Friday, June 10, 2011

FRUGAL FRIDAY #3

Here's my tip and I'm kinda p*ssed off that I didn't think of it earlier.
It has to do with a window air-conditioner unit.
Until just a few years ago, I didn't have ANY air-conditioning. NONE.
I have ceiling fans and floor fans and I used to close off the upstairs and sleep down on the main floor with FANS blowing on me...
and I was suffocating. I was miserable and every summer at some point, I would get sick from the heat.

I would have my dogs shaved down and I'd dip them in a wading pool to cool them off sometimes.
I wasn't trying to be frugal, I was just very broke.
Then a few years ago I just couldn't take it anymore. I had all the fans going and Blue would sit in front of them and block the air. Who could blame him?
Sometimes I left him at my work place (the boarding kennels) over night because there was central air-conditioning. Finally I saved up enough to buy someones window unit that they no longer used and then right after that, someone at work was getting rid of several. I took TWO home. Now I have one in the laundry/mud room, another in the living-room and one upstairs in the main bedroom.
The house is cool. And as Scarlett O'Hara said "I'll never be hot again!"
oh wait, I guess she said - Never be hungry again. But anyway....
None of my air-conditioners have the pleated screen thingy that pulls out from the sides to fill up the "space" between it and the sides of the window. I had cut Styrofoam from boxes that I get at work to fill the gaps but it wasn't perfect and air was definitely coming in. So I went to the hardware store and purchased "side insulation panels".
You are supposed to cut them down to size but I find that they can be pinched together and stuck into the spot and then "released" and they fill up the space nicely. I then hang my drapes over either side so that it covers this "tacky" area. I also take a piece of wood and put it between the window and the frame so that no one can push the window UP and get into the house. This is probably not a big concern for me because I live on a BUSY street that people are always walking by and all the windows with units face the same side as my neighbor that is up at all hours AND I have a security light that goes on if you get close to the house. So there's that AND the fact that BLUE can be very protective when he needs to be....and also there's the chorus of hysterical barking if a BUNNY hops into the yard.
So I feel pretty safe.
Now for my FRUGAL tip.
AFTER I opened the "panels" and squished them in to the windows, I remember that I had bought, on clearance at Target, a couple of egg-shell mattress pads for $10.
I bought an extra one with plans for making a nice big dog bed with it, (but of course that is still on my TO-DO list)
So instead of buying TWO package of panels at $12.98 a piece. I could have cut up the mattress pad and still had enough left over for my dog bed(s)!
AARRGGGHHHH!!!! I hate when I figure out something AFTER the fact.
So, maybe I can help someone else.
Target always clears out these mattress pads right after the school year begins. It's part of the whole "Going Away to College-Dorm Room Stuff" but to be honest, you could probably buy a twin bed size one NOW at full price and still end up paying less than I did!
Oh, well - Lesson Learned!
So does anyone else have any FRUGAL TIPS for this week?

4 comments:

Cindy said...

I'm glad to know that you will enjoy a nice cool summer indoors this year. Being too warm can be so miserable.
Hugs, Cindy

yoborobo said...

I'm just happy you have a/c. Frugal tip...hmm...I'll think of one and come back. ;) Happy weekend! xox Pam

sassypackrat said...

I'm just happy you and your lot won't be hot! Closing up the sides around the air unit seems to be a good way to save energy which seems like a fugal tip to me!

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

Air-conditioning is very rare in homes over here, we really don´t have the climate for it normally but I understand that they are very necessary in the US. Today is cool and I´m actually thinking of having a fire in the stove tonight :-) :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.