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MailTribune.com
  • A Penny Earned: spices, light bulbs, buses, home offices

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  • Shop for spices in grocery stores that sell them by bulk.
    For instance, at WinCo, 1/5 of a pound of curry that sells for $4 a pound and fills a small spice container costs 21 cents; 1/8 of a pound dried parsley flakes selling for $2.67 a pound is 25 cents; 1/7 of a pound of paprika selling for $3.82 a pound is 27 cents.
    Spices have a shelf life. Your spices will be fresher and more pungent when purchased more frequently for a lot less money.
    — Patricia L. Ayers, Medford
    I believe what needs to be done not only to save money but to conserve energy is to replace our regular clear light bulbs to energy-efficient light bulbs.
    By doing so, not only are we saving 75% less energy compared to the regular clear light bulb, but also energy-efficient light bulbs last longer. The energy efficient light bulbs are slightly more expensive, but it will help save more money in the long run.
    You can save more than $30 and more in electricity cost and produce about 75% less heat.
    If everyone in our city changed their light bulbs to energy-efficient light bulbs imagine how much energy we would be conserving and also helping our earth.
    Go SPIRAL LIGHT BULBS!
    — Tina Huynh, North Medford Student, Central Point
    Do you feel like my mom does? Do you feel like you are the family taxi and all your kids want a ride somewhere at the same time? Teach your kids how to ride public transportation.
    If you have never ridden a Rogue Valley Transportation District bus, check out its routes and schedules online (www.rvtd.org). Choose a destination such as Lithia Park or a relative's house.
    Any age group can have fun on an urban adventure. There are many things for kids to do in the Rogue Valley that don't cost anything.
    Each week the Mail Tribune lists activities; also check out the front of the phone book. You will find a list of parks, activities, bus routes and lots of ideas to get your kids out of the house and spend very little money doing it.
    — Michelleen Patton, North Medford High School student
    Coupons are no longer for the ultra-thrifty. Thanks to the recession, more consumers are using them to save a few bucks — or much more. Erin Huffstetler, who writes the consumer blog Frugal Living, saves 40 percent to 50 percent on her grocery bill with coupons.
    There are the traditional paper coupons you find in newspaper inserts. And plenty of online sites allow you to print coupons on your home computer. Huffstetler likes PGESaver.com and Smart Source.com. And Upromise.com, the reward card, offers eCoupons that direct the savings into a college fund, she says.
    Other site recommendations from heavy coupon users: RetailMeNot.com, Hotcoupon world.com and www-Coupons.com.
    Some retailers might not accept online coupons. Call ahead to find out, Huffstetler says.
    Maximize coupons by waiting for the product to go on sale, Huffstetler says. You'll start noticing that stores tend to put items on sale the same time every month, so you can figure out how much you need to buy before the next sale.
    And if your newspaper has exceptionally good coupons one day, "buy an extra paper," she says.
    — The Baltimore Sun
    Do you run a small office/home office business? If you're using a regular "wired" telephone, save the cost of a second telephone (about $21 per month with taxes) and go with Qwest's "Custom Ring" feature, currently listed at $5 per month.
    The custom ring feature can be added to your existing telephone line and offers up to four different telephone numbers for a single telephone line, each with a special "ring type." Make one number your business line, so that you can always answer that ring in a professional manner.
    Learn more about Custom Ringing at http://www.qwest.com/residential/pdf/user_guides/english/CustomRing.pdf
    — John Littleton, Medford
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