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Frugal Friday Week 9

As many bloggers do, I read other blogs on the topics of interest to me. In the category of Frugal, I’m always interested to see how others are suggesting their readers save money and how they live the frugal life. Just a few weeks back, I ran across 25 ways I save money, the compilation of a five part series of money saving ideas. I think the list is great, it includes things I’ve mentioned in this new series such as using the library, buying in bulk (Costco), and using coupons.

But a few good ideas I’ve not mentioned here;

Cooking for multiple days, I’ve posted on this on my daughter’s site Another Fine Meal.com along with a number of recipes that freeze well so you can cook up a storm and then have a number of meals ready when you need them. A good way to avoid take out food.

Using a water filter. I wish our town’s water tasted good enough to drink, but it doesn’t. A Brita filter was the answer. From the 89 cents per gallon for the store brand spring water, to the 40 gallons of filtered water for the $4 or so filter cost, a savings of over $30. Not to mention the saved time not having to make the extra stop to grab the case of gallons.

Last, today, I’ll mention the compact fluorescent bulbs, 100W worth of brightness (actually about 1700 lumens, the correct term for light intensity) for 23W. A bit of math, I have rooms with 4 ceiling lights, by using CF I save just under 300W, or about 6 cent for every hour anyone is in that room with the lights on (calculated at about 20 cents per KWH.)
Regular reader Augustine points out a better way to view these savings. Countrywide, the average cost is 10 cents per KWh. So one bulb will save you about .77 cents per hour of use. At $2.50 (I just bought a 2 pack for $5), the breakeven is just 325 hrs of use. (I think we may both need to double check our math.) These bulbs claim a 10,000 hour life, so quite a bit of savings to be had.

Take a look at the full list of 25 and see how many ideas you can start to add to your daily routine.


  • Augustine July 17, 2009, 11:40 am

    I don’t know where you live, but even in CA, the state where energy is expensive state, the average price for the kWh is $0,12. Yet, even at the more typical rate of $0.10 per kWh, each bulb would pay itself off in merely 140h! Assuming that the bulb lasts only as long as an incandescent one due to short on-cycles (800h), it would save about $20 over its useful life.

  • JOE July 17, 2009, 12:06 pm

    I am in Massachusetts where I pay 20 cents per KWh, that’s how I got the 6 cents/hour savings.

    The CF package I’m looking at states a 9 year (!) warranty, so the savings should be much higher on average. It’s just a matter of fronting the money and spending the time to run around the house and put them in. I appreciate the note, 140 hours can be less than 2 weeks for all day use. Even on a tight budget, a same month payback is a great purchase.

    (Let’s not forget that in the summer, these bulbs run cooler and save on AC)

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