Deb Morris: Fru-Gal

Fru-Gal Column December 30

 Having this column has been a rewarding experience for me for the past three years. In my presentations I have had the opportunity to hear from people about their life experiences. The stories have ranged from a single mother saying she is just making it week by week or the wonderful mother of a son that has been deployed to Afghanistan wanting to save money when sending care packages to him. Having these readers write to me about their savings and being excited is gratifying. I tell people how to change their spending habits but remember that money doesn’t always mean happiness. In these times of uncertainty we need to focus on making ourselves a better person. Getting yourself physically and mentally happy can produce great rewards for you. Start this year by reinventing yourself for free.

Clear your desk can help clear your mind. Clutter can be overwhelming, start each day by spending a few minutes straightening up. You will feel a sense of accomplishment when your desk is clear. Download a month-by-month guide that will help make 2011 you’re most organized year yet.

Education is one way to prevention. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health is offering a free book: A Primer for Women’s Health; Learn about your body in 52 weeks. Each chapter provides information about a specific topic, from dental health to stay-healthy moves. 

Join SparkPeople now and get immediate access to online calorie counter, meal plans, personalized fitness plan, support & advice, online awards & motivation plus much more. You can also download their mobile applications at:

Connect with other dieters, get support and find expert advice with the online diet community Losing Well. Starting in January, the group will participate in the 12-week EatingWell Diet Challenge program. Follow along and track your progress for the chance to win giveaways and prizes.

Follow free training programs for first-time runners, new marathoners, and more. Track your progress and share your runs with friends or training groups. 

Answer a few questions about your spending then see where you can save from cell phone bills to credit bills. Work on lowering your monthly expenses towards financial freedom

Even as Americans endured hard times, we never lost our generous spirit. Research shows that philanthropic acts can improve mental health. Find out what charity would best match your needs or your teen’s needs.    or

Take a simple action to better the world. Find over 100 ways to help. For example, shut down your computer properly or use both sides of the paper.  Keep track of your acts giving yourself satisfaction.                                 

We know that it is the first few weeks of starting a habit is the hardest. For 21 days this website will send you a daily reminder and asks you to report how you did yesterday. When you falter, it rolls the count back to zero again. By the time you have done something for 21 days you will feel rewarded.

Up your chances of success  by 3 times by putting money on the line. If you don’t succeed, they will send your hard earned cash to your chosen option- friend or charity.  

Learning about your family history can be a rewarding and interesting experience to share with other family members. Search for census documents and marriage and death certificates for free.  Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness has 4,000 volunteers willing to do the legwork for you. You just need to pay expenses like postage fees.                                                                                                               or  

Let’s start getting freebies in our mailbox. The feeling of getting something special instead of just bills is exhilarating. Sign up to be a Marker’s Mark Ambassador and you will receive a free holiday gift along with other freebies throughout the year.    Sign up for VocalPoint and start receiving great samples and coupons in the mail. Get exclusive offers from Dunkin Donut including a free medium beverage.  and  and

Get $20 in UPs rewards at Rite Aid when you purchase $100 in qualifying merchandise now through January 22. Your purchases will be tracked with your wellness card.

Read a book on any of your electronic devices like PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Android Phone for free from Amazon. Just download and you will have instant access to over a thousand classic books.

Enter to win a Disney Vacation and receive a free 12 x 12 photo calendar from Snapfish.

If you are a Coke Rewards member you can snag 50 free 4x6 photos from Snapfish

Spend $20 or more on select Hasbro games, send in proof of purchase and they will send you a free gift valued between $10 and $17.                                                                     

Like Steve Madden on his facebook page and you will receive a free surprise on New Year’s Day.