Monday, January 2, 2012

Warming our buns for free

For the last few years we have been participating in the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge.  The Freeze yer buns challenge is basically a challenge to turn down your thermostat and bundle up to try to save money on your energy bill.  Over the years we have perfected this challenge and have saved a good amount money.  When we first started I felt like we were going freeze our butts off.  We have a old house with old everything. New windows, added insulation and a fireplace grate with a blower on it should help us save a ton of money.
My hubby build this amazing wood shed to keep the wood from getting wet.  We ordered wood to be delivered and quickly realized this was an expensive option.

 In December 2010 my grandmother was very ill and went to live with a family member.  She was living in a farm house and her only source of heat was a wood stove.  My grandfather had built a wood shed that was very large and filled to the max with seasoned firewood.  My grandmother eventually passed away (miss you Gram) and all the family members were allowed to take any wood we wanted. We quickly filled the wood shed at home and stacked wood anywhere we could.

During the summer of 2010 we replaced a 150 foot long fence in our back yard.  It was the original fence from when our house was built in 1967 so all the wood was very thick.  Back then they used railroad treated wood at the base of the fence. This stuff is so toxic so we paid $250 to have it recycled.  I knew I wanted a organic landscape so that stuff had to go. 

All the wood that was untreated I took the nails out (by yours truly) and cut down into smaller pieces to use as firewood or other projects.  Our neighbors next door also replaced fence between our properties and also gave us his untreated wood. The fence was made up of smaller thinner wood so we use this as fire starter wood.  So remember this when your doing renovations or property maintenance. 

When we cut down a tree in our back yard we also cut and stacked that wood so it could season.  The limbs were cut up and put into that smaller white box.  And speaking of that box it was free from my neighbor.  Free is a good thing!
A couple of weeks ago a co worker of my husband had a tree cut down in his front yard.  Since they didn't have a fireplace they really didn't need the wood and offered it to us.  Two truck loads later we have that wood in our back yard as well.  It will stay in big chunks while seasoning and we will split it later in the Fall. 
My girls also love counting tree rings so they should have fun with these.  Sad to see such a beautiful tree get cut down but they didn't have any other options.  Less expensive to have it cut down than to have it fall on their house.  Thanks Hodad and Annie!!!!

Here's a few tips on how to survive with the thermostat turned down.

-Wear socks, sweatshirts, and slippers all the time.
-Keep throws and quilts handy to snuggle with.
-Do some baking or dishes. This is how I keep warm sometimes.
-Keep all doors shut
-Plastic in the windows help keep warm air in your house. Try to make sure to buy them after the season so you can save money. It can be expensive if you have many windows.
-Utilize your fireplace or wood stove.  Add in a curtain if you have a long hallway. Why heat up the rest of your house when your in the living room most of the day? An hour before you go to bed open up the curtain to let the warm air in.
-Open up blinds or curtains when its a sunny day. The sun will warm up the rooms. Make sure to close them if its not sunny.  The curtains insulate the windows.
-Cover foundation vents and spigots to keep pipes from freezing over. Also stops air from ventilating under your home.  In the summer keep them uncovered and open.
-If you have hardwood floors in your living space then try to pick up some 2nd hand rugs or invest in a new one.  It will keep your feet much warmer and you more comfortable. 
-Candles can keep your room warmer.  Paraffin candles put toxins in the air so invest in some beeswax ones.  Plus at night you will not need to turn on the lights. 
-Candles can lead to other things that can get you warm as well.  A little hanky panky can warm people right up. Well at least for a little while.
-Eat hot food and drink hot liquids.  During a cold day hot cocoa is best and at night try some hot tea's with no caffeine. I try to use seasonal produce to make hot soup for dinner.  A warm belly will sleep much better.

If I left anything out or if you want to add your two bits then leave a comment below. I'm always looking for ways to get more firewood for free or save energy.

No comments: