Saturday, June 27, 2009

Painting & re- Posting

I everyone! I'm in the middle of so many things right now! That's a sneak peak at what I've been painting this week.

I'm going to re-post one of my earlier posts about the Little Things We Do To Save Money.

I bet you can't guess what's in that second drawer.

Yep, that's foil! I wash and reuse my foil! I haven't had to buy a new roll in quite some time. I also wash and reuse plastic baggies. I personally don't do this with anything that's held meat, but I know others who still wash those and reuse them. Whatever you're comfortable with!

I had my husband install one of those retractable clotheslines under our deck and we now hang most things to dry. This saves on our water and electric bill. We did three loads of laundry today (energy/water saving front loader) and we only dried one. That was towels and sheets. We tried using line dried towels and it's like using a loofah! Also my daughter does her own laundry once a week and she uses the dryer (I'm just glad she does her own laundry!).

For the next thing you have to understand how our water bill is set up in my town. First you get charged for water usage on a tier system. The more water you use after the base tier the more expensive it is. THEN for sewage they charge you double whatever your water usage was. So you get charged THREE TIMES for the water you use once! You could be watering your yard or filling your pool and it still gets charged as sewer also! So we are very motivated to keep our water usage as low as possible.

I keep a bowl in the sink and a bucket on the floor next to it. When we wash our hands, rinse veggies & fruit, when I drain pasta water, when I rinse out the coffee pot etc the water gets collected in the bowl. When that gets full it gets dumped in the bucket. When the bucket is full I use the water mainly to water my flowers in the front yard and in containers on my deck (we have watering restrictions anyway with the hose).

If I have excess water I can't use to water my flowers I use it to flush the toilet. Not to gross anyone out but we use the "if it's yellow it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" rule. That is my husband and myself. My daughter won't have any of that and fortunately she has her own bathroom anyway! We also have three rainbarrells, so when we've had lots of rain and they're full we fill up buckets and bring those up to our bathroom as well as use them to fill our pond and water our flowers. This may seem extreme but, it has really helped with the water bill!

I also use up every bit of food. We eat leftovers for lunch or repackage into something else for dinner. If I can't use it right away, I wrap it up and stick it in the freezer. I just don't waste any food anymore. I haven't thrown any food in the garbage in a long time. It takes a bit of doing staying on top of what's in the fridge, what's about to go bad, what going to expire etc. But I consider it a part of my job as a homemaker.

I use to be a magazine junkie and I've cut waaaaayy back on those. Most of the time I go to Barnes & Nobles and read them there while enjoying a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee is cheaper than a magazine. My library also has a good collection of mags and I often will stop there before picking up my daughter from school and read some of the current issue. They also sell mags that people donate for 10 cents! I've scored new issues of several magazines that way.

Those are just a couple of small things we do to make our dollars stretch. What are some things that you do?


Sue said...

Hi always have such great money saving tips...Any ideas on keeping the electric bills down...I just got mine from Cobb EMC..I was so excited that is was only $162.00 until I realized that we were away for over two weeks during that time so it cost that much for just under 2 weeks worth of usage!! And my husband told me the government is about to raise the energy costs..Yikes. when I get those hot flashs I gues I'm going to have to put my head in the freezer....and lets not talk about car mileage has dropped by 80 miles a tankful and it's from the Ethonol that they are adding to the gas...they want to make that manditory in all states...You should do a post on that's crazy.....

Jennifer said...

What great tips. You do so well saving and cutting costs. We have struggled with electric bills all summer, so the kids have been fussing at the little things I have done to keep it under control....natural light all day, washing only early in the morning or late at night (I get up ay 5 everyday), haanging clothes to dry, no closet lights, and limiting the number of times they can get ice from the freezer or open the frig during the day. That one has drove them nuts. Water hasn't been too bad. We don't have sewage thankfully, so our bill stays reasonable. I still try to conserve where I can. I'm real big on dumping leftover ice cubes into houseplants to water them.

Hope you are having a great weekend! Hopefully this heatwave will break soon.

xo, Jen

Kathi said...

Great ideas here for saving! I really need to start paying more attention to reusing things and saving water. I thought I was doing well until I read your post!
There is much more I can do!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Manuela! You have great ideas for saving money! I'll have to say...they are all so very French! (You know I see everything from that slant!) When I lived there, the cost of living was very high compared to the salaries of all of my friends and they used many of the same tricks to save! We are so very wasteful as a country! One good thing to come out of all of this mess is that for the first time, many people are having to rethink how they live. Great post! Happy weekend...Debbie

Melissa Miller said...

~Fabulous tips Manuela!

My hubby drives a "Prius".
It's amazing the gas money saved on these cute little hybrids.
Very green too. He loves it!

Have a wonderful Sunday.
~Melissa :)

Scrappy quilter said...

Manuela, we do what you do too. Our water bills are crazy because we are charged exactly like you. There is a base rate and then it goes up after we've used so many litres. The only difference is I don't own a clothes dryer. We dry all our clothes outside or on clothesracks inside if it rains and in the winter. We've gotten use to the towels if they are rough. I love haning them outside when it's windy...they are nice and soft then.

Can't wait to see your painting projects when they are finished.

Salmagundi said...

That looks like a lot of spindles to paint. Lots of work!! Always love a review of money saving ideas as it inspires me again to work on those things. Sally

Sharon said...

Wonderful ideas Manuela! I also re-use plastic bags and foil.

Some things we do:

~Make my own laundry soap powder and cleaners. Much cheaper and easier on the lungs :)

~Glean. We know many people who do not harvest from their fruit trees or bushes. It doesn't hurt to ask. I have not had anyone say no and we have been able to glean Cherries, Plums, Pears, Peaches, Apples, Blackberries, Gooseberries and Apricots. These fruits I either freeze or make jams, jellies or syrups with. Perfect gifts :)

~I am saving clothes that are damaged but not good enough to donate and am saving the buttons and using the fabric for yoyos for craft projects.

~We use cloth napkins :)

~Okay, this one initially is expensive but in the long run saves alot of money. We purchase a half a cow from a local rancher. The cost after processing is about $2.50 a pound and that's across the board so Prime Rib Roast and Ground Beef average out to that. The beef tastes wonderful and it saves on trips to the store. We save some money each month because it ends up costing us about $800-1000. for the half. There are just 2 of us and it lasts us a little more than a year and that's after sharing alot with others and my honey who can eat beef 3 times a day every day :)

~Oh and of course I shop the Thrift Stores :)

Have a blessed weekend!


GlorV1 said...

Wow. That is a lot of hints on saving on water bill. I don't know if I could do all that, but I commend you for your thriftiness. Sheesh. You go girl. Have a great Sunday.

Unknown said...

Hi Manuela- What great tips. You know, you could add a bucket to your shower too to collect the extra there. Also, you can line dry your towels and fluff them in the dryer for five minutes to take away the stiffness. (Now, do I do any of these things? Not currently, but as usual, you are an inspiration!)

Nadine said...

Dear Manuela,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful "saving tips" with us! I always love to hear new ideas to save! I use many of the same ideas that you do!
Have a blessed weekend!


GoodPlans said...

I second the fluffing the towels in the dryer idea. It works! Also, I've thought that eventually I'd like to just funnel all the water from my kitchen sink to a cistern in the backyard from which to water the plants, lawn, etc. Just think how much water goes down the sinks and drains in the shower that could water our yards! Amazing.

Terri Steffes said...

I want one of those retractable clotheslines! I wonder if my neighborhood would allow it?

I reuse ziplocks and we use the same towel daily for a week. We close off the upstairs from the heat and air and I unplug the things that aren't used on a daily basis.

I don't carpool and I communte 30 miles a day. I am the principal at school and my hours are rather unpredictable and no one will ride with me! I may have to go for the Prius route or something!

I use Walmart for my scripts... all but one is $4.
Thanks for a great post!

Manuela said...

Are you painting your deck? It matches your kitchen floor! That sure is a lot of work, and I can't wait to see how you did that!

I love all your ideas and tips. Like everyone else, we try to save and be frugal as much as we can.

I have a spray bottle with equal parts of white vinegar and water to clean my bathrooms. I have been doing this since I was pregnant, as I didn't want to inhale all those chemicals.

Like you, I feel awful when I see food in the trash. We try very hard to not let that happen. I often create soups, stews or casseroles using leftovers.

Have a blessed day!

Paula@SweetPea said...

I love reading your money saving tips. We take several showers at the gym per week which saves on our water bill. Why come home and use my water when I've paid to use it at the Y? I do wash out plastic bags but I've never washed and reused foil. A rain barrel is what I really need to start doing. I'll have to investigate that. I know that many areas are reimburing citizens for buying a rain barrel.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Some good money saving ideas - thanks for sharing.

brokeintrovert said...

Thanks for all the money-saving tips.

Lady Katherine said...

I love the Harlequin painting your doing, I bet its hot out there! I have been feeling Wonderful for about 5 days, I have not driven. Doc gave me some new meds and Preacher came on Monday and took my hands and prayed for me. Next Morning I got up feeling so wonderful! I been thinking of you when I hand wash dishes, Trying hard to not waste as much water. I been so excited to receive, a fridge, wood for island, wood for deck, bookcases, antique table, paint, spray paint, I could go on. The house down the road where my friend died last year, is getting a remodel. They took off the awning, Hubby put some on the east side of our Bungalow, wow it helps with the heat not coming in the kitchen. He got more, he wants to add to the west end. I am ok with it, everyone is saying awning are great. Well I not so sure on the front of the house. He tore out for the front porch, and was going to build an over hang. Well he promises the awning will come down if it doesn't look good. I got to go back to the book cases. Love your painting.

Lady Katherine said...

ps I rooted two fig trees, and they are doing good! I cann't get a blue berry bush to live, I tired of buying and they die! Tell me what you do.

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Oh Manuela! No AC! I'm so sorry! Monday is supposed to be about 10 degrees cooler and rain may be moving in later today. I certainly hope so!! I had to go to an outdoor wedding last Saturday and sat in the hot sun with a frozen gel pack on my wrists. Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed to help! I'll be thinking of you!...Debbie

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

All great tips to share again! And I can't wait to see your floor. I would SO love to have a screened porch to do that paint treatment again. You're gonna love it.

So sorry you don't have AC! Oh my gosh, you must be dying about now. It is unbearably hot this weekend. Just too miserable to even get out there.

Merrie said...

Manuella, you are a tightwad princess!

Something I have started doing to save water involves the new shower head that I blogged about in April.("The present desire of my heart")
The shower head has a botton that turns the water off. The tightwad in me saw that button and realized that using that feature one could get wet, then turn the water off to soap up and shave, then turn it back on just to rinse.

(Now, I wouldnt tell just anyone this...but Im sure you can identify!)

Richella Parham said...

Good for you, Manuela! Do you have The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn? (Three books, actually, which are compilations of her newsletter.) That's been the most helpful money-saver for me. You can really make a difference in things if you'll hunker down and do it--and it sounds like you're really doing it! It's wonderful of you to share your wisdom here.

I can't wait to see whatever it is you're working on. Looks to me like you've transformed your deck floor into an extension of your kitchen floor. I really look forward to seeing this!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Great ideas!

My daughter gave me the funniest look when I took the bottled water they carried with them on their vacation and used the leftovers to water my plants. :)

I'm thankful we have a well although there is regular maintenance (but we baby the sceptic system). When we first moved in, we had a Culligan under the sink system put in.

We live close enough to farms that we felt it safer for the purity of the water, not to mention the taste of unfiltered water here where it is very high in minerals. That was a one time expense.

The cost of trash pick up has gone up a lot. We take recycling into town on the days it is picked up at our friend's house (there is no pick up in the country for recycling).

One of my next honey-do projects is to put up a clothes line in our one remaining sunny location.

You are a inspiration. Everywhere we can save money makes it possible to do some fun stuff (and creative).

Laura said...

Great ideas Manuella! Thank you for sharing them!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I guess I'm a fuddy-duddy, because I would never save foil. I don't like excessive waste, but I wonder which costs more, buying a new roll of foil every 6-8 months, or paying for the water (times 3) to wash the foil each time. Just a thought. Anyway, happy day to you my friend.

shauna said...

Great post with lot of tips on saving money. I thought I'd mention something about magazines. Our county library only keeps back issues for a period of time. If you ask them, they will call you when they are ready to get rid of the ones you want. Might be worth asking!

Anonymous said...

Somebody may have commented on this already - but when I lived in the midwest, they had the same system with sewer charges. We were able to get a second meter that was for outdoor watering and you didnt' get the sewer charge on the outdoor stuff (like watering grass, etc). Check with your town !!

Anonymous said...

I love towels dried on the clothes line. You know with them you were the first to use them as they are still a bit scratchie. Anyway most of us use special products {or sugar and oil mix} to get the dead skin off our arms etc and the towel from the line will do some of that for you! :) We use all the ways to save you do. Any excess water after other needs gets added to the compost if it needs to be moister. I am grateful the bathroom is not too far from our kitchen when I am carrying the dish washing water to flush it! :) Keep up the good suggestions. I have learned many things from your blog. We have a mister hose thingie wound around in a tree that we turn on and sit under to get cooled off when the house gets way too hot to be in. You can get as wet as you want then turn it off and sit and read then if you dry off do it again! :) Works for us!! Jody

Anonymous said...

When we have bits of veggies or meat etc leftovers I put them in containers in the freezer. I put them in though a container just big enough for one person to have a meal from that can be microwaved. I may only have a veggie so that gets time a meat and so on. So each container gets meat and 2 veggies. Mine are sheer so you can see when they are not full...they can be marked with tape as to what is in them. Having them all the same size makes them easy to stack. Mine are rectangular Rubbermade ones. My husband takes them to work for his work meal. They also work beautifully when we are in hurry and need to eat.If you know ahead of time you are using them they can be put in the fridge over nightto thaw. Now I don't hunt for that little smiggen of this and that in the fridge. Oh we keep 2 bucket in the shower and collect water when we shower too. Jody

Suzanne said...

Thanks for all the great tips! We do the tin foil and baggie reuse thing too....and I LOVE my clothesline...well, for everything except towels, lol! Too exfoliating for me! :)

deanies space said...

I read about your saving on water and it is something everyone should do to conserve on water. Not for the money thing but not to be so wasreful. I too used to save bath water to flush with. I guess I'm from the older generation and recycle is what we grew up doing. I keep a container in freezer to put leftover veggies in to make veggie soup later. I can relate to your blog. Blessings Deanie

Michelle said...

I just found your blog today and I just love it!

You've inspired me to do a couple of projects and I think the water bowl is a GREAT idea. Now why didn't I ever think about saving all that water instead of letting it run down the drain?