Archive for ‘Frugality’

August 7, 2013

Dishwasher Saga: Part II, Finding a Replacement

As I detailed in my previous post, my beloved little dishwasher burst into flames and was beyond repair. It was time to buy a new one.

Dishwashers have changed in 13 years. They’ve got new-fangled ways of drying dishes (“condensation drying”), new finishes like stainless steel and a shiny version of battleship gray, fancy touchscreen displays, and displays that are hidden when the dishwasher is closed to give a nice clean look (marred only by the large logo badge on the bottom).

Toe touches

This is what it feels like to load the bottom rack in a tall tub dishwasher!

So perhaps the newest feature that is abundantly available on all of them are “tall tubs,” meaning that the taller tubs allow for more room on the top rack to place tall mugs and even plates. It does seem quite seductive to be able to put serving bowls and plates on the top rack, though I really never needed to do that with my old machine.

But have you noticed that almost every retailer displays the dishwashers on a 6” platform? Sure, it makes it easier to peer into them to see all those fancy feature. One of the problems with the tall tubs is that when the door is open, the lower rack is much, much closer to the floor. Elevating the dishwasher makes it seem to be the same height as the old dishwasher, hiding the fact that you’ll now be doing hamstring stretches and toe touches for every plate and utensil you put into the bottom rack.

read more »

July 18, 2012

Comparison Shopping with Amazon on a Smart Phone

I dislike paying full price for an item. I love getting a bargain. I love using my (expensive) little smart phone (and its accompanying expensive little service plan) to help me get an even bigger bargain.

Product DetailsProduct Details Amazon has two apps that help save a lot of money. The first is Amazon Mobile (the icon on the left) and the other is Amazon Price Check (the icon on the right). The Amazon Mobile app lets shop, check prices, check out, and more, where the Price Check app simply checks prices and shows the product details (including reviews).

read more »

July 8, 2012

Saving on Herbs and Spices

Spices are expensive! But so yummy and quite imperative if one likes different cuisines and/or if one is trying to cut fat and calories from one’s diet. Not only are they expensive, they also never come in quite the right size container. During the winter, I go through chili powder by the half cup or more several times a month, but a tablespoon of marjoram lasts me for several years.

My first foray into saving on spices came several years ago when I saw that warehouse clubs sell them in the 16 ounce size, usually for about double what you’d pay for the 1-2 ounce container in the grocery. Hello, you perfect size container of chili powder! And why, cayenne, you’ll do wonderfully for sprinkling in the garden to keep the squirrels away (much cheaper than the cayenne mixed with filler at the garden center — and it works!). However, the bay leaves and peppercorns was not a good deal for me as I just can’t use them before they lose their potency.

read more »