Eliminating Electricity & Gas Bills

I think this community may be able to help me with some ideas for a new initiative of mine. I have been trying to virtually eliminate my gas/electricity spend lately and am trying to come up with innovative ways to keep my power bills as low as possible.

Here are the things I have implemented so far

  • I have 2 power banks I rotate and charge in my apartment complex garage. I use these to keep my phone powered
  • I don’t use any traditional in-built ceiling lights. I have a few solar camping lanterns I use as my primary light source
  • I only use cold water for bathing, washing etc.
  • I do not use any heating or cooling
  • I don’t do any cooking, only eat cold things. Predominately canned tuna & salads. I also have been making a no bake protein slice (peanut butter, rolled oats, canned black beans) which has been cost effective high calorie food
  • For all my internet and entertainment I only use my phone, which as mentioned above is charged from the power banks

It really just leaves me with my fridge as my only source of power draw. Does anyone have any innovative ideas on how to keep things cold without powering a fridge? Obviously I do not need refrigeration for my tuna. However, my salad ingredients last longer cooled and my protein slice requires cooling for it to set properly.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • +274 votes

    Dude… I have no words…

    • +92 votes

      Troll thread 100% 😂

      • +13 votes

        Thats what i thought but member since 2018

        • +14 votes

          stay low and start to troll

    • +10 votes

      I've got 3. "What the fark".

    • +21 votes

      I do. "A human was born to enjoy life and all the things life had to offer, but all he cared for was some numbers printed on a piece of paper with some ink, which he mistook for his wealth and money. Now he lives in misery." Ffs, I am a cheap f***, but this is crossing the line.

      •  

        Where is that quote from?

        •  

          The writer was anonymous. Here's the original quote: http://shorturl.at/iFN45

        •  

          My drunk mind.

        • +1 vote

          Where is that quote from?

          It's just a lame, new age paraphrasing of either Timothy 6:10: "The love of money is the root of all evil" or my personal, all-time favourite quote about money, Thomas Jefferson's words: “The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating.”

  • +38 votes

    Car you buy an electric car and charge it for free in the garage? Then you would be able to use a camping fridge in your car for free. Or do you have a cold mountain stream nearby? You could place your items in a dry bag under the running water? Or you could forego it all and live in a park and not worry about rent.

    •  

      I have considered a camping fridge and solar panel set up. However my apartment does not get much natural light. Also the initial set up cost is a little prohibitive and it would take a while to recoup the cost.
      I assume the electric car is a joke. While I do like the idea of being able to charge the car for free, it is definitely not in my near term future due to the high cost.

      • +25 votes

        I think he's joking about more than the car

  • +75 votes

    you and this guy would be great friends https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/382306

    • +40 votes

      "It started when they had some friends over and wanted to use it for some sausages after I had already started a risotto."

      I'm actually crying this is the funniest thing I've read this week

      • +1 vote

        So much comedy gold in that thread, I read it every time it comes up.

        My favourite is stealing the neighbours power for a (presumably) loud as hell blender, and wondering why it's not okay because he didn't have to hop their fence to get to it.

        All of that effort to save a measly $300 a year..

    • +23 votes

      Haha I guessed what the thread was about before opening and I was correct.

    • +2 votes

      I was thinking the same thing……

    •  

      Haha good lord

    • +4 votes

      Happy OZB memories.

    •  

      OP says he doesnt use heat for cooking and only cold salad and tuna… So How can they be friends

    • +3 votes

      Remember that thread.. was fun to read

    •  

      Classic post

    •  

      hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

    •  

      lol, that thread was GOLD!
      it would be great to have that thread open for comments again!

  • +10 votes

    Ice.

  • +8 votes

    Sounds like my Uni days……

  • +2 votes

    This right here is what I call a true OzBargainer!

    • +4 votes

      no mate, ozbargainers spend alot of f#@king dosh. this guy is the lord of cheapskates

  • +16 votes

    Maybe you could avoid showering (just use the rain) and not flush the toilet? Think of all the money you are wasting on water!

    • +1 vote

      Water bills are included in my rent, so fortunately it is not something I have to worry about.

      • +69 votes

        Make your own hydro-electric generator powered by the free water.

        • +6 votes

          Can't type. Still laughing.
          Excellent suggestion.
          Would reveal whether op is interested in minimising environmental footprint or just minimising the bills.

    • +2 votes

      Flush what toilet? You don't need to flush anything if you're like this guy: 🤣😂
      https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbanes-all...

  • +2 votes

    I only use cold water for bathing

    What about in winter? And please don't say you don't need to because you "don't sweat" in winter!

    • +2 votes

      The cold showers dont really bother me, honestly it is something you just get use to it. I actually read somewhere it is good for you, not sure on that though.

      • +1 vote

        Your kidding, no way normal person can stand a cold shower in melbourne winter, you will need to wear nappy for the next half hour unless you don't mind wet underpant.

        • +2 votes

          I did that in Melbourne winter, it's a lot easier if you shower mid day when the weather is not as cold. First few seconds of the cold can suck but after that it kinda feels good and once you get out you feel warmer than you would if you had a hot shower.

        •  

          I cringed reading that part.

          During a time when I lived in the tropics, I used to have cold showers because it was genuinely refreshing but I couldn’t imagine doing it in winter in South West WA.

  • +78 votes

    Get yourself incarcerated, no power and gas bills. You'll get hot showers, electric lights and better food than you are currently consuming.

    • +19 votes

      While I do like the out of the box thinking, I like my freedom too much. Although I am in Melbourne so I do not really have that anyway. Maybe this suggestion has merit.

      • +10 votes

        In Melbourne? Same as being at home in lock down, but no bills!

      • +5 votes

        I was going to guess you're in QLD for not having hot showers. You're intense.

      •  

        You mean… in the box?

      • +7 votes

        OP - I like my freedom too much. Also OP - Here's 500 rules I abide by to save 4 cents and impacts my freedom.

      •  

        What crime can you commit that will give you 3 to 4 months in jail?

        •  

          You could do a trivial crime that would not lead to sentencing. Just don’t apply for bail and you’ll remain in remand until your sentencing.

          Remember, Just don’t drop the soap whilst you’re in there…

          •  

            @WaterMark:

            Remember, Just don’t drop the soap whilst you’re in there…

            Unless you're into that sort of thing.

    • +6 votes

      This is actually a thing for some elderly people in Japan now. Petty theft - jail - no longer homeless.

  • +4 votes

    Assuming this isn't a one post wonder troll thread have you considered a kerosene fridge OP.

    Very cheap to run.

  • +16 votes

    You will still pay for supply charges even if you don't use any electricity/gas.

    • +6 votes

      Yeah, I feel like until you disconnect your utilities you're just peeing into the wind here.

      • -4 votes

        hook it up to neighbors power haha

        • +3 votes

          Assuming you are not simply stealing their power without their consent, this might be a good way to save/share the supply charge I suppose? Just get a simple meter on an extension cord. Should not be a problem as long as the wattage is not too high which isnt a prob for OP.

    •  

      Yeah definitely, I figure there is not much I can do about this. Still worth trying to minimize whats in my control. I am not quite committed enough to go free range and live off the land entirely.

    •  

      I don't pay gas charges and the gas network runs past my house. I'm in Melbourne and was connected.

      I'm not sure if you could do it in an apartment though. I doubt it.

  • +31 votes

    Member Since
    11/10/2018

    Great first post. Thank you for your contribution to the community. It really got me thinking about how much power I could have saved…

    I was going to make some popcorn and watch the comments but then, I would have to use electricity so maybe I'll just drink tap water and watch the comments.

  • +2 votes

    Im outa here

  • +34 votes

    Actually your usage of powerbanks would cost you more than just using an outlet!

    The average cost of fully recharging a phone each day for a year (365 full charges) is about 60 cents total, or 2kwH.

    If it costs you $12 for a decent Xiaomi powerbank, then it will take you 20 years of daily usage to break even.

    Worse for the environment due to extra e-waste, and worse for your wallet because good luck getting 20 years out of a battery.

    • +5 votes

      Thanks this is good info. The powerbanks I actually already had lying around, I believe they were gifts. It does seem like the electricity cost to charge a phone is almost negligible. So may not be worth the hassle of always going down to the garage and rotating powerbanks.

      • +17 votes

        If it takes you 5 mins a day to swap them out, then over a year you're spending 30 hours to save 60c, and I'm pretty sure your time is worth more than $0.02 an hour.

        If you're doing this all to save money, then you should really write down the $/hr of effort you're putting in. If it's way below the amount you could earn in the same time from somewhere like uTest/Mech Turk/etc, then it's just plain better to do that instead.

        Or alternatively, get extra shifts/hours at work. I'm pretty sure every single expense you're trying to save money on would add up to less than you'd get from a single shift at woolies.

        • +13 votes

          Plus OP hasn’t factored in the cost of wear on the soles of his shoes every time he goes down to the garage to rotate the powerbanks. Then again, maybe he goes barefoot to keep his overheads down.

          • +6 votes

            @Ozpit: And naked so less clothes to wash.

          • +2 votes

            @Ozpit: Probably recycle tissue boxes into shoes…

    • +3 votes

      Plus they are not 100% efficient so every discharge and recharge will probably use more power than just running it directly.

  • +5 votes

    Does anyone have any innovative ideas on how to keep things cold without powering a fridge?

    If you move next to a supermarket or 7 Eleven (or both) you don't really need a fridge. I live above a Woolies and my fridge is usually almost empty because Woolies already keeps everything cold for me.

    • +2 votes

      I live relatively close to a supermarket (walking distance), so I could do frequent shops. That does not solve being able to set my protein slice though. Unless I took it the supermarket and put in the freezer sections for 20 minutes.

      •  

        protein slice

        Is that like a protein bar? Do they need to be refridgerated? I see them on the shelf all the time.

        •  

          This home made one does, otherwise it doesn't really set and stays at a loose consistency.

          • +1 vote

            @CrashBeejy: Buy an ice box/esky/insulated storage box.
            Turn on freezer and freeze items
            Stick items in esky, stick esky in fridge
            Turn off fridge
            Items dethaw, go back to turn on freezer stage.
            Profit?

            • +1 vote

              @MilkDrinker: Don't even need to use a fridge/freezer
              Just buy frozen and refridgerated goods on a frequent basis from retail outlets…keep the esky wrapped in a woolen blanket and in the shade…make sure to use the frozen goods not long after they've been defrosted

              Theoretically this method would work but it might be a false economy:
              - Is your time worth the money you save in terms of frequent visits to the shops?
              - Increased wear on your shoes/bicycle/car in travelling to the shops
              - Increased risk of food spoilage (particularly in summer)
              - Decreased ability to make savings from bulk purchases and storing them in the fridge/freezer
              - Huge inconvenience factor at having to make frequent food shops and also inability to free leftovers/batch cooking
              - Increased risk of food poisoning from incorrectly stored food - leading to medical expenses and lost wages

              Most small fridge/freezers will cost at most 1kWh/day to operate (around 25-30c). Is it really worth all of that to save, what, $110 per year?

              I think your biggest savings in personal expense would come from finding a cheaper place to rent. If you could negotiate even 30c off per week off your rent (or find a cheaper place to live) your savings would be enough to run that fridge

              •  

                @inasero: Yes true, also with the price of eskys being ridiculous you may as well buy a highly efficient chest freezer that can run off as low as ~$50 a year because of it’s heavy insulation. If his original fridge was middling quality he could save around $40-150 a year.

                He could also bulk buy protein slices when they go on special and store them for further savings. Considering the main/only? perishable is protein slices you can store a lotta meat in 350L.

  • +8 votes

    Here's how I would do it:

    1. Disconnect my power and gas completely, thats service charges gone which is most of what you pay for daily.
    2. Buy a 100 Ah AGM batteries, a solar panel, a solar charger, and light 300W inverter (second hand)
    3. Live life for free off my new ~$500ish setup.

    Get a second hand camp fridge and cook on a fire pit using scraps of wood from the local park.

    Bonus points if you cut your water too and live off rain you catch and boil.

    • +3 votes

      This.
      And for transportation, he should look into using a MTK bike. As for fuel, he can goto homeless shelters to get free food, so that he can cycle harder. Not to mention planting his own vegetables in a garden somewhere.

      I think for us average tightarses, a house with lots of insulation, running water, some air-conditioning, 5G connection, a Solar Panel, Lithium Battery Power Wall, and an Electric Car is more than enough. And to own the home and land too, so that there's very little fees (council, water, electric) compared to Rent. That means only cost are: Food, Electricity, Internet, Water/Sewage, and Council.

      But even relying on Petrol cars, low insulation, NBN costs, Netflix, Gas connection, Take out food, No Solar, No Lithium Power, and paying Rent… despite all that, it can still be achieved on a reasonable budget.

    •  

      Bonus points if you cut your water too and live off rain you catch and boil.

      Go down the beach or pond and steal a bucket of water…

      •  

        Go down the beach or pond and steal a bucket of water…

        Please don't…the medical bills will cost more than the money you save.

        •  

          Eventually you'd build up a tolerance

          • +3 votes

            @jaimex2: You can actually drink dirty pond water for the rest of your life.

        •  

          You'll be fine as long as you boil the water and get that distilled water to drink with or shower with…..

          •  

            @Zachary: Are you speaking from experience or what you think?

            What equipment you gonna use for the salt?

            •  

              @Ughhh: I'm speaking from what I think. Just get one of those pipe tube thingies(I don't actually know what they're called) that takes the steam from the boiling water which condenses and turns into distilled water, and then leave the salt and any other crap that doesn't get turned into steam and get go back and get a new batch of water, rinse and repeat.

              I'd do it now but im too lazy to get myself one of those pipe tube things(I dont even know where you get them from…lol - i guess custom made?) and create my own batch of distilled water from ocean water or pond or river water or any other source of water…

        •  

          Does Medicare cover his medical bills?

  • +2 votes

    Get a Tesla powerwall :)

    • +1 vote

      Got 10k?

  • +1 vote

    Can you hide a small fridge in the garage?
    I used to put Dell cardboard boxing around my mini fridge at work to pass inspection. It was really obvious but somehow worked for people not expecting it.

    There might be some USB mini fridges that could keep your protein slice cool enough