What kind of cuts are you forced to make?

Budget101 Discussion List Archives Senior Savers What kind of cuts are you forced to make?

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      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

      very ill).

      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

      signing up!

      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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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Senior Savers What kind of cuts are you forced to make?