Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

June 23, 2013

‘We paid cash’ can be new mantra

Melinda Hester
The Independent

ASHLAND — How can one get right-side up on an upside down mortgage? Being upside down is not good. If you are upside down on your car or home, it means you owe more than you can possibly sell it for. If you have taken out extra loans on these things, you can get upside down. Underwater is another term for it.

By making spending cuts and holding to a budget, you can right yourself. It should be considered a financial emergency if you find yourself in this condition. Make every effort to get right-side up. This will require strict spending habits, such as paying cash, getting rid of credit card debt, cooking at home and be adamant about it. Don’t buy things you don’t need. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Is it a true need or a want?” Buying only if you have saved enough to pay cash will eliminate finance rates, which can be worse than back-alley rates.

I have been saving for three months, and even though it’s a little late, we are putting in a new flower bed. I paid cash!

Snake alert

I was looking at the flowers at a local nursery and was surprised by a small snake. What draws them? They love water and cover. There is nothing worse than working in your garden and being surprised by a snake. Snakes love woodpiles, and they have to have a constant source of water, such as goldfish ponds. Frogs gather there and so will snakes. Do snakes eat goldfish? You bet. They hide in leaves, so keeping your grounds free of debris will help. You can sprinkle granular snake repellent in your garden. Snakes hate naphthalene (mothballs) clove oil and cinnamon oil. Mix a 50-50 solution of cloves and cinnamon oil in a spray bottle. These oils are hot and they repel.

Special gardens

What kind of garden will you plant? A prayer garden is special. We all need this garden. As you tend it, you can silently talk to your heavenly father about anything. Tend this garden every day.

A memorial garden keeps your mind busy if you’re grieving. Beauty grows from sadness. Keep yourself busy tending this garden every day. Plant plants that remind you of the person. It can be a certain kind of tomato or a flower they loved.

We bought a blue hydrangea, a fascinating plant. You can change the color of the flowers by changing the PH of the soil. Add aluminum sulfate to the soil. Lowes has this plant. For the pink variety, don’t use aluminum. Keep soil PH between 6.0 and 6.2. A white hydrangea color cannot change except with age.

Nearly free

at Walmart

Clorox Wipes, 9 count: 92 cents; use one for 75 cents from clorox.com and pay 17 cents

Carefree Pantiliners, 20 count: 94 cents; use one for 50 cents and pay 44 cents

Reynolds white baking cups: 92 cents; use one for 55 cents and pay 37 cents

Lever 2000 Perfectly Fresh or Aloe, 2 count: $1.97; use one for $1.50 and pay 47 cents each

CVS

A 25 percent-off coupon arrived in the mail. Put this in your coupon envelope. I clip CVS deals together for easy use.

Store coupon: $2 off $5 Neosporin purchase if you buy three, plus a free first-aid case; $5 ExtraBucks; use $2 manufacturer’s coupon on each one. That’s $6 off, plus $5 EB and a free kit; limit one

Crest Mouth Rinse: $2.99 minus $2 EB minus $1 off two manufacturer’s coupons; limit two

Crest Pro Health Mouth Rinse: $4.99 minus $4 EB minus 50-cent manufacturer’s coupon

Venus Embrace: limit one; use a buy-one-get-one manufacturer’s coupon; use $2 manufacturer’s coupon on the free one; limit one deal

Clairol Root Touch Up: $5.99; CVS store coupon $2 minus $2 manufacturer’s coupon minus $2 EB; limit one free

Palmolive Dish Liquid: 99 cents minus 50-cent coupon

July 4 sale: $3 EB and 25 percent off. I love the red, white and blue decorations!

Bounty 12 packs, Charmin and Puffs sale: $5 EB; limit one deal. This is a good one. Use your Procter & Gamble coupons.