- March 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm #256700
Hey, how do you make growing pots out of newspaper? That sounds just
wonderful! You wouldn’t even have to take the seedlings out of the
pot to replant them! I usually save the plastic ones, and use those
whenever I have a need, but these would be better (and I confess I am
low on pots!)
I save money by using acetone to extend my gas (I’m getting 32 mpg,
and my average is 26 – 28 mpg), and although I can’t use public
transport or walk, I combine my trips, and I Google maps and revise
routes until I find the most fuel-efficient, cost-effective routes.
I keep my tires inflated, my oil and my filters clean (I switched to
Amsoil, and now just change my oil once per year). I try not to
drive like a maniac, and I coast as soon as I see the future need to
stop looming ahead on the road. Once you start doing this, you can’t
help but get a kick out of all the drivers who race up to a stop
light! You have to chuckle, because you know that you used to be one
of them! Every time you brake, you are wasting gas; it’s just as bad
as going excessive speeds, or driving in first gear continually.
Listen to your car, and it will teach you how to make it work less.
If you don’t want to “listen” to your car, just set the cruise
control, lol. that’s a great fail-safe.
during the work week, i only drink coffee from work, lol. i list it
as a benefit of employment. i also keep bread, jelly and peanut
butter in the fridge at work, in case i forget to bring in
leftovers. that way, i’m not forced to go to the grocery store and
shop for food during lunch hour, when i’m already hungry.
i also use as few toxic household chemicals as possible, and this
saves money on the cost of cleaning supplies and healthcare (no, i’m
not kidding – i estimate that i’ve stayed out of the dr.’s office at
least twice as a result already this year – the chemicals had made me
other ways that i cut costs are by putting sheet plastic over
whatever might leak (usually windows and drafty, little-used doors).
i block off unused rooms and put a rug at the bottom of the door so
i’m not heating them through drafts. i have my appliances on power
strips that i’d had around, and these power strips are only plugged
into the wall when the appliance is in use. this applies to the
microwave, too – what the heck! i’m going to put a timer on the
water heater, too, so it’s only working while i’m at home and could
use it. i have a few extra timers, and might experiment with this.
these are the timers that you use to time your christmas lights.
please let me know if you’ve done this, and the results that you got
for doing it! my energy company has a program in place where, during
the summer months, they might elect to automatically cycle my central
air system off to save energy. my understanding is that it will save
me considerably. they also purport that most people don’t even
notice when the cycling is taking place. with that in mind, i’m
my thermostat is set low in the winter and high in the summer, and my
lightbulbs are almost entirely cfls. there is a common misconception
that the mercury used in cfls makes them prohibitively bad for the
environment. cfls actually have less mercury in them than a standard
incandescent lightbulb, though. phillips makes a regular fluorescent
that is incredibly low in mercury, because they have refined the
placement needs of this element. the next bulb just gaining
popularity in the general market is the led. it is popular, now, in
christmas lights, because it pays for itself in one season. leds, as
regular household lighting, are expensive and somewhat impractical if
not used for task lighting and small areas, but there will be enough
improvements over the next few years that they should be an
incredible buy if you choose to go that path. they last far longer
than even the cfls, and their cost to run could be covered by your
child’s allowance, if you are a kind parent (unlike myself) and do
that type of thing, lol. the cfls that i prefer are actually the
cheapest that i’ve found – the home depot store brand. cfls are
meant to be kept on, not switched on and off all the time. if you
have problems with them burning out much before their incredible
60,000 hour pledge, this may be the cause. I haven’t had a problem
yet, though, and I don’t treat these lights any differently than the
incandescents that they had replaced. To give you an idea of the
comparrison between incandescents, cfls and leds, the first is
roughly a buck a bulb, lasts 1000 hours and uses 60 watts. The
second costs $3 at Home Depot, lasts 10,000 hours and uses around 15-
22 watts. the third, if you get one will sufficient LEDs (go for
over 50), costs $45, lasts 60,000+ hours and uses – – – 2 to 5
watts. lol, it’s incredible. until leds improve, i’ll probably wait
until my cfls burn out. by that time, i’ll be ready to test the
waters (uless i find a good task lighting need). in the long run,
cfls cost less than incandescents, and leds cost less than cfls.
comparing leds isn’t an apples-to-apples experience, though, and you
will be hard-pressed to find one on a store shelf. add shipping and
hadling to your budget if you’d like to venture in that direction,
more savings: everyone in my house knows to not send clothes to the
laundry room unless they are dirty, because they will be making a
second trip to correct their “mistake.” getting the kids active in
doing the laundry greatly reduces these “mistakes,” by the way! once
the truly dirty clothes arrive, i wash them in cold water (heating
the water is the largest part of your laundry appliance bill), with a
t of washing soda, and a t of borax. if they are really,
impressively dirty, i might exert myself and do more for them, lol.
i only wash full loads, and when i use the dryer, i use those static
balls and maybe a half of a softener sheet. i set the dryer for as
short of time as possible. i have no static problems. of course,
because i like to line dry often enough (i think i’ve heard you’ll
save roughly a buck per load), i wouldn’t most of the time, anyway.
my towels are more absorbent now that i’m too broke, um, cheap, to
use liquid fabric softener. my clothes are every bit as clean as
before i got cheap with the laundry, by the way. in fact, they might
be cleaner, because i think the borax has mildew-inhibiting
properties. i’ve left laundry in the washing machine of shamefully
long periods of time, rerunning the load and forgetting again. i’m
busy; that’s my story, lol. but when i’ve come back to my forsaken
loads, they have always smelled fresh. this, i know, is not the
normal experience. how aweosme is that?!
i rarely use paper towels. if i need something disposable, i usually
think about whether i have an available worn-out rag, first. it all
depends upon which seems more cost-effective.
i have no cable, and i do my internet at work or a friend’s house.
this saves me $50/month + tax, and loads of life. my family life is
far richer because we aren’t distracted from living it, any longer.
we always eat meals together, and almost always eat them at home. if
we must eat out, i give the kids so little from the menu (think drive-
thru dollar menu – no kids meals, no play place, no fun) that it
seems there is no reward for them to request that we go out. lol, i
don’t care if that sounds cruel, because putting that stuff into your
body constitutes cruelty, anyway. 🙂
i don’t use car washes, convenience services or anything that costs
money to save time and effort, unless there is a very good reason. i
get my friends on board with my attitude, so i have accountability,
and we can inspire each other to do well and make a difference.
i have a place for every penny i save. it’s always marked “bill.”
the translation for this naughty-sounding four letter word
is “gleaning out a great tomorrow.”
i reuse, reduce and recycle, as much as i think i can. i’m always
open for new ideas on this! if anything looks remotely useable, i
throw it in my “useful” box. then when i have a need, and don’t know
what to do to meet it, i go down to my “useful” box, pull out a few
items and fashion up a solution. it’s so cool! but i have to be
careful not to oversave. all things in moderation. craig’s list and
freecycle are where i go, first, when i need to get or unload
as a result of my r/r/r philosophy, i reduced my trash can size with
the sanitation company. i’m only saving $24 per year, but I’m still
saving it, and it all adds up; I’m probably more pleased with the
fact that the landfill is fed less on my account.
I like the idea of frugality, because it makes me feel like I’m doing
my part to preserve what God has given us, both in natural an
economic resources. And, well, I feel like I’m sticking it to the
man, LOL. I’m a work in progress 🙂
I bought seeds on sale at 10/$1 and we will have a family garden…I
am a gardener but now this will be a family project. No store
bought seed starting equipment. I made growing pots from newspaper
and filled with compost from the pile.
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