DIY http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4801/all en-US Banish Plastic Wrap Forever and 9 Other Creative Uses for Beeswax http://www.wisebread.com/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beeswax_flowers_000054664516.jpg" alt="Finding creative uses for beeswax" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been experimenting with a variety of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-all-natural-bug-and-mosquito-repellents">natural materials</a> over the past year. Of all of them, I like beeswax best for its versatility. You can get a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B3U0FW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B3U0FW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UMCJX6GSEWUQWOWD">pound of beeswax</a> for around $10, and there are so many possible uses for it, like these 10.</p> <h2>1. Candles</h2> <p>Melt beeswax and pour into a container with a wick to make candles. I love these primitive <a href="http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/11/hand-dipped-beeswax-candles-tutorial/">hand-dipped beeswax</a> candles made with hemp cords. You'll melt the wax in a double boiler, dip, and keep dipping until you reach your desired thickness.</p> <h2>2. Lotion Bars</h2> <p>Skip store-bought lotions that contain lots of chemicals and make your own. These <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY lotion cubes</a> are made with beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oils. Melt the main ingredients together in a double boiler before adding the scents. Then pour into molds and let set.</p> <h2>3. Ornaments</h2> <p>Get into the holiday spirit a bit early this year with these <a href="http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2009/11/for-love-of-bees.html">DIY ornaments</a>. I made so many of these guys last year. Just melt your beeswax in a double boiler and pour into chilled molds. You can insert ribbon or hemp to hang when the wax is warm or wait to poke a hole after it has set.</p> <h2>4. Lip Balm</h2> <p>Beeswax also creates a mean <a href="http://momprepares.com/diy-beeswax-lip-balm/">lip balm</a>. To make, you'll use many of the same ingredients you melted together in the lotion bars. I suggest using flavor oils versus essentials oils in the last step (they don't actually taste like anything but are safe for regular application). Then pour into empty <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008RLUY46/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008RLUY46&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KQ3O23FKWZKMWTQK">lip balm tubes</a>.</p> <h2>5. Deodorant</h2> <p>If you have sensitive skin, <a href="http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-deodorant-stick-recipe-sensitive-skin/">making your own deodorant</a> can transform your personal care routine. It's easy, too. You'll mix together melted beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and essential oils. Pour everything into empty <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMF4CIM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CMF4CIM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VJVWN5UDK32MCWSY">deodorant containers</a>.</p> <h2>6. Boot Polish</h2> <p>Shine up your shoes with this awesomely natural <a href="http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/home-crafts/super-simple-boot-polish/">boot polish</a>. Simply combine melted beeswax with olive oil and pour into a container. Then use a washcloth to buff this mixture into your leather boots and shoes.</p> <h2>7. Paper Crafts</h2> <p>Try <a href="http://craftingagreenworld.com/2011/10/16/how-to-make-beeswax-coated-paper/">dipping paper into beeswax</a> to make unique arts and crafts. And here's a cool tip: Instead of using a double boiler, melt your wax in a Crock-Pot. You can use your creation in scrapbooking, card-making, or in altered book projects. Try coating sheet music, newspaper, or vintage prints for extra flair.</p> <h2>8. Waterproofing</h2> <p>Revitalize and protect your shoes by <a href="http://www.brit.co/waterproof-shoes">waterproofing them with beeswax</a>. Just rub the beeswax all over the cloth upper. Then use a blow dryer to melt and let set for around five minutes before wearing. Bonus: Your shoes will stiffen up if they've been droopy.</p> <h2>9. Wood Polish</h2> <p>Your wooden spoons, bowls, and coffee table will love a good rub with some <a href="http://www.crunchybetty.com/wonderfully-simple-homemade-wood-polish-recipe">DIY beeswax polish</a>. Melt together beeswax and olive oil, then pour this mixture into a glass container. Consider adding a few drops of pine or cedar wood essential oils for scent. Scoop out with a rag and gently rub onto your wooden items.</p> <h2>10. Food Wraps</h2> <p>Looking for a more sustainable, zero-plastic way to keep your foods fresh? Try making these <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/beeswax-fabric.aspx">wax-dipped fabric wraps</a>. Grab some cotton fabric and cut to size. Then lay them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with beeswax and bake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes. I'm off to make some of these wraps now!</p> <p><em>How do you put beeswax to wonderful use?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY all-natural beeswax candles eco-friendly holistic polish waterproofing Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:00:21 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1524623 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/essential_oils_000021273674.jpg" alt="Learning how to use essential oils at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Essential oil use is on the rise in home care products on the market. If you look around the web, you&rsquo;ll also find recipes for putting oils in things like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent">laundry detergents</a>, candles, cleaners, and much more. What&rsquo;s not to like? They smell great. And many are antibacterial, which helps keep stuff clean and fresh. So we&rsquo;ve collected a solid list of ways even beginners can start using essential oils at home.</p> <p>(Note: You&rsquo;ll find a number of ideas for using oils online, and most are safe and effective. However, it&rsquo;s smart to follow some basic <a href="https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety">safety guidelines</a>. For example, use caution when putting oils on your skin &mdash; you should always dilute them with a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Keep solutions containing essential oils out of reach from kids and pets. And never ingest oils unless you&rsquo;re trained on their use.)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning Wipes</h2> <p>Stop tossing paper in the trash and try making these <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/08/12/diy-cleaning-wipes-reusable-disinfecting/">disinfecting cleaning wipes</a>. Find an airtight glass jar and roll some clean washcloths inside. Then pour in a solution of water, white vinegar, and various essential oils.</p> <h2>2. All-Purpose Spray</h2> <p>Along these same lines, you can make a powerful <a href="http://homespunwithlove.blogspot.com/2013/08/homemade-bacteria-buster-countertop.html">all-purpose spray</a> to keep bacteria at bay on all your hard surfaces. Just fill a bottle with distilled water and put in 20 drops of essential oils. I&rsquo;d add a bit of vinegar for good measure. Try anything from cinnamon oil to eucalyptus oil to grapefruit oil.</p> <h2>3. Toilet Cleaner</h2> <p>Get your throne sparkling without all the harsh ingredients with this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2013/05/homemade-toilet-bowl-cleaner-recipe-non-toxic.html">DIY toilet bowl cleaner</a>. You&rsquo;ll combine castile soap with water, baking soda, and eight to 10 drops of essential oils. Use an old squirt bottle for the easiest dispensing.</p> <h2>4. Hand Sanitizer</h2> <p>Keep bacteria at bay with this handy <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/09/17/diy-hand-sanitizer/">hand sanitizer</a>. You&rsquo;ll whip up a mix of aloe vera gel, witch hazel, vitamin E, and tea tree and lavender oils. Store in a travel-sized squeeze tube for washing on the go.</p> <h2>5. Car Freshener</h2> <p>Is your car smelling funky? Try this simple <a href="http://www.frugallyblonde.com/2015/04/diy-car-vent-air-freshener/">air freshener</a> idea that takes only minutes to make. You&rsquo;ll hot glue a piece of ribbon around a bobby pin. Then slip a tiny cotton ball soaked in essential oils in the loop you made. Clip onto your vent. Reuse again and again.</p> <h2>6. Fabric Spray</h2> <p>Or make your home smell sweet with this <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/07/homemade-fabric-refresher-thats-a-breeze-to-make.html">DIY Febreze spray</a>. The second recipe gives you a great fabric spray for use on clothing, curtains, couches, and whatever else needs freshening. Just combine alcohol, vinegar, and essential oils in a spray bottle and spritz.</p> <h2>7. Soy Candles</h2> <p>These scented <a href="http://www.swoonworthy.co.uk/2014/10/how-to-make-soy-wax-candles-with.html">soy candles</a> are a wonderful gift idea. First, find some creative containers (old mugs, cups, and bowls work beautifully). Then place a wick in the center before melting soy wax in a double boiler. Add essential oils, pour into your vessel, and let sit until cool. Consider using citronella oil if you&rsquo;re trying to ward off mosquitoes.</p> <h2>8. Hand Soap</h2> <p>We started making our own <a href="http://livesimply.me/2014/09/02/diy-homemade-liquid-hand-soap/">hand soap</a> years ago and haven&rsquo;t gone back to buying it at the store. Stir together some castile soap, water, vitamin E, almond oil, and tea tree and lavender essential oils. Then pour into a small glass container or &mdash; better yet &mdash; use a recycled hand soap dispenser.</p> <h2>9. Laundry Detergent</h2> <p>There are a lot of <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Essential-Oil-Laundry-Detergent-35259295">laundry soap</a> recipes you can find online. Take your solution up a notch by adding essential oils. Simply add 30 drops of lavender to the soap, borax, washing soda, and water. The oil gives your clothing a pleasing scent and naturally fights offensive odors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes?ref=seealso">5 DIY Laundry Detergent Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>10. Home Filter</h2> <p>Give your entire house a boost with essential oils in your <a href="http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/64648/chemical-free-air-freshener">furnace&rsquo;s air filter</a>. Choose your favorite scent or make a blend. Either way, just put on a few drops and lock your filter into place. Scent should last a few weeks.</p> <h2>11. Poo Spray</h2> <p>Have you seen those powerful (and expensive) bathroom sprays at the store? You can make your own <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/09/make-your-own-no-2-spray-for-the-bathroom-extra-strength-version.html">poo spray</a> with a few simple ingredients. Mix together lemongrass, grapefruit, and bergamot essential oils with water in a small spray bottle. Then use whenever you need to banish odors.</p> <h2>12. Carpet Freshener</h2> <p>Shake some homemade <a href="http://www.cleanmama.net/2013/05/diy-homemade-cleaners-carpet-freshener.html">carpet freshener</a> on your stinky floor. You only need two cups of baking soda and drops of any essential oils that strike your fancy. Sprinkle onto your carpet and let sit for around 15 minutes before vacuuming.</p> <h2>13. Floor Cleaner</h2> <p>Get your wood floors shining like new with the homemade <a href="http://www.mom4real.com/make-homemade-wood-floor-cleaner/">floor cleaner</a>. Fill a big jug with water, leaving room for 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup castile soap, and 30 drops of lemon essential oils. When you need to clean, combine a cup of this cleaner with one gallon of hot water.</p> <p><em>How do you use essential oils around your home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living cleaning eco-friendly essential oils household Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:00:20 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1500869 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_playing_toys_000046742926.jpg" alt="Child playing with educational toys made at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It may seem like you need to spend a fortune on educational toys for your kids these days. Heck, many stores have entire sections devoted to learning aids cleverly disguised as playthings. All that stuff is great, but you can beef up your child's smarts with some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">awesome DIY projects</a>. You'll spend much less money making things at home, and frugality is a great lesson to teach children at any age.</p> <h2>1. Sensory Tables</h2> <p>Bring your child's preschool favorite to you own playroom with these <a href="http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/04/diy-sensory-tables.html">DIY sensory tables</a>. Construct a simple wooden base out of pallets and plop in a plastic bin. You can fill them with rice, dried beans, or whatever else you like. And if you're looking to do this project on a dime, skip the table and just place the plastic bin on a waist-high surface.</p> <h2>2. Alphabet Board</h2> <p>I love this <a href="http://nicandkate09.blogspot.com/2011/08/alphabet-board.html">alphabet board</a> project because you could take it in so many different directions. Just mount a metal oil pan on your wall to create a magnetic surface. The author cut up an alphabet poster and glued it to the pan. Then her child used magnetic letters to match. You could repeat with numbers, maps, or anything else you're looking to teach your child.</p> <h2>3. Felt Board</h2> <p>Here's a similar idea <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/make-your-own-felt-board-tutorial/">making a felt board</a> versus metal. Cut a piece of felt so it's a bit larger than a cork board. Then use an X-Acto knife to size it perfectly before spraying with adhesive and pressing onto the board. Once it has dried, you can use homemade felt cut-outs to explore a variety of subjects.</p> <h2>4. Emo Dolls</h2> <p>Teach your child about facial expressions, emotions, and even empathy with these <a href="http://www.danyabanya.com/diy-educational-toy-emo-dolls/">DIY emo dolls</a>. Making them couldn't be easier. Take two types of cardboard tubes that are different sizes (toilet paper and cling wrap, for example). Cut them to the same length. Then cut a circle (face) into the larger one. Draw different faces on the smaller one. Nest them together, and you're done!</p> <h2>5. Sight Word Rolls</h2> <p>Use a similar approach for these <a href="http://laughingkidslearn.com/2013/06/word-rolls.html/">sight word rolls</a>. Cut varying lengths of tubes in different diameters. On one tube, write the first part of a word. One the second, the rest of it. There are many different ways to form your words, and this author started with consonant blends and digraphs.</p> <h2>6. Sewn Letters</h2> <p>Those of you who sew will love this <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/quilting-sewing-creating/2013/06/fabric-alphabet-toy-letters-tutorial-diy/">plush alphabet</a> project you can make using leftover scraps of fabric. Simply cut squares of fabric, sandwich in some batting, and then sew around a stencil guide. Cut out the letters using pinking shears so there's no fraying at the edges.</p> <h2>7. Sponge Letters</h2> <p>Not so crafty? Try cutting <a href="http://www.learning4kids.net/2011/08/16/alphabet-sponge-letters-bath-time-fun-2/">letters from clean sponges</a> instead. The advantage here is that you can take them into the bath. You could also use them as paint stamps. Here's a free <a href="http://www.learning4kids.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Sponge-Alphabet5.pdf">alphabet template</a> you can print off and use as a guide.</p> <h2>8. Inventor's Box</h2> <p>Older kids will go crazy for this <a href="http://www.ehow.com/ehow-mom/blog/build-stem-skills-at-home-make-an-inventors-box/">inventor's box</a>. Fill a plastic bin with old electronic items, like a flashlight, keyboard, clock, radio, or whatever else you can find at yard sales and thrift shops. Then let your child independently explore. The author suggested taking a flashlight apart and letting your kid put it back together.</p> <h2>9. Memory Game</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.dandee-designs.com/2011/05/shapes-colors-memory-game.html">memory game</a> is something fun you could scale up or down for your child depending on age. Take wooden disks (you can find them at most craft stores) and cut out wool felt shapes in all different colors. Adhere the shapes to the wood and play.</p> <h2>10. Tide Pool</h2> <p>Create your own ecosystem with this <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/tide-pool-science-experiment-kids/">tide pool</a> project. You'll fill a metal pan with rocks, mini plastic marine animals, and sand. Then add water to the pan, noting which animals are covered by the water as it rises. Then slowly remove water and watch the tide in reverse.</p> <h2>11. Geoboard</h2> <p>Work on fine motor skills and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning with this <a href="http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/diy-simple-geo-board-for-fine-motor-skills-fine-motor-fridays/">homemade geoboard</a>. Grab a slab of wood at a craft or home improvement store, then mark off a grid in pencil. Hammer nails into the corner of each marked square. Then give your child some colorful rubber bands to create shapes, letters, or whatever else.</p> <h2>12. Giant Puzzle</h2> <p>Rainy days call for creativity. This <a href="http://www.two-daloo.com/diy-giant-block-puzzle/">giant block puzzle</a> will come to your rescue and challenge your child's spatial and problem-solving skills. Take shaped blocks (or other toys) and trace a bunch on a large sheet of paper. Then give your kids the blocks and let them figure it out.</p> <h2>13. Handwriting Tray</h2> <p>If your little one is just starting to write, try this <a href="http://thismummaslife.com/2013/02/28/diy-salt-tray-and-alphabet-cards/">handwriting tray</a>. The author recycled wooden toy packaging for the tray. The letter cards are made of thick watercolor paper. Once you've finished writing all the letters, fill the tray with salt or sand and let your child write using his or her finger or a q-tip.</p> <h2>14. Color Classifier</h2> <p>Work on advanced color recognition with this <a href="http://www.walkingbytheway.com/blog/shades-of-color/">shades of color</a> activity. Pick up a variety of paint chip cards at your local hardware store, cut them up, and store in a zip bag. Create a quick chart on a plain piece of paper and let you child try putting the chips in order based on gradation.</p> <p><em>Do you have a great project to share? Leave a note in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Family educational kids learning playing toys Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:00:12 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1502076 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Cool Uses for Popsicle Sticks http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-popsicle-sticks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-cool-uses-for-popsicle-sticks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/popsicle_sticks_000046971446.jpg" alt="Learning a bunch of cool new uses for popsicle sticks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cooling off with popsicles this summer? Don't toss the sticks! There are a number of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">arts and crafts</a> you can make with your leftovers. (And if you're not into cold desserts &mdash; don't fret: you can pick up hundreds of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GXD6BU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001GXD6BU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GFF5V7IXMG7OHC6X">popsicle sticks</a> online or at your local dollar store.)</p> <h2>1. Coasters</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.cookinglikelou.com/2014/01/diy-mini-pallet-coasters.html">pallet coasters</a> make an excellent gift for your DIY-loving friends. To make them look especially authentic, you'll cut the rounded edges off with sharp scissors. Stain or leave natural, depending on your preference.</p> <h2>2. Loom</h2> <p>Try out weaving with this <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/weaving-with-kids-using-ribbons-and-fabric/">homemade loom</a> project. Hot glue four popsicle sticks together in a square, then tie string across the length to get started. You can give your kids a basket with various pieces of ribbon, yarn, and string to spark their creativity.</p> <h2>3. Workouts</h2> <p>Looking for exercise motivation? Try this <a href="http://backtoherroots.com/2012/08/09/pinterest-challenge-popsicle-stick-workout-jar/">workout jar</a> full of colorful popsicle sticks that tell you exactly how to move. Quickie workouts could mean two sticks completed. When you have time for sweating, challenge yourself to do five or more!</p> <h2>4. Entertainment</h2> <p>Take this same idea and make a <a href="http://www.whilehewasnapping.com/2014/07/washi-tape-summer-boredom-buster-jars/">boredom busting jar</a>. You can use our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-summer">summer bucket list</a> to get inspiration for family friendly ideas or come up with your own. Then write them down on the sticks, decorate, select your activity, and enjoy.</p> <h2>5. Journal</h2> <p>This <a href="http://inmyblueroom.blogspot.com/2014/07/popsicle-stick-notebook-with-twinery.html">stick journal</a> would make a fun book for kids and adults alike. If you're not into bookbinding, you can just adhere the popsicle sticks to a simple notebook. Then embellish anyway you like to make it personal.</p> <h2>6 Doll House</h2> <p>I'm already drafting the plans to make my daughter a <a href="http://melissagoodsell.typepad.com/day_to_day/2008/11/the-little-popsicle-house.html">popsicle stick doll house</a>. All you need are the sticks and hot glue. Older kids might be able to tackle this project by themselves. Arrange sticks to make the walls, room dividers, and then roof. Leave one side open for play.</p> <h2>7. Frame</h2> <p>Display your life's memories with this <a href="https://diyfamily.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/popsicle-stick-photo-frame/">photo frame</a> made entirely of popsicle sticks. After you download the <a href="https://diyfamily.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/photo-frame.pdf">free instructions</a>, you'll assemble the sticks and leave room for the photo. The rest is just gluing and dry time, you can orient the frame horizontally or vertically.</p> <h2>8. Wall Art</h2> <p>I cannot believe this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/create-wall-art-from-popsicle-128336">gorgeous piece of artwork</a> is made from popsicle sticks. You can replicate the look by dying or painting sticks different colors and gluing them to a backing (styrofoam would work) for added stability. Play around with colors and patterns for a unique look. The best part? Your whole family can help.</p> <h2>9. Dolls</h2> <p>When your child gets bored of the same old toys, try making these <a href="http://mollymoocrafts.com/craft-stick-dolls/">craft stick dolls</a>. You can draw faces and clothing onto the sticks with markers. Make them even more beautiful with colorful washi tape or stickers. What a great rainy day activity!</p> <h2>10. Chandelier</h2> <p>No, really. You can make a <a href="http://boredandcrafty.com/?p=4574">popsicle stick chandelier</a>. You'll need three wooden embroidery hoops of different sizes. Then glue sticks onto each hoop and let dry before assembling. You may not want to swing by this chandelier, but it will surely be a conversation piece.</p> <h2>11. Toy</h2> <p>Here's a last-minute gift for a child's birthday party: <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/stick-art-kit-with-free-printables/">Stick art kit</a>. All you need are jumbo popsicle sticks and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IXGUAQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002IXGUAQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=C44AZVOE3YV3TUN6">round Velcro stickers</a>. Put the stickers on the sticks (25 to be exact), then package them up in a pretty bag with the free printable tag. Kids will create shapes for hours with them.</p> <p><em>What cool things have you made with popsicle sticks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-popsicle-sticks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap">Make Your Own Moon Sand, Dirt Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY arts craft sticks creative inspiration popsicle sticks toys Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1505743 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 22 Clever New Uses for Your Tools http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-22-clever-new-uses-for-your-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-22-clever-new-uses-for-your-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_drill_000016813714.jpg" alt="Woman finding clever new uses for her tools" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles clever new uses for your tools, reasons why you&rsquo;re addicted to Facebook, and ways that decluttering will improve your health.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/clever-new-uses-for-your-tools">22 Clever New Uses for Your Tools</a> &mdash; Try using a flexible pick-up tool to yank out the gunk that is clogging your sink. [The Family Handyman]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/233325/5-psychological-reasons-you-are-addicted-facebook-and-5-ways-break-the-habit">5 Psychological Reasons You Are Addicted to Facebook and 5 Ways to Break the Habit</a> &mdash; Do you refresh your Facebook feed obsessively? A fear of missing out may be at work here.&nbsp;[Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Cleaning-Can-Improve-Your-Health-37956421">4 Ways Decluttering Will Improve Your Health</a> &mdash; Having messy, unfinished projects around you can lead to depression. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/midyear-checkup-8-steps-finish-2015-fiscally-fit/">Midyear Checkup: 8 Steps to Finish 2015 Fiscally Fit</a> &mdash; Are you on track for a financially good year? Be sure to grab a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com &mdash; check for errors and look for ways to raise your score. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0724/Should-you-take-the-free-Windows-10-upgrade">Should you take the free Windows 10 upgrade?</a> &mdash; The free upgrade will be available for at least a year, so it makes sense to wait a while for Microsoft to work out any bugs before you download. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/07/7-great-foods-boost-brain-power.html">7 Great Foods to Boost Your Brain Power</a> &mdash; Oregano can increase cognitive processing performance and alertness. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/12-simple-ways-stop-worrying-people-think">12 Simple Ways to Stop Worrying What Other People Think of You</a> &mdash; Even if someone is judging you, do they really matter in your life? If they don't matter, then you don't need to care what they think. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablog.org/2015/07/5-steps-to-going-paperless-when-you-arent-used-to-digital/">5 Steps To Going Paperless When You Aren&rsquo;t Used To Digital</a> &mdash; When you have a lot of storage, you'll find a way to fill them up. Reduce your paper storage by half, and keep reducing every few months until you're paperless! [Sustainablog]</p> <p><a href="http://afewshortcuts.com/2015/07/7-frugal-ways-to-decorate-a-dorm-room/">7 Frugal Ways to Decorate a Dorm Room</a> &mdash; Decorate your dorm room with fresh accents like pine cones, branches, and flowers. When you want to change things up, just go outside and collect new materials! [A Few Short Cuts]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-rules-i-wish-were-posted-at-the-pool">5 Rules I Wish Were Posted At The Pool</a> &mdash; It seems that yelling is inevitable when kids and pools are involved, but if you need to yell across the pool more than three times, it's probably time to go home. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-22-clever-new-uses-for-your-tools">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/screwdrivers-to-saws-stocking-your-first-toolbox">Screwdrivers to Saws: Stocking Your First Toolbox</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dvd-player-region-free-in-seconds">Make Your DVD Player Region-Free in Seconds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-signal-5-quick-ways-to-boost-your-cell-phone-reception-updated">No Signal? 5 Quick Ways to Boost Your Cell Phone Reception. Updated.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY best money tips tools Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:00:12 +0000 Amy Lu 1502885 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_cider_vinegar_000054736252.jpg" alt="Learning unexpected uses for vinegar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an Englishman, I spent most of my life knowing only one use for vinegar &mdash; well, malt vinegar to be precise &mdash; and that was as something to make my fish n' chips taste great. After I discovered the fine cuisines of Guam and the Philippines, I used white vinegar in my cooking. I also heard that vinegar was helpful with cleaning windows.</p> <p>However, when I started digging, I found hundreds of uses for vinegar. It has to be one of the most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-unexpected-uses-for-sugar">versatile and useful</a> liquids on the planet, and it's also very affordable. Here are 21 of the more unusual uses I found for several types of vinegar. All hail its mighty properties!</p> <h2>1. Calm Your Sunburn</h2> <p>You can soothe sunburn with white distilled vinegar (WDV), particularly if you keep it in the fridge. It also has properties that can help stop, or minimize, the peeling and itching.</p> <h2>2. Revitalize Your Rugs</h2> <p>If they are looking grimy from a lot of foot traffic, don't immediately reach for the carpet cleaner. Instead, mix a cup of WDV with a gallon of warm water, and apply with a clean, soft push broom. It's also good for removing stains, if you use a more concentrated form of the solution, and add some table salt.</p> <h2>3. Bring Windshield Wipers Back to Life</h2> <p>If they are starting to streak and stick, don't replace them. Instead, soak a cloth with WDV and rub it back and forth along the rubber. You will be amazed at how much dirt is removed, and how well they clean after.</p> <h2>4. Boost Your Laundry</h2> <p>Adding a half-cup of WDV to your wash will not only make whites whiter, but it will remove any musty smells that clothing of fabric can acquire after a long time in storage. It will also reduce static cling in the dryer.</p> <h2>5. Conceal Scratches in Furniture</h2> <p>Simply mix some apple cider vinegar (ACV) with iodine to make a concoction that makes most scratches disappear. The darker the wood, the more iodine you should use. Experiment.</p> <h2>6. Kill Fruit Flies</h2> <p>Take a small saucer and pour in some ACV, then add a little dish soap to reduce the surface tension. The flies are attracted to the smell, but quickly drown in the vinegar bath. You may catch more bees with honey, but for flies? Use vinegar!</p> <h2>7. Minimize a Bruise</h2> <p>If you soak a paper towel with WDV and apply it to a freshly bumped area on your body, some believe it will reduce the intensity of the bruise, or even prevent it from appearing at all.</p> <h2>8. Keep a Clear Complexion</h2> <p>Actress Scarlett Johansson <a href="http://www.elleuk.com/beauty/exclusive-scarlett-johansson-talks-beauty-with-elle#image=1">washes her face with ACV</a>, and the results are quite impressive if it's all down to that. Of course, we don't know what else she applies. But what we do know is that ACV has antibacterial properties, cutting grease and killing bacteria.</p> <h2>9. Alleviate Athlete's Foot</h2> <p>That fungal infection is not pleasant, and can cause severe itchiness, dryness, blistering, and discomfort. Take nightly footbaths using one part WDV to two parts water and you should see a massive improvement.</p> <h2>10. Turn a Chicken Bone Into&hellip; Rubber!</h2> <p>Why you would ever need this is a head-scratcher, but it can be a lot of fun at parties. If you soak a chicken bone in WDV for at least a few days, it will become as soft and flexible as a rubber bone. But it's highly doubtful the dog will go near it...</p> <h2>11. Kill Weeds</h2> <p>If you don't like the idea of nasty chemicals around the home and garden (and who does?), then reach for the WDV. There are many variations of the way it should be <a href="http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/vinegar-weed-killer.html">prepared and diluted</a>, but whichever you choose, it will definitely get rid of those nasty weeds in your garden.</p> <h2>12. Soothe Aching Muscles</h2> <p>If you've been overdoing it at the gym, or in the yard, you will have sore muscles. This is due to a build-up of lactic acid, and ACV can draw out that lactic acid. Simply dip a rag into a mixture of ACV and water (about one part vinegar to four parts water) and apply to the areas that need the most attention. Or if you've got a few gallons lying around, prepare a bath of the stuff. You may need a shower after though!</p> <h2>13. Destroy Dandruff</h2> <p>Yes, it's pesky and embarrassing, but it can be eliminated with ACV. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle (you can find them for a buck or two at your local hardware store) and apply to your hair after the shampoo, and leave for about 10&ndash;15 minutes. Then, rinse out. Do this a few times a week, and dandruff will be history.</p> <h2>14. Keep Cut Flowers Fresh</h2> <p>Adding just a tablespoon of WDV to the water of your flowers will help them stay fresh for much longer.</p> <h2>15. Cat-Proof Your Home</h2> <p>Our feline friends really don't like the smell of vinegar, so pour some WDV in a spray bottle and treat areas that you want kitty to stay away from.</p> <h2>16. Clean Your Microwave Quickly</h2> <p>After a while, the inside of the microwave becomes covered in small pieces of food that explode out from the plates and bowls during the heating process. Further use of the microwave makes them tough to remove. So, bring vinegar in to the rescue. Fill a small bowl with equal parts water and WDV, and nuke it for about two to three minutes. You want it to be steaming inside there, which will loosen up the food for you. Then, dip a cloth into the hot vinegar mixture (make sure you don't burn yourself) and wipe away the food and grime.</p> <h2>17. Make Paint Brushes Good as New</h2> <p>Whether using paint brushes for art or interior decorating, it can be tough to get them really clean. Vinegar can help. Fill a large saucepan with WDV and put your brushes in it to soak for at least an hour, but no longer than two. Then, put the vinegar pot on the stove and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 mins. Your brushes will be completely paint-free. Any residue can be cleaned away with soap and water.</p> <h2>18. Bring Old Socks Back From the Dead</h2> <p>We all have gym socks that look well-used, but they have life left in them. You can reinvigorate them with WDV. Fill a saucepan with water, and add one cup of vinegar, and bring it to a rolling boil. Then, drop in those stained socks. Leave overnight, then rinse with cold water in the morning. They will be white again.</p> <h2>19. Clean a Litter Box</h2> <p>The odor-banishing properties of WDV come in very handy here. By pouring a half-inch of vinegar in the bottom of the litter box you have just emptied, you can neutralize those smells. Then, rinse, pat dry, and add new litter. However, as we mentioned earlier, cats do not like that vinegar smell. So, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and dry before adding new litter, or you could find your cat protesting in the worst way.</p> <h2>20. Soothe a Sore Throat</h2> <p>It seems odd to add something as harsh as vinegar to a sore throat remedy, but it works. Add a few tablespoons of ACV to a cup of hot water, and stir in a few tablespoons of honey to counteract the acidity. Sip the mixture and make that sore throat go away.</p> <h2>21. Say Goodbye to Rust</h2> <p>Instead of paying a lot of money for a CLR treatment, or other over-the-counter rust removers, use WDV instead. Pour the vinegar into a saucepan (the size will depend on the object from which you need to remove rust) and bring to a boil. Then, add in your rusty objects, and simmer for 10&ndash;20 mins. The rust will just fall off.</p> <p><em>Now, those are the 21 biggest uses I uncovered, but did I miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living cleaning cool uses eco-friendly natural Vinegar Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1481964 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 DIY Beauty Masks Made From Food http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_wearing_facemasks_000050640308.jpg" alt="Women wearing DIY masks made from kitchen ingredients" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that making DIY face masks at home will save you money, time, perfect your skin, and give you that spa experience at home? If you just don't feel like splurging on a facial, these masks can give you instant, noticeable results, without ever having to step foot outside of your home. And by using items you already have in your kitchen, you won't have to spend a dime either.</p> <p>Whenever possible, try using organic ingredients for the best results and to avoid the risk of negative side effects from pesticides or chemicals. Below are simple recipes for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">DIY</a> masks that can perfect your skin and help you clean out your fridge and pantry at the same time. Best of all, you won't have to spend any of your hard-earned money at the spa.</p> <h2>1. Lemon</h2> <p>Lemon can rejuvenate and balance the skin, leaving you with a natural glow. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can brighten the skin with regular use. To take your lemon mask one step further, check out the recipes below.</p> <h3>Lemon and Baking Soda Mask</h3> <p>Baking soda can serve as a powerful microdermabrasion and leave you with healthy, radiant, glowing skin. This mask is also ideal for acne-prone skin and can fight breakouts, blackheads, and enlarged pores all at once.</p> <ul> <li>&frac12; lemon</li> <li>2 T baking soda</li> </ul> <p>Cut a lemon in half. Sprinkle baking soda over the sliced lemon half. Gently rub the lemon half over your face, in circular motions, avoiding your eyes. After about 10 minutes, wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. If you prefer, you can also mix the lemon juice and baking soda separately to form a paste, which you can then apply directly to your skin.</p> <h3>Lemon and Honey Mask</h3> <p>This mask is also ideal for acne-prone skin and can fight breakouts, blackheads, enlarged pores, and acne scarring, all at once.</p> <ul> <li>&frac12; lemon</li> <li>1 T honey</li> </ul> <p>Cut a lemon in half. Pour honey over the sliced lemon half. Gently rub the lemon half over your face, avoiding your eyes, in circular motions. After about 10 minutes, wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. If you prefer, you can also mix the lemon juice and honey separately, which you can then apply directly to your skin.</p> <h2>2. Eggs</h2> <p>Using eggs in a facial mask can be off-putting for some people, but egg whites can help tighten the skin and reduce pore size, so most people agree that the results are worth it. Some DIY recipes call for eggs, while others call for only egg whites, so whatever you have will work. To get more from your extra eggs, check out these recipes.</p> <h3>Egg Whites and Berries Mask</h3> <p>Berries can fight free radicals, so your skin will appear brighter, smoother, and more radiant after using this mask. This mask is also loaded with antioxidants and will leave your skin looking brighter and tighter.</p> <ul> <li>&frac14; cup frozen berries</li> <li>1 T egg whites</li> </ul> <p>Mash berries and egg whites together. Apply to entire face, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for about five minutes. Wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h3>Eggs and Coffee Grounds Mask</h3> <p>Don't throw out your old coffee grounds. Instead, mix them with a whole egg to preserve and renew your skin with protein and nutrients. If you don't like the idea of using eggs, simply substitute a tablespoon of raw honey for the egg.</p> <ul> <li>1 whole egg</li> <li>1 T fine coffee grounds</li> </ul> <p>Combine the egg with the coffee grounds. Gently massage the mask onto your face, in circular motions, avoiding your eyes. This will gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead cells off the surface. Leave on for about five minutes. Wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. If you still have coffee grounds left over, use them to scrub your body in the shower. Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee grounds can fight the appearance of cellulite, while the grounds themselves are an effective exfoliator.</p> <h2>3. Honey</h2> <p>Honey is incredibly nourishing for the skin. Raw honey can moisturize the skin, as well as fight acne, the signs of aging, and oily complexion. You can slather honey directly on your face and after five to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel to produce noticeable results. To take your honey mask one step further, check out the recipes below.</p> <h3>Honey and Oatmeal Mask</h3> <p>By adding oatmeal to your mask, you can soothe dry or irritated skin. Oatmeal can gently exfoliate the skin and has also been effective at healing acne, dealing with excess oil, and unclogging the pores.</p> <ul> <li>1 T powdered oats</li> <li>1 T raw honey</li> </ul> <p>Combine the powdered oats and raw honey. Apply to entire face, avoiding the eyes. After five to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h3>Honey and Avocado Mask</h3> <p>Avocado is incredibly moisturizing, so it is ideal for dry or irritated skin. If you do not have any honey on hand, simply smash up a ripe avocado and apply it directly to your skin.</p> <ul> <li>1 ripe avocado</li> <li>1 T raw honey</li> </ul> <p>Stir together until well combined and apply a thick layer to the entire face or any area prone to breakouts, avoiding the eyes. Let sit for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.</p> <h2>4. Yogurt and Whole Milk</h2> <p>Yogurt is a great base for a number of DIY masks. The cool, creamy texture feels good on the skin and won't slip off while you're wearing the mask. It is also incredibly moisturizing, antibacterial, and contains helpful lactic acid.</p> <h3>Honey, Yogurt, and Banana Mask</h3> <p>This mask can fight acne, unclog the pores, and add moisture to the skin. Bananas can also assist in the anti-aging process, but if you don't have a banana, you can omit it from the recipe. Honey and yogurt work very well on their own to fight acne and perfect the texture and appearance of the skin.</p> <ul> <li>&frac14; cup plain Greek yogurt</li> <li>&frac12; T honey</li> <li>1 overripe banana</li> </ul> <p>Stir together until well combined and apply to entire face, avoiding the eyes. After about five to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h3>Whole Milk and Green Tea Mask</h3> <p>This mask can fight redness and leave your skin glowing. It is also packed with antioxidants and can improve both the health and appearance of your skin.</p> <ul> <li>1 T green tea</li> <li>1 T cold whole milk</li> </ul> <p>Combine and refrigerate to create a cool compress that you can apply to any facial redness using a cotton ball. To get even more from your mask, place the used tea bags on your eyes to reduce any eye redness and puffiness. After five minutes, remove the tea bags from your eyes, wash your face, and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h2>5. Hot Oils</h2> <p>Many different oils can work for a hot oil mask, but most people find that they get the best results from using either extra virgin olive oil or pure coconut oil.</p> <ul> <li>&frac14; cup oil</li> </ul> <p>Microwave oil for about 20&ndash;30 seconds until it is hot, but not scalding and apply for five minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <p>Enjoy your bright, beautiful, glowing skin, and feel good knowing that none of those extra ingredients in your kitchen went to waste!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-beauty-treatments-that-actually-work">7 Homemade Beauty Treatments That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-uses-for-avocados">6 Unexpected Uses for Avocados</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-beauty-aids-science-says-really-work">6 Beauty Aids Science Says Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Health and Beauty cosmetic face masks Food skin spa Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1486854 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycled_egg_crates_000019998240.jpg" alt="How to creatively reuse egg crates" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I eat a ton of eggs. We have leftover crates upon leftover crates, and beyond <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">reusing and recycling</a>, I've started repurposing them in fun ways around my house.</p> <h2>1. Seeding Storage</h2> <p>I actually <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5875765/use-an-egg-carton-to-jumpstart-your-garden-this-spring">started all our seeds</a> in egg cartons this year. They're the perfect size for germination. When the seedlings are ready for planting, just cut out the individual cups and plant directly into the ground. Of course, if you plan to try this one, use the paper cups versus the styrofoam ones.</p> <h2>2. Recycled Decor</h2> <p>Beautify your place on the cheap with this <a href="http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2011/04/make-it-egg-carton-wreath.html">egg carton wreath</a>. You'll cut flower shapes from the cups and fashion leaves from the cover. Then paint with bright colors and glue to assemble. Just don't hang this wreath outdoors &mdash; the moisture will ruin it.</p> <h2>3. Jewelry Organization</h2> <p>Here's a cool <a href="http://shopwalkinlove.com/blogs/walk-in-love/11350757-egg-carton-organizers">jewelry organization project</a> that might also make a great gift. Cut an egg carton in half and paint it with spray paint. Then fill with jewelry and other knick-knacks. This tutorial instructs you to cut the top off the carton, but I think it would be nice to keep it on.</p> <h2>4. Veggie Storage</h2> <p>Or store your vegetables in <a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/Egg-Crates-for-Veggie-Storage.html">stacked egg cartons</a>. This method will keep spoiled foods from leaking anything onto fresh ones. Bonus: If you have anything &mdash; like tomatoes &mdash; that need ripening in paper bags, they should mature perfectly in the cartons.</p> <h2>5. Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>Send your kids on a <a href="http://www.iammommahearmeroar.net/2011/03/spring-scavenger-hunt.html">fun scavenger hunt</a> in the backyard. Print out what you want your child to find, stick it on the egg carton, and then hand it off. They can stick found items inside. The author of this activity provides a printout, but your yard might not contain the same stuff (depending on where you live).</p> <h2>6. Sewing Kit</h2> <p>Stow needles, thread, buttons, and more in this <a href="http://www.madebymarzipan.com/?tutorial=egg-carton-sewing-kit">egg carton sewing kit</a>. My favorite part is the personalized design. You can decorate it to suit your unique tastes. Or keep it basic. Whatever you do, don't forget the egg-shaped pin cushion.</p> <h2>7. Paint Palette</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-organizing-new-uses-for-old-things/egg-carton-as-paint-palette">egg crate paint palette</a> is pretty easy to put together. Open the crate, squeeze paint inside, and get creative. You can leave some cups open for mixing of colors. Otherwise, when you're done, just let everything dry and use again the next time you want to make art.</p> <h2>8. Gift Wrap</h2> <p>Skip the pricey gift bags and use an <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kirstyneale/3560879400/in/gallery-paneamoreecreativita-72157623683672416/">egg carton to wrap</a> instead. You can paint and decorate in whatever colors or prints that match your theme. Works wonderfully for small items like soaps, underwear, jewelry, chocolates, and more.</p> <h2>9. Mosquito Smoker</h2> <p>Don't let mosquitoes ruin your next backyard bash. You can <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-lubin/an-easy-free-way-to-keep-_b_5648824.html">smoke them out</a> for free using an egg carton. Simply light one edge on fire and set somewhere safe to burn (like your grill top). Alternatively, you can try this same thing with one of those coffee to-go containers.</p> <h2>10. Bird Feeder</h2> <p>This quick and easy <a href="http://thecreativecubby.blogspot.com/2013/06/egg-carton-bird-feeder.html">egg carton bird feeder</a> project will please nature enthusiasts. Remove the lid from your egg carton. Then poke holes in each of the four corners. Thread a string through each hold, then gather together and knot. Fill with bird seed and enjoy.</p> <h2>11. Flower Vase</h2> <p>Create a quick centerpiece for your dinner table with this gorgeous <a href="http://cfabbridesigns.com/holidays/easter/egg-carton-vase/">egg crate vase</a>. Line the cups with plastic eggs and add a little water. Smaller blooms work best, and I love how the author of this project used broccoli to add texture to her arrangement.</p> <p><em>What do you do with your old egg cartons?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts eco-friendly egg cartons egg crates recycling repurposing Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:00:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1485981 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_service_000017616649.jpg" alt="Car repairs you can easily do yourself" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the monthly expenses many of us forget to include in our budgets is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-slick-tools-to-save-money-on-car-repairs">car repair and maintenance</a>. Sure, we put down the price of gas, and maybe an oil change every two or three months, but we forget about most of the ongoing maintenance costs. Cars need regular maintenance over their useful lives, and most of us will pay through the nose to get it performed. But it doesn't have to be that way. With parts bought online, some simple tools, and a little basic knowledge, many car repairs can be done without visiting a mechanic.</p> <p>I talked to Richard Reina, the Training Director at <a href="http://www.carid.com/">CARiD</a>, about some of the easiest car repairs you can do at home. You can find most of the replacement parts at CARiD or similar sites, plus many instructional videos and fact sheets that will ensure you have the help you need every step of the way. I also talked to several mechanics, including a family member who has had over 20 years of experience fixing cars. He, like many other experts, was adamant that with preparation, you can save a lot of time and money on repairs.</p> <h2>1. Change Your Own Brake Pads</h2> <p>When I first heard that, my reaction was &quot;No way, I'm not messing with my brakes!&quot; But as Reina points out, it's a very simple and inexpensive procedure that mechanics and specialty brake shops will charge hundreds of dollars to do. The industry wants you to think it's hard, because they make a lot of profit from a very simple procedure, but pads are way easier to replace than old fashioned drum brake &quot;shoes.&quot;</p> <p>All you need is a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SEXO3E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004SEXO3E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HZG267264PF33LG4">wheel lug wrench</a>, some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QO9MAU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004QO9MAU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NBJPGJ3TPWJWCZON">basic wrenches</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NPXI0G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NPXI0G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4RW72BPDX4EJRYYP">pliers</a>, and of course a jack and set of jack stands (never get under a car unless it is on jack stands; you cannot rely on the jack as it may fail).</p> <p>A set of new brake pads will set you back just $20&ndash;$40, depending on the car and pad material. Compare that to the industry average of $250 per axle, and you can see how much this DIY job will save you. The procedure is basic. Take off the wheel, remove the hardware, pull out the worn pads, push in the caliper piston, install the new pads, and reinstall the hardware. You should be able to do all four wheels in under an hour, even if this is your first time doing the job. The new pads will last between 30,000&ndash;50,000 miles, and you should check them every 10,000 miles. When the pad thickness falls below 2mm&ndash;3mm, it's time for another replacement set.</p> <h2>2. Change the Battery</h2> <p>It amazes me how many people will get a shop to replace the battery, since this is by far the easiest of all DIY repairs. A battery will last 4&ndash;6 years, so you should be able to figure out when your current battery is ready to be changed. (Almost every battery will have a date stamped on it, so look for this if you want to be sure.) You <em>do not</em> want to wait until you start having problems. If you do, you could be stranded with a dead battery, and that's dangerous for many reasons.</p> <p>The average price of a new battery is around $80, although you can spend more or less depending on the make and model. A dealer will charge upwards of $200 to replace it.</p> <p>To do the swap, you just need a basic set of wrenches. The biggest warning here, Reina says, is the order in which you remove the replace the cables. Remove the NEGATIVE (black) cable FIRST, and when you have installed the new battery, replace the NEGATIVE cable LAST. If you don't do it this way, you could short circuit the positive (red) terminal to a grounded part of the car.</p> <h2>3. Do Your Own Oil Change</h2> <p>A typical quick lube place could charge anywhere from $30 to $70 for an oil change. Some can go as high as $90&ndash;$100, especially if you own an expensive import. But then you see signs like $15 oil change and think, &quot;Well I'd pay that for the oil and filter anyway, so why not let them do it for me?&quot;</p> <p>Here's why. First, there is always an asterisk on those oil changes. They come with conditions, and may not include the correct amount of oil required for your engine (this happens a lot when you bring in an SUV or truck). You will also be given a low-grade oil, rather than a full synthetic or even a synthetic blend. And most importantly, the cheap oil change is a loss leader.</p> <p>The loss-leader oil change is a great way to get you to hand over your car to the garage so that they can get under the hood and see if it has problems. A reputable place won't find any unless there are genuine problems. Others, well, let's just say they find problems that don't need attention.</p> <p>Suddenly, the $15 oil change has become thousands in major repairs. Poor establishments will use high-pressure tactics to get you to sign up for the work, and you may not even get the chance to get a second opinion.</p> <p>So, do it yourself. Buy a good quality oil filter and the best oil you can afford from your local supplier (it can be an auto specialist or a retail store). Other than jack stands and a jack, you'll need an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NPPB6U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000NPPB6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I2Q5NR76Q5CIAA3M">oil filter wrench</a> and a drain pan. These only have to be purchased once and will last you decades (my father-in-law has been using the same drain pan for 20 years). You can find videos online walking you through oil changes on a variety of different vehicles.</p> <p>And one final note. As Richard Reina points out, the days of the &quot;every 3,000 miles&quot; oil changes are long gone. Vehicles these days can often go 10,000 miles between oil changes. Check your manual.</p> <h2>4. Change Your Spark Plugs</h2> <p>There is an episode of the iconic TV series <em>Frasier</em> that shows Niles and Frasier Crane attending an automotive workshop. The very first lesson is how to change spark plugs. It's one of the easiest home repairs you can do, although these days it is very rare you'll even have to perform this service. On modern cars, extended-life spark plugs can maintain a precise gap for 100,000 miles. However, it is still wise to check them every 30,000-40,000 miles, just to make sure.</p> <p>When the time does come to replace your spark plugs, along with your regular set of tools you will need a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002KNZ8C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002KNZ8C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=URY7DFKT6D5FA6ZL">spark plug wrench</a>. Again, this is a &quot;buy once, use for a lifetime&quot; kind of purchase, and it's not very expensive (under $10 in most cases). (WikiHow has a great <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Change-Spark-Plugs-in-a-Car">instructional piece here</a>.) And the savings&hellip;let's just say it's significant. You can pay over $300 for spark plugs to be changed, and spark plugs themselves are rarely more than $30 for a set.</p> <h2>5. Replace a Headlight or Taillight</h2> <p>If you are a good car owner, you will perform a regular walk around of your vehicle. It's important to do this for many reasons, but one of the biggest is to check that all the lights are working. Not only are lights essential for clear vision, and alerting drivers to your intentions, but you can also incur traffic tickets if they aren't working. So, try and do this at least once a month (you'll need someone to help you check the taillights).</p> <p>If one (or more) isn't working, it's time to buy a replacement and do it yourself. With the average hourly repair rate of a garage being $100, you could easily spend $25&ndash;$50 per bulb, especially if the shop has a minimum charge.</p> <p>One of the most important things to do is bring the old bulb with you to the store. You want to make sure you are getting like for like. And, when it comes time to change it out, never touch the bulb glass with your bare hands. The grease from your fingers can cause the bulb to burn out early.</p> <h2>6. Replace Your Windshield Wipers</h2> <p>Some people go to a garage or dealership to have their windshield wipers replaced. This is, without a doubt, a massive waste of your time and money. A set of wipers will run you between $20 and $40 on average, plus the dealer will charge you one hour of labor (that's about $100). Don't throw your money away. It takes minutes to replace the wipers on your vehicle yourself, and all of the instructions are provided in the replacement wipers you buy.</p> <p>When you go to a store &mdash; say Walmart or Target &mdash; they'll have a reference manual (these days it's often a small electronic terminal) which will tell you which wiper sizes you need to ensure a correct fit. In most cases, the old wipers slide out, and the new ones slide in. The last time I changed my wipers, it took two minutes for both&hellip;and most of that time was spent trying to hack open the vacuum-sealed plastic package!</p> <h2>7. Replace Your Air Filter</h2> <p>Richard Reina pointed out another simple fix that mechanics and dealerships will heavily mark up with labor costs and parts. And yet, it is a very quick fix (in most cases&hellip;if you happen to own a German import, you may have a few extra parts to remove to access the filter). On average, you'll pay over $100 in labor costs, and $50 for the filter.</p> <p>The typical cost of an air filter from a retail store is between $15&ndash;$20, but again, this can be higher depending on the make and model of your car. In most cases, you will simply have to open up the hood of the car, turn a few screws, open the air filter housing, swap out the old for the news, and replace the screws. It really is that simple, and you can save a ton of money doing it yourself.</p> <h2>8. Fix a Chipped Windshield</h2> <p>I recently had to do this one myself, and I can tell you&hellip;it's so simple. I had a small rock chip in the windshield. I was tempted to go by one of those &quot;fix it free&quot; places that hang out near malls, but they operate through your insurance company, and I wasn't keen on going through all that for a simple rock chip.</p> <p>On Amazon or eBay, you can find <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GFS2C8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004GFS2C8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TGVTUO2W4ELE2GOQ">windshield repair kits</a> for under $15. Some run as low as $8. When you get it, all you need to do is dig out any loose glass with the pin provided, and then thoroughly clean it, and the surrounding area. You will have to stick a small device to the windshield that forms a seal around the rock chip, and then a vacuum contraption will work to apply the resin into the crack. It's an operation that takes less than one hour, from opening the package to the finished result, and most of that is simply waiting time. Stop that crack from spreading, before you need to replace the entire windshield. That can be costly.</p> <p><em>Now, what services do you regularly perform on your own car that saves you time and money? Let us know in the comments below. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-change-the-bulb-just-remove-the-bumper-wait-what">To change the bulb, just remove the bumper. Wait, what? - UPDATED.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-home-maintenance-to-dos-for-spring">8 Easy Home Maintenance To-Dos for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-quick-clothing-and-shoe-repair-fixes-you-should-own">15 Quick Clothing and Shoe Repair Fixes You Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you">8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-calculate-your-new-car-budget">7 Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Cars and Transportation DIY fixing maintenance mechanic repairs vehicles Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1484612 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden_pest_snail_000015689543.jpg" alt="Learning how to deter garden pests on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we moved out of our urban neighborhood last year, we had no idea how our summer gardening efforts might change. Almost immediately, we discovered that living slightly closer to the country meant critters &mdash; lots of them. So, we've had to bulk up our pest-control efforts considerably. Here are some friendly ways to keep the fruits of your labor from falling prey to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">bugs</a>, bunnies, deer, and more.</p> <h2>1. Insect Spray</h2> <p>Try this <a href="http://anoregoncottage.com/homemade-garlic-mint-garden-insect-spray-really-works/">DIY insect spray</a> on your plants and you'll see a huge difference in just a couple weeks. You may even have all the ingredients on hand. Combine two cloves of garlic with three cups of mint leaves, cayenne pepper, and biodegradable dish soap. This mix repels bugs, and it's best to spray on the leaves of your plants on a cloudy day so it doesn't burn them.</p> <h2>2. Soapy Solution</h2> <p>Are deer cramping your style? You can cut up bars of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KTB19K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KTB19K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PCTRMYSS5AKFY5NF">Irish Spring soap</a>, attach to stakes using scraps of fabric, and scatter throughout your garden. The benefit here is that you don't need to reapply anything after rainstorms like you do with sprays and other methods. Plus, your yard will smell amazing.</p> <h2>3. Cornmeal Wonder</h2> <p>Get rid of ants and weeds with a simple <a href="http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/organic/cornmeal-in-the-garden.htm">cornmeal application</a>. Stow this tip away for next year because the gluten works against seed development, so it's best to sprinkle in the early spring before the weeds actually sprout up. If ants are your bigger issue, you're in luck. They will carry the cornmeal back to their homes. It disrupts their digestion, but it will take about a week to fully work.</p> <h2>4. Bunny Banisher</h2> <p>We were most surprised last year to find an entire family of bunnies nesting underneath our tomato plants. This season we're hoping to keep them away with this <a href="http://premeditatedleftovers.com/gardening/inexpensive-organic-rabbit-repellent/">organic rabbit repellent</a>. This frugal mix of garlic, red pepper, water, and dish soap works best after it has soaked in the sun for a couple days. Apply to your plants once a week continuous control.</p> <h2>5. Hair Helper</h2> <p>Save money by cutting your hair at home. Then use the clippings in your garden to keep deer and other animals out of your plants. This method is one I learned from my mother-in-law, and it's surprisingly effective. It should help <a href="http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/is-human-hair-good-for-your-garden">repel deer, rabbits, and snails</a> all while acting as a mulch and natural fertilizer. Summer is a great time for a shorter style anyway. Hair that isn't heavily shampooed works best.</p> <h2>6. Bird Netting</h2> <p>We can't forget birds in this list. Keeping them out can be as easy as installing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RA0P/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004RA0P&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4WTVACWGDOBFZATM">bird netting</a> atop your raised beds. You'll need a staple gun to make the process go faster, but just secure the netting to the side of your box, stretch over your plants, and secure on the other side. Alternatively, you can use stakes to secure the netting in the ground if you don't have raised beds.</p> <h2>7. Scare Tactics</h2> <p>Pick up a few cheap aluminum pie plates at the dollar store. Then stake them up using some string to create a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScS-cqS0oX0">quick homemade scarecrow</a>. The sound and bright shine should keep birds and other animals away.</p> <h2>8. Easy Eggshells</h2> <p>Slugs and snails will steer clear of this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2014/06/organic-gardening-use-egg-shells-to-deter-slugs-and-snails.html">eggshell solution</a>. Place the shells in a large bag and crush using your hands or feet. From there, scatter the pieces around plants once a week. Those critters don't like sharp edges, so it should stop them in their tracks. Bonus: the calcium in the eggshells also fertilizes your garden.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite DIY garden protection methods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living bugs deer eco-friendly gardening pests plants rabbits repellent Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:00:12 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1481951 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_cleaning_000027763157.jpg" alt="Couple using homemade stain remover that actually works" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a reason the word &quot;stain&quot; rhymes with &quot;pain.&quot; Even the most fastidious housekeepers dread dealing with stains, and top-of-the-line stain removers tend to do far less than they promise. Store-bought cleaners can also be pretty expensive, and you'll need a different one for upholstery, clothing, pets, and other stuff.</p> <p>If you're fed up with stains and fed up with paying too much for lackluster results, then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">make your own stain remover</a>! We've got five DIY recipes, all of which have ingredients that you probably have around the house. They're easy to make, and nice and cheap, too.</p> <h2>1. Miracle Cleaner</h2> <p>You may have seen this one passed around Pinterest, and if you haven't given it a try, then now is the time. The &quot;<a href="http://tidymom.net/2014/miracle-cleaner/">miracle cleaner</a>&quot; is a simple concoction of one part dishwashing liquid (preferably Dawn) and two parts hydrogen peroxide, which is commonly used as an antiseptic. The resulting mixture is amazingly tough on clothing stains, successfully removing everything from wine to blood to chocolate. It even takes out pit stains! As with all stain removers, test it in an inconspicuous spot before using. If the stain is extra tough, after applying remover, scrub with a brush and let sit for an hour before laundering. This cleaner also works well on carpets.</p> <h2>2. Homemade Carpet Cleaner</h2> <p>You can't just throw carpet in the wash and hope for the best, and that makes it extra tough to clean. If you don't own a clunky carpet cleaner and don't want to rent one every time you spill something, then try this <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Carpet-Cleaner-26558849">homemade carpet stain remover</a>. To make your own, add vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and warm water to a spray bottle. Working over a sink, add baking soda, and quickly screw on the lid. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will produce lots of fizzy bubbles, which are great for cleaning. Be sure to vacuum the area of carpet before and after using the cleaner to remove any residue.</p> <h2>3. Homemade Pet Stain Remover</h2> <p>A common cause of everyday stains are cats, dogs, and other animals. No matter how well-trained your pet may be, an accident is bound to happen from time to time. The next time you take a step into something wet that really shouldn't be, mix up some of this <a href="http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/odor-removal/homemade-pet-odor-removal.html">pet stain remover</a>. The multi-step process is a great way to remove pesky stains, as well as the odor that goes along with them. Start by making a simple mixture of vinegar and water and applying that to the stained area. Dry well, and apply baking soda to neutralize odor. A final dose of hydrogen peroxide will help work out any remaining stain.</p> <h2>4. DIY Laundry Spot Remover</h2> <p>For a non-toxic and hypoallergenic alternative, this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2013/08/homemade-natural-fabric-stain-remover-non-toxic-and-frugal.html">all-natural stain remover</a> is a combination of castile soap, vegetable glycerine, baking soda, lemon essential oil, and water. It has a fresh smell, and won't irritate skin. Simply spray it on stained clothing, rub it into the affected area, and let sit for up to an hour before washing like normal. For extra stubborn stains, rinse and repeat.</p> <h2>5. Hard Water Stain Cleaner</h2> <p>Water stains can be especially irritating, and simple window cleaning just isn't enough &mdash; all of the scrubbing in the world doesn't seem to do any good. For a unique and effective way to clean the grime away, combine <a href="http://www.discountqueens.com/hard-water-stain-remover-ingredients/">vodka and Coke</a>. It might be tempting to pour it into a glass of ice instead of a spray bottle, but just go with it. Spray the cocktail on the water-stained surface and simply let sit. You may need to repeat two or three times, but eventually the dull stains will wear away to reveal shiny, clean glass, even without scrubbing. Be sure to fix yourself that cocktail once you're done.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite DIY stain remover?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living carpet cleaning clothing eco-friendly stain removers Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1478386 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ants_000019026109.jpg" alt="Learning how to eliminate ants without an exterminator" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ants. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Well, wait a minute. Yes, I can definitely live without ants crawling all over my kitchen floor. So, in the last month I have fought and won the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bees">battle with these tiny beasts</a>. And I am here to share with you how I did it &mdash; sans exterminator.</p> <p>(Note: Though these methods are all natural, you'll want to keep most of these ingredients and mixtures out of reach of children and pets.)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning</h2> <p>First and foremost, try sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping down flat surfaces (counters, floors, etc.) on the daily. Consistent, scrupulous cleaning should at least help the issue by eliminating anything that's attracting ants. Of course, your castle could be neat as a pin and still have an ant highway a mile long.</p> <h2>2. Blocking</h2> <p>Though I haven't personally had wonderful results with this tip, our neighbor reports that she got rid of ants by caulking gaps near her doors and windows. If there are obvious places where the ants are getting in, this idea might work well for you. We did try it, but they found a new path a few feet over in our dining room.</p> <h2>3. Spices</h2> <p>At the first sight of ants, I sprinkle cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon to make a barrier. I learned this trick while researching ways to keep bugs out of my child's sandbox without chemicals. In your home, sprinkle spices close to entry points to deter the ants from crossing the line. I've read that chalk works in a similar fashion, especially on the outside your home.</p> <h2>4. Vinegar</h2> <p>Or you can go with a spritz or five of vinegar mixed with water. The combination helps to get rid of the pheromone trails the scouts leave the lead other ants through your house. This step is pretty easy if you're wiping down floors and countertops regularly (see above!) &mdash; vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace?ref=seealso">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>5. Borax</h2> <p>A friend of mine shared with me that she puts out bowls of powdered sugar and borax. The sugar attracts the ants. When they consume it, they also consume the borax, which eventually kills them by disrupting their digestive systems. You can also make a <a href="http://www.stacymakescents.com/homemade-ant-bait">wet mixture</a> by combining about a cup of sugar with a tablespoon of borax and a half cup of boiling water.</p> <h2>6. Essential Oils</h2> <p>Peppermint is a powerful ant repellant. A simple line of the essential oil at window sills or on the floor near an entry point should make ants scurry in a hurry. If you'd rather create a formal solution, try this <a href="http://www.herbsandoilsworld.com/peppermint-ant-repellent-spray/">peppermint spray</a> that combines the power of peppermint, citronella, and lavender essential oils.</p> <h2>7. Castile Soap</h2> <p>I use a lot of castile soap in my indoor routines, so I love that I can spritz a <a href="http://www.lisabronner.com/it-actually-works/">household cleaning spray</a> on ants to give them the hint. To make the spray, just combine water, tea tree oil, and a quarter cup castile soap in a bottle. Use as needed &mdash; it will kill ants on contact &mdash; and wipe up when you're done.</p> <h2>8. Boiling Water</h2> <p>If you can find the source of the ants outdoors, try pouring boiling water over the anthill. My grandmother swears by this method, and she'll occasionally mix in some dish soap in a 1:1 ratio. Try pouring atop the anthill two or three times in a single day for the best results.</p> <p><em>What natural solutions have you tried to deal with ants?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-plastic-wrap-forever-and-9-other-creative-uses-for-beeswax">Banish Plastic Wrap Forever and 9 Other Creative Uses for Beeswax</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living all-natural ants bugs eco-friendly pests Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:00:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1477259 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unexpected Uses for Laundry Detergent http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_cleaning_000031659464.jpg" alt="Man using laundry detergent in unexpected ways" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us buy laundry detergent to do one thing, and one thing only. But can it do more than clean your clothes? Should it be working harder for us? The answer is yes, yes it can, and it should. And if you read this, it<em> will</em>.</p> <p>Here are 10 rather unexpected uses for both the liquid and powdered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">laundry detergents</a> that we all have in our homes. Use them wisely.</p> <h2>1. Whiten Yellowed Pillows</h2> <p>No matter how many times we wash white pillows, they seem to turn that weird off-white, yellow color. Sure, a good pillowcase can cover it, but we know the truth. If you want to make your pillows look as good as new, follow Jillee's advice: Mix <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/06/how-to-wash-and-whiten-yellowed-pillows-best-of-jillee.html">one cup of laundry detergent</a> (liquid or powdered) with one cup of powdered dishwasher soap, one cup of bleach, and &frac12; cup of borax. The results are stunning.</p> <h2>2. Clean Up Oil Spills</h2> <p>You can purchase products specifically designed to clean up oil spills at home. Some can cost a significant amount of money, such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AU7DVPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AU7DVPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SVU6X7PVBSZR2NYT">Ultratech's Ultra-Oil</a> stain remover. However, if you have powdered laundry detergent handy, it can do an excellent job. As WikiHow demonstrates, you simply pour some of the <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-up-Oil-Spills-in-a-Garage">powdered detergent on the stain</a>, followed by a little water. After leaving it overnight, come back and spray the mixture off. The oil spill should be gone, or at the very least, be almost invisible.</p> <h2>3. Make Your Own &quot;Goop&quot;</h2> <p>Mechanics, and people who work with a lot of engines and other dirty products, will know the value of products like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ENOLZ2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001ENOLZ2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4SEY45CFCSRBBHFQ">Goop</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BDEYTE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000BDEYTE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EZ6TKJ5J7WOK5PIM">Gojo</a>. They are industrial-strength hand cleaners, designed to cut through grease and grime quickly, whilst leaving your hands soft and without irritation. These are great products to have around if you work with engines and oil often, but for the occasional hand cleaning, mix just one teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and rub vigorously. Then, clean with regular hand soap. The oil should be history.</p> <h2>4. Degrease Your Stove</h2> <p>In a spray bottle, mix together liquid laundry detergent with bleach and water. It makes an awesome stove degreaser, especially for those ceramic hobs that catch all the grease splatters. Now, if you're worried about mixing bleach with anything, you're right to be concerned. It's very dangerous to mix bleach with other household chemicals&hellip;with one exception. Rick Sachleben of the American Chemical Society <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/17/mixing-bleach-cleaning-mistake_n_6887638.html">assures us it's safe</a>; &quot;Laundry detergent is formulated to be safely mixed with bleach.&quot; So, don't worry, it's perfectly safe, and effective.</p> <h2>5. Make a Good All-Purpose Cleaner</h2> <p>Take a five-gallon jug of warm water and add just &frac14; cup of laundry detergent (either liquid or powdered) to it. You now have a large supply of general-purpose household cleaner that is safe to use on sinks, toilets, walls (especially the kids rooms), fire surrounds, countertops, and anything else that needs a good clean. It is much less harsh than other chemical cleaners, and best of all, it doesn't smell.</p> <h2>6. Kill Moss and Weeds</h2> <p>In a previous post, vinegar showed its versatility as a weed killer. Now, it's the turn of powdered laundry detergent. Bring a cup or two of the powder into the yard, and sprinkle it liberally over any moss and weeds that are making your landscaping unsightly. Then, let it go to work. Over the next three to four days, you should see the offending vegetation go from green to brown. Once it has died off, brush it away and then thoroughly rinse the area.</p> <h2>7. Clear a Blocked Drain</h2> <p>There's no denying that drain-cleaning products are great at getting those blockages to dissolve, but we don't always have them on hand. If you have a blockage that needs clearing fast, pour &frac14; cup of liquid laundry detergent down the drain, and let it go to work for a few minutes. Then, pour boiling water down the drain. The detergent should have helped loosen up the offending material, and the hot water blasts it free.</p> <h2>8. Clean Toys Safely</h2> <p>Kids can quickly turn a beautiful new toy into a filthy, grimy mess. The trouble is, we're often wary about using harsh chemicals on these toys because they are in close contact with the kids' skin, and sometimes mouths. Instead of using harsh, and sometimes dangerous, chemicals, turn to laundry detergent. You can either use some of the all-purpose spray you made earlier, or do a bunch at once by filling the bathtub with warm water and adding a half-cup of liquid laundry detergent. Let them soak, then rinse and dry. They'll be clean, and safe.</p> <h2>9. Spruce Up the Deck</h2> <p>We often forget how much punishment our decks can take, especially in tough weather. All those dirty shoes and boots, plus the other elements, make decks go from brown to grey in no time. <a href="http://tipnut.com/deck-cleaners/">Laundry detergent can help</a>. Tipnut tells us to mix one cup of powdered laundry detergent with &frac34; cup of oxygen bleach, and add it to one gallon of warm water. Use a deck brush to scrub the surface, leave for five to 10 minutes, then scrub again. When you rinse it off, the color should be back, and the deck will be looking better than ever.</p> <h2>10. Banish Soap Scum</h2> <p>Do you have those pesky soap scum marks around your bathtub, or in the sink? Don't waste time stinking up the bathroom with harsh bleach products. Instead, make yourself a scum fighter with a mixture of powdered laundry detergent and water. You don't need to add much liquid; just enough to work the powder into a spreadable thick paste. Apply it to the soap scum using firm pressure, either in circles or back and forth, then sit back and let it go to work. Then, 20 minutes later, rinse it away with hot water. The scum should be no more.</p> <p><em>How do you put laundry detergent to work around your house?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-more-detergent-make-for-more-clean">Does More Detergent Make for More Clean?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home cleaning detergent laundry soap multi-use Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:00:29 +0000 Paul Michael 1477273 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_playing_toy_kitchen_000046919258.jpg" alt="Kid playing with super fun DIY toy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you been to a toy store lately? There are gadgets and dolls and blocks and other stuff for every age and every stage. So many options, in fact, that it can get quite overwhelming to choose something for your child. Plus, the prices on most of these toys are absolutely outrageous.</p> <p>So dig around the house for some raw materials and get back to the basics with this list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">DIY</a> toys will help you craft playthings your kids will enjoy for years to come.</p> <h2>1. Baby Gym</h2> <p>Cut a few boards and connect them with a dowel to make your own <a href="http://mthanded.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/wooden-baby-gym-tutorial.html">baby gym</a>. The tutorial is pretty lax because you can make it to suit your individual needs. Once the base is constructed, use links to tie up store-bought (or homemade) toys for playing. The best part? When your child grows out of it, you can sew a cute tent cover for more fun.</p> <h2>2. Kinetic Sand</h2> <p>If you haven't discovered the sand craze yet, save yourself some cash by making <a href="http://parentingchaos.com/diy-kinetic-sand/">kinetic sand</a> at home. This stuff holds shape but doesn't make a mess, so it's easy to pick up. You'll need some fine sand from a craft or pet store. After you've baked it dry, add glue and liquid starch until the mixture sticks together but not to your hands.</p> <h2>3. Rag Doll</h2> <p>So many dolls on store shelves look the same. Give your little one something unique with this <a href="http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2013/02/girl-boy-fabric-dolls-pattern-pieces-included.html">DIY rag doll</a>. You'll find patterns for both girl and boy dolls with a detailed sewing tutorial. The difficulty is up to you. The dolls might take some work, but when they're done, you'll be glad you put in the effort.</p> <h2>4. House Blocks</h2> <p>Skip the pricey block sets and make your own <a href="http://mermagblog.com/diy-stacking-house-blocks/">stacking house blocks</a> from scratch. You can cut blocks from 4x4 lumber, but I also recommend checking out your local craft store for cheap pre-cut blocks. Once they're all sanded, decorate with non-toxic acrylic paints and finish with beeswax polish.</p> <h2>5. Animal Spools</h2> <p>Or here's another stacking toy using <a href="http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/diy-mix-em-animal-spools/">wooden spools</a> instead of blocks. Download the free animal template, cut out the parts, and then tape together. Your child will play for hours making different combinations with the heads, bodies, and legs.</p> <h2>6. Play Garden</h2> <p>Grab an old box and get &quot;planting&quot; with this <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/03/diy-plantable-felt-garden-box.html">DIY play garden</a>. You'll use jersey fabric to make round tubes of pretend dirt filled with stuffing. The tutorial describes how to make a variety of colorful veggies from felt. When you've finished sewing, stuff everything together and let your child harvest.</p> <h2>7. Car Ramps</h2> <p>Your kid's cars will zoom faster than ever before with this super simple <a href="http://buggyandbuddy.com/make-wooden-toy-car-ramp/">car ramps</a> project. Cut a few wooden boards to around three feet long. Then paint each black like pavement. Add some yellow dashes for extra flair before placing your new roads on different level surfaces for downhill speed.</p> <h2>8. Toy Treehouse</h2> <p>My jaw dropped when I found this clever <a href="http://www.northstory.ca/dollhouse-no-way-build-your-kids-a-toy-treehouse/">toy treehouse</a> made from various found objects. The author of this project used a branch, cutting board, craft bird house, dowels, and some other thrift and Dollar Store trinkets. Better than spending nearly $200 for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RBWKOO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002RBWKOO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BPYYH7MJUXL7ZLXC">something similar</a>.</p> <h2>9. Play Kitchen</h2> <p>Start combing Craigslist now! You can use an old entertainment center as a starting point for this adorable <a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/7042/crazy-beautiful-toy-kitchen/">play kitchen</a>. Depending on how your old furniture is configured, you can make a shelf the cooktop, the cabinet a pretend refrigerator, and add hooks for play plates or towels. Give the whole thing a bright coat of paint for looks.</p> <h2>10. Slime</h2> <p>Everyone loves oozy slime, especially in <a href="http://frugalfun4boys.com/2014/09/29/make-sparkly-gold-slime/">metallic colors</a>. Mixing it together takes just a few minutes. You'll combine liquid starch, clear glue, gold powder, and glitter. Use different powder and glitter for different colors.</p> <h2>11. Cardboard Bed</h2> <p>Here's an awesome <a href="http://www.hellobee.com/2012/10/09/diy-cardboard-bed/">cardboard bed</a> you can make with recycled cardboard and a handy PDF. In other words: It's free. You'll cut out different shapes to make the headboard, footboard, side supports, and more. Then use the slots to nest everything together.</p> <h2>12. Story Stones</h2> <p>I had never heard of <a href="http://thinkcrafts.com/blog/2013/08/27/diy-story-stones/">story stones</a>, but they seem like a genius way to get your kid's imagination going. Look around your house, backyard, or at a park for a few smooth stones. Clean them well, then paint with different pictures &mdash; preferably around a theme. For best results, paint a white background where your image will go. It will help the colors pop.</p> <h2>13. Mini Foosball Table</h2> <p>I want one of these <a href="http://www.handimania.com/diy/mini-foosball-table-kids.html">mini foosball tables</a> for myself. The idea is that cool. You just need an adult-sized shoebox, some dowels, clothespins, and paint. Once you've assembled the playing field, toss in a ping pong ball and keep score.</p> <h2>14. Rainbow Rocker</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ramblingsfromtheburbs.com/2014/01/diy-rainbow-rocker/">rainbow rocker</a> is a multipurpose toy for toddlers that gets wonderfully physical. And the author's inspiration was a toy that retails for $188! To build, you'll need some birch plywood, pocket hole screws, food coloring (to stain wood), and isopropyl alcohol. With materials and printing of plans ($7 at an office supply store), you'll only spend around $50 on this project. Just cut your pieces, sand, stain, and assemble.</p> <h2>15. Play Grill</h2> <p>You can make this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-toy-grill-116515?image_id=1411234">pretend grill</a> for around $20. The most important part is a plastic mixing bowl, so if you have one you're willing to part with, it might be even cheaper. Drill holes in the bowl, make a tripod base for it to rest on with thick dowels. The grate is also made from dowels. After a coat of spray paint, you're done.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite DIY toys?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Family crafts fun kids playing toys Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1475752 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_diy_blueprints_000037414960.jpg" alt="Man learning types of home improvements to negotiate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Contractors aren't easy to haggle with. You can't negotiate the price of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">home improvements</a> in the same way you can with car salesmen. But that doesn't mean you're locked in to whatever the contractor first says.</p> <p>When negotiating the cost of home improvements, it helps to start off with a solid idea of what you want to pay. Be honest about your budget, and your contractor will do his or her best to complete the project accordingly. If they can't meet your price exactly, then you can examine where some cost savings lie. Perhaps you don't need the high-end granite countertops, after all. Maybe you can do the painting later on your own. If you show flexibility on your end, the contractor may show some flexibility on theirs.</p> <p>Here's a look at some of the home improvement jobs that might offer opportunity for price negotiations.</p> <h2>1. Anything Big</h2> <p>The larger the job, the more ability you have to negotiate. Contractors want big jobs and know they can lead to additional work down the road, so they're not going to walk away from a project over a few dollars here and there. When my family hired someone to build an addition to our house, we saved several thousand dollars by haggling over the final cost in advance. We chatted about the cost of every aspect of the project, and were able to find savings in a variety of areas, from the windows to the carpeting and the type of deck stain. The key is to discuss the total cost beforehand and make sure everything is outlined in a contract so there are no surprises.</p> <h2>2. Jobs That Your Neighbors Are Considering</h2> <p>If you're getting a new roof installed and you know that your next-door neighbor needs a new roof as well, use that as leverage. If you can promise to give your contractor's name to your neighbor, the contractor might be willing to knock off a few dollars from your price. Some contractors even promise discounts if you give them future business through referrals.</p> <h2>3. Any Job Where You Are Getting Multiple Bids</h2> <p>If a contractor knows you're seeking bids from other contractors, he will be more inclined to be flexible on cost. This usually works for larger jobs &mdash; you're not going to get 10 bids for a clogged drain, for instance &mdash; but also be prepared to humbly come back to the contractor if the other bids aren't any lower.</p> <h2>4. Jobs That You Can Complete Yourself</h2> <p>Let's say a contractor is building you a new deck. Are you willing to paint or stain the deck yourself after it's constructed? If a plumber had to cut a hole in the ceiling to fix a pipe, can you replace the drywall later on your own? Figuring out what you can do yourself can help reduce the price of any job.</p> <h2>5. Winter Jobs</h2> <p>Many contractors will find themselves busy as bees during the spring and summer months, but twiddling their thumbs in the cold months of winter. That's because many homeowners never consider improvement projects until the weather is nice. Contractors may be more flexible on price if they aren't as busy, and you may find that they can do the work sooner for you as well.</p> <h2>6. Jobs Where You Are Not Picky</h2> <p>The more particular you are, the less negotiating flexibility you have. If you can relax on certain aspects of a project, you may save money. Perhaps you're not too concerned about getting top-of-the-line carpeting in a room that doesn't get much foot traffic. Perhaps you don't need as many electrical outlets in a family room as you first thought. Negotiating is a two-way street, so know where your flexibility lies.</p> <h2>7. Bundled Jobs</h2> <p>Last year, my family had contractors handle a number of repairs. They were unrelated jobs, but we were able to save some money by convincing the contractor to think of them as part of a single project. A contractor can save money on labor costs by working on several projects at once, and may also be able to save on bulk purchases of materials. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-and-hassle-by-bundling-your-home-repairs?ref=seealso">Save Time, Money, and Hassle by Bundling Your Home Repairs</a>)</p> <h2>8. Jobs That Don't Require Materials</h2> <p>Sometimes, you can get a contractor to perform extra small jobs that require nothing more than a little extra sweat on their part. For instance, if they are at your home for a major renovation, then maybe they will be willing to power wash the exterior of your house (it helps if you provide the power washer), clean out your gutters, or trim some tree branches. During a recent big project at my house, a contractor took the time to label the switches on my circuit breaker box at no extra charge. These might be jobs that take very little time, require no extra expense on their part, and can be squeezed in while workers are on a job site anyway.</p> <h2>9. The Kind You Can Pay For in Full Early</h2> <p>Contractors, like all people, love getting paid for their work. In most cases, they will not ask for full payment until a job is complete. But they may be willing to offer a discount if they can get the majority of funds early on. This requires some trust on your part, and you should withhold at least some payment until a job is complete. But if you show that you're able to pay promptly, contractors may show their appreciation with some price flexibility.</p> <p><em>Have you negotiated lower prices with contractors? Tell us how below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home contractors haggling home improvements negotiating Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:00:17 +0000 Tim Lemke 1455840 at http://www.wisebread.com