appliances http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/689/all en-US Best Money Tips: How to Buy 3 Major Appliances for Just $700 http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-buy-3-major-appliances-for-just-700 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-buy-3-major-appliances-for-just-700" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_food_fridge_000038979176.jpg" alt="Woman buying major appliance for just $700" 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 helpful articles on how to get the best deals on major household appliances, simple ways to save at Walgreens, and how to spend less on your family vacation.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/how-to-save-money-used-appliances/">This Couple Bought 3 Major Household Appliances for Just $700. Here&rsquo;s How</a> &mdash; You can buy used appliances anywhere from Craigslist to yard sales, but your best bet will probably be a used appliance store that offers you a a warranty. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Save-Money-Walgreens-40823225">9 Insanely Simple Ways to Save Cash at Walgreens</a> &mdash; Check on online-only deals on Walgreen's website to find savings you won't get at the brick-and-mortar store. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2016/04/06/average-american-spends-vacation/">What the Average American Family Spends on Vacation (And How You Can Spend Less)</a> &mdash; On average, a family of four spends about $4,500 on vacation. You can lower the costs dramatically by vacationing during the off seasons, when flights and hotels are much cheaper. [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adebtfreestressfreelife.com/spring-clean-your-finances-2/">10 Outrageously Effective Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances</a> &mdash; Not paying your bills at the same time each month causes money clutter. Decide which day(s) you'll sit down to pay bills and mark it on your calendar for the rest of the year. [A Debt Free Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://skintdad.co.uk/how-to-save-money-on-meat/">7 Ways to Save Money on Meat</a> &mdash; Shop at the butcher's counter if your supermarket has one. They'll often offer a variety of services, too, like fileting, trimming, de-boning, and marinating your meat. [The Skint Dad Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-helpful-tips-that-will-make-it-easier-to-focus-on-your-goals/">5 Helpful Tips That Will Make It Easier to Focus on Your Goals</a> &mdash; Create a vision board, whether on your bedroom wall or computer, to remind you of what you are trying to accomplish. Whenever you look at the board, you'll be motivated to keep pressing on towards your goal. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-challenge-of-moving-to-a-smaller-home/">The Challenge of Moving to a Smaller Home</a> &mdash; How much space is too much &mdash; or too little? Focus on the areas that you'll actually use in your day-to-day rather than the space that you might use once in a while. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/cheap-honeymoon-destinations">The Cheapest Honeymoon Destinations from Around the World</a> &mdash; The city of Goa in India has a unique blend of modern facilities and old world charm. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/04/06/how-to-take-care-of-your-feet-on-a-hike-or-ruck/">How to Take Care of Your Feet on a Hike or Ruck</a> &mdash; Start with a well-fitted pair of boots that you've already broken in. Make sure they're laced correctly! Your heel should should be firmly at the back of the boot without cutting of circulation to your toes and in-step. [The Art of Manliness]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-ways-teens-aren-t-playing-it-safe-online">4 Ways Teens Aren&rsquo;t Playing it Safe Online</a> &mdash; Teens these days are savvier than ever when it comes to using technology, but many are unaware of the dangers and consequences of sharing their whole life on the internet. [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-how-to-buy-3-major-appliances-for-just-700">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-big-on-appliances">8 Ways to Save Big on Appliances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers">The 5 Best Humidifiers</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-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">The 5 Best Refrigerators</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping appliances best money tips Fri, 08 Apr 2016 09:30:27 +0000 Amy Lu 1686653 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food_vacuum_sealer_000054412644.jpg" alt="Using best vacuum sealers to preserve fresh food" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A vacuum sealer can help keep food fresher, longer. In fact, some sealers promise to keep food fresher for 3-5 times as long, which can save you a lot of money over time. Once you vacuum seal the bags, the food won&rsquo;t take up as much room in your pantry, fridge, and freezer &mdash; saving you valuable space.</p> <p>Investing in a vacuum sealer means you can stop throwing food &mdash; and money &mdash; away. Now that your food will last longer, it can mean fewer trips to the grocery store, more affordable bulk buying, and quicker cooking and meat marinating.</p> <h2>What Is a Vacuum Sealer?</h2> <p>A vacuum sealer applies heat to remove the air from bags and containers and create an airtight seal. It can seal any bags so that air is not allowed to enter and freshness is not allowed to escape. This means that the food will stay fresh and maintain the same taste and texture for longer. Vacuum sealing can also stop the growth of microorganisms in some foods, like red meat, and can prevent freezer burn, which can spoil food and ruin its texture and flavor.</p> <p>A vacuum sealer is ideal for personal and commercial use, and can also help you stock up for camping trips, road trips, emergency supplies, bulk buy shopping trips, and more. You can use it to seal anything in a bag, including meats, cheeses, dried foods, fruit, coffee, chips, and other items for the fridge, freezer, and pantry. You can even use it to protect valuable electronics, jewelry, and documents in the event of a flood or water damage. Some reviewers also find it useful for protecting their valuable items on kayaking trips.</p> <h2>Top 5 Vacuum Sealers</h2> <h3>Weston Products Vacuum Sealer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GD7PU5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GD7PU5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6VPG2UQ4WW4ETUN6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/weston.jpg" width="245" height="201" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GD7PU5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GD7PU5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6VPG2UQ4WW4ETUN6">Weston Products Vacuum Sealer</a> is unique because it will allow you to marinate and preserve your fresh foods with one high quality unit. This commercial quality vacuum sealer has a simple one-touch operation and easy-to-use control panel, so you can master it in no time. It features 23' HG vacuum strength, a 210-watt motor, and is ETL certified, so it is ideal for both home and professional use. It has a responsive pulse mode and bright blue indicator lights. There is also a manual seal mode, so you can control the vacuum pressure for certain jobs. The vacuum pump has a fan-cooled motor so you won&rsquo;t need to worry about it overheating. It has a sleek black design, brushed stainless steel lid, and an angled vacuum chamber to prevent liquids from entering.</p> <p>Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated found that this sealer will work with a variety of affordable bags, canisters, and rolls. Weston makes some of the best vacuum sealers on the market. This one is constructed of high quality parts and should perform reliably for years. It is Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated&rsquo;s top pick and recommended by America&rsquo;s Test Kitchen. It also has outstanding online reviews and customers have found that this sealer can keep food fresh for more than three months.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GD7PU5O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GD7PU5O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6VPG2UQ4WW4ETUN6"><em>Currently $184.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Seal-a-Meal Vacuum Sealer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HMWC4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008HMWC4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6DMCHOEB2EORPYRD"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/seal%20a%20meal.jpg" width="245" height="163" align="right" alt="" /></a>The affordable <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HMWC4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008HMWC4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6DMCHOEB2EORPYRD">Seal-a-Meal Vacuum Sealer</a> offers a compact design that won&rsquo;t take up much space on your counter. It is very easy to use; you simply place the bag into the sealer, press and hold the handle down until the green, hands-free indicator light turns on, and then allow the sealer to do the rest. Once the cycle is complete, the motor and the sealing indicator light will turn off. It comes with a dishwasher-safe removable drip tray and features smooth, easy clean surfaces for quick cleanup. It can keep frozen food ice-free for more than three months. However, because it does not have a manual pulse mode, it can crush crunchy items like chips. It fits quart and gallon heat-seal bags and rolls, and comes with four quart-sized bags to get you started.</p> <p>It is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated and is the most affordable option on our list. It is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including nearly 700 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008HMWC4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008HMWC4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6DMCHOEB2EORPYRD"><em>Currently $37.45 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System With Starter Kit</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U738ZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003U738ZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JS6HTPZE2QJOKG7H"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/foodsaver.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U738ZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003U738ZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JS6HTPZE2QJOKG7H">FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System</a> has two preset sealing modes, and you can set it for the type of food you&rsquo;re sealing. It offers moist/dry food settings and an accessory port and hose to seal canisters. It is small, quiet, lightweight, and can keep food fresh for more than three months. The CrushFree instant seal will help protect delicate foods from being crushed during the sealing process. It is easy to use. You simply feed the bag into the sealer, lower the handle, and allow the automated system to take care of itself. It has dishwasher-safe removable parts and a removable drip tray for easy cleaning. It can be stored vertically to save space. It has a convenient roll holder and built-in bag cutter, so you can create your own custom size bags and save even more money.</p> <p>This starter kit comes with everything you need, including a vacuum sealer roll, five vacuum sealer bags, and an accessory hose. It is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated, and Consumer Search selected it as the best cheap external vacuum sealer. It is also backed by a one-year warranty and outstanding online reviews, including nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U738ZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003U738ZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JS6HTPZE2QJOKG7H"><em>Currently $119.89 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Waring Pro Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LW73UY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008LW73UY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2UYPKOPK6VEBXANY"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/waring.jpg" width="220" height="203" align="right" alt="" /></a>There&rsquo;s no easier way to seal your bags than with the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LW73UY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008LW73UY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2UYPKOPK6VEBXANY">Waring Pro Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System</a>. This countertop, hand-held sealing system is easier to use than the other options on our list. It is also small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer, so it won&rsquo;t take up any space on your counter. The heavy-duty, pistol-style vacuum sealer is very portable, so you can use it anywhere in your home or commercial kitchen. The built-in battery offers quiet, reliable performance for about 30 sealings between recharges. Reviewers found that food still looks good even after three months.</p> <p>It comes with two dozen BPA-free, dishwasher-safe reusable valve bags in quart and gallon sizes. The bags are thicker and more reliable than other bags on the market. The bags can also be placed directly into the microwave or boiling water, for easier meal preparation. This means you can prepare custom veggie steamers right in the bags. To use it properly, you need to close the bag with the heavy-duty zipper and then remove the air from the small valve in the corner of the bag. This vacuum sealer is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated, and Consumer Search selected it as the best handheld vacuum sealer. It is built to last and has a limited five-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LW73UY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008LW73UY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2UYPKOPK6VEBXANY"><em>Currently $67.91 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI342IW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00DI342IW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=APBAAYPXDR6XJFC6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/food%20saver.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI342IW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00DI342IW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=APBAAYPXDR6XJFC6">FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System with Bonus Built-in Retractable Handheld Sealer</a> is unique because it offers both standard heat-seal and handheld vacuuming capabilities in one compact unit. The heat-seal sensor automatically grabs, vacuums, and seals the bag. It can also marinate food in minutes with a convenient marinate mode. The built-in retractable handheld sealer can seal zipper bags, canister, and containers to save you even more money. The sleek design features indicator lights and high quality materials. There is also a roll storage compartment with a built-in slicer that will custom cut bags to size, allowing you to store even large pans of food. It includes a pullout drawer and removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray for easier cleanup. This starter kit has everything you need, including a vacuum sealer roll and 10 bags in quart and gallon size.</p> <p>This is a higher end vacuum sealer that would work just as well in a home or commercial kitchen. It is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated and has outstanding online reviews.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI342IW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00DI342IW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=APBAAYPXDR6XJFC6"><em>Currently $199.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best vacuum sealers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">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/the-5-best-electric-griddles">The 5 Best Electric Griddles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers">The 5 Best Humidifiers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive 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/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances Food kitchen appliances product reviews vacuum sealer Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1660234 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Humidifiers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-humidifiers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_humidifier_000034035904.jpg" alt="Girl using best humidifier to improve dry winter air" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A humidifier can help with sinus pain, respiratory problems, asthma, allergies, nose irritation, and even the common cough and flu. It can also help improve your breathing and your sleep quality. If your skin, face, or lips are dry, a humidifier can add moisture and humidity to the room, so you won&rsquo;t have to deal with cold weather symptoms any longer. It can even help promote plant health, reduce static electricity, and protect wood furniture, which is subject to shrinking, cracking, and warping from moisture loss.</p> <p>If you are experiencing dry indoor air, then a humidifier can replenish the moisture. Maintaining the right humidity level can make the body and room feel warmer, which means you can cut your heating costs in the winter.</p> <h2>What Is a Humidifier?</h2> <p>A humidifier is a small device that can add moisture and humidity to a single room or the entire building. Humidifiers are available in cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic varieties to best suit your personal preferences. Allergy Buyers Club recommends a cool mist humidifier to combat allergies and a warm mist humidifier to combat asthma or respiratory infections. It is important to keep your humidifier clean and dry when not in use to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.</p> <h2>Top 5 Humidifiers</h2> <h3>Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002QAYJPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNGJRJB42L7L73PH"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honeywell.jpg" width="220" height="201" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002QAYJPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNGJRJB42L7L73PH">Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier</a>, HCM-350, is unique because it features UV technology that kills up to 99% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses found in the water. This means it will only produce clean and germ-free mist. The energy efficient, evaporative tabletop humidifier produces cool mist and can humidify up to 500 square feet of space. The self-regulating evaporative system will naturally adjust the output to the right amount of moisture. The durable tank has a handle for easy carrying, sits flat in the sink for easy filling, and has dishwasher-safe parts and a wide tank opening for easy cleaning. It is easy to use, is virtually leak-proof, and offers excellent output. It has a 1.5-gallon tank capacity and can offer reliable operation for up to 24 hours per filling. It is up to 25% quieter than other evaporative humidifiers. It is easy to clean and leaves no white dust residue. It is available in both black and white and is backed by a three-year limited warranty.</p> <p>This humidifier was selected by Consumer Search as the best cool mist humidifier, is a Consumer Reports&rsquo; recommendation, is recommended by iallergy, is the top recommendation by TheSweetHome.com, and came out on top for multiple independent review sites. It is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Honeywell is one of the most respected and highly rated brands of humidifiers available, so if this unit isn&rsquo;t right for you, there is likely another Honeywell that will fit your needs.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAYJPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002QAYJPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TNGJRJB42L7L73PH"><em>Currently $51.07 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008I20FT8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008I20FT8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VH6J3HCPBK2M73DZ"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/crane.jpg" width="178" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008I20FT8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008I20FT8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VH6J3HCPBK2M73DZ">Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier</a> offers a cute, compact, owl design, perfect for a nursery or kids&rsquo; room. While it is equipped with a small one-gallon tank, it offers good moisture output of 2.1-gallons per day. The energy efficient model is easy to use, whisper quiet, and can humidify up to 250 square feet of space. The manual control knob will allow you to adjust the mist output intensity. Once the tank is low on water, the humidifier will automatically shut off. The ultrasonic cool mist operation does not require a filter and can offer reliable operation for up to 24 hours. The removable water tank is easy to clean. It features a one-year warranty and is built to last.</p> <p>This is Consumer Reports&rsquo; top humidifier pick for small rooms, Consumer Search selected it as the best humidifier for a child&rsquo;s room, and Health Magazine selected it as the best option for dry skin and stuffy sinuses. If owls aren&rsquo;t your thing, there are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GWJD0A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000GWJD0A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=V4MNEHNLRENNPQED">10 different Crane Humidifiers</a> designed to look like all different types of animals, such as a frog, dragon, monkey, and elephant. You might also consider something like the bestselling <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007P9QXQO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B007P9QXQO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IQK2F2PBMTB6W7P4">Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier</a> because Crane offers some of the best humidifiers on the market.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008I20FT8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008I20FT8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VH6J3HCPBK2M73DZ"><em>Currently $30.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier With Auto Shut-Off</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWXKTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FWXKTA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AVJQJ6DIRVCIGZVN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/vicks.jpg" width="158" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWXKTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FWXKTA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AVJQJ6DIRVCIGZVN">Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier With Auto Shut-Off</a> is unique because it can moisturize the air while making the room feel warmer during the winter. It has two vapor settings, an automatic safety shutoff, and a soft glowing nightlight. It produces up to 95% bacteria-free visible moisture and can humidify up to 400 square feet of space. It offers two settings for ideal comfort and an auto shut-off feature. The one-gallon tank offers up to 12 hours of quiet, reliable operation. It is easy to use, easy to clean with dishwasher-safe parts, and does not require a filter. It also has a three-year limited warranty.</p> <p>The humidifier can be used with water or with Vicks Vaposteam or Kaz Inhalant for added relief. Consumer Reports&rsquo; selected this as one of the best humidifiers for medium-sized rooms and Consumer Search selected it as the best warm mist humidifier. It is also recommended by iallergy and backed by outstanding online reviews, including 1,100 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FWXKTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001FWXKTA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AVJQJ6DIRVCIGZVN"><em>Currently $26.86 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm/Cool Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O3I2CG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000O3I2CG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JIQKV7QV7P7V2SAL"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/spt.jpg" width="180" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O3I2CG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000O3I2CG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JIQKV7QV7P7V2SAL">SPT Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm/Cool Humidifier with Ion Exchange Filter</a> is unique because it produces either cool or warm mist. With variable humidity levels, it can produce plenty of fine mist to fit your needs. The ION exchange filter treats water to remove calcium and magnesium from hard water, which will prolong the useful life of the humidifier and prevent white dust particles from depositing into the air. The energy efficient model offers whisper quiet, reliable performance.</p> <p>The tabletop humidifier can humidify up to 500 square feet of space and offers a daily output of 2.31 gallons and a maximum of 12 hours usage. The large tank has a carrying handle for easy use and filling. Once the tank is empty, the unit will automatically shut off. It has a sleek, compact design with easy-to-use controls and impressive features, like overheat protection and a rotating nozzle to direct mist in two directions simultaneously. It is easy to use, refill, and clean with an included cleaning brush.</p> <p>This is Consumer Reports&rsquo; top humidifier pick for large rooms, Consumer Search&rsquo;s pick for the best ultrasonic humidifier, the Editors' Choice selection at BabyGearLab.com, and the top rated ultrasonic humidifier at TheSweetHome.com. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000O3I2CG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000O3I2CG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JIQKV7QV7P7V2SAL"><em>Currently $65.17 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JL4LZ4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JL4LZ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=442E65K6ANV7S6GJ"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/air%20o.jpg" width="128" height="245" align="right" alt="" />Air-O-Swiss humidifiers</a> can be very expensive, but are worth the cost. Fortunately, they now offer an affordable travel ultrasonic humidifier, so you can try the humidifiers everyone is talking about without going broke. If you suffer from dry air symptoms after traveling, then the Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier can provide the relief you need. It is whisper quiet and couldn&rsquo;t be easier to use; all you do is attach your own standard water bottle, plug the unit in, and enjoy the clean moisture.</p> <p>The lightweight, compact device makes it easy to carry anywhere, like in your travel bag or purse. This will allow you to use it anywhere you like, including on your desk, in a hotel, or in a small dorm room. It uses efficient ultrasonic technology and high-frequency vibrations to produce a micro-fine cool mist. It has a 1.2-gallon output and can be used for 24 hours. There is a mist output control so you can control the humidification. It is easy to clean and features an auto shut-off feature when the tank is empty. It includes accessories like a travel bag, power adapter, and exchangeable power plug.</p> <p>Entrepreneur Magazine found that a travel humidifier can provide relief from uncomfortable symptoms caused by dry air and can create a soothing environment, no matter where you are. This humidifier came out on top for several independent review sites and is also backed by outstanding online reviews, including more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also recommended by Amazon Baby for your new nursery and by the Allergy Buyers Club for people suffering from allergies. Air-O-Swiss is one of the most respected and highly rated brands of humidifiers available, so if this unit isn&rsquo;t right for you, there is likely another Air-O-Swiss that will fit your needs. If you need something more permanent or for a large room, consider the renowned <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JL4LZ4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JL4LZ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NTQ3OQSHV7OFUB72">Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic Humidifier - Warm and Cool Mist</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JL4LZ4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001JL4LZ4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=442E65K6ANV7S6GJ"><em>Currently $49.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best humidifiers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers">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/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hardwood-floor-cleaners">The 5 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-stain-removers">The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances dry air home products humidifiers product reviews winter Fri, 04 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1656571 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Green Living Habits That'll Save You Every Month http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_watering_plant_000015068906.jpg" alt="Woman having green living habits that&#039;ll save her every month" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Another Earth Day is just around the corner. Let's get a head start on saving the planet with these eco-friendly lifestyle tips that'll also save you moolah every month. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green">11 Ways the Government Pays You to Live Green</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take Advantage of Natural Light</h2> <p>I try to keep the lights off in the house as much as possible, even when I go to the bathroom late at night (I use my phone as a flashlight instead) to reduce my overall energy costs. As an alternative to the artificial lights in my house, I take advantage of natural light from the windows during the day (open your doors and blinds) and sometimes candles or other secondary light sources (like my devices) when the sun goes down.</p> <h2>2. Plug Drafts to Reduce Heating Costs</h2> <p>If there are drafts coming in from holes and crevices around your house, the climate-controlled air for which you pay is escaping. Resolve this costly problem by plugging drafts yourself (if you're able to identify the draft location and capable of doing the work) or hiring someone to help you out. Many times, however, the solution to the problem is as simple as putting a towel or blanket in front of doors and wrapping windows and A/C units for the winter.</p> <h2>3. Adjust the Settings on Your Appliances</h2> <p>Your appliances could be working overtime unnecessarily. Check the settings on your fridge, freezer, stove, microwave, and more to determine if they're turned up too high. If they can get the job done properly on lower settings, turn them down.</p> <h2>4. Install a &quot;Greywater&quot; System</h2> <p>Greywater &mdash; essentially any household wastewater with the exception of the toilet &mdash; can be repurposed in other areas around the home to help you cut back on water usage across the board.</p> <p>&quot;A... laundry-to-landscape greywater system can reduce water costs by reusing water used on clothes washing or sink/shower water to irrigate the garden,&quot; says Morgan Vondrak, a certified sustainable landscape designer at Argia Designs in San Francisco. &quot;This is a great way to grow fruit trees and water intensive edible shrubs.&quot;</p> <p>Conservation and green design expert Pablo Solomon suggests a couple more uses for greywater. &quot;Put a dishwashing pan in your sinks and showers to catch water. Also dip out and save your bath water. This greywater is great to flush toilets and to water plants,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>5. Use Cold Water to Wash Clothes, and Clean the Dryer Lint Trap</h2> <p>Using cold water versus hot water when washing clothes won't save you a ton, but if you're looking to shave a few bucks of your bill every month (and you're okay laundering with cold water), it's a decent solution.</p> <p>&quot;When doing laundry, use cold water instead of hot in your washing machine, which can save you over $3 per month,&quot; Solomon advises. &quot;The dryer typically accounts for 5% of your monthly electric bill, but keeping the lint trap clean on a regular basis will dry clothes faster and lower energy expenditures.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Use Sunlight to Help Control Temperature</h2> <p>Drafts can affect the temperature of your home, especially when the heat is pumping during the winter months. But the amount of sunlight in your home can also dramatically raise or lower the inside temperature, which is important to remember during both the hot and cold seasons.</p> <p>&quot;Use window coverings to keep sunlight from heating your rooms too much in summer and to let in warming rays in the winter,&quot; Solomon recommends. &quot;Window coverings can be expensive, but you can also improvise. You can use blankets, and you can also make your own curtains or buy them at resale shops. I have a friend who sewed bubble wrap between layers of cloth to make really attractive and amazingly efficient drapes.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Lower the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater</h2> <p>I recommended using cold water instead of hot to wash clothes to save a few bucks a month, but you also should inspect your hot water heater to see if perhaps it's running too hot in general.</p> <p>&quot;If you have to turn on the cold water along with the hot so your shower isn't scalding, you are paying too much to heat your water,&quot; says Eileen Flanagan, author of <a href="http://amzn.to/1Rlmy8l">Renewable: One Woman's Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope</a>. &quot;Most experts recommend 120 Fahrenheit. Once you find a temperature that is comfortable when you turn on just the hot tap, you can leave it set there and forget about it &mdash; except for vacations when you can turn it down further.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Power Your Devices From a Strip &mdash; And Remember to Turn It Off</h2> <p>Rather than plugging devices in single outlets spread all over the house, try to consolidate your energy and charging efforts onto one charging strip so you can control the power usage with one switch.</p> <p>&quot;Smart power plugs can detect how much electricity your 'energy vampires' &mdash; like TVs, game consoles, and mobile phones &mdash; are consuming and can be set to automatically turn off every night and then turn back on every morning,&quot; says Gene Wang, CEO and co-founder of People Power, a tech company in California.</p> <p>As a habit, only plug in other devices and appliances &mdash; like printers, toasters, and coffeemakers &mdash; when you need to use them.</p> <h2>9. Nip Drips in the Bud ASAP</h2> <p>Hopefully we're all shutting off the sink while we're brushing our teeth and taking quick showers to conserve water, but it's all for naught if you have a leak in your pipes or a drippy faucet. If either of these situations are flushing your money down the drain, put a stop to it.</p> <h2>10. Think of Carpet and Rugs as Extra Insulation</h2> <p>Rugs and carpeting can provide extra insulation in your home, which is helpful during the winter months. It's often cheaper to install &mdash; especially area rugs &mdash; than re-insulating your home or turning the heat up. Plus, your little tootsies will thank you for not having to touch a cold floor in the morning.</p> <h2>11. Travel by Foot, Bike, or Public Transportation More Often</h2> <p>You can save a serious amount of money on gas and car maintenance by changing the way you travel, especially locally. Walk, bike, or take public transportation to the places you need to go more often when the weather is nice. Carpooling is a great option, too. I used to carpool with a buddy of mine to work &mdash; we would each have one week on and one week off, which resulted in significant fuel savings (more than $1,000) that I was able to put toward other expenses.</p> <h2>12. Consider Scheduling an Energy Audit</h2> <p>If you're serious about going green, but don't really know where to start, consider scheduling an energy audit to determine what can and needs to be done to reduce your carbon footprint and monthly energy spend.</p> <p>&quot;Most utility companies offer them free or close to free,&quot; says Shel Horowitz, author and green business profitability expert. &quot;Last time we did one, they gave us hundreds of dollars worth of LED light bulbs and picked up two-thirds of the cost of re-insulating.&quot;</p> <p><em>What are some of your green living habits that save you money every month? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">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/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</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/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually 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/going-green-could-mean-more-money-in-your-pocket">Going Green Could Mean More Money In Your Pocket</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-green-home-rebates-that-save-you-big-in-2015">4 Green Home Rebates That Save You Big in 2015</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-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient">8 Simple Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home appliances eco friendly energy efficient going green greywater saving money transportation Wed, 02 Mar 2016 10:30:32 +0000 Mikey Rox 1665770 at http://www.wisebread.com Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-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/woman_refrigerator_000076458411.jpg" alt="Woman learning if green appliances actually save her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, there's a lot of discussion about energy usage and the environment. And if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, there's a push to use more energy efficient appliances.</p> <p>Most household appliances now come with models that are &quot;Energy Star&quot; certified, meaning that they've met energy efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In general, Energy Star appliances may cost a bit more up front, but could save you money over time through reduced electricity and water usage. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-green-products-that-arent">8 Green Products That Aren't</a>)</p> <p>Here's a look at some common appliances and the possible cost savings associated with each one. Keep in mind that savings will vary depending on electricity rates where you live.</p> <h2>1. Refrigerator</h2> <p>Your fridge uses a <em>ton </em>of electricity, so it's logical to think you'd save money by switching to a more energy efficient model. But the actual cost savings is only significant if your current fridge is very old. The EPA has a handy calculator to help consumers determine potential cost savings. If you have an average-sized fridge acquired between 2001 and 2008, your cost savings by switching to an Energy Star certified model are estimated to be about $15 per year, based on the average national electricity rate. But if you're replacing a fridge from the 1980s, the savings jumps to $145 annually. Your savings may be more or less depending on the electricity rates where you live.</p> <h2>2. Freezer</h2> <p>If you have a standalone freezer, you may save a few bucks by switching to an energy efficient model. Most new freezers use about 10% less energy than older freezers, and the savings grows when compared to freezers that are more than 10 years old. Nearly half of the 36 million freezers in use in the U.S are older than 10 years, according to the EPA &mdash; and this is costing Americans $990 million annually.</p> <h2>3. Washing Machine</h2> <p>Another energy hog that uses up not only electricity, but water wobbles in your laundry room or garage. If you get an Energy Star certified model, you'll decrease water usage per load from 25 gallons down to 13. To put that in context, a typical family uses 400 gallons of water every day. New washers also cut down on electricity usage by 25%, resulting in a savings of $180 a year, according to the EPA. You will have a bigger impact on your utility bills by washing in only cold water &mdash; a cold rinse costs about 60% less than a warm one, according to Silicon Valley Power.</p> <h2>4. Dishwashers</h2> <p>The biggest cost savings from energy efficient dishwashers comes if you switch from a model made prior to 1994, according to the EPA. Those older models waste 10 gallons of water per cycle and use more electricity, costing you as much as $35 per year on your utility bills.</p> <h2>5. Dehumidifiers</h2> <p>The EPA says newer models of dehumidifiers are 15% more efficient than older ones. But even if you have the appliance on 10 hours a day for an entire year, you're only going to spend roughly $150. So it's not a level of savings that will impact your wallet all that much.</p> <h2>6. Air Purifiers</h2> <p>These machines that remove fine particles in the air can use more energy than you think. In fact, some suck more electricity than your fridge. But you can save as much as 40%, or 225 kilowatt hours per year. That results in a $25 savings annually, or about $215 over the life of a unit.</p> <h2>7. Hot Water Heaters</h2> <p>Nothing in your home uses more energy, except for lighting. And if you switch to an Energy Star water heater, you could save big bucks. In some states, you may even <em>get </em>cash to buy one. The federal government reports that a family of four will spend about $300 a year on electricity from an Energy Star heat pump water heater. That's less than half of the cost of an old standard electric heat resistance pump, and a projected savings of more than $3,000 over the life of the heater. Seven states offer incentives to buy an energy efficient heater; New Hampshire tops the list with a $1,000 rebate.</p> <h2>8. Televisions</h2> <p>Televisions are growing in size and resolution, but are also getting more energy efficient overall. And that's good, because Energy Star models are reportedly 25% more efficient than older televisions. Your overall savings, however, isn't massive. Even if your audio system and Blu-ray player are Energy Star compliant, your overall saving is about $200 over the life of the equipment.</p> <h2>9. Pool Pumps</h2> <p>Owning a pool doesn't make a lot of financial sense, but you can cut down on the cost by getting an energy efficient pump. Newer pumps are two-speed or variable-speed model, which can reduce the amount of electricity used by as much as 70%. This could translate into $280 to $340 saved annually, according to the government. There may also be rebates, depending on the state where you live.</p> <h2>10. Water Coolers</h2> <p>If you like to have bottled water dispensed from a cooler in your home, you might save a few dollars by getting an energy efficient model. The savings is relatively modest, at roughly $70 over the life of a unit. For the most savings, look for units with on-demand hot and cold capability.</p> <p><em>How efficient are your appliances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-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-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/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</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-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</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/5-easy-ways-to-start-green-investing">5 Easy Ways to Start Green Investing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living appliances eco-friendly energy efficient energy star epa Tue, 02 Feb 2016 18:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1646410 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-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/woman_holding_cash_000040930446.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways 50% rule can save her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The 50% rule is a simple guideline that can help you determine whether it's time to replace an appliance, adjust your budget, and lots more. Here's how it can help you save real money.</p> <h2>1. Appliances</h2> <p>When a household appliance has an issue, it may be difficult to determine whether you should schedule a repair or replace the machine altogether.</p> <p>To easily determine if it's worth keeping, use the 50% rule. If the appliance has used up more than 50% of its useful life and the cost of the repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new appliance, then you should replace it.</p> <p>If you have a warranty on your appliance, find out if any of the repairs are still covered. Most appliance warranties cover labor and parts for one to two years. Some small repairs can also be completed as DIY projects.</p> <p>On the other hand, Consumer Reports recommends that if an item has already <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm">broken down once before</a>, it might make sense just to replace it. Keep in mind that if you decide to keep your original appliance, there will be extra costs like additional maintenance and possibly a &quot;trip charge&quot; from the service contractors you hire.</p> <h3>What You'll Need</h3> <p>You can easily compare the costs of repair versus replacement to determine what's a better value. In order to get the most accurate estimate possible, there are several pieces of information you will need:</p> <ul> <li>The appliance's expected useful life: Knowing how long your appliance is expected to last will help you determine if it's worth keeping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last?ref=seealso">This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The original purchase price of the appliance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The average cost to repair your type of appliance: If your service contractor will offer a free estimate, this will help you make a more informed decision.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The cost of a new appliance.</li> </ul> <h3>Benefits of Replacing</h3> <p>You may also want to consider the benefits of replacing the appliance to a newer, more updated version. These benefits could include:</p> <ul> <li>Improved energy efficiency, which may mean lower electricity bills, lower insurance, or tax deductions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>More features that will improve your life.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Less chance of repairs in the near future.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Real Estate</h2> <p>In real estate, the 50% rule states that operating expenses and vacancy account for about 50% of the rent. This means that if a property rents for $1,000 per month, about $500 will be spent on expenses and vacancies. The remaining 50% would be devoted towards mortgage principal and interest, with the leftovers serving as cash flow.</p> <p>This can serve as a general guideline to help you determine if a particular real estate investment will be worth it in the long run. If you are considering a long term buy and hold, then the 50% rule can help save you money by preventing any purchases that won't pay off.</p> <h2>3. Insurance Claims and Disaster Recovery</h2> <p>After a natural disaster, if the damages do not exceed 50% of the cost of replacing the building, then it will be deemed repairable. The Federal Emergency Management Agency <a href="https://www.fema.gov/pdf/floodplain/nfip_sg_unit_8.pdf">uses a 50% rule</a> to determine if something is considered to have heavy damage or needs substantial improvement. The rule states that if the repair costs are 50% or more of the building's value, then the building must be elevated and brought into compliance.</p> <p>Another application of the 50% rule states that when a building is to be renovated, if the total costs of improvement are 50% or more of the building's value, it will have to be brought into compliance. This is a hidden cost that most don't know about. Being aware of what's to come can help save you time, money, and frustration.</p> <h2>4. Budget</h2> <p>If you've heard of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-better-budget-in-5-minutes-flat">50/20/30 budget</a>, it relies on the 50% rule. It specifies that 50% of your budget should be dedicated to essential expenses (like housing, food, and transportation), 20% to financial obligations (like debt repayment, retirement, and emergency savings), and 30% to personal expenses (like entertainment, dining out, and phone, cable, and Internet expenses). By following this guideline, you can create a workable budget that alerts you when you are spending too much, saving you money over time.</p> <p>Keep in mind that the 50% rule is a <em>guideline</em> and won't always work perfectly. It's best to make adjustments to the numbers so that you can get a better estimate and make a more informed decision.</p> <p><em>Have you ever applied the 50% rule to your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting 50% rule appliances guidelines insurance real estate saving money Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:00:04 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1646405 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000048739104_2.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ain't it the truth that appliances have a funny way of breaking at the worst possible times?</p> <p>Your refrigerator stops running as soon as you fill it with a couple weeks' worth of groceries, or your central air conditioning bites the big one during a heat wave in July. All is not always lost, however. In many cases, the appliance can be fixed. For a couple hundred bucks you might be able to squeeze a few extra years out of it.</p> <p>Alas, nothing lasts forever &ndash; and knowing the life expectancy of home appliances gives you an idea of when you should start saving for a replacement. Let's break down a few of the big ones.&nbsp;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-appliances-at-any-time-of-year?ref=seealso">How to Save Money on Appliances Any Time of the Year</a></p> <h2>1. Refrigerator</h2> <p>Your refrigerator might be the most expensive appliance in your kitchen. You can spend under $1,000 for a refrigerator on the low end, or up to several thousands of dollars if you get a fancy model with all the bells and whistles.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips?ref=seealso">Make Your Fridge Last (Almost) Forever with These 8 Tips</a></p> <p>If you paid a pretty penny for your fridge, naturally you'll want to squeeze as much life out of this appliance as possible. Typically, refrigerators have a lifespan up to 15 years, according to Angie's List, a consumer rating service. Start looking for a replacement if your model is nearing (or already passed) the 15-year mark. This way, you avoid the refrigerator dying unexpectedly. And since refrigerators use a lot of energy, buying a more energy efficient model can save you money over time.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators?ref=seealso">Best 5 Refrigerators</a></p> <p>To test the efficiency of your fridge, put <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00875TVYQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00875TVYQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WDXR5PFI7MOVOEYM">a thermometer</a> inside and close the door for about five minutes. If the temperature inside the fridge is higher than 45 degrees after five minutes, the fridge could be on its last leg.</p> <h2>2. Stove/Oven</h2> <p>Don't wait until your stove burners or oven stops working to think about buying a new stove. On average, you can get between 10 and 15 years out of a range/oven. Common problems with this appliance involve igniter failure and problems with the control board or bake element.</p> <h2>3. Dishwasher</h2> <p>If you have running sink water and dish soap, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it">replacing your dishwasher</a> might not be an urgent need. On the other hand, you probably can't imagine going a day without a dishwasher if you absolutely hate washing dishes by hand. (Like I do; totally makes me gag.)</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks?ref=seealso">Make Your Dishwasher Last (Almost) Forever With These 6 Tricks</a></p> <p>To avoid any surprises, expect to replace your dishwasher every eight to 10 years. The good news, however, is that dishwashers are relatively inexpensive. You can find models starting around $400. Start shopping around if you hear loud, banging noise coming from the dishwasher, or if the dishwasher no longer cleans your dishes despite maintenance. Don't discount, though, that you may be able to fix some issues yourself &mdash; like I did when my dishwasher wouldn't spray water &mdash; when I looked up a DIY tutorial on YouTube. Huge time and money saver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dishwashers?ref=seealso">Best 5 Dishwashers</a>)</p> <h2>4. Washer and Dryer</h2> <p>With your packed schedule, you don't have time to plan weekly visits to the laundromat. It's time-consuming and inconvenient, and it's a good idea to replace your washer or dryer before it stops working.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-washing-machines?ref=seealso">Best 5 Washing Machines</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dryers?ref=seealso">5 Best Dryers</a></p> <p>According to Angie's List, both appliances have an average lifespan of eight to 12 years. You can extend the life of your dryer by regularly cleaning your lint trap. Additionally, clean your washer and dryer hoses, heating element, and dryer ducts at least once a year. Properly maintaining your dryer not only extends its life, it also <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdNTcChFkBY">reduces the chance of a dryer fire</a>. This can happen when lint accumulates on the heating element or in the ducts.</p> <h2>5. Hot Water Heater</h2> <p>You should be able to get about seven to 10 years out of a <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/household-appliances-repair-replace-163855148.html">hot water heater</a>. To get the most use, drain about a quarter of water from the tank every three months. This little trick helps remove sediment from the tank, which forms from minerals in the water. Removing sediment allows water in the tank to heat up faster, making the tank more efficient.</p> <h2>6. HVAC System</h2> <p>Your air-conditioning and heating system is responsible for maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home. It uses a lot of energy and it might work around the clock depending on the season &ndash; so naturally, you shouldn't expect the system to last the lifetime of the home. On average, you should replace an HVAC system every 15 to 20 years. You can extend the lifespan of your system with preventive maintenance. Getting your unit professionally serviced at least once a year helps identify problems early and keeps the unit working at its best.</p> <p>To help reduce some of the cost with maintaining an HVAC system (and other appliances in your home), consider a home warranty. A warranty protects your pocket against unexpected repairs. For a flat service call fee, the warranty company will repair a covered item, or replace it if unable to fix due to normal wear and tear.</p> <p><em>Have you had to replace appliances? Was it unexpected, or did you do it preemptively? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Our 61 Best Home Improvement Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks">Make Your Dishwasher Last (Almost) Forever With These 6 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">The 5 Best Refrigerators</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living appliances dishwasher home household appliance refrigerator Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:00:48 +0000 Mikey Rox 1586537 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_iron_000018734916.jpg" alt="Woman with home good she didn&#039;t skimp on" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some everyday items I personally <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on">never skimp on</a>, like toilet paper, kitchen knives, bed sheets, and small appliances. But what about larger items for the home? These are often even more important, as the difference between the cheap stuff and pricier counterparts can have a profound impact on your quality of life and even your safety. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Exterior Door Locks</h2> <p>Be honest &mdash; when you read the title of this post, did you immediately think of door locks? Probably not, and neither did I. It wasn't until veteran handyman Marcus L. Horner mentioned exterior locks that I gave them a second thought. Ironic, because a strong door lock is perhaps the most important thing you should never skimp on.</p> <p>&quot;Among the most important things in a home are the front and back doors. You should never skimp on these two items,&quot; Horner says. &quot;You would not believe how many people I see almost on a daily basis who replace doors with the cheapest they can find &mdash; and this is after they have already been broken into!&quot;</p> <p>This is your family's safety and sense of security we're dealing with here, people!</p> <h2>2. Mattresses</h2> <p>I don't think you need the King Midas of mattresses to enjoy a restful, comfortable night's sleep. In fact, the comfort factor of mattresses is really quite relative, depending on each person's preference (I can speak from experience that IKEA and West Elm sell decent mattresses, with the former being very affordable and the latter being perfectly midrange). It goes without saying, however, that the higher in price you go, the plusher and more luxurious the mattress will be. Above all, make sure it comes brand new from a reputable dealer and manufacturer. Because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived">sleep deprivation</a> is a serious thing.</p> <h2>3. Major Appliances</h2> <p>You'll really have to search hard for off-brand appliances; even the low-priced options come from well-known brand names. But don't let that fool you in this case. Unlike other items, I stand by my position that the price of electronic items directly correlates to their quality with a few exceptions (I'm looking at you, Beats headphones), so it's worth spending the extra money. Besides, this is a long-term investment &mdash; many appliances last 10 years or more before needing to be repaired or replaced &mdash; so if it helps, think about the cost versus the lifetime of the product to soften the financial blow.</p> <p>Financing is usually available as well to reduce the immediate burden. If that doesn't help, think of it this way: Do you really want to keep dragging refrigerators and washing machines in and out of the house every few years because you wanted to save a few bucks? I didn't think so.</p> <h2>4. Fire Extinguishers</h2> <p>Unless you have children, you probably don't spend too much time thinking of worst-case scenarios. But a house fire is definitely a Code WTF emergency, and it's important to be as prepared as possible. One of the components in your disaster preparedness kit should be a fire extinguisher. There are several options from which to choose, according to Consumer Reports, which asks the question: &quot;When the kitchen's on fire, do you want a $7 aerosol can or a real extinguisher?&quot; Spring for the tried-and-true traditional red bottles, which cost about $25 more.</p> <h2>5. Blu-ray Players</h2> <p>Consumer Reports also weighs in on cheap DVD players, particularly Blu-ray players for less than $20. Common sense should warn you that a Blu-ray that cheap is probably too good to be true, with CR warning that you should expect to have to replace it every year. Heck, even pricier Blu-ray players don't last terribly long. I have a Samsung Blu-ray player that's about four years old that will only play standard DVDs now, and it's annoying as all get out.</p> <h2>6. Vacuum Cleaners</h2> <p>According to Consumer Reports magazine's Shop Smart section, a &quot;$50 vacuum cleans like a $50 vacuum.&quot; Considering that well-reviewed vacuums like Dyson and Kirby run in the $400 to $800, you can deduce then that your $50 won't get you much. Personally I have a Shark vacuum that I purchased at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond in the $120 range that works perfectly well for me. I also have a relatively small home. Your home may require a heavier-duty vacuum, and in that case you may want to start looking in the higher-end section. Kind of like buying a new car, actually.</p> <h2>7. Computers</h2> <p>I'm an Apple guy. It's not cheap, but these products of superior quality are well worth the money I shell out &mdash; especially my laptop.</p> <p>Before I switched to Mac, I worked from PCs and Windows laptops. I was just out of college with minimal disposable income, so I jumped at the chance to buy a laptop for $200 from Circuit City. Of course it worked well straight out of the box, but just a few months in the speed slowed down, I had to wait a good couple minutes for everything to boot up and get started, and it was prone to viruses. This scenario is rather common with PCs, and the cheaper you go the more often you'll have to replace it. There's actually a name for this retail practice &mdash; it's called intentional obsolescence, which means that the product is designed to have a limited lifespan, forcing you to replace it sooner than you would a quality product. That's not to say that you should switch to Apple, but my Macs last many years longer than any PC I've ever owned.</p> <h2>8. Irons</h2> <p>There are $20 irons on the market, and there are $90 irons on the market. While I don't think you need a professional-grade iron, I do recommend irons in the $40 to $60 range to ensure that you're getting a quality product.</p> <p>The one problem I seem to consistently find with cheaper irons is that they don't get hot enough to steam out wrinkles efficiently, and often hot water drips out of the iron itself causing a mess on your clothes and ironing board. I've been burned quite badly from faulty irons, actually. Save yourself the blisters and spend a bit more on a decent iron that will do the job it's supposed to do.</p> <p><em>Do you have things to add that we should never skimp on in the home? I'd love to hear your suggestions. Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">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/the-5-best-measuring-spoons">The 5 Best Measuring Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-dish-towels">The 5 Best Kitchen Dish Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-cups">The 5 Best Measuring Cups</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances cleaning electronics home goods Mon, 11 May 2015 13:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1415532 at http://www.wisebread.com Big Purchases You Should Make by 30, 40, and 50 http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_piggybank_000018649757.jpg" alt="Man planning big purchases at 30, 40, and 50" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that major purchases such as a house or a car were rites of passage into adulthood. Sure, times are changing, and the new generation isn't buying all the things their parents did. But there are some things you probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make">can't avoid buying</a>. Here are the big purchases most of us should make by ages 30, 40, or 50.</p> <h2>By Age 30</h2> <p>By the time we reach 30 we've turned the corner from the youth to adulthood, and our possessions show it.</p> <h3>A Car</h3> <p>As more people choose to live in cities, and use mass transit or ride-sharing apps, it's become less necessary to own a car. That said, many of us still have a lifestyle that requires owning a set of wheels. If this is the case for you, by the age of 30, you probably should have purchased a car <em>by yourself for yoursel</em>f. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips?ref=seealso">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <h3>A Real Bed</h3> <p>This is something everyone avoids for years. Millenials have bought and sold cars well before buying a new bed for themselves. Once you are old enough to live on your own, an ugly used frame propping up a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep">decades-old (and filthy) mattress</a> just won't do. A more comfortable bed will help you sleep better, and sleeping better will improve your overall health, which will cost you less in the long run. It's one of the best investments you can make in your 20s. Now that one can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">buy affordable and comfortable mattresses online</a>, there's no excuse anymore!</p> <h2>By Age 40</h2> <p>What lies around the corner from age 30? A nest and a family of one's own.</p> <h3>A Home</h3> <p>This can be the most emotional purchase you'll ever make, especially in areas of the country where it's virtually impossible for the average person to afford a home. For those of us who want to own our own home, working toward buying before age 40 is a worthy goal. It's wise to start making sound decisions in your 20s and 30s that will keep your financial state healthy, such as building your credit, in anticipation of a home loan.</p> <h3>Home Appliances</h3> <p>Not every home, whether bought or rented, will come equipped with everything you need. As you get older, you'll probably grow tired of washing your dishes in the sink, or going to the laundromat like you did in your 20s. Eventually, you'll break down and buy a refrigerator, dishwasher, a washer/dryer set, or woodworking tools for the garage. Make sure you do your comparison homework in order to get the best appliance deals.</p> <h2>By Age 50</h2> <p>By now the roots are set deep and the big purchases are behind us, but there are a few big buys that mark time's passage.</p> <h3>Life Insurance</h3> <p>As you get older and have children, you'll want to be covered for whatever may happen. By age 50, you'll almost definitely want to consider life insurance &mdash; well before you develop any chronic health issues or are old enough for premiums to skyrocket. Think about what you need from your life insurance and start planning your beneficiaries' financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison?ref=seealso">Universal Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance: A Comparison</a>)</p> <h3>Contractor Work</h3> <p>At this point in your life, making renovations on your bathroom or kitchen, adding on to your home, or re-landscaping your backyard is common. In fact, some renovations <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">nearly pay for themselves</a> over time. If you've never hired a contractor, you'll need to create a budget and detailed timeline, along with a cash buffer for incidentals, accidents, and hotels if you cannot stay in the home at a certain point. Extra frugal? It's also worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">considering DIY renovations</a>.</p> <p><em>Which major purchases do you think signify life milestones?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50">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/8000-housing-tax-credit-can-now-be-turned-into-cash-at-closing-according-to-fha">$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</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/is-it-the-end-of-6-real-estate-commissions">Is It the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?</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/real-estate-appraisals-ten-things-most-people-just-dont-understand-about-them">Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don&#039;t understand about them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance appliances big purchases Cars housing life insurance real estate Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1410180 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Warranties That Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000019329937.jpg" alt="Woman shopping and learning which warranties aren&#039;t worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us believe that it's better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p>However, when it comes to buying warranties, you may be acting on emotion. It's time to step back and take a closer look at those extended warranties &mdash; your extra peace of mind may be coming with a hidden high cost. Here are four warranties that aren't worth it.</p> <h2>1. Warranties That Are Too Expensive</h2> <p>According to the Service Contract Industry Council, most <a href="http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/consumer-tips/2014/12/be-in-the-know-before-buying-extended-warranties/">extended warranty costs</a> are 10% to 20% of the sales price. Anything above that 20% benchmark may be too much, particularly for small ticket items. For example, a $20 extended warranty on a $55 panini press is a waste of money.</p> <p>On the other hand, buying a $150 warranty on a $2,000 computer is a more sensible purchase. Not only is that warranty just 7.5% of the total price, but it'd also cover the high cost of replacing parts.</p> <h2>2. Warranties Shorter Than Those From Your Credit Card</h2> <p>There is no need to pay twice for coverage that you may already have. As long as you complete the entire purchase on a single credit card, most major credit card companies will extend the original manufacturer's warranty up to one additional year.</p> <p>Review the fine print on your credit card's extended warranty for other applicable limits, such as the maximum purchase price and maximum dollar value of claims within the same year. As long as you're aware of applicable exclusions and requirements, having a credit card with an excellent extended warranty can be a lifesaver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=seealso">How to Take Advantage of the Free Extended Warranty From Your Credit Card Issuer</a>)</p> <h2>3. Warranties for Products With Low Repair Rates</h2> <p>Some people claim that things aren't built to last anymore. However, surveys from Consumer Reports seem to indicate that it may all just be in our heads. The <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm">repair rates</a> for several items are going down.</p> <ul> <li>Laptops had a repair rate of 36% in 2010, and 24% in 2013.</li> <li>LCD TVs had a repair rate of 15% in 2010, and 7% in 2013.</li> <li>Dishwashers already had a <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/warranties.asp">low repair rate</a> of 13% back in 2004.</li> </ul> <p>Consumer Reports found that appliances usually don't break during the extended warranty period. Even when breakdowns occur, the median cost of a repair ($152) isn't that much more than the median price of a warranty ($136).</p> <p>A great alternative to extended warranties for products with low repair rates is to put the money you would have spent on the warranty in a savings account, instead. By &quot;self-insuring,&quot; you're keeping the money and gaining interest on your rainy day fund.</p> <h2>4. Unsolicited Car Warranties</h2> <p>There are warranties that aren't worth the money, and then there are warranty scams.</p> <p>For several decades, the FCC has been warning consumers about <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/guides/auto-warranty-scams">auto warranty scams</a>. Malicious companies prey on consumers whose auto warranties are about to expire &mdash; or in some cases, they may not even be close to expiration. Back in 2008, the Better Business Bureau received more than <a href="http://www.bbb.org/central-illinois/migration/other-news/2009/02/bbb-warns-deceptive-auto-warranty-solicitations-plague-consumers-nationwide/">140,000 consumer calls</a> to confirm the legitimacy of companies claiming to sell auto warranties.</p> <p>For example, in the year that the basic warranty of my 2012 Volkswagen Passat was set to expire, I started receiving unsolicited mail with warnings in big, bold letters; &quot;Final Notice: Expiring Auto Warranty.&quot; After ignoring a couple of these mailers, additional ones started pouring in with labels such as &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/28440855-e863-431f-9e60-c46e13226298/Warranty-mailer.aspx">2nd Attempt</a>,&quot; &quot;Time Sensitive,&quot; or &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/9c4deb4f-8f10-4206-bd5b-2ab75bf70bcc/Warranty-Mailer-2.aspx">Vehicle Alert Notice</a>.&quot; Then, the calls started coming in every single week. It was all from unscrupulous car warranty salespeople.</p> <p>Don't cave in to the pressure and protect yourself against potential car warranty fraud:</p> <ul> <li>Don't provide any personal or financial information over the phone to unsolicited telemarketers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Resist high-pressure pitches from salespeople or mailers that urge you to act now. Those &quot;final deadlines&quot; extend for several months over and over.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>These car warranties rarely pay claims. The BBB reports that <a href="http://stlouis.bbb.org/storage/142/documents/vehicleservicecontractstudy2011.pdf">93% of vehicle service claims</a> are denied under these warranties.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Never agree to any contract without having a physical copy of the contract and an appropriate timeframe to review the fine print.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A major red flag is the requirement of a down payment to view a contract. Don't agree to pay over the phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search online for the name of the company offering the auto warranty (such as <a href="http://www.ncdoj.com/getdoc/221259f6-b0a2-40aa-801c-f76835f31be2/AG-Cooper-gives-auto-warranty-sellers-the-boot.aspx">U.S. Fidelis</a>), since some of those companies are often in trouble with the law. Or, check the company with your <a href="http://www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/">state and local consumer agencies</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>File a complaint with the FCC by visiting <a href="http://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov">consumercomplaints.fcc.gov</a>, calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), or writing to Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place your phone number on the <a href="http://www.donotcall.gov">National Do Not Call Registry</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are some warranties that you wished you never paid for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">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/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</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-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast">4 Purchases With Financing Options That Depreciate Fast</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-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</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-gift-card-scam-of-2011-don-t-be-a-victim">The Gift Card Scam of 2011: Don’t Be a Victim</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/when-something-breaks-should-you-repair-or-replace">When Something Breaks, Should You Repair or Replace?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping appliances Cars electronics repairs scams warranties Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Damian Davila 1360904 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Dishwasher Last (Almost) Forever With These 6 Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dishwasher-200283593-001.jpg" alt="dishwasher" title="dishwasher" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bringing home a new dishwasher is a major commitment. When you spend that much money on an appliance, you hope it will last and last. While there are no guarantees that you didn&#39;t somehow buy a lemon, there are things you can do to make your new dishwasher last much, much longer than its expected life (usually about 15 years). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dishwashers?ref=seealso">5 Best Dishwashers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Check Your Filter Regularly</h2> <p>Some new dishwashers have self-cleaning filters, but that&#39;s an expensive feature that doesn&#39;t always work as well as you&#39;d expect. If you don&#39;t have this feature on your dishwasher or don&#39;t want to rely on it, simply clean out the filter manually. The amount of cleaning yours needs may vary &mdash; some manuals say to clean every load, some say once a week, and others once a month. Follow the instructions in your manual. Cleaning the filter allows you to remove large pieces of debris that would otherwise be trapped in your washer and impede its functioning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher?ref=seealso">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a>)</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> If you no longer have your manual, Google the make and model of your dishwasher. Many manufacturers have their manuals posted online for easy access.</p> <h2>2. Clean the Sprayer Arms</h2> <p>Depending on your model of washer, you may have one sprayer arm or two in your dishwasher. The little holes in these can get filled with debris particles, hard water deposits, and other gunk. Usually, you can remove the arm and wash it in your sink with warm, soapy water. However, you will want to follow the specific directions in your manual to make sure you don&#39;t do more harm than good. Do this somewhere between once a week and once a month to ensure optimal spraying and a long life for these arms.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> You can also soak this arm with diluted vinegar, which will help remove any stubborn hard water deposits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-weird-and-wonderful-ways-to-use-vinegar?ref=seealso">Weird and Wonderful Ways to Use Vinegar</a>)</p> <h2>3. Use Water at the Correct Temperature</h2> <p>To ensure that your dishwasher operates well without melting or burning any of the components, make sure that your hot water heater is set at the optimal temperature as listed in your manual. Even if your water isn&#39;t hot enough to hurt any parts during one cycle, repeated exposure to water that is too hot can cause damage over time. Since these are not always the &quot;typical&quot; parts that break, replacing them can be quite expensive.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> If you aren&#39;t sure how to change the temp settings on your hot water heater, look that up in its manual. Again, you can usually find the manual online if you don&#39;t have it anymore.</p> <h2>4. Manage Rust</h2> <p>If you have metal parts in your dishwasher, check to make sure that they are not rusting. While most dishwashers use stainless steel for any parts that have regular contact with water, some older models do not. And even stainless steel can be damaged under certain conditions. If you notice any rust or other metal damage, replace the parts immediately. Rust and/or metal pieces can clog your pump, which is usually a costly repair.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> Sometimes you can repair your dishwasher racks with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AAAZ1I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001AAAZ1I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">repair kit</a>. Other times, you may need to buy brand new racks to get rid of the problem.</p> <h2>5. Only Wash Dishes</h2> <p>While there are different sites online that advocate using your dishwasher to wash everything from keyboards to vegetables, doing this can harm your dishwasher. Some of these items have pieces that can break off under the force of water in the washer, and these can cause clogs and other damage. Since washing things that aren&#39;t dishes usually voids the warranty, you&#39;ll be out of luck and have to pay for repairs yourself.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> Other items, like keyboards and trash can lids, can contain germs that <a href="http://homeguides.sfgate.com/dishwashers-sterilize-84323.html">won&#39;t necessarily be destroyed</a> by your dishwasher. Since you don&#39;t want these on your dishes, don&#39;t put these in your dishwasher in the first place! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dirty-little-secrets-shocking-germ-hotspots-you-touch-every-day?ref=seealso">Shocking Germ Hotspots You Touch Every Day</a>)</p> <h2>6. Run Cleansing Cycles</h2> <p>If you do nothing else for your dishwasher, run cleansing cycles at least once a month. You can use special dishwasher cleaner for this, or simply put a packet of lemon Kool-Aid (or other lemonade mix) where you would usually put detergent (some say to make sure it is sugar-free). The mix contains citric acid, which will help dissolve any clogs and/or mineral deposits that have built up in the washer.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> Lemon Kool-Aid also makes your dishwasher smell lemony fresh!</p> <p><em>Good luck, and may your dishes be ever sparkling! And if you have any other dishwasher tips for us and our readers, leave them in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks">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/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</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/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last">This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last</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/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it">Dishwasher Smells Bad? Here&#039;s How to Fix It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home appliance maintenance appliances dishwasher home maintenance Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:36:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1111195 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Freezers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-freezers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-freezers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/freezer-5175953-small.jpg" alt="freezer" title="freezer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A freezer, like a refrigerator, serves to keep food cold to impede the growth of bacteria. Unlike a refrigerator, a freezer keeps food below the freezing point of water &mdash; specifically, below 18 degrees Celsius, where food can safely be stored indefinitely. To help you figure out which freezer is best for you, here is Wise Bread's selection of the top 5 freezers.</p> <h2>What Is a Freezer?</h2> <p>As previously mentioned, a freezer is designed to keep food frozen below 18 degrees Celsius. Freezers come in two main types: upright models and chests. Upright models also come in two primary forms, manual-defrost and self-defrost. Manual-defrost freezers are cheaper to buy and run, but don't do as good of a job at maintaining a constant temperature as self-defrost models. Chest freezers offer the most storage as they are comprised of one large compartment (shelves in upright models reduce the amount of usable space), can accommodate bulkier items, and tend to be more energy efficient. Nonetheless, they are more difficult to organize because of their lack of shelves.</p> <h2>Best 5 Freezers</h2> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017SHQTW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0017SHQTW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="222" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/frz-frigidHW.jpg" alt="" /></a>Frigidaire FFU21F5HW Upright Freezer</h3> <p>Recommended by Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017SHQTW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0017SHQTW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Frigidaire upright, self-defrost freezer</a> has a carrying capacity of 20.5 cubic feet and performed very well in professional tests. Aside from the automatic defrost; it comes with other features including an open-door alarm and digital controls. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017SHQTW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0017SHQTW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $699.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CWDZYI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001CWDZYI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="250" height="189" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/frz-danby.jpg" alt="" /></a>Danby DCF700W1 Chest Freezer</h3> <p>For those that are looking for a basic chest freezer at a relatively inexpensive price, look no further. This <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CWDZYI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001CWDZYI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Danby chest freezer</a> has a carrying capacity of 7 cubic feet and comes with a front-mount mechanical thermostat. Users claim that it is remarkably energy efficient with a foam insulated cabinet and extremely quiet. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CWDZYI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001CWDZYI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $308.19 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026SP05E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0026SP05E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="232" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/frz-ge.jpg" alt="" /></a>GE FCM15PUWW Chest Freezer</h3> <p>Another freezer recommended by Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026SP05E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0026SP05E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">GE chest freezer</a> is well-reviewed for those looking for larger carrying capacity. Clocking in at 14.8 cubic feet, this freezer also features a keyed lock, interior lights, and a power indicator. Four sliding baskets help with organization and users claim that it is quiet and efficient. Unfortunately, as with all chest freezers, it will require manual defrosting. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026SP05E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0026SP05E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $610.49 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D8579%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=16922"><img width="240" height="276" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/frz-kenmore.jpg" alt="" /></a>Kenmore 16922 Chest Freezer</h3> <p>A Consumer Reports Best Buy, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D8579%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=16922">Kenmore chest freezer</a> is a solid performer for those not looking for quite as much storage space. With a carrying capacity of 8.8 cubic feet, it's among the smaller freezers on this list, but it does include a number of additional features such as a keyed lock, interior lights, power-on light and two lift-out baskets for some organizational options. However, keep in mind that it's not Energy-Star efficient, but its smaller size still makes it decently energy efficient. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D8579%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=16922">Currently $329.59 at Sears.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11034749?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sears.com%2Fshc%2Fs%2Fp_10153_12605_04607141000P&amp;cjsku=04607141000"><img width="200" height="219" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/frz-frigid7H.jpg" alt="" /></a>Frigidaire FFU17M7H Upright Freezer</h3> <p>This <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11034749?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sears.com%2Fshc%2Fs%2Fp_10153_12605_04607141000P&amp;cjsku=04607141000">Frigidaire manual-defrost upright freezer</a> rounds out our list of the best 5 freezers. This Frigidaire has a carrying capacity of 16.7 cubic feet, and 3 cabinet shelves, a slide-out basket and flexible door storage makes organization quite easy. Additional features include a security lock, interior and exterior power lights and finally a Soft Freeze Zone for things like ice cream. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11034749?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sears.com%2Fshc%2Fs%2Fp_10153_12605_04607141000P&amp;cjsku=04607141000">Currently $629.99 at Sears.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Those are our top 5 choices for freezers. Be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-freezers">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/the-5-best-refrigerators">The 5 Best Refrigerators</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students">The 5 Best Small Appliances for Students</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/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping appliances buying guide freezers product reviews Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:54:25 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 986772 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Refrigerators http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-refrigerators" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/refrigerator-1438299-small.jpg" alt="refrigerator" title="refrigerator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A household appliance that needs no introduction, the refrigerator is a staple found in just about every kitchen. As a matter of fact, most residences include a refrigerator when you move in. But what happens when you need to buy a new one? Many modern fridges are more complex than the simple &quot;freezer on top, fridge on bottom&quot; styles of old. To help you sort through all the models out there to choose from, we've compiled a list of top 5 best refrigerators.</p> <h2>What Is a Refrigerator?</h2> <p>We all know that a refrigerator keeps your food and produce cold, but how exactly does it do this? Essentially, a refrigerator is nothing more than a thermally insulated compartment that uses a heat pump to move heat from within to the exterior. There are three primary types of refrigerators: top-freezer, bottom-freezer, and side-by-sides. Top-freezers are the most common, simplest to use, and the least expensive. Bottom freezers are a bit more expensive, but more convenient because the most accessed area, the fridge portion, is higher off the ground. Finally, side-by-sides are even more expensive, but the form-factor is better fitting for certain kitchens.</p> <h2>Best 5 Refrigerators</h2> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WEH2VU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004WEH2VU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="150" height="225" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fridgeMaytag.jpg" alt="" /></a>Maytag M1TXEGMYW</h3> <p>Recommended by Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WEH2VU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004WEH2VU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Maytag refrigerator</a> is highly rated for its performance as well as fantastic energy efficiency. Users also love the fact that it is roomy, coming with a carrying capacity of 21 cubic foot as well as quiet. It comes with relatively few extra features, but its inexpensive pricetag makes up for it. Aside from its solid performance, this refrigerator comes with an ice maker, two humidity-controlled crispers, and tempered glass shelves. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WEH2VU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004WEH2VU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $779.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ECTRZCQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ECTRZCQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="150" height="225" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fridgeHaier.jpg" alt="" /></a>Haier HT21TS45SW</h3> <p>A Best Buy from Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ECTRZCQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ECTRZCQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Haier</a> is another top-freezer refrigerator with great temperature performance and exceptional energy efficiency. Consumer Reports lists its carrying capacity at 17.5 cubic foot. It also features gallon door storage and spillproof shelves. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ECTRZCQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ECTRZCQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $630.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D204061988&amp;cjsku=204061988"><img width="150" height="225" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fridgeLG.jpg" alt="" /></a>LG LDC22720SW</h3> <p>A solid-performing bottom-freezer refrigerator, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D204061988&amp;cjsku=204061988">LG refrigerator</a> did very well in professional tests. It also features extras including a door alarm, an ice maker, and a freezer light. The 22.4 cubic foot carrying capacity also gives you quite a bit of room to store your groceries. The downside is that bottom-freezers are not only more expensive, but also less energy efficient. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D204061988&amp;cjsku=204061988">Currently $1169.10 at Home Depot.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10926682?sid=981835&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lowes.com%2Fpd_309589-149-RF268ABPN_0__%3FproductId%3D3116921&amp;cjsku=309589-149-RF268ABPN"><img width="150" height="225" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fridgeSamsungRF268ABRS.jpg" alt="" /></a>Samsung RF268ABRS</h3> <p>The top-rated refrigerator model at Good Housekeeping, GH lauds this <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10926682?sid=981835&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lowes.com%2Fpd_309589-149-RF268ABPN_0__%3FproductId%3D3116921&amp;cjsku=309589-149-RF268ABPN">Samsung refrigerator</a>'s perfect temperature management and the fact that it comes with a plethora of ease-of-use features. Adjustable shelves and bins, two ice makers, various temperature control options, and an easy-open freezer door handle provides you absolute control over your refrigerator settings. Finally, a carrying capacity of almost 26 cubic feet makes it the most spacious of all the refrigerators on this list. <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10926682?sid=981835&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lowes.com%2Fpd_309589-149-RF268ABPN_0__%3FproductId%3D3116921&amp;cjsku=309589-149-RF268ABPN">Currently $2299 at Lowes.</a></p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D203673164&amp;cjsku=203673164"><img width="150" height="225" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/fridgeSamsungRS265TDWP.jpg" alt="" /></a>Samsung RS265TDWP</h3> <p>Recommended by Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D203673164&amp;cjsku=203673164">Samsung refrigerator</a> is the roomiest side-by-side refrigerator with 25.5 cubic feet carrying capacity. Extra features include through-door ice and water dispensers, spillproof shelves and touchpad controls. It's also one of the quietest side-by-side models, which users appreciate. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D203673164&amp;cjsku=203673164">Currently $1349.10 at Home Depot.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And those are our choices for the best 5 refrigerators. Be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">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/the-5-best-freezers">The 5 Best Freezers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students">The 5 Best Small Appliances for Students</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/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping appliances buying guide product reviews refrigerator Wed, 18 Sep 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 981835 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Small Appliances for Students http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry-2792037-small.jpg" alt="ironing laundry" title="ironing laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a well-furnished dorm room can make a world of difference for college students. But among all the potential small appliances you could get for a dorm room, there are a few essentials that no college student should go without. Here to help narrow down the list is Wise Bread's picks for the best small appliances for students.</p> <h2>Best 5 Small Appliances for Students</h2> <h3>Maytag Premium Analog Steam Iron</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AW51NJA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW51NJA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><img width="210" height="182" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smappMaytag.jpg" /></a>The need for a steam iron may not be readily apparent for many college students, but you never know when you'll be called on to go to a fancy dinner. A steam iron will also come in handy when you begin applying for jobs or internships. Recommended by Consumer Reports, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AW51NJA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW51NJA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Maytag Premium Analog M800 Steam Iron</a> is a solid iron that heats up in just 55 seconds. It also features vertical steaming for quick fixes and an automatic shut-off. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AW51NJA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW51NJA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Currently $115.53 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Frigidaire Compact Refrigerator</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10368321?sid=981808&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D203541111&amp;cjsku=203541111"><img width="200" height="204" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smappFrigidaire.jpg" /></a>A staple in any college dorm room, a compact fridge stores drinks, leftovers, and whatever else a college student may need to keep cold without taking up too much precious floor space. This <a href="http://linksynergy.walmart.com/link?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=223073.19423451&amp;type=2&amp;murl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fip%2FRCA-1.1-cu-ft-Microwave-Black%2F19423451%3Fsourceid%3D0100000012230215302434">Frigidaire</a> has a carrying capacity of 4.4 cubic feet which makes it bigger than most other compact refrigerators on the market, but still a good fit for a dorm room. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10368321?sid=981808&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs%2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FCJRedirect%3Flinktype%3Dproduct%26id%3D203541111&amp;cjsku=203541111">Currently on sale for $229.00 at Home Depot.</a></p> <h3>RCA 1.1 cu. ft. Digital Microwave Oven</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://linksynergy.walmart.com/link?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=223073.19423451&amp;type=2&amp;murl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fip%2FRCA-1.1-cu-ft-Microwave-Black%2F19423451%3Fsourceid%3D0100000012230215302434"><img width="250" height="142" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smappRCA.jpg" /></a>Whether it's for heating up the leftovers you have in that new compact refrigerator or a packaged meal because you don't have enough time to cook properly, a microwave is another staple appliance that should be found in any college student dorm. This <a href="http://linksynergy.walmart.com/link?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=223073.19423451&amp;type=2&amp;murl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fip%2FRCA-1.1-cu-ft-Microwave-Black%2F19423451%3Fsourceid%3D0100000012230215302434">RCA microwave</a> has a carrying capacity of 1.1 cubic foot and a turntable for even heating. <a href="http://linksynergy.walmart.com/link?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=223073.19423451&amp;type=2&amp;murl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fip%2FRCA-1.1-cu-ft-Microwave-Black%2F19423451%3Fsourceid%3D0100000012230215302434">Currently $49.00 at Walmart.</a></p> <h3>Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYFQ28/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYFQ28&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><img width="210" height="183" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smappBissell.jpg" /></a>Don't let its name fool you, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYFQ28/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYFQ28&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Bissell Pet Hair Eraser</a> &mdash; a hand-vacuum cleaner &mdash; is recommended by Consumer Reports for college students. According to CR, this hand-vacuum is excellent at cleaning bare floors and edges, and competent enough at handling carpet. The small pricetag makes this Bissell vacuum all the more attractive. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYFQ28/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYFQ28&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Currently $24.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Cuisinart Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005IBX9/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005IBX9&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><img width="210" height="210" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smappCuisinart.jpg" /></a>Early classes are probably the biggest reason why college students develop a coffee addiction. But if you do need that caffeine pick-me-up to stay awake in class or finish that all-nighter paper, then why not make your own instead of waiting in line and paying $4 for a cup of joe? With a small profile that doesn't take up too much space, you can program the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005IBX9/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005IBX9&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Cuisinart Brew Central</a> to make 12 cups, 24 hours in advance. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005IBX9/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005IBX9&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Currently $89.95 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There you have our choices for the best 5 small appliances for students. Be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-small-appliances-for-students">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/the-5-best-freezers">The 5 Best Freezers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">The 5 Best Refrigerators</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/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping appliances buying guide college students product reviews Thu, 12 Sep 2013 10:24:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 981808 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5301593772_e3ba5eb9fc_z.jpg" alt="energy star" title="energy star" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last week, we wrote about the <a title="Energy Hogs Hiding in Your Home" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-deadly-energy-sinners-the-energy-hogs-hiding-in-your-home">power hogs that hide in your home</a>, trampling all over your wallet while making your carbon footprint way too fat. This week we'll concentrate on how, going forward, you can combat your energy costs by purchasing Energy Star products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon" title="5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon">5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon</a>)</p> <p>While energy-efficient <a title="appliance deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c304/Home-Garden/Appliances?eref=wisebread">appliances</a> can save you money through usage, few people realize that you can get a tidy refund via a tax credit (after the proper IRS paperwork), too! And though it's too late to claim such a credit on last year's taxes, you can start planning for a payoff on this year's, by purchasing an Energy Star appliance. Here is what you need to know about the savings can you expect when it comes to Energy Star products.</p> <h3>What Is Energy Star?</h3> <p>A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, <a title="About Energy Star" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index">Energy Star designates energy efficient products and practices</a>. Besides household products and appliances, Energy Star extends its designations into home construction itself, meaning that a new home can earn an Energy Star seal. Thanks to Energy Star, Americans saved enough power in 2010 to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars &mdash; all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.</p> <h3>How Much Money Will Energy Star Appliances Save Me?</h3> <p>The operating costs of many Energy Star appliances are printed on their labels, though it helps to know how much your old appliances used in order to gain a proper perspective. As mentioned last week, old refrigerators are often the biggest energy offenders, wasting up to three times as much energy as new ones. (You can calculate your savings with this <a title="refrigerator retirement savings calculator" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.calculator">refrigerator retirement savings calculator</a>). Of course, Energy Star appliances run the gamut from air conditioners to lawn care tools. There are, of course, <a title="Energy Star products" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_find_es_products">general guidelines for how much an Energy Star product can save your household</a>, as compared to a non-Energy Star model.</p> <p>For perspective, here are some <a title="pros and cons of Energy Star products" href="http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Pros-Costs-and-Cons-Energy-Star-Appliances.16819.html">figures from the National Resource Defense Council</a>, courtesy of servicemagic.com. Replacing a 1980s model refrigerator with, perhaps, this <a title="Whirlpool refrigerator" href="http://dealnews.com/prices.html?avux=2018447&amp;a=558643&amp;k=WyJTaG9wcGluZ0NvbSIsIjk1MDQ3MDQ1IiwiOTA0NSIsIjE4ODkiXQ%3D%3D">Whirlpool 21.9-Cubic Foot Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator</a> from Abt Electronics can save you $100 a year in total energy costs. Replacing a pre-1994 clothes washer will save you as much as $110 a year; and a new, Energy Star dishwasher &mdash; like the <a title="Whirlpool dishwasher" href="http://www.pcrichard.com/catalog/product.jsp?modelNo=DU1055XTVS" class="image_link">Whirlpool Super Capacity Tall Tub Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher</a> &mdash; will save you about $25 per year. Multiply those savings over an appliance's 20-year lifetime, and you're talking thousands of dollars of potential cost reduction.</p> <h3>How Do Energy Star Tax Credits Work?</h3> <p>Tax credits are still available for consumers who purchased home improvement items in 2011, so if you splurged on some new windows or an air conditioner for the holidays, you're in luck. These tax-deductible goods include biomass stoves; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning; insulation; roofs (Metal &amp; Asphalt); water heaters (non-solar); and windows and doors. The tax credit for these items is, on average, 10% of cost, and up to a cumulative deduction of $500. The tax credit applies only to an existing home or your principal residence; new construction and rentals do not qualify. To apply for the tax credits for 2011 purchases, you'll need to file <a title="IRS Form 5695" href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf">IRS Form 5695</a> for Residential Energy Credits, a five-page attachment that your accountant or tax preparer can fill out easily with the proper receipts and documentation.</p> <h3>What's Changing for the 2012 Tax Year?</h3> <p>Unfortunately, some of the best Energy Star tax credits expired on January 1, 2012, including those that allowed folks to claim up to 30% of improvements like a new roof or hot water heater. However, through December 31, 2016, you'll be able to claim 30% of your costs (with no upper limit) on geothermal heat pumps, small, residential wind turbines, and solar energy systems. Existing homes and new construction qualify, as do principal residences and second homes, though rentals do not. What's more, homeowners can also earn a credit of up to <a title="energy efficiency tax credits" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index">30% of the cost of residential fuel cells</a> (up to $500 per .5kW of power capacity), through the end of 2016.</p> <p>If you want to know how much a solar or wind system might cost to install, check out the handy cost estimator at <a title="SolarEstimate.org" href="http://www.find-solar.org/index.php">SolarEstimate.org</a>. Entering my ZIP code in Cook County, IL, along with some basic information on my electric bill, I learned that a solar system would be a &quot;good&quot; bet based on my area's solar rating, and that the total cost of a system would run about $17,700, after the $7,590 tax credit is applied. That's a large up-front cost, but long-term energy savings can be substantial; with a handy graphic it's estimated that I'd break even in 12 years &mdash; and be $20,000 <em>ahead</em> in 24 years.</p> <h3>What's the Bottom Line on Energy Star?</h3> <p>Appliances that earn an Energy Star rating may cost a bit more upfront, but in an overwhelming majority of cases, their operating costs yield big savings over the lifetimes of the products. And while you can't bank on the government bringing back the now-expired 2011 tax credits, anything is possible in an election year, especially when energy costs are an important voter issue. Regardless, the facts show that Energy Star is working for the betterment of the environment while simultaneously lowering electric bills. Even in our fractured political climate, that's a platform everyone can agree upon &mdash; and incentive enough for all of us to make some major changes around the house not just in 2012, but also in the years to come as well.</p> <p>This is a guest post by <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/How-Much-Money-Will-You-Save-With-Energy-Star-Appliances-/558643.html">Dealnews</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> While it might seem smarter to stick with older appliances, stocking your home with Energy Star appliances can save you major cash in the long run. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">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-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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <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/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last">This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last</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/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home appliances dishwasher energy star refrigerator saving energy tax credits Mon, 19 Mar 2012 09:48:19 +0000 Dealnews 911581 at http://www.wisebread.com