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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cut Property Taxes, Tea Party Lesson, Frugal Resources

The only way to keep that money here at home is to buy prostitutes, beer and cigarettes, since these are the only products still produced in the US.”

This Week’s Poor Man Bulletin
Your Choice for Usable Information

Rewards for Recycling

Rewards for Recycling is a community based program that provides a Club-Based system providing rewards to residents encouraging curbside recycling participation. Your community, by adopting this valuable program has made club membership available to you simply for being a resident. Rewards for Recycling is a community participation program, not a competition.
Learn more by visiting:

New Gold Rush?
Officials at the Suwa sewage treatment plant in Japan are extracting gold from processed sewage. They average 1,890 grams of gold per ton of incinerated sludge. More than is processed from most gold mines. It’s believed the gold is from hi-tech manufacturers in the area!

How to Reduce Your Property Taxes

In the mid 90s I owned 10 acres and a 10-bedroom, 18,000 sq. ft. home and my property tax bill was only $1100 per year. This was a bargain compared to my retired father who lived in a new Michigan subdivision and was paying $5000!
With some coaching and a variety of tools, including a senior citizen homestead exemption, he was able to cut that bill in half.

The housing market may have softened, but many homeowners are discovering one place where their property values remain at peak levels: on the local property-tax roll.
Because many local governments assign values to properties in their jurisdictions only once every three or more years, many homes still carry assessments from the market's peak, in 2005 and 2006. Some of these valuations are only now being reflected in taxpayers' bills. As a result, the National Taxpayers Union, a nonprofit advocacy group in Alexandria, Va., expects local property-tax bills to increase at least 5% this year, on top of 7% to 8% average annual gains since 2001.

In response, homeowners in many parts of the country have filed a record number of property-tax appeals this year. You can lodge an appeal at any time, though if you want to affect your tax bill for the current fiscal year, you may have to file by a specific deadline. Get the steps you need to lower your bill by going to our site - click on “lower your property tax” tab. or visit:

25 Ways to Cut Household Expenses
An arsenal of weapons to start cutting your expenses right away.
New State Government Scam
Many cash-strapped state governments are considering legislation that will allow them to claim balances on gift cards that go unused. Nearly half the states currently grab unused card balances after two to five years of inactivity. You should purchase cards that allow you to register your information with the issuing company.


Find locally grown foods: Directory of farmer’s markets, family farms and more at:
Find Day Old Bakery Outlets in your area
More Household hints for living cheaper!

· If you still use a dishwasher, clean it with Kool-Aid vs. buying special, overpriced powders at the store. Just dump in a packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid.
· Use cat litter to make a facial mud mask. The clay in litter detoxifies your skin by absorbing dirt and oil from pores.
· The key ingredient in Alka Seltzer is aspirin and you can use it to clean your toilet – drop a couple of tablets into your bowl and let it work for 20 minutes. Use it to also clean your jewelry to soothe insect bites (drop two tablets into a glass of water, then dip a cotton ball & apply to the bite).
· Use aspirin to revive a dead car battery if you don’t have jumper cables. Drop two tablets into the battery; the acetylsalicylic acid will combine with the battery’s sulfuric acid to produce one last charge.
· Use beer to soften up tough meat. Simply pour over the tough cut and let it soak for an hour or marinate it overnight or place into your slow cooker with the meat.
· Use left over cardboard tubes from toilet paper to keep electric cords tangle free or flatten them out to secure kitchen knives when you go on a picnic. We often use these tubes in packing delicate items we sell on eBay.
· Don’t toss your dryer lint. Save it in a zip-lock bag and use it in your firepit to get the kindling started.
· Erase winter salt stains from your hardwood floors with Apple Cider Vinegar. Pour 1 tbs. Onto a cloth and start dabbing at the edges of the marks, working your way toward the center; won’t damage the wood floor. Use this vinegar too to get rid of bad foot odor (like my brother used to have). Simply soak your feet in a solution of 1/3 cup of vinegar and a ½ cup of warm water for about 30-minutes. Repeat nightly until the odor is gone.
· Use Vicks Vapo Rub to treat toenail fungus-simply apply several times a day or use it to stop insect-bite itch – apply a liberal portion.

Vicks was created by a pharmacist in 1905. Realizing he needed to promote the new product, he convinced postal authorities to allow him to send ads via the mail addressed to ‘boxholder.’ Our first ‘junk mail.’

Need to brush up on your Valentine’s flirting? >>>>”The other night, after I crawled into bed next to my husband, he wrapped his arms around me, took a deep breath, and whispered, :Mmmm-that Vicks smells good.”

How & Where to hide or store your guns – useful free site

Free Potato (Spudgun) Cannon Plans…something to beat the winter doldrums – why spend $12-$20 when you can get the plans free at these sites:

Bad economy is good news for direct sales
Historically, hooking up with a direct sales firm is one of the easiest and least expensive types of home businesses to start and depending on the effort you put into it, they can be quite successful in generating extra income and tax breaks.

Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and even Fuller Brush (started by a Black man in the 1920s) are well known names, which can prove lucrative for entrepreneurs.

At any given time, 15 million Americans work in direct sales and commissions range in the 20-50% range. After expenses, most folks earn an average of $15 an hour, but work typically less than 20 hours a week. Only about 10% manage to turn these opportunities into a full-time job. If you’re afraid of selling, this is not a venture for you.

Avoid companies, which ask for more than $150 in start up fees. You can research reputations by visiting the following sites.

NOTE: The above named firms are not to be confused with multi-level-marketing (MLM) firms, though many will pay you an override commission on people you recruit. MLM is good in theory, but seldom pans out financially for most folks. The one time I was persuaded to get involved with one, they went out of business the day after they cashed my check!

Ways to make money with your blog
Although I’ve not personally tested these out, they may be worth your while. Many retailers have affiliate programs or you can earn money with product reviews. Each of the following links have their own requirements and payout plans so examine each.

Six Red Flags Which Trigger IRS Audits

Find out which online tax prep software is the best from PC Magazine,2817,2359077,00.asp

News Flashes

Tea-Party Convention: Lessons on Palin and the Movement
Things can get awkward when protesters have to put down their placards and tackle the business of building an organization - networking online and recruiting reliable volunteers, precinct captains and even candidates. The transition is even more uncomfortable when undertaken in the glare of the national media spotlight, as the national tea-party movement attempted to do at its first convention, held in Tennessee over the weekend.
As with any protest movement, consensus proved elusive in two days of debate, but they seemed to agree on five key points:

1. Don't Tread on Me

The tea-party folks are innately suspicious of any institutions. "Keep the change ... I'll keep my freedom, my guns and my money!" read a T-shirt for sale in the lobby. The very term national convention might imply the existence of a leadership, but the activists proudly insist that there is none. "I'm a facilitator; we don't have leaders," one lady told TIME when asked if she heads her local tea-party chapter. "We're all equal in this movement."

(NOTE: next issue will include a thought provoking concept…States to secede to accommodate Washington budget woes.
Most Consumers happy with store brands-Big Savings
So long Pampers, Hefty, and Birds Eye. Instead, the pantry is stocked with cheaper imitations of the same goods: Wal-Mart’s diapers, BJ’s garbage bags, and Stop & Shop’s frozen veggies.
“I am not loyal to any grocery store or any brand,’’ said O’Herron, who estimates she saves at least $50 a month by buying generic brands. “I am loyal to savings.’’

A growing number of consumers like O’Herron are ditching their beloved Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and Wonder Bread for less expensive versions without the familiar packaging. Unit sales of private label goods have jumped 8 percent since 2007, while brand names have declined roughly 4 percent, according to Nielsen Co.

Many shoppers are finding that sugar, shredded cheddar, and milk peddled under store labels cost up to 40 percent less and often taste just as good as nationally known brands. Some items are even made by the same manufacturers.

Shoppers’ switch to store brands suits merchants just fine because they make a bigger profit from selling their own labels.


Forget the Mortgage, I'm Paying My Credit Card Bill

Amid high unemployment and sliding home prices, a growing number of struggling consumers are doing what was once considered unthinkable: paying their credit card bills instead of their mortgages. A recent study developed by TransUnion found the percentage of Americans who were current on their credit cards but behind on their mortgage increased to 6.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009, up from 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, the share of consumers making mortgage payments on time but behind on their credit cards moved in the opposite direction, sliding from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent over the same time period.
The data reflects a "fundamental paradigm shift" in the way consumers prioritize payment of debt obligations, says Ezra Becker, of TransUnion. "This is dramatically different," he says. "It is a clear manifestation of the dynamics that lead up to the recession and the recession itself."

Consumer Watchdog Says Wall Street Spent Millions To Influence Financial Reform Outcome
As the financial reform bill makes its way through Congress and the tug of war continues between the proponents and opponents of greater regulation, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization has released a report that details the Washington lobbying efforts of the financial industry.

According to the report, the Senate Banking committee members received $41 million in contributions since 2005, and representatives of Wall Street banks and investment firms spent $336 million lobbying Congress in the first three quarters of 2009.
More from our friends at:

The Dirty Dozen: How 25 percent of Americans are Dying from the Food They Eat

Pizza Hut. It ranked No. 1 on three of the Worst of the Worst lists
In the process of researching the nutritional facts from 12 of the more popular chains when a copy of Aramark Corporation’s “Guide to Fast Food” came across my desk. In this little gem I found the “tale of the tape” on 20 of the country’s most popular fast food chains. Starbucks, too! And if you think eating at Subway is good for you because of that guy from the commercial… think again. And if you think chicken served in these restaurants is a better choice than beef… you’ve been misled.

Of the 20 fast food restaurants listed in the guide I’ve culled information from 12, and I call them “The Dirty Dozen.” Below are some tables based on the information published by Aramark, as provided by the franchises themselves, or found on their websites. I call these tables, “The Worst of the Worst” (i.e., things never to eat), and “The Best of the Worst” (i.e., things almost never to eat). I then list the worst and best from the selected Dirty Dozen, in terms of overall numbers of calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium.
More at:

Few Americans Want Members of Congress Re-Elected, Poll Finds
Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Just 8 percent of Americans want the members of Congress re-elected, according to a CBS News-New York Times poll taken nine months before roughly one-third of the Senate and the entire House face voters.

The Feb. 5-10 survey found 81 percent of respondents saying the lawmakers shouldn’t receive another term.

By 80 percent to 13 percent, Americans said members of Congress are more interested in serving special interests than the people they represent.

Politically Incorrect Commentary

How much do you think Senators make? They now make $154,700 a year. But they say it will stimulate the economy because eventually that money will trickle down to the liquor stores, the hookers, the brothels ... then it will get back in the community." —Jay Leno, on Congress voting itself a pay raise.


Even Pelosi is in disagreement with the President on his ‘job creation tax credit’ saying it’s unlikely to create jobs…

Tax credits are nice, but in the scheme of things, most small business owners need cash or credit now to expand or to hire.

Outright grants would be great!
I believe the Netherlands provides startup grants to those who are unemployed and wish to start up a business…plus they offer complete support assistance to startups.
During the Great Depression we had programs such as the CCC and TVA, which helped to build the infrastructure of America. Programs of this nature devoted to rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, grants for manufacturing and research into alternative energy projects, low cost or tuition grants in needed career fields and more is the way to go in rebuilding this country…not more red tape.

When businesses cannot borrow money, it leads to more layoffs. (Note: one option – consider factoring –selling receivables- to raise cash and stop extending credit to customers)…

A shocking new report out just this morning gives the lie to the government-endorsed myth that the worst is behind us ...

Official figures out of Europe show that the Eurozone barely had a pulse — growing only .1%; a mere one-fourth as fast as predicted in the last three months of 2009.
The German and Portuguese economies failed to grow at all ... Spain’s economy contracted .1% and Greece’s economy shriveled by.8%.

That brings total economic growth in the European Union to a MINUS 2.3% for the year!
Meanwhile, the news from our side of the pond wasn’t much better: Foreign investors are recoiling in horror from Washington’s spending and borrowing spree: Yesterday’s auction of 30-year treasuries was a huge disappointment — only about 28.5% of the issues were sold to indirect bidders.

What this country needs is a Citizens Oversight Committee to watch over politicians and special interest groups. Findings from this group should be broadcast in detail on FOX and other news outlets.

“I don’t know why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day.When I think of romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”--Paul McGinty

As always, I welcome your comments and invite you to share this with your friends.
Yours for better living,

Bruce “The PoorMan”

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