What do you do to cut expenses down?

wyoDreamer

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When I first got a HD washing machine, I used too much soap and it foamed too much and go into the rollers. It removed the grease from the bearings and I had to have the machine repaired. Repairman says that is the most common repair that he did with the new HD machines.
By using a little less soap, my clothes are still getting plenty clean and the appliances last - at least until we move, lol.
 

Marianne

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I fix and repair my washing machine...myself. I like the model and since there are no new ones being made. It is a Kenmore 90 series.
We have a Fisher-Paykel, a Danish made machine. Totally awesome, uses less water, spins clothes so dry it takes half the time in the dryer. The pump went out once, $80 on Ebay for the new one, Bill swapped it out in just a few minutes. He said it was the easiest repair he had done on anything.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Hubby and I are stepping into retirement at the end of the year. While I may continue to work occasionally (per-diem), I am not actively seeking employment. So... we're doing the homework on best medical insurance options for both of us. He's signed up for Medicare A and B, and we're meeting with an insurance consultant tomorrow to explore his other options. I'll also need to pick up medical insurance in January.

So, questions for any of you who've already traveled this road: What pitfalls have you run into? Any advice?

I'm also doing homework re: other ways to save on our unreasonably high (IMO) TV and communication bills. Re: TV service (looking into "streaming"). Can any readers direct us to an education source regarding that? We have land line b/c we live in a dead zone, so, giving that up is not an option right now. A new tower is being built within 6 miles of us, so hoping that will improve our reception, so we could drop our land line.

Electricity: Readers, do your homework, and explore your options! A recent piece of mail from our electricity service provider almost got pitched in the trash. Had I not read it, I'd not have realized that a "do nothing" response would have locked us into a 12 mo. service contract with them. (13.5 cents/KWh with substantial penalty for cancellation.) One call to the company that "delivers" told me that the standard rate will be dropping to 7 cents/KWh in January. So, I opted out of the "do nothing" contract, being told that it would take 2 months for them to put this through. Highway robbery!

I know that my options in the back woods sticks of Maine may vary substantially from those of you in more civilized areas, so what works for you may not apply for me. But, I'd love to hear what you all are doing to save money in these areas.
 
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mischief

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I weaned myself off TV, having the radio on for background noise, got a carbon neutral firebox installed with a proper wetback so over winter my hot water bill is zero. I can also cook on the top and often have a pot of vegie soup burbling away.
My eletrical bill is minumal, thanks to 'my hour of power' which is 12-1pm, free power..so good thing I like having my main meal in the middle of the day and thats also when I turn on the washing machine and if I am being naughty, the drier.
 

Mini Horses

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TV -- I watch very little but, I still work so not "home" to. But, not a big TV person, maybe news or a couple reruns. Don't have cable and won't pay for satellite. So, if it won't show up via the plain old antenna, I don't get it.

I used to keep a land line but gave it up when all I used it for was to call my cell to find it. LOL Hey, $20 is $20 for gas.

I am reshopping my internet provider next week. Hope to cut that bill way down. It isn't use, but the standard monthly fee. I need less and want to pay less.

Certainly talk with an agent on the health insurance. Before you go, make a list of questions and a list of meds you all may be using, health issues to address -- pre-exsisting or maybe needed -- and know that medicare has co pays without limits. So, an annual out of pocket may sound big until you have a situation and there is NO limit. Many of the "Advantage" plans can provide at less cost than a "supplement" plan will. In other words, think about monthly cost vs what you may pay for a co-pay. I have a friend who spends almost $300 a mo for a supplement & dental. But if she switched she would have a small co-pay on her diabetic meds. I asked her why pay $300 for NO co-pay when the co-pay would be less than $20 per month? She's seeing her agent. LOL
Know what you need to cover, then compare totals. Plans differ in various locations.

I switched. 9 yrs of never using, just paying medicare. For same money I will now have dental, vision and OTC buying covered. $200 annual on glasses + a free exam, 2 free dental cleanings, exams, plus $300 per qtr for any dental work -- which can roll into next qtr with a use or lose at end of yr, and $175 per qtr OTC purchases, same roll and use/lose as dental. Hey, that is $2K a yr I could use, same premium. Oh, Silversneaker included, too. I have 2 YMCAs close, I'm excited. I will never have to pay for band aids, Alleve, toothpaste, shampoo, vitamins, etc...again!
 

flowerbug

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I weaned myself off TV, having the radio on for background noise, got a carbon neutral firebox installed with a proper wetback so over winter my hot water bill is zero. I can also cook on the top and often have a pot of vegie soup burbling away.
My eletrical bill is minumal, thanks to 'my hour of power' which is 12-1pm, free power..so good thing I like having my main meal in the middle of the day and thats also when I turn on the washing machine and if I am being naughty, the drier.
lol at "being naughty"... i wish we had some solar hot water heat going on here. we don't sometimes have much sun in the winter for weeks or even a month at a time, but when the sun does come out it would be nice to be able to use that free solar gain heat for hot water and space heating if possible. alas, Mom doesn't want to make any changes here so i can't get that set up. it's one of the more cost effective uses of solar energy instead of converting it to electricity and then converting it back to heat for hot water.
 
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