With the availability of online news, it seemed a waste to order a daily newspaper delivery. While some papers charge for digital access to their daily articles, smaller local papers do not. If I could get it for free, why pay for it to be delivered? I was surprised at how quickly I had an answer to this question. I would pay to have it delivered because I could turn the cost around, and ultimately get the hard copies of the newspaper for free.
The most obvious way to justify the cost of a newspaper is to look at the coupons. Each Sunday, the paper inserts a minimum of two coupon books. At the cost of $1.50 for the Sunday paper, clipping just two coupons that would be doubled to a dollar at the store would justify its purchase. Some weeks may not have worthwhile coupons, but others would have more than their shares. Most likely, I'd cut enough coupons each week to justify an entire week's worth of newspapers, $4 for my area. It seemed like a justifiable expense, but I had to go further than that.
The coupons put money back in my pocket, but I wanted something that would make the daily delivery of the newspaper come out as the reigning champion of choice in comparison to the internet. I wanted to come out, not even, but on top of the newspaper deal.
That's when I started to tally the time that the daily newspaper was saving me. To log into the paper's website and look at the major headlines is easy. Yet, to find those smaller local news articles that linger in the paper's pages takes a bit of searching and a bit of time. I can easily flip through the daily paper within twenty minutes, and it would take much longer to find all the articles and print those that I want to save for our local historical society's current events file.
Looking through the advertisements that are tucked into the paper saves time as well. Each store posts its weekly sales online, but the time that is required to visit each site and sort through the ad is shortened when a paper subscriber can flip through the circulars in person.
The coupons and time that I can save from the daily newspaper can justify the cost of its delivery, but the paper itself can be used for more. It's spring, and the leftover newspapers can be put to use in my garden.
Using a clay flowerpot as a mold, a wet newspaper page can be stuffed and folded inside to create an inner shell of paper. Wet it again to assure that the paper is the soggiest it can be without falling apart. Once it's dried, carefully pull the newspaper out and use it as a pot that can be planted directly into the soil with seedlings.
A trick my grandmother taught me when digging my first garden involved newspaper. We laid a few layers of the paper on top of the grass that was to be removed and weighted it down with rocks from around the yard. After a week, the grass beneath the paper was dead and much easier to dig and remove. Any newspaper residue that was left behind was turned under as additional compost.
Newspaper makes a natural weed barrier as well. Lay folded sheets of newspaper around the base of shrubs and large plants; then place some mulch on top of the paper. Weeds will be deterred from the area because of the paper, but water can still pass through to the plant. Eventually the paper will break down and need replacement, but it's much more natural than the pricey weed barriers sold at stores.
Shredded newspaper also makes a nice base for potted plants, allowing water to drain from the pot while keeping the dirt from falling through the drainage holes.
By putting the paper as well as the words printed upon it to work, the cost of the weekly newspaper is next to nothing, if anything at all.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers.
I take the local paper and hand it down to my friend after I read it. If not used for anything else, it can be put in the paper recycling and used to make more paper products.
I would hate to see the newspaper go out of business. Like so many things I have seen, if we don't use it, we lose it.
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