Ever notice that...greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
..when a catalogue has a great product that uses no energy or is based on old fashioned principles that said products are ridiculously over priced? The prices of bread buckets, hand wringers, scrub boards, non-electric fans for circulating that nice warm woodstove heated air around....you name it! I guess its because they are in less demand and more expensive to manufacture but you'd think in these days of conservation of resources we'd be encouraged to use devices like these to save energy. I guess I shouldn't complain, but I have had no luck locating anything like these at yard sales and to buy from a store or an American based catalogue is just simply beyond my means (no offence but that exchange rate is a killer). Instead I go with what I have and can afford..the electric appliances we already own and watch my power bills never go down except in mid summer. If I said to hubby..lets sell the fans and washer etc and buy alternatives he'd think I was nuts with a capital N. I guess thats enough of my ranting..anyone else have an opinion?
-- Alison Proteau (email@example.com), September 27, 2000
Alison, you're right. Just aren't enough of us out there who DON'T want to be throwing things away all the time. Nor can you get parts for things, or have things fixed for less than what it would cost you to buy new. Fans only last a year or two nowadays. The older ones have oil holes and will last longer than I will.
Some of this stuff does turn up at farm auctions-if you can wrest it away from the antique collectors. But I've never had much luck at thrift stores and rummage sales.
It is possible to do laundry without a scrub board or wringer, but harder. Other appliances you can try reducing their usage or doing without. Have you been checking the frugal threads we've got going now? Gerbil
-- Gerbil (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 27, 2000.
Gerbil,you took the words right out of my mouth!It just amazes me to see the prices at antique malls and auctions on "antique" household appliances.I'm one of those people that actually buy things to use them and you can get alot of this type stuff cheaper brand new.I believe that alot of people aren't familiar with Lehman's and catalogs like that and don't realize that washboards,etc. are still being made.
-- nobrabbit (email@example.com), September 27, 2000.
I can find new scrub boards in some hardware stores but they are about $25. Old ones at auctions etc get snapped up by those pesky dealers. I have been in the frugal threads to open my mind to other ideas and love the thought of a bike powered washer and the window quilts. They would be great. But with two kids still in diapers and potty training I like my washer enough for now. It just irks me that if anyone wants to try and conserve, as we are preached at to do ( and I believe should try to do!), you'd think that the pricing fairies would smile upon us to help out a bit, eh? I will keep looking for better deals though! I am down but not defeated! LOL How's that for wannabe homesteader/hobby farmer gumption?
-- Alison in NS (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 27, 2000.
Allison, I agree with you on the expense thing of products that allow you to live an alternative lifestyle, I love the Lehmans catalog but can't afford most of whats in it. I did luck out last year and find a Sqeezo strainer still in the styrofoam at a church rummage sale, didn't look like it had ever been used. My dh and I were talking one day of going off grid and I showed him the gas fridge and freezer in Lehmans, he liked to have flipped at the price! When I do find something usefull thats old, the owner usually doesn't know how to use it or if it even works, it was either handed down or just bought as an antique to sit on a shelf. Since most of the homesteading thing is my idea, it's hard to convince dh to convert with all the expense.
-- Carol Waldrop (email@example.com), September 27, 2000.
Carol, I hear you loud and clear. I was "our" dream to move to the country and become self sufficient. Now I hear that it was MY dream and he went along to make me happy. That being said, everytime we visit a heritage farm with its rustic qualities he gets back into the idea..LOL Costs have held us back. We bought this old farm house and its remaining land (4.7 acres, partially wooded)4 years ago but it doesn't have the barn anymore. So, we are hoping and praying to get one up by the end of next year, and some fencing etc so we can start on our way. I still have thoughts of getting off the grid or at least using the minimum of power I am capable of but like we said..man, its costly! Carol, isn't it a good thing you and I are in charge of the lifestyle in our families? Imagine where we'd be if they ran the show...LOL
-- Alison in NS (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 2000.
I guess there's good and bad to everything. We live in a very depressed area, so yard sales and thrift shops, etc. are not very practical. Scavenging is practiced here by almost everyone, and the locals find the best stuff first. Poor me. But then, people here still use the stuff you guys are trying to find. Wringer washers see daily use in lots of households. It's possible to find lots of good stuff that has been in recent use, and you don't have to compete with the city folks or antique dealers. I go to lots of antique shops in search of usable items, and even though the cost is usually not pocket change, the items are almost always in good shape.
-- Teresa (email@example.com), September 28, 2000.
Allison, I shudder to think if they were running the show!! Ha, Ha don't get me wrong dh is a wonderful very hard working man sometimes to hard! Lets see if he were running the lifestyle thing we'd have a big screen T.V. in the living area and another T.V. in the bedroom and of course Satelitte or direct T.V. whatever they call it, as it stands now we just have 1 T.V, (which is one to many in my opinion) in the living area and just an antenna. No really dh would like to homestead fulltime in theory, but he just can't let go of a weekly paycheck, plus he doesn't understand why white bread and sugar are not good for us, he love my homemade wheat bread, but says the store bought is yukky, but hasn't relented to me buying a grain mill yet! A friend of mine has one she lives quite a ways away though. We have plenty of land to put thing on, but fencing everything in, gettin barns and pens built, etc. it just all takes a lot of TIME and dh has at least 15 projects going on at one time. I have a chicken house and pen that's 2/3 finished, a goat pen and barn that is finished! GREAT, a privacy fence in the front 3/4 finished, so I can have a herb garden and such without the neighbor's and our own dog getting in it, another area for the goats that is 1/2 fenced in. My children call me the Goatherderwoman cause I let them out to eat green stuff and sit out there and watch them and also get them to help, this summer that was my 12 yr olds chore. Well I've just gone on and on. Overall dh is a good guy, just can't stay focused on one project very long. I could try to do some of these things myself, like finish the chicken pen and house but I'm afraid it may just blow over or something, but I have threatened to do it soon. I'm not much of a carpenter but a GREAT COOK!! We live in Texas so it' really HOT, he's talke of building us an offgrid house back in the woods and I told him well I guess we could build a house with a dogrun or a summer kitchen out back and I'd have to have something to at least run a fan with. A dog run house was what they built years ago before A/C it was a wood frame house with a big open halldown the middle on one side you had your living area, the other was the kitchen and usually some storage area, they still have one down the road from us. Kinda like two house's stuck together by a common breezeway so to speak.
-- Carol (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 2000.
Teresa, Do you live off grid in the South?
-- Carol (email@example.com), September 28, 2000.
Hear hear!! That stuff in Lehman's and the like is way out of range for me. I once bit the bullet and ordered the hand food processor. My mom just bought that same item at a thrift store for 10 bucks. I paid 100!! I never run into deals like that. Either I'm at the wrong yard sales or I'm destined to make it work or do without. Lehman's for me is like window shopping on 5th ave. is for some other people. Oh well I'm getting by. I obviously don't need it as bad as I like to think.
-- evelyn Bergdoll (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 2000.
Carol: We live in NE TN, so sort of south, and yes, we are off the grid. It would have only cost about $3000 for the privilege of paying the electric bill, and it goes out pretty often here. Summer has been luxurious with 4 75-watt panels, but winter's coming.
-- Teresa (email@example.com), September 29, 2000.