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Old 03-30-2009, 09:58 AM   #121
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Only buy what you eat. Then eat it. If you throw food away you might as well throw a handful of change in the garbage.
If I may add a corollary ...if you have some fresh tomatoes, carrots, celery, or peppers that are a little past the peak of freshness but not spoiled, throw them into a plastic bag and freeze uncooked. The next time you make soup or a stew, just grab them from the deep freeze and toss 'em in.
I buy 5 lbs bags of onions at a much lower price than individual onions. I will take the 15 minutes it rquires to peel and chop them up all at once. You can vary the degree of chopping and sort into different size ziplocs. Freeze and use as needed. It will be a month before I have to do that again.
If it is fruit, freeze it whole. It will be great for a future yogurt fruit smoothie, flavoring for something slow cooked in the crockpot, etc etc.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:42 AM   #122
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I dumped the Wall St Journal after the renewal rate looked way too high. Now I have time to read through most of the Economist in a week and to actually read much of the daily local paper. Also like to read the free NY Times on the web and some other free sources like Bloomberg on bonds.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:49 PM   #123
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I didn't read all 7 pages so forgive me if this is a repeat.

Here in the frozen north seasonal stuff goes on clearance (like 10 cents on the dollar at Target) in the spring. I stock up on rock salt, chemical ice melter, windshield scrapers and deicer, hats. gloves, jackets (if I need one), humidifier pads and chemicals, snow shovels, hunting stuff, weather stripping and pipe insulation........etc

Similarly at the end of the summer garden hose and attachments, grass seed, fertilizer, herbicides, ceramic pots, window air conditioners (yes $25 at Target last year).

Holidays are the same, cheap candy after Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter. I just buy the good stuff.

I've also noticed that after Christmas they clearance electrical devices like green extension cords, timers, remote control switch boxes - anything associated with Christmas decorations.

Just thought of a couple others. Use a calling card (Costco) for all zone and long distance calls. Use a prepaid cell phone if you don't make many calls (Virgin Mobile, free phone & $5 a month), when you fly, go to a site that gives ticket prices for 3 days before and after your desired dates. It is pretty easy to save $100 a ticket by shifting a little. Book rental cars through AARP, Hotwire or Priceline. Book hotels through Priceline's Name Your Own price, but only if you are sure you'll not need to change it. Use a credit union instead of a bank for free checking.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:04 AM   #124
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Ok, here's my newest money (energy) saving tip.

We used to dry off after a shower with large over sized towels. Now after a shower we stay inside the shower for an extra minute to let ourselves drip-dry. It's amazing how much water will naturally run off your body if you just let it and don't grab for a towel right away.

This has allowed us to switch to using nice terry cloth hand towels to dry ourselves off with. These are much smaller than the large towels we've been accustomed to.

This saves us in energy costs because now it is much quicker to dry a load of towels in the clothes dryer (which uses a lot of juice despite being energy efficient in design.) I haven't done the math and worked out exactly how much, but our clothes dryer senses moisture and automatically adjusts how long it stays on to dry (you can adjust the sensitivity as well). Now the dryer doesn't stay on near as long when drying towels and saves us money on our electric bill.

All because we take an extra minute to drip-dry after a shower.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:35 AM   #125
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Ok, here's my newest money (energy) saving tip.

We used to dry off after a shower with large over sized towels. Now after a shower we stay inside the shower for an extra minute to let ourselves drip-dry. It's amazing how much water will naturally run off your body if you just let it and don't grab for a towel right away.............
Good tip. To the amusement of others that have seen me do it, I "squeegee" myself off with my hands before toweling. It really does take a lot of water off, though I admit I started doing it as a time saver, not a money saver.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:58 AM   #126
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.... our clothes dryer senses moisture and automatically adjusts how long it stays on to dry (you can adjust the sensitivity as well). Now the dryer doesn't stay on near as long when drying towels and saves us money on our electric bill.
....
In 1970 a friend gave me a similar tip to use fewer quarters and less drying time in a coin-op dryer which of course gives a set number of minutes rather than sensing moisture. His idea was not to take the load out as soon as the dryer stops but to leave the load in the dryer a few minutes or longer while it is still hot in the dryer.

Numbers is hard: that's one quarter and ten minutes per load times x number of loads per month times 12 months times 39 years. Math would have to be adjusted considering that those dryers used dimes back then and the newer models use 6-8 minute increments rather than 10, and remember to add the Enron! effect for applicable months.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:30 AM   #127
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We also do the drip dry thing in the shower and it helps a bit, but washing and drying the towels only once a week also helps. They air dry each day for the next in between.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:56 AM   #128
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dh2b is going through towels like crazy for his 3-4x per week early AM gym sessions. I use just one for several days.
All towels, jeans and w*rkout outfits are line dried, inside in the family room. Also my own casual and not-for-public-view daily FIREd clothes*.
A very quick tumble in the dryer on low gets rid of wrinkles and fabric stiffness. The only direct washer-to-dryer loads are his w*rk clothes.

Line drying first is making a huge difference in my electricity bill.

*It is fun to wear crummy clothes around the house just because I can.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:12 AM   #129
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*It is fun to wear crummy clothes around the house just because I can.
I have been enjoying this so much during my pre-ER vacation time lately.* Frank knows that if we are going somewhere, he needs to call a few minutes in advance to give me time to dress in clothing suitable for venturing out. I end up with twice the laundry but right now I don't care.

*(Not only can I wear crummy, comfortable clothes around the house, I don't even have to wear shoes or a bra and I LOVE it. Shades of the 60's! and probably TMI, sorry)
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:21 AM   #130
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Line drying first is making a huge difference in my electricity bill.
Debate Follows Bills to Remove Clotheslines Bans

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In the last year, however, state lawmakers in Colorado, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont have overridden these local rules with legislation protecting the right to hang laundry outdoors, citing environmental concerns since clothes dryers use at least 6 percent of all household electricity consumption.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:24 AM   #131
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I have bagged up my clothing in construction plastic bags (the kind construction companies use for clean-up) that I purchased from Home Depot or Lowes. They are big and much, much thicker and stronger than what you can buy at the grocery. Perfect for using for laundry bags you can drag into your laundry room or a laundromat or when moving things from one place to another in your car. You could use these to bag toys, Xmas items, anything that doesn't need a box. Or you can cut a hole in the bottom and slip them over a hanger as a cover for suits or winter coats for storage. These bags can be used for so many things at a very cheap cost.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:40 AM   #132
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I have bagged up my clothing in construction plastic bags (the kind construction companies use for clean-up) that I purchased from Home Depot or Lowes. They are big and much, much thicker and stronger than what you can buy at the grocery. Perfect for using for laundry bags you can drag into your laundry room or a laundromat or when moving things from one place to another in your car. You could use these to bag toys, Xmas items, anything that doesn't need a box. Or you can cut a hole in the bottom and slip them over a hanger as a cover for suits or winter coats for storage. These bags can be used for so many things at a very cheap cost.
What a great idea for lugging laundry around! It sounds like it would be especially great for those houses with laundry in the basement, instead of carrying heavy laundry baskets up stairs.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:48 AM   #133
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From the article...
“There are a lot of kids these days who don’t even know what a clothespin is,” he said. “They think it’s a potato chip clip.”

Dual-use technology strikes again!

I use my downstairs family room as my main drying room. I have a removable nylon line from the fireplace mantle (railroad tie) to the ceiling beam support thingie (HD metal tubular column with adjustable top screw for sag prevention). I also have smaller lines strung over the washer/dryer for lighter clothes. I have enough room to hang two large loads at once, easily.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #134
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You guys actually wash your towels?
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #135
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dh2b is going through towels like crazy for his 3-4x per week early AM gym sessions. I use just one for several days.
All towels, jeans and w*rkout outfits are line dried, inside in the family room. Also my own casual and not-for-public-view daily FIREd clothes*.
A very quick tumble in the dryer on low gets rid of wrinkles and fabric stiffness. The only direct washer-to-dryer loads are his w*rk clothes.

Line drying first is making a huge difference in my electricity bill.

*It is fun to wear crummy clothes around the house just because I can.
I change the bath towel twice a month. Don't have a dryer.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #136
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Good tip. To the amusement of others that have seen me do it, I "squeegee" myself off with my hands before toweling. It really does take a lot of water off, though I admit I started doing it as a time saver, not a money saver.
I was going to suggest the squeegee technique that I thought I invented. Apparently I'm not as clever as I thought. Agreed though - saves time more than money I think. And the bathroom floor isn't soaked upon exiting the tub.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #137
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I don't squeegee, but rather try to emulate my dog when she comes up out of a stream. I think my technique ends up looking more like a convulsion though.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:22 PM   #138
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I don't squeegee, but rather try to emulate my dog when she comes up out of a stream. I think my technique ends up looking more like a convulsion though.
Originally Posted by travelover
To the amusement of others that have seen me do it
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:35 PM   #139
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Same money on stamps. Set up bills for autopay directly from checking account.

Also, buy those forever stamps. When those stamps first came out, I bought about 200 of them -- wish I bought more.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:41 PM   #140
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I have three tips.

...

(2) An unrelated money-saving tip: In the summer, I keep the thermostat as warm as is comfortable, and wear nearly nothing and drink lots of ice water. In the winter I keep it as cool as is comfortable, and wear warm clothing and sit with a blanket on my lap.

...
Great tips Want2Retire...for summer cooling I would also add:

Use a ceiling fan alone when you can or in combination with the A/C. They do a great job making you feel cooler and being very energy efficient.
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