Saturday, November 10, 2007

Your fridge likes the taste of your wallet.

My partner in debt and I had a friendly discussion the other day. It involved the current situation of our income, our current debt, and ways to make one number shrink while the other grows. Quite the feat, if I may say so myself.

Our habits are already pretty spartan so it was fairly difficult to cut corners were none existed. We feast upon a staggering $1.19 each per meal. My plush, super expensive, gas guzzling Chevy Malibu demands an epic $10 a week for gas. Et cetera. But we came up with a couple ideas and bounced them around until we made our cost of living budget just a little bit smaller. I'll discuss each concept at length in subsequent posts. The conversation became fairly in depth.

The fridge is arguably the largest money vacuum in a household. Not only does the average refrigerator demand a steady supply of snacks, beer and lesser snacks, but it also consumes an enormous amount of electricity. Even more so if you have the habit of gawking with the door open, attempting to decide between an ice cream sandwich or a bowl of Rocky Road.

Hell, just having it sit there it eats more juice than most any other appliance.

We did a bit of research on how to reduce our fridge related electrical bill.

Keep it full!
A full fridge has more mass than an empty fridge. While the motor will work harder to bring your crammed chill chest down to an optimal temperature once it is there it'll take a lot more outside influence than previously to bring it back up to the temperature at which the motor starts working again.

This means it runs less in the long run.

But who can afford to keep it fully stocked? Certainly not us. Solution? Add something cheap, dense and preferably hard to spoil. Gallon jugs in the freezer and at the bottom of the fridge work wonders. But what about all that booze in the cabinet? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Put that vodka in the freezer too.

Have some irregularly spaced spots? Freeze pops cost about 5 bucks for 200.

If you ever need more room (and hopefully with the money you're saving on the electrical bill, you will), move out the water jugs and freeze pops. But keep the vodka in. You know, to celebrate.

And if that celebration is cut short by the power company cutting you off because you're a deadbeat, hey, you just bought yourself an extra day before everything turns into soup.

The bad kind of soup. The kind with flies.

Shut the door
Know what you want before opening it. When you take out that ground beef, would it make sense to grab the pasta sauce too? What about the lettuce? You don't need to draw up a schedule, but gawking with the door open wastes dollars.

Keep it clean
Organize. If you know where all your condiments are, you won't have to go hunting for the mustard for ten minutes, only to discover you're out because you're desperately poor and ate it for lunch two weeks ago.

And hey, I'm sure that left over poor man's pasta (small can of tomato sauce, teaspoon butter, teaspoon of sugar, discount ziti) will keep a whole lot longer if it's not sitting next to something growing fur.

You drive, she doesn't
When was the last time you looked at the thermostat on it? Do you even know where it is? Chances are it doesn't need to be set at absolute zero because you want a beer your tongue will stick to. Keep both the freezer and fridge at medium.

Let's see how much of a dent this little plan makes in our bill. Twenty cents or twenty dollars? Let's find out!


Kyle said...

This was, and will continue to be a brilliant idea. And when you add in the freezer pops, it becomes a brilliant and very tasty idea.


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