Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US 12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-612846420.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring cleaning is in full swing, which means it's out with the old, and in with the new. So why not earn some extra cash by throwing a garage sale and ridding your home of your unwanted items? Here are 12 perennially popular items that are sure to sell like hot cakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a>)</p> <h2>1. Gently used clothing, in good condition</h2> <p>Everyone needs clothes, and savvy shoppers know you don't have to pay retail to look good. I once met a lumber &quot;baroness&quot; who confided in me that she bought all of her clothes at yard sales. Good quality holds up, and regular yard sale shoppers know that.</p> <p>For women's and men's, hang clothes up on a rack, rather than folded on a table or in a box. It makes it much easier for people to go through it, as well as to examine it for stains or tears. For kids' clothing, folding it is fine, but it's nice if the sizes are noted and sorted. Many garage-sale shoppers are resellers, and they may take you up on a &quot;$__ per bag&quot; offer.</p> <h2>2. Tools</h2> <p>My husband is like a moth to a flame when it comes to a garage sale with tools. He not only likes power tools, but also older, vintage ones that are not only still useful, but fun to collect and display.</p> <p>When selling your old tools, have a power strip nearby so power tools can be tested, or have them charged up if used with a battery.</p> <h2>3. Furniture</h2> <p>If you live in a college town, furniture is sure to go fast. Also, with DIY projects soaring in popularity, more people are looking for furniture that can be remade. Bookshelves will always sell &mdash; even old, beat up bookcases can be used for storage!</p> <p>Make sure any furniture you sell is clean. Old leather furniture can be spiffed up using a mixture of vinegar, olive oil, and a little lemon juice. Vacuum upholstered furniture and treat any spots. Also, suggest a price, but be open to negotiation.</p> <h2>4. Vintage dishes, glassware, and casseroles</h2> <p>Any Pyrex collectors out there? How about milk glass, or Spode? You may have some items hidden away in your cupboards that are hot.</p> <p>When you go to sell these items, advertise using the brand name (i.e., Pyrex, milk glass, Corningware, etc.); add photos to your ad, too. Collectors will flock to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-knick-knacks-you-can-flip-for-easy-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Old Knick-Knacks You Can Flip for Easy Cash</a>)</p> <h2>5. Garden tools</h2> <p>Spring fever also means that home gardeners are eager to start tilling, trimming, planting, and digging.</p> <p>Be prepared to start up that old lawn mower, or be honest about what isn't working. Handy folks may be willing to take a chance that they can get a broken item running again. We just bought a garden tiller for $15. It wasn't running, but my husband knew how to fix it. Sometimes, a shovel blade or rake may be fine, but the wooden handles are rotting. You can purchase new handles at Home Depot or Lowe's. But price these items accordingly, if a replacement is going to be necessary.</p> <h2>6. Shoes and handbags</h2> <p>Think nobody would want to buy your old shoes? Guess again. Shoes, especially if in good condition and carrying a popular brand name, sell like hot cakes at garage sales. Kids grow out of shoes so fast that size doesn't matter. If they're too big now, they'll probably grow into them later. Handbags are also enormously popular &mdash; especially if it's a designer label.</p> <p>When selling shoes or old purses, obviously, clean and odor-free are necessities. If you still have the original boxes, that's a plus. The key factor with shoes and bags is showcasing any designer brands. Put the designers in your garage sale ad, and place them front and center during the sale. Then watch the flock of shoppers arrive.</p> <h2>7. Costume jewelry</h2> <p>If your jewelry box is overflowing with costume jewelry and statement pieces you know you'll never wear, a garage sale is the perfect place to unload them.</p> <p>Find a rack of some sort to hang necklaces on (a coat hanger will do, in a pinch). Bracelets can go on a dowel. Just make sure to keep costume jewelry close to your cashier area because sadly, some folks will try to pocket it.</p> <h2>8. Games, toys, and bicycles</h2> <p>Have too many toys and games cluttering up the house? Give them a new home by selling them at your garage sale. Vintage games being popular at the moment, you should be able to easily sell Monopoly or Life. Before you sell these, make sure you have all the game pieces. &quot;Lil' Tykes&quot; plastic furniture is always popular, too. Pump up bike tires for bikes you're looking to unload, and give them a wash.</p> <h2>9. Books</h2> <p>It doesn't matter how fancy or state-of-the-art e-readers become &mdash; actual books will always be easy to sell. Make the ones you no longer want super cheap &mdash; $1&ndash;$3 each &mdash; and they'll fly off your shelves.</p> <h2>10. Appliances</h2> <p>I know, you just had to have a Magic Bullet, or a bread-maker, or a hand blender. And now they're sitting on your kitchen counter, collecting dust. I'm guilty of this, too. Luckily, people love appliances, and you can probably unload them.</p> <p>When you sell them, it's a good idea to have a power strip handy so folks can make sure they work. They should also be spotlessly clean. Check eBay to see what they're going for before pricing.</p> <h2>11. Camping gear</h2> <p>Purchasing new camping gear gets a little pricey. However, used gear is usually still in decent condition, since it only usually gets used a few times each year. Yard and garage sales are the best places to get it, and smart shoppers will snap it up.</p> <p>Make sure to mention the items in your ad and include pictures. Open up tents so people can see the size.</p> <h2>12. Exercise equipment</h2> <p>So, you bought that trendy elliptical machine when you were still clutching the remains of your fitness resolutions. If you didn't use it, that's OK! time to get it out of your garage and into someone else's.</p> <p>Specify what you have, and put pictures in your ad. Basic exercise equipment, like weights, will usually go quickly, but older treadmills or exercise bikes may linger, depending on how you price them and how quickly you want to get rid of them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</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-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</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-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning declutter extra cash garage sale sell your stuff spring cleaning yard sale Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1930302 at http://www.wisebread.com 34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-531612106.jpg" alt="Finding smart ways to cut your electric bill" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was pleasantly surprised to see that my February natural gas bill was only $65 &mdash; which isn't bad for heating an entire house during an Iowa winter. But my electric bill for the month was over $100. There must be some things I can do to use less electricity and lower my bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways You're Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</a>)</p> <p>One way to save money on your bill is to change your behavior and pay more attention to your usage of electricity &mdash; no investment required. Another way is to install some upgrades. These involve spending money on projects, and investments to improve the energy efficiency of your home and lower your utility bills every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a>)</p> <p>Here are some smart things you can do to use less electricity and start saving money on your electric bill.</p> <h2>1. Turn off auxiliary heating devices</h2> <p>I was using a space heater to keep some plants warm, but this ran up my electric bill. I'll use more efficient <a href="http://amzn.to/2otBRFM" target="_blank">heating pads</a> instead.</p> <h2>2. Enjoy some nonelectric evenings</h2> <p>Every once in awhile, switch off the circuit breaker and have an evening with no electricity. Break out the flashlights, candles, books, and board games. You don't have to wait for Earth Hour to turn out the lights and save money on electricity.</p> <h2>3. Dry clothes outside</h2> <p>Weather permitting, you can hang laundry outside to dry instead of running an energy-intensive dryer.</p> <h2>4. Turn up central A/C temperature</h2> <p>Turn up your thermostat a few degrees to run your central air conditioner less.</p> <h2>5. Use someone else's electricity</h2> <p>Turn off the lights, appliances, and air conditioning at your house and go somewhere else. You could go to the library or work at a coffee shop.</p> <h2>6. Use your ceiling fans correctly</h2> <p>Run ceiling fans to make rooms comfortable with less energy than running A/C. Set the ceiling fan direction for the correct season &mdash; in summer, a ceiling fan should rotate counterclockwise when viewed from below.</p> <h2>7. Use fans, open windows</h2> <p>Use box fans or oscillating fans to cool occupied spaces and run central A/C less on hot days. Open windows at night to take advantage of cool air. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Fans</a>)</p> <h2>8. Turn off unused lights</h2> <p>Get in the habit of turning off lights when leaving a room. It's easy enough to turn the lights back on if they are needed again.</p> <h2>9. Turn off unused electronics</h2> <p>Turn off computers, game consoles, and TVs when no one is using them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Cost of Standby Power</a>)</p> <h2>10. Run full loads</h2> <p>Run full loads in your dishwasher, clothes washer, and clothes dryer for maximum efficiency.</p> <h2>11. Use cold water</h2> <p>Reduce your use of hot water in your clothes washer, and select cold or warm water wash cycles instead whenever possible.</p> <h2>12. Run the clothes dryer at night</h2> <p>Run your clothes dryer and other energy intensive appliances at night if your electric utility provides an off-peak hours discount.</p> <h2>13. Clean lint trap on clothes dryer</h2> <p>Remove lint from the lint trap on your clothes dryer to maximize airflow and minimize energy use.</p> <h2>14. Turn off the dry cycle on your dishwasher</h2> <p>Instead of using a heated dry cycle, I simply open the dishwasher door and let dishes air dry.</p> <h2>15. Install LED light bulbs</h2> <p>I am replacing all of my incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs that provide great lighting and use a fraction of the electricity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-energy-efficient-light-bulbs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Energy Efficient Bulbs</a>)</p> <h2>16. Remove &quot;extra&quot; light bulbs</h2> <p>If a fixture has more light than you need, remove some of the bulbs so it will use less power.</p> <h2>17. Take advantage of water heater savings</h2> <p>Here are some ways to reduce electricity consumption for hot water:</p> <ul> <li>Lower the temperature setting on your hot water tank.</li> <li>Install an insulated jacket around the tank.</li> <li>Insulate the first six feet of hot water supply pipe.</li> </ul> <h2>18. Sleep outside</h2> <p>It gets cool outside at night, even during the summer. You can take advantage of this by turning off your air conditioning and sleeping outside in a tent or on a screened-in porch.</p> <h2>19. Remove underutilized appliances</h2> <p>If you have an extra freezer or refrigerator in your garage that doesn't have much in it, consider getting rid of it to save a few dollars worth of electricity every month.</p> <h2>20. Skip the blow dryer for your hair</h2> <p>Blow dryers are loud and use a lot of power. They also dry out your hair over time, so use a towel to dry your hair instead.</p> <h2>21. Use a toaster oven</h2> <p>Use a toaster oven to heat up small items such as a sandwich or slice of pizza instead of firing up the full-sized oven.</p> <h2>22. Choose a flashlight over a night light</h2> <p>I keep an LED flashlight next to my bed instead of trying to light large areas of the house with nightlights that use electricity all night long.</p> <h2>23. Charge your gadgets at work</h2> <p>If there are outlets handy at the office, you might as well charge your phone, tablet, and laptop there instead of at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-chargers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Solar Chargers</a>)</p> <h2>24. Use timers for holiday lights</h2> <p>I bought a digital timer to automatically turn my holiday lights off and on so they never run all night.</p> <h2>25. Change your furnace filter</h2> <p>You will get better airflow and spend less on central A/C if you change your furnace filter every few months.</p> <h2>26. Think broom, not vacuum cleaner</h2> <p>A broom is quiet and uses no electricity. I am trying to break my habit of reaching for the vacuum cleaner to clean up every mess in my shop.</p> <h2>27. Upgrade motion detectors</h2> <p>Install motion detectors on outside lights to prevent leaving lights on.</p> <h2>28. Install Energy Star appliances</h2> <p>Make energy efficiency a top criterion when selecting new appliances.</p> <h2>29. Choose a high efficiency A/C</h2> <p>If you have an older central A/C unit, you may be able to cut your cooling cost significantly by replacing it with a more energy efficient model.</p> <h2>30. Make sure you have insulated windows</h2> <p>Replace leaky or single pane windows with double or triple pane windows charged with inert gas to reduce A/C cost.</p> <h2>31. Install a programmable thermostat</h2> <p>You can install a <a href="http://amzn.to/2ovZP3h" target="_blank">programmable thermostat</a> to automatically adjust A/C temperature when no one is home.</p> <h2>32. Add solar panels</h2> <p>Install solar panels to generate your own electricity and drastically cut your electric bill. In some locations, you may even be able to sell any excess electricity that you generate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</a>)</p> <h2>33. Install a skylight or light pipe</h2> <p>If the sun is shining outside, you can bring free light in from outside using a skylight or light pipe.</p> <h2>34. Bicycle generator</h2> <p>You can generate your own electricity to run electronic devices and even some appliances by using a bicycle generator.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill">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/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</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-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">8 Ways Your Smartphone Saves You Money</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/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</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/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</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/7-ways-your-devices-are-spying-on-you">7 Ways Your Devices Are Spying on You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Technology appliances electric bill electricity energy green living saving money tech gadgets Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1925857 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Your Fridge Door Can Improve Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-fridge-door-can-improve-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-your-fridge-door-can-improve-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/iStock-602290760.jpg" alt="Learning ways a fridge door can improve your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average American opens their refrigerator door 22 times per day. If you're not using this premium spot to improve your life, you're missing out. Here are eight ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Make it a vision board</h2> <p>Popularized by Oprah and <a href="http://amzn.to/2oRsEoP" target="_blank"><em>The Secret</em></a>, many of us began cutting out pictures of dream houses, cool cars, and destinations. Pinning them on a board (or, in this case, your refrigerator door) may not actually conjure those things up, but the activity will help you identify the things that you're striving for, and being reminded of them will keep you on track to attaining them.</p> <h2>2. A place for inspirational quotes</h2> <p>Need a little prompting to get on those goals? Display some quotes that motivate you to stay focused and live a happier life. It's amazing how looking at the same words 22 times a day actually did remind me to &quot;be more mindful.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/64-funny-inspiring-and-stupid-money-quotes-from-famous-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">64 Funny, Inspiring and Stupid Money Quotes From Famous People</a>)</p> <h2>3. Feature your loved ones</h2> <p>Sure, we all put up various pictures on our refrigerator doors. I find, though, that having my elderly Aunt Joyce's picture there reminds me to call her regularly. Put up pictures of your family members to remind you to stay in contact with them. Especially the ones who aren't on Facebook all the time.</p> <h2>4. Give yourself a gold star</h2> <p>Elementary school kids get these all the time for doing something good, so why shouldn't you? Did you eat healthy all day long? Did you exercise? Resist temptation to blow your budget? Good for you! Here's a star. Yes, it sounds a little silly, but it works to keep you motivated.</p> <h2>5. Post your money goals</h2> <p>Saving for a house, a car, or a vacation? If you're looking for a place to be reminded to stick to a savings plan, the refrigerator door is a great spot. At a reminder rate of 22 times per day, it's harder to go off-track.</p> <h2>6. Motivate yourself to get moving</h2> <p>How many calories will you have to burn to get rid of that ice cream bar? How many situps will it take to counteract drinking a can of soda? Print and post your fitness goals, as well as calorie and exercise charts to stay motivated to get healthy.</p> <h2>7. Make it meal-planning central</h2> <p>If you hate meal-planning, perhaps you just need some help to get you motivated. Keep a running list of meals on the refrigerator door, for the rest of the family to add to or cross off as their appetites and preferences change. That way, you'll never hear &quot;Ugh. Lasagna again?&quot; Because hey, nobody crossed it off on the list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a>)</p> <h2>8. Make a wish list</h2> <p>Are there items you want, but don't really need? Try the 30-day rule. Write them down on a list, and tack that up on the refrigerator door. Put a date next to the item. You can't buy that item for at least 30 days. At the end of that period, if you really think you need it, ok. You'll probably find, though, that the urge has passed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-ask-yourself-before-every-major-purchase?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Questions to Always Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-fridge-door-can-improve-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-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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</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/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</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/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt">Success Secrets You Should Have Learned in High School — But Didn&#039;t</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-mantras-that-will-transform-your-life">10 Mantras That Will Transform Your Life</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-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Personal Development frugal tips improve your life life goals money-saving tools motivation refrigerator Spending Money Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Marla Walters 1925308 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Make Room for Baby http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-room-for-baby <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-make-room-for-baby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-495176006.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to make room for baby" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making space for a new baby can be difficult, especially if there's hardly enough room for you and your partner. Fortunately, there are some tricks to create more space.</p> <h2>1. Find furniture that can multitask for you</h2> <p>If possible, choose items that offer more than one purpose or offer extra storage space. This will save you space and allow you to get more for your money.</p> <h3>Playard with napper</h3> <p>These can serve as a <a href="http://amzn.to/2oDyP2z" target="_blank">changing station, play station, and napper</a> in one.</p> <h3>Convertible diaper bag</h3> <p>What better way to lug all your diapers around than with a <a href="http://amzn.to/2o400SZ" target="_blank">travel-friendly changing bed</a>? The foldable changing table can also be used at home.</p> <h3>Clip-on highchair</h3> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2o3XcW0" target="_blank">clip-on highchair</a> can clip onto the edge of a table and can be taken with you wherever you go, so you don't have to find space for a large highchair.</p> <h3>Rollers</h3> <p>You can attach <a href="http://amzn.to/2nEQH8n" target="_blank">rollers</a> to your crib or storage units, so you can easily move them around to maximize space.</p> <h3>Toy hammock</h3> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2nL3x5W" target="_blank">toy hammock</a> can keep toys organized and out of the way.</p> <h3>Convertible crib</h3> <p>Some <a href="http://amzn.to/2oJk1N3" target="_blank">mini cribs</a> can be converted into twin beds for extra space and a better value once your baby is ready to graduate to a real bed.</p> <h2>2. Use your suitcases</h2> <p>If you have suitcases that aren't being actively used, take advantage of the storage space by hiding baby items that aren't needed at the moment, like clothing that your baby can't fit into yet.</p> <h2>3. Think vertically</h2> <p>When there isn't a lot of room on the ground, you need to start thinking vertically. Hang tiers of shelves to take advantage of wall space or invest in tiered stands to store baby supplies. You can even make a makeshift closet by hanging a bar on the wall to hang your baby's clothes or toys.</p> <h2>4. Hang more</h2> <p>These <a href="http://amzn.to/2oDQ0ky" target="_blank">over-the-door organizers</a> can store everything from baby essentials to toys (or anything else that needs to be kept off the floor). No need to get a bulky stroller when a <a href="http://amzn.to/2oJutnM" target="_blank">stroller hanger</a> can help with storage space.</p> <h2>5. Convert a closet</h2> <p>Not everyone has an extra bedroom reserved just for the new baby, but how about a closet? If you can clear out a closet, you can easily store all the baby essentials by taking advantage of every inch of free space.</p> <p>You can also convert the closet into a small nursery by removing the door and replacing it with curtains. &quot;Closet nurseries&quot; are becoming more popular, so you can find endless decorating ideas online. This will allow you to have your new baby in the same room, while still maintaining privacy.</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/5-easy-ways-to-make-room-for-baby">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/free-stuff-and-coupons-for-new-parents">Free Stuff and Coupons for New Parents</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/what-to-stock-in-your-freezer-before-baby-arrives">What to Stock in Your Freezer Before Baby Arrives</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/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</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/5-money-rules-thatll-save-you-big-in-babys-first-year">5 Money Rules That&#039;ll Save You Big in Baby&#039;s First Year</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/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home apartment baby maximize space new parents newborn organization hacks organization tricks Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1923217 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Thousands With This Spring Maintenance Checklist http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-thousands-with-this-spring-maintenance-checklist <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-thousands-with-this-spring-maintenance-checklist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_painted_walls_522895035.jpg" alt="Woman saving money with spring checklist" 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 articles on spring home maintenance tasks that save you thousands, simple techniques that will make you more likable, and ways to save money at Home Depot like the pros.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/home-maintenance-checklist/">This Spring Home Maintenance Checklist Could Save You Thousands</a> &mdash; Winter weather can be hard on your house, and small problems can quickly become big issues if you don't catch them in time. This spring maintenance checklist will help your house stay in tiptop shape. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://hackedliving.com/simple-techniques-that-will-make-you-more-likeable/">Simple Techniques That Will Make You More Likable</a> &mdash; Be proud of your accomplishments, but don't be cocky and try to rub it in everyone else's face. [Hacked Living]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/save-money-home-depot/">22 Ways to Save Money at The Home Depot (Hacks the Pros Use)</a> &mdash; Did you know that Home Depot accepts their competitors' coupons? [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Things-Life-Free-42230279">61 of the Best Things in Life That Aren't Available to Buy</a> &mdash; The best things in life are all about authentic experiences. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/8-networking-strategies-you-havent-thought-of-yet">8 Networking Strategies You Haven&rsquo;t Thought of Yet</a> &mdash; It's a good idea to make these networking strategies into a habit, even if you don't plan to change jobs anytime soon. [Daily Worth]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://zenhabits.net/undone/">Undone: How to Change Our Procrastination Patterns</a> &mdash; It takes concentrated effort to break procrastination patterns. Start by committing 5-10 minutes a day to practice doing tasks that you don't particularly want to do, and pay attention when you get the urge to do something else. [zen habits]</p> <p><a href="https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-happy-hacks-set-tech-boundaries-digital-age/">5 Happy Hacks to Set Tech Boundaries in the Digital Age</a> &mdash; Set standards for how you interact with someone while using technology. Look up from your computer when someone enters to room, take off your earbuds to say hello, and close your laptop when having a conversation. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/optimism-positive-energy/">10 Simple Ways to Spread the Optimism and Positive Energy Starting Today</a> &mdash; Share something that you've found or made. A simple but loving gift is an easy way to improve someone's day! [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="https://www.wakeupcloud.com/8-core-excuses/">The 8 Core Excuses Standing Between You And Your Dreams</a> &mdash; Following your dreams can seem difficult if you don't know exactly what or how to make it a reality. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials, guides and mentors out there that are more than happy to help you out. [Wake Up Cloud]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2017/04/05/how-to-avoid-common-scams-and-not-get-ripped-off/">How to Avoid Common Scams and Not Get Ripped Off</a> &mdash; Avoid using your debit card for online transactions. Credit cards usually offer better security features. [Frugal Village]</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-save-thousands-with-this-spring-maintenance-checklist">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/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing</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/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks">Make Your Dishwasher Last (Almost) Forever With These 6 Tricks</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/7-diy-tips-to-winterize-your-home-for-cheap">7 DIY Tips to Winterize Your Home for Cheap</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips home maintenance Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Amy Lu 1922591 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Bath Mats http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bath-mats <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bath-mats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/slippers_bath_mat_147696805.jpg" alt="Woman using best bath mats" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bath mats can help you upgrade your bathroom without spending much. These accent rugs can serve as a functional decor piece in any bathroom. They provide a soft, water-absorbent solution to help cushion your feet after the shower and can be used for a multitude of purposes.</p> <h2>What is a bath mat?</h2> <p>A bath mat is a mat or rug that you can stand on when entering or leaving the tub. It can absorb water and can keep your floors clean and dry to prevent water damage. It can also protect your feet from the cold floor and prevent you from slipping as you get out of the tub. While it is typically used outside of the shower, it can also be used in the kitchen or any other area of the home.</p> <p>With the right bath mat, you can add the feeling of relaxation to your bathroom, so you feel like you&rsquo;re living in a luxury spa. They come in endless styles and colors to suit your bathroom. They are easy to clean and usually dry very quickly.</p> <h2>Top 5 bath mats</h2> <h3>VDOMUS Non-Slip Microfiber Shag Bathroom Rug</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ojDF1Z"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/vdomus.jpg" width="245" height="199" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in bath rugs, the 20&rdquo;x32&rdquo; <a href="http://amzn.to/2ojDF1Z" target="_blank">VDOMUS Non-Slip Microfiber Shag Bath Mat</a> is designed to last for years and won&rsquo;t shrink or turn rough after being washed. The nonslip, skid-resistant rubber backing also won&rsquo;t fade with continued use. The ultrasoft shag rug has a unique design with thousands of individual microfiber shags. The chenille fabric microfiber bathroom rug can quickly absorb water, is machine-washable, and dries quickly, so it stays smelling and feeling fresh and clean.</p> <p>The durable mat is available in a range of colors and has outstanding online reviews. It is also backed by a satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ojDF1Z" target="_blank"><em>Currently $13.79 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Utopia Towels Cotton Washable Bath Mat</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nxPAcf"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/utopia_1.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2nxPAcf" target="_blank">Utopia Towels Bath Mats</a> set includes two 21&rdquo;x34&rdquo; mats. The luxurious 100 percent cotton mats are soft, absorbent, durable, and machine washable. They are made from natural materials and are free from harmful chemicals and synthetic materials. They come in a wide variety of colors and offer a great value. These are an Amazon best-seller and have thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nxPAcf" target="_blank"><em>Currently $16.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Chesapeake Pebbles Bath Rug Set</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mRs7Wk"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/chesapeke.jpg" width="215" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in bath and shower safety mats, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2mRs7Wk" target="_blank">Chesapeake Pebbles Bath Rug Set</a> includes a 21&quot;x34&quot; and 24&quot;x40&rdquo; bath rug, providing a great value. The absorbent, easy-care, 100 percent cotton rugs have a lightly sprayed antiskid backing. The mats are soft, high quality, and plush.</p> <p>Real Simple likes pebble bath mats because the 3D cotton pebbles offer a subtle foot massage and plush cushioning, while helping to prevent slipping. This set is available in various color combinations and has outstanding online reviews.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2mRs7Wk" target="_blank"><em>Currently $25.74 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Magnificent Memory Foam Bath Mat</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ojpLN0"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/magnificent%20memory.jpg" width="214" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2ojpLN0" target="_blank">Magnificent Memory Foam Bath Mat</a> set includes two 17&rdquo;x24&rdquo; mats. The microfiber memory foam mats have nonslip, skid-resistant backing, so they won&rsquo;t slide around. They are ultrasoft and plush, so they can help provide foot relief. They are highly absorbent, machine-washable, and dry faster than other mats. They are also natural and hypoallergenic.</p> <p>This is a great value for two high quality bath mats. They are available in a range of colors to suit your bathroom. They are an Amazon best-seller and can hold up to the test of time. They are also backed by a satisfaction guarantee. If you just want the cheapest memory foam bath mat available, then consider the <a href="http://amzn.to/2niACW2" target="_blank">Town house Rugs Luxurious Memory Foam Bath Rug</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ojpLN0" target="_blank"><em>Currently $12.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Hinoki Wood Shower and Bath Mat</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nxL0L9"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/hinoki.jpg" width="245" height="135" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2nxL0L9" target="_blank">Hinoki Wood Shower and Bath Mat</a> is pricey, but it should last for years. It is made of Japanese cypress wood, which is also used to build traditional Japanese temples, shrines, and palaces. The wood has antibacterial properties, dries quickly, and doesn&rsquo;t accumulate mildew, so you can expect it to last with no maintenance required. It is resistant to humidity and discoloration, and has a naturally refreshing scent. It is slightly elevated above floor level on slats and won&rsquo;t collect dust or hair like cloth mats. The natural style can complement any bathroom decor. It is recommended by Lifehacker and Apartment Therapy.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nxL0L9" target="_blank"><em>Currently $47.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best bath mats. 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-bath-mats">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/the-5-best-shower-curtains">The 5 Best Shower Curtains</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-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</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-bidet-seats">The 5 Best Bidet Seats</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-ceiling-fans">The 5 Best Ceiling Fans</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-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping 5 best bath mat bath mats bathroom decor home goods product reviews shopping Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1918554 at http://www.wisebread.com Where to Take Your Batteries, CFL Bulbs, and Other Hard-to-Recycle Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-take-your-batteries-cfl-bulbs-and-other-hard-to-recycle-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/where-to-take-your-batteries-cfl-bulbs-and-other-hard-to-recycle-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-157506789.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not only is it harmful to the earth to throw recyclable items into landfills, but it's now illegal to dump certain items in many places. When an item isn't accepted by your city's regular recycling pickup, it can be tempting to just chuck it in the trash. Here's how to properly dispose of those tricky items.</p> <h2>1. Non-rechargeable batteries</h2> <p>The AAs from your kids' toys, those weird little coin-shaped ones, the 9-volt batteries from your smoke detector, even dead cellphone batteries &mdash; none of those should be going to the landfill. Check with your local trash service, because some of them will pick up batteries and dispose of them properly if they're left in a specified place or container. Increasingly, public facilities such as libraries and city halls have battery collection boxes, as well. If you don't know of a location, look up the nearest one on <a href="http://www.call2recycle.org/locator/" target="_blank">Call2Recycle</a>. The nonprofit says that most of us live within 10 miles of a battery drop-off point.</p> <h2>2. Rechargeable batteries</h2> <p>These batteries can't be re-juiced forever, and when they're done, it can be challenging to find someone to take them. But it's even more important to keep these guys out of the landfill than regular batteries, because they contain dangerous heavy metals. You can drop them off at some retailers. Again, check Call2Recycle for locations near you.</p> <h2>3. Cellphones</h2> <p>If you're getting rid of your phone, leave the battery in it and drop it off at a recycling kiosk, public drop-off box, or nonprofit organization. Fortunately, many used smartphones are still worth money, so there are a lot of <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-places-to-recycle-your-cell-phone/">organizations that will take them</a>.</p> <h2>4. CFL bulbs</h2> <p>These twisty light bulbs are another dangerous one to chuck in the landfill, because of the mercury they contain. Check out <a href="http://earth911.com/recycling-guide/how-to-recycle-cfls/" target="_blank">earth911</a> for locations near you that will take them. Sometimes you can even just drop them at stores like The Home Depot, Lowe's, or Ace Hardware.</p> <h2>5. Eye glasses</h2> <p>Jinkies, don't ever throw away an outdated pair of specs! <a href="http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/how-we-serve/health/sight/index.php" target="_blank">The Lions Club</a> can deliver your castoff glasses to a low-income person in need &mdash; and yes, they sort them for prescription first so they can match the eyewear to the need. Many optometrist offices have Lions Club collection boxes, but if you can't find one, you can contact your local club or mail them in.</p> <h2>6. Electronics</h2> <p>Goodwill <a href="http://donate-electronics.sfgoodwill.org/" target="_blank">accepts donations of working electronics</a> at their stores, or they can pick them up. They will even wipe your personal data off your hard drive for free. Specifically, Goodwill accepts desktop and laptop computers, tablets, business network switches and routers, and servers, all five years old or less. Any older electronics will have to go to an e-waste collector.</p> <h2>7. CRT monitors</h2> <p>Picture tubes contain lead, so this is another product that it's extra-important to keep out of landfills. One thing Goodwill will not accept is a bulky, old-style monitor. Drop them off at <a href="http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/sustainability-center/recycling-services/?icid=SustProducts:topnav:3:RECYCLE:" target="_blank">Staples for free</a>. Or drop off up to two computer monitors of any kind, per day, at <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/clp/recycling/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025" target="_blank">Best Buy</a>, but you will have to pay them $25 to take them off your hands. You can also contact the company that made the monitor to find out if they have a take-back or trade-in program.</p> <h2>8. TVs</h2> <p>Smaller TVs can be dropped off at electronics stores. If you have a large TV to get rid of, you'll have to contact an e-waste company such as <a href="https://www.allgreenrecycling.com/certified-tv-recycling/" target="_blank">All Green</a>, and they can either come pick it up for a fee, or allow you to drop it off. You could also try contacting your local government, since many have e-waste drop-off centers or schedule e-waste collection days that include TVs.</p> <h2>9. Printer ink and toner cartridges</h2> <p>Good news here: You can actually get money or store credit for ink cartridges from office supply stores or online buyback programs. Call your local office supply store.</p> <h2>10. Tires</h2> <p>Once considered useless, 90 percent of old tires now live on as playground surfaces, building materials, and even fuels. Turns out, a single tire contains five gallons of oil! Contact a local tire store to find out if they will take them, or check with your state to see if there is an official tire disposal plan. Otherwise check <a href="http://earth911.com/recycling-guide/how-to-recycle-tires/" target="_blank">earth911</a> for additional locations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a>)</p> <h2>11. Appliances</h2> <p>Because they contain metal that can be sold as scrap, unwanted appliances are usually easy to get rid of &mdash; you might even get paid for them. My electric utility paid me $35 for the privilege of picking up my old freezer.</p> <p>Retailers will often take away an old appliance for free when delivering a new one. But when my dryer broke, Sears Outlet wanted to charge me to remove it. I asked around and get the number for a local independent scrap dealer, who was at my house with a dolly to haul it away within an hour.</p> <h2>12. Paint and chemicals</h2> <p>Contact your town, city, or county to find out the procedure for disposing of Household Hazardous Waste. Los Angeles county, for instance, hosts regular HHW collection events. The county reuses discarded paint for covering graffiti, and converts used motor oil into marine diesel fuel.</p> <h2>13. Medication</h2> <p>According to the Food and Drug Administration, you should contact your waste collection service or your local government to find out if there is a medication take-back program in your area. If you can't get them to such a program, the FDA suggests you mix old pills with an undesirable substance such as kitty litter, seal it in a plastic bag, and throw it in the trash.</p> <h2>If all else fails</h2> <p>If you don't have time to call around to find out about the next e-waste collection day or drug take-back program, find a battery drop-box, or contact a scrap dealer, there are two other convenient ways to get rid of practically anything:</p> <h3>Pay someone else</h3> <p>1-800-GOT-JUNK? and similar companies will pick up an appliance, an old hot tub, tires, construction waste, TVs &mdash; anything not considered hazardous. They promise to dispose of it responsibly. Of course, this kind of ease comes at a price, about $500 a truckload, on average.</p> <h3>List the item on Freecycle</h3> <p>You never know what trash of yours could be another person's treasure. I've had success getting members of my community to take away empty glass bottles, old magazines, unwanted furniture, and broken electronics, all by listing them on my <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/" target="_blank">local Freecycle group</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-take-your-batteries-cfl-bulbs-and-other-hard-to-recycle-stuff">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/17-cheap-and-awesome-reusable-replacements-for-disposable-products">17 Cheap and Awesome Reusable Replacements for Disposable Products</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-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</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-frugal-reasons-to-compost">10 Frugal Reasons to Compost</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-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff">Save Money by Rekindling the Art of Reusing your Stuff</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/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products">9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home batteries environmental go green how to recycle light bulbs living green recycle Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:30:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1921101 at http://www.wisebread.com Dried Fruit, Paint Brushes, and 8 Other Things You Should Keep in the Fridge http://www.wisebread.com/dried-fruit-paint-brushes-and-8-other-things-you-should-keep-in-the-fridge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dried-fruit-paint-brushes-and-8-other-things-you-should-keep-in-the-fridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487694409.jpg" alt="Woman learning things she should keep in the fridge" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know your chill box is good for keeping a variety of things other than the standard perishables? Here are 10 things that will benefit from being added to your fridge.</p> <h2>1. Paint rollers or brushes</h2> <p>Not quite done painting? There's no need to clean everything just yet. Wrap up those rollers or paint brushes in aluminum foil or a wet towel and pop them into the refrigerator. The next day, take them out, and resume painting without missing a beat.</p> <h2>2. Medications</h2> <p>We keep our Pepto-Bismol in the refrigerator. Somehow, the chilled sensation makes it easier to get down. And there are several other medications that should kept be in the fridge, too, as the label should indicate.</p> <h2>3. Bulbs</h2> <p>Like the look of potted bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus? A pot on your desk will remind you that spring is just around the corner. Hopefully. <a href="http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/bulbs/forcing-spring-bulbs/" target="_blank">Chilling the bulbs</a> breaks their normal cycle, allowing the plant to bloom earlier.</p> <h2>4. Washcloths</h2> <p>If you've got a sick kid, or it's just a sticky, hot day, dampen a washcloth, pop it into a plastic bag, and tuck it into your refrigerator. It'll feel really wonderful when you take it out.</p> <h2>5. Dried fruit</h2> <p>Wait... it's dried, right? So shouldn't it last a while without being chilled? Yes. However, as it turns out, refrigerating it will make it last even <em>longer.</em> Just make sure it's in a sealed container. You might find out you like the flavors of some fruits even better when chilled.</p> <h2>6. Polymer clay</h2> <p>Polymer clay is fun for making all sorts of stuff (like this gorgeous faux <a href="http://www.craftberrybush.com/2015/06/how-to-make-faux-sea-glass-with-polymer-clay.html" target="_blank">sea glass</a>), but it should be stored in a cool place lest it decomposes. Heat is not its friend. Just make sure it's wrapped up well and marked.</p> <h2>7. Dishes for cold meals</h2> <p>Keeping some bowls in the fridge for ice cream, or small plates for salad and other cold meals, is ideal. The food will taste fresher, longer. (Beer mugs in the freezer will always serve you well, too.)</p> <h2>8. Fresh Flowers</h2> <p>Keep cut flowers in the fridge until you are ready to arrange them. Blooms will stay prettier and last longer.</p> <h2>9. Nuts</h2> <p>Ever pulled nuts out of your pantry and found that they taste awful? That flavor is called &quot;rancid,&quot; folks, and that's what happens when nuts go bad. Nuts contain oils, so they're best off kept tightly sealed in your refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for up to a year.</p> <h2>10. Eye masks</h2> <p>Suppose you stayed home with a cold, and then you watched &quot;The Notebook.&quot;&nbsp;Now you have really puffy eyes. No problem, just pull your chilled <a href="http://amzn.to/2o91LiK" target="_blank">eye mask</a> out of the refrigerator and get the swelling down.</p> <h2>But make sure it's actually cold enough</h2> <p>How cold is your refrigerator? For food safety, it should be between 32 and 40 F. If you don't already have one, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2o92XD6" target="_blank">refrigerator thermometer</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dried-fruit-paint-brushes-and-8-other-things-you-should-keep-in-the-fridge">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-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</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/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">Here&#039;s How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space</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/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</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-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Home chilled Food food tricks fridge fridge hacks storage things to keep in the fridge Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:30:24 +0000 Marla Walters 1918284 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Make Money From Spring Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-money-from-spring-cleaning <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-make-money-from-spring-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_spring_cleaning_600396758.jpg" alt="Woman making money from spring cleaning" 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 articles on simple steps to make cash from spring cleaning, essential tips for first-time travelers, and a step-by-step guide to starting an eBay business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/5-steps-clean-spring-cleaning/">6 Simple Steps to Cashing in on Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; Be ruthless and brutally honest while cleaning out your home. Purge as much as you can. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/5-steps-clean-spring-cleaning/">Essential Tips for First-Time Travellers</a> &mdash; Read up on the country you're visiting to avoid being the clueless traveler.&nbsp; [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://christianpf.com/starting-an-ebay-business-a-step-by-step-guide/">Starting an eBay Business: A Step-by-Step Guide</a> &mdash; You can earn some extra money by selling things on eBay casually, or you can follow these steps and turn it into an actual business. [SeedTime]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2017/0324/For-better-school-lunches-make-them-part-of-the-lesson-plan">For better school lunches, make them part of the lesson plan</a> &mdash; Extending the classroom lesson plan to the school cafeteria allows kids to connect with their food in an educational way and gives them the opportunity to try healthy dishes from around the world. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dealiciousmom.com/the-7-hottest-budget-friendly-wedding-trends-for-2017/">The 7 Hottest {Budget-Friendly} Wedding Trends for 2017</a> &mdash; Many couples these days don't want more stuff cluttering their newlywed, so they're encouraging guests to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts. [Dealicious Mom]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneyminiblog.com/productivity/decluttering/">8 Ways to Declutter Your Space and Increase Productivity</a> &mdash; File your documents right away to prevent the dreaded paper mountain. [MoneyMiniBlog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneydigest.sg/5-significant-signs-that-you-arent-right-for-the-job/">5 Significant Signs That You Aren&rsquo;t Right For The Job</a> &mdash; It's a serious problem if you lack the motivation to finish your tasks. [Money Digest]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dumblittleman.com/daily-healthy-habits/">Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life</a> &mdash; These daily habits will boost your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/567408/frank-writing-skills">Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever</a> &mdash; To be a good writer, you need to pay attention to every level of your piece: the word, sentence, paragraph, and the idea. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/what-our-4-favorite-games-teach-our-kids">What Our 4 Favorite Games Teach Our Kids</a> &mdash; Board game night is a great way to spend time with your family. Better yet, your kids can also learn valuable skills while they play! [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-make-money-from-spring-cleaning">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/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</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-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</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-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</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/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</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/9-old-kitchen-tools-you-can-flip-for-cash">9 Old Kitchen Tools You Can Flip for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Home best money tips spring cleaning Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:30:34 +0000 Amy Lu 1915860 at http://www.wisebread.com Architect, Designer, or Contractor: Who Should You Hire for Your Project? http://www.wisebread.com/architect-designer-or-contractor-who-should-you-hire-for-your-project <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/architect-designer-or-contractor-who-should-you-hire-for-your-project" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-538862504.jpg" alt="Couple deciding if they need an architect, contractor, or designer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'd like to add a bathroom to my home, but my budget will be limited. One thing I've been wondering: What professionals will I need to hire to do the job? Should I spend money on a designer or architect to plan the space out? Or should I just hire a contractor and tell them where I want the toilet, sink, and shower?</p> <p>Researching this question, I learned that it's important to understand the difference between these professionals and what they do.</p> <h2>The architect</h2> <p>An architect comes to your home and listens to your hopes and dreams for the remodeling project, talks about your budget, then draws up a plan to make it happen. An architect's involvement could stop there, or you could hire them to manage the project, selecting and checking up on the contractor.</p> <h3>An architect's qualifications</h3> <p>Architects are state-licensed, a process that requires a degree in architecture, an apprenticeship, and an exam to prove their mastery of building technologies, structural safety, and regulations.</p> <h3>What an architect costs</h3> <p>The standard cost is $50 to $200 per hour, or a 5 percent to 20 percent project fee if overseeing the whole thing.</p> <h2>The designer</h2> <p>A designer will use their expertise to come up with appealing ideas for carrying out your desires, give budget estimates, and draw plans. A basic design would include the floor plan and built-in features such as cupboards, while a full-service designer might include color and material ideas, and even shopping for fixtures. Designers are less likely to manage the whole project than architects are, but some do.</p> <h3>A designer's qualifications</h3> <p>Some states license designers, while others don't. They don't generally need to have a degree, but you can find out if they've done good work by asking for customer references.</p> <h3>What a designer costs</h3> <p>Their rates are typically $50 to $200 per hour &mdash; yes, a similar range as an architect &mdash; although architects tend to charge more than designers. Some designers have a minimum project fee of, say, $5,000. One design firm recommends that you <a href="http://carlaaston.com/designed/" target="_blank">budget 8 percent to 12 percent of your project</a> for design.</p> <h2>The contractor</h2> <p>Generally, the contractor will oversee the entire project and make sure everything is done according to your expectations. They will determine the cost and give you a contract, design it, provide the carpenter, plumber, and other workers, and supervise the work. The contractor may have a designer or architect in-house that they partner with, or they may be open to working with a professional of your choice. Many contractors are quite willing to do the design themselves, if given the opportunity.</p> <h3>A contractor's qualifications</h3> <p>Contractors must pass exams to become licensed, and without that license, they won't be able to pull permits with local authorities to get your job done on the up and up.</p> <h3>What a contractor costs</h3> <p>Instead of charging you an hourly rate, contractors generally pay themselves on a &quot;cost plus&quot; basis &mdash; that is, they take the amount they expect the project to cost to complete, then add a markup, often 50 percent. So, if they estimate that the labor and materials for your job will cost $20,000, they'll charge $30,000. That extra $10,000 isn't pure profit, though, since they'll have to pay overhead out of it.</p> <h2>So, which one should you hire?</h2> <p>Experts say it depends on the scope of the job.</p> <p>&quot;Many experienced contractors are as well equipped to deal with a simple remodel as an architect,&quot; writes Bob Vila. Because of minimum per-project fees, designer Carla Aston recommends doing the design yourself, with your contractor, if the project is under $10,000. If you want some design advice for small projects, you could hire a designer for a consultation, or work with someone who does online-only plans without physically visiting your space.</p> <p>Another way to look at the size of the project is to compare it to the value of your home. A project costing more than 5 percent of a home's value calls for an architect, Stamford, Connecticut, construction manager William Harke told Houselogic. So, if your home is worth $500,000, and you have a $25,000 budget for a kitchen update, get an architect.</p> <p>Personally, I let the contractor do the design for a $15,000 bathroom remodel, and while it worked out fine, I wished I'd had a little more input on ideas for, say, improving storage.</p> <p>With projects that cost more, who you hire depends on how much structural change you're looking at. While both a designer and an architect may have plans checked by an engineer to avoid safety problems, you're better off with an architect if your project involves expanding the footprint of your home, moving walls, or adding a level. Designers should be able to create a room's floor plans and suggest finishes. An architect's strength tends to lean toward the structural, a designer's skews toward the aesthetic &mdash; although both will certainly consider both aspects of a plan.</p> <p>Where I live, adding a bathroom will probably cost at least $25,000. Because that's more than $10,000, but less than 5 percent of my home value, because I won't need to change the structure of my home, and because I need ideas about how to fold as much storage as possible into a tight space, I plan to hire a designer &mdash; not an architect &mdash; for a consultation, and possibly to draw up the plan. I'll budget $2,500 of my $25,000 budget to pay this professional.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/architect-designer-or-contractor-who-should-you-hire-for-your-project">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-8"> <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/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">Is DIY Home Renovating for You?</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/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home</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/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home architect contractor designer home design home renovation Home repair projects renovation tips Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:30:37 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1913751 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-129944919.jpg" alt="Woman saving on energy and going solar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The more electricity you use, the more you pay for it. And in a world that is becoming increasingly dependent upon tech devices, something's gotta give. Luckily, there's a way to save money on those bills and help the environment, all at the same time. You just need to capture those intense rays of sunshine and use them for free energy. There are many ways you can harvest energy from the sun. Some methods are free and have been in use for thousands of years. Others require an investment in technology, but in some cases you can even make money by capturing free energy from the sun and selling it!</p> <h2>1. Solar panels</h2> <p>A few years ago, it would have been unusual to spot a house with solar panels on the roof, but now solar panels seem to be popping up in neighborhoods all over. If you have a south-facing roof (or west-facing) and get lots of sunny days in your area, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels?ref=internal" target="_blank">installing solar panels</a> to generate electricity can be a smart investment. The cost of solar panels has dropped in recent years, and with major players such as Tesla starting to produce solar panels, further price drops and improvements in capability may lie ahead. If your solar panels generate more electricity than you use, in many states you can sell this extra energy to the utility company and make money through net metering programs.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Thousands of dollars up front, depending on square footage installed.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> About a thousand dollars per year, depending on your location.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> No, solar panels typically require professional installation.</p> <h2>2. Passive solar heating</h2> <p>This method of harvesting energy from the sun is not new and does not require any special technology. My house has a solarium with south-facing windows to allow sunlight to flood in during winter months. The solarium walls capture the warmth and radiate it back into the house, providing free heating. Any south-facing windows you have in your house will work to provide heating benefits in winter. Open curtains on your south-facing windows on winter days to let light and heat in. Close curtains at night during winter and when the sun is shining in during the summer.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free if you have south-facing windows.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> No, look for south-facing windows when choosing or building a house.</p> <h2>3. Solar water heater</h2> <p>Heating water requires a lot of energy, so why not capture some of that free energy from the sun instead of running up your electric or gas bill? A solar water heater circulates water through an insulated collector using a water tank that is painted black to maximize heat collection. This hot water can be used directly or can be fed into a traditional water heater to save energy.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> A few hundred dollars, depending on whether or not you can install yourself.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> A solar water heater can be built from plans and scavenged materials, but you may need a plumber to install.</p> <h2>4. Clothesline</h2> <p>With a clothesline in your yard, you can use free energy from the sun to dry clothes and avoid running your clothes' dryer on hot summer days. You can save the energy it takes to run your dryer, plus you'll save on cooling costs as well. Without having to use a fan or air conditioner just to cool down a part of your apartment or home that's hot from a running dryer, those summer energy bills will go way down. And if you don't have the available yard space outside to hang a clothesline, you can also install one indoors near a window.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Under $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> About a hundred dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, installing a clothesline is a simple do-it-yourself project.</p> <h2>5. Solar food dehydrator</h2> <p>Instead of buying and powering yet another kitchen appliance, you can use free energy from the sun to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and even meat for storage. Solar food dehydrators use a heat collection box to collect solar energy and a dehydrator box where food is placed to be dried.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Under $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings: </strong>A few dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, this can easily be built from plans.</p> <h2>6. Solar oven</h2> <p>You can build your own solar oven and enjoy some off-the-grid cooking. Can a solar oven really get hot enough to cook food, though? A solar oven typically reaches temperatures of 250-350 F. You can safely prepare food, including meat, by cooking at a lower temperature for a longer time. A big advantage of a solar oven is that you can cook in places without any utility hookups and without burning any fuel.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Under $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings: </strong>A few dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, this can easily be built from plans.</p> <h2>7. Grow plants</h2> <p>What does growing plants have to do with solar energy? Plants capture energy from the sun directly and use this energy to produce edible leaves, fruits, and vegetables. Harvesting food from plants is an effective and inexpensive way to take advantage of free solar energy.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Less than $100.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year, depends of size of garden.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> You bet!</p> <h2>8. Wind turbine</h2> <p>Heating of the earth's atmosphere from the sun provides the energy that causes wind to blow. If you have a site that gets a lot of wind, you can capture some of this indirect solar energy by using a wind turbine to generate electricity. As with solar panels, in many places you can take advantage of net metering and get paid for excess electricity that you generate and put on the power grid for others to use.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Thousands of dollars up front, depending on size.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Smaller units could be assembled and installed by a homeowner; larger units require professional installation.</p> <h2>9. Solar furnace</h2> <p>With a solar furnace, you can warm up air for free using energy from the sun and direct the warm air to a space you want to heat. A solar furnace can be operated independently from your main furnace to provide supplemental heating during daytime hours.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Hundreds of dollars up front.</p> <p><strong>Potential savings:</strong> Hundreds of dollars per year.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, this can be built from plans.</p> <h2>10. Solar charger</h2> <p>Solar chargers, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks?ref=internal" target="_blank">solar power banks</a> directly use energy from the sun to power electronic devices. Many are small and easy to travel with, so you won't need to stress if you're somewhere outdoors and you can't plug in your phone charger. Use those intense rays to give your phone or other device the juice it needs before the sun goes down. You can also make this a regular charging option if you leave your charger out during the day, and use it at night to charge your devices while you sleep.</p> <p><strong>Cost: </strong>Less than $100</p> <p><strong>Potential savings: </strong>It varies, depending on how much you currently use your devices at home.</p> <p><strong>DIY?</strong> Yes, but the DIY won&rsquo;t save much compared to buying one.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">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-9"> <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/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill">34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill</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-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it">8 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</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/where-to-take-your-batteries-cfl-bulbs-and-other-hard-to-recycle-stuff">Where to Take Your Batteries, CFL Bulbs, and Other Hard-to-Recycle Stuff</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/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</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/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home electricity energy costs environmental costs gardening go green saving money solar heating solar panels Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:31:12 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1911513 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Already Own That Can Be Turned Into a Tote Bag http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-544716754.jpg" alt="Woman using things she already owns to make a tote bag" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Need a bag to carry your stuff around, but don't want to head to the store to buy one? No problem. You can make a sturdy tote by upcycling things you already own. It's possible to make a pretty awesome tote bag without spending any money at all. Here are 10 items that you can easily transform into a tote.</p> <h2>1. T-shirt</h2> <p>If you have an old T-shirt in your closet, try <a href="http://www.mommypotamus.com/no-sew-t-shirt-tote-bag-tutorial/" target="_blank">turning it into a tote bag</a>. This no-sew tutorial takes just 10 minutes to complete. You'll need some sharp scissors and a washable marker. Cut the sleeves and neckline area off your shirt. Then figure out how deep you want your bag to be. Cut fringe at the base of your to-be bag, turn it inside out, and tie the fringe.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can leave the fringe out for a more stylish look.</p> <h2>2. Wool sweater</h2> <p>You can make a <a href="http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-make-green-tote.html" target="_blank">felted tote bag using an old wool sweater</a>. Just wash the sweater using hot water and dry on high heat. This will make the fibers shrink and ultimately add strength to your bag. Cut the arms and neckline out of the shrunken sweater. Turn it inside out and then stitch along the bottom to close.</p> <p>You can also fold over the edges of the strap and hem if you like, but felted wool likely won't fray much if at all.</p> <h2>3. Jeans</h2> <p>Maybe you've recently lost some weight and are looking for ways to use your discarded roomy jeans. Make a tote out of 'em.<a href="http://www.craftymisadventures.com/2012/10/upcycled-denim-purse.html" target="_blank"> Upcycled denim</a> makes a particularly ingenious tote that has built-in pockets. What about a handle? Use the leg seams! It's super simple and will stand up to heavy loads. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Blue Jeans</a>)</p> <h2>4. Rice bag</h2> <p>Do you buy your rice in bulk? Keep the bag! Once you slice and dice it a bit, you can sew around the edges and <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Reusable-Grocery-Bag-Made-From-a-Rice-Bag/" target="_blank">make a durable grocery bag</a> that will last for years. You only need a few tools: scissors, a needle, and nylon thread. The rest is in the magic of folding it into the classic grocery bag shape and sewing it up.</p> <p>You can follow this exact same process using any stiff bag. <a href="http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2012/01/make-your-own-feed-bag-tote.html" target="_blank">Feed bags for chickens</a> and other livestock make great choices as well. This type of bag is exceptionally easy to clean. That's great news if you plan to use it to pick up produce at the farmers market.</p> <h2>5. Place mats</h2> <p>Use place mats for this<a href="http://www.papernstitchblog.stfi.re/2016/06/01/budget-friendly-diy-crossbody-bag/" target="_blank"> DIY cross-body bag</a>. To make it, lay the place mats atop one another, inside out. Start at the bottom seam and thread with an embroidery needle. Stitch along three sides of the mats, leaving the top open. Turn bag right-side out. To add a strap, pull a loop from the inside of the bag. The tutorial says to then thread a purse strap through the loop on both sides.</p> <p>If you don't have a purse strap to use, consider braiding a thick rope using old T-shirts to your desired length.</p> <h2>6. Rag rug</h2> <p>You can complete a very similar project using an<a href="http://atticlace.blogspot.com/2013/06/diy-rag-bag-i-recently-picked-up-some.html" target="_blank"> old rag rug</a>. Fold your rug in half and pick up one of the corners to invert it slightly. (This will give the bag a nicer shape.) From there, you stitch both sides using an embroidery needle and floss. The author of this project used a yard of burlap to create a strap. Divide the yard in half and then sew onto the inside of the bag by hand. Yes, by hand. As you can imagine, the rug is likely too thick to run through a sewing machine.</p> <h2>7. Bed sheet</h2> <p>Here's a tote bag that will also transform<a href="http://www.brit.co/tote-blanket/" target="_blank"> into a picnic blanket</a> for those on-the-fly gatherings. What do you upcycle in this case? A full-size cotton bed sheet! This project may take you an entire weekend to complete, but it's well worth the effort.</p> <p>Lay out the sheet horizontally. You'll first cut out a square of fabric that will serve as the blanket. Then you'll use what's left over to make the tote. You eventually attach the two pieces so it's all connected and handy. The strap for this bag is made from the thicker piece at the top of the sheet.</p> <h2>8. Beach towel</h2> <p>This<a href="http://www.morelikehome.net/2015/09/beach-towel-tote-tutorial.html" target="_blank"> beach towel tote</a> helps you carry stuff to the beach and then soak up sun without getting sandy. You just need two towels. To sew the tote, start by making a comfortable pillow that you fill with stuffing. I think this project could also work if you leave the whole pillow portion out. Either way, you'll end up folding in the sides of the pillow to roll into the bag form. Then you sew a fabric pocket on the outside and make your straps. Boom. Beach bag.</p> <p>For the pocket and straps, it's helpful if you have a stronger fabric. Duck cloth works well, but you may also use old jeans.</p> <h2>9. Broken umbrella</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VcQS27AnM1M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>We all have a wonky umbrella somewhere in a closet just waiting to be turned into this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcQS27AnM1M" target="_blank">DIY tote bag</a>. The bonus here is that the bag will be so compact that you can stash it almost anywhere. To make this bag, you'll need some thread, pins, and a needle. You'll also need to create a rough pattern and find a patch to cover the hole where the fabric used to attach to the umbrella.</p> <p>To detach the umbrella fabric from its frame, carefully snip the thread that attaches it. Check for any holes and patch them. Fold the fabric in half, trace and cut to your pattern. Then sew along all the edges by hand or using a sewing machine.</p> <h2>10. Plastic bags</h2> <p>Plarn is yarn made from discarded plastic bags. You make it by simply laying a plastic bag out flat, removing the handle portion, and cutting the rest into strips. You then tie two strips together, then three, and so on, before rolling your upcycled yarn into a ball to use as you like.</p> <p>Once you've made a ball of your own plarn, you can knit or crochet up dozens of cool things. Here's a tutorial for a<a href="http://www.myrecycledbags.com/2007/07/03/crocheted-plarn-tote-bag/" target="_blank"> plastic yarn tote bag</a> that will long outlive all your individual plastic bags. You'll need a size 9-mm metal hook and crochet skills. When you've completed the project, your bag will measure approximately 12 inches wide by 12 inches long with a 4-inch bottom that expands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags?ref=seealso" target="_blank">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a>)</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/10-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag">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/9-amazing-diy-lamps-you-want-in-your-house">9 Amazing DIY Lamps You Want in Your House</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-surprising-uses-for-empty-beer-and-soda-cans">9 Surprising Uses for Empty Beer and Soda Cans</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-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</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/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</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/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home crafts DIY diy projects diy tote bag recycle tote bag tote bags upcycle Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:30:21 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1911157 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clutter_clothes_520127146.jpg" alt="Woman mastering the art of decluttering in time for spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With spring about to be sprung, it's time to tidy up your life. A major aspect of that is clearing out the clutter. Because once clutter accumulates, you lose track of things, your stress increases, and it really just gets in your way. Who needs that? Here's how to maximize your full decluttering potential when it comes time to spring clean.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/three_coffee_mugs_75581393_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a> &mdash; There are certain items in your house right now that can bring in some extra cash. If you're not using it, why not make a little money instead, right? Clear the junk and fill your bank account.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a> &mdash; A fantastic way to get ready to declutter is to hear another person's success story on the process. And nobody maximizes their space and earning potential quite like Max Wong. She can practically turn dust into diamonds and sell them to a major jeweler. She'll steer you right.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter?ref=seealso">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a> &mdash; Your clutter is there for a reason. The items occupying all your free space might have sentimental value, or you might have a bit of FOMO at the thought of throwing something away. These self-reflective questions will help you understand why you need to declutter in the first place, and how to avoid it altogether in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps?ref=seealso">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a> &mdash; If I had a dollar every time I went into my closet and noticed a dress or shirt I never wear anymore, I'd be rich. Well, now I can put my money where my mouth is (and so can you!) by selling those unwanted pieces through these helpful apps and tools.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-493440144.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a> &mdash; This method for decluttering is particularly brilliant, because it has you start out small. These tips also help you change the way you think about tangible things as soon as they come into your possession, and decide immediately whether or not you really need them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life?ref=seealso">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a> &mdash; Enter into Spring Cleaning season with this five-word mantra and you'll glide into summer as free as a bird. It's as easy as Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Yup, rot. Now get to work!</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-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">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-10"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</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-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</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/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</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-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle clean declutter decluttering fbf flashback friday saving money sell your stuff spring cleaning Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1910936 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487795974.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone eventually faces an emergency, whether it's related to finances, health, the weather, or something else entirely. The more prepared we are, however, the easier it is to roll with the punches when life throws them our way. Are you ready? Here are eight signs you aren't prepared for an emergency. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Decide if It's a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Haven't Saved a Single Cent</h2> <p>While emergencies come in various forms, many of us will face a financial crisis at some point &mdash; and it may be hard to keep your head above water when it strikes.</p> <p>Financial experts constantly preach the importance of an emergency fund. Yet some people don't take steps to ensure they have enough in reserves for unexpected surprises. If you have little to no money reserved for a financial emergency, you likely won't come out of it on top.</p> <p>Say you lose your job and primary source of income. Even if you're eligible for unemployment compensation, what you receive on a monthly basis may be significantly less than your regular salary. Your finances can also take a hit if a medical emergency triggers high monthly payments to a hospital or doctor's office. If you can't afford your health insurance deductible, which can run thousands of dollars, this can result in delaying needed medical treatment.</p> <p>Similarly, lack of a savings account causes problems when you deal with a car repair or a home repair. Some people rely on a credit card when they don't have money in the bank. This puts them in debt and makes it even harder to save over a long period of time.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Have an Emergency Kit</h2> <p>If you've never lived through a natural disaster (count your blessings), you may not worry much about one impacting your life. But anything is possible, and it's important to have emergency supplies on hand just in case. For instance, if you were to lose power after a major storm and couldn't stay at a relative or friend's house, it'll be difficult to prepare food, and the food in your refrigerator would begin to spoil as the temperature inside the fridge rises. Sometimes we don't realize how much we need electricity for meal preparation until we don't have it.</p> <p>Be prepared and always maintain a supply of nonperishable food and one gallon of water per person per day &mdash; for at least three days. Personally, I have about nine gallons of water stored in my basement for this purpose. Also consider purchasing a go bag &mdash; available at most outdoor or sporting goods stores &mdash; which is prepacked with essentials in the event of an emergency. Mine has food rations, survival and self-defense tools, first-aid materials, and more. You can add items to the bag as needed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealaso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Don't Have a Backup Generator</h2> <p>Power outages caused by wind and ice storms and other natural disasters can last for hours, or even days. When you don't have power, any appliance that requires electricity becomes useless, including your stove, fridge, deep freezer, and HVAC unit.</p> <p>To prepare for long-term outages, consider a permanent or portable emergency generator. These machines can restore power to your home in a jiff. Permanent generators sit outside the home and run on propane or natural gas, just like your outdoor grill. A portable generator &mdash; which is a cheaper alternative (and probably all you need if you're not in a frequent disaster zone) &mdash; can operate on gas or diesel fuel. You can store it in the garage, but you should never run the generator inside the home. Using a generator indoors can cause buildup of carbon monoxide, and that can kill you.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Know the Location of Important Documents</h2> <p>In the event of an emergency, you'll also need to grab important documents before you head out the door, and unfortunately, if you're unorganized and have your documents stored in different locations, it'll be difficult to quickly locate them in an emergency. Get organized and keep important paperwork clearly labeled in a fireproof locked cabinet, preferably inside a sealed plastic bag; both measures protect the paper from fire and water. Important documents include Social Security cards, passports, your homeowner's or renter's insurance policies, medical insurance cards, and the like.</p> <h2>5. You Don't Have Extra Insurances</h2> <p>If you have health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, and life insurance, you probably think you've covered your bases. But these aren't the only insurances to think about. Life can go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds, so prepare for the &quot;what ifs&quot; with additional insurance and protect your assets.</p> <p>If you haven't already, compare costs for a short-term disability policy which pays a percentage of your salary if you become temporarily disabled and can't work. There are also legal insurance plans that provide affordable legal representation in the event that someone takes legal action against you. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, a flood insurance plan is worth consideration. This is because a standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Also, most insurance policies have a hurricane deductible, which is higher than the policy's standard deductible for theft, fire, and other perils.</p> <p>If you have a hurricane deductible and your home is damaged by a hurricane, this deductible is a percentage of your home's assessed value, which can be as much as 5%. If a hurricane causes a tree to fall on your house, or if hurricane-force winds break your windows and rain water floods your property, you have to pay the hurricane deductible before your insurance company pays for any damage. On the other hand, if you purchase flood insurance, the policy covers flood and/or rain damage caused by the hurricane.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Keep a Stock of Batteries or Candles</h2> <p>Nowadays, cellphones do more than make and receive phone calls. You can use your phone's Internet to check the weather or news, and some smartphones even have a built-in flashlight. With so much technology in the palm of your hands, it's easy to downplay the importance of an old-fashioned flashlight, batteries, and candles during an emergency.</p> <p>However, no matter what type of phone you have, the battery will eventually die. And if you lose power and don't have a backup generator, you can't power your electronic devices. To make sure you're never stuck in the dark and cut off from the outside world, keep a supply of batteries and candles on hand.</p> <h2>7. You Don't Have Extra Gasoline for Your Car</h2> <p>When a natural disaster causes widespread power outages, gas stations without backup electricity will not have working pumps, which can trigger a local gas shortage. If you don't have fuel in your car, you can't drive or evacuate the area, if necessary. That, in itself, should be a top priority when you're expecting a major weather event. You must be able to evacuate if needed. Also, lack of gasoline means you can't power a portable generator.</p> <p>Ideally, you should fill up your car before disaster strikes. But of course, impending danger doesn't always come with a heads up. To prepare yourself, consider stockpiling several gallons of gasoline in an approved airtight container. Many containers can hold between five and 25 gallons. Store your gasoline supply in a cool location outside of your home, such as a shed or garage.</p> <h2>8. You Don't Have an Outdoor Grill</h2> <p>Regardless of whether you prefer cooking on the grill or stove, a charcoal or gas grill comes in handy during an emergency. If you can't use your stove due to lack of electricity, outdoor grilling lets you enjoy a hot meal until your utility company restores power. Grill veggies, hot dogs, hamburgers, and any other meat you have on ice in a cooler (because otherwise it's probably going to spoil if the power is out for too long). Plan ahead and make sure you have enough charcoal, lighter fluid, or gas to get you through at least a week without power.</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/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">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-11"> <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-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money">4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You Money</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/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of 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/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends</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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home disaster emergency fund emergency kit emergency preparedness insurance natural disaster saving money Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1909970 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Descalers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-descalers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-descalers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coffee_maker_485462354.jpg" alt="Woman using best descaler on coffee maker" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Descalers are a must-have if you have hard water in your area. Limescale can accumulate in your machine&rsquo;s tubes, pumps, and inner workings over time. If you don&rsquo;t descale, your brewer won&rsquo;t work as well, so coffee takes longer to brew and it won&rsquo;t taste as good. Regularly descaling can help remove mineral buildup to return your machine to like-new conditions, thereby improving performance.</p> <p>A good descaler can make your machine work optimally again and can even extend the life of your machine, so you get a better value out of it. In most cases, you should use a descaler about once every three to six months to preserve your coffee maker.</p> <h2>What Are Descalers?</h2> <p>Descalers are chemical agents used to remove calcium deposits, limescale, and any other non-soluble sediments from any metal surfaces in contact with hot water. They release hydrogen ions when dissolved in water, which eat away at the scale and deposited minerals. They are commonly used to safely clean coffee and espresso machines, boilers, heat exchangers, water heaters, kettles, and septic tanks.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for a permanent solution, you won&rsquo;t find better than the <a href="http://amzn.to/2ntHGQI" target="_blank">Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener</a>. However, if you want something more affordable that you can use once a season, consider the options below.</p> <h2>Top 5 Descalers</h2> <h3>Keurig Descaling Solution</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ntFloY" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/keurig%20descaler.jpg" width="74" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>If your Keurig indicates that it&rsquo;s time for a descaling, then you won&rsquo;t find better than the <a href="http://amzn.to/2ntFloY" target="_blank">Keurig Descaling Solution</a>, Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in coffee and espresso machine cleaning products. It quickly removes mineral buildup without leaving any odors behind. It is easy to use and can restore your Keurig brewer to like-new conditions. It can even help extend your brewer&rsquo;s life. This is the only Keurig approved solution, so you know it will work well in your brewer. It is backed by outstanding online reviews, including more than 700 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ntFloY" target="_blank"><em>Currently $9.65 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Durgol Swiss Espresso Descaler</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nc1mLE" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/durgol.jpg" width="207" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2nc1mLE" target="_blank">Durgol Swiss Espresso Descaler/Decalcifier</a> is safe for use on all brands of coffee or espresso machines. It cleans 99.99% of bacteria quickly and effectively to safely decalcify, descale, clean, and protect your machine. It can even help prevent corrosion and limescale buildup to promote proper flow. It won&rsquo;t leave any unpleasant odors, aftertaste, or residue behind. The food-safe, eco-friendly solution is powerful, but gentle on machines and won&rsquo;t damage components. It also works well on filter machines, electric water heaters, and tea kettles.</p> <p>This claims to work 10 times faster than other decalcification processes. It also claims to be the only descaler that removes 100% of limescale. You simply pour the solution into the water tank, so it couldn&rsquo;t be easier to use. Each bottle is the perfect amount for one use. It is backed by outstanding online reviews, including more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. If you need a universal solution, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/2m1QJeC" target="_blank">Durgol Universal Express Multipurpose Descaler/Decalcifier</a> works well on things like ceramic tiles, faucets, kettles, shower heads, and irons.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nc1mLE" target="_blank"><em>Currently $15.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Urnex Dezcal</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nbIzA4" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/dezcal.jpg" width="170" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s Choice for descalers, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2nbIzA4" target="_blank">Urnex Dezcal Activated Scale Remover</a> is ideal for regular maintenance and can be used as often as once per month. It can safely clean, descale, and protect your coffee or espresso maker. It also offers fast, effective descaling of boilers, heating elements, faucets, and spray heads. The nontoxic, biodegradable powdered descaler helps remove stubborn hard water deposits, scale, and calcification so your items can work like new again. The five-pack has outstanding online reviews and many reviewers agreed that it works better than anything else they&rsquo;ve tried.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2nbIzA4" target="_blank"><em>Currently $8.31 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>De'Longhi EcoDeCalk Natural Descaler</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2muCg7f" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/delonghi.jpg" width="212" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2muCg7f" target="_blank">De'Longhi EcoDeCalk Natural Descaler for Coffee Machines</a> works quickly to dissolve limescale deposits. The all-natural formula can help ensure your coffee machine works optimally. The company claims that laboratory tests prove that it&rsquo;s also up to three times more effective than traditional descalers. It is frequently recommended online for all types of coffee machines.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2muCg7f" target="_blank"><em>Currently $11.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Saniflo Descaler</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2m1Qlgm" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/saniflo.jpg" width="158" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you need a descaler for something larger, such as your toilet, then you won&rsquo;t find better than the <a href="http://amzn.to/2m1Qlgm" target="_blank">Saniflo 052 Descaler</a>. The 1.25-gallon jug of descaler cleans and disinfects without harming your septic tank. The ultra-concentrated phosphoric acid formula is specifically designed for use with Saniflo products. It is easy to use and will keep your pumps maintenance free. It can even help prolong unit life. This has outstanding reviews online and is frequently recommended for big jobs.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2m1Qlgm" target="_blank"><em>Currently $37.40 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best descalers. 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-descalers">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-12"> <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-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</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-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</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-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</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-in-home-dry-cleaning-kits">The 5 Best In-Home Dry Cleaning Kits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping 5 best cleaning appliances coffee descalers new appliances product reviews shopping Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:00:16 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1910224 at http://www.wisebread.com