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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Posts: 1924
Location: Rockies

How about a thread on ERE friendly item deals?


Kill A Watt meter $17 (today only), $3 less than Amazon w/ code: EMCYTZT1186

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882715001&Tpk=82-715-001&nm_mc=EMC-GD021312&cm_mmc=EMC-GD021312-_-index-_-Item-_-82-715-001




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 342

I considered a kill a watt, it looks like a fun toy, but I could not figure out how I would recoup the cost.


Replacing my least energy efficient stuff ahead of time seems unlikely to pay for itself.


I thought maybe I could use one to determine where to buy and use the power strips that kill vampire draws, but those power strips all seem to key off a single outlet for the whole strip. I could not find an affordable one that manages each outlet independently.


The kill a watt is still on my amazon wish list. Someone tell me how to cost justify it.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:17 pm
Posts: 1315

Yeah I have to agree that kilowatt is not likely a frugal purchase. You can achieve the same by watching your home power meter, reading the manual, checking the power supply, googling, etc.


The exact numbers don't matter much anyways - if you have an old refrigerator / crt, etc. then you can basically assume it's inefficient.


What do you plan to measure with the meter, and how will you use that information? Sell your clock radio and buy another one that uses 5% less electricity?


I do, however, applaud the thread idea. I don't need to know how to get a $2000 plasma tv at 20% off (ie most deal sites).


Btw, for my engineering honors project I developed a wireless monitoring plug that would report energy use at each plug/device to your computer (which could also shut off each plug). It was a fun and neat project, but again it was not particularly economic. Some day the component cost and wireless energy usage may come down enough, or energy rates could rise enough, for the system to make sense. But not anytime soon.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Location: Rockies

I generally agree on the killawatt... It's paid for itself on my end (had to get rid of free deep freeze), I'm generally under 100 kwhs (~$6/mo). Also, used it at the consumer houses of friends and relatives to help them identify culprits.


Mostly I have it because at some point I want to be off grid.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm
Posts: 459

I like the thread idea too.


I borrowed a Killawatt from my library, so check there first before purchasing. Here's an awesome website for ballpark estimates of figuring out what is causing your power bill: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/howmuch.html


I have the following hooked up to a Smart Strip: Onkyo Receiver + Subwoofer & 2 speakers, BluRay Player, Wii, XBox, Computer Tower, 55" Flat Screen TV. I have determined the payback period on the Smart Strip to be 18 months.


I've also used interlibrary loan for movies that my library didn't have in their collection. They even had movies Netflix didn't have.


To hopefully turn this into a thread that sticks around - here is a good resource on cell phone deals:

http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/viewtopic.php?t=787


I also recently discovered ting.com for cheap cell plans - not for me but might work for someone out there. It's more a la carte pricing than any other service provider I've seen. I think they use the Sprint Network.


ehealthinsurance.com for Health Insurance quotes.


Rockauto.com for car parts.


2% Cash Back on all purchases Amex Card - must have Fidelity account: http://personal.fidelity.com/products/checking/content/amex_rewards_card.shtml


Dropbox.com - back up 2GB to the cloud for free, can be used on multiple computer systems to sync across them all.


Google Music - back up your music collection for free, listen to it from the cloud.


I'll keep thinking of things I use and perhaps post later.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm
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USAA checking repays ATM fees and allows for deposits from home, using a scanner or cell phone.


Vanguard customers get a 25% discount on turbo tax. I think their flagship customers (> $1,000,000 in assets?) get turbo tax for free.


Amazon subscribe and save gives free shipping and a 10% discount on some food items in bulk. Cancel at any time without penalty. Watch the prices though, because Amazon will increase them between orders.




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:12 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:10 am
Posts: 230

For those with Verizon Wireless or AT&T and working with almost any large firm...there is a 15% discount on usage rates.




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:13 am 
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When I got my Killawatt, I totally nerded out for a week, measuring everything. Yeah, you could capture similar information using your home electric meter, but the Killawatt was much more convenient when I was experimenting with ways to improve my refrigerator's energy usage. Electricity conservation can be less barbaric than just ripping and replacing devices, and the Killawatt helps determine the affect of user behavior on electricity usage on a per-device basis.




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:26 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:18 pm
Posts: 549

this phone for $3 with your choice from these no commitment plans

- $25/mo for unlimited texts and 250 minutes

- $0.10/min calls and $0.20/text


PS: the Kill a Watt is the item that's been in my Amazon wish list the longest (months). I still think I'd rather borrow one than own one though.




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:29 am
Posts: 25

If you can pick up a kill-a-watt cheap its worthwhile. Accurately metering appliances allows you to determine if it's worthwhile to replace them or do without. It allowed me to systematically go through the main offenders in my home. Sure, you can estimate.... but, at least for me, those online estimates were quite off. Even by checking the rated usage on the device and then estimating duty cycle, you do not get as nice a picture as the kill-a-watt.


Also, if you run devices that happen to be inductive or capacitive loads, you can measure power factor. Not all devices come with power factor correction caps! These devices will make your meter spin more than they should.


If you have a dehumidifier in your basement, you may want to measure its usage. I knew mine was likely the biggest cost on my bill... but, until measuring it I wasn't sure just how much, or how drastic an improvement on the situation I needed to make.




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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 342

It turns out my library has a kill a watt available for

checkout. Thanks for the idea LiquidSapphire.




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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:31 pm 

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www.zennioptical.com for glasses. $6.95 for frames/prescription lenses. You can buy more expensive frames,and do add-ons like tints that will raise the price, but you get a wide selection of frames for a great price. They will do higher prescriptions too (my eyes are pretty horrible, and they were able to fill my prescription). Good if you are needing an updated pair of glasses or want a backup.


www.penzeys.com for spices for cooking. Fabulous, high quality and sometimes hard to find (like zatar and sumac) spices and spice mixtures. Reasonable prices, excellent service and a pretty great company all around. I'm more than thrilled to stay home and cook when I've got great spices to play around with. With every order, you get a free sample of a spice, and they always have coupons for free spices, so you get your order plus at least two free spices that you might not have otherwise tried. I LOVE them.




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:53 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 342

The kill a watt confirmed vampire loads on my entertainment center were almost zero. My electric bill is coming from the applicances I cannot justify replacing.


Leaving my desktop computer on costs about $10 a month. I guess I already suspected this, but it was fun to confirm.




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:12 am 
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Location: Rockies

@Scott, desktop is on all day not under high CPU load?... Are you downloading, or using it as a NAS server?




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Location: Stepford USA

Not necessarily ERE related, but since there is so much talk on the other thread about dressing appropriately at work...


Lands End has Men's white oxford shirts marked down to $18.97 ($21.97 for big and tall). If you click on the LE homepage you can get a code for the Family event and get another 25% off and free shipping. That makes the shirts $14.23 each shipped.


http://tinyurl.com/8xuhdrt




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Location: Stepford USA

I also wanted to mention for kitchen tools and supplies to check out your local restaurant supply store. Some things are overpriced but there were some great deals. I got half-sheet size baking sheets for $3.99 each, a pack of 1000 sheets of parchment paper for the sheets for $3, and a decent quality butcher apron for $3.99. Some things were much cheaper, and some things were the same price but a much better quality. They had a lot of good knives also. There was a large food section with a lot of spices and bulk foods but I didn't look closely because I had already spent my budget :)




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm
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JohnnyH - The desktop is on all day because I am impatient.




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm
Posts: 459

Good tip Jennypenny - reminded me of this article by a chef about how a minimalist kitchen still cooks great.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/dining/09mini.html?pagewanted=all


I also liked this page about knives - I can vouch for the Victorinox Chef's Knife as well as the sharpener. Especially the sharpener - has brought our other knives back to life and fairly easy to use out of the box.


http://unclutterer.com/2011/11/29/2011-holiday-gift-giving-guide-the-kitchen/


I also was reminded yesterday of this article on how to turn a "dumb" phone into a smart phone using text messages only. Brilliant.


http://lifehacker.com/5869666/how-to-turn-your-dumbphone-into-a-smartphone-using-nothing-but-sms




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Location: Stepford USA

For t-shirts and underwear, I've never found a better deal than the Jockey clearance store on ebay. Everything is new and prepackaged and ships free. Good quality for the price.


http://stores.ebay.com/jockeydirectcloseouts


Change the Sort by to lowest first. The best deals with free shipping will pop up. I think you get free shipping whenever you order more than one item. There is also a daily deal.




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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:38 pm
Posts: 108

re: kill-a-watt type tools


On RanPrieur's site this past month there was a reference to a plug-in / blue-tooth engine analytic device that would tell you your instant MPG. It only works for cars after ~2000 models I think, but could be good for those who still need a car, but want to drive it more efficiently...and have a smart-phone.


I can't find the link, but a little googling could produce.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:18 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm
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Ergonomic mouse


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWOXVE/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details


Cured the beginnings of my ulnar neuropathy - no more wrist/arm pain, yay!


This is my favorite Amazon filler to get free shipping (before I got Prime).


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0025Z2R18/ref=oh_o04_s00_i00_details




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:27 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:40 pm
Posts: 459

And this battery tester

:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0031BUXRU/ref=oh_o06_s00_i00_details


Tests pretty much any battery I'd ever use at least. I hate finding a random AA battery and not knowing if I should throw it away or not. Even the ones that are mostly dead, if they have any life left, I will keep. I specifically set them aside for my little battery operated radio. That device seems to be able to best use "almost dead" batteries, while other devices seem to need at least some charge.


I guess the ultimate ERE strategy is to buy rechargeable batteries of course... I heard Eneloop batteries were better than most.




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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:19 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:29 am
Posts: 25

@livinlite


Check out ultagauge for a MPG tool. Its much cheaper than a scangauge and gives instantaneous readout. Not as cheap as ones that connect to a PC/Laptop, but more convenient. Works with all OBD-II vehicles.


If you wann get mileage out of your vehicle... check out the ecomodder forums. Also, this page from them is of great use:


http://ecomodder.com/wiki/index.php/Car_MPG_Efficiency_Modifications_Main




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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:52 am 
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Location: Rockies

In case anyone is interested in cutting their own hair, 40% off norelco trimmers: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000764851




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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Location: Rockies

I know these have been discussed before:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-GTF-Gold-Tone-Filter/dp/B0001IRRLG/ref=zg_bsms_home-garden_9?t=slicinc-20&tag=slicinc-20


Cheapest they've been... I still prefer a french press, however (no plastic).




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