With everything going up in price are you

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kenneth in NC, May 4, 2006.

  1. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Going to try to down size? Cut Electrical cost? Drive Less? Or are you in a place where you'll just divert funds and keep the status quo on your homestead?

    Were thinking maybe adding a bit of solar and some LED lighting. A/C is still my biggest concern. Without It I can't breathe very well in summer. Plus my daughter has asthma and the A/C helps her too.

    Here's a neat link on solar. might give ya'll a few ideas.
    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago99.html

    Here's one on a LED light that runs on 4 AA batteries
    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/energizerfoldled.htm

    I bought six of these back when they were under $4 bucks. Hang from the ceiling and they make nice "soft glow" inside lighting. During a power outage we used them for 3 days and although you can't read by them they were a comfort in navigating room to room. Plus we left them on all night batteries still good and no burps on LED's.


    Outher sources on LED
    http://www.batteriesandbutter.com/page/bb/PROD/LED4AA1BP&sr=froogle

    A review on the LED
    http://www.alpharubicon.com/prepinfo/LEDmamabear.htm

    Kenneth
     
  2. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    We are downsizing...even though we were already doing without a lot of things others just have to have. I am a SAHM and would drive the boys to the park to play, or go to a fast food place with a play land during the winter so they could play....now we drive only when necessary. Trying to cut electric costs too but our local electric company just announced they are raising their rates so even though we will be cutting back our bill will probably be going up.......I guess the rich will keep getting richer ....the poor will be getting poorer!!
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm acutally going in both directions.....

    I'm trying to cut back on less trips with the tractor - save fuel. This will mean more herbicides, but they pencil out cheaper as the cost of fuel goes up.

    However, on real goods that I planned on doing in the next 2-3 years, I'm trying to stock up now, get jobs done at today's cost. So in those ways I'm acutally spending more now than I had planned.

    --->Paul
     
  4. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Paul by spending now your probably saving money in the long term. Wish I had bought plywood and paneling back in 1981 when I had a chance to get them for $4 bucks a sheet. :(


    Kenneth
     
  5. Txsteader

    Txsteader Well-Known Member

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    Our 2 major expenses are gasoline and electricity. We're more mindful of trips to town, trying to consolidate when possible.

    Our power rates have also been raised, so cutting back usage hasn't really helped. Am planning to switch providers for a lower rate that will hopefully save a few $$ each month.

    We're also buying less non-essential items.
     
  6. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    We sold my truck and bought a volkswagon golf diesel. We are trying to decide whether or not evap is worth the initial investment.....we just bought new ac units - ours were 25 years old. Held together with rust!

    To be honest - I'd love to move out onto more land, and get more down to the basics - solar/wind turbine, my own water supply, things like that. I'm happy homeschooling, and raising animals! Don't need other entertainment. The timing isn't right for us to move. We are self employed, my husband only has to work four days a week now. He gets to be with the kids a lot. I homeschool the boys. We have just under two acres and produce all our own meat, dairy, and eggs. I am NOT having luck with the garden, but I think the family should be helping out to make that happen- and I am looking into local CSA's to cover organic veggies until that happens. We've planted lots of fruit trees, vines, asparagus.

    My husband localized his business - to drive less. I'm switching to organic, and while that costs more - my driving will be much less. I'm cutting back to just my most productive animals - that is very difficult - but really helps with the feed bill. I'm also planning on buying all my hay at one time this year, to save $. We are cutting out eating out also.

    niki
     
  7. Sherrynboo

    Sherrynboo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think I have trimmed about all I can. I don't spend money unless I need to usually. My husband, on the other hand, if he wants something he gets it, no matter what. Thankfully, we have all of the vehicles paid for now so all we have to do is pay for upkeep, fuel and insurance. Overall, we are doing quite well right now. Our cleaning business has not been affected so far by climbing prices. We are much lower than the Mini Maid or Molly Maid chains so we have lots of work. I just hope the work holds out till all of our bills are paid off!

    Sherry in GA
     
  8. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    My car, which was getting 33 mpg, finally hit the wall. I replaced it with a ranger pu, which gets 23 mpg. Amazingly, I've not been filling up any more often (both have the same tank size) than I was before! So guess I've cut back my driving without really realizing it. Hope that continues through the summer.

    Not sure how to cut much more off the propane bill, although I'm a sucker for a nice, hot bath nearly every night. Okay, so maybe I'll cut back on that luxury (sniff!) We could cook more in the microwave, but not sure that would make a dramatic difference. Put drapes up on all the windows last year, but no improvement in heating.

    I just met someone who's mom is completely off the grid, and only a few miles (as the bird flies) from us. I'd love to see what they're doing. DH is convinced that solar wouldn't pay for itself here because of the clouds. I'd love if it could at least run the electric fence. Maybe a wind generator? I'm clueless as to how that works or what the initial set up cost would be, but doesn't cost to find out!
     
  9. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    We replaced our lights last year with CF bulbs. Our bill went down $23 a month. So far were still using the CF's they are a mite dimmer now than 13 months ago but still very useable.

    Harbor freight tools has a 45 watt solar kit for under $200 bucks we've been thinking about getting it along with some 12v LED lighting to help even more on the electric bill.


    Kenneth
     
  10. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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    I've been trying to drive slower on the interstate when I go to and from work. It's hard not to drive 75 mph though. I think I've noticed trucks driving slower too.
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I've been cutting out all possible trips to town. The weather has finally warmed up and dried out enough to start using the clothes line. I'm debating about which goats to sell and which to keep -- have some for sale, but am thinking that if I can afford to feed all my does through this next year (including the doe kids I have now) next year they may be in high demand as more people start wanting to raise their own food. We need a wood stove, but I don't think that's going to happen (the house is all electric -- hopefully the electricity -- mostly hydro here -- will hold out longer than the gas and oil supplies promise to).

    We have no mortgage, and no debt, so financially we will (Lord willing) manage to scrape through.

    Kathleen
     
  12. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Hey...I see your Gulf Coast.. Where abouts? I'm in NE Houston.... I use Green Mountain Energy for electric. Not any cheaper.. but they (supposedly) process in such a way that it is less polluting. Or, I should say, the electricity they get to sell is processed more ecologically. (Who you thinking of going with that's 'cheaper'?)
     
  13. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I have been researching LED's a few weeks, and other ways of reducing expenses when i get home, I plan on getting a pump for the well an dgetting off rural water though I may regret it if their is a drought, I am sure they will charge me an arm and a leg to start it back again if I need to.GRRRR I plan on making a water catchment system with conecting at least 2055 gallon drums for the house.Grow all most all our food, Only use the vehicle 6 months of the year to sell at the farmers market the oter 6 months stay home (may take some convincing to get my wife to go along with that) Though she says she wants to "work" so I may be the one farming and taking care of the kids, I figure I will need a year to get the farm fenced and planted finish my last senester of school before she can "work" wish she would just stay home and help out at home. Maybe she will burn out after a year. I am thinking of going off grid at some point as well probably not for atleast 2 years from now though. Though we will see I really would liek to keep a telephone at the minimum and get a computer so as to stay on HT, I just have to grow enough to sell over the internet to make a computer pay.May go the first year with out one after I get back while I get things growing.though I will use the libraray occasionally.
     
  14. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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  15. FreightTrain

    FreightTrain Well-Known Member

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    i use LED headlamps, sold at wally world and Campmor... they provide hands free operation, a real plus when the power is out, or ya need to fix-work on something, like having a third hand to hold the light!,, also they are duel purpose as they are excellent for backpacking and night hiking... and will provide plenty of light for trips to outhouse etc.. some even have a red LED for tactical usage.

    ive seen plain LEDs being sold on EBay of up to 5 watts power... excellent for the do-it-yourselfer to build a inhome LED system

    ill be homesteading and living off the grid, starting with raw land.. which will be a huge change...

    yes, ive been cutting my costs anyway i can, driving less, not eating out... i just finished payin for my land. Right now i'm so cheap i can "make nickels bleed". i'll be able to back off in the fall.
     
  16. Txsteader

    Txsteader Well-Known Member

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    Chickflick, I'm in Galveston County, howdy neighbor.

    A lot of folks around here use TXU, who is slightly cheaper. I'd thought about Green Mountain for environmental issues, but right now cost is a big factor, and they are the most expensive provider. We just can't afford them.

    You can do a search for electric providers to get a full list of options. Be sure to read the fine print, though; some require annual contracts.
     
  17. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    They are exactly the same as Reliant (or is it CenterPoint? no, that's gas...) anyway.. their brochure states the same rate.

    What I REALLY hate, is in Kingwood you only get SPRINT for phone service. :shrug: It's been okay.. it's just the 'principle' of the thing! :grump:
     
  18. MrsFarmerWilly

    MrsFarmerWilly Well-Known Member

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    I have stopped driving unless it is an emergency, choir practice or church. On bill paying days I do the banking, grocery shopping and anything else that needs to be done. We have just under 12 acres that I was mowing for the last two years, now we have a small yard around the house and the rest is "Pasture" for the animals we hope to get soon or hay for our farmer friend next door. We stopped eating out so often and I have gone more towards the homemade foods than something quick at the store I can heat up. But my husband still commutes major miles every day to work. We are thinking of packing him a bag and having him sleep over at his parents a few nights a week. I filled my 89 Ford Ranger up yesterday and about fainted when the tab came to 45.00! The central A/C stays off this year, but we placed a window unit in our bedroom for night time. Sealed off the vents, windows and doors. Hoping to see some relief and soon.
     
  19. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fewer trips to town. Instead of weekly grocery shopping, started shopping every two weeks ... the last three months I've been working on once a month. Cuts back on the fresh produce I get, which I don't like, but does cut back on gas expense.

    Try to do all the shopping/ town stuff on the one day as well, library just once a month now unless we have to go in for something else. Instead of eating out when we go to town, I usually get something from one of the fast food places we like, or the deli at the grocery store.

    We don't have at-road mail delivery, have to go into town (3 miles) to pick it up at the post office, but are going now 3x a week rather than daily ... and getting perishable foods (milk mostly ... we go through almost a gallon a day) at the local store there, a few cents a gallon more but definitely cheaper than driving into town.
     
  20. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are shopping for a high tech, used woodstove. Carpooling for grocery shopping. Buying less, and enjoying life more.