Frugality is a Virtue

United States
May 21, 2011 12:18am CST
I am always looking for ways to cut costs, especially on my electricity! When I lived in Alaska where we had a lovely hydroelectric dam, my electricity was always pretty reasonable. I mean, like, $80 was a huge electric bill back then. Since moving here to Oregon, I have had to adjust, big-time! My lowest electric bill here is around $50 and it's not unusual for it to go well over $100 in the winter! Last year I bought a new water heater, which I expected to bring my electric bill down a bit. It has not happened. I have changed out all my incandescent light bulbs for the neon 13 watt bulbs, I burn only one bulb at a time and leave the lights off altogether as much as I can. (I am currently typing this in the darkness of my room. ) One thing I'm very frugal about is my laundry. I don't own a dryer, never want to. But carrying it beyond that, now I am looking for a different washing machine. To be exact, a wringer washing machine, preferably with a hand crank wringer. It has been difficult, at best. The only ones I have found are in Pennsylvania and do not ship. I realize that a wringer washer is more work than the standard spin washer but that's okay. I remember my mother having one when I was little and it looked like fun running that wringer. Have you seen any of these in your neck of the woods? I know they don't make them anymore but maybe they should. As many of them that are still working after 50 years, they are definitely better made than any that I've seen lately. If I never find one that I can get, at least I have a dream, right? Wish me luck!
1 person likes this
4 responses
@mysdianait (63977)
• Italy
22 May 11
My mother had one too when we were children but it made wash day a never-ending long chore It might well cut the cost of your electricity bill but it will make you take time away form other more pleasurable things, like time with your children for example, so think well before making this change I found this which may be of help to those who are not sure whatthis topic concerns: http://www.herculesengines.com/Maytag/Default.htm
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 11
LOL...I have no "more pleasurable things" to do. My only child is nearly an adult and will be gone in only a year or two. Besides, this is something that the two of us could do together...like other projects I have her work with me on. "Chores" can be fun, too, you know.
@mysdianait (63977)
• Italy
22 May 11
I know they can, especially when children move on and you don't have an audience
1 person likes this
• United States
23 May 11
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
21 May 11
Wow, you are adventurous. At least you will have awesome a rm and shoulder muscles! I can't imagine doing laundry for 4 people with a wringer washing machine. When we moved we purchased an HE washing machine & dryer. I am not sure how much money we actually save with it since our electricity is included in our rent. We are moving in a few weeks though and that won't be the case. Before when we lived in Louisiana our electric bill in the summer ran about $130 a month with 3 people home and being semi-conservative (my husband is hot all the time) and having a regular washer/dryer. My husband enlisted and when he left our bill plummeted! With just my son and I home we didn't use the a/c or heat as much and that made a huge difference.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 May 11
LOL...well, I don't know about those arm muscles. We are just a family of two, me and my daughter, and she will be off to college in a couple years. Don't know if I'll find my wringer washer by then or not. It would be nice. I would literally choke if my electric bill ever reached $130. I pretty well choked a couple winters ago when it hit $125. My summertime bills are lower since I don't use my central a/c. I just have a window unit in my bedroom and another in the living room. The living room unit doesn't really work anymore...it blows but not cold. I should get it serviced but am unsure as to whether it might not be easier and less expensive to just buy a new one. Since I am partially bedridden, my bedroom unit is sufficient for me. My electricity was included in my rent in the last place I rented. My landlord told me it rarely went over $25 so you can see why I'm in such shock over my current bills.
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
21 May 11
For 2 people $130 is a lot. When my husband enlisted our bill dropped to $75/month lol That was with central air in the summer in New Orleans, a regular washer/dryer, and all of our appliances were electric. We were on the 2nd floor and our apartment was in the sun a good portion of the day We are also cooling/heating 1400 sqft Every place you move electricity is priced so differently. Every time we received our bill the fuel cost was always more than our actual usage. We are about to move to Texas and I am hoping for a much better bill We have friend in a the same size house, she is the only one home during the day, but her husband and roommate love to run the a/c at night and their electric bill was only $60 last month.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 11
I used to have a roommate who ran the electricity up really bad. The water heater was at one end of the trailer and the washer and kitchen were at the other end so she would turn on the faucet in the kitchen to run till the water was hot and then start her laundry! It drove me nuts because the electricity was always so high with her doing that! It's tough when you're trying to save money and yet the folks you're living with have no vision.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
24 May 11
i do own a dryer but i try to only use it in the winter (i do hang out stuff in the basement during the winter after the initial dryer cycle - the one that fluffs them) we used to have a wringer washer several years ago but what if you made one yourself?
1 person likes this
• United States
24 May 11
That would be a possibility but I would still have to buy the wringers. That's the part that is essential. I sure wish they still made them!
@kingparker (9698)
• United States
22 May 11
I never see one in my life about the hand washing wringer you were mentioning above. It should be interest to see one though. About saving cost on a daily basis, I also want to do the frugality as much as I can. One thing I am sure, if you want to save electricity, why not try LED light bulbs, instead of CFL lights. They should save you a lot of money from your electric bill.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 11
What are LED light bulbs? Haven't heard of them. I use the neon 13 watt bulbs which don't use much electricity. I've researched the wringer washer online and the nearest one I've found is in the Seattle area. Of course, I haven't really looked at the local antique stores yet.