Friday, March 19, 2010

Frugal Tips

I have a list of things that I have been wanting to post.

I keep the heat at 65 at night and 67 during the day. We have oil heat and it stretches the time between deliveries.

This summer I would like to put a room air conditioner in our living room to cool one room since at night we have a ceiling fan in our room which keeps us cool at night. This should help keep the electric bill lower in the summer.

Keep warm soapy water in the sink to do quick dish washes during the day so that the dishwasher does not have to be run as often.

Keep all leftovers no matter how small to be used in soups or stews.

Keep away from plastics such as plates, cups, etc. Use these for special occasions only.

Use paper towels sparingly. Keep plenty of dish towels in the kitchen to grab instead.

When eating out don't order drinks. Ask for water instead. I always order water with lemon.

Share an entree. With the portions most restaurants give there is plenty of food for two.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A great find

About a year or so ago I was browsing through the book sale section of our local library. I noticed that there were two books that were first editions. One was The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway and the other was a Ray Bradbury, I can't think of the name off hand. Anyway both books were 25 cents each and I figured I could sell them on Ebay. The procrastinator that I am, I put them on a shelf and told myself I would sell them in the near future. A year or more later, Nick put The Old Man and the Sea on Ebay and we wound up selling it for $46. What a great investment on my 25 cents. The first edition was a book club edition which sells for much less than a true first edition release. The Ray Bradbury is still on my shelf and I'll be selling that in the near future.

Another exciting things happened recently Our kitchen drain was clogged and I didn't realize it so I ran our dishwasher. I heard a trickling sound in the kitchen and realized that it was leaking on the kitchen floor. I stopped the dishwasher and bought some drain cleaner and later that evening the clog was cleared up. I ran the dishwasher and didn't think any more about it. A week or so later I noticed that our living room floor was feeling a little bouncy when you walked on it. I moved the carpet and realized that our wood floor was buckling. I mentioned it to Nick thinking that someone must have spilled something and we realized that the dishwasher water had seeped through the wall into the living room and under our wood floor.

There was no way we could just replace the buckled floor section so we weren't sure what we were going to do. I told my sister, Irene, and she said why don't we submit a claim to our Homeowner's policy. I thought what the heck, it can't hurt to get some money to compensate. We have a $500 deductible so I figured we would come away with a few hundred dollars. The claims rep came to our home and after looking at the damage the water caused determined that we need new bottom cabinets around the dishwasher since the water did cause some wood rot there also. Of course when you get bottom cabinets, you need top cabinets to match so when all was said and done the insurance is going pay for the floor and for new kitchen cabinets. Nick said that it should be a substantial amount of money. I'm so glad that we listened to Irene and called in the claim.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Walmart freebies

Never underestimate the usefulness of free samples. I've been going to and ordering free samples for a few years now. I have quite a basket full of them. They come in so handy when you're about to wash a load of laundry and realize that you have no laundry detergent. Just take a pouch of free sample laundry detergent and viola laundry accomplished with no interruption. There is usually a pouch of fabric softener too. There are so many other little samples that have come in handy over the years.

Also, we were having a snow storm last week and I was in need of milk. My 1% milk was almost empty so I drove over to the quick check (I had no time to shop) and bought a whole milk. I divided the whole milk in half using the empty milk container and added water to both. I got two gallons of milk for the price of one.