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Tips and tricks - simple cost saving methods and devices
Sat 26-Sep-09
8:57 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Everybody has one or two small ways of cutting a smidgin off costs. Please tell us yours. We do not expect earth shattering revelations or discoveries, just the small things that add up over the course of a year. They do not have to be original or startling.

Keep a jug of milk on your kitchen worktop

Fiona introduced this idea because I (especially) make a lot of hot drinks as I work from home. Every time I opened the fridge door to fetch milk, it added to our chill bill. Now we keep a small jug near the kettle. She found a dainty doily, with beads around the edge for weight, to keep the flies off in summer. I reckon it has reduced the frequency of opening the fridge by about 75%.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 27-Sep-09
9:20 pm
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SOL
UK

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Mon 21-Sep-09
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Another of my Grans tricks here.  Become ultra frugal, only boil the kettle once a day.  Then put the water in thermos flask and use that all day.  Maybe 2 flasks if you are a real tea drinker.  We do it at the allotment, so why not in the home?

Also if you have a wood burner, get an enamel coffe pot or a camping kettle and heat water on that during the day

I think stingy was missed off my birth certificate as my middle name! lolWink

Sun 27-Sep-09
10:19 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Tue 22-Sep-09
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My family all poke fun at me as I turn things off like a maniac, won't have the heating on over 17, preferably 15 degrees ( put on more clothes), organise my washing days around the weather forcasts so I can always dry outside for free and recycle the bath and washing up water. They laughed until I totted up how much I had saved over a year...my grandmother always said 'never pay full price for anything if you can help it". Absolutely.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 29-Sep-09
10:57 am
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fn
Newmarket
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I'm intrigued Kate. How do you recycle bath water? Do you use a special pipe?

Tue 29-Sep-09
11:04 am
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SOL
UK

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Mon 21-Sep-09
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wow Kate that real dedication.  My brother in law has something like ths but he is a true gardener.  He has compost running in his veins. http://www.nigelsecostore.com/acatalog/Water_Sipho.....  he had to make some adjustments to the design as theylive in a 3 storey house. and the bathroom is in the top floor.

I also would be very interested in if you water the veggies etc and the results.  As we are on a water meter

Tue 29-Sep-09
12:26 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Tue 22-Sep-09
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I have a shortish length of hose that comes down from the bathroom window. It can be connected to either a hose to the front or a hose to the back garden or just go into a barrel. The same lengths of hose can be connected to the tap if I need to water the veg/herbs, as bathwater shouldn't really be used for foodplants ( bacteria etc) as there is a chance of contamination. I just put the hose in the bath so the end is right on the plug so as much as possible gets taken out, go downstairs suck  the end of the hose ( you get to know when the water is about to give you an impromptu shower/mouthful) and as it starts to flow I connect it to whichever hose I want to use. I've laid hoses with connections around the garden so I can water any bit of it I want to, either by just laying the hose on a flowerbed or watering pots direct or using watering cans. Works a treat. I grow my dahlias in pots and they only ever have bathwater and thrive. If I want to feed plants I just add some feed to the bathwater before syphoning it off. It saves me lots of time and also, as I'm not good on my feet and I'm not supposed to lift heavy things, it also means I can keep the garden going easily. It is aastonishing how much water a bath holds! I get quite thrilled when my daughter comes home as it means another bathful for the garden....the previous owner of the house put a watering system in some of the beds and this winter I'm going to investigate this properly and see if I can hook my hoses up to it for even better effect and if it will work with the length of drip hose I've found in the garage- I have chalky soil and the garden is on a little hump on a hillside, so it dries out really fast, without the bathwater much of the garden would be doomed in dry weather! Even though the garden slopes up at the back the pressure from the bathroom upstairs is sufficient to keep the water flowing to access anywhere - no pump required- I can leave the hose on the compost heap to give it a good soaking- as long as whatever you are doing doesn't require the hose to be as high as the bath, you will have enough pressure- it may not work with a spray head on the end, but if you don't require anything fancy, the water comes out fine. I just love the fact that I pay once for the water but use it twice...

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 29-Sep-09
7:49 pm
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fn
Newmarket
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Hi S.O.L and Kate Uk

Thanks so much for these responses. Our bathroom is on the ground floor - great for when we get very old and live permanently downstairs at the mo a bit of a nightmare if we are in bed with a bug.

S.O.L. your brother's site is great. Love the idea of the pump. I'm going to try Kate UK's idea first as I reckon the it would work even with a downstairs bathroom.

We used to have a Japanese child psychiatrist living with us when I was about five. He showed me how to move water from one glass to another by sucking on a small rubber tube. I'd forgotten all about this until today,

Thu 8-Oct-09
9:45 pm
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inquisitive_1ady
Cardiff

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Tue 22-Sep-09
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One thing that slowly eats away is when you turn things off (such as TV and sky box) they go onto standby.... this means they are still drawing down electricity. I have looked on the internet and it is estimated at £33 pa but this is per item. We have a TV actually 2, sky box, music systen x 2, phone chargers x 3 , this is 8 items - just under £270 per annum eeeeeek !!!. They are all going to be unplugged from now on.

Sat 10-Oct-09
6:50 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Here's a valuable free download that Amanda mentioned:

Steam Juicer Food Steamer Recipe Ebook

Thanks, Amanda

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 11-Oct-09
11:14 pm
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Ive saved 66% in my electric bill but this includes Ecomany 7 . So get 2 Drycell battery's or more the better (as thay are a lot safer no acid).  Join these together but at 12volts not 24v im not sure but i think + to – boubles the amps but keeps  a 12v system and + to + boubles the volts but not the amps so please don't quote me on this as have not done for a long time. Talk to some one who does know, so say we have 2 batters each at 100amps = 200amps then we get a mains inverter to step up from 12v to 240v and say up to 500w max knowing the fridge freezer takes 300w leaves 200w for other items. and a car battery charger plum this into the Eco7 rate via plug sockets then to the batters charger and connected to the batters so thay are on charge over night say @ 4p per kw and not the Day rate @ 16p. run the fridge on Ec07 at night and then swap over in the day to the car batters you will save more money possbley around 12pence per kw for the time the fridge is running in the daytime. But get some one who knows there stuff first thankyou.. a 12pence a kw would be the same as a saving £105 a year?

£140 to run per year  f/freezer would now be well below £70 a year. And allowing for the battery charger power consumption into to consideration

thats about as good as i can get it. But doing things with battery's don't stop there !

Mon 12-Oct-09
10:33 am
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fn
Newmarket
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This sounds amazing. A bit too complicated for me, I think. You are so lucky that you are mechanically minded.

Love the idea of using the garden solar lights - brilliant.

We do the same with the low watt Christmas lights in our sitting room.

Wed 14-Oct-09
8:26 am
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SOL
UK

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/.....305408.stm

solar fridge.  Gosh think of all the electricity companies jumping up and down as we all start to use them less.

PB's father uses a solar panel to top a car battery up.  When the electricity cuts out in Scotland (which happens frequently where he lives), he connects the TV to the car battery and bobs your uncle.  Happy father in law, with his wood burning stove and his tv to watch the news.  So happy happy.

I have also bought a Free Loader, solar cell for PB for Christmas.  Blacks was shutting down in this town so I bought one and it cost me £15.  I think that is a bargain.  Less than half price.  I have been thinking about going back and buying another.  It will power all mp3 players all phones and GPS units.  no more travelling with half a tonne of chargers.

We also have a moon jar.  THis is solar powered and gives out fantastic light.  I gave 2 to a friend.  She has small children who cant reach the light switch at night, so they can go to the loo on their own.  she has one downstairs and one on the top of the stairs.

I would presume a Sun jar would give a nicer light as it is orangy-yellow.  where the moon jar is blue light.  Either way I am moving away from a lot of electricity fired gadgets.  If I have them, I will now have to power them by a solar charger.

Does anyone know where I can purchase a solar powered lantern?  Preferably a colapsible one.  I would like it for my emergency kit, as the moon jars are glass and heavy.

thanks in advance.

Tue 20-Oct-09
10:09 am
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mutley
Didcot/uk

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Tue 20-Oct-09
12:45 pm
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fn
Newmarket
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Thank you so much Mutley - can wait to make some of these.

Tue 20-Oct-09
12:51 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Tue 22-Sep-09
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Great link Mutley, thanks.  I'd love to try that but I just know I'd do something wrong.  I'll just have to buy one - I'd love to have that glow on a dark afternoon.

I'll try that again!

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