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Friday, July 31, 2009

Free Money, Save Money, Make Money Resources

First, it was In God We Trust;
Then it was in Gold We Trust;
Then, it was in Oil We Trust;
Then, it became the Information Economy We Trust;
Then, it was the Credit Markets We Trusted…and finally, it’s
Back to In God We Trust!
--Bruce David

Isn't it strange? The same people who laugh at gypsy fortune-tellers take economists seriously.
Cincinnati Enquirer

Poor Man Bulletin-Money-Saving, Money-Making Resources

States Where the Unemployed Are Giving Up

In some U.S. states, nearly half of the job seekers who have stopped looking for work have done so because they simply don't believe they'll find anything. Indeed, the number of discouraged workers nationwide has more than doubled in the past year. This trend won't be reflected in the widely publicized unemployment rate, as discouraged workers aren't included among the unemployed. Still, in states as diverse as Mississippi, South Dakota, and New York, the span of this often invisible slice of workers signals a population losing its hope.

Most jobless people who have stopped looking for work are otherwise engaged--they're back in school, taking on family responsibilities, or too sick to search. They, along with workers who have stopped because they're discouraged, make up a group that the Labor Department calls the "marginally attached." They're included in some of the broader measures of unemployment, but they're officially not part of the workforce. While discouraged workers make up about a third of the marginally attached nationwide, their numbers have been increasing.

Nationwide, the average difference between the unemployment rate and the rate of unemployed plus discouraged workers was about 0.4 percentage point. Michigan and New York also ranked high by that measure.

In other states, the situation may be more obvious. In Michigan, the demise of the domestic auto industry has brought job destruction far outpacing the national average. Michigan's unemployment rate for June topped 15.2 percent, compared with 9.5 percent nationally. Across the country, Florida has been hit hard by the housing bust, and unemployment in the state reached 10.6 percent in June.

NOTE: Have you filed for unemployment in your state and your claim seems to be bogged down? It’s not uncommon for claims to take eight weeks to process before you get your first check. Most UE office phones are in a non-stop busy mode…try contacting your state representative for help. One of our readers reports that within 12-hours of emailing their rep, their claim was resolved and the money was on its way!

Source: By Liz Wolgemuth US News & World Report July 23rd.


Create a job…how it works: select an aspiring entrepreneur with few resources, then lend him/her a modest amount of money to start or expand a business, or micro enterprise. Check out the Kiva group for how they do it. 415-358-7512 or their site:

Found – Your Lost Money!
The US Treasury is holding $16 billion in unredeemed bonds and millions of them have reached full maturity. Find out if any of them belong to you free of charge by going to:


Online Odd Job Resources to Earn Extra Cash

Two years ago, when The Rat Race Rebellion began tracking at-home jobs, there were 30 scams for every legitimate opportunity. Now, with 4,500 to 5,000 work-at-home job ads screened weekly, the Web site finds 57 phonies for every one that's for real, says Christine Durst, CEO of The Rat Race Rebellion.

A growing number of employers appear to believe telecommuting is a good deal for them as well. It reduces overhead expenses, allows access to talented workers who may not be available locally, provides off-hours support and helps retain employees, says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of, a Web site that aggregates hand-screened telecommuting/work-at-home jobs. "We've seen a real broadening of the audience of both employers and job seekers."

Put your talent to work…are you a web designer, an expert at cooking, etc.? Answer people’s questions at this site and get paid for it. First, create a profile listing your qualifications. Set your own fees once you’re approved (work is performed via email or phone).

If you enjoy researching the net, consider becoming a guide and get paid for it at:

Work-at-Home Scams and Legitimate Opportunities

At home income really can be made from legitimate survey sites. The following are sites that check out! Payment varies by site and survey.

Save Money and Get Rebates when shopping online!
At you can browse rebate offers for popular products and keep track of claims. Many banks, such as Bank of America, now offer rebate programs. Others you might wish to review include:

Sign up with this site for daily updates on offers for free groceries, fast food, beauty products and more.

Encourage out of town friends to visit by using this free site.
Sends out invitations on your behalf. Fill in some basic data AND it will also send you’re the cheapest airfares.

The San Francisco Really, Really Free Market Web site,, lists nearly 60 such markets around the country where stuff is free. Slightly different than where individuals post free items, these postings last longer.

German film/commentary on what will happen if the dollar collapses.
Do we live on a bubble? Is it possible for the heavily indebted American economy to collapse and take all of us down in a free fall with it? Have the days of the dollar been counted? Is it really u...

Is Hiding Your Social Security Number Worth It?
Consumers who have spent hours locking up their passports, shredding their billing statements and filing away their tax returns may soon learn they’ve wasted a great deal of time. Their efforts to shield themselves from identity theft by guarding their Social Security numbers are being undermined by government officials and social networking sites. More at:


Oh & by the way, Ed Begley sent me an email yesterday about the start of his new season… LET THE COMPOST FLY!
Actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. and wife Rachelle are back with new adventures, new friends and a to do list that would make Al Gore proud –

Yours for better living,
Bruce ‘the PoorMan’

Friday, July 24, 2009

Passing of a Mentor/Legend. More Entrepreneurial Ideas

Before getting into this issue of the Poor Man Bulletin…I want to pay homage to my inspiration, John Shuttleworth, founder of the Mother Earth News magazine. John and I met several times in the early 80s throughout the 90s when I owned a publishing company in Ohio not far from where he launched his great magazine. John passed away recently. John was a born tinkerer and loved assembling cheap mechanical devices. Upon selling MEN, he moved to CO where he spent much of his time doing what he loved – tinkering!
In many respects, his publication was the inspiration for our Poor Man site, devoted more to the urban dweller.

Consumers still not consuming…biggest ‘Wall Street Casinos’ worry!

“It’s been said that if Barak Obama continues with his
‘green’ procedures, the utility companies will have
every American citizen by the bills!”

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 5 mins ago...

WASHINGTON – The watchdog overseeing the federal government financial bailout says the government's maximum exposure to financial institutions since 2007 could total nearly $24 trillion, or about $80,000 for every American.
The whopping amount compiled by the inspector general for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program takes into account about 50 initiatives and programs set up by the Bush and Obama administrations as well as by the Federal Reserve.
Fact #1. The official unemployment rate is going up. Even the most optimistic economists expect it will top 10 percent, and many expect it will go much higher.
Fact #2. The unemployment rate is closely correlated with all consumer debt delinquency rates — on home mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and more.
Therefore ...
Delinquency rates must go up almost across the board, piling up even more toxic assets on the books of America's financial institutions
"At the heart of the banks' troubles are hard-pressed consumers. The question, analysts said, was whether the banks have braced themselves enough for the next wave of bad debts as people slog through a long, dreary recession.
In my opinion, brokerage houses (& some banks) are nothing more than gambling houses!
Spending moderation, it turns out, could outlast the recession, and most economists and consumer experts say that's a good thing. In a recent survey, about half of the respondents who had reduced their spending said that they would continue to spend less even if their financial situation improved. "The consumer has fundamentally changed," says Margot Bogue, associate director of brand planning for the advertising firm Cramer-Krasselt. The new "evolved consumer," she says, shops with more discipline and focuses on buying products with lasting value rather than just accumulating stuff.

***$26 Billion Shortfall in CA State budget***
California, which has the largest budget in the United States has lost 30% of its tax revenues…state worker unions are angry about the cuts to the budget (they’re going back to 2005 levels). Doesn’t it amaze you how much money our respective governments suck out of the pockets of citizens. Frankly, the problem is the government at all levels is TOO BIG. Government was never meant to be a growth industry.

Other News & Tips

Frequently Overlooked Discounts
If you are a member of AAA auto club or AARP, your card entitles you to a variety of discounts from prescription drugs to entertainment venues. Also, most supermarkets offer senior day discounts. Example: Fry’s supermarket is the first Wednesday of each month; combine that with coupons and save even more.

Recession or not, consumers will continue to demand responsible
behavior from brands. Just one statistic: “Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today--which sometimes cost more--even in the midst of a US recession.”
(source: Reuters)

>>>Save Money on Organic Food. Instead of bypassing pricey organic food, ask whether your supermarket has its own in-house line. Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods offers them at substantially lower prices.

* Quite ironic of course, is the rapidly diminishing demand for oil
due to a global decrease in economic activity, which in turn lowers
the price of energy and fuel and therefore discourages (at least
for the time being) costly investments in renewable energy
sources. We guess you can’t have it all...

>>>It’s bug season! Make your own bug repellent by mixing a few drops of witch hazel and few drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Spritz it on your body to keep the critters at bay.

Feed a family for $800 a year
Eating healthy can be expensive. Check Erin Libranda’s blog Jane4girls to see how she chronicles her low cost feeding program:

Cash-strapped consumers are going
out of their way to save money on energy bills, motorized transport
and other waste-prone, eco-unfriendly activities (see last week’s Bulletin)…

.* While the environment may not be their first concern, they will nevertheless
do less damage. Other consumers are still primarily interested in
sustainable consumption, but no longer willing or able to pay the
usual premiums.

>>>Not super-new, but still fun: Philippe Starck has offered
his own take on the electricity-generating wind turbine.
The design, called Democratic Ecology, features transparent
plastic blades and is designed to produce 80% of
a home’s electricity. The first in a series of designs reflecting
Starck’s new environmental focus, the turbine
could soon be joined by a solar panel.

Smart Meter Ontario, an informational site maintained by the
government of Ontario, has a good summary of the benefits of
smart meters:
• You’ll be able to take action to manage your electricity
bills. With attention to how and when you use electricity,
you'll be able to contain or reduce your costs.
• You’ll get real feedback about your electricity use.
• Your electricity bill will show how much you consumed—
and, in the future, detailed information may be
available to you via the internet or by telephone.
• You’ll get more precise electricity bills. The bills you receive
will be based on the hourly readings taken and
sent by your Smart Meter.

Also check out Roofray, a California startup that aims
to give consumers the information they need to install
solar panels. The firm provides modeling tools that use
Google maps to determine how much solar energy a
home could capture and how that would affect their
monthly bills based on past weather conditions, current
bills, the pitch of the roof and the roof area available. The
site eventually aims to provide a ‘RoofRaytings’ system
that would be available to homebuyers as an indication
of solar potential.

>>>>>>My Musing of the week<<<<<<<<<
It always makes me wonder, if politicians “value” education so much…
Why isn’t it FREE? College tuition costs surpass the inflation rate every year and high schools seem to turn out some pretty dumb students, yet the US devotes more money to education now than any other country in the world!

A comment or two from a reader got me thinking…I added a new section to the site.
Boot Strap Biz – a section which will focus on some of the ways average people are making money in this economy. Entrepreneurs, not government, are what will salvage our country. Check it out and feel free to make your own suggestions.

Yours for better living,
Bruce ‘the PoorMan’

Saturday, July 18, 2009

BillMyParents, Entrepreneurial Brilliance, More

June Retail Sales Show a Continued Slump

--Consumers show off their maverick entrepreneur skills to make money
--Our usual resources you can use
--Living Better on Less Expo Being Planned

Current Economic Picture…
Discount chains suffered, with Target's sales dropping 6.2 percent. Wal-Mart? Well, we don't know because the company stopped reporting its monthly same-store sales as of June.

Unemployment Is Surging, Credit Is Running Out,
Consumers Are Worried, and They're Spending Less!
As we pointed out previously — consumer credit defaults are hitting historic highs.
Meanwhile, credit card companies and other financial institutions are chopping available limits, cancelling dormant lines of credit, and denying new loan applications from even well-qualified candidates.
And of course unemployment is still surging!
… the latest Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey — released last Friday — showed the lowest reading of consumer confidence since March (when stocks were hitting new lows).
Survey respondents said they were very worried about an extended economic downturn, job security, and evaporating wealth.
The national saving rate surged to 6.9 percent in May, the highest level in 15 years!
This trend is likely to continue…
· In a Wednesday story called "Restaurants Burned By Deep Discounts," The Wall Street Journal noted that several fast-food and casual dining chains are slashing prices and offering all kinds of come-ons. Yet consumers aren't biting. They're spending less time and money eating out regardless of the deals. In the Journal's words:

"Despite heavy discounts across the retail industry — prices have been slashed on everything from food to clothing — consumers have been stubbornly reluctant to open their wallets."
· The same thing is happening at the nation's shopping malls. While overall retail spending rose 0.6 percent in June, the gains were largely driven by higher fuel prices. Core sales in discretionary categories like furniture (down 0.2 percent), general merchandise (down 0.4 percent), and clothing (unchanged) were weak. The National Retail Federation just forecast a 7.7 percent drop in back-to-school shopping this year ... something not seen in years.

This year, the survey showed that wealthy Americans are saving more too… 16 percent more of their income. They're raising their retirement plan contributions by 6 percent, and most (77 percent) are purchasing fewer big-ticket items.
"It's time to ratchet back our wild and crazy grasshopper side and get in touch with our inner ant, to be more artisan-enterpriser and less prospector-speculator, more heroic Greatest Generation and less self-indulgent baby boomer, to return from Oz to Kansas, to become fully reality-based again."
--Time Magazine
The New Entrepreneurs-Ways to Make Extra Money!
Providing 'premium obscure' or just plain dirt-cheap

Consumers now provide other consumers with 'premium obscure'
products and services and experiences—different, hard-to-find,
special, vintage, quirky, and/or personalized. Equally important in
recession times: unburdened by massive cost structures, some offerings are dirt-cheap.

Plenty of (novel) ways for consumers to capitalize on anything they already possess,
from unused parking spaces to excess energy. So what's
being done besides firmly established marketplaces
like eBay?

Parking spots | connects those who
have parking spots to rent out with those who need
them on a monthly basis. The Toronto-based company
lets spot-holders in the US and Canada list their offstreet
parking spots, along with the price they want to

A similar service is offered by ParkAtMyHouse, operating
in the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand
and The Netherlands. Fun detail: car owners can
pre-book a spot daily, but can also make one-off bookings
for a football match or a day of shopping in the city.

In the UK, Ecotricity pays customers who want to sell
back to the grid 12 pence per kWh, while Green Energy
offers a Home Green Generator plan for those producing
less than 6 kWh.

Three more good wiki links for consumers who are
interested in going green: Eco-metering, Smart Grid
and Micro-generation.

Gift cards | GiftCardRescue is a service that allows
users to exchange their unwanted gift cards. Consumers
create an account and provide details of the card they
have and GiftCardRescue will indicate the redemption
value it's willing to pay. Consumers can then elect either
to receive cash via PayPal, or they can select a new gift
card from the site, up to the redemption value of their
original card.

Jewelry | Red Swan offers money in exchange for unwanted
jewelry. Once a user has sold jewelry to the site,
they can become a ‘lead’, encouraging friends to participate
in the service and earning commission on their

For similar concepts, check out Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry
and My Gold Party. The latter facilitates Tupperwarestyle
parties that help guests sell excess baubles. The
company sells the equipment that SELLSUMERS need
to host gold-selling parties, including a scale, a karat
tester and an instruction manual.

• Gardening | Based around the concept of cooperative
gardening, Veggie Trader is an online marketplace offering
the opportunity to buy, sell or trade homegrown produce.

While countless creative folks are already making
money from their designs, software, sculpting, knitting, manufacturing
and so on, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Expect a skilled, handy and brainy 'workforce' to
genuinely blossom when the youngest generation takes over.
They'll not only be the first generation to be fully 'wired', but also
the first generation to be completely comfortable with taking on
the roles of both consumer and producer.
In the meantime, check out these random sources for inspiration

-Posterchild Etsy now boasts 200,000
members and over 3 million products. In 2008, the
value of products sold was USD 87.5 million, and the
first two months of 2009 have already produced sales of
USD 20.2 million.

• Much publicized Ponoko allows people to make
and sell everything from jewelry to furniture. In addition,
the PonokoID feature invites shoppers to post requests,
which professional and 'amateur' designers then bid to

Ads | While Google AdWords still brings in the money
for bloggers, Magpie now inserts adverts into your
Twitter feeds.

North Carolina-based Spoonflower lets users design and
print their own fabrics for USD 18 per yard with no minimum
order. When Spoonflower comes out of beta, it plans
to allow fabric designers to sell their fabrics on the site.

Finance | BillMyParents allows parents to monitor their
children’s online spending by forwarding any attempted
purchases to the parent for them to deny or authorize
with a credit card number. The San Diego-based service
currently only targets US consumers.

• And no, we’re not forgetting offline consumer retail/
marketplace concepts: in Troy, Michigan, Oakland Mall
has placed 12 kiosks throughout the mall, which can be
leased for as little as USD 300 for a weekend. The flexible
leasing terms are part of an ongoing program that
aims to help SELLSUMERS sell seasonal offerings.

Perhaps this announcement is slightly premature…but we’re in the planning stages
To host our Live Better on Less expo in Lapeer County, MI and possibly Toledo, OH in the spring of 2010. These will either be a half-day workshop or a full-day exposition with speakers and exhibitors. I’m flying there at the end of next month to work on co-sponsors and other details. If you’re interested in attending, co-sponsoring or exhibiting,
Send me an email and we’ll keep you updated…there will be no charge to attend!
As the title implies, we’ll focus on strategies for long term financial survival.

Be sure to check out our newest resource – Creating your own Grass Roots Currency
Now live at our site (you’ll get a kick out of the artwork)!

Do you have suggestions relevant to this post? Let
Me know – send an email to

Monday, July 13, 2009

Laid Off? New Resources+Mortgage Protection

Mortgage Protection Plans…Can Possibly Save Your Home

…In this issue>>>>>>>>>

--When you get laid off – new tools at our site
--Group in VA helps families to start over with
--Mortgage Protection plans can save your home

Three months after George Mackey lost his job…he didn’t lose his house because of a mortgage assurance program backed by the Rainy Day Foundation, a non-profit group headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The foundation made Mackey’s next four $1,400 mortgage payments and is likely to make two more.

“It’s unbelievable,” he says. “I wouldn’t have my house anymore if it weren’t for them.”

Chances are you never heard of the Rainy Day Foundation.
Until a few weeks ago, neither had I. If you’re ready to buy a house or refinance your mortgage, you should know about the foundation.
“Our goal is to help homeowners maintain homeownership,” says CEO Rick Del Sontro.
The Rainy Day Foundation rolled out its Homeowner Education and Loan Protection program (HELP) about 19 months ago. HELP is only available when you buy a home or refinance a mortgage. You cannot enroll on your own. The program is paid for by participating lenders, builders or real estate firms.
More than 125 companies across the country have partnered with the foundation. Most are local or regional lenders. But a number of big banks, including Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Flagstar and National City, also take part.


Who’s Looking Out for You?What to do when you get laid off-New Resource page

The most heavily trafficked portion of our site is our JobResources page, which is updated weekly. We just added a new ‘sub’ section with resources you can use if you get laid off. Worth sharing with others.

>>>Note: pay particular attention to the new group being formed to foster better government and corporate policies for putting Americans back to work (info at the end of the layoffstrategies page). Still in the formation/startup phase,
will be seeking volunteer board members, suggestions for direction, donations and more.
I can’t think of anything more important in this economy than putting people back to work! I’m already on board as an advisor.


Giving Families a Fresh Start

A decade ago my wife and I had a small ‘ministry’ if you will that the YWCA dubbed the bread and butter ministry. We donated boxloads of household goods and food items to the Y for which they used to set up apartments for struggling mothers…now, Suezette Steinhardt has taken that a step further.

Steinhardt, a former social worker in Vienna, VA became dismayed over how many young mothers worked at dead end jobs but were still unable to make ends meet, no matter how many jobs they worked.

She and her husband started out by renting an apartment for one young mother, stocking it with necessities and more to help a young woman in need. They gave up some of their own social spending to come up with the cash. The couple has now helped 16 families get a fresh start and has started a non-profit group called Family Preservation and Strengthening Services (Family PASS). A network of her friends helped her get started with cash donations and by providing office space and other tools they needed. I personally believe that’s what it will take to restore this country – people helping each other and not relying on government. To learn more about her organization, go to:


Money Saving Tip

If you have children returning to school, you know the cost of those school supplies adds up. Aside from shopping at dollar stores, many states are offering tax holidays to meet your back-to-school needs. Most occur during August. Check this site for more…

Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Want Americans Want from Gov't-Our Poll

“Government has never been able equalize incomes.
But it can destroy and enslave.”

--Edmund Burke, British Philosopher

We recently conducted an unscientific survey to see what average citizens believe Congress should be doing NOW! Our results matched that of a recent Reader’s Digest poll. Here are the results.

Top of the list – Fix the health care system; followed closely by rescue the economy.One wag suggested all American citizens should have the same health benefit plan that Congress enjoys! Wouldn’t that be nice? Other ideas included:

· Refuse salary increases
· Bring our troops home
· Get your hands off my wallet
· Stop wasting money
· Follow the Constitution-stop diluting it.
· Provide incentives to get this country off the oil fix & onto alternative energy
· Stop interfering with the free market
· Stop offshoring US jobs
· Stop bailing out the people who put us into this economic mess

People are fed up by the lack of backbone and leadership our Congress has shown. Here are some resource sites you can use to keep an eye on these critters. Can’t tell you how often I’ve submitted my plan for using the state of PA as a model in terms of creating a larger US subscriber pool and add the health premium to one’s auto and/or homeowners insurance.

The last site allows you to join groups whose interests are close to that of your own – worth a look see.

>>>>We’ve added a new feedback page to our site with a link to our new interactive forum. Find it at:
Feel free to add your two cents (you might be the 1st as I just added it within minutes of posting this).

Laid Off & Loving it!

The economic downturn has undoubtedly spawned lifestyle changes for countless millions. In the ranks of the unemployed, groups of Valley corporate castaways are getting creative and finding that the last thing they need in order to survive is a job.

It’s mid morning on a Wednesday, and the workplace is buzzing at Gangplank, a 5,000-square-foot facility located in a quiet business park on East Elliot Road in Chandler, AZ.

Directly inside the glass doors, in the warehouse-size main office space, about 35 workers are spread out on 24 utilitarian IKEA tables, busily tapping away on their laptops. Down the hallway, inside each open-door office, pairs of entrepreneurs lean over one another’s desks, comparing ideas and sharing strategies.

It could be any busy office building from a few years ago – when buildings of this size were actually filled with employees. Nowadays, many of the large commercial properties anchoring suburbia’s once-thriving business parks have become vacant – “underperforming asphalt,” in developer’s parlance – and any business that can keep one of these behemoths full of busy employees is regarded as part of the recession-proof elite.

Only most of the people buzzing about the bullpen on this typical weekday are not employed by Gangplank itself. Half, in fact, are not working for anybody.
To read the rest of the story click here:


GreenFuel Offers top alternative energy tips PLUS
A nice business opportunity for those interested in helping others go Green.

Long-Term Energy Efficiency

Long-Term Energy Efficiency →Tips to Save Big on Energy
1. Buy Energy-Efficient AppliancesMany of today's new appliances use half the energy of those from 20 years ago. If you're in the market, remember this rule of thumb: look for products with the Energy Star® label -- they typically use about 20 to 40 percent less energy than other new models.

Some electric companies and even state governments offer consumer rebates on Energy Star-rated models. For detailed information on how to make informed purchases, see our guide to energy-efficient appliances. 2. Insulate Your HomeMost homes in the United States are less than optimally insulated, and older homes tend to have higher heating and cooling costs than newer homes. Installing proper insulation, windows, ducts and heating/cooling systems can help keep these costs down while improving the comfort of your home.

Who Gets an Energy Star? The Energy Star® label identifies products that are more energy-efficient than other models in their category. And it isn't limited to appliances. More than 40 types of household and commercial products are eligible for the Energy Star label. Look for it when you're shopping for items like these:

Appliances: Dishwashers, clothes washers, dehumidifiers and refrigerators.Heating and Cooling: Ceiling fans, room air conditioners and programmable thermostats.

Home Electronics:

Cordless phones, DVD players, home audio systems, televisions, VCRs and combination units.Lighting: Compact fluorescent bulbs and lighting fixtures that meet quality standards.Office Equipment: Computers, copiers, faxes, monitors, printers, scanners and multipurpose devices.Home: Windows, doors and skylights.

3. What follows is a generic guide to retrofitting your home with energy-efficient features. However, the best way to learn about the specific needs of your home is to get an energy rating. An energy rater will conduct a detailed analysis of your home and identify areas where you can make cost-effective improvements in energy efficiency. Californians can arrange a visit from an energy-rater through CHEERS, the statewide nonprofit. Residents of other states can find a list of certified raters by area through RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network.

4. To get an idea of what efficiency measures might make sense for your home, start with the Department of Energy's Insulation Fact Sheet to determine what type of insulation is best suited to your house and your climate. Then, follow these general guidelines:

o Start with the attic. Good insulation here can save 20 to 35 percent in heating and air conditioning costs.

o Insulate under the floor, around hot water pipes and heating ducts, and in crawl spaces for further energy savings.

Install new windows that meet or exceed EnergyStar specifications. These windows keep heat from escaping, and in hot climates, keep out half of the sun's heat energy. They also reduce noise. The U-factor, listed on the National Fenestration Council label, reflects the insulation ability of the entire window, not just the glass. Look for a U-factor of 0.35 or lower. For homes with overheating problems or with high air conditioning bills, you should also look for a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of .35 or lower.

5. Choose Renewable EnergyUsing rewable energy is a great way to save on energy and energy costs in the long term. By choosing photovolatic systems powered by the sun, as well as solar thermal systems you are living in a sustainable way. By living off the power of the sun you are not depleting natural resources like fossil fuels and coal. Renewable energy is a great investment, and you can enjoy the luxuries of having a sustainable lifestyle. Let Green Fuel Solar help you get started today so you can stop worrying about the future energy crisis!Visit their site for more articles and information.


Yours for better living,
Bruce ‘the Poor man’

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cow Pooling, Freebies & What Would You Do?

Cow Pooling & What Would You do?

In this issue…

*Free Personal Finance Programs
*Free eBooks-more than 2 Million
*Free meds for unemployed

We have a new surge in unemployment, and even without counting those who are excluded from the official numbers, 14.7 million are now jobless, the most since records dating back to 1948. Worse, for the first time since the Great Depression, every single job created after the prior recession has been wiped out.
We have industrial production falling at the same pace as it did in the early 1930s .... and global trade falling at twice the pace of the early 1930s.

We have California — the nation's most populous state, with the largest GDP and the greatest impact on the entire U.S. economy — collapsing.

We have consumers slashing their spending, small businesses laying off their workers, cities and states forced to gut their budgets.
We see the most radical government countermeasures in a 100 years, the biggest federal deficits in 200 years, plus the swiftest swings — from greed to fear and fear to greed — ever…what will we ever do?

>>>see below for some answer(s)…

Companies Offer Freebies to Unemployed
Desperate for business (or to create and maintain goodwill) more and more companies are encouraging you to buy their products because they have an unemployment guarantee. It started with Hyundai Assurance (now any buyer can also get gas for $1.49 a gallon for a year), and others are jumping on the bandwagon. Sears just announced a buyer protection program for major appliances costing $399 or more and charged to your Citi Sears card. If you lose your job after 60 days from purchase, they will rebate 1/12 of the appliance price per month of unemployment. Pfizer is offering 70 of its medications free to those who become unemployed after taking the pills for at least three months (and have no insurance). And Discover Bank is offering to waive penalties on a one-year CD if you lose your job…

Through Aug 4th, get free ebooks – about two million available

16 Free Personal finance programs
Now that Windows Money Program is no longer being sold…good deals!


Cow Pooling Anyone?

Folks, tired of supermarket prices, especially for grass fed beef, have started going into together buy a side of natural beef. For the rest of the story, go to:
Or to find food producers directly, visit:

Can you imagine…30 cents of every health care dollar spent in the US is wasted on unnecessary tests and treatments? No wonder our system is such a disaster.

Contributing Editors Wanted
I’m going to create a new section on our site to feature/profile others who wish to share their money saving tips, strategies, consumer resources, money making ideas, etc.
Contributions should be limited to 250-words (about one page) and we’ll be happy to include a short bio, your website, and photo if you like. The focus is on USABLE information. Send your ideas or complete story to me at:
Put the word “story” in the subject line.

Finally…What would you do if you were president of the United States? What solutions would you offer on such areas as the economy, putting people back to work, national energy policies, etc? Your answers will be posted on our FeedBack section of the site. Use the same address as above, but put “soundoff” in the subject line.

Yours for better living,
Bruce “the PoorMan”

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July Tips, Tricks n Tips from the PoorMan

4th of July Savings Bulletin

Cell Phone Tricks

>>>We know most Americans are addicted to cell phones and seems everyone wants an iPhone right now-even though they are expensive.

Personally, I’m not happy with many cell phone users as two of the last three car accidents we’ve experienced were due to folks texting while driving, the last one nearly killing us as a girl crashed a red light and totaled our car…and of course, like the previous idiots who hit us, she had no insurance so now you know why we’re called the Poor Man!

· Find the answer to anything by sending your question with a simple text to: GOOGL (46645) You’ll get an immediate answer free of charge. Example: seeking a movie playing nearby? Type the name of the flick and your zip code.
· Have a book wherever you go without buying an e-reader like Amazon Kindle. Go to on an internet enabled phone. They offer 100s of books and short stories free.
· Want to find out what’s ahead on the road? At, you can download a free app which allows a view of the live traffic cameras in your area on web enabled phones. You can use this app to pre-program your regular commute as well.

Want to sell your old cell phone? Go to: or to find its value.


Repairs and Fix-its
As you know from our site, we’re big believers in do-it-yourself strategies for saving bucks. For example, if one of your appliances goes on the fritz and you can’t find the owners manual, get a replacement copy instantly at:
The free site offers guides to more than 850,000 manuals.

For free, simple how-to guides on 100s of home repair and other projects, go to:


Money-saving shipping idea

The postal service just gets more expensive and confusing with its shipping options…size does matter here! You may be surprised to learn that Priority Mail isn’t always the best option. First class mail is usually cheaper and usually gets to its destination the same day as a priority shipment would. The item must be 13-oz or less to qualify for 1st class shipping.

Gardening Tip to Boost Growth

Vegetables will bear more fruit if you water them using a mixture of 1 Tbs of Epsom salts and ½ gallon of water. This is much cheaper than buying commercial fertilizers.

Consumer/Watchdog Sites

The Consumer Federation of America connects you with local groups that are working on issues important to you and your family. Check them out at:

Want to find out information on major bills, the “stimulus” plan, special interest groups and a map to where congressional earmarks are going…check out this group at:


Homemade Ice Cream without a machine

Here’s a little 4th of July treat…takes about six minutes.

1. Place 1 cup whole milk & two tsp. Of vanilla in a quart size zippertop plastic bag and seal.
2. Combine 4 cups of ice and ¼ cup of Kosher salt into a gallon plastic zip-top bag. Place the smaller bag with the ice cream mixture inside the larger bag and seal.
3. shake the large bag vigorously for 6-8 minutes; avoid squeezing the bag. When the small bag gets plump, your ice cream is ready. You can either serve it immediately or freeze it. Be sure to wipe off any ice and salt. Make it extra tasty by experimenting with flavors by adding 3 tbs of your favorite instant pudding flavors…1/2 cup of fruit, crushed cookies, chopped nuts and so forth.

That’s it for this round…enjoy your Independence this holiday weekend and feel free to send me your input, tips, suggestions, etc. AND – circulate this (and our site) to your friends!

Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’