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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Build A "Redneck" Solar Pool Heater - Cheap

A few years back, I bought the kids a 10' x 30" Intex Easy Set Pool for about $50. I set it up on our concrete patio. It was great fun for the kids, but 2 years ago we put a roof over the patio. That means the pool gets no sun until after 3pm, resulting in water temperature never higher than 72 degrees during a heat wave. So this year, armed only with determination, a roll of black irrigation pipe, some 1x2x8 lumber, screws and various plumbing parts laying around the garage, and a Water Pump from Amazon or Harbor Freight, I created a basic solar pool heater for about $50. Of course, I had a lot of stuff "laying around", mainly a coil of  1/2 inch black irrigation hose, but you can buy 500 feet of that for about $35-$50 at your local home store, keeping your total still well under $100. The collector sits on the patio roof and the pump is located next to the pool filter. It's not pretty, it's functional and to the point and built in one afternoon. The project will require a little creativity in making it all fit together. I'm not going to supply step by step instructions, sizes, or a parts list. My goal here is to show you that it can be done, how I did it, and encourage you to use your brain to create something useful, instead of killing it with beer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I just did a post on one of my other blogs about DirecTV dropping some local channels: DirecTV Customers May Lose Some Local Channels March 1st.

The picture at the left was used for an illustration...

Now, what's wrong with this picture?

Right! The residents are paying more for TV in a year than their home is worth!

Damn. People is stupid.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goodbye, Sam's Club. Hello, Amazon Prime!

Dear Sam's Club,

I want you to know this is not easy for me. We've been together for many years, and we've had a lot of good times. But, lately I'm not feeling much love between us.

I am leaving you.

I want you to know, it's not your fault - well, not completely your fault. It's just that things have changed. We've moved apart, and I've found someone else. While she's further away and doesn't have some of the wonderful qualities you do, she makes me happy and really seems to care about me.

Her name is Amazon Prime.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gas Buddy

Gas prices are out of control. If you haven't heard of Gas Buddy, it's time you learned.

  Head over to and enter your zip code to look up local gas prices. You can also use the map tool (located in the right column of this blog) or download an app for your smart phone.

And don't forget to contribute your own gas price observations - your participation is what makes this work.

You can get a free app for your Android device here:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simple, Inexpensive Shelving Project

Everyone has tons of stuff. And everyone has stuff that they don't need all the time. Your seasonal items - Christmas decorations, for example - can be stored away in plastic storage totes. They cost about $5 on sale for an 18 gallon tote. But once you have your things stored away, where are you going to keep them? You can stack them in your attic, garage, or shed, but a stack of totes 5 high is not very stable, and Murphy's Law says that the tote you need is going to be at the bottom of that stack.

So, off to Lowe's or Home Depot you go, and when you find the right Storage Shelves, you look at the price: It's going to cost you $80+ for a set of 48"W x 24"D x 72"H shelves that will hold ten 18 gallon totes! And if you've been diligent and read the reviews, you find a problem with these shelves - the shelving material is particle board, and the shelves sag in the center if you put a load on them. Not to mention, although they're "commercially built" shelving units, they come in a box and you still have to build them.

Let me save you all those steps and a bundle of money, and show you how to build a simple set of shelves for under $25, using simple tools in about an hour.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sorry For My Absence...

Where is that Cheap Sniveler?
I realize this blog doesn't have a lot of readers, but perhaps my one or two readers have been wondering why there have been no new posts. (Not likely, but bless you if are a reader and you have wondered!) And on top of my laziness, Google decided that this is a spam blog, and closed it down for about 6 months!

It's been a busy summer here, I've had a lot of projects at home. Of course, I've taken pictures and documented them, so that will result in a bunch of new money saving project posts once the madness subsides here. (Read: It's cold and miserable outside, and I have nothing better to do!) Projects include a garden pond, a storage shed, and a pig roaster - amongst other things - all with an eye toward getting the most for your hard earned dollars and avoiding mistakes that can turn a money saving project into a money pit if not done properly.

So I encourage you to sign up for my news feed or stop back to check in as the cold and snow sweeps in across the mountain west. Because a penny saved... is at least a nickel earned.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Save Money at Walmart on Clearance Electronics

Walmart announced last month that they are reducing the size of their electronics departments by an average 2000 square feet per store. Wal-Mart will also resume sales of fabric and crafts products. The retailer said it was also restoring 8,500 products to store shelves and kicking off an ad campaign in a bid to lift sales.

What does this mean for you, the savvy shopper?