Easy money-saving action prior to vacation

joyfulguySeptember 24, 2003

Planning on going on vacation soon?

You have a number of items to check and things to do before you leave.

It will save some money if you turn off the power to your water heater.

Especially useful if it's powered by electricity, as the cost of fuel is higher than gas (or solar).

If it's gas powered, make sure that it's the thing to do.

And be sure that you can restart it on your return, don't need to ask for a service call.

Sorry that I didn't call this to your attention before many of you went on vacation in the summer.

Good wishes to you and all of yours for the rest of fall.

joyful guy

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We also turn off the a/c. We were glad we did last weekend because in our absence, some severe thunderstorms came through the area, so we could have had big problems. Also as Ed points out, we saved on power bills.

In the winter, we leave heat on so that the pipes don't freeze, but we turn it down so that it does not heat an empty house. We open cabinet doors to ensure pipes get plenty of warmth.

I conserve on grocery buying prior to the trip so that we are not left with spoiled food to throw away upon returning from vacation.

Our family just had a weekend getaway this past weekend that would make Clark Howard proud. So I want to brag a bit.

1) Hotel: Our cousin's wedding party told us they had a "special wedding rate" at the hotel of $69 a night not including tax. Instead, I booked online at the same hotel for an average of $54 a night including taxes.

2) Flight: Kept up with airfare sales via email and nailed a round-trip Atl-to-Dallas of $140 per person including all fees and taxes.

3) Airport parking - searched employee discounts and other programs, and found parking for the Atl airport for $4.50 a day. That's cheap! Even economy parking at the airport is $8 a day now, so that was a great deal.

4) Driving our cousin's car, we broke down while in Dallas. First time we have ever used our AAA card out of town - usually we break down around town. But it really proved its value - where else can you get a 10-mile tow to the shop of your choice on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON for $40, and get a response of under an hour? That was priceless, since we were travelling wtih my 5 year old daughter, and didn't want to sit on the side of the interstate any longer than necessary.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 8:01AM
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Don't forget to turn off the water--We've known two folks who came back to a completely flooded house--one due to a big leak on the top floor of their three story house. It completely ruined all three floors by the time she returned. Another had the washing machine hose burst (it's always connectected, always on) and she also had a terrible mess.

If you don't turn off the electricity for security alarm reasons--turn off the water heaters at least.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 8:54AM
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Hats off to you, TREKaren.

Do you ordinarily charge for your frugal lessons?

Happy travelling, all.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   September 30, 2003 at 10:55PM
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I always turn off the water behind the washing machine prior to leaving the house for a weekend or longer. This is how I found the mold back there. Now, the sheet rock is torn out, the floor is pulled / torn off, and I am waiting for everything to be TOTALLY dry before fixing this mess.

However, the plumber was here, and new shut off faucets have been installed. Thus, there should be no more leaking back there!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 8:52AM
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Some folks say that it's a good idea to turn off the taps leading to the washer after each washing - a burst hose can throw a lot of water around before you notice the problem (even if it's only five minutes, let along five hours).

Or five days.

I think that I agree with that idea - though I haven't done it.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   October 3, 2003 at 1:01AM
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