Response to Kaleva (Original post)
Thu Oct 11, 2012, 11:44 PM
Kaleva (14,187 posts)
24. New update
Still haven't run out of hot water yet with the gas valve on the water heater set to "pilot". Was a little disappointed that I had only reduced my water consumption by 300 gallons with my water saving efforts but it's a step in the right direction. I had used 1000 gallons in August and 700 gallons in September.
My gas bill for September was the same as it was in August and that was $17.31. Looking at the long range forecast for the rest of this month, I don't expect my gas bill for October to be much higher as I've adjusted to living in the house with temps in the low to mid 50's. Occasionally, I'll turn on the furnace in the evening and run the temp up to 63 and when it hits that, I'll shut the furnace off again and turn on the electric space heater in the living room at low to maintain temp till I go to bed when i shut that off too.
There's an old metal filing cabinet in the garage which I'm slowly filling up with small pieces of scrap metals such as screws, bent nails and what not. As for the cans, I keep them in a plastic bag in the sink cabinet and when I have a several, I'll put them in the sink basin after washing dishes and let them soak for an hour or two. The paper then peels right off the soup, sauce, tuna and whatever can and I wash them out, rinse them and then bring them down to the basement to dry out. Then I crush them flat and put them in the filing cabinet in the garage. I know some people who collect scrap to sell for extra cash and when the filing cabinet is full, I'll call them and tell them they can have it for noting.
I continue to cut up papers and cardboard to add to the compost pile. I'm on my 7th big box now. I add my urine to the pile every night and it's cooking along nicely.
There were two old bed box springs in the garage left by the relative of my ex-wife's. I cut off the fabric as neatly as I could, took apart the wood frames to set aside for various projects and then realized the box springs themselves will be perfect as trellis's for vine tomatoes, sugar snap peas and pole beans. As they are 5' wide and 80" long, layed on their side, I couldn't ask for a better trellis. The felt pads I cut to appropriate widths and made draft stops for my outside doors, my walk in closet door in my bedroom and for the door of the unused and now unheated bedroom which I rolled and then tied with old, thin wire that I found here in the house and garage. The rest of the box spring covering I folded into a 3' x 4' shape and tied together with short pieces of 14 gauge wire and layed that over the compost pile to help retain the heat during these cold days. There was very little of the two box springs that was put in the garbage. I was very pleased with myself for finding multiple uses of those two old box springs.
There are 7 big maple trees in my lot and the two adjoining lots and the leaves have been coming off of them steady. I rake about every other day and chop up the leaves with my mulching lawn mower and now have a nice layer of mulched leaves on my flower beds, next years garden and around the the small ceders in my front yard. The rest of the mulched leaves I'm putting in my compost pile.
I made about 10 gallons of sauerkraut out of the 5 big heads of cabbage my former in-laws gave me. My attempt at pickling tomatoes turned into a high school science experiment gone bad and I ended up pouring the brine down the sink and tossing those tomatoes into the compost bin. I have lots of apples, enough to last me much of the winter, and with the cores, I'm making apple cider vinegar.
This is the 2nd month in a row where I've had some money left in my account by the time my SSDI came in. I pay my bills on time, have plenty of food, and am paying down debts. By next August, I should be debt free and I can then use the extra money for improvements on the house such as new windows, doors and such. Altough I do plan on buying a new scooter next spring for which I ought to be able to make $100 to $150 a month payments on but even with that, I should have an extra $200 a month spending money by next August. I'll feel like a rich guy! It took some adjusting but I'm doing quite fine on $1071 a month plus $16 in food stamps (which is actually a debit card).
People have been commenting on how much weight I've lost. Some have said it looks like I've lost about 30 pounds. A big factor in this is that as I have to walk to the grocery store, I sure as shit am not going to carry anything more then the absolute essentials the 1 1/2 mile hike back home. So I haven't had much of any so-called junk foods to eat since about the middle of August when I got a flat tire on my scooter and thus began walking everywhere I needed to go in town. Being active most every day doing projects around the home and doing the walking has also played a big part in the loss of weight. This past Wednesday after my SSDI came in, I spent about 2 hours walking taking care of business, paying local bills, going to the post office to send out other payments on bills and did some grocery shopping. I was in a great deal of pain by the time I got back home and couldn't do much of anything for the rest of the day and I'm still limping from that effort.
A few months ago I was paying $107 a month for a $125k life insurance policy. As I was no longer married, I didn't see the point of having so much and I called around for a basic $10-15 burial policy but am considered too high of a risk and no insurance company would accept me. I cancelled my policy anyways as all my siblings make over a $100 grand a year and they can afford to spend a few bucks to plant me in the ground when the time comes. Even though I may have just a few years left in me, I still think my best years are yet to come and I'm enjoying doing what I'm doing each and every day. I may be piss poor money-wise but quality of life wise, I feel like a wealthy man.
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