Prepping more by saving...

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by HozayBuck, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    3,183
    16
    I have no idea if all this is the 100% straight scoop, but some of it really rings true.. so much so that I thought we might benefit if it makes us thing of more areas to save...thus have more to spend for our preps...

    I've always questioned the 3000 mile oil change.. if your not low on oil, and wait till 4000 miles.. then the 4th oil change is free..so to speak.. I've been really watching my wallet lately.. more so then in the past.. I waste more money then I can believe now i think before I spend a dime!..


    Updated guidelines, better ways to save.

    Most of us learned the basic tenets of budgeting, housekeeping and auto maintenance from our parents. But times have changed, and some of the things you believed to be true are not the case anymore.

    Following are several examples of conventional wisdom that may cause you to needlessly waste money. Dig in and learn how to effortlessly save money by thinking outside the box.

    Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles

    The little sticker placed on the car windshield reminds you to change a car's oil every 3,000 miles -- regardless of make, model or scenario.

    But many experts now say the 3,000-mile oil change is dead. Why? New car engines and oil quality have advanced to the point where cars can go 5,000 to 10,000 miles without a change.

    "Generally speaking, vehicles don't need to be changed every 3,000 miles anymore," says Tara Baukus Mello, author of Bankrate.com's Driving for Dollars column. "It's somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000, unless they have an engine oil sensor, and then it could be anywhere."

    However, don't automatically assume you can push oil changes beyond 3,000 miles.

    "It's important to consult your owner's manual for the frequency, the number of miles, the length of time between changes and the type of oil -- and to follow whatever those instructions are," Mello says.

    Use Sheets With Sky-High Thread Counts

    New sheets usually have the thread count listed on the packaging. There's a misguided notion that more is better, says Barbara Flanagan, author of "Flanagan's Smart Home: 98 Essentials for Starting Out, Starting Over, Scaling back."

    bank.wastes1.jpg

    Sheets with a lower thread count are better for several reasons, Flanagan says. They can be washed and dried faster, which saves money on laundering, as they take up less space and dry quicker.

    In addition to the money saved, lighter sheets are better for your skin, she says.

    "You want your body to breathe through the sheets," Flanagan says, "and you want to get your laundry done in as few loads as possible, so the choice of sheets is really important."

    Flanagan also recommends using waffle-weave towels over the traditional large fluffy towels that Americans tend to buy. Waffle weave towels are also cheaper to wash -- and can even be air-dried, she says.

    "So that really saves a lot of money in the dryer," Flanagan says. "Your dryer is one of the most expensive appliances (to run) in the house."

    Keep Ceiling Fans On in an Empty Room

    The ceiling fan is a great alternative to -- or accompaniment to -- air conditioning, right?

    Not unless you are in the room, says Gregory Karp, personal finance columnist and author of "The 1-2-3 Money Plan."

    "(People) leave ceiling fans on in rooms where there are no people -- but ceiling fans don't cool rooms at all, they only cool people," Karp says. "They create a wind chill factor that makes human skin feel cooler. It has nothing to do with cooling your sofa in an empty room."

    And in the winter, running a ceiling fan in the opposite direction doesn't offer many benefits, Karp says. In houses with high ceilings, the fans can push the heat down -- but otherwise, they will often create a wind chill and waste electricity.

    And the cost can be significant, setting you back $35 per year on your utility bill to leave a large ceiling fan set on high through the night each night.

    Bottled Water Is Healthier Than Tap

    We've all heard stories about sketchy tap water. But a lot of bottled water is not much better. In fact, there is less quality oversight for bottled water than there is for tap water, Karp says.

    "This is a beverage that falls from the sky for free. It's given away at public water fountains," Karp says. "Yet somehow, this industry has convinced us to go to the store (and) pay real money for this stuff."

    Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Karp says, and checked for quality more frequently than bottled water, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

    And, according to the EPA's website, "Some bottled water is treated more than tap water, while some is treated less or not treated at all."

    Lavish Vacations Beat Simpler Ones

    People love to take vacations. But airfare, hotels, restaurant meals and activities can suck up money like a vacuum cleaner set on high.

    bank.wastes2.jpg

    Vacations don't have to be lavish. Consider skipping a trip to Paris and instead camping somewhere within your state's borders or visiting a friend in a nearby city. Travel time will be shortened, and your wallet will thank you.

    How about skipping the trip altogether, and really saving cash? Karp and Flanagan offer good reasons for making room for a bare-bones vacation in your budget.

    "Academic studies show time and again, and they all confirm each other, that people are much happier buying experiences than buying more stuff," Karp says. "And the reason is that experiences actually improve with time, like a fine wine."

    Flanagan agrees. She says her family decided to travel for Christmas and Hanukkah instead of exchanging gifts.

    "And so we don't have any sweaters or socks to show for the holidays," she says, "But we have all these great pictures of all these people in all these great places -- and everybody looking pretty happy."

    Cable and Satellite Trump Rabbit Ears

    Most people could save boatloads of money if they dumped their cable or satellite plan -- possibly enough to fund a modest vacation.

    If you're keeping cable or satellite because you think it has a better picture than rabbit ears, think again, Karp says.

    "I think a lot of people think that if you get television over your antenna that somehow that's inferior to cable or satellite," he says. "But the picture's actually better since we switched over to digital."

    Now that nearly all stations broadcast programming in a digital format, the picture captured by an antenna is less-compressed than it is through cable or a satellite system, Karp says.

    "The best picture you can possibly get is with a regular rabbit ears antenna," he says.
     
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    3,698
    70
    Regarding oil changes ...

    "Generally speaking, vehicles don't need to be changed every 3,000 miles anymore," says Tara Baukus Mello, author of Bankrate.com's Driving for Dollars column. "It's somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000, unless they have an engine oil sensor, and then it could be anywhere."

    However, don't automatically assume you can push oil changes beyond 3,000 miles.

    "It's important to consult your owner's manual for the frequency, the number of miles, the length of time between changes and the type of oil -- and to follow whatever those instructions are," Mello says."


    A lot is going to depend upon your driving conditions. Read your owner's manual carefully and go by what it says. Anther thing to think about is that when you change your oil with the engine thoroughly warmed up you also get rid of the sediment in the bottom of the pan. Newer vehicles aren't hearly as bad about accumulating sediment as the older vehicles but it still happens.

    Those of us who repaired vehicles built in the 60's and before remember that you could expect to replace the timing chain around 60,000 miles, a valve job around 80,000 miles (unless you bent a bunch of valves when the timing chain went out ... in that case you ground the valves then) and an engine overhaul by 100,000 miles. Also remember that tires were replaced by 20,000miles and flat tires were quite common.

    Some things are definitely better than they used to be!
     

  3. Aemilia

    Aemilia Zookeeper

    145
    0
    What about well water?

    Someone should let this person know that fluffy towels can also be air dryed. :cool:

    Does anyone know how this applies to well water?

    Good article, except for the last part. If you don't realize camping is cheaper than Paris, well :dunno: ...
     
  4. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    654
    0
    Regarding oil changes:

    5,000 miles is our standard.

    In my current post, one of my duties is to ensure the operational maintenance of a small fleet of vehicles. They are driven hard over a wide range of roads, including urban, rural (some gravel) and mountain. Some of the drivers are hard on the vehicles, some baby them. We've vehicles with over around 280,000 miles, and the two oldest with original engines and everything and they carry considerable loads.

    They're Fords, one from 1997, some 1998, and 2000. Our new ones are Chevys (2010), but they're very new and we don't know how they'll do in the long term.

    One interesting thing, I noted that our vehicles, driven very long-term, by ASSIGNED drivers do incredibly better than pooled vehicles, driven by anyone.


    "It's important to consult your owner's manual for the frequency, the number of miles, the length of time between changes and the type of oil -- and to follow whatever those instructions are," Mello says.



    I've heard that cheap sheets are actually better for you than high thread count linen ones. The problem with trapped moisture from high count linen goes way back and a 'damp' bed was a hazard of traveling in the old days. (They didn't change sheets from person to person. Ew!)





    Bottled Water Is Healthier Than Tap

    Way too many variables involved. For example, some pathetic city got slammed by Fiji water, who pointed out you could have water filtered naturally by volcanic rock or the municipal water from Detroit, Cleveland or other such hellhole. So the folks ran tests on the water and proved the Fiji water contained toxins, I think arsenic in miniscule amounts and their water was better at the plant.

    People who say they have perfectly fine tap water might be right, for them. Others have bad pipes in between and in their houses and in older buildings. While the same water comes to my house as came to a work location I had near here, I'd not drink the water at work.

    Lavish Vacations Beat Simpler Ones

    Vacations don't have to be lavish. Consider skipping a trip to Paris and instead camping somewhere within your state's borders or visiting a friend in a nearby city. Travel time will be shortened, and your wallet will thank you.

    Paris is a cesspool with a lot of floating turds that are actually it's citizens. Hardly lavish, but that's just my opinion. Camping is similar to Paris to me, because it's a dirty activity, but at least the woods don't smell of urine as the streets of Paris do.

    But there's a good point to this. I use to vacation in Vegas, Hawaii, and Northern California. I got sick of the TSA nonsense, and I found that, for me, I hate lines, I hate taking cabs, and I actually prefer where I live to other places. If I really, really enjoyed those other locations, I'd move there.

    I'm still paying for one heck of a lavish vacation where everything went first class. I basically got some good photos and some great memories, but to be honest, I could have saved the money, waited and bought a bought a Magpul Adaptive combat rifle for a few thousand, put an ACOG sight on it for $1250, and still been a head and have spent less, and I'd have something tangible of value which could be sold if need be.

    How about skipping the trip altogether, and really saving cash?

    She's got that right! I like my days off here...love them, don't really like travel, dislike it in many ways. I travel now only for family and seldom then.

    "Academic studies show time and again, and they all confirm each other, that people are much happier buying experiences than buying more stuff," Karp says.

    That I disagree with. Great experiences cost little or nothing directly, except for the birth of children and getting married. But from that sort of writing, I assume that Karp buys his women, sick puppy.

    Flanagan agrees. She says her family decided to travel for Christmas and Hanukkah instead of exchanging gifts.

    "And so we don't have any sweaters or socks to show for the holidays," she says, "But we have all these great pictures of all these people in all these great places -- and everybody looking pretty happy."


    Now that's cheap. Save the trip, send a gift, something to be remembered. I don't give something like a pair of sock or a sweater as a one and only gift. How frigging cheap!



    Cable and Satellite Trump Rabbit Ears

    Now that I very strongly disagree with. Local programming is utter crap and it's pap! It's designed for morons. People can enjoy sports and dancing with the stars and such, and that's fine, but for others, there's a potential education just sitting there.

    The education one can receive through the History, Military, Learning, Discovery, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Learning and other channels is amazing. We can explore incredible things and although this hurts me as a writer, a person can glean more information from a well done one hour program broken by commercials on some channels than they can from a 395 page long book and retain it better.

    An example: While I gained much of the information about Rome in college and reading books and attending lectures, I sat talking about the parallels to the Fall of the Roman Empire and us, with the Bread and Circus's, Voting themselves Bread, When Bread was free, people starved, and other such concepts and the other guy kept up based on what he'd learned from TV without having one to college.
     
  5. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    3,183
    16
    Yea I thought a bunch of it was ridicules too... if you can air dry a big sleeping bag why would a towel be harder...???

    My point of posting this was that it made me think about some issues..
     
  6. vja4Him

    vja4Him Survivalist Noob

    59
    0
    I would definitely agree! My son and I enjoy many educational shows, especially the History Channel, Animal Planet, Military Channel, Discovery, National Geographic and more ....

    I still don't watch much tv, but I learn a lot watching the educational shows with my boy ....

    With rabbit ears, we would be lucky to get many three or four stations, maybe five. And they are are worthless for us. several are in Spanish, and I don't understand enough, and it's mostly stuff that I'm not the least bit interested in.
     
  7. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    654
    0
    this goes with books as well. One of the silly things is when you have someone reading pulp, pop, crap looking down upon those acquiring cerebral entertainment from TV. Way, way back, I remember discussing something of interest and being told that books are the way to go, by someone who read romance novels!
     
  8. mmszbi

    mmszbi Junior Member

    77
    0
    Absolutely correct. My pickup has had a little over 10,000 miles put on it in the last 9 years. It just doesn't get driven a lot. With the small oil leaks it has, I put maybe a quart of new oil in it every month or two. I don't see the need of regular oil changes, but I will change the filter out.
    My wife had a 'oh yea' moment a couple weeks ago and told me this summer whe wants me to put a clothesline in the back yard. Where we live is considered one of the top 10 sunniest places in the US, with very low humidity all year, so seems to be a no-brainer to me.
    We do keep bottled water on hand, several cases, but kids are not allowed to get into them, water to drink when at home comes from the fridge, which is filtered.
    I like cable TV, rarely watch the braindead programming, I usually can be found on Learning channel, discovery, and a lot of hunting shows.
    I hate to travel. After driving OTR for several years, I have lost the hunger to see new places and time spent behind the wheel. I find it is more fun to explore the area in which we live, which is sparsely poplulated and I learn a whole bunch more about the area that can be put to use should the need arise. Instead of going the same old places, we find somewhere we have not been and go exploring, sometimes boring, but mostly a learning experience.
     
  9. mtnmom

    mtnmom Active Member

    27
    0
    And the smell of line dried clothes is heavenly! It is harder to get the clothes as soft as a dryer but otherwise it is definitely the way to go if you have a lot of sun. Lots of wind will give you softer clothes, so make sure to run your lines where the wind can catch them and really whip them good.:)
     
  10. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    Try giving each of the clothes items one quick shake as you put it up to hang, then again when you take it down. I find that helps a bit with stiffness.

    Since we switched to washing laundry in rainwater and snowmelt our clothes have been softer.

    And you're right, the smell of line-dried clothes is heavenly!

    :)