What are you doing to save money during the recession?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by arceeguy, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Some of us ride motorized bikes to save money, some ride for fun, some for "all of the above".

    But aside from getting over 100 mpg, what else have you done to get through "the worst economic times since the great depression".

    My family has:

    Not renewed magazine subscriptions.
    Canceled movie channels on TV.
    Raised the thermostat in the summer (77), lowered it in the winter (64).
    NO credit card purchases.
    Dropped 900 minute/mo mobile phone plan for prepaids.
    No eating out.
    Put off buying a new car & HDTV.

    I am also starting a business. My wife lost her job late last year and she hasn't been able to find anything. Even for a lot less money. If you have been unaffected, consider yourself lucky. I got whacked back in the last recession in 2001. I thank God that I have a job now, and she had a job back in 2001!

    What's your story?

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    The high cost of fuel ruined my business last spring. So I got a local job. It's certainly not much, but it pays the bills. Barely. When the real recession hit and fuel prices went down my business revived and I've been tinkering with it a bit. I don't think I'm going to pursue it seriously, though. I've been through the feast-and-famine cycle enough. And I've also found that I'm far more sick of travelling than I ever dreamed I could be. I've been a wanderer all of my life. I'm kinda glad about it, too. I've seen a few things. But now it's time to just stay at home for a while. I suppose I'll stick with local employment for the rest of my working life.

    But until I can move up to something better paying, there's not a lot of economizing that I can do. I commute by bicycle to work, mostly for fun. It's not really all that economical. I figure that I save about (at todays prices) $500.00/year in fuel cost. That's not all that much. But if you also figure in the saving of wear and tear on my car, maybe it amounts to a bit.

    I'm also getting a bit smarter about groceries. I'm learning what to avoid and what to look for. My kids and I are eating relatively well for less cost than we used to. They still have that "I don't like that..." attitude. But I've found that they become less picky when you take the alternatives away. But I do have to buy cheap stuff. Any thought of "buying local" or "organic" is a non-starter. But I was never very big on those ideas anyway. I suspect they're more form than substance.

    I've cut back quite a bit on things like DVDs, books, etc. I spend a bit more time thinking about when to buy clothing, too. I still buy it. Just not on a whim.
  3. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    I cancelled the health insurance I had for myself and my wife...We are 60 years old but in good shape...the only time I have ever been to the doc was when I was hurt on the job..we paid premiums of $ 18,000 in two years...and no I do not support the current government controlled socialist bs....I am quite a self taught doctor/dentist myself...pulled out a bad tooth last week with some bent needle nose pliers wrapped with a little duct tape..bled like heck but but is ok now...I also have scalpels and can cut things out if I can see and reach it.....became a cheapskate at about 30..a new car is the worst investment you can make..buy a couple of jeep cherokees from the 90s and be done with that....going out to eat .three times a year is enough for me...high def tvs..not that much difference to me ..unless you like sports tv sucks anyway....do spend money on hobbies and building stuff though..no limit there...80 degrees in the house is fine..bedroom only goes to about 72 when sleeping
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    the little Mountain Lady and I
    do not buy anyTHING on credit that we can not
    pay off in full when the bill comes in

    we do not buy any big iteams on impulse
    time shares ect
    just say no

    being honest
    we live a pretty full life
    realizing though that my retirement check or her job
    could be gone from us someday
    used to think those THINGS were guaranteed
    proven wrong to many these days
    it's a sad THING
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  5. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    I got

    Rid of 2 V-8 gas guzzelers
    also stopped getting the newspaper, it's funny becuse I stopped it becuse nobody was reading it. and I had to take the recycle bin up to city hall every week. Ever since then the newspaper has been calling me offering me a better price.. I keep telling them it's not about the money it's about waste.
    They cant understand that, and keep calling every 2 weeks..
  6. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    When son's car got totalled we never replaced it. He's in our "motorpool" now, and I'm on "The Iron Dragon".

    :idea:Instead of receiving my monthly pension via automatic checking deposit, I bike it downtown and pick up the check personally. Sometimes I'm 8 days late, some months I just don't pick it up. I have to give a day's notice so they can pull it outa my account. The longer I take calling for it, the longer that $$ keeps working for me.

    It's a pain in the butt to drive downtown to get the check, with traffic and parking. It is so easy with my MB. Free easy parking on the sidewalk fronting the building, elevator to the 28th floor.

    And the ride to town on the busy highway is truly death-defying. :jester:

    :idea: I've learned you should make it as convenient as possible to yourself to save $$, but as INCONVENIENT as possible to WITHDRAW $$.

    I drink 3 sips from my beer and fall asleep. Kids throw the rest away. I keep telling them to save the rest in the fridge. The next time I can take 3 more sips, declare that it's flat, and fall asleep. Then they can cap it and stick it in the fridge again.

    They think I'm joking but I'm not.:whistling:

    I bought 3 ringside tickets to a chamiponship boxing title fight. One of our NIECES is the only woman boxer on the undercard. Wife was very upset that I bought expensive seats. I told her we can give up beer, cigarettes and eating out until it pays for the tickets.That would take 30 days.

    Wife seemed fine with that.:devilish:

    Rest of the family are buying $35 tickets.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2009
  7. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    64 in the winter??? I'd start a campfire in my bedroom if I was one of your kids!Brrr
  8. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    That's the daytime temperature. At night, the thermostat kicks down to 60. We have electric blankets, everybody is plenty warm.
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Man I wish it was 60*-64* here at night.

    It's more like 74* at night. I've got an industrial fan pointing at me all night long.:sweatdrop:

    No AC. Wife doesn't like AC indoors.
  10. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    I used to sleep with one out in the Country all the time. Used to wake up feeling good but wonder about effects of radiation??? Those are electrons swimming through the wires!

    I used to only get a year or two out of mine. They slowly die... Have you ever fixed one? I've never figured out what go's bad! I hand wash them also!
  11. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I don't think electricity works like that, machias.

    They prolly go bad because the metals deteriorate and the current stops flowing.
  12. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Wonder if there's a way to measure resistance thru the blanket?

    I've often thought of hooking one up to a car battery for camping! The amp draw should allow the battery to last all night.
  13. spad4me

    spad4me Member

    I ride a motorized bicycle.
    I have freaked out at the amount of money that can be put into a standard cars gas tank.
    I use the motorized bicycle for just about everything.
    Even heavy shopping .
    I could not pedal the bike and groceries for more than a block .

    I copied the super grocery getter.
    I remove the extra baskets though, not fold them up.
  14. spad4me

    spad4me Member

    I believe the square law rule would make a 120 volt electric blanket powered by 12 volts a freezing proposition.
    1/2 the voltage equals 1/4 the useful wattage.
    You can not even run a 220 volt resistance heater on 120 volts and expect to be happy with the output.
  15. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    A pure resistive load like an electric blanket would result in 1/10 the output at 12 volts. So a 50 watt blanket would emit a paltry 5 watts of heat at 12 volts.
  16. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    All of the blankets I've seen have a transformer in them to go from AC to DC! Look again Grasshoper!
  17. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Allright, After digging for hrs., this is what I came up with!

    Sunbeam electric blanket are absolute junk... Lots of falures w/in 1 yr.

    I found one thread in a chat that talked about some kind of "gas tube" thats soldered into the blankets near the plug. This magic tube is supposedly the reason for failure in the blankets. The guy who sounded like a tech also said the Sunbeam did this so that they could call their blankets low E.

    I've never heard of a tube for use in an E-blanket. I hope to get some comments from AG on this as he will surely know more!

    As for now, don't buy a Sunbeam blanket as nearly everybody who has, has had problems within a year!
  18. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    While a lot of blankets have a rectifier to convert the AC to regulated DC (to lower EMF radiation), I have seen very few that actually use a step down transformer. The cheap Sunbeams with bi-metal thermostat run off of 120VAC, and the thermostat cycles the element to control temperature. (click, click, click while you are trying to sleep) The better ones rectify, filter, and continuously regulate voltage for temperature control. (totally silent, too)

    My last "cheap" Sunbeam lasted 5 years. Last year we got a new one with electronic controls. (I don't miss the clicking!)

    In any case, you can buy a 12 volt electric blanket that plugs into your cigarette lighter. (Target.com has a few)

    The "tube" in the electric blankets is probably an over-temperature protection device. Maybe it is non-resettable, so once it is tripped, the blanket is rendered non functional.
  19. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    You have a better understanding of electronics than I AG.

    The guy's on that site were talking about it "firring off" once in a while and that they gradually wear out. Seems like it acts as a capacitor or something? I guess the gas in the tube acts as a conductor? One guy said it limmited "plazma". I lost the link!

    Either way, there's alot of unhappy Sunbeam blanket buyers out there! Bad news is that yours is due to C R A P this year! If you notice even a slight decrease in heat, I'd send it back if under warrenty! I've got 2 here that are expired!
  20. Hawaii_Ed

    Hawaii_Ed Member

    I know not of this "electric blanket" thing you people speak of. :D I have also heard crazy tales about houses with ducts that blow hot air out of them! Crazy waste of money! :D

    I have no HVAC system in my house at all. Saves a ton!