Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US 6 Affordable Home Remodel Tips for Pet Owners http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_embracing_her_dog.jpg" alt="Young woman embracing her dog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A pet can bring unbridled joy and unconditional love to your life. However, they can also leave stray hair, furniture damage, and other messes behind. Here's how you can keep your home beautiful even when you have a four-legged fur-baby shedding all over everything. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming</a>)</p> <h2>1. Opt for hard flooring</h2> <p>Install floors that can stand up to scratches and dirt. Hard flooring like vinyl, laminate, hardwood, and tile offer easy maintenance and pet cleanup, along with a great value over time. Ceramic tile is also great because it's particularly resistant to animal stains.</p> <h2>2. Choose the right carpet</h2> <p>Carpeting can be very difficult to clean, particularly with accidents and excessive hair. It can also harbor stains and make your pet allergies worse.</p> <p>If you do decide on carpeting, look for a synthetic blend option with low pile that won&rsquo;t absorb as much hair and is easier to vacuum. Also consider modular carpet tile or inexpensive rugs that can be easily picked up and cleaned or replaced.</p> <h2>3. Select washable fabrics and concealing patterns</h2> <p>Choose washable fabrics for cushion and pillow cases whenever possible so you can easily throw them in the washing machine. Fabrics with patterns can help camouflage old stains. Avoid tweed fabrics that can trap hair between the fibers.</p> <p>Look for items in colors that match your pet's fur. For instance, you wouldn't want to purchase a black couch if you have a white cat; the stray pet hair would be abundantly obvious.</p> <h2>4. Use semi-gloss wall paint</h2> <p>Flat finish paint is nearly impossible to clean. Semi-gloss paint in satin or eggshell finishes is easy to wipe down, making it more pet-friendly.</p> <h2>5. Set up a pet station</h2> <p>Convert an area by the door into a pet station. This will be for hanging leashes, walking shoes, towels, doggy bags, and anything else you need to get your pet out the door quickly. This will also come in handy on a rainy or snowy day when you need to wipe your pet off before they run around the house with wet or dirty paws.</p> <h2>6. Hide the litter box</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2t80yrw" target="_blank">Hidden litter boxes</a> look like an ordinary nightstand or planter on the outside, but have the litter box housed inside. Keep the litter box in a private area, away from feeding areas, so your pet can feel safe and comfortable.</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/6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners">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-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</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-pet-flea-medications">The 5 Best Pet Flea Medications</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-pet-stain-removers">The 5 Best Pet Stain Removers</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/3-ways-to-prevent-brown-lawn-spots-from-dog-urine">3 Ways to Prevent Brown Lawn Spots From Dog Urine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home furniture home decor home remodel how to pet care pet owners pets Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1969594 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Label Makers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-label-makers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-label-makers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/colored_boxes_labels_186052167.jpg" alt="Using best label makers to organize boxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Label makers are an organization must-have. Along with using it to label everything in the kitchen and pantry, label makers are also great for scrapbooking, decorating cards and gifts, and labeling cords, folders, charts, photos, storage bins, and other items around the home and office.</p> <h2>What is a label maker?</h2> <p>A portable handheld label maker uses a built-in keyboard and display to effortlessly create professional-looking labels in seconds. It can save you time by making everything easy to locate in your pantry, home, or office.</p> <h2>Top 5 label makers</h2> <h3>DYMO LabelManager Handheld Label Maker</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rTMLHQ" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/dymo.jpg" width="128" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in desktop label printers, the compact, lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2rTMLHQ" target="_blank">DYMO LabelManager Handheld Label Maker</a> prints water-resistant labels. It&rsquo;s easy to enter and edit thanks to the computer-style QWERTY keyboard and one-touch fast-formatting keys. It offers easy customization thanks to six font sizes, eight text styles, formatting options, four boxes, and a built-in library of over 200 symbols and clip-art images. The large, easy-to-read LCD display also shows a preview of the label before printing. It also offers features like last-label memory and automatic shut-off.</p> <p>This is highly recommended and reviewed online, with more than 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon alone. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2rXUPmp" target="_blank">DYMO LetraTag Plus Handheld Label Maker</a> is another highly reviewed option.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rTMLHQ" target="_blank"><em>Currently $9.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Brother P-Touch Label Maker</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rTyzPb" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/brother.jpg" width="221" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in label makers, the reliable <a href="http://amzn.to/2rTyzPb" target="_blank">Brother P-Touch Label Maker</a> creates crisp laminated plastic labels that can stand up to the microwave, fridge, and dishwasher. The lightweight, portable label maker offers one-touch formatting keys, easy-access memory, and an intuitive QWERTY keyboard. It includes multiple templates, decorative patterns, 14 fonts, 95 frames, and more than 600 symbols. You can also mix up the tape size, color, and type for additional inspiration. It prints up to two lines on tapes up to 1/2&rdquo; wide. It will also allow you to preview text and layout before printing.</p> <p>This is recommended by Consumer Search, PCMag, and The Sweethome. It is also one of the &ldquo;most wished for&rdquo; items on Amazon and has more than 600 five-star reviews on Amazon. The Sweethome and Consumer Search also recommend the <a href="http://amzn.to/2sSJwQe" target="_blank">Brother P-touch Label Maker With AC Adapter</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rTyzPb" target="_blank"><em>Currently $28.84 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Epson LabelWorks Label Maker</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ssIz0y" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/epson.jpg" width="245" height="212" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2ssIz0y" target="_blank">Epson LabelWorks Label Maker</a> has significantly smaller margins compared to other brands for up to 62 percent less waste. The handheld label maker has a large built-in memory and fits up to two lines of text, on tape up to 0.5&quot; wide. It allows you to customize your labels with 14 fonts, 10 styles, over 300 built-in symbols, over 75 frames, and a range of specialty tapes. It is very quiet, easy to use, and supports seven languages.</p> <p>This is an Amazon best-seller and is recommended by PCMag, The Sweethome, and LifeHacker. It also has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. The Sweethome also recommends the <a href="http://amzn.to/2sWEp2D" target="_blank">Epson LabelWorks Label Maker</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ssIz0y" target="_blank"><em>Currently $29.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>DYMO Organizer Xpress Handheld Embossing Label Maker</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rFatn6" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/dymo%20office.jpg" width="245" height="228" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in label applicators, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2rFatn6" target="_blank">DYMO Organizer Xpress Handheld Embossing Label Maker</a> is ideal if you want an embossed look. It prints letters, numbers, and symbols effortlessly in seconds and doesn&rsquo;t require any batteries. It features a comfortable soft-grip handle and an enhanced tape-cutting feature that makes the labels easy to load, cut, and remove. It is frequently recommended online and has more than 300 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rFatn6" target="_blank"><em>Currently $11.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Brother Professional Label Printer</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sWBfvo" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/brother%20pro.jpg" width="232" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you need a high-speed label and postage maker, you won&rsquo;t find better than the <a href="http://amzn.to/2sWBfvo" target="_blank">Brother Professional Label Printer</a>. It prints up to 93 high-resolution labels (with crisp text and graphics) per minute. It prints everything from pre-sized, easy-peel, rounded-corner labels to labels on continuous-length paper and film tapes for banners and signs up to three feet long. It can even print stamps and postage. It uses a direct thermal printing mechanism with convenient drop-in tape rolls, which allows you to switch sizes in seconds. The automatic cutter provides precise cuts for printing one or multiple labels at once.</p> <p>The &ldquo;Plug and Label&rdquo; feature allows you to create labels without installing software. You can also install the included optional software to use a variety of templates and further customize your labels. It also integrates with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. The reliable printer comes with a USB Cable and Power Cord and requires no ink or toner. It is recommended by PCMag, is an Amazon best-seller, and has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also backed by a two-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sWBfvo" target="_blank"><em>Currently $68.91 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best label makers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">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-label-makers">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/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</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-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-peelers">The 5 Best Peelers</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-reusable-straws">The 5 Best Reusable Straws</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization Shopping 5 best box labels get organized label makers organization tips product reviews shopping Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1970645 at http://www.wisebread.com How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels? http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/aerial_view_of_house_with_solar_panels.jpg" alt="Aerial view of house with solar panels" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Solar power has advanced leaps and bounds over the past couple decades, and those grid panels that harness the power of the sun and turn it into energy are everywhere. It's not uncommon to find at least one house in your neighborhood that has panels covering every square inch of its roof.</p> <p>You may have also been approached by a solar company rep about outfitting your home with panels. (These guys and gals are almost as ubiquitous as the product they're selling.) And maybe you don't understand the mechanics of solar home power &mdash; or its benefit to your wallet &mdash; which may make you hesitant to explore the option.</p> <p>Well, you're not alone. Those of us who haven't adopted solar energy yet still have a lot of questions &mdash; namely, what's this going to cost? And when will I break even?</p> <h2>The cost of solar panels</h2> <p>First, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of just how much solar panels will set you back. It's not cheap to save the planet, even though the sun has been free of charge for billions of years.</p> <p>The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels, according to New England-based solar marketing company EnergySage, is to look at its price in dollars per watt, and those numbers are fairly consistent across the country.</p> <p>This year, &quot;most homeowners are <a href="http://news.energysage.com/how-much-does-the-average-solar-panel-installation-cost-in-the-u-s/" target="_blank">paying between $2.87 and $3.85 per watt</a> to install solar, and the average gross cost of solar panels before tax credits is $16,800,&quot; says EnergySage's data. Figure in tax credits and the price comes down to $10,000 to $13,500, based on the average 5kW (5,000 watts) system that's typically installed in the United States. EnergySage also says these numbers are about 9 percent lower than last year, but recommends comparing prices quoted to other homeowners in your area.</p> <p>Now that we know how much the system will set us back, the next reasonable question is how long will it take to break even. (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> <h2>When you'll break even</h2> <p>Sarah Hancock is a digital marketing strategist who manages the solar coverage at BestCompany.com, an online review site that ranks companies in different industries. She says the amount of time it takes to break even depends on three main factors.</p> <h3>1. Current utility price</h3> <p>The higher the current electricity price is in your area, the more money you will save by going solar, which results in a faster break even time, Hancock says.</p> <p>&quot;For example, an individual who lives in California, where the price of electricity currently sits at about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour, will break even quicker than an individual who lives in Washington, where the electricity price is only 9 cents per kilowatt-hour, because the Californian will be saving more on his electricity bill each month,&quot; Hancock says.</p> <h3>2. Available incentives</h3> <p>These vary from state to state. There are a number of different incentives to take into consideration, including tax credits, rebates, performance payments, and tax exemptions. The more incentives available to you, the quicker your break-even time will be.</p> <p>&quot;One of those incentives is the 30 percent federal tax credit,&quot; says Andy Schell, marketing manager at Paradise Energy Solutions. &quot;This credit allows solar owners to recoup 30 percent of the project's cost. If you aren't able to recoup all 30 percent in year one, the remaining amount can be carried forward for 20 years until the full credit is expended. In addition, USDA grants and accelerated depreciation schedules are available for qualifying businesses and farms.&quot;</p> <p>This is a good resource to find <a href="https://bestcompany.com/solar/state/" target="_blank">solar-energy incentives available</a> in your state.</p> <h3>3. Method of payment</h3> <p>According to Hancock, you can purchase the panels outright, or get them on loan, lease, or PPA (power purchase agreement &mdash; which is a financial agreement that allows a developer to arrange the design, permits, financing, and installation of a solar energy system, and lasts anywhere from 10 to 25 years).</p> <p>However, there are fewer studies supporting the increased home value when you upgrade your home through a PPA or a lease. The reason is simple: With an upfront purchase or loan, the new buyer will not have to pay for any of the electricity produced by the panels because you would have already paid for it. With a PPA, the new buyer will still pay for electricity, simply at a lower rate than what other neighbors will pay to the utility company. Those agreements are easily transferable and can also be bought out by either seller or buyer if necessary.</p> <p>The payment method that will result in the quickest break-even time varies from state to state depending on the two other factors mentioned above &mdash; utility price and available incentives. If you live in a state with high electricity prices and several incentives, you will probably break even quicker with a loan because your energy savings will be higher than your loan payment. However, if you live in a state with low electricity prices and few incentives, you'll most likely break even faster with an outright purchase.</p> <p>&quot;To provide a general range,&quot; Hancock says, &quot;most individuals who go solar will break even in 15 to 25 years.&quot;</p> <h2>Leasing versus buying a solar system outright</h2> <p>&quot;We guide homeowners with what we've seen is the question that is most likely to help them decide what route to take: How much is your tax liability?&quot; says Julio Daniel Hernandez, a representative of renewable energy company EnLight.Energy.</p> <p>If your tax liability is big enough right now to able to take full advantage of the Federal and possible state tax incentives, he says, then you should take advantage of the available loans and tax credits. If you don't have the tax liability, then a PPA/Lease makes more sense. You'll get access to all of the energy your solar system can provide at a cheaper rate than your utility company (usually around 20% savings) and will not ever have to pay a dime out of pocket.</p> <p>As far as break-even calculations cost go, Hernandez's estimate is much more liberal than Hancock's.</p> <p>&quot;Break-even with a PPA/lease is zero because you don't pay anything; you just start saving right away similar to a third party electric company in a deregulated market,&quot; he says. &quot;If you buy a system, depending on the incentives available to you, break-even point should be around eight years or less.&quot;</p> <h2>How incentives and pricing have evolved</h2> <p>As an early adopter of solar power a decade ago, you would have made out like a bandit with incentives, but that's not the case now that so many people are switching over to the energy solution. But as with all technology, the longer it's been around, the cheaper it becomes on the front end.</p> <p>&quot;Unfortunately, there are fewer incentives available now than there were 10 years ago due to the increased popularity of solar power,&quot; explains Hancock. &quot;However, the good news is that the price of solar panels has dropped by more than 60 percent over the past 10 years. So, while fewer federal and state solar incentives are up for grabs, solar power is still more affordable than ever for consumers.&quot;</p> <h2>Is it a good investment?</h2> <p>In most states, solar power is a solid investment that will result in a significant return over the next 20 to 30 years.</p> <p>&quot;For example, an individual in California who purchases a solar system outright can probably expect to see a return between $30,000 and $40,000 over the next 25 years, while an individual in Washington could expect a return of about $10,000 for the same scenario,&quot; Hancock says.</p> <p>Although the dollar-for-dollar return isn't as high for the Washingtonian as it is for the Californian, both individuals are still saving money with solar power.</p> <p>Says Hernandez, &quot;Your home value is estimated to go up $15,000-plus by upgrading to solar energy. Some of this depends on the size of the system, but studies are showing that the bulk of the increase comes from simply putting panels on and then there's only a slight additional shift upward based on how big the system is.&quot;</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/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels">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/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</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/landscaping-for-energy-conservation">Landscaping for Energy Conservation</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home energy bills energy costs green lifestyle living green saving money solar energy solar panels Spending Money Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1965204 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Portable Fans http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-portable-fans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-portable-fans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_portable_fan_157421173.jpg" alt="Woman using best portable fans to keep cool" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When summer hits, you&rsquo;ll want a portable fan that you can carry around wherever you need it most. It can cool the air around you and improve ventilation without taking up any space.</p> <h2>What Is a Portable Fan?</h2> <p>A portable fan is a cooling device that can be easily moved from place to place. It can be powered by batteries, a USB cord, or a wall plug, depending on which model you choose.</p> <p>Portable fans won&rsquo;t necessarily replace your favorite fan. Instead, they are ideal for the home, office, travel, or outdoor activities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Fans</a>)</p> <h2>Top 5 Portable Fans</h2> <h3>O2COOL 5-Inch Portable Fan</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sC3BrA" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/o2cool.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in personal fans, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2sC3BrA" target="_blank">O2COOL 5-Inch Portable Fan</a> features two powerful, quiet speeds and tilts for directional air flow. The battery-operated fan has a compact folding design, which makes it ideal for the home, office, or outdoors. It is available in two different colors and runs on two D batteries. It has outstanding online reviews, including thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon. If you&rsquo;re looking for something larger, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2sBQUNz" target="_blank">O2COOL 10-inch Portable Fan with AC Adapter</a> is another great choice.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sC3BrA" target="_blank"><em>Currently $7.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Travelon 3-Speed Folding Fan</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rT5ZML" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Travelon.jpg" width="245" height="183" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2rT5ZML" target="_blank">Travelon 3-Speed Folding Fan</a> can serve as the perfect desk fan, or you can wear it around your neck, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. The sturdy fan is compact and has three quiet speeds. It features directable airflow and finger-safe plastic blades for enhanced usage. It is built to last and runs on four AA batteries (not included). It has outstanding online reviews, including hundreds of&nbsp;five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2rT5ZML" target="_blank"><em>Currently $10.45 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Holmes Lil' Blizzard 8-Inch Oscillating Table Fan</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sC3RXA" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/holmes.jpg" width="170" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2sC3RXA" target="_blank">Holmes Lil' Blizzard 8-Inch Oscillating Table Fan</a> is ideal for desk or tabletop use. The low profile fan can adequately cool a medium-sized room thanks to two powerful speed settings. The multidirectional oscillation function cools larger areas more quickly and efficiently. It&rsquo;s quiet, but can also provide some good background noise (if you need white noise in your bedroom or office). The advanced blade system and adjustable tilt head offer focused cooling power. The compact, lightweight fan has a removable front grill for easy cleaning and plugs into the wall for easy usage.</p> <p>Consumer Search calls this the best cheap desk fan. It is recommended by The Sweethome, is an Amazon best-seller, and has nearly 600 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty for your added peace of mind.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sC3RXA" target="_blank"><em>Currently $17.62 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Lasko 4000 Air Stik Ultra-Slim Oscillating Fan</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2s2qtU7" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/lasko_0.jpg" width="77" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2s2qtU7" target="_blank">Lasko 4000 Air Stik Ultra-Slim Oscillating Fan</a> moves around an ample amount of air in any small room. The sleek fan is quiet, compact, and lightweight, so you can easily carry it from one room to another. It features an oscillating function, LED-illuminated electronic controls, and two quiet speed settings. It plugs into the wall for easy usage. Most reviewers agree that this is the perfect durable desk fan. It is an Amazon best-seller and has more than 900 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2s2qtU7" target="_blank"><em>Currently $22.47 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>VersionTech Multipurpose Collapsible Portable Fan</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2qVlpN9" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/versiontech.jpg" width="122" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in decorative folding fans, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2qVlpN9" target="_blank">VersionTech Multipurpose Collapsible Portable Fan</a> is the ideal folding fan. It has three speed settings, providing generous air flow. The 180-degree folding handgrip design, compact shape, and removable clip design make it the perfect desktop or handheld fan. The durable fan is powered by a replaceable battery or the included micro USB charging cable. It is available in three colors, is an Amazon best-seller, and is frequently recommended online.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2qVlpN9" target="_blank"><em>Currently $13.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best portable fans. 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-portable-fans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</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-fans">The 5 Best Fans</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-ceiling-fans">The 5 Best Ceiling Fans</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-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping 5 best fans portable fans product reviews shopping staying cool summer Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:00:13 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1962109 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Problems You Can Solve With Duct Tape http://www.wisebread.com/13-problems-you-can-solve-with-duct-tape <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-problems-you-can-solve-with-duct-tape" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycling_wellington_boots_and_duct_tape_dog_sculpture.jpg" alt="Recycling Wellington boots and duct tape dog sculpture" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When Johnson &amp; Johnson first developed duct tape in the early 1940s, it was used in the military to keep boxes of weapons sealed. It would later be used by soldiers to repair just about everything, before becoming commercially available and marketed for household repairs postwar. Today, the miracle adhesive has innumerable uses, but here are a baker's dozen that save money, time, and even lives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/27-things-you-should-have-in-your-utility-drawer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">27 Things You Should Have in Your Utility Drawer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hide holes in your porch or mobile home skirting</h2> <p>Duct tape comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns these days, but you'll most likely require the white version to hide holes or cracks in the skirting around your porch or mobile home. This quick fix is a much cheaper alternative to replacing the damaged panels, especially since the skirting never gets a close look by anyone.</p> <h2>2. Reattach side-view mirrors if they get knocked off</h2> <p>City dwellers know all too well how easy it is to have a side-view mirror knocked off overnight. Sure, you can call your insurance company when it happens, but then you're faced with paying the high deductible and a potential fee increase to your policy. If you don't have the money to handle the situation yourself, consider reattaching the mirror with duct tape. The hack won't pass inspection in all states, so if you encounter this crisis, investigate with your state motor vehicle department before making the fix a long-term solution.</p> <h2>3. Help senior citizens navigate stairs better</h2> <p>A strip of duct tape on the stairs can potentially save a life, according to the caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare, who use the technique in clients' homes.</p> <p>&quot;A simple strip of colorful duct tape on the edges of stair steps makes it easier for seniors to judge the depth and distance to keep from tripping and falling,&quot; says a spokesperson for the organization.</p> <p>Staircases and stairway accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental injuries &mdash; second only to motor vehicle accidents. Each year 12,000 people die from stairway accidental deaths, many of whom are seniors. This is an easy, cheap way to prevent accidents and possibly save lives.</p> <h2>4. Keep strips of sandpaper from tearing</h2> <p>To keep strips of sandpaper from tearing when sanding rounded surfaces, apply duct tape to the back of the sandpaper before cutting it into strips.</p> <h2>5. Ward off scuff marks on your floors</h2> <p>If you have chairs or other furniture scratching your floors, wrap the feet in small strips of duct tape. This works particularly well for furniture on wheels, since you can't buy pads for these items like you can for your flat-footed furniture.</p> <h2>6. Open tightly closed jars</h2> <p>If you have a stubborn jar whose lid won't open easily, create a simple solution with about a foot of duct tape. Fold three or four inches of it around half of the lid then use the remaining eight inches to pull the lid counterclockwise. The gripping action of the duct tape should open it right up.</p> <h2>7. Clean up pet hair with a paint roller</h2> <p>I have a hypoallergenic dog specifically because I can't stand pet hair. It's bad enough when it's on my clothes, but it really grosses me out when it's all over my bed. If you have either of these problems, an easy way to remove the pet hair quickly and efficiently is to apply duct tape to a paint roller with the sticky side facing out. It's bigger than a regular lint roller, so it's great for large surfaces. Of course, you can spot clean the pet hair by hand with duct tape, but you'll cover much more surface area in less time with the roller.</p> <h2>8. Stop a hose leak</h2> <p>Small leaks in hoses &mdash; indoor and outdoor &mdash; can be stopped with duct tape. Don't, however, take this advice to mean that you can solve all plumbing problems with duct tape. That's not a good idea. If you have a major leak or other plumbing issue, contact a professional.</p> <h2>9. Close a hole in an air duct</h2> <p>Unlike repairing plumbing pipes, you can probably successfully plug a hole in your ductwork with duct tape. At least in this case, you have the advantage of only spilling air, whereas a water leak can become a real disaster.</p> <h2>10. Repair a cracked trash can</h2> <p>Why buy a new trash can if all you're putting in it is rubbish? Granted, duct tape probably won't prevent squirrels from getting into your trash bins &mdash; they've eaten holes straight through the very hard plastic my garbage cans are made of. I'm all ears to your solutions to that problem.</p> <h2>11. Waterproof your tennis shoes</h2> <p>A friend of mine does a lot of walks for cancer research &mdash; often dozens of miles over the course of a few days &mdash; and she told me that she covers her shoes in duct tape, around the sides and over the top &ndash; to keep them from getting wet and uncomfortable in inclement weather. Smart idea.</p> <h2>12. Pick up shards of glass or metal</h2> <p>Small shards of glass and metal are hard to see and sweep. To ensure the complete cleanup of the debris, do a thorough sweep or vacuum then pick up any remaining bits with a strip of duct tape.</p> <h2>13. Save your life or someone else's</h2> <p>Out of all duct tape's problem-solving uses, first-aid is the most important. Duct tape can <a href="http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/duct-tape-first-aid/" target="_blank">stop bleeding, clean wounds</a>, close wounds, keep wounds dry, and even prevent a collapsed lung. Certainly it's not the ideal method of care, but if it's the only thing you have on hand in a life-or-death situation, you'd better reach for it.</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/13-problems-you-can-solve-with-duct-tape">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag">10 Things You Already Own That Can Be Turned Into a Tote Bag</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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home DIY diy projects duct tape home goods home projects Home repair solving problems Wed, 31 May 2017 08:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1955701 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Make Money Doing Household Chores http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-money-doing-household-chores <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-make-money-doing-household-chores" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/love_to_keep_my_home_nice.jpg" alt="Love to keep my home nice" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to earning extra money, many well-paying side hustles, such as graphic design, require specialized skills, experience, and pricey software or equipment. The requirements can be a major obstacle to launching a lucrative side gig.</p> <p>However, there are several ways you can make money doing chores you do everyday, for other people. Whether you are a champion at ironing or can always pick the ripest fruit at the grocery store, here are four ways you can make additional income.</p> <h2>Doing laundry</h2> <p>For busy families, the laundry pile can quickly become a mountain. Between work and school, some people struggle to keep up. That means they often scramble to find clothes for the next day. That's a perfect opportunity for you to make money. You can charge families a fee to wash or iron their clothes and do it on your own schedule.</p> <p>One company that connects side hustlers with clients is <a href="http://www.laundrycare.biz/" target="_blank">Laundry Care</a>. Clients pay $35 per bag of laundry, which is about three loads. Contractors take home a percentage of the fee, and can earn extra money for doing additional services like ironing.</p> <h2>Shopping for groceries</h2> <p>If you don't mind the grocery store, you can make up to $25 an hour as a shopper for <a href="https://www.shipt.com/" target="_blank">Shipt</a> or <a href="https://www.instacart.com/" target="_blank">Instacart</a>. Clients place their orders online through the company apps, and shoppers can opt to fulfill orders that fit their schedules. You can take on jobs that work for you. If you're tight on time, you may decide to just complete one or two large orders a week. Or you can take several orders back-to-back when you need the cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">21 Fresh Food Delivery Services That Can Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>Cleaning houses</h2> <p>If you enjoy keeping things clean, you can earn up to $22 an hour cleaning other people's homes. Rather than having a contract with a large, expensive cleaning company, some families prefer to hire someone as needed. And others just need someone for special occasions, such as when they're moving or having a party. You can make a good hourly wage when you have the time.</p> <p>If you have professional cleaning experience, and client references, you can sign up to work as a cleaner through <a href="https://www.handy.com/" target="_blank">Handy.com</a>. Handy will connect you directly with clients and you can select the gigs that match your needs.</p> <p>If you don't have experience, or want to set your own rates, you can set up an account on <a href="https://www.care.com/" target="_blank">Care.com</a>. Families can search for you when they need a cleaner, and Care.com handles the payments and administrative work for you.</p> <h2>Running errands</h2> <p>Whether it's dropping off the dry cleaning or picking up prescriptions, managing and making time for all of life's necessary errands can be difficult. To relieve some of the burden, many professionals hire help to handle those little chores for them. If you have some spare time and don't mind driving or walking around town, you can make extra money without much stress.</p> <p><a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/" target="_blank">TaskRabbit</a> is one company that connects clients with on-demand help. From furniture assembly to making medical appointments, TaskRabbit workers provide much needed assistance. And depending on the job's requirements, you can make over $20 an hour. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Find a Side-Gig at These Micro-Job Sites</a>)</p> <p>Another service to check out is <a href="https://postmates.com/" target="_blank">Postmates</a>. Postmates is an on-demand delivery service for meals, office supplies, and more. If someone's phone charger broke and they need a new one, you can make money by picking it up for them and delivering it. You can make over $25 an hour as a Postmates courier.</p> <p>Doing extra laundry or running some simple errands can help you pay off debt or boost your emergency fund, empowering you to build more secure finances.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-money-doing-household-chores">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/7-surprising-ways-to-earn-money-online">7 Surprising Ways to Earn Money Online</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/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</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-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</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/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</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-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Home chores cleaning earn extra money household chores income making money side gig side hustle Tue, 30 May 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Kat Tretina 1955478 at http://www.wisebread.com You Need to Get Rid of These 16 Household Items — Pronto! http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-to-get-rid-of-these-16-household-items-pronto <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-need-to-get-rid-of-these-16-household-items-pronto" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626373574.jpg" alt="Learning which household items should be thrown out" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It happened again this past weekend. The cleaning bug sunk its teeth into me. I found myself emptying drawers, cabinets, and closets, and hauling bags of stuff to Goodwill. The rest I dumped in the trash.</p> <p>Unfortunately, once I'd gotten rid of the usual suspects &mdash; clothes we don't wear anymore, books we haven't read in years, several metric tons of outdated magazines &mdash; I was left with the difficult-to-dispose-of items. These are the things that I want to get rid of, but I don't know how. Once I get to these items, I generally end up tossing them back into their drawers to deal with &quot;later.&quot;</p> <p>Of course, they tend to stay put for years because I never have figured out how to dispose of them responsibly. Until now. I've done extensive research and come up with the definitive list of things that belong in a recycling bin rather than in your home, and how you can get rid of them properly.</p> <h2>1. Old knives</h2> <p>My first set of kitchen knives were the cheapest knives Walmart had to offer, and they certainly were not great quality. However, I kept them for years, even after I'd invested in a decent set because I had no idea how I could safely dispose of them without potentially harming any of the people who handled my trash. I now know that you can <a href="https://unclutterer.com/2010/07/16/ask-unclutterer-getting-rid-of-knives/" target="_blank">wrap a knife's blade</a> in butcher paper, then bubble wrap, and then tape it up in an appropriately sized cardboard box. Once it is safely packed in this way, you can throw it away &mdash; or more easily give it away to the Salvation Army or a soup kitchen without hurting anyone who might be sorting your donation.</p> <h2>2. Small appliances</h2> <p>Not sure what to do with the mixer whose beaters are missing, or the waffle iron with a frayed cord? Small kitchen appliances that are not in good enough condition to be donated need to be recycled, but it can be tough to know how to find a recycling center that will accept them.</p> <p>If your appliances were manufactured by Hamilton Beach, the company will accept old and <a href="https://www.hamiltonbeach.com/recycling-policy" target="_blank">nonfunctioning products for recycling</a>, although you are on the hook for shipping costs. For all other brands, you will need to find a local recycling center. The website <a href="http://earth911.com/" target="_blank">earth911.com</a> allows you to search for local centers that accept the appliances (or other items) you need to dispose of.</p> <h2>3. Worn-out linens</h2> <p>Holey sheets and bleach-stained towels may not seem of value to anyone. But local animal shelters often have a need for bedding, and the dogs and cats certainly won't care that Darth Vader has faded to invisibility on your old pillowcases. Alternatively, you can often give them to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or other local charities. They work with partners to recycle used textiles into rags, fiber for furniture or insulation, or clothing that gets repaired and resold in less developed countries.</p> <h2>4. Hangers</h2> <p>For some reason, hangers seem to multiply in closets when you're not looking. Plastic hangers tend to be harder to dispose of &mdash; they are often not accepted for plastic recycling, and most Goodwill stores will not accept them. However, other thrift or secondhand clothing stores are often happily to take your plastic hangers off your hands, or you can post them on Freecycle. Wire hangers can be returned to the dry cleaner.</p> <h2>5. Old bras</h2> <p>Even if you wear your bras until long after they have stopped supporting you, old lingerie has a tendency to take up space in your underwear drawer, since it can be tough to know how to get rid of it. The <a href="https://www.brarecycling.com/" target="_blank">Bra Recyclers</a> is a textile recycling company that will recycle your old brassieres and keep those over-the-shoulder boulder holders out of the landfill. Sign up with the site, and receive a label to mail in your expired bras.</p> <h2>6. Worn-out athletic shoes</h2> <p>I run between 200 and 400 miles per year, which means I need a new pair of running shoes about once a year. Unfortunately, that also means I have many pairs of running shoes still cluttering up my closet, because I don't want to just throw the old shoes away.</p> <p>Thankfully, Nike has a shoe recycling program called Reuse-a-Shoe, which will accept worn-out athletic shoes from any brand and recycle the components. You can drop off old athletic shoes at most Nike or Converse stores.</p> <h2>7. Expired medications</h2> <p>Knowing what to do with the last three unneeded pain pills from having your wisdom teeth removed, or the bottle of medication your mother-in-law accidentally left behind on her last visit can be nerve-wracking. You can't flush or trash these items, because you don't want to risk getting the medication into the local water system.</p> <p>In the past, you might have to wait for the annual <a href="https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/" target="_blank">National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day</a> (generally in late April) to be able to safely get rid of expired medication. But there are now independent community pharmacies around the country that are authorized to take back medication year-round. You can find one near you at <a href="http://disposemymeds.org/" target="_blank">DisposeMyMeds.org</a>.</p> <h2>8. Expired beauty products</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-long-your-beauty-products-really-last" target="_blank">Eye makeup should be replaced</a> every few months to protect you from infection, and other facial cosmetics should not be used for more than 12 months. But simply throwing away old products can be potentially harmful to the environment, because they contain harsh chemicals.</p> <p>Some cosmetics manufacturers &mdash; most notably MAC &mdash; will accept their own <a href="https://www.maccosmetics.com/giving_back/back_to_mac.tmpl" target="_blank">empty cosmetics packaging</a> for recycling, and you can find a list of mail-in programs for recycling packaging from other brands of cosmetics at the site <a href="http://www.ecolife.com/recycling/household/how-to-recycle-cosmetics-makeup.html" target="_blank">ecolife.com</a>.</p> <p>To dispose of the product itself, ecolife recommends scooping it all out of the container, then putting it in a sealed jar or other packaging that you can then send to the landfill.</p> <h2>9. Small bathroom appliances</h2> <p>If you no longer use your hair dryer or curling iron because it's not in usable condition, check out earth911.com to find a small appliance recycling center near you.</p> <h2>10. Burned jar candles</h2> <p>The last dregs of wax seem impossible to get out of jar candles, which means you might think you're stuck either throwing the glass jar away or holding onto it and its last bit of wax forever. But apparently you can freeze the jar, making it easy to pull out the remaining wax, and then recycle the clean jar.</p> <h2>11. Crayon stubs</h2> <p>There are pieces of crayons all over my house. They show up in couch cushions, in bathroom drawers, in my purse, and even in the kids' beds, on occasion. Rather than throw out the random crayon stubs (as I'm tempted to do whenever I find one), I can now start sending them to <a href="http://www.crazycrayons.com/recycle_program.html" target="_blank">Crazy Crayons</a>, a national recycling program that accepts used crayons to keep them from going into the landfill.</p> <h2>12. Appliance manuals</h2> <p>You used to have to hold onto the owner's manuals for all of your appliances, gadgets, and gizmos, just in case you ever needed to troubleshoot a problem. But the internet now has all of the information you need, so go ahead and throw these in the paper recycling.</p> <h2>13. Burned-out light bulbs</h2> <p>Compact fluorescent light bulbs can be recycled at The Home Depot. The mercury-containing bulbs should not be thrown away. LED bulbs are safe to throw away, but you can find a local recycler at earth911.com or <a href="https://recyclenation.com/" target="_blank">recyclenation.com</a>.</p> <h2>14. Used-up batteries</h2> <p>Neither conventional batteries nor rechargeable ones can be thrown away because they contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Rather than keep them in a drawer because you don't know to do with them, take your used up rechargeables to Best Buy for recycling, and take your conventional batteries to Batteries Plus Bulbs. You can also find a recycling station for conventional batteries at <a href="http://www.call2recycle.org/" target="_blank">call2recycle.org</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-take-your-batteries-cfl-bulbs-and-other-hard-to-recycle-stuff?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Take Your Batteries, CFL Bulbs, and Other Hard-to-Recycle Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>15. Unused electrical cables and wire</h2> <p>Every home has a tangle of wires that does not seem to belong to any particular device. Drop those bad boys off at <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/clp/recycling/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025" target="_blank">Best Buy for recycling</a>.</p> <h2>16. Outdated cellphones</h2> <p>You might have saved your old Razr or Blackberry as a potential backup in case you lose your current phone, but that was three or four current phones ago. If your early-2000s era cellphone is now a very shiny brick, take it to Best Buy for recycling. If your cellphone is still functioning, however, you may want to donate it to <a href="https://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/" target="_blank">Cell Phones for Soldiers</a>, which gives service members the ability to call home.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-to-get-rid-of-these-16-household-items-pronto">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/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</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-trash-bags">The 5 Best Trash Bags</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-touchless-trash-cans">The 5 Best Touchless Trash Cans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-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-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-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping cleaning house declutter donations expired products household products throw away trash Mon, 15 May 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1945352 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_moving_boxes_494760324.jpg" alt="Woman deciding what to keep when downsizing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having trouble downsizing? You're not alone. Many of us are attached to our <em>things</em>, and that can cause anxiety when it's time to clear out the clutter. But when you start looking at your possessions practically &mdash; do they all serve a real purpose? &mdash; you'll have a better idea of what stays and what should go. Here are a few suggestions for the former. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-mantras-to-sharpen-your-resolve-to-downsize-and-declutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Mantras to Sharpen Your Resolve to Downsize and Declutter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Photos</h2> <p>My home is filled with lots of photos because I enjoy having those memories visible at all times. Of course, the other upside to keeping your pictures when downsizing is that they barely take up any space. The framed photos do, of course, but frameless photos hardly require any real estate in your home. In fact, I have hundreds of pictures in an old shoe box that go back more than 20 years. And that's all I'll ever need for real-world photo storage, especially nowadays.</p> <p>If you want to preserve your photos even further and eliminate the shoe box or album altogether (because there is a chance it could get lost or destroyed, especially if stored in a basement or attic), scan everything into your computer. If you feel the task is a bit more than you're willing to take on, consider sending the hard copies off to a professional photo-scanning operation &mdash; there are plenty of options online at various price points &mdash; that will take on the grunt work for you and send back a flash drive or DVD of your digitized photos. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-ways-to-organize-old-photos?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Smart Ways to Organize Old Photos</a>)</p> <h2>2. Clothing</h2> <p>Twice a year I go through my closets to edit my wardrobe. Anything I haven't worn in a year gets the boot along with items that look worn, torn, or otherwise out of style. I know I keep way more than I should, but dressing nicely is important to me, so I justify the abundance that I have because it makes me happy.</p> <p>If you're not emotionally attached to your clothing, but still have too much of it, start thinking about the items as <em>function </em>and not <em>fashion</em>. Start with a base of two weeks' worth of clothes &mdash; pieces that are good for work, weekends, and leisure time. That includes undergarments, pants, shirts, and other daily pieces. I'd suggest this strategy for all four seasons so you have items that will carry you through the entire year and whenever you travel.</p> <p>Next, focus on the specialty items &mdash; like your wedding, funeral attire, and suits for business meetings. Keep one outfit for each and eliminate the rest. You need a couple pairs of shoes, too &mdash; ideally dress shoes, sneakers, and a pair of boots. Once you set all that aside, revisit your closet and pick a couple pieces you really love and resolve to part with the rest. You can hand them down to family members (all my excess goes to my nephew), sell the in-great-condition items on Swap.com (I've made over $100 in the past two months), or donate to charity, preferably a local mission that outfits the homeless or low-income job seekers.</p> <h2>3. Important documents</h2> <p>Certain documents, such as tax records, should be kept for seven years. Others should be kept forever, including marriage licenses, deeds to your home(s), military documents, birth certificates, passports, life insurance policies, immigration records, and more. Consult our list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">important documents to keep</a>, if you're not sure.</p> <p>To ensure their safety, consider scanning documents that aren't already in digital format and save them in two separate but secure locations, one of which should be an external hard drive that you keep hidden or locked in a safe. The other could be a flash drive in another location &mdash; neither should be internet accessible. Failing to secure these items could result in you becoming the victim of identity theft, like the 13.1 million Americans who lost $15 billion to identity thieves in 2015.</p> <p>Shred any other documents that contain your personal information, as some identity thieves will go through people's trash looking for data found on important papers. Use at least a crosscut shredder, which is more secure than a standard strip-cut shredder. A micro-cut shredder provides the highest level of security.</p> <h2>4. One item from your collection(s)</h2> <p>I won't get on you about how whatever you're collecting is probably costly with no real return on investment, and how all it does is take up space in your home while providing a place for the dust bunnies to live. No, I won't do that, because I'm guilty of the same thing. I have just one collection &mdash; Pez dispensers &mdash; that I've been adding to for the past two decades, but all the toys do is sit in a trunk in my basement. I know I should get rid of them, but it's hard to part with something that makes me smile. Seeing as how they have a home in the basement and I'm not currently downsizing, I think I'll keep them around a while longer. When I do decide to sell them off, I'll keep just one set &mdash; <em>Tom &amp; Jerry</em> characters I picked up in Spain in the mid-90s. Those are my favorites.</p> <h2>5. Practical furniture</h2> <p>You need three major pieces of furniture, essentially: a bed to sleep in, a couch or chair in your living room, and a table at which to sit and eat. If you need to downsize even those items, it can be done easily by choosing smaller versions of whatever you have now. What you absolutely don't need is furniture that doesn't have a function, like the desk in the office you never use or that formal dining table that no one ever dines at.</p> <h2>6. Necessary tools</h2> <p>If you work with a lot of tools, edit your collection at your discretion. But if you're like the rest of us and reach for a hammer or a screwdriver a couple times of year, sell off the rest of the stash that you purchased for one-time projects. Saws, benches, landscaping gadgets, and more have to go if all they're doing is taking up space in your shed or basement.</p> <p>If you're in a giving mood, hand them down to younger family members, newlyweds, or someone you know who's just starting out in life. Otherwise, tools have great resale value; try Craigslist or the letgo app to recoup some of your costs if you prefer to make a buck instead of giving the lot away for free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-household-tools-every-frugal-homeowner-should-own?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Household Tools Every Frugal Homeowner Should Own</a>)</p> <h2>7. Your &quot;good&quot; dishes</h2> <p>One of my biggest pet peeves is opening a cabinet full of mismatched, random dishes. You'll recognize this symptom of my OCD in my own home, where every dish is white, evenly numbered, and aligned perfectly in my cabinets. You'll understand what I'm talking about when you purge your kitchen of dishes you don't need and pare down to only the good stuff. The ones you bring out for company. Because life's too short to save those for holidays while you eat off cheap plastic plates the rest of the year.</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/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">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-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-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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning clear the clutter declutter downsizing keepsakes minimalist organize your life organizing Thu, 04 May 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1939974 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make the Most Out of These 6 Kitchen Gadgets http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487542494.jpg" alt="Woman making the most out of her kitchen gadgets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're running a more minimalist kitchen &mdash; or even if you aren't &mdash; you may be wondering which small appliances are worth keeping around. Or maybe you're planning your wedding registry and want to know what should you include on your list. You've seen everything from bread makers to ice cream machines to margarita blenders on the shelves at your local shop. Single-task appliances may not seem like a smart buy, but you need to consider that not all all of them perform only one task.</p> <p>Here's the lowdown on kitchen appliances that every kitchen should include, and how to make the most of each one.</p> <h2>1. Blender</h2> <p>We took the plunge last fall and bought a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2nTpfEO" target="_blank">NutriBullet blender</a>. I sincerely believe that a blender is an appliance no kitchen should be without. Beyond smoothies, you can blend together soups, sauces, condiments, and even baby food. And you can also make milkshakes, banana ice cream, and even peanut butter.</p> <p>Yes! You can make peanut butter in a blender. It's best if you use a heavy duty blender that can grind up the peanuts. Simply pour in your desired amount of dry-roasted peanuts, salt, and sugar. Then blend on the highest setting until smooth. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a>)</p> <h2>2. Waffle maker</h2> <p>We use our&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2p7VZ0o" target="_blank">waffle maker</a> almost every single day. First, we like waffles. I even make my own mix so we can easily whisk it with water and get it cooking in just a few minutes flat. We also use our waffle maker as a panini press to make delicious sandwiches. I mean, this little appliance cost us just $17.00 and we use it often enough to keep it out on the counter.</p> <p>What else can you make with a waffle maker? Pizza, cake, brownies, quesadillas, and the list goes on. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-foods-to-try-in-your-waffle-maker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Delicious Foods to Try in Your Waffle Maker</a>)</p> <h2>3. Slow cooker</h2> <p>I own a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2nM3TZk" target="_blank">slow cooker</a> that also cooks rice and steams veggies. Still, I don't think I need to elaborate much on the merits of owning a crock pot. It can be your best friend in the kitchen. It can be your tool to making dinners a breeze. It may even be your key to keeping your grocery budget low.</p> <p>How? There are countless recipes online for vegetarians and carnivores alike. If you can dream it, you can likely make it in a slow cooker. Toss the ingredients in the pot, set the timer, and sit back. The rest of the work is done for you. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-to-get-more-out-of-your-slow-cooker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Tricks to Get More Out of Your Slow Cooker</a>)</p> <h2>4. Instant Pot</h2> <p>If you want to go an extra step, you can get an <a href="http://amzn.to/2oNjMz0" target="_blank">Instant Pot</a>. This multifunctional pressure cooker is extremely popular with my meat-eating friends. It can cook up a pot roast in as little as 20 minutes. Not only that, it also does the work of seven &mdash; yes seven &mdash; appliances. It functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning device, yogurt maker, steamer, and a warmer.</p> <p>The Instant Pot basically cooks everything &mdash; and fast. Trying to decide between a slow cooker and this device? Consider what you'll be cooking. If you don't need the 7-in-1 functionality, you may be able to get away with a traditional crock pot. If you do a variety of cooking &mdash; especially things like meats, dry beans, and other tough stuff &mdash; the instant pot may be the kitchen tool of your dreams. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Mixer</h2> <p>You don't need a large stand mixer, even if you bake a lot. I have one, but I don't use it much since I got a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2p89JrJ" target="_blank">hand mixer</a> for a fraction of the price last year. You can do a lot with this handy appliance. My favorite is creaming together butter and sugar for cookie-baking marathons. You can also blend fluffy mashed potatoes, whip up salad dressings, and whisk together eggs for a quiche.</p> <p>If you want to get even more use out of a hand mixer, consider buying a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2qb3zpo" target="_blank">dough hooks</a> attachment. They'll help knead together anything from dinner rolls to delicate pastas in a flash.</p> <h2>6. Bread machine</h2> <p>Did you know that bread machines make more than just loaves? You can mix and rise dough to bake pretzels, naan, pizza dough, and rolls. You just have to stop the machine before the bake cycle and continue the process in your standard oven. You can even make jam. No, really. This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-strawberry-jam-in-the-bread-machine/" target="_blank">Strawberry Jam</a> comes together in the bread machine. Simply combine chopped strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice, and hit that jam setting you probably hadn't noticed before. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Beginners Guide to Homemade Bread</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/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets">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/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-griddles">The 5 Best Electric Griddles</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-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</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-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping Food home appliances how to kitchen appliances kitchen gadgets recipes Tue, 02 May 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1938295 at http://www.wisebread.com 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</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/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels?</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-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/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels?</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/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</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-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-4 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-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-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/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-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/free-stuff-and-coupons-for-new-parents">Free Stuff and Coupons for New Parents</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-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-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-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/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter">How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter</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-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-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-ceiling-fans">The 5 Best Ceiling Fans</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-bidet-seats">The 5 Best Bidet Seats</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