Friday, February 29, 2008
Called DailyLit (www.dailylit.com/), the service was recently launched by Susan Danziger, a former Random House editor and her husband Albert Wenger, who used to run del.icio.us. The service was featured in the latest issue of Poets & Writers magazine (an excellent magazine). Readers can receive installments via "computers, cell phones and Blackberry handhelds and other tech devices," according to the article in P&W by Kevin Canfield. You pick the frequency of the emails. You can even opt to read far more than the daily portion.
This is how the service started, according to a statement on the DailyLit website.
"We got the idea for DailyLit after the New York Times serialized a few classic works in special supplements a few summers ago. We wound up reading books that we had always meant to simply by virtue of making them part of our daily routine of reading the newspaper. The only thing we do more consistenly than read the paper is read email. Bingo! We put together a first version and began reading "War of the Worlds" and "Pride and Prejudice". We showed it to friends, added more books and features at their request, and presto, DailyLit was born."
Here's how the service works, according to the FAQ section DailyLit:
"Why read books by email?
Because if you are like us, you spend hours each day reading email but don't find the time to read books. DailyLit brings books right into your inbox in convenient small messages that take less than 5 minutes to read. This works incredibly well not just on your computer but also on a Treo, Blackberry, Sidekick or whatever the PDA of your choice. In the words of Dr. Seuss: Try it, you might like it! (Oops -- it would appear that the actual quote from Green Eggs and Ham is "You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may.")
How long does it take to read a book?
That depends on three factors. First, on how many installments are in the book (shown when you browse for books). Second, on how frequently you choose to receive emails. Third, on how often you read more than one installment (by using the "send me the next installment immediately" feature). So here is a typical example. I am currently reading Dracula, which has 187 installments and I am receiving installments on weekdays, i.e. 5 days/week. So at most it will take me 187/5 = 37 weeks. But when I am on the train or waiting, I often read more than one installment, so I usually wind up reading about 10 installments/week. This means I will finish Dracula in about 19 weeks or 5 months. If that seems long to you, try something shorter!
Sounds great, how do I get started?
All you need to do is pick a book (browse the collection or use the search box), select how often and when you want to receive messages, and provide your email address. Click on the big Subscribe button. DailyLit does the rest.
How much does it cost?
Public domain books on DailyLit are free in their entirety. Most copyrighted books require payment after some number of free sample installments (some copyrighted books are free). The price for a book is displayed clearly on the book detail page. We encourage you to try out paid books -- you only pay if you like the free sample installments and want to continue reading."
source: FAQ for DailyLit
Here's a small sample of the extensive list of free titles:
Popular Titles (all free)
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Many Thoughts of Many Minds (Quotations)
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Dear Consumer Products Companies:
These marketing, production and packaging trends are troubling and could hit your bottom line during a slowdown:
Poison Cosmetics: It's like a nightmare from Catwoman (2004) starring Halle Berry. The plot line: Cat Woman discovers that her employer designs and distributes skin care products that disfigure women and create long-term health problems. It's not such a far-fetched fantasy. There are many dubious cosmetic products on the market. see: Think Before You Pink
I am personally boycotting beauty products with parabens, leads and other harmful chemicals. Even some of my favorite frugal products are on my Do Not Buy list because the merchandise contains dyes. (For example, there is a line of hair conditioners for $1 a bottle that is packaged in a rainbow of colors and scents. The conditioner is cheap and works. But why do I need to put extra dyes into my system?) I will actually spend more for organic or natural products that make me look prettier without killing me.
Dangerous personal care products: Some ingredients in anti-perspirants and lotions are awful. I'm looking for alternative products that won't harm my body. Let me sweat and live in peace.
Insulting ads: Stop filling magazine pages, cyberspace and television airwaves with advertisements designed to make me feel needy, greedy and inadequate. What's wrong with fine lines around my eyes? I've laughed a lot. I've cried plenty. And I'm glad to be alive. I'm not going to spend money on companies that suggest I should apologize for showing signs of life.
What's more, I refuse to buy products for companies with ads that suggest my life will be better with a new shade of hair, a new layer of skin and whiter teeth. Nothing in a bottle can address my real problems and issues. Don't insult me with quick-fix pitches.
Flavor-of-the Month clothing: I hated those tiny bust-hugging, wallet-breaking jackets/sweaters from two or three seasons ago. OMG! Adult women looked as if we had purchased outfits in the children's department. With a few exceptions, the look was very unflattering. Against my better judgement, I purchased two of those jackets at an end-of-season sale. Even at a 75-percent discount I wasted money. My experience taught me to avoid trendy fashions that look dated before I even unwrap the tissue paper.
Manipulated prices: The truth: Most sales aren't really sales. Suggested retail price is a joke. What's the value of 75 percent off, when a garment has been marked up by 500 to 1000 percent? Sorry, I'll keep the change.
Shoddy merchandise: I don't want computer program systems that need urgent patches and I don't want shirts that need instant button repairs. If you sell me something that immediately falls apart or malfunctions, I won't come back. I'll spend elsewhere.
Packaging: It's simple: Save the trees and charge me less. I don't want merchandise packed in air and paper. Just give me my stuff, charge me less and downsize the wrapping.
Celebrity endorsements: Save money; cancel the big-ticket celebrity contracts. I love the Dove "real women" ads (Campaign For Real Beauty ) because there are no airbrushed super models or actresses. I'm 5'1 and 110-115 pounds. I used to weigh about 90 pounds or less, but I've stopped starving myself and I'm not going to buy products from models who make me feel as if I should waste away, skip breakfast or throw up my lunch. I work and eat for a living.
Thank you for listening,
Articles of interest:
Recession Proof Your Life
Recession-Proof Your Marketing
Hackett: Business Finance, ''How to Recession-Proof Your Business''
Is Blogging Recession Proof?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
That's the word from one side of a fortune cookie slip of paper, which is sitting next to my keyboard: Treasure what you have. On the other side, there is a bit of related advice: "Be Full," with a translation in either Chinese or Korean and a phonetic key. (bao)
The Message: Enough already! Sometimes in the drive for fame and fortune, I want more, more, more. And in that push for wealth and acclaim, I forget that I have already been blessed (Thank G-d) with so much: good health, children, a great family (immediate and extended), a comfortable home and food. Don't be greedy and enjoy what you have. That's what the fortune cookie says to me.
In addition to that bit of wisdom, the fortune offered five lucky numbers: 4, 7, 11, 12, 35, 38.
Lottery numbers? Hmmmm. Message: Count your blessings, dream of jackpots and take calculated risks.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Thanks to the host for putting together such a great carnival. Thanks for including my post in the mix. Here are a few articles that caught my eye:
Free From Broke: The Frugality of Our Feet. Walking is a healthy, frugal and entertaining activity. I enjoyed this post.
Cheap Healthy Good: Food, Frugality, and Fighting Brand Loyalty A behind-the-scenes look at the costs of brand marketing from a media professional. This post made me think about my buying habits.
Chief Family Officer: We bought a new washer and paid 35% less than MSRP CFO purchased an energy-efficient washing machine at a discount. Her post includes helpful links, research insights and a purchase action plan.
Thanks again to NCN for being such a great host!
Monday, February 25, 2008
--Leo Buscaglia, author and teacher
I'm a worrier. But my worries are often paralyzing and self-defeating. What's more, negative wheel-spinning anxieties are a form of self-sabotage. Therefore, almost every day, I read a book that helps me spin less and work harder, namely: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.
I've actually earned more money since I've started using Carnegie's anti-worry strategies.
I Earned 20% More After Reading This Book
Say Sorry and Save Money: How I'm Shedding Emotional Debt in 2008
But why was I babysitting and why wasn't I paid for my time?
With a home-based office, I often babysit for my friends' children. It's a common request: Due to a doctor's appointment, a parent-teacher conference or some other event, friends will often ask me to watch their kids for a few hours. Usually, I say yes. Here's why:
1. The grocery store business: "Can I borrow some sugar, foil, ketchup or your life?" That's a common request that I make of neighbors and friends. Given the constant requests that come out of my house, I feel guilty denying a friend a few hours of my time.
2. Returned favors: Last night a friend watched my youngest daughter. How can I can not return the favor? It's a great informal barter system.
3. The Lessons: My kids are teens and tweens. They teach me a lot about life, but pre-schoolers can really take you to school. Here's what I learned today from my little buddy:
- Conquer your fears: During past visits to my home, my little pal has been fearful of our family dog, a mid-sized mutt. Usually, other children are around to serve as buffers and body guards. But today it was just the three of us: the dog, the three-year-old and me. And a miracle happened: The little boy conquered his fear of my dog Scruffy. Watching him interact with my dog, I realized that I can overcome my fears of driving and assorted financial phobias.
- Don't be embarrassed to ask for help: When he needed assistance with his potty duties, the three-year-old was not shy or embarrassed to ask for my help. In contrast, as an adult, I've often been reluctant to ask for help with messy finances, education or some other sticky situation. But if I don't understand a financial term, concept or computation, I should not be embarrassed to ask for help.
- Don't be wasteful: I made a snack for myself and asked my guest if he wanted something to eat. His response: "I have food at home." Priceless: When I'm at the mall, at the drugstore or at the movies, I will remember him and tell myself: "I have food at home....I have food at home."
- Accept the Universe as-is: Briefly, my toddler friend considered a game of throwing a tennis ball to my dog while playing on the balcony. I shook my head and the toddler looked at me and said: "The ball will fall over the wall." I pray for such clarity and acceptance in other areas of my life. In other situations, I have chased balls and dogs over walls that I have refused to acknowledge. I have beaten my head against walls. Now --when faced with unmovable objects or difficult realities -- I will tell myself: "The ball will fall over the wall." That's my new mantra.
- Be respectful of other people's property: Before playing with our action figures, toy swords or other trinkets around my home, the three-year-old asked for permission first.
- Listen to the ocean: We have a huge conch shell in our living room. It was a gift from a kind vendor when we were on vacation one summer. The shell is pretty, but I don't pay much attention to it. I noticed, however, when my young guest picked up the big (and fragile) shell. "You can hear the ocean," he told me. I took the shell from him and held it to my ear. And yes, I could hear the ocean.
I subsequently arranged an onsite home audit, a free service FPL offers to its customers. The energy specialists examine your home, analyze your bill and target areas where you can save. It was definitely worth the time and effort.
Here's what happened: Raudel Valdes and Gabriel Palacios, FPL energy management specialists, arrived at my home carrying a laptop and printer. The central air conditioning/heating unit immediately caught their attention.
Repair damaged coils: Disfigured coils on the main AC/heating unit caused the air conditioner to run longer to reach the desired temperature.
Fill the gaps: Space around the air conditioning pipes and the gap between the ceiling and the air duct force the AC/heating unit to eat up energy.
Insulate the water heater: To save space, our water heater is directly below the air conditioning unit. The heat from the water heater forces the air conditioner to work harder. The FPL team recommended insulating the main copper pipe that leads to the water heater. This step will contain heat coming out of the water heater and improve cooling system's efficiency.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Here are other proposed markets for trading:"The Sawtelles wanted to move to Georgia to live closer to their grandchildren. The Farrs needed to move to Parhump because of Amy's new job. Frustrated, the two couples found each other on an Internet web site specifically dedicated to people looking to swap houses. "--House swap
1. Clothing: I once wrote a story about teenagers who traded back-to-school clothes. They went to different schools and by trading clothes, they were able to double their back-to-school wardrobe and save money.
2. Toys: The boy next-door periodically swaps toys with my kids. At other times, his mother puts out bins of toys and games with which he's become bored. It's a great way to stretch a toy budget and to recycle.
3. Books: My parents live in a community with an informal library. The system works like this: Take-a-book or leave-a-book. It's a great way of finding new titles and putting used books back into circulation.
I was working every day from 8 in the morning until 9 in the evening. I was working half a day on Saturdays. What good would it do me to have all this money if I never had any time to enjoy it? I quit after a couple months and searched for something with less hours.
The New York Times article: Moving Soon to an Apartment Near You profiles 38 year old playwright Brooke Berman who has lived in more than 30 apartments in 20 years in New York.
While I still have a day job that I do for about 25 hours a week, I realized
that depending on only my weekly paycheck could be a recipe for disaster, so I
started thinking of other ways I could make money, and this is how I do it.
You’ve got too many bananas, mashed potatoes, eggs or zucchini, and the excess
is threatening to rot in your kitchen.
I've been looking for a better way to remember when my monthly bills are due. I don't like having anything automatically deducted from my checking account and would rather keep track of when the bills are due and then pay via billpay or pay directly at the billers website.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Tyson offers eight financial tips for marital bliss. Here are the tips from a news release. The tips about the importance of words and communtications (#1, #3 and #8) hit home with me.
"1. Start talking about money now. Most people are raised to believe that it's impolite and inappropriate to discuss money with others, and are taught that it's a private, personal, and confidential matter. The result is that most couples never seriously talk about money. While dating, they are in denial about the importance of all things financial, even though it's a huge issue looming on the horizon.
"If you avoided talking about money while you were dating—and chances are you did—don't keep putting money talks on the back burner now that you are married," says Tyson. "Take the risk to discuss your feelings, attitudes, and beliefs about money and be ready to respectfully listen to your partner's approach. Work at understanding your differences and decide on a process for negotiating agreements when conflicts inevitably arise. This will help minimize small problems mushrooming into big ones but, of course, doesn't guarantee a lifetime of trouble-free financial bliss."
"Separate accounts and finances often lead to friction in marriages, especially if one person cuts back on work outside the home to be with the kids, or if wide pay differences exist between the partners," says Tyson. "I've also observed a tendency toward increased secrecy and related problems with separate accounts if spouses keep much of their spending habits private. That said, a combination of joint and separate accounts is a workable compromise for some couples. The key to making this arrangement work is setting a discretionary spending limit. For example, you must consult your spouse on purchases of more than say $50 or $100."
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
- Bottled drinks from stores. (This includes bottled water, sports drinks and sodas). Why spend $2-3 for 16 oz. of beverage, when I can drink free tap water (filtered!) or make 64 oz of iced herbal tea for pennies per serving? When traveling on road trips, we've even started to pack our own DIY drinks and snacks, rather than pay high prices at gas stations, vending machines and convenience stores. On Monday, however, I purchased a soft drink for my daughter for $1.49. I should have saved the money.
- Make-up: With a few exceptions, I've really cutback on cosmetics and grooming products. I've started making my own day-spa facial products. It's about health and money. I've become very suspicious about the content of some of my favorite store products, including a lipstick that may contain lead. I'm checking it out. I love the long-lasting color, but I don't want to eat lead. I'm also wary of the preservatives that are found in many personal care products. Some are linked to breast cancer and other illnesses.
- Clothing: No new clothes! The clothes budget is gone, gone, gone. For special events, I will shop if needed. But it'll take a major event and a great sale to get me to spend more money on clothes.
- Junk food: I'm purging.( Saving $1,000 by Giving up Sugar) I feel better, look better and save more when I eat less junk.
Bankrate.com also stresses the importance of tutoring our kids on the difference between wants and needs. My kids, normally great about spending and saving, have been hit with recent cases of the gimmies. I backslide also. For kids and adults, it's a constant process of education and self-awareness.
Tip #4: "Safeguard your current job" offers this suggestion: "network, network, network." It's also important to stay plugged into the latest technology and trends. Also: Watch your back on the job by staying visible and productive. Work hard and document your value.
1. "Eliminate the nonessentials
2. Start a go-to fund for emergencies
3. Consider cutting back (rather than cutting out) for some expenses
4. Safeguard your current job
5. Be on the lookout for your next job
6. Keep your debt load light
7. Barring a complete personal financial meltdown, continue funding your retirement
8. Swap extraneous spending for smart long-term moves
9. Investigate refinancing
10. Re-examine your insurance
11. Adjust your withholding allowance
12. Reward yourself
13. Ask for an extension on your car loan
14. Get an extension on the mortgage
15. Talk to a mortgage counselor"
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is the author of The Frugal Duchess of South Beach: How to Live Well and Save Money... Anywhere!, which will be published in June of 2008 by DPL Press.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"Identify Your Money Phobias." That's the sage advice from the February issue of Town & Country magazine, which has an excellent 12-page section on "Women and Wealth."
The article features the book "The Money Mirror," How Money Reflects Women's Dreams, Fears, and Desires from Allworth Press. Written by Annette Lieberman, a therapist from NYC, the book discusses women and our fears related to money. Many of the issues, however, are gender-neutral IMHO.
Here's Lieberman's rundown of popular money phobias held by women:
- Money-blind: I call it willful financial blindness. When I exhibit these symptoms, I become clueless about my bank balance, credit card status, credit scores. In this state, I pretend that any grim financial news will go away if I ignore it. The cure: daily balance checks, weekly planning and baby-step goals.
- Financial allergies: In this state, we view money as distasteful. Some women leave the nuts-and-bolts of finances to husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. Why worry about petty cash? (Women in this category believe that an interest in money, is "greedy or vulgar," according to the T&C article.) By the way, I know men who leave all household budgeting to their wives. The cure: Unfortunately, insight usually arrives with a rude hard knock. For example, the T&C wealth section includes tales of women who have been swindled out of investments, inheritance and other assets by "trusted" brokers, friends, husbands and other family members.
- Money Deniers: Closely related to the "money-blind" phobics, this group includes women with rescue fantasies. Prince Charming can be anyone or anything: a man, lottery fantasies, inheritance anticipation, real estate sale expectations or other dreams of sudden wealth. The cure: Okay, I claim this phobia. I once believed in Prince Charming and I've had fantasies of sudden fame and quick wealth. But a string of personal and financial failures chased away my Prince Charming fantasies. I'm grateful. Failure is very instructive because by failing, I learned to stop waiting for pots of gold and rings of gold. I now have faith in hard work, frugal living and personal savings.
Other Financial Victims:
- "Money-Folly" Spendthrifts: The emotional spenders.
- Money-Paranoids: Obsessed about money, these women use wealth "as a fortress to keep themselves protected and insulated" from others. This is soooo not my issue.
This T&C list of phobias could be easily expanded. In fact, Mikelann R. Valterra, the author of Why Women Earn Less has another list of common financial phobias/patterns. Her list includes:
The Starving Artist: Summary: Don't be a sell-out. Stay poor; stay creative.
Noble Poverty Scenarios: Summary: Money is evil--"It is better to be good and poor, than rich and evil."
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is the author of The Frugal Duchess of South Beach: How to Live Well and Save Money... Anywhere!, which will be published in June of 2008 by DPL Press
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
--Peter Drucker, management consultant and writer.
When I'm committed to a savings program, an education plan or a new job search, I usually see concrete results and real progress. Unfortunately, my personal balance sheet also includes a few false-starts, abandoned financial programs and half-hearted efforts. Bottom Line: I could be wealthier and more accomplished if I'm more committed to improving my personal accounts.
Here's how I plan to be more committed:
1. Set realistic goals: Over-reaching is a recipe for failure. When I try to do too much, too soon, I often fail to hit targets and that failure causes me to backslide in efforts to save money and slash debt.
2. Progress reports. At the beginning of each week, I'll establish a few weekly minor financial goals. At the end of each week, I'll review that performance. Progress reports (with baby steps) will build momentum and provide a weekly renewal of commitment to financial goals.
3. Streamline: Simplify! Complex budgets and money tracking systems fry my brain. In contrast, I'm more likely to use a low-key system. With consistent tracking, I'll have a better chance of staying focused on goals.
4. Recruit the family: Getting the kids to really buy into financial goals will reduce the temptation to order take-out pizza or to buy the latest trinket. My kids are really great, but everyone will benefit if the kids have a better understanding of our long-term financial goals.
5. Maintain a diet of self-improvement: A daily program of self-improvement (clutter busting, anti-procrastination, stress reduction, etc.) will enhance the commitment to financial goals.
The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store
Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues
Frugal Comic Book Connection
The Scenario: I faced pressing work deadlines. But on the other side of the balance sheet, I was pulled by my 10-year-old daughter's pressing need for my presence at a special mother-daughter event at her school. Is it possible to do everything I need for work, while still being a hands-on parent?
A Laptop Solution: Someone suggested that I show up in the classroom with my laptop. I could sit in the back of the room with my computer. In that pose, I could periodically smile and nod, while typing away at a work assignment.
- Pros: I could multi-task. My body and smiles would be in the classroom, while my mind surfed the Internet and typed. Win-Win Scenario?
- Cons: Who am I kidding? I wouldn't really be working. I wouldn't really be in the classroom or with my daughter. Other people are good at multi-tasking, I'm not.
- The Reality: I left my laptop at home to avoid multi-tasking temptation. That was a smart move, because during the Open House portion of the day, every parent was instructed to sit next to their child (No hiding in the back of the classroom!) My typing fingers and wandering mind would have been discovered.
Plan Ahead: When I calmly reviewed my work calendar, I realized that while I faced a calendar full of deadlines, only one story was really due at the end of that business day. (The rest are due today and later this week.) I organized my thoughts and did as much research as I could before the presentation/Open House.
- Pros: Planning ahead is a good strategy regardless of the occasion. I have a regular calendar of work commitments and deadlines. Advance planning will help smooth out my work schedule in any situation. And I have to admit that I knew about the event for a week and I could have done more to ease the time crunch.
- Cons: Who am I kidding? When it comes to professional duties, advance planning can not take the place of real-time, face-time. In many situations, advance planning only creates the illusion of control.
- Reality: I completed as much as I could before and after the event. I submitted the required article on time, but my other assignments (due later this week) lagged.
Consider Long-Term Values: When my kids are grown up, I will remember their school performances, but I won't remember the titles of all the articles I've written. That's true. I'll also remember how happy my kids were to see me in the audience. The right decision should be a no-brainer: Go to the school event.
- Pros: Full participation in the lives of my children is a priceless activity. They are the reason that I work so hard in the first place.
- Cons: Who am I kidding? Be real. Paychecks underwrite priceless moments. Groceries, dentist visits and soccer fees require money. Being responsible requires difficult choices, including staying at the keyboard to hammer out an assignment on deadline.
- Reality: Balancing home and work commitments is really a case-by-case decision. There's really no one-size-fits-all answer. Face it: Sometimes I'll have to miss an important school event in order to earn money for my family. But on other occasions, I'll have to pull back on professional commitments in order to provide my kids with emotional support. And sometimes, I just need to relax and have a good time with my family.
- Can the work assignment be delayed, rescheduled or delegated?
- Is there another family member who can go to the school event in my place?
- How important is this event to my child?
- Will my kid be one of the few students without a mother or parent in the audience?
- If I can't make alternative work arrangements, does the child understand why? Do they realize how much I care?
Monday, February 18, 2008
I consume flax seed, vitamins and green tea. But my shopping list also includes double chocolate muffins, cappuccino ice cream and sports drinks packed with calories.
The new frugal diet: Less sugar on weekdays with the goal of saving almost $1,000 in candied treats during the next 12 months. I'm serious: From Monday through Friday, I will not eat: candy, soda, sweetened power drinks, muffins, donuts, cakes, Danishes and other treats. Even dried fruit -- especially the candied variety -- is on my Do Not Eat (DNE) List.
The calculations are stunning. On a real sugary week, breakfast sweets and other treats really take a bite out of my budget. I spend up to $20-$25 a week, $80-$100/month or $720 - $1,000/annually on junk food. Think about it: my favorite muffins (600 calories per serving) are $3.50 each. If I have one muffin each morning before work, that's $17.50 a week, just for breakfast treats.
Despite my initial denials, the evidence was hard to ignore. As I studied the numbers recorded in a small notebook, I realized that sugar was eating away at my health and my bank account. So as a fiscal and physical fix, I've begun a new get-rich, get-healthy diet. I'm in Week #2 and here are my rules.
1. No after-dinner desserts or breakfast treats or midday sugar snacks during the weekday.
2. Cut back on processed food with high sugar content.
3. Read labels and avoid sugar substitutes such as corn starch, maple syrup and fructose.
4. Drink lots of unsweetened herbal teas. Sugar in coffee is allowed. Drink lots of water.
5. Limit fruit juices. When I do drink fruit juices, I've been diluting the OJ and cranberry juice with water.
6. Desserts and treats, however, are permitted from sundown Friday night until Sunday night. Weekend luxuries are permitted as a perk for good behavior during the week.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is the author of The Frugal Duchess of South Beach: How to Live Well and Save Money... Anywhere!, which will be published in June of 2008 by DPL Press