Proverb of the Day #97

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.   Second Corinthians 9:6

Photo credit: KOREphotos via / CC BY-NC-SA
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Friends, this concludes the Proverb of the Day series of postings. I hope it has been a source of insight over the last several months.  I will compile the entire list of the Proverbs of the Day in a future posting.

Cheers, Paul

PS If you missed the original posting on Proverbs, you can find it here.

© 2017 Paul J Reimold

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It make a whole lot of sense. And limiting what we send to the landfill saves money!

Photo credit: edkohler via / CC BY

This Saturday April 22nd is Earth Day – the 48th celebration since 1970. I don’t consider myself a tree hugger but, I am greatly distressed by how much stuff we as Americans throw out every year. Believe it not, we discard 1600 pounds of trash per person per year!

The Frugal and Wise would do well to chant the mantra: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”


  • Limit your purchases – buy only what you need or will use. Avoid impulse buys. For major purchases, wait a day or two before buying. Sleep on it.
  • Return purchased items that are not needed or used – how often do we buy things that never get used? Return them and get a refund! Be aware that some retailers place time limits on accepting returns.
  • However, when you are in the midst of a home project, it may make sense to overbuy materials, rather than make countless trips to the hardware or home improvement store. But be sure to keep receipts and return the unused materials when your project is completed.
  • Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions that rarely get read
  • Avoid spoiled food – ponder this statistic: 40% of all food in in the US goes to waste! That’s around 240 pounds per person annually. Don’t overbuy foodstuffs that end up rotting in the ‘fridge. Many items can be frozen if they are not to be consumed right away. And serve smaller portions!
  • Get a Doggie Bag when eating out – restaurant portions tend to be huge. Eat what you want and get the rest packed to go. You’ll have something to look forward to for lunch the next day.


  • Plastic bags from stores – reused them as trash can liners. Depending upon their size, plastic trash bags cost 5 – 20 cents each, or more. The plastic bags from the grocery store, department store or Bed, Bath and Beyond are free! (And what else would you do with them?)
  • Take-out and doggie bag containers from restaurants – many to-go restaurant containers are quite substantial. The container that held your Hot’n Sour soup could well be pressed into service storing leftovers.
  • Used Paper from the Office – bring home one-sided printouts and reports from the office. Print on the other side at home. A ream (500 sheets) of 8 ½ x 11 paper retails for around $7.50 or 1 ½ cents per sheet. Just be sure you don’t bring home anything of a confidential nature. And that you know how to load the paper in your home printer (generally, printed side up)
  • Turn food scraps into pet treats – our dog loves: broccoli stems, carrot tops, asparagus stalks and sweet potato skins. We’ve stopped buying him doggie treats from the pet store.
  • Make cleaning rags out of worn-out T-shirts – why buy packets of cleaning or dusting rags?


  • Sell unneeded items on Ebay or Craigslist – this would be for items valuable enough to warrant spending the time and effort to sell. For Ebay, be aware of the fees for listing, payment processing and shipping.
  • Donate – put together a collection of clothing and household goods for Goodwill, the Salvation Army or Purple Heart. Declutter and get a tax deduction!
  • “Rescue” trash picks and donate – see something perfectly fine out at the curb but you don’t need it? Rescue it and put it into your Goodwill collection to up your tax deduction.
  • Compost grass clippings and leaves – don’t throw them out. Both are great sources of nitrogen to fertilize your lawn. They can be finely chopped with a mulching lawn mower or composted. Why throw away perfectly good (and all-natural) fertilizer?
  • Same for coffee grounds and egg shells – coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They can enhance composting (This assumes that you brew coffee at home rather than buying a four-dollar latte on the way to work.) Egg shells are a source of calcium needed for flower and vegetable gardens.
  • Appliances and electronics – Best Buy and Staples accept a variety of electronic items for free recycling and Best Buy recycles appliances as well. Best Buy will also recycle unwanted TV’s and computer monitors for $25. Check with your electric utility about deals to recycle your old refrigerator. PECO in the Philadelphia area will haul away your old freezer or ‘fridge for free and pay you $50!
  • Recycle hazardous materials and motor oil – never throw out hazardous chemicals. Many communities offer collections stations. Some filling stations or garages will accept used motor oil.
  • Put stuff out at the curb – got stuff not good enough to sell or donate but too good to throw out? Put it out at the curb for ‘recycling’ by fellow trash pickers.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful for reducing expenses, consumption and clutter. Please share your ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling.  Cheers, Paul

Photo credit: Michel Filion via / CC BY-NC-SA

© 2017 Paul J Reimold

Proverb of the Day #96

as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”   2 Corinthians 8:15

Photo credit: KOREphotos via / CC BY-NC-SA


New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Proverb of the Day #95

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.   Ecclesiastes 1:9

Photo credit: KOREphotos via / CC BY-NC-SA
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide


Proverb of the Day #94

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.   Ecclesiastes 11:6

Photo credit: KOREphotos via / CC BY-NC-SA
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Trash Pick Finds to Treasure

Your search could prove quite rewarding.

Photo credit: bark via / CC BY
In many neighborhoods, you can find some great stuff put out at the curb.

Sometimes a particular possession has been replaced with a newer, spiffier one.  And the owner just wants get rid of the item being replaced.

…Or a house has recently been sold and there’s in a lot of stuff not getting moved – it’s just getting thrown out

…Or It’s end of the month move-out time for apartment dwellers

…Or it’s end of the spring semester move-out at local colleges.

…Or maybe something gets thrown out but it just needs a bit of tinkering, some elbow grease or replacement parts

Where to look:
  • Your local neighborhood
  • Nearby affluent neighborhoods
  • Anywhere you are driving
  • Near college campuses. At the University of Pennsylvania, they have a name for all the stuff left behind when the students move out in May: ‘Penn Christmas’
  • Apartment complexes
  • Houses listed for sale or being vacated
When to look:
  • Weekends
  • The day/evening before trash pickup or very early the following morning
  • End of the month, especially in May/June
  • End of the spring semester near college campuses
  • Anytime
How to look:
  • Always be on the lookout.
  • Get a dog; walking a pooch makes a great cover for trash pickers.
  • Have a plan for getting you new-found treasures home.
  • Be careful – there might be something really nasty lurking in that trash pile. Or dangerous. Or very heavy to lift. (Self-inflicted visits to the ER are neither Frugal nor Wise!)
  • Don’t trespass. And make sure the owner intended to get rid of the item(s) at the curb.
  • Beware of bed bugs – pass on upholstered furniture.
The Trash-Picker Mindset:
  • Be discerning. 98% of trash at the curb is just that: trash that needs to be discarded. Focus on the 2% that is worthy of your consideration.
  • But don’t overlook broken items that may have a simple fix. Or need a replacement part. Or just need to be cleaned up.
  • ‘Rescue’ perfectly good items that you don’t want/need. Donate them to the Salvation Army of Goodwill for a tax deduction or sell at a yard sale, CraigsList or Ebay.
  • Give back – when we have stuff that is not good enough to donate but too good to throw out, we put it out for ‘curbside adoption’. Most of the time, our ‘offerings’ disappear on the their own.
  • Don’t hoard junk just because you think might come in handy someday. Keep clutter in your life to a minimum.
Here are some of our better trash pick finds over the years.
  1. (Not one but TWO) Weber gas grills!
  2. Several sets of dishes in good condition – a number of sets we gave away
  3. Pair of table lamps in the family room
  4. Emerson dehumidifier – I trash picked it over 20 years ago. It’s still going strong in my son’s apartment (he was 6 years old when I ‘rescued’ it.)

How about you? What are your found treasures? Please let me know. Send pictures if you can (via posting below, email or tweeting @FugralWealthYz).

Happy Hunting! Paul

The Junkyard Dog???     Photo credit: Urban Woodswalker via / CC BY-NC-ND

P.S. for more thoughts on trash picking strategies, see this article from Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods

© 20017 Paul J Reimold