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Old 03-29-2011, 07:23 PM   #71
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

I had some 1/4" thick foam insulation that's lined with aluminum foil on both sides left over from insulating my garage ceiling, so today I cut a piece and wrapped my water heater with it to help reflect the heat loss back toward the water heater tank. I also turned the thermostat down on the water heater. I don't know how much because the stupid thermostat doesn't have the temperature on it, just hot, A, B, C, and very hot. It was previously set on B, either when it was installed or by the previous owners and I cut it back to the setting that said hot. It just didn't make sense to me to take a bath and have to run cold water along with the hot to cool down water I've already paid to heat, hopefully I have it where I can run a tub of hot water and never have to touch the cold. I found at my previous home if I had the water heater set at 120* it was almost perfect for running nothing but hot water and it's also much safer in preventing scalding, especially if you have young children or elderly living with you. I've also got some of the radiant barrier left that I had placed under my new metal roof and am planning on building a sun block for the central air unit and lining the inside and outside of the sun block with the aluminum radiant barrier. I'm also planning to cover the black insulation on the freon line with the aluminum radiant barrier to help eliminate cooling loss in the freon line. I figure if the unit and freon line are in a cooler environment it will be more efficient.

Just like many of the others who have posted previously I buy in bulk when items are on sale. I shop the price of 99+% of the items I buy. I don't just decide I want something and run out and buy it, if I want something I check the price at different places when I'm there, then when I've found the best price I go buy it. Lately I've been buying more items on line than ever before in my life, because I can get a better deal even after paying shipping. I think I still have 20+ cases of oil in the garage that I bought at different times when it would be on sale back before the price of motor oil went through the roof and I don't think I paid more than $1. a quart for any of it and I know several cases of it was bought at a stores grand opening at 2 quarts/$1., so I have $6. a case in it and now you can't even buy 2 quarts of cheap oil for $6. I also do probably somewhere between 98 and 100% of my own mechanical work and maintenance on my cars, lawn mowers, motorcycle, and home.

For the younger members, learn to control your spending habits while you are young, it will pay off for your future. I got injured 11 years ago when I was 40 years old and it left me disabled, but because I learned to control my spending habits when I was young, my family was able to continue to live comfortably during the 5 years from the time I got injured until I was finally approved for disability. We just moved in Oct. 2010, I bought our new home with cash, we haven't sold our other house yet, but it's not hurting us because we don't try to live above our income level. Many of you are probably thinking I must have had an excellent education and a high paying job, but the truth is I have a high school education and was working for a construction company as a carpenter when I became disabled. All my success was from listening and learning from my parents on how to save, control my spending habit and making safe sound investments. I'm not intending on this sounding like I'm bragging, just trying to get a point across about being able to be successful even if you don't have a lot of education or a high paying job just by using some common sense.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:31 PM   #72
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

You might want to keep the water temperature at 125F since at 122F and below, some nasty bacteria can grow inside of the water heater but at like 125F you should be good.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:08 AM   #73
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

As far as washing clothes, I work as a mechanic and get dirty as hell all the time so having super bright whites and things like that are of no concern to me. In one wash load probably once a week. I'll throw in everything; shirts, paints, colors, whites, socks ( my one towel I use for the entire week). and I'll also use maybe half of the soap that can fit in that measuring cup. Put it on for only like 6 minutes on cold/cold and they come out clean...

no LAN line, esp. if you have a cell phone

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some people say there isn't a difference in DSL over comcast.....

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Old 01-02-2012, 02:23 PM   #74
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

I think you meant land line, not LAN line. A LAN line is something different. Anyway I agree...I wish I could get DSL, then I wouldn't have to get this stupid package "deal" from the cable monopoly. The land line only ever has telemarketers.

You might want to wash your towel more often (well, have a few to use and wash once a week), it's cheaper than a skin infection that's tough to get rid of...and far more pleasant.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:57 PM   #75
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Man View Post
All my success was from listening and learning from my parents on how to save, control my spending habit and making safe sound investments. I'm not intending on this sounding like I'm bragging, just trying to get a point across about being able to be successful even if you don't have a lot of education or a high paying job just by using some common sense.
Fordman,

That is basically it in a nutshell and you have nailed it.
Listen , learn and use common sense (which is not as common as it should be either).
It amazes me the number of people who never seem to get those points but at lest the posters on here have so that is a good start.

Peter.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:33 PM   #76
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

We've got a Monitor vented kerosene heater we use for heat in our home (1400 SF). The burn chamber is going to need to be rebuilt this spring for the first time since we've owned it (16 years). The high temperature gaskets that will be needed if bought through a Monitor dealer would have cost me between $50-$100 and a new burn mat would have been between $25-$50. I went to McMaster-Carr web site and searched for high temperature material to make the gaskets out of and high temperature cloth for making burn mats myself. I was able to buy a 16"X10' roll of gasket material rated at 1200F, enough to last me 5 lifetimes and a 1'X3' piece of high temperature fabric rated at 1800F, enough to make 27 burn mats out of all for under $50 including shipping. The heater is very efficient, so far this winter (mild winter) I've used less than 60 gallons of kerosene to heat our home. In the 16 years we've owned it we've never used more than 150 gallons in a year. At $4 a gallon that's less than $240 since mid Oct. 2011 for heating. When we first got the heater, kerosene was only about $ .70 a gallon and we'd heat on less than $100 worth for the whole winter. Last winter my neighbor said his electric bill for 1 month was over $300. using an electric furnace which is what was in our house when we bought it. Our house is also larger than the neighbors. I still have the electric furnace to fall back on if I ever have a problem with the Monitor. I just bought a used Monitor heater last week for $550 including shipping from CA to KY for my son to use in his 1000 SF home instead of the electric heat pump. Even though the heater was about 8 years old it's probably seen very little use since it was used in the San Diego, CA area and the temperature there seldom gets below frost temperature. $550 was less than 1/2 the cost of a new Monitor. I received the heater yesterday and hooked it up in place of mine to make sure it works OK prior to cutting a hole in my son's wall for the vent pipe. So far it's working great.

Another great investment is a freezer. We watch for sales on meats and other frozen foods. Often when hamburger is on sale we will buy 25-50 pounds at a time to last us until it's on sale again. Same with roasts, pork chops and steaks. A couple years ago T bone steak was on sale for $4.99/pound, we bought several pounds brought it home and vacuum sealed it, what's still in the freezer is as good as the day we bought it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:40 PM   #77
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

If you are like me and one of your cars is an oil burner, save the oil you drain from your other cars at oil change and use it for topping off oil in the oil burner. I've been doing this for over 100K miles in my '88 Escort and it's still going.

If the '88 Escort Pony ever wears out I'm going to strip all the good parts off of it prior to sending it to the junk yard and store them in the garage to use on my '88 Escort GL. I also buy lifetime warranty parts (when available) for my cars when something wears out, then regardless of how many times it wears out in the future the parts cost me nothing. My '88 Escort Pony (518,500 miles) has lifetime front/rear brakes, tie rod ends, ball joints, clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, steering rack, front/rear struts, water pump, fuel pump, ignition module, right/left front axles and probably other parts that I can't think of right now. Boy, I bet Auto Zone will be glad to see that car wear out. I've already put new brakes and rebuilt the front end several times and replaced the water pump, fuel pump, struts and ignition module a couple times each and it's probably about due to replace the axles and clutch again. If only someone would start selling lifetime tires!!

Most nights while watching television we only have one light on in the house unless we go into another room for something. The light we use while watching television in the living room has a 1 watt LED bulb, it doesn't give a lot of light, but gives enough light to see how to get around. All the other lights are 13 watt CFL's. We also use 1/4 watt LED night lights so we can see how to get around if we have to get up during the night after going to bed.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:31 PM   #78
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

I changed light bulbs long before Algore....because I'm cheap.

Then I remembered...I am an American.
I lived ten years in Ethiopia. I no longer chose to live that way.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #79
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Re: Stretching the shrinking dollar

it looks like the LED light bulbs i bought have already paid for themselves...according to my recent utility bill...http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=13897
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