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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Saving

I started my first little business enterprise when I was 7 or 8 thanks to Budweiser and the local Elks club. My friends and I were crawling around in the trash dumpsters at the Elks club after one of their shindigs and were retrieving some mighty fine swizzle sticks, party streamers and other colorful party paraphernalia. (They and apparently every other adult around at the time were either unaware or didn't care) .

To get at our intended loot, we had to wade through a gazillion Budweiser beer cans (not to mention chicken bones, cigarette butts and used paper plates) and at some point a light went on in my head and I realized that these foolish adults were throwing away money.

We high-tailed it home, grabbed some Hefty bags and returned to the dumpsters to mine the abandoned riches. When our bags were full, we would stomp on the cans in the driveway to make room for more. Aluminum cans fetched 15 cents a pound (or was it 5 cents?) back in 1973 (ish) and I remember a full bag of squashed cans would net us $5 - $7.00. To us that was a fortune considering $1.00 spent prudently at the local 7-11 would buy a whole bag full of candy - most of the small stuff was a penny a piece and a candy bar cost maybe 25 cents.

I am not recommending that you crawl around in trash dumpsters - my point is there is money in your trash. I still stomp my aluminum cans (these days I rinse them out first) and cart them off to the local recycling place - where I now get $1.55 a pound for aluminum cans + CRV on the plastic and glass bottles.

I usually walk away with $25 - $30 which would have otherwise been thrown out. If you find it difficult to save these days, start recycling and put that money into your savings account. If you already recycle, I guarantee you there is somebody in your neighborhood who does not. Send the kids door to door to offer to pick up neighbors cans and bottles - and then make sure they follow through - then put the EXTRA cash in the bank.

Where there is a will there's a way!


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