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Old 12-30-2010, 04:16 PM   #401
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The key to successful DYI is knowing where to draw the line and call in a pro. However the benefit of having some DIY experience is to be able to talk intelligently about the situation with the pro and get the most out of him/her (without being a nuisance of course).

I actually enjoy doing some of my own work and when I do need to call a pro in I think I get a much better outcome for a better price because I can usually better understand the solutions that he/she suggests.

That said, I stay far away from roofs. Have had two people that I know fall off ladders while working on roofs. One was temporarily disabled and the other was permanently disabled. Not worth the risk.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:30 PM   #402
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Wear long underwear (top and bottom) under you clothes around the house. You can keep it 5 degrees cooler and be just as comfortable. I have some Swedish wool stuff that is very cozy.
Or slippers and a sweater. If your feet and chest are warm then you are warm it seems.

Another one: replace your old thermostats with programmable thermostats. I replaced all my thermostats with programmable thermostats and save about 10% on my annual heating bill. As a bonus, a local hardware chain was offering a $5 discount coupon towards a future purchase for each old thermostat returned (they recicled them and kept the mercury out of the landfill).
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:36 PM   #403
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Or slippers and a sweater. If your feet and chest are warm then you are warm it seems.
Agree with that.

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Another one: replace your old thermostats with programmable thermostats. I replaced all my thermostats with programmable thermostats and save about 10% on my annual heating bill.
Disagree with that.

I've got the old, round, standard issue 'dumb' thermostat from the 80's. I'm not interested in replacing it. We turn it way down when we go to bed. We turn it up a bit when we feel cold, turn it down when we leave the house. I think if we had a programmable, it would be on more just because it was automatic and on a fixed 'set it and forget it' schedule.


-ERD50
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:35 AM   #404
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But every dollar you spend is a dollar you have to earn.
If only. Many folks have to earn over $1.50 to have one dollar to spend after self-employment or payroll taxes, federal income taxes, and state/local taxes. A penny saved is truly worth much more than a penny earned.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:54 AM   #405
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I've got the old, round, standard issue 'dumb' thermostat from the 80's. I'm not interested in replacing it. We turn it way down when we go to bed. We turn it up a bit when we feel cold, turn it down when we leave the house. I think if we had a programmable, it would be on more just because it was automatic and on a fixed 'set it and forget it' schedule.
That's a great way to save money with a non-programmable thermostat, and shows that a programmable one isn't a necessity for saving significant amounts of money.

My house had a programmable thermostat when I bought it, and have found it pretty easy to save money with this thermostat, too. In my case, I have developed my own technique that really helps (though I doubt anyone else does this). Here's what I do to save money:

I left it on the default temperatures (too cold in the winter, and too hot in the summer).

In the winter, when I feel too cold I use the manual override. After a few hours it reverts to the default and gets colder and colder until I notice and use the manual override again. This stretches the range of what I feel are acceptable temperatures. As the winter season progresses I find that my minimum temperature for comfort - - - the temperature at which I head for the manual override - - - slowly moves from 74 to 65 or so.

In the summer, I stretch my range of acceptable temperatures in the same way, and as the summer progresses my maximum temperature for comfort slowly moves from 77 to 89 or even higher.

My theory is that if we only expose ourselves to a limited range of temperatures, the range of temperatures that we can comfortably tolerate becomes very small. The above technique helps me to enlarge that range of temperatures that are acceptable to me. When I was working, I found that generally I was comfortable at all temperatures in the office even though half the people were complaining of the cold and the other half were complaining of the heat at any given time.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:38 AM   #406
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Another one: replace your old thermostats with programmable thermostats. I replaced all my thermostats with programmable thermostats and save about 10% on my annual heating bill. As a bonus, a local hardware chain was offering a $5 discount coupon towards a future purchase for each old thermostat returned (they recicled them and kept the mercury out of the landfill).
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Disagree with that.

I've got the old, round, standard issue 'dumb' thermostat from the 80's. I'm not interested in replacing it. We turn it way down when we go to bed. We turn it up a bit when we feel cold, turn it down when we leave the house. I think if we had a programmable, it would be on more just because it was automatic and on a fixed 'set it and forget it' schedule.
-ERD50
DH is really good about turning the thermostat down before we go to bed and leave the house, too. I'm really good about turning it up when I'm cold. Between the two of us, we are our own "do it yourself" programmable thermostat.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:46 PM   #407
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I heard a little snippet of a radio show that was talking about online shopping. Apparently, many people go to a shopping website, fill their cart, but never check out, just dumping out the cart. IIRC, most carts never actually lead to purchases. Apparently, some people can satisfy a shopping need this way but never have to actually spend the money.

I thought about this and went to my Amazon cart and emptied it.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:29 PM   #408
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Disagree with that.

I've got the old, round, standard issue 'dumb' thermostat from the 80's. I'm not interested in replacing it. We turn it way down when we go to bed. We turn it up a bit when we feel cold, turn it down when we leave the house. I think if we had a programmable, it would be on more just because it was automatic and on a fixed 'set it and forget it' schedule.


-ERD50
I would like to see scientific data on this question...including the setup costs of making the change.

ISTM that a smart thermostat is analagous to indexing, compared with than active portfolio heat management. Both are attempting to manage variability for best outcomes.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:19 AM   #409
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<snip> Apparently, some people can satisfy a shopping need this way but never have to actually spend the money.

I thought about this and went to my Amazon cart and emptied it.
There is a $3,000 camera on my Amazon "wish list" that I seriously doubt I'll ever actually buy. But it's nice to dream.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:47 AM   #410
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There is a $3,000 camera on my Amazon "wish list" that I seriously doubt I'll ever actually buy. But it's nice to dream.
You're just going to have to bridge the "technology gap" with your blossoming talent...
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:50 AM   #411
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Or are illegal immigrants...
Nothing like getting sued by an illegal immigrant after your home owners policy refuses to pay for his injuries.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:53 PM   #412
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There is a $3,000 camera on my Amazon "wish list" that I seriously doubt I'll ever actually buy. But it's nice to dream.
This one?

Amazon.com: Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens: Camera & Photo
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #413
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I heard a little snippet of a radio show that was talking about online shopping. Apparently, many people go to a shopping website, fill their cart, but never check out, just dumping out the cart. IIRC, most carts never actually lead to purchases. Apparently, some people can satisfy a shopping need this way but never have to actually spend the money.

I thought about this and went to my Amazon cart and emptied it.
With the exception of groceries, I hate going to stores to shop and definitely am not wasting the gas and time to go in person. I live 10 miles from minimally decent stores, and 25 miles from "any store you can imagine" shopping malls.

I put needed or wanted items on my Wish List at Amazon until I hit the magic $25 level for Free Shipping. More often than not, some of the items are lowered in price by the time I actually go to Checkout.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:10 PM   #414
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The "deal killer" for me is always the Shipping Cost. There are many (the majority of the) times the shipping is the same or more than the product(s) -- effectively doubling the cost of the item. This rarely happens at Amazon (and similar) but a lot of my pruchases are from specialty stores. Of course, this shipping surprise is near the end of the process and dropping the sale probably does count in the above statistic.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #415
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I heard a little snippet of a radio show that was talking about online shopping. Apparently, many people go to a shopping website, fill their cart, but never check out, just dumping out the cart. IIRC, most carts never actually lead to purchases. Apparently, some people can satisfy a shopping need this way but never have to actually spend the money.

I thought about this and went to my Amazon cart and emptied it.
I have sometimes put something in my Amazon cart and then had second thoughts. I always remove it before I leave the site, though, because I am afraid that I might buy it later by mistake!

I think that buying non-perishable groceries and other necessities on Amazon will make life so much easier for all of us as we age. We will have the option of buying on Amazon instead of going out in bad weather and shopping so much, when we are old and feeble.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:21 PM   #416
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The "deal killer" for me is always the Shipping Cost. There are many (the majority of the) times the shipping is the same or more than the product(s) -- effectively doubling the cost of the item. This rarely happens at Amazon (and similar) but a lot of my purchases are from specialty stores. Of course, this shipping surprise is near the end of the process and dropping the sale probably does count in the above statistic.
Same here. "Good" sites have a shipping calculator function right with the item for sale to let you know the shipping cost in advance. Nothing worse that filling in all the shipping info only to get the nasty surprise at the end.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:37 PM   #417
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Agree with that.



Disagree with that.

I've got the old, round, standard issue 'dumb' thermostat from the 80's. I'm not interested in replacing it. We turn it way down when we go to bed. We turn it up a bit when we feel cold, turn it down when we leave the house. I think if we had a programmable, it would be on more just because it was automatic and on a fixed 'set it and forget it' schedule.


-ERD50
To each his own I guess. I would never remember to turn it down before retiring for the evening and it is nice that it starts to heat up before I get up. Just to let you know, even if you have one to override it is just like the old dumb ones except you push a button rather than twist a dial.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:51 PM   #418
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I heard a little snippet of a radio show that was talking about online shopping. Apparently, many people go to a shopping website, fill their cart, but never check out, just dumping out the cart. IIRC, most carts never actually lead to purchases. Apparently, some people can satisfy a shopping need this way but never have to actually spend the money.

I thought about this and went to my Amazon cart and emptied it.
DW does this in the analog world, as well as the virtual. She'll go into Marshalls or Maxx or somewhere and wander around the store, filling up the basket. Then she puts it all back and only keeps something if she really really wants it. Works for her, and she doesn't seem to over buy, so no harm no foul, I figure.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:57 PM   #419
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I like to go to the local Fry's Electronics store once a week just to look around. It is mostly for me to see how cheaper and better the Chinese can build these electronic gadgets. The technological improvement is breathtaking. However, I find myself desiring none. If I buy something, it is most likely it will sit around collecting dust.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:16 PM   #420
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I like to go to the local Fry's Electronics store once a week just to look around. It is mostly for me to see how cheaper and better the Chinese can build these electronic gadgets. The technological improvement is breathtaking. However, I find myself desiring none. If I buy something, it is most likely it will sit around collecting dust.
When I go to Fry's (or the equivalent GeekNerd World) I have to lock my wallet in the car...
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