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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:04 am
Posts: 3
Here's something I used to break my compulsive buying habits. When I was in a store I could grab anything and everything I wanted and put it in my shopping basket, but before I'd hit the checkout line I'd check every item and ask myself two questions:

1) Do I REALLY want this?
2) If I buy this what am I going to do with it?

#2 can be a really important question, especially if you've ever been the kind of person who buys toys or tschotchkes. If you can only visualize yourself getting something to put on a shelf, or stick in a drawer, it becomes pretty easy to realize that you're about to waste money.

That exercise often ended up with me putting 70% or more of everything I picked up back on the shelf. I also found that it gave me the "thrill" of shopping without the expense, and let me gradually wean myself off the shopping "high".


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 Post subject: Fridge Hack
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:59 pm
Posts: 6
Rob suggested filling the freezer with containers of water -- make sure to leave room for the ice to expand!

That's also a good hack for the fridge if you don't tend to keep the fridge full. Empty salsa jars and milk jugs filled with water will help the fridge retain the cold, so the fridge motor doesn't have to keep cooling the empty air. And if you have a power failure, they'll help keep the contents of your fridge from warming as quickly.

Incidently, beer and soda work well for that too, if you aren't tempted to excess.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:03 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:51 am
Posts: 11
1. Cut down on driving.
2. SLOW DOWN. We own a 1998 Honda Civic with over 230,000 miles. When we drive 60-65 rather than MO's 70mph limit or faster, we get 40 mpg!
3. Declutter. I've recently been giving about a box a week of stuff to goodwill. I've found stuff that I was thinking about buying!
4. Cook at home.

As a side note, I really HATE water saving shower heads. I have long, somewhat thick hair, and I usually use more water trying to get the shampoo out than the shower head saves. I just try to be REALLY efficient in the shower to make up for it. What we have found also are adjustable shower heads. That way my husband with his crew cut can save water, and I can adjust it when needed to get shampoo out of my hair.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:21 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1339
Daisy wrote:
As a side note, I really HATE water saving shower heads. I have long, somewhat thick hair, and I usually use more water trying to get the shampoo out than the shower head saves.


I dunno about that. All the low-flow showerheads I've used give a much more powerful shower than regular showerheads. "Low flow" is kind of a misnomer...it's true that less water comes out but it comes out with more force. I have this model low-flow showerhead that I've owned for 15 years now, and it gives the most invigorating shower imaginable:

http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product/46104

I reckon I've saved about $1,500 in water and energy costs so far with this little device (which cost about $7 when I bought it; it's up to $12 now but still a bargain).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:24 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:51 am
Posts: 11
brad, you're right that I haven't tried them in a few years. The last one I tried was when I was a teenager. We also like the shower wands that can be taken down, since they help with bathing munchkins and dogs when necessary. I'll have to keep a lookout for saver wands when we get around to remodeling the bathroom.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:43 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 37
Location: Vancouver
I have to pipe in that my wife and I haven't found a low flow showerhead that has the power to wash her hair clean either.

I take a 5 min shower anyways, it's great to be a guy. My wife needs a wand that she can take down and direct the water directly on her hair...


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 Post subject: shower head
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:43 am
Posts: 21
Location: San Diego, California
The same seller that brad spoke about has a shower wand that says it has high pressure and saves a lot of water.... A little more on the expensive side ($55) but would probably be worth it within a year (if what they say is correct)!

http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product/01-0452


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:45 pm
Posts: 84
Location: New Jersey
Low-flow shower heads are Life's Great Satan. I hate them like the plague on humanity they are, but unfortunately you can't find any other kind easily. I went from store to store looking for my dream shower head, the "WaterWaster 9000", and failed. But then I discovered a wealth of them on eBay! You can get shower heads there that'll spray out so much water you'll wonder where it all comes from.

So, no more standing in the shower for half an hour just to rinse the shampoo out of my hair. How that could ever possibly save water is beyond me. But even if they do, this is one area where I just have to draw the line on frugality.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:43 am
Posts: 40
Location: Regina, SK, Canada
I think most of these have been covered, but just in case here is I list I made up for my blog.

Power Bill
-use CFL lights in the house and LED Christmas lights
-turn off that computer when you are done (NOT power save mode)
-unplug anything you are not using right now to reduce phantom loads (for example: if your coffee pot has a clock on it, it's using power, so unplug it when it's not being used)
-if it won't drive you nuts, put all your TV, DVD players, VCR's on power bars and turn them off when they are not being used
-when you have to replace a major appliance look at energy star models
-when the oven is heated up try to cook more than one thing
-if no one is in a room turn off the light (I'm currently treaching my son this one)

Water Bill
-use low flow shower heads (2.5 gpm or less) that allow you to turn off water while soaping up (this also saves on your natural gas if you use it for hot water)
-change your aerators on your faucets to low flow versions (1.5 gpm or less)
-consider getting a rain barrel to save on summer watering of plants
-water the lawn early in the morning to save on evaporation
-buy a front load washer (they use less water and your clothes are dryer coming out so use less power in the dryer)

Natural Gas
-get a programmable thermostat and turn down the heat over night. If you find it too cold use a a few extra blankets on the bed.
-If there is only one bedroom being slept in you might want to consider dropping your house temperature even further overnight and using a space heater for the one room.
-turn down your water heater (the idea is to have warm water not very hot)
-when you leave the house for a few hours turn down the thermostat while you are gone
-install weatherstripping around your doors and if you have old windows use that plastic sheets to stop drafts
-during the warmer months look at your attic hatch to see if it seals well and also check out the insulation in your attic if your less than R40 you might be able to make some serious savings if you upgrade it.

CD

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On the way to early retirement at 45.
http://blog.canadian-dream-free-at-45.com


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 Post subject: hot water
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:15 am
Posts: 1
There's a device called "Autocirc" that you install under the sink farthest from the hot water tank. It takes water from the hot water line and shunts it to the cold water line until the water is 95F. It essentially keeps the hot water hot.

So what does this do for me? Well, when I turn the shower on in the morning, it's hot. No waiting. Saves me money for the cold water that would normally go down the drain, and for the sewer bill for that same wasted water. The only drawback is that the "cold" water in the sink in my master bath is warm, but I don't like cold water for brushing my teeth anyway.

Yes, I could have done the same thing buying an on-demand hot water heater, but I don't have a place to put it, and this was easy.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:21 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 37
Location: Vancouver
For those in the lower mainland bc (canada) it seems that most cities here offer a rainbarrel that attaches right to your gutter drains for a really reasonable price... In Port Moody it only costs $40 :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:56 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Trumbull, CT
lostmind wrote:
For those in the lower mainland bc (canada) it seems that most cities here offer a rainbarrel that attaches right to your gutter drains for a really reasonable price... In Port Moody it only costs $40 :)


Does that attract pests that enjoy hanging around still water?

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http://www.blattcavepodcasting.com


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 37
Location: Vancouver
Nope, completely enclosed unit!


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 Post subject: My hacks
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Gulfport, Florida
My best cost saver was to put all my electronics on surge protectors and to turn the surge protectors off when I leave for work. That is 9 hours that they are all completely turned off. Made a huge difference in my electric bill. That includes stereo, computer and cable box and TV.

I also clip all manufacturer coupons *for products I already prefer* and then wait to use them until my local drugstores also have them on sale. I got $6 off with 2 $3 coupons today on a something. I'd saved that manufacturers coupon since January and walgreens had it $3 off this week. My mom taught me "it isn't a bargain if you aren't going to use it" so I'm selective on what coupons I clip but I do study them every sunday just in case.

Last hack: I met a homeless woman at a festival who had got there entirely subsidized by the system. Said she wrote to them all and told them that she thought that so many people had paid full price that perhaps they'd let an old woman in for free. It worked. I'd paid $1500 to be at the same place at the same time she was attending for free. I talked with her for a long time at that event and one of the things that she said really struck me. "Food is cheap and plentiful. I never worry about food. Eat to stay alive and then every so often use it to celebrate and you won't ever blow your budget on food." Now that really took me by surprise. But I've been trying to apply it ever since. I have probably halved my food spending since then. Eat for survival. We are so very far removed from that concept in this day and age that it is like a whole new idea but really how much food do you need to stay healthy? Eat simply. Eat whole foods. Eat only things your grandmother would recognize and you will save a fortune not buying chips and sodas and processed cheese spreads. What is cheaper than a bag of carrots? Cooks fast and makes a weeks worth of side dishes for my lunches at work. Just slice and steam with a squirt of honey and a pat of butter.

So all that to say:
Always ask the organizers of any event that you want to attend if they might slide costs for you.
Eat simply to save money.


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