View Full Version : Hints for Economizing

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Southern Lady
March 3rd, 2009, 09:13 AM
Shop around for auto insurance. I shopped and saved $440 a year and coverage a little better too.

My mother used to save all those littlbe bits of hand soap left over and when she had a small bowl full, melted them down and made a larger bar of soap.

If I need a floral arrangement, I make it myself. I have made arrangements for less than $25.00 while at the same store I bought the supplies cost well over $100.00

If needing college textbooks, check to see if there are used ones. If lucky can be half off. But not always.

Have a yard sale on things you no longer need or can use. If your kids are too old for the crib and you're not going to have another. Why keep the crib?

March 3rd, 2009, 10:30 AM
I have a couple of thrifty tips!!
*Ask around or put up notes at senior centers for unwanted veggies or fruit. Many elders have established fruit trees and dont need all the fruit for the two of them. Offer to trade services for gleaning their fruit trees. I got many bushels of apples for washing some windows for a elderly neighbor. She said I could have as many as I wanted if I prune the trees for her this winter!!
*Learn how to preserve what you glean. I love my dehydrator!! Learn to make applesauce, jams, jellies, etc.
*Edible landscaping!! Plant blueberries instead of nonbearing shrubs around your house. Replace your Hostas with rhubarb, plant dwarf fruit trees instead of ornamentals, Large nut trees for shade trees. Blackberries instead of a privet hedge!! Your would be surprised how much food you can produce on a city lot!! Learn-educate yourself-think outside the box.
*Get to know some farmers and trade/barter. I bought some older laying hens whose production dropped from a neighbor for a dollar each. I dressed them and have been cooking them in a stock pot 3 at a time and then pressure canning the meat and broth for later use. Yeah it's messy, but if you are willing to do the dirty jobs other people are not willing to do, you can save a bundle.
* look for recipes to make your own mixes. You can make your own cream soup mix, bisquick, pancake mix, muffin mix, spice mixes, etc. That saves a lot, and they are fresher and are not loaded with preservatives and MSG, etc. Learn to make your own noodles!!!
*Buy everything in bulk and design a storage system. You can store a lot in flat tubs under beds. Buy even baking soda, sugar, and salt in Sam's sized bags and use out of small jars in your pantry or spice rack.
*Contact your sheriff dept and let them know that you would be willing to take salvage tags for deer. They will call you. If a deer is hit on the road, they will often dispatch it and bleed it out for you if they know someone is interested!! I know it sounds gross to eat road kill, but hey, venison is great, its meat, and meat is expensive protein! Talk to the game and parks service about salvage tags for depredation permits too. If an area is overpopulated with deer, they allow landowners to kill a certain number, they often go to waste. I know one landowner who has a permit to eliminate 30 deer and can't get anyone to take them!!!

Thats all I can come up with right now...I know some of these are pretty radical ideas, but we never know how far we will have to go to make ends meet and keep our loved ones fed. Hope these give you some ideas!! I'm sure I will come up with more later.

March 3rd, 2009, 02:43 PM
--have learned to make my own bread and do all my baking 1 day a week so I use the oven less.
--use electric skillets and crock pot for more meals so that oven and stove are not in use so much-this has made a huge difference in heating bill.
--I work from home and have found that wearing a hat, thermals, thick socks AND shoes helps me stay warm and often I can avoid having to turn heat on or up during the day. Shoes make a big difference in keeping me warm as they reduce even further the amount of heat I am losing through my feet by contact with floor.
--During the day, I go around and open the blinds and curtains on those windows in which I get full sun...once sun moves in position, I close up blinds and curtains again.
--Use depression era recipes, make stews, soups and even spaghetti pie in bulk to freeze and just re-heat later for quick, cheap meals
--invested in a book called "Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis's Cookbook..it's from that depression era and is filled with all sorts of practical household tips about how to preserve produce and meats, how to make your own cosmetics and soaps and how to sew, mend, etc.
--hang thick blankets or quilts on walls to help hold in heat as well as on windows
--rigged up a removable "clothesline" indoors and haven't had to use my dryer all winter-saves my energy bill two ways: 1-no dryer+less electricity and 2-I have baseboard heat and will turn it on and place clothesline nearby...it creates a moist heat that not only keeps me from having to iron but the moist heat makes my kitchen and living room (open floor plan there) feel 10-15 degrees warmer...we all know how much hotter it feels in summer when the humidity is high! lol this one thing has saved me over 25% on my heating costs

March 3rd, 2009, 10:41 PM
unplug anything not in use, even something like cell phone chargers if plugged into the wall but not actually charging your cell phone, will still put out some electric

March 4th, 2009, 06:33 AM
Yeah, walk through my house at night and it looks a starship with all the LED lights from all the appliances and units and such. I have no street lights, but there is still plenty of light to walk around in the dark house at night without bumping into things.

I think they constantly drain the electricity. I have been wondering about turning off some of the circuit breakers each night when I go to bed to shut all those things off.

March 4th, 2009, 09:53 AM
Yeah, walk through my house at night and it looks a starship with all the LED lights from all the appliances and units and such. I have no street lights, but there is still plenty of light to walk around in the dark house at night without bumping into things.

I think they constantly drain the electricity. I have been wondering about turning off some of the circuit breakers each night when I go to bed to shut all those things off.

This reminds me of something else. Replace as many 60 watt bulbs with 15 watt ones...hall light fixtures are a good place in particular. You don't need much more to find your way around the house at night. Dimmers are a good idea in the rooms where more light may be necessary at night to read, do crafts, homework, etc.

Brighter "nightlights" are good in the bathrooms...sufficient to use the facilities without switching on the overheads.

I'm not sure if the new "squiggly" lights come in very low wattages like that, but if they do the electricity they'd draw would be practically nothing.

In addition to saving electricity, I find that dimming the lights makes for a much more relaxing atmosphere in the evenings.

For outside lighting, floodlights do draw a lot of electricity, but are also important for home security reasons. A way around this is to put your outside floodlights on motion sensors. In addition to saving electricity, having a light suddenly come on upon approach would startle intruders.

March 4th, 2009, 04:02 PM
This is so interesting, I'm going to make some notes and try some of the home made soap etc... I had to laugh about the house at night looking like a starship! I've thought the same thing. Inside there are all these little red lights on and when I look at the windows there are lots of red lights blinking outside too since there is a windfarm not far away....blinking red lights everywhere I look!

March 5th, 2009, 07:17 PM
Keep your tires inflated on car and use 0-30 oil....It saves gas and will usually work with lots of makes & models I heard like $100.00 every 50,000 miles it will save. Walmart has it and also Amsoil distributers. Also get the 15,000 mile drain interval oil so you don't have to pay $20.00 to get oil changed every 3,000 miles. The first oil change will cost $50.00 dollars but over long run you will save about $50.00......Less trips to the shop also then you don't have to hear them tell you about the $1500 estimate of recommendations every time you go in....:lol2....Also don't drive over 62 MPH even on free-way. Car burns more gas then necessary over that speed and you still get there at 62 MPH just slower....

Texas Girl
March 8th, 2009, 10:06 PM
If anyone has any wonderful ideas for keeping the electricity bill low in the summer I would love to hear it. Here in central Texas it gets into the 100s for days at a time. It will be in the low 90s tomorrow! Ugh! I don't think there's much hope of keeping the bill down, but maybe??? :idunno

March 9th, 2009, 05:43 AM
Turn your thermostat as far up as you can stand it. Always remember, people have lived in hot climates for thousands of years without ANY A/C. We are wimpy and spoiled. :lol2

In CA we had days in the upper 90's and 100's most days. We didn't have A/C for a long time. But we had an above ground pool. We wore our bathing suits when it started getting hot and every 45 minutes we'd go out and get in the pool for 5 minutes. It kept us mostly comfortable throughout the day, with having a wet towel wrapped around ourselves til we dried off again.

If you don't have a pool, get a kiddy pool, or fill your tub with cold water and use that.

When sitting, turn on a fan and keep the squirt bottles handy.

Go to sleep with a wet towel draped over your body and a fan going.

Look into a swamp cooler. I've never had one, but my friend did and it was amazingly cool. I have no idea what it's efficiency is.

When your house is warmer than the air outside, don't try to pull in cool air. PUSH the hot air OUT. Get fans and put them in your highest windows if you can, face them outwards and turn them on high. You'll probably have to prop them in as they'll push themselves backwards. This directly effects the exchange of air by making sure your warm air gets pushed out, and the cooler air automatically pulls in from the outside.

If you have a two story - that makes it really easy, put the fans in the upper floor windows and you'll have a great system of pulling cooler air in the lower floor from outside, rushing up the stairs, and filling the whole house.

Don't forget attic fans. A must for moving hot air out of your attic.

If you can install awnings over your southern windows to keep all sun from hitting them in the summer, that will help a lot.

Plant deciduous trees all around your house. Won't help right away, but if you plant faster growing ones like willlows or poplars, in 5 years they will begin helping. Those are cheap and easy to start from whips, too, so you can get a lot for free if you just find someone willing to let you cut off a few young branches right now and stick them in a bucket of water.