TIGHTWAD TIPS # 8 -
||Coke Can Oil Lamp (~$ unknown savings /mo)
Oil & Cola Emergency Lamp.
will you do thins winter when the lights go out? Hopefully
you've got your emergency flashlight, radio, food and water supplies.
If the power will be out for some time, however, you may want to know
about this easy oil lamp. Great for camping too. The
parts needed for this lamp can be found in virtually every household.
An empty aluminum cola can, an old cotton sock, and about a tablespoon
of cooking oil are all you need. First stab an empty cola can in
the middle and cut around the circumference until you cut the can
completely in half. Use
a pair of gloves to hold the can halves, because the metal is very
sharp. Use the bottom half of the cola can, and cut half inch
deep slits spaced each half inch along the circumference of the can.
Fold over to make a safe rim along the edge. Now take the top
half of the can and work the pull tab off the top by pulling up and
side to side. Work the tab back and forth with upward pressure,
until it pulls off. Dispose of the top half can into the recycle
trash. Next cut a one inch by 3/8" slip of material from
the old sock. Roll the material into a thick
rope and feed it into the pull tab attachment hole. Pull through
about half an inch so it sticks up while the pull tab rests upside
down. Now pour a cap full of cooking oil into the bottom of the
can. Place the upside down pull tab with the wick in the
middle of the can and drape the cotton wick so it pulls the oil from
the edge of the can. The length of the wick pulled through the
tab hole will determine the height of the flame. A good quarter
inch of wick will give a good flame with virtually no smoke. Now
you can light the wick and it should last about three to four hours
with each tablespoon or so of corn oil.
|GARDEN SAVINGS TIPS
||Premature tool replacement (~$0.20/mo)
'O Tools: Rust Eraser
tools take a lot of abuse. You can lose years of useful life from the
effects of environmental enemies like corrosion, rust, tree sap, water
and dirt. Here's a simple way to keep tools healthy, lubricated,
and rust free with almost no effort. Next time you change
the oil in your car, pour it into a bucket of sand and add your garden
tools. It's just that simple. The grit from the sand holds the
oil and polishes the metal surfaces. Tools hold fast in the sand
and are ready for use. Just don't forget to clean tools
before and after use with an old cotton rag.
Alignment Strips (~$0.55/mo)
of Fortune: Bicycle Tire Savings
is an environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to travel around
town. When you add up the aerobic health benefits and cost
savings on gym fees, you'll find that biking is the perfect way to go.
With biking, however, there is one minor expense that seems to deflate
the joy of serene cycling; the flat tire follies. Many of my
worries were solved after I purchased a thorn puller attachment for my
tires, but I have had my wealth of flat tires. Once a tire or an inner
tube becomes too old, I retire these treasures into the garden.
An inner tube with a dozen patches is still excellent for use in
aligning and training trees. Simply wrap a cut tube around the
young tree trunk in a figure eight with the other end around a stake
to guide the wayward tree. Apply pressure and tie off. For small
jobs, cut the inner tube in lengthy strips and use as garden ties.
The rubber inner tube strips are plant friendly, stretch with the
wind, and won't carve into the plant. For tough jobs I use cut bike
tires. They're reinforced with metal and material and will last a long
time. I even saw one gardener using strips of cut bicycle tires
as a garden gate hinge. With this rubber material, the
possibilities are endless, so go ahead and tire yourself thinking of
ways to re-use and recycle.
|HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS TIPS
Tape & Food Items (~.50/mo)
|Microwave Savings Unmasked
amazing what a microwave oven can do to rejuvenate foods and various
items. A short zap will rejuvenate a roll of old masking tape
and make it stick again. A short zap will make a
lemon give more juice when squeezed. A little zap will refresh
stale muffins and bread items. Microwave ovens work by heating items
from inside out. Many times items that appear to have no
moisture at all can be made to live again by just using from 10 to 30
seconds in most 600 to 1000 watt microwave ovens.
|HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS TIPS
Savings (4x/mo. $60./ea. ~$.16/mo)
|To Tip or Not to Tip: That is the Question.
Once upon a time, tips were intended as rewards for excellent
service. More often then not, however, tips are given from feelings of guilt or a
desire to impress others, hardly an honest reason to spend money. The standard
service tip today is between fifteen and twenty percent, which can increase a bill
quickly. When it comes to tips, many people have strong feelings. If you've
ever made friends with a struggling waiter or waitress, then you probably feel a unique
obligation to tip generously. Perhaps you live in an area of the world where it's
simply not done. Maybe you feel pressure to tip generously when you dine with
others. Donating a financial gratuity beyond the required price of a service is an
individual choice. Whenever you give a gift, it should be considered on a case by
case basis, and before you tip, you should examine your motivations. If you give
tips out of a sense of fairness to service workers, then perhaps you should be giving tips
to fast food workers, after all most of them are financially ignored and can use the money
better then anyone else. If you tip a worker at a place where you dine routinely, then you
may want to motivate the workers for your next appearance. Quite honestly, tipping
after a meal, does nothing to improve service and really can only be considered a reward
for good service or as a show for others. If you dine with others and you are
obvious about your frugality, you may make them feel uncomfortable. In such a
situation, your tip can be confidential if you pay the bill. Tipping is very useful
in some circumstances, but usually more effective before the service and not after.
If you must have someone park your car, tipping someone before service, makes more sense
Unusual Money: Motivation 4 Less
The most creative way to reduce the cost of tipping
is to tip with unusual money. In my case, I went to the bank and got a stack of two
dollar bills, which are not circulated anymore, but are legal currency and still
available. I used to use Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, but these are too easily
confused with quarter dollar coins. Two dollar bills have enabled me to give much
less in tips, while better motivating workers. Many people collect these bills and
see them as a sign of good luck to receive them. In addition, if you are concerned
about appearances, friends or associates that may be watching will be impressed instead of
Motivation: Not Employee Enrichment
If tips are for motivation, then motivation is what you are giving, not employee
enrichment, since that is clearly the duty of the employer. Are customers supposed
to fund the payroll for someone else's employees? Just who is the tightwad here?
With that thought in mind, I believe that motivation should be your focus, not
tossing around free money. Using the two dollar bill motivators, I use three bills
($6.00) when I have a bill that traditionally calls for an eight dollar tip. When a
situation calls for a five or six dollar traditional tip, I give two bills ($4.00), thus
saving a percentage in actual money while getting a higher motivation value. My
results have always been very well received. In some cases, you would think I left a
twenty dollar bill! The two dollar tips are always appreciated and usually saved as
keepsakes. (I give fresh bills) Using this technique, I motivate employees, reward
good service, calm those watching, and appropriately save finances. Of course, if
you really want save money, why are you eating out!
tip? Sure... We'll take real juicy stock tips... But how
about an original tip on saving money? If needed, we'll edit
your tip for space and clarity, and you'll get the published credit!
Join the world of frugality and send us your tightwad tip. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org