Greetings from Fairbanks, Alaska (currently 0)!

We built our own home (just took 19 years before we could move in)

and so it is well insulated. We have a boiler system and different

rooms are zoned so that we heat according to taste (our son is a hot

house plant!!) We keep our bedroom and the main rooms at 68 unless

the weather drops (like 30 to 40 below.) We have a wood stove that

really heats the whole house but is very particular at to what can or

can't be burned. We have a hot water tank, but it is not hooked up

and is used to just hold hot water. Nice to have hot water when you

want. We have a well and believe me the water is cold!!! We grow

our own veggies and I can the surplus and each October I buy a large

pumpkin to cook down and freeze for the year's pie fixings. We shop

for groceries once a month and only go to down when necessary due to

gas prices. We live 13.5 mile north of Fairbanks and public

transportation does not go outside the city (except for a line to

North Pole (the city not Santa's house )We are retired so income is

very strict, but after 36 years of marriage, five children, two cats,

we are living the life we want,maybe tighter than we planned.

Currently we are saving to add a master bedroom suite (doesn't that

sound lush.) It will also be built out of pocket and by my husband,

with a little help from our son (the whiz with electricity.)

The only complain I have with many of the money saving plans is that

it works very hard at eliminating the face to face contact with

people. Prescriptions, clothing, medical information, etc can be

done via the Internet for less, but were is the people contact?

Medicine is more than just filling a prescription, it is how does the

person look, pale, sweaty, red, slow movement or speech, small signs t

hat can't be seen via the Internet. All signs that something should b

e looked into. The local stores have families to support, taxes to p

ay (lots of taxes!)and yes they can't stock everything (like a bra t

hat fits the larger woman or halters for someone with something to h

alt!), but it never hurts to ask if they can order the item for you.