unique ways to save money on your electric bill

Make everyone use candles.

Catch field mice so they can generate electricity via a small wheel attached to a generator.

Steal it from your neighbor.

Tell your kids that after 7 o clock every night you are playing blind man's bluff and hit the main switch.

Ditch the fridge and eat only canned soup.
after opening the can with a spoon.

Hang your clothes outside till it rains...that will wash them...and then let them dry when the sun comes out..
in between....your naked.
What's the big deal.

Don't plug your tv in...write your own script and let the kids play the parts of  your favorite show..
if it's something truly interesting like Dexter...you have the added benefit of explaining complex life situations.

Instead of a phone...get two tin cans and one heck of a long piece of string...it really works.
if that fails..
two words.
smoke signals.

Any one else got some great electricity saving ideas?
I'm all ears.
Chris out.


using coupons

I don't normally...unless it's a really good deal.
But last night...I had some 'just for U' coupons from Safeway that I wanted to use..
Now safeway has store coupons that you can put onto your safeway card electronically that are good for ALL club members..
and then they have coupons they tailor just for you.
I have unlimited milk for 2 dollars a gallon...or had, till march 5th.
So off I went to safeway, not only  that but I had a 10 percent pff any Safeway brand product..
plus a 20 cent per gallon discount per gallon of gas if I spent 20 dollars at a go.
So I buy 6 gallons of milk (12 dollars-1.20 is 10.80....or a 1.80 a gallon...(which I freeze....if you drain a bit off the top, you can freeze the milk and it doesn't affect the quality of the milk.)  and some apples, oranges and a few other items..
so I get to the counter and the lady at the counter tells me the milk doesn't count toward the 20 dollars, 20 cent per gallon discount.
Prior to that trip I had 3 out  of 100 points toward a gas reward.
I didn't argue with her..I thought it was still a good deal and proceeded..
I didn't buy anything else but what I had already put in my cart..
The lady was WRONG.
I did get the 20 cent discount..I had two gas rewards when I was done.
I didn't say anything as I didn't want her to take it back..but I did wonder how many people went back to get more stuff in the wrongheaded delusion they were 'saving' money.
unfortunately or fortunately for me...I don't have the luxury.

So...My take on coupons is..
If it is something you normally buy, that you know the price of....that is an excellent deal.
Take the coupon...stick to that item and get in and get out.
Most of the time stores use items called 'loss leaders' to pull you into the store...to suck you in thinking you are getting a deal.
And then you spent an additional 20 dollars on things you don't need.
Loss leaders are just what they sound like...
items the store is willing to lose money on to pull you in..
so don't fall for it.
Get in and get out.
And if possible...combine it with a dual offer.
Chris out.


Tax time means belt tightening time...

so...to come up with what we owe...we have to cut our grocery and gas bill.
I have 400 dollars for the month.
What is the first thing to go....

paper towels.
I can use newspaper instead.
next thing to go..
Garbage bags.
You know why...at my store you have an option of paper or plastic.
So I choose paper and use paper sacks.
I don't know if you remember your mom using paper sacks for garbage bags.
I do.
So that's what we'll be using.
Next up
Bake your own bread.
I can get a 25 pounds sack of flour for 10 bucks.
buy some yeast..
It's about 50 cents a loaf...
as opposed to 3.00 dollars..
add to that all the biscuits and noodles you can make with that flour.
The pancakes.
There is a reason it's called the staff of life.
No more than 2.50 per pound.
That means loads of chicken.
and the beef comes from 'reduced' section of the grocery store.
I spent 280 dollars at the beginning of the month for staples..
dog food
dishwashing liquid.
baking soda and baking powder..
chicken bullion
beef bullion
frozen chicken
reduced beef..
economy tub of peanut butter.
you get the picture....
enough for a one month supply
and am supplementing with the deer and elk we shot over the winter..
and the half a pig we went in on with some very good friends.
And we will be fine.
maybe you all have ways you cut back on your food budget.
I would appreciate any ideas you all might have.


Eating healthy on a budget....about Meat....

Hey all,
I have been away from this blog for quite a while, but have been spending the last few days really studying how to cut my grocery bill while maintaining a healthy diet.
I have found a few things that I am thinking of trying.
1.) Buy meat that is reduced...meaning it's expiration date is tomorrow..but you can freeze it.  This includes tough cuts of meat that are already cheap but made cheaper by the fact that "time's up", so to speak.
With tough cuts of meat you can use a crock pot or simmer on the stove in a dutch over for a few hours to make it tender, and you'll never notice the difference. Except in your pocketbook.
I bought two packages of red meat..beef round top steak reduced...each package was around 2.30 cents per package..each has a little over a pound of beef. 
What I like to do with these thin steaks is to cook them in a crockpot..add bell peppers, green ones mostly....because they are the cheapest...and onion and beef broth (I found a great substitute for wylers beef broth..it's  knorr beef broth 2.08 for a huge jar)...and let it cook till the meat falls apart...then into a pan on the stove I add a can diced or stewed tomatoes and then add a cup of juice from the crockpot and a packet of brown gravy and make tomato gravy.. Then I pour the gravy back into the meat....and I make mashed potatoes on the stove with 5 or 6 potatoes... Put the gravy and meat over the potatoes.
You can serve this meal with some green beans if  you like...
Grand total for this meal..
meat 2.32
potatoes 1.00 maybe...
broth .05 cents
2 green bell peppers .80 cents
1 can tomatoes...80 cents
1 beef gravy packet 33 cents
1 onion 10 cents
1 can green beans (or two depending) 80 cents to 1.60.
That's 6.20 cents for a good dinner or 7.00  with 2 cans of green beans.
for a family of 4 That is a 1.55 a meal per person (a 1.75 for 2 cans of Green beans).
And if you don't like canned you can use frozen grean beans for not much more.
To up the vitamins in your meal....leave the skin on your mashed potatoes and put a clove of garlic in there...

2.) Extending you meat with additives...
I buy 93 percent lean meat and I get mine from the commissary.
I know how lucky I am because meat is pretty cheap (compared to walmart)
To get the most bang for your buck, you can add stuff to your ground beef to make it go further..
for things like meatballs and meatloaf you can add crackers or oats...a cup or two can make a pound stretch much further...especially if it's meatballs. You can also use barley.
For mexican food, I like to add black  beans...you can double or triple your meat with this and it adds fiber and tastes great.  I especially like this in tacos or enchiladas..
black beans and hamburger also make great chili...
And it is a cheap dinner
a half a pound of hamburger at the commissary 1.50 in reality land 2.20...
1 bag of beans 1.20 to 1.50
1or 2 cans of tomatoes .80/1.60 cents
1 packet of chili seasonings
(or even better, make your own here.)
buying your seasonings in bulk and putting them in baggies is cheaper and you can buy only what you need...a plus when you are trying to save money.
Grand total: 4.90/5.70 in reality land.  That my dears is enough for a lunch and a dinner. 
I personally add rotel tomatoes to my chili...gives it a little kick for the same price. 
that's about 8 servings for a grand total .61/.71 cents a serving.

So those are two of my ideas for saving money in the meat department...tomorrow I will talk chicken. 

What do you do to make your food budget stretch when it comes to the meat department?
Any ideas are appreciated.
Have a wonderful day,
Chris out.


ouch! that hurt.

yeah...somehow the electric company has been undercharging me and overcharging my neighbor...now it's time to pay the piper. 761 dollars worth.
That is an average of around 30 dollars a month more than my neighbor.
Which means not only do we have one heck of an electric bill.
We also use too much energy.
So It's time to be vigilant about turning off those lights and unplugging things.
For the longest time I have thought putting or pluggin in those power strips and then turning them off at night took care of the problem.
They still draw energy.
So tonight I went around unplugging small appliances.
We'll see how or if things improve.
better now than never.
I am not sure I hold much store in those energy saver lights.
They cost a lot and ours burn out every other month.
I am not sure the small savings is worth the outlay and constant light bulb changes.
My clear bulbs last longer.
I also wrote up this thing people call a Bud-get (N): A budget (from old French bougette, purse) is a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving and spending.[1] A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods. In other terms, a budget is an organizational plan stated in monetary terms..
A budget is NOT when you pay all your bills and then the rest of the money is just a great big free for all.
So my budget consists of bills, grocery money, gas money (currently an arm and a kidney), spending money for everyone in our family, SAVINGS ( a new category lol) and project money...
we are idea people.
My project currently is fencing off an area for a garden.
Tim's project is garage organization.
We each have 60 dollars a month allotted to our project after initial outlay.
Either way we are going to have to be cutting back whether we like it or not.
So I am going to be eating dinners with the family.
I am also going to be making menus so I don't overspend at the grocery store...
(which isn't hard to do these days)
Do you guys have favorite family recipes?
Post them and I will put them up to share.
I am thinking about making this blog a kind of open forum where anyone who wants to post can post.
Let me know if you all are interested.
The more ideas the better.
Talk to you all later,
Chris out.


emergency essentials for your car

Hey all,
It's been a while....but I have been busy.
I am cleaning out closets and organizing my food storage areas.
I have been working on getting the different areas organized.
If you don't know where things are, you can spend money you don't need to spend on items you already have.
Which is why I have been cleaning.
Tonight I put a bug out bag in my van.
It has 4 mre's (meals ready to eat)...a swiss army knife...an emergency blanket.
I am going to put together a first aid kit for the car as well.
I would also like to put emergency purified water in the car and a case of mre's.
Each MRE has 2000 calories.
A case has 12...or three days of food for a family of four.
You can get mre's through emergency essentials (in the link on the left).
They stay good for a long time..
at least 3 years.
usually for many more than that.
Especially if stored indoors.
flares, and orange triangles, jumper cables, a flashlight..a firestarter wouldn't go amiss either.
A jack and a spare tire...
These are all good things to keep in the car.
If you have anything you like to keep in your car in case of emergency...put it in the comments below and I will share it with everyone.
Have a great night guys,
will be back soon with more information and updates.
Chris out.


reader tip of the day

from yellow rose jasmine:

My tip for the day: from experience, I actually did this- try those composite 'sticky back' tiles if you want to make a cheap linoleum floor look like you redid it in tile. I even got the ones that appear to have 'grout' and it turned out awesome. My bathroom floor would have cost me about $500 to have it done in tile (got several estimates), but the composite tiles were $35 plus 1 day of my time. The kitchen would have been $1400 dollars and cost me $230 to do it myself this way with cool 20 inch European looking stuff. I was careful to do everything as right as I could, sealed and caulked and all. I had never done anything like this before. I've had these floors for over 2 years and they still look brand new. My bathroom even survived a flooding by my beloved nephew and is good as new!

Any other money saving ideas..
all are welcome.
I do have an upstairs bathroom that needs some serious help.
have a good one.