* * * * * * * * F R U G A L W A T C H * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of how to be frugal in the world's
most expensive country to live (unless you read this!),
written and compiled by Wendy J. Imura.
Regular edition, Sunday, August 8, 2004 Issue No 020
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- What's new
- Frugal Bargain Roundup!
- Frugal tips
================= LOCALIZATION SURVEY =================================
Japan Inc. magazine is developing a story (for its October
issue) on the localization and translation needs of foreign
companies in Japan. We invite you to fill out the survey,
and help us get the data needed to analyze the market.
To provide some incentive, Okamura Corporation has donated
a FEEGO chair as prize to one lucky respondent.
+++ WHAT'S NEW
Dear Frugal Readers,
It's summer, and from what I hear (as I sit a bit cooler near the
beach in Southeast Virginia in the US) there have been 30-plus days
of 30-plus heat in the Kanto area this past month. My sympathies go out
to you -- I'm sure that the plants in my apartment are now shriveled,
dried-up stalks, even if I'm not yet. Coming back in 10 days is bound
to be a shock.
In addition to physical discomfort, the heat also is bound to whip up
some mold and other nasties. Summer in Japan is a continual battle
against the heat and humidity, not to mention the fungus amoung us.
So today, I thought I'd proffer a few tips to deal with common stinky
summer disasters in Japan.
Ever returned from a day trip to open your washer and discover, with
disgust, that you've left wet clothes in there? The washer, and the
clothes, both seem to have an amazing odor. Even airing out the machine
for a few weeks doesn't help much.
My frugal tip: fill the washer with water to its fullest, and add 2
tablespoons of bleach and a generous helping (about 1/4 cup) of detergent.
The best kind to use is a strong, generic "alakaline" (arukari) type,
but any type will do. Mix this up well and let sit for a five to six hours.
Afterwards, drain this mixture and run a full wash cycle without any
clothes. After the full wash cycle is complete, let the machine "air dry."
The washer should smell significantly better.
Finally, one frequent spot of mold is the refrigerator. Some classic ways
to reduce refrigerator stink are wooden charcoal briquettes, baking soda,
and the commercial refrigerator deoderants. However, Mary Hunt's Cheapskate
monthly offers a third, general odor-eater that is bound to smell a little
"Here's how to get the odor out of just about anything. This works on
stinky coolers, glass jars and musty drawers. Dampen a paper towel and
set it into a small container. Pour two teaspoons of cheap vanilla
extract on it. Put the whole thing inside the smellycontainer and
close it. Wait for three days. This really works great, even inside
Hope your summer starts smelling a bit more pleasant!
Wendy J. Imura
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+++ WEEKLY BARGAIN ROUNDUP
The Weekly Bargain Roundup is still on vacation, given the difficulties
of accessing bargain sites on my slow dial-up connection from overseas.
I did, however, come across some fun "fantasy" sites for a little summer
Web surfing entertainment. Please enjoy!
Please let me know if you find an bargains on here -- it is apparently
a great place to purchase your own private island, like Mystery Island
in the Phillipines going for $1.2 million. You can, apparently, rent
Looking for a treasure trove of all the embarassing commercials Western
movie stars film in Japan but are not released abroad? Find it here.
Watch the Governer of California (the Ahnold) peddle canned coffee.
Stands for the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Play old arcade game
favorites online. For Free. This Rocks!
Got any suggestions? Email us at Frugal Watch!
Interested in all-things-frugal in Japan - in real
Join the Frugal Japan e-list at YahooGroups for
only "all-frugal, all-the-time" network of like-minded
folk. Send a blank email to
email@example.com to subscribe.
+++ FRUGAL TIPS
Summer is travel season, and a great time to research travel in general.
If you're looking for some good frugal flying, travel agent, and ticket
information, try www.frugaljapan.com's August Frugal Tips.
This features great information on cheap travel agents in Japan,
round-the-world flight tickets, and more fun! Take a look online!
Subscribers: 280 as of August 8, 2004
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