Green Living http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4805/all en-US Best Money Tips: 27 Ways to Make the World a Better Place http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-27-ways-to-make-the-world-a-better-place <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-27-ways-to-make-the-world-a-better-place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_volunteering_000044881110.jpg" alt="Women finding ways to make the world a better place" 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 on ways to make the world a better place, smart tactics for taming your laundry, and hostel etiquette for the budget traveler.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Simple-Ways-Go-Green-38206173">27 Ways to Make the World a Better (and Greener) Place</a> &mdash; Never ever litter, and if you see someone else do it, call them out. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2015/08/24/10-smart-ways-to-tame-that-laundry-pile/">10 Smart Ways to Tame that Laundry Pile</a> &mdash; Stick with cotton, rayon, hemp, and other fabrics that are easy to wash and will stay wrinkle-free.&nbsp;[Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/hostel-etiquette-survive-twentyperson-room/">Hostel Etiquette: How To Survive A Twenty-Person Room</a> &mdash; When you're sharing a space with other people, showering is a must! Just be sure to keep it short so you're not wasting water. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/the-6-steps-to-buying-your-first-home/">The 6 Steps To Buying Your First Home</a> &mdash; Shop around to find a real estate agent that you're comfortable working with. This should be someone who pays attention to your needs, has time to work with you, and knows the area you're looking in. [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href="http://www.aspiringmillionaire.com/2015/08/how-to-keep-on-sale-items-from.html">How to Keep On-Sale Items from Destroying Your Net Worth</a> &mdash; Don't give in to the marketing machine! If you weren't going to buy an item at full price, then you probably don't need it anyway. [Aspiring Millionaire]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2015/08/20/thrifty-tips-on-how-to-save-money-in-your-dog-friendly-household/">Thrifty Tips On How To Save Money In Your Dog-Friendly Household</a> &mdash; Invest in some good grooming tools and give your dog his wash and haircut at home. [Frugal Village]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/10-reasons-not-to-lend-money-to-your-friends/">10 Reasons Not To Lend Money To Your Friends</a> &mdash; You might be enabling bad behavior when you lend money to a friend. If that's the case, it's better to help them find the support they need instead. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.wellkeptwallet.com/2015/08/how-to-sell-a-car-on-craigslist/">How to Sell Your Car on Craigslist</a> &mdash; Be thorough and honest when you write up the listing for your car. Include specs, any bonus features, and maintenance and care history.&nbsp;[Well Kept Wallet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/why-was-my-credit-card-application-denied">When Good Credit Isn&rsquo;t Enough: Why You Could Be Denied A Credit Card Despite Your Excellent Score</a> &mdash; A bank may also look at your employment and income if you're applying for a card with a high credit limit. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-stranger-danger">How to Talk to Your Child about Stranger Danger</a> &mdash; Teach them to say no, run, yell to attract someone's attention, or tell someone if they are confronted with a dangerous stranger. [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-27-ways-to-make-the-world-a-better-place">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/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</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-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners 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/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips green habits Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:02:45 +0000 Amy Lu 1538730 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/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</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-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</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-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</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 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-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/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-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</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-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</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 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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-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/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</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 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-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/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/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/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</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-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/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-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</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-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</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-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/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/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/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</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 9 DIY Landscaping and Gardening Skills That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_gardening_000019625064.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter using gardening skills to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like most activities, a little planning and preparation will save you money in the garden. Why? Because many of the tasks that help make a garden grow need to be completed weeks, or months, before you actually begin planting. Planning your garden in advance will give you an edge over nature (which will do its best to destroy your garden) and will save you some serious money.</p> <p>The following nine skills will help you to plan, plant, and enjoy a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">healthy garden</a> (while saving some money, too).</p> <h2>1. Soil Analysis</h2> <p>Okay, you're not expected to become an actual expert on soil pH, but if you doubt that your soil provides ideal growing conditions for the plants you intend to grow, it would behoove you to test your soil's pH before planting your garden. You can either use a <a href="http://preparednessmama.com/testing-your-soil-ph-without-a-kit/">DIY soil pH test</a> or buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001LEPYA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0001LEPYA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W2QZBKKFSEYAQTKG">soil pH kit</a> online or from your local hardware store. Once you know if your soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline, you can <a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/ph-preferences">plant your garden according to pH</a>, or try to <a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-adjust-soil-ph-for-your-garden.html">change your soil's pH</a> to meet your plants' needs.</p> <p>Also, being able to ascertain if your soil type meets the needs of the plants you are sowing can save you time and money in the long run. What kind of soil do you have in your garden? Knowing which of the six types of soil that you are dealing with can help you better plan and plant your garden so that you don't lose any plants to soil compatibility problems. Soil type can vary even within your yard, and will determine, as much as sunlight, what kinds of plants are successful in a given spot.</p> <p>Of course, you can always alter soil by removing or adding elements. If you have soil that is too sandy for your needs, you can remove some of the sand, and add silt and clay to it to aid water retention and infuse nutrients.</p> <p>Speaking of nutrients, you can save lots of money if you do your own&hellip;</p> <h2>2. Composting (or Worm Binning)</h2> <p>Composting is a great way to reuse yard waste, lawn clippings, and food stuff that you might normally throw away and turn it into nutrients for your garden. Yes, of course you can buy commercially produced compost, but if you have the space and the time, why not DIY it and save some money?</p> <p>Composting can be a bit smelly, but there are ways to <a href="http://citygirlfarming.com/Compost/ControlCompostOdor.html">compost while minimizing odors</a>.</p> <p>Composting is fairly easy to get started, and will provide you with plenty of excellent, nutrient-rich soil for your garden. To be ready for spring planting, start your compost bin/pile in early autumn.</p> <h2>3. Sun Exposure Charting</h2> <p>Another key consideration when planning your garden is to determine how many hours of daily sunlight each part of your garden receives. My neighbors, recent transplants from Southern California, recently planted a bunch of shade-loving plants in their front yard, assuming that because we live in a mossy, rainy area, those were the types of plants that would do best. What they didn't consider is that, during the summer months, their front yard receives about six hours of direct sunlight per day.</p> <p>You can use <a href="http://getbusygardening.com/how-to-determine-sun-exposure/">DIY sun exposure charts</a> to determine how much sun your garden receives, or buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XZLLXU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002XZLLXU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KBQYAAZ5OVB2FZBZ">sunlight meter</a> for less than $20 and let the little machine do the work for you. Once you have your garden mapped for sun exposure, you can plan for your plants.</p> <h2>4. Seed Germination</h2> <p>Buying seeds is a smart way to save money, especially if you buy them on sale at the end of summer and plant them the next year. Seed starts are usually much cheaper than buying grown plants or seedlings (although this depends on the size of your garden; if it's quite small, buying grown plants might make more sense). Buying seeds also gives you the option to seek out unusual or heirloom varieties of the flowers, fruits, and vegetables that can't necessarily be found in plant form at your local nursery.</p> <p>Some plants can be sown directly into your garden soil, and other seeds need to be germinated inside and transplanted as seedlings after the final frost. Make sure to read the instructions on the packet of each type of seed that you buy to understand the best way to plant.</p> <h2>5. Planter Building</h2> <p>If you want a slightly more ergonomic garden (and a leg up on pest control), you'd be smart to consider <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2011/02/build-your-own-raised-flowervegetable-bed/">building raised garden beds</a> yourself. If you can't stand the thought of doing this, you can always <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=raised%20garden%20bed&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;sprefix=raise%2Caps&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=4RAQVJDG4GOMPUPD">buy raised garden beds</a>, but trust me, building them is much cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Diligent Pest Control</h2> <p>I have to be honest &mdash; I'm perfectly comfortable using chemical sprays and slug death pellets in my garden, because I've had no luck with copper tape or bug traps. Whatever your preferences for pest control (organic and earth-friendly pest control or <em>death-to-bugs</em>-type methods), pest control is a money-saver. After all, letting all your veggies succumb to some creepy-crawly insect isn't a wise investment of time or cash.</p> <p>Veggie gardeners who prefer natural pest control methods report success when planting flowers like zinnias, nasturtiums, calendula, cosmos, and sweet alyssum in their vegetable gardens. These plants attract predator bugs that take out annoying pests like tomato hornworms and aphids. You can buy batches of ladybugs online and in garden stores, too.</p> <h2>7. Pollenating</h2> <p>You've probably heard about the significant decline in the bee population. If you want your trees and bushes to bear fruit, you're going to need pollinators like bees and moths to visit your garden. You can attract these helpful insects by <a href="http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/attracting-beneficial-bees/5024.html">planting bee-attracting wildflowers</a> in your garden, either interspersed with your fruits and veggies or alongside them.</p> <p>If you aren't seeing the volume of pollinating insects that you normally do, you can use the trick my husband uses to get our tomatoes to yield more fruit through airborne pollen &mdash; run an electric toothbrush against the back of your blossoms. After all, there are few things more frustrating to a gardener than a paltry tomato crop!</p> <h2>8. Tool Care and Maintenance</h2> <p>You don't have to buy expensive garden tools in order to be a good gardener, but you should treat your gardening implements well in order to keep them in working order for years. I'm a lazy, lazy gardener, and I can attest that having to buy a new shovel every few months is not only costly, but it's also kind of stupid.</p> <p>To keep your garden tools in good working order, remember to clean them, hang them up dry, and occasionally oil what needs oiling. Clean, well-stored tools will continue to work for you season after season.</p> <h2>9. Intelligent Harvesting and Pruning</h2> <p>Part of being a smart gardener is knowing how to care for perennials, and that means learning when and how to prune your plants. Pruning isn't just about keeping plants a manageable size; it's the art of learning what superfluous matter to cut away so that a plant will concentrate its energy on producing what matters most to you &mdash; whether that's fruit, flowers, or perfect leaves.</p> <p>If you are growing food in your garden, you'll want to learn <a href="http://abundantminigardens.com/training-and-pruning-trellised-vegetables/">how to prune your vegetable plants</a> and <a href="http://www.homegrown.org/forum/topics/harvesting-herbs-101-basil-chives-cilantro-coriander-mint-parsley">harvest herbs</a>, fruits, and vegetables in a way that allows the plant to continue growing. For instance, pruning herbs like mint can actually promote more plant growth.</p> <p><em>How green is your garden?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">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/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/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</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-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</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-high-tech-tools-to-help-your-garden-grow">6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living composting flowers gardening outdoors vegetables Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:00:18 +0000 Andrea Karim 1448400 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Frugal Ways to Live Chemical-Free http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-frugal-ways-to-live-chemical-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-frugal-ways-to-live-chemical-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-iStock_000030316756_Small.jpg" alt="woman at home" title="woman at home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on frugal ways to live chemical-free, simple strategies for storing and preparing food, and tips to burn belly fat fast.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Live-Chemical-Free-26294537">10 Frugal Ways to Live Chemical-Free</a> &mdash; Leave your shoes at the front door.&nbsp;You don't want to track lead, pesticides, and other pollutants from outside into your home, do you? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/fifteen-simple-money-saving-strategies-for-storing-and-preparing-food-at-home">15 Simple Money-Saving Strategies for Storing and Preparing Food at Home</a> &mdash; Preserve any herbs and freeze any vegetables that you don't use; you'll save money and reduce waste!&nbsp;[The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.redesignmyexistence.com/7-tips-to-burn-belly-fat">7 Tips To Burn Belly Fat &amp; Get Lean Immediately</a> &mdash; Eat most of your daily carbs in the 20-60 minutes after your main workout session, when they're more likely to get stored as muscle energy instead of fat. [Redesign My Existence]</p> <p><a href="http://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/5-cleaning-mistakes-you-probably-made-last-time-you-cleaned/">5 Cleaning Mistakes You Probably Made Last Time You Cleaned</a> &mdash; Don't just spray and wipe! Allow your cleaning product to sit for a while. [A Debt Free Stress Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacksmag.com/7-signs-you-are-not-drinking-enough-water/">7 Signs You&rsquo;re Drinking Less Water Than You Should</a> &mdash; When you don't have enough water in your body, your skin and eyes will feel dry. [LifehacksMag]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://untemplater.com/mobile-lifestyle/practical-travel-tips-and-tidbits/">Practical Travel Tips And Tidbits Of Advice</a> &mdash; Get an international travel adapter so you can plug your devices no matter what region of the world you're in. [Untemplater]</p> <p><a href="http://personalexcellence.co/blog/better-internet/">Online Negativity: How to Create a Better Internet for Everyone</a> &mdash; Use the 3-question rule before you post something online. [Personal Excellence]</p> <p><a href="http://naturemoms.com/blog/2015/05/26/3-effective-ways-to-save-power-money-this-summer/">3 Effective Ways To Save Power &amp; Money This Summer</a> &mdash; In the evenings, turn off the AC and use fans to circulate the cooler outside air throughout the house. [Nature Moms]</p> <p><a href="http://afewshortcuts.com/2015/05/homemade-mocha-frappuchino">Homemade Mocha Frappuccino</a> &mdash; This delicious treat only takes a minute to make! [A Few Short Cuts]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-perfect-alternatives-to-the-goody-bag">5 Perfect Alternatives To The Goody Bag</a> &mdash; Replace the usual bag of party junk with items that encourage the kiddos to play outdoors. Things like jump ropes, bubbles, and bug catchers are fun and affordable! [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-frugal-ways-to-live-chemical-free">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/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</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-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners 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/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips chemical free Fri, 29 May 2015 19:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1439988 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 14 Urban Gardening Tips http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-14-urban-gardening-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-14-urban-gardening-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_urban_garden_000053690034.jpg" alt="Two women sharing their best urban gardening tips" 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 on urban gardening tips, awesome products that will improve your life, and budget-friendly gifts you can make for Mother&rsquo;s Day.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/2015/04/14-urban-gardening-tips-that-will-save-you-time-energy-money/">14 Urban Gardening Tips That Will Save You Time, Energy &amp; Money</a> &mdash; Spray vegetable oil on the line on your string trimmer before installing it to keep it from jamming or breaking. [Urban Organic Gardener]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cool-Products-35262431">33 Awesome Products That Will Vastly Improve Your Life</a> &mdash; Save time in the kitchen with a foldable chopping board that comes with holes for rinsing. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.papernstitchblog.com/2015/05/05/21-totally-awesome-budget-friendly-mothers-day-diys-to-try">21 Budget-Friendly Mother&rsquo;s Day DIYs to Try Before Sunday</a> &mdash; Want to treat your mom to something special? Make candied blood oranges! [Paper &amp; Stitch]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrush.com/12-money-saving-ideas-for-summertime/">12 Money-Saving Tips to Help You Beat the Summer Heat</a> &mdash; Change or clean your air conditioner's filter every month to make sure it runs efficiently. [Money Crush]</p> <p><a href="http://www.modestmoney.com/how-to-make-sure-your-moneys-safe-while-traveling/">How to Make Sure Your Money&rsquo;s Safe While Traveling</a> &mdash; Make photocopies of the front and back of each credit card you're traveling with. Leave copies with someone at home, and lock additional copies in your hotel room safe. [Modest Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/turn-loose-change-into-savings">Struggle to Save Regularly? 4 Tools That Turn Loose Change into Savings</a> &mdash; The app Acorns will round up your credit or debit card transactions and invest the change for you. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.menuism.com/blog/ask-for-menu-modifications/">How to Ask for Menu Modifications Without Being &ldquo;That Guy&rdquo;</a> &mdash; Be specific about your dietary needs and let your server know exactly what you would like to be left out or substituted. [Menuism Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/4-warning-signs-your-car-is-fueling-a-future-financial-disaster/">4 Warning Signs Your Car Is Fueling A Future Financial Disaster</a> &mdash; Are you taking out a loan that will outlive the car? [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/how-to-find-what-youre-meant-to-do-in-life.html">How To Find What You&rsquo;re Meant To Do in Life</a> &mdash; Try as many things as you can &mdash; don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-incorporate-more-romance-into-your-life-as-a-working-dad">How to Incorporate More Romance Into Your Life as a Working Dad</a> &mdash; Spend 15-20 minutes to connect with your partner when you come home, even if you're tired after a long day. [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-14-urban-gardening-tips">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-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/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">9 DIY Landscaping and Gardening Skills That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</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/6-mosquito-repellent-plants-with-a-dual-purpose">6 Mosquito-Repellent Plants With a Dual Purpose</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/what-to-do-with-100-tomatoes">What to Do With 100 Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips gardening Thu, 07 May 2015 19:00:15 +0000 Amy Lu 1415282 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Green Home Rebates That Save You Big in 2015 http://www.wisebread.com/4-green-home-rebates-that-save-you-big-in-2015 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-green-home-rebates-that-save-you-big-in-2015" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/solar_panels_000016723163_0.jpg" alt="Solar panels are green energy option for home rebate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the first time, I'm beginning to seriously consider buying a home and I'm deep into the research and learning phase. One of the aspects I'm most intrigued by these days is how to perform a &quot;green&quot; renovation on an existing home. I've been happy to learn that there are multiple green rebates and credits that you can use in 2015 toward specific green improvements.</p> <h2>1. Geothermal Heat Pumps</h2> <p>Not surprisingly, energy consumption is one of the key areas that benefit from tax credits. <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/geothermal_heat_pumps">Geothermal heat pumps</a> are renewable energy appliances that are not only good for the environment, but also an incredibly comfortable way to heat and cool your home. These heat pumps utilize the ground to generate hot water, heat, and air conditioning, unlike traditional heat pumps which utilize air. Geothermal heat pumps are more efficient &mdash; and therefore less expensive &mdash; to run than traditional heat pumps.</p> <h2>2. Small Wind Turbines</h2> <p>Windmills may conjure visions of Holland or Don Quixote. But they should also give you visions of green, as in green energy and green back in your pocket. <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/small_wind_turbines">Small wind turbines</a> convert kinetic wind energy into electricity that connects to your home's electrical system, and homeowners enjoy significant tax credits for their implementation</p> <h2>3. Solar Energy Systems</h2> <p>Solar energy systems have undergone significant innovation over the years, making them more efficient and less expensive than when they first appeared on the residential energy scene. In terms of tax rebates, there are two types of <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/solar_energy_systems">solar energy systems</a> that qualify: solar water heaters and solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels?ref=seealso">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fuel Cells</h2> <p>Of all of the green home rebates, the <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/fuel_cells">fuel cell</a> is the newest kid on the block. Fuel cells take advantage of the emerging hydrogen economy to power cars and other consumer goods that have traditionally been powered by fossil fuels. They offer a much cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.</p> <p>While these are the formal green home rebates offered by the federal government, there are plenty of other ways to save money (and the environment) with improvements to your home. ENERGY STAR offers an online <a href="https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=HOME_ENERGY_YARDSTICK.showGetStarted">Home Energy Yardstick</a> that will help you determine the energy efficiency of your home as it currently stands, and will make suggestions for ways to improve it.</p> <p>These improvements include better insulation and sealing, ENERGY STAR appliances and proper use of light fixtures, and even changes as simple as installing drapes, storm windows, and programmable thermostats. While these improvements don't carry tax rebates, they will help lower your energy costs without compromising your comfort. Good for you, good for the planet.</p> <p><em>How have you made your home more &quot;green&quot;? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-green-home-rebates-that-save-you-big-in-2015">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/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter">10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient">8 Simple Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</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-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home Taxes eco friendly energy efficiency rebates renovations solar tax credits wind Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1392475 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_recycling_000013114340.jpg" alt="Woman happy because she made environmentally friendly investment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We'd all love to invest our money in a way that benefits our finances while helping to build a better world. If that sounds like a pipe dream to you, it's not. Impact investing is a growing trend, and there are plenty of ways to do well and do good with your money. Here are five classes of green investments that are kind to the Earth:</p> <h2>1. Green Bonds</h2> <p><a href="http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/gmtl/3382260/Green-Bonds-Planting-Seeds-for-Eco-Friendly-Investment.html#.VRmawpPF-l0">Green bonds</a> are a perfect entry point for someone interested in making a social investment. Like other bonds, you pay a certain amount of money for the bond now to get a larger amount of money at a specific future date. With green bonds, your up-front investment is used to finance environmentally friendly projects. They're relatively low-risk and provide critical funds that are urgently needed in the short-term for these green initiatives.</p> <h2>2. Green Mutual Funds</h2> <p>Chances are that if you have any type of retirement account, at least a portion of it is invested in mutual funds. If you'd like to use that money to support green projects, choose green funds when allocating your investments. Broadly speaking, these investments are also included under the umbrella of socially responsible investments.</p> <h2>3. Green Stocks</h2> <p>As an investor, you also have the option to invest directly in companies that have a green mission, product, or service. This means you can buy stock in a publicly traded company that produces renewable energy products such as solar panels, or any other &quot;green&quot; mission of your choice.</p> <h2>4. Green Startups</h2> <p>One of the riskiest (but perhaps one of the most potentially lucrative) green investments you can make is in a green startup. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who are founding companies in the environmentally-friendly space. They range from new composting techniques, to energy-saving products, to innovative concepts such as carbon credits that are bought and traded to compensate for energy consumption.</p> <h2>5. Sustainable Product Stocks</h2> <p>Many companies are taking up the green mantle by transforming their products and using renewable resources. Some also pledge a portion of their earnings to environmental nonprofits, and support green efforts in the communities where they operate. These companies can contribute enormously to protecting the environment, and supporting their efforts with your investment dollars and purchases can help encourage them to continue and enhance these practices.</p> <p>As always, it's important to make informed investment decisions. It's best to educate yourself about these options by reading about the ins and outs of green investing. I also suggest seeking the advice of a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Together, we can build a bright future for ourselves and for the planet as a whole through our investment dollars.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">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/how-to-build-an-investment-portfolio-for-under-5000">How to Build an Investment Portfolio for Under $5000</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/4-sneaky-investment-fees-to-watch-for">4 Sneaky Investment Fees to Watch For</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/7-ways-to-invest-in-biotech-without-getting-burned">7 Ways to Invest in Biotech Without Getting Burned</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/why-invest-in-the-stock-market">Why invest in the stock market?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-thing-youre-probably-not-doing-with-your-portfolio">The Most Important Thing You&#039;re Probably Not Doing With Your Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Investment bonds eco-friendly environment mutual funds startups stocks sustainability Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Christa Avampato 1380916 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_son_gardening.jpg" alt="family gardening" title="family gardening" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I had given up and admitted defeat. Gardening, I assumed, just wasn't for me. Plants either withered, were destroyed by bugs, or devoured by deer. Anything that lived was tiny and barely edible. I definitely fit the &quot;black thumb&quot; description, and assumed I was doomed to forever forage at the grocery store for produce.</p> <p>And then, we moved. The climate was different. All around me, people were growing fruits and vegetables. Why not give it another shot, I wondered? And so I did. First, I did some research and talked to neighbors. This was followed by years of keeping a garden journal to see what grew, and what did not. Here are my 10 guaranteed successes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way?ref=seealso">10 Gardening Lessons Learned the Hard Way</a>)</p> <h2>1. Radishes</h2> <p>If you cannot <a href="http://www.kiddiegardens.com/growing_radishes.html">grow radishes</a>, just give up gardening. Oh, sorry, that's a little harsh. My point is, they <em>will</em> grow unless you just don't water them. If you are an apartment-dweller, they fit nicely in pots.</p> <p>Favorite use? Slice good bread, butter it, and slice radishes over the top. Sprinkle with salt. This is known as a &quot;tartine&quot; in France. While it sounds a little odd, it's really good.</p> <h2>2. Herbs</h2> <p>Coming in at number two are herbs. Grow them indoors, outdoors, in pots, on your fire escape, wherever &mdash; they are programmed to grow, and grow they will. Try chives, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, and rosemary. Fresh herbs in your cooking (even just tossed into your morning scrambled eggs) makes a huge difference in flavor, and are very inexpensive. I have yet to encounter an herb that refused to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better?ref=seealso">How to Keep Herbs Fresh Longer</a>)</p> <p>Favorite uses? With basil, make pesto. Chives are great in rolls and scrambled eggs. Parsley, I love in Italian food, and of course cilantro in Asian and Mexican dishes. Dill is good with potatoes or salmon, while rosemary is a natural in a pork roast. I keep herbs going year-round. They can also be frozen or dried if you get carried away and plant too many. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-cheap-recipes-that-use-up-your-herb-garden?ref=seealso">Delicious Recipes to Use Up Your Herbs</a>)</p> <h2>3. Squash</h2> <p>Of course, zucchini has become a joke (poor zucchini). Open a door in California in September, and you might find a bag of zucchini that someone has kindly &quot;shared&quot; with you. I have indeed made that mistake of planting too much of it. My father-in-law razzed me for years about my massive zucchini plantings. Well, live and learn, right? If you plant zucchini, my mother-in-law made one of my favorite things, ever. She let the zucchinis grow until they were very large. She then thinly sliced them, dipped them in an egg wash, then cracker crumbs, and fried them in butter. It is one of the best things on the planet.</p> <p>There are many varieties of squash, and they are easy to grow. My main problem with squash are bugs, so I have learned to be vigilant. I currently have starts for kabocha squash going, which are very sweet and versatile. My favorite use of kabocha squash is in a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30268-thai-red-curry-with-kabocha-squash">Thai red curry</a>. This recipe is very good (add some chicken, if you like), but you may want to dial back the red curry paste.</p> <p>Squash also takes a lot of space. A neighbor solved this problem by showing me how to grow it near a fence. They climb! Squash hanging off of a fence are sort of funny, but it also discourages the bugs, which get to them when they are on the ground.</p> <h2>4. Eggplant</h2> <p>It is a shame that so many people associate this vegetable with soggy, overly-greasy eggplant parmigiana. After reading about some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-frugal-eggplant-recipes">tasty eggplant recipes</a>, I planted more of it and it's really the gift that keeps on giving. I have had nearly five months' production from my plants and they show no signs of slowing down. I planted three varieties as an experiment; all are thriving. I never have staked mine, as they are very sturdy and no fruit hangs on the ground, but that is recommended.</p> <p>What to do with an eggplant? See the article above. Some people recommend salting the slices to get rid of the bitterness before cooking, but I have not done that and have not noticed any problems. You can make a much <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-makeovers/healthy-eggplant-parmesan-recipes">healthier eggplant parmigiana</a> that isn't so oily, but my favorite use is this <a href="http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/09/crock-pot-ratatouille.html">Crock-Pot ratatouille</a>.</p> <h2>5. Green Beans</h2> <p>My husband built a trellis in the garden area, and so I planted pole beans. It was important to me to have a garden area that is aesthetically pleasing. Pole beans are pretty, and once the beans get going, need to be picked frequently. If the beans get too big, they aren't as tasty. Pole beans take a little bit longer than other green bean varieties, but I think they are worth the wait. I love <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/green-beans-and-bacon-recipe.html">green beans with bacon</a>, served alongside some corn bread and stewed tomatoes.</p> <h2>6. Beets</h2> <p>Scarred by bad childhood beets memories, I didn't try them again until I was in my 30s. Now, I love them. I still like the canned ones, but a freshly roasted or boiled beet is a different matter. Roasting especially brings out their sweetness.</p> <p>If you like kale or spinach, do yourself a favor and cook some <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-and-delicious-beet-greens/">beet greens</a> (or &quot;tops,&quot; as they are also termed). It is a shame that many grocery stores cut off the tops. Beets are also a very pretty vegetable because of their deep purples and golds. There is even a variety that is deep pink and white. My favorite roasted beet recipe uses <a href="http://www.sloatgardens.com/recipes/oven-roasted-beets-goat-cheese-balsamic-vinegar/">goat cheese and balsamic vinegar</a>. Be diligent about thinning them in the garden, because they will need room to grow. They also like mulch.</p> <h2>7. Lettuces</h2> <p>I have had the best luck with Boston lettuce, and it is so easy. You will want to make sure your soil has plenty of nitrogen, and that you have partial shade. After your first harvest (in about 30 days), you can look forward to a second round in a few weeks. Don't get carried away planting &mdash; a small seed packet will produce about 50 pounds of leaf lettuce!</p> <p>Your main issue with lettuce will be bugs. Try spraying with a solution of dish soap (just a couple of drops) and water. You will have to repeat after a heavy rain. Fresh lettuce from your garden, or container, is so nice to have on hand.</p> <h2>8. Rainbow Chard</h2> <p>Not only does this vegetable grow easily, but it looks just beautiful in your garden with its stems of vibrant hues. I am looking at mine right now and I can see gold, purple, red, orange, and pink. It is almost too pretty to eat, but not quite. They prefer full sun, but I have grown chard in partial shade. They like grass-clipping compost. My favorite preparation of rainbow chard is to chop off the tough stems, sauté, and drizzle with red-wine vinegar. I think it's also really good in a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/crustless-swiss-chard-quiche-311434">chard quiche</a>.</p> <h2>9. Carrots</h2> <p>Successful carrots took me a few years, but that is because I learn things the hard way. They love compost and loose soil; I had too many rocks and tough soil. They grew, but in very strange shapes. I also tended to sow too thickly, which did not give them enough room. Although they take a long time to grow (95 to 100 days), they are much sweeter than grocery-store carrots and you'll quickly become spoiled. You will need to weed around the plants, because weeds just really like to hang out with carrots.</p> <p>How to eat? A German friend taught me this method. Melt butter into a saucepan, and add carrots. Sauté for about four minutes, then add &frac14; cup of beer and cover the saucepan. Cook until just tender and add fresh dill. Delicious!</p> <h2>10. Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage</h2> <p>My best bok choy year was also my best carrot year, which was no coincidence. Bok choy also enjoys rich, loose soil. It is best grown in spring or fall, because it doesn't like hot sun beating down upon it. As with the carrots, though, be prepared to weed around the plants. I like bok choy at its simplest: Sauteed in a little oil, with garlic.</p> <h2>To Ensure Success</h2> <p>Before planting, we had a soil analysis done at the local university. These can also be done at your local agricultural extension. This was very helpful, and told us just what we needed to add to our soil. We took our print-out to a farm store, where we could pick up bags of recommended nutrients. Our print-out also recommended the best plants to try (which proved completely correct, although I did experiment with others).</p> <p>If you plan to do a big garden, you might as well start a compost bin, since you will need it. I do end up buying cinders and chicken manure every year, but that's not terribly expensive. If you are container-gardening, just be sure to get a good brand of potting soil.</p> <p>My garden journal has also been very helpful. Each year I sketch out what I want to plant, and where. I keep notes about how long things took to grow, and how successful (or not) they were. I also kept photos in the journal so I could have a visual reminder of where plants did particularly well.</p> <p><em>Gardener-readers, with what plants have you had the best luck?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">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/how-to-turn-your-black-thumb-green">How to Turn Your Black Thumb Green</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/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">9 DIY Landscaping and Gardening Skills That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs">The Only 4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs</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/xeriscaping-to-promote-water-conservation">Xeriscaping to Promote Water Conservation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home gardening green thumb recipes vegetables Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Marla Walters 1345644 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Hidden Sources of Toxins in Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-hidden-sources-of-toxins-in-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-hidden-sources-of-toxins-in-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-home-sponge-soap-iStock_000054343990_Small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning home" title="woman cleaning home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on hidden sources of toxins in your home, signs your aging parents need help with their finances, and mind-blowing life hacks from Instagram.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/sources-of-indoor-air-pollution">8 Hidden Sources of Toxins in Your Home</a> &mdash; Most store-bought air fresheners emit enough toxic pollutants to lead to various health risks. [Small Footprint Family]</p> <p><a href="https://smartasset.com/personal-finance/5-signs-your-aging-parents-need-help-with-finances">5 Signs Your Aging Parents Need Help With Finances</a> &mdash; Do your parents seem careless or forgetful about their money? Envelopes of cash under the couch and uncashed checks on the kitchen table are signs that your parents need help managing their finances. [SmartAsset]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Life-Hacks-From-Instagram-31035085">16 Mind-Blowing Life Hacks From Instagram</a> &mdash; Need to crank up the tunes? Just drop your smartphone into a plastic, paper, or glass cup for extra volume. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/3438/life-skills-for-young-adults">10 Essential Life Skills for 20-Somethings</a> &mdash; Learn sewing basics, like hemming and sewing on a button. They're easy skills to learn and will help you save on alterations! [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/health/diet-fitness/10-types-stretches-known-provide-stress-relief">10 Types of Stretches Known to Provide Stress Relief</a> &mdash; The Warrior Pose is a classic yoga pose that relieves stress and builds muscle. [SheBudgets]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/5-important-elements-success-people-seldom-mention.html">5 Important Elements of Success People Seldom Mention</a> &mdash; Sometimes, success is more about knowing the right people rather than working hard. It's often a collaborative effort. [Lifehack.org]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/03/08/9-ways-to-feel-less-stress-when-life-gets-crazy-busy/">9 Ways to Feel Less Stress When Life Gets Crazy Busy</a> &mdash; Before you go to bed each night, write down three things that went well that day and their causes. This daily gratitude exercise only takes 5 minutes, but it works wonders! [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/dealing-with-difficult-people/">5 Invincible Ways to Keep Your Cool When Dealing With Difficult People</a> &mdash; Don't take it personally. Difficult people tend to be difficult towards everyone &mdash; it isn't you. [Leading Edge Advocate]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacksmag.com/seven-cool-habits-of-very-punctual-people/">Seven Cool Habits of Very Punctual People</a> &mdash; Punctual people factor in time to deal with unexpected circumstances that may delay them. They might early often, but they're rarely late. [Life Hacks Magazine]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/11-ways-to-help-your-struggling-student">11 Ways to Help Your Struggling Student</a> &mdash; Children have different learning styles, and there are many ways to learn. Try different approaches with your child to see what works best for him. [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-hidden-sources-of-toxins-in-your-home">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/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</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-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners 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/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living best money tips home toxins Thu, 12 Mar 2015 19:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1336821 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Outdoor Adventures That Don't Cost a Dime http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-outdoor-hiking-climbing-Dollarphotoclub_37077216.jpg" alt="woman climbing hiking" title="woman climbing hiking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Believe it or not, winter will end soon, and spring will bring perfect weather for experiencing the great outdoors. Fortunately, many of the greatest outdoor adventures can be had for free. Here are six of our favorites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun?ref=seealso">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a>)</p> <h2>1. Foraging</h2> <p>Next time you are looking for a new outdoor activity, follow your stomach. Not only is foraging free, you'll return home with free food, too!</p> <p>Before setting out, it's important to do some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.foragingguide.com/">foraging research.</a> You don't want to end up eating something gross, or worse, poisonous. Get informed and start out by going in search of a couple of specific items that grow in your area. With a little practice, you can find a variety of herbs, edible flowers, and even delicious mushrooms. Connect with other local foragers to get tips and learn where to look. You can even practice foraging if you <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/23/178603623/want-to-forage-in-your-city-theres-a-map-for-that">live in a city</a>!&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. Hiking</h2> <p>For the ultimate in outdoor exercise and adventure, go on a hike. Hikes come in all shapes and sizes, from short, leisurely affairs on well-maintained trails, to intense up-and-down treks that are off the beaten path. Some lead to waterfalls or canyons, while others traverse hilltop neighborhoods.</p> <p>Start by researching hikes people are doing in your area. Decide what intensity you're up for, pack necessary supplies like water, and consider going with a friend or two. Many cities and colleges have hiking groups that meet up regularly to try different routes, and some parks even offer <a href="http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm">free guided hikes</a>. If you're an experienced hiker, try something different, like a full moon hike.</p> <h2>3. Bird Watching</h2> <p>It's easy to overlook the amazing variety of birds in our surroundings, but there's a good reason that bird watchers are so passionate about their hobby. Study up on local species online or at the library, and take a walk through the wilderness or a park to experience the startling diversity of this fauna first-hand. Start with a few common species, making it your goal to spot them while on your first expedition. There are <a href="http://www.audubon.org/audubon-near-you">Audubon centers</a> in most cities and in some parks, frequently offering free resources like talks, guided nature walks, and binocular rentals.</p> <h2>4. Outdoor Sports</h2> <p>Chances are you've already got the items needed for a fun outdoor game. Take your bike out for a spin on a new route. Grab some friends, scraps of cloth (cut from old t-shirts or a sheet), and play a game of capture the flag. Cut the cloth smaller, and find yourself a football for a game of flag football. Use a round ball to play kickball, or gather various smaller balls to play bocce. Ask your friends what items they have available and pool your resources to play any number of games. It's a great way to spend a sunny day in the park or someone's backyard.</p> <h2>5. Star Gazing</h2> <p>How often do you stop and really look up at the night sky? It can be a beautiful and humbling experience, and is further enriched by a bit of knowledge. Find a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html">star chart</a> for your location and the appropriate month, perch yourself on a good vantage point, and see what stars you can identify. There are a few night sky apps with free versions that help you identify stars by pointing your smartphone at the sky. If you are astronomically inclined, check out your local observatory. They frequently have free programs and many host regular star watching groups where you can peer through a telescope zoomed in on current points of interest.</p> <h2>6. Geocaching</h2> <p>If you own a smartphone or GPS and feel like having a bit of an adventure on your own, try geocaching. This is basically a <a href="https://www.geocaching.com">tech-savvy scavenger hunt</a>, featuring items hidden all over, especially in major cities. Just open up the app and see if there are geocaches near you. Use your GPS to navigate and get ready to hunt for your chosen geocache. Once you've found a geocache, explore what's hidden inside, sign your name in the log, and share your experience online. The app is free, and more advanced geocaches are available with a paid upgrade.</p> <p><em>What free outdoors adventures do you enjoy?</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/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime">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/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</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/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</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-hiking-hacks-to-take-to-the-trail-this-summer">20 Hiking Hacks to Take to the Trail This Summer</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Green Living adventures camping cheap thrills hiking outdoors Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1316475 at http://www.wisebread.com