Meeting of May 5, 2011

PHOTOS BY BILL DOWD

James W. Farnham (above), secretary-treasurer of Business Network International, presented a program on “Seven Creative Ways to Save Money on Your Everyday Living Expenses.” As he noted, not every suggestion works for everyone, but everyone should be able to find something that works for them in his suggestions.

Capsulized versions of the seven items:

  1. Coupons, Coupons and More Coupons — Eighty percent of the public uses coupons at one time or another. Jim suggests going online to increase coupon power. For example, at Retailmenot.com you can get coupon codes and discounts for 90,000 online stores. At Couponmap.com you can get localized coupons for discounts wherever you plan to shop. At Flit.com, a shopping aggregator, you can get comparison shopping done for you. He also provided a calendar of when things typically go on sale: i.e., appliances on holiday weekends, cookware in May, June and December, etc.
  2. Google “101 Ways to Save Money” — You will get 435,000 hits for this search alone.
  3. Get library books, go online and check with your local reference librarian — Older but still useful books can be purchased for as little as a dime at public libraries, Amazon.com, etc.
  4. Make your income more residual — Jim suggests looking into stock ladders and bond ladders that provide periodic payouts.
  5. How to lower your health care premiums before and after retirement — Before retirement, consider high deductible combined with HSA and supplemental insurance. After retirement, consider zero premium policies.
  6. Saving money at the gas pump — Google “tips for saving money on gasoline” and use supermarket/gas station discount cards. Also, learn to fill your tank early in the morning when gasoline is denser and less vapor is lost. Keep tires properly inflated. “Draft” when in traffic. Don’t make jackrabbit starts; use gradual acceleration.
  7. Guaranteed savings on your electric and natural gas bills — Get energy audits. For small business audits, go to nyserda.org and for home energy audits go to getenergysmart.org, both NYS sites that provide details.

Attendance (14): Terry Brewer, Rommel Tolentino, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Deb Brown, Peter Brown, Ron Annis, Murray Forth, Dick Drumm, Jim Mendrysa, Doris Calamaras, Phil Egan, Russ Edberg.

Guests (2): James W. Farnham, Fred Hiller.

BUSINESS/ANNOUNCEMENTS:

• Fred Hiller (right), an Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 166 and nephew of club member Jim Mendrysa (left), spoke to the club about the volunteer project he is leading to refurbish the fencing at the two-section Nassau/St. Mary’s cemetery complex on Route 203. Some graves there date to the 1700s. The club awarded a $100 grant to assist him. Once he achieves Eagle rank, he will qualify for inclusion on a plaque at Columbia High School, where he is a senior, that lists students who have achieved Eagle or Golden Arrow ranks in the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts.

• The club has sent a $100 contribution to Columbia County Deputy Sheriff Wendy Guntert for her volunteer efforts with Peaceable Kingdom Animal Rescue. Wendy presented a program to the club several weeks ago. (Details here.)

• We received a thank-you letter from the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) for the club’s support of this year’s program. Nick George will attend our May 26 meeting with the Maple Hill High School students who participated.

• Seven members attended the first anniversary dinner of the Kinderhook club.

• Charlie Foote is planning to leave on May 15 for the Rotary International Convention in New Orleans. There still is time to contact him if you wish to contribute to his motorcycle ride fundraiser for PolioPlus.

• Rotary Run planning was reviewed: Terry reported that the Schodack Police department again will assist … Bill Dowd is collecting information on T-shirt and course marker sponsors to be listed on a website sponsors page … Jim Leyhane reported that Rotary baseball caps, which volunteers working the Run will wear, should be available next week … Doris Calamaras reported purchase of toys for kids’ activities at the Run … Peter Brown said he is mapping the five-mile route online … April Dowd said she would contribute coffee for this year’s refreshment area. Others offered the use of beverage containers and coffee makers.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, May 12. Carol Orvis will present Craig Alexander, DDS, who will speak on modern dentistry.

[Go here for the Events Calendar.]

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