Tuesday, February 26, 2019

On automatic frugal

Hubby came home from work, walked in and immediately asked if I knew I did automatic frugal?

I wondered where this was coming from but answered YES I know I do things automatically that is frugal. Why?

I guess the guys were talking at work about how high their electric bills and food bills are so he started with what we do instead of  doing 20 questions of what they are doing or not doing.

Except for the grow cart lights everything is LED.In time they will be also.

We turn off lights if we aren't in the room. If I am reading or mending on the couch and he is at the desk we have 2 task lights lit but as soon as one of us moves (like he shut off computer ) that light gets turned off.I have LED night lights at the corner where the front room and dining room join and another at the end of the bfast bar that shows down the hall towards the bedroom. Those pretty much with the Christmas strand light up the walk ways so he doesn't fall over Rascal... Rascal is BLACK and does NOT move when you step near him. We don't have dusk to dawn lights outside. We pay $10/ month for a LED security light that pretty much covers where we park or someone else parks. Our Amish neighbor said he likes where it's at as it doesn't bother them while sleeping.

We have a Christmas strand of LED lights as our night light in the kitchen to see the door we let the dogs out during the night. It's over the Hoosier which makes it nice as we can see the top of the stove also if we want to get tea out of the kettle. Hubby said it's enough for him to make a pot of coffee even though I have a small lamp in the corner between the coffee pots as he doesn't want to light up the whole kitchen.

We unplug or turn off power strips to computers and phone chargers. Printer is off unless we are using it. Coffee pot warmers are off. Our alarm clocks are our phones so we no longer have a clock plugged in to wake us up.

We have 2 generators so when we lost power this week we didn't lose anything in either refrigerator or the 4 deep freezers.

 I turn burners and oven off about 5 min before food is done, the heat is still there especially in the oven to finish the food.

I don't use the dry cycle on the dishwasher.

We use an oil lamp at the table. Our dining room does have a ceiling light fan but for just eating or sitting at the table talking we have the oil lamp or candle lit if there isn't enough outside light coming in. Found we slow down eating and it seems to help us relax even talking about stuff that upsets us aka taxes or kids that can't seem to get their lives together and keep making the same mistakes over and over and over. I can buy a bottle of fuel for my oil lamp for around $3 and it will last me 3-4 months.

I use an oil lamp here at the computer in the morning until there is enough light from the window beside me.

I open curtains for light, put sheers up in the summer so I get the light but not the heat. I close curtains at dusk to keep heat in during the winter. In the summer I have 2 south windows I close the curtains during the heat of the day.

I use the 50 lb dog food bag as a trash bag.I use plastic grocery bags for trash bags for the smaller trash cans.I will also use them for bones etc that would stink in the kitchen trash can  so I can take it out to the trash can outside to put in a sack later. When I run out of plastic bags, I get more from the kids as I have pretty much went to cloth bags for my groceries.I can probably go a year before I run out as I got bags from 3 kids and a granddaughter.

I wash plastic bags and foil and what few plastic food containers we get.

I wash the inserts to boxes (which is getting fewer each month) and use them as wax paper.

I turned the second bulb in my grow light cart to not have it come on as I only needed the first one on that shelf(I have 4 shelves and 8 bulbs that are not LED)

I use up the leftovers or put them in the freezer. I don't have a compost pile yet but will by time summer is over. I keep a "scrap, peelings"bag for broth in the freezer...goes with the cubes of fat I keep from meat.

If I am using the oven I do more than one dish.Which is why I haven't baked the pound cake since I haven't had to bake bread or anything else.

When the sun is shining, I am baking or using the dryer I turn down the furnace. When we leave I turn the furnace down farther.

If we feel chilly we get another shirt (shawl or sweater for me) or a throw blanket. We do NOT turn the furnace up. We have a humidifier and it's need replaced but it lasted through this winter. I will wait until I find one on sale before replacing it .In the summer we use fans and open windows. IF I turn on the AC it's set at 78. I have dehumidifier on the buy list.

We have 3 house phones. I do not leave the chargers plugged in except the one that has the answering machine. I just rotate which one in on that charger.

If I can use the microwave over the propane stove I use the microwave.Like yesterday when I made spag sq for my lunch. 12 min and I had lunch instead of the 30 min in the oven.

We don't hold refrigerator doors open ( that was Hubby's habit that took me awhile to get him broke of). I keep my freezers full even if I have to use bags of ice so they don't run as much.

I don't run water while brushing my teeth. I love my soak tub but I usually take a shower.Hubby showers only. I have to focus to turn water on with my right hand or I will turn the hot water on which is a waste because it kicks the instant hot water heater on.

I sweep the floors with a broom or dust mop and only use the vacuum every other week.I have throw rugs at doors that are industrial so I can easily sweep them with a broom and they look fine.

I used the drying rack and clothes line instead of the dryer. I use short cycle and full loads even if I have to combine loads to wash clothes. I use the dry sensor cycle when using the clothes dryer.

We tie in errands to other appointments. We check Gas Buddy for the cheapest gas around us. We use the car over the truck if we aren't needing to haul something in the bed of the truck.

I still send birthday cards. I buy them at Dollar General for 2 for $1. I pick up enough to do all the kids and grandkids for the year.

We have a to buy list that I keep on the frig , I check the sales weekly to see if what we need is on sale. Until it does we just make do or do without.

I have been looking for a better blender for over a year. My blender will not hold up to smoothies  or anything that is frozen.I was debating between 2 when Hubby ran across American Test Kitchen testing blenders. The best was one I had by passed due to price,Hubby said something to a friend about it and the guy had a coupon for anything Black and Decker that he was getting ready to toss. That put the blender down to our price range. The guy said for now on he is going to ask around if anyone wants the coupon before he tosses it.

We eat from the pantry. Last night I was so worn out if I hadn't had supper prepped and ready to bake I would have asked, begged for Hubby to bring something home or ate eggs instead of fixing a meal. I have also found that pepperoni (always have some sliced in freezer) cheese, crackers or bread and a sliced apple is enough for a meal as Hubby doesn't care so much for soup and is definitely gotten tired of it and casseroles in his thermos at work.

I bought shorts at Sam's club and then ordered a few more pairs on line as that was the cheapest I could find. Since I have worn the same shorts for over 20 yrs I hope these last as long. Better yet was I found they were on clearance from being $70.  I paid $5. I've been looking for the last 2 yrs and haven't found anything that will "flex" with my weight changes. I bounce 20 lbs depending on my Crohn's.

I bought a pair of garden clogs, I will have to change the insert as it hits the top of my foot with what is came with. I have high arches and high instep and wear a size 3 in children, 5 in women's. I've ruined 2 pairs of muck boots with squatting in the gardens. Have tried everything except flex seal (which is next) to patch the break at my toes. My "pain" doctor suggested them as his mother wears them all the time even after she quit gardening.

I did some more winter sowing. Goal is to not buy any plants for the gardens.

I trimmed the halo dogwood bush but made sure I didn't pull the sucklings so we can transplant them down by the pond. Hubby hates mowing that area and I suggested we "make" it like a bird haven. I have some wild flower seeds we can plant that is for bees and butterflies (since the pond is close to the garden I thought the garden would benefit also). As long as Hubby can get in to fish it and the neighbors to get ice and fish (they stock it), it shouldn't be an issue.

Hubby pruned the second apple tree the morning before all the wind hit. Guy at work told him he paid $100 for each apple tree he had pruned. Hubby offered to do it the next time for him for $50 after he looked at the trees.. I will go through the limbs and pick the ones that are the right size to cut for the smoker. It will also be a Christmas present for a friend down south.

A friend gave us thermos cups for Christmas. Hubby won't use his as he needs a handle on a cup to hang on to it so I am using it to put a cup of water by the bed so I don't have to get up for a drink during the night, nor drink a Sprite as I've been known to do.

My sister posted a meme on Facebook of getting rid of 1 thing daily during Lent for a total of 40 things. I decided to start early and chose to do 40 items a day. I have did 411 in 6 days. The paper clutter is just mind boggling. BUT I feel I will be through the entire house by Easter...that leaves the barn LOL.

I watch for sales for things I need for my gardens. I might have to suck it up a bit as we are down to soil for 30 grow bags and the trellis (which is going to be feed(cattle) panel and metal stakes that can be used for YEARS. I got bird netting on sale for the grapes and berries. I doubt if Hubby will cover the apple trees. I got row cover on sale to cover the brassicas and the cucurbits plants to keep bugs off.

I cut back on how much meat I fix each meal, Hubby hasn't noticed as there is more veggies and fruit on the table.

I did suggest to Hubby he drive my car to work instead of his truck but the very next day he was offered $ to stop and pick up something for a coworker that didn't have a truck. SO far he has made enough of "side" jobs that he hasn't paid for his gas to go back and forth to work.

GOOD... repairman for Sump pump is here.