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  • We've taken to decluttering by listing things on trademe (NZ's version of e-bay).

    In terms of reducing food costs: We meal plan for the upcoming week, make a list of things to buy based on that, then ONLY buy what's on the shopping list when we go out. Shop around, particularly for vegetables. Find your 'value' (quality vs price) point. We buy meat as cattlebeast biannually direct from a farmer, vegetables from a grocers shop, and 'misc' from a supermarket (cream, bacon, tins etc).

    Do your own household maintenance! (or rather, marry someone who will ). Our washing machine (bought 2nd hand 7 years ago for $200) broke down last week, and my wife managed to buy another controller unit for $15. The internet is full of readable instruction manuals.
    Last edited by magicmerl; 02-23-2014, 06:45 PM.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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    • Originally posted by ryanmercer View Post
      Good start an investing primer and shut it about investing in this thread.
      I'll post whatever I feel like, bud. Don't like it, don't read it.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ryanmercer View Post
        Go a step farther and don't use the dishwasher. I've used one precisely once, the sound of the motor sloshing around water was not only annoying but it was screaming to me "I'm over here wasting electricity AND taking 3x as long to do something as you" heh.
        I've actually read that a good dishwasher will save you money (if you pay for your water, I rent so I don't) unless you are really careful with your water use while hand-washing dishes. Having a bucket or something to soak your dishes in, or two sinks, can help with that.
        Depression Lies

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        • Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
          I've actually read that a good dishwasher will save you money (if you pay for your water, I rent so I don't) unless you are really careful with your water use while hand-washing dishes. Having a bucket or something to soak your dishes in, or two sinks, can help with that.
          I've never seen a kithcen sink that doesn't have two sides *shrugs* water is usually far far cheapr than electricty anyway, especially when a motor is using it.
          -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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          • Originally posted by ryanmercer View Post
            I've never seen a kithcen sink that doesn't have two sides *shrugs* water is usually far far cheapr than electricty anyway, especially when a motor is using it.
            Maybe it's a regional thing? Very few sinks that I've seen around here are dual.
            Depression Lies

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            • Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
              Maybe it's a regional thing? Very few sinks that I've seen around here are dual.
              That's what I was thinking. Here it's all side by side stainless steel even in cheap-cheap-cheap apartments and about the only places I've ever seen dishwashers is in apartments and cookie-cutter tract housing (and then as an upgrade). Here pretty much everyone has air conditioning (I remember knowing 1 kid in school that didn't because it got fried and his mom just never had the money to replace it) where it constantly amazes me when I see on here that people don't have air conditioners and are complaining about un-naturally high temperatures and how to stay cool heh.

              It also frustrates me when I see "oh yeah I'm within walking distance of 6123471234 groceries/markets" closest supermarket to me is a mile away and you can absolutely forget about walking there unless you one smeared on the side of the road. For whole foods or trader joes they are all on the posh side of town which is a 40-45 minute round trip drive. Same for when people say they walk or bike to work, you can forget about that here if you work in an office, I'd be killed in a hit and run the first week I tried to bike to work (and I'd only be able to do it for a month or so in the spring and again for a month or so in the fall) or I'd come to work completely drenched in sweat or hyopthermic.

              Only thing within walking distance of my house is a farmer's market that is only open about 5 months of the year and for the most part is the same price as the grocery (some things being a bit more expensive) since they have the building 12 months a year but are only operating 5 of that.
              -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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              • I don't have a dishwasher or a dual sink, but I also don't pay a usage fee for water (although I pay a flat rate for sewer that is about 3x too high), so it's just the cost of electricity used for heating the water that I'm actually paying for. Of course, trying to use water that's just hot enough to get the job done is a method of savings.

                My heat's electric and not very modern (1985), and my insulation isn't good at all (not much I can do besides plastic on the windows since it's a condo). So far, my largest monthly electric bill this winter has been about $110. In the moderate temp months, I have paid less than $30. After that, I stopped sleeping in the bedroom and keep the heat way down in there, even moreso than the rest of the place, which I keep on around 55.
                The Champagne of Beards

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                • If using a dishwasher you should consider a water filter and a natural detergent.
                  K

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                  • In terms of other money-wise tips, my wife has just discovered Mr Money Moustache and he has a lot of good advice.

                    Our home mortgage is a split across fixed / floating loans, which reduces our costs there. Our bank accounts are:
                    1. Credit card account: Banks have an option (that they don't tell you about) where you can have your credit card paid off in it's entirety from your debit account every month. So we're not paying the floating interest rate for a month, and pay no interest on our credit card.
                    2. Floating account: The 'everyday' bank account that our pay goes into, and the credit card and fixed mortgage parts are paid off from. It's like having a giant and very flexible overdraft facility.
                    3. Fixed account: Like a normal fixed mortgage that people ususally have.

                    So we buy everything on the credit card that we can, which keeps our floating account balance as low as possible.

                    In terms of investments (which is what it seems like most of this thread has devolved into), there's basically nothing that offers the same risk/return profile that paying off our mortgage does. Two investments that ARE better than paying off our mortgage are:
                    1. We invest in Kiwisaver (matched dollar for dollar by our employer, so a 100% return)
                    2. A small business loan to the farmer who supplies our raw milk. He gets better rates than the bank would charge, I get a better return than the mortgage is costing us.
                    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                    Griff's cholesterol primer
                    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                    bloodorchid is always right

                    Comment


                    • I rarely use the dish washer - only the SO does, really. I typically handwash. However, between showers, dishes, cooking, washing etc. we never hit the minimum charge amount, so our water bill is consistently 81 / month - that appears to be the minimum.

                      Most of it's fees and taxes anyways, not water usage. I think a couple months ago I figured I'd have to triple my usage to actually start getting charged, however I had two pipes burst last month and leak for who knows how many hours before I found out and I still didn't meet the minimum.

                      M.

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