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DIY Plumbing Solution: The Baking Soda & Vinegar Plumb Bomb, an Eco-Friendly Chemical-Free Liquid Plumr & Drano Alternative

The Problem

Being first time homeowners, we were unaware (until a few days ago) that the main drain in a house needs to be regularly maintained to prevent clogs from developing. So those of you who are savvy homeowners should not be astonished to hear that after 6 years, our drain developed a serious clog. While copious amounts of Liquid Plumr opened the drain enough to allow for a little water use, we were not able to do laundry in the modern fashion or take a shower lasting more than 10 seconds. Therefore, after washing our hair in the kitchen sink, we decided to try the baking soda and vinegar remedy.

The Solution

On the internet, we found many versions of this plumbing fix. Everyone had a different prescription for baking soda-to-vinegar ratio or how long to wait before pouring in the boiling water. After considering our situation, we came up with our own procedure for clearing a clog with this wholesome home remedy. Continue reading DIY Plumbing Solution: The Baking Soda & Vinegar Plumb Bomb, an Eco-Friendly Chemical-Free Liquid Plumr & Drano Alternative

The Frugal Literate’s Guide to Affordable Reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Reading is one of the most frugal hobbies in existence, and is something, in my opinion, that everyone should do. Not only is it entertaining, but it can be beneficial and educational in many ways. In fact, reading is (along with watching period films based on classic literature) Madoline’s and my favorite hobby, and when we’re not working we can often be found with a book in front of us, even while eating.

The virtues of reading (even light-hearted, entertaining fiction) are as follows:

  • Subconsciously improves your knowledge of language, grammar and writing
  • Acquisition of vocabulary through example in context
  • Expands your horizons and knowledge of people and the world
  • Teaches a sense of perspective and the ability to see more than one side of a situation
  • Improves overall reading comprehension skills and better prepare you for life
    • Good reading and writing skills are essential for success in career and business
    • The ability to better read and understand contracts, terms and conditions (such as credit card terms) helps you to be a more conscientious consumer
    • Proper writing and spelling is a necessity if you want to be taken seriously whether it be in letters, on message boards, your own website or blog, etc.

So now that I’ve convinced you of the virtues of reading, here are some tips for reading on a budget (or ) and sources for affordable reading. While we try to borrow from the library as much as possible, we do sometimes purchase books.

A few reasons we purchase books are:

  • Collecting
    Book collecting is just as rewarding a hobby as stamp or coin collecting. Some people collect for fun, and others for profit. We personally love books so much that we would rather keep old and rare books than sell them.
  • Reading more than once
    We have favorite books and series that we often read more than once (sometimes once a year) and feel it worthwhile to purchase and collect them.
  • Study and reference
    Madoline is currently studying in preparation for graduate school, so we often purchase reference and related materials that will be useful both now and later.
  • Home library
    We live in a remote area without much to do and our local library can be rather lacking in some areas, so if there is a book we are sure of liking and re-reading, we sometimes purchase it. Also, if you live a frugal lifestyle and often opt to stay home instead of going out and spending money, it’s sometimes nice to have a handy library to pick from when in need of some entertainment or activity.

You don’t have to purchase new books to fill your collection or library. In fact, we often prefer to purchase used books just because they’re more comfortable to read. When we read a new book, we always feel the need to keep it pristine and hate seeing them get dinged or creased. But with used books, we don’t have that problem, and can read in total comfort (after wiping it over with rubbing alcohol). There are many sources for very affordable books, as low as 10-25 cents per book, which I will share below. I will start with the most preferred (frugal) sources and work my way down.

Continue on for a list of affordable reading resources. Continue reading The Frugal Literate’s Guide to Affordable Reading

Consumer Safety Resources from the Government on SPAM, Scams, Fraud, Phishing and Identity Theft

United States Department of Justice Seal
In the last 2 days, I have received at least 3 fraudulent solicitations via U.S. mail and who knows how many via e-mail. While I’ve gotten pretty good at detecting spam scams, it can be harder with physical mail solicitations.

The origin of the fraudulent solicitations I received were very different in nature — a crafts product testing club, an automobile warranty service and a “Title Compliance Board” — but they all had two things in common: they wanted me to pay hundreds of dollars for things they will never deliver or for something I could get myself for about $5 (my property deed), and they came in very convincing looking packages.

So I thought I’d christen this Identity Protection and Fraud Prevention Week here at Pecuniarities and follow-up my last 2 posts:

with a compilation of links information on fraud prevention.

I’ve spent the majority of this week working on this list where you will find almost 100 links to online resources provided and recommended by the government to teach you how to protect yourself from the rampant greed of the physical- and cyber-world. Topics covered include how to recognize, avoid, report and recover from scams and frauds of all sorts.

Click on the Table of Contents link below for a preview of the topics covered in this list.

If you don’t have the time to go through all this information right now, be sure and bookmark this page so you can refer to it should the need arise. And please share this page with your friends and family!

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Continue reading Consumer Safety Resources from the Government on SPAM, Scams, Fraud, Phishing and Identity Theft