ThriftyFun News - March 4, 2005 - Cars, Trucks and Transportation

ThriftyFun News
Cars, Trucks and Transportation

Volume Seven, Number 10 March 4, 2005


Here is the long awaited Cars, Trucks and Transportation issue! It was scheduled last week but delayed due to email sending problems. You will find numerous tips below, as well as links to articles in the archive. I hope you find them useful.


We have created a topic site for Cars, Trucks and Transportation here:

Thanks for reading,


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This newsletter contains:

General Tips and Advice

  • Emergency Car Kit
  • Traveling In a Car With Kids
  • Homemade Car Air Freshener
  • Unusual Things To Keep In Your Car
  • Driving Tips
  • Remembering To Turn Your Lights Off
  • Tips for Finding a Good Mechanic
  • Thrifty Items For Your Glove Box
  • Check Your Tires
  • Keep Your Car Upholstery Free From Sun Damage
  • Emergency Cell Phone For Your Car
  • First Aid Kit for the Car
  • Keep a Phone Book in the Car
  • Using Rain-X On Your Windshield
  • Review of The Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Ice Scraper Ideas
  • Learn to Change Your Oil
  • Avoid The Drive Through

Buying a Car and Auto Insurance


  • Save Money on Your Auto Insurance
  • Replacing a Leased Vehicle
  • Wanting a Newer Car
  • How do I buy a used car?
  • Auto Insurance Discounts
  • nough Auto Insurance?
  • Buying a New Car? Take Your Time!
  • Consider Fuel Efficiency When Buying a Car
  • Is Liability Enough?
  • Saving on Auto Insurance for Teens
  • A Vehicle Should Provide Enjoyment, Not Another Mortgage

Ten Tips To Save On Gasoline

  • Take Control of Your Gas Prices
  • Saving Money on Gas
  • You Can Save 10% on Gas
  • 18 Tips for Saving Money on Gasoline
  • Research Gas Prices Online

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Tip Contest

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New Contest! $30.00 Gift Card
In our newest contest we are giving away a $30.00 Gift Card at one of the following stores: Home Depot, Jo-Ann's Crafts or If you are the winner, you get to choose which gift card! We figured it would be more valuable if you pick out your own prize, that's why we have decided to go the gift card route. This contest will end on March 15th.


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General Tips and Advice

Sparkles Falling Off Top

How to I keep the silver sparkles from my "party" top from coming off all over my black skirt, hands, face, and husband? Any ideas? Someone suggested hairspray but I don't know if anyone has every tried it. I am afraid other stuff will stick to my top if I use hair spray.

Nancy from NJ

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Emergency Car Kit

You never know when you could break down in bad weather and eventhough you have a cell phone, you never know how long it will be until the tow truck will be there. So here are somethings you should keep in a plastic tub in your trunk:

  • Tea light candles
  • Flashlight for signaling help
  • Polar fleece blankets
  • Some bottled water
  • Beef Jerky or other high protein snack
  • Jumper Cables
  • A couple of hazard reflectors to mark where your car is.
  • A small box of Thermal care neck size patches for putting on your self or your children if you are in sub zero temps.

  • Books to read to your children

If you have a baby:

  • Extra diapers
  • Some concentrated baby formula
  • Extra bottles

This kit should get you through any sticky situation you may have.

By Debra in Colorado

View Article: Click Here

Traveling In a Car With Kids

"Mom are we there yet?" ... "I know you are, but what am I?" ... "Mom! Sandy hit me!"

Traveling with kids can be quite a challenge. Here are some tips to help keep them occupied and prevent you from going nuts. Post your ideas.

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Homemade Car Air Freshener

Cut a piece of fun foam into desired shape. You can draw it, or use cookie cutters to trace around. Cut the shape out. Paper edging scissors are fun to use! Take a drop or two of essential oil or fragrance oil (from the craft store or a health food store) and rub it on with your finger. Punch a hole in the top. Use your choice of a cord to hang it with. All done! Use them in the car, bathroom, kitchen, etc. Don't pay .99-1.99 to buy one when you can make them for a lot less


By Brandie

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Unusual Things To Keep In Your Car
By Lynnette

Here are some oftentimes forgotten -- or otherwise overlooked -- items that you should ALWAYS keep in your car...

View Article: Click Here

Driving Tips

Want to be a better and safer driver? Here are some tips to help out. Also, post your ideas.

Read Ideas and Post Your Own: Click Here

Remembering To Turn Your Lights Off

If you're anything like me, my memory fails me quite often. On a rainy day I choose to drive with my headlights on but often forget to turn them off. On older model cars you do not get a reminder bell, so I simply turn the lights on and immediately lock my driver's door. When I go to get out of my car and realize the door is locked, it sparks my memory to turn the lights off. Sounds crazy, but it works!

By Harm0ny

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Tips for Finding a Good Mechanic
By Syd Barr

The best time to locate and check out a repair shop is whenyou don't need one! Don't wait until you have a seriousproblem and are in a panic ... that can make you a primecandidate for making a costly mistake.


1. Ask friends for shops they have been satisfied with.Word of mouth is a very good source; good and bad.

2. Have an oil change and lube and see if you feelcomfortable with the way the company operates.

3. Have your tires rotated if needed and see how you aretreated. Again, do you feel comfortable with the way thecompany operates?

4. Building raport and being a regular customer will giveyou peace of mind that you should be treated fairly if youhave a major trouble.

5. When you have a company you are satisfied with stick withit, don't keep bouncing around always trying to get a betterdeal, loyalty pays off.

View Article: Click Here

Thrifty Items For Your Glove Box

Here are some items that you can put in your glove box and save time and money.

Receipts Envelope
An envelope for your receipts. Write the month and year on the envelope and put it in your glove box. Every month when you do your budget take the envelope out and put in a new one. You will pat yourself on the back at tax time.

Insurance Card
Make sure you have a current insurance card in your glove box. It can be a real time waster if you can't provide proof of insurance when you are pulled over or get into a fender bender. Especially if you are traveling.

Ice Scraper
Make sure you always have an ice scraper, even if it is a small one. Toss a light pair of gloves in there too so you don't freeze your fingers when you are cleaning your windshield.

A Gas Log Book
Track your gas consumption and mileage.

Spare Fuses
If you have some spare fuses it can be a real time saver.

Restaurant Coupons
It's nice to have them handy when you eat out.

A pen and a note pad
Always handy to have in the car to write down phone numbers, license plate numbers or addresses on Garage Sale signs.

Post your ideas below.

View Article: Click Here

Check Your Tires

Be sure to look at all your tires before getting in the car, as one might be low and cause you to have a blow-out and wreck.

By Terri H.

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Keep Your Car Upholstery Free From Sun Damage

Faded upholstery and a cracked dashboard will lower the resale value of your car. Use an accordian-style cardboard windshield screen whenever you park in a sunny spot, and preserve your investment! These shields only cost a buck or two, and sometimes they are even free when they advertise a local business!

By Becki in Indiana

Post Feedback: Click Here

Emergency Cell Phone For Your Car

So you're on you're way home and you get into an accident or your car breaks down. You're trapped in your car. You have no way out. You can't afford cell phone service. What do you do? Did you know that if you keep any cell phone new or old charged even WITHOUT paying for service that you can dial a 911 call in case of emergencies to get the help you need.

So next time a friend wants to junk their phone or you find someone giving one away as junk take it and keep it charged in you car for emergencies. It just may one day save your life. Take care of yourself and those you love.

By Suzanne S.

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First Aid Kit for the Car

An old purse can make a great first aid kit for the car.

By imaqt1962

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Keep a Phone Book in the Car

I have a pal who carries a phone book in her car, for those times when she needs a city map, phone numbers, or restaurant coupons. I'd never thought of carrying one in my car, I just have certain phone numbers in my purse, in case of emergency. But hers is a great idea!

By Terri H.

Post Feedback: Click Here

Using Rain-X On Your Windshield

I highly recommend using Rainx on your windshield. The first time it rained after I had applied the rainx I was able to see so clearly it looked as if wasn't even raining.

You can buy some at a grocery store or auto store.

By Sandy

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Review of The Dodge Grand Caravan

This tip is to sing the praises of our Dodge Grand Caravan. This is the second Dodge van we have had and we just have to say that we LOVE them! There is nothing more comfortable to ride in. So much room, and, for what it is, the gas mileage really isn't that bad.

We have a daughter who has been in college for the past 3 years and we never would have been able to get all her 'junk' into a car. We have found that Caravan serves us better than any other vehicle we have ever owned. I have friends who also own them and some of them have 200,000 miles on them and they are still going! I hope to never be without one!

By Robin

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Ice Scraper Ideas

Have an icy windshield but no ice scraper? Here are some other things you can use in a pinch.

View Article: Click Here

Learn to Change Your Oil

Save money by learning to change your own oil in your car. To have it changed at a Lube place it runs $30.00, three times a year averaging $90.00. Four quarts of oil runs about $9.00, which works out to $27.00 a year, savings of $63.00 a year.

By Bobbie

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Avoid The Drive Through

Do not wait in a drive-through line for food to go, you will save money on gas lost waiting in line, and also get exercise by parking your car and walking inside to order!

By Bobbie

Editor's Note: Also, it's much easier to check your order and have mistakes fixed if you are inside the restaurant.

Post Feedback: Click Here

Buying a Car and Auto Insurance

Save Money on Your Auto Insurance
By Fisher Swanson

In nearly every state you have to purchase auto insurance if youdrive. Here are some tips for spending less on auto insuranceand getting the most for your money.

View Article: Click Here

Replacing a Leased Vehicle
By Gary Foreman

I have a 4 year-old Toyota 4Runner with 33,000 miles that will be at the end of the lease next July. I have never had any problems with the truck and I would love to keep it, but it would cost approximately $17,000 at that time and I will only be able to pay $4,000 in cash. Is it smarter to finance $13,000 on a lesser vehicle that is brand new or only slightly used with a warranty? I have checked into financing the $13,000 for 36 months and can afford to make those payments but that will mean paying for this vehicle for 8 years, yuk. I knew this was a mistake from the moment I did it, but now I have to get out.

Thank you.


View Article: Click Here

Wanting a Newer Car
By Gary Foreman

My husband and I are in quite a bit of credit card debt and my husbandwants a newer car. It is a 14-year old Acura Legend and has over 190,000miles on it but we can't afford another bill until we get out of debt. Ifall goes as planned we should be out of debt within about two and halfyears. But that could be longer if something comes up. He says that his carwon't last two more years. We are trying to save a little bit but we don'thave any money to put down on a car. We have money to pay our bills whichis not the problem. We just don't have a whole lot of money left over afterpaying our bills. What would you suggest we do about this situation?

View Article: Click Here

How do I buy a used car?

My car needs to be replaced and I am going to need to purchase a moderately priced used car. To buy a car in my price range, I will probably have to buy one through the "want ads". Does anyone have any tips for getting the right car at the right price? I am a single mom who doesn't know much about cars. - Amy

Read Responses: Click Here

Auto Insurance Discounts

Make sure you are getting all of the discounts you are entitled to, on your auto insurance. Most companies give discounts for anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, airbags, etc. Some discounts you may not be aware of -- annual mileage of less than a certain number (often 8,000 per year), even teenage drivers who maintain honor roll grades!

Of course, if you install an alarm system on your car, that will get you a discount. Call and ask -- some insurance companies seem to have an unspoken policy of not mentioning these discounts unless you specifically ask about them.

By Becki in Indiana

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Enough Auto Insurance?
By Gary Foreman

How do you figure out how much car insurance you really need???? I would appreciate any help in this area. Thanks.

View Article: Click Here

Buying a New Car? Take Your Time!

One way that car sales people try to rope you into a quick sell is by creating the impression that you NEED to buy now to take advantage of some deal. Or if you wait a day, the car won't be available. Dealerships and salespeople are out to make a profit off your purchase, not find you the best deal. Take your time buying a car, do plenty of research, shop around and don't be pressured into buying a car quickly. When you buy a car quickly, the dealer almost always wins.

Post Feedback: Click Here

Consider Fuel Efficiency When Buying a Car
By Fisher Swanson

When you need to buy your next automobile make sure that fueleconomy doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Buying a compact carwith good gas mileage is both friendly to the environment andyour pocket book. You will enjoy the savings throughout the lifeof the vehicle.

View Article: Click Here

Is Liability Enough?
By Gary Foreman

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I have liability insurance on my car. I know my coverage will take care of the other party. But does my liability pay for anything else after I have a wreck?

View Article: Click Here

Saving on Auto Insurance for Teens

Vehicle insurance is so expensive, especially if you have teenagers! One of the things many people seem to forget is that most companies will give you a discount on your policy if your child gets good grades. This even goes for children in college that are still on your insurance. It's worth checking into!

We homeschool, but I keep track of my children's grades and the insurance company will even honor the grades my children get, even though they are homeschooled!

By Robin

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A Vehicle Should Provide Enjoyment, Not Another Mortgage
By Kyle Busch

What enables people to be on time for a scheduledappointment, attend a favorite social event or recreationalactivity, or just drive on a pleasant summer day? Whatmachine do many people get to know as if it werealmost a member of the family? What enables drivers toexperience greater freedom? Of course, what else butthe automobile. Or in today's terms: the automobile, sport-utility vehicle, or minivan.

View Article: Click Here

Saving Money On Gas

Ten Tips To Save On Gasoline
By Jeffrey Strain

Gas prices continue to be near all time highs meaning that car travel is taking a a larger portion out of each of your paychecks. AAA estimates that the cost of driving a car including all direct and indirect costs has surpassed 50 cents a gallon with that price expected to rise.

View Article: Click Here

Take Control of Your Gas Prices
By GranMamma

View Article: Click Here

Saving Money on Gas

Tips for saving money on gas.

Post Your Ideas: Click Here

You Can Save 10% on Gas
By Gary Foreman

Recent gas price increases have many people complaining. There are many reasons given for rising prices. And depending on your political and economic bent, you may choose to blame OPEC, the oil companies, SUV's, lack of alternative fuels, the growth in world oil demand or environmental regulations that prevent new drilling or refineries from being built.

View Article: Click Here

18 Tips for Saving Money on Gasoline
By Fisher Swanson and Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Gas prices are on the rise again! Here are some tips to help you conserve gas and save money as we approach summer gas prices.

View Article: Click Here

Research Gas Prices Online

Tired of paying high prices for gasoline? Just log onto or and enter your zip code to find the lowest-priced pump near you.

By Kathy

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