Money & time saving ideas

Discussion in 'Home Improvement, DIY and Repair' started by looking, May 13, 2005.

  1. looking

    looking Seedling

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    Hi all,
    I thought I'd start a topic about money & time saving ideas around the home and garden. There are lots of ways to save, which really add up over the long term.
    So, let's hear your ideas to save money so we can spend more in GardenStews "Home & Garden Store" ;)

    I'll start.

    As an electrician I am often asked by people how to cut down on power costs. One simple, but effective way, is to decrease the temperature in your hot water service (HWS) (works for both electric & gas).
    I have found that most people (around 80%) have their HWS way too hot. Then, when they turn on the hot water tap for a bath or to do the dishes, they have to cool it down with cold water.
    Most households don't need it hotter than 60C, but have it up around 70C, which wastes money heating and then having to cool the water.
    With power costs the way they are, a saving of $100-150 per year is common.

    Cheers
    Craig
     
  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Great suggestion Craig!! Anything that helps to save money on fuel bills gets my vote.
    I'm off for the week-end to Cheshire but will try to post something towards this topic when I get back.
     
  3. mbwest

    mbwest Seedling

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    Hey, i think this is a great topic, i'll keep thinking and if i have any suggestion i'll get them straight on here.

    I did see a program a while back about someone who was employed to cut bills, e.g you would pay him 20% of what ever he could cut in a year or something like that and he said the average home could cut about £2000 a year.
    He said the biggest money saver is just taking a look at all your bills and finding out if there are any other suppliers that can do it cheaper. I mean that really couldn't take much more that a few hours to send off the letters or make the phone calls.

    Also anyone have any views on these new energy saving lightbulbs as my mum keeps moaning about the electric bill being too high.

    ;)
     
  4. looking

    looking Seedling

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    Hi mbwest,
    Yes, energy saver globes are good. Eg, a standard 60W globe draws 60W (obviously :D ) However, an energy saving 60W globe only draws 12W and produces the same lumens (light rays) per square foot.
    So if your whole house is fitted with energy saving globes you could save quite a bit.

    However, they do have drawbacks. Here are some.
    1. They are a more stark light, not soft like incandescent globes. (They are like a small fluorescent)

    2. They should not be used around machinery with moving parts. (Eg, in the kitchen) This is because they operate on a particular frequency and if, say, your electric egg beater is turning at the same speed as the frequency of the globe, it will appear as though it is not moving at all. (I hope that makes sense)

    3. The cheaper energy saving globes are not worth it. They don't last the distance. You need to buy good quality ones or stick with standard globes.

    Cheers
     



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  5. mbwest

    mbwest Seedling

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    Thanks for the help, i'm still thinking,

    What energy saving bulbs would you recommend?
     
  6. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Wow looking I never thought of that but it makes total sense. That could be dangerous! Thanks for the heads-up :)
     
  7. looking

    looking Seedling

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    Hi Frank,
    Yes, not a lot of people are aware of that. The manufacturers keep it quiet too.
    They should not be used in sheds & workshops either, where power drills, grinders, etc are used.
    Although most people I know have 40W fluros in their shed, which have the same hazard. I was caught one day when i thought the grinder had stopped while I was sharpening a drill bit and ground part of a knuckle away. OUCH!
    So I always have incandescent lights over power machinery now.
    Cheers
     
  8. looking

    looking Seedling

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    Hi mbwest,
    Not sure what brands you get in UK. Here in Aust I would recommend either Osram or Sylvania. There are a lot of cheap chinese & korean imports, but they don't last long. Some I have had only lasted about 100 hours.
    Cheers
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Money Saving Ideas

    Got a great money saving idea i've been using for years..instead of using glass cleaner, try crumpled newspaper. first, crumple up one or two pages of old newspapers and wet these. clean any glass surface with this. Follow immediately with crumpled dry newspaper. Never leaves streaks and definitely no chemicals.

    Another great suggestion which i've been into lately: internet shopping. I was really apprehensive at first but when I saved so much on flooring i bought from ifloors, I was really amazed. I shopped around in major home improvement stores before turning to the internet...good thing i did though, i saved about 50 percent and saved so much time. try it out if you ever need new floors: http ://www.ifloor.com/ Now I shop the internet for everything from baby items to rugs.
     
  10. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I agree with you there Diydreamer!!! We bought everything for our new pond in the garden via the internet and saved approx 50% on shop prices.

    We have an old 17th century cottage and I've found that by insulating our loft space we've cut down substantially on heating bills. :D We have Osram energy saving bulbs in the bathroom, halls and bedrooms and they have lasted for, literally, years. :) Definately well worth every penny we spent on them.

    I try to use any left over fabrics, floor tiles etc that we have spare. Recently I cut some cork tiles into dinner plate sized circles. Gave them a coat of clear varnish on one side (varnish was a left-over too) and now we use them as place mats. They're wipe clean and don't slip off the table like those nasty plastic things you can buy. With the off-cuts I made coasters for cups too. Every little bit helps. ;)
     
  11. dooley

    dooley Super Garden Turtle

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    thrift shops

    I don't know how you feel about thrift shops but I've found some buys in them. Just looking around I see my computer desk, a highback bench, my sewing table, my dining table and chairs, some bookshelves, and a twin bed in the extra bedroom. Some needed a bit of cleaning or some paint but all were very reasonable. Also, all the plants I've been buying the last week or so have been end of season closeouts or markdowns because they didn't look so hot. But some are now starting to perk up and I think they will be fine. Dooley
     
  12. CandleLady

    CandleLady New Seed

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    This may seem trivial, but it really saved me some money over a course of time. Now mind you, I had to retrain the other four people living in my house, but my second water bill when I started this program was about 1/3 less than the one two bills before.

    When you are brushing your teeth, especially if you brush like my family does, while walking around the house :D turn the water off after you start and turn it back on when you're done to rinse.

    Shaving... same thing. My husband would turn the water on full force and later up, then shave, carefully and taking his time, then rinse, and the whole time the water was running down the drain! Duh!

    I got everyone to picture dollar signs going down the drain. Remember the old commercial about cocaine, with the planes, diamonds, etc. going up the guys nose... Well, that's what I got everyone to think about while running the water away.

    The first billing cycle (there are three months in our water billing cycles) I didn't notice much of a difference. It took a while to develop the habit, but after many days of trying to be there when they brushed their teeth and walking up behind them and just turning off the water, I guess they caught on, because the second billing month was quite a bit lower. I'm looking forward to my next one to see just how much lower this one is.

    My next project, the electric bill. Let's see how many light we can NOT leave on when we leave the house. I put a big sign on my back door that says "turn off all lights when you leave, or else." :smt021

    (This is a great topic by the way. I'm all about saving money now that I'm supporting two households!)
     
  13. aprilconnett

    aprilconnett Seedling

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    Great topic, but where are the rest of the ideas?

    I'm going to think hard to have something to add later :-D
     
  14. aprilconnett

    aprilconnett Seedling

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    OK, some of my tips:

    * I save 2 litre drink bottles. Cut off the bottom and use them in the garden as mini greenhouses.

    * I use old newspapers in my garden:
    -First, I put it down in layers around established plants, then put a more decorative mulch over them.
    -Also, use a strip about 6" x 12" to make a biodegradeable(sp?) starter pot. I wrap the strip around a used drink can so that about two inches hang off the bottom. When I get it wrapped all around, I just push the bottom up to make the bottom of the pot.

    * I read a tip somewhere to shred all junk mail and put down as mulch.

    * I have been trying to use more "gray water" in my garden to cut back on the water bill. I keep a shallow washbasin in the sink while I rinse dishes or wash my hands. I then pour the water into a lidded bucket I have beside the sink. My bathroom is too small to store any buckets in there for the water while it warms up.

    * COMPOST! Need I say more?

    * I thoroughly clean out any spray bottles, like the ones cleaners com in, too use for home-made insecticide or water


    OK, that's it for now. Hope some of this was helpful.. Would LOVE to hear from the rest of you :wave:
     
  15. muddybob

    muddybob In Flower

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    My mother puts a bucket in the shower with her to catch water for her houseplants. She is not poor but so thrifty she has bought three houses on a modest salary. She is my hero! If we were not on a well I'd do it too.
    I wear long underwear and sweaters so I can keep the thermostat down. Other times I build a fire.
    I have not used a clothes dryer in years. I have drying racks in the spare bedroom.
    All laundry is done in cold water.
    One can grow and preserve vegetables and fruit. I don't have time for canning now. Maybe someday I will. Besides, I don't need to because many of my clients give these things out as gifts! Recently I got three jars of jam on the some day from three different clients.
    Watch for sales. Rebates are also great. NEVER pay full price when it can be avoided.
    When all the money saving techniques are used the saving add up to many dollars.
    My Granny used to say that if you watched the pennies the pounds would look after themselves.

    muddy
     

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