Friday, July 31, 2009

Feed a Family for $800 per Year

First we had living on no money at all. Now we have a little better approach. Living on $800 per year for a family of four.

Erin Libranda tracks her expenses carefully and does the basics required for such a small expenditure. She gardens, uses coupons, shops the sales, and carefully selects her recipes. she also uses her food supply (stockpile she calls it).

She notes that it did take her three years to get to the level of couponing and stockpiling she it at now.

Interesting reading and some good ideas. Check out her blog at this link.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Free Paint

Do you need paint for your fence or the exterior of your home but can't afford it right now?

The City of Mesa has free exterior paint available in their Paint Reuse Program. Read about it at this link.

Supplies are limited and vary from day-to-day. You can call (480) 644-2690 for current information.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shop Mesa Get the Arts

Until June 30, 2010, Mesa is sponsoring a program that rewards consumers for purchasing in Mesa.

When you shop in Mesa you can earn Mesa Bucks. These Bucks can be used for free admission to shows at the Mesa Arts Center and free entry to the Mesa Contemporary Arts, Arizona Museum of Natural History, and Arizona Museum for Youth.

Just take your Mesa sales receipts to the Mesa Arts Center Box Office. The sales tax price will be matched from $3 to $200, per visit. These vouchers then can be used at the above locations.

For more information check out the Mesa Arts Center website at this link.

Grant for Medical Services

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is a non-profit charity that facilitates access to medical-related services that are not fully covered by your commercial health benefit plan. This support is in the form of a grant for qualifying individuals.

If approved, the grant can help pay for approved medical services and items that your health plan will not cover.

You can read more about this and get an application at their website at:

http://www.uhccf.org/apply.html


Monday, July 27, 2009

Could You Survive Without Money?

Apparently the answer is yes, sort of. An article by Christopher Ketcham describes an individual who has spent most of the last 10 years living in a cave outside Moab, Utah. While this is an interesting article, you can read it here, this guy lives in a cave, has no income, uses the computer at the public library, and rummages through the trash. An self-proclaimed sadhu, an ascetic monk, he has forsaken his “worldly” desires and consumerism.

There is good in the article and some interesting ideas. One really good point was his experience working with the Peace Corp in the Andes. As the tribal people got richer their health declined. They were trading their food from the fields, for things they did not really need..soda, white flour, refined sugar, etc. We could learn something from that.

As the author notes he survives in part on our reality. In my humble opinion, he has not forsaken consumerism at all. In fact he survives because of it, without it there would be no trash to rummage through, no friends to help occasionally, no library, and especially no roadkill.

Still, some interesting ideas to think about.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

City of Mesa Job Opportunities

Applications cannot be submitted until the position opens. To apply for open positions, please visit:

www.mesaaz.gov/jobs

WEEK OF 7/24/09 - 7/30/09

NEW OR REVISED THIS WEEK
Controls Engineering Specialist 7/24/09 Until suff. # of apps.

ONGOING OR CONTINUOUS OPENINGS
Aquatics Maintenance Worker I 6/26/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Aquatics Maintenance Worker II 6/26/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Communications Systems Coordinator 3/6/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Communications Technician II 6/5/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Information Technology Engineer II - Police 6/19/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Lineman 6/5/09 Until suff. # of apps
Public Safety Dispatcher - Lateral - Part-time 3/13/09 Until suff. # of apps
Public Safety Dispatcher Trainee - Part-time 1/20/09 Until suff. # of apps.

INTERNSHIPS
Volunteer Intern for City Council Office 6/12/09 Until suff. # of apps.

TEMPORARY OPENINGS
None at this time.

VOLUNTEER OPENINGS
Arizona Museum for Youth Arts Programming Volunteer 10/1/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Arizona Museum for Youth Maintenance Aide Volunteer 10/1/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Arizona Museum for Youth Volunteer Education Aide 9/4/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Arizona Museum for Youth Volunteer Office Aide 3/24/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Bilingual Assistance Team (BAT) Volunteer 2/7/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Building Safety Office Intern 6/21/04 Until suff. # of apps.
Center Against Family Violence Assistant 6/2/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Communications 9-1-1 Recording Assistant 7/7/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Communications Spanish Translator Volunteer 7/7/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Community Response Team (CRT) 2/2/04 Until suff. # of apps
Crime Scene Coordinator 12/15/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Disabled Parking Enforcement 9/15/03 Until suff. # of apps.
DUI Van Assistant 9/15/03 Until suff. # of apps.
Exhibits Volunteer 10/22/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Fire Support Aide 4/18/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Forensic Services Administrative Support 5/22/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Homebound Service Aide 2/23/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Household Hazardous Waste Worker 2/20/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Library Sales Desk Attendant 6/1/04 Until suff. # of apps.
Media Relations Administrative Aide 7/14/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Arts Center Office Assistant 9/19/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Arts Center Out to Lunch Series Patron Aide 9/11/06 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Arts Center Special Event Volunteer 7/16/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Arts Center Tour Guide Ambassador 9/19/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Contemporary Arts Docent 9/12/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Contemporary Arts Intern 1/5/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Mesa Sign Sweep Volunteer 4/17/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Museum Admissions Attendant 1/5/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Museum Store Volunteer 10/22/07 Until suff. # of apps.
Neighborhood Services Office Support Assistant 12/19/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Office Assistant (Fire Prevention) 6/28/04 Until suff. # of apps.
Office Assistant Trainee (Neighborhood Outreach) 4/11/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Patrol Support Volunteer 7/7/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Police Bait Vehicle Volunteer 10/6/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Police VIPS Office Assistant 5/15/09 Until suff. # of apps.
P.R.A.I.S.E. Home Safety Inspector 8/8/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Special Projects 7/26/04 Until suff. # of apps.
Store Assistant 9/26/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Surplus Sales Store Volunteer 11/17/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Target Second Saturday Concert Series Patron Aide 9/12/05 Until suff. # of apps.
Transportation Department Accounting Intern 8/11/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Victim Assistance 10/6/03 Until suff. # of apps.
Victim Services Assistant (City Attorney) 10/23/06 Until suff. # of apps.
Victim Services Assistant (Police) 7/14/08 Until suff. # of apps.
Volunteer Intern for City Council Office 6/12/09 Until suff. # of apps.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vegetable Gardens

The Arizona Cooperative Extension Service provides a ton of information on plants and gardens in Arizona. Their publication, 10 Steps to a Succesful Vegetable Garden, outlines the things to watch for in Arizona as well as a planting calendar.

This is a pdf document that you can easily save on your home computer. View it by clicking here.

The website can be viewed here.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Free Networking Workshop

The Southwest Job Network will hold a seminar on networking and creating job leads next Thursday (July 23) from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Registration and open networking will precede the presentation and open networking by human resources professionals and career coaches. The session will include one-on-one counseling.

The workshop is free but requires preregistration. Register at the Southwest Job Network site but clicking here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pfizer Launches Free Medicines Program

Pfizer has launched a program that provides free medicine for qualified unemployed individuals. Basic requirements are:
  • Loss of employment since January 1, 2009
  • Prescribed and taking a Pfizer medicine for at least 3 months prior to becoming unemployed and enrolling in the program
  • Lack of prescription drug coverage
  • Can attest to financial hardship
Check out the details at their website by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Triple Chocolate Cake

Feels like it is time for another recipe. I am a little leery posting this because it is so good, but hey, what is the web for anyway.

I got this from my friend, and President of the Arizona Chapter of the International Dutch Oven Society, Mark Wilkins.

Triple Chocolate Cake
12" DO

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
1 bag Semi-sweet Chocolate chips
1 box Chocolate instant pudding
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups of water
butter

Melt butter in DO, spread around the entire bottom and at least 2 inches up the side
Dust DO with cake mix, pour remainder of cake mix in bowl
Add other ingredients to bowl, mix well
Pour into DO

Cook for 53 minutes with 21 coals, 12 on top and 9 on the bottom

When done clean the coals off the lid, put the lid back on the DO. Now flip the DO over, bang it gently on the table so the cake falls onto the lid. Remove the bottom of the DO. Remember the butter and cake powder in the first step? This is why it is important not to skip that step. You may be thinking of using PAM or something similar, banish the thought, it fails that way more often then not. We have TV footage to prove it.

Place cake plate on bottom of cake, (remember you just flipped it so the top is down and the bottom is up), and flip it right side up.

Is this worth the trouble, oh yeah! Just ask Denise, John, Kandy, Gary, Carolyn, or the Beehives of the Gilbert Harris Ward and their leaders.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Managing Your 3 Month Supply

Following up on Sunday's information. The Yahoo group 3monthsupply can be accessed by clicking here. The message board is public but if you want access to the files or other areas you will need to join. It is an easy process, just let me know if you are having any problems and I can assist you with it. I belong to several Yahoo groups and they can be very informative.

Other sites you may be interested in are:
Phoenix Valley Grocery Sales
Food Storage Made Easy
Everyday Food Storage

Or just use Google and search for 3 month food supply planner, you will probably get more information then you really need. :)

Arby RoastBurger Coupon

Go up to Arby's today and buy yourself a drink (assuming you have a nearby Arby's restaurant).

Here's a link to a coupon for a free Arby's RoastBurger sandwich when you purchase any drink.

One per PERSON so print one for everyone at home and go to lunch today.

Click here.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Food Storage Shelf Life

It seems that one of the hardest parts of food storage, other then finding the money for it, is rotating it.

Of course, the first thing you need to know is when it was purchased. We use a permanent ink pen and write the month and year on the lid or top of the box. Others use fancy dispensing systems that always give you the oldest item first. Whichever system you use, you need to know how long you can keep items before the become unsafe to eat.

Arizona Department of Health Services has a page that lists safe food storage times and temperatures. They list times for shelf, refrigerator, and freezer storage. Their page can be found by clicking here.

The HealthGoods website also lists food storage guidelines for consumers. Their information can be found by clicking here.

I have been having problems finding good non-commercial information on the shelf life for goods that you have canned and stored. The best I have been able to find so far is a small table from BYU's Living Essentials program. This table can be viewed by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Energy in Motion

Visit the traveling show by the Energy Resources Department at the Dobson Library on Thursday, July 23rd from 1:30 - 2:30p.m. to watch gas burn and electricity flow.

Learn about natural gas and electrical energy and how it affects your life. A fun time for all with demonstrations and games.

For more information on the Energy in Motion traveling road show, click here.

Monsoon Season - Electric and Natural Gas Safety

What can you do to plan ahead during the Monsoon Season? - BE PREPARED!

Every family should prepare a family disaster supply kit in the event of severe weather conditions. Since electric power, gas and water services may be interrupted, your disaster supply kit should contain essential items such as food, water, and sturdy clothing.

The City of Mesa has information on electrical safety on their website, click here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Coupons

Check out the The Bargain Jargon website. There is a lot of information here. Some of the stores are Utah specific but last Thursday she listed Pizza Hut Freebies.

Speaking of Pizza Hut, they list deals at their Facebook site and if you really, really like pizza, you can follow them on Twitter.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

City of Mesa Changing Job Application Process

Effective Monday, July 13, 2009, the City of Mesa will no longer be accepting paper applications. As of that date all applications must be made using the on-line application system.

More information about current opportunties can be found at their website here.

WEEK OF 7/3/09 - 7/9/09 Opens Closes

NEW OR REVISED THIS WEEK
Financial Specialist - Grant-funded 7/3/09 July 9, 2009
Legal Support Assistant I 7/3/09 July 9, 2009
Marketing and Business Development Manager 7/3/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Parks Maintenance Worker I - Baseball Maintenance Assignment 7/3/09 July 9, 2009
Supervising Legal Secretary 7/3/09 July 9, 2009
Wastewater Collections System Worker 7/3/09 July 9, 2009

ONGOING OR CONTINUOUS OPENINGS
Aquatics Maintenance Worker I 6/26/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Aquatics Maintenance Worker II 6/26/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Assistant Pool Manager - Seasonal 1/5/09 July 23, 2009
Communications Systems Coordinator 3/6/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Communications Technician II 6/5/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Controls Engineering Specialist 3/27/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Head Lifeguard - Seasonal 1/5/09 July 23, 2009
Information Technology Engineer II - Police 6/19/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Lineman 6/5/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Management Performance and Accountability Advisor I 5/15/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Pool Manager - Seasonal 1/5/09 July 23, 2009
Public Safety Dispatcher - Lateral - Part-time 3/13/09 Until suff. # of apps.
Public Safety Dispatcher Trainee - Part-time 1/20/09 Until suff. # of apps.