How about some more hand feed responses?
I guess I am not as much of a die-hard coal user as most on here. (although for the first ten years I lived here I only had the Mark III for heat, the oil burner that was here did not work) With my hand fed Mark III, I just let ours die out and let the LP furnace keep it above 65* during warm spells. I put a little effort (very little actually) into budgeting the LP usage (hot water, dryer, cooktop, furnace) so that I am ready for a tank fill up in the summer when prices are lowest. That means I check the level in late March and decide how much more
I will use the furnace for heat than normal so I can use up enough LP to get a 500 gal delivery later in the summer. I own my own tank so I am able to shop suppliers for LP prices, paid $1.69/gal this summer. If I pushed the coal and wood burning I could maybe get through to the second summer before having to get the LP delivery, but with my luck I would run low in February and have to get it filled at max price to keep us in hot water / cooking & dryer usage.