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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Living on a Dime

- Inflation hasn't ruined everything. A dime can still be used as a screwdriver. - Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.·

10 Things Warehouse Clubs Won't Tell YouBelow is an excerpt from the book "1,001 Things They Won't Tell You,"

· 1. "You paid your dues? Good, now get in line."
More than 100 million Americans now shop in warehouse clubs including BJ's, Costco, or Sam's Club each year. That's 50 million more than in 2002. The attraction? For the annual membership price of $35 to $100, discount hunters can spend their weekends stocking up on 36-roll packages of toilet paper and nuclear-canister-size boxes of detergent. Too bad they also spend plenty of time doing anything but shopping. Michelle Wilkes says she usually waits in lines of no less than 15 minutes on the weekend at her Lake Zurich, Ill., Costco. There are often four to five shoppers ahead of her at the register, she says-and that's despite what Costco CFO Richard Galanti claims is a company-wide checkout policy of "no more than one in line and two behind." What further frustrates Wilkes is that her store never has all its registers open. "I have never seen it fully staffed," she complains. More at:


Are We Really Depriving Our Kids?Living On A Dime
By Jill Cooper
Copyright © 2009

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the Living On A Dime Newsletter at, reprinted with permission.

I often hear ladies complaining that they want to stay at home with their kids but that they "have to work since it is so expensive to raise kids these days." One of the main questions I get asked about Simple Living is, "Won't I be depriving my children if I live the frugal life?" Maybe I can answer that question with a few questions.

Am I depriving my children by having them drink water for every meal instead of juice or soda? Isn't one thing doctors are always complaining about is that we don't drink enough water? Cutting out just one glass of soda per person per day for a family of four would save $547.50 a year and make them healthier.

Am I depriving my children by having them eat an apple or homemade granola bar for a snack instead of a bag of chips? Obesity is a major problem among children in the United States. If you cut out just one bag of chips a week you would save $104.00 a year and make them healthier.

Am I depriving my children by having them walk to school or to a friend's house instead of my always driving them there? Lack of exercise is a big problem. You would save time and wear and tear on your car by having them walk, and make them healthier at the same time.

Am I depriving my children when I don't buy them every toy they see and want? We wouldn't dream of giving a baby all the chocolate that he wants because we know it would make him sick. His body can not tolerate that much chocolate even if he desires it.

In the same way, an older child can't emotionally deal with the overload of toys. I as an adult become stressed just from trying to buy a bottle of shampoo. Have you ever noticed how many options you have? Trying to make a decision can be overwhelming. Do I get it for thin, fine, dry and damaged or colored and permed hair? The list goes on and on.

When a young child looks at piles of toys, he can become very stressed over choosing which one to play with. If you watch, you will notice that they tend to play with the same couple of toys over and over. If you didn't give them all the toys they asked for and bought one less brand new toy at $10 a week, you would save $520.00 in one year and you would help relieve them of some stress.

It is no wonder our children stay confused. We insist that they should eat healthy, yet we take them out to eat 3-5 times a week at McDonald's. We give them a bag of carrot sticks in their lunch because it's healthy and then give them a bag of chips when they get home from school to get them off our backs.

We want them to have strong character, yet the moment they whine or cry for another toy or some candy at the store we give in out of guilt. We are afraid that if we don't give them what they want, they won't love us; so to rid ourselves of uncomfortable feelings, we say yes. How can we teach them to be strong in character when we are so weak?

How could our thinking have gotten so mixed up that we think a child is deprived if a mom chooses to stay home and not go to work? We have come to believe that moms should work outside the home so that children can have the most expensive clothes, education or material things. (Note I didn't say best but rather most expensive, since the most expensive doesn't mean the best.) If a mom goes to work so a child can have all those things it's not considered depriving the child of anything but their mom. Which do you think does a child more harm: being deprived expensive things, or their mom?

For you stay-at-home moms: Before you become too puffed up with pride, be aware that too many social, church and school activities can deprive your children of you just as much as working. Do all things in moderation.
It's better to give your kids the values you have than the valuables you can't afford.

About The Author
As a single mother of two, Jill Cooper started her own business without any capital and paid off $35,000 debt in 5 years on $1,000 a month income. She then raised two teenagers alone on $500 a month income after becoming disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Together with Tawra Kellam, she writes about frugal living on the website.

House moves to extend unemployment benefits
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer – Mon Sep 21, 3:32 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Despite predictions the Great Recession is running out of steam, the House is taking up emergency legislation this week to help the millions of Americans who see no immediate end to their economic miseries.

A bill offered by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and expected to pass easily would provide 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for more than 300,000 jobless people who live in states with unemployment rates of at least 8.5 percent and who are scheduled to run out of benefits by the end of September.
Stettner predicted that Congress will likely have to continue extending jobless benefits through 2011. More at:


Be sure to pick up a copy of the ’09 issue of Popular Mechanics…the self reliance issue. Interesting issue with some how-to and interviews on housing and other usable information on surviving disasters…Hurricane Katrina taught us not to depend on the government for assistance…lots of off-the-grid information too. Or visit their site at:

Inst. Of Urban Homesteading…resources for self sufficiency


Urban Squatters Increase

Tent cities under an overpass. Wooden shanties invading vacant lots. Squatters illegally occupying empty houses. This is not Rio, Dhaka or Nairobi. Rather, scenes like this have begun to appear in Fresno, Seattle, Miami and other American cities, where thousands of people are resorting to illegal means to find shelter.

Illegal settlements of homeless people have recently sprung up in around a dozen American cities as people have lost their jobs and homes and run out of options. As Where noted in a previous post on creative residential responses to the economic crisis, many families have refused to vacate or have illegally occupied foreclosed homes – which makes sense when 1 in 9 (14 million) homes fall in that category. In Miami, Take Back the Land is one of several groups either openly or covertly moving homeless families into empty foreclosed homes. In 2006, the group responded to a deepening housing shortage in Liberty City, Miami, by erecting a shantytown on a vacant lot that had held low-income housing, until the city demolished it 8 years earlier. Known as Umoja Village, the shantytown housed up to 50 homeless people until it burned down in 2007.

America spends billions each day on wars but the growth of homeless families in this country is deeply disturbing. You can find more information (& can help) at:


Gee, Do you think so?MANCHESTER, Ky. – When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drew on years of experience for a warning: "Be careful."
The 51-year-old Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

Yours for better living,
Bruce “The PoorMan”

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