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Thread: Efficiency and cost cutting thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Efficiency and cost cutting thread

    Please post suggestions on efficiency and cost cutting.

    Here are a few:

    LED lighting
    Over incandescent lighting this is a no-brainer, but arguably, I'd say it's worthwhile over compact fluorescent too, especially since CF bulbs almost never last the advertised 5-7 years (if they do, they've half baked themselves and faded anyway).
    Even if you pay high street prices (high markup) and not newegg, or eBay direct from China, you will still see your investment returned in two years. I would say that the investment is more like six months, especially if the incandescent is 60Watts, or more. I recently went all LED at home from CF, with a mixture of various bulbs and 5 meter 5050 strips, including exterior waterproof strips outside. The 5M strips use between 1-28watts of power, depending on the color/s used (around 16^3 combinations) They can light a pretty large area with a nice ambient glow. I have 10M on the inside of my porch, making the bulbs by the front door redundant and allowing special occasion colors e.g. Christmas, Halloween etc.
    For inside I've begun using a mixture of LED bulbs and manufacturers. My favorite is the SunSun 9.5Watt from Newegg, which I use when the color of the light and the brightness is important - it's pretty bright, easily about the advertised ~800 lumen and is a nice, warm 2700K or so of color, mimicking the warm, orange/yellow glow of an incandescent quite nicely.
    For other applications, you have to be careful that you don't wind up living in the matrix with many cheaper lights giving a greenish hue, which I found with some <1watt chandelier lights.
    There are some crazy lumen numbers coming out of newer bulb offerings. I have some 2200 Lumen bulbs on order to test. This bulb is a good example of the equivalent to 75Watt incandescent (1100 lumens, 75 Watts) which equates to a CF lamp at 18Watts, and the LED hyperlinked being 5Watts. Sure, the difference between 5 watts and 18 Watts is not huge, but the price of the bulb and the longevity of LED over CF is going to pay out within the first year.

    So far I've had very little failure. In about five years of running 5M 5050 strips (wrapped around the back of my wall mount TV) I've only had a few of the 300 individual 5mm LEDs fault and even then, they tend to just go the wrong hue. Also, the outdoor ones, (up for 2 years now, on every night by timer switch) there are three in the sequence of 300 that are showing the wrong hue.
    I've also been buying a lot of these (from the "E27 bulb sale") direct from China for about $3 each, which only take a few weeks to arrive, though be warned that the wattage/lumen is often overstated and the warm tone isn't all that warm, these lights are good for those that are in fixtures that rarely get turned off, since they run really cool and use such little power. I used a kill-a-watt measuring device and the 9W lamps were actually 5W, I got shipped the right bulbs, but they're overstated by the manufacturer (the 60W equiv are actually 40W equiv)


    Cable modem
    If you have cable from your ISP, there's a good chance you're one of the majority that is renting the cable modem itself. Comcast make 1.2 Billion dollars per year on cable modem rentals.
    Consider an ARRIS / Motorola SurfBoard SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem for ~$65 and it will pay for itself in 9 months. Not only that, but you may likely see a speed increase, since the capped speed may function differently. Users have reported their 20mbps cable modem service hitting 30mbps after the change.


    Water Filter
    Assuming you bought four, half liter bottles per day at $1 each, (I see plenty of people still buying crates of them at the supermarket) you would still only take one week to save on buying a Brita or Pur water filter with a reusable container. Many brands of water are just reverse osmosis filtered municipal water anyway.
    I've found that the most time saving solution to this is to get a refrigerator with a built-in cartridge filter (though we still use a cartridge pitcher too)


    Plasma TV vs. LED LCD
    In power consumption, a plasma TV runs roughly $12 per month (assuming 8 hours use per day) whereas an LCD TV will cost about the same per year. LCD technology is now very close to plasma picture quality (where black is becoming black)

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    Sustenance
    Don't even think about forking out $40 for takeout even if it means you can get free garlic bread, remember a loaf of white bread costs 99 cents at coles and tears are an appropriate seasoning for toast when you have no dignity.

    Transportation
    Believe it or not, commuting by car is actually more cost-effective in the long run when you consider the cost of all the psychotherapy you'll need when you inevitably encounter the hobos shitting on the subway on your daily commute.

    Hobbies
    Printmaking equipment: potentially thousands of dollars. Fleshlight duct taped to the underside of a desk and an active imagination: fifty bucks.

  3. #3
    just dont think about it mhc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    Fleshlight duct taped to the underside of a desk and an active imagination: fifty bucks.
    Seems you definitely have an active one! I don't know if the female equivalent would provide as much of a cost saving though
    Just look at the blue sky

  4. #4
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    Hobbies
    Printmaking equipment: potentially thousands of dollars. Fleshlight duct taped to the underside of a desk and an active imagination: fifty bucks.
    the middle ground solution is community college enrollment in a printmaking (&/or other art) class(es) to have access to facilities albeit on a really tight school hrs schedule

    i was surprised but the computer labs in the art building at my local cc are way nicer than the ones i used at a 4 yr art school, and it's not fucking crowded all the time. so far i'm not disappointed & i'd love to take more classes. ymmv of course
    chatting on discord

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    Senior Member Spartan26's Avatar
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    When I had Time Warner cable, if I ordered the hockey center ice package, they'd leave the channels open for baseball. Awesome deal. I'm pretty sure I did it the other way, too. Ordered baseball and they kept the channels open for hockey. I stopped doing it because too few games were broadcast in HD.

  6. #6
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    the middle ground solution is community college enrollment in a printmaking (&/or other art) class(es) to have access to facilities albeit on a really tight school hrs schedule

    i was surprised but the computer labs in the art building at my local cc are way nicer than the ones i used at a 4 yr art school, and it's not fucking crowded all the time. so far i'm not disappointed & i'd love to take more classes. ymmv of course
    Sometimes hackspaces have this sort of thing too, or, if you're a member of a hackspace you can do a pledge drive to buy this kind of equipment. It's nice because then you don't have to spend a lot of money on supplies you might not use very often, and you don't have to store them either.

    Hackspaces, if you take the time to use them, can be great value for money.

  7. #7
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator View Post
    Sometimes hackspaces have this sort of thing too, or, if you're a member of a hackspace you can do a pledge drive to buy this kind of equipment. It's nice because then you don't have to spend a lot of money on supplies you might not use very often, and you don't have to store them either.

    Hackspaces, if you take the time to use them, can be great value for money.
    the hefty membership fees have always scared me off :/ plus for some reason these places always seem a bit "out of the way" in terms of location, at least the few i've come across

    also when i'm trying to do anything creative i'm really NOT in social mode. i've been invited to these hackspace-type meetups & it's just like ya idk. i'm open to it if i don't have to be social... (edit: just realized this kinda didn't make sense but i guess if i get the sense that a group is clubby and frat-like i won't go)
    Last edited by jigglypuff; 04-06-2015 at 01:54 PM.
    chatting on discord

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    2% Milk
    Roughly 38/36/26 macro breakdown, pretty close to 40/30/30, and around 2000 calories per gallon at 3 USD. Price may vary depending on location, brand, etc. Add in cheap, fibrous foods, and you can save a lot of money while still eating a diet geared towards building/maintaining muscle and burning off or keeping fat in check, i.e. geared towards physique goals. It's also obviously a fluid, so you're killing two birds with one stone.

    Odd thing to say about something with so much sugar and no fiber.

    Xfinity WiFi
    Wherever there's Xfinity WiFi, you can get free 1 hour sessions by repeatedly spoofing your MAC address. Once you learn to do it - get the hang of it - then you can go through the spoofing, sign up process in about a minute (you can just make up Zip Codes and email addresses - valid@valid.com, etc - I've used this email quite a bit, so it may be taken). On one hand, your connection will cut out every hour. On the other hand, maybe this is a good thing - I noticed that I became more efficient about what I spent my time doing online and more willing to take breaks/go do meatspace stuff.

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    Used books
    Good condition books without markings or notes from $0.01 (online) or $1 (antique book stores, flea markets) instead of $20-30? Possibly even cheaper than your local library card, and what's more, you get to keep the tome after finishing (and having written into) it.

  10. #10
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    My monthly expenses in London are about 450/month including rent, food, basic necessities.

    The things I have done keep my expenses down are:

    Co-op housing, short-term sublets, catsitting etc.
    Walk/cycle to work
    Make friends with people at bakeries and restaurants
    Skip food
    Freecycle
    Thrift store/charity shop clothes

    edit: also being vegetarian. Meat's expensive. There are cheaper protein alternatives out there.

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