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Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Cheap Way to Move Snow

It's time to shovel snow again! (And that exclamation mark is not intended to convey enthusiasm.)

Shoveling our driveway is one of the ways that Dani and I have decided to save money. Sure we could hire a plow truck like the majority of other people on our street, but with the rising cost of fuel plow trucks are expensive to hire. Other means of moving snow are pricey too—the last John Deere snowblower attachment I looked at was almost a thousand dollars. So, no thank you. I'll stick to the push shovel. Besides, it's a good workout!

To some people this sounds ridiculous. They can't imagine shoveling for an hour and a half just to clear the driveway. But just because we've decided that moving snow by hand is an acceptable sacrifice to make on our journey to debt-free living, doesn't mean it's right for you. Everyone has to find those things that work for them. The important thing is that they find them.

Some of the other choices we've made, include:

  • Instead of buying firewood that's already been cut and split, we bought what's called "log length" wood. We had to chainsaw it all up and split it ourselves, but the price for a cord of log-length is about half of what it costs for a cord of pre-cut.

  • We've eliminated restaurants from our budget completely. This is a big sacrifice for me because I love eating out, but, A) we're saving about $500 a year, B) eating out isn't all that healthy anyway, and C) it's not forever. (Thank God!)

  • We unplug electronics if we're not using them because TVs, DVD players, stereo systems, computers, and other electronics draw a lot of power even if they're off. Believe it or not we have noticed a difference in the electric bill.

  • We pretty much live in just the downstairs of our house. The upstairs is all closed off for the winter with the upstairs thermostat turned down to about 55.

Some of the things we do are minor annoyances that just take some getting used to—it took a month for me to start remembering to shut off the power strip to the TV whenever I was done watching a movie, but now I do without even thinking about it. Other things take some serious dedication—you think I want to be outside shoveling snow first thing in the morning?!

These are some of the things that work for us. I'd be curious to hear what works for you. You might have some great ideas!

Now, you'll have to excuse me, last time I looked it was snowing outside.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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