Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And the Laundry and Frugality Continue

As the winter came on the laundry continued, and so did the need to keep saving money. For the first time in twelve years there is no winter work in the construction field. It has been nearly two months of steady unemployment, but we keep tweaking things to keep ends met.

We have a laugh when we bring the laundry in on the cold winter days! It is hard to show exactly how stiff it looks, but when we send the children out to get the laundry it is formed to the shape of the chair it is drying on. Savannah tries to get the laundry in the basket, but she can't quite make it fit! lol

I have to say it must be making a difference in my hydro bill because when I got my bill this month I was expecting it to be much more than it was, because I had a girl stay here for three weeks this winter and she stayed in our travel trailer. (Not because she had to, but so she had a little room of her own). For heat she had to use an electric plug in heater. I am sure those things eat up the pennies.

We have taken to using as little lights as possible. It would be good if we were that conscientiousness all the time. I understand from doing research on the internet regarding lighting for our new home that 20-50% of our electric bills goes to lighting! And if our dryer uses up another huge chunk, well, we know what we can do to cut costs!

I remember growing up and my mother telling us to turn off lights. It didn't make sense to me. Whatever. We did it when we were told, but didn't carry it in our memories for long. She tried fining us 10 cents a light, but that didn't work. And we grew up without money, so I know how important that was.

Ray is like my mum. He gets on the kids and reminds them. I don't. I just turn them off when I walk by. Probably related to my childhood. So, it is interesting that I am the one that is really cracking down on the light usage right now. I think it is because I want to see how much I can bring the bill down. If it is really related to lights and dryer then I have a lot of control over my monthly bills.

So as the evening creeps in and the shadows start to come down we gather in the main room. The children are wonderful about cooperating because I have explained to them that this is a way to help Daddy with the bills. I found Austin peeling potatoes in the near dark the other day. lol I told him to use the lights!

But as I told Dane, "This is what memories are made of!" I said this because I walked in the TV room one evening and said, "What are all these lights on?" Then I bust out laughing. Dane joined me when he found out what I was cracking up about.

All these lights -  all 2 of them. We have two light fixtures in our TV room and they both hold six Christmas light size bulbs. I had no control over all the lights being on in the house, so I had taken the liberty to unscrew some bulbs. In this room I had unscrewed all but one in one of the fixtures. This night it seemed really bright. Dane had turned on another one in the second fixture. *laugh* The room really did seem light in comparison to what it has been. And it is a TV room, after all. It is supposed to be more like a movie theatre.

But it was funny.

The nice thing is we are doing more clustering. We are gathering in the main room more and I find I am cooking, a child has pulled up a comfy chair to read, another is doing a puzzle, and others are doing chores. I don't really see the downside in saving money by using less lights! And each day the sun stays up an extra two minutes! *grin*

Another thing we have done is cut out our cable. We did this way back in May. That has saved us about $60 a month. Not much? Well, that adds up to $720 a year. Plus the tax you pay to take home that $720. You end up saving about $900 a year from that one thing! For starters, I began watching old TV series like The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Seventh Heaven, so I was already taming down my TV. 

Then we discovered that you can watch any tv shows you want on the internet. Now, the children and I don't watch TV shows at all, so this doesn't affect us, but it does mean that Ray can watch the couple shows he likes to watch - for Free! So here you see Dane and I huddled around the computer screen watching a show! (laugh) Not exactly the most comfortable seats. I understand you can hook it up to your TV screen. Maybe one day.

One thing that Ray misses the most are the hockey games. Not that he is a complainer; he's not! But we couldn't justify the $60 a month it cost for him to watch hockey - not at this time. So now it is like the old days. The family huddles around the radio (computer) to listen to the play by play. *grin*

 Casually Listening

 The Crowds Move In As the Game Picks Up

 And.... OVERTIME!

Well, the situation was recently remedied for Ray. We still don't watch TV, but Ray takes nothing for himself, spends nothing, and expects nothing, so coming up with the money for his hockey is quite a reasonable thing even in the light of unemployment.

I still didn't really want the tv due to the horrible brain control it seems to hold over certain members of our household. So I was quite happy to have it gone. The short version of the story is that I called the company to disconnect with them when our six month sabbatical was over. They didn't want me to. They said I would have to pay another months fees as notice. I said I couldn't. They put me through to another department. That day I discovered there is such a thing as the Save Department. There job is to keep the customer at all costs!

It was so funny. I was trying to convince that food was more important than TV, lol, and he was trying to convince me to stay. Finally, when it was abundantly clear that he was not going to keep this customer he offered to drop my fees. Suddenly, my resolve dropped, my ears perked up.

What? Huh? How much? My suspicious nature came out. I asked all kinds of questions. Yep, I could take it to the new house. It would be my new fee for good. He keeps trying to convince me, I'm not convinced. Finally. Okay, so then I'm listening, my face is looking thoughtful and then when I realized it was really a good deal I said, "I'll take the deal." You had to be there, but seriously, I felt like it was Deal or No Deal. Lol

Here he was offering me this deal. If I didn't take it and wanted TV in the future I would pay $55 a month. Here he was offering it to me for $31 a month. Shucks. What to do!! I knew my hubby deserved to have his hockey. What to do. What to do!! lol

So when I said, "I'll take the deal," it felt just like when you got the $50,000 or you can go for the next question. But no, I took the deal.

It was very cute when I called my son in to turn on the TV that had sat inactive for nine months, only to discover it had been active the whole time. He was pleased for his dad. And his dad was pleased. So now I know, there is a Save Department and that is where you get fantastic deals!

I still wish it were gone, but I figure if we are allowed a 6 month sabbatical, then we can use it for six months for hockey and a few shows and take six months off, and that will cut the yearly fee in half - down to $15 a month!

1 comment:

Momma to four! said...

Justine that is awesome! We did that with our cell phone for awhile well we decided whether it was worth it or not. The cell phone company called it retention or something like that. As long as there is competition then these companies will work to keep you! In the end we decided to cancel and now have been no cell phone for 5 months never missed it!