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Thread: Hints for Economizing

  1. #41
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    Apr 2007
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    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?

  2. #42
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    Apr 2008
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    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.

  3. #43
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    Sep 2008
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    --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

  4. #44
    Jacksmom Guest

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    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

  5. #45
    Sunny Guest

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    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.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
    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.

  7. #47
    Gina123 Guest

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    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!

  8. #48
    Fanatic-Civilian Guest

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    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........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....

  9. #49
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    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???
    In my Father's house there are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am.
    John 14:2-3

    Go my people, enter into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. Isaiah 26:20

  10. #50
    Sunny Guest

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    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.

    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.

  11. #51
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    wow! Those are some great ideas! Thank you. I think I'm going to start some of it today!
    In my Father's house there are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am.
    John 14:2-3

    Go my people, enter into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. Isaiah 26:20

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Girl View Post
    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???
    I lived in the deep south all my life until a few months ago, so I feel your pain!

    We experienced several hurricanes, including Katrina, so I've learned a few things about enforced NO A/C...no fans either. Thankfully, we had ICE.

    One thing that really works is to soak a small towel in ice water and drape it around your neck. There are also commercial "neck coolers" that use crystals to achieve the same purpose. This really helps to cool you down, so that the raised thermostat doesn't bother you as much.

    For the ladies, I always found sundresses cooler than shorts and tees.

    Used ceiling fans in every room for years; the air circulation alone allows you to raise the thermostat.

    I do agree with Sunny, though...we're wimps! A big part of the problem is that we're just not acclimated to the heat as former generations were. However, with the way the economy is going, we may soon have no choice but to get used to it.

    Unfortunately, a big issue is the fact that modern houses are not built to function efficiently without climate control systems. The old houses in the deep south had high ceilings, transoms on the windows, windows placed to take advantage of cross ventilation. Doors had screens so they could be opened for cross ventilation purposes as well. Windows often had awnings to cut out on the sunlight...Big trees helped too. If you are fortunate to have a house that has these features (or at least some of them) this will help too.

    All this is reminding me of how much I don't miss Louisiana!!

  13. #53
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    There is hope! Thanks y'all. Here's a link to make your own neck coolers...
    http://www.p2designs.com/ShipCooler.htm
    In my Father's house there are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am.
    John 14:2-3

    Go my people, enter into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. Isaiah 26:20

  14. #54
    Sunny Guest

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    Amen on the sundresses!

    Even while doing construction around here, when it is safe to do so, I wear dresses. I even regularly douse myself with a hose. (I can get away with that out in the country. ) You get shade and air movement combined. I also have large umbrellas to keep cool if I'm outside gardening. I'll poke one in the ground next to my chair and work that way.

    Neck coolers are wonderful. Thanks for the link!

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Girl View Post
    There is hope! Thanks y'all. Here's a link to make your own neck coolers...
    http://www.p2designs.com/ShipCooler.htm
    That's it!! Thanks for the link!! Amazing how those things really do help.

  16. #56
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    I have made it all winter without once turning on the heat.... I have used the woodstove !!! I cut wood all summer and piled it up. My propane bill fell to 20 gallons a month !! Someone on another thread last year gave a recipe for making firestarters using egg crates and dryer lint, I made some ... then some more then got lazy and went to buy some and they were over 9 dollars !! So needless to say I passed and made my own again, I now have a huge pile of them. They work great !! and made from stuff you would throw away. My chickens have laid all winter and kept us in eggs plus I can sell them to the country store. Remember the 3 R's Reuse, Recyle, Repair !!!

  17. #57
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    Woo hooo My sil just called me, they have bought a milk cow ! She is pregnant ! Due in August, I bartered, Labor helping build the pasture and shelter, taming, and mucking and learning how to milk the thing, for free milk and since she is a Jersey her milk is over 1/3 cream !! I can make butter !! and maybe one day cheese, Yogurt. Sour cream and cottage cheese ?? I also put dibs in on the baby if it is a girl !!! Now with our garden this year, and the cow that will give us a boost on the food bill. Just this week we traded labor for one case of green chilis and a case of fresh green beans, we roasted and peeled and froze the chilis and canned the beans!! Got 7 pounds of Cheddar cheese and grated it all and put into smaller bags and into the freezer. Keeping your eyes and ears open and speaking out loud and clear is amazing!!!

  18. #58
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    The price of coffee has gone through the roof! If you boil your grounds they go twice as far, cutting your cost in half. And I swear I made a very good pitcher of tea the other day by boiling ONE tea bag (for a little while)!
    In my Father's house there are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am.
    John 14:2-3

    Go my people, enter into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. Isaiah 26:20

  19. #59
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    Hello Texas Girl! Check the OP for some ideas on how to keep your house cooler in summer without the air conditioner.
    Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are feeble-hearted, Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengence, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." Is 35:3-6

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heartstorm View Post
    Woo hooo My sil just called me, they have bought a milk cow ! She is pregnant ! Due in August, I bartered, Labor helping build the pasture and shelter, taming, and mucking and learning how to milk the thing, for free milk and since she is a Jersey her milk is over 1/3 cream !! I can make butter !! and maybe one day cheese, Yogurt. Sour cream and cottage cheese ?? I also put dibs in on the baby if it is a girl !!! Now with our garden this year, and the cow that will give us a boost on the food bill. Just this week we traded labor for one case of green chilis and a case of fresh green beans, we roasted and peeled and froze the chilis and canned the beans!! Got 7 pounds of Cheddar cheese and grated it all and put into smaller bags and into the freezer. Keeping your eyes and ears open and speaking out loud and clear is amazing!!!
    Wow!!!!!! I would be excited about the milk cow too! I pay $5 a gallon for organic hormone free milk for my daughter. I'm doing the happy dance for you!
    In my Father's house there are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am.
    John 14:2-3

    Go my people, enter into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by. Isaiah 26:20

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