Learn How To Check Each Tire

Frugal Living Tips
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May 17, 2002 Issue

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Published 1st & 3rd Friday Of Each Month
Vol. 8, May 17, 2002

  1. IN DEPTH: Is your car dangerous?
    1 in 4 cars is at risk
    Learn how to check your tires
  2. RICK'S TIPS - From Editor Rick Doble:
    Eating at an expensive restaurant
  3. NEWS: Price of long distance going up
    Unstick those doors and windows
    with an old candle

Check out the free cell phones
and different calling plans.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) one in four cars has at least one tire that is dangerously underinflated. One in three light trucks is vulnerable as well.

Underinflated tires are much more likely to fail. As we know from the Firestone problems of years past, a failed tire can result in a deadly accident.

And as we often point out here at SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com, doing the right thing will also save money, save energy, help the environment and mean that you do not have to replace tires as often saving you time. Properly inflated tires wear less, use less gas and are much safer.

For starters you need to have your own gauge. Gauges at service stations are often inaccurate and unreliable. See the web link at the end of this article for a good deal on an inexpensive gauge along with a detailed booklet.

Learn how to measure pressure properly: when the gauge is placed on the tire stem it should make a solid puff sound not a leaky air sound. Only the solid puff sound will give you an accurate reading. Do it several times until you get the hang of it and get the same reading from the same tire.

The proper inflation is often listed on the sticker that is on the edge of the driver's side door, door post or glove box door. If you cannot find it, locate the owner's manual or call the local dealer.

However, this is just the start. There is really only one true and accurate way to make sure that tires on your car are inflated to the optimum. Pay attention to how the tread is wearing. It if wears more on the outside, it is underinflated, too much on the inside means that it is over inflated. You can measure the depth of the tread quite accurately with an upside down penny. Stick the penny into the tread on the outside and then the inside of the tire. The tread should line up with Abe Lincoln's head in the same place.

NOTE: Improper alignment and other things can also cause uneven wear. If you have any doubts, get your tires examined by a professional.

For $4 car owners can order a metal gauge and tire safety guide in a pouch:

Click to get a free lifetime
drug discount card now.


Last Saturday, I took my wife to an upscale restaurant. We had been told that we would not be able to spend less than $30 a person but we got out for about $10 each.

Here's how we did it. Several days before, I stopped at the restaurant and looked at the menu that was posted outside. While most full meals were in the $30 range, a pasta with salad and bread was $10 or less. This is what my wife and I liked to eat so it was a good deal for us.

However, when we went to the restaurant on Saturday, the menu did not list the prices for pasta. They had been deliberately left off the menu! The waitress had to get a special menu which listed them. Not shy, we asked her to make sure that the cost was what we had seen outside. It was.

Happy Ending. The meal was excellent and we had just the right amount to eat.

Discount Hotel Reservations
Check out the specials!


The major long distance carriers plan to charge you more. Indications are that costs will continue to rise for the next year or so.

For example here are the new prices for the MCI basic rate:
Directory Assistance goes from $1.99 to $2.49 per call.
Personal 800 numbers go from $.35 to $.40/minute.
All day Sunday calls go from $.10 to $.20/minute.

According to the Wall Street Journal, you can pay from about $10 to about $30 for the same service a month. The trick is to comparison shop. This could be a difference of $240 a year.

We believe that telephone bills are quite confusing with many different plans being offered by the same phone company. A plan can include a variety of rates for day calls, night calls, weekend calls, in-state and local long distance calls plus a minimum monthly service charge, a minimum charge per month and a Universal Service Charge. We urge you to check your telephone statements over the next months and compare them to phone bills that you got earlier this year.

We continue to believe that the best deal is with a third party carrier such as the BigZoo which costs 3.9 cents a minute for in-state and out-of-state calls - 24/7. There is a very low monthly fee. In addition you can call at that same rate while on the road. We offer the services of the BigZoo here at SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com as an affiliated company.

We pay about $8 a month for all long distance
in-state, during the day, and on the road.


Change or clean all the filters on air conditioners. These should be cleaned at least once a month in hot weather. You should have your central AC cleaned and examined by service company. NOTE: Find a company that has been in business for a long time with a good reputation. Avoid new companies that have no track record.

Raise the temperature of the AC; You will save about 5% for every degree you raise your thermostat over 70 degrees. Most people find they are quite comfortable at 75 degrees inside instead of 70. It is also less of a shock to your body to go outside into the hot air if the temperature in the house is not very cold.

Air out your basement - this is a good time to prevent mold and rot from taking over.

If your car has not been tuned in six months, get it tuned before summer travel.

Look for sales on: electronics, summer sporting goods also early summer clothes.

NOTE: With some produce now available all during the year, many people have forgotten when fruits and vegetables are really fresh. Buying in season means that these items are often cheaper, fresher and that money may be going to local farmers:

Apples, apricots, asparagus, bananas, bermuda onions, blackberries, blueberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, celery, cherries, corn, cucumbers, green or wax beans, green onions, lemons, limes, lettuce, nectarines, okra, peas, pineapples, plums, raspberries, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, squash, tomatoes, watercress, watermelon.

Visit our discount travel page
we list 14 very different services
book a flight, rent a condo or a car, buy equipment and call on the road for 3.9 cents a minute.


My wife and I live in an older home. When the weather warms up in the south the humidity causes doors, drawers and windows to swell and rub in places that had not been a problem in the winter.

If the friction is only slight, this rubbing can be helped by taking the stub of an old candle and waxing the surface of the door and the doorway. Wax both sides such as the window and the window sash.

A comprehensive, sensible plan
to get you out of debt quickly.
Read a description on our site.


Different people who get their e-mail from WebTV have written SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com that they cannot access the *Members Only* area. The form will not accept the password. This problem only occurs with WebTV which includes about 5% of our subscribers.

If you get your e-mail through WebTV, please write me and I give you an alternate way to get to the *Members Only* area.

Sorry for the glitch.
Rick Doble, Editor
Click here to send me a message:

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