Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US Best Money Tips: Clean Your Home on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clean-your-home-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-clean-your-home-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-474447483-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" 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 some awesome articles on ways to clean your home on a budget, getting started early with holiday savings, and signs your resume is holding you back.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/clean-budget/">17 Ways to Clean Your Home on a Budget</a> &mdash; To clean your home on a budget, dust using dryer sheets and use baking soda as a carpet deodorizer. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/holiday-savings/">Geting Started Early With Holiday Savings</a> &mdash; Save up now to avoid the debt you might encounter due to holiday shopping. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/09/29/5-signs-your-resume-is-holding-you-back?int=a3ec09">5 Signs Your Resume Is Holding You Back</a> &mdash; If your resume is three or more pages, it's probably holding you back. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/9-things-you-should-buy-generic">9 Things You Should Buy Generic</a> &mdash; You should probably buy pantry supplies and over the counter medication generic. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.investopedia.com/partner/gobankingrates/articles/personal-finance/092614/10-mistakes-avoid-when-trying-save-money.asp">10 Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Save Money</a> &mdash; When trying to save money, don't make the mistake of not budgeting or not setting specific goals. [Investopedia]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/24/pf/unlimited-vacation-days-branson/index.html?iid=SF_PF_River">Very Few Companies Offer Unlimited Vacation Days, But These Do</a> &mdash; Did you know Groupon and Evernote offer unlimited vacation days? [CNN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/four-steps-to-a-debt-free-college-degree-123556819.html">Four Steps to a Debt-Free College Degree</a> &mdash; Choosing a college you can afford can help you get a debt-free college education. [Yahoo Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Career-Lessons-From-Cats-26940317">6 Purrfect Career Lessons From Cats</a> &mdash; Cats can teach you the career lesson of teaching yourself and taking the initiative. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/how-to-earn-a-living-as-an-actor/">On Stage or Screen: Here&rsquo;s How to Earn a Living as an Actor</a> &mdash; If you want to get by as an actor, you'll need to keep your expenses low and have diverse sources of income. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/11-ways-to-promote-healthy-eating-in-your-home">11 Ways to Promote Healthy Eating in Your Home</a> &mdash; Eating meals at home and making food interesting can help promote healthy eating in your home. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clean-your-home-on-a-budget" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Clean Your Home on a Budget" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips budget clean home Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1224395 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-playing-yard-80380384-small.jpg" alt="family playing yard" title="family playing yard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a home can be a lot of work, and it can be costly, especially when you have a sizable property. But there are some basic things you can do to keep your yard looking awesome without spending a ton of cash.</p> <p>Here are 14 things you can do to keep your yard in tip-top shape while spending less than $100.</p> <h2>1. Plant Stuff</h2> <p>A good-looking yard is full of life. Plant some shrubs in your front yard, perhaps even a couple tall bushes to frame your doorway. Buy some different types of flowers and plant them in spots that get good sunlight, and water them frequently. (Consider planting perennials, like roses and mums, which can bloom for multiple seasons.) To get started, you'll want to invest in some decent soil, which can be purchased relatively cheaply at your local home improvement store.</p> <h2>2. Trim Stuff</h2> <p>It's great to have trees, bushes, and plants to give life to your yard, but things can get overgrown if you don't keep an eye on them. Trim any tree branches that are close to your house or over your neighbor's yard. Keep your hedges at a nice, consistent height. Cut away any vines creeping over your fences. You can handle most trimming work with a decent pair of long clippers and a band saw. Cordless, rechargeable hedge trimmers can also be useful and are often available for under $100.</p> <h2>3. Pull Weeds</h2> <p>If you have plants, you will have weeds. And weeds are your enemy. Luckily, they are easy to spot, and usually easily pulled out of flower beds. Use RoundUp or a similar product to kill any weeds in stubborn areas, like along the cracks in your sidewalk and driveway.</p> <h2>4. Rake</h2> <p>Get those leaves up! Leaves on the yard can look pretty for a while, but after a short time they start to block any sun from reaching your grass. A couple good days of raking will do the trick, but you could also blow those leaves away with a gas or battery powered blower.</p> <h2>5. Lay Down Mulch</h2> <p>Putting some mulch in your gardens serves several purposes. A thick layer of mulch makes it harder for weeds to grow, and also protects plant roots from getting scorched by the sun in the summer. Moreover, a good, dark mulch can help make the color from flowers petals really pop. You can get a bag of mulch for just a few bucks, so it's one of the best investments for your yard. Tip: Always buy a bag or two more than you think you might need.</p> <h2>6. Edge</h2> <p>To make things look extra-nice, you'll want to sharpen things up by creating a hard edge between your lawn and garden beds, and along any sidewalks or driveways. You can do this by hand in small areas using a trowel, but it's also worth investing less than $100 in a cordless or gas-powered edger. (Some edgers have replaceable heads that allow you to turn the machine into a weed-wacker or other tool.)</p> <h2>7. Put Up Some Lattice</h2> <p>Some white crisscross lattice can be a good way to cover up unsightly areas. At my house, we had lattice installed near the outdoor steps to my basement, and it has the added effect of preventing small kids from falling over into the stairwell. Vinyl lattice is virtually maintenance-free, and can be purchased for less than $1 per square foot.</p> <h2>8. Power Wash Your House</h2> <p>What's the point of sprucing up your yard if the house looks filthy? After enduring heavy rain, intense sun and other assaults, the exterior of your house is bound to get dirty. Vinyl siding might get stained or discolored, brick and stone walls look dingy, and the roof looks grimey. You can blast your house clean by investing in a good gas-powered washer. It's possible to buy one for under $100, or you could rent one a couple times a year to keep your house looking spiffy.</p> <h2>9. Paint</h2> <p>Look around your house for any faded or peeling spots, and get to work with a few gallons of paint. This won't set you back much, and it's a job most people can do themselves. Pay special attention to things like front doors, window ledges, deck railings, and shutters.</p> <h2>10. Tend to Your Lawn</h2> <p>It's easy to just mow the lawn and forget about it, but if you want one of the nicest yards in the neighborhood, you'll have to do some extra work. Each fall, you'll want to spend some time thatching out any dead stuff &mdash; there are special rakes you can buy at a low price, or even machines to rent. Once that's done, lay down new seed. This may mean you'll have to buy or rent a spreader, but those are usually available for under $100. Bags of seed will run you about $50 each. Water your lawn and feed it fertilizer in the spring. This will ensure your lawn comes up nice, healthy and green.</p> <h2>11. Get an Old Bench</h2> <p>It's amazing how something like a bench can transform a space in someone's yard. It's not too hard to procure an old bench from yard sales and antique shops, and you can spruce it up by sanding out any rough edges and giving it a new paint job. Place the bench under a tree or next to a flower bed to create an awesome sense of place.</p> <h2>12. Get a Birdbath</h2> <p>A birdbath has a similar effect as a bench. They look great when placed next to trees, and it's fun to see how they can attract various species of birds. You can buy a solid birdbath for under $50 at many stores.</p> <h2>13. Build a Firepit</h2> <p>It's really fun to sit out back and enjoy the warmth of a fire on a cool night, and a firepit can be a great accent to any yard. Top-of-the-line firepits can be expensive to install, but you can easily make one yourself using some flat stones and cement or mortar on a gravel surface. (Here's one person who claims to have <a href="http://sharpecreations.blogspot.ca/2011/05/fire-pit.html?m=1" style="text-decoration:none;">built a firepit for only $8</a>.)</p> <h2>14. Dig a Pond</h2> <p>This can be a wonderful addition to any garden, and they aren't too difficult to construct. You can get a small polyethylene liner for less than $100. Just dig and install. (Okay, it's not quite that easy. But it's not a big chore, either.) Over time, you can add some surrounding flowers, lilypads, and fish. You may even attract some frogs and turtles. Those with bigger budgets may want to consider a fountain or waterfall.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your yard looking great, for cheap? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="sharethis-link" title="14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home home improvement lawn care tools yardwork Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1221879 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-laptop-178094479-small.jpg" alt="couple laptop" title="couple laptop" 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 some stellar articles on free ways to entertain yourself at home, financial basics every teen needs to know, and ways to pay less for baby-sitting.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Ways-Entertain-Yourself-Home-30926585">68 Mostly Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home</a> &mdash; Catching up on recorded shows and creating a bucket list are a couple free ways to entertain yourself at home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/financial-basics-every-teen-needs-to-know/">Financial Basics Every Teen Needs to Know</a> &mdash; Every teen should know how to recognize ID theft. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/09/22/8-ways-to-pay-less-for-baby-sitting/">8 Ways to Pay Less for Baby-Sitting</a> &mdash; To pay less for baby-sitting, share a nanny or ask for baby-sitting as a gift. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/get-free-stuff/">18 Ways to Get Free Stuff</a> &mdash; Did you know that most hairdressers will trim bangs for free between regular cuts? [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/8-ways-you-can-start-eating-healthy-on-a-budget">8 Ways You Can Start Eating Healthy on a Budget</a> &mdash; Eat healthy on a budget by joining a food co-op and planning your meals ahead of time. [CouponPal]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/diy-projects-that-will-cost-you-more-in-the-long-run">Funny Money: 5 DIY Projects That Will Cost You More in the Long Run</a> &mdash; Trying to tackle plumbing projects on your own can end up costing you more in the long run. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/09/22/10-negotiation-tips-for-introverts/">10 Negotiation Tips for Introverts</a> &mdash; When negotiating, introverts should have a script and try to do it via email. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/great-affordable-football-parties.html">How to Throw Great, Yet Affordable Football Parties</a> &mdash; To throw an affordable football parties, choose cheaper bottles of wine and divvy up what each person brings. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/make-clothes-look-expensive-fashionable/">9 Ways to Make Your Clothes Look More Expensive &amp; Fashionable</a> &mdash; Avoiding trends and going monochromatic can make your clothes look more expensive and fashionable. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-help-when-a-child-you-know-has-cancer">How to Help: When a Child You Know Has Cancer</a> &mdash; When a child you know has cancer, listen and pray. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips entertain free home Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222062 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/autumn-candle-178492659-small.jpg" alt="autumn candle" title="autumn candle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This time of year gets the best of me when it comes to my inner nesting goddess. Whereas during the summer I'd rather cool off than decorate our spaces, fall brings me indoors and into full-on festive-mode. If you've been to the store to check out how much little knickknacks cost, your eyes might bug out of your head (which might help with a Halloween costume &mdash; but still!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-fall-pizzas?ref=seealso">15 Easy Fall Pizzas</a>)</p> <p>Try these 12 inexpensive projects using items you can find in your backyard or otherwise on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Cozy Candle</h2> <p>This <a href="http://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/09/the-friday-fluff-up-6-decorating-at-the-dollar-tree/#">autumnal candle project</a> costs just $6 for two, and most all of the supplies can be purchased at dollar discount stores. Fill a glass candle jar with some un-popped popcorn, stick a candle inside, and tie some raffia ribbon in a bow around it. I suggest embellishing your finished piece with colorful leaves you find outdoors for free.</p> <h2>2. Thankful Tree</h2> <p>Celebrate Thanksgiving early this year by making a DIY <a href="http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/16/the-thankful-tree-with-chalk/">Thankful Tree</a>. Fill a Ball jar with assorted nuts (or wine corks), then poke in a few sticks from outside. The rest is flexible, as the author uses wooden chalkboard tags to write down her thoughts. You can also use inexpensive paper tags. Tie a ribbon or some burlap around the jar and place on your mantel.</p> <h2>3. Fall Potpourri</h2> <p>Don't just make your place look like fall, let the scents mingle and linger as well. This <a href="http://diana212m.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-perfect-fall-potpourri.html?m=1">fall potpourri</a> is made using ingredients you likely have on hand, including orange peel, apple, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla and almond extracts, and plain water. Fill a stock pot and let simmer all day long to wrap yourself in the warm aroma.</p> <h2>4. Junkin' Pumpkins</h2> <p>Skip the patch this year and recycle your old aluminum cans to make these cute <a href="http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2013/10/make-tin-can-pumpkins.html">Junkin' Pumpkins</a>. Find some empty tin cans of assorted sizes and paint them orange using craft paint. Use branches and wire to make convincing stems, and then decorate with ribbon or whatever else you think will make them pop. Bonus: They won't rot, so you can keep them for next year's decor!</p> <h2>5. Gold Leaf</h2> <p>If you have an old frame begging for a photo, consider trekking outside and finding a leaf for this <a href="http://paulinaspassions.com/easy-diy-fall-decorations/">sophisticated art project</a>. Clean off any dirt or debris on the leaf with plain water, let dry, and then paint with metallic paint and let set. Place a clean sheet of paper or card stock behind the leaf and then frame for display.</p> <h2>6. Festive Garland</h2> <p>While you're looking for leaves, pick up some pine cones, too. You can make a <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/10/diy-fall-garland/">beautiful garland</a> by tethering the cones with twine or hot glueing other items you find &mdash; like flowers and leaves &mdash; to the string. Feel free to paint cones for a brighter look. Then hang over a door or fireplace mantel.</p> <h2>7. Pumpkin Planters</h2> <p>Maybe you'd rather hollow out your pumpkin and <a href="http://www.17apart.com/2012/10/how-to-fall-pumpkin-planters.html">plant some mums</a> inside. You'll need to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage, but the rest of the project is super easy. Pack in some dirt, plop in your plant, and water as usual. For the best prices on pumpkins and mums, head to a local farm.</p> <h2>8. Carve-Less Pumpkins</h2> <p>I hate carving pumpkins. I usually cut myself or make a huge mess. You can <a href="http://bliss-athome.com/2013/10/10/tribal-painted-pumpkins/">paint pumpkins</a> using acrylics for a gorgeous addition to your indoor or outdoor decorations. One blogger even <a href="http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/2010/10/pretty-painted-pumpkins-tutorial.html">snagged puffy paint</a> for an impressive 3-D impact. Or let your pumpkin double as a <a href="http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2012/11/19/chalkboard-pumpkins/">message board or table decor</a> using chalkboard paint and chalk.</p> <h2>9. Wrapped Wreath</h2> <p>Use those yarn remnants to make a <a href="http://www.mysocalledcraftylife.com/2012/09/25/diy-yarn-wrapped-fall-wreath/">colorful wreath</a> you'll use for years to come. You'll need a wreath form, that you can find at most craft stores, and &mdash; of course &mdash; yarn. Wrap the yarn over the form until you get the look you want. Then decorate using buttons, fabric flowers, or anything else you like.</p> <h2>10. Nature Wreath</h2> <p>Not as crafty? It's okay! Check your local fabric or craft store for a <a href="http://thirdfloordesignstudio.blogspot.com/2011/10/tuesday-tip-fall-wreath-rosettes.html?m=1">wood or wicker wreath</a> and then use hot glue to decorate it to your best ability. There's no right or wrong way. You can make simple felt rosettes or use items you find outdoors &mdash; acorns, leaves, etc. &mdash; for a punch of color.</p> <h2>11. Sensational Centerpiece</h2> <p>If you're hosting any gatherings, you'll likely want to jazz up your dining table. Don't over-think or over-spend. Instead, <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/09/fall-table-centerpiece.html">glue together a few boards</a> (you can ask your store to cut them for you) and make a base to fill with whatever you choose. You can also use a container you already have on hand. Head to the farmers' market to stock up on small squashes, gourds, and pumpkins that will double as decor and food at a later date. Round out the look by placing a few candles in Ball jars.</p> <h2>12. Apple Candles</h2> <p>Or skip all that and try these genius <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273609/apple-votives">DIY Apple Votives</a>. Cut into the top of your apples with a paring knife to make enough space for your votive. You'll want to sprinkle a little lemon juice to keep the exposed fruit from turning brown. Oh, and you can skip the expensive steel tub and arrange these candles on your dining table atop a plate or other fire-safe surface.</p> <p><em>How do you decorate for fall? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Entertainment Home autumn crafts decor DIY fall festive Holidays Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1220813 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Pet Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-pet-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-pet-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog-chew-toy-181642825-small.jpg" alt="dog chew toy" title="dog chew toy" 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 are featuring some of the best articles from around the web about saving on pets.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/21-do-it-yourself-pet-toy-ideas-on-a-budget/">21 Do-It-Yourself Frugal Pet Toy Ideas</a> &mdash; Feather cat toys and crinkly chew toys are a couple DIY toys you can make for your pets that won't break the bank. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://brokemillennial.com/2014/02/21/frugal-find-friday-foster-dog/">Frugal Find Friday: Foster a Dog</a> &mdash; Want a pet but can't afford it? Consider fostering for a local shelter or rescue, all expenses paid! [Broke Millenial]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/traveling-withpets/">Affordable Travel With Pets</a> &mdash; When deciding whether or not to take pets with you on vacation, take into consideration their health and demeanor in regards to their ability to travel stress-free. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/check-on-pet-ownership-costs-before-you-buy/">Check on Pet Ownership Costs Before You Buy</a> &mdash; It is vital to look at how much it costs to own a pet before you bring one home. Make sure you can afford it! [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/why-my-kid-needs-pets-benefits-of-pet-ownership-for-children">Why My Kid Needs Pets: Benefits Of Pet Ownership for Children</a> &mdash; Having pets keeps kids active and teaches them responsibility. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/00/000131e.cfm">Saving Money on Pets</a> &mdash; Be sure to stay on top of your pets vaccines so they stay healthy and don't end up costing you more money in the long run. [TheDollarStretcher.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/05/16/im-frugal-should-i-get-a-pet/">I'm Frugal, Should I Get a Pet?</a> &mdash; While getting a pet will reduce the amount of money you save each month, the companionship they provide may be worth it for you! [Frugalwoods]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cheap-DIY-Pet-Costume-Ideas-25491165">65 Pet Costumes to DIY on the Cheap</a> &mdash; Have you ever made a Halloween costume for your pet? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/free-and-inexpensive-pet-gifts/" class="entry-title" rel="bookmark" title="Free, cheap and homemade gifts for pets">Free, Cheap and Homemade Gifts for Pets</a> &mdash; Old socks or empty water bottles make great homemade toys for pets. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/frugal-tips-for-the-pet-pooch/">Frugal Tips for the Pet Pooch</a> &mdash; If you are purchasing dog bowls for your pup, remember that they don't care what their bowl looks like. This lets you off the hook for purchasing a fancy, expensive bowl! [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-pet-edition" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Pet Edition" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips pets Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1205461 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Make Your House Look Awesome for $50 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-painting-home-484031105-small.jpg" alt="couple painting home" title="couple painting home" 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 some great articles on making your house look awesome for $50 or less, ways to save $1,000 for holiday shopping, and cash-back websites for online shoppers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/09/04/23-ways-to-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less/">23 Ways to Make Your House Look Awesome for $50 or Less</a> &mdash; Decluttering and tackling your carpet stains can make your house look awesome without breaking the bank. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/ways-to-save-1000-before-christmas/">12 Ways to Save $1,000 for Holiday Shopping in the 12 Weeks Before Christmas</a> &mdash; Being smart with your utilities and doing a financial fast may help you save $1,000 before the holidays. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C011-S001-5-cash-back-web-sites-for-online-shoppers.html?si=1">5 Cash-Back Websites for Online Shoppers</a> &mdash; Online shoppers should check out Ebates and FatWallet. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Look-Forward-Your-30s-35196883">18 Reasons Why You Should Look Forward to Turning 30</a> &mdash; When you turn 30, you will get to reap the benefits of the bad experiences you had in your 20s. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/dealing-with-day-job-and-side-business/">How to Hold Down a Day Job While Nurturing Your Business on the Side</a> &mdash; When juggling a full time job and a side business, get organized and don't be afraid to ask for help. [Careful Cents]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/09/04/voluntarily-slashed-salary/">Why I Voluntarily Slashed My Salary</a> &mdash; Being underemployed may not be for everyone, but if your definition of a rich life doesn't include money, slashing your salary may be a good optoin for you. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/tips-stop-being-ashamed-debt/">6 Tips to Stop Being Ashamed of Your Debt and Take Control</a> &mdash; To take control of your debt, educate yourself and stop spending. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ways-to-teach-our-sons-to-respect-women">7 Ways to Teach Our Sons to Respect Women</a> &mdash; If you want your son to respect women, teach him to speak kindly and to be chivalrous. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://the-military-guide.com/">Eight Reasons Not to Worry About Military Retirement</a> &mdash; Members of the military returning from duty shouldn't worry about retirement if they haven't been offered a job yet. Once they ramp up their job search, they should have more success and be able to save for retirement. [The Military Guide]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/talk-sense-freespending-teenaged.html">Oh, How I Wish I Could Go Back and Talk Some Sense into My Free-Spending Teenaged Self</a> &mdash; Do you wish you had started saving at a younger age? What is the best advice you'd give your younger self? [Bargaineering]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Make Your House Look Awesome for $50 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home awesome best money tips cheap decorate house Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1204544 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit) http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apartment-decoration-planning-180204421-small.jpg" alt="apartment decoration" title="apartment decoration" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The white walls and boring fixtures of apartments are a thing of the past. You don't need to own your abode to make it totally your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-a-tiny-apartment-awesome?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Make a Tiny Apartment Awesome</a>)</p> <p>Check out these thrifty &mdash; but impactful &mdash; DIY ideas that will transform your space to home, all while ensuring you'll get that security deposit back.</p> <h2>1. Wow! Wallpaper</h2> <p>You can find temporary wallpaper rolls in a variety of <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/Betapet?ref=l2-shopheader-name">shades and prints</a> these days. Most brands are self adhesive for easy installation. To keep the cost low, consider papering a single accent wall versus an entire room. Think focal point by choosing the wall at the head of your bed, for example. A little will go a long way.</p> <h2>2. Brazen Backsplash</h2> <p>You can also use temporary wallpaper as a backsplash in your apartment's kitchen, but there's an even cheaper way to get a faux-tile look. Use contact paper! This <a href="http://bee-arthur.tumblr.com/post/8883206325">frugal project</a> cost only $13 and resulted in a stainless steel look that really brightened up the space. Simply cut contact paper into &quot;tiles&quot; and arrange in a pattern above your countertop. When it's time to move, just gently peel away from the wall.</p> <h2>3. Curtain Call</h2> <p>If you'd rather not stick something to the wall, consider adding some pizzaz with curtains on a tension rod. I used this technique in my <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/01/never-homemaker-kitchen-tour.html">first home's kitchen</a> to hide an otherwise ugly closet door; you could use it wherever you want a little color or flair. Tension rods of all sizes cost under $10. If you don't have curtains, follow this <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/03/nursery-curtains-tutorial.html">no-sew tutorial</a> to create some from fabric using hemming tape and an iron. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-unexpected-uses-for-tension-rods?ref=seealso">20 Unexpected Uses for Tension Rods</a>)</p> <h2>4. Bookworm Bounty</h2> <p>I recently browsed my decor inspiration board on Pinterest and discovered that many of my living room ideas incorporated the same element &mdash; bookshelves! You don't need built-ins to get this studious look, plus it's functional and perfect if you love reading. I love the idea of scouting out tall, <a href="http://weheartit.com/entry/4556733">mismatched shelves</a> at thrift stores for a unique look.</p> <h2>5. Beautiful Boxes</h2> <p>You can also use boxy fruit crates to create custom <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-shelves-out-of-fru-56604">temporary shelving</a>! I envision countless possibilities for this easy DIY project. My favorite of the bunch is a makeshift entry area with a couple hooks and fruit crates to <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/bb/8f/61/bb8f61ca91d65bcf81c1853b6ff83995.jpg">wrangle shoes, boots</a>, and anything else you have around. And since they're not bolted down, you can change your configuration as often as you change your mind.</p> <h2>6. Great Divide</h2> <p>If you live in a free-form space, you might want to create some separation using room dividers that simulate walls. This basement redo utilizes an <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2009/12/tackling-the-basement-done/">old pair of shutters</a> painted in glossy green to create space. You can also use a pair of curtains to do the same trick by <a href="http://www.pbteen.com/stylehouse/tips-tricks/break-it-up.html">hanging them</a> on steel wire cables in the area you want to section off. This trick is great for studio apartments, creating the illusion of a 1-bedroom at a fraction of the price it costs to rent one.</p> <h2>7. Big Impact</h2> <p>If you'd rather hang some artwork, check out engineer prints for black and white poster-sized art on the cheap. This <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/08/5-personalized-poster-sized-art.html">step-by-step tutorial</a> shows you how to take one of your own photos, add text, and get it printed for under $5. From there, you can purchase poster frames for $10 or less at stores like WalMart and Target. Consider grouping several large prints for bigger impact or browsing online for <a href="http://caravanshoppe.com/2013/04/17/braver-stronger-smarter/">free designs</a> to print.</p> <h2>8. Warm and Cozy</h2> <p>My favorite apartment trick for an instant homey feeling? A <a href="http://www.oneplusonedesign.ca/soapbox/featured-on-designsponge/">faux fireplace</a>. I found one on Craigslist way back when, and it moved with me to five different apartments! A fake fireplace adds an amazing architectural focal point to your room, as well as a great place to focus your decorating efforts &mdash; especially for the holidays. And it's like any other piece of furniture that can be easily picked up and moved.</p> <h2>9. Clever Lights</h2> <p>Purchase a light kit from your home improvement store and a drum shade for a simple, DIY hanging light fixture. It requires very little installation and can be removed in a flash. You can get quite creative with the basic idea. For example, this blogger used a <a href="http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2012/04/trash-can-pendant-light.html">wicker trash can</a> as a basic, ingenious pendant. This trick is particularly great if you need light over, say, your dining room table and don't want to go with more floor lamps.</p> <h2>10. Green Thumb</h2> <p>Plants can totally transform the feel of a space and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">improve air quality</a>. My mother-in-law has a beautiful collection of plants in her dining room, including a Rubber Tree, Jade plant, and some assorted ferns. Head to your local garden center and consult with the folks there to find a few plants that will bring the outdoors in and cozy up your apartment fast. Plus, many house plants can live for years and years with proper care.</p> <p><em>How do you dress up a drab apartment? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Home apartment cheap decor decorating Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1199024 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Make Your Home Look Amazing for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/painting-home-187648776-small.jpg" alt="painting home" title="painting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Beautifying your home doesn't have to mean building a new wing or digging out for an infinity pool (and paying infinity dollars for it!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing?ref=seealso">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Great</a>)</p> <p>In fact, here are 15 ways you can majorly upgrade your home for under $100.</p> <h2>1. Paint</h2> <p>A few gallons of paint will set you back far less than $100 and can make a huge impact, as long as you're willing to do the labor yourself. Sometimes a fresh color is all it takes to inspire you to rearrange furniture, hang some art, and in general change things around. Stripes or an ombre color scheme can perk up a boring room or revitalize a tired piece of furniture. For instant curb appeal outside, paint your front door or refresh your exterior trim.</p> <h2>2. Organize</h2> <p>Set yourself a budget of $100 and head for the Container Store or a home goods store and load up with baskets, shoe racks, desk organizers, or an inexpensive closet system. Getting all that clutter off the surfaces of your home and into dedicated organizational spaces can make your home look ten times bigger. And better.</p> <h2>3. Use Subway Tile</h2> <p>Tile has a reputation for being expensive, but the most trendy tile of this decade &mdash; basic white subway tile &mdash; is usually extremely affordable and can run for as little as $1-$2 a square foot. For $100, you can get enough subway tile to redo your kitchen or bathroom backsplash, or even to re-tile your shower surround if it's starting to look dated. Of course, you'll have to be willing to put in some sweat equity of your own (stripping off old tile and laying the new), but the results will be fresh, new, and clean.</p> <h2>4. Buy Plants</h2> <p>A large plant or tree in the ground, or in a planter box in front of your home can instantly upgrade the appeal of your house. Whatever climate zone you live in, you can find an attractive plant for about $100 &mdash; be it simple rosemary, succulents, an evergreen, or a Japanese maple tree. Or plant $100 worth of flowers, either in the ground or in planters, and your home will look instantly landscaped and beautiful.</p> <p>You can also bring the outside indoors by bringing in a striking indoor plant such as a trendy fiddle leaf fig tree (or for the less experienced gardener, a potted palm or money tree). Place a large green plant in the corner of the room to draw the eye and make the room appear larger.</p> <h2>5. Add Patterned Textiles</h2> <p>I'm kind of a fabric junkie, and I'm always picking up gorgeous patterned fabric at discount fabric outlets such as <a href="http://homefabricsonline.com/">Home Fabrics</a>. If you don't have a fabric store near you, you can often get great deals on fabric online on sites such as <a href="https://www.fabric.com/">Fabric.com</a>. I like the line of <a href="https://www.fabric.com/SearchResults2.aspx?SearchText=premier+prints&amp;CategoryID=1d5f47dc-9991-4088-93f3-26a376046a5e">Premier Prints</a> home decor fabrics that run for about $10 a yard or less. For that price, you can make a set of curtain panels, recover a bench or set of dining chair cushions, upholster a headboard, and in general use the pattern to bring extra oomph to your space (tutorials about such easy DIY projects abound on the Internet). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains?ref=seealso">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a>)</p> <h2>6. Install a Statement Light Fixture</h2> <p>While I love the budget-friendly line of <a href="http://www.shadesoflight.com/lighting/young-house-love-collection/">lighting by Young House Love</a> (all fixtures are under $100), in general a statement light fixture is going to run you far more than your $100 budget. But one great, creative solution is using <em>exterior</em> lighting, such as rustic metal lanterns, indoors. There is no danger in using an exterior light fixture indoors, and many of these rugged fixtures are very affordable. Hang a couple lanterns over an island or dining table, for example.</p> <h2>7. Plank a Wall</h2> <p>A really popular look these days is to cover an accent wall with reclaimed wood planks (check your local Craigslist for reclaimed lumber sources). Old wood can range in price, but for $100 you should be able to cover an alcove in old barn siding or plank the nook above your fireplace. With easy, straight cuts, this is a project suitable for even those new to DIY. Can't afford enough reclaimed lumber but want a wood-planked look? Try using laminate flooring right on your walls!</p> <h2>8. Upgrade Front Door Hardware</h2> <p>If your front door is still sporting early 90's brass hardware, consider updating it with a new hardware kit. While these kits, which include locks, knobs, and handles, range in price, you should be able to find something nice at the local hardware store for under $100. Your front door makes a big impression on visitors, so this is a sound investment.</p> <h2>9. Hang a Mirror</h2> <p>You can get large-scale mirrors for great prices at consignment stores, discount stores like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">HomeGoods</a>, or IKEA. Hanging a mirror over a buffet, dresser, or console table is a great way to bring more light into a room and make it seem more spacious.</p> <h2>10. Stencil Something</h2> <p>Modern stencils are chic and fresh (say goodbye to the grapevine stencils of the 90's) and can be bought for well under $100. Check out the gorgeous designs by <a href="http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/collections/new-stencil-designs">Royal Design Studio</a>. Try stenciling a wall in a geometric or Moroccan trellis pattern (a bathroom wall is a great place to go bold). If a wall is too ambitious for you, even stenciling an accent piece such as a thrift store tray, box, or chair can add a bespoke flair to your home.</p> <h2>11. Frame Your Photos</h2> <p>Stop putting off printing all your digital pictures! For $100 you can easily get some large-scale photos printed at Costco and pick up a few IKEA frames. Hang pictures in a grouping for bigger impact (especially if you can't afford a huge frame or picture). Hanging photos makes your house seem homier, cozier, and more personal. Just be sure not to go to the opposite extreme of cluttering up every side table and shelf with mismatched frames.</p> <h2>12. Upgrade Lighting</h2> <p>Bad lighting can not only put you in a bad mood, but also make your home look dated and ugly. Invest in a couple of sculptural lamps and quality light bulbs that will cast a warm glow on your space, putting you in a happier state of mind and making everything in your home look better. Another great place to add lighting is under cabinets &mdash; just buy some stick-on LED lights and you'll have the look of expensive under-cabinet lighting for far less. It's all about the details, folks!</p> <h2>13. Coordinate Colors and Patterns</h2> <p>Matching sets make your home look more pulled together, whether it be matching towels in the guest bath, coordinating bedding in the bedroom, or coordinating (though not necessarily matching) accent pillows. Make a few things match for under $100, and you'll find your home looks less visually cluttered and more intentional.</p> <h2>14. Let the Light In</h2> <p>This is a tip home stagers use often &mdash; roll up the blinds, throw open the curtains, and let the sunshine illuminate your home. You can take it a little further by getting rid of dark drapes (perhaps replacing them with inexpensive light-colored ones), painting your walls a light color, and/or painting dark furniture white. A tip for curtains &mdash; hang rods high and wide above and to the sides of your windows. This will make your windows look taller and wider, and will prevent the curtains from blocking any light when pushed to the side.</p> <h2>15. Clean and Declutter</h2> <p>A clean and neat home looks more upscale and stylish than a cluttered and dingy home. So get yourself some good cleaning products and get to work! While you're at it, get rid of old knick-knacks, magazines, and other things that you don't need or use anymore. Edit your belongings &mdash; display only the best.</p> <p>Hiring someone to clean your house might seem like a luxury, but often a professional eye will catch dirt and dinginess that you've simply gotten used to. There are often deals on Groupon or LivingSocial for discounted cleaning services. Consider having someone come and make your home spic-and-span for around $100.</p> <p><em>Do you have any tips on making your home look great on a budget? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Ways to Make Your Home Look Amazing for Under $100" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home declutter home decor home maintenance Mon, 11 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1179250 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Worst Things to Grow in Your Garden http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-things-to-grow-in-your-garden <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-worst-things-to-grow-in-your-garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garderner-carrots-450799137-small.jpg" alt="gardener carrots" title="gardener carrots" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A garden can be an amazing investment for the home cook, foodie, or family provider. Most plants can be grown and harvested for a small fraction of what it would cost to buy even a couple meals' worth of produce in the store. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself?ref=seealso">The Only Fruits and Vegetables Worth Growing Yourself</a>)</p> <p>There are other types of plants, however, that offer a weak return on your investment. Here are the vegetables I tend to shy away from, and why you may not want them occupying your precious garden space, either.</p> <h2>Cauliflower</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cauliflower.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Cauliflower is a fickle plant in that it has a long growing season before it matures, but also likes it cool. If your part of the country gets hot early, this vegetable may have a hard time. In addition, it needs a little &quot;pampering&quot; to do well. The outer leaves must be grown so that they can be brought up over the head of the cauliflower and tied into place. Assuming you do everything right, they are still prone to beetles and insect damage, which can be hard to deal with in a veggie that is literally hiding away until it is ready. And when you're done with the process, you usually have just the one head to show for all your work anyway.</p> <h2>Carrots</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/carrot%20plant_0.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I have had luck with growing these beauties at least once in my long gardening life, but it required a ton of work.</p> <p>Carrots need an almost perfect soil bed to give them the right Ph level to grow, as well as a completely unobstructed path downward; if they run into anything on their way south, they can stunt or branch off. Two-pronged carrots, while still tasty, are not the goal of the gardener, and it isn't uncommon to dig up spindly or dwarfed produce after a long season of tending to them. Fresh carrots have a flavor that some may find off, depending on the nutrients in the soil you grow them in. Considering that a bag of carrots is usually less than $1 a pound, they are a cheap commodity best purchased in the store or farmer's market. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt?ref=seealso">Baby Carrots: The Frugal Idea That Isn't</a>)</p> <h2>Celery</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Celery%20plant.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>What goes best with carrots? Celery, of course! And this also-affordable veggie can be equally painful to grow at home. It's notorious for requiring water and cool temps, but needs a very long time to mature. If you can keep up with the moisture demands and have a soil type that holds moisture, you will be waiting quite a while for your celery.</p> <h2>Head Lettuce</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/head%20lettuce.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Leaf lettuce is one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden. You simply plant the seed, water, and watch it grow. Head lettuce, on the other hand, requires a watchful wait for the lettuce to grow large enough to create the round ball we are used to seeing in the store. In the meantime, steady watering and temps are necessary to keep the plant from creating flowers &mdash; or bolting. Most gardeners we know stay away from head lettuce, as the Midwest gets so hot, and the premature flowering of the plants make them taste bitter. Going with a leaf lettuce blend isn't just easier, your salads will be more colorful, too!</p> <h2>Corn</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/corn2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you have a large area to work with, sweet corn can be an easy crop to raise. For the average backyard gardener, however, the amount of ground needed for a substantial crop is more than available.</p> <p>Since corn requires many factors to pollinate, including air movement, one single row of corn will not easily produce. Tall corn can easily blow over in the wind or bad weather, as well, making it difficult for anything less than 20 plants to stay upright. Corn usually only puts on two ears or so per plant, giving a lower yield than most garden plants. In the end, it might be easier to stop at that roadside stand and invest in their five for a dollar sale.</p> <p>As with any article on gardening, your mileage will vary by your location, experience, and luck. Even the most seasoned growers have bad years &mdash; and favorite plants!</p> <p><em>What veggie have you sworn off growing? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-things-to-grow-in-your-garden" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Worst Things to Grow in Your Garden" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Lifestyle fruit gardens vegetables Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1180565 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Home Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-home-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-home-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fixing-door-89987115-small.jpg" alt="fixing door" title="fixing door" 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 some of the best articles around the web on everything related to your home!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Home-Repairs-You-Can-Do-Yourself-31124855">7 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself</a> &mdash; Chances are you don't need a professional to do caulking or fix a squeaky door in your home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/06/16/10-tips-most-first-time-home-buyers-dont-consider/">10 Tips Most First-Time Home Buyers Don't Consider</a> &mdash; Most first-time home buyers don't look beyond home staging or research grants or other forms of funding. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id1317-19-tips-for-saving-a-bundle-of-money-on-home-appliances.html">19 Tips for Saving a Bundle of Money on Home Appliances</a> &mdash; If you want to save a bundle on home appliances, take advantage of price match guarantees or buy a floor model. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/house-staging-tips/">34 House Staging Tips</a> &mdash; When you are trying to sell your home, keep the toilet seats down and make sure the windows are washed. [Sustainable Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/seven-simple-tactics-we-use-to-keep-summer-energy-bills-low/">Seven Simple Tactics We Use to Keep Summer Energy Bills Low</a> &mdash; Using ambient lights and ceiling fans can help reduce your summer energy bill. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2006/08/save_money_by_p.html">Save Money by Planning Your Home Improvements in the Off Season</a> &mdash; If you plan on updating your home heating system, save money by updating it in the summer. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedebtprincess.com/2013/08/15/frugal-decorating-tips-for-decorating-on-a-dime/">Frugal Decorating: Tips for Decorating on a Dime</a> &mdash; Having patience when it comes to finding the right item for your home and shopping with a list can help keep your decorating costs low. [The Debt Princess]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/when-does-it-make-sense-to-rent-a-home-instead-of-buy/">When Does It Make Sense to Rent a Home Instead of Buy?</a> &mdash; It may make more sense to rent a home if the mortgage that comes with buying a house isn't affordable. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/home-additions-that-increase-your-insurance-rates/">3 Home Additions That Will Raise Your Insurance Rates</a> &mdash; Adding on an additional room to your home will increase your insurance rates. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-decorate-a-green-baby-nursery">How to Decorate a &quot;Green&quot; Baby Nursery</a> &mdash; To decorate a green baby nursery, opt for wood floors covered with rugs. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-home-edition" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Home Edition" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Real Estate and Housing best money tips home housing Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1147492 at http://www.wisebread.com 17 DIY Projects to Make Your Home Look Amazing (and 3 You Shouldn't Try) http://www.wisebread.com/17-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-and-3-you-shouldnt-try <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-and-3-you-shouldnt-try" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-painting-86495282-small.jpg" alt="couple painting" title="couple painting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When my husband and I bought our first home, I was glued to all those television DIY shows. There were so many things we wanted to do to our starter space, and the Internet hadn't yet exploded with tutorials and inspiration boards. Now? Any and every project you could ever want to do can be found with a quick search. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing?ref=related">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Great</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the best home and decor improvements even novices can tackle.</p> <h2>1. Leather Refinishing</h2> <p>Have an old, worn leather couch smelling up the place? You can totally revitalize it on the cheap with these <a href="http://knoxvilleflowerpot.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-dye-or-stain-leather-furniture.html">easy instructions</a>. You'll need leather cleaner, a good quality dye, and some type of finish coat &mdash; but all the supplies should come in less than $100, depending on the size of your sofa.</p> <h2>2. Blinds Revival</h2> <p>I dream of gorgeous plantation shutters in my home. Thing is, I'm on a plastic blinds sort of budget, so I love this idea to dress them up <a href="http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/craft-sprayblinds.htm">using spray paint</a>. The possibilities are endless! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-ways-to-use-spray-paint-for-cheap-and-easy-decorating?ref=related">40 Ways to Use Spray Paint for Cheap and Easy Decorating</a>)</p> <h2>3. Fireplace Makeover</h2> <p>Neutralize the dated aspects of your home with &mdash; again &mdash; our friend, spray paint. Those brassy accents disappear with a nice coat of black or, in for a more refined color, &quot;oil-rubbed bronze.&quot; With the fireplace, you'll want to choose a formula specifically <a href="http://www.creationsbykara.com/2011/06/fireplace-makeover-spray-paint-magic.html/">designed for high heat</a>.</p> <h2>4. Like-New Appliances</h2> <p>Our new home has a great, spacious kitchen, but the appliances don't match. Since they're all in good working order, we're considering <a href="http://cozycrookedcottage.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/diy-painted-refrigerator/">painting the refrigerator</a> versus buying a new one. You can use special appliance paint or kits, but the tutorial makes use of standard semi-gloss paint.</p> <h2>5. Light Fixture</h2> <p>Though I don't recommend doing your own electrical work, you can <a href="http://www.lowes.com/cd_Change+a+Light+Fixture_279093251_">replace ceiling light fixtures</a> without much trouble. Just be sure to turn out the power to the room you're working in and connect the wires according to your new light's instruction pamphlet.</p> <h2>6. Board and Batten</h2> <p>Adding architectural detail to a room is simple with this detailed <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2013/07/home-improvement-diy-board-and-batten.html">board and batten tutorial</a>. You need boards, construction adhesive, nails, and a few other supplies. If you aren't handy with a saw, you might even consider asking the folks at your local lumber supply to do the cuts for you at an extra charge to speed up the process.</p> <h2>7. Television Hide-and-Seek</h2> <p>I drool over media cabinets from those expensive home decor stores. Then I found this <a href="http://dixiedelights.blogspot.com/2013/01/honey-does-diy-flat-screen-tv-cabinet.html">smart solution</a> online &mdash; and I can't wait to get my hands on some 2x4s. This project isn't well detailed, but if you have a somewhat experienced woodworker in the family, the concept is easy to follow. For my &quot;doors&quot; I might use (or create) a piece of artwork that comes in two pieces.</p> <h2>8. Tile Re-Grouting</h2> <p>If you have a section &mdash; or entire room &mdash; of tile that looks dingy and old, consider whether the tile itself really needs fixing, or if you can just fix the grout. You can pick up the supplies to add some new life to those dirty grout lines for very little money &mdash; <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTddQ-4EVl8">here's how</a> you do it!</p> <h2>9. Rustic Accent Wall</h2> <p>When I came across this <a href="http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/2010/02/nursery-news-accent-wall/">cozy pallet wall</a>, my jaw literally dropped. It takes some skill, but once you hang the underlayment, it's mostly a puzzle of what pieces look good and where. The author installed it in her son's nursery, but I'd love to put one in my basement recreation room!</p> <h2>10. Custom Built-Ins</h2> <p>When I first came across these <a href="http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2013/07/dining-room-pretty-organization.html">dining room built-ins</a>, I knew they'd be perfect for almost any room in the house. The author gives <a href="http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-build-built-ins.html">step-by-step instructions</a> for how to select the right cabinets, cut the wood, paint for more artistic flair, etc. &mdash; just note that this project isn't done in a day. However, the time involved is worth it!</p> <h2>11. Smart Shelving</h2> <p>If you're looking to add some unique flair to a room, look outside the home decor department. This <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2013/02/nesting-ladder-display-makeover.html">ladder turned shelf</a> could hold anything from plants to books, and it's a great way to turn something old into something treasured. All you need are some planks of wood and wood glue! Leave your ladder unpainted for a most rustic look or use a bright color for some cheer. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cheap-and-attractive-ideas-for-bookshelves?ref=related">18 Cheap and Attractive Ideas for Bookshelves</a>)</p> <h2>12. Shaker Cabinets</h2> <p>I'm hoping to complete this next project by the end of the summer. Trim out your plain kitchen cabinets <a href="http://www.beautifulmatters.com/2013/02/diy-inexpensive-cabinet-updates/">using yard sticks</a> (or standard trim) for that Shaker look. A little grain filler and paint, and your kitchen will look entirely different for pennies on the dollar.</p> <h2>13. Revived Tub</h2> <p>You can shine up your bathtub without replacing or covering it. Just follow these <a href="http://www.beautifulmatters.com/2013/01/diy-bathtub-refinishing/">simple instructions</a> that explain how everyday products and a tub refinishing kit can take your soaking place from freaky to fab in no time at all.</p> <h2>14. Plywood Planks</h2> <p>Looking for an inexpensive wood flooring solution? These <a href="http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2014/03/diy-wide-plank-floors-made-from-plywood.html">plywood plank floors</a> can be painted or stained and seem pretty darned easy to install. Just be sure to start with a solid, level subfloor and measure twice, cut once. This is another project where you can take advantage of low-cost cuts made at your hardware store.</p> <h2>15. Distressed Look</h2> <p>I'd file this one under <em>Proceed With Caution</em>, but if you like that distressed leather look, <a href="http://desertwillowlaneblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/distressing-new-leather-furniture-diy.html">this tutorial</a> is for you. Even a shiny, brand new piece can turn into that &quot;old favorite&quot; with some sandpaper, rubbing alcohol, a blow dryer, and a few rags.</p> <h2>16. Console Table</h2> <p>Sometimes the furniture you need can't be found at the store. Or maybe what you see in catalogs and online is outrageously expensive. Either way, this <a href="http://somethingisdone.com/diy-behind-the-sofa-table/">behind-the-sofa table</a> appears to be beginner-friendly. Just assemble a few 2x4s and 1x4s, and you're set to paint or stain it anyway you prefer.</p> <h2>17. Shutter Install</h2> <p>Plantation shutters are one of my favorite design elements because they are both beautiful and functional. They are also quite costly, so if you can order online at a discount and then <a href="http://foxhollowcottage.com/2014/04/easy-diy-plantation-shutter-installation.html">install them yourself</a>, it's worth your while.</p> <h2>And Three Things You Should Hire the Pros to Do</h2> <p>It's true that you can do a lot to improve your home and decor (and have a lot of fun doing it). However, it's also important to know and obey your limits, and we all have our limits. Here are a few projects you <em>shouldn't</em> tackle on your own.</p> <h3>Asbestos Removal</h3> <p>A lot of us have those 9x9 titles in our basements and kitchens, but if you suspect your flooring might contain asbestos, it's best to have it tested before doing any DIY demolition. When in good condition, asbestos tiles doesn't pose much threat. When damaged, the fibers become <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos/protect-your-family">airborne and crumble easily</a>, so it's best to leave the work to experts or leave it alone entirely.</p> <h3>Amateur Handyman</h3> <p>If your local municipality requires a permit for something &mdash; like <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/tradesmen/diy-electrical-work-an-experts-opinion-8548135.html">electrical work</a>, plumbing, or knocking down walls, etc. &mdash; you might not have the skills to tackle it on your own. Rather than search around for a quick fix, you'll probably save more money (and your health and safety) in the long run by calling in a professional.</p> <h3>Roofing Repairs</h3> <p>My neighbor recently tore off and re-installed roofing on his garage. A project lower to the ground might be okay, but if you're going to go on a super tall ladder, you should leave it to the professionals. That goes for anything up high, as falls from ladders sent <a href="http://health.yahoo.net/articles/emergency/do-it-yourself-projects-that-lead-to-the-most-er-visits">246,733 Americans</a> to hospital ERs back in 2009. Don't become a statistic!</p> <p><em>Have you tackled any DIY home projects lately? How'd it come out? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-and-3-you-shouldnt-try" class="sharethis-link" title="17 DIY Projects to Make Your Home Look Amazing (and 3 You Shouldn&#039;t Try) " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Home DIY home maintenance home projects Home repair Tue, 24 Jun 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1146613 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Make a Tiny Apartment Awesome http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-a-tiny-apartment-awesome <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-make-a-tiny-apartment-awesome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7034137715_58fdc7b882_z.jpg" alt="small apartment" title="small apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="170" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Small apartments have their perks: They're generally more affordable, easier to decorate, and easier to clean, just to name a few. The downside, of course, is that the cramped and limiting feeling of living in tiny apartment, often with only one bedroom and little room for hosting guests, can make you feel like your place just doesn't cut it.</p> <p>But what if you could lessen the cons and increase the pros of a smaller place? What if there were ways to make your tiny apartment a fun and amicable living environment? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space?ref=seealso">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a>)</p> <p>If you can see beyond the square footage and think outside of the box, there are plenty of things you can do to turn your apartment's size in your favor. You don't have wait until you can afford to upgrade either. Make the most of where you are right now with these 12 tips.</p> <h2>1. Install a Hanging Lamp Over the Dinner Table</h2> <p>Lighting is crucial indoors, regardless of the size of the room. If you've got a high ceiling lamp over the kitchen where you eat, replace it with <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/3c/86/46/3c864690bd899b17c8fe20e22e3a2ce1.jpg">something that hangs down</a> closer to the table. It'll make the lighting cozier and more intimate for when you don't want the entire room illuminated.</p> <h2>2. Repaint the Crown Moulding</h2> <p>Moulding (also called &quot;trim&quot;) is the baseboard around the top or bottom of the rooms in your home. They're a small feature, but can actually add a lot of character. If they've gotten old, faded, or dirty, cleaning and repainting them can add a lot of life to a room.</p> <h2>3. Screen Studio Apartment Sleeping Areas With Curtains</h2> <p>If you own a studio apartment where the bedroom and living area are one and the same, install a <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/dc/31/e3/dc31e371c68b5bc3d5b2eb171e9d1d86.jpg"> curtain that can be drawn</a> to give the sleeping area a little bit of privacy.</p> <h2>4. Accent a Primarily White Kitchen With Bright Colors</h2> <p>If you have a kitchen that's neutral in color, you can use drying towels, fruit bowls, and whatever else you can can find to sit on the counter as an accent. Go with <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Is7QM3EB6PI/U5Hahb7BGiI/AAAAAAAAWU4/SvlJ9CyYlbU/s1600/1336-koekken-funky-1.jpg">a gentle color scheme</a> and keep it consistent. You want something that brightens up the room while staying soft and easy on the eyes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen</a>)</p> <h2>5. Add a Hammock Chair</h2> <p>You can buy hammocks that are designed to sit in and can function as an extra piece of furniture in your living area. Not only are they comfortable and trendy, but a <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fNALo_uPROc/U3oVjpfaRKI/AAAAAAAAWQs/V82E6VCv5BE/s1600/SFDC886D63151B8482C8B1B23584976F575_960x.jpg">hammock chair</a> will save you a lot of space.</p> <h2>6. Create Counter Space Over a Front Loading Washer and Dryer</h2> <p>If you really want to invest in a space-saving feature for your apartment, a front-loading <a href="http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/4c/f1/81/4cf1810b44c00cfae856968a08713dbc.jpg">washer and dryer with a countertop</a> is one of the best ways to do so. The countertop will need to be bought separately, but you won't have to spend much since you'll only need one piece.</p> <h2>7. Hang Plants</h2> <p>Smaller apartments are often in the city where you don't get to see much in the way of green plants. <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/19/e4/06/19e4067452531360742b18998d48cd81.jpg">Hanging some of your own plants</a> from the ceiling allows you to add greenery without using up counter space or creating the need for further organization.</p> <h2>8. Consider Boxed Shelving</h2> <p>If you have a lot of small odds and ends that need shelf space, a <a href="http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/4b/e9/dd/4be9ddb44e36c11810d42bfce2748642.jpg">boxed shelf</a> might be more functional. They're also fairly inexpensive and easy to put together or install.</p> <h2>9. Minimize Your Work Desk</h2> <p>These days, you don't need a cluttered desk to be productive. Stick with a laptop, notebook and one or two writing utensils to free up space.</p> <h2>10. Provide Mood Lighting in the Living Area</h2> <p>What a small space has going for it is coziness. You can take advantage of that by adding some small mood lighting. Generally the living area is the best place for this, since it's where people will spend the most time sitting and enjoying the atmosphere.</p> <h2>11. Go Small With the Entertainment Center</h2> <p>In a smaller apartment, a <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/37/e4/37/37e43700cbda3aa01317994b0ecac15a.jpg">minimal setup</a> for your entertainment center will save space and give the living area a more roomy feel.</p> <h2>12. Take Advantage of Corner Shelving</h2> <p>A <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/14/40/c4/1440c44fc51bb1e52f54f02bab1d053f.jpg">small corner shelf</a> is cheap to buy, easy to install, and saves you the floor space that a side table would take up. Consider this option in the bedroom to replace a side table or shelf and the kitchen if you need more counter room.</p> <h2>Adding Visual to Functional</h2> <p>A smaller apartment is almost always going to be more functional in terms of having everything you need close to you.</p> <p>The mistake most people make is to assume that because a place is small, it can't be visually appealing as well. Any kind of space, regardless of its size can be a visually fun and engaging atmosphere. You might need to dig a little deeper to tap into the interior designer in you, but the solutions are generally simple and minimal.</p> <p><em>What relatively simple improvements do you suggest to make a tiny apartment awesomer? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-a-tiny-apartment-awesome" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ways to Make a Tiny Apartment Awesome" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home organization small apartments tiny houses Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1144496 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Angie’s List Saves You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-angie-s-list-saves-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-angie-s-list-saves-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6%20Ways%20Angie%27s%20List%20Saves%20Money.png" alt="angie&#039;s list" title="angie&#039;s list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="129" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you've got a big home improvement project planned or you're just looking to get your A/C unit repaired, you'll need to know how and where to find a service provider that fits the bill and is worth the price.</p> <p>But how do you <em>know</em> that a deal really is a good deal? And how can you be <em>sure</em> that the repairman you're letting in to your house is legit? Enter <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11800498?sid=bdt">Angie's List</a>.</p> <h3>What Is Angie's List?</h3> <p>Angie's List is a resource that compiles business information from services ranging from house cleaning to HVAC installation and everything in between. Angie's List users submit reviews and ratings to help each other out, plus the reviews and ratings are checked before going up to ensure they're legit. But it you probably want to know if it's worth the cost. Here are six ways Angie's List saves you money.</p> <h2>1. Angie's List Saves You Time</h2> <p>Time is money, people. Sure, if you want to find someone to fix your blinds, you could perform an Internet search for &quot;blind repair [your city]&quot; but then you'll need to do additional research &mdash; is this company legit? What kind of reviews are they getting? Are the <em>reviews</em> legit? What's their pricing? Do they have any coupons or deals?</p> <p>Angie's List compiles all of a company's information on one page, including contact information, trade license information, whether or not a company is bonded and/or insured, any current deals the company is offering, and lots more. Perform a search, check the ratings, pick a provider &mdash; done.</p> <h2>2. Angie's List Offers Daily Deals</h2> <p>For bargain-hunters like me, you'll be pleased to find that Angie's List has a Deals section in which select providers in your area offer packages available to purchase for a limited time. Angie's List reviews and ratings are included within the deal so you can see at a glance what others have said about the company.</p> <p>Here's an example: right now, I can spend $99 for a complete air duct system cleaning with unlimited vents (a $299 value). This is similar to a deal I might find on Groupon, but what makes me use Angie's List vs. Groupon is that I <em>know</em> this company will do a good job &mdash; they have an A rating from over 300 reviews.</p> <h2>3. Angie's List Makes Sure It's Done Right the First Time</h2> <p>Using a highly-rated provider helps ensure that a service will be performed properly the first time.</p> <p>From my own experience: I recently bought a chimney cleaning voucher for $79 from a daily deal website. After the man completed the job, my husband commented that our ShopVac probably could have done the same thing. Now we have to have it redone properly.</p> <h2>4. Angie's List Gives You Confidence</h2> <p>If you <em>know</em> that a company is licensed, insured and bonded, then you <em>know</em> that you (and your insurance company) won't be on the hook for a poor job that they do.</p> <p>There's a License Check tool on Angie's List that makes it easy for you to know who to call or where to search to verify information that a provider has given you. Since licensing procedures and qualifications vary widely by state and profession, it's important to do your due diligence to ensure that a company is legit.</p> <h2>5. Angie's List Rewards You</h2> <p>Since signing up, I've received several emails from Angie's List prompting to send me rewards &mdash; just two days ago I was sent a $20 Starbucks eGift for sharing my thoughts about two service providers of my choosing (easy!).</p> <p>They also have an AngieCash referral program in which you can earn $25 AngieCash for friends that you refer, and your friend will get $15 in AngieCash upon signing up (this may just be for a limited time). AngieCash can be redeemed in the AngieCash store for things like magazine subscriptions, e-gift cards, Vera Bradley totes, and more.</p> <h2>6. Angie's List Sends You Money-Saving Tips</h2> <p>In addition to ratings across all categories, you'll get monthly magazines sent to your home with helpful home saving tips. I thumbed through the magazine I received yesterday and found several useful home maintenance articles and tips to keep things running smoothly.</p> <p>If I've convinced you that yes, Angie's List will really save you money, <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11800498?sid=bdt">sign up today</a>! </p> <p><em>Have you used Angie's List? I'd love to hear what your experience was like!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-angie-s-list-saves-you-money" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways Angie’s List Saves You Money " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-rocha">Carrie Rocha</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Angie's List repairs Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:04:18 +0000 Carrie Rocha 1142399 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Beat the High Cost of Air Conditioning http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-beat-the-high-cost-of-air-conditioning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-beat-the-high-cost-of-air-conditioning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooling-fan-177379970-small.jpg" alt="cooling fan" title="cooling fan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></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 some fantastic articles on beating the high cost of air conditioning, rules for buying a wedding gift, and what to do after a car accident.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/05/30/21-ways-to-beat-the-high-cost-of-air-conditioning/">21 Ways to Beat the High Cost of Air Conditioning</a> &mdash; To beat the high cost of air conditioning, change AC filters monthly and insulate the attic. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C000-S002-rules-for-buying-a-wedding-gift.html">4 Rules for Buying a Wedding Gift</a> &mdash; If you receive a wedding invitation but can't go to the wedding, you are still expected to send a gift. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/what-to-do-after-car-accident/">What to Do After a Car Accident &mdash; Injuries, Damages and Insurance Claims</a> &mdash; After a car accident, treat law enforcement as an ally and take pictures. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/grocery-bill-500-per-month/">How My Family of Five Keeps Its Grocery Bill Under $500 Per Month</a> &mdash; Remembering that sales are your friends can help keep your grocery bill low. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/building-a-better-day/">Building a Better Day</a> &mdash; It is important to spend more time actually doing things than just thinking about doing them. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/8-low-cost-business-ideas-you-should-consider/">8 Low Cost Business Ideas You Should Consider</a> &mdash; If you want to start your own business, consider becoming an event planner or a tutor. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/money-the-uninvited-third-party/">Money, The Univited Third Party in Your Relationship</a> &mdash; It is important to talk about money with your significant other now rather than later. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/guess-spend-gas.html">Stop Guessing About How Much You'll Spend on Gas</a> &mdash; My Trip Calculator can help you figure out how much you'll spend on gas. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Lessons-Dad-Taught-Us-34880780">11 Important Life Lessons Dad Taught Us</a> &mdash; Did your dad teach you to manage your money and DIY? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-food-allergies">What Every Parent Should Know About Food Allergies</a> &mdash; When it comes to food allergies, know the difference between allergies and intolerance. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-beat-the-high-cost-of-air-conditioning" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Beat the High Cost of Air Conditioning" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home air conditioning best money tips Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:00:18 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1141279 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You're Paying Too Much for Around the House (And How to Pay Less) http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-around-the-house-and-how-to-pay-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-around-the-house-and-how-to-pay-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-shopping-156413605-small.jpg" alt="woman shopping" title="woman shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're looking to trim your monthly budget, a quick peek around the house might uncover several things that you're paying too much for. Some people complain that they never have cash. The problem, however, may not be too little cash &mdash; but rather not knowing the right ways to stretch their dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <p>Whether you're looking to increase your disposable income or stay within budget, spending less on these nine things will keep cash in your bank account.</p> <h2>1. Medications</h2> <p>Over-the-counter and prescription medications provide relief from minor and major illnesses, but if you're buying brand name meds, you're probably spending more than necessary for treatment. The truth is, you can <a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehhh45glf/over-the-counter-medications/">save tremendously with a generic</a> or store-brand medication, as much as 40%. Generic meds include the same active ingredients, quality, and strength of brand names. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/market-clones-how-to-pay-drastically-less-for-pricey-products?ref=seealso">How to Pay Drastically Less for Pricey Products</a>)</p> <h2>2. Household Cleaners</h2> <p>There's really no need to have every type of cleaning product underneath your kitchen sink, especially when there are solutions that include multiple ingredients for multiple surfaces. Read the label on cleaning products and you might discover that a product designed for dusting can also be used to clean glass, thus eliminating the need to purchase a stockpile of products. You can also save money with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=internal">homemade cleaners</a> using water, vinegar, and baking soda.</p> <h2>3. Bottled Water</h2> <p>It's convenient to grab bottled water from the fridge. And although the price per unit is relatively inexpensive if buying in bulk, it adds up quickly if you're buying several cases a month. However, you can save money by skipping disposable water bottles and using a basic pitcher-style water filter or a sink/faucet mount filtration system. In fact, &quot;a family of four can potentially <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/appliances/energy-efficient/save-money-with-water-filter1.htm">save $2,878.57</a> each year by switching from bottled water to a water filter.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-water-filters?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Water Filters</a>)</p> <h2>4. Cable Television</h2> <p>It's nice to have options when you're ready to relax with the remote control. But if you don't have much time for television, or if you only watch a few select programs, it doesn't make sense to pay a hundred bucks &mdash; or more! &mdash; each month for a top-notch cable package. You can save a nice chunk of change by downgrading to a package that matches your viewing needs, or ditching cable altogether and streaming your favorite television programs from Netflix or Hulu. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-everyone-can-cut-cable-and-still-watch-what-they-love-even-sportsfans">How Everyone Can Cut Cable and Still Watch the Shows They Love</a>)</p> <h2>5. Toothbrushes</h2> <p>With thousands of rotating motions per minute, there's no denying the benefits of an electronic toothbrush or its ability to reduce plaque and gingivitis. These toothbrushes essentially take the work out of brushing your teeth, but with a price tag as high as $100, not everyone can afford a fancy toothbrush.</p> <p>The good news is that you don't need a fancy, expensive toothbrush to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Your hand might not be able to mimic the rotation of an electronic brush, but if you're <a href="http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Oral-Hygiene/Brushing-and-Flossing/article/How-to-Brush.cvsp" style="text-decoration:none;">brushing properly</a>, using mouthwash, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist every six months, you can keep your mouth just as healthy with an old-fashioned toothbrush.</p> <h2>6. Pre-Packaged Foods</h2> <p>When you're busy and hungry, it's definitely easier to buy pre-packaged meals at the grocery store or purchase vegetables and fruits that are already chopped and sliced. However, this costly convenience adds to your grocery bill. Ready-to-eat meals can be as much as <a href="http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2010/10/homemade-alternatives-to-pre-packaged-foods-lower-cost-and-healthier-too/">6 to 10 times more expensive</a> per serving than preparing the item. The trick to paying less is simple &mdash; plan ahead and purchase fresh ingredients to prepare meals yourself. This approach is not only cheaper, but healthier since you're able to control the sodium and portions of each meal.</p> <h2>7. Home Fragrances</h2> <p>&quot;Consumers <a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehhh45glf/room-fragrances-and-candles/">spend more than $5 billion</a> each year on room deodorizers, scented oils and candles,&quot; reports Forbes. This might be a small price to pay if you need to quickly eliminate a stale odor in your house before guests arrive. But rather than pay $15 for a fancy candle, open a window and allow fresh air inside, or give your place a thorough cleaning.</p> <h2>8. Shampoo</h2> <p>Paying $20 for a bottle of expensive shampoo won't necessarily result in cleaner hair, although your locks may smell amazingly fresh after each wash. If you're only concerned with cleanliness and couldn't care less about a lingering sweet scent, you're better off with a cheaper store shampoo, such as Suave or Garnier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dryer-sheets-shampoo-and-15-other-everyday-things-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">Dryer Sheets, Shampoo, and 15 Other Everyday Things&nbsp;You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>9. Non-Refillable Goop</h2> <p>Detergents, hand soaps, and cleaning products keep the home and body clean, but you're probably paying too much for these items if you buy a new bottle each time you run out. For a cheaper replacement, keep your original packaging or bottle and purchase refill packs. Since you're not purchasing a new dispenser, you'll save money in the long run.</p> <p><em>Do you have other items to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-around-the-house-and-how-to-pay-less" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for Around the House (And How to Pay Less)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Shopping home goods home supplies household supplies Mon, 02 Jun 2014 16:00:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1141205 at http://www.wisebread.com