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Author Topic: How do you save on your GAS/HYDRO/FOOD bills ?
FastFoodFreddy
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posted 12 September 2005 10:56 PM      Profile for FastFoodFreddy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There all going up,so let's share our Idea's.

I went to "Home Depot" today and purchased that (black sponge copper tubing insulator) that's supposed to reduce gas usage on your hot water tank and save at least 3 to 4 percent on your bill.

Small savings but it all ads up.

I also purchased some "Aluminum Foil Bubble Rap" for my basement windows which they say will reduce heat loss in the home and reduce your heating bill by 1 or 2 percent

[ 12 September 2005: Message edited by: FastFoodFreddy ]


From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Anonymous
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posted 12 September 2005 11:27 PM      Profile for Mr. Anonymous     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I believe the federal government will reimburse part of the costs associated with an energy audit and home improvements that conserve energy. These costs usually pay off in 10 years or less, then make you money, so to speak.

Regarding hot water heaters, there are brands that heat the water only as it is needed (using a super-hot element fired up as the need arises I think), and save a lot of money on long-term water heating costs. They originated in Europe, but are now available in Canada.


From: Somewhere out there... Hey, why are you logging my IP address? | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
FastFoodFreddy
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posted 13 September 2005 12:58 AM      Profile for FastFoodFreddy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Anonymous:
I believe the federal government will reimburse part of the costs associated with an energy audit and home improvements that conserve energy. These costs usually pay off in 10 years or less, then make you money, so to speak.

Regarding hot water heaters, there are brands that heat the water only as it is needed (using a super-hot element fired up as the need arises I think), and save a lot of money on long-term water heating costs. They originated in Europe, but are now available in Canada.


Thx for your reply .


Just curious how much do you pay for hydro ?
And how much would your family pay for Heat ?


From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 13 September 2005 02:11 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I work near a grocery store and so it makes it easy to go there after work.

I regularly do "lost leader" runs and buy nothing but "lost leaders". Just about everything ends up on sale sooner or later.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 13 September 2005 02:30 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I live in an apartment. The hot water is shared communally and this means a good chunk of the Hydro is folded into the rent, which is regulated by law.

Thus, I pay a very minor sum now for hydro every month. (living in an apartment also means I don't need to waste a lot of energy heating the place)


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 13 September 2005 08:11 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't have a hydro bill since I pay an inclusive rent. I save on gas by not driving a car.

Food...well, that's one area where I am not great. I don't go to grocery stores enough because the corner store is more convenient, and when there's just one person, it's easy to just sort of do impromptu trips to the store to grab stuff.

However, I find that never buying meat really saves me a bundle. I use tofu and eggs mostly to replace meat.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 13 September 2005 12:40 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
become a vegetarian or just eat less meat.
From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 13 September 2005 01:48 PM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Eat beans - ease the gas crisis!
From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 13 September 2005 02:12 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I heat my home entirely with beeswax, which is over one million times more efficient than natural gas. I eat fermented honey, I wear clothing made of pollen, and I drive to work every day in the BeeMobile. If you hear a buzzing sound and cackling laughter overhead, that's me! How's your bee-less commute down there? Muahahaha!
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 13 September 2005 02:15 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Do you get fucking pissed off bees under your bonnet when you're on the freeway?
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 13 September 2005 02:20 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't you mean when I'm flying 20 feet above it? Yes. Let's just say that having a BeeMobile brings a new meaning to having to stop and smell the flowers.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 13 September 2005 02:29 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why don't you just tow behind the car a medusa bag full of pollen that the bees can use as a source, rather than flowers?
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
chubbybear
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posted 13 September 2005 02:31 PM      Profile for chubbybear        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
I heat my home entirely with beeswax, which is over one million times more efficient than natural gas. I eat fermented honey, I wear clothing made of pollen, and I drive to work every day in the BeeMobile.
Like, way kewl! Smoke doobees too, dude?

From: nowhere | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 13 September 2005 02:34 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How else would I get my.... (dare I?).... Buzz?
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 13 September 2005 02:46 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The fermented honey. Duuh!
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
GreenNeck
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posted 14 September 2005 01:16 AM      Profile for GreenNeck     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess I'm lucky in a way, living in a rural area. I heat my house with wood, generate electricity with PV panels (and a wind turbine coming soon), and grow as much food as I can.

Originally I did not install the PVs to save money as they're quite expensive. But in my neck of the woods the eletric power is so flaky you'd swear this is a Third World country.


From: I'd rather be in Brazil | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 14 September 2005 09:26 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Regarding hot water heaters, there are brands that heat the water only as it is needed (using a super-hot element fired up as the need arises I think), and save a lot of money on long-term water heating costs. They originated in Europe, but are now available in Canada.

Oh, dear. If those are what I think they are, and if they haven't been improved since the 70s (but surely they have?), you aren't going to enjoy this, people.

We had small versions of those in the kitchen and shower of a house I lived in in England in the 70s. The water has two temperatures: very cold, or boiling hot. Yes, there is a super-hot element, and that gets the water from one extreme to the other very quickly -- and then you die.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Melsky
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posted 14 September 2005 10:11 AM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I looked at a house that had one of those installed and the water came out fine. I liked the water heaters but I ended up buying another house.
From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 14 September 2005 10:13 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ok -- thanks, Melsky. They've probably been improved since I met them. And I don't want to sound reactionary.

Boy, the first models of those things were bad, though. A simple shower could give you third-degree burns.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reverend Blair
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posted 14 September 2005 10:22 AM      Profile for Reverend Blair   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Those water heaters have been improved. When our current water heater goes (shouldn't be long now) I plan on getting one.

I've insulated all the hot water pipes and heating ducts. I also moved the pipes away from the outside walls. I've been insulating the house one room at a time. Painting around here consists of tearing out the walls, cutting out the shiplap, and installing insulation and vapour barrier. I'm also putting a new front door soon. I'm just waiting for Mrs. Rev to pick one. Next year, we'll start replacing windows.

Some other little tips:

Cover your pots when you cook.
In the winter, keep your blinds open during the day and closed at night. Reverse that in the summer.
Cut down on showers. I know several people who shower before and after work. Why?
Only heat the rooms you use. Close the registers and doors for the ones you don't use.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 14 September 2005 10:28 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
May I ask a question about fires: gas or wood?

I've been thinking hard about the virtues of having a wood-burning fireplace, especially in an emergency such as the ice storm.

What are the virtues of each system? Who would plump for one or the other?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
chester the prairie shark
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posted 14 September 2005 11:11 AM      Profile for chester the prairie shark     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
wood heat has some problems in the city: getting and storing a supply of fuel is one and, at least in saskatchewan, a big increase in insurance premiums, being another.
From: Saskatoon | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 14 September 2005 11:20 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Air quality is another. Another yet is that fireplaces of either kind are way inefficient. They draw in air from the rest of the house, which increases the problem of drafts, but send most of their heat up the chimbley.

If you want an alternate source of heat, better to have some kind of stove, or other unit which sticks out from the wall, and is designed to radiate much of its heat inside the room. There are both wood-burning and gas-burning versions.

[Edited to correct mispledding of chimney].

[ 14 September 2005: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 14 September 2005 11:24 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not to mention the pollution factor in a populated area. Even the clean-burning high-efficiency woodstoves are only low-emission once they've hit a relatively high constant temperature - which they aren't running at much of the time, as they heat up and cool down.

edited to say
'lance beat me to it.

[ 14 September 2005: Message edited by: Lard tunderin' jeesus ]


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skdadl
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posted 14 September 2005 11:34 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah. So if I have a fireplace, gas or wood-burning, but just don't use it at all, I am polluting less, more energy efficient? (What happens with the chimney when it's not being used?)

That still won't help with the ice storm.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 14 September 2005 12:24 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ah. So if I have a fireplace, gas or wood-burning, but just don't use it at all, I am polluting less, more energy efficient?

Truthfully, yes. Nothing wrong with burning a little wood once in a while I suppose, but I'd neither make a habit of it, nor count on it for emergency heat.

quote:
What happens with the chimney when it's not being used?

Probably it lets some heat escape, though less if the draft is closed.

quote:
That still won't help with the ice storm.

For emergency heat, you'd be best to get a propane-powered space heater or two. You can likely get them at Canadian Tire or some such. If you're uneasy about having propane cylinders in the house, store them in your shed/garage (you have one, yes? I'm not disremembering?).


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 14 September 2005 05:16 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Probably a good idea to check if a wood stove is allowed in your community. I suspect they wouldn't be permitted within some cities at all because of pollution. I live in an isolated area on the Lower North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, and everyone here has a wood stove because oil is just too expensive to deliver here, and there's no natural gas line. I guess everyone has electric baseboard heaters, but, still, wood heat is cheap - we all cut our own wood, and bring it out of the bush, and stack it to dry for full summer at least before using - but quite work intensive. I just returned from stacking an enormous pile of wood cut last winter - I already did half last spring, been too busy to finish. I still have about four cords of wood to stack, then I have to continue bringing the previous year's pile of wood back to the house. It's a lot of work. I had my neighbour clean the chimney last week - has to be done twice a year or more - depends how often I use the fireplace. The wood stove is our only source of heat when the electricity goes off, which sometimes can be for a few days during the coldest part of winter.

edited to add: this is where having a small truck comes in handy - I can go right into the bush to retrieve my firewood. I'll be bringing back wood with the truck likely until the end of November. Then I'll switch to using my skidoo and komatick for the winter.

[ 14 September 2005: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Southlander
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posted 27 September 2005 08:40 AM      Profile for Southlander     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Help. Whats hydro? Is it the same as electricity, or do you get two bills?
From: New Zealand | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 27 September 2005 08:49 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, Southlander: for some reason, people in Ontario refer to our power bills as Hydro, even though most of us are not getting our electricity that way.

This is one weird province. I've lived here for over thirty years, and I still don't understand it.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 27 September 2005 08:54 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Yes, Southlander: for some reason, people in Ontario refer to our power bills as Hydro, even though most of us are not getting our electricity that way.

Seems pretty logical to me. The company was (formerly) Toronto Hydro, Ottawa Hydro, etc.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 27 September 2005 08:57 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But where's the water?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RP.
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posted 27 September 2005 09:30 AM      Profile for RP.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
May I ask a question about fires: gas or wood?

A neighbour of ours had a propane fireplace. It didn't save her much on electric heat, but it's much nicer heat.

My in-laws have a wood stove for both cooking and heating. Kills two birds with one stone, and heats their house up nice.


From: I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 27 September 2005 12:18 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
But where's the water?

Lots of people pay their Rogers bill without getting rogered.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 27 September 2005 02:35 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My TV, stereo and computer are all plugged into powerbars. When they are off, I turn the powerbars off; otherwise, the appliances still use energy keeping ready to turn on instantly instead of taking a few seconds to start up. Since I started doing this with my TV, I think my electricity bill has gone down a few dollars.

I was raised to not leave lights on in empty rooms.
I keep my water tank temperature turned low enough that I can either wash dishes or have a bath but not both together without running out of hot water.

Now I have to work on not spending so much time on the Internet.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 27 September 2005 02:39 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:
I keep my water tank temperature turned low enough that I can either wash dishes or have a bath but not both together

I really wouldn't want to eat off dishes you washed while in the bath anyway.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 27 September 2005 02:41 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's much more energy efficient to just lick them clean.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 27 September 2005 02:52 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's why dogs are so much better than cats.
From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
rambleweb
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posted 14 November 2005 07:07 PM      Profile for rambleweb   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Check out SavingCents.info there are some great ideas on saving money and some calculators to help you figure how much you can save.
From: ottawa | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
WackAVole
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posted 21 November 2005 05:27 AM      Profile for WackAVole   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm late to this party but here goes my energy saving thingys:

I had a new house and was able to specify to the builder to put in the best insulation upstairs and down. Especially the basement...good and thick. Had huge energy efficient windows put in which was great to warm the house in the morning. I made sure I had an upstairs ceiling fan to keep the warm air down where I needed it. Also had the builder put in low wattage bulbs everywhere.
I think that was I all could get the builder to do for me.

Afterwards I kept the house temp at only 17C and just heated my office where I worked with a space heater - unless I had guests. I lived alone so noone could complain about having to wear a sweater.

I found a corridor near the garage exit that was always really warm so I closed the heating register at that part of the house which was rarely used. That warmed up the livingroom nicely. For about I week I paid closer attention to heat distribution and adjusted all my registers accordingly.

I set my hot water heater to a lower setting - I don't need scolding. I washed clothes and dishes in cold water. I considered a blanket for the hot water heater but the estimated savings I didn't think covered the blanket expense in 20 years.

I also saved water by putting down rocks instead of grass except for a bit in the back yard.

I drive a Prius hybrid to save on car travel. I've already decided to hack my next one to try to reach the 100mpg goal that some owners have achieved.

Its being a sick addiction trying to save and squeeze and seeing how low I could keep my bills. My friends think I'm crazy and cheap . On the upside I had more money to buy DVDs, beer and plane tickets.

Now I'm in China and saving water and gas are huge issues here and everyone parttakes. Saving waste water from the shower for the toiler is something I want to try to do back in Canada someday. And maybe those wall unit hot water heaters.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 21 November 2005 05:57 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:

Lots of people pay their Rogers bill without getting rogered.


For what you pay, you should get rogered.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 21 November 2005 06:19 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RP.:

A neighbour of ours had a propane fireplace. It didn't save her much on electric heat, but it's much nicer heat.


Wood-fired and oil stoves give off a nice radiant heat for sure. But both wood, fire and combination furnaces have maintenance costs that gas or propane do not. And some people can't live with a wood-buring furnace because of the particulates given off from the wood exacerbating their asthma. With gas and propane, you can route the exhaust chimney directly outside through a wall. It's clean. As long as we sell our electric power to the Yanks at "market prices", we Canadian's are going to be paying through the nose to stay warm in this frozen Puerto Rico.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 21 November 2005 11:22 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by radiorahim:
I work near a grocery store and so it makes it easy to go there after work.

I regularly do "lost leader" runs and buy nothing but "lost leaders". Just about everything ends up on sale sooner or later.


I hate to quibble, but 'lost leaders' refers to politicians who've gone astray.

'Loss leaders' refers to items for sale at a very cheap price to 'lead' you into the store.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
williamgeorge
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posted 24 September 2008 09:16 PM      Profile for williamgeorge     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Blaming the high cost of gasoline and consumers' resultant rejection of GM's huge vehicles, Wagoner said other plants slated for closure include SUV plants in Wisconsin and Ohio and another plant in Toluca, Mexico
----------------------
williamgeorge

[url removed by moderator - buzz off, spambot!]

[ 14 October 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: India | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 25 September 2008 11:05 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You might concider voting ndp, or liberal to prevent harper. Energy prices will go through the roof in the future. Harper got rid of government subsidy for home improvements to save energy.
The others are likely to bring them back at a higher rate.
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Anonymous:
I believe the federal government will reimburse part of the costs associated with an energy audit and home improvements that conserve energy. These costs usually pay off in 10 years or less, then make you money, so to speak.

Regarding hot water heaters, there are brands that heat the water only as it is needed (using a super-hot element fired up as the need arises I think), and save a lot of money on long-term water heating costs. They originated in Europe, but are now available in Canada.



From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 25 September 2008 11:11 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Southlander:
Help. Whats hydro? Is it the same as electricity, or do you get two bills?

That confused the shit out of me when i came here! In canada (and only in canada) hydro means electricity. In the rest of the world hydro in not really a word on its own.


From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 25 September 2008 11:18 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, hydro means electricity. Only in Canada you say; pity.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 25 September 2008 11:24 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I made a new type of solar cooker. It's a "compound" parabolic solar cooker.
Don't laugh. If you check solar cooking videos on utube, others are from canada too!
My first (experimental) compound parabolic only dilivers 200 watts to the food. (The entire thing cost 30 dollars inclucing the 7 liter cooking pot)!
It works for 3 hrs at a time without having to move it.
If you go solar electric, a 15 watt panel costs about 80 dollars and it needs a 30 dollar charge controller and a battery that costs over 100 dollars. Over 200 dollars already! And how much energy does it diliver?
In a 12 hour day at full production, it might potentially diliver less energy than my solar cooker does in 1 HOUR! (And this only if it could track the sun!)
If you want a commercial product.
GSO solar ovens are made in the usa and you can cook bread, chickens etc in them.
My solar cooker is designed for a 7 liter pot and would be suitable for slow cooking all day if you are around during the day. (But keep in mind that it is experimental).
Brian

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 25 September 2008 11:27 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For food I'm trying to learn some simple staples that don't taste boring.

Here's one:

1) Spray a cooking pan, pour 2 eggs and spices,
2) Put a tortilla in the microwave with some cheese on it for 30 seconds.
3) Put eggs in tortilla, add some supermarket salsa

Presto.

****

We're saving on gas this month because the heater/AC is broken. Hopefully the landlord fixes things by mid october...

[ 25 September 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
BAIC
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posted 25 September 2008 12:18 PM      Profile for BAIC     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Try different grocery stores. Lots of people are married to a particular store, shop around. It's a lot of work to compare prices on products so just buy everything you'd usually buy and compare the total bill between stores.

In Ontario, I've found Price Chopper to be cheapest. Also look for coupons and flyers.

If you're single and the grocery store is under a mile away, do what I do, take a large camping backpack and walk to the store with it, load it up (don't need any grocery bags - save a few cents and the environment) and walk it back. If you're getting frozen goods stick a cooler bag in there for them. This'll save on gas and get you some exercise. Doesn't work so well with kids in tow though.

Frozen fruit and vegetables are cheaper than fresh and some studies say they're just as healthy, if not healthier because they're frozen on the farm rather than having been on a truck for days. Frozen meat is cheaper than the stuff in the styrofoam containers and hey, less styrofoam too. Tofu is a good source of protein and usually pretty cheap. I pay a dollar per pound.

No-name brands generally taste the same and cost less. Some of them actually ARE the same - manufacturers just want to cover more of the market.

Eat out less. Bring sandwiches to work for lunch. Make your own coffee at home and bring it in a thermos.


From: withheld | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
SwimmingLee
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posted 28 September 2008 05:16 PM      Profile for SwimmingLee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
for food, i load up in the fruit & veg. section on things that are .99 cents a pound or less. carrots, spinach, etc.

also, i belong to a community garden, but this is more educational than anything. this garden has a hedgehog or whatever they're called (gopher ?) that has spectacular burrowing abilities. it digs huge tunnels so when you water there, all the water runs down the tunnel, endlessly. i don't know where it gets all it's energy, there can't be that much energy in brussel sprout roots.

i did have several five gallon buckets full of wheat, to make a seed crop, i should get a few pounds of wheat seed out of that. as far as saving money, what has turned out to be a big producer is brussel sprouts - the leaves, not the sprouts.

for the $2 worth of vegetables that i get from the garden, i probably burn that much up in gas getting to it.

to keep my computer's power consumption down, i used video cards that are able to subsist without an external power connector. it may only save a 100 watts, but it's just my preference. one example among late model video cards is the ATI 4670
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121274
vs. the ATI 4850.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253

the 4850 is very fast, the 4670 is fast and consumes about 100 watts less. 2.4 kilowatt hours a day.

i think saving water is important but i'm not sure if there's water shortages in Canada.


From: LASIK-FLap.com ~ Health Warning about LASIK Eye Surgery | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
G. Pie
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posted 11 October 2008 01:48 PM      Profile for G. Pie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was thinking about money savers because I'm short of cash this fall (I left with my marriage with the clothes on my back). Here are a few things that have saved me some dough:

- stir frys for dinner, you can put absolutely anything in them
- buy spices, croutons, etc. from the bulk bins at the grocery store
- steal office supplies from work
- give up your television, it's a waste of time and money
- always make your tea and coffee at home
- carry a water bottle instead of buying pop or juice
- buy your clothes at secondhand stores
- washable pads
- drip dry your clothes
- slow down when you're driving, saves gas
- don't carry credit card debt
- take all the loonies, toonies and quarters out of your wallet, save them separately, they really add up
- try homemade gifts, knit a sweater, bake some muffins
- give up make-up
- do more emailing, fewer long distance calls
- plan ahead so you can combine trips
- turn down the heat, wear a sweater


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 October 2008 02:10 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm probably penny wise and pound foolish. But one small thing I did was to use pump dispensers for things like dish soap, shampoo, etc. You tend to use less, waste less, and eliminate accidental spills.

I found "Food Basics" to be the least expensive grocery store in this part of Ontario. Although, it doesn't have the selection that the "Stuperstore" has. But, for everyday items, it's the best. And a few cents on every item really does add up. However, if you end up doing your grocery shopping in two different stores because "Food Basics" doesn't have what you want, or you aren't thrilled with the quality, then you have to factor this in.

I have a daughter living in Ireland, so long distance became an issue. I use "Facebook" to keeps tabs. It really helped. Not that we use it exclusively or a lot, but it eliminated the "check up" calls. Not everyone is into "text" like I am. Some people really need to hear a voice. So, it's not a complete replacement.

I keep meaning to do a study on our T.V. habits to see what we actually watch and compare it to what we pay for. But, if I know Rogers cable like I do, I bet the things I like are packaged off just nicely enough to keep me paying for fifty kabillion chanels I don't want.

My van has removeable seats, and I take one out when there's no foreseable prospect of it being used. I'm sure it pays over the course of a year or so. But I didn't notice an appreciable difference in the gas consumption.

Drive slower? Okay. Just not in front of me, okay?

I think the other thing is to just concentrate on doing things the most efficient way until it becomes second nature. Analyse what you do and how you do it, and eliminate wastefull habits.

I try to do that. But I'm sure Rebecca West would love to appear later and tell you what a bullshit artist I am.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 11 October 2008 02:23 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good list Gpie, my partner and I have done most of those things decades ago. Except steal office supplies, I disagree with that completely.

I would add:

- bake bread yourself is is about 4 bucks a loaf cheaper for nutritional bread, than buying it in the store. Or make bisquits/bannock instead.

- make your own yogurt, you get almost 3 litres for the price of 1 litre of bought yogurt and it is way better tasting.

- purchase a 20 buck head set for your computer and talk through msn long distance.

- shop garage sales and second hand stores for antiques and collectables to give away as gifts

- change lighting to CF

- make your own jams, marmalades and preserves

- cook 2-3 meals at 1 time, and freeze left overs do not let them go to waste

- bulk flyer shop for all food items and process perishables for later use.

- use heavier window covering in the winter and keep blinds/curtains closed in rooms where sunlight is not coming in.


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 October 2008 02:38 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I tried to steal factory supplies once, but you'd be surprised at how easily a missing transfer press gets noticed.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 October 2008 02:42 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, yeah. More seriously, any electrical appliance that converts electricity to heat is a big expence, hydro wise. Limit the use. Dry clothes outside (6% of Ontario's hydro use is for clothes dryers) Get rid of the seven billion gigawat hair dryer.

One thing I am about to do is replace the elements on my stove. They are old, and inefficient. Just got to find the best price.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 October 2008 05:52 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another idea I am exploring is taking up deer hunting. I have to see how much it costs in capital outlay, and what I can expect to save on meat.

I'm told the type of rifle I would want costs between 3 and 5 hundred bucks. But there's also a number of other smaller costs. It depends too, how much of the deer I could actually utilize. I'm deffinately unskilled when it comes to dressing and butchering. So I may have to factor in the cost of an abatoir doing the work.

Either way, can't afford to set myself up just now, so I have lots of time to figure it out.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bookish Agrarian
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posted 11 October 2008 06:02 PM      Profile for Bookish Agrarian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hunting and butchering in today's world is not cheap.

Have you considered 'bulk' purchasing meat by going with others and buying an entire steer, or even a side or quarter of beef. The same with pork, less so with lamb of course.

The other alternative is 'bulk' buying chicken by buying whole chickens which while a little more up front is actually way cheaper as the average family of four can stretch a whole chicken into 4-5 meals. Way cheaper than buying chicken breasts per meal.

I cook two whole chickens on most Mondays. Those two chickens feed our family of five big eaters through out the week for about 4 meals depending what we decide to do with it.

We have many of our farm customers order 20-25 chickens per year and this gets them a bit of a discount. Same goes for those who buy a couple of our 50 lb boxes of beef. I am sure that other do something similar.

Beleive me, getting someone else to do the butchering is well worth paying for! My partner put herself through school in part working in a small chicken processor. She happily pays someone else to do it, even though she is skilled enough to do all the work ourselves.


From: Home of this year's IPM | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 October 2008 06:40 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, it might be cheaper to buy half a cow or something, when all is said and done. I think deer hunting would end up being cheaper-- eventualy, but how many seasons would it take? And just because deer are plentifull to a pestulance today, doesn't mean they will be ten years from now.

I'm not a gun guy or think of hunting as a "sport", so there's no esoteric pay back that way.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bookish Agrarian
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posted 11 October 2008 07:00 PM      Profile for Bookish Agrarian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not big hunter guy either. I did mull over hunting a wild turkey. We have a huge flock of close to forty in our bush and I fed them grain (involuntarily) all summer. But then I thought, do I really want to stand around all frikkin evening just waiting given that I have a bunch of other stuff I could do. So I'll just cook a couple of big chickens and baste it in a mix of red wine and fresh basil and oregano from the garden. Much eaiser to just go down to the freezer, lift the lid and there it is.

I don't even own a gun which shows you how bad of a redneck hick I am.


From: Home of this year's IPM | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Toby Fourre
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posted 11 October 2008 07:06 PM      Profile for Toby Fourre        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Number one rule in Depression Economics: Never buy anything on credit. If you don't have the cash, then trade for your needs. Credit is way too expensive for any but the rich.
From: Death Valley, BC | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
G. Pie
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posted 12 October 2008 06:14 AM      Profile for G. Pie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the past, I've had a terrible relationship with my credit cards. I used to put groceries on my Visa because I just didn't have the money. Every trip to the mailbox was filled with anxiety and dread. My finances, though limited, are in much better shape now. I still use my Visa card but I prepay on it and never carry a balance. Drowning in debt really feels like slavery to me. I used to live in a house which I couldn't afford. So I worked an extra job (16 hours a week) on top of my regular job (40 hours a week). Then I needed a better car to get to my jobs (the bus was not an option). And I was just stuck in this horrible cycle of exhaustion. Eventually, I sold the house (for no profit) and the car (at a loss) and life got dramatically better. I will never get into a situation like that again. My income is much lower now but so are my expenses.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 12 October 2008 06:14 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was talking to a guy at work who hunts Turkeys, and he said they taste the same as store bought-- which I didn't think they would. But, I've seen flocks of Turkeys on a friends farm, and I notice they seem to know the range of a shotgun. Labour intensive hunting?

Firearm ownership is another issue, too. That's why I've decided that if I do go this route, I'll set up with black powder. Not exactly the kind of weapon people break into your house to steal, and the loading makes running amok with that kind of weapon awkward to say the least.


Credit cards are quite the trap, particularly with family people. Life with kids, a house and a car or two is just way to unpredictable. Put something on Visa, knowing you can pay it off okay, then a week later the transmission goes in the car.....

I'm not in difficulties, but I finally figured out why I never could quite live a credit free life.

I like to have contingencies, so I like to have access to credit for "just in case." Combine that with an inability to say no to kids and such when they need help, and, well, you have a recipe for constant debt.

I am closing the doors now, on my credit. As one small source of credit is paid off, it's cancelled. And, I am forced now to say no.

And you know what? Life, astonishingly enough, goes on pretty much as it always has.

[ 12 October 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
G. Pie
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posted 12 October 2008 06:16 AM      Profile for G. Pie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
So I'll just cook a couple of big chickens and baste it in a mix of red wine and fresh basil and oregano from the garden.

Cripes, I'd love to have dinner at your house. That sounds divine.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Toby Fourre
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posted 12 October 2008 08:37 AM      Profile for Toby Fourre        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
I'm not in difficulties, but I finally figured out why I never could quite live a credit free life.

I like to have contingencies, so I like to have access to credit for "just in case." Combine that with an inability to say no to kids and such when they need help, and, well, you have a recipe for constant debt.


Build your own contingency fund. We call ours a slush fund. Guess what? The bank pays us interest on it! Sure the interest is low but it's coming our way rather than going out. Yes, we do draw on our slush fund. Stuff happens. But when it does, it's better to slap down the cash and be done with it than to place it on credit and owe your soul to the company store.


From: Death Valley, BC | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 13 October 2008 06:09 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Paid off a credit card just recently. Feels pretty good to not be leaking out $50, $100 a month on that anymore.

S'also a good idea IMO if the companies start lowering credit limits.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
G. Pie
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posted 13 October 2008 06:47 PM      Profile for G. Pie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
S'also a good idea IMO if the companies start lowering credit limits.

You can have them lowered, if you wish.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
admin
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posted 13 October 2008 06:52 PM      Profile for admin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am just finishing up now.

This is a house my Son, my wife and I built starting last year in May. We moved in, in late October of that year.

It has some features to it that were installed along the lines of some of the thinking here about "on demand hot water with a tank less heater".

In this house we laid tubing in Styrofoam and poured concrete over them. We circulated water to heat the slab. There were some issues around the water from the well we drilled, so I had to put in a double filter system in order to make sure these lines didn't collect sediment and plug.

This is on my son's second floor(left). We had to add a extra 2 by 6 as a sill plate in order to accommodate a inch and a half of concrete. So not only was concrete poured on the first floor, it was also added to the second floor. He has five zones to regulate temperature. His system is powered by a boiler.

On my house being an "open system," my thought here would have preferred a "close system" then using Glycol(because of implementing the filters afterthought), like my son put into his place on the home we constructed for him and his family the year before.

Some of you discussed radiant heat, and to me this is one of the better ways in which heat is transmitted to the environment your living in. We choose ceramic tiling for most of the house to keep the heat transfer and retentions times longer. Only two rooms have rugs and throw carpets placed in my wifes selected areas. Yes she chose all the colours and design.

Think of forced air systems and if you do not have a good filter in place well dust seems to find its way more then in a home with radiant heat. If some of you are allergic well this does not help and I always found the force air system created sinus problems dryness etc. Humidifiers and humidistat do help though.


Now this of course goes to wood stoves that we also installed as a secondary heat source, in case of those power outages. I also added a feature to my electrical panel. I had it wired so so I can fire up a generator need be, by switching the main electrical panel over to another panel. That one only runs those basic items I need to run the house hold. Septic system, well and refrigerator and freezer.

The cost saving aspect is of course the wood stove, and knowing most of you live in the cities this does not make it feasible. The idea here is that I set my interior temperature to 20 degrees Celsius and if it fall below to that then the floor system will kick in.

It take natural gas to run the Rinnai heating system, so to reduce gas usage, we burn wood which reduces the dependence on natural gas. Those Rinnai can be installed to replace existing hot water tanks.

Better Preparation

I had tried to adapt a geothermal piping exterior to run through these inlaid pipes, but because of the difficulty of marrying to what was almost completed, I would say that if there was a next time, I would have gone geothermal all the way.

I brought a person in who installs those systems to see if this could be done. Unfortunately had I seen him a couple of weeks earlier, I could have reduce the dependence on natural gas for hot water to circulate through that slab.

[ 15 October 2008: Message edited by: admin ]


From: the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 14 October 2008 04:29 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Build your own contingency fund. We call ours a slush fund. Guess what? The bank pays us interest on it! Sure the interest is low but it's coming our way rather than going out. Yes, we do draw on our slush fund. Stuff happens. But when it does, it's better to slap down the cash and be done with it than to place it on credit and owe your soul to the company store.


Brings up a good point. People trying to pay off credit generally think they are doing the right thing if every spare penny goes to the debt. It's probably not. I think it's better to ( cliche warning ) pay yourself first. There are ups and downs along the way, and having a few dollars saved while you are paying off your debt means you have a non credit source of money to take care of the inevitable things that crop up.

quote:
Some of you discussed radiant heat, and to me this is one of the better ways in which heat is transmitted to the environment your living in. We choose ceramic tiling for most of the house to keep the heat transfer and retentions times longer.

My brother put in radiant heating, but has opted for an acid etch finish for the concrete. I looked into acid etch for my exterior patio. I found out it isn't actually acid, and that this kind of treatment isn't intended for my situation.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
scott
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posted 14 October 2008 04:48 PM      Profile for scott   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
G. Pie's list should be SOP for everyone. It sounds familiar to me.

One thing missed out on this thread is driving habits (if you have to drive - I have cut way down). Proper tire inflation saves fuel and costs nothing. I have been driving more slowly (I try to keep it below 85 km/hr) and that can save a lot of fuel for no cost. Of course safety comes first so sometimes a higher speed is called for and driving slowly pisses people off but so far no big problems.

On the wood burning front I heat with wood, but I live on a two hectare woodlot so it is a bit of a no-brainer - I can use a wheelbarrow to get my wood in. One of my neighbours calculated that he could sustainably heat his 600 sf house with the wood from 2 ha of mature second growth forest. My woods are a bit sparser than his (and my house a bit bigger) so I am reluctant to cut that much so I buy about half and cut the rest myself. Of course this is less of an option for city dwellers but I guess it is all about doing what you can considering your individual situation.

[ 14 October 2008: Message edited by: scott ]


From: Kootenays BC | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 14 October 2008 04:56 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In another thread a few weeks ago, we talked about this old technique:

Coppicing

I was the one who remembered it, but misspelled it. Then mixed up Alder and Elder.

But, if you have some acerage, and plan to be around for a number of years, it's something to consider.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
triciamarie
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posted 14 October 2008 06:32 PM      Profile for triciamarie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I waste so much money right now it's crazy, but I lived pretty cheap for while in my 20's, and it's comforting to know how to scale back food expenses to almost nothing if the need arises.

1. Eat less, take a multivitamin, forgo variety.
2. Learn to fish. Even in cities you can eat some species.
3. Try to find somewhere to grow food. You don't need to own the land.
4. Learn how to cook grains and dried beans -- buy a used slow-cooker at Value Village for $5, eat great for a few bucks a day. Buy beans / oats / other whole grains / dried fruit in bulk from Price Chopper or ethnic food stores, make soup from whatever vegetables are cheap. It's semi-portable too -- don't need a kitchen to eat.
5. Work in restaurants. Nuff said.
6. Dumpster dive -- it's amazing what grocery stores throw out.
7. Cook communally.
8. Live clean -- don't drink, smoke or do drugs.

For housing costs:
9. Share a house.
10. If you own your home, don't buy any more house than you really need, shop around on your mortgage, get tenants.
11. Insurance -- bump up your deductable as high as they'll let you; the premiums will come way down. Ask for a discount if you improve your security or infrastructure or turn 51. Never make a claim for anything less than catastrophic damage.
12. A/C - try not to; plant deciduous trees to shade the south side of the house; open windows at night, close during the day; use window fans to exhaust hot air if there's no cross breeze. Heat - never above 70 and turn it way down at night and when you're out.
13. Turn off your water heater if you go away.
14. Keep your fridge / freezer full -- use containers of water or newspaper if not food. (Big containers of frozen water will keep freezer contents cold for longer, if the power goes out -- don't open the door.)
15. Keep up on maintenance so you maintain your value and don't develop bigger problems. Try to do it yourself.

Transportation:
16. Live close to where you work and play.
17. Get in the habit of walking or biking, even when it's kinda far.
18. Live on a bus route.
19. Don't own a car, or own just one car per family. Buy used, don't pay too much. Hang onto it -- change your oil when you're supposed to.
20. Carpool.

Entertainment:
21. Get rid of cable.
22. Use the library for books, magazines and DVD's.
23. Restrict travel -- it's bad for the environment anyway.
24. Consider dial-up....

I guess this all starts to sound pretty draconian but I still do most of these things and I don't feel deprived at all.

My weakness now is shopping. When I was poor I just didn't go into stores.


From: gwelf | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
ebodyknows
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posted 14 October 2008 10:34 PM      Profile for ebodyknows   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I found a bicycle in the spring. I fixed it at a volunteer run bike shop. I've learnt to maintain most things myself. Aside from my feet it is the sole form of transport. It's easy within the city but possible elsewhere. I went 300km for my vacation this summer. On the way I met a cyclist living in cottage country who told me he never had a licence. I've also lived in a canadian rural town for 9 months without a car.

While living in other countries sharing cab rides was just the norm. There was a constant line of cabs waiting to take people throughout the day. This was 2 years ago. We's get at least 6 passangers in a car and it would cost us each about 0.60 to go 20km. Maybe a bit much to ask of canadians, but damn efficient.

Heat rises: live a few floors up in an apt. building. At christmas when everyone is cooking I can open my windows it gets so hot.
As for AC I've never used it, and don't much want to. Learning to live in a small personal space while enjoying communal spaces(parks not yards, libraries not private book shelfs) helps a lot too.

For food I got involved with a community Garden. I havn't needed to buy much in terms of greens this summer. Also got involved with an urban fruit picking group. I don't think I will need to buy much fruit all winter long.

Historically community gardens and canning preserving local foods have been promoted in times of war and financial crisis. Maybe victory gardens will soon be a necessity?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Sow_victory_poster_usgovt.gif
This can also be filled under entertainment, because personally, I do the food stuff cause it's fun, taste good and makes sense to me more than out of economic need. Between all the other stuff and working an average payed full time job It doesn't even occur to me to budget for food.
For other sources of entertainment I go on walks, play music(even simple things that don't require any special talent or instrument can be a great delight), and make arts and crafts. Of course for maximum entertainment the above should be done with friends. With whom the simple free pleasure of conversation is hard to beat no matter how much cash ya got.


From: toronto | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
admin
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posted 15 October 2008 01:14 PM      Profile for admin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:

My brother put in radiant heating, but has opted for an acid etch finish for the concrete. I looked into acid etch for my exterior patio. I found out it isn't actually acid, and that this kind of treatment isn't intended for my situation.


Yes my wife and I looked at this before construction, and what we saw "was a trade" artistically inclined. We thought that there would be no one in this area that could help in that regard. Stamping for sure. I think we could have looked harder, and brought a unique perspective here. But then, what kind of picture on the landscape? It might run contrary to the designer/boss? Tradition, and kinds of flooring were considered. It also had it's constraints too.

Best,


From: the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
admin
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posted 15 October 2008 01:31 PM      Profile for admin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
In another thread a few weeks ago, we talked about this old technique:

Coppicing

I was the one who remembered it, but misspelled it. Then mixed up Alder and Elder.

But, if you have some acreage, and plan to be around for a number of years, it's something to consider.


This is interesting. I had never seen thought on this before in terms of conservation, but it seems rotation has much to consider for the future warmth, reduction of gas usage, then most certainly.

Because of the different zones one might be alloted by nature "certain species" and some of these are not the best. Hard woods( birch) have better burn times then say spruce or pine. Others, like cotton wood or popular, less then desirable if not properly dried. Rotation ages of spruce or pine depending on those zones could take up to 50 years where the faster growing as read about 15.

Fidel wrote earlier about energy output consideration put into the wood and cost of using, and this had to be evaluated against the cost of Gas. Of course having this wood supply readily available reduces that cost factor, but if you consider vehicle, gas, chainsaw and tools, then it could change ones mind.

I did splitting for a lot of years with an axe, and then rented a splitter. We put it all up in a day or too after accumulating what we needed, but now, I have a little inexpensive electric splitter that brought me back to "energy usage," to use this heat source. But allows the splitting to take place over the gradual accumulation of that wood supply.

Best,


From: the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
ebodyknows
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posted 15 October 2008 11:40 PM      Profile for ebodyknows   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
Another idea I am exploring is taking up deer hunting. I have to see how much it costs in capital outlay, and what I can expect to save on meat.

If you live in the right area you can always just stay on the alert for fresh road kill.
I'm serious. If it's not that old the meat will still be good. You don't have to buy rifle and you don't actually have to kill...just clean up after those who did. Of course you might want to call the proper authorities first so it doesn't seem suspicious. I also understand it is very thesible to be able skin and cut up the meat yourself.

You could also make your own bow and arrow. I've a friend who did it and got himself a deer last year. Of course he's invested a lot of time into developing his hunting skills in order to that...but then he's got low cost source of food and makes income teaching other people how to do it.


From: toronto | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
SwimmingLee
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posted 16 October 2008 01:40 PM      Profile for SwimmingLee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by triciamarie:
I guess this all starts to sound pretty draconian but I still do most of these things and I don't feel deprived at all.

Voluntary change is less stressful than involuntary change, usually ... i think.

I have about 4 frozen packages of lunch vegetables, for steaming. Leftover salad from a party ... red leaf lettuce, basil, sprouts, tomatoes, radishes, cilantro etc. the basil & tomatoes were home grown. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, but I also haven't got around to eating it. Maybe it's in the Good Intention category.


From: LASIK-FLap.com ~ Health Warning about LASIK Eye Surgery | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Digiteyes
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posted 17 October 2008 06:22 AM      Profile for Digiteyes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Turned down the heat.
Turned down the heat on the water heater.
Replaced almost all of my incandescent bulbs with CF ones (still waiting for LEDs for my dining room table, where I need the ability to dim the lights.
Try not to buy "packaged" foods: foods that are already prepared. That's where the money is. The raw ingredients are much cheaper.

So I make my own food. Frequently, I'll go on a cooking binge, and, in one evening, prepare about 8 meals of seafood chowder, 8 chilis, 8 chicken stews, 8 curries or 8 pea soups (yes, it can all be done in one evening). Then I've got instant dinners of my own. Just pull out of the freezer, thaw, move onto a plate, and reheat (I don't put plastic containers in the microwave).

Oh yah--the microwave uses less energy than an oven.

Grow tomatoes and basil (this year was not a good one). Freeze, and enjoy the results all winter. Canning and jarring is probably a better option, in terms of energy consumption. But freezing still beats insipid tastes trucked from California.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
ThePB
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posted 17 October 2008 10:19 AM      Profile for ThePB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for all the tips.

I too tend to avoid prepared food. Not only is it expensive, its often unhealthy, loaded with too much salt. I bake my bread, long ago i killed the bread machine that got me started, and so i make it by hand. Its NOT hard, a common misconception - a little yeast, warm water, patience & flour is all it takes, I add sesame seeds & flax seed. Works out to less than 20 cents per loaf/pizza dough.
And the smell of it baking is marvellous.


From: ontario | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
peterjcassidy
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posted 17 October 2008 04:25 PM      Profile for peterjcassidy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Live with at least one other adult with an income and share expenses-housing,heat,electricity,phone and even food.

Give up your car. Public transit, bikes, walking and the occasional taxi should cover most of your needs, Even if you spend $100 some weeks on cabs, it's probably cheaper than the purchase price of a car, gas, repairs, maintenance, parking etc.

Move to a cheaper place to live, considering not only rent and other expenses like heating and hydro, but also transportation costs to work, social life, etc. (see give up your car and live with another adult).

Entertain at home or at others homes or at free events, except for rare special occasions. A six pack of beer, some snacks and a rented movie can be as much fun as a hundred dollar night on the town. (see live with another adult).

Plan ahead.plan your outgo and the timing of the outgo. Stick to the plan. Eliminate small occasional outgos as much as possible: the trips to the convenience store for milk shouldn't be necessary with a major shopping trip weekly. If you have coffee at work every day, think of making coffee in the lunch room or bringing ona thermos rather than buying ready made coffee. Keep lots of cheap good snacks available at work, at home and when out.


From: Screaming in language no-one understands.. | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 17 October 2008 05:48 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oatmeal sweetened with sugar and with raisins for interest. Cheap food. You can get whole oats or pinhead (crushed).
I heat my kitchen with the waste heat from the food drier, drying my grapes for those interesting raisins.
Check the opening times for your librarys and if not that suitable find the cheapest course at an educational facility and study, keep warm there.
sleeping bag is plenty warm if you are single and the zipper prevents drafts.
cook your own meals. Variations on potatoes, cabbage, onions and carrots are pretty cheap.
Brown rice and more rarely pasta for variation.
Ocasional beans for protein.
Thankfully I am no longer that poor!
In poor mode I always rented within 15 minutes walk of my workplace. Figureing out your per hour wage INCLUDING the commute as work would make a lot more people do this! The commute IS work and unpaid. a 15 minute walk is needed exercise.
quote:
Originally posted by peterjcassidy:
Live with at least one other adult with an income and share expenses-housing,heat,electricity,phone and even food.

Give up your car. Public transit, bikes, walking and the occasional taxi should cover most of your needs, Even if you spend $100 some weeks on cabs, it's probably cheaper than the purchase price of a car, gas, repairs, maintenance, parking etc.

Move to a cheaper place to live, considering not only rent and other expenses like heating and hydro, but also transportation costs to work, social life, etc. (see give up your car and live with another adult).

Entertain at home or at others homes or at free events, except for rare special occasions. A six pack of beer, some snacks and a rented movie can be as much fun as a hundred dollar night on the town. (see live with another adult).

Plan ahead.plan your outgo and the timing of the outgo. Stick to the plan. Eliminate small occasional outgos as much as possible: the trips to the convenience store for milk shouldn't be necessary with a major shopping trip weekly. If you have coffee at work every day, think of making coffee in the lunch room or bringing ona thermos rather than buying ready made coffee. Keep lots of cheap good snacks available at work, at home and when out.



From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 17 October 2008 05:58 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Depens where you live. I live near Jean-Talon Market in Montréal and shop for fresh things almost every day (I do have provisions if I can't get out). I have never heard the term "outgo". It is almost as if you are talking about a foray or a trek. If I only shopped once a week the veg wouldn't be very fresh by the end. No freezer (perhaps one day I'll get a tiny one).

Not eating properly and taking a multivitamin instead sounds very scary indeed. (Yes, I have been that poor, but that is really a worst-case scenario). As for living with another adult (human), unless you are talking about a romantic relationship, I suspect I'd end up in jail for murder. At my age, no roomies - please! I do live in a co-op and have lots of other friends at a walkable distance. But I need my own little den.

Those who don't want to live too too clean (a frightening thought indeed) can also make their own beer or wine, or grow their own ... herbal substances.

Remember sternly warning younger neighbours not to let my cat in their flat as they were growing marijuana plants. Renzo would have eaten them all. Born stoner. I tried to grow catnip for him and he even ate the roots.

I have never driven a car and am against cars in major cities, but is that really an alternative for people in rural areas or small towns? Don't think so, it would require a rethink about how to provide mobility for those who don't or can't drive...

An aside, perhaps, but I wish there were a collective to repair all the small household things we throw away because repairing them costs more than we are worth. I bought a toaster oven at a garage sale for $10. It worked fine, and suddenly a knob seems broken (turns upon itself - in French we'd say ça tourne dans le vide) and as a result nothing works. I don't think the thing is kaput, but will probably wind up tossing it as there is nobody to do what is probably a very minor repair. Too bad, I liked the thing, it worked really well.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
triciamarie
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posted 18 October 2008 06:06 PM      Profile for triciamarie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Not eating properly and taking a multivitamin instead sounds very scary indeed. (Yes, I have been that poor, but that is really a worst-case scenario).

It is, but sadly, not that uncommon. I've been there, and I sometimes have to counsel clients through it too. One catastrophic injury and their whole world changes; can't work, it may take years for the accident benefits to come through, so on zero income or close to it, what do they do? It helps to be able to face the facts and scale back earlier rather than later.

quote:
Remember sternly warning younger neighbours not to let my cat in their flat as they were growing marijuana plants. Renzo would have eaten them all. Born stoner. I tried to grow catnip for him and he even ate the roots.

quote:
An aside, perhaps, but I wish there were a collective to repair all the small household things we throw away because repairing them costs more than we are worth.

A friend of mine's old Italian father can fix anything. Those guys knew the meaning of poor eh... as the story goes, he knew he would stay in Canada when he first came here to work and the family he was staying with sat down and ate a whole chicken, all at once. Land of plenty.

A collective is a great idea!


From: gwelf | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 01 November 2008 01:42 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cook your jack-o-lantern and feed it to your dog.

Dogs love pumpkin, and it's excellent nutrition.

The big pumpkins normally sold for Halloween are usually fibrous (stringy) varieties, like the Connecticut field pumpkin, and aren't intended for cooking (though they are certainly not inedible). If you discard the fibrous inside and just take the outer 2 cm. that lies below the skin, you can cut it into cubes and cook it like a squash. It keeps for a week in the fridge or months in the freezer.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Toby Fourre
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posted 01 November 2008 02:07 PM      Profile for Toby Fourre        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ebodyknows:
If you live in the right area you can always just stay on the alert for fresh road kill.
I'm serious. If it's not that old the meat will still be good. You don't have to buy rifle and you don't actually have to kill...just clean up after those who did.

An aquaintence killed a young moose with a knife after a neighbour hit it with his pickup. They ate it.


From: Death Valley, BC | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged

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