Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Independece Solutions

When I first started thinking about this stuff, it was because I was concerned with the rising cost of heating fuel in my area. And I wanted something concrete to help with that for myself and for others like the elderly, or people like my dad with a condition that its imperative he keeps warm or he may lose some limbs due to frostbite like symptoms that can occur even in the warm summertime.

A lot of the solutions I was coming up with required a lot of cash outlay to get the new systems put in place. But maybe there are other things you should be doing first before going that route. Things that would help you get through a crisis without any heat or electricity if you haven't been able to afford or had time to install some of the other ideas that I will be talking about {at a later time this month} yet.

If you are in debt, don't think about trying to add big expensive systems yet. Work on getting out of debt--this will be important but at the same time try to implement some low cost items that will help see you through.

* Begin to prepare by collecting warm blankets and bedding at yard sale and thrift stores. Try to keep an eye out for down comforters that will help keep you warm, but stock up on others too.

* Begin to stock up and collect warm wool or cashmere socks, long johns, sweaters, coats and mittens/gloves. Summer is a good time to look at yard sales for these types of things, but keep an eye out in the thrift stores too. Some of them you might have to wait to catch sales or clearances later on in the year when those items come back into the stores.

* Shore up your insulation and air leaks to help keep your warm air in and cold air out {more on this to come}.

* Add thermal insulating liners to your drapes and windows~~about $5/yd at the fabric store, if you have full panel draperies, you will need approximately 5 yards per window which can add up. Maybe work on one window a month or something so it isn't a huge hit to your pocketbook all at once.

* Make or buy a solar oven so you will have a way to cook without having to worry about fuel to light up a grill etc.

* What will you use for light? Buy a few solar powered lights, or battery powered lanterns w/ solar powered recharger. Those are much cheaper than outfitting your house with a whole solar lighting system, so go with these first, plus they're great to take camping with you! Also stock up on candles, I always see them at my local thrift store, and they can make a room look and smell lovely.

A lot of these are ideas that can be used even if you rent instead of own your home. And they are more inexpensive than some of the other ideas I've been looking at. Since it is summer, definately make use of the yard sales all around, keep your eyes open at thrift stores, or even start asking for some items on places like Freecycle and you can easily {and inexpensively} begin to prepare the things you will need.

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