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Fighting Lighting! Save Money On Electricity


Gaffing Groceries

Last month’s grocery budget
I saved $444.35 over last month!

I’ve been attacking my food budget like Kung Fu Panda this month and I have really made some progress.  We bought a lot of our food for dinners and batch cooking last month so we shouldn’t need to spend as much money on food this month.  That is why the annual food budget is what is more important.  Nevertheless, I have done some things to reduce my grocery cost as well as my fast food cost. I still have a week to go, but we should be able to reduce it compared to the last two months. I have also convinced my wife that I need to stack some more satoshis and now have increased that by $50.00 per month.  Again, this is not investment advice, it’s just what I am doing. That fifty dollar is my blow money that I am free to do whatever I want with.  If I want to buy a soda, I need to cash out 89 cents of bitcoin and buy the soda with my Cash Card.  I find that I prefer to save my deflationary currency and make a beeline to the nearest water fountain when I’m thirsty.  This helps me save some money and since I am getting a greater return on that than I am on my investments, I don’t feel like I am being frivolous with my money.


Energy


This month I am going to the mattresses with my utilities. *  The most expensive of my utilities is Electricity.  My parents raised me right.  My childhood is filled with lovely tips and tricks on how to save energy like close the God damned door!” “Is there a movie playing in that fridge? Turn off the lights!  Sadly, this type of yelling as not my preferred mode of learning and I still have a horrible habit of leaving all of the lights on. When I looked at the budget of electricity from St. Patrick’s Day to April Fools day I noticed that I have been both drunk with power and foolish with my energy costs.  I asked myself, what is the best way to optimize this?  The best way is to build a tiny house and only have one Led light. This also optimizes=s your rent or mortgage costs and let’s you live on the least amount of energy possible is probably not a very good idea since. Alternatively, I could use candles like they did before we could flip a switch to see in the dark.  This is probably not a good idea since candles I also have too many people and animals living with me to make a tiny house worth it–So I consulted a few blogs and they seem to have one common thread: turn off the lights when you are not using them. 

That is easier said than done as it turns out.  I ended up going all over the house turning the lights off that everyone left on.  This is annoying.  I also noticed that it only saved me about ten bucks last month.

I would also like to mine Bitcoin at some point, but I am not sure if it is possible since my electricity is so high.  It seems that it would be easier to just buy it than mine it at this point.  I am also interested in using clean energy to mine Bitcoin, but I do not live in a place near any damns and I do not have solar panels.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find out how Southern California Edison generates the electricity it serves to its customers. 


How To Get Yourself to Turn Off The Damn Lights

I have a friend that has his family put a quarter in a jar every time they forget to turn off the lights. This seems like a good idea, but ‘M not sure it would work for me.  I think this is going to just end dup costing me a lot of quarters.  I have already taught my son to turn off the lights using a calm tone and that seems to be helping  He is still afraid of the dark so sometimes he runs out of rooms without turning off the lights, but he’ll grow out of it and I don’t mind getting up during his fits of terror. I am going to use this quarter trick but modify the stakes for my families tastes.  The reason I am skeptical that this will work is because I see the electric bill every month.  We pay over a hundred bucks a month to the electric company.  If that doesn’t stop me from turning off the lights when I leave the room, I need to find something else that does. Enter the Anti-Charity

This is another one of those Tim Ferris Hacks.  I can’t remember if I read it a book or heard it on one of his podcasts, but the basic idea is to use leverage to get yourself to do something. Maybe a quarter in a bucket is not going to give me the leverage I need to turn off the lights.  I already pay the electric company about 600 quarters per month.  ( $150.00).  I will use these quarters to fund a political candidate that everyone in my family does not like.  Now it doesn’t really matter who it is or what political party you belong too.  If you are a Democrat, you can donate the quarters to Donald Trump. Republican, try donating the coins to a Democratic Socialist like Bernie Sanders. Proud Independent, donate to a SuperPAC or it could be for a cause you hate.

Here are the rules.  If we leave a room without turning off the lights, we need to put a quarter into the plastic bucket.  This bucket will have a label affixed to it that states the following: 

If you forget to turn off the lights you will need to donate a quarter to the

___________ political campaign fund.

If this bucket reaches $______ We will donate its contents to this person we do not want to be president

I thought about turning this into a label, but i decided that it’s easier and cheaper to print this, fill it out and tape it to a jar.

I’m setting the threshold at ten dollars. If the bucket reaches ten dollars, the money goes to a cause we do not believe in.  That’s leverage.


Buy Better Bulbs

  I also read a Mr. Money Mustache blog post about Led lights.  Apparently, these are the most efficient lights you can buy and I’ll just take his word for it. He does some math and it looks good to me but it’s just not something I even knew existed.  He claims every Led light bulb saves an average of about $8.67 per year.   I have about twenty light bulbs that are either CFL or halogen.  According to Mr. Money Mustache blog I had to punch myself in the face six times for the lights in the garage and two times for the lights above the stove.  I was unsure if I needed to replace the CFL lights, but as it turns out I found a box of E cosmart CFL’s at work one day.  According to the box these CFL’s cost about $2.77 per year.  The savings is not quite as much on these, but I decided to change them out anyway just because they run hot and I noticed that the Led lights are cooler and I figured I should keep it as cool as possible since I plan on keeping the AC off as much as possible.

I walked around the perimeter of the house to count all the outside lights. It turns out that I have some flood lights that have been burned out since I lived at this house. I am not going to replace them.  I also had some halogen lights in the garage that not only cost a lot of energy; but end up making the room hotter than it should be, especially during the summer.  Apparently, these are not as bad as the halogen bulbs, but they can still lose energy over time.  My house has a lot of Led lights already in the form of gas can lights. My landlord said these are the types of lights rich people have so he installed them in the house.  They look nice, provide a lot of light, and apparently are very cost effective. Luckily, I do not have to replace any of the LED lights.

I found some LED lights at the 99 cent store

Don’t forget about the stove lights. I had lightbulbs that were installed before Pulp Fiction was filmed

During my last trip to the 99 Cent Only store. I picked up about 20 lights ranging from 1.00 to 1.66 a piece, but this is a sunk cost and I plan on using them for a long time.  The 100-watt replacements are also brighter than a policeman’s mag-light so I ended up only using three bulbs in chandelier above the dining room table. This already makes it brighter than we need it and I can save money on both the light bulbs and the energy at the same time.  I’m not sure if my wife really likes this.  I might replace them with lower watt LED bulbs because it looks kind of weird.   I used half of the bulbs in the garage since I don’t think anyone is going into that room very often.  

Here’s how it looks with and without the extra light bulbs.

save more money by using less bulbs

Now I just need to wait for next month’s bill to make an update and see who wins this bright battle:  Me or the lights.

*going to the mattresses is from the Godfather by Mario Puzo. When the five families go to war, they end up dragging mattresses on the floor at a capos house. They al sleep on the mattresses until the war is over to make sure that someone is always there to protect them.

Thanks for reading

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