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Sep 30

How far will you go to cut expenses?

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What would you do to cut your household expenses? Certain expenses are fixed, such as our mortgage. ย (Do you know about FPL’s on call credit?, You can save $6 per month by letting FPL occasionally switch โ€œoffโ€ selected equipment remotely for short periods of time during extremely high electricity demand. You can check if you are eligible for on call credit here.)

Other expenses, which may seem fixed, are actually quite variable. Your internet and television, for example. You can reduce internet speed (gasp!) or downgrade your television package, or horror of horrors, eliminate it altogether. Think it can’t be done? Last month, we did just that. Yep, our house is now a no television zone.

As soon as we did it, and sent the equipment back, I must be honest, I felt huge relief, like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Not only would we save $100 a month on our bill (combined home phone and internet with ATT Uverse) but we will also be saving on our FPL bill, as our main TV is one of those 64 inch monsters, not the sleek flat screens they make now and each bedroom also contains a TV.

So, har far would you, or have you gone to minimize your monthly expenses? Please share….

 

 

4 comments

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  1. Paul

    Haven’t gone the complete no tv route yet but we have combined and pared down. At first with four kids ages 8 through 17 and two adults our sattelite stationed were maxed to meet everyone’s viewing preference. Close to $200 per month. Cable intranet bill $50 for medium speed. Phone bill after state and local taxes and mandatory handicap services donations $160. That’s almost $500 to keep us connected. So it took an initial investment but we got a deal for them online and got 6 roku boxes and stopped sattelite. Roku service under $10 per year. We found we were TiVo/dvring most shows anyway. So it didn’t matter that we didn’t watch them the night they premiered. Set up Netflix and Hulu and several free channels $20. Then we got a free magic jack that only cost $20 for 5 years service. Still paying for our ISP that still brought our monthly cost to $85 for what cost almost $500. The only snag was when the ISP decided to start capping data. With multiple devices streaming at once we reached our cap quickly and our $50 ISP bill quadrupled in the summer. Our fix top that actually came from a service technician. We called and set up a business account using a business name (that they don’t do anything to verify although we do breed yorkies for mad money). That account was $40 more but it’s unlimited high speed data and no penalties. So in the end we now pay $125 for what before we were paying $500. We also use a timer for the shower. I’ve taught all the kids military showers… Wet down, water off and shampoo and wash, rinse off, and done. The only exception is the wife and daughter get and extra rinse after conditioner with water off. Water bill went from $75 to $50. Laundry is done after 9 pm so the hot water tank and dryer only use electric after peak hours. Turned off the houses heating and a/c and heat with wood and installed window a/c’s. Now I know that those are usually looked at as energy suckers but if you properly seal them and turn them off when not in that room it’s a savings compared to cooling the whole house all the time. Tv’s and computers turned off at the power strip at night. These things draw current even when they are shut off. Outdoor porch and garage lights in motion sensors so they don’t draw all night. Electric bill cut in half. Also have a great website that I will share with your permission Dana that has two “emergency” menus that feed a family of 6 for a week for around $40 (meatless) an $75 (meat) per week. I use them both all the time they are very nutritional and variety filled. One week I go meatless they next meat. Lastly I try and plan several trips in one day. For instance if I have a routine checkup, do the kids need one too? We all go at once. Can I get grocery shopping done afterward? Is it a good night for family night out like bowling or some other activity? In which case I throw some sandwiches, fruit, and veggies together. Load up the coolers. Go to the Doc’s early get everyone seen. Go shopping. Then go for family time. One trip not a lot of gasoline. Think about how many times in a month, a week, a day even that you have driven somewhere that was within a few miles of somewhere you had been recently and came home from. Those back and forth miles add up. Gosh I know I seem long winded but you bring up the best topics Dana.

    1. DanaPots

      I may have good topics, but you have the best responses, Paul ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for all the great tips! Please do share any website you think would be helpful to all our readers (you, and me ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am going to try to be mindful of multiple trips, that is a great suggestion. I also try to get gas in the AM, something about that being better, and shaking the pump before I put it back, something my Dad taught me.

      Another question, would you ever live in a tiny house? I am trying to convince my husband but he says no way!
      DanaPots recently posted…How far will you go to cut expenses?My Profile

  2. Paul

    First, the name of the website is hillbillyhousewife.com. It is sometimes tricky to navigate but it has a search box that you can type emergency menus in and find them. She also has the recipes to coincide with the menu. Be warned though there is some work involved as most items are made from scratch but she also gives prep instructions for the night before the next days meals. Another gentle warning… The meatless menu derives protein mainly from beans. So a good air freshner is a must. Good tip on the gas. That can’t be done with a single hose pump that carries both gas and diesel as the fuel is drawn back after pumping stops. So it doesn’t contaminate the opposite type engine. Also if you use a station that has a rewards card (Speedway), save your points for the cents off a gallon reward and try to fill up from empty. $.50 off per gallon saves more on 25 gallons than 5. My wife and I try also to fill up both cars at the same time from same pump so that discount goes even further. Not really thought about smaller house. 3 boys 17, 13, 8 and one daughter 11. With daughter in the mix got to have 3 bedrooms anyway (CPS would have a fit with any less) but I shudder to even tryin to put the boys all in one room. When they were younger it worked ok but now I think the property and physical damage that would surely happen far outweigh the cost of larger house.

    1. DanaPots

      Thank you for the tip on the website. I will check it out. I must admit, I do no cooking. Zero. My husband does it all, if I attempted to cook CPS would also have a fit. LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰

      We also have a rewards card here. Home Depot Fuelperks, also Winn Dixie offers one. My husband and I fill up at the same time too.

      I have another good tip for you, came from my husband. He cooked eggs in a plastic bag, scrambled them and threw them in a pot of warm water. They came out in an omelette shape and sprinkled cheese on them (and a little spinach from the garden) no messy pot to clean! They were very good.
      DanaPots recently posted…How far will you go to cut expenses?My Profile

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