How We Accidentally Saved Lots of Money, Part 2-
Dave and I both thought of a few more things after the 1st posting, so here they are!
*Getting a Pro Anyway?- If you're hiring a pro to do some big jobs, like plumbing, electrical, whatever, have them do the LITTLE jobs too. They will charge you a minimum fee just to show up. If you tackle a small job yourself it might take you 3 trips to the hardware store, and a LOT of aggravation. If someone is coming to do a BIG job, have them do the small ones too. You'll save time, and money. And maybe get a warranty!
*Barter, Swap, Freebies- I used to be, and Dave still is, resistant to asking for freebies. Example- "hey are you throwing away those bricks?", that you see you're neighbor down the street demoing. Or "hey are you going to throw out all that rhubarb?" My neighbor would let hers die all summer. She hates it! We love it! She said "help yourself". Check the "free" section in CraigsList. I've gotten tons of plants, bedding, clothes. I even found a hide-a-bed. We cleaned it, got a new cover for it, and it's great for the spare bedroom. Barter too- I have traded eggs for other things, and have participated in clothing/home items swaps at work. I also got a lot of free veggies at work from the fall harvest. I even dumpster dived once for a monitor riser. It was new, and right on top, so I couldn't pass it by! Last year Dave bought our daughter's nice DSLR camera, she bought another one, Dave gave me his old one, and I've stored my old point and shoot.
*Conserving Power- An programmable thermostat can save you up to 60% on your power bill! That's a lot! Dimming your lights by 10% (which is barely noticeable) will save you up to 47% on your power bill too. Hubby learned that in his classes in the electrical field :) If you have an attached garage ALWAYS keep it closed in the winter, so it's warmer in there. Don't let your pipes freeze. Use some heat tape and keep them thawed. Buy a front loading washer, and buy Energy Star if you're buying something anyway.
Photo From Bell Haven Farms, link below
Chicken Eating Eggs Solution-
Last week Dave caught both the girls eating their own eggs, ew. I thought the one had stopped laying, but apparently she has been eating them. Lazy girls! I remembered a solution I had seen years ago, a Nesting Box Egg Catcher Problem solved! Since the girls are on a high quality feed, with healthy treats I know it's not some kind of defiency. I showed the concept to Dave- an angled floor with a padded area/tray to catch the eggs, that way the hens can't get to them. Since I've read it's really a hard thing to break, we're going with it. Dave will modify the nesting box by shimming the floors, then add something to catch the eggs. Photos coming after we're done, maybe next week.
This is for the last couple of weeks, too busy to keep weekly track. I will try to get back to a weekly post now that the holidays are over. I hope....
1. Plant Something- Nope, but I do have seed catalogs I'm looking at!
2. Harvest Something- Eggs. We will have more after we modify things.
3. Preserve/Store Something- Freezing the normal, breads, fish, cheeses, misc. stuff.
4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Bought lots today at the grocery outlet, my regular place. I FINALLY found a good winter coat, online, from LL Bean, on sale! Free shipping of course. I've been looking for weeks online, eBay, local stores. Everything was either too heavy or too light. I needed something mid-weight. I love LL Bean stuff because it lasts forever! It's a bit longer than my old one, which will be great in the cold weather. Here's my new baby, coming home soon-
5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Starting to use the fruit in the freezer, rhubarb, nectarines will be in a cobbler later today. Making a big pot of veggie chili in the crock pot today too. Using up lots of old tea bags in the Keurig My K Cup, which works great!
6. Build Community Food Systems- No yet.
7. Recycle/Re-Use- Selling a few things on CraigsList. More donations to the thrift store, since we're cleaning out a little office. I thrifted a cute twig reindeer, and some table top New Year's goodies for next year. Also found a gorgeous Advent tabletop wreath 1/2 price online, just gorgeous. Will reuse some scrap lumber for the coop redo. Bought a HUGE bird feeder at a thrift store for $4..00!!! It's a monster, I love the design, and the squirrels haven't touched it so far-
8. Skill Up- Learned how to make my own Water Kefir. Good results so far- bloating is down, lost some weight. Hopefully, over time, it will fix some various issues. I had no idea how many things it can help with! The nice thing is you can make you own indefinitely, and not have to buy it. Kind of like sourdough.
9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- More eggs!