The price of coal varies according to quality and distance from the mines, and may cost from three to twelve dollars a ton. A hodful or scuttle of coal may weigh from fifteen to thirty pounds, but after weighing the contents of an average hod, any housekeeper may estimate readily the amount used daily, or for different purposes.

One woman writes that she can do her day's work with a single hodful of coal, making a ton last nearly three months, while a maid in her kitchen usually disposes of a ton a month. Another housekeeper runs a fire day and night on half a ton a month, while in a colder region three hods daily is the usual winter allowance.