Don’t toss those phone books just yet.

Missed calls © by carlos.a.martinez

My biweekly gig at Get Rich Slowly took on the pulpy plague of phone-book bundles. What to do with directories you didn’t ask for and won’t use?

Turn them into everything from garden mulch to homemade kitty litter to origami fodder, that’s what. “27 frugal uses for a dead phone book” engendered a few interesting suggestions from readers, too, such as:

  • Shred pages for guinea-pig bedding
  • Stuff them inside wet running shoes to absorb the damp
  • Prop up one leg while doing splits (ow)
  • Wipe off plates during intaglio printmaking

The article also includes a link to let you opt out of next year’s deliveries. Take a minute to do so unless you, like me, actually use the damn things.

Meanwhile, at MSN Money…

My five-days-a-week gig continues at the new Frugal Cool blog. Here are links to a few that I particularly enjoyed writing:

Earn $37k a year by hosting travelers” – I spoke with people who rent out the spare room(s) via the Airbnb website. One of them funded her very successful startup that way.

Get paid to buy stuff” – A brief overview of cash-back shopping, which is a great way to make online discounts even deeper. Extrabux is the best of the best, according to the annual (and exhaustive) comparison by Becky Ford of CompareRewards.com. Close on its heels are ShopAtHome and Mr. Rebates.

The must-have kitchen appliance” – It’s not a popcorn popper. (Hint: “For as little as $20 — and sometimes for a lot less — you can get a machine that cooks for you during the day or while you’re sleeping. Some life partners won’t even do that.”)

Finally, I was delighted that one of my recent Frugal Cool posts, “Be good to the future you,” was an Editor’s Pick in the Carnival of Personal Finance. Plenty of interesting reads in there, so give it a look.

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  1. ImJuniperNow

    I’m the first comment!

    Phone books are good step ladders when you need just a few inches more, as booster seats for the kiddies when they need just a few inches more, and are great for drying flowers and leaves (especially with another heavy book on top).

    Please tell me I won a Seattle phone book!

  2. An ergonomic specialist once advised me to put a phone book under my feet while at the computer to prevent back problems.

  3. factchecker

    Hmm, reminds me of all those free aol cd’s a bit, in the older days
    when they had floppy disks, you can reuse the disk,not so with the cd
    but practical uses for a cd such as making a craft, blocking light,
    or a few things may make sense, the case you can definitely use


  1. Online news won’t save the planet. | Surviving and Thriving - […] or alternative weeklies free for the taking. You can also use pages torn out of last year’s phone books…

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