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Old 07-01-2002, 10:30 AM
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Two tightwad questions.....

First of all, I know that if I started washing dishes by hand, it would cut down on my electric bill. But, would it save on the water bill or use more? Which way is more economical?

Secondly, altho I've read the three Tightwad Gazettes, I don't think I've managed to incorporate any of the ideas into my already bare-bones frugal lifestyle. So my second question is this: what have any of you used from the Gazette books, and do you think it's made a difference in your finances?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-01-2002, 10:53 AM
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As far as the water is concerned washing by hand uses more water than the dish washer, at least that is what I have been told.
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Old 07-01-2002, 11:24 AM
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I haven't read the Tightwad Gazette, but I plan on checking it out soon. With the dish washing, I think it all depends on how you wash your dishes and what type of dishwasher you have. I recently gaot a dishwasher, nothing fancy, and I use all the cycles (presoak, wash, heat dry). When I would wash them by hand, I almost always left the water running the whole time. I would every once in a while soak and wash in a plugged sink and rinse on the other side. Anyways, I haven't seen any increase in any of our utilities since getting the dishwasher.
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Old 07-01-2002, 11:58 AM
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tichtwad answers!

The debate between dishwasher and handwashing rages! :p The REAL answer IS: "it depends".
You CAN make handwashing be most economical. Don't leave the water run. Don't fill up the whole sink. Use a med/large bowl/pot inside the sink. Use the action of your dishrag, not the power of the water spray, to remove gunk. Run the rinse water over the item into the bowl as you go, turning it off when you're not rinsing. You won't be filling up the whole sink or leaving the water run. Remember to wash least dirty to most dirty, otherwise the water gets so yukky you have to dump and start over.
Super frugal bonus points if you use the water in the bowl to water your plants.
I work FT, and have 2 ds's, and I still hand-wash dishes. I HAVE a dishwasher, but I hate having yukky dishes sitting until it is full enough to run and it never gets them 100% clean, anyhow. Plus, no matter what rinse agent we used, it left a film, and I never get a film washing by hand.

Tightwad Gazettes:
I re-read them occasionally and I think I get something new each time. I can't put my finger on anything specific, because I think I just absorb the material and use it when the need arises. I, too, have always been frugal so I don't find much I haven't thought of - but occasionally I am reminded to do something I haven't been doing.
Lately it's been leftover usage. I am planning on looking up the recipe she has for using leftover bread-type stuff in muffins. I know I read it somewhere. I already do leftover-makeovers for casseroles and use leftover fruits and sweets in shakes/smoothies.
Even if I don't get anything new I feel it is an encouragement/reminder that helps me keep it up, and a handy reference when I want to check my facts.
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Old 07-01-2002, 01:59 PM
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I forgot to mention that I don't have city water, I have well water. The only water bill we pay is every three months for the water that goes OUT of the house. This might make a difference in cost. My electric and gas bills seem to be the same.
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Old 07-02-2002, 05:38 AM
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I have just started washing dishes by hand. It is saving me a ton of water. It is just DH and myself. We would rinse the dishes before they went into the dishwasher because by the time it was full the food would be all dried on and the dishwasher didn't get it off. I start to fill one side of the sink while the water is getting hot (I don't fill it full). This is my rinse water. Then I put less than half full in the other side to wash. The water doesn't run at all once I start washing unless I have a gooy pan. We are in a drought, so the last few days I have used the rinse water on my plants outside.

As far as the Tightwad Gazzette goes, I love it! It gives me a boost and affirms my lifestyle choices. It helps balance all the external messages to spend, spend, spend that I see everyday. I impressed DH by making homemade croutons with the bread heals he won't eat. I also like the cuban bread receipe in there.
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:03 PM
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Tightadders

Like Mrs_Helm and Renee, I the Tightwad Gazette for
encouragement/inspiration (from a like-minded peer) and reminders.
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Old 07-04-2002, 10:54 AM
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Thank you all for your in-put, I really appreciate it. I will most likely stick with the dishwasher, and just cut down on how often I use it

Another question, if y'all don't mind...how much electricity does a computer use? Usually I turn mine on around 10AM, and leave it on until at least 10PM or even 11. Near as I can tell, it doesn't seem to affect the light bill too much at all, but...A/C season is here, and Dearly Beloved has to have it very, very cool, or he starts coughing...so I know my bill is going to skyrocket, and I'm looking for little things I can do to help offset it. Sooooo, maybe I will go ahead and wash dishes by hand...hmmmmm, need to think about that.

I've started re-reading the second Gazette, and mostly it just helps to inspire me to cut back, cut back, cut back. We're going thru a major financial crisis right now: my hours at work have been cut to only 21, which just isn't enough to cover much of anything. I've applied for disability or SSI, but won't know if I've been accepted for either one of them until late August or early September. So it's going to be a rough summer here, no doubt.

One thing I managed to do in June was cut the grocery bill from $156 to about $125, which also includes paper goods and cleaning supplies. So I'm going to try and cut it even further this month. We're talking about creative left-overs and lots of dried beans, but at least we won't go hungry.

Hope every one's Fourth is going well, and is safe.
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Old 07-11-2002, 04:51 AM
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I Love the Tightwad Gazzettes!!!
I use them as reference books!! I carry them outside with me when I take my daughter out to play and read parts of them. I was a novice when I first started staying home 8 years ago. I have actually learned to enjoy a frugal life from it. I just wish I could completely convert hubby. I am going to reread that section in the Gazette soon
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Old 07-14-2002, 04:03 AM
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JB

I don't know if this in an option for you or not, but I have been able to offset the air-conditioning (my dh also likes it very cool...I have to wear a sweater in July LOL) expense by hanging laundry outside to dry. I love doing it anyway and the savings on the electric bill are a big plus. We've run the air just about every day for the past two months and our bill only went up about $20.

I handwash dishes and do not let the water run as I'm washing. I don't use the water to water plants (i was afraid the soap would kill them and I am able to keep so few alive as it is LOL)..but when I change the water in the fish bowl, I do use that in my plants.
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