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My Five Favorite TV Shows I used to watch a lot of television. I'd have it on all the time, rarely watching a full show but just flipping from one channel to another, worried I might be missing something. Then we pulled the plug on cable TV, and I gave up that habit cold …Read more. The Scoop on Free Ice Cream Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day? Well, yes there is — FREE ice cream! And I've got the scoop on where you can get free goodies like ice cream on your birthday and other times, too. Most of these stores and …Read more. Carpeted Stairs Challenge and Old Furniture Rescue Dear Mary: I am going to have to buy a new vacuum cleaner soon and wanted to know your thoughts on the new Shark Navigator with the lift off container. — Wanda Dear Wanda: Oh, my, you could not make a better choice than a Shark Navigator …Read more. Five Moves to Simplify Your Spending I know what you're thinking: "simplify" and "spending" in the same sentence? Ha! Like that's even possible when we have credit cards, bank accounts, bills, bill-paying options, fees, penalties and interest rates to keep track of. How can we possibly …Read more.
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Online Bartering Just Got Easier

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Recently, a reporter called to ask me to weigh in on the merits and advisability of bartering, especially when times are tough. "Great idea," I said, and I went on to mention ways people can do this. You can trade music lessons for housecleaning or baby-sitting for haircuts. I wish I'd heard from our first tipster earlier. I didn't know about this new way to barter online. Read on!

TIP OF THE MONTH WINNER! I was on Craigslist re-listing my car that I had been trying to sell for more than two months, when I decided to look at the bartering section. I ended up finding a painter who was looking for a car in exchange for painting. I had no extra money to pay for the painting of my house and garage, which were in desperate shape. He agreed to paint my house and garage in exchange for the car. It was a great deal for me, as other painters estimated the house job would cost between $5,000 and $7,000; my car was worth $3,000. -- Leslie C., Illinois

AFFORDABLE EXTERMINATION. Last spring, we had a problem with carpenter ants. The cost to have the house fumigated was more than $900. Then we heard of a less expensive treatment. Spread uncooked Cream of Wheat where the ants travel. They will eat it, and when the cereal settles in their stomachs, it expands and kills them. -- Darlene, e-mail

YOGURT FRUGALITY.

You can save money on yogurt by buying it in quart containers. There are fewer choices of flavors, but you can buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit to flavor it. This gives you a 32-ounce container for about $2, depending on where you shop. You even can add cookie crumbs or candy bits to make it resemble the expensive yogurt cups that the kids like so much. -- Tina G., e-mail

FRENCH FAVORITE. My son and I are avid breakfast eaters. On weekends, I make entire loaves of bread into French toast. It takes seven eggs and about 1 1/2 cups of milk. Once the toast is cooled, I put it back in the same bread wrapper and put it in the freezer. In the morning, I pop a piece in the toaster, and my son has French toast in the morning. He loves it! -- Krista K., Oregon

One Tip of the Month winner is selected each month. The winner receives a one-year online subscription to the hugely popular members-only area of the Debt-Proof Living Web site (www.DebtProofLiving.com), which includes the equally popular monthly newsletter, Debt-Proof Living, now in its 17th year.

Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can e-mail her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Mary Hunt is the founder of DebtProofLiving.com and author of 17 books, including "Debt-Proof Living" and "Tiptionary 2." To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



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