Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reuse Ideas For Holidays

Trees have it rough this time of year. Not only are they cut down to decorate for Christmas, it's also the prime time for paper use: Christmas cards and wrapping paper. Here's some green tips for cutting down on your contribution to a sea of crumpled red and green.

1. Make home-made cards from cereal boxes and decorate with collages from catalogs that you haven't yet called to have them stop sending.

2. Wrap gifts in newspaper and grocery bags. Dress them up with raffia or some real mistletoe, holly or evergreen clippings.

3. Use real dishes for your holiday events and cloth napkins. You'll impress your friends and family and have some good memories from gathering around the kitchen sink to clean up. Some of my fondest holiday memories are from the kitchen clean-up time.

4. Save wrapping paper and gift bags when you get gifts and reuse it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Using Old Christmas Cards

We all get a bunch of holiday greetings that are very special to us and we set them back for a few years until space limits us from "keeping them all" and it's time to go through and find a use for them. Here's a few things Donna has done with them over the years:

• Cut out a cute part of the scene, punch a hole in the corner, and use it for a gift tag. Some can be used on gifts other than Christmas depending on the scene.

• Cut out scenes and use in scrapbooks to surround your photos.

• Use them for notes around the holidays as you leave messages for family members or neighbors.

• For the most savings of all! Make them postcards with your own Christmas greeting. This will save buying cards, save trees since you won't need an envelope, provide a reuse instead of recycling option, and on top of all of that, you'll save 15 cents postage compared to the cost of sending a greeting card.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lonely White Socks

There's always those lonely socks that have lost their mate. They make good dust rags, but how many dust rags do you need? In an issue of Albemarle Family, Jennifer writes:

White socks make the cutest snowmen. Fill the bottom third of the sock with sand and pink it off with a rubber band, fill the next third with more sand and tie a fabric scrap around it for a winter scarf. Then fill almost to the top with a smaller amount of sand and tie a knot atop. Fold the sock top over the knot to look like a hat. Draw or glue on some eyes, a nose, a mouth and some buttons.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Telemarketers: Do Not Call Registry

If you got on board to stop those annoying telemarketing calls years back, your registration may have expired. You have to renew every 5 years. We just renewed ours.

If you're one of those people that just didn't believe it would work, let me assure you it does! We haven't had a telemarketing call since a couple months after we registered.

It doesn't stop political and non-profits, but we get few calls from them. You can request to be taken off their lists verbally.

If you get calls 31 days after registering, you can report the caller's phone number (which they are required to show if they're a telemarketer) or the name of the company.

You can also begin right away by saying, "According to my legal rights, I'd like to have this telephone number removed from your call list."

Register now through DoNotCall.gov website or toll-free at 1-888-382-1222.

Re: Cell Phones

It's a myth that telemarketers are going to begin calling cell phones. Wireless companies and the FTC will not release subscriber information to telemarketers.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Holidays: Family Trivia

When holidays come that have lots of family in one location, you can keep things lively by having a Family Trivia game. Have each family member write 20 trivia questions on index cards with the answer on the back.

When everybody is together, shuffle the cards and let the game begin. One by one, family members draw a card and try to answer the question. If there are any new in-laws in the group, it's a great way for them to get "filled in" on the past. It's a great time of laughs, tears and bonding too!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Opt Out Of Credit Card Offers

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you.

More junk mail and more sharing of your private information. But! The FCRA also provides you the right to "Opt-Out", which prevents Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from providing your credit file information.

Through www.OptOutPrescreen.com. you can opt out of this process.

More Tips and Articles on Finances
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28