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8 Brave Souls...

September 21st, 2010 at 09:50 am



...have entered this year's No Heat Contest.

They are:

1. Ima Saver
2. dmontngrey
3. HouseHopeful
4. Toyguy1963
5. CB in the City
6. My English Castle
7. PatientSaver
8 MonkeyMama

It's not too late to join! (See earlier post for the details.)

Announcing the 3rd Annual No Heat Contest

September 20th, 2010 at 06:03 am



The days are growing shorter and there's a nip in the air come evening. You know what that means...it's time for the 3rd annual No Heat Contest!

The rules are simple. The winner of the contest is the person who can hold off turning on the heat longer than anyone else.

I'll leave it to your conscience to decide if using your wood fireplace, stove or space heater is "cheating," but I do think that would provide an unfair advantage. Remember, the idea of the contest is to encourage each other to forestall, for as long as possible, the long winter of oil, natural gas, propane or electric bills to heat our homes.

Here are a few ideas for doing that:

* Throw on an extra sweater.
* Weatherstrip your doors and windows.
* Indulge your Inner Chef to create some fabulous home-cooked meals, and keep that oven door open afterwards (make sure it's turned OFF) to warm your kitchen.
* Let your pets sleep with you.
* Get out the hot cocoa.
* Throw an extra comforter on the bed.
* If all else fails and you can't seem to warm up, visit a friend or your local library!

So who's in?

Important Note About the No Heat Contest

November 22nd, 2009 at 02:05 pm



I am not sure who is still in the contest. I believe at last count there were 3 or 4 of you, including ImaSaver and MonkeyMama?

If you are STILL living with no heat on in the house, could you please email lbruno@gannett.com.

She is especially interested in talking to you if you don't live in the Northeast.

She's a reporter with USA Today and she is spring-boarding off a recent story on the no heat challenge that appeared in the NJ Star Ledger.

This is a great opportunity to get some exposure for your blog and offer your thoughts on what it's like to live with no heat.

No Heat Contest Update

October 25th, 2009 at 05:47 am



Here's who has already turned on the heat:

Canoineag (Denver): Oct. 1
Dido: First week of October
creditcardfree (Iowa): Oct. 3
wowitsawonderfullife (Toronto) Oct. 8
AnnLink (Buckeye)(Ohio): Oct. 8
Boomeyer: Oct. 10
Fern (CT): Oct. 12
JoanoftheArch: Oct. 12
NorthGeorgiaGal (GA): Oct. 16
LuxLiving: Oct. 17

To Debtfreeme, Househopeful, monkeymama, imasaver, momfrommissouri, Patrick and PrincessPerky, are you still in the contest?


My No Heat Date to Beat

October 1st, 2009 at 12:21 pm



I decided to look up in my old blog posts what date I finally turned the heat on last year. I figure, that's the date I want to beat this year, by at least one night, preferably more!

I turned on my heat in 2008 on October 18.

Brrr. So i have a few more weeks to go, and it got mighty chilly here last night, down to 59 degrees inside.

It's harder this year because now I'm home all day long.

As for who won the No Heat Contest last year, I see from a December 13 08 blog I wrote that I still had, as far as I knew, 3 semi-finalists:

1. sevenofseven - Northern California
2. nomorecredit- NY
3. swimgirl - Northern California

No one ever got back to me, I don't think, so I'm not actually sure who won!

2nd Annual No Heat Challenge

September 11th, 2009 at 12:08 pm



For anyone who wasn't around these parts last year this time, a bunch of us entered a challenge to see who could hold off turning on the heat the longest.

There's no special prize if you win, but it's a lot of fun (umm, yeah, right). Let me know if you're in; I'll make a list and try to update it (who's caved, who hasn't) every weekend.

May the best frugalite win!

No Heat Contest Update

December 13th, 2008 at 07:21 am

I don't usually read the blogs during the week, so it's possible sevenofseven, nomorecredit and/or swimgirl turned on the heat while I wasn't looking, but here, according to my best record-keeping records, are the remaining 3 finalists who still have not turned on the heat:

1. sevenofseven - Northern California
2. nomorecredit- NY
3. swimgirl - Northern California

This officially ends my record-keeping duties!

Those who already turned on the heat:
scfr - Texas - Dec. 12
Ima Saver - Georgia - Dec. 6
debtfreeme - Northern California - Nov 29
monkeymama - N. California – Nov. 23
canoineag – Denver – Nov. 9
Joan.of.the.Arch – MO – Nov. 9
Analise - northern California - Nov. 9
Little gopher - Minnesota - Nov. 7
princessperky - Charlotte, NC - Oct. 30
Koppur - Massachusetts - Oct. 29
snoopycool - Florida - Oct. 28
toyguy1963 - Ohio - Oct. 27
Boomeyer - Missouri - Oct. 26
Househopeful - Delaware Oct. 23
Buckeye - Ohio - Oct. 22
dmontngrey - Massachusetts Oct. 22
Fern - Oct. 19 Connecticut
mbkonef - SE Pennyslvania - Oct 17
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15
Nancy - Oct. ??
MilehighGirl - Oct. 11
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - Wisconsin - October 1
homebody - October 1

I've seen other people posting their 2009 goals. I thought about mine, the financial ones, that is, and they pretty much will be what my 2008 financial goals were:
1. Continue paying down my mortgage rapidly.
2. Continue building my emergency fund.

I will also continue contributing the max to my 401k, but that's a given. I'd also like to throw more money into investments since prices are so low, but building the emergency fund in case of layoff is the priority right now.


6 Die-Hards Still Stand....No Heat Contest Update

November 23rd, 2008 at 07:33 am

I never imagined I'd still be reporting so close to Thanksgiving on those stalwart souls who haven't turned on the heat.

I give you guys a lot of credit. I'm with you in spirit. Although my heat is regularly kicking on, it's set at 59 degrees. You get used to it, for the most part. I hope I can keep it this low all winter long. In past years, my indoor high temp was set at 60 or 62, so this is my own ongoing personal challenge.

Here are the remaining 6 finalists who still have not turned on the heat (as far as I know):

debtfreeme - Northern California
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
sevenofseven - Northern California
nomorecredit- NY
swimgirl - Northern California

Those who already turned on the heat:
monkeymama - N. California – Nov. 23
canoineag – Denver – Nov. 9
Joan.of.the.Arch – MO – Nov. 9
Analise - northern California - Nov. 9
Little gopher - Minnesota - Nov. 7
princessperky - Charlotte, NC - Oct. 30
Koppur - Massachusetts - Oct. 29
snoopycool - Florida - Oct. 28
toyguy1963 - Ohio - Oct. 27
Boomeyer - Missouri - Oct. 26
Househopeful - Delaware Oct. 23
Buckeye - Ohio - Oct. 22
dmontngrey - Massachusetts Oct. 22
Fern - Oct. 19 Connecticut
mbkonef - SE Pennyslvania - Oct 17
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15
Nancy - Oct. ??
MilehighGirl - Oct. 11
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - Wisconsin - October 1
homebody - October 1




Nine Contestants Still Chillin' in the No Heat Challenge

November 9th, 2008 at 06:07 am

There are still nine stalwart souls who haven't' turned on the heat. Most of these folks, I must point out, don't live in warm climates!

I turned my heat on weeks ago but it really hasn't kicked on much, 1. Because it's still been mostly mild and 2. It's set at 55 overnight and 58 for about 4 hours daily on weekdays.

Still no heat:

debtfreeme - Northern California
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
sevenofseven - Northern California
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
nomorecredit- NY

Those who already turned on the heat:
Little gopher - Minnesota - Nov. 7
monkeymama - N. California - Nov. 4
princessperky - Charlotte, NC - Oct. 30
Koppur - Massachusetts - Oct. 29
snoopycool - Florida - Oct. 28
Boomeyer - Missouri - Oct. 26
Househopeful - Delaware Oct. 23
Buckeye - Ohio - Oct. 22
dmontngrey - Massachusetts Oct. 22
Fern - Oct. 19 Connecticut
mbkonef - SE Pennyslvania - Oct 17
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15
Nancy - Oct. ??
MilehighGirl - Oct. 11
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - Wisconsin - October 1
homebody - October 1

No Heat Contestants Still Toughing It Out

November 1st, 2008 at 05:08 am

I've heard from a few more contestants who have turned on the heat during the past week, so I've adjusted the list of finalists below. For all those still going with no heat, bravo.

Still no heat:
monkeymama - Northern California
debtfreeme - Northern California
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
sevenofseven - Northern California
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California
Little gopher - Minnesota
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
Buckeye - Ohio
Koppur - Massachusetts
nomorecredit- NY

Those who already turned on the heat:
princessperky - Charlotte, NC - Oct. 30
snoopycool - Florida - Oct. 28
Boomeyer - Missouri - Oct. 26
Househopeful - Delaware Oct. 23
ann link - Oct. 22
dmontngrey - Massachusetts Oct. 22
Fern - Oct. 19 Connecticut
mbkonef - SE Pennyslvania - Oct 17
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15
Nancy - Oct. ??
MilehighGirl - Oct. 11
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

No Heat Challenge: Another One Bites the Dust

October 19th, 2008 at 05:26 am



Halloween in my town is a big event. If yo want to have a rockin/ time, even if you don't have children, Main Street is the place to be. What better backdrop for pint-sized ghouls and goblins to do their trick or treatin' than among the many Victorian and Colonial era homes on Main Street? The homeowners go all out to decorate their historic homes.

One home in particular features a gigantic spider that each year sprawls across a web that extends from the rooftop of the house and across the front yard. It's all great fun.

Despite all the fun that Halloween promises, I must admit to falling asleep early last night around 10 pm. I intended to stay up late to watch Tina Fey.

I woke up rather suddenly around 1:50 a.m. for no particular reason. But this is why I know exactly when my heat kicked on. Yes, I'm afraid I'm out of the contest. However, I set the thermostat to 55 degrees, day and night, round the clock. I set it last night because temperatures were supposed to get down to freezing, statewide. I heard the heat kick on at 2:05 am, and then it cycled back on and off throughout the rest of the morning as I tossed and turned.

It'll hopefully stay there, at 55, for this month and next. When we get into the bitter cold, I'll have to notch it up, but I never go above 65 degrees. I don't like to start out at that temp since I'll get accustomed to it, so I'll do it by "degrees."

I have a bad habit of writing things down on a notepad by my bedside when I waken in the middle of the night, or early in the morning before I'm fully conscious. I do some of my best work then (!), but if I don't turn the light on and scribble down my thoughts, I'll forget most of what I "wrote" in my head by dawn.

And that's what happened last night. Actually, I was writing this blog post, but i forgot half of what I intended to say.

I watched the best movie last night. It's called American Splendour. Have you seen it? Normally, I'm pretty stingy with my 5-star Netflix ratings, but this one was really good.

Without giving too much away, it's a story about a down and out guy living and working in Cleveland as a file clerk in a VA hospital. Not much in his life is going well. Actually, there's not much going on, period. One day, while filing away records in the "Deceased" section, he reads one file which lists "Born, 1938, Cleveland. Died, 1979, Cleveland." You know he's wondering if he's going to have that kind of seemingly meaningless existence.

He starts writing a comic strip that chronicles the minutiae of his life. It's real, it's gritty, and it takes off. He lands an appearance on the David Letterman Show. He develops a following. And he ends up doing this for 20 years, although he never gets rich from it. I think it's a true story.

Anyway, if you get a chance, check it out. I loved it.

Still NO HEAT:
Boomeyer - Missouri
monkeymama - Northern California
debtfreeme - Northern California
mbkonef - Southeastern Pennyslvania
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida
dmontngrey - Massachusetts
sevenofseven - Northern California
princessperky - Charlotte, North Carolina
Househopeful - Delaware
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California
Little gopher - Minnesota
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
Buckeye - Ohio
Koppur - Massachusetts

Those who already turned on the heat:
Fern - Oct. 19
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15
Nancy - Oct. ??
MilehighGirl - Oct. 11
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

Throw on the Sweaters and Don't Turn on the Heat!

October 15th, 2008 at 03:34 pm

Here's where we stand again, with a few corrections...

Still NO HEAT:
Me, aka fern - Connecticut
monkeymama - Northern California
debtfreeme - Northern California
mbkonef - Southeastern Pennyslvania
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida
dmontngrey - Massachusetts
sevenofseven - Northern California
princessperky - Charlotte, North Carolina
Househopeful - Delaware
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California
Gamecock 43 - Florida!!!
Little gopher - Minnesota
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
Buckeye - Ohio
Koppur - Massachusetts

Those who already turned on the heat:
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15 (You gave it a good shot!)
Nancy - Northern Colorado, turned it sometimes last week?
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

Be a Heat Miser!

October 15th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Here's who is still in the game for America's #1 No Heat Miser! There have been a few dropouts.

Me - Connecticut
monkeymama - Northern California
debtfreeme - Northern California
mbkonef - Southeastern Pennyslvania
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida
dmontngrey - Massachusetts
sevenofseven - Northern California
princessperky - Charlotte, North Carolina
Househopeful - Delaware
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California
Gamecock 43 - Florida!!!
Nance - northern California - has a wood stove!
Little gopher - Minnesota
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
Buckeye - Ohio

Those who already turned on the heat:
Creditcardfree - Oct. 15 (You gave it a good shot!)
wyozozo - Wyoming - Oct. 10
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

I'm thrilled that it's exactly mid-month and I've wasted no drops of my precious heating oil. I'll be patting myself on the back sometime in January when I squeeze an extra week out of my tank before the next fill-up.

Still, the really hard part is coming soon, here in the Northeast. Tomorrow, temps will begin to drop and this weekend I believe we're only expecting highs in the 50s. I can deal with indoor temps of 55 degrees, but not much cooler, during the day, anyway.

So the challenge is rapidly becoming, well, a real challenge! If you crank up the heat, please remember to post a reply on this post because I may otherwise miss it if you post it to your own blog during the week.

7 New Contestants Join the No Heat Challenge

October 5th, 2008 at 04:09 pm

I thought I'd do a final weekend update on the "contest." But first, I just want to say that we don't want you to do any harm to your health by sitting in a cold house. So if you are in poor health, or have seniors or very young children at home, please don't go to any extremes.

That being said, here's who is still in the running for America's #1 No Heat Miser!

Me, aka fern - Connecticut - takes hot baths before going to bed at night!
monkeymama - Northern California
wyozozo - Wyoming
debtfreeme - Northern California
mbkonef - Southeastern Pennyslvania
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida
dmontngrey - Massachusetts
sevenofseven - Northern California
princessperky - Charlotte, North Carolina
Househopeful - Delaware
toyguy1963 - Ohio
Analise - northern California

...and 7 new players!
Gamecock 43 - Florida!!!
Nance - northern California - has a wood stove!
Little gopher - Minnesota
Joan.of.the.Arch
canoineag - Denver
creditcardfree
Buckeye - Ohio

Those who already turned on the heat:
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

If there's anyone else who's turned on the heat, 'fess up now!


Get Yourself a Sheepdog, But Don't Turn the Heat On

October 5th, 2008 at 07:00 am

Looks like I need to update my list as some have turned the heat on and others are still stubbornly clinging to their sweaters.

Here's who is still in the running for America's #1 No Heat Miser!

Me, aka fern - Connecticut
monkeymama - Northern California
wyozozo - Wyoming
debtfreeme - Northern California
mbkonef - Southeastern Pennyslvania
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida
dmontngrey - Massachusetts
sevenofseven - Northern California
princessperky - Charlotte, North Carolina
Househopeful - Delaware
toyguy1963 - Ohio (I'm sorry, you were on my handwritten list and somehow your name dropped off on the post)
Analise - northern California

Those who already turned on the heat:
Mech - Oct. 3 Massachusetts
ME2 - Oct. 3
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

So four have dropped out and there are still 14 in the running!

I must say I wavered a bit this weekend. This morning it is 55 degrees in my house and very chilly. Yesterday when sitting at my computer I couldn't seem to get warm. I started the day with a turtleneck, then was still cold, so I put a lightweight sweatshirt on over that. I was STILL cold, so I put on an over-sized corduroy shirt on top of that and finally Ii was warm, though I couldn't move!

Someone asked if using an electric blanket was "cheating." I don't think so. I imagine the energy used for that is a lot less than heating the whole house. My own strategy last night was to soak in a hot bath and then jump in under flannel sheets and two lightweight quilts, with a heavy comforter on the side, just in case.

Truth be told, even the most stalwart among us will have to cave in when the temps drop to the freezing level, since no one wants to risk frozen pipes. But even when I do turn the heat on, I plan to start off gradually with the thermostat set only at 55; at that setting, it will only kick in at night.

I remember last winter that I kept the heat down so low that I actually looked forward to getting in the car or going to the office because I knew it would be toasty warm!

Here in Connecticut, tomorrow will be the chilliest day of the week with a high of about 57, but by the end of the week it will warm back up to a high of 71. Go figure.

A No Heat Contest Update

October 4th, 2008 at 06:43 am

It's great to see so many of you are game for the No Heat Challenge.

Here in Connecticut, the weather has turned decidedly cooler, with highs in the mid 60s during the daytime. This morning it was 38! I think we had a frost last night because I can easily see the white stuff on the roof of my family room from my bedroom window.

I'm going to summarize where we stand now. If any of you have turned on the heat since my original post last weekend, please let me know what day you turned the heat on so I can update the list. Also, if you're willing to share what state you're in, that would be good for further "analysis."

Three cheers for those who are still "in the game" with NO HEAT turned on:

Me, aka fern - Connecticut
monkeymama - California
ME2
wyozozo - Wyoming
debtfreeme
mbkonef
Ima Saver - Georgia
scfr - Texas
snoopycool - Florida

Those who already turned on the heat:
myenglishcastle - October 1
homebody - October 1

The clothes are on the line, hopefully drying. I'm skeptical they will; as I recall, even with temperatures in the 60s, unless direct sun is shining on them all day,it won't be enough to dry damp clothes. It's pretty cloudy out right now. I just hate like the dickens to start using the dryer again. (It's just like turning on the heat.)

Introducing the First Annual No Heat Challenge

October 1st, 2008 at 04:01 pm

As I recall, it's usually sometime in early October when I have to turn the heat on. It's been awfully warm here lately, so I have high hopes of perhaps setting a new record for living without heat. Care to join me??