Tuesday Tip #7: Make your own gifts

Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make spectacular gifts for others because they involve your homemade touch, plus quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better – include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it even more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the mall, plus it saves you money.

Tuesday Tip #8: Cancel unused club memberships

Cancel unused club memberships. Are you paying dues at a club that you never use? Like, for instance, a gym membership or a country club membership? Cancel these club memberships, even if you think you might use them again someday – you can always renew the membership at a later date if it turns out that you actually do miss it.

Friday Fun Fact: Snow White fairy tale

Today, June 1, “Snow White and the Huntsman” hits the big screen but it is far from the Disney’s animated classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” That makes today as good a day as any to share 15 fun facts about the Snow White fairy tale.

1. The film, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ took 3 years to produce. In fact it was known mockingly in the industry as ‘Disney’s Folly, ’ and even Walt’s wife, Lillian, said ‘No one’s ever gonna pay a dime to see a dwarf picture. ’ She had to eat her words – it was a major success from the day it was released!

2. Disney had to mortgage his house in order to finance the production of the film, which eventually cost a whopping $1. 5 million, a vast amount for a film made in 1937. He had initially hoped it could be produced for just $250, 000, so this was a huge miscalculation on his part.

3. The premier of the film took place at the Cathay Circle Theater on December 21st, 1937 and it was given a standing ovation. It went on general release on February 4th, 1938, and made more money than any other motion picture in that year.

4. Until 1939, ‘Snow White’ was the highest grossing film in American cinema history but it was ousted by ‘Gone With the Wind. ’ However, it is still one of the top ten money-making American films of all time.

5. The songs were composed by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill. Some of the most popular songs were ‘Whistle While you Work, ’ ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come, ’ and ‘Heigh-Ho. ’ I am sure most of us are able to sing along to these classic melodies. The film was nominated for ‘Best Musical Score. ’

6. There were about 50 names suggested for the seven dwarfs, including Silly, Awful, Sniffy, Dizzy, Cranky and Scrappy. The final seven were Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, Dopey, Sleepy and Happy.

7. The film was re-released in 1944 during World War II, in order to raise revenue for the studio. It has been re-released every 7-10 years and the film was restored in 1987 for its 50th anniversary re-issue. It was also digitally restored in 1993.

8. Each of the dwarfs has its own character. Doc looks the oldest and is always considered to be the leader of the dwarfs. He wears glasses and tends to jumble up his words. At the mine, his job is to check the gems to make sure they are authentic.

9. Happy laughs a lot and is the fattest of the dwarfs.

10. Grumpy has the biggest nose of the seven dwarfs and he is as grumpy as his name suggests. He disapproves of Snow White, just because she is a woman, but underneath his crusty exterior he actually cares about her safety. He tries to warn her about the Wicked Queen, and rushes to help her when she is in danger.

11. Bashful is very shy and is probably secretly in love with Snow White.

12. Sleepy always looks tired. At the mine his job is to haul the diamonds and rubies by cart for Doc to inspect. He has the longest beard.

13. Sneezy has an allergy to flowers – hence he is always sneezing. He has the shortest beard of all the dwarfs.

14. Dopey looks younger than all the dwarfs and has no beard at all. He never speaks, and his job is to clean up all the unusable gems. You can always see him at the end of the line of dwarfs as they make their way to and from the mine.

15. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won an honorary Academy Award for Walt Disney ‘as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field. Walt Disney received a full size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones. The child actress Shirley Temple presented them to him.

Tuesday Tip #11: Make “Sun Tea” this summer!

When the temperature heats up, people spend money on overpriced bottles of iced tea. To save this summer, try making “sun tea” (a Southern favorite). Toss four large tea bags into a clear pitcher or jar full of water, and let it bake outside for three hours. Later, dilute with water, add a little lemon and sugar, and refrigerate in emptied and rinsed soft-drink bottles.

Friday Fun Fact: Ridges on Coins

Do you know why there are ridges on the edges of coins? Back in the day, when coins were made of gold and silver, people would shave off or clip the edges of the coins and then save the shavings for later. While illegal, it was difficult to catch because coins were always irregularly shaped because of poor manufacturing so the ridges helped in detecting that.

Tuesday Tip #12: Cancel Your Cable Bill this Summer

Spending a ton on the cable bill? Try canceling it for the entire summer. Enjoy the beautiful weather instead: Visit a neighborhood pool, go on family hikes, camp in the backyard, attend minor-league baseball games, hit local parks and check out the zoo, says Courtney Scruggs, a spokesperson for Farmington Hills, Mich.-based GreenPath Debt Solutions. Why would you want to stay inside?

Friday Fun Fact

The origin of the dollar sign —$ — has various explanations. Perhaps the most widely accepted is that it is the result of the evolution of the Mexican or Spanish “P’s” for pesos. This theory, derived from a study of old manuscripts, explains that the S gradually came to be written over the P, developing a close equivalent to the $ mark. It was widely used even before the adoption of the United States dollar in 1785.

Tuesday Tip #11: Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer.

Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer. Instead of just planning your meals based on a cookbook or whatever you can dream up, plan all your meals around what’s on sale in your grocery store’s flyer. Look at the biggest sales, then plan meals based on those ingredients and what you have on hand, and you’ll find yourself with a much smaller food bill than you’re used to. Do you know of any other ways on saving money in the kitchen?

Friday Fun Fact

If you’re offered $100,000 cash up front or a penny that’s doubled every day for a 31-day month, go with Abe Lincoln. Start with a penny and double its sum every day and you’ll accrue a lump sum of $10,737,418.23 at the end of a 31-day month. Now that’s compounding interest!