Archive for July, 2009

How to eat for 33 cents a meal

Eating consumes a lot of your budget, and everyone has tips on how to  feed yourself more cheaply. Yesterday, tech startup enthusiast Andrew Hyde posted his tricks for eating for about 33 cents a meal.

One of the most humbling experiences I have ever had was shopping for two weeks worth of food with a twenty dollar bill. … Hacking your food budget is one of those things that I am surprised more people don’t do.

via How To Live (Comfortably) on $36 A Month For Food | Andrew Hyde – Startups. Start Here.

One of his basic tenets is that if you are serious about sticking to a budget, you have to change your thought process on food. And he rattles off tips from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks. Don’t miss the reader comments at the end of his post.

Deep discount grocery shopping is one of his tips, and good local sources of low-cost food are grocery factory outlets such as Go Grocery. Local farmers markets are another source, and calendars can be found in the weekly Iwanna.

Then again, there are even more extreme measures like dumpster diving, which local blogger Ashvegas explored earlier this year. And not surprisingly, Hyde notes that “the smaller your stomach is, the easier this is going to be.”

Sex sells, even for dogs

Oh-oh. It’s back.

The “doggie love doll,” which has had various incarnations over the last couple of years, is starting to make the rounds on Twitter — probably for the first time.

The latest incarnation comes from this story (allegedly from Brazil) as reported by the appropriately named Web site “NewsLite: It Barely Qualifies as News:”

I had the idea to make this doll when my Maltese started to grab everybody’s legs,” said Marco Giroto, owner of PetSmiling. “I did some research and couldn’t find anything like it, anywhere in the world. I decided to make it!”

via DoggieLoveDoll: A sex doll for dogs – Odd News | newslite.tv.

Advocates say it’s a safer solution than neutering dogs. On the other hand, it’s probably just good for snickering.

Pets are among the most popular items searched on Iwanna.com. And if you do the search (or click on the link here), look for the survey that gives you a chance to win a free online subscription to Iwanna.com.

North Asheville shows biggest decline in home values

North Asheville zip 28804 — home to expensive developments such as Reynolds Mountain — shows the biggest decline in average home values, while south Asheville zip 28704 shows one of the smallest declines, according to Zillow.

The real estate site has revamped its real estate market reports and home value pages to allow users to drill down to the local level and build charts like the one below.

It’s now easy to compare different regions. Just check the regions you want to compare and we’ll show you the difference. At the neighborhood level, this is great for home buyers. At the higher levels, it’s just plain fun to play with.

via Data Junkies, Get Your Mice Ready! | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

The Zillow Home Value Index takes the mid-point of “Zestimate” valuations for zip codes — half the Zestimates are above the number and half are below it.

Zillow updates the numbers twice a month and the data is even available for download.

For the latest homes for sale, check out the Castles & Coves section of Iwanna.com or at your local newstand.

Asheville home value comparison via Zillow.com

Ride the Twitter wave with these tips

Twitter has washed over Asheville and Western North Carolina in a big wave. It’s been embraced by local mainstream media, and it’s been growing in a number of local publishing entrepreneurs who are building networks and audience with the micro-blogging service. It’s also a great way to promote and follow events like this weekend’s Bele Chere Festival in Asheville.

A couple of good examples of local small businesses using Twitter include Blanchard Hyundai and AskAsheville. You can follow Iwanna at www.twitter.com/iwanna.

But for most small businesses, Twitter remains somewhat of a mystery. Just in time, Twitter has released “Twitter 101 For Business” that is a great primer for small businesses.

Twitter isn’t just about useful immediacy. The conversational nature of the medium lets you build relationships with customers, partners and other people important to your business. Beyond transactions, Twitter gives your constituents direct access to employees and a way to contribute to your company…

via Twitter 101 for Business — A Special Guide.

Using very simple tools such as the new Twitter widget and a simple website creation tool — such as the disposable web-site creator DinkyPage — anyone can create a niche-specific information site to share with customers, colleagues and friends. Check out Iwanna’s Internet Marketing Tips here for more free website tools.

To show you how simple it can be, we’ve created an Asheville Tweets page that includes an Asheville Twitter feed and a Pack Square-based webcam courtesy Wilcox Travel. Check it out.

And so, as an added bonus, now you’ve gained some expertise so you can talk the talk at the pub.

Asheville vs. Portland debate rages

A long and interesting debate has sprung up on Reddit about the comparative virtues of Asheville vs. Portland, Ore.

A good plug for Asheville:

Portland has trees in the mountains. NC has trees on the way to the grocery store.

A counterpunch by a left-coaster:

Not to say everyone who lives there is weird, but I’ve seen some strange toothless wonders in mountains of NC. So, if you move there don’t leave the city without protection.

via Portland, OR or Asheville, NC. Planning to move to one of them, any advice from reddit? : AskReddit.

Housing costs, music and entertainment scene, employment opportunities, and lifestyle all get touched in the thread on Reddit, a popular social news website. The discussion got started when one member — trying to decide on which place to live — requested advice.

Reddit logo

How to survive without money

Books on personal finance and debt management come in all shapes and sizes — especially in tough economic times like these — and some authors have made fortunes off people who need financial guidance. In fact, a new Gallup poll that shows frugality is the new normal for many Americans.

But there’s a guy out there who could write about frugal living to the extreme. Daniel Suelo literally lives without money in a cave in the Utah wilderness.

Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit. His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo.

via COULD YOU SURVIVE WITHOUT MONEY?MEET THE GUY WHO DOES: DETAILS Article on men.style.com.

Like financial advice, the concept of frugal living is in the eye of the beholder. But if you’re looking for affordable housing in Asheville that’s not a cave, try the Castles and Coves section of Iwanna.com.

“Priceless” deals around WNC in an iPhone app

Mastercard has released a cool iPhone app that allows you to share the best shopping deals in your area.

[Priceless Picks is] a social app that allows consumers to point out their best deals at their favorite local spots for all to see. The app uses the iPhone location services to figure out where you are. It then shows you on a map and shows all the deals others have placed around you.

via An App To Show You Mastercard “Priceless” Deals: Priceless..

If you’re in the Asheville area, download the application to your iPhone and you’ll find deal alerts from Smiley’s, Cinebarre, TracPhone, Advance Auto Parts, Grove Park Inn, and now Iwanna — Western North Carolina’s home for free classified ads.

TechCrunch adds:

If you want to add you own deal, you simply click the “+” button, and enter the relevant details. It will tag the place at whatever your current location is.


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