Archive for May, 2009

Tips from frugal millionaires

…millionaires keep more money than they spend, that’s why they are rich. Their tactics work for them so they’ll work even better for you. Key Point: They don’t view shopping as a sport. They shop efficiently and spend their time doing more important things with their lives.

via How to Spend Like a Frugal Millionaire – Alpha Consumer (

This good blog post has spending/saving tips on a variety of topics such as eating out, cars, clothes, electronics and computers. Iwanna has been a source of frugal shopping for over 30 years. Check out Iwanna categories here:


Asheville among least affordable home markets

Home Affordability in the South

Even though home affordability is the highest in decades, a new report shows Asheville is still among the least affordable housing markets in the South.

Nearly 73% of all homes sold in the United States during the first three months of 2009 were considered affordable. That was the highest percentage ever reported by the 18-year-old Housing Opportunity Index, an analysis of markets compiled quarterly by the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo Bank.

via The nation’s most affordable housing market – May. 18, 2009.

Asheville’s affordability index was 62.3, as compared to Greenville which was 81.1.  Sherman-Denison in Texas had the best affordability in the South at 94.9, meaning that about 95% of families making the median national income of $64,000 would be able to buy property there and devote no more than 28% of their income toward housing costs.

You can get complete access to the data here.

N.C. ranks 34th in April foreclosure report

North Carolina was third highest in the country for foreclosed property growth from March to April, according to RealtyTrac. Its monthly property foreclosure report said only New Mexico and Massachusetts had higher increases, although North Carolina was ranked just 34th in the country and actually had a year-over-year decrease.

RealtyTrac data

The report shows that one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in April, the highest monthly foreclosure rate ever posted by RealtyTrac — the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said:

…many lenders and servicers are beginning foreclosure proceedings on delinquent loans that had been delayed by legislative and industry moratoria. It’s likely that we’ll see a corresponding spike in REOs as these loans move through the foreclosure process over the next few months

via Foreclosure Activity Remains at Record Levels in April According to RealtyTrac(R) U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Find out where your chips were made

Where Lays chips are made in North Carolina.

Where Lays chips are made in North Carolina.

Engage a bad habit over lunch to see where your vending-machine potato chips are  made:

Lay’s Potato Chip Tracker

What you’ll find out:

North Carolina farmers grew over 66 million pounds of potatoes for Frito-Lay last year. Across America, we use potatoes from over 80 farms and make Lay’s chips at 21 locations.

Is stocking up frugal or foolish?

Sam’s Club and other discounters have turned the impulse to stock up into a business model.  The majority of items for sale at these warehouse-like stores are bulk, and club members buy with the hope that they’re saving money over the long run.

The flipside, of course, is overbuying stuff you don’t need or use just because the price looked good. Who of us haven’t asked ourselves:

Are these impulses foolish? They don’t feel foolish, but sometimes I’m not as smart as I should be about these decisions. Would buying these extra iPods or boots just be a sort of hoarding? Would I be bringing more clutter into the house? I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t feel guilty for considering these options — so long as I can afford them.

via When Does It Make Sense to Stock Up? ∞ Get Rich Slowly.

Everybody who shops discount groceries knows that deals don’t last long on the shelves. If you think about stocking up on a good deal too long, it could be gone the next time you come back.

Comments from the Get Rich Slowly blog offer some good advice about stocking up:

  • Electronics are always bad options because technology improvements will almost always make the next model better.
  • Products that cost less than $20 each are good candidates but they have to be at a killer price.
  • Be cautious about products that degrade over time.
  • Be especially careful with food products that are stocked up, because they need to be rotated regularly.
  • Anything that you are confident you could resell at the same price you paid (or more) is worth stocking up on.

Is your yard sale legal?

In this season of garage sales, there is suddenly a lot of hand-wringing about the federal Consumer Product Safety Act that was signed into law last summer. If you read it literally, it says we could be subject to thousands of dollars in federal fines for selling yard sale stuff.

This handbook will help sellers of used products identify types of potentially hazardous products that could harm children or others. CPSC’s laws and regulations apply to anyone who sells or distributes consumer products. This includes thrift stores, consignment stores, charities, and individuals holding yard sales and flea markets.

via CPSA handbook (PDF)

Some of the more pithy commentary on the issue:

How is a yard sale a federal issue?

No matter how thrifty you are, there are just some things you should always buy new.

If we let people have yard sales, next thing you know, they’ll want to open a Wal-Mart.

Bring it on feds. My powder is dry, my arm is steady. Come mess with my yard sale.


Traditionally this time of year, yard sales and garage sales are the most searched categories on

Green i-House is volcanic trend

Modular home builder Clayton Homes and its new  i-House are suddenly volcanic in Google Trends.

The I-House looks like a house you’d order from Ikea, sounds like something designed by Apple and consists of amenities–solar panels, tankless water heaters and rainwater collectors–that one would expect to come from a offbeat green company out of California selling to a high-end market. But Clayton Homes, one of the largest manufacturers of mobile homes out of Maryville, Tenn., is looking to enter the market of environmentally friendly, prefab homes with a model that is seriously affordable.

via Clayton Homes I-House – Affordable Prefab Green Homes Powered on a Dollar a Day – Popular Mechanics.

Tech publication Fast Company also published an article about it here.

The Washington Post published an article recently here.

A blog about the i-House is here.

A lot of the attention on the i-House is a result of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting this past weekend, when the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, addressed shareholders. He bought Clayton Homes in 2003 for $1.7 billion.

Some of the interesting reader comments on recent stories about the i-House:

“Looks like a house boat that ran aground.”

“Will these be set up in an i-Home park?”

Iwanna has some of the deepest sales information on modular and mobile homes, including Clayton Homes and others, in the Carolinas. Browse Carolina modular homes on

Twitter Updates Bookmarks

Top Clicks

  • None

RSS Tip’d

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
May 2009
« Apr   Jun »