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How to Slowly Cut the Cable Cord (Step-by-Step) and Save Hundreds of Dollars

If you want to cut the cable cord, join the club. We’ve had cable since the mid-1990s when we moved into our house. I can’t really remember how much it used to cost, but somewhere around 2011, my husband, Steve, decided we needed to do something about cable.  Continue reading “How to Slowly Cut the Cable Cord (Step-by-Step) and Save Hundreds of Dollars”

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Nissan Leaf EV

Decisions, Decisions…Should You Buy an Electric Car?

Porsche 918 Spyder
The Porsche 918 Spyder Some brave soul parked their luxury hybrid at the Fairfield electric car show–it wasn’t supposed to be on display but it sure got most of the looks. Photo: TFF

Solar panels are the big thing here in Fairfield County right now. So are electric vehicles (EV). Like many people, we are also contemplating an EV for my next car for some very simple reasons: no gas and little maintenance. Continue reading “Decisions, Decisions…Should You Buy an Electric Car?”

5 Tips to Lower Your Landline Phone Bill

I thought it would be easy to reduce my phone bill. Ha! A few lessons learned about cutting through the phone company’s red tape.

att answering machine
Buying a digital answering machine for $15 means we can eliminate the $10 a month charge for “unified messaging” on our phone bill! At least now we’ll be able to see when we have messages.

Yes, I still have POTS (plain old telephone service) that works well even when the electricity goes out. I’m sure readers have other solutions that work for them, and they will want to know why we don’t have U-verse, Vonage, etc., etc.  We have an AT&T landline and high-speed Internet access, and that’s what I want to stick with…but for a lower cost. I have a VoIP MagicJack line and separate phone, bought years ago, that I use for business for a few bucks a year and the quality has only gotten better over time, thank goodness. And as anyone who follows TFF knows, I am deliriously happy with our cheap Tracfone cell phone service (read about it here). It’s what works for our family and keeps our bills low.  Continue reading “5 Tips to Lower Your Landline Phone Bill”

Our Kids are Furious With Us Because We Cut Cable TV–Well, Too Bad!!

It was tough, but I bit the bullet and downgraded our cable service today. The kids did not take it well at all, but we are hoping this will benefit our family more than just monetarily.  Continue reading “Our Kids are Furious With Us Because We Cut Cable TV–Well, Too Bad!!”

A Way to Cut Down on Gas and Car Maintenance

What is hypermiling and does it really save on gas…or is it just hype? And a lesson on why your newer, more “efficient” cars are still sucking up gas.  Continue reading “A Way to Cut Down on Gas and Car Maintenance”

Frugal and Green: The Values of Cutting Our Grass with a Reel Push Mower

No fumes to pollute the clothes hanging on the line :)!

In two years of using our push mower, we have not only saved gas, but added more frugal exercise to our already frugal regimen of running.  Mowing the lawn with this thing on our .22 acre lot is quite the cross-training workout.  In the summer, I can work up a great sweat.

I love it because it is nice and quiet.  Most of all, it is an environmentally sustainable practice.

Have we gotten rid of our Circa 1980 Honda gas mower?  No.  Especially since you won’t find a more well-made Honda mower brand new!  We have it for those stretches of summer days when the lawn grows faster than we can get to it.  But with the price of a gallon of gas going up and up, you may want to look into stretching out your dollars with a good manual reel push mower.

Here’s an excerpt from Mother Earth News in 2002:

Reel Mowers: $100 to $225

Hand-pushed reel mowers offer multiple advantages over gas-powered mowers: no noise, no noxious air pollution, no danger of flying rocks, low maintenance and no worries about getting them started. Plus you get a great aerobic workout every time you use them, burning about 300 calories an hour.

The secret to easy cutting with these mowers is frequent mowing. If you let the grass get too long, the reel mower blades will tend to bind up or take an inordinate amount of pushing to get the mower through long grass. Cut when the grass is no more than an inch longer than you want it. A quarter acre (100 feet by 160 feet) of lawn can be cut in about an hour with a reel mower. For areas larger than that, you may want to go to a walk-behind, gas-powered cutter, either push or self-propelled.

As always, do the research before buying. As you can tell, I am partial to Mother Earth News, the Original Guide to Living Wisely.

~Aimee, TFF

Related links:

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2002-02-01/The-Many-Methods-of-Mowing.aspx#ixzz1sgfnBmva

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Push-Reel-Lawn-Mower.aspx