Friday, September 10, 2010

Frugal Friday - Less is More - Letting go of technology experiment, part 2

**Don't forget to enter my picnic pack give-a-way!

After reading Better Off I am challenging myself to see if I can do without certain technological items that I have been used to using  (See my first experiment here).  My second experiment begins with something I hold very dear to my heart - my coffeemaker.  We purchased a Bunn Coffeemaker a few years ago and it has been wonderful.  I start my coffee and it is ready in under 3 minutes (which my husband and children appreciate because it means I am a nicer person within 5 minutes).

My husband and I get Lehman's catalog which has LOTS of non electric items.  I love reading it.  I was inspired to see if I could try the old school coffee percolator that you use on your stove top (but if you are really roughing it you could use it camping as well).  It does not require filters so there is another savings (although my husband  did point out that filters cost hardly anything).

I received a gift card for my birthday so I am going to try out the Farberware Percolator.  I really think I should learn to like drinking hot tea, but for now I don't want to do without my coffee.

Another savings that may be expected is that with the Bunn, you keep it plugged in all the time because it keeps the water that is in the resevoir heated so that you can have hot coffee anytime in a matter of minutes.  I pointed this out to my husband after he said we would still be using electricity for the stove top percolator.  I think that 10 minutes of stove top electricity has to be less than 24/7 electricity - right?

Anyway, for this weeks challenge that is what I am doing.  Baby steps right, I mean I am doing this while sitting in my air conditioned house and typing on my wireless laptop.  So don't think I will be going Amish on you anytime soon.

After using my percolator for several days here is what I have found.  I have timed it twice now and the directions say to start with cold water which I do.  It takes it between 10-15 minutes to really start boiling. Once it is boiling you have to turn the heat down to medium. You know it is percolating when you see the water coming up through the spout in the middle.  Once it is boiling, you have to boil it for 5-7 minutes.  I usually set my timer for 6 minutes.

Now it does take longer than my electric coffee maker and you do need to be close by to make sure you know when it boils and that it doesn't boil over.  This usually isn't a problem for me because I am usually loading or unloading the dishwasher or fixing my children their breakfast and milk.

One nice thing about it is that the coffee is pretty strong, but not too strong.  I have been using my homemade creamer and I like it pretty well.  The coffee is also a LOT hotter than when you make it in your electric coffee maker.  Once I make the coffee I pour it into a thermos that we have so I can keep it warm to drink more cups.  You can dump the coffee grounds into a bowl to put into your garden (or compost pile).  Then I just rinse it all and let it dry and put it away.  I wash it with soap about every 3 days and it does not take long.  Now, I am giving this some more time to see if I like it or not but for now, I will be making the effort and it will be one less small appliance that I have on my counter.  I am keeping my Bunn for now to see how it goes.

I'm interested to see if anyone else has made a conscious effort to lessen their technology.  If so, please leave a comment and tell me about it!

For more frugalicious ideas (I just made that word up) please visit Life as a  Mom.


  1. You mentioned compost, how is your composter working for you?

  2. I love Lehman's catalog. I go through it and come up with dozens of things I want!

    I'd love to add a comment about a green, natural, frugal chaneg I've made but I am drawing a complete and total blank. So...either I'm an imposter or my brain is tired :)


  3. No conscious effort on my part, but I would just like to add that cold-press coffee is THE MOST AMAZING COFFEE. I mean, I can even drink it without flavored creamer and you know that says a lot! Cold-press coffee is made by filtering in the fridge. It takes a day or so, but the result is the smoothest, un-bitterest coffee EVER. I LOVE it.

    If you haven't had it, you should DEFINITELY try it. It is phenomenal.

  4. My husband uses a simple French-press coffee pot. It is SO easy! He boils water in the tea pot (often making me a cup of tea) and pours the boiling water in the french press single serving pot. In minutes he pushes down the grounds and pours out his coffee. He can take it anywhere that boiling water is available, even camping, it takes very little space and it is simple to clean.

    Enjoy seeing your experiments!


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