Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US 6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/neighbors-E000352-small.jpg" alt="neighbors " title="neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our communities just don't have the same bonds they used to. Think about it: Of all the people you've lived next door to, how many of their names do you know? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor?ref=seealso">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</a>)</p> <p>This is a problem, given the tangible, material benefits of having neighbors you know better than, say, the receptionist at your dentist's office. Don't believe it? Then check out these six ways it pays to be friendly with your neighbors.</p> <h2>1. Splitting Chores</h2> <p>Some chores impact more than just one house in a neighborhood. For example, if you share a common driveway, you can all pitch in when it comes to repaving it. It's not just about communal chores, though. Doing small favors can encourage a mini sharing economy. Help your neighbor plant a garden, he helps you change the transmission on your car. Start saving a mint based on the things that you couldn't do yourself, but can do with a spare set of hands.</p> <h2>2. Sharing the Cost of Big Equipment</h2> <p>Just like there are some chores that are impossible alone, so are there pieces of big equipment one person might not want to buy, but a neighborhood can go in on together. Think of things like wood chippers, cherry pickers, or power washers. Particularly if you're not going to be using them a lot, the price can be cost prohibitive. However, once you start splitting the cost three or four ways, the investment starts making a lot more sense.</p> <h2>3. Splitting Entertainment Costs</h2> <p>Especially for the sports fan, the ability to split entertainment costs can be a big deal. Maybe you don't want to shell out for the next UFC fight, WWE pay-per-view, or a season of NFL game day on your own. However, with the help of a neighbor or two you can make the cost of an expensive paid cable event no more than a couple of lattes. What's more, you might also be able to get package deals on vacations if you all coordinate your time away from home. Once you get there you don't have to be joined at the hip, though hey &mdash; if you guys are close, why not?</p> <h2>4. Learning New Skills</h2> <p>Chances are good that you have skills your neighbor wants and vice versa. So why not go about trading those talents? Not only can you learn them without paying any money, you can also save money over the long run by applying the skills you learn. Maybe it's auto repair. Maybe it's bread baking. Maybe it's interior painting. Whatever it is, when you learn how to do things for yourself, you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you.</p> <h2>5. Tolerating Your Big Bash</h2> <p>Having a party? Making any amount of racket? Get ready for a noise complaint and the charges that come along with it. Making friends with your neighbors not only makes them a little more tolerant of things like watering your garden on the day that you're not supposed to, but it also makes them more likely to talk to you directly about the problem rather than going straight through more official channels. No one wants angry neighbors, but if you're going to have them they can be angry in the neighborly way or the expensive way.</p> <h2>6. Networking</h2> <p>Networking is more important than ever. Looking for the best plumber in town? Your neighbor might be a friend. Trying to find a marriage counselor? Maybe your neighbors recently got through a rough patch with the help of a family therapist. Is your nephew looking for his first job in publishing? Talk to your neighbors and see if they know anyone who can help. Knowing more people is always helpful, starting with the people who live just down the street.</p> <p><em>Are you neighborly with your neighbors? How has it paid off for you?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Lifestyle neighbors networking real estate sharing sharing economy Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1241737 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Clean Everything in Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home <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-clean-everything-in-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-iStock_000024640364Small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning" title="woman cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on how to clean everything in your home, budget friendly hobbies, and the times you should always spend to save.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Clean-Everything-Home-34923201">How to Clean Everything in Your Home and Beyond</a> &mdash; Get rid of the coffee stains in your favorite mug by rubbing it with a damp cloth sprinkled with salt and dish soap. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/five-budget-friendly-hobbies-to-take-up/">Five Budget Friendly Hobbies to Take Up</a> &mdash; Surfing the waves is great exercise, and most surf shops will have used surfboards that you can buy on the cheap. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mybanktracker.com/news/spend-to-save">The 4 Times You Should Always Spend to Save</a> &mdash; If you have the cash to pay for a car, do it and save on interest. [My Bank Tracker]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/23-ways-to-save-money-today/">Rate Chasing, Babysitting Rings, and More! 23 Ways to Save Money Today</a> &mdash; If you're not ready to quit a costly habit cold turkey, try cutting it in half first. [Ready For Zero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartonmoney.com/3-signs-you-need-help-with-your-debt/">3 Signs You Need Help With Your Debt</a> &mdash; If you can only afford to make the minimum payments, it's time to see a professional to help you tackle your debt. [Smart on Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneycactus.com/5-ways-to-lower-the-cost-of-car-ownership">5 Ways to Lower the Cost of Car Ownership</a> &mdash; Invest in a vehicle repair manual and learn to fix your own car should a problem arise. [Money Cactus]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/personal/how-to-make-being-a-stay-at-home-mom-a-reality/">How to Make Being a Stay-at-Home Mom a Reality</a> &mdash; If you want to be a a stay-at-home mom, your family may need to sacrifice a second car or costly activities for the kids. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-handle-a-young-child-who-hits">How to Handle a Young Child Who Hits</a> &mdash; When your child is acting aggressively, it's more beneficial if your reaction is calm &mdash; yet firm &mdash; rather than angry. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/dont-make-debt-a-worry-try-these-business-tips/">Don&rsquo;t Make Debt a Worry: Try These Business Tips</a> &mdash; The electricity bill is the second highest expense of most businesses. Invest in a meter asset manager to help you track your energy use and find the savings. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/action-market-correction/">The One Action You Need to Take in Any Market Correction</a> &mdash; When a market correction hits, the best thing you can do is to simply continue your investment plan. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: How to Clean Everything in Your Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips cleaning Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1241117 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mowing-lawn-166736424-small.jpg" alt="mowing lawn" title="mowing lawn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The air is starting to chill and the leaves are starting to fall. Pools are coming down, and plans for how to prepare the yard for winter are being made. There is never enough time, it seems, to get everything in order for the new season, but it isn't the occasion to take shortcuts; in fact, skipping out on the proper way to handle your yard and garden could cause big damage come spring. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-the-life-of-your-lawn-mower?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Improve the Life of Your Lawn Mower</a>)</p> <p>Avoid killing your outdoor space for good with these common mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Cut Your Grass Too Short</h2> <p>Depending on the species of grass you have growing in your yard, a buzz cut can kill the lush carpet covering your lawn and cause high-dollar damages, too. In fact, zoysia grass is not recommended to be cut down to less than two inches high, especially in the fall before it goes dormant. Leaving a little more length on your blades isn't really an eyesore, and it will help preserve your lawn in the long run.</p> <h2>2. Just Do a Once-Over</h2> <p>When mowing, aerating, or reseeding your lawn for the winter, be sure you do it once, and then go over it again diagonally. This will prevent your yard from having &quot;lines&quot; that will appear unattractive come spring.</p> <h2>3. Stop Watering</h2> <p>Unless it has reached freezing temps in your area of the country, continue to water as you normally would. Shrubs, fruit trees, and hedges are especially dependent on water this time of year, as they are getting what they need before they go dormant. Failing to water could cause significant damage to your precious plants.</p> <h2>4. Use the Wrong Fertilizer</h2> <p>If it's still warm enough to use fertilizer, opt for an easy-to-apply spray instead of a granular product. The small pieces of granular fertilizer can sit on your yard for months, failing to dissolve in to-dry conditions. You may end up with a burnt lawn if this happens.</p> <h2>5. Forget to Mulch</h2> <p>As long as the ground hasn't frozen, you still have time to apply mulch around your trees and on top of garden plants such as asparagus and rhubarb. Use the right kind of mulch for the plant, and be certain that you aren't spreading dangerous pests or fungus by moving recycled materials from a diseased plant to a healthy one.</p> <h2>6. Skip Raking</h2> <p>It is so much work, but it is so vital to a healthy yard! Layers of snow over layers of leaves can lead to mold and fungus damage. Plus, it makes it ridiculously difficult for that first mowing next year.</p> <h2>7. Spray Weed Killer When It's Cold</h2> <p>While the fall is the ideal time to get one last weed killing in, you do not want to do this in areas where it is not consistently above 60 degrees. So, southern folks are probably safe; here in Nebraska, we are past that point, already.</p> <h2>8. Leave Spring Planting Until the Spring</h2> <p>If you want beautiful spring bulbs, now is the time to put them in. Tulips, lilies, and even garden &quot;roots&quot; such as asparagus can go in now for a head start on next year. While getting behind on flowering plants isn't the end of the world, waiting an extra six months for asparagus is a big deal (especially since they need two full years to mature before the first harvest.) This is also a great time to plant new trees and shrubs.</p> <h2>9. Forget to Shop</h2> <p>Stores are clearing out all of their spring and summer gardening supplies right now! Stop in to get things you know you'll need like pots, soil, seeds, tools, and more. With savings of up to 90%, it's foolish to wait. Don't forget to check your local dollar store, too!</p> <h2>10. Overlook Pests</h2> <p>Do your apple trees have orange spots on the leaves? Did your fruit all end up with worms in it? Many of the pests that plague the family orchard and yard need to have an aggressive plan to stop them, and fall is the perfect time to take notes of what you see so that you can be proactive next year. Take pictures of any damage done to your yard and garden now, so that you can research the damage and purchase the right tools next year. Many issues, such as fungus and codling moths (the bugs that makes &quot;wormy&quot; apples) need to have sprays applied to trees in the early spring before symptoms appear. Taking notice now is the only way to get ahead of these problems.</p> <p>Taking care of your lawn and garden the right way will depend on location, choices in greenery, and personal style. Being diligent about this last stage of the year can allow you to take a break during the winter before another season of yard work in the spring!</p> <p><em>What are you doing (or have already done) to prepare your yard for winter? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home fall gardening landscaping lawn lawn care winter Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1240478 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office-businessman-78812509-small.jpg" alt="office businessman" title="office businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether at work or home, our offices have a way of becoming the catch-all areas of our busy lives. Littered with old projects, out-of-date electronics, and boxes of last year's Girl Scout cookies, it's easy for an office to end up looking less like a professional workspace and more like an oversized hall closet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Look Awesome</a>)</p> <p>But if you want to dial in little more style, here are 12 ways to make your office look awesome.</p> <h2>1. Ditch the Corporate Art</h2> <p>Queue the collective eye-roll. Prepackaged corporate art (you know the stuff &mdash; three people rowing a canoe at sunrise with the &quot;teamwork&quot; caption) probably works against the very morale you're trying to build. Awesome offices are authentic offices, not motivational billboards.</p> <h2>2. Add a Few Surprises</h2> <p>Your office should reflect your personality. Mix in some vintage touches, a kitschy accessory, an antique, or something handmade. When well done, blending these accents into your office décor can take your space out of the mundane, add a bit of humor, and communicate who you are and what you love.</p> <h2>3. Tidy Up</h2> <p>It's not the sexiest option, but cleaning and organizing your workspace is the most basic way to improve its aesthetics and &mdash; even better &mdash; it's free. Clear the clutter and then clean primary surfaces like the floors, windows, and your desk. It'll set the stage for more refinements later.</p> <h2>4. Flick Off the Fluorescents</h2> <p>Is there anything worse than overhead fluorescent lighting? It saps our color, exhausts our eyes, and can even reduce our productivity. Shop around for a table lamp or two (even if you use compact fluorescent bulbs, the effect will be softer and more welcoming) and add window treatments that maximize natural light. While you're at it, explore other ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-rules-of-creating-a-powerfully-productive-workspace">create a more productive workspace</a>.</p> <h2>5. Blow Up a Close Up</h2> <p>Need some tasteful but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">inexpensive art ideas</a> for your office? Why not photograph the detail of a flower, the emblem of a vintage car, or the subtle pattern of a leaf? If you're not talented behind the lens, search online and download a digital photo with the appropriate <a href="http://search.creativecommons.org/">Creative Commons</a> license. Make it your own by cropping, zooming, or adding custom effects.</p> <h2>6. Add Texture</h2> <p>Texture is the unsung component of good interior design. Even in offices, it can add visual interest and dimension. Accent pillows, upholstery, window treatments, and rugs are all great ways to work rich and varied textures into your workspace.</p> <h2>7. Untangle and Wrangle Cords</h2> <p>Is your computer area turning into a dusty and tangled nest of cables, cords, wires, and plugs? If so, it's time to get organized. Label each with plastic bread bag tags, wrap with Velcro strips, and run cords along the backside of a desk using eye hooks or clips. Or, <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/302229/get-organized-clean-up-your-wires-cables-and-cords">explore other methods</a> to control the web of wires.</p> <h2>8. Live in Color</h2> <p>Aren't we all tired of Office Beige and Daily Grind Gray? There's no rule that dictates your workspace can't be colorful. Mix in vibrant greens, oranges, yellow, or blues &mdash; just be sure to keep colors <a href="http://www.belightsoft.com/products/resources/using-the-color-wheel.php">complementary</a> to avoid overload.</p> <h2>9. Get Dramatic</h2> <p>Displaying art can be a bit tricky; most people don't go big enough. Grounding your space with a single large statement piece can be more attractive than dotting the walls with several smaller prints, photos, or paintings. Go for something grand that fits the scale of your office and reflects your personality and taste. Complement with one or two smaller pieces, but err on the minimalist side.</p> <h2>10. Embrace the Printed Word</h2> <p>There's more than one way to create compelling art. Enlarge and print a favorite poem, quote, or excerpt from a book. Matted and framed, it can become an unexpected and unique art piece. Choose a subject matter that relates to your business; a childcare enterprise might have a page from The Little Prince, or a landscape design service might feature a quote from the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted.</p> <h2>11. Chalk It Up</h2> <p>We've all seen chalkboard spray paint used in kitchens and kids' rooms, but what about your office? A chalkboard is a quick way to take a note while you're on the phone and it's more stylish than a startlingly white whiteboard.</p> <h2>12. Get Shady</h2> <p>Our offices are often furnished with cast-offs from other rooms. But when it comes to letting the light shine in, you need to be a bit more intentional. We spend long hours at our desks, so it helps to choose window treatments that take full advantage of good views, maximize natural light, and minimize glare. Explore honeycomb shades, plantation shutters, sheers, or Roman shades; these options allow you to adjust lighting as-needed and won't weigh your room down like heavy drapery can. If you're handy with a needle and thread, you can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">make your own custom curtains</a>.</p> <p>Remember, the key to an awesome office isn't a mystery: just avoid clichés, spice it up (elegantly) with your own personality, add a surprise or two, and minimize the clutter. With a few simple steps, you can change not only your workspace, but the quality of work you do in it.</p> <p><em>Do you have an awesome office? What advice do you have for those stuck in drab digs?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Style cheap design cubicle decor home office interior design Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Kentin Waits 1239949 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Savvy Tips for a Smoother Move http://www.wisebread.com/15-savvy-tips-for-a-smoother-move <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-savvy-tips-for-a-smoother-move" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-moving-boxes-453682599-small.jpg" alt="couple moving" title="couple moving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're moving into the house of your dreams or simply to a new apartment across town, the process can be daunting. I've been there, recently, and I'm only now recovering from the exhaustion of it all. Along the way, I learned some of the major DOs and DON'Ts related to moving, and I'm going to share them with all of you! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-get-the-home-loan-you-want?ref=seealso">How to Ensure You Get the Home Loan You Want</a>)</p> <h2>1. Simplify</h2> <p>Now's the time to go through your stuff and weed out the extras. Throw away any trash that might be lingering in your junk drawers. Give away anything you no longer use to friends or donate to a local charity (some will come and pick up your items from you!).</p> <p>A good place to start? Give your closet a long, hard look to see where you can pare down. Fewer things to move equals fewer headaches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>2. Sell</h2> <p>What you don't trash or donate, you should consider selling in a yard sale. Check to see if your community organizes any neighborhood-wide sales, which can help with getting more traffic to your location. Otherwise, use sites like Craigslist or even local Facebook boards to unload your items and earn some cash to help with your moving expenses.</p> <h2>3. Make a List</h2> <p>Everyday life can get rather hectic when all your stuff starts piling up in boxes. So, prepare yourself by making a list of what you need to accomplish during your move. This list might include any appointments you have, bills that need to be paid, or other obligations. Also put a couple moving-related points on there like changing your address with USPS or ordering checks and other necessities with your new number on them. Hang your list on the refrigerator so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.</p> <h2>4. Start Early</h2> <p>As soon as we knew we'd be moving, I started packing. I packed away everything nonessential and even slimmed down my wardrobe to 10 simple, mix and match pieces. By packing early, you eliminate a lot of mess and everyday cleaning that would otherwise need to happen on top of all the other things you're doing. Designate one room in your house or apartment for boxes if you can, and pile them tall. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome</a>)</p> <h2>5. Pack a Bag</h2> <p>Likewise, once you've determined what your essential items are, get a backpack or overnight bag out that you'll reserve for the move itself. You'll want these items handy when everything else in your life is in boxes. Our large suitcase contained a change of clothes, pajamas, personal care items, important documents, our laptop, and some other valuables.</p> <h2>6. Set Time Aside</h2> <p>I rather cavalierly thought we'd be able to pack our entire home in a couple hours each evening for a few days. Boy, was I wrong. Especially if you have children, it's important to set aside dedicated time for packing &mdash; preferably when your little one is being taken care of elsewhere. Not only is a half-packed home dangerous for young kids (lots of choking hazards hanging around), but it's also nearly impossible to finish everything you need to do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect?ref=seealso">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a>)</p> <h2>7. Reserve</h2> <p>If you plan to rent a moving truck, reserve it as early as you have your move date. We learned the hard way that vans get scheduled quickly, and if you live in a smaller area &mdash; it can be hard, if not impossible, to find alternatives. Also be sure to check your local paper or the company's website for any deals they might be running. And read all the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.</p> <h2>8. Organize</h2> <p>When it comes to packing, don't toss everything in a box. Come up with an organization method that works for you. Maybe you pack all your office items in one box or all your dinnerware in another. Label the boxes clearly &mdash; including which boxes contain fragile items and even which box goes into what room &mdash; so when you arrive at your new digs, there's no guesswork involved.</p> <h2>9. Hunt Around</h2> <p>And speaking of boxes, don't immediately go out and buy brand new cardboard. Check grocery and big box stores for sizes big and small that will be recycled. We were able to get all the boxes we needed for our move with a few trips to a grocery store across town. Call ahead before making any big trips to see if the store offers its boxes to the public. Before you recycle them after the move, see if you can pay it forward to a friend.</p> <h2>10. Think Outside the Box</h2> <p>Better yet, pack what you can without the use of boxes. Suitcases can hold a good number of your clothes, tote bags can carry stuffed animals and other soft items, zip bags can house small items, and laundry bins are golden. You can even keep your clothes in the dresser drawers, just remove them while moving the dresser itself to lighten the load.</p> <h2>11. Repurpose</h2> <p>If you run out of packing material (bubble wrap, newspaper, etc.), use towels, socks, and even old plastic grocery bags to help cushion delicate items. You can use paper plates to cradle fragile china. I even used a couple pillows and big blankets to keep our television and other electronics safe from dings and dents during their travels.</p> <h2>12. Dig Deep</h2> <p>Reach into the far back of your pantries and freezers to use up any last bits of food you have hiding. It's best to keep fresh food purchases to a minimum in the week before your move to eliminate any waste that might occur in transit. Plus, there's nothing more gratifying than filling up your new refrigerator with a stock of fresh groceries.</p> <h2>13. Incentivize</h2> <p>For basic moves, you might need a few more hands. Invite your friends over and offer pizza and beer (or a quinoa bake and herbal tea &mdash; you get the idea) for their efforts. As much as moving is hard work, the whole thing is made much more pleasant when you spend the time with friends and family. And while you're at it, make sure that everything is ready to move when they arrive so no one is standing around awkwardly waiting.</p> <h2>14. Hire Help</h2> <p>For very large or tricky items (think pianos!), you might want to consider hiring movers. Did you know you don't need to contract them move all your stuff? Call and arrange for a quote for just the biggest, heaviest, and otherwise trickiest pieces of furniture. You may save yourself some money this way, as well as hold onto potential dollars you otherwise sink into medical bills or replacement items that are damaged by your amateur schlepping techniques.</p> <h2>15. Make Time</h2> <p>If it's at all possible, try to get some overlapping dates for your move. For example, explore the idea of pre-possession or post-possession if you're buying a home. Many lawyers don't love drafting up the extra paperwork involved, but we got pre-possession of our home for an extra two days and it made a huge difference. Just FYI: You'll need to arrange for insurance coverage and cover utilities during this time, among a few other considerations that your agent can help walk you through.</p> <p><em>What smart tips do you have for people on the move?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-savvy-tips-for-a-smoother-move" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Savvy Tips for a Smoother Move" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Home Shopping furniture moving new apartment new house packing Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1235112 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Surprising Things You Should Keep in Your Fridge http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-should-keep-in-your-fridge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-surprising-things-you-should-keep-in-your-fridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-looking-refrigerator-463890563-small.jpg" alt="woman refrigerator" title="woman refrigerator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What do you keep in your fridge? If you're like most people in America, you store milk, eggs, meats, cheeses, soft drinks, juices, and a whole bunch of fruit and vegetables. In short, the fridge is for food, right? Well, not always. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=seealso">Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor</a>)</p> <p>Turns out there are lots of things better served cold, like these 12 surprising items you should consider keeping in your fridge.</p> <h2>1. Candles</h2> <p>You can extend the burning life of taper candles by storing them in your refrigerator. Place them in something that will stop them absorbing moisture, such as zip-lock bags, foil, or cling wrap. Then when the time comes to use them, you'll get more bright for your buck.</p> <h2>2. Rechargeable Batteries</h2> <p>When you're not using batteries, don't keep them in the junk drawer or garage cabinet. Instead, pop them in the fridge; batteries can be preserved by keeping them cold. You can extend them by minutes or hours, and can get some seemingly dead batteries to come back to life. The freezer works well for this, too.</p> <h2>3. Whole Wheat Flour</h2> <p>That's not a mistake. The wheat germ in whole-wheat flour has a short shelf life, and can go off pretty quickly. You should keep your whole-wheat flour in the fridge, but make sure you put it in an airtight container. Flour acts like sponge for other odors and flavors, and anything strong (like onion) can taint the whole batch. Nobody wants a bunch of onion flavored cupcakes.</p> <h2>4. Metal Spoons</h2> <p>Why would you want access to a cold spoon? This is a tip from people who work in the beauty profession. If you wake up with bags under your eyes, pressing the back of a cold metal spoon against them can take away the puffiness and swelling. This is, however, only a temporary solution. It also works with slices of cold cucumber, but the great thing about spoons is that they never go bad.</p> <h2>5. Skin Cream and Sunscreen</h2> <p>If you don't like the idea of pressing icy-cold metal to your face, store your skin cream in the fridge instead. Keeping it nice and cold will have a similar effect to the cold spoons, and it's also a soothing thing to put on in the hot weather. This goes double for sunscreen on hot days.</p> <h2>6. Nail Polish</h2> <p>Celebrity manicurist (yes, there is such a profession) <a href="http://www.kaitmosh.com/">Kait Mosh</a> says that heat and light are the enemies of nail polish, and will thicken it up over time. As the father of two young girls, I can't tell you how many times I've tried applying goopy nail polish, with awful results. To stop this happening, keep your nail polish in the fridge. It will prolong the life and keep it flowing freely.</p> <h2>7. Bowls and Plates</h2> <p>If you're a fan of ice cream (and who isn't?) or other cold foods, it doesn't hurt to devote a section of your fridge to a few plates and bowls. They stack nicely, and when it comes time for a helping of ice cream, the cold bowl stops it from melting as quickly. It's also good for any other foods that will benefit from staying colder, longer.</p> <h2>8. Olive Oil</h2> <p>You may not realize it, but olive oil is delicate. Many experts agree that the best way to store olive oil is in the same conditions as wine &mdash; roughly 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, very few of us have a wine cellar or wine fridge, so the next best things is a spot in the regular fridge. (Note: High-end or premium extra-virgin olive oils should not get the same treatment, as it interferes with the flavor and aroma.)</p> <h2>9. Camera Film</h2> <p>Does anyone still use traditional camera film any more? Yes, they do. Like vinyl, it's starting to make a comeback. There are certain effects people want from traditional film that are difficult to fake in the digital world. However, it's a lot more difficult to get hold of camera film these days, and it's more expensive. So make sure it produces the best results by keeping your camera film in the fridge. It won't extend the shelf life though.</p> <h2>10. Nuts</h2> <p>You can double the shelf life of nuts by keeping them in the fridge. A tub of them in the pantry will last three months, but that can be extended to six months in your fridge. You can also freeze them and extend their life to over a year. Just like flour, remember to keep them in air-tight containers as they will absorb odors from strong-smelling foods.</p> <h2>11. Flower Bulbs</h2> <p>Professional gardeners can chime in on this one, but many people store tulip bulbs in the fridge for 12-16 weeks as a method of &quot;<a href="http://wcfcourier.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/gardening/planning_tips/the-big-chill-learn-a-few-tricks-for-forcing-tulip/article_f11f53a6-ba73-11de-b0f4-001cc4c002e0.html">forcing</a>&quot; them to send up shoots:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">You can chill the bulbs in the old-fashioned way by potting them up and placing the pots in cold storage (40 to 45 F). An easier method, especially if space is limited, is to place the bulbs themselves in the fridge for the big chill, then planting in pots.</p> <h2>12. Dead Birds</h2> <p>How could I not include this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmLqs8qkP_Y">one</a>? Of course, don't expect to get your money back from the magic store. You have to admit, it's the most surprising item on the list!</p> <p><em>What do you keep in your fridge, other than the obvious items? Let us know.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-you-should-keep-in-your-fridge" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Surprising Things You Should Keep in Your Fridge" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Lifestyle beauty crafts fridge refrigerator Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1235099 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Don't Actually Need to Buy for Your New Baby (Plus 5 You Must) http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-actually-need-to-buy-for-your-new-baby-plus-5-you-must <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-dont-actually-need-to-buy-for-your-new-baby-plus-5-you-must" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-baby-carrier-514800339-small.jpg" alt="couple baby carrier" title="couple baby carrier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're pregnant. Congratulations! You're probably making a lot of big decisions right now between what to name your kid, what to eat to ward off morning sickness, and what kind of stroller might best suit your family's needs.</p> <p>If you haven't registered already, you might find the whole thing a rather daunting task. There are (too) many choices these days, so make it easy for yourself by crossing these 10 items off your list before you even head to the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/take-these-10-items-off-your-wedding-registry-immediately-plus-5-to-add-asap?ref=seealso">Take These 10 Things of Your Wedding Registry Immediately</a>)</p> <h2>Remove From Your List</h2> <p>Many of these things for baby make it onto every list, which is unfortunate, because they just add to the clutter a new baby brings into the house.</p> <h3>Changing Table</h3> <p>We never registered for or purchased a changing table, and we did just fine. If you live in a small place, like an apartment, space might also be an issue. Instead, we got a <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/02/adas-nursery-tour.html">long dresser</a> that we used for both changing diapers and storing clothing. You can also change your child on the floor (lay down a soft blanket or pad) or on your bed. And by the time your child is, say, a two-year-old, you'll have changed him or her in some wild spots regardless, I promise.</p> <h3>Wipe Warmer</h3> <p>My daughter was born at the start of winter, and we received a wipe warmer as a gift (it wasn't on our list). We're almost to her third birthday and still haven't opened the box to use the thing. Yes, it will warm wipes before you use them on your child. No, it's not worth the hassle and extra energy costs &mdash; however minute &mdash; to keep it running.</p> <h3>Bassinet</h3> <p>Whatever sleep situation you choose, you might want your baby to snooze in a cozy space for the first few months within arm's reach of your bed. Resist the urge to purchase a bassinet for this purpose, as it will collect dust after not terribly long. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Playards-Gear/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=166841011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AVG2J4WT3GZCZX62">Pack 'n Play</a> is a good alternative if you eventually plan to travel. My daughter slept in hers from the start (it has a <a href="http://www.gracobaby.com/products/pages/productdetails.aspx?productid=1764335#sthash.3CU3LSEt.dpbs">newborn sleep attachment</a>) and still sleeps in it to this day on vacations, camping, etc.</p> <h3>Bottles</h3> <p>If you plan to serve breastmilk or formula from a bottle, you don't want to stock up on just one kind before you know what works the best for you and baby. Get a few varieties to start with, see what wins over the others, and use gift cards or any cash you might receive after the baby is born to add to the collection.</p> <h3>Swaddle Sacks</h3> <p>There are lots of adorable swaddling sacks in different fabrics and colors out there promising a good night's sleep to anyone who chooses to use them. Unfortunately, your child might not like having his or her arms tethered down, even from day one. Try simple swaddling blankets and <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/multimedia/how-to-swaddle-a-baby/sls-20076006">wrapping your baby manually</a> for the same effect. They are cheaper and more versatile.</p> <h3>Crib Bedding</h3> <p>I love all those beautiful crib bedding sets I see in catalogs and online. The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, does not recommend crib bumpers, blankets, quilts, stuffed animals, or pillows as these items <a href="http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Expands-Guidelines-for-Infant-Sleep-Safety-and-SIDS-Risk-Reduction.aspx">increase the risk of SIDS</a>. Stick with fitted sheets instead for both safety and frugality. Oh, and you can skip the crib mobile too!</p> <h3>Newborn Fashions</h3> <p>It's tempting to dress up your little one in adorable outfits and accessories. We had lots of dresses, headbands, and even little jeans &mdash; and we never used any of them. Collect a nice set of soft, plain clothes &mdash; onesies and those snap pajamas work great &mdash; for comfort and easy cleaning (spit-up!). Get a nice set of socks and leave the extras, like tiny shoes, for when he or she is up and walking.</p> <h3>Baby Food Maker</h3> <p>In the nesting period, we all get those visions of hand milling the finest organic baby food from scratch. If you make this dream a reality, good for you. Still, you don't need a fancy machine to do the work. Simply steam and puree veggies using a pot, some water, and a standard blender. Freeze portions in an ice tray, which is usually divided into one-ounce cubes.</p> <h3>Big Ticket Items</h3> <p>Before you fill your registry with high chairs, infant seats, swings, and other expensive items &mdash; check around. Your friends with older kids might have these things sitting in their basements in near-new condition. Or you can search sites like Craigslist to find great deals. Just be careful with car seats, cribs, or anything else you suspect might have a recall, as safety standards routinely change.</p> <h3>Random Gadgets</h3> <p>There are pacifier and boogie wipes, pee tee-pees, and all other sorts of things you'll think you need to stash in your diaper bag. My rule of thumb: If your mother didn't have it to use with you, then there's a good chance you don't need it either. It's cool that people have thought of products to help ease the first year, but parenting is hard work no matter how many gadgets you have in your closets and drawers.</p> <h2>Stuff to Add to Your List</h2> <p>When you're done culling, add a few things that really will help you get through baby's first year.</p> <h3>Burp Cloths</h3> <p>Our daughter ended up having reflux, so we went through gazillions of burp cloths each day. We also found these towels helpful after the baby stage for use in the kitchen or other cleaning purposes. You don't even need baby-specific cloths &mdash; soft tea towels work well. My favorite kind, though, are actually those packs of prefold cloth diapers. Super absorbent and inexpensive.</p> <h3>Jogging Stroller</h3> <p>Even if you're not a runner, I highly recommend a sporty 3-wheeled stroller because you'll use it &mdash; almost every day &mdash; for years and years. We have an umbrella stroller, but it just doesn't measure up when it comes to sun coverage, maneuverability, durability, or versatility. Think of all those trips to the beach and strolls through your local park. Plus, you can walk or jog to get good exercise without paying a sitter!</p> <h3>Diapers</h3> <p>It doesn't matter if you're choosing cloth or disposable diapers &mdash; you need to add whatever you pick to your registry. You'll want quite a few in different sizes to help you start out. I personally love the idea of a cloth diapering service, which costs around the same price as disposable diapers each week, just with an eco-friendly touch. The best part? They do the laundry for you! Check around for services offered in your area.</p> <h3>Baby Carrier</h3> <p>You don't need to be into attachment parenting to benefit from babywearing. Your infant will be snug as a bug against your chest and you'll be able to get some stuff done &mdash; hands-free &mdash; while he or she is resting. Baby carriers are also convenient for travel, allowing you to move around freely and even let your kid nap on the go. There are lots of choices, including long fabric wraps and backpack-like carriers, so investigate the options and choose one that fits your family's needs.</p> <h3>Sound Machine</h3> <p>I am a pro-sound machine kind of gal. Our daughter wakes easily, just like mommy. When we brought her home from the hospital, we lived in a house around 1,000 square feet where sound traveled easily. A continuous noise machine helps buff out those noises that might otherwise stir or awaken your baby. You can even find versions that travel easily for on-the-go protection. Ours is actually a sound machine and humidifier in one, so multipurpose!</p> <p><em>Are there any baby items you found particularly vital? Or utterly unnecessary? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-actually-need-to-buy-for-your-new-baby-plus-5-you-must" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things You Don&#039;t Actually Need to Buy for Your New Baby (Plus 5 You Must)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Lifestyle baby gear baby registry baby supplies newborns Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1226225 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways You're Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cooking-oven-176826878-small.jpg" alt="woman cooking oven" title="woman cooking oven" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With energy prices on the rise and antique power grids patched together with gum and twine, it's time to take some control and get serious about reducing your use of the juice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-ways-to-lower-your-electric-bill?ref=seealso">15 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill</a>)</p> <p>Here are eight ways you're probably wasting electricity without realizing it.</p> <h2>1. Plugging, But Not Playing</h2> <p>Forget about the zombies; it's much more likely that your home is filled with vampires. Energy vampires are those devices and appliances we tend to leave plugged in 24/7 whether we're using them or not. And &mdash; on or off &mdash; every item that's plugged in is sucking power vampire-style. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, <a href="http://energy.gov/articles/are-energy-vampires-sucking-you-dry">vampire energy can add as much as 10%</a> to a consumer's monthly energy bill.</p> <p>Let's use your microwave as an example. How often throughout the day do you use it to prepare food? And yet, it remains plugged in, digitally displaying the time and silently sipping electricity in the process. It's a like a 30-pound clock with a motor and rotating cooking tray. Any appliance that uses energy to do virtually nothing should at least pay you a sincere compliment every time you walk by it (a feature that industrial engineers should diligently be working on, in my humble opinion).</p> <p>Help drain energy vampires by unplugging electronics and appliances you seldom use. And if you're a gadget hound, read up on the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RGF29Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RGF29Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=C4OGZYRT3FH5G6LE">Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor</a>. For around $30.00, this handy little product calculates the energy consumed by keeping any electronic appliance plugged in and forecasts your related costs weekly, monthly, and yearly. Just plug it into an outlet, plug your device or appliance into it, and get a digital read-out. Once you see how the numbers add up, it'll be difficult to leave those vampires alone.</p> <h2>2. Cranking Up the Oven</h2> <p>When it comes to cooking a single item, an oven is often the &quot;nuclear option.&quot; That single-serving pizza or leftover tuna casserole could be warmed up in the microwave and then finished in the toaster oven. For little jobs, consider how to cook in stages using smaller appliances that sip electricity instead of automatically gravitating toward the power-sucking behemoths.</p> <h2>3. Getting in Hot Water</h2> <p>According to EnergyStar.gov, simply <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_save_energy_at_home">heating the water accounts for 90% of the total power</a> it takes wash a load of laundry. That's a whole lot of wattage. For regular loads, switch to cold water for a month and see if you notice any difference in the cleanliness of your duds. Reserve warmer water settings for fighting oil-based stains. Your budget will thank you for it.</p> <h2>4. Dish-Drying</h2> <p>Hot water helps your dishwasher do its job, but drying with heat is added energy drain that's largely unnecessary. Today, most dishwashers feature a heated drying option that you can simply choose not to use. And though heated drying does help avoid spots on dishes, you can get the same benefit by adding a rinsing agent.</p> <h2>5. Fighting the Flow</h2> <p>As obvious as it sounds, if your home features a central air-conditioning and heating system, check your vents. Vents have a way of blending into the background of our homes; many get closed inadvertently and that can result in systems that have to work extra hard to do the job. While you're at it, make sure vents, ducts, and any filters are clean and installed properly. If you find dirt or debris that's unreachable, or if you see visible signs of mold, it may be time to have your <a href="http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html#deciding">air ducts professionally cleaned</a>.</p> <h2>6. Lighting Up for the Holidays</h2> <p>Still using your dad's old string of holiday lights from 1975? Well, those incandescent bulbs are using just enough electricity to drain your gift-buying budget. Ditch the old and switch to new LED lights. You'll get hours of twinkling for a tiny fraction of the electric output.</p> <h2>7. Fridge-Gazing</h2> <p>It's a popular pastime, but standing in front of that open fridge trying decide if you have enough ingredients for a decent turkey club isn't doing your electric bill any favors. Ponder before you open the fridge or after you've quickly scanned its contents and shut the door.</p> <p>And while we're on the subject, make sure you're doing all you can to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips">help your refrigerator last for years</a>.</p> <h2>8. Ignoring Power Hours</h2> <p>Though it might not cut your electricity consumption, reserving energy-intensive tasks for off-peak hours can reduce the rate you pay. Since many power companies offer discounted rates after 8:00 p.m., focus not only on <em>how</em> you do things, but <em>when</em>. Check with your local power company to determine if it offers an off-peak discount and when off-peak hours begin and end. Then, whenever possible, schedule your laundry and dishwashing tasks to fit within that period.</p> <p>It's easy to think of electricity as a mysterious force coursing through power lines that magically illuminates all we do. But in reality, it's a concrete resource that we have direct control over. Luckily, we don't need to understand electricity to conserve it. So the next time you plug in, charge up, turn on, or warm up, think of ways to do each smarter.</p> <p><em>How do you save energy in your home? What methods have the greatest impact on your electricity bill?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home electricity utilities Wed, 08 Oct 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Kentin Waits 1227736 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog-lying-home-186315356-small.jpg" alt="dog lying home" title="dog lying home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our homes are full of potentials for danger &mdash; lit candles left unattended, poisonous cleaning agents, hot stove burners. But there are a number of less-conspicuous danger-prone items in the home that all too often fly under the radar &mdash; and for that reason they are doubly dangerous. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprisingly-dangerous-things-you-have-in-your-home?ref=seealso">10 Surprisingly Dangerous Things You Have in Your Home</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the most unsuspecting hazards lurking in the modern household. Then act accordingly and make your sanctuary a safer place.</p> <h2>1. Long-Forgotten Prescription Pills</h2> <p>About 80% of the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/overdose/facts.html">40,000 annual drug overdose deaths in America</a> are unintentional. More than half those overdoses are caused by pharmaceuticals, primarily prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, and Valium. The scary part is this: Since 1995 there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of prescriptions doctors are writing for painkillers. That means there are more of these pills piling up in our medicine cabinets now than ever before. It used to be that we'd grab an aspirin for relief from our daily aches and pains. Now we have a whole array of choices at our fingertips that are far more potent, making the potential for an accidental overdose greater than ever.</p> <h2>2. Your Dog</h2> <p>Every year 2% of Americans suffer from a dog bite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it's the dog owners themselves who are at highest risk of being bitten. The CDC reports that <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/index.html">adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten</a> than those living without dogs at home. That's because most people are bitten by dogs they own or know. Even the smallest, sweetest of canines can bite viciously if provoked. And while dog bites are rarely fatal, they can cause a range of other unpleasantries such as disease, infection, and deformities.</p> <h2>3. Loose Rugs</h2> <p>More than half of all falls happen in the home, and it's these at-home spills that hold the title as the leading cause of unintentional injury among adults 65 and older. One of the major causes of these tumbles is <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22868399">loose, unsecured rugs and damaged carpets with curled edges</a>. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that an estimated 38,000 adults ages 65 and older are treated in emergency rooms each year for falls associated with rugs and carpets. Among the potential injuries: broken bones, head trauma, and, on rare occasion, even death.</p> <h2>4. Extension Cords</h2> <p>The power strips that help us stay powered-up and plugged-in cause about 3,300 residential fires annually, Electrical Safety Foundation International reports. About 10% of those fires result in death. <a href="http://esfi.org/index.cfm/page/Extension-Cord-Safety-Fact-Sheet/cdid/10623/pid/10272">Overcrowding or overuse of an extension cord</a> can cause the insulation to deteriorate, creating a shock and fire hazard. To prevent an extension cord inferno, safety experts recommend limiting the number of devices you plug in to the strip and replacing it every few years.</p> <h2>5. Space Heaters</h2> <p>Space heaters are a tempting home heating option for homeowners and renters on a budget. They're an increasingly dangerous option, too. More than <a href="https://www.travelers.com/prepare-prevent/home/fire-safety/space-heaters.aspx">25,000 house fires are sparked by malfunctioning space heaters</a> every year, leading to 300 deaths and 6,000 emergency room visits for burns. If you're going to use one, be sure to keep it at least 30 inches from any flammable items or surfaces.</p> <p><em>Any hidden household dangers we've overlooked? Please warn us in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home danger home home safety household dangers Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1227985 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Clean Your Home on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clean-your-home-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-clean-your-home-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-474447483-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on ways to clean your home on a budget, getting started early with holiday savings, and signs your resume is holding you back.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/clean-budget/">17 Ways to Clean Your Home on a Budget</a> &mdash; To clean your home on a budget, dust using dryer sheets and use baking soda as a carpet deodorizer. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/holiday-savings/">Geting Started Early With Holiday Savings</a> &mdash; Save up now to avoid the debt you might encounter due to holiday shopping. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/09/29/5-signs-your-resume-is-holding-you-back?int=a3ec09">5 Signs Your Resume Is Holding You Back</a> &mdash; If your resume is three or more pages, it's probably holding you back. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/9-things-you-should-buy-generic">9 Things You Should Buy Generic</a> &mdash; You should probably buy pantry supplies and over the counter medication generic. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.investopedia.com/partner/gobankingrates/articles/personal-finance/092614/10-mistakes-avoid-when-trying-save-money.asp">10 Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Save Money</a> &mdash; When trying to save money, don't make the mistake of not budgeting or not setting specific goals. [Investopedia]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/24/pf/unlimited-vacation-days-branson/index.html?iid=SF_PF_River">Very Few Companies Offer Unlimited Vacation Days, But These Do</a> &mdash; Did you know Groupon and Evernote offer unlimited vacation days? [CNN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/four-steps-to-a-debt-free-college-degree-123556819.html">Four Steps to a Debt-Free College Degree</a> &mdash; Choosing a college you can afford can help you get a debt-free college education. [Yahoo Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Career-Lessons-From-Cats-26940317">6 Purrfect Career Lessons From Cats</a> &mdash; Cats can teach you the career lesson of teaching yourself and taking the initiative. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/how-to-earn-a-living-as-an-actor/">On Stage or Screen: Here&rsquo;s How to Earn a Living as an Actor</a> &mdash; If you want to get by as an actor, you'll need to keep your expenses low and have diverse sources of income. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/11-ways-to-promote-healthy-eating-in-your-home">11 Ways to Promote Healthy Eating in Your Home</a> &mdash; Eating meals at home and making food interesting can help promote healthy eating in your home. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-clean-your-home-on-a-budget" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Clean Your Home on a Budget" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips budget clean home Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1224395 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-playing-yard-80380384-small.jpg" alt="family playing yard" title="family playing yard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a home can be a lot of work, and it can be costly, especially when you have a sizable property. But there are some basic things you can do to keep your yard looking awesome without spending a ton of cash.</p> <p>Here are 14 things you can do to keep your yard in tip-top shape while spending less than $100.</p> <h2>1. Plant Stuff</h2> <p>A good-looking yard is full of life. Plant some shrubs in your front yard, perhaps even a couple tall bushes to frame your doorway. Buy some different types of flowers and plant them in spots that get good sunlight, and water them frequently. (Consider planting perennials, like roses and mums, which can bloom for multiple seasons.) To get started, you'll want to invest in some decent soil, which can be purchased relatively cheaply at your local home improvement store.</p> <h2>2. Trim Stuff</h2> <p>It's great to have trees, bushes, and plants to give life to your yard, but things can get overgrown if you don't keep an eye on them. Trim any tree branches that are close to your house or over your neighbor's yard. Keep your hedges at a nice, consistent height. Cut away any vines creeping over your fences. You can handle most trimming work with a decent pair of long clippers and a band saw. Cordless, rechargeable hedge trimmers can also be useful and are often available for under $100.</p> <h2>3. Pull Weeds</h2> <p>If you have plants, you will have weeds. And weeds are your enemy. Luckily, they are easy to spot, and usually easily pulled out of flower beds. Use RoundUp or a similar product to kill any weeds in stubborn areas, like along the cracks in your sidewalk and driveway.</p> <h2>4. Rake</h2> <p>Get those leaves up! Leaves on the yard can look pretty for a while, but after a short time they start to block any sun from reaching your grass. A couple good days of raking will do the trick, but you could also blow those leaves away with a gas or battery powered blower.</p> <h2>5. Lay Down Mulch</h2> <p>Putting some mulch in your gardens serves several purposes. A thick layer of mulch makes it harder for weeds to grow, and also protects plant roots from getting scorched by the sun in the summer. Moreover, a good, dark mulch can help make the color from flowers petals really pop. You can get a bag of mulch for just a few bucks, so it's one of the best investments for your yard. Tip: Always buy a bag or two more than you think you might need.</p> <h2>6. Edge</h2> <p>To make things look extra-nice, you'll want to sharpen things up by creating a hard edge between your lawn and garden beds, and along any sidewalks or driveways. You can do this by hand in small areas using a trowel, but it's also worth investing less than $100 in a cordless or gas-powered edger. (Some edgers have replaceable heads that allow you to turn the machine into a weed-wacker or other tool.)</p> <h2>7. Put Up Some Lattice</h2> <p>Some white crisscross lattice can be a good way to cover up unsightly areas. At my house, we had lattice installed near the outdoor steps to my basement, and it has the added effect of preventing small kids from falling over into the stairwell. Vinyl lattice is virtually maintenance-free, and can be purchased for less than $1 per square foot.</p> <h2>8. Power Wash Your House</h2> <p>What's the point of sprucing up your yard if the house looks filthy? After enduring heavy rain, intense sun and other assaults, the exterior of your house is bound to get dirty. Vinyl siding might get stained or discolored, brick and stone walls look dingy, and the roof looks grimey. You can blast your house clean by investing in a good gas-powered washer. It's possible to buy one for under $100, or you could rent one a couple times a year to keep your house looking spiffy.</p> <h2>9. Paint</h2> <p>Look around your house for any faded or peeling spots, and get to work with a few gallons of paint. This won't set you back much, and it's a job most people can do themselves. Pay special attention to things like front doors, window ledges, deck railings, and shutters.</p> <h2>10. Tend to Your Lawn</h2> <p>It's easy to just mow the lawn and forget about it, but if you want one of the nicest yards in the neighborhood, you'll have to do some extra work. Each fall, you'll want to spend some time thatching out any dead stuff &mdash; there are special rakes you can buy at a low price, or even machines to rent. Once that's done, lay down new seed. This may mean you'll have to buy or rent a spreader, but those are usually available for under $100. Bags of seed will run you about $50 each. Water your lawn and feed it fertilizer in the spring. This will ensure your lawn comes up nice, healthy and green.</p> <h2>11. Get an Old Bench</h2> <p>It's amazing how something like a bench can transform a space in someone's yard. It's not too hard to procure an old bench from yard sales and antique shops, and you can spruce it up by sanding out any rough edges and giving it a new paint job. Place the bench under a tree or next to a flower bed to create an awesome sense of place.</p> <h2>12. Get a Birdbath</h2> <p>A birdbath has a similar effect as a bench. They look great when placed next to trees, and it's fun to see how they can attract various species of birds. You can buy a solid birdbath for under $50 at many stores.</p> <h2>13. Build a Firepit</h2> <p>It's really fun to sit out back and enjoy the warmth of a fire on a cool night, and a firepit can be a great accent to any yard. Top-of-the-line firepits can be expensive to install, but you can easily make one yourself using some flat stones and cement or mortar on a gravel surface. (Here's one person who claims to have <a href="http://sharpecreations.blogspot.ca/2011/05/fire-pit.html?m=1" style="text-decoration:none;">built a firepit for only $8</a>.)</p> <h2>14. Dig a Pond</h2> <p>This can be a wonderful addition to any garden, and they aren't too difficult to construct. You can get a small polyethylene liner for less than $100. Just dig and install. (Okay, it's not quite that easy. But it's not a big chore, either.) Over time, you can add some surrounding flowers, lilypads, and fish. You may even attract some frogs and turtles. Those with bigger budgets may want to consider a fountain or waterfall.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your yard looking great, for cheap? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="sharethis-link" title="14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home home improvement lawn care tools yardwork Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1221879 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-laptop-178094479-small.jpg" alt="couple laptop" title="couple laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on free ways to entertain yourself at home, financial basics every teen needs to know, and ways to pay less for baby-sitting.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Ways-Entertain-Yourself-Home-30926585">68 Mostly Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home</a> &mdash; Catching up on recorded shows and creating a bucket list are a couple free ways to entertain yourself at home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/financial-basics-every-teen-needs-to-know/">Financial Basics Every Teen Needs to Know</a> &mdash; Every teen should know how to recognize ID theft. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/09/22/8-ways-to-pay-less-for-baby-sitting/">8 Ways to Pay Less for Baby-Sitting</a> &mdash; To pay less for baby-sitting, share a nanny or ask for baby-sitting as a gift. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/get-free-stuff/">18 Ways to Get Free Stuff</a> &mdash; Did you know that most hairdressers will trim bangs for free between regular cuts? [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/8-ways-you-can-start-eating-healthy-on-a-budget">8 Ways You Can Start Eating Healthy on a Budget</a> &mdash; Eat healthy on a budget by joining a food co-op and planning your meals ahead of time. [CouponPal]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/diy-projects-that-will-cost-you-more-in-the-long-run">Funny Money: 5 DIY Projects That Will Cost You More in the Long Run</a> &mdash; Trying to tackle plumbing projects on your own can end up costing you more in the long run. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/09/22/10-negotiation-tips-for-introverts/">10 Negotiation Tips for Introverts</a> &mdash; When negotiating, introverts should have a script and try to do it via email. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/great-affordable-football-parties.html">How to Throw Great, Yet Affordable Football Parties</a> &mdash; To throw an affordable football parties, choose cheaper bottles of wine and divvy up what each person brings. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/make-clothes-look-expensive-fashionable/">9 Ways to Make Your Clothes Look More Expensive &amp; Fashionable</a> &mdash; Avoiding trends and going monochromatic can make your clothes look more expensive and fashionable. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-help-when-a-child-you-know-has-cancer">How to Help: When a Child You Know Has Cancer</a> &mdash; When a child you know has cancer, listen and pray. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-at-home-0" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Free Ways to Entertain Yourself At Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips entertain free home Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222062 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/autumn-candle-178492659-small.jpg" alt="autumn candle" title="autumn candle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This time of year gets the best of me when it comes to my inner nesting goddess. Whereas during the summer I'd rather cool off than decorate our spaces, fall brings me indoors and into full-on festive-mode. If you've been to the store to check out how much little knickknacks cost, your eyes might bug out of your head (which might help with a Halloween costume &mdash; but still!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-fall-pizzas?ref=seealso">15 Easy Fall Pizzas</a>)</p> <p>Try these 12 inexpensive projects using items you can find in your backyard or otherwise on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Cozy Candle</h2> <p>This <a href="http://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/09/the-friday-fluff-up-6-decorating-at-the-dollar-tree/#">autumnal candle project</a> costs just $6 for two, and most all of the supplies can be purchased at dollar discount stores. Fill a glass candle jar with some un-popped popcorn, stick a candle inside, and tie some raffia ribbon in a bow around it. I suggest embellishing your finished piece with colorful leaves you find outdoors for free.</p> <h2>2. Thankful Tree</h2> <p>Celebrate Thanksgiving early this year by making a DIY <a href="http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/16/the-thankful-tree-with-chalk/">Thankful Tree</a>. Fill a Ball jar with assorted nuts (or wine corks), then poke in a few sticks from outside. The rest is flexible, as the author uses wooden chalkboard tags to write down her thoughts. You can also use inexpensive paper tags. Tie a ribbon or some burlap around the jar and place on your mantel.</p> <h2>3. Fall Potpourri</h2> <p>Don't just make your place look like fall, let the scents mingle and linger as well. This <a href="http://diana212m.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-perfect-fall-potpourri.html?m=1">fall potpourri</a> is made using ingredients you likely have on hand, including orange peel, apple, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla and almond extracts, and plain water. Fill a stock pot and let simmer all day long to wrap yourself in the warm aroma.</p> <h2>4. Junkin' Pumpkins</h2> <p>Skip the patch this year and recycle your old aluminum cans to make these cute <a href="http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2013/10/make-tin-can-pumpkins.html">Junkin' Pumpkins</a>. Find some empty tin cans of assorted sizes and paint them orange using craft paint. Use branches and wire to make convincing stems, and then decorate with ribbon or whatever else you think will make them pop. Bonus: They won't rot, so you can keep them for next year's decor!</p> <h2>5. Gold Leaf</h2> <p>If you have an old frame begging for a photo, consider trekking outside and finding a leaf for this <a href="http://paulinaspassions.com/easy-diy-fall-decorations/">sophisticated art project</a>. Clean off any dirt or debris on the leaf with plain water, let dry, and then paint with metallic paint and let set. Place a clean sheet of paper or card stock behind the leaf and then frame for display.</p> <h2>6. Festive Garland</h2> <p>While you're looking for leaves, pick up some pine cones, too. You can make a <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/10/diy-fall-garland/">beautiful garland</a> by tethering the cones with twine or hot glueing other items you find &mdash; like flowers and leaves &mdash; to the string. Feel free to paint cones for a brighter look. Then hang over a door or fireplace mantel.</p> <h2>7. Pumpkin Planters</h2> <p>Maybe you'd rather hollow out your pumpkin and <a href="http://www.17apart.com/2012/10/how-to-fall-pumpkin-planters.html">plant some mums</a> inside. You'll need to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage, but the rest of the project is super easy. Pack in some dirt, plop in your plant, and water as usual. For the best prices on pumpkins and mums, head to a local farm.</p> <h2>8. Carve-Less Pumpkins</h2> <p>I hate carving pumpkins. I usually cut myself or make a huge mess. You can <a href="http://bliss-athome.com/2013/10/10/tribal-painted-pumpkins/">paint pumpkins</a> using acrylics for a gorgeous addition to your indoor or outdoor decorations. One blogger even <a href="http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/2010/10/pretty-painted-pumpkins-tutorial.html">snagged puffy paint</a> for an impressive 3-D impact. Or let your pumpkin double as a <a href="http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2012/11/19/chalkboard-pumpkins/">message board or table decor</a> using chalkboard paint and chalk.</p> <h2>9. Wrapped Wreath</h2> <p>Use those yarn remnants to make a <a href="http://www.mysocalledcraftylife.com/2012/09/25/diy-yarn-wrapped-fall-wreath/">colorful wreath</a> you'll use for years to come. You'll need a wreath form, that you can find at most craft stores, and &mdash; of course &mdash; yarn. Wrap the yarn over the form until you get the look you want. Then decorate using buttons, fabric flowers, or anything else you like.</p> <h2>10. Nature Wreath</h2> <p>Not as crafty? It's okay! Check your local fabric or craft store for a <a href="http://thirdfloordesignstudio.blogspot.com/2011/10/tuesday-tip-fall-wreath-rosettes.html?m=1">wood or wicker wreath</a> and then use hot glue to decorate it to your best ability. There's no right or wrong way. You can make simple felt rosettes or use items you find outdoors &mdash; acorns, leaves, etc. &mdash; for a punch of color.</p> <h2>11. Sensational Centerpiece</h2> <p>If you're hosting any gatherings, you'll likely want to jazz up your dining table. Don't over-think or over-spend. Instead, <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/09/fall-table-centerpiece.html">glue together a few boards</a> (you can ask your store to cut them for you) and make a base to fill with whatever you choose. You can also use a container you already have on hand. Head to the farmers' market to stock up on small squashes, gourds, and pumpkins that will double as decor and food at a later date. Round out the look by placing a few candles in Ball jars.</p> <h2>12. Apple Candles</h2> <p>Or skip all that and try these genius <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273609/apple-votives">DIY Apple Votives</a>. Cut into the top of your apples with a paring knife to make enough space for your votive. You'll want to sprinkle a little lemon juice to keep the exposed fruit from turning brown. Oh, and you can skip the expensive steel tub and arrange these candles on your dining table atop a plate or other fire-safe surface.</p> <p><em>How do you decorate for fall? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Entertainment Home autumn crafts decor DIY fall festive Holidays Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1220813 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Pet Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-pet-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-pet-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog-chew-toy-181642825-small.jpg" alt="dog chew toy" title="dog chew toy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we are featuring some of the best articles from around the web about saving on pets.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/21-do-it-yourself-pet-toy-ideas-on-a-budget/">21 Do-It-Yourself Frugal Pet Toy Ideas</a> &mdash; Feather cat toys and crinkly chew toys are a couple DIY toys you can make for your pets that won't break the bank. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://brokemillennial.com/2014/02/21/frugal-find-friday-foster-dog/">Frugal Find Friday: Foster a Dog</a> &mdash; Want a pet but can't afford it? Consider fostering for a local shelter or rescue, all expenses paid! [Broke Millenial]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/traveling-withpets/">Affordable Travel With Pets</a> &mdash; When deciding whether or not to take pets with you on vacation, take into consideration their health and demeanor in regards to their ability to travel stress-free. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/check-on-pet-ownership-costs-before-you-buy/">Check on Pet Ownership Costs Before You Buy</a> &mdash; It is vital to look at how much it costs to own a pet before you bring one home. Make sure you can afford it! [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/why-my-kid-needs-pets-benefits-of-pet-ownership-for-children">Why My Kid Needs Pets: Benefits Of Pet Ownership for Children</a> &mdash; Having pets keeps kids active and teaches them responsibility. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/00/000131e.cfm">Saving Money on Pets</a> &mdash; Be sure to stay on top of your pets vaccines so they stay healthy and don't end up costing you more money in the long run. [TheDollarStretcher.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/05/16/im-frugal-should-i-get-a-pet/">I'm Frugal, Should I Get a Pet?</a> &mdash; While getting a pet will reduce the amount of money you save each month, the companionship they provide may be worth it for you! [Frugalwoods]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cheap-DIY-Pet-Costume-Ideas-25491165">65 Pet Costumes to DIY on the Cheap</a> &mdash; Have you ever made a Halloween costume for your pet? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/free-and-inexpensive-pet-gifts/" class="entry-title" rel="bookmark" title="Free, cheap and homemade gifts for pets">Free, Cheap and Homemade Gifts for Pets</a> &mdash; Old socks or empty water bottles make great homemade toys for pets. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/frugal-tips-for-the-pet-pooch/">Frugal Tips for the Pet Pooch</a> &mdash; If you are purchasing dog bowls for your pup, remember that they don't care what their bowl looks like. This lets you off the hook for purchasing a fancy, expensive bowl! [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-pet-edition" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Pet Edition" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips pets Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1205461 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Make Your House Look Awesome for $50 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-painting-home-484031105-small.jpg" alt="couple painting home" title="couple painting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on making your house look awesome for $50 or less, ways to save $1,000 for holiday shopping, and cash-back websites for online shoppers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/09/04/23-ways-to-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less/">23 Ways to Make Your House Look Awesome for $50 or Less</a> &mdash; Decluttering and tackling your carpet stains can make your house look awesome without breaking the bank. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/ways-to-save-1000-before-christmas/">12 Ways to Save $1,000 for Holiday Shopping in the 12 Weeks Before Christmas</a> &mdash; Being smart with your utilities and doing a financial fast may help you save $1,000 before the holidays. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C011-S001-5-cash-back-web-sites-for-online-shoppers.html?si=1">5 Cash-Back Websites for Online Shoppers</a> &mdash; Online shoppers should check out Ebates and FatWallet. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Look-Forward-Your-30s-35196883">18 Reasons Why You Should Look Forward to Turning 30</a> &mdash; When you turn 30, you will get to reap the benefits of the bad experiences you had in your 20s. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/dealing-with-day-job-and-side-business/">How to Hold Down a Day Job While Nurturing Your Business on the Side</a> &mdash; When juggling a full time job and a side business, get organized and don't be afraid to ask for help. [Careful Cents]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/09/04/voluntarily-slashed-salary/">Why I Voluntarily Slashed My Salary</a> &mdash; Being underemployed may not be for everyone, but if your definition of a rich life doesn't include money, slashing your salary may be a good optoin for you. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/tips-stop-being-ashamed-debt/">6 Tips to Stop Being Ashamed of Your Debt and Take Control</a> &mdash; To take control of your debt, educate yourself and stop spending. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ways-to-teach-our-sons-to-respect-women">7 Ways to Teach Our Sons to Respect Women</a> &mdash; If you want your son to respect women, teach him to speak kindly and to be chivalrous. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://the-military-guide.com/">Eight Reasons Not to Worry About Military Retirement</a> &mdash; Members of the military returning from duty shouldn't worry about retirement if they haven't been offered a job yet. Once they ramp up their job search, they should have more success and be able to save for retirement. [The Military Guide]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/talk-sense-freespending-teenaged.html">Oh, How I Wish I Could Go Back and Talk Some Sense into My Free-Spending Teenaged Self</a> &mdash; Do you wish you had started saving at a younger age? What is the best advice you'd give your younger self? [Bargaineering]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-make-your-house-look-awesome-for-50-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Make Your House Look Awesome for $50 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home awesome best money tips cheap decorate house Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1204544 at http://www.wisebread.com