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Old 01-05-2011, 01:23 PM   #441
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is it hard to emigrate to Iran? ; - )
Only if you are not Iranian
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #442
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Easy surfer, thank you SO much for posting this link! We have decided to try and go without cable t.v. We made up this antenna the other night, put it in our attic an dropped a cable line down to the living room. Wa-la! Perfect reception of all the local channels...FREE!!!!! We are now going to put a splitter off the antenna and figure out how to get the cable to all of the other rooms.

Funny how we forgot you can get t.v. FREE. We had become so conditioned to paying high prices for cable. This is going to save us around $100/mo!
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Good idea about the splitter. I'm actually thinking about doing the same with the antenna I built. I have that not up in an attic (I live in a condo) but in the living room. My project calls for splitting the signal, drilling a hole in the wall from my living room to my bedroom, then connecting the cable there to my DTV converter/box and TV.

If you find that you'll need to run lots of coax cables around, might be a good idea to get the tools/cables to make your own cable lengths. I did that so now I feel like a "cable guy"

Isn't it great getting free over the air TV? I'm happy the the antenna build worked out well for you.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:27 PM   #443
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You could also build in an algorithm that constantly and gradually seeks to lower the heat or raise the AC until you notice
I don't think you need to build anything, just get a spouse/roommate who prefers a cooler house, they'll gradually lower the setting until you notice. I think we've all played this game--"dang it's cold in here!" and you notice the thermostat is mysteriously set much cooler than you'd left it. "I didn't touch it!" . . . "I thought we agreed . . " With the old-style analog thermostats and their built-in dinky mercury thermometer there was some room for ambiguity regarding the setting and temp, but the new digital ones remove all gray areas.

Small personal pet peeve: Folks who enter a cold room and set the thermostat on 90 degrees "so the room warms up faster." Maybe some units have dual stages, but most just run at one output and it ain't gonna get hotter faster if you set the thermostat to 90 vs 70.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:01 PM   #444
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Small personal pet peeve: Folks who enter a cold room and set the thermostat on 90 degrees "so the room warms up faster." Maybe some units have dual stages, but most just run at one output and it ain't gonna get hotter faster if you set the thermostat to 90 vs 70.
I can tolerate that. The thing that gets my blood boiling is when these same people complain about how hot it is after an hour or two as the temperature climbs into the upper 80's. Then they open a window to cool off a bit and get some fresh air. "Is it stuffy in here?".

If we cryogenically froze all these bozos in blocks of ice, that would solve our carbon emissions problem and reduce global warming.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:29 PM   #445
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I buy some clothes at Costco. I always check to see what they have. And the quality is always great. But I also shop Macy's, TJMaxx... whatever I run across. Ebay, too!

I've worked a deal with the cable company for years - there are two possible cable companies here so I can always get a great deal since they don't want to lose me (cable tv, phone, isp...). Same with the newspaper - it isn't good (it used to be) - I told them I wanted a much lower rate and they gave it to me. It's a rate that's online for new subscribers.

Oh - the other tip: learn to cook (if you don't already know how) and eat at home most of the time.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:14 AM   #446
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After learning about this at this forum, I installed an ooma box for free landline calls at the Florida house and its working great. I really like the feature that forwards voicemail to your email or cellphone as a sound file. Thinking of converting the northern house to ooma next to kill that landline bill.

Also installed a slingbox which sends my American cable signal (which is bundled into the condo fees) up to my Canadian MiniMac (which is HDMI plugged to the TV), which is going to allow me to cut the cord on my northern cable bill...especially with Netflix coming to Canada, which is a really really great service for the price...must have. I can watch the local news on their website. Hooking your TV to the internet through a computer or gaming or dedicated device is very worthwhile.

The ultimate goal is to completely pull the plug on the Canadian operation once I get the health insurance figured out. Its so cheap to live well in South West Florida.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #447
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Small personal pet peeve: Folks who enter a cold room and set the thermostat on 90 degrees "so the room warms up faster." Maybe some units have dual stages, but most just run at one output and it ain't gonna get hotter faster if you set the thermostat to 90 vs 70.
My favorite is the person who turns up the thermostat because the weather forecast says it's going to be really really cold out tonight.

Some of you are going to have to think about that for a while.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:48 AM   #448
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My favorite is the person who turns up the thermostat because the weather forecast says it's going to be really really cold out tonight.
Some of you are going to have to think about that for a while.
While amusing to you, this is exactly what my friends are doing to have comfortable (to them) temperatures during early mornings.
They have an undersized heat pump and normally keep their house thermostats on 68F in the winter. When the weather goes down to down 20F, especially with stronger wind, their heating does not keep up and in the morning the first floor temp is only 60F. If they "pre-heat" the house to 72F the evening before, in the morning the first floor temp is about 65F.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #449
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I've been using Google Voice for all my zone / long distance calls. You can't beat free. I chose as my Google number my own name, which gives me an east coast area code. A few people won't pick up when they see the number.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:00 PM   #450
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My favorite is the person who turns up the thermostat because the weather forecast says it's going to be really really cold out tonight.

Some of you are going to have to think about that for a while.
My ex-MIL would do that AND put another blanket on the bed.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:21 AM   #451
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Or, one could just add a few more cats to the bed. Then again, a cat-bed-heating system tends to self-regulate; when it's colder, there are more cats, and they get under the covers too.

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My ex-MIL would do that AND put another blanket on the bed.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:34 AM   #452
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So, your marriage was a business proposal, got it!
Love is love, Business is business.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:37 AM   #453
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We bought our HDTV through Amazon. I put it in our cart at $2800.00 and kept coming back to visit the cart. Over the course of a year, the TV's price dropped to $2K [much lower than if purchased locally] and the suppliers competed on shipping. We finally hit the "buy" button at $1900.00 and free shipping. Worth trying, Walt, if you need that $3K camera's features to bring out your inner Ansel Adams.
Yes, I am painfully aware that anything electronic is going to get cheaper and perhaps useless as time goes on. This makes me reluctant to spend heavily on the "latest and greatest".

I keep my $600 Betamax VCR (a large chunk of cash at the time) on a shelf in the basement to remind myself of that.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:13 AM   #454
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Apologies if these have been posted already:

Gas buddy.com has been a great help when shopping for low gas prices. I travel frequently and plan to fill up at locations I pass during travels.

DW is a fabulous cook and we eat fairly well at low cost, avoiding pre-made meals and restaurants. While on expense account from megacorp, eat large meals and small ones at home.

Added insulation and installed new windows last year - heating and cooling bills dropped dramatically. DW doesn't like AC in the summer until it gets stifling hot, so we don't spend much on cooling.

Reduced fees we pay for garbage collection by aggresive use of free recycling.

Paying bills online instead of through the mail, or auto-payment.

CFL's in all outlets. Turning off unused appliances that "trickle" electricity.

Charge all expenses related to work on my 2% cash back card, get reimbursed before the bill comes in, then pay off when statement comes in. Did this one time on a $9,000 catering tab - nice little bonus. Another time I moved the balance to a no interest credit card for 12 months, made the minimum payment, (too bad those days are gone) and invested the 9K until the end of the no interest period, then paid off.

Netflix is a lot cheaper than going to the movies.

Combine trips to visit relatives with work trips that are reimbursible. This sometimes saves megacorp money too, if I stay a little longer, the airfare may be less.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:32 PM   #455
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Find a spouse your compatible with. Lots of DIY projects, including building a house, a whole house. My DW and kids started hand digging the foundation as soon as the frost was out. We finished digging, poured the footers, layed the bocks and had it under roof by the end of that summer. Even with the collapse in housing in our area we're still ahead. Also. 30 years of free hair cuts have saved also.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:15 PM   #456
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Find a spouse your compatible with. Lots of DIY projects, including building a house, a whole house. My DW and kids started hand digging the foundation as soon as the frost was out. We finished digging, poured the footers, layed the bocks and had it under roof by the end of that summer. Even with the collapse in housing in our area we're still ahead. Also. 30 years of free hair cuts have saved also.
Yeah, 30 years of baldness has covered that one for me.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:29 AM   #457
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Get one of those Foodsaver vaccum sealers. Great for saving buying in bulk and freezing/sealing/saving, sealing extra portions, or keeping snacks (chips, pretzels, cookies, etc.) fresh.
No,don't waste your money on yet another one-use gadget that takes up valuable counter or cabinet space. Use a straw to suck out air as you zip lock the plastic bag closed. This works just as effectively as a high-priced gadget.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #458
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My best money saving tips:
1. Drive your car for at least 10 yrs
2. Don't buy too much house
3. Pay attention to credit score as it affects what you pay on insurance as well as loans
4. Use credit cards for the rewards & benefits as much as possible (but don't carry a balance)
5. Limit eating out, bring your lunch to w*rk & learn to creatively use leftovers to stretch the grocery budget
6. Don't chase fashion trends - buy simple, basic clothes and take care of them. Same with shoes & purses (for the ladies, unless you guys like buying shoes & purses too...no judgement )
7. Color your own hair - I just need to cover grays, so I buy the box stuff for $7 or so, vs. paying $40 or more for a salon to do the same thing. I also keep my hair cut in a simple style, and just go to Super Cuts to get it cut for ~ $18 every couple of months.
8. Buy store brands vs. name brands. For most stuff they are fine. If you try & don't like, than stick with the name brand but look for coupons. I find Costco's Kirkland brand to be good for most stuff. Also Whole Foods' 365 store brand is very good.
9. For cooking, try learning some vegetarian meals to mix in once or twice a week - will shave a bit off your grocery bill vs. eating meat every day.
10. Limit magazine & newspaper subscriptions, as they can add up every month and there is a lot of stuff on the net for free
11. When traveling pack your own food. When flying, bring an empty water bottle and fill it up at a water fountain once you are past security, instead of buying a bottle in the airport. Pack only what fits in a carry on vs. checking bags w/ a fee (plus, if it doesn't *happen* to fit on the plane...they will gate check your bag for free, vs. paying to check it in ).
12. Wash & re-use zip-lock bags & the "disposable" plastic containers.
13. Condition your hair with egg yolks instead of store bought conditioner (yes, its a little gross, but it works great...leaves my hair shiny, soft and manageable). Eat the leftover egg whites for breakfast

Hm, that's all I can think of right now. I need to look at restaurant.com again, the last time I checked it out the participating restaurant list wasn't that great...
Why pay $7 for a box? I'm guessing you use L'Oreal. They all use the same chemical and it's just marketing you're paying for. I get Revlon Color Care for $4 a box.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:08 AM   #459
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In addition to growing your own vegetables, don't limit your enjoyment of organic, homegrown produce to the summer months. Plant extras of everything you can blanch and freeze for winter use. I do this with tomatoes, zucchini, stringbeans and berries.

Speaking of berries, I have tons of wineberries (similar to a raspberry) growing wild in my backyard. I used to be content to pick a few each day for my breakfast cereal. Then last year, i was out of work, so i had the time to pick a lot during the month of July, when they are ripe. I picked 39 cups of berries, froze most of them and am enjoying them on my breakfast cereal...in January. (Frozen berries are also great in a berry crisp.)

Another $ saving tips: Drive like a little old lady. Seriously. It's great if you have an economical car to begin with, but if you avoid jack rabbit starts and sudden stops and generally accelerate gradually, coast to a stop, etc., you really boost your mileage. My 99 Honda Civic is rated EPA-rated 35 city/29 local but by driving like a little old lady, I average about 38 and can get as much as 42 mpg when i drive about 60 on the highway.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:59 PM   #460
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...Another $ saving tips: Drive like a little old lady. Seriously. It's great if you have an economical car to begin with, but if you avoid jack rabbit starts and sudden stops and generally accelerate gradually, coast to a stop, etc., you really boost your mileage. My 99 Honda Civic is rated EPA-rated 35 city/29 local but by driving like a little old lady, I average about 38 and can get as much as 42 mpg when i drive about 60 on the highway.
Allow me to add on a little extra in this category, please.
Use your cruise control in city or country driving as well as on the open highway. You can use the Coast to slow down slightly, Cancel and Resume as needed, and a light touch on the Accelerate to increase speed gradually instead of using the gas pedal.
I drive an 8 cylinder Jeep Grand Cherokee in winter months. Driving by touch versus all gas pedal does help the gas mileage a little bit. It does add up.

And by all means get a cashback credit card that offers a good percentage back on gasoline/automotive purchases. Mine has 4% cashback and I am almost ready to get my first $100 check. Gas here is now $3.25 per gallon.
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