Monday, March 24, 2008

Practically Proverbs 31: Determined to Save more money

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

Proverbs 31:16-18

Okay, this lady makes some money for her family. The way I see it that gives me two choices find a way family friendly job (I do work for the preschool completely around and with my families schedule). The second thing is to figure ways to and save lots of money and actively purse them. I believe that this has to be a priority during my life. I may not always have a job, in fact I have not always had a job, but I must always look for ways to save money and to only spend what is necessary to get the job done.

It's like when I make the choice between buying Tide or Arm&Hammer laundry soap, of course I want to use Tide, who doesn't it's Tide it gets things so clean they use it to clean Porto potties and it smells like heaven! But Arm& Hammer does the job at 1/3 the cost! So my choice (though not always) is Arm&Hammer because I want to live that Proverb 31 life and save my family $9-13.(right now I use homemade laundry detergent but you get the idea!)

Anyways, recently I've been looking at everything I do and trying to figure ways to save more money in our home. My recent exploits into saving money:

  1. I am making my own dishwasher soap. Kim is going to run the figures and let me know if there is savings here.
  2. I turned off the heat dry & hot start options! The first thing I noticed is that when the dishes go into the dishwasher when the extra hot water is turned off you have to make sure those dishes have been well rinsed. Otherwise food debris remains stuck to the utensils and things. Other than that the dishes are still a little wet but If I see a savings in my utility bill I will continue to do this.

House -

I am asking Wayne to turn our water heater down. Now if you've ever been to my house and used hot water your thinking its about time you decided against 3rd degree burns! But I love HOT water, I have a high pain tolerance and well ...its costing me money so I'm turning it down.

  1. We are getting a water heater "cozies" & insulate the pipes which is suppose to make your water heater much more efficient. Water heater represents 14% of your cooling cost!

  2. We are slowly changing all of the bulbs in our house from regular bulbs to the spiral bulbs. In my house this should represent a savings of $42.38 per month according to MidSouth Synergy!
I'll let you know if I see a savings on my Electric Bill! Last month we did decrease our bill considerably.

This is what we do now:
  1. I avoid turning on lights during the day. Except in the school room, it's a little dark. Once my kids cheered when they asked if they could turn on the lights and I said "yes". Parker said "Yeah!!! We get to turn on the lights" ...that's just sad, but true!

  2. I turn off all lights I find left on! Basically, I've become my Dad and I am eternally aware of any light left on in the house!

  3. We keep the thermostat set to 69* for heating and 78-9* for cooling. Right now we have it turned off completely if it gets to 80* I will turn on the ceiling fans!

  4. Turn my computer off during the day and at night! I try to have it on for less than 6 hours per day (this one kills me sometimes, but it also prevents me from wasting time...looking something up real quick!)

  5. We unplugged the extra fridge in the Shed because we were not using it for anything but extra drinks. We have ice on our fridge for that!

  6. Major appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, dryer) get to rest on Sundays!

What do you do?


5 Chicks and a Farmer said...

Neat ideas. You are not only helping your family's budget, but the environment by doing these things. Kudos!

I made my own dishwasher detergent and it works great. I haven't even noticed the difference at all so that is a good thing.

We don't use paper goods hardly ever unless we have a large group over. They cost A LOT!

I can't wait until we have some goodies from our gardens. That will help out a lot when we can prepare foods that are on hand and in season. Wooohooo!


Kathryn, Michael and Alex said...

Great ideas.

I am forever turning the lights off and making the boys go back and turn them off so they will get in the habit.

I love to turn the air and heat off when I can...ceiling fans and open windows!!!

Post the recipe for dishwashing soap.

I also wash all of my clothes in cold water. I hang all of mine up to dry instead of the dryer and only dry the boys stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hello! We stayed at the Maswik Lodge when we went. It was $59 a night. It didn't have a/c which is why the rate was so cheap. The room was really cool enough without the a/c. It had two double beds and a functional bathroom. The room was clean and pretty decent especially for the price. We went during the summer months to escape the heat in Phoenix. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just realized that I captured your blog address instead of the website for the lodges. is the correct site. Sorry about that! :)

Jennifer Bacak said...

My husband just today planted me an herb garden. This is going to save us money because I spend a good deal on fresh herbs!
I need to turn off my computer more, like you said.
You are a money saving machine Kyle. What a great teacher to so many of us you are! I need you to help me get started with the homemade laundry soap. I want to do this!

Carpio Family said...

ok, i am so right with you, I do the light thing to, Eastons in the habit of running around turning off lights b/c "he doesn't want to run out of lightricity."

Also i run my dish washer every other day when possible, and try to hand wash through out the day. This has saved alot off our light bill.

I also only wash my delicate/whites load of laundry with hot water. Everything else is cold water.

Shannon said...

I was just telling my dad the other day that I have turned into him, going around the house and turning off all the lights left on! My kids are getting better at it...

pbmciver said...

Hi Kyle,
I make my own soap. As a candlemaker I have all the resources to learn, but you can too. I used to only use bath and body works shower gel (loved that stuff), but once I made homemade lye soap I have never went back. I can make my soap in just whatever fragrance I want. Anyway, I doubt you would want to go through all that trouble to make hoememade soap, but you can get shower gel base and just add your skin safe fragrance oil of choice. If you are interested I can get you started. I think it is around $15 for a gallon of base and a few bucks would get you 12 bottles to put it in. Just imagine how long a gallon of shower gel would last ya. You can also make your own shampoo and hand sanitizers.

Unknown said...

I love the last comment on making your own shampoo and shower gel and such. We should look into that one! And yes - post the recipe for dishwashing soap!!

One thing that's made a HUGE difference in our electricity bill is the thermostat. Every new season I pick a temperature and set the thermostat on it. Then I DO NOT TOUCH IT AGAIN until the temperature drastically changes outside. I left my thermostat alone for over 2 months straight in the late fall/early winter. My bill dropped $50/month. A lot of people adjust their thermostats daily. DON'T!! This is making your system have to work more rather than just maintain a regular temp, and that uses up more electricity.

Another tip: anything you are not using, unplug it. Toasters, blenders, radios, microwaves, razors, phone chargers, etc. If it is plugged into an outlet, it is using a minimal amt of electricity. This adds up when you do it with so many items for literally months on end.

Read your own electric and gas meters. Electric & gas companies do make mistakes, overcharge, etc. on occasion. Keep tabs on it to make sure you are being charged correctly.

I asked the elec company what uses the most electricity. Their answer: anything with motors - a/c, freezers, fridges, dish/washers, dryers, etc. So, I stopped using my dishwasher unless I HAD to (washing as u go helps a lot with this - even kids can do it). The DW was used maybe once a week and set on air dry. Between that and hang drying clothes (except underwear and socks), my bill dropped between $30-40/month.
I always wash on cold (even whites b/c hot sets stains), and if I use the dryer, I can dry double loads at once in the same time frame. Did you know that a lot of times your laundry is dry before you think? Check it. We also wear some clothes twice. Shorts, pants, church clothes, etc. Anything not dirty, with no interesting smells (;P), we wear twice before washing.

If you buy laundry detergent, I've found you can buy the new concentrated Tide and use - get this - 1/4 of the cup lid and it works as well as the whole lid. So, for the price of 26 loads, you can get 104 loads. That equals out to 7 cents per load (6 cents if you get it at walmart)! So, for those really stubborn stains or things you just gotta use TIDE for - try that.

I read a woman's blog online who has some great homemaking tips too. Michelle: Check out her "Frugal Friday Tips." I've used quite a few!!

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