Elisha wanted to share a frugal idea on the Solar Lamps! I haven't seen these at my local hardware store, but hopefully they are available in your area!
There was a recent tip in the Dollar Stretcher newsletter about using a
solar yard lamp during a thunderstorm. I can take that one step further.
When I lived with two roommates, we had little extra spending money. We
were always looking for ways to save a buck or two. Electricity was one
area where we thought we had done enough, but we were wrong!
During a trip to a local hardware store to pick up some nails, we
noticed that there were TWO types of solar yard lamps available- fixed
(on a spike or stake), or hanging (from a hook, sometimes connected to a
stake). We saw that it was only $20 for a three-pack of solar lamps
(I've since seen four packs for the same price, on sale). We bought two
packs of them and six of those pretty plant hangers that people
sometimes use for their hanging plants (the ones that look like pretty
shelf brackets, but with hooks).
When we got home, we mounted the plant hangers over or next to four
windows in our house & put the solar lamps on them. Then, we hung the
other two on the house, next to the front and back doors. In the late
afternoon or early evening, we would open up the blinds to allow the
sunlight to "charge" the indoor lights. The outdoor lights took care of
themselves. At night, we had free household lighting that would last
until sunrise if we'd charged them long enough! We kept a piece of nice
material in rooms that we needed to sleep in, in order to cover the
lights when it was time to go to sleep.
The day after we started doing this, we had a neighbor call us to let us
know that we'd left both our porch lights on overnight. We asked if it
had disturbed her.
"No," she said, "I was just worried about your electric bill. Actually,
I felt safer when I came home from work and they were on, because I
could see to put my key into the lock!"
"Well," said my roommate, "You'll feel safer EVERY night then, because
we're leaving them on from now on- in fact, we CAN'T turn them off!
They're SOLAR lamps & the power is FREE!"
I hope that this tip is useful to all of you & to your readers.