Roku 3 arrived and got some good deals

January 17, 2014

The Roku 3 arrived today and I got it setup for a little test on how well I could watch a program on both TVs at the same time.  I didn’t see any difference with using both Roku boxes as opposed to using one at a time and I set the Flat screen TV to 1080 p for the test.   I have watched some shows from Amazon prime and there was a little bit of lag using the PC or laptop but I don’t see that at all with the Roku boxes. The Roku recommends DSL or Cable modem  for use so that is about 128 kbs and higher, while my router can handle up to 1 Mbs total and it splits the data stream. I think  for someone with an “iffy”  internet connection you should buy from a local store with a good return policy and actually try using the Roku with the free channels to see how it works for you before you invest in Amazon Prime as a replacement for Sat. TV or cable TV.

I have thought of a couple more advantages of the Roku compared to cable/sat. connection. If you camp or have to bugout the Roku could work via wifi to get updates and information if you have to take a TV on camping trips. If you have Amazon prime and a kindle fire or higher you could also get info via the internet. I’m not sure about a TV while camping but I can totally see taking my kindle along to read a book while camping.  A lot of campgrounds offer wifi and there is always McDonald’s or Starbucks for a wifi connection.  I should see some energy savings in electricity by going to the Roku and ditching the big sat. receiver box.

Dad and I got another box of the apple wood and because of how the wood was cut into shorter but chunky pieces we got a bit more than is  normally in the boxes. Dad said this load of wood was closer to a half a cord instead of the quarter cord of wood and he knows how much a cord of wood is.  The apple wood stack is looking really good, so of course now that we know what to look for in the wood boxes I want to add a few more for next winter.  I tried out a creosote burning log since I cleaned out the spark arrestor and I think it also helped clear the chimney a bit judging by how smoky the wood stove is after I add wood.  It’s not a replacement for a good chimney cleaning but I think it will help keep the chimney cleaner between the good cleanings.  I  learned that a little Dawn dish soap in water and a magic eraser cleaning sponge does a great job cleaning the glass of my wood stove.

Got a few good buys on some stuff at the local True value hardware store. Bought a 25 foot heavy duty extension cord, a couple more of 1 pound bottles of propane for the Zodi shower, and a few small tools for the shop. The local dollar store had the big cans of Pedigree dog food so I got a case for the pups and I added the weeks worth of savings for the months of Feb. and Nov. a little early and paid a little extra on my loan/debt.  Overall I got quite few non physical prepping tasks up to speed.

I will be reworking the budget and see just how much dropping the sat. TV will make in my overall costs. In February I would like to get the greenhouse and get to work on some new gardening ideas I want to try out.

Adventures in television

January 3, 2014

I signed up for Amazon prime and got one of the basic Roku boxes for my older TV set.  Did a quick test to see how quickly the roku box would stream video and I have to say it did a great job, much better than my laptop and it was very easy to setup on my wireless network. I will add the roku 3 box for the flat screen TV, so even with buying equipment and  Amazon prime costs I will save me just over $150. 00 for the year compared to paying for Dish satellite every month.  While the equipment costs a bit up front it will save money in the long run and I’ll be free of another monthly payment. I’m also impressed with the channel selection offered by Roku and how I can control what I watch instead of paying Dish for 60 + channels when I only watch about 5 channels on a regular basis.

Amazon prime should pay for itself fairly quickly on the specials on lending kindle books plus free movies and TV shows.  You can share with up to four family members the free 2 day shipping. I know most of the movies and TV shows are delayed but I don’t much care about seeing something first and I missed a lot of the popular shows with my basic “family” Dish package anyway. So no great loss on my part.  I don’t think it will perfect but it is a lot closer and cheaper than paying monthly for Dish.

It wasn’t all about entertainment this week. I got a nice little label printer on sale for $10.00 at Office depot. Nothing fancy but I have been wanting one for a long time to help organize my stuff.  This will make dating my food easier as well as adding names to my beer bottles and canning jars.  Dad and I got another load of apple wood and hopefully this will be enough wood to last through the winter.  It’s going to be close depending on how cold it gets this month. At worse I can get another load of the apple wood next month.  If I don’t use all the wood I will have a good start for next winter.

Saw an interesting idea to save money that I guess that has gone “viral” on facebook.  You simply save a certain dollar amount based on the week of the year. For example on week one you save $1.00 and on week 52 you save $52.00. If you stick to the plan you can save $1378.00 for the whole year. I figure I’ll add the expensive weeks of December to January in order to make the Holidays a bit easier.  But it looks like a simple plan for savings that could make stashing some cash a habit instead of an after thought. I found this plan at Survival Mom so you should check it out at her site.  The fastest way to get cash on hand is to save it. So always keep looking for ways to save money!