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Winter heating and surviving 2008


heidiiiii
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I went for my appointment with TVCCA yesterday to sign up for heating assistance. I wanted to let all of you in the colder climates know what I found out. The federal government and many colder climated state governments are adding more money to the funds to help everyone survive this winter.

They have raised the income requirements and many people will be eligible for multiple fills on their oil, propane, and help if you heat with gas. The worker told me that many people who have never gotten assistance are coming in this year. He said " You can take the bus, ride a bike, or walk to work but you have to have heat!"

You can contact your local United Way to find out how to get in contact with the agency in your state.

I will find out in two weeks if we are eligible.

I also wanted to share a place where you can get help with food costs. It is called Angel Food Ministries. You click on the menu for October and it will show you the packages they are offering. You have to buy the regular box for $30, then you can purchase as many of the other box options as you like. At the end of the month (usually) you go to the pick up point to get your food. You have to bring boxes or bags because they do not provide. Enter your zip code at the bottom and it will show if there is a local branch (usually a church) in your area.

My friend uses this and she loves it. She is living on her one income raising her Dd and Gd. It helps her with her budget and feeding the family. They have a different menu every month.

If anyone else knows of ways to make your dollar stretch..add to the post.

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Doug is also going to look into help with our heating. Doug is too weak to be handing a wood stove in the living room. We wanted to get a pellet stove as pellets are still pretty reasonable here. We could replace our propane stove in the living room with it, and have the pellets outside on the deck. However the roof and deck and repairs in general on the house took up all of our excess cash we set aside for the stove so that is not an option this year. But with the rising cost of propane we will be sort of stuck as well here. Yes, we need heat. When it drops down to 10, 20, sometimes 30 and 40 below 0.....the house chills down quite rapidly. We've had days when the ice was 1/2 inch thick on the inside of our double walled windows. And Doug won't let me carry wood either and it's just not an option. We never built the house to have wood burning stoves and even a fireplace. We didn't want the mess of the wood in the house nor did we want to have to go outside in the snow, ice, wind etc., to carry it in. So yep, though we are pretty much self-sufficient, we too will be needing some help with the costs of propane....

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While I agree they will get you one way or another, this one actually is appropriate. The cars will run on roadways and our gas tax is suppose to pay for the upkeep or maintenance of the roads. No gas tax means less money to cover that. Now if they could get those cars to ride somehow above the roads and no wear or tear, then I can see no requirement for the tax. No wait, then they would hit us for a monitoring or service tax of some kind. You just can't win.

Now if only our government would stop using that pot of money for other things our roads and bridges would be in better shape.

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I started buying groceries only as we need them instead of going and getting a large amount all at once. This seems to help financially. I stock up on coffee when it's on sale. I have to have coffee no matter what. Walmart and Target are close, walking distance for Michael while the weather is still nice. When we had the ice storm winter before last we had no power for three days and it was 42 degrees in the house before the power came on. I hope I never have to be that cold inside again but can't worry about it. We went to the mall, Target and Walmart to get warm and for hot meals. The National Guard even came by to check on people so I just try to take one day at a time and if things get really bad there is always a way to survive it all.

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Up here in New England, many of us use oil and electricity is actually cheaper. We're planning on setting the heat at 50 and supplementing with an electric heater that looks like a woodstove - even has "flames". No chimney on my house either.

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I'm fortunate because I live in the Pacific Northwest where it doesn't get that cold. I will only have my heat on those few hours when I'm home after work and on weekends. Otherwise there is no heat - I found out last year I can sleep without heat when it gets down into the teens (about as cold as it gets here in winter) if I just layer the blankets and use a cheap fleece blanket on top of me instead of a sheet.

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Up here in New England, many of us use oil and electricity is actually cheaper. We're planning on setting the heat at 50 and supplementing with an electric heater that looks like a woodstove - even has "flames". No chimney on my house either.

No fireplace/ chimney here either but it would not matter if I did or not. I am allergic to the smoke. I feel like I am going to die when I get a face full of burning wood smoke.

You are absolutely right about New England. The majority of us have oil heat and electricity. My side of the street does not even have access to the gas line. They would have to dig to give it too us (I SO MISS GAS STOVE!)

I do not know anyone that uses propane to heat their home. I would love to convert (as would my neighbors) but it is just not economically feasible for any of us. If the gas line was already in the house, it would have been done already!

I saw those fireplaces in the store and I am thinking about getting one for the living room. I want to do research on how much it would cost per kilowat hour vs just heating with oil. I did get one heater that oscillates for the living room already. It is a small one to supplement. My best advice is to get your house prepared now. Caulk outside around windows and doors, weather stripping, plastic on windows (if they are older).

I keep the heat at 63. And my basement is heated (separate zone). I am glad for that so the pipes will not freeze. That is a whole other ball of hurt if that happens to you.

If you are handy with a sewing machine you can make draft stoppers.

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If you save your DH's wornout underwear you can use it to stuff a draftstopper.

OMG! Thank you Holly. Now I know how to get rid of them. What is up with men and hole riddled drawers?

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They scratch.........

;) Well thank you now I feel re-energized for another round of tutoring collegues >whiping away tears of laughter thanking the man upstairs that I had swallowed the last sip of coffee....<

Hugs

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ROFL!!!

I never thought of that. Another of life`s mysteries solved. I still hate it. He also holds onto really old t-shirts. (he wears them under his scrubs).

Part of me wants to send them packing but I couldnt do that. That is if someone threw away your most favorite comfy *worn just right* shirt or sweats. You would be mad. :angry:

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Holly who would have thunk it! This is the nicest treat ever! And so easy, and quick, and no leftovers to get hard later on. And my spiced coffee is natural with it. Next time we're putting chopped nuts in the batter! Cool! Chocolate cake in just a few minutes - slathered with either cool whip, whipped cream or ice cream, it's a chocoholic's delight!

If anyone wants the receipe let me know. Mug cake is made in a coffee mug in the microwave!

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Warm cake from the microwave. :angry: Sounds good. Could be an extra thing to keep me warm this winter. Hate the idea of having to set the temperature lower than we did last year (66) up here in Vermont. Unfortunately with the forecasted price of $4.89 a gallon for kerosene, we may just have to. Guess it's time for me to get busy on the sewing machine and make a couple of draftstoppers and some window quilts.

lyn

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