Don't Let Your Home Burn
Replace Batteries

Frugal Living Tips
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October 17, 2002 Issue

Cheaper: Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin OUR NEW BOOK! Just published
Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything

by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin
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List of index of all topics with links Financial calculators - printer friendly Cut budget 5000 dollars a year Only $8 / month for all long distance? coupons, free samples, catalogs, close-outs Rebel Consumer Blog

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Vol. 8, October 17, 2002

Here is the latest issue. Enjoy.
Editor, Rick Doble


    Check your smoke alarms now
    Grab these savings now
    Buy you can lock in today's price
    Just don't risk your life using old ones
    Top quality, less expensive
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Check your smoke alarms now

Test your smoke alarms before the last day in October and replace all batteries. Don't take chances. This small step can prevent your home from catching fire in addition to preventing injury or death to you or members of your family.

Fire departments recommend that you check when the time changes from daylight savings to standard time. Replace every single battery with a fresh one (best quality) and then test each alarm to make sure that it is working properly. Never leave last year's battery in your smoke alarm even if it appears to be okay.

Smoke alarms are inexpensive. Buy as many as needed to meet local regulations. In general they should be placed on the ceiling. Put one close to the entrance of each bedroom as well as inside every bedroom and on all floors including the basement.

Some insurance companies may give you a discount on your home policy once you have complied with local requirements.

While having home fire and smoke alarms may give you a sense of well being, they only work if they have fresh batteries. It is not unusual to see a TV report of a house fire in which there were several alarms but none worked since the batteries had not been replaced.

A comprehensive, sensible plan
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Grab these savings now

On sale: Used cars , major appliances , shoes, boys clothing , blankets .

Do all Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving . You can get better deals before the hectic days of December and you will avoid the crowds.

Turkeys are often inexpensive. Buy several and freeze.

Check all doors, windows for drafts. Clean your furnace and change filters.

Tune your car before winter starts. Do a winter automobile check up. Get antifreeze early; the price always goes up in the winter.

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

Fruits and vegetables : apples, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cranberries, endive, grapefruit, grapes, lima beans, mushrooms, parsley, rutabagas, winter squash, turnips.

Get Calphalon pans, grills, ice cream makers and all kinds of cookware. Read descriptions at our site:


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You can use the BigZoo
for regular long distance service or like a calling card on the road.
Or give one to your children to call home all for 3.5/minute.

You can lock in today's price

According to the Department of Energy, the cost of heating fuel will go up a lot this winter. Natural gas could rise almost 20% and home heating oil 40% from a year ago.

We recommend that you ask your fuel company for a long term contract which will lock in the current price for the rest of the cold weather season. Many (but not all) companies offer this option.

If you do not do this, you will be paying the going price, month to month, which in the depth of the winter could be quite steep.

Locking a price does not come without risk, since prices could go down. However, the best estimates of the Department of Energy predict that it will go up, perhaps substantially. In this scenario, it is unlikely that you will lose money and very likely that you will save a bundle. So this is a good gamble.

Discount Hotel Reservations
Check out the specials!
Such as:
New York from $69
Chicago from $68
San Francisco from $79
Washington DC from $69

Just don't risk your life using old ones

When you take the battery out of that smoke detector do not throw it away. The battery is still good, just not good enough to risk your life on. It should be okay to run most other devices.

I recommend that you mark the outside of the battery with a magic marker so that you know it is an old one but still usable.

Don't stumble around in the dark!

See our full selection of Maglites online
at the web site

Top quality, less expensive

I have found that the "dollar" stores, such as Dollar General, often sell Panasonic alkaline batteries for 50% off the price of other well known brands.

I have been using Panasonic batteries now for four years and find them to be as good if not better than the highly advertised brands. Just be sure to buy the best quality alkaline for all your needs, as it is not cost effective to use the lower grades.

I would not hesitate to put Panasonic batteries in my smoke detectors , for example. In fact that is exactly what I do.

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    is used by the national media, such as:
  • MSNBC (National Cable TV)
    Interview -- July 2002
    Cut Clothing Costs
  • ABC-TV's TheView - Supermarket Secrets
  • Woman's Day (3 articles)
  • Woman's World (6 articles)
  • Mademoiselle
  • Bottom Line/Personal (12 articles)
  • SweepsFeed - a TV syndicated news service for national distribution (2 interviews)
  • Editor, Rick Doble interviewed by WTVJ (NBC) Miami, FL, May 2002
  • Editor, Rick Doble is under contract with Penguin Books to write a book tentatively entitled Breaking the Price Barrier

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