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Call your county assessor's office and look into getting your property tax lowered -- particularly if your property value took a hit during the crisis.

There are a lot of things that most people know about, but are just too lazy to do. This is something that few even consider.

frugalpete said:   do not borrow money for cars, vacations etc.
Or homes! So many people buy more than they can afford

evercl92 said:   valueinvestor said:   wwdme said:   put a brick in your toilet and pee twice, flush once

Wait, won't poo get stuck to the brick? I don't want a poo-covered brick in my toilet just to save $3 a month on my water bill!


The brick would be placed in the holding tank at the back of the toilet - excrement goes down the drain, not into the holding tank.


If someone's asking that question, I wouldn't be surprised if they're upper-decking it by accident

cpaynter said:   aznshadoboy77 said:   king0fSpades said:   US1549 said:   Bag lunch to work. Cost of a ham sandwich $2 VS. going out of $5-7

Ham sandwich? Why are we even living? How about become homeless or suicide? If a person cannot enjoy a decent lunch what is the purpose of life? Should look into getting a better career.

Lets do the math, 22 days of work/month, saving just $1300 per year and eating crap for whole year and rest of your life? This is an absolutely ridiculous suggestion. I never did this in my life did this and I turned out OK.


I agree, $2 ham sandwich is a bit extreme, but you can definitely save money by making meals at home vs. going out to eat.


Actually, my target for lunch is $1. Seriously. Can of soup on sale $.99. Frozen dinner on sale $.89. Ramen noodles 6/$1, $.17. Occasionally I'll splurge for McDonald's: $1 burger + tax = $1.08. $2 ham sandwich would be exorbitant for me.

Chris.

Wow. I think we were separated at birth.

Everything in that list sounds quite sodium heavy, but otherwise cheap.

Buy generic products

suderduperloo00p said:   Stay away from big box stores like wal mart. Always end buying more than originally wanted to.Really? Going to Wal-Mart saves me tons money because it makes me never want to set foot in a store again.

larrymoencurly said:   Don't tip excessively at strip clubs. You won't get anything extra by doing that anyway.
Tip in one dollar bills, folded so number is not visable.
They will remember who gave them more bills, not who gave them larger denominations,

pay half your mortgage 2 weeks before it's due. If your loan company will allow this you can save tens of thousands on a mortgage.
Pay off your house as soon as possible.

corporateclaw said:   ach1199 said:   Bulk purchase meat/poultry and freeze them. If you know someone with Restaurant Depot card, purchase restaurant quality stuff there much cheaper than supermarket. Be sure to buy only what you actually plan to use.

I'm not meaning this to sound like I'm questioning you in a mean way, but have you yourself ever done the math on this (or seen it done?) -- it's just me and the wife and everytime I think about doing this "bulk and freeze" thing, it seems like the cost of the freezer + operation cost outweighs the savings of buying in bulk. I don't know if I'm not doing the calcs right, or if it works better when there are 4-5 people, but it seems like buying "a little bit of bulk" and freezing it works, but on a bigger scale it doesn't work (i.e., getting like 5 pounds of something and freezing it in the freezer I already have works, since I'm going to have a little freezer as part of my fridge running anyway -- and as far as I know the more stuff in the freezer actually makes it a little more efficient over time, but getting half a cow and putting it in a new freezer doesn't seem to work out).


I buy sides of grass-fed beef for $6/lb and occasionally lamb for a little more. Yah, it's more expensive than going to the store and you need to buy a freezer, but it's much better quality than any store bought beef and comes with a wide variety of cuts. And it's theoretically healthier as well.

Bradr19 said:   pay half your mortgage 2 weeks before it's due. If your loan company will allow this you can save tens of thousands on a mortgage.
Pay off your house as soon as possible.


I agree with this only if you will spend the money instead of investing it. Otherwise, you should consider the difference in rates. IE if you mortgage is at 3.5% and you can invest it and get back more than 3.5% it would be wise to invest the money in something other than you home. Plus, if you invest it correctly, you not have to go ask the bank if you choose to change how it is invested.

txrandom said:   corporateclaw said:   ach1199 said:   Bulk purchase meat/poultry and freeze them. If you know someone with Restaurant Depot card, purchase restaurant quality stuff there much cheaper than supermarket. Be sure to buy only what you actually plan to use.

I'm not meaning this to sound like I'm questioning you in a mean way, but have you yourself ever done the math on this (or seen it done?) -- it's just me and the wife and everytime I think about doing this "bulk and freeze" thing, it seems like the cost of the freezer + operation cost outweighs the savings of buying in bulk. I don't know if I'm not doing the calcs right, or if it works better when there are 4-5 people, but it seems like buying "a little bit of bulk" and freezing it works, but on a bigger scale it doesn't work (i.e., getting like 5 pounds of something and freezing it in the freezer I already have works, since I'm going to have a little freezer as part of my fridge running anyway -- and as far as I know the more stuff in the freezer actually makes it a little more efficient over time, but getting half a cow and putting it in a new freezer doesn't seem to work out).


I buy sides of grass-fed beef for $6/lb and occasionally lamb for a little more. Yah, it's more expensive than going to the store and you need to buy a freezer, but it's much better quality than any store bought beef and comes with a wide variety of cuts. And it's theoretically healthier as well.

Just out of curiosity, where do you buy grass-fed beef?

kn9ght said:   txrandom said:   corporateclaw said:   ach1199 said:   Bulk purchase meat/poultry and freeze them. If you know someone with Restaurant Depot card, purchase restaurant quality stuff there much cheaper than supermarket. Be sure to buy only what you actually plan to use.

I'm not meaning this to sound like I'm questioning you in a mean way, but have you yourself ever done the math on this (or seen it done?) -- it's just me and the wife and everytime I think about doing this "bulk and freeze" thing, it seems like the cost of the freezer + operation cost outweighs the savings of buying in bulk. I don't know if I'm not doing the calcs right, or if it works better when there are 4-5 people, but it seems like buying "a little bit of bulk" and freezing it works, but on a bigger scale it doesn't work (i.e., getting like 5 pounds of something and freezing it in the freezer I already have works, since I'm going to have a little freezer as part of my fridge running anyway -- and as far as I know the more stuff in the freezer actually makes it a little more efficient over time, but getting half a cow and putting it in a new freezer doesn't seem to work out).


I buy sides of grass-fed beef for $6/lb and occasionally lamb for a little more. Yah, it's more expensive than going to the store and you need to buy a freezer, but it's much better quality than any store bought beef and comes with a wide variety of cuts. And it's theoretically healthier as well.

Just out of curiosity, where do you buy grass-fed beef?


Law Ranch Cattle Company near Houston.

Wear a Bracelet with the following as a reminder: WWSISD


(As a prank my friend once made bracelets that said "WWCD" which stood for "What Would Charlie Do". Since I'm known as being incredibly cheap and somewhat financially savvy this was meant to be a reminder to think before making purchases /etc.)

Start saving early and often. You won't know what you're missing out on if you keep some semblance of a frugal college lifestyle. Once you get used to nicer things you won't want to downsize.

Also, always consider the total cost of ownership when buying stuff, rather than the sticker price alone.

Dang, that's 2 things, neither is simple.

drink cheap beer alone at home and spend a bunch of time reading a stupid thread

live close to work.
many times im out of the showed at :46 and punched it at :55. god send right there.
i am moving tho. adding about a mile to my commute. still fairly negledgeable.

off shoot idea. cumberland farms convience store has tbeir own pass/debit card. gets u 10 CENTS of each gallon. (designed to avoid the credit card fees by linking to bank account.)

make a spreadsheet and keep track of every single dollar you spend, and where you spent it.

txrandom said:   corporateclaw said:   ach1199 said:   Bulk purchase meat/poultry and freeze them. If you know someone with Restaurant Depot card, purchase restaurant quality stuff there much cheaper than supermarket. Be sure to buy only what you actually plan to use.

I'm not meaning this to sound like I'm questioning you in a mean way, but have you yourself ever done the math on this (or seen it done?) -- it's just me and the wife and everytime I think about doing this "bulk and freeze" thing, it seems like the cost of the freezer + operation cost outweighs the savings of buying in bulk. I don't know if I'm not doing the calcs right, or if it works better when there are 4-5 people, but it seems like buying "a little bit of bulk" and freezing it works, but on a bigger scale it doesn't work (i.e., getting like 5 pounds of something and freezing it in the freezer I already have works, since I'm going to have a little freezer as part of my fridge running anyway -- and as far as I know the more stuff in the freezer actually makes it a little more efficient over time, but getting half a cow and putting it in a new freezer doesn't seem to work out).


I buy sides of grass-fed beef for $6/lb and occasionally lamb for a little more. Yah, it's more expensive than going to the store and you need to buy a freezer, but it's much better quality than any store bought beef and comes with a wide variety of cuts. And it's theoretically healthier as well.


I do the same thing, and would argue that it's even cheaper than buying the meat at ag rocery store.

At $6/lb (I get mine for $3.50/lb hanging weight, which equates to around $5/lb finished weight), that's cheaper than just about any steak you can get. It's only slightly more expensive than lean ground beef, and on par with any roast or big cuts of meat.

Start saving for your kids college early on (coming from a mom with a freshman and sophomore in college)

owenscott said:   cumberland farms convience store has tbeir own pass/debit card. gets u 10 CENTS of each gallon. (designed to avoid the credit card fees by linking to bank account.)
PenFed does 5% on Gas so at $3.33 (last fill up price) that is $0.1665 a gallon. You are leaving money on the table. All I use my PenFed card is for gas.

owenscott said:   live close to work.
many times im out of the showed at :46 and punched it at :55. god send right there.
i am moving tho. adding about a mile to my commute. still fairly negledgeable.

off shoot idea. cumberland farms convience store has tbeir own pass/debit card. gets u 10 CENTS of each gallon. (designed to avoid the credit card fees by linking to bank account.)


Credit cards that offer 3% or more in gas rewards will save you more.

assclown2 said:   stop buying new cars every dang year..

Decade. The last car I purchased was 10 years ago this Sunday.

Stop eating meat and see how much you save.

Adjust the thermostat some when no one is going to be home all day / night. (For AC / Gas / Electric Furnace)**


**If you have a heat pump, adjusting the heat thermostat is most likely to help if: You're gone for at least 8-16 hours, have a very good programmable thermostat, Or have cooperative weather. (If it's 50 when you leave in the morning, and 70 when you return home. More than likely your going to come out ahead by turning down the heat pump while gone for the day.)

Don't use space heaters to heat large areas, especially if you have a heat pump! I have some relatives in a big house in a nice area and 50K car. They have one of those fancy space heaters in a wooden box.*** They use it to blow warm air around the couch and leave the entire house freezing. The electric they are wasting on space heaters would go a long way toward heating the entire house using the heat pump!

***All space heaters equally efficient! A $15 heater from Wal-Mart creates the same heat as a $200-$300 rip-off heater that is marketed to the older generations as a Miracle in a Box!

Pay a family member the ~ $10/month to add a line to their bill for cell service, if you don't make a lot of phone calls and don't text.

(I don't want people to have constant access to me, so the no texting really works for me. My phone is not "smart", btw...just a flip phone.)

Lots of great ideas here!

StartByServingOthers said:   Adjust the thermostat some when no one is going to be home all day / night. (For AC / Gas / Electric Furnace)**


**If you have a heat pump, adjusting the heat thermostat really only works if: You're gone for at least 8-16 hours, have a very good programmable thermostat, Or time the weather perfectly. (If it's 50 when you leave in the morning, and 70 when you return home. More than likely your going to come out ahead by turning down the furnace while gone for the day.)

Don't use space heaters to heat large areas, especially if you have a heat pump! I have some relatives in a big house in a nice area and 50K car. They have one of those fancy space heaters in a wooden box.*** They use it to blow warm air around the couch and leave the entire house freezing. The electric they are wasting on space heaters would go a long way toward heating the entire house using the heat pump!

***All space heaters equally efficient! A $15 heater from Wal-Mart creates the same heat as a $200-$300 rip-off heater that is marketed to the older generations as a Miracle in a Box!


I think you may have a fundamental misunderstanding of the energy efficiency of heat pumps if you think that it won't save money to lower the set point when you aren't around.

Also, while electric strip heating is not very efficient, at all, it is still cheaper to heat a small space to a hot temperature than using pretty much any other means to heat the entire house to a cool, but comfortable temperature.

BradisBrad said:   evercl92 said:   valueinvestor said:   wwdme said:   put a brick in your toilet and pee twice, flush once

Wait, won't poo get stuck to the brick? I don't want a poo-covered brick in my toilet just to save $3 a month on my water bill!


The brick would be placed in the holding tank at the back of the toilet - excrement goes down the drain, not into the holding tank.


I was thinking that the "brick" was a metaphor for poop here. So my understanding was "go poop, then pee, and pee again. then you may flush, but only once."

Very confusing.

Now it seems like you want me to commit to upper decker's for whenever the occasion arises?

ETA: Oh, and for those of you who haven't been exposed.. An upper decker.


just so no one is confused.. placing a brick in the water tank of your toilet reduces the capacity of the tank, thereby reducing volume of water it takes to fill the tank, which in turn reduces the volume of water used each time you flush, which over time lowers the cost of flushing your toilet.

crabbing said:   make a spreadsheet and keep track of every single dollar you spend, and where you spent it.

There's a simpler way called Quicken.

arch8ngel said:   I think you may have a fundamental misunderstanding of the energy efficiency of heat pumps if you think that it won't save money to lower the set point when you aren't around.
Also, while electric strip heating is not very efficient, at all, it is still cheaper to heat a small space to a hot temperature than using pretty much any other means to heat the entire house to a cool, but comfortable temperature.


I stated that adjusting the thermostat could result in savings for Heat Pumps. (And I've reworded that statement). While Heat Pumps still have the opportunity to offer cost saving while out of the house, it is not clear cut like AC, Gas, or Electric Furnace. Turning down a thermostat while away can cause the total cost to rise for a heat pump. There are a huge number of factors, such as House Size, Insulation, Heat Pump Unit Size, Outside Temperature, Desired Inside temperature, Thermostat, Time away from home. Although I've researched the subject extensively, I've never seen a clear estimate of how long you have to be away to make it worth turning down the thermostat for a heat pump. While my guess of 8-16 hours. may be a little bit high, I would rather have a low possibility of my advice costing people money. In my case my thermostat directs the unit to use heat strips if the temperature inside the house is 1 degree or less than the thermostat temperature. (The majority of thermostats installed in new homes are like this). Heat strips use multiples more electric to provide the same amount of heat as a heat pump. I can typically minimize this by turning the thermostat 1 degree at a time over a period of time, or I could buy an expensive thermostat or disable the heat strips in interim weather, However I'm trying to provide a general starting point / guideline that I feel confident will work.
(I go as far as to consider what the outside temperature will be when I leave, and when I return home, That does mean a heat pump is often more efficient at heating toward afternoon / early evening).

Regarding the Space Heater, I agree that they may be useful in small areas for a comfortable temperature. My example was a large area and an uncomfortable temperature. (I failed to mention that the household size is 5 for my example. - That also undermines the ability to heat selected areas. I also could have further described the large open floor plan with vaulted ceilings.)
Space heaters have the same or slightly better efficiency than heat strips / electric furnace. Space heaters supply the same amount of heat per kW, but don't have heat loss through ducts and can be better directed where you need it. In cold temperatures where the heat pump doesn't have any significant advantage, (Once again, the cutoff point is based on a huge number of factors) Then space heaters have a huge advantage over heating your house on heat strips alone.*
* I haven't included the possibility of burning down your house in my cost estimates. Please use space heaters and other household electronics responsibly.

MDfive21 said:   BradisBrad said:   evercl92 said:   valueinvestor said:   wwdme said:   put a brick in your toilet and pee twice, flush once

Wait, won't poo get stuck to the brick? I don't want a poo-covered brick in my toilet just to save $3 a month on my water bill!


The brick would be placed in the holding tank at the back of the toilet - excrement goes down the drain, not into the holding tank.


I was thinking that the "brick" was a metaphor for poop here. So my understanding was "go poop, then pee, and pee again. then you may flush, but only once."

Very confusing.

Now it seems like you want me to commit to upper decker's for whenever the occasion arises?

ETA: Oh, and for those of you who haven't been exposed.. An upper decker.


just so no one is confused.. placing a brick in the water tank of your toilet reduces the capacity of the tank, thereby reducing volume of water it takes to fill the tank, which in turn reduces the volume of water used each time you flush, which over time lowers the cost of flushing your toilet.


Wish you would have posted that clarification a bit quicker. Now I've got a serious mess on my hands.

Get a hobby besides going to the shopping mall and buying a ton of stuff.

Stuff

StartByServingOthers said:   
I stated that adjusting the thermostat could result in savings for Heat Pumps. (And I've reworded that statement). While Heat Pumps still have the opportunity to offer cost saving while out of the house, it is not clear cut like AC, Gas, or Electric Furnace. Turning down a thermostat while away can cause the total cost to rise for a heat pump. There are a huge number of factors, such as House Size, Insulation, Heat Pump Unit Size, Outside Temperature, Desired Inside temperature, Thermostat, Time away from home. Although I've researched the subject extensively, I've never seen a clear estimate of how long you have to be away to make it worth turning down the thermostat for a heat pump. While my guess of 8-16 hours. may be a little bit high, I would rather have a low possibility of my advice costing people money. In my case my thermostat directs the unit to use heat strips if the temperature inside the house is 1 degree or less than the thermostat temperature. (The majority of thermostats installed in new homes are like this). Heat strips use multiples more electric to provide the same amount of heat as a heat pump. I can typically minimize this by turning the thermostat 1 degree at a time over a period of time, or I could buy an expensive thermostat or disable the heat strips in interim weather, However I'm trying to provide a general starting point / guideline that I feel confident will work.


It sounds like your argument is that if you have your thermostat controller programmed to use the heat strip too liberally, then yes, it makes sense to maintain temperature with the heat pump.

But if the heat pump is doing all the work, there is absolutely no reason why it would be more efficient to leave it on rather than shut it down, for any duration of absence.

That is not a function of a heat pump working any differently, with regard to energy savings and heat generation.
That is a function of a poorly programmed controller demanding the least efficient style of heat possible, when making a large change of temperature.

A better way to program the unit would be to only use the heat strips when the outside air temperature is below a threshold that makes the heat pump less capable of producing heat, at all.
Or only allow the strips to come on if the unit can't maintain 60-degrees.



The heat pump itself does not cost more energy to heat the room in the first place than it does to maintain temperature over an absence. That would go against basic thermodynamics.

Sell your penny stocks instead of carrying credit card debt at 20% APR?

make less friend? I spent alot of money on gifts for friends every year (birthday, wedding, baby shower) etc. It can reach in thousands.

tusi said:   make less friend? I spent alot of money on gifts for friends every year (birthday, wedding, baby shower) etc. It can reach in thousands.Many years ago I had a couple of friends who would tell me about how much money they saved from playing World of Warcraft because they never left the house anymore.

Hypersion said:   Get a hobby besides going to the shopping mall and buying a ton of stuff.

Stuff


That's the one of the best hilarious explanation that I have heard about the stuff.

Thanks for making my day.

StartByServingOthers said:   I stated that adjusting the thermostat could result in savings for Heat Pumps. (And I've reworded that statement). While Heat Pumps still have the opportunity to offer cost saving while out of the house, it is not clear cut like AC, Gas, or Electric Furnace. Turning down a thermostat while away can cause the total cost to rise for a heat pump. There are a huge number of factors, such as House Size, Insulation, Heat Pump Unit Size, Outside Temperature, Desired Inside temperature, Thermostat, Time away from home. Although I've researched the subject extensively, I've never seen a clear estimate of how long you have to be away to make it worth turning down the thermostat for a heat pump. While my guess of 8-16 hours. may be a little bit high, I would rather have a low possibility of my advice costing people money. In my case my thermostat directs the unit to use heat strips if the temperature inside the house is 1 degree or less than the thermostat temperature. (The majority of thermostats installed in new homes are like this). Heat strips use multiples more electric to provide the same amount of heat as a heat pump. I can typically minimize this by turning the thermostat 1 degree at a time over a period of time, or I could buy an expensive thermostat or disable the heat strips in interim weather, However I'm trying to provide a general starting point / guideline that I feel confident will work.I don't understand why anyone would want to operate heat strips if the inside temperature is 1 degree or less than the thermostat temperature. I thought heat strips were to be operated only if the outdoor temperature dropped below the balance point, or the temperature where heatpump cost efficiency becomes worse than that of heat strips because there's not enough heat energy in the outdoor air, or the defrost cycle has to be operated too much. So if the thermostat is turned down while the occupants are away but turned up when they come back, the heatpump will probably run longer than usual than if the temperature is always kept constant, and if that happens when it's cold outside, then there may be no cost savings.

larrymoencurly said:   StartByServingOthers said:   I stated that adjusting the thermostat could result in savings for Heat Pumps. (And I've reworded that statement). While Heat Pumps still have the opportunity to offer cost saving while out of the house, it is not clear cut like AC, Gas, or Electric Furnace. Turning down a thermostat while away can cause the total cost to rise for a heat pump. There are a huge number of factors, such as House Size, Insulation, Heat Pump Unit Size, Outside Temperature, Desired Inside temperature, Thermostat, Time away from home. Although I've researched the subject extensively, I've never seen a clear estimate of how long you have to be away to make it worth turning down the thermostat for a heat pump. While my guess of 8-16 hours. may be a little bit high, I would rather have a low possibility of my advice costing people money. In my case my thermostat directs the unit to use heat strips if the temperature inside the house is 1 degree or less than the thermostat temperature. (The majority of thermostats installed in new homes are like this). Heat strips use multiples more electric to provide the same amount of heat as a heat pump. I can typically minimize this by turning the thermostat 1 degree at a time over a period of time, or I could buy an expensive thermostat or disable the heat strips in interim weather, However I'm trying to provide a general starting point / guideline that I feel confident will work.I don't understand why anyone would want to operate heat strips if the inside temperature is 1 degree or less than the thermostat temperature. I thought heat strips were to be operated only if the outdoor temperature dropped below the balance point, or the temperature where heatpump cost efficiency becomes worse than that of heat strips because there's not enough heat energy in the outdoor air, or the defrost cycle has to be operated too much. So if the thermostat is turned down while the occupants are away but turned up when they come back, the heatpump will probably run longer than usual than if the temperature is always kept constant, and if that happens when it's cold outside, then there may be no cost savings.

Fundamentally, the only reason fluctuating temperature settings is bad with a heat pump is that your controller is going to try and turn on the electric strips to hit your set point faster.

If you take the electric strip out of the equation, the thermodynamics regarding the energy required to maintain heat in a building vs heat it back up are no different than any other means of heating the building.

They make purpose-made thermostats that have preprogrammed controllers just for this purpose, so that it will know not to activate the electric strip due to the wide temperature gap during set point changes, and only activate the strip if it can't keep up with a selected set point after a certain long duration of time.

chegh said:   Just wanted to add, marry wisely, if at all.
No, marry wealthy!



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