The Last Word

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker, Editor

Linda Heitel forwarded an interesting enewsletter to me last week:  10 Smart Ways to Spend One Dollar.
It contained ideas such as “Instead of throwing your dollar to the wind [with the lottery or a candy bar] you could give it to an organization like Opportunity International that helps women start businesses to support their children or Garden Harvest, which helps rural Indian families buy goats and other animals.”
Spend your dollar at the local farmers’ markets, thrift stores, and used bookstores.  Rogerk’s blog, a personal finance site, suggests you make a meal out of any one-dollar item you buy, and have some friends over to try your “one-dollar menu.”
I would love to hear about anyone trying that one… I’m assuming they mean $1 per person!  Rice and beans; a simple vegetable stir-fry; soup… email us ideas you’ve tried.
Invest in the life of the planet and your own by checking your tire pressure routinely.  It saves on gas, tires, and experts say low tire pressure is a serious safety hazard.
And since this issue is all about the Art of Giving, and this time of year is often difficult for folks who don’t have a lot of money but love to give… or even some who feel compelled to do so whether they can afford it or not, let’s talk about ways to give that don’t break your budget.
Of course, you can always make something if you have some skills that way:  knit or crochet a simple hat or scarf; sew a patchwork pillow from scraps; frame one of your favorite photographs; cook a special dish (my friend Sandy makes superb chocolate truffles and her friends love to be gifted with those).
Your time is really one of the most precious things you can give, of course.  Maybe someone you know needs their garage cleared out.  You could offer to do their grocery shopping for a week; drive someone to a doctor’s appointment and then take them for tea.  The list is endless when you think about it!
I always find books (used or new) to be one of the best gifts for folks who have hobbies or special interests, love poetry or certain authors.  We are blessed in our area with some fine locally owned bookstores so Buy Local please.
I often give CDs that I think someone would enjoy but might not buy for themselves.  My daughter once mentioned how much she liked the sound of the clarinet, so I found Richard Stolzman playing Mozart… beautiful. New CDs aren’t cheap if you’re really on a budget, but there are places to buy used.
And let me put in a plug for WNC Woman here:  I’ve often, only half jokingly, said that if all our readers would send us $1 the magazine would be able to weather the economic situation (businesses cutting costs often cut advertising since it’s one of the few non-fixed expenses they have) more easily!
And now you can actually do that through our IndieGoGo campaign.  (  This is a very cool site where small businesses, artists, all sorts of projects, can set up a way to raise much-needed capital, little by little, from their fan base and other supporters.  This is especially important in a climate where banks are not lending money easily (and of course, many small projects don’t qualify anyway for traditional loans).
WNC Woman’s campaign works this way:  you can contribute any amount through PayPal at the IndieGoGo link above, even one dollar (we print about 16,000 magazines each month which translates to about 30,000 readers, so you can see that it could add up!).  There are some perks if you contribute certain amounts:  For $10 you will be listed on our website as a Supporter; for $25 we will mail you our Women Move Mountains bumper sticker and list you as a Sustainer; for $50 you get a year’s subscription to WNC Woman that you can gift to anyone, and you’ll be listed as a Matron/Patron on the website!


Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker