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Frugal Painting: Mix the Paint

April 3rd, 2008 No comments

Not only should you mix the paint in the individual gallons, but I would go as far as mixing the different gallons between each other.

We learned this the hard way when we were painting our living room.

This was the first room we painted of our new house, so we weren’t sure how much paint we would need. We bought 1 gallon to start off with.

We trimmed the room, and started filling in. We made it through 2 and a half walls before the first gallon ran out. We drove to the big box home improvement store, and bought another gallon. It was the same brand, type, and color. Of course after we finished painting the other walls, we could see the different paints where one was used to trim the edges, and the other was used to fill the wall.

Take #2.

Two full gallons later, we finally finished. Unfortunately, we were $40 over what it should have cost. So take a lesson from my ignorance, and mix the different cans of paint together before you start. Not only will this save you money from paying for extra paint and gas to get to the store, but trust me, you’ll save yourself from much mental anguish.

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Be Back in a While…

February 29th, 2008 No comments

I have to take a couple of weeks off from this blog.  In an attempt to earn some extra cash, I’m going to put off making posts and focus on another project.

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Frugal Painting: Buy Enough Paint

February 27th, 2008 1 comment

This is the first of five articles in a series about frugal painting.

Over the last couple of months, the wife and I have put in quite a few hours of painting. When we bought our house from KB Home, we had the option of having everything be white, or having all the walls painted a certain color (for a fat chunk of change, I might add). Since we knew in advance we wanted to paint a couple of different colors, we chose the frugal option: do it ourself.

Everything was white. No contrast whatsoever.  None.

When the sun hit our windows in the mornings, our bedroom would light up like it was noon with the light bouncing around off all the white walls.  We had to fix this!

The first thing we did was go get a couple of sample cans of paint.  One thing to keep in mind is that Lowes allows you to buy really small cans of paint for a couple of bucks.  Home Depot on the other hand will only sell you a pint size can for your samples.  Definitely head to Lowes if you think there is a chance you might need a bunch of experiments before you find the right color.

The wife and I decided on a color and bought a gallon of paint.  We started painting and got 2 out of the 3 walls finished that we were painting in the living room.  Of course at this point we had to drop everything and make another run to the store.  This was costly for us for a couple of reasons.  Time is money, and making unnecessary trips to the store wasted time.  Also, the gas used to get to the store can add up with multiple trips.  That gallon of paint just cost you an extra $1.50.  This is not the way to go if you’re trying to be frugal.

In summary though, it’s better to buy a little extra paint and be safe, then to try and squeeze by with only one gallon of paint for a big room.  If you’re curious, we found that one gallon was enough to paint a really small room.  Our bedroom required a gallon and a half, though the room is pretty big and we have textured walls, which suck up the paint.  Also, keep in mind if you have to do any touch ups in the future, you’ll be glad you bought a little extra.

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FrugalJim now Advertising

February 25th, 2008 2 comments

I’ve been wanting to start attracting people to this site. The easiest way I know to accomplish that is to advertise online. If I use Google Adwords, my site will be visible to thousands of people every day.

For the simple fact that Google is pretty much the biggest advertising network, and I’ve played around with it in the past, I’ll be sticking to Adwords exclusively. If you’ve never actually used this service before, it breaks down into two questions you need to decide.

How much will I spend on advertisement?

This is easiest to answer by determining the total amount you would want to spend on advertising in a month. You can then determine how much you want to spend per day, and set it up to that limit. When Google puts your ads on their network, every time someone clicks your ad and is directed to your site, Google will charge you a certain amount. When this amount adds up to your limit for the day, they’ll stop showing your ad.

How much will I spend on each person that I attract to my site?

This is essentially asking how much you would pay for each click on your ad. The higher this amount is, the more likely your ad is to be shown. For example, if there are 10 ads that would like to be shown on a certain page, but there is only space for 5, the 5 with the highest per click rate will be shown. If you were a retailer, you could figure out this amount by averaging the amount of profit made for every person who visited your site, and then set this level below that number. Or you could set it higher in order to gain more exposure, though you would lose money on the deal. For me though, I’m not making any money on customers, so I’ll probably just set this to an arbitrary amount in order to make sure I at least attract a couple of people a day to my site.

After thinking it over, I plan on setting a limit for about $1.00 per day, and probably a maximum of $.25 per click. This means that if I’m charged the maximum per click rate, I’ll only get 4 new visitors per day. Likely though the per click rate will be a little lower than that and I’ll get a couple more people per day.

I’ll keep you posted on the number of unique visitors when this goes into effect.

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A Frugal Snack – Jerky

February 23rd, 2008 1 comment

One present I recieved over the holidays this year was a box of jerky cure.  It’s been sitting in the pantry for the last couple of months, just taking up space.

This past weekend, I decided to go ahead and give it a try, and the results were pretty good.

First, I just had to cut up the larger pieces of meat into strips no larger than 1/4 inch.  Next, I mixed the meat, the cure, and the spices and set in the fridge for over 24 hours.  The final step was to put it on racks and cook it at 200 degrees for around 2 hours with the oven door propped open.

The jerky I got out of this was enough for me to snack on for the entire week.  I did also share some with co-workers who were pretty impressed that I made it.

The most interesting thing out of the whole process though, was the look on their face when I told them it was caribou meat.  Last winter, I took a trip to Northern Quebec and went caribou hunting.  It was a blast.  We went snow-mobile riding throught the middle of nowhere, went ice fishing, and brought back 8 caribou.  This was the last of the meat, and I figured it was about to get past the point where freezer burn would set in, so making jerky out of it was ideal.

While it might be really expensive to eat store bought beef jerky, if you hunt, there is no reason why you can’t make it for dirt cheap.  If you count the cost of my trip to Quebec, this could quite possibly be the most expensive jerky ever, but if you used venison from your local area, it would definitely make financial sense.  While the seasoning and cure are the most predominant taste, there is still the taste of the meat.  This means that if you don’t like the gamey taste of wild animals, you probably won’t like jerky made with it either.   I grew up on the stuff, so it works out just great for me.

Check out the pic of the jerky cooking in the stove.  Notice how red the caribou meat is, and pay no attention to the oven that needs a cleaning:)

Caribou Jerky

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