Don’t Buy a Service Contract or an Extended Warranty (31/365)

I don’t like high pressure sales situations. Whenever I find myself in a situation where some cheesy salesperson is trying to give me the hard


Read the Manual (30/365)

When my wife and I first got our Prius, we had a very difficult time getting the car to turn on. Now, this seems like


Focus on Reliability and Fuel Efficiency (29/365)

The last two weeks have focused on appliances. Now, we’re going to shift directions and take a deeper look at automobiles. Let’s take a look


Start an Automatic Appliance Replacement Fund (28/365)

Just a few days ago, Connie wrote in: It’s been a real challenge turning our financial situation around. My husband seems supportive but he’s having

Review: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book


Invest in a Deep Freezer (27/365)

One of the most critical appliances in our home when I was growing up was our chest deep freezer. We kept it in the attached


Set Your Refrigerator to the Warmest Setting (26/365)

Let’s cut straight to the chase. The sweet spot for any refrigerator is between 39 and 40 F. This is the temperature at which bacterial


Don’t Install Your Refrigerator Next to Your Dishwasher (25/365)

Your dishwasher gets hot. Your dishwasher also gets moist, meaning it’s harder to cool down the air around it. Your refrigerator gets cold. So does


Make Your Own Dishwashing Detergent (24/365)

The reason that my photography intern and I decided to use virtually the same exact picture for this entry as entry #18 in this series


Use the Short Cycle (23/365)

Our dishwasher has an abundance of cycles and options. With just a few buttons, we can choose a light cycle, a normal cycle, a heavy


Only Wash Full Loads of Dishes or Clothes (22/365)

This seems like common sense at first glance. If you run your dishwasher, your washing machine, or your dryer with only half a load of


Turn on the Oven Light While Cooking (21/365)

Several months ago, I was curious about how much heat was lost when I opened up the oven to inspect a dish cooking in there.


Don’t Use the Stove when the Microwave Will Do (20/365)

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. For the specific task microwaves excel at, they’re much more efficient than stove tops


Air-Dry Your Clothes Instead of Using the Dryer (19/365)

On any given day, if you were to wander into our laundry room, you’d find damp clothing hung up, laid out, or somehow exposed to


Make Your Own Powdered Laundry Detergent (18/365)

I’m often stunned at the high price of laundry detergent. If you’re buying Tide, for example, even if you buy the jumbo pack in multiples,


Clean Out Your Dryer Lint (17/365)

This seems like such a simple thing. Most of us do this as a matter of course whenever we dry a load of laundry in


Use Cold Water for Most Clothes Washing (16/365)

It’s simple. If you use hot water at home to wash your clothes, heating the water is the single largest expense of running a load


Shop Patiently (15/365)

When we were first considering a move into our current home, my wife and I made a list of things that we wanted to have