenue dropped 13.3 percent, or $80 billion, compared with the same nine months of 2008, to $523 billion, the institute said. Collections in the third quarter alone sank 10.9 percent to about $162 billion, according to the report released today by the Albany-based body. It was the fourth straight quarterly decline. The institute is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York.
The first three quarters of 2009 were the worst on record for states in terms of the decline in overall state tax collections, as well as the change in personal income and sales tax collections.
The worst economic slump since the Great Depression has forced states to cut spending, raise taxes and pass down costs to local governments to cope with $193 billion of combined budget deficits in the current fiscal year, according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report issued last month…
58% Say Congress Doing A Poor Job
Voters feel more strongly than ever that Congress is performing poorly and that most of its members are in it for themselves.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters now say Congress is doing a poor job. That's the highest negative finding since Rasmussen Reports began surveying on the question in November 2006.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 12% of voters believe Congress is doing a good or excellent job, the lowest total since the first of February last year.
Forty-three percent (43%) of all voters say most members of Congress are corrupt, the highest level of belief since we began asking this question in June 2008. By comparison, just 32% say most congressmen are not corrupt, but that's the lowest level of confidence in over 20 months. Twenty-five percent (25%) remain undecided.
Another new low is the number who say most members of Congress are more interested in their own careers than in helping other people.
Democratic Payoffs, Er, Stimulus
Creators Syndicate – When a non-American scholar I admired let slip a casual reference to "American corruption" a few years ago, my chauvinistic pride was wounded. This isn't Mexico, after all, or even Italy, where bribes are the normal social lubricant. Still, an unsentimental examination of government dollars at work seems to confirm my friend's observation.
A small example: The U.S. government has announced plans to spend $340 million on an advertising campaign to promote the Census, including $2.5 million for ads during the Super Bowl. Though the nation has been collecting this data for 220 years, it seems we now need commercial jingles to complete the forms. Or could there be another agenda? The government, reports The Hill newspaper, will target $80 million of those dollars to racial and ethnic minorities and non-English speakers — groups that vote disproportionately Democratic. Nor will Democrats permit efforts to limit the count to those here legally. An effort by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., to exclude illegal aliens from the count went nowhere.
Illegal aliens don't (usually) vote, of course. But when they are counted in the Census, they do affect representation in the Congress. So some of the money you pay in taxes will go toward increasing the legislative clout of one party.
Bad News for Abusive Credit Card Companies and Mortgage Lenders Who Bennett Wants to Protect
Washington, DC – Americans United for Change stands dumfounded as to why Republicans would try to block basic financial accountability in the form of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would prevent the abuses and deceptive practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders we are all too familiar with now.
Bush to be tried for War Crimes?
Good chance" that special counsel John Durham will recommend prosecuting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Bush Administration officials for torture and other war crimes, concluding an inquiry Attorney General Eric Holder appointed him to complete.
Last week on FOX News' "The Journal Editorial Report," Wall Street Journal staffers discussed predictions for the New Year:
Paul Gigot: And a big wild card this year, the special counsel that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint to look into whether the CIA and Bush administration officials should be indicted for their antiterror policies. If he indicts–recommends indicting some of those, you're going to see a fire storm.
Dorothy Rabinowitz: There's a good chance he'll make that recommendation.
Deputy U.S. Attorney John Durham was originally chosen by the Bush Administration to investigate the destruction of CIA tapes. Attorney General Eric Holder recently expanded his role to include the investigation of Bush-Era interrogation techniques.
That’s it for this week’s Bulletin. As always, feel free to send me your tips and suggestions…we’re all in this together!
Yours for better living,
Bruce “The Poor Man” Stay Warm out there! Forward this Bulletin to a friend!