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Little things you do every day to save moneys

So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, in this ecomony, money is tighter for people in general. Well, not all people, but I'm going to go ahead and say most people are thinking about how to save moneys more than in previous years, right?

So what do you do to save money, on a small, everyday basis? Not talking about refinancing your house, asking for a raise, or selling a car or something - I mean the little things that over a longer period add up to a lot. This can be changing spending habits and doing things different around the house.

Some ideas I have been trying:

- Recycle everything I can - my recycle bin is larger than my garbage bin and my garbage company picks up recycling for no extra charge. The less I fill up my garbage bin the less money I pay for garbage pickups!

- No more (or very limited) coffee drink buying

- Do not eat out so much (hard habit to break, involves planning for lunches at work especially)

- Reuse things

- Repair things instead of getting something new (like clothes, shoes with worn soles, etc)

- Live in a cooler house so the heat doesn't run so much (put a sweater on instead of turning up the thermostat)

- Use those efficient light bulb things

- Eat up my own leftovers and try not to let the food I buy go bad and get thrown away. I always feel very accomplished when I successfully eat all the leftovers!

- Clip coupons more often and use them on things I would be buying anyway

- Pay a lot more attention to prices at the grocery store


Ideas I have not tried:

- Putting a gallon jug (or half gallon) in my toilet tank to reduce the amount of water it uses per flush

- Making my cats run on gerbil wheels to power my computer


How about you?

So It Goes on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Simple stuff, like turning the light off when we leave the room. Sure, we stumble on the stairs a little more, but we really don't need every light in the house on. We canceled our satellite service, and our parking deck space in town. We have a one fast food trip and one restaurant per month limit now, so we don't eat out nearly as much. A good 90% of the stuff we buy at the grocery store is either on sale or priced lower for having whichever club car that store offers, and we have the club cards for every store we go to. Buying generics saves a lot over name brands too.

    matt has a problem on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Today I hung my clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. Now my towels are all stiff.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I buy my meat on special, and I stockpile non-perishable goods when I find them on special.

    I walk to work every day.

    Richy on
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    I usually unplug all electronics when I am not using them. This includes microwave, televisions, etc.

    I try to buy food in bulk. This requires that I use electricity to keep my freezer going, but that tends to be cheaper in the long run.

    Other than that I just don't buy shit.

    _J_ on
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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Today I hung my clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. Now my towels are all stiff.

    dilbertho863.gif

    So It Goes on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Today I hung my clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. Now my towels are all stiff.
    Put fabric softener in the washing machine, instead of the sheets in the dryer. Buy some Downy and read the back of the bottle for when you should add it to the load. Or just buy a Downy ball.

    :edit: S.I.G., just an anti-hotlinking image there.

    matt has a problem on
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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Whoops. Fixed.

    So It Goes on
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    MorgensternMorgenstern ICH BIN DER PESTVOGEL DU KAMPFAFFE!Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    - I buy less books and go to the library more often.
    - I stopped buying new clothes that were shopping choices dictated more by fashion than by practicality and if I needed it. That being said, I did buy new hiking boots, but that leads me to my next thing that I do to save money.
    - I go hiking more and spend more time in the national parks around here, instead of heading down into the city to go for coffee, drinks, or watching movies, etc. I feel a lot better and more balanced (as vague as that comes off as).
    - Cancelled my satellite tv and now only use the internet to catch up on shows or news.
    - Pack lunches for work and stay in for dinner nearly all the time now.
    - I don't carry spare cash or loose change around with me, especially at work since that means I'll hit up the vending machines for a snacks. Helps save money and keep the waisteline in check.
    - I use a gas price website for the city to find out where the cheapest gas is in my area since walking or public tranport isn't an option for me to use when going to work.
    - Clip a fuckton of coupons for groceries and I actually buy less groceries which cuts down on wasted produce in the fridge.
    - Stopped smoking weed.

    Morgenstern on
    “Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” - Loren Eiseley
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    _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    I noticed that sometimes coupons do not actually save money.

    I received a coupon for a new kind of toothpaste. So i was all "cool, I can save money and try a new toothpaste." Except that when I went to the store I noticed that the toothpaste I usually buy was still cheaper than the new toothpaste with a coupon.

    _J_ on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Take my own lunch to work, and get there by bike.

    Theoretically I can go all week without actually spending money.

    All the obvious stuff like energy-saving light bulbs, etc.

    japan on
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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    _J_ wrote: »
    I noticed that sometimes coupons do not actually save money.

    I received a coupon for a new kind of toothpaste. So i was all "cool, I can save money and try a new toothpaste." Except that when I went to the store I noticed that the toothpaste I usually buy was still cheaper than the new toothpaste with a coupon.

    Yeah you gotta watch out for that. I saw a coupon for a free candle from Glade, so I clipped it. Turns out it's only "free" if the store is charging $3.49 or less for the candle, which no store around here does.

    I think most coupons are a way to get you to buy a brand you normally wouldn't, because COUPON!

    So It Goes on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Yeah, use coupons on a case-by-case basis. When you're looking through coupons and you see one for something you buy anyway, yay! use it. If it's not something you'd buy anyway, see if the coupon makes it cheaper than what you'd buy.

    KalTorak on
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    PataPata Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I don't buy many videogames, for my gaming fix I often get freeware indie games.

    Pata on
    SRWWSig.pngEpisode 5: Mecha-World, Mecha-nisim, Mecha-beasts
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    PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I find cooking tends to save money if you have time. Beyond the obvious (Ramen etc) you can buy whole chicken, especially at a butcher, instead of portions of chicken for relatively little. Bringing sandwichs to work, etc, tends to help. And cutting back on books/games helps.

    Generally I lean more towards the saver side of things anyway though, so the psychological movement towards savings hasn't touched me much. A lot of what happens during a recession is indirect - if your job isn't in jeopardy there's no real reason to save more now than before. Of course I also spent 90% of my savings on the down payment on a house Wednsday so I am saving more because of that.
    So It Goes wrote: »
    - Recycle everything I can - my recycle bin is larger than my garbage bin and my garbage company picks up recycling for no extra charge. The less I fill up my garbage bin the less money I pay for garbage pickups!
    I don't think I knew that places charged for that.
    japan wrote: »
    Take my own lunch to work, and get there by bike.

    Theoretically I can go all week without actually spending money.
    So, what, you grow your own food on a giant wind farm that is also tax exempt and paid off?

    PantsB on
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    VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Instead of buying tea at work, I keep a box of tea pouches in my desk. The hot water is free in the cafeteria. I also do this for any breakfast foods I may desire at work (bananas, muffins, etc.)

    Packing lunch saves a boatload of money. I now simply make double my usual dinner and wrap half of it for lunch the next day. That's cooking plus packing, and I can still afford to spend money on superior ingredients.

    VeritasVR on
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    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    Take my own lunch to work, and get there by bike.

    Theoretically I can go all week without actually spending money.
    So, what, you grow your own food on a giant wind farm that is also tax exempt and paid off?

    I mean in terms of actually handing over cash or using a card. We food shop every seven to ten days or so, and bills are direct debit.

    You save money doing this because most of the time people spend money unnecessarily on impulse buys, or spend more than they meant to/realise on things like lunch.

    japan on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    So It Goes wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    I noticed that sometimes coupons do not actually save money.

    I received a coupon for a new kind of toothpaste. So i was all "cool, I can save money and try a new toothpaste." Except that when I went to the store I noticed that the toothpaste I usually buy was still cheaper than the new toothpaste with a coupon.

    Yeah you gotta watch out for that. I saw a coupon for a free candle from Glade, so I clipped it. Turns out it's only "free" if the store is charging $3.49 or less for the candle, which no store around here does.

    I think most coupons are a way to get you to buy a brand you normally wouldn't, because COUPON!

    Dollar General, Family Mart, and similar stores. You need to watch what you buy there, bu I've gotten brand name sensitive tooth paste and a great hair product for a buck each.

    Improvolone on
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    sligmastasligmasta Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    at my work we have an employee dinning room, i eat here twice a day for free everyday i work, i end up only purchasing 4 meals a week

    sligmasta on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    You can always take a Navy-style shower, only using water to rinse yourself off. It's not a particularly relaxing way to take a shower, but it saves a ton of water.

    Zombiemambo on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    M'eh, my complex charges me $25 a month for water, I might as well leave the faucet running.
    all night

    Improvolone on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Stop drinking soda.

    It doesn't actually taste good; it's just sugary carbonated water. It's ridiculously expensive considering its constituent components. And it makes the food you eat taste less good during meals. Also, it's heavy to carry home from the store. Drink water!

    Qingu on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    Careful with the toilet tank thing, put too big a displacement in the tank and it will be too weak to flush itself. I remember trying an entire gallon with the tank in my previous apartment, it couldn't even get the water to to go down the pipe.

    But anything you can get in there and still have it flush is still saving water.

    edit: for the record in my current apartment i have one of those big 32oz powerade bottles in the tank

    FyreWulff on
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    sligmastasligmasta Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Stop drinking soda.

    It doesn't actually taste good; it's just sugary carbonated water. It's ridiculously expensive considering its constituent components. And it makes the food you eat taste less good during meals. Also, it's heavy to carry home from the store. Drink water!

    this, any time i eat out i will only drink water, paying what you would for a 2 liter when you only get 2 cups worth is rediculous, and i dont even like it that much

    sligmasta on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Stop drinking soda.

    It doesn't actually taste good; it's just sugary carbonated water. It's ridiculously expensive considering its constituent components. And it makes the food you eat taste less good during meals. Also, it's heavy to carry home from the store. Drink water!

    That is an opinion you know.

    I bottle my own Ginger Ale and Root Beer and it's fucking delicious. :P

    Seltzer is what I typically buy at the store though. Delicious once you get used to it and absolutely calorie free. If you find out its the carbonation that you really crave it can help your waistline, which in turn will cut down on medical costs. Also tends to be slightly cheaper than soda and generic brands are just as good as the bigger brands, for the most part.

    Hell I tell all my buddies who tend to drink too much the same thing about all the beer/hard alcohol wasted calories/cost and they just laugh at me.

    But yeah, butchers for meats, megamarkets for packaged goods, smaller/farmers markets for produce. Turn off lights, get rid of cable, landline, use the internet, prepaid cellphones, walk, bike, buy a used compact car in good working condition, turn everything off, keep your house slightly colder in winter and wear a sweater, replace your appliances with HE models, especially if you can get a rebate from the electric company or your state, HE bulbs last longer, are no longer hideously expensive, etc.

    Yard Sales/ Recycling centers for furniture, salvation army for clothes and books, library for free books and movies, online portion of said libraries for music and books on tape.

    Back to food for a moment.

    Learn to cook.

    Learn to make a weekly menu, stick to it.

    Bring your lunch.

    Buy in bulk, buy bigger cuts/whole specimen and butcher them yourself.

    Learn to love beans, rice, fresh veggies. Find places that have fresh veg.

    Coupons are good, but be careful. Learn that sometimes, Wal-Mart just has those trashbags cheaper. In fact, Wal-Mart, Target, and bulk stores are the best place for a lot of non edible household needs. I've learned to not trust Wal-Mart on fresh foods, but I can still vouch for Costco and BJ's when it comes to their stuffs.

    Learn that for some things, cheapest isn't always best. Medium quality trashbags don't rip, hold more. Better tupperware lasts longer, holds more, doesn't warp. Treat all product at discounters this way. Feel free to try it out once and see if it satisfies your needs.

    If you really like a movie, buy it used at Blockbuster. They'll usually start selling them about a month after they come out on DVD for about the price of a single rental.

    Videogames. Goozex, Amazon Deal of the Day, Clearance sales from Cheapassgamer. Sign up right away if you like games. Note that lately Gamestop has been doing B2G1 free used games about twice a quarter. Make sure you get good quality ones, but that can save you a ton. Resell those on Amazon/EBAY/Craiglist, sometimes for a profit! Or trade them on the Goozex line.

    Learn to do simple cost benefit analysis. Let's say you got into baking at home to staisfy your former Coldstone habit. You could spend hours making a proper puff pastry, or you could buy it at the grocery store for a few bucks. Extreme example, but your time can be spent on better pursuits. Though I do always suggest looking for the middle ground when it comes to it, as nothing beats something that's at least semi homemade.

    Internet connection. Possibly the best deal for entertainment. Anime for free (legally too!), regular tv, radio from around the world, sometimes free movies. Cheap to free phonecalls. Free games. Along this line Netflix's cheapest option/instant watch is easily a years worth of entertainment for only a few bucks a month. Especially if you sign up when they are running a deal.

    Good cheap dates: State and local parks, music festivals, Museums, minor league baseball games, beaches, hell I know a couple that finds nothing more romantic than going to fucking flea markets. Use your newfound cooking knowledge and pack a romantic picnic basket.

    Buget: Make one. Really easy to do, kinda hard to follow. If you've followed the stuff ahead of this part then you should have cut out quite a bit of it. Still if you can track your expenses for one month and see what you can get rid off. Save whatever you can. 20 bucks a week from 18 to 65 is half a million dollars in your average bank account. You can do better, especially if your company matches your 401k.

    On the same token: Have a budget of you/us money. Hard to do when you have family commitments but still, it's good for the soul and will actually help keep you on budget when you get your treat. Mine right now is ten bucks a week I can spend on whatever the fuck I want. I usually save it in batches and buy videogames or books with it every month or two.

    Xenogears of Bore on
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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I could have sworn we had this exact thread about a week ago, let me see if I can find it.

    EDIT:http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=96549
    There were some pretty good suggestions there

    Spoit on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I stopped buying coffee every day when I realized that one week paid for 1 month of my EVE subscription.

    electricitylikesme on
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    SyphonBlueSyphonBlue The studying beaver That beaver sure loves studying!Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Most people have already said everything we already do, so I'll just add:

    Buy generics at the grocery store
    Get Gamefly (saved me thousands of dollars, you really don't need to pay $60 for a 6 hour game you'll never play again after you beat it)
    If you have Central A/C, set it to at least 82 when you leave the house

    SyphonBlue on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Sell your old games you never play on Half.com (or turn them in at Amazon, whichever nets you more).

    KalTorak on
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    ShurakaiShurakai Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I suppose these aren't little things, but I personally don't buy drugs or alcohol unless absolutely necessary and I refuse to drive while living in a city with public transportation.

    I probably save somewhere on the order of $500-700 a month compared to someone else of my age group.

    Shurakai on
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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    If you buy video games, shop clearance (Cheapassgamers.com is your friend).

    If you buy food, buy bulk at places like Costco, Sam's Club.

    Discover how delicious brown rice, black beans, and salsa is, not to mention ridiculously nutritious.

    Take a long, hard look at your magazine subscriptions to determine whether or not you actually read them when renewal time comes up.

    Get Netflix instead of renting locally. Especially if you have an Xbox 360.

    If you have credit cards, pay off as much as you can, to lower the total amount going to interest payments alone.

    DoctorArch on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Archgarth wrote: »
    If you have credit cards, pay off as much as you can, to lower the total amount going to interest payments alone.

    This is a very good point. Pay off any debt that you have as soon as you can. There's no point putting money into a savings account at 5% if you've got a balance sitting on a credit card at 7.5%.

    (Numbers made up on the spot for illustration).

    japan on
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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Car pool to work or ride a bicycle.

    Gas money adds up faster as an expense than electricity or water or basically any utility.

    Speaker on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    What's the best way to sell off a textbook? I have one from a class I took this summer, and want to offload it before the publisher forces its obsolescence.

    Scalfin on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Slip a piece of paper under a new copy of the book in the bookstore with your contact information on it.

    Improvolone on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Scalfin wrote: »
    What's the best way to sell off a textbook? I have one from a class I took this summer, and want to offload it before the publisher forces its obsolescence.

    Post a flyer on campus near the building where the class takes place or use craigslist.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Stop drinking soda.

    It doesn't actually taste good; it's just sugary carbonated water. It's ridiculously expensive considering its constituent components. And it makes the food you eat taste less good during meals. Also, it's heavy to carry home from the store. Drink water!

    That is an opinion you know.

    I bottle my own Ginger Ale and Root Beer and it's fucking delicious. :P


    i would wish to subscribe to this newsletter. i only really like the high quality rootbeer and ginger ale..

    mts on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Ginger ale is really simple, there are any number of good recipes online for it.

    Basically Yeast, Ginger, lemon juice, sugar, water.

    Root Beer is infinitely more complex and happens to be something of a family tradition.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
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    TrinisTrinis Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    In the summer, stick with fans. If it gets unbearable, run the AC, but only in the room you are in at the time. It only takes a window AC a few minutes to cool a medium sized room, only turn it on when you enter the room. Make sure you turn any fans off when you leave a room. They aren't huge killers like AC, but they can add up quickly if you have a couple running at the same time.

    In the winter, gas heat is a killer. I used to live in a house with a guy from a rich family who would turn our heat up to 70. Our rent was $800, the gas bill was $600 - he paid it. Now that I'm living in a smaller place, I didn't use the gas heat a single time last winter. We wear jackets in the house and use electric heaters. A tall electric heater should be about $30 at Wal-Mart, and it can heat a bedroom to nice and toasty in less than an hour with the door closed. Don't waste money on the swivel type heating units, they don't do any better than the cheap kind - heat dissipates quickly through the air in the room. Tape plastic over your windows for optimal effect.

    Trinis on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    It's better to leave the AC on because then it doesn't have to spend a bunch of energy to bring a room down to temp

    Let it turn itself off on it's own cycle, etc

    FyreWulff on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    It's better to leave the AC on because then it doesn't have to spend a bunch of energy to bring a room down to temp

    Let it turn itself off on it's own cycle, etc

    Unless it doesn't do that.

    Also, plug up the window with foam and put a piece of wood in the frame. The former keeps the cold of and bigs out, and the latter maked sure mobody can open your window and take all your stuff.

    Scalfin on
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