Thursday, November 10, 2005

Frugal News: Consumer Confidence Dips & Frugal Application of Cleaners

Frugal Front Page

Consumers Grow More Cautious

That's the latest news from the Conference Board, a non-profit business research organization. Here are snippets from the release.

"The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Declines Again

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had plummeted in September, declined again in October.

“Much of the decline in confidence over the past two months can be attributed to the recent hurricanes, pump shock and a weakening labor market,” says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

Consumers’ overall assessment of ongoing conditions was less positive in October. Those claiming business conditions are “good” decreased to 23.8 percent from 25.2 percent. Those claiming conditions are “bad” increased to 18.6 percent from 17.8 percent.

The employment picture was also less buoyant. Consumers saying jobs are “hard to get” increased to 25.3 percent from 25.0 percent, while those claiming jobs are “plentiful” was virtually unchanged at 20.8 percent."



Frugal Uses for Bounce, WD-40 and other Products

Consumers have contributed to a list of unusual uses for Bounce Fabric
Sheets. For example, a shopper from Bogalusa, Louisiana was hard hit by Hurricane Katrina and without power for over four weeks and offers this tip on a Bounce website.

"All [the food] in refrigerators was lost and the smell was awful. I used
several Bounce sheets in both my freezers and refrigerators after cleaning,
and they lost the bad smell in a matter of days," the consumer wrote.

Other uses for the fabric sheets include odor removal from cars and carpets,
insect repellant and scum cleaner from shower doors.

The WD-40 Company has pulled together a list of 2000 uses for WD-40, a multipurpose spray that lubricates and "displaces" water, according to Liza Gaoiran, brand manager for WD-40. The company's website, features a list of 2000 uses of WD-40.

Here are some of the consumer-to-consumer uses of the product:

a. Rust prevention. The product can be sprayed on outdoor furniture as a preventive measure or sprayed on rusted items to contain the spread of rust.

b. Protection of gaskets on storm windows.

c. Lubricates window tracks on boats and storm shutters.

d. Protects chain saw blades during storage.

e. Removes sand from patio door runners

f. Cleans up adhesive marks left by duct tape and other sticky stuff.

On a related topic, one consumer claims that Tilex (a bathroom tile cleaner)is effective in removing mold spots from wet clothes that were left in a
hamper. (Hint: spay damaged area with Tilex and soak the garment in warm

Procter & Gamble spokeswoman Bev Larkin says that the company has not tested
all of the unusual applications of its products. She does, however, vouch
for one usual application: Dawn dishwashing liquid is effective in removing
oil stains from driveways and sidewalks.

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