Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US 6 Smart Ways to Use Garage Space http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_happy_tool_shed_000075068057.jpg" alt="Man finding smart ways to use garage space" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband and I spent our spring break this year clearing out and cleaning our garage. It had been filled with remnants from our move (nearly two years ago), random junk, and even&hellip; garbage. Now? The space is nearly empty, all 600 glorious square feet of it. And I'm wondering what we can do with all this added square footage, since we don't necessarily need to shelter our vehicles from the elements year 'round. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-in-your-garage-that-have-serious-re-sale-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things in Your Garage That Have Serious Re-Sale Value</a>)</p> <h2>Mudroom</h2> <p>Don't have much closet space indoors? Try&nbsp;<a href="http://sypsie.com/2015/11/11/one-room-challenge-week-6-garage-reveal/">making a mudroom</a> out of a portion of your garage to keep your stuff organized and tidy. All you really need to finish this project are some hooks for coats and bags, a bench for sitting, and maybe storage cubes for shoes and outdoor accessories. The rest is up to your budget and creativity.</p> <p>We turned a wall in our garage into a mudroom of sorts and decided to highlight the area by painting it an accent color. We then laid a rag rug down to cozy up the floor and protect feet from getting cold while getting shoes out of bins. I'd like to paint the door leading out there a funky color to make it even more fun. This project took us maybe an hour and cost just $50 for all supplies (we used what we had on hand).</p> <h2>Play Space</h2> <p>Or maybe you need more room for your kids and their toys to sprawl out. We've considered dedicating an area of the garage to play, especially since our backyard gets so much sun on hot summer afternoons. This&nbsp;<a href="http://s3-media4.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/5MR-QnUFmhdPVb-_-H9EHA/o.jpg">garage-to-playroom conversion</a> is pretty basic, but it gets the job done.</p> <p>Try installing a few toddler swings to a solid support beam. Place a picnic table or two around for a drawing surface or just eating lunch. Since you're in the garage, you can even experiment with messier toys, like a DIY sandbox or rice sensory bin that won't collect as many bugs as it would outdoors. To soften the concrete flooring, head to your local carpet outlet and purchase a large remnant piece.</p> <h2>Office or Studio</h2> <p>Need a place to work from home? Try converting your garage to a studio or office. This unique&nbsp;<a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2015/04/before-after-a-garage-becomes-a-beautiful-studio-space.html">before and after</a> will get you dreaming up the many possibilities. For example, there's so much paint can do to freshen up a dingy area and make it come alive and inspire. Simple white is a solid choice if you want a neutral backdrop and maximum light.</p> <p>At the same time, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Concrete floors can be as practical as they are easy to maintain. And exposed beams add architectural interest, so don't bother trying to cover them. Once you get the bones looking good, the rest will depend on the kind of work you do. Artists may like keeping the garage door open for extra light during work hours. A sturdy table may work well as a desk and meeting space. It's up to you!</p> <h2>Home Gym</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-kStZFjlQi8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Some friends of mine recently took over one half of their garage to make an&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kStZFjlQi8">at-home gym</a> because they were frustrated with monthly membership rates. Their hard work paid off &mdash; big time. You can get fancy and do flooring and walls, etc. Or you can stick with what matters most: Clear out clutter and replace with weights, mats, and motivation posters.</p> <p>What you stock your gym with depends on the activities you do. To get a good variety of equipment (and mirrors, etc.) on the cheap, consider checking Facebook yard sale groups, Craigslist, and even making a call out to friends. We actually scored a cheap treadmill from our neighbors that had been collecting dust in their basement for a few years. All we had to do was ask.</p> <h2>Hybrid Room</h2> <p>Maybe you have multiple needs. In that case, try planning out your garage to meet them all. Carla at Small + Friendly divided her garage into&nbsp;<a href="http://www.smallfriendly.com/small-friendly/2015/10/epic-garage-transformation.html">four different zones</a>. There's a crafting/sewing station, a play wall, a laundry nook, and then some smart storage/mudroom area. Everyone in the house has someplace to spread out.</p> <p>I like this family's use of vertical storage to maximize how much stuff they could contain in each zone. It's full, but very well organized. Additionally, if your budget doesn't allow for flooring, make use of interlocking foam tiles anywhere kids might be playing on the ground for added comfort. Carla's husband even uses the tiles as a makeshift yoga mat for morning workouts.</p> <h2>Bedroom and Beyond</h2> <p>My jaw dropped when I came across this incredible&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/home/see-dingy-garage-transform-coolest-bedroom-ever-t20836">garage-to-bedroom transformation</a>. For just $900, Brooke Frederick was able to totally clean out the space, give it a nice coat of bright paint, exterminate pests, and then furnish to her specifications. And if you don't have a hefty budget, that's all you really need to do to make a room out of your garage.</p> <p>Of course, this kind of frugal flip won't work for everyone. Moving your sleeping or living quarters to the garage is probably more appealing if your garage has plenty of windows. Also, Frederick notes there's no insulation in her new bedroom, so this idea works best if you live in a more moderate climate.</p> <h2>Things to Think About</h2> <ul> <li>If you do intend to use your space year-round, you'll want to insulate and drywall to keep the heat and cold out. Same goes for your garage door.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Adding a few windows can also help provide the area with natural light, but aren't a requirement if you budget doesn't allow.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You may need to enlist an experienced electrician to wire some outlets to your new room to get the power flowing if you plan to use computers, televisions, and other electronics.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>That all being said, major improvements may require a permit. Check with your local municipality for the rules that apply in your area.</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you use your garage for something other than parking cars? Tell us about it!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent">10 Unexpected Uses for Laundry Detergent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-the-oil-stove">Cleaning the Oil Stove</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home cleaning clutter extra space garage home gym home office remodeling reusing Wed, 04 May 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1699778 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Your Home Cleaner Than a Pro Can — And Save Big http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-home-cleaner-than-a-pro-can-and-save-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-your-home-cleaner-than-a-pro-can-and-save-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cleaning_house_000067964943.jpg" alt="Woman getting home cleaner than a pro and saving big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to cut $200 or more from your budget this month? Consider parting ways your cleaning service. Sure, it's not the most glamorous task to take on yourself &mdash; but keeping your house sparkling clean doesn't have to be intimidating or even take too much time. In 2014, Angie's List polled its members and discovered that most were spending between&nbsp;<a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-hire-house-cleaner.htm">$100 and $150</a> on bi-weekly house cleanings. Put that money back in your pocket with these tips.</p> <h2>Collect Your Tools</h2> <p>One of the most annoying things about cleaning your house yourself is having to round up all your equipment and cleaners. Make it easy by creating a bucket you can carry around you home and then store in one convenient place.</p> <p>What should go in the bucket?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cleanmama.net/">Clean Mama</a> suggests items from the following categories:</p> <ul> <li>Dusting tools (feather duster, hand duster, ceiling fan duster, extender pole)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Window wipers (squeegee, etc.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>General cleaning cloths (cotton, microfiber, and paper towels)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cleaners (all-purpose, stainless, disinfectant, wipes, and scrub)</li> </ul> <h2>Simplify Your Routine</h2> <p>Better yet, save some cash you've been spending on cleaning supplies and make your own using natural ingredients. I clean my home using mostly&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice</a> with a few drops of essential oil mixed in. If you make your own natural cleaning supplies, you'll need just one or two bottles to do the tasks of what used to take many more.</p> <p>And a good bar rag will outlast many paper towels as you make your way from room to room. When you're done, just toss it in the wash to reuse on your next deep clean. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products?ref=seealso">9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products</a>)</p> <h2>Make a List</h2> <p>To help yourself stay on task, it's helpful to create a checklist. What goes on your checklist will depend on your unique needs, so take some time to think about the areas that get the most dirt in your home. You can even distribute a list to family members and divvy up the tasks to make the cleaning go faster. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean?ref=seealso">9 Things in Your House You're Forgetting to Clean</a>)</p> <p>Of course you'll want to give your kitchen and bathrooms a good scrub. Your living areas and bedrooms will need to be tidied and get special attention too (don't forget to wash your pillows!). Otherwise, thinking of the rest might feel daunting. <a href="http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2007Q2/la_0407_spring_cleaning.pdf">Martha Stewart</a> shares that the following areas should definitely get some attention:</p> <ul> <li>Walls and ceilings: Wipe them down to get rid of dust and grime, especially in kitchens.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Grout lines: Those pesky lines between your tiles can look amazing again with a little scrubbing and some sealer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Carpets and rugs: Vacuum all of them. If you have the extra time, try periodically shampooing them. (Note: Rugs that don't have waterproof backings will need the help of a professional.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Shelves and furniture: Dust every nook and cranny. A crevice tool is helpful here. And don't forget to dust the books while you're at it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cushions, etc.: Take upholstered furnishings outdoors to beat off dust. Vacuum the rest.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wooden furniture: First wipe your wooden surfaces clean and then let dry. Apply wax to condition and buff once it dries.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Curtains, etc.: When's the last time you washed your drapes? If they're machine washable, stick them in your next load. Then dust and clean your blinds, interior shutters, or shades while you wait.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Window screens: Especially in the spring, it's good to give your screens some love. Take them out and wash with dish soap, rinse, and re-hang.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Floors: For vinyl or linoleum, you'll want to use a wax or other cleaning agent specifically made for those materials. Otherwise, the surface may lose shine over time.</li> </ul> <p>Bonus: Cleaning your home from top to bottom is also a great time to ensure fire safety. Check and replace batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.</p> <h2>Break It Up</h2> <p>Yes, it's more gratifying to have your entire house cleaned in one fell swoop. If you don't have that sort of time to devote, try breaking up the bigger parts over the course of a few days to a week. After doing an initial big clean, my family decided on a rough schedule to tackle tasks on the regular before things ever get too gunky.</p> <p>We clean the kitchen, tidy the living spaces, and clear out junk mail on the daily. We vacuum the floors and do the laundry and recycling every other day. Then once a week, the focus moves to the bathrooms, bedrooms, and trash collection. Things we do less often? Washing windows, deep cleaning floors, dusting everything, and wiping down furniture. Those tasks happen maybe once or twice a month. It's a system that works for us &mdash; and our house looks and feels fresh.</p> <p>How you break up everything will depend on what gets dirty the fastest and what's most important to you. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing?ref=seealso">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing</a>)</p> <h2>Move Things Around</h2> <p>Since a lot of these tips are general, I thought I'd share my biggest secret for getting your house as clean as the pros do. You need to move your stuff around and clean above, underneath, behind, etc. Dust and grime loves to accumulate in crevices and corners, so don't let it hide out for months or years at a time. The next time you set out to clean your spaces, pull that rug up and vacuum underneath or shift that love seat and find what's lurking in the darkness.</p> <p>Moving things around means moving your body, too. Stand on a chair or get on the floor to find those places you're missing, like the tops of your ceiling fan or your baseboards.</p> <p><em>Do you use a cleaning service? If you do it yourself, what's your biggest tip for getting your home sparkling clean on a budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-home-cleaner-than-a-pro-can-and-save-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-household-repairs-every-frugal-person-should-master">10 Simple Household Repairs Every Frugal Person Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Home budgeting cleaning house maid service tidying up Tue, 03 May 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1698663 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_yard_swings_000079618051.jpg" alt="Learning how to get the best yard in town naturally" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want a gorgeous, lush lawn without all the chemicals and other icky stuff? It's not as hard as you might think. With a little creativity and some elbow grease, you can whip your grass into shape without calling a service or spending much at all. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper?ref=seealso">Secret Lawn Tonic Golf Course Groundskeepers Love</a>)</p> <h2>Amazing Aeration</h2> <p>Before the season even starts, you should&nbsp;<a href="http://www.planetnatural.com/aerate-the-lawn/">aerate your lawn</a> so it can have its best year yet. By letting it breathe, you get rid of nasty compaction issues that can cause bigger problems down the line. To aerate, you'll want the grass to be pretty dry. Insert a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1qjqnlK">garden fork</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1TMK4yd">sod coring tool</a> every few inches to get the oxygen in. If you have a big lawn, you might consider going in with a neighbor and renting a power lawn aerator for a day or two. After you've finished this process, collect soil plugs with a bagged mower and add them to your compost heap.</p> <h2>Beer Fertilizer</h2> <p>My grandfather is known as a lawn king of sorts in my hometown. He swears by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Easily-getting-rid-of-dead-spots-on-your-lawn-effo">feeding his lawn with beer</a>. The fermented sugars and other nutrients improve the soil and help to get rid of dead spots. All you have to do is pour about eight ounces of regular beer per 10-inch spot that needs love. Beer can be fresh or flat, hot or cold. Wait about a week and if the area is still droopy, repeat the process.</p> <h2>Soothing Salts, Part I</h2> <p>Not into brews? That's okay. You can actually use your favorite bath time soak to nurture your lawn.&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1UW0MMF">Epsom salts</a> help keep your grass green and healthy all year round &mdash; they may even soften grass. You'll want to use about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sfsalt.com/epsom-salt-for-lawns">three pounds of salts</a> per 1,250 square feet of lawn. To apply, use a lawn spreader. If you'd rather add water and spray, use a tank sprayer or a hose with a spray attachment.</p> <h2>Soothing Salts, Part II</h2> <p>The National Gardening Association explains that epsom salts also work wonders in your vegetable and flower gardens by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&amp;id=68">enriching the soil with magnesium</a>. The group conducted a study where gardeners from across the United States sprayed their peppers and roses with the stuff. The results? Four out of six gardeners reported that their pepper plants were more robust. All the rose plants were bushier with greener foliage and more roses. To try this at home, add one tablespoon of epsom salts to a gallon of water, spray plants, and repeat the process every 10 days (peppers) or six weeks (roses).</p> <h2>Kind Killer</h2> <p>This weed killer is kind to the environment and won't cost you much. In fact, you might already be using it for many tasks in your home. Simply spray all those pesky weeds with plain white vinegar. You'll want to do this on a day with no rain in the forecast (can dilute the effects). My mother-in-law says that heartier, more persistent weeds respond better to something stronger like pickling vinegar. Just pour vinegar into a spray bottle and use as liberally as necessary.</p> <h2>Wondrous Water</h2> <p>Whether or not you live someplace where you have a cap on water usage, it's a good idea to conserve this precious resource. Try building&nbsp;<a href="https://1craftylane.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/diy-rain-barrel/">your own rain barrel</a> to collect what falls from the sky. You just need a 32-gallon plastic trash can, brass faucet, flexible downspout, and utility knife. Cut a hole in your can's cover, attach the downspout to your gutter, and then connect the two components. Wait for the rain and then use your faucet to tap into the magic.</p> <h2>Modified Mowing</h2> <p>How often and how short you cut your grass has an impact on its overall health as well. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, unfortunately. Regardless, grass cut too short can be more prone to problems like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/what-is-the-ideal-height-to-cut-the-grass">weeds, drought, and heat damage</a>. So, if you're experiencing little precipitation, it's a good idea to let grasses grow taller as a defense. For guidelines on how tall or short you should keep your grass in general, call your local extension office, garden center, or seed supplier.</p> <h2>Clover Comeback</h2> <p>So many of our neighbors seem to battle to keep white clover out all season long. We've embraced clover because it's actually a natural way to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/clover-comeback">crowd out weeds</a>. Clover also spreads quickly and covers the ground with greenery to blend with your other grasses. It grows well in shadier areas of your lawn and those with poor drainage. Best yet, it's a legume and can convert nitrogen into its own free fertilizer. Learn to love this misunderstood ground cover!</p> <p><em>What are some natural ways you care for&nbsp;</em><em>your lawn?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-high-tech-tools-to-help-your-garden-grow">6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living Home eco friendly gardening greener grass landscaping lawn spring summer weeds Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1693274 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_diy_paint_000050206910.jpg" alt="Woman dressing up apartment without losing her deposit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be a challenge putting your own personal touches on a rental apartment, but with these budget-wise decorating ideas that won't compromise your security deposit, you'll start to feel at home in no time.</p> <h2>1. Use Removable Wallpaper and Decals to Add Personality to a Room</h2> <p>I love the idea of an accent wall featuring wallpaper or some sort of design to give a room more personality. But how can you achieve this look without the permanence or expense of wallpaper? Modern décor has become so DIY these days that you can, in fact, install removable wallpaper &mdash; essentially stick-on paper that you apply in minutes and simply peel off when you want to take it down &mdash; or spot-design using decals. I've done the latter myself. I created a birds-in-flight effect on three accent walls in my house that give my living room a great amount of detail and depth, and it cost me less than $30 total.</p> <p>Alice Choo, an interior designer in San Francisco, adds that <a href="http://amzn.to/23ywowO">washi tape</a> (or Japanese masking tape) is an affordable ways to add color and patterns to your apartment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape?ref=seealso">60+ Things You can Decorate with Washi Tape</a>)</p> <p>&quot;With washi tape, you can create your own designs and bring texture to the space. These can be easily removed from the walls,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>2. Swap Out Outdated Hardware for More Modern Updates</h2> <p>I can tell you from personal experience that one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to freshen up a space is to change hardware. For instance, when I moved into my home, I wanted to completely overhaul the bathroom, but I didn't have the budget for it. Instead, I compromised by updating the towel racks, TP holder, light fixture, and other bits with brushed nickel accessories that instantly gave the room a cleaner, fresher look. Same goes for the kitchen. Instead of ripping out the cabinets because I didn't like the style, I changed all the handles and knobs to suit my taste, and it made a major difference.</p> <p>You can do this in your apartment, too, without losing your deposit, by replacing the old hardware before you move out. Just keep the original hardware handy and in a safe place.</p> <h2>3. Add Mirrors to Create the Illusion of More Space</h2> <p>If you live in a small apartment, you know all too well that what once looked like a lot of space when the unit was empty, may very well look (and feel) cramped once your furniture and belongings are all moved in. Well-placed mirrors, however, can seemingly expand the space, providing the illusion of more room.</p> <p>&quot;When dealing with a small space, illusions are your best bet to fool yourself &mdash; and, more importantly, your guests &mdash; that you have more space,&quot; says Adam Busch, head of renter outreach for apartment-finding site RentLingo.</p> <p>He suggests incorporating a mirror into your living room to create more space.</p> <p>&quot;Utilizing the height of your room changes the appearance as well and one of the best ways to do this is to use taller curtains to create a larger height dimension,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>4. Paint an Accent or Feature Wall</h2> <p>If you don't want to (or can't) paint an entire room for fear of losing your deposit, perhaps your landlord will consider an accent wall. Or maybe you don't even have to tell them about it. That's the great thing about an accent wall &mdash; you're not covering a lot of territory, but it can make a world of difference in the overall aesthetic of the room. To take this concept a bit further, consider creating a pattern with the paint instead of applying a single straight color.</p> <p>&quot;The benefit of this feature is that instead of covering an entire wall with paint and the added stress of having to repaint the entire wall before you leave, you make use of a smaller space but add complexity for flair,&quot; Busch says.</p> <h2>5. Use Alternative Adhesives Instead of Nails</h2> <p>Many renters will likely agree that most of the time the reason their security deposit is in jeopardy is due to the state of the walls &mdash; that is, the nail and other holes that have accumulated over the period of your tenure. To avoid this deal-breaker, try using wall putty to hang lighter items, like prints, posters, and small canvases. Stay away from hanging glass items with putty, however, because if the putty fails, you don't want to have that dangerous mess to clean up. <a href="http://amzn.to/1MweO5h">3M's Command line</a> has lots of solutions that help you hang items with heavier-duty adhesives, and you can find these products at any hardware or office supply store, and even more common retailers like Walmart and Target.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Remodel&quot; the Kitchen With Faux Granite or Stainless Steel</h2> <p>Aside from replacing hardware in your kitchen to freshen up the space, another great redesign tactic you can implement is to use faux granite and/or stainless steel to wrap countertops and appliances. The concept is similar to removable wallpaper. Peel and stick the vinyl covering on the smooth surface you're trying to change, and voila; instant makeover without the hassle, cost, or loss of deposit. I'll admit that I hadn't actually heard of this cool trick before I started researching this post, but from what I can tell it definitely seems like a legit way to modernize otherwise out-of-date kitchen focal points without getting in too deep.</p> <h2>7. Rely on Textiles to Make the Space Cozy</h2> <p>And, finally, if you don't want to do anything to the wall, appliances, or hardware in your apartment, remember that you can use textiles to make your space cozy and comfortable.</p> <p>&quot;Pillows and rugs can be affordable and helps dress up a plain apartment; you just need to know where to shop for these items,&quot; Choo explains. &quot;You can get a set of stylish pillows for $25 and under online on sites such as Target.&quot;</p> <p>Expanding on that, area rugs, throws, and interesting upholstered furniture can all add that little something extra to your apartment without costing you any deductions from your deposit on the backend.</p> <p><em>What are some of your budget-wise ways to dress up an apartment without compromising or losing the deposit? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wonderful-ways-to-use-wallpaper">10 Wonderful Ways to Use Wallpaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-improvements-that-pay-off">Home Improvements That Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Real Estate and Housing apartments decorating rentals security deposit updating wallpaper Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1689030 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Much Getting the Greenest Lawn Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-getting-the-greenest-lawn-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-much-getting-the-greenest-lawn-will-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_playing_yard_000083140847.jpg" alt="Family learning how green their lawn is" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the American view of what a front yard should look like, a green lawn is up there with a white picket fence and an American flag.</p> <p>The ideal home has its costs, with a green lawn being more expensive than some rocks and a few plants. And that's before you factor in maintenance and other costs to keep a grass lush and alive.</p> <p>Whether you start with grass seed, put down sod, or install a synthetic lawn, a green lawn can be an expensive way to increase curb appeal. Based on a yard size of 2,000 square feet, here's a breakdown of those three methods, starting with the cheapest.</p> <h2>Seed</h2> <p>There are a few ways to start a lawn by planting grass seed. Without going into all of the details on how to prepare a lawn for seeding, this can still be a labor-intensive job and may be something you want to hire a professional for. Prep work can include removing dead materials and weeds, adding at least four inches of fresh topsoil or tilling the existing ground, and making the ground level.</p> <p>If you're going to do it yourself, you can buy a 50-pound bag of Kentucky bluegrass seed for about $100, or a three-pound bag for about $15. Depending on where you live, two three-pound bags may be enough to start a new lawn on 2,000 square feet.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost:</strong> $30</p> <p>Another method of seeding is broadcast seeding, where dry grass seed is spread on prepared ground, watered thoroughly, and covered with straw. With $30 in seeds and about $45 for three bales of hay, you're in business.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost:</strong> $75</p> <p>A more costly method is hydroseeding, also called hydraulic mulch seeding. A slightly thickened mixture of seeds, mulch, and other material is pumped from a tank onto the ground. Little prep work is required.</p> <p>Hydroseeding costs six cents to 20 cents per square foot, or $120 to $400 for 2,000 square feet. This is just for the seeding and doesn't include labor or other costs that go with it, such as water from your home. The slurry mixture of hydroseeding includes fertilizer, green dye, and a tackifying agent to help keep everything where it needs to be.</p> <p>Expect the equipment and professional labor of hydroseeding to cost two to four times the cost of the seed. Since you're unlikely to own the equipment for this process, plan on hiring a professional for $240 to $1,600.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost:</strong> Up to $2,000</p> <h2>Sod</h2> <p>Laying sod yourself can save half the cost of a professional, though your back may not thank you for the savings. The prep work can be difficult by itself, but add in the tasks of unloading rolls of sod from a truck and laying them down in neat patterns and you'll be busy for an entire day.</p> <p>Sod costs eight cents to 30 cents per square foot, putting our 2,000-square-foot lawn at $160 to $600.</p> <p>Delivery can range from free to half the total cost of the sod. You may also need to buy or rent tools such as a rake, rototiller, and lawn roller, and seeds for spot seeding after the sod is installed. Assuming you own all of the supplies or can borrow them from someone for free, your total cost is as much as $600 if you do all of the work. If you hire a professional, the sod will cost 14 cents to 60 cents per square foot, or $280 to $1,200.</p> <p>The shape of your yard will affect the labor costs. A flat, square area is easier and cheaper to lay sod than a curved area with slopes. Expect labor to cost at least twice as much as doing it yourself, pushing a $600 job into a $1,200 one.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost:</strong> $1,200 or more</p> <h2>Synthetic</h2> <p>Synthetic, artificial grass can look like the real thing, and can save you a lot of money in the long run because it doesn't need water. A 12x6' patch of fake grass costs about $100, meaning that about 2,000 square feet would cost about $2,800. And that's a deal.</p> <p>Home Depot sells a top-of-the-line synthetic grass for about $4 per square foot, or $8,000 for our 2,000 square feet. The turf usually comes in 15-foot widths and installation requires a lot of steps, such as adding a seam between sections. Expect professional installation to cost double what the synthetic grass costs alone.</p> <p><strong>Total Cost:</strong> $16,000</p> <h2>Ready to Work?</h2> <p>If you're willing to do the work yourself, seeding can be the least expensive route to a new, green lawn. For a few bags of seed and a lot of prep work, the seed might catch and you'll have a new lawn. If you want to avoid all of the work and costs of installation and ongoing upkeep of a green lawn, save your pennies and have synthetic grass installed. It may even look better than real grass, though your bank account won't.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your landscape the envy of the neighborhood?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-getting-the-greenest-lawn-will-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100">14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-a-skunk-without-losing-your-dignity">How to Get Rid of a Skunk Without Losing Your Dignity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home curb appeal grass lawn care seeding spring summer yard Thu, 07 Apr 2016 09:00:14 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1682554 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_wires_electrocuted_000087920375.jpg" alt="Man trying to keep DIY projects from ruining his life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the face of the current crappy economy, more people are willing to try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less" target="_blank">save money on home improvement projects</a> by doing their own repairs&hellip;at their peril.</p> <p>With time, persistence, and attention to detail, the average non-klutz homeowner can learn to be handy. But how do you determine which projects are worth doing yourself, and which projects require an expert? Consider the following factors before you roll up your sleeves.</p> <h2>Assess the Time Commitment &mdash; And the Cost</h2> <p>While home improvement stores like Home Depot adjust their DIY project schedules according to the level of expertise, those schedules still assume that the project will be completed without a hitch. Whether you are learning a new skill or trying to level up on an existing ability, make sure to pad your time estimate to give yourself enough wiggle room to fix mistakes. Often, an overly optimistic schedule is not only frustrating but costly, too.</p> <p>For example, painting your own home is often touted as an excellent beginner DIY project. Yes, painting your own house can save you a lot of money. But when budgeting out the cost of your painting project, make sure to include the external costs. Will you have to pay to keep your furniture in storage while you paint? Will repainting your new apartment delay your move from your old apartment? You can (and should) wear a ventilator mask to avoid huffing paint fumes, but what about your pets? Can your dog go to grandma's house while the paint cures, or will you have to pay kennel costs?</p> <h2>Do You Have What It Takes to Get the Job Done?</h2> <p>No. Not mentally. Do you have the right tools for the job? My neighbor spent over two hours on a wet bathroom floor trying to tighten the leaky connection behind her toilet with a pair of pliers. Damp and tearful, she finally went to the hardware store for advice. Although she was offered no counsel for her plumbing aggravation, the store clerk did send her home with a $6.00 basin wrench. Armed with the proper tool, my neighbor was able to tighten the hard-to-reach nut in less than 10 seconds.</p> <p>Although my neighbor only lost 300 minutes of her life and $6.00 to her broken toilet, many projects require more costly, and high-tech equipment. There is a steep learning curve for many power tools. If you don't know how to use a floor sander, you might permanently damage the hardwood floors you are trying to salvage. Even worse, if you are a newbie to home repair, you might not think to buy ear protection. An expert might be able to repair a bad sanding job, but no one can repair your hearing.</p> <h2>Can You Afford to Make a Mistake?</h2> <p>I bought a well-reviewed tankless water heater that my plumber then nixed because he'd seen that model fail too many customers. Even though I returned the water heater in its factory sealed, unopened box, I was still charged a restocking fee by the store. Custom items like granite countertops are not returnable, so one wrong measurement can be very costly.</p> <h2>Trimming Trees Can May Mean Big Fines</h2> <p>Beyond the obvious extreme height + chainsaw = danger involved in tree trimming, amateur lumberjacking carries huge fines in many municipalities. The average cost of tree removal in Los Angeles is <a href="http://www.treeremoval.com/us/los-angeles/#.VvlZO_krJaR">$779 per tree</a>. That's expensive! But the fine for chopping down an oak tree, even on your own property, starts at $6,000 and can include jail time. Homeowners in other cities who only trim heritage trees such as oaks and sycamores without the proper permits can be charged <a href="http://la.curbed.com/archives/2007/11/a_375000_treetr.php">hundreds of thousands</a> of dollars in fines.</p> <h2>DIY Demolition Disaster</h2> <p>When I remodeled my bathroom, I saved $300 by doing my own demolition. In addition to getting a solid workout by swinging a sledgehammer, knocking out three layers of old tile and lathe was weirdly stress relieving. One of my neighbors also loved doing demolition. That is, he loved doing demolition until he knocked out a load-bearing wall while renovating his kitchen without a permit. His kitchen is now renovated, but not how he envisioned it. He blew his entire renovation budget on a very expensive and hideous support beam to keep his house from collapsing.</p> <p>I should also note that before I began my bathroom demolition, my contractor physically outlined the electrical and plumbing lines on my bathroom walls with a Sharpie before I ever picked up the sledgehammer. Replacing accidentally broken plumbing is one of the least sexy ways to spend money.</p> <h2>Play It Safe With Roof Repair</h2> <p>Reconsider doing your own roof repair for safety reasons alone. Likewise, if your home is over one story tall, consider getting a professional to clean your gutters. Or, at least, use a <a href="http://amzn.to/1Urt0yS">shop vac</a> or <a href="http://rochesterguttercleaning.com/tophat/aboutus.html">gutter vacuum</a> that you can operate from ground level.</p> <h2>Don't Blow Your Budget on Rental Renovations</h2> <p>I always rented places that I could repaint to my liking. Of course, using your own money to spiff up a rented space isn't smart financially. It's not your house. You just live there.</p> <p>If you are like me, then a little money is worth the price of turning another person's house into your home. However, if you are saving up to buy your own home, or just want to sock away more cash for retirement, education, or travel, it's smarter to treat your rented house as a crash pad where you sleep and store your things. Any DIY projects you do to improve your rented space is money and time you will never recover.</p> <h2>Death by DIY Pest Control</h2> <p>As a beekeeper, I am always getting calls from hysterical homeowners about &quot;Angry Killer Bees.&quot; When I arrive at a client's house to do live bee removal, I always ask diagnostic questions so I can assess the safety situation for the client and their neighbors. Here is a sample diagnostic question: &quot;Were the bees angrily chasing you around the backyard before you sprayed their hive with hairspray and then tried to light it on fire with a tiki torch?&quot;</p> <p>Many over-the-counter <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204563304574318231044370704">pesticides for home use</a> are also effective pet and people killers. Before laying down any kind of poison in your home, do some research and follow safety protocols to the letter. Although it seems counter-intuitive, professional exterminators have safer, less toxic methods of pest control at their disposal than consumers.</p> <h2>Leave Utilities to the Professionals</h2> <p>Doing your own gas, water, and power work is a really good way to damage you and your home. Even the smallest gas leak can lead to an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning. Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed due to electrocution or electrical fires. Leaky plumbing can cause water damage and mold, potentially making your home unlivable and unsellable.</p> <h2>Beware Those Nine Dreaded Words</h2> <p>&quot;While we are at it, we might as well&hellip;&quot;</p> <p><em>Mission creep</em> is the super villain of DIY. Replacing the disgusting, damaged vinyl flooring in my kitchen with new linoleum will take me two days total. I've replaced two kitchen floors already, so I know I can do this job, over a weekend, all by my lonesome. Of course, this two-day schedule does not include moving out all the appliances, transferring my frozen foods to a neighbor's freezer for safe-keeping, or repairing the baseboards. Nor does it include the time and money involved in repainting the kitchen walls &mdash; a project that can only be done with the appliances removed &mdash; that's also on my to-do list.</p> <h2>Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should</h2> <p>I know how to hot wire a 1965 Nova using just a flat head screwdriver. But, just because I know how to rip an old car, does not mean that I should take the Chevy to the levee &mdash; even though the levee is dry &mdash; at every opportunity.</p> <p>According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are <a href="http://www.esfi.org/resource/do-it-yourself-diy-electrical-safety-216">37,000 nail gun injuries</a> every year in the United States. If the thought, &quot;Maybe this is beyond my skill level&quot; flickers through your mind even once, you should consider consulting an expert.</p> <h2>Losing Frugal Credibility Has a High Cost</h2> <p>It's 11 p.m. and I am painting my dining room, myself. I am an excellent painter. Martha Stewart would hire me. Painting my own dining room cost me just $100 in supplies.</p> <p>Unfortunately, I have had to work the dining room redo around my actual paying job schedule, so it's taken me six months of intermittently stripping paint, sanding, caulking, priming, painting, painting, and repainting to almost finish my newly spectacular dining room. My ceiling is silver leafed. Guests gasp when they behold the decorative finish on my china cabinets. I am so pleased with my work. My husband, however, could care less how magazine-ready the dining room looks. After months of eating off a drop cloth-covered dining room table, he's tired of painting without ever picking up a brush.</p> <p>So, while I won a frugal remodeling battle by renovating my own dining room, I have lost the frugal war. My husband now doubts that we can scrape, repair, and paint the exterior of our house in one month. He wants to pay a professional painting contractor $17,000 to do this job.</p> <p>The true cost of painting the dining room myself: $16,900.</p> <p>Don't be me.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Our 61 Best Home Improvement Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home contractors Do It Yourself fixing home improvements painting renovations Wed, 06 Apr 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Max Wong 1682552 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Electric Griddles http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-griddles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-electric-griddles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grilled_steak_000062860428.jpg" alt="Using best electric griddles to grill steak dinner" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An electric griddle can fit well into nearly any kitchen, especially if you&rsquo;re cooking for a crowd. You can set the temperature and count on the griddle to heat up quickly and easily, so your food will all cook evenly.</p> <h2>What Is an Electric Griddle?</h2> <p>An electric griddle is a kitchen tool that has a large, non-stick cooking surface that allows you to prepare anything from eggs and bacon to perfectly cooked pancakes and more. An electric griddle will allow you to grill, cook, broil, sear, and sauté a number of dishes from your home or commercial kitchen. In essence, you can create diner meals at home with a similar cooking surface.</p> <h2>Top 5 Electric Griddles</h2> <h3>Broil King Professional Portable Nonstick Griddle</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BKXE02/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000BKXE02&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TUMJIMEFB2MUIQ2E"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/broil%20king.jpg" width="245" height="152" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BKXE02/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000BKXE02&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TUMJIMEFB2MUIQ2E">Broil King Professional Portable Nonstick Griddle</a> is a heavy duty cast aluminum griddle that consistently tops the charts for the best electric griddles available, partly because it can help you create the perfect pancakes. Equipped with a removable splatter guard, it can protect your walls and countertops from splattering oil and grease. It has rear legs to help facilitate grease runoff and a removable grease tray, which will neatly catch any grease, making cleanup a breeze. The environmentally friendly nonstick ceramic coating can reach adjustable heat of up to 425&ordm;F and will maintain the set temperature throughout. It also features stainless steel cool-touch handles for easier, safer use.</p> <p>This dependable griddle tops the list of griddles on Consumer Search, Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated, and a number of online review sites. Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated found that the griddle remained at the set temperature throughout the cooking surface better than any other griddle. It is a sturdy option that is expected to last for years and includes a two-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BKXE02/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000BKXE02&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TUMJIMEFB2MUIQ2E"><em>Currently $125.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YD99Y4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002YD99Y4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RZ7WIUGH4T5NALEH"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/cuisinart.jpg" width="220" height="198" align="right" alt="" /></a>When you consider everything the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YD99Y4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002YD99Y4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RZ7WIUGH4T5NALEH">Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler</a> can do, it&rsquo;s no wonder it&rsquo;s Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in electric griddles. The unique folding griddle can switch from contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, or half grill/half griddle effortlessly. The cooking plates drain grease for healthier cooking and easier cleanup. It heats up quickly and can even be used to sear meat. The removable, reversible non-stick cooking plates are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. The 5-in-1 griddle can be used for nearly anything, from paninis to meat, pancakes to burgers. With two separate cooking surfaces, you can cook completely different items at the same time. The sleek grill has a brushed stainless steel housing and sturdy panini style handle. It features a floating cover to easily adjust for the thickness of any food. It can reach uniform temperature from 200&ordm;-425&ordm;F, and features adjustable temperature controls with indicator lights.</p> <p>This innovative grill also includes a scraping tool and gourmet recipes. It also includes lightweight plastic cups that you can place beneath the drain spouts to catch any grease runoff at the corners of the griddle. While this can help with cleanup, the small cups can be lost or tipped over if you aren&rsquo;t careful. With nearly 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, you&rsquo;re sure to be satisfied. The griddle is also recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated, Consumer Search, and a number of independent online review sites. It is expected to last for years and comes with a limited three-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YD99Y4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002YD99Y4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RZ7WIUGH4T5NALEH"><em>Currently $98.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Presto Tilt 'n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00066XROO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00066XROO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6H65WU4ANUJ6L5LO"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/presto.jpg" width="245" height="148" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00066XROO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00066XROO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6H65WU4ANUJ6L5LO">Presto Tilt 'n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle</a> is unique because you can easily adjust it from a level grilling surface to a tilted draining surface. The griddle sits flat to cook on, but can also be tilted for effortless grease disposal when you are cooking meats. All you need to do is simply pull the handles out so the griddle tilts forward for grease runoff, which is also ideal when you are ready to clean the griddle.</p> <p>With a premium non-stick cooking surface of 19&rdquo;x15&rdquo;, you can prepare breakfast for the whole family at once. In fact, you can cook up to 50% more food on this super-sized griddle compared to other jumbo griddles. The heavy cast aluminum base maintains consistent heating throughout. It features a raised a lip around the surface to contain any grease and a slide-out drip tray for easy grease disposal. It is also fully immersible and dishwasher safe, after you remove the temperature control. With a cool touch border around the front and sides of the griddle, you won&rsquo;t need to worry about accidental burns.</p> <p>This large griddle topped the list of best griddles on a number of review sites, including Consumer Reports and Consumer Search, and is rumored to create the perfect pancakes. Reviewers agree that occasionally, you may need to deal with heat inconsistency levels, but it is still a great buy and should last you dependably for years. If this large griddle size isn&rsquo;t right for you, Presto offers a number of other award-winning electric griddles in various sizes to suit your family&rsquo;s needs, such as the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FYF3OY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B005FYF3OY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=CHS42VH2QZEDDNPL">Presto 07061 22-inch Electric Griddle With Removable Handles</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00066XROO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00066XROO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6H65WU4ANUJ6L5LO"><em>Currently $41.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Griddle</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083I7TCI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0083I7TCI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YVC6QELGOE3YZJA7"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/hamilton%20beach.jpg" width="245" height="146" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083I7TCI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0083I7TCI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YVC6QELGOE3YZJA7">Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Griddle</a> is unique because it can be used as a full grill, full griddle, or half grill/half griddle. It opens flat to a full cooking surface, with two separate cooking areas. It features two dishwasher safe, removable, reversible, non-stick cooking surfaces with separate temperature controls, so you can cook two completely different things at the same time. It features a center grease trap and dishwasher safe grease tray for easy cleanup and grease disposal.</p> <p>This has stellar reviews and is frequently recommended online. With its 3-in-1 functionality, it can provide a great buy for any kitchen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083I7TCI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0083I7TCI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YVC6QELGOE3YZJA7"><em>Currently $48.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Oster DuraCeramic Griddle with Warming Tray</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FR6RCA8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FR6RCA8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=U2Y5GWX6NOG3OF3I"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/oster.jpg" width="245" height="150" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FR6RCA8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FR6RCA8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=U2Y5GWX6NOG3OF3I">Oster DuraCeramic Griddle with Warming Tray</a> is unique because it features an innovative Dura Ceramic non-stick coating. This durable coating won&rsquo;t flake or peel and is expected to last four times longer, which means you really get your money&rsquo;s worth. It has a large 10&rdquo;x18&rdquo; cooking surface, so you can cook meals for the entire family at once. It also features a warming tray underneath to keep the cooked food at the optimal temperature while you complete the meal. It is durable, easy to clean, scratch-resistant, and can cook food up to 20% faster. It has a built-in channel for easy grease disposal and a removable drip tray. The cool touch handles also allow for easier, safer usage.</p> <p>This has stellar reviews and is frequently recommended online. With the unique warming tray functionality, this can provide the perfect solution for any busy family.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FR6RCA8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FR6RCA8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=U2Y5GWX6NOG3OF3I"><em>Currently $29.92 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best electric griddles. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-griddles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-cups">The 5 Best Measuring Cups</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-spoons">The 5 Best Measuring Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-woks">The 5 Best Electric Woks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-milk-frothers">The 5 Best Milk Frothers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Home Shopping breakfast electric griddles griddles Grill kitchen appliances product reviews Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1660281 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Simple Household Repairs Every Frugal Person Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-household-repairs-every-frugal-person-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-simple-household-repairs-every-frugal-person-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000057954298_Large.jpg" alt="doing easy and frugal home repairs themselves" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a homeowner or a renter, sooner or later, something is going to break. And when that time comes, you'll have two options: fix it yourself, or get someone else to fix it. The latter usually costs money &mdash; unless you happen to know someone who'll help for free &mdash; and yet, so many of these repairs require minimal skill and effort to get the job done. Here are 10 of the easiest household repairs every frugal person should have under their belt.</p> <h2>1. Changing a Faucet Washer</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/15A0V7lj_Lo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Drip. Drip. Drip. It can be the annoying sound that wakes you up at night, or one that constantly bothers you in the kitchen. You have a leaky faucet. The most likely cause of that leak is a worn washer, and they are very easy to replace. No need to call a plumber, because all you need are a few basic tools and a new washer.</p> <p>Turn off the water supply, remove the faucet cap, unscrew the handle, and unscrew the nut. You'll reveal the valve stem, which you remove, and voila&hellip; the old washer is revealed. Replace it, and then do everything in reverse. Here's an instructional video that explains a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15A0V7lj_Lo">basic washer change</a> in just a few minutes. You'll save water, and a lot of money on a plumbing charge.</p> <h2>2. Replacing a Furnace Filter</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SGYrVgFSzV4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>It's amazing that some people still hire someone to come and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGYrVgFSzV4">replace the filter</a> on their furnace. This is literally a job that takes less than a minute to do, and anyone can do it. What you need to do is find the correct size of filter, which will be written somewhere on the furnace. When you have the dimensions, you can go to a hardware store for replacements or order online. Don't go for the cheapest type; you want one that traps not just dirt, but allergens and other air hazards. Remove the furnace door &mdash; this will almost always deactivate the furnace, but if not, turn it off at the switch. Slide out the dirty filter, and replace it with the new one, making sure to insert it with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow. Then, close up the furnace. It's that easy.</p> <h2>3. Unblocking a Drain</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YwANFKK__kk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>So, simple blocked drains on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwANFKK__kk">sinks are easy to unclog</a>. Get out the plunger, and go to work. It should clear in seconds. If it doesn't, don't run to the phone to call a plumber, because 99% of the time, you can do this yourself. There are various tools available for this, including snakes, liquid plumber, and even wire coathangers. In all instances, most of these clogs or blocks are caused by old hair, debris, grease, and food. So, you may want to invest in a pair of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BE02FH6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00BE02FH6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IBAELM4ETCRRSBVG">rubber gloves</a>. Here are a few videos showing some basic drain unblocking; <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF2RAJUye58">clearing the trap</a>; <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKZjQxabLjA">using a snake</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains?ref=seealso">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a>)</p> <h2>4. Painting a Room</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jFVYvSxLawg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Some home repair jobs can actually be a lot of fun, and this is one of them. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFVYvSxLawg">Painting a room</a>, especially a kid's room or playroom, can be creative and fulfilling. But whether it's a bedroom, living room, or kitchen, you'll need some basic tools and a few tips before you start. Get a variety of paintbrushes; you'll need some for small, fiddly areas, others for big areas like doors and walls. You will also need a paint roller and tray, or a paint pad. Plus, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010O5HZVW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B010O5HZVW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5EH4DIPGUM5KIWPB">dropcloths</a>, painter's tape (Frog is excellent), paint, a stepladder, and some clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Make sure to block off any areas you don't want paint to land on &mdash; including the ceiling lines, window trim, door frames, and baseboards. Paint around those areas first, then fill in with your roller or paint pad. You will usually need to do two coats, and maybe more if a light color is going over a dark one.</p> <h2>5. Changing the Locks</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/48SrVmlbZpQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Walk down the Locks and Doors aisle in any hardware store and you'll be greeted with a plethora of different options. You have so many choices here, and it takes very little time to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48SrVmlbZpQ">change out a door lock</a>. (However, installing a lock from scratch is a lot more involved). The hardest part of all this is making sure you get the right replacement lock to fit the one you're swapping out. Take a look at it first, remove it, take photos, write down model numbers, etc. Take that information to the hardware store, and they can guide you to the correct one. Then, with just a few screws, and you're good to go.</p> <h2>6. Sewing<strong> </strong></h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9XHRaym3qLQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Never let it be said that <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XHRaym3qLQ">sewing</a> is a hobby. It's something we should all know how to do, because it can save us a lot of money on clothing and other repairs around the home. From torn curtains and sofa cushions, to holes in jeans and shirts, some basic sewing repair skills are essential. You don't need to be a master tailor, but having a grasp on the basics &mdash; such as sewing on a button, darning a sock, or patching jeans &mdash; will really help you out in the long run. You don't even need a sewing machine. Just a very simple <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V8BH8VE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00V8BH8VE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QJ57PPNDY43EBD2C">sewing kit</a> will do, for under $10.</p> <h2>7. Unclogging the Garbage Disposal</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qC8LN32ep_Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You flick the switch, and you hear one of two things: complete silence, or a faint buzz. Either way, it's not the growl of the motor and the blades that you were expecting. When this happens, your <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC8LN32ep_Q">garbage disposal is clogged</a>. You may be tempted to call a plumber, who will either fix it for you, or suggest an often unnecessary replacement. But this is a job you can do easily yourself.</p> <p>First, it may have stopped working due to a jam. Unplug it, and reach in there to see if something is stopping the blades. Fish it out, if that's the case. If not, you will still want to go underneath the disposal and turn the blades using the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0025ZA3EQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0025ZA3EQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CHUBCDBFY2TKT2G7">Allen wrench</a> that came with it. After turning it several times, you should feel the blades loosen. Hit the reset button on the base, plug it back in, and hit the main switch. Your disposal should now be working again.</p> <h2>8. Replacing Screen Door Mesh</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1vBS-UP37fI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>So many people I have talked to, including family members, have bought a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBS-UP37fI">new screen door</a> when the mesh has ripped or worn out. This is a huge waste of money. If the screen door itself is in great condition, you only need to replace the mesh, and that's a job most people can do in less than 30 minutes. You'll need to buy replacement screen mesh and a screen door spline roller. The pair will cost between $20-$30 depending on the store you buy them at, and the type of screen mesh you opt for. The hardest part is actually removing the screen door from the track. Once that's done, you remove the old rubber cord and mesh, place the new one on the door, roll in the new rubber cord, and trim the excess. It's that simple.</p> <h2>9. Recaulking Sinks and Tubs</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nHwmqkoz1tE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Over time, the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHwmqkoz1tE">caulk surrounding bathtubs and sinks</a> will need to be replaced. Sometimes it gets discolored or moldy. Sometimes, it can actually begin to peel away, and start causing issues with leaks or water damage. In that case, you need to replace the caulk. And the good news is, it's really easy.</p> <p>All you need is a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CSR5PS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000CSR5PS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ATGFIZOB5GKODBHF">caulking gun</a> and caulk, which comes in a wide variety of colors and types. Talk to an expert in your hardware store about your needs. Clear out any of the old caulk, which can be done using a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002X201/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00002X201&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AC2E7BTPBV6EJWB6">Stanley knife</a> and a scraping tool. Make sure the area to be caulked is clean and dry. Then, apply a thin bead using the caulking gun, and with a wet finger, swipe away the excess to form a beautiful new seal.</p> <h2>10. Banishing Squeaks</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3iAseVZZKlY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Squeaky doors, windows, stairs, and floorboards are more an annoyance than anything else, but they don't have to be. They are usually a very simple fix. For squeaking doors and windows, some spray lube, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JCGU8U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000JCGU8U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NMR24HOGV5D3R6Y4">WD-40</a>, or white lithium grease will usually eliminate the problem. If none of those are available, even a little olive oil or Vaseline can work. You are simply looking for a way to reduce the friction. For <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iAseVZZKlY">floorboards</a>, it's a little more involved. Most of the time, it happens because the floorboard has raised up from the main floor joists or the subfloor. In that case, a shim can eliminate that gap, and thus, the squeak.</p> <p><em>What other home repair should every frugal person learn? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-household-repairs-every-frugal-person-should-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-common-household-leaks-you-can-fix-without-a-plumber">4 Common Household Leaks You Can Fix Without a Plumber</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-frugal-things-to-do-with-origami">8 Fun and Frugal Things to Do with Origami</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-and-3-you-shouldnt-try">17 DIY Projects to Make Your Home Look Amazing (and 3 You Shouldn&#039;t Try)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Home DIY diy repairs frugal Home repair household repairs Fri, 25 Mar 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Paul Michael 1678795 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Spring Cleaning Tasks That Help You Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-spring-cleaning-tasks-that-help-you-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-spring-cleaning-tasks-that-help-you-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000047183642.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found helpful articles on spring cleaning tasks that save you money, DIYs that make your car look like new, and shopping hacks to use at Kohl&rsquo;s.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/17143/spring-cleaning-tasks-that-save-you-money.html">10 Spring Cleaning Tasks That Save You Money</a> &mdash; It's warming up! Dust your fan blades, window sills, and ledges, and use your ceiling fans and fresh air to cool down when it gets too warm. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-DIYs-Your-Car-33109277#photo-33109277">13 DIYs to Make Your Car Seem Like New Again</a> &mdash; Make foggy windows sparkle with this eco-friendly solution! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savingfreak.com/kohls-shopping-hacks-coupons-and-discounts">25 Kohl&rsquo;s Shopping Hacks</a> &ndash; Using Coupon and Discounts &mdash; Shop Kohl's Clearance section for 60-90% off and use coupons to get an even better deal. [Saving Freak]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4212/what-not-to-buy-at-costco-sams-or-bjs">10 Things Not to Buy at Costco, Sam's, or BJ's</a> &mdash; Vegetable oil and olive oil are good for only three to five months after opening. If you aren't able to get through the big jugs of oil offered at a warehouse club, the oil (and money you spent on it) would go to waste. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-ways-start-reaching-goal-even-one/">5 Ways to Start Reaching Your Goal &ndash; Before You Even Have One</a> &mdash; No matter what your goals are (or will be), you need to nurture the thoughts that benefit you and your aspirations. [Pick The Brain]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://makezine.com/2016/03/22/5-basic-stitches-you-need-know-plus-textile-tips/">5 Basic Stitches You Need to Know, Plus Other Textile Tips</a> &mdash; There is a lot you can do with basic sewing skills. These stitches will allow you to tackle simple projects like patching a hole and attaching buttons. [Make:]</p> <p><a href="http://couplemoney.com/budgeting/what-not-to-stock-up-on-in-your-stockpile/">Stockpile Hacks: What Not to Include</a> &mdash; Avoid dented, busted, bulging or frozen canned foods. The flawed cans may allow bacteria to grow and can cause health risks. [Couple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/9-signs-you-aren-t-loving-yourself-as-much-as-you-should/">9 Signs You Aren&rsquo;t Loving Yourself As Much As You Should</a> &mdash; Pay attention to your self talk. Do you call yourself names or tell yourself that you're too fat or skinny or old or wrinkly? [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/parenting-classes-are-they-ever-worth-it">Parenting Classes: Are They Ever Worth it?</a> &mdash; Parenting styles classes may be helpful if you're really nervous about the type of parent you'll be, but they aren't necessary. Odds are, you'll be a blend of several styles. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.5dollardinners.com/picky-eater-swaps/">Picky Eater &ldquo;Swaps&rdquo;</a> &mdash; Learn how to work around your child's picky eating and ensure that they get the nutrients they need. [$5 Dinners]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-spring-cleaning-tasks-that-help-you-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">Your One-Month Guide to Spring Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-inexpensive-spring-spruce-up-ideas-for-your-home">10 Inexpensive Spring Spruce-Up Ideas for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">8 Tasks You Shouldn&#039;t Skip During Spring Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spring-into-cleaning-now">Spring into Cleaning Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips spring cleaning Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Amy Lu 1678794 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sitting_outside_000066201595.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to improve curb appeal for almost nothing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're selling your home, or simply looking to spruce it up, improving your curb appeal is a great way to increase value. But it can be really expensive if you head off to your local home improvement warehouse and buy items at full retail. That said, with a little bit of planning and forethought, improving your curb appeal can be done for next to nothing. Here are six ways to make it happen.</p> <h2>1. Score Free Mulch</h2> <p>Having a fresh layer of mulch or bark in your flower and planting beds is a fantastic way to improve your curb appeal. But buying individual bags can be darn expensive, especially if you're doing a large area. So instead, try calling a local tree trimming service and ask if they have any free mulch available. After all, many such businesses have excess woods chips available and are happy to find ways to get rid of it. Often they'll even deliver a truck load to your home if they happen to be doing a job in your general vicinity.</p> <p>Worst case scenario, you might have to swing by their work yard and shovel up a truck load. But you can't beat the free price tag, and your plants and flowers will thrive with the new mulch. Plus, it will help keep down weeds and give your yard a fresh new look.</p> <h2>2. Find Great Deals on Paint</h2> <p>Another cheap way to effectively spruce up the front of your home is with a fresh coat of paint on your front door, shutters, or moldings. While the job itself can be fairly inexpensive if you can tackle it yourself, a great way to save even more is to look for &quot;whoops&quot; paint at Home Depot, Lowe's, or even from your local paint store. These are the paints that were either incorrectly tinted or were rejected by the customer and are being sold at a big discount.</p> <p>Simply ask an employee where their &quot;whoops&quot; shelf is located and check out the colors they currently have available. You can typically get paint for 50%&ndash;75% off the original price. Surprisingly, many of the colors you'll find are quite neutral in color and would look beautiful on your home as either a main or accent color.</p> <h2>3. Hide Garbage Cans and A/C Unit</h2> <p>If you have garbage cans or an A/C unit that can be seen from your front yard, consider building an inexpensive <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/outdoor-projects/how-to/a9248/hide-those-ugly-garbage-cans-with-a-diy-privacy-screen-15710370/">lattice screen</a> to hide them. In a few short hours, you can hide these big eye sores. Lattice screens can be made of either wood or vinyl. The vinyl option will cost more upfront but will require less maintenance in the long-run.</p> <h2>4. Big Discounts on Plants</h2> <p>Surprisingly, one of the single best ways to score deals on plants, shrubs, and flowers to beautify your front yard is at your local nursery &mdash; but only on specific days. Almost every nursery across the country has two big sales per year. One is in the fall when they clear out a large chunk of their inventory before winter, and the other is in early spring when they offer discounts to entice shoppers to start planting for the warmer months. These two sales often see discounts in the 50% off range making them no-brainers for those looking to improve their home's curb appeal.</p> <p>Be on the lookout for sales flyers from local nurseries and score savings that will typically beat the big-box stores, plus the quality of the plants and trees is typically much higher.</p> <h2>5. Add Garage Door Hardware for Updated Look</h2> <p>A really cheap way to spruce up an otherwise ordinary garage door is to add new hardware to give it a terrific new look. For less than $35, and 30 minutes of your time, you can upgrade your door with inexpensive hardware. The new hardware will really make your garage door a focal point rather than an eyesore.</p> <h2>6. Find Deals on Exterior Lighting</h2> <p>New exterior lights can really improve the look of your home, but if you've ever priced them, you know they can be expensive. But having worked at The Home Depot, I have a tip that can save you a lot of money &mdash; they almost always have floor model light fixtures for sale at a steep discount.</p> <p>Due to a large and ever-changing inventory, they're constantly updating their stock with new lighting fixtures, which gives you ample opportunity to save on floor models. Simply ask an employee what floor models they are trying to get rid of and they'll point you to the best deals &mdash; deals that can light up the front of your home, and beautify it in the process, at 50% to 75% off the original price.</p> <p><em>How do you improve your home's curb appeal without breaking the bank?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects">Boost Your Home&#039;s Value With These 5 Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Real Estate and Housing cheap fixes curb appeal home improvement landscaping painting renovations Tue, 22 Mar 2016 09:30:35 +0000 Kyle James 1677207 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_spring_cleaning_000082590811.jpg" alt="Couple learning best spring cleaning hacks we&#039;ve ever shared" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it, chores as an adult are kind of awful &mdash; especially since you don't an extra $10 at the end of it, only extreme exhaustion and dirty hands. Since spring cleaning season has arrived, people everywhere are scanning their homes for stuff they can get rid of, and surfaces that could use a good scrubbin'. And tackling any major task can go from miserable to mildly pleasant as long as you have a plan &mdash; and lots of brilliant hacks to cut down on time and effort, of course!</p> <p>Here are the 82 best spring cleaning hacks we've ever shared.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000022840623_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-for-spring-cleaning">7 Ways to Prepare for Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; The early bird gets the worm, right? It's true. Before you start spring cleaning, get prepared by making lists, playlists, and assembling your dust-destroying tool kit.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">8 Tasks You Shouldn't Skip During Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; Once you start cleaning, you might be tempted to cut corners in order to get this madness over with ASAP. Just make sure you don't skip these areas of your home, as they often get neglected and are in dire need of some TLC.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning">11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning</a> &mdash; Wait... cleaning without actually cleaning? Yes, please! These little life adjustments can make your house cleaner, which reduces the time you need to spend cleaning. You're welcome.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/3clean-465958469.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a> &mdash; So many cleaning products have harsh, toxic ingredients that might keep your belongings shiny, but are also destroying your skin and the environment. Go au naturel with your cleaners and you're basically saving the world.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-need-to-clean">9 Things You Don't Need to Clean</a> &mdash; If nothing else, this list of things you don't need to clean will cheer you up when you've only completed less than half of the tidy tasks on your to-do list.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a> &mdash; Believe it or not, some germs are good germs. Here are the cleaning myths that we've proudly busted. Be a rebel this year, and break these common cleaning rules.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000011792733Small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-spring-cleaning-on-a-budget">6 Tips for Spring Cleaning on a Budget</a> &mdash; Buying all of those new sponges and anti-bacterial wipes can add up quickly. So here's how to keep your spring cleaning spending under control.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">9 Things in Your House You're Forgetting to Clean</a> &mdash; Monsters who live under the bed like things clean, too! Don't skip these commonly forgotten areas when isolating dirty parts of the house.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning">25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</a> &mdash; We're all extremely busy humans, so taking time out of our schedules to deep-clean the house seems bonkers and completely unreasonable. These tricks will help you get all of your cleaning done with time to spare!</p> <p><em>Do you have any stellar spring cleaning hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes">Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Wise Bread&#039;s 88 Best Food Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Home Organization cleaning declutter fbf flashback friday life hacks organization spring cleaning Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1675255 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Spend Less on Swiffer http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-spend-less-on-swiffer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-spend-less-on-swiffer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/swiffer_duster_000034006880.jpg" alt="Learning how to spend less on Swiffer products" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found helpful articles on cleaning your house with Swiffer without spending a bundle, remodels that don&rsquo;t add value to your home, and the best travel tips from travel bloggers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4196/how-to-use-a-swiffer-for-less">7 Ways to Swiffer for Less</a> &mdash; Repurpose old socks (chenille works especially well) to substitute disposable Swiffer pads. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/real-estate/remodels-that-do-not-add-value-to-your-home/66883">Remodels That Do Not Add Value To Your Home</a> &mdash; Some buyers may be willing to pay extra for a pool, but that's not always the case. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.becauseimcheap.com/20-travel-bloggers-share-tips-for-every-traveller/">20 Travel Bloggers Share The Best Tips For Every Traveler</a> &mdash; Need help getting to your lodgings? Language barriers won't be an issue if you take a snapshot of the name and address of your hotel in the native language. [Because I'm Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Uses-Tea-Tree-Oil-34862747">19 Smart Uses For Tea Tree Essential Oil</a> &mdash; Add just 10 drops of tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo to get rid of dandruff flakes. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2016/03/11/how-to-be-productive-at-home/">How to Be Productive at Home: 5 Simple Hacks</a> &mdash; Work by a window! Regular exposure to sunlight can improve your sleep, mood, and productivity. [Life Optimizer]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/blog/2016/03/5-easy-ways-clutter-free-desk/">Six Easy Ways To A Clutter-Free Desk</a> &mdash; Do you have supplies floating all across your desk? Use divided trays to store pencils, highlighters, clips, tapes and other stationery items. [Get Organized Wizard]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalbuzz.com/articles/gaming/5-ways-to-buy-video-games-without-going-broke/">5 Ways To Buy Video Games Without Going Broke</a> &mdash; You don't need to buy a game to play it. Look for free games, or check out services like RedBox that allow you to rent a game. [Frugal Buzz]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/best-educational-streaming-for-preschoolers/">The Best Educational Streaming Shows for Preschoolers</a> &mdash; Available on Netflix, Monster Math Squad teaches math concepts, and there's an extensive teacher's resource guideline that you can find online. [Lazy Man and Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/how-to-figure-out-whether-or-not-you-can-afford-it/">How to Figure Out Whether Or Not You Can Afford It</a> &mdash; You may be able to afford the sticker price, but can you keep up with any ongoing costs? [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/do-children-have-to-go-to-preschool">Do Children Have to Go to Preschool?</a> &mdash; Preschool is not mandatory, but it can be a great way for your child to learn how to exist in a classroom. On the other hand, you may want to keep your child at home during these formative years. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-spend-less-on-swiffer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips swiffer Fri, 18 Mar 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1675102 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food_vacuum_sealer_000054412644.jpg" alt="Using best vacuum sealers to preserve fresh food" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A vacuum sealer can help keep food fresher, longer. In fact, some sealers promise to keep food fresher for 3-5 times as long, which can save you a lot of money over time. Once you vacuum seal the bags, the food won&rsquo;t take up as much room in your pantry, fridge, and freezer &mdash; saving you valuable space.</p> <p>Investing in a vacuum sealer means you can stop throwing food &mdash; and money &mdash; away. Now that your food will last longer, it can mean fewer trips to the grocery store, more affordable bulk buying, and quicker cooking and meat marinating.</p> <h2>What Is a Vacuum Sealer?</h2> <p>A vacuum sealer applies heat to remove the air from bags and containers and create an airtight seal. It can seal any bags so that air is not allowed to enter and freshness is not allowed to escape. This means that the food will stay fresh and maintain the same taste and texture for longer. Vacuum sealing can also stop the growth of microorganisms in some foods, like red meat, and can prevent freezer burn, which can spoil food and ruin its texture and flavor.</p> <p>A vacuum sealer is ideal for personal and commercial use, and can also help you stock up for camping trips, road trips, emergency supplies, bulk buy shopping trips, and more. You can use it to seal anything in a bag, including meats, cheeses, dried foods, fruit, coffee, chips, and other items for the fridge, freezer, and pantry. You can even use it to protect valuable electronics, jewelry, and documents in the event of a flood or water damage. Some reviewers also find it useful for protecting their valuable items on kayaking trips.</p> <h2>Top 5 Vacuum Sealers</h2> <h3>Weston Products Vacuum Sealer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GD7PU5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GD7PU5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6VPG2UQ4WW4ETUN6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/weston.jpg" width="245" height="201" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GD7PU5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GD7PU5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6VPG2UQ4WW4ETUN6">Weston Products Vacuum Sealer</a> is unique because it will allow you to marinate and preserve your fresh foods with one high quality unit. This commercial quality vacuum sealer has a simple one-touch operation and easy-to-use control panel, so you can master it in no time. It features 23' HG vacuum strength, a 210-watt motor, and is ETL certified, so it is ideal for both home and professional use. It has a responsive pulse mode and bright blue indicator lights. There is also a manual seal mode, so you can control the vacuum pressure for certain jobs. The vacuum pump has a fan-cooled motor so you won&rsquo;t need to worry about it overheating. It has a sleek black design, brushed stainless steel lid, and an angled vacuum chamber to prevent liquids from entering.</p> <p>Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated found that this sealer will work with a variety of affordable bags, canisters, and rolls. Weston makes some of the best vacuum sealers on the market. This one is constructed of high quality parts and should perform reliably for years. It is Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated&rsquo;s top pick and recommended by America&rsquo;s Test Kitchen. It also has outstanding online reviews and customers have found that this sealer can keep food fresh for more than three months.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GD7PU5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GD7PU5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6VPG2UQ4WW4ETUN6"><em>Currently $184.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Seal-a-Meal Vacuum Sealer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HMWC4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008HMWC4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6DMCHOEB2EORPYRD"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/seal%20a%20meal.jpg" width="245" height="163" align="right" alt="" /></a>The affordable <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HMWC4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008HMWC4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6DMCHOEB2EORPYRD">Seal-a-Meal Vacuum Sealer</a> offers a compact design that won&rsquo;t take up much space on your counter. It is very easy to use; you simply place the bag into the sealer, press and hold the handle down until the green, hands-free indicator light turns on, and then allow the sealer to do the rest. Once the cycle is complete, the motor and the sealing indicator light will turn off. It comes with a dishwasher-safe removable drip tray and features smooth, easy clean surfaces for quick cleanup. It can keep frozen food ice-free for more than three months. However, because it does not have a manual pulse mode, it can crush crunchy items like chips. It fits quart and gallon heat-seal bags and rolls, and comes with four quart-sized bags to get you started.</p> <p>It is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated and is the most affordable option on our list. It is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including nearly 700 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HMWC4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008HMWC4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6DMCHOEB2EORPYRD"><em>Currently $37.45 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System With Starter Kit</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U738ZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003U738ZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JS6HTPZE2QJOKG7H"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/foodsaver.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U738ZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003U738ZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JS6HTPZE2QJOKG7H">FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System</a> has two preset sealing modes, and you can set it for the type of food you&rsquo;re sealing. It offers moist/dry food settings and an accessory port and hose to seal canisters. It is small, quiet, lightweight, and can keep food fresh for more than three months. The CrushFree instant seal will help protect delicate foods from being crushed during the sealing process. It is easy to use. You simply feed the bag into the sealer, lower the handle, and allow the automated system to take care of itself. It has dishwasher-safe removable parts and a removable drip tray for easy cleaning. It can be stored vertically to save space. It has a convenient roll holder and built-in bag cutter, so you can create your own custom size bags and save even more money.</p> <p>This starter kit comes with everything you need, including a vacuum sealer roll, five vacuum sealer bags, and an accessory hose. It is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated, and Consumer Search selected it as the best cheap external vacuum sealer. It is also backed by a one-year warranty and outstanding online reviews, including nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U738ZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003U738ZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JS6HTPZE2QJOKG7H"><em>Currently $119.89 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Waring Pro Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LW73UY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008LW73UY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2UYPKOPK6VEBXANY"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/waring.jpg" width="220" height="203" align="right" alt="" /></a>There&rsquo;s no easier way to seal your bags than with the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LW73UY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008LW73UY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2UYPKOPK6VEBXANY">Waring Pro Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System</a>. This countertop, hand-held sealing system is easier to use than the other options on our list. It is also small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer, so it won&rsquo;t take up any space on your counter. The heavy-duty, pistol-style vacuum sealer is very portable, so you can use it anywhere in your home or commercial kitchen. The built-in battery offers quiet, reliable performance for about 30 sealings between recharges. Reviewers found that food still looks good even after three months.</p> <p>It comes with two dozen BPA-free, dishwasher-safe reusable valve bags in quart and gallon sizes. The bags are thicker and more reliable than other bags on the market. The bags can also be placed directly into the microwave or boiling water, for easier meal preparation. This means you can prepare custom veggie steamers right in the bags. To use it properly, you need to close the bag with the heavy-duty zipper and then remove the air from the small valve in the corner of the bag. This vacuum sealer is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated, and Consumer Search selected it as the best handheld vacuum sealer. It is built to last and has a limited five-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LW73UY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008LW73UY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2UYPKOPK6VEBXANY"><em>Currently $67.91 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI342IW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00DI342IW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=APBAAYPXDR6XJFC6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/food%20saver.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI342IW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00DI342IW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=APBAAYPXDR6XJFC6">FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System with Bonus Built-in Retractable Handheld Sealer</a> is unique because it offers both standard heat-seal and handheld vacuuming capabilities in one compact unit. The heat-seal sensor automatically grabs, vacuums, and seals the bag. It can also marinate food in minutes with a convenient marinate mode. The built-in retractable handheld sealer can seal zipper bags, canister, and containers to save you even more money. The sleek design features indicator lights and high quality materials. There is also a roll storage compartment with a built-in slicer that will custom cut bags to size, allowing you to store even large pans of food. It includes a pullout drawer and removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray for easier cleanup. This starter kit has everything you need, including a vacuum sealer roll and 10 bags in quart and gallon size.</p> <p>This is a higher end vacuum sealer that would work just as well in a home or commercial kitchen. It is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated and has outstanding online reviews.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI342IW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00DI342IW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=APBAAYPXDR6XJFC6"><em>Currently $199.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best vacuum sealers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-griddles">The 5 Best Electric Griddles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers">The 5 Best Humidifiers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances Food kitchen appliances product reviews vacuum sealer Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1660234 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Spring Clean Your Home? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-spring-clean-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-spring-clean-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_cleaning_000078197613.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter spring cleaning their home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-spring-clean-your-home#comment-789521">Gina</a>, Julie, and Ced for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Spring is almost here! This means the weather is warming up, flowers will start to bloom, and it's prime time to roll up your sleeves and give your home a good cleaning. (Right?)</p> <p><strong>Do you spring clean your home?</strong> What are your typical spring cleaning tasks? What are your best tips for tackling the messiest areas?</p> <p>Tell us whether you spring clean your home and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa234" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_55zvmulq" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa234/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, March 14th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after March 14th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you spring clean your home and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-spring-clean-your-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">Your One-Month Guide to Spring Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-inexpensive-spring-spruce-up-ideas-for-your-home">10 Inexpensive Spring Spruce-Up Ideas for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">8 Tasks You Shouldn&#039;t Skip During Spring Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spring-into-cleaning-now">Spring into Cleaning Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Ask the Readers spring cleaning Tue, 08 Mar 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1667191 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Humidifiers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-humidifiers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_humidifier_000034035904.jpg" alt="Girl using best humidifier to improve dry winter air" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A humidifier can help with sinus pain, respiratory problems, asthma, allergies, nose irritation, and even the common cough and flu. It can also help improve your breathing and your sleep quality. If your skin, face, or lips are dry, a humidifier can add moisture and humidity to the room, so you won&rsquo;t have to deal with cold weather symptoms any longer. It can even help promote plant health, reduce static electricity, and protect wood furniture, which is subject to shrinking, cracking, and warping from moisture loss.</p> <p>If you are experiencing dry indoor air, then a humidifier can replenish the moisture. Maintaining the right humidity level can make the body and room feel warmer, which means you can cut your heating costs in the winter.</p> <h2>What Is a Humidifier?</h2> <p>A humidifier is a small device that can add moisture and humidity to a single room or the entire building. Humidifiers are available in cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic varieties to best suit your personal preferences. Allergy Buyers Club recommends a cool mist humidifier to combat allergies and a warm mist humidifier to combat asthma or respiratory infections. It is important to keep your humidifier clean and dry when not in use to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.</p> <h2>Top 5 Humidifiers</h2> <h3>Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002QAYJPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNGJRJB42L7L73PH"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honeywell.jpg" width="220" height="201" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002QAYJPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNGJRJB42L7L73PH">Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier</a>, HCM-350, is unique because it features UV technology that kills up to 99% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses found in the water. This means it will only produce clean and germ-free mist. The energy efficient, evaporative tabletop humidifier produces cool mist and can humidify up to 500 square feet of space. The self-regulating evaporative system will naturally adjust the output to the right amount of moisture. The durable tank has a handle for easy carrying, sits flat in the sink for easy filling, and has dishwasher-safe parts and a wide tank opening for easy cleaning. It is easy to use, is virtually leak-proof, and offers excellent output. It has a 1.5-gallon tank capacity and can offer reliable operation for up to 24 hours per filling. It is up to 25% quieter than other evaporative humidifiers. It is easy to clean and leaves no white dust residue. It is available in both black and white and is backed by a three-year limited warranty.</p> <p>This humidifier was selected by Consumer Search as the best cool mist humidifier, is a Consumer Reports&rsquo; recommendation, is recommended by iallergy, is the top recommendation by TheSweetHome.com, and came out on top for multiple independent review sites. It is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Honeywell is one of the most respected and highly rated brands of humidifiers available, so if this unit isn&rsquo;t right for you, there is likely another Honeywell that will fit your needs.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002QAYJPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNGJRJB42L7L73PH"><em>Currently $51.07 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008I20FT8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008I20FT8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VH6J3HCPBK2M73DZ"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/crane.jpg" width="178" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008I20FT8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008I20FT8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VH6J3HCPBK2M73DZ">Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier</a> offers a cute, compact, owl design, perfect for a nursery or kids&rsquo; room. While it is equipped with a small one-gallon tank, it offers good moisture output of 2.1-gallons per day. The energy efficient model is easy to use, whisper quiet, and can humidify up to 250 square feet of space. The manual control knob will allow you to adjust the mist output intensity. Once the tank is low on water, the humidifier will automatically shut off. The ultrasonic cool mist operation does not require a filter and can offer reliable operation for up to 24 hours. The removable water tank is easy to clean. It features a one-year warranty and is built to last.</p> <p>This is Consumer Reports&rsquo; top humidifier pick for small rooms, Consumer Search selected it as the best humidifier for a child&rsquo;s room, and Health Magazine selected it as the best option for dry skin and stuffy sinuses. If owls aren&rsquo;t your thing, there are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GWJD0A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000GWJD0A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=V4MNEHNLRENNPQED">10 different Crane Humidifiers</a> designed to look like all different types of animals, such as a frog, dragon, monkey, and elephant. You might also consider something like the bestselling <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007P9QXQO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B007P9QXQO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IQK2F2PBMTB6W7P4">Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier</a> because Crane offers some of the best humidifiers on the market.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008I20FT8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008I20FT8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VH6J3HCPBK2M73DZ"><em>Currently $30.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier With Auto Shut-Off</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWXKTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FWXKTA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AVJQJ6DIRVCIGZVN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/vicks.jpg" width="158" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWXKTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FWXKTA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AVJQJ6DIRVCIGZVN">Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier With Auto Shut-Off</a> is unique because it can moisturize the air while making the room feel warmer during the winter. It has two vapor settings, an automatic safety shutoff, and a soft glowing nightlight. It produces up to 95% bacteria-free visible moisture and can humidify up to 400 square feet of space. It offers two settings for ideal comfort and an auto shut-off feature. The one-gallon tank offers up to 12 hours of quiet, reliable operation. It is easy to use, easy to clean with dishwasher-safe parts, and does not require a filter. It also has a three-year limited warranty.</p> <p>The humidifier can be used with water or with Vicks Vaposteam or Kaz Inhalant for added relief. Consumer Reports&rsquo; selected this as one of the best humidifiers for medium-sized rooms and Consumer Search selected it as the best warm mist humidifier. It is also recommended by iallergy and backed by outstanding online reviews, including 1,100 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWXKTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FWXKTA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AVJQJ6DIRVCIGZVN"><em>Currently $26.86 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm/Cool Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O3I2CG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000O3I2CG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JIQKV7QV7P7V2SAL"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/spt.jpg" width="180" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O3I2CG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000O3I2CG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JIQKV7QV7P7V2SAL">SPT Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm/Cool Humidifier with Ion Exchange Filter</a> is unique because it produces either cool or warm mist. With variable humidity levels, it can produce plenty of fine mist to fit your needs. The ION exchange filter treats water to remove calcium and magnesium from hard water, which will prolong the useful life of the humidifier and prevent white dust particles from depositing into the air. The energy efficient model offers whisper quiet, reliable performance.</p> <p>The tabletop humidifier can humidify up to 500 square feet of space and offers a daily output of 2.31 gallons and a maximum of 12 hours usage. The large tank has a carrying handle for easy use and filling. Once the tank is empty, the unit will automatically shut off. It has a sleek, compact design with easy-to-use controls and impressive features, like overheat protection and a rotating nozzle to direct mist in two directions simultaneously. It is easy to use, refill, and clean with an included cleaning brush.</p> <p>This is Consumer Reports&rsquo; top humidifier pick for large rooms, Consumer Search&rsquo;s pick for the best ultrasonic humidifier, the Editors' Choice selection at BabyGearLab.com, and the top rated ultrasonic humidifier at TheSweetHome.com. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O3I2CG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000O3I2CG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JIQKV7QV7P7V2SAL"><em>Currently $65.17 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JL4LZ4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JL4LZ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=442E65K6ANV7S6GJ"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/air%20o.jpg" width="128" height="245" align="right" alt="" />Air-O-Swiss humidifiers</a> can be very expensive, but are worth the cost. Fortunately, they now offer an affordable travel ultrasonic humidifier, so you can try the humidifiers everyone is talking about without going broke. If you suffer from dry air symptoms after traveling, then the Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier can provide the relief you need. It is whisper quiet and couldn&rsquo;t be easier to use; all you do is attach your own standard water bottle, plug the unit in, and enjoy the clean moisture.</p> <p>The lightweight, compact device makes it easy to carry anywhere, like in your travel bag or purse. This will allow you to use it anywhere you like, including on your desk, in a hotel, or in a small dorm room. It uses efficient ultrasonic technology and high-frequency vibrations to produce a micro-fine cool mist. It has a 1.2-gallon output and can be used for 24 hours. There is a mist output control so you can control the humidification. It is easy to clean and features an auto shut-off feature when the tank is empty. It includes accessories like a travel bag, power adapter, and exchangeable power plug.</p> <p>Entrepreneur Magazine found that a travel humidifier can provide relief from uncomfortable symptoms caused by dry air and can create a soothing environment, no matter where you are. This humidifier came out on top for several independent review sites and is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also recommended by Amazon Baby for your new nursery and by the Allergy Buyers Club for people suffering from allergies. Air-O-Swiss is one of the most respected and highly rated brands of humidifiers available, so if this unit isn&rsquo;t right for you, there is likely another Air-O-Swiss that will fit your needs. If you need something more permanent or for a large room, consider the renowned <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JL4LZ4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JL4LZ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NTQ3OQSHV7OFUB72">Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic Humidifier - Warm and Cool Mist</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JL4LZ4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JL4LZ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=442E65K6ANV7S6GJ"><em>Currently $49.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best humidifiers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hardwood-floor-cleaners">The 5 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-stain-removers">The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances dry air home products humidifiers product reviews winter Fri, 04 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1656571 at http://www.wisebread.com