Paint Your Roof White

Want to save some dough on summer cooling costs? Paint your roof white. Seriously.

Assuming your local homeowner’s association won’t go spastic (and they might), you can save a decent amount in summer cooling costs if you simply paint your roof white. It sounds kind of odd, but it really works — and people in other countries have been doing it for centuries.

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Let Them Eat Soup!

Looking for a cheap, nutritious meal? Eat soup

Many of us instinctively eat soup when we’re feeling cold or ill — and we all know the healing powers of chicken soup. In fact, most soups are pretty darn good for you, in nutritional terms. But it’s easy to forget that soup can be good for you in fiscal terms, too.

Think about it: most soups use inexpensive ingredients that you can combine in interesting ways and enhance with simple spices. And the main ingredient is usually none other than water.

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Don’t Let Banking Fees Bleed You Dry!, Part II

Banking fees are starting to get outrageous, but if you’re careful, you can keep the bank from stealing your hard-earned money. Here’s how

Nowadays, your financial institution can create new banking fees out of thin air with nothing more than a letter — and more and more of them are doing it.

In Part I of this article, I explained how new regulations and poor management have prompted banks to start charging fees for things that used to be free. In the exciting conclusion, I’ll discuss a few ways you can avoid these fees.

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Two Surprising Home Remedies for Sunburn

You don’t have to run to the store for some special soothing cream when you’ve got these simple home remedies for sunburn on hand.

Thanks to a strenuous PR campaign on the part of aloe vera lovers everywhere, most people are aware that this spiky desert succulent offers one of the very best home remedies for sunburn. Aloe juice not only sucks away the pain, it kills any bacteria that might be trying to sneak in.

But if you don’t have an aloe vera plant handy, you’re still copacetic as long as you have either milk or vinegar in your kitchen.

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Don’t Let Banking Fees Bleed You Dry!, Part I

These days, it seems like the banks themselves are the world’s biggest bank robbers. Don’t let ’em stick you with unfair banking fees

With all these clever new banking fees that keep popping up nowadays, it almost seems more profitable to hide your money in your mattress. This is a sad state of affairs, not least because it completely goes against the entire concept of banking your money with a financial institution.

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Some Basic Summertime Energy Saving Tips

Trying to dial down the electricity bill? Try these summertime energy saving tips.

When it comes to summertime energy saving tips, we all know the one about turning your thermostat up to 78 degrees — or higher, if you can bear it. That’s good advice, since every degree above 72 translates into 1-3% savings monthly. That’s a noticeable number of dollars.

But most folks leave it at that. Well, there’s plenty more that you can do, including a few things you may not have thought of. In this article, we’ll introduce you to those options.

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Earn Money by Bicycle Commuting

Believe it or not, the government will pay you to ride your bike to work if you take advantage of a new bicycle commuting program.

Did you know that bicycle commuting can earn you money? Sounds like a flight of fancy, doesn’t it? But thanks to a new government program, it can actually happen. Oh, you won’t get a lot of money, but you can get enough to cover most of your basic bicycle maintenance.

Now, we realize that this isn’t something that most people are going to be able to take advantage of, but there does exist a sizable population of bicycle commuters out there — and we suspect that number is only going to grow, as gas prices rise again and cities become more bike-friendly by the day.

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The Economical Modern Laptop Computer

Laptop computers used to be pricy little toys. But these days, they’re as economical as any desktop model — and much more useful.

I will confess: Your Humble Writer’s first laptop computer was expensive, dreadfully slow, and weighed about forty pounds, making it neither easily portable nor easy on the lap. Such are the perils of being an early adopter.

It was almost enough to ruin me on laptops, since desktop models were better all around back then. Fortunately, as it tends to do, computer technology caught up to its hype, and today I wouldn’t be caught dead considering the purchase of a desktop computer. You shouldn’t either, and here’s why.

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How to Make Bark Aspirin

If you’d rather not imbibe harsh chemicals and think it might be a good idea to practice your survival skills, then you might try making bark aspirin.

If you’re in pain and there’s a stand of trees handy, you might be able to avail yourself of one of the more effective natural remedies out there: bark aspirin. This may sound just a bit hippy-like for some folks, but the truth is, all aspirin derives, ultimately, from tree bark.

You see, salacin, the chemical precursor to commercial aspirin, was originally isolated from willow bark, hence the name (the scientific name for the willow is Salix). It’s also present in the bark of poplar trees, which tend to be more common than willows.

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How to Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh

Cut flowers never seem to last long, but here are a few tips to help maximize their lifespan.

Who doesn’t love cut flowers? They’re the ideal offset to the sterility of most indoor environments, offering earthy organic reminders of the wider world with their jewel-like beauty, and scenting the air with their natural perfumes. It’s the rare heart that’s not gladdened by the sight and scent of fresh flowers.

The problem is that they’re so temporary, rarely lasting longer than a few days before their petals droop and they start to die. Given their short lifespans — and how much they tend to cost, frankly — it makes sense to find ways to extend the length of time your flowers can stay bright and perky.

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