Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US 10 Things to Know Before You Start a Home Improvement Project http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple_in_new_apartment_dream_and_plan_interior.jpg" alt="Happy couple in new apartment dream and plan interior" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When done properly, home improvement projects can add resale value to your home. In fact, Angie&rsquo;s List estimates the <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/remodeling-projects-highest-roi.htm" target="_blank">return on investment for kitchen</a> and bath renovations to be as high as 85 percent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a>)</p> <p>On the other hand, these projects can bust your budget if you fail to map out supply costs and get multiple quotes from contractors. Get the job done right the first time so you can cash in big later with these 10 tips for starting a home improvement project.</p> <h2>1. Before contracting anyone, consider the value added</h2> <p>No matter what project you plan to start around the house &mdash; from the bathroom to the backyard &mdash; it&rsquo;s important to ask two all-important questions: How much will this cost you, and how much value will this add to your home? For those answers, you&rsquo;ll need to talk to a couple people, mainly a contractor for the former and a realtor for the latter. If your project bumps up your home&rsquo;s value significantly, it&rsquo;s probably not a bad idea to dive in, especially if what you plan to upgrade is long overdue. If you&rsquo;ll only see a small return on investment, however, consider the consequences. There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with pursuing a vanity project if it&rsquo;ll make you happy in the long run, but you need to reconcile that with yourself and your wallet before you make any costly decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/architect-designer-or-contractor-who-should-you-hire-for-your-project?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Architect, Designer, or Contractor: Who Should You Hire for Your Project?</a>)</p> <h2>2. You will most likely be inconvenienced</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re planning a major renovation, you&rsquo;ll likely be inconvenienced by not being able to use those rooms while the project is ongoing, and that&rsquo;s something you need to think about before starting. Consider not only how you&rsquo;ll manage without these facilities, but also the time of year and how uncomfortable you may be during construction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-renovations-that-could-hurt-your-homes-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Home Renovations That Could Hurt Your Home's Value</a>)</p> <h2>3. Not all contractors are created equal</h2> <p>You won&rsquo;t have trouble finding a contractor to bid out your work, but finding the right contractor will take some time.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the planning stages, interview multiple contractors,&rdquo; says Kylee Della Volpe, an editor for Mortgages.com. &ldquo;Ask them about their costs, communication style, and to provide references. This will help you choose a professional who can help keep the project running smoothly for you.&rdquo;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not a bad idea to ask your friends and family for recommendations, as well. Before I blindly search online for a contractor, I always consult those in my network whom I trust. Look at past results, too. Ask the contractor for photos and/or videos of recent projects. Those who know what they&rsquo;re doing and run a solid business will have no problem showing you what they&rsquo;re capable of. Experience counts here.</p> <p>The Better Business Bureau also advises that homeowners find out if a contractor is a member of a professional association, which has standards or a code of ethics.</p> <p>&ldquo;All BBB Accredited Businesses have agreed to uphold BBB standards for ethics in the marketplace,&rdquo; says Lisa Schiller, director of investigations and media relations for BBB serving Wisconsin. &ldquo;Homeowners also should check with BBB to learn how long a contractor has been in business and if the firm has been responsive to any complaints filed with BBB. In addition, BBB reports can tell you how long the company has been in business, show complaint detail, and show posted reviews &mdash; positive, negative, and neutral &mdash; as well as any known government action.&rdquo; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Find and Hire a Reliable Contractor</a>)</p> <h2>4. Original blueprints of your house will move the process along faster</h2> <p>If you have the original blueprints of your home, plus any plans that include home improvements and additions over the years, offer them to the contractor. You&rsquo;ll save time and possibly money if he or she doesn&rsquo;t have to start from scratch.</p> <h2>5. Make sure there&rsquo;s a contract that covers the scope of work</h2> <p>Before starting any kind of work that&rsquo;s going to impact your finances, you should have a contract in place. If the contractor is unwilling to provide one or acts shifty when it&rsquo;s suggested, you should absolutely consider this a red flag. Do not work with anyone who doesn&rsquo;t want to draw up a contract for your plans.</p> <p>The contract should include the company's name, address, and phone number, and have start and completion dates, plus estimated cost written into it.</p> <p>However, if you sign the contract away from the place of business, the Right of Rescission applies &mdash; which says you have three legal business days to cancel. If you enact this right, be sure to put the rescission in writing, mail it so that it&rsquo;s postmarked by the third business day, and make a copy for yourself. Also, keep a copy of the contract and the warranty for your records, as well.</p> <h2>6. Permits will most likely be required for major work</h2> <p>You may need permits for your work. The contractor should provide the costs for all permits in your estimate, and usually the contractor is responsible for pulling the permits from local offices unless you agree otherwise. Home improvements that may require permits include new windows, fences; structural changes, like building a deck; and plumbing and electrical work. Your city council office will have information for improvements and projects that require permits.</p> <h2>7. Get an itemized estimate to help you plan your budget</h2> <p>When a contractor bids out your work, ask for itemized billing opposed to a lump sum fee for the scope of work. The latter doesn't provide you with a transparent view of where you&rsquo;re money is going, but that&rsquo;s information you need to know in order to choose the right person for the job, or if the job is even worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a>)</p> <p>&ldquo;Before you start a project, you should be sure to get estimates on everything, including the permits and any money you spend if you can't use parts of your house, like the kitchen or bedrooms, then do some research to see how much that particular improvement adds to the value of the home,&rdquo; Della Volpe says. &ldquo;If it adds more value than it costs, go for it. If it doesn't, it's time to evaluate how much you'll lose in the process and whether that amount is worth it to you in terms of comfort in your home.&rdquo;</p> <h2>8. Never pay in full or up front</h2> <p>You should solicit at least three bids from prospective contractors based on the exact same specs of the full project, including materials, labor, and time needed to complete.</p> <p>&ldquo;Homeowners need to discuss bids in detail with each contractor, making certain they understand the reasons for any variations in the prices and not automatically making a decision based on lowest price,&rdquo; Schiller says. &ldquo;Cost differences may include issues such as material quality, craftsmanship, and subcontracting for specialized labor.&rdquo;</p> <p>Never pay in full or up front. Any contractor who requires this is most likely scamming you. Only pay the balance once the work is completed and to your satisfaction. One-third down payment should be sufficient to start &mdash; if you must put anything down. Then pay one-third when the project is underway, and the balance upon completion. Don't pay in cash, either; BBB suggests paying with a credit card whenever possible.</p> <h2>9. Your contractors must be insured</h2> <p>God forbid something happens to one of your contractors on the job and you&rsquo;re held liable or just plain S.O.L. You don&rsquo;t want that headache, which is why their company should be bonded and insured against worker&rsquo;s comp claims, property damage, and personal liability in case of accidents. Don&rsquo;t just take the contractor&rsquo;s word for it, either. Ask for proof or call to verify insurance coverage by asking for the name of the agency and carrier.</p> <h2>10. Don&rsquo;t bite off more than you can chew if you&rsquo;re DIYing</h2> <p>If you think you&rsquo;re handy enough to handle a home improvement project yourself, more power to you. Just be realistic in your capabilities and what you can handle given the scope of work. You don&rsquo;t want to bite off more than you can chew, which in the long run will not only inconvenience you, but could end up being costlier than if you&rsquo;d have hired a contractor from the beginning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-diy-jobs-homeowners-should-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Top 10 DIY Jobs Homeowners Should Avoid</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-and-hassle-by-bundling-your-home-repairs">Save Time, Money, and Hassle by Bundling Your Home Repairs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/like-diy-avoid-these-ten-costly-mistakes">Like DIY? Avoid These 10 Costly Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-winterize-your-home-for-maximum-savings">How to Winterize Your Home for Maximum Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home contractors home decor home improvement home improvement projects Home repair renovation Tue, 10 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 2033607 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Home Security Systems http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-security-systems <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-home-security-systems" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_ipad_home_security_637697736.jpg" alt="Woman using best home security systems" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A home security system can help you sleep safer knowing that your home or business is secure, no matter where you may be. Some security systems will even allow you to observe your property in recorded footage or real time so you can make an informed decision on what steps to take in an emergency situation.</p> <h2>What is a home security system?</h2> <p>A home security system is some type of security hardware installed on a property for personal protection. It&rsquo;s useful for deterring criminal activities at a range of residential and business locations.</p> <p>While some home security system specialists will offer installation specials, the total initial costs can total over $1,000. Most also have monthly monitoring costs that can really add up every year. Instead, consider one of the following subscription or non-subscription security systems to protect your home without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Top 5 home security systems</h2> <h3>SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security Command Bravo</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xSUTbv" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/simplisafe.jpg" width="226" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The durable <a href="http://amzn.to/2xSUTbv" target="_blank">SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security Command Bravo</a> allows you to monitor your home or business from anywhere. You&rsquo;ll have access to advanced system control from your smartphone or laptop or you can get SMS text and email alerts. The wireless security camera offers crystal clear 720p HD video from anywhere. The entry sensor can be placed on all types of doors and windows to detect when they&rsquo;re opened or closed. The motion sensor detects motion within 30 feet.</p> <p>The eight-piece bundle is easy to install and program. You can also choose to add 24/7 security monitoring for $14.99/month. It has more than 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by PC Mag and The Wirecutter. It is also one of the best-rated home alarm and security systems on Consumer Affairs.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xSUTbv" target="_blank"><em>Currently $288.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Canary All-in-One Home Security Device</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ynrJEv" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/canary.jpg" width="136" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2ynrJEv" target="_blank">Canary All-in-One Home Security Device</a> has an HD camera, siren, and air monitor. It can provide the information you need to decide whether you want to call the authorities or sound the alarm. It also offers intelligent real-time alerts and emergency options, unlimited exports and shares, data encryption and privacy mode, and automatic arming and disarming. Monitor your property with 1080p HD camera, 147-degree wide-angle lens, automatic night vision, high-quality audio, motion detection, and temperature, humidity, and air-quality sensors. The 90-decibel siren lasts about 20 seconds after motion is detected. It will also begin recording when it senses motion.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll also have easy one-touch access to emergency services from the app. It will begin working right away upon plug-in. You can access the last 12 hours of recorded video for free or you can subscribe to a premium cloud storage plan for more. This has more than 2,500 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by PC Mag and Tom&rsquo;s Guide.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ynrJEv" target="_blank"><em>Currently $149.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Fortress Security Store Wireless Home and Business Security Alarm System</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xXQtBJ" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/fortris.jpg" width="245" height="202" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2xXQtBJ" target="_blank">Fortress Security Store Wireless Home and Business Security Alarm System</a> is the ideal starter kit because it includes everything you need for home security. You can call the system and listen from your phone. The auto-dialer function can also call up to six designated phone numbers in case of a security breach. It is fully programmable and you can easily deactivate the device using the keypad or one of the keyfobs.</p> <p>This is easy to set up. The kit includes a fully programmable main control panel featuring auto-dialer and sensors, five door/window contacts, two passive motion detectors, 110-decibel alarm, two keyfobs, panic alarm, and four alarm warning stickers. It has outstanding online reviews, including more than 1,300 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xXQtBJ" target="_blank"><em>Currently $95.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Amcrest 960H Video Security System</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xfQQcg" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/amcrest.jpg" width="245" height="162" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2xfQQcg" target="_blank">Amcrest 960H Video Security System</a> offers professional grade security. The system features night vision, long distance transmit range, intuitive system controls, long continuous recording and backup, and motion detection and alerts. The four high-resolution, heavy duty metal, weatherproof cameras offer excellent video quality and clarity. The four-channel security system DVR preinstalled 500GB hard drive allows you to view and record in widescreen with remote viewing through the included app.</p> <p>This is easy to set up and has a USB backup feature for peace of mind. It is backed by a one-year warranty and lifetime support. It also has outstanding online reviews, including more than 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xfQQcg" target="_blank"><em>Currently $179.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>GE Personal Security Alarm Kit</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xg6zIs" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ge_1.jpg" width="179" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you want something cheap that can alert you of intruders, consider the <a href="http://amzn.to/2xg6zIs" target="_blank">GE Personal Security Alarm Kit</a>. The kit includes a deluxe door alarm with a four-digit keypad and three window/door alarms. The 120-decibel alarms offer maximum protection from would-be intruders. Each window alarm offers three modes: On, Off, and Chime. The door alarm features an alarm delay and &ldquo;Away&rdquo; mode.</p> <p>This is easy to use and install with the included double-sided tape or screws. The batteries are included and last up to a year. The kit has outstanding online reviews, including more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xg6zIs" target="_blank"><em>Currently $17.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best home security systems. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-home-security-systems&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Home%2520Security%2520Systems.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Home%20Security%20Systems"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Home%20Security%20Systems.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Home Security Systems" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-security-systems">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electronics-wipes">The 5 Best Electronics Wipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-4k-televisions">The 5 Best 4K Televisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-surge-protectors">The 5 Best Power Surge Protectors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping Technology 5 best home security home security system product reviews security cameras shopping Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2031113 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs http://www.wisebread.com/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_power_outage_492001716.jpg" alt="Man getting electrical blackout essentials" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America has been pounded by hurricane after hurricane, leaving devastation in their wake, and thousands of homes without power. And while you may not be in the path of a disaster at the moment, there is no telling when or where a blackout will strike. Are you prepared? Could you survive without electricity for days, or even weeks? Here's what you need to be ready, should the worst happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Micro-Prepping: How to Prepare for Small Disasters</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lighting supplies</h2> <p>Lighting is number one on the list, and for a good reason, as it's hard to get anything done in the dark. While flashlights, lanterns, and candles are great, think about investing in something that doesn't need batteries, and will last you for many years, like a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wVMOpf" target="_blank">hand-crank flashlight</a>. You won't have to hunt for batteries, find propane, or worry that they will burn down to nothing. Couple it with a <a href="http://amzn.to/2y9yJF4" target="_blank">hand-crank lantern</a>, or look for an <a href="http://amzn.to/2wXJi9b" target="_blank">all-in-one unit</a> that does lighting, phone charging, radio, and more. Remember to put them in a place that's easily accessible; you don't want to go hunting around for lighting sources in the pitch black.</p> <h2>2. Power sources</h2> <p>This runs the gamut, from batteries and liquid fuel, to generators and solar-powered chargers. Stock up on the five main types of batteries &mdash; 9V, D, C, AA, and AAA &mdash; and invest in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks" target="_blank">solar-powered charger for phones</a> and power banks. If you fear you will be without power for a considerable period of time, you definitely need to have a backup generator on your property. You can find a good one for under $400 on Craigslist, although you should research your power needs before you buy one. If you'll be using it to run a lot of appliances, and something like a sump pump or attic fan, you will need adequate power and outlets.</p> <p>Generators run on four main types of fuel: gasoline, propane, diesel, and natural gas. Again, research what is best for your situation and environment, and have plenty of it on hand (safely stored, of course) in case of an emergency outage.</p> <h2>3. Heat</h2> <p>You'll need heat for cooking, and possibly for warmth, depending on where you live and the time of year. The power supplies mentioned previously will be essential for cooking and heating, and can supply electricity to a portable buffet range, a space heater, a toaster or toaster oven, and even a kettle. If you don't want to rely on power backups for your heat, there are small, portable propane grills and space heaters that can be used in an emergency. And if you do a lot of camping or outdoor activities, you probably have these on hand, anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-stoves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Camping Stoves</a>)</p> <p>Last but not least, keep an ample supply of blankets, sleeping bags, and other warm clothes in an easily accessible place.</p> <h2>4. Potable water</h2> <p>We cannot survive without water, and yet, we take it for granted. It's right there, flowing freely from a faucet, and costs pennies per gallon. But you will soon find out how much you rely on it if the power goes out and your supply is cut off. It's a good idea to keep a case of drinking water in your basement or garage, but keep an eye on expiration dates, and swap this out with new water regularly. A pitcher that filters water can also be a great help during this time, and can give you a supply of clean drinking water for weeks.</p> <p>If you want to go one step further, and know in advance that you may have a blackout coming, try something like a <a href="https://waterbob.com/" target="_blank">WaterBOB</a>. This is a simple, but incredibly useful device that stores a four-week supply of clean drinking water in your bathtub. You can find them on eBay and, occasionally, on Amazon. Also, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2k3LxGM" target="_blank">Lifestraw</a>, which is often used by people who go camping or go on extreme adventures. A Lifestraw can be inserted into almost any water supply, and filter 1,000 liters of contaminated water, removing 99.99 percent of the bacteria. This is essential if you are running out of clean drinking water. They start at just $15, and could really save your life in an emergency.</p> <h2>5. Nonperishable food</h2> <p>It may be a no-brainer, but you need a supply of food that does not rely on power for storage (the refrigerator will be down unless you have generator power). That means a well-stocked pantry filled with a variety of canned goods, dry foods, snacks, drinks, and pet food if you have pets. Some popular items include jerky, granola bars, soups, meats (don't knock SPAM, it was a lifesaver in World War II), beans, packet foods (oatmeal, ramen noodles), nuts, dried fruit, protein bars and powders, cereals, condensed milk, <a href="http://amzn.to/2k2hvCY" target="_blank">MREs</a> (Meals Ready-To-Eat), and freeze-dried foods.</p> <p>Ideally, you will stock up on food that can be stored for years, but remember to constantly rotate the supply. You don't want to blow the dust off a bunch of cans to find out the food went bad five years ago and cannot be eaten. If all that sounds like a lot of work and effort, you can always buy an <a href="http://amzn.to/2xDfGjk" target="_blank">emergency food kit</a>. These all-in-one kits are designed by experts to be long-lasting, give you a balanced, nutritious diet, and supply everything you need in one container should disaster strike.</p> <h2>6. Basic medical supplies</h2> <p>Most homes have a first-aid kit of some kind, but quite often it gets neglected and is not stocked with the necessary supplies you'll need for a true emergency. You can buy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits" target="_blank">ready-made first aid kits from Amazon</a> and Target, or find them in any supermarket, but if you would rather put your own together from scratch, make sure it has enough to handle the most common cuts, bruises, breaks, and other medical emergencies.</p> <p>In particular, have plenty of antiseptic wipes, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, a wide variety of adhesive bandages, some <a href="http://amzn.to/2xGY9s7" target="_blank">heat and cold packs</a> that can be activated by a click or snap, tweezers, Q-Tips, a thermometer, scissors, latex gloves, a sling, and the usual medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen). It's also generally a good idea to have some Dramamine and antihistamine tablets, an Epi-pen, multivitamins, a suture kit, and laxatives. Check on this kit often, and replace supplies that get used up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-emergency-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Emergency Kits</a>)</p> <h2>7. Communication devices</h2> <p>These days, everyone relies on a cellphone to communicate. Hopefully, you'll have the ability to charge your phone through solar or generator-powered sources, but if that's not an option, or you're looking to conserve cellphone power, you'll need other ways to communicate. Get yourself a good set of Walkie Talkies, and that means more than two. Amazon has a great set of six <a href="http://amzn.to/2yaKhrB" target="_blank">rechargeable, long-range two-way radios</a> for under $100. That should be enough to cover everyone in the family. Keep them charged, perhaps in the basement or garage, and ready to hand out at any time.</p> <p>Plus, you'll also need to find out what is happening in the world, and in your immediate vicinity. For this reason, first invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2xCdvMP" target="_blank">radio that can be activated from a hand crank</a>. This will be an essential way to find out what is happening around you, and whether things are getting worse and an evacuation is going to be called. It can also provide some much-needed entertainment, which will go a long way to keeping your spirits up.</p> <h2>8. Waste disposal</h2> <p>It may be unsavory to think about it, but you may not have access to a functioning lavatory (some water supplies rely on electricity), and you will need to dispose of human waste in a sanitary way. Have a well-stocked cupboard filled with garbage bags, newspapers, kitchen towels, toilet paper, anti-bacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer. You may also want to invest in a bunch of zip ties to keep everything firmly sealed. The garbage pickup service may not be available either, so you will need to prepare for waste storage. It doesn't hurt to have several garbage bins ready to go for excess waste in an emergency. They can be stacked and placed in one corner of the basement or garage, or even in the backyard.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Electrical%2520Blackout%2520Essentials%2520Every%2520Home%2520Needs.jpg&amp;description=8%20Electrical%20Blackout%20Essentials%20Every%20Home%20Needs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Electrical%20Blackout%20Essentials%20Every%20Home%20Needs.jpg" alt="8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-essentials-every-emergency-bag-should-have">13 Essentials Every Emergency Bag Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/micro-prepping-how-to-prepare-for-small-disasters">Micro-Prepping: How to Prepare for Small Disasters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping blackout electrical blackout emergency kit flashlight lights out natural disaster no electricity power outage water supplies Mon, 02 Oct 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 2029062 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Essentials Every Emergency Bag Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/13-essentials-every-emergency-bag-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-essentials-every-emergency-bag-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency_preparedness_checklist_and_natural_disaster_supplies.jpg" alt="Emergency preparedness checklist and natural disaster supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You hear a knock on the door, or an announcement on the TV or radio &mdash; you need to get out, and get out now! We rarely consider the possibility of an evacuation, but for the people recently affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, it was a harsh reality. People were given a short window to grab what they could and find a safe place to wait it out. What would you take? Do you have a list, or a pre-packed bag for each member of the family? You should. Here's what you will need.</p> <h2>1. The bag itself</h2> <p>Functionality is key here. What you need is something that is heavy-duty, waterproof, large, and lightweight enough not to be a burden. You are going to have to fill this with supplies that will keep you alive for days, or even weeks, and the last thing you need is something flimsy and unreliable. Look for bags with waterproof liners, plenty of pockets and storage compartments, and multiple ways to carry it. Ideally, it has handles, padded shoulder straps, and a large adjustable strap.</p> <p>Look in specialist camping and survival stores, and also check out army surplus stores; if it's good enough for the Marines, it should do well. Some bags also come with built-in chargers, solar panels, and other tech hookups. Those are optional, but worth considering.</p> <h2>2. Nonperishable food (and access to clean water)</h2> <p>You want to concentrate on survival, not comfort. <a href="http://amzn.to/2yJ77Ua" target="_blank">MREs</a> (Meals Ready to Eat) are a good option, as well as protein bars, packets of oatmeal, freeze-dried products, nuts and dried fruits, and a few canned goods. You want to keep the weight down as much as possible, and cans tend to be on the heavy side. You can also buy an <a href="http://amzn.to/2y7WpJG" target="_blank">emergency food kit</a> and keep that next to your go bag. These can be purchased on Amazon, as well as specialist &quot;prepper&quot; sites, and cost anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars. If you're watching your budget, these <a href="http://amzn.to/2yFV75T" target="_blank">Datrex 2400 Emergency Food Bars</a> won't be a culinary treat, but they will keep you filled with calories for 72 hours and have a five-year shelf life.</p> <p>For hydration, it's not always practical to pack your go bag with bottled water, so invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wU0sJA" target="_blank">Lifestraw</a>, or some <a href="http://amzn.to/2y92W7d" target="_blank">water purification tablets</a>. These can be kept safe in the go bag, and ready to go when you need to leave quickly.</p> <h2>3. Cold hard cash</h2> <p>Make no mistake, you're going to need money at some point during your evacuation. Even with a well-maintained go bag filled with food and supplies, you'll have to stock up on anything that runs out quickly, or items you just didn't have time to pack. Chances are, if the blackout is in you area, the ATMs will be affected. And even if they do work, they could be out of bounds due to flooding, extreme weather, or barricades. Any stores that are operational won't be operating at full strength, and their POS (Point Of Sale) system will most likely be down. When blackouts happen, everything jumps back several decades in time, and that means paper money and coins will be king.</p> <p>Keep several hundred dollars in a waterproof pouch inside your go bag, in different denominations. Don't stock $100 bills. Instead, pack $20s, $10s, $5s, and $1s. Another pocket filled with loose change is also a good idea.</p> <h2>4. Several changes of clothing</h2> <p>You'll be gone from the house for at least a few days, but it could be weeks. However, whenever any of us pack a bag, we tend to overestimate what we need, and take way too much with us. You do not want to weigh down your go bag, so be very judicious. Clean underwear and socks are light and take up little space, so grab at least a one-week supply of those. Then, consider the conditions. A lightweight jacket is usually a good idea, as well as a few T-shirts, a pair of jogging pants, and a small plastic raincoat that can be folded into a small pouch. Pack everything inside waterproof bags. Don't worry about the condition of the clothing either. Stains, slight tears, wrinkles &mdash; they're all fine. You're out for survival, not dinner and a movie, so choose based on practicality.</p> <h2>5. A first aid kit and your prescription medications</h2> <p>It doesn't have to be a big kit, but you will need something for minor cuts and scrapes, plus the usual pain relievers, ointments, lotions, tools, and allergy meds. Most importantly, you need to grab the prescription medications you rely upon daily. You do not want to run out of the house only to remember you have left behind the meds you need to stay fit and healthy. There won't be the time or opportunity to see a doctor immediately, and the pharmacies in the area could be out of power too. So, attach a note to your go bag reminding you to grab your meds. They could literally be the difference between life and death. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best First Aid Kits</a>)</p> <h2>6. Mylar blankets</h2> <p>Also known as space blankets, <a href="http://amzn.to/2xB8JPx" target="_blank">Mylar blankets</a> were developed by NASA in 1964 for the U.S. space program. The Mylar blanket keeps in the heat or reflects the heat, depending on the situation you're in, is very thin, and can shelter you from the wind. They have since been used to cover athletes after finishing marathons, and have also found their way into backpacks of extreme sports competitors. They are cheap, small, and reliable.</p> <h2>7. Hygiene and sanitation products</h2> <p>It may be some time until you get to take a hot shower or bath, so be prepared to clean yourself in the most efficient way possible. Every go bag should contain <a href="http://amzn.to/2xLRZao" target="_blank">hand sanitizer</a>, mouthwash, toothpaste, a toothbrush, toilet paper, soap, a washcloth, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2y8uYQ4" target="_blank">baby wipes</a>. Ladies should also pack feminine hygiene products, as well. Don't worry about after shaves, perfumes, deodorants, cosmetics, and even conditioners. You are only interested in staying clean and germ-free for the duration of your time away from home.</p> <h2>8. A multitool</h2> <p>The go-to multitool in the past was a <a href="http://amzn.to/2xC24F3" target="_blank">Swiss Army Knife</a>, and it's still a great tool to have in your go bag. It has at least six handy tools in one compact case, and if it is built by Victorinox, it will last you a lifetime. However, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2wWSkmy" target="_blank">Leatherman multitool</a> has increased in popularity over the years due to the inclusion of the pliers case design, and is also an excellent option. This model has 14 tools and is a comparable price to the Victorinox. It is also built to last a lifetime. Either of these will be invaluable when you are away from home.</p> <h2>9. Portable power source</h2> <p>You're going to bring your cellphone with you, and it's probably the first thing you'll grab. But it will be useless in a few hours without a power source. You can opt for power banks, which can be charged and ready to go. But, they too will drain quickly, and before you know it, you have two useless bricks in your bag. Instead, opt for power that can be replenished. <a href="http://amzn.to/2wX1VtS" target="_blank">Dynamo power banks</a> require manual winding to charge your phone. You can also find models that include a solar charging options, to give your hand a break and let the sun do the work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Solar Power Banks</a>)</p> <h2>10. Identification</h2> <p>Hopefully, you will grab your wallet or purse as you are running for the door. But if there just isn't time, or it's in a place that cannot be easily accessed, what are you going to do about official identification? During evacuations, rescue and government workers may need to know who you are, and just telling them your name may not be good enough. A passport is a good way to identify yourself. If you keep it next to your go bag, you can put it in there when you take the bag, and you will always know where it is when you need to take a trip. An official state ID is also a good option.</p> <h2>11. Fire starters</h2> <p>You don't want to discover how hard it is to start a fire after you have been evacuated. It's tough. Just watch an episode of <em>Man Vs. Wild</em> or <em>Survivorman</em>. A fire will provide warmth for your body, and heat to cook with, so keep something in your bag to help you out. A flint and stone is the most hardy and long-lasting, but it can take some practice to get used to. <a href="http://amzn.to/2wWZtmQ" target="_blank">Disposable lighters</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2yHrPnq" target="_blank">waterproof matches</a> are also a good bet.</p> <h2>12. Flashlights</h2> <p>Finally, you should keep a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wWVYwZ" target="_blank">hand-crank flashlight</a> or two in your go bag. This is a better option than a battery powered flashlight, especially if you forget about it and the batteries are dead when you do have to evacuate. You could find yourself way out of your element in an evacuation, and having reliable sources of light in your go bag will prove invaluable. If you want to go for an all-in-one model, there are options available that include radios, power banks, and hazard lights. But as long as you can use it to see where you're going, it will work.</p> <h2>13. A tent</h2> <p>If you live in an area that does not have a lot of options for accommodation, you should consider putting a small two or <a href="http://amzn.to/2fyAUKE" target="_blank">three-person tent</a> in your go bag. They are very small and lightweight, and can be assembled in less than five minutes. If it's the choice between carrying a heavier bag, or sleeping in a field in the rain, take the first option.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F13-essentials-every-emergency-bag-should-have&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F13%2520Essentials%2520Every%2520Emergency%2520Bag%2520Should%2520Have.jpg&amp;description=13%20Essentials%20Every%20Emergency%20Bag%20Should%20Have"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/13%20Essentials%20Every%20Emergency%20Bag%20Should%20Have.jpg" alt="13 Essentials Every Emergency Bag Should Have" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-essentials-every-emergency-bag-should-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-electrical-blackout-essentials-every-home-needs">8 Electrical Blackout Essentials Every Home Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-security-systems">The 5 Best Home Security Systems</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-stain-removers">The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping blackout emergency emergency bag emergency supplies evacuation go bag hurricane supplies natural disasters storm Fri, 29 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 2028011 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Folding Chairs http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-folding-chairs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-folding-chairs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_folding_chair_649772840.jpg" alt="Woman using best folding chair" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The right folding chair can make or break your next hike, camping trip, tailgating party, beach day, picnic, or sporting event. It can provide a comfortable place to sit, no matter where you may be, so you can better enjoy the experience.</p> <h2>What is a folding chair?</h2> <p>A folding chair is a lightweight portable chair that can be collapsed for easy storage and transport. We&rsquo;ve found the best folding chairs available, which offer the perfect combination of comfort, durability, and affordability.</p> <h2>Top 5 folding chairs</h2> <h3>Coleman Oversized Quad Chair</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2wSzHoN" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/coleman_3.jpg" width="197" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The lightweight, compact <a href="http://amzn.to/2wSzHoN" target="_blank">Coleman Oversized Quad Chair With Cooler</a> is the perfect option for your next camping trip or tailgating party. The built-in armrest cooler holds up to four cans, so you always have a cold drink at hand. It&rsquo;s durable, roomy, and folds up small enough to fit in the included carry bag. It features adjustable armrests, a mesh cup holder, storage pocket, and fully cushioned seat and tall back. The heavy-duty frame supports up to 300 lbs.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors. It is an Amazon best-seller and one of the &ldquo;Most Wished For&rdquo; Items and Top Gift Ideas on Amazon. It also has more than 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by Travel + Leisure, The Wirecutter, Digital Trends, and OutdoorGearLab. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty. Another great option from the brand is Amazon&rsquo;s Choice for camping folding chairs, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2wVE5hV" target="_blank">Coleman Broadband Mesh Quad Chair</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2wSzHoN" target="_blank"><em>Currently $18.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2y7swt7" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/alps_0.jpg" width="201" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2y7swt7" target="_blank">ALPS Mountaineering King Kong Chair</a> features a patented support system that can handle up to 800 lbs. It&rsquo;s roomy and durable thanks to ample cushioning, a heavy-duty frame, and ultra-sturdy adjustable armrests. It also features strong 600D polyester fabric, two cup holders, and multiple pockets. It folds up small enough to fit in the included shoulder carry bag.</p> <p>This has more than 900 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by Travel + Leisure, Digital Trends, and OutdoorGearLab. It is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2y7vfCN" target="_blank">ALPS Mountaineering Rendezvous Folding Camp Chair</a> is another frequently recommended option from the brand.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2y7swt7" target="_blank"><em>Currently $50.41 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Kijaro Dual Lock Chair</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2y6BKpj" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kijaro.jpg" width="245" height="224" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2y6BKpj" target="_blank">Kijaro Dual Lock Chair</a> locks open and closed thanks to patented dual-lock technology. It features ripstop polyester, two mesh cup holders, back mesh for breathability, padded seat and headrest, and various pockets. It offers improved posture, maximum back and seat support, and a firm &ldquo;no sag&rdquo; seating experience. The heavy-duty frame supports up to 300 lbs.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors and includes a built-in carry strap and carry bag. It has over 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by Digital Trends and OutdoorGearLab.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2y6BKpj" target="_blank"><em>Currently $29.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Big Agnes Helinox Chair</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ysfEtt" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/helinox.jpg" width="196" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The award-winning <a href="http://amzn.to/2ysfEtt" target="_blank">Big Agnes Helinox Chair</a> is the ultimate portable, compact camping chair. It weighs in at less than two pounds and folding up small enough to fit in the included storage bag. It&rsquo;s made of lightweight aluminum, polyester fabric, and a heavy-duty frame that supports up to 320 lbs.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors and is easy to set up because the poles pop themselves into place automatically. It has outstanding online reviews and is recommended by Travel + Leisure, The Wirecutter, and OutdoorGearLab.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ysfEtt" target="_blank"><em>Currently $99.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2y79NOu" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/caravan.jpg" width="175" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in reclining patio chairs, the lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2y79NOu" target="_blank">Caravan Sports Infinity Zero Gravity Chair</a> takes the folding chair game to another level. The smooth recline function locks in any position so you can enjoy zero gravity comfort. It also features an adjustable headrest pillow and footrest to elevate the legs and reduce back pressure. The durable, long lasting outdoor grade fabric and heavy-duty frame supports up to 300 lbs.</p> <p>This folds up small and is available in a range of colors. It is recommended by Travel + Leisure and has nearly 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2y79NOu" target="_blank"><em>Currently $46.38 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best folding chairs. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-folding-chairs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Folding%2520Chairs.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Folding%20Chairs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Folding%20Chairs.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Folding Chairs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-folding-chairs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-security-systems">The 5 Best Home Security Systems</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping Travel 5 best beach chairs camping chairs folding chairs portable chairs product reviews shopping Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2027509 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Prep Your Home for Fall and Winter http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-prep-your-home-for-fall-and-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-prep-your-home-for-fall-and-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_yard_work_596779822.jpg" alt="Couple prepping their home for fall and winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on how to prepare your home for fall and winter, money-saving beauty hacks, and a checklist to help you get ready for overnight guests.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2017/09/25/10-simple-tips-to-prep-your-home-for-fall-winter/">Prepare Your Home for Fall &amp; Winter</a> &mdash; Pull up the annuals in your garden to prevent mold, mildew, and pests. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="https://shoppingkim.com/5-beauty-hacks-save-money/">5 Beauty Hacks to Save You Money</a> &mdash; Love wearing fragrances? You can get the scent to last longer by applying a touch of Vaseline before you spray. [Shopping Kim]</p> <p><a href="https://www.morewithlesstoday.com/10-item-checklist-to-prepare-your-home-for-overnight-guests/">10 Item Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Guests</a> &mdash; Map out a meal plan ahead of time to save money and frustration. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Get-Done-Before-Year-Ends-44058525">19 Adult Things to Get Done Before the Year Ends</a> &mdash; Clean up your phone and make room on your storage for more memories. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/booking-cheap-holiday-travel-14508/">25 Ways to Take the Hassle Out of Booking Holiday Travel</a> &mdash; Star ratings often reflect amenities, not overall experience. Be open to booking 2- or 3-star hotels with excellent customer reviews if you want the most value for your budget. [Cheapism]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2017/0920/As-Fed-normalizes-policy-economy-s-new-normal-is-anything-but">As Fed normalizes policy, economy&rsquo;s &lsquo;new normal&rsquo; is anything but.</a> &mdash; Although the recession is over, economists are still predicting slower growth in the decades ahead. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/important-things-consider-combining-finances-relationship/">Important Things to Consider When Combining Finances in a Relationship</a> &mdash; Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on important things to consider when you're combining finances in a relationship. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="https://due.com/blog/tax-mistakes-small-business/">3 Tax Mistakes your Small Business can Easily Avoid</a> &mdash; It's easy to get carried away when it comes to writing off business expenses. Be diligent about separating personal and business expenses so you don't trigger an audit. [Due]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.allstate.com/building-fireplace-fire/">How to Build a Better Fire in Your Fireplace</a> &mdash; A toasty blaze in the fireplace can keep you warm in winter, but make sure you use the right tools and methods to build a fire safely. [The Allstate Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dinksfinance.com/2017/09/minimalist/">Less Is More: Even You Can Be a Minimalist</a> &mdash; Ask a close friend or family to help you pare things down. They'll likely be more detached from your stuff but will have enough insight to know what truly matters to you. [Dinks Finance]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-prep-your-home-for-fall-and-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-affordable-ways-to-make-your-home-even-cozier-this-autumn">6 Easy, Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Even Cozier This Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter">9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips fall winter Tue, 26 Sep 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 2026861 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Hammocks http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hammocks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-hammocks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camping_hammock_578092034.jpg" alt="Woman using the best hammock while camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re looking for new backyard furniture or something to replace a bulky sleeping bag and tent, hammocks can provide the comfortable night of sleep you need, anytime. They are ideal to use at festivals, the park or beach, or to just lounge around in your backyard. They&rsquo;re also perfect for camping, backpacking, traveling, or enjoying an impromptu nap anywhere.</p> <h2>What is a hammock?</h2> <p>A hammock is a swinging bed usually made of canvas or rope, suspended between two points. While hammocks were originally made for sleeping, the affordable hammocks below are also great for swinging or lounging.</p> <h2>Top 5 hammocks</h2> <h3>ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2yr2fmg" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/double%20nest.jpg" width="245" height="227" align="right" alt="" /></a>The popular <a href="http://amzn.to/2yr2fmg" target="_blank">ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock</a> can be easily and quickly set up anywhere. The compact hammock is lightweight, versatile, and can be folded up small enough to fit into the attached compression sack. It is made of breathable, durable, quick drying woven nylon and triple interlocking stitching. It weighs only 19 ounces, but can support up to two people (or 400 lbs.).</p> <p>This is available in virtually endless color combinations. It includes a pair of carabiners and nautical grade line with stainless-steel snap links. It has more than 2,500 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by Popular Mechanics and OutdoorGearLab.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2yr2fmg" target="_blank"><em>Currently $69.94 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xwkbhp" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/grand%20trunk.jpg" width="245" height="160" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2xwkbhp" target="_blank">Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock</a> is the ideal portable camping, hiking, backpacking, and travel hammock. It is made of mildew-resistant, machine-washable, quick-dry polyester fabric. It is safe and durable thanks to triple-stitched seams and sturdy stainless steel hanging S-hooks. While the large hammock weighs only 12 ounces, it can support up to 200 lbs.</p> <p>The lightweight hammock is available in three colors and includes a stuff sack. It has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by The Wirecutter, Popular Mechanics, and OutdoorGearLab. It is also backed by a two-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xwkbhp" target="_blank"><em>Currently $19.94 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Hammock Sky Brazilian Double Hammock</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2hk5IeR" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/hammock%20sky.jpg" width="245" height="184" align="right" alt="" /></a>The lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2hk5IeR" target="_blank">Hammock Sky Brazilian Double Hammock</a> is ideal for backyard, porch, outdoor, or indoor use. It is made of long-lasting soft woven cotton fabric and features an absorbent solid fabric bed. The tight weave and &quot;cocoon effect&quot; leaves reviewers feeling weightless. The Brazilian-style portable hammock is child- and pet-friendly, can fit one or two people (up to 475 lbs.), and folds up small.</p> <p>This is available in various colorful options and includes a carry bag. It is an Amazon best-seller and is recommended by Popular Mechanics. It also has outstanding online reviews, including more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also backed by a lifetime warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2hk5IeR" target="_blank"><em>Currently $49.97 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Vivere Double Hammock</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2wIe1GT" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/vivere.jpg" width="245" height="166" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2wIe1GT" target="_blank">Vivere Double Hammock</a> is ideal if you don&rsquo;t have a lot of space. It is sturdy, lightweight, compact, and accommodates two adults (or 450 lbs.). It is available in cotton, polyester, or Sunbrella fabric and assembles in minutes without any tools.</p> <p>The best-selling double hammock combo is available in a wide range of colors and includes a space-saving steel stand and carrying case. It has more than 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by Popular Mechanics. It is also backed by a 12-month warranty on all materials and workmanship.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2wIe1GT" target="_blank"><em>Currently $117.33 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2wzFBuL" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/wise%20owl.jpg" width="245" height="219" align="right" alt="" /></a>The lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2wzFBuL" target="_blank">Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock</a> is the perfect option for camping, backpacking, or relaxing safely and comfortably. The hammock is safe and extra soft thanks to heavy-duty parachute nylon fabric and triple interlocking stitching. It&rsquo;s durable, folds up small, and can be quickly hung without tools.</p> <p>The portable hammock is available in a wide range of colors and comes with attached carabiners and nautical ropes. It is recommended by Popular Mechanics and has outstanding online reviews, including nearly 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The top-rated hammock is also backed by a money back satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2wzFBuL" target="_blank"><em>Currently $34.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best hammocks. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-hammocks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Best%2520Hammock.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Hammocks"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Best%20Hammock.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Hammocks" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hammocks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-security-systems">The 5 Best Home Security Systems</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle 5 best beach hammock camping hammock hammocks outdoor accessories product reviews shopping Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2024302 at http://www.wisebread.com We Do the Math: When Is It Worth Hiring Household Help? http://www.wisebread.com/we-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/we-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clean_home_is_a_happy_home.jpg" alt="Clean home is a happy home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How much is your happiness worth? Turns out, it may be available for a very reasonable hourly rate. A recent study shows that <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170724161258.htm" target="_blank">using money to buy yourself free time</a> &mdash; by outsourcing household chores, for example &mdash; can lead to higher life satisfaction. Here are six common household chores that might be worth the investment to have someone else handle.</p> <h2>1. House cleaning</h2> <p>What's the average amount of time you spend keeping your house clean? A small apartment might require only an hour of focused cleaning a week. However, if you live in a bigger home, or have multiple family members making messes around you, the time you save on hiring someone to do the cleaning can be significant.</p> <p>According to the American Time Use Survey, <a href="https://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/household.htm" target="_blank">women spend about 30 minutes daily</a> &mdash; or 3.5 hours weekly &mdash; on interior cleaning; men average spend about 10 minutes a day, or just over an hour per week. Think about where you fall in that time spectrum. I spend more time cleaning up on a daily basis, but my husband (and kids) all pitch in two to three hours to clean up on the weekends. The average cost of having a typical <a href="http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/cleaning-services/hire-a-maid-service/#" target="_blank">single-family home cleaned is $130</a>, or you can arrange it by the hour, typically from $25 to $35.</p> <p><strong>Verdict:</strong> Worth it? My money says yes, if you have a house that takes you more than an hour per week to clean. Having a clean house is a morale booster, and not having to spend three or more hours cleaning it is an even bigger bump in life satisfaction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Laundry service</h2> <p>I have four kids, so I spend a lot of time doing laundry. And I had no idea that laundry services are as available, or cheap, as they are. There are about 35,000 laundry service companies in the U.S. Laundry service is generally billed per pound (of laundry), ranging from <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/home-laundry-service-dont-do-your-own-laundry.htm" target="_blank">about $1 to $3 per pound</a>. The variation in price is mostly due to regional location and the service.</p> <p>Some people love doing laundry. I do not understand these people. I do an average two loads of laundry (about 15 to 20 pounds) per day to keep up with my family's unreasonable clothes-wearing habits. It's about 20 minutes of my day to gather, wash, and dry that laundry, and another 15 to 20 minutes to fold and put it away. I'm spending over four hours a week taking care of clothes.</p> <p><strong>Verdict:</strong> Outsourcing the laundry for under $1 per pound sounds like a great trade for more time and happiness. If your local rates are over $1 per pound, however, the service costs would add up quickly. For an individual or couple, the price would probably still be worth the time saved. However, when you factor in a couple of kids who dirty clothes at an alarming rate, the volume of laundry would create a service cost too high to justify.</p> <h2>3. Food preparation</h2> <p>Food preparation may be one of the household chores that takes the most time. However, since it's typically handled in three separate tasks a day, you may not notice how much time you spend on it.</p> <p>Meal delivery services offer an alternative to spending all your time in the kitchen. With a meal prep service, you save the time you'd spend planning the meal, shopping for ingredients, and preparing the ingredients.</p> <p>These meal services often cater to specific dietary needs, and prices vary accordingly. Single meals cost anywhere from $6 for a kid's meal, to $16 each. Packages or subscriptions are the best value, but expect to pay anywhere from $70 for six meals to $152 for 10 meals delivered weekly.</p> <p><strong>Verdict:</strong> I'd love to justify this cost, but for my family, I can't. I'd need to pay the equivalent of what it costs us to eat at a restaurant for every single meal. I spend much less by buying what we like in bulk and cooking our favorites at home. However, for individuals or couples, or those with specific dietary requirements, a meal prep kit or ready-to-eat package could be a great value. Calculate what you spend on groceries each week, then compare with the cost of a meal service. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Meal Prep Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Yard work</h2> <p>The average American family spends 70 hours per year on yard work, according to the American Time Use Survey. Plus there's the cost of owning and maintaining the equipment needed to do the yard work. If you outsource, however, you don't need to worry about any of it: hire a service or an individual with their own equipment, and it's one less thing on your time/money cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/we-do-the-math-will-an-electric-mower-trim-lawn-care-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">We Do the Math: Will an Electric Mower Trim Lawn Care Costs?</a>)</p> <p>The average cost of a yard care service varies, but a typical suburban lawn will run about $60 per mowing. Many services offer a monthly plan, which <a href="http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/lawn-and-garden/" target="_blank">average $100 to $200</a>. The bigger your yard, the more it will cost to have it maintained; of course, that's also more time you're saving when you don't do it yourself.</p> <p><strong>Verdict:</strong> For most people, a yard care service is a worthy investment. You save time on the yard work itself, save on the cost of owning and maintaining equipment; and, if you contract with a service for the whole season, you'll often get extra services (such as end-of-year leaf collection) included for little or no additional charge.</p> <h2>5. Odd jobs</h2> <p>What about the odd jobs, like cleaning the kitchen appliances (bleh!) or assembling that new desk you bought from IKEA? Organizing, deep cleaning, assembling, and installing stuff you've bought can take hours of your life. Fortunately, there are people who will do that for you. Faster. And probably better. Outsourcing services like <a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/" target="_blank">TaskRabbit</a> make finding these amazing people much easier. Create an account, and scan for a service provider who has the skills you need. But first you need to know what you're willing to spend.</p> <p>Start by clearly defining the task that needs to be accomplished. &quot;Deep cleaning&quot; is too vague; instead, list the specific tasks that need to be done. Next, estimate the time you'd spend completing each task.</p> <p>Now you can compare your estimated time cost to the hourly or project cost of hiring someone to do the job for you. If you can pay someone an hourly rate of $35 to do in a couple hours what might've taken you a full day, you've made a wise investment.</p> <p>Expect to pay $15 to $35 an hour for basic jobs that don't require special skills. Odd jobs that require lots of muscle (moving) or a specialized skill (carpentry) will range from $75 to $150 per hour.</p> <p><strong>Verdict: </strong>Absolutely worth it for jobs you hate or aren't good at doing. I'll move into a new house before I clean the stove; hiring someone to do it for me at $20 per hour is a win.</p> <h2>6. Car washing</h2> <p>Having a clean, sparkling car is a great feeling. Doing it yourself, however, is not so great. It can take a good chunk of your Saturday afternoon to wash, wax, vacuum, and so on. The cheapest way to outsource the car washing errand is to hire a neighborhood kid (or your own kid) to do the work instead. While you can charge a small amount for this task to be completed, the work might not be all that thorough.</p> <p>A car wash service can provide a fabulous car wash, even detailing, for a fraction of the time required to do it yourself. Waterway, for example, provides a <a href="http://www.waterway.com/car-wash-services/" target="_blank">$35 car wash</a> that includes &quot;attention to detail, sparkle and shine, inside and out.&quot; That's not exactly detailing, but for $35, it's worth the two to three hours you'd save doing it yourself.</p> <p>Most car wash services offer subscriptions or packages which can lower the cost per wash, or give you unlimited washes per month for a single monthly cost (from <a href="http://mistercarwash.com/unlimited-wash-club/" target="_blank">$22.99 to $49.99</a>, for Mister Car Wash).</p> <p><strong>Verdict:</strong> With a monthly package or subscription, it's a good purchase. Find out what's available in your area. If you'd spend an afternoon cleaning your car, you can save that time &mdash; and wash your care more often &mdash; for a very reasonable price.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwe-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWe%2520Do%2520the%2520Math-%2520When%2520Is%2520It%2520Worth%2520Hiring%2520Household%2520Help-.jpg&amp;description=We%20Do%20the%20Math%3A%20When%20Is%20It%20Worth%20Hiring%20Household%20Help%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/We%20Do%20the%20Math-%20When%20Is%20It%20Worth%20Hiring%20Household%20Help-.jpg" alt="We Do the Math: When Is It Worth Hiring Household Help?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/we-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-winter-expenses-that-could-freeze-your-budget">5 Big Winter Expenses That Could Freeze Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency">8 Signs You Aren&#039;t Prepared for an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-money-doing-household-chores">4 Ways to Make Money Doing Household Chores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-hiring-household-help">4 Things to Consider Before Hiring Household Help</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home chores cleaning cleaning the house cleaning tips housework laundry saving money yard work Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Annie Mueller 2023004 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find and Hire a Reliable Contractor http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_construction_worker_at_work.jpg" alt="Smiling construction worker at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hiring a contractor for a home improvement project can be among the biggest financial commitments you will make. Poor project execution by a contractor can result in years of frustration and unplanned expenses. Here are four steps you can take avoid headaches by getting the best contractor to work on your project. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/architect-designer-or-contractor-who-should-you-hire-for-your-project?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Architect, Designer, or Contractor: Who Should You Hire for Your Project?</a>)</p> <h2>Plan your project and your budget</h2> <p>Before you start looking for a contractor, you will need at least a basic plan for the work you want done so you'll know what type of contractor is needed. You may be able to save money by strategically combining projects. For example, I'm having a chimney rebuilt and bathroom roof vent added at the same time I'm having my roof reshingled.</p> <p>Home improvement projects can make your home more enjoyable and more valuable as well. In some cases, the return on investment can be more than the expense of doing the project.</p> <p>However, even if a project will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects?ref=internal" target="_blank">boost the value of your home</a>, it's important to make sure you can afford it. A home improvement loan or a home-equity loan from your bank or credit union may be less expensive than other forms of financing for a project. A loan officer can quickly give you a range for the line of credit that you could obtain and an idea of the repayment terms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</a>)</p> <h2>Find contractors to bid on your project</h2> <p>When you have decided the scope of the project you want done, the next step is to contact contractors and get estimates. You will want to do some research and contact only highly-rated contractors who are qualified to do the kind of work that's needed.</p> <p>Here are some reliable places to find contractors:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Recommendations from neighbors who have done projects similar yours.</p> </li> <li> <p>Companies you see working in your neighborhood on projects that impress you.</p> </li> <li> <p>Contractors with good ratings on consumer review sites: Angie's List, the Better Business Bureau, and Yelp.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Keep in mind that it can take a few months from the time you start requesting estimates until work begins on your project. Most contractors schedule jobs in the order that they are signed up, and good contractors are often very busy, so be prepared to be patient.</p> <h2>Evaluate estimates before booking</h2> <p>It's good practice to get <em>three </em>estimates for your project before selecting a contractor. This will give you a good idea of the cost range for your project, and you'll have three expert opinions on what should be included. Some contractors will make verbal promises when they are talking to you about your project, but such statements can easily be forgotten later and you'll see that reflected on the estimate. Make sure to get any special requests and promises in writing &mdash; even if it is handwritten on the estimate as a note.</p> <p>When reviewing estimates, it might seem like choosing the low bidder would automatically be the smart way to go, but if one of the estimates is significantly lower than the others, you should find out why. The lower bidder may be cutting corners to save money by using lower quality materials or inexperienced laborers. Some low bids are &quot;bare-bones&quot; estimates that leave out work that will likely be needed, so the actual cost of completing the project will be higher than the estimate.</p> <p>For some projects, the grade of materials will be specified in the estimate, the type of shingles or siding that is included in the estimate, for example. Materials can make a big difference in the cost, and also to the quality of your project. Look at the labor portion of the estimate separately from the materials to compare costs. You can ask a contractor to update their estimate using different materials if that's what you prefer. This is your house, after all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</a>)</p> <h2>Ask all the questions you need</h2> <p>With your favorite estimate picked out, there are a few questions to ask before you pull the trigger and sign a contract. You want to make sure you are signing up with a contractor who will be able to complete a project for you without unpleasant surprises after the contract is signed.</p> <p>Questions to ask before signing a contract:</p> <ul> <li> <p>When will the work be scheduled?</p> </li> <li> <p>Can you provide references for similar projects?</p> </li> <li> <p>Can I visit a project in progress?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are you and your subcontractors insured?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Think twice before signing a contract if you discover any of these red flags:</p> <ul> <li> <p>The contract calls for a big payment in advance of any work being done.</p> </li> <li> <p>The contractor doesn't provide references you can contact.</p> </li> <li> <p>You are being asked to get required building permits.</p> </li> <li> <p>The company has not been in business long, or is using a new name.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Spending some time to plan your project, screen potential contractors before getting estimates, compare competitive estimates from several qualified bidders, and check out your contractor's work before signing a contract greatly increases your chances of having a good experience and a result you'll be pleased with.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Find%2520and%2520Hire%2520a%2520Reliable%2520Contractor.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Find%20and%20Hire%20a%20Reliable%20Contractor"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Find%20and%20Hire%20a%20Reliable%20Contractor.jpg" alt="How to Find and Hire a Reliable Contractor" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-hire-a-reliable-contractor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project">10 Things to Know Before You Start a Home Improvement Project</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/architect-designer-or-contractor-who-should-you-hire-for-your-project">Architect, Designer, or Contractor: Who Should You Hire for Your Project?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-rid-of-mold-on-common-household-items">6 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Mold on Common Household Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-fumes-are-bad-for-your-health">Cooking Fumes Are Bad For Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects">Boost Your Home&#039;s Value With These 5 Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Home contractor handyman home improvement home repairs trustworthy contractor Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2022480 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 52 Things You Need to Know About Hosting on Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-52-things-you-need-to-know-about-hosting-on-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-52-things-you-need-to-know-about-hosting-on-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_question_mark_586948240.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if she should host on airbnb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you're looking to make some extra cash, and you realize you have the perfect house or apartment to list on Airbnb. It seems like an easy way to earn money, and many people earn enough to cover their rent or mortgage payments. However, there are many things to consider before opening your home up to strangers as a potential side gig. Here's everything to keep in mind before taking that step.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/couple_backpack_vacation_516895030.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb?ref=fbf" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb</a> &mdash; Think about the entire process from the customer's point of view. What would make your listing stand out among the rest? Taking professional photos, including personal touches in decor, and offering added services require minimal effort in exchange for big bucks.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb?ref=fbf" target="_blank">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a> &mdash; Learn from the personal experiences of others. Sometimes the money is totally worth the nonstop cleaning and worrying about getting good reviews. Sometimes it isn't. Seek out honest reviews like this one to understand exactly what you'll face.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_paris_travel_486971456.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel?ref=fbf" target="_blank">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a> &mdash; Understand the market. What are hotels charging in your area? Do you have a second home to rent in a more desirable location where Airbnb might be the cheapest option? Local hotels are also your competitors, so research what they're offering before setting your price point.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay?ref=fbf" target="_blank">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a> &mdash; You can't please everyone, and you might run into some unhappy guests. Learn what their rights are compared to yours, and how negative feedback is handled.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/when_the_party_is_over.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb?ref=fbf" target="_blank">5 Costly Pitfalls of Hosting on Airbnb</a> &mdash; As an Airbnb host, there are some costs that will come out of your wallet. Before you create your listing and start accepting guests, make sure your budget can accommodate those expenses.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=fbf" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb &mdash; and Succeed</a> &mdash; Airbnb has been around for years, so there are many people who have learned the ins and outs of hosting, and now know how to do it right. This is one of them. Learn from their mistakes, and heed their expert advice.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-52-things-you-need-to-know-about-hosting-on-airbnb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-68-best-ways-to-make-money-that-are-actually-fun">Flashback Friday: 68 Best Ways to Make Money That Are Actually Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Home AirBnb extra income fbf flashback friday rent your home side hustle travel vacation rentals Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 2021151 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy, Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Even Cozier This Autumn http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-affordable-ways-to-make-your-home-even-cozier-this-autumn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-affordable-ways-to-make-your-home-even-cozier-this-autumn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cozy_blanket_532868924.jpg" alt="Woman making her home even cozier this autumn" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cool mornings and evenings with bright, breezy afternoons are the quintessence of autumn. When this change in our weather happens, my mind turns to cozy thoughts. Hot cider and cocoa, soft sweaters and boots, and pumpkin-flavored everything brings a smile to my face.</p> <p>The Danish culture refers to this reveling in the <a href="http://amzn.to/2xjhY9V" target="_blank">joys of cold weather as <em>Hygge</em></a> (pronounced <em>hue-guh</em>, not <em>hig-ee</em>.) The best part of <em>Hygge</em> is that it's a mindset built on living the cozy life. It doesn't cost much, if anything, to bring this aesthetic into your home. Here's how to do it on a budget in time for the leaves to change.</p> <h2>1. Invite friends over</h2> <p>One of the main tenants of <em>Hygge </em>is spending quality time with friends and family at home. Make a meal together, watch a movie, play board games, light a fire, and spend time catching up. Hygge is a time to slow down and be grateful for what we have, and the best things we can have in our lives are friendship and love.</p> <p>You don't need to meet at a fancy restaurant or engage in other pricey activities, either. Just being in their company while the wind blows outside accomplishes this, for free.</p> <h2>2. Get baking</h2> <p>Nothing makes a home cozier than the sweet scent of fresh baked goods emanating from the kitchen. And the best part is that they are usually far less expensive than those you buy ready-made. This recipe for <a href="https://breadtopia.com/no-knead-bread/" target="_blank">no-knead bread</a> is one of the very best ways to make your house a home for pennies on the dollar. And the bread is as good as any you will find in many local bakeries. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-artisanal-bread-on-a-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Artisanal Bread on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>3. Display books around every corner</h2> <p>These cold weather months are the perfect time to make a dent in our never-ending to-read lists. Grab a couple of the books you've been meaning to read and keep them strategically located in spots around your home where you're likely to have some spare time: the night stand in your bedroom, the coffee table or end table by the living room couch, on your kitchen counter, and at your home office desk. Make it a practice to read a few pages every day in those moments between tasks, while you're waiting for the water to boil, or settling in for the evening.</p> <h2>4. Light some candles and meditate</h2> <p>Candles are an easy and inexpensive way to bring comfort into your home. Set up a ritual of candle gazing and meditating for a few moments each day. Light the candle and take some time to be actively grateful for the good parts of your life. Just the act of letting that dim light into your eyes and mind, literally and figuratively, will make all of your moments more joyful. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body</a>)</p> <h2>5. Brew hot beverages</h2> <p>Soothing, hot drinks cost far less to make at home than to buy by the cup at the local cafe. You can make endless varieties of tea, cider, hot cocoa, and coffee in the cozy comforts of your home.</p> <p>This recipe for <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/mexican-hot-chocolate-2" target="_blank">Mexican hot chocolate</a> is a snap to make in a saucepan on your stove. And to make things really easy on yourself, try making this recipe for <a href="http://theheartysoul.com/banana-tea-sleep-remedy/" target="_blank">banana &quot;tea&quot;</a> that requires only a banana and a pot of water. It's rich in potassium and will send you off to dreamland in no time!</p> <h2>6. Create a relaxation nook</h2> <p>Grab a cushy chair, warm blanket, and small table to create a nook where you can cuddle up and spend some relaxing time at home. Use items you already have or check the secondhand vintage stores to create an atmosphere of comfort on a budget. For an even softer feel, hang string lights above your nook and bask in their glow.</p> <p>Too many people lament the end of summer. With a little Hygge in your life, you can look forward to many warm and cozy days ahead no matter what the weather's like outside.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-easy-affordable-ways-to-make-your-home-even-cozier-this-autumn&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Easy%252C%2520Affordable%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Your%2520Home%2520Even%2520Cozier%2520This%2520Autumn.jpg&amp;description=6%20Easy%2C%20Affordable%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Your%20Home%20Even%20Cozier%20This%20Autumn"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Easy%2C%20Affordable%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Your%20Home%20Even%20Cozier%20This%20Autumn.jpg" alt="6 Easy, Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Even Cozier This Autumn" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-affordable-ways-to-make-your-home-even-cozier-this-autumn">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">7 Frugal Fall Decoration Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle affordable decor autumn autumn decor cozy cozy decor fall fall food hygge sweater weather Wed, 13 Sep 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2020063 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Home and Houseware Upgrades That Prove You're Finally a Grownup http://www.wisebread.com/11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-519998537.jpg" alt="these home decor upgrades prove you&#039;re an adult" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your home says a lot about you. Are you still in an adolescent phase, barely keeping things together with take-out containers all over your futon, or are you ready for some real adulting? Impress your friends and prove to your parents that you're a grownup with these easy and affordable home decor upgrades.</p> <h2>1. A quality chef's knife</h2> <p>You know you're a grownup when you have a knife you love so much, you're willing to get it sharpened in order to keep it in tip-top shape. When you've cooked enough at home, you know having a <a href="http://amzn.to/2wIX7cS" target="_blank">quality chef's knife</a> is a must.</p> <p>Don't worry, a quality knife doesn't have to put you in the poorhouse. Yes, the Wüsthofs and Shuns of the world may be the ultimate standard, but the truly savvy adult knows that top quality can be had from slightly less pricey brands, such as Victorinox, or less-expensive lines from the top brands, such as the <a href="http://amzn.to/2vMerR6" target="_blank">Wüsthof Pro</a> line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-essential-kitchen-tools-all-frugal-cooks-need?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Essential Kitchen Tools All Frugal Cooks Need</a>)</p> <h2>2. Blackout curtains</h2> <p>Sure, when you were in your college days, any old thing that could keep the light out when you were sleeping off last night's &hellip; study session &hellip; was fine. A sheet tacked up over the window was plenty for your needs. But now that you're a bill-paying adult, it's time to get some nicer window dressings.</p> <p>You can pay a pretty penny for quality <a href="http://amzn.to/2xOX8fC" target="_blank">blackout curtains</a>, but you can get some surprisingly luxurious and grownup looking ones from places like Target, World Market, IKEA, and Amazon. And instead of paying through the nose for custom lined curtains, clip some blackout lining to the back using curtain clips and rings. After all, you need your beauty sleep for all the adulting you'll be doing early in the morning.</p> <h2>3. A table centerpiece</h2> <p>Nothing says you've made it to adulthood like a centerpiece for your table. A nice vase, or a tray with some candles on it tells the world that you've settled into your home.</p> <p>The cheapest place to get vases and knick-knacks is the thrift store, where you can find an abundance of pitchers, vases, baskets, and trays for a couple bucks each.</p> <h2>4. Framed prints</h2> <p>Throw away those music festival posters, or at least frame them so they look like art. Framed prints make a home look so much more put together.</p> <p>And if you want to go with custom framing, you should know it's a bit of a splurge. If you must custom frame something, make use of coupons at craft stores or promo codes for online custom framing retailers like Framebridge. Cheaper alternatives include shopping for already-framed art at discount stores like TJMaxx, or framing your own art with ready-made frames &mdash; IKEA has some lovely inexpensive options.</p> <h2>5. Houseplants</h2> <p>It takes some real adult skill to keep a houseplant alive. I should know, I've killed plenty. That's why I now invest in succulents and air plants.</p> <p>The clearance section of the Home Depot garden center is where I've found a lot of my succulents and plants. I've also gotten a lot of cuttings from a friend for free, and actually had success propagating some of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Surprising Ways a Houseplant Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>6. Supportive pillows</h2> <p>You know you're getting older when you buy a pillow specifically for its neck or back support. The most important thing about a pillow is that it holds your head in a neutral position. Side sleepers need a thicker, firmer pillow (such as <a href="http://amzn.to/2j3xOis" target="_blank">memory foam pillows</a>), whereas back sleepers need a pillow that supports their head without disrupting the natural curve of the neck.</p> <p>It can be hard to find the perfect pillow for you, and I honestly think this is one purchase that is worth the investment. Look for pillows that have a money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk-free, as it takes a few nights to determine if a pillow is a good fit.</p> <h2>7. Multiple sources of lighting</h2> <p>A ceiling light can do the job of illuminating a room, but decorators agree that multiple sources of lighting are more soothing and pleasing to the eye. One upgrade that can make your home feel much cozier is buying a few floor and table lamps to diversify your lighting.</p> <p>Discount stores like TJMaxx are great for finding affordable lighting. If you'd like to save a little more, you can also look at architectural salvage stores like the <a href="https://www.habitat.org/restores" target="_blank">Habitat for Humanity Restore</a>, or thrift shops.</p> <h2>8. A proper filing system</h2> <p>It might seem boring, but it's so essential to keep track of bills, medical records, receipts, tax returns, and other important documents. After a while, throwing them all in a drawer (or piling them on the dining table) and hoping they'll sort themselves out just doesn't cut it anymore.</p> <p>IKEA has some sleek looking file cabinets for under $100, and check online on Overstock and Amazon for some basic options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-essential-documents-you-should-keep-in-your-safe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Essential Documents You Should Keep in Your Safe</a>)</p> <h2>9. Guest-friendly bathroom amenities</h2> <p>When your friends come over, is there enough toilet paper? How about a place to dry their hands that isn't the bath towel you used this morning? Put a little thought into what guests might need if they use your bathroom.</p> <p>You don't need much, just a few hand towels, a soap dispenser, and a toilet paper holder. There are endless budget-friendly options at home decor or major department stores. Make sure you tuck your toiletries out of sight and bam! You've got a grownup bathroom.</p> <h2>10. Matching dishes</h2> <p>Having matching dishes on the table is definitely a step towards being an adult. White dishes are always practical and can always be accessorized with other colors.</p> <p>You can dish out a lot for matching dinnerware at department stores, but go to Amazon, IKEA, or Target and you can get a serviceable set of matching plates and bowls for a super affordable price. A set of eight will usually be enough for dinner parties and guests.</p> <h2>11. A slow cooker</h2> <p>Whether it's a basic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers" target="_blank">slow-cooker</a>, or one of the uber-popular electric <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pressure-cookers" target="_blank">pressure cookers</a>, having an appliance that cooks your dinner for you while you do other stuff is one of the marks of a busy adult.</p> <p>For the cult-favorite <a href="http://amzn.to/2eLGCbz" target="_blank">Instant Pot</a> or other appliances, put a price alert on the Amazon listing using <a href="https://camelcamelcamel.com/" target="_blank">Camel Camel Camel</a> so you'll be notified when they have their periodic sales, which are the cheapest way to get one of these appliances (unless you lucked out by finding a brand-new Instant Pot at the thrift store, like I did).</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520To%2520Know%2520Your%2520Finally%2520A%2520Grown%2520Up_0.jpg&amp;description=11%20Home%20and%20Houseware%20Upgrades%20That%20Prove%20You're%20Finally%20a%20Grownup"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20To%20Know%20Your%20Finally%20A%20Grown%20Up_0.jpg" alt="11 Home and Houseware Upgrades That Prove You're Finally a Grownup" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/34-smart-ways-to-cut-your-electric-bill">34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-peelers">The 5 Best Peelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-spoons">The 5 Best Measuring Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping adulting apartment decor appliances bedroom decor home decor kitchen items kitchen tools saving money Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Camilla Cheung 2017491 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Places to Try the Airstream Lifestyle Before You Buy One http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-try-the-airstream-lifestyle-before-you-buy-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-places-to-try-the-airstream-lifestyle-before-you-buy-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airstream_trailer_in_mojave_desert_at_sunset.jpg" alt="Airstream Trailer in Mojave Desert at Sunset" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airstream trailers are enjoying an Instagram-era resurgence. Their shiny, curvy exteriors and tiny-home interiors are just so dreamy that more and more of us are indulging in Airstream getaways. But the cold-as-aluminum reality is that a new Airstream trailer can cost upwards of $100,000, which is not an amount most of us would lay down without knowing for sure whether sleeping in a bunk beneath a riveted ceiling would make us claustrophobic or euphoric.</p> <p>Fortunately, a growing number of Airstream parks, motels, and Airbnb rentals are allowing stream-dreamers to try before they buy. Most of these accommodations are more glamping than roughing it, so don't be surprised if prices are comparable to hotels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-on-your-next-glamping-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Save on Your Next Glamping Trip</a>)</p> <h2>1. Kate's Lazy Desert Airstream Motel in Landers, California</h2> <p>Set in the ethereal Mojave High Desert outside Joshua Tree National Park, this motel features <a href="https://www.lazymeadow.com/" target="_blank">six vintage Airstream trailers</a> decorated by artists in themes such as Hot Lava (you feel like you're inside a lava lamp) and Tiki. But the real draw is that the park is influenced by the wacky style of the owner, Kate Pierson, of the B-52s. Bang, bang on the door, baby!</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $175 to $200 per night.</p> <h2>2. The Shady Dell Vintage Trailer Court in Bisbee, Arizona</h2> <p>Operating since 1927, this <a href="http://theshadydell.com/" target="_blank">resort along Highway 80</a> celebrates the retro kitsch of the Airstream lifestyle. Ten lovingly restored vintage trailers, including a 1955 Airstream, pair period decorations with modern comforts.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $85 to $95 per night.</p> <h2>3. Shooting Star RV Resort in Escalante, Utah</h2> <p>Imagine that you're hanging in John Wayne's trailer on set of John Ford's <em>The Searchers</em>. Well, you won't have to stretch your imagination far if you stay in <a href="http://www.shootingstar-rvresort.com/the-duke.html" target="_blank">The Duke</a>, just one of eight Hollywood-themed Airstreams at this glamping oasis in the wilderness.</p> <p>As if the trailers weren't enough of a Hollywood escape, after sunset you can watch a movie outside, <a href="http://www.shootingstar-rvresort.com/amenities.html" target="_blank">sitting in a classic car</a> just like a drive-in of yore.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $129 to $149 a night.</p> <h2>4. The Metro Hotel in Petaluma, California</h2> <p>This wine country <a href="http://www.metrolodging.com/" target="_blank">boutique hotel</a> features two Airstream trailers with brightly colored bedding and sleek modern interiors. One trailer is a 22-foot Bambi model; the other is a limited-edition 28-footer with a full kitchen and luxe bathroom. All guests get pastries and coffee in the morning, and The Metro offers a cafe and bike rentals for pedaling into historic downtown Petaluma.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $149 to $235 a night.</p> <h2>5. The Starlux Boutique Hotel in Wildwood, New Jersey</h2> <p>Set on the Jersey Shore, this hotel has <a href="http://hotels.moreyspiers.com/starlux" target="_blank">two doo-wop-inspired trailers</a> for you to stay in swanky style, each with a double bed, a day bed, private bathroom, kitchenette, and lava lamp. You also have access to the hotel pool, and the beach and boardwalk are steps away.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $81 to $211 a night.</p> <h2>6. Bar Harbor/Oceanside KOA in Maine</h2> <p>Sleep in a <a href="https://koa.com/campgrounds/bar-harbor-oceanside/site-type/cabin-accommodations/" target="_blank">modern 26-foot Airstream</a> equipped with a queen bed, a full bath with shower, and a Keurig coffee maker. This campground is on the same island as Acadia National Park. And a 10-minute drive gets you to the gorgeous coastline and freshwater lakes in the area.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $185 a night.</p> <h2>7. Caravan Outpost in Ojai, California</h2> <p>In the heart of the bohemian and artsy town of Ojai, <a href="http://caravanoutpost.com/" target="_blank">Caravan Outpost</a> consists of 11 &quot;curated&quot; Airstream trailers set in an urban garden. Outdoor movie nights and pop-up eateries add to the fun. Each trailer comes with complimentary bikes to explore the Ojai path.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $147 to $309 a night.</p> <h2>8. Wine Country Retreat in Temecula, California</h2> <p>Set in the heart of the Temecula wine country, <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10070014" target="_blank">this Airbnb rental</a> features a pool, an on-site vineyard, and 40 wineries within minutes. You can also watch hot air balloons float from the deck.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $119 a night and up.</p> <h2>9. Malibu Dream Airstream in Malibu, California</h2> <p>Five hundred dollars might seem like a lot to sleep in a trailer, but how gorgeous is <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3406062" target="_blank">this Airstream</a> perched on a bluff above a Malibu beach? Gorgeous enough that Vogue chose it as the backdrop for a photo shoot of bffs Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss. And the entire ocean-facing side opens up for an endlessly gorgeous view.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $500 per night and up.</p> <h2>10. Airstream2go, various locations</h2> <p>But what if stationary wasn't the way you envisioned your Airstream adventure? After all, these babies were made to roll. This company will rent you one of their <a href="http://www.airstream2go.com/fleet/airstream-28-international" target="_blank">28-foot International Signature Series Airstreams</a>, laid out to sleep up to six, and a Chevy Tahoe to tow it with. They'll even plan an itinerary and program your GPS for you. Sample trips include driving through the Berkshires, exploring Coastal Maine, or rambling through the Southwest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-of-the-craziest-coolest-airbnb-listings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 of the Craziest, Coolest Airbnb Listings</a>)</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Starts at $2,300 for three days and tops out at $17,500 for two weeks during peak season. Prices include the SUV to tow.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-places-to-try-the-airstream-lifestyle-before-you-buy-one&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Places%2520to%2520Try%2520the%2520Airstream%2520Lifestyle%2520Before%2520You%2520Buy%2520One_0.jpg&amp;description=10%20Places%20to%20Try%20the%20Airstream%20Lifestyle%20Before%20You%20Buy%20One"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Places%20to%20Try%20the%20Airstream%20Lifestyle%20Before%20You%20Buy%20One_0.jpg" alt="10 Places to Try the Airstream Lifestyle Before You Buy One" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-try-the-airstream-lifestyle-before-you-buy-one">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-52-things-you-need-to-know-about-hosting-on-airbnb">Flashback Friday: 52 Things You Need to Know About Hosting on Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-affordable-ways-to-make-your-home-even-cozier-this-autumn">6 Easy, Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Even Cozier This Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle airstream airstream life camping road trip rv tiny house trailer travel Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:31:04 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2016673 at http://www.wisebread.com A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent http://www.wisebread.com/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-547129138.jpg" alt="the granny pod is an affordable solution to long-term care" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us are feeling the pinch of caring for elderly loved ones. Between the cost of long-term care, the longer lifespan we're experiencing thanks to modern medicine and healthier lifestyles, and the desire for intergenerational families to remain intact, entrepreneurs are trying to figure out ways for people to age in place and continue to be part of their families and communities long into their golden years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One's Long-Term Care</a>)</p> <p>One option on the table is affectionately known as a &quot;granny pod.&quot; While some have criticized it as putting Grandma into a shed in the backyard, granny pods are far from this characterization. As with most real estate, it's all about location, location, location. Think of granny pods as part of the tiny house movement, but outfitted specifically for a senior's needs. They let our elderly parents stay close to us while providing them with their own self-contained, private space. And let's be clear: I've spent the majority of my adult life living in a studio apartment in New York City that is the same size as a granny pod, so it's not an unlivable housing option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a>)</p> <p>Below are three manufacturers who are designing, building, and distributing granny pods around the globe. Given the growing senior demographic and the growth of the population, we should continue to keep our eyes open for new companies in this niche and in the sustainable housing industry as a whole. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <h2>MEDCottages</h2> <p>Based in Blacksburg, Virginia, <a href="http://www.medcottage.com/home.html" target="_blank">MEDCottages</a> prices their granny pods at $85,000 to $125,000. They have three different styles and some are available as kits that can be assembled as units that can be leased rather than purchased outright. It's also possible to just purchase the architectural plans from MEDCottage and hire your own contractor to build it for you. The MEDCottage products are equipped like hospital rooms with hand rails, lighted floorboards, hospital beds, large bathrooms, first aid kits, and defibrillators.</p> <h2>S-Pod</h2> <p>Manufactured by U.K. company Swift Group, the <a href="https://www.swiftmyspace.co.uk/s-pod" target="_blank">S-Pod</a> illustrates the possibilities that this kind of living structure offers. Though only available in the U.K. at the moment (keep an eye out for U.S. expansions!), it's easy to see how this option can be used for seniors who want to stay close to their families, but maintain their independence. These are currently priced at &pound;22,145, which is about $28,690.</p> <p>Unlike MEDCottages, these aren't specifically outfitted for seniors. However, just as we outfit our own homes to help aging family members, they could also be altered as needed.</p> <h2>Breezepod</h2> <p>Hopping over to New Zealand, we find <a href="http://www.breezepod.com/index.html" target="_blank">Breezepod</a>. Like the S-Pod, this product is marketed to a wide demographic, including seniors. What makes their marketing message unique is that they are designing these units from an environmental sustainability perspective. Energy efficient, easy-to-assemble with just two people, and having the ability to add features like solar panels, Breezepods don't require any timber, so they don't cause any deforestation. The polymer materials used to create them are recyclable, and their designs are both earthquake-proof and wind-resistant.</p> <p>Currently, the cost of a granny pod is the responsibility of the land owner. However, MEDCottage is laying the groundwork in the U.S. to push to have the construction of granny pods receive assistance from Medicare. Given that the cost of a granny pod is roughly the same as the cost of long-term care in a nursing facility for two years, and the need to reduce the strain on existing nursing facilities, granny pods make economical and societal sense for those seniors who can live independently with some assistance on an as-needed basis. Aging in place is coming of age thanks to this innovation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ease-your-parents-into-assisted-living?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Ease Your Parents Into Assisted Living</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fa-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FA%2520Granny%2520Pod%2520May%2520Be%2520the%2520Smartest%2520Way%2520to%2520Care%2520for%2520an%2520Elderly%2520Parent.jpg&amp;description=A%20Granny%20Pod%20May%20Be%20the%20Smartest%20Way%20to%20Care%20for%20an%20Elderly%20Parent"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/A%20Granny%20Pod%20May%20Be%20the%20Smartest%20Way%20to%20Care%20for%20an%20Elderly%20Parent.jpg" alt="A Granny Pod May Be the Smartest Way to Care for an Elderly Parent" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-granny-pod-may-be-the-smartest-way-to-care-for-an-elderly-parent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/re-nesting-tips-for-moving-back-in-with-your-parents">Re-Nesting: Tips for Moving Back in With Your Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-7-features-home-buyers-want-most">These Are the 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cities-for-starting-over">The 5 Best Cities for Starting Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-essential-kitchen-tools-all-frugal-cooks-need">31 Essential Kitchen Tools All Frugal Cooks Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move">10 Ways to Save on a Long-Distance Move</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home Real Estate and Housing elderly care grandfather grandmother granny pod guest house nursing home tiny home Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016058 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Solar-Powered Outdoor Security Lights http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-powered-outdoor-security-lights <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-solar-powered-outdoor-security-lights" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/solar_security_lights_629434366.jpg" alt="Using the best solar powered outdoor security lights" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Solar-powered outdoor security lights harness the power of the sun to provide lighting and security around the home and yard. This means lower energy costs and a better option for the environment.</p> <h2>What is a solar-powered outdoor security light?</h2> <p>Solar powered outdoor security lights convert solar power into electric energy to provide lighting without using electricity. They are charged by the sun, so you won&rsquo;t need to worry about power cords getting in the way. They are ideal for use around steps, driveways, porches, patios, walkways, carports, and sheds.</p> <h2>Top 5 solar-powered outdoor security lights</h2> <h3>Sunforce LED Solar Motion Light</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j0gnPV" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/sunforce.jpg" width="245" height="199" align="right" alt="" /></a>The durable <a href="http://amzn.to/2j0gnPV" target="_blank">Sunforce LED Solar Motion Light</a> automatically turns on when it detects motion. The amorphous solar panel generates electricity in all daylight conditions, even on cloudy days, so you can get reliable lighting anytime. The weatherproof light comes equipped with 60 super-bright white LED lights and three adjustable settings: light level, time, and sensitivity.</p> <p>This has easy installation and is maintenance free. It includes a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and mounting hardware. It has outstanding online reviews, including more than 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2w51kFN" target="_blank">Sunforce 80-LED Solar Motion Light</a> is another highly reviewed option from the brand.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2j0gnPV" target="_blank"><em>Currently $25.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Mpow Solar Lights</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2x9tvs6" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mpow_0.jpg" width="245" height="225" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in commercial emergency light fixtures, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2x9tvs6" target="_blank">Mpow Solar Lights</a>, turn on automatically in the dusk and turn off at dawn. They offer fast charging, seven hours of illumination, eight ultrabright LED lights, and long sensor length. They also feature three intelligent adjustable modes: strong long light mode, dim light sensor mode, and strong light sensor mode.</p> <p>A polysilicon solar panel shortens the charging time, even in less sunny environments. This set has outstanding online reviews, including more than 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2x9tvs6" target="_blank"><em>Currently $21.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>URPOWER LED Outdoor Solar Motion Sensor Lights</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xNKHAE" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/urpower.jpg" width="245" height="239" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in patio ceiling light fixtures, the durable wireless <a href="http://amzn.to/2xNKHAE" target="_blank">URPOWER LED Outdoor Solar Motion Sensor Lights</a> have large solar panels, a large capacity battery, 20 LEDs, and a diamond lampshade. The waterproof, rustproof, high temperature-resistant stainless steel construction can withstand years of rain, snow, ice, and wind. Thanks to intelligent detection, brighter light activates when sensing motion, and the light stays on for 20 seconds after motion stops.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to install this four-pack with the included mounting hardware and lights can be positioned seven feet away from each other to cover a larger area. This includes a 1000mAh 3.7V Li-ion rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of use on a full charge. It has outstanding online reviews, including more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2xNKHAE" target="_blank"><em>Currently $24.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Litom Super Bright Solar Lights</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2w4HjPQ" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/litom.jpg" width="245" height="148" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in island lights, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2w4HjPQ" target="_blank">Litom Super Bright Solar Lights</a> offers a broad range of bright light. The unique design has a wider 120-degree sensor angle and longer sensing distance. The durable weatherproof light has 54 super bright LEDs and a built-in PIR motion sensor. The larger solar panel has faster battery charging (even in cloudy environments) and more power energy storage.</p> <p>This automatically turns on when it senses motion and has three adjustable lighting modes: medium light mode, dim light sensor mode, and sensor mode. Installation is easy with the included mounting hardware. The light is frequently recommended online for those who want a bright outdoor light.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2w4HjPQ" target="_blank"><em>Currently $26.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>MAXSA Innovations Motion-Activated Dual Head LED Security Spotlight</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gK3Z5L" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/maxsa.jpg" width="245" height="173" align="right" alt="" /></a>The durable <a href="http://amzn.to/2gK3Z5L" target="_blank">MAXSA Innovations Motion-Activated Dual Head LED Security Spotlight</a> is one of the brightest solar-powered, motion-activated outdoor security lights on the market, thanks to four super-bright LEDs. It can withstand any weather and turns on automatically when motion is detected. It is fully adjustable thanks to three dials for time, motion sensor range, and amount of darkness needed for activation. The amorphous solar panel can efficiently charge, even on cloudy days, ensuring you get light when you need it.</p> <p>The solar security light has two heads that can be pointed in different directions for wide illumination. Installation is easy with the included mounting hardware. This also includes three 1.2V NIMH AA rechargeable batteries that last up to three years.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gK3Z5L" target="_blank"><em>Currently $51.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best solar powered outdoor security lights. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fnow-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Solar-Powered%2520Outdoor%2520Security%2520Lights.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Solar-Powered%20Outdoor%20Security%20Lights"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Solar-Powered%20Outdoor%20Security%20Lights.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Solar-Powered Outdoor Security Lights" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-powered-outdoor-security-lights">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-security-systems">The 5 Best Home Security Systems</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-reusable-straws">The 5 Best Reusable Straws</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home Shopping 5 best product reviews security lights outdoor lights shopping solar energy solar lights Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2016235 at http://www.wisebread.com