Category: Cheapskate Analysis

Cheapskate Analysis: What’s The Cheapest Morning Joe?

Did you know that, in the Dark Ages, people survived without Facetime? And Siri? And whatever WhatsApp is? Can you imagine a world without the 100 calorie count packages of Chips Ahoy, where you would have to count cookies yourself? Sometimes change is good. But other times, change is bullshit. New things that people don’t really need are marketed hard to convince people that they do need them.

This bugs me.

Recently one of those things that’s been bugging me is Keurig coffeemakers. Single serving coffee makers have existed for a while, but at some point in the past few years, Keurigs jumped the line separating workplace/bed & breakfast amenities from household appliances.

Coffeemakers like this make sense when you have many people with varied tastes, like and office or hotel. But it really took some gall to assume that this product was suitable for the home. Somehow, it took off, and here we are today. Even the inventor of Keurig cups says they’re expensive and wasteful.

Let’s find out just how wasteful Keurigs are, and what the cheapest morning beverage actually is.


The cost of Keurig coffee

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Cheapskate Analysis: Should I Replace All My Light Bulbs With LEDs?

Woah, here we are at the newest, yes the second ever edition of Cheapskate Analysis. Today we will be using the power of maths, after being confronted with a series of choices, to find the one that saves us the most money!

If you’re like me, monitoring the costs of everything, you’ve noticed that LED light bulb prices have really dropped since they were first introduced. It wasn’t that long ago that you’d have to spend $50 for one bulb. Now, you can get a bulb for one-tenth of that, or less!

But are they cost effective yet?

The Answer:
Yes… and No!

First, find your electricity cost

Our utility company does not make it easy to figure out the actual cost of the electricity we use. First they divide the bill up into Supply and Delivery. Then they break those down into a dozen constituent parts. I suppose this is good for transparency, but there also is no easy, total rate to look at. I had to add up fractions of a penny to get to the actual rate:

12 cents per kilowatt hour


Our easy to use electric bill!

Actually, it was 11.997534 cents per kWh, but who’s counting?

Next, find out how much electricity your bulbs are using.

All light bulbs are labeled with their wattage, the only important number. To convert the bulbs to “math-able” kilowatt hours, we just move the decimal point a little bit. I learned this conversion with our earlier entry comparing the air conditioner to the ceiling fan.

For example, a 60 watt bulb = 0.06 kilowatts. A 13 watt bulb is 0.013 kilowatts. Et cetera.

Multiply that kilowatt number by how many hours it is used in a day (or a month, or whatever), and then multiply that number by the cost of the electricity. So a 60 watt light bulb used 4 hours per day every day calculates like this…

0.06 kWh x 4 hours a day = .24 kWh per day or 87.6 kWh per year. Then 87.6 kWh per year x 12 cents per kWh = $10.51 per year.

Easy peasy! Now let’s take a tour around the house to find which bulbs should be replaced.

Light Bulbs (5)

Frequently Used Rooms

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Cheapskate Analysis: Fans Vs. Air Conditioner

Man oh man, welcome to The Cheapskate Analysis, something that may or may not become a recurring series here on Ridinkulous. Here I hope to use the power of maths to find the cheapest option where previously only anecdotes and mystery was found. And then decide whether it’s worth it to be a cheapskate. It’s all part of our mission to save money and live more awesomely.

Today, we compare FANS vs AN AIR CONDITIONER!

Cooling down our big brick house is not easy. It’s a two-story building without an attic, which means that all the heat goes to the top floor and stays there until you let it out. The problem is that our bedroom is on the second floor. So although the first floor stays relatively comfortable throughout the summer, the upstairs is always 5-10 degrees warmer.

This makes sleeping difficult or impossible. We have one air conditioner, and it’s for the bedroom. The rest of the upstairs can remain hot. It’s actually really nice during bedtime rituals to walk from a raging hot 88 degree bathroom into the cool comfort of an air-conditioned bedroom.

Fan Vs AC (2)

There’s the guy right there.

But everyone says air conditioners are expensive to operate. Surely, it’s true, right? We see our electricity bill spike during the summer months, and it must be partly due to the A/C. It’s not a big jump, but it’s noticeable.

So every year, I run into the same debate. When to put in the air conditioner? We start out by using fans to push the warm air out the windows and draw cooler air in throughout the day, and that works marginally well. And this probably saves money over the A/C. But how much more? On the hottest days, we are running a ceiling fan, a floor fan, and a pair of window fans all day long. How much more expensive is it to run just the air conditioner instead of all of these fans?

Air circulator

Air circulator

Let’s have a look!

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