Showing posts from June, 2014

Building a Garden; Alaska Style

Ever since the snow has melted, about a month or so ago, we have been adding bits for our garden.  Buying small bits here and there and all the while waiting for the day when we can really start building.  I knew the day would come, and once it did we would be super busy.  Of course, I was right. In Maryland we started our garden in 2010 and it took us 4 years to build it to the point where it was producing a pretty impressive amount.  Our hope here was to jump beyond that, put to use all the knowledge we gained from there, all while going as cheap as humanly possible.  We were just breaking even each month with a tiny bit to spare when we first moved here so money was tight.  Early May we purchased 50 concrete blocks and some hardware cloth at Home Depot that set us back around $100.  Thanks to problems with voles, here we have to use hardware cloth under each raised bed otherwise our root veggies will be eaten.  This added an additional $20 per two beds. Not thrilled, but the situa…

My Top Five tips for lowering an Electric Bill

I write this now, coming from about 4 months, give or take, experience now at reducing our electricity bill each month.
Energy here in Fairbanks, Alaska is expensive.  In fact per the US Energy Information Administration only a few other states are higher.  In case you're curious, Hawaii is the most expensive with New York and Connecticut following.  We're number four on this list.  Unfortunately for us here in the Golden Heart City though, we have a nasty little surcharge added onto our bill due to a legal issue that our Electricity company had some time ago, so it pushes that cost per kWh up around an extra .9 cents.  That doesn't seem like a lot but when you multiply that times 400, 500 or 800 kWh. It adds up.
The most important thing one has to keep in mind when trying to lower an electric bill is, while keeping an eye on your cost per month, you really want to look at your total kWh usage per month.
If you do this you will be able to dissect the appliances and electr…