winter http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7973/all en-US The 5 Best Windshield De-Icers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-windshield-de-icers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-windshield-de-icers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_icy_windshield_000022631102.jpg" alt="Woman using best windshield de-icers during winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the middle of winter, it can be impossible to prevent the dreaded layer of ice or snow from building up on your car windows. Fortunately, a good windshield de-icer can clear away the ice and frost in no time, and even prevent it from returning.</p> <p>There are a number of homemade remedies, including simple rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and water, which can reduce ice on your windshield. However, when you need more than a DIY remedy, try a professional windshield de-icer. (See also: &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer</a>&rdquo;)</p> <h2>What Is a Windshield De-Icer?</h2> <p>A windshield de-icer is an ice-melting liquid that can be applied to a frozen windshield. It will help melt the ice, frost, and snow, and can reduce your scraping time. It can also help reduce dangerous re-freeze, which in turn, will help increase visibility and driver safety.</p> <p>Driving with a frosty window is dangerous, so you won&rsquo;t want to be caught without this in harsh winter months. Most reviewers trend to agree that you need to use a lot of de-icer to get the results you&rsquo;re looking for, so a bottle of windshield de-icer may only last you through two or three big snow days, depending on where you live.</p> <h2>Top 5 Windshield De-Icers</h2> <h3>Prestone Windshield De-Icer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R2Z9E8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000R2Z9E8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHJM47IVUYZAIDNR"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/prestone.jpg" width="78" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R2Z9E8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000R2Z9E8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHJM47IVUYZAIDNR">Prestone Windshield De-Icer</a> is made from a concentrated ice-melting formula that can quickly melt ice, snow, and frost, and prevent it from returning right away. The high-performance formula is effective at removing snow from your car doors, windows, wipers, and locks. You can feel good about using this because it won&rsquo;t ruin your vehicle&rsquo;s coating. This has a built-in ice scraper, which makes it a great value. Most auto stores recommend Prestone as the best windshield de-icer available. A number of independent online review sites also selected this as the best de-icer on the market.</p> <p>This is very easy to use. Simply start your car and turn on the defroster. Then, use the easy-to-use trigger bottle to dispense the strong, wind-resistant spray on the icy area and wait 15 seconds. Then, you can use the windshield wipers or the scraper to clear off any ice. Reviewers agree that this solution is very effective and you likely won&rsquo;t need a scraper, but in the event that you do, the attached scraper should work perfectly.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R2Z9E8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000R2Z9E8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHJM47IVUYZAIDNR"><em>Currently $8.88 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Rain-X De-Icer With Scraper</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003D8O68S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003D8O68S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7VUZWR46GUWXH45W"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/rainx.jpg" width="75" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003D8O68S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003D8O68S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7VUZWR46GUWXH45W">Rain-X De-Icer</a> can melt ice, snow, and frost from the windshield and wipers. The spray also includes a durable scraper on the bottom to help you break through any stubborn snow with ease. It will make your windshield ice, sleet, and snow repellent, so you won&rsquo;t need to worry about re-icing. Rain-X also makes a popular rain repellent, so they know what it takes to keep your windshield clear and streak-free. Independent online review sites selected this as one of the best de-icers on the market.</p> <p>It is so effective that you may not even need to scrape the windshield. To use it, you simply start the car, turn on the defroster, and spray the solution directly on the glass. Then, the windshield will begin de-icing itself, or you can use the scraper to remove the ice.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003D8O68S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003D8O68S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7VUZWR46GUWXH45W"><em>Currently $18.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Splash Red Hot De-icer Windshield Trigger Spray</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00POJ9VUW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00POJ9VUW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GUKIBWDJLEAPJ2UW"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/splash.jpg" width="104" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00POJ9VUW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00POJ9VUW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GUKIBWDJLEAPJ2UW">Splash Red Hot De-icer Windshield Trigger Spray</a> works by melting frost and ice on the windshield, wiper blades, locks, mirrors, and doors. It is very effective and some drivers won&rsquo;t even need to scrape the windshield after using this easy-to-use trigger spray. This three pack of de-icers is a great deal, but if you only need one bottle right now, try the single <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GFTU1U4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00GFTU1U4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=R7FUYW5XM7YCWSRH">Windshield Deicer</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00POJ9VUW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00POJ9VUW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GUKIBWDJLEAPJ2UW"><em>Currently $23.41 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>einszett Eistau De-Icer Spray</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGVYF0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004PGVYF0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=75MDZX547Q6OJEA2"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/einszett.jpg" width="100" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGVYF0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004PGVYF0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=75MDZX547Q6OJEA2">einszett Eistau De-Icer Spray</a> can remove snow, ice, and frost from your vehicle. It is effective at defrosting mirrors, the windshield, wipers, and plastic headlight lenses. It can also help prevent re-icing, so you won&rsquo;t need to deal with fog or glare from the cold. You can feel good about using this because it doesn't contain ammonia or toxic methanol and won&rsquo;t harm your car&rsquo;s paint, glass, or trim. It is also silicone-free, glare-free, and smear-free. Reviewers agree that this is so effective, you likely won&rsquo;t need to use an ice scraper at all. Simply spray it on and watch the glass de-ice itself.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGVYF0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004PGVYF0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=75MDZX547Q6OJEA2"><em>Currently $15.45 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>CRC Ice-Off Windshield Spray De-Icer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M8H65C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000M8H65C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GLWZYVON3T55H4KO"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/crc.jpg" width="85" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M8H65C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000M8H65C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GLWZYVON3T55H4KO">CRC Ice-Off Windshield Spray De-Icer</a> melts snow, ice, and frost on contact, so you won&rsquo;t have to wait long before you can drive off. Along with defrosting your windshield, it can also thaw windows, frozen locks, and stuck doors. It is also very effective when you find a layer of film on your window from the cold. It will break through the fog and leave you with streak-free glass. This is extremely effective, can be used in sub-zero temperatures, and won&rsquo;t harm your car finish. Many reviewers found that this is so effective that they don&rsquo;t even need to use a scraper any longer. It has outstanding online reviews and is Amazon&rsquo;s #1 bestseller in winter products.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M8H65C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000M8H65C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GLWZYVON3T55H4KO"><em>Currently $5.93 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best windshield de-icers. 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-windshield-de-icers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers">The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers</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-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</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-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</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-foot-creams">The 5 Best Foot Creams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car accessories product reviews windshield windshield de-icers winter Thu, 10 Mar 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1664327 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-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/the-5-best-hardwood-floor-cleaners">The 5 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners</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-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-stain-removers">The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers</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-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</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 The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_driving_winter_000017948081.jpg" alt="Couple using best car battery warmers on winter drive" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winters can be harsh on your vehicle. If you&rsquo;re struggling to battle the cold winter weather, keep in mind that your car is too. It can become more difficult to start your vehicle during these cold months because the battery fluid can freeze over if you don&rsquo;t take precautionary measures now.</p> <h2>What Is a Battery Warmer?</h2> <p>A battery warmer can keep your battery insulated and warm throughout the cold winter months. This will help to prevent the battery fluid from freezing over and will allow you to get your car started much more quickly in the morning. They are very easy to install and should make your life a lot easier. Typically, the warmer can be plugged into any standard outlet and can be easily wrapped around your car battery.</p> <p>Having a jump starter kit can help to get you out of a bind when your car won&rsquo;t start in the morning. However, having a battery warmer in place will help prevent a problem from occurring in the first place. Auto fluids can thicken at cold temperatures, but battery warmers will transmit the heat continuously, to ensure the liquids stay fluid, so you can start your vehicle right away.</p> <p>Along with keeping your battery warm in cold climates, it can even help extend your battery&rsquo;s life, deliver better fuel economy, reduce wear, and protect your engine from cold weather damage. To ensure you choose the correct battery warmer, simply measure the distance around your battery and select the warmer length closest to that distance.</p> <h2>Top 5 Car Battery Warmers</h2> <h3>Kat's 22200 Battery Thermal Wrap</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XD9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XD9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSXUVIEMST4XIOAF"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kat%20battery.jpg" width="245" height="172" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XD9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XD9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSXUVIEMST4XIOAF">Kat's 22200 80 Watt 36&quot; Battery Thermal Wrap</a> can help protect your vehicle from the cold weather, and all the associated problems it brings. This is one of the most widely recommended battery warmers and has exceptional reviews online. It offers easy installation and can perfectly fit most batteries. It is also vinyl covered to protect against oil and acid, ensuring a longer life.</p> <p>Kat&rsquo;s offers some of the most popular battery pad heaters on the market, so you really can&rsquo;t go wrong with any Kat&rsquo;s battery warmer. You may also want to consider the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XDAS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XDAS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=L6YXP6NJT6HCNMAA">Kat's 22400 60 Watt 5.5&quot;x 8.5&quot; Battery Pad Heater</a>, which can fit most car and truck batteries.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XD9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XD9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSXUVIEMST4XIOAF"><em>Currently $29.24 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Zerostart 280-0063 Blanket Style Battery Heater</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UNASS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002UNASS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LVQZOAC2UJP7ANU"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/zerostat.jpg" width="245" height="134" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UNASS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002UNASS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LVQZOAC2UJP7ANU">Zerostart 280-0063 Blanket Style Battery Heater</a> is an Amazon bestseller. The 160-Watt heating unit can help you quickly start your car, even in the coldest climates. It features a molded rubber cord, flexible heater sheathing, and is flame retardant and oil and acid resistant.</p> <p>The battery heater is really easy to install on a clean, dry battery with up to a 36&rdquo; perimeter. You simply wrap it around your battery and hold it in place with the included ties. The cord is installed into the blanket with a brass grommet, designed to prevent tearing and prolong the heater&rsquo;s useful life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UNASS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002UNASS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LVQZOAC2UJP7ANU"><em>Currently $37.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>GM # 10952544 Battery Heater Blanket</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FE7IIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FE7IIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NVJD2572IZYIGQRP"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/gm.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FE7IIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FE7IIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NVJD2572IZYIGQRP">GM # 10952544 Battery Heater Blanket</a> is a genuine OEM factory part. You simply wrap this around your battery to help you start your vehicle in no time, even in the coldest climates. It can keep your battery warm year-round and is commonly chosen for snowplows in the middle of winter. The 80-Watt battery blanket fits batteries with a 32&quot;-38&quot; perimeter. It is easy to install and plugs into any standard outlets.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FE7IIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FE7IIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NVJD2572IZYIGQRP"><em>Currently $25.36 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Kat's 1160 Magnum Handi-Heat Magnetic Heater</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8YOR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8YOR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZONMOWHKENJN6AVL"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kats%20magnum.jpg" width="245" height="203" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you want to protect your vehicle and ensure that it starts up faster during the coldest times of the year, then you need the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8YOR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8YOR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZONMOWHKENJN6AVL">Kat's 1160 300-Watt Magnum Handi-Heat Magnetic Heater</a>. It is easy to install and will fit securely, with a universal fit for all cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, farm equipment, snowmobiles, motorcycles, snow blowers, and chainsaws. Along with warming your vehicle battery, it can also warm hydraulic systems or thaw frozen gutters, livestock feeders, locks, and pipes. It heats about 20 square inches of surface area and features two powerful magnets.</p> <p>For smaller applications, such as snowmobiles and small engines, consider the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BOABS6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000BOABS6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WSAEOUFEUPW4F655">Kat's 1153 Handi-Heat 200 Watt Magnetic Heater</a>. Kat&rsquo;s offers some of the most popular battery pad heaters on the market, so you really can&rsquo;t go wrong with any Kat&rsquo;s battery warmer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8YOR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8YOR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZONMOWHKENJN6AVL"><em>Currently $44.51 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>DEI 010480 Cell Saver</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MY0MQ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000MY0MQ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=H6UVDZVMYPEZ44VI"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/dei.jpg" width="220" height="188" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MY0MQ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000MY0MQ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=H6UVDZVMYPEZ44VI">DEI 010480 Cell Saver</a> can do more than just warm your battery; it can also help to protect it from overheating. With a reflective layer on the outside, it can absorb and neutralize any leaking battery acids and can withstand radiant temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees. It can protect your battery against heat and vibration that could cause premature failure and hazardous leaks during the summer, while keeping it warm during the winter. You can use this on its own or use it along with a battery thermal wrap, if you live in particularly cold climates.</p> <p>It comes with a complete battery insulation kit and everything you need. It is easy to install and should fit like a glove. You can trim the wrap to fit your battery and use the supplied edge sealing tape to secure it in place. It also comes with a base mat.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MY0MQ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000MY0MQ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=H6UVDZVMYPEZ44VI"><em>Currently $20.28 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best car battery warmers. 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-car-battery-warmers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-windshield-de-icers">The 5 Best Windshield De-Icers</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-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</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/the-5-best-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</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-foot-creams">The 5 Best Foot Creams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car battery car battery warmer car repair product reviews winter Thu, 31 Dec 2015 10:00:02 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1629637 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_selfie_london_000061899106.jpg" alt="Man finding luxe travel destinations that are cheaper in winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What did you do on your summer vacation? Yawn, what a cliché. Just about every vacation spot is mobbed in summer, when families with children are free to travel. If you have the flexibility, enjoy fewer crowds and pay less by visiting these normally-expensive spots during winter!</p> <h2>1. Europe</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/europe_city_fountain_000054520320.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The lowest airfares to Europe are usually available from mid-January through the end of February. Don't despair, there are plenty of great things to do there during the colder months, whether it's enjoying Denmark's <em>hygge</em>, sipping hot chocolate in Vienna, skiing in Switzerland, or hiking in temperate Italy and Spain.</p> <h2>2. Orlando</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/orlando_florida_attraction_000056623332.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Disney <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">hotels offer their cheapest rates</a> during &quot;Value Season,&quot; which includes much of January and the first week of February. Universal Orlando lists the first three weeks of December as value season as well. Basically if it's winter but not a holiday week, you're good to enjoy a cheaper and less crowded theme park experience.</p> <h2>3. Yosemite National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/yosemite_park_000008524397.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You might think this spectacular mountain playground is snowed in all winter, but many of the main roads, including the popular Valley Loop, are kept open.</p> <p>Is there anything to do there in winter? Only if you like ice skating with a view of Half Dome, affordable family downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Make sure to check current conditions before you head out to find out about temporary road closures or chain requirements.</p> <h2>4. Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iceland_000009978384.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Thanks to Iceland's affordable Wow Air, you can fly from Boston or DC to Reykjavik for under $400 just about any time of year &mdash; but accommodations (those that don't shut down until spring) cost about 40% less in winter.</p> <p>What can you do during an Icelandic winter when daylight only lasts a few hours? Bathe in a hot spring while sipping a frozen drink, enjoy all-day sunsets and sunrises, and see the Northern Lights. What you won't do is freeze to death, since thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland is not as cold as New York City in winter. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>5. New York City or Chicago</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/winter_chicago_city_000071070187.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You can't deny that living in a northern U.S. city sucks during winter. However, staying in downtown hotels &mdash; where nightly rates plummet with the temperatures &mdash; is a different story.</p> <p>In downtown Chicago, you can ice skate in Millennium Park, walk for miles indoors through world-class museums, and brave the chill to eat strudel at the Christkindlmarket. In New York City, there are countless things to do in winter. Whether it's enjoying the shows on Broadway or visiting the city's many museums or world-class eateries, you won't be disappointed.</p> <h2>6. Montreal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/montreal_at_christmas_000007750001.jpg" width="605" height="338" alt="" /></p> <p>I once visited Montreal during a mild January where the temperature was above freezing. Between Igloofest, Montréal en Lumière, and taking the kids to Mont Royal to sled and sip hot cocoa, Montreal glitters <em>en hiver </em>&mdash; and discount hotel packages make the normally pricey city <em>un bon march</em>é.</p> <p><em>What are your winter travel plans?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke">How to Visit New York Without Going Broke</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/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</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/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</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/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel disney world Europe new york city trips vacations value seasons winter Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:00:33 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1615576 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Stocks to Invest in During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-to-invest-in-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-stocks-to-invest-in-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/large_cruise_ship_000032123654.jpg" alt="Finding stocks to invest in during the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've been out to the malls or shopped online recently, you'll be fully aware that the holidays are approaching.</p> <p>For many companies, the months of November and December are make or break time. Retailers rely on holiday sales to hit revenue targets. Investors can take advantage of this holiday blitz by buying shares of those companies poised for an end-of-year boost.</p> <p>Here are 10 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stabilize-your-portfolio-with-these-11-dividend-stocks">stocks worth eyeing</a> as the winter holidays approach.</p> <h2>1. Amazon [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/amzn">AMZN</a>]</h2> <p>The National Retail Federation is predicting online retail sales to jump 6%&ndash;8% this year. As the world's largest online retailer, Amazon will benefit from this perhaps more than anyone. It recently opened a &quot;Black Friday Deals&quot; store, with 30,000 deals available to Amazon Prime members.</p> <h2>2. Wal-Mart [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=WMT">WMT</a>]</h2> <p>Have you ever seen a Walmart store on Black Friday? Demand for deals places this top retailer in a position to cash in every year, usually to the benefit of shareholders. Wal-Mart's investments in online sales should pay off here, as well.</p> <h2>3. FedEx [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=FDX">FDX</a>]</h2> <p>Forget Santa and his sleigh &mdash; this company has found a way to really cash in on holiday sales. It saw package volume jump nearly 9% during last year's Christmas season, and it's getting better and better at delivering packages on time every year. With an increasing number of people shopping online during the holidays, FedEx is always poised to do big business this time of year. Look to competitor UPS [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=UPS">UPS</a>] to have a great holiday season, too.</p> <h2>4. Best Buy [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=BBY">BBY</a>]</h2> <p>I am not normally a big fan of investing in &quot;big box&quot; retail, but Best Buy usually does well this time of year as the go-to place for many of the most popular consumer electronics. And the company is being aggressive online as well, after announcing it will offer free shipping with no minimum purchase through the holiday. Best Buy is rolling out &quot;Black Friday&quot; sales as early as November 7. Can the costs of offering deep discounts and free shopping be offset by higher sales? Investors hope so.</p> <h2>5. Foot Locker [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/fl">FL</a>]</h2> <p>This retailer has been on a tear in 2015, with shares up 25% on the year. In the last fiscal quarter, the company saw net income rise 29% over the same quarter a year ago. Analysts predict that the company will see a 17% rise in earnings for the year. A strong holiday season will make investors a very happy bunch.</p> <h2>6. Big Lots [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=BIG">BIG</a>]</h2> <p>Few multi-line retailers have had as good a year as Big Lots, with shares up 15% on the year. It's already getting buzz for its new &quot;Black Friday Deals Every Day&quot; campaign, and two new commercials. Analysts are predicting earnings to rise about 20% in 2015 when compared to last year.</p> <h2>7. Nike [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=NKE">NKE</a>]</h2> <p>The athletic footwear and sports equipment manufacturer had a great year and is expected to enter 2016 with a lot of momentum. Shares are up 40% on the year, and there's buzz about the company's sponsorship of next year's Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Nike announced it set an aggressive goal of $50 billion in annual sales by 2020.</p> <h2>8. Royal Caribbean [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=RCL">RCL</a>]</h2> <p>The travel industry often gets a bump around the holidays, as people find the time to get away to warmer climates. Shares of Royal Caribbean are near a 52-week high, as analysts recently predicted earnings would rise 37% in 2015 compared to last year.</p> <h2>9. Ross Stores [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ROST">ROST</a>]</h2> <p>This discount retailer has been a consistent solid performer over the holiday season in recent years. Morgan Stanley reported that the stock price has gone up an average of 1.2% after every fourth quarter earning report dating back to 2010. Shares are already up 25% in the last 12 months, making Ross one of the better-performing retailers out there.</p> <h2>10. JetBlue [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=JBLU">JBLU</a>]</h2> <p>Planes will be full during the holidays, and with oil prices at super-low levels, airlines should be pulling in solid profits. Consumer Reports recently rated JetBlue its top overall airline, giving the company some nice publicity heading into the heavy travel season. Shares of JetBlue have more than doubled in value this year.</p> <p><em>How will you plump up your portfolio this holiday season?</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/10-stocks-to-invest-in-during-the-holidays">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/15-cheap-and-delicious-punch-recipes-for-holiday-parties">15 Cheap and Delicious Punch Recipes for Holiday Parties</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/10-questions-to-ask-before-you-sell-a-stock-or-a-fund">10 Questions to Ask Before You Sell a Stock or a Fund</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-debate-between-buy-and-hold-vs-timing-the-market">The Debate Between Buy and Hold vs Timing The Market</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/survive-the-bear-market-10-steps-to-ride-the-downturn">Survive The Bear Market: 10 Steps To Ride The Downturn</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/if-youd-held-these-10-stocks-instead-of-sold-youd-be-rich-now">If You&#039;d Held These 10 Stocks Instead of Sold, You&#039;d Be Rich Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Christmas Holidays stock market stocks winter Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1615575 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Cheap and Delicious Punch Recipes for Holiday Parties http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-delicious-punch-recipes-for-holiday-parties <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-cheap-and-delicious-punch-recipes-for-holiday-parties" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holiday_punch_000076603497.jpg" alt="Finding delicious and cheap punch recipes for winter occasions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's almost time to get started on the holiday festivities! Not only are these delicious drinks crowd-pleasers, but the majority of them require very easy-to-acquire and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">affordable ingredients</a>. Check out these 15 super-tasty and cheap punch recipes for every winter occasion.</p> <h2>Non-Alcoholic Punches</h2> <p>While these mixes lack a boozy punch, they still deliver welcome holiday flavors.</p> <h3>1. Ginger Hibiscus Tea</h3> <p>This delicious <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Iced-Ginger-Hibiscus-Tea">ginger hibiscus tea</a> is perfect for daytime parties (winter brunch, anyone?). It may be too early for booze, but a slight caffeine boost is always welcome.</p> <h3>2. Sparkling Ginger Apple Cider Punch</h3> <p>A sparkling <a href="http://www.snixykitchen.com/2013/10/21/sparkling-ginger-apple-punch-with-muddled-cranberries/">ginger apple cider punch</a> is perfect for multi-generational gatherings like Thanksgiving. Kids will love this as-is, and adults can spike their own cups to make a <em>really</em> great drink.</p> <h3>3. Slow-Cooker Peppermint Hot Cocoa</h3> <p>Who doesn't love a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/slow-cooker-peppermint-hot-chocolate.html">hot cocoa</a> during the holidays? This slow-cooker version makes for simple set-up and serving. You probably already have most of the ingredients!</p> <h3>4. Low-Cal Eggnog</h3> <p>Eggnog is delicious, but admittedly, it's not the healthiest drink. This <a href="http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a28582/healthy-makeover-eggnog-ghk1207/">low-calorie version</a> cuts down on the cholesterol but not the taste.</p> <h3>5. Sparkling Apple Tea</h3> <p>This delicious <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/10/brunch-drinks-sparkling-apple-tea-nonalcoholic-recipe.html">tea-infused punch</a> brings the apple flavor to the forefront and would be a great transition drink after all the Christmas morning cocoa and coffee.</p> <h2>Boozy Punches</h2> <p>Alright, for the adults in the room: punches that do feature a dose of winter cheer.</p> <h3>6. Sparkling Bourbon Pear Cider</h3> <p>Everyone likes this mildly sweet and wintery <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/11/sparkling-bourbon-pear-cocktail-easy-big-batch-drink-recipe-for-a-party.html">bourbon pear cider</a>. Pour your bourbon as light or heavy as you'd like.</p> <h3>7. Mulled Wine</h3> <p><a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mulled-wine-recipe.html">Mulled wine</a> will not only make any wine-lover happy, but its wonderful Christmas-y smell will linger throughout the home. Use the cheaper wines at Trader Joe's ($5 or under) for this.</p> <h3>8. Blood Orange Punch</h3> <p>Blood oranges are coming into season, so get ready to find bags of them at reasonable prices. This tart, refreshing <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/10/blood-orange-punch-halloween-brunch-cocktail-recipe.html">blood orange punch</a> will make you wish they were available year-round.</p> <h3>9. Tequila Horchata Punch</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/desert-snow-tequila-punch">Southwestern punch</a> is perfect for folks who love the sweet, velvety taste and texture of horchata and the smoothness of good Tequila. Surprise your guests with this one.</p> <h3>10. Christmas Sangria</h3> <p><a href="http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a31566/classic-sangria-recipe/?click=recipe_sr">Classic sangria</a> is great year-round, but this one adds a few cheap ingredients for a more Christmas-y flavor. Remember to use your less expensive Spanish red blends.</p> <h3>11. Poor Girl's Champagne Punch</h3> <p>Want a sparkly, fun punch that impresses a crowd enough for them to ask what's in it? This punch featuring <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/party-on-a-budget-poor-girl-champagne-punch-187988">cheap beer and frozen raspberries</a> comes together deliciously.</p> <h3>12. Sparkling Pomegranate Punch</h3> <p>This playful and <a href="http://www.recipe.com/sparkling-pomegranate-punch/">flavorful pomegranate punch</a> uses both still and sparkling wine, and winter favorite fruit, pomegranates. Head to a local bodega for your pomegranates instead of the big chains who will charge you more for the convenience.</p> <h3>13. Virgin Island Punch</h3> <p>Can't &quot;winter&quot; in the Caribbean this season? Fake it with this <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/11/slightly-oliver-aloe-strawberry-virgin-island-punch.html">sweet and simple punch</a> using a very cheap ingredient; aloe juice. Sub in more affordable frozen berries if you are not in an area with fresh available.</p> <h3>14. Cranberry Christmas Punch</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/316360/christmas-punch">cranberry and pomegranate punch</a> is full of lip-smackingly tart holiday flavor. It's also very easy to mix &mdash; make the simple syrup at home in a few minutes.</p> <h3>15. Charles Dickens Punch</h3> <p>What's more Christmas-y than a punch named for the author we talk about most during the holidays? The simple to mix ingredients are <a href="http://punchdrink.com/recipes/charles-dickenss-punch/">set on fire</a> before serving!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite holiday punch recipe? Share a ladleful in comments?</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/15-cheap-and-delicious-punch-recipes-for-holiday-parties">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/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations">14 Festive and Easy DIY Holiday Decorations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-simple-frugal-recipes-for-leftover-turkey">5 Creative, Simple, and Frugal Recipes for Leftover Turkey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-to-invest-in-during-the-holidays">10 Stocks to Invest in During the Holidays</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-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</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/to-life-to-life-la-kayim-the-joy-of-home-enhanced-booze">To life, to life, la kayim! The joy of home-enhanced booze.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Christmas cocktails Holidays parties Punch Thanksgiving winter Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:12:04 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1614974 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/children_gardening_000068058399.jpg" alt="Children prepping their garden before winter comes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your garden provided beauty and sustenance throughout the season, but now it's time to close up shop until next year. Or is it? Here's what you need to know about extending the life of your garden and preparing it for next year. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a>)</p> <h2>1. Enjoy the Harvest</h2> <p>There are plenty of crops you can plant at the end of summer. Try extending your garden enjoyment with <a href="http://www.almanac.com/sites/new.almanac.com/files/Succession-gardening-chart-cropped.pdf">radishes, beets, lettuce</a>, and other vegetables that do well in cooler weather. If you're gardening for the first time this fall, you'll notice fewer pests and other issues than you deal with in the spring and summer months. Missed this season's planting dates? Remember this tip for the future.</p> <h2>2. Clear It Out</h2> <p>At the end of each season (when frost hits), we take time to remove all the leftover plants in our raised bed and other garden spaces. We toss the old plants into our compost heap to create super rich soil for next year. Don't skip this step. Mary Lou Shaw at <em>Mother Earth News</em> explains that clearing out &quot;prevents the build-up of <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/preparing-your-vegetable-garden-for-winter.aspx">disease and harmful insects</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Prepare the Soil</h2> <p>Now is the time to beef up your soil's quality. You can add <a href="http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4dmg/Garden/longwint.htm">compost, peat, leaves</a>, and even well-rotted manure to your empty garden. Carl Wilson and Mary Hartman at the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension explain that &quot;Soil microorganisms and beneficial soil insects will help incorporate these materials into the soil before the ground freezes and in the spring after it thaws.&quot; A robust garden starts with quality soil.</p> <h2>4. Keep Hydrating</h2> <p>According to horticulturist Sharon Yielsa, you should keep <a href="http://extension.illinois.edu/gardenerscorner/issue_02/fall_07_05.cfm">watering your perennials</a> until the ground freezes. The extra hydration will help maintain a healthy root system and help the plant thrive next spring. The best way to water is by soaking plants just once a week versus giving them a light watering every day.</p> <h2>5. Cut It Back</h2> <p>Some perennials should be <a href="http://www.garden.org/regional/report/arch/inmygarden/4258">cut back before winter</a>, so get your garden scissors and check out a few guidelines from the National Gardening Association offers. Plants like heliopsis, purple coneflower, and black-eyed Susans are actually beneficial to birds, so don't cut them. Plants like bearded iris, peonies, bee balm, and garden phlox act like safe havens for insects and disease spores, so clip them clean.</p> <h2>6. Cover It Up</h2> <p>My neighbor is big into her roses. We have our own bush, so she explained to us that we need to cover it during the cold weather. Hardy plants like roses, hydrangeas, transplanted evergreens, and more can benefit from a <a href="http://www.finegardening.com/shelter-plants-winters-worst">burlap or styrofoam cover</a>. Tender plants get some added protection with mulch, shredded leaves, and even pine boughs.</p> <h2>7. Kill Weeds</h2> <p>If you have an area that's just covered in nasty weeds &mdash; cover it up with <a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/putting-garden-bed">black plastic</a>. You'll keep this sheet in place over the entire winter. This action will keep the seeds from sprouting so you can get a fresh start in the spring.</p> <h2>8. Use the Space</h2> <p>You can use your <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/garden-yard/root-cellars-zm0z11zkon.aspx?PageId=1">garden as a root cellar</a> of sorts when you're not growing stuff in it. Of course, your root crops (beets, carrots, parsnips) are what will do best with this method. Just dig them up, cut their tops down to one inch, then dig a trench that's six to 10 inches deep and 18 to 24 inches wide. Replant those crops at the bottom of the trench and cover with soil.</p> <h2>9. Think Ahead</h2> <p>The fall season is a great time to plant bulbs for flowers like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses or plants like onions and garlic. <a href="http://www.americanmeadows.com/how-to-plant-flower-bulbs">Plant bulbs</a> around the time of the first frost. You'll want to loosen the soil and add any compost before planting the bulbs with the pointy end up. Big bulbs should be set about eight inches deep. Smaller ones should go in a shallow five inches.</p> <h2>10. Make Plans</h2> <p>While your gardening efforts are still fresh in your mind, make a plan for next year. What plants did well? Which ones didn't so much? Did you deal with certain garden pests more than others? Ask yourself a bunch of questions to find your strengths and weaknesses. Draft up a few dreams, too. Then when the weather is chilly and the snow piles high, try reading books like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591865484/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591865484&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DP7LOH7EWFG6IUFF">Square Foot Gardening</a> to learn how to maximize space for next year's crops.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare your garden for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</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/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-easiest-plants-to-grow-indoors-and-outdoors">The 7 Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors and Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-black-thumb-green">How to Turn Your Black Thumb Green</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-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home gardening green thumb harvests planting plants winter Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:00:29 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1542139 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winter_woman_000052678066.jpg" alt="Woman trying to avoid hidden costs of winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As I type this article, the temperature outside is negative 17 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind chill? Negative 32. And this is, like, our fifth round of this frigid nonsense this year. We've gotten used to the cold, so I complain mostly to establish my clout as a northern girl who knows her winter weather and storms. As you might not know, there are costs hidden in the feet of snow dumped on our streets, the ice coating the trees overhanging our homes, and the plunging temperatures that seem unrelenting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter?ref=seealso">9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to avoid paying them.</p> <h2>1. Frozen Pipes</h2> <p>We had a plumber over the other day, and he was telling us about all the frozen pipes his team has been dealing with this winter. When pipes burst, they don't just dump water into your home. They run a path of destruction, ruining flooring, flooding furnaces, and more. The costs can be staggering. To avoid this unfortunate situation, make sure your pipes stay warm. The plumber explained to us that problems often arise when people go away and turn their heat down low, so keep your thermostat on a toasty 65 or higher. And learn where your <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFZwynKnbQE">main water shutoff valve</a> is so you can stop the worst damage before it starts.</p> <h2>2. Fire Hazards</h2> <p>When the weather gets frightful, people often turn to secondary heating source to supplement the furnace. They switch on things like electric or gas heaters, gas or wood stoves, and light up fireplaces. Whenever you're using a flame inside your home, make sure you're watching it carefully. Fire is one of the most costly tragedies because you could lose absolutely everything you own, including your home. Get your <a href="http://www.csia.org/about-csia/faq.aspx">chimney cleaned annually</a> to eliminate the risk of fire. And always open your flue the whole way, which will keep the airflow in proper order.</p> <h2>3. Fallen Trees</h2> <p>With all that ice and snow and wind, there's a risk that trees around your home might fall without notice. We've never experienced this one ourselves, but we did almost buy a home where several sick-looking trees were overhanging the property. I still walk by that place and wonder when the damage is going to happen. Although there's not a lot you can do to ensure those trees won't come crashing down onto your roof or worse, you can be proactive &mdash; especially since costs aren't always covered by insurance. If you have trees hanging close to your house, consider trimming them back. Remove rotting or sick trees entirely. You can often get a free quote for the work (get several), and though it might cost a lot upfront, you'll save later on.</p> <h2>4. Ice Dams</h2> <p>We've had some impressively long icicles this year. They're both beautiful and slightly terrifying at the same time. Not only do ice dams pose dangers to people hanging below, but they can also cause some <a href="http://www.syracuse.com/weather/index.ssf/2015/02/snow_cold_means_icicle_season_in_cny_where_are_the_biggest_ones.html">major roof problems</a> by blocking water from flowing freely. Try removing as much snow as possible from your roof. If that's not a viable option, try removing icicles or hire a professional to come out and do it for you. It will cost less to take care of an issue before it gets downright nasty. To prevent the dams next year, add more insulation to your attic and check out heated wires you can install on gutters that melt ice away.</p> <h2>5. Utility Costs</h2> <p>Now, with the electric components, especially heaters, utility costs can climb. Your heater could be costing you between $50 and $120 per month to run &mdash; and when you consider that winter lasts forever some places, that adds up fast. Try running your heater at minimum and &mdash; instead &mdash; layering up with warm clothes for free. Otherwise, some general home maintenance can take care of a lot of the dollars that are literally flying out your windows. Check around for drafts and cover them up. Get your furnace serviced to ensure it's running properly. Use thermal curtains to block cold air out on the worst days. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs?ref=seealso">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Utility Costs</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you control the high cost of a chilly winter? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-snow-and-save">How to Remove Snow and Save</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/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter">56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</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/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter">9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home heating home maintenance snow winter Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1315155 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Benefits of Colder Winters http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-colder-winters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-benefits-of-colder-winters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000013853135_Large.jpg" alt="woman in the snow" title="woman in the snow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Heavy snow. High winds. Sub-zero temperatures. You can almost feel the chill just thinking about it, right? But while they conjure unpleasant thoughts of numbing fingers and toes, colder winters do bring about some exciting benefits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=seealso">50 Fun things to Do When You're Stuck Inside for Winter</a>)</p> <h2>1. The Cold Kills Off Bugs</h2> <p>Some <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/winters-deep-freeze-kills-garden-pests/2014/01/14/98f321a2-7960-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_story.html">ticks, mosquitoes, and stink bugs</a> die off when exposed to freezing temperatures, meaning there are fewer skin bites, garden pests, and unwelcome home visitors in the wintertime. A cold snap can also help kill or reduce cockroach populations.</p> <h2>2. Longer, More Meaningful Phone Conversations</h2> <p>Who we call and how long we speak to them changes with the weather, according to research from Newcastle University. Analysing the call patterns of 1.3 million mobile phone users, a research team found that people tend to <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010172126.htm">have longer phone conversations</a> with a smaller number of people during &quot;uncomfortable&quot; weather conditions. Not only are our conversations longer, they're more more meaningful. When the wind howls and there's a coat of ice on the street, we're more likely to contact our close friends and family rather than our casual friends and acquaintances.</p> <h2>3. Low Temperature Longevity</h2> <p>Preliminary studies show that biting winters may&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21202-stay-cool-and-live-longer">lead to longer life</a>. Researchers from the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan discovered that worms exposed to cold temperatures have longer life spans. Experts aren't sure yet, but they say the same might go for humans, too. &quot;It's too early to say, but it is possible our research applies to humans, because the genetic pathway we identified is found in people,&quot; says study author Shawn Xu.</p> <h2>4. The Cold Might Curb Pain</h2> <p>Finnish researchers found that cold-water plunges as well as whole-body cryotherapy sessions can bring about a two to three-fold jump in norepinephrine levels in humans. Norepinephrine is a chemical in the nervous system that is linked to pain suppression, meaning that exposure to extreme cold could&nbsp;<a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2010/January/out-in-the-cold">reduce our aches and pains</a> temporarily.</p> <h2>5. Cold Helps You Burn Fat</h2> <p>Exposure to a cold snap&nbsp;helps activate brown fat, the heat-producing, calorie-burning fat that helps babies regulate their body temperature, according to literature from Harvard Medical School. Brown fat withers with age, and by adulthood there's not much left of it. But researchers say that when it comes to weight loss, there could be some very mild benefits to cold exposure.</p> <h2>6. Big Hawaiian Surf</h2> <p>Colder air, along with a sagging jet stream and stronger winds, combine to create the <a href="http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/guides/beach/seasonal_surf_trends.php">massive winter swells</a> that draw surfers from around the globe to the north and west-facing shores of the Hawaiian islands. A monster swell can create 40 to 70 foot waves, some of the largest and deadliest in the world. They're a spectacular sight to see, and for skilled surfers they're an even bigger thrill to ride.</p> <h2>7. It Boosts Our Appreciation of Sunshine</h2> <p>We need a little bad weather here and there to maintain a healthy appreciation for warmth and sunlight. Studies show that if the weather never changes, we lose our gratefulness for the weather when it's truly spectacular. As it turns out, those bone-chilling days of winter are a large part of the reason we're able to truly enjoy the balmy, bluebird sky days of spring.</p> <h2>8. The Fruit Tastes Sweeter</h2> <p>Cold weather is typically no friend to crops. But some of southern Florida's <a href="http://www.weather.com/science/nature/news/deep-freeze-silver-linings-20140109">citrus fruits</a>&nbsp;can actually benefit from a well-timed winter freeze. &quot;A good cold snap lowers the acidity in oranges and increases sugar content, (which) sweetens the fruit,&quot; Florida Farm Bureau Federation Policy Director Frankie Hall told The Weather Channel.</p> <h2>9. It Helps Runners Recover</h2> <p>Research shows that runners who immerse themselves in extremely cold water after a strenuous run <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0027749">recover from muscle strains</a> more quickly. Experts say the cold shocks the body into recovery mode by reducing inflammation, which helps the muscles fend off aches, pains, and discomfort. It also helps runners regain their muscle strength more quickly.</p> <h2>10. Winter Sports Heat Up</h2> <p>A chill in the air is one of the precursors of a great winter sporting season. Without it, the skiing, riding, and snowshoeing just isn't as enjoyable. During warmer winters, ski resorts and tubing parks tend to open late in the season and close early, and nature trails that can otherwise provide fine terrain for cross country skiing well into April are bare with grass.</p> <p><em>How does a cold winter benefit you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-colder-winters">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/how-to-remove-snow-and-save">How to Remove Snow and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-do-better-in-winter">5 Investments That Do Better in Winter</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/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</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/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks climate cold weather winter Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1285070 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Investments That Do Better in Winter http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-do-better-in-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-investments-that-do-better-in-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000022835264_Large.jpg" alt="stocks snow" title="stocks snow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This could be one of the <a href="http://www.weatherbell.com/public-winter-14-15-forecast">snowiest and most frigid winters</a>&nbsp;in the last 50 years, predicts Joe Bastardi of WeatherBell Analytics. That's bad for our heating bills and chances of avoiding a wretched winter cold. But it's great for certain types of investments, which tend to skyrocket in the ice and gloom.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of some of the best places to grow your money in the depths of winter. Because if your weather can't be hot, your investments might as well be.</p> <h2>1. Vail Resorts</h2> <p>Skiers behold: There's a publically traded ski resort, and it is Vail Mountain Resorts (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=MTN">NYSE: MTN</a>). Perhaps it should be no surprise that its stock tends to spike during winter, when skiing and other snow sports at the company's seven resort properties are in full force. The 2014-2015 winter season is looking to be a particularly good one for Vail stockholders, following the company's recent announcement of plans to build the largest U.S. mountain resort at Utah's Park City, starting with an unprecedented&nbsp;<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/vail-resorts-invest-unprecedented-50-130000891.html">$50 million investment</a>. With such a game-changing project in the works, analysts are strongly recommending that<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/mtn/analyst-research"> investors buy Vail Resorts stock</a> this winter season.</p> <h2>2. Johnson &amp; Johnson</h2> <p>America's largest pharmaceutical company (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=JNJ">NYSE: JNJ</a>) does better in the markets when the weather is cold and stormy. Why? Because people are getting sick at higher rates and their skin is getting chapped &mdash; two unpleasant circumstances that can lead to sales spikes for drugs and body lotions, two of Johnson &amp; Johnson's staple products. Analysts are forecasting an increase in the company's stock value over the course of the next 12 months, indicating <a href="http://money.cnn.com/quote/forecast/forecast.html?symb=JNJ">healthy growth potential</a> even well after the winter months are over.</p> <h2>3. Douglas Dynamics</h2> <p>The maker of snow plows and salt spreaders (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=PLOW">NYSE: PLOW</a>) stands to benefit greatly from a rugged winter season. Last year was an exceptionally snowy one and therefore an exceptionally profitable season for Douglas shareholders. &quot;<a href="http://www.thestreet.com/story/12523948/1/why-douglas-dynamics-plow-is-popping-after-hours.html">Record fourth quarter sales</a> signify a continued improvement in business conditions compared to last year, as snowfall levels were strong across core markets,&quot; CEO James L. Janik said in a statement. If this winter follows suit, shareholders will again be sitting pretty.</p> <h2>4. Compass Minerals International</h2> <p>Compass Minerals (<a href="http://www.google.com/finance?cid=688755">NYSE: CMP</a>) is one of the largest providers of highway salt in the U.S. And if this winter plays out anything like last year, it's going to be a boom for the highway salt business. Dozens of cities across the nation <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/02/17/275899324/got-road-salt-cities-across-the-country-are-running-out-of-it">ran out of road salt</a> last year as storm after storm pummeled parts of the midwest and northeast. But regardless of how much white stuff the season brings us, Compass has increased its dividend in each of the past 10 years, making it a solid investment in and of itself.</p> <h2>5. Columbia Sportswear</h2> <p>The maker of winter coats and boots (<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=COLM+Headlines">NYSE: COLM</a>) stands to cash in on a season of plentiful snow storms, especially since the brand is a fan favorite among both winter athletes and the everyday consumer. What's more, the company underwent a two-for-one stock split in September that made its shares more&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/article/5-stocks-to-buy-for-a-frigid-winter-cm415697">affordable to individual investors</a>, according to a NASDAQ analysis. Our recommendation: Buy now and pray for snow.</p> <p><em>What are your hot investments for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-do-better-in-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know">The Only 8 Rules of Investing You Need to Know</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/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers">Should You Trust Your Money With These 4 Popular Financial Robo-Advisers?</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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club">Everything You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Investing With Lending Club</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-investors-with-better-returns-than-warren-buffett">5 Investors With Better Returns Than Warren Buffett</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/non-financial-investments">Non-financial investments</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment investing weather winter winter sports Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:00:19 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1281736 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-snow-windshield-Dollarphotoclub_28403476.jpg" alt="woman cleaning snow car" title="woman cleaning snow car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The weather outside may be frightful, but your driving experience can still be delightful. All it takes is a little preparation to set yourself up for a safe and sound winter driving season.</p> <p>Of course, the best advice is always this: When the roads are slick and unsafe, stay home. But if you must go out, you'll be glad you planned ahead.</p> <h2>1. Check the Battery</h2> <p>Your vehicle's battery <a href="http://corporate.interstatebatteries.com/winterizing_batteries/">loses 33% of its power</a> when the temperature dips below freezing and as much as 60% of its juice when the mercury falls below zero. So it's wise to give the battery and its charger a once-over to ensure they're performing optimally. A quick trip to your local car technician will quickly reveal whether the battery is winter-ready, or corroded and otherwise not performing well.</p> <h2>2. Switch to Winter Wiper Blades and Cold Weather Washer Fluid</h2> <p>Windshield wipers are crucial to a clear view from the driver's seat &mdash; but a nasty winter storm makes their job many times harder. That's why you should consider investing in a pair of winter blades, which are built to withstand precipitation and freezing cold. Most winter blades are encased in a protective rubber shell that prevents ice and snow from hardening on the wiper. The going rate for a pair ranges from less than $20 to about $40, depending on size and quality.</p> <p>While you're attending to windshield issues, car safety experts also suggest switching over to cold weather washer fluid, or any brand containing antifreeze.</p> <h2>3. Store a Shovel in the Trunk</h2> <p>You're driving down the road when your tires hit a patch of ice that sends you sliding into a snow bank. It's a gentle spinout that causes no injury or damage, but now your front tires are sunk in a heap of fresh snow. You're not going anywhere for awhile &mdash; unless you packed a shovel and have the muscle to dig yourself out. The shovel needn't be a humdinger, just something sturdy that fits in the trunk.</p> <h2>4. Check the Tire Pressure</h2> <p>For every 10 degree change in temperature, car tires <a href="http://www.goodyear.com/cfmx/web/corporate/media/news/story.cfm?a_id=371">lose a pound of pressure</a>. That's why it's wise to make sure the pressure in all four tires is in check at the outset of the winter season. In cold weather, any pressure imbalance will be made that much worse.</p> <h2>5. Evaluate the Tire Tread Depth</h2> <p>Car tires in any season need <a href="http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/index.jsp">a tread depth of at least 6/32-inch</a> to get adequate traction, according to Tire Rack. If yours fall short, you're going to need to go tire shopping. Wintry road conditions necessitate even more depth than normal to help the tire grooves compress and release snow as they roll. Without sufficient tread depth, spinouts are more likely.</p> <p>Should you opt for new winter tires, be sure to get a full set. Mounting winter tires on the front of a front-wheel-drive car can prompt sliding while putting winter tires only on the back of a rear-drive car will make turns more difficult.</p> <h2>6. Switch to Thinner Oil</h2> <p>Cold weather thickens the engine oil, which forces the car battery to work double time to get your car running smoothly. But you can give your battery a break and prevent potential engine trouble by switching over to a thinner oil. Most vehicles are served well by a 5W-20, 5W-30, or 10W-30 oil formula, but be sure to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/winterizing-your-vehicle/index.htm">check your owners manual</a> for notes on compatibility. It's also wise to have the oil filter changed to maintain fluidity.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Blanket</h2> <p>Should you get stranded on the side of a highway during a temper tantrum by Jack Frost, you'll be much less likely to run the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, or plain old cold weather discomfort if you've got a warm blanket stowed away in the trunk. While you're at it, it's not a bad idea to add a set of hand warmers, gloves, a wooly hat, a flashlight, bottled water, and a non-perishable snack to your winter weather emergency survival kit. Here's hoping you never have to use it.</p> <p><em>What do you do to prep your car for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</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/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</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/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter">56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</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/save-gas-dont-make-left-hand-turns">Save gas; don&#039;t make left-hand turns.</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-get-your-car-stolen">How to get your car stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living auto Cars driving emergencies snow winter Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1271197 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-snow-car-177114213-small.jpg" alt="woman snow car" title="woman snow car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is coming, and <a href="http://www.westeros.org/">Westeros</a> isn't the only place where there's much to prepare for. Make sure you keep your home, health, and sanity intact by taking the following preventative measures now.</p> <h2>1. Slowly Condition Your Home to Cooler Temperatures</h2> <p>As soon as our homes get chilly, the kneejerk reaction is to run to the thermostat and crank up the heat. While our bodies are instantly grateful for our natural impulses, our wallets will start to feel the pain not long after.</p> <p>Kyle James, founder of <a href="http://www.rather-be-shopping.com">Rather-Be-Shopping.com</a>, suggests a different approach to help acclimate your body to living comfortably by changing your warming pattern.</p> <p>&quot;If during the winter and fall months you typically keep your thermostat at 73 during the day and 66 at night, try an experiment and lower it by one degree each week for a month,&quot; he says. &quot;Slowly try changing the temperature you are used to and let your body adjust. Wear a sweatshirt if this is a difficult adjustment. This tip has the potential to save you quite a bit of money this winter.&quot;</p> <p>Another great tip he shares to help your home capture more heat during the winter is to seal or wrap your windows to prevent cold air from seeping in, and open the blinds and curtains in the morning to take advantage of the natural heat from the sun that will pour through your windows and help raise the temperature of those rooms a bit.</p> <h2>2. Kick Rodents and Other Pests to the Curb</h2> <p>During the milder months, the weather is nice enough that we generally don't have to worry about vermin taking over our homes &mdash; they're enjoying the outdoors as much as we are. But when the temps take a dive, everybody runs for cover&hellip; even the creepy-crawlies.</p> <p>&quot;Rodents, spiders, cockroaches, and other pests also seek shelter from the winter elements &mdash; and unfortunately our warm homes make the perfect haven,&quot; says Amanda Polyak, a representative for the <a href="https://npmapestworld.org/index.cfm">National Pest Management Association</a>. &quot;It's important to take preventative measures now to keep these pests out because they are known to spread diseases, bring other dangerous pests such as ticks and fleas in to the home, and trigger asthma and allergies.&quot;</p> <p>To help keep this nightmare scenario at bay, Polyak recommends taking a few steps to ensure your home is home to only you and your family:</p> <ul> <li>Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in woodpiles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Screen vents to chimneys.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Stock Up on Your Outdoor Hardware</h2> <p>You wouldn't face an impending winter storm without the proper essentials indoors&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;bread, milk, toilet paper, WINE &mdash; and you shouldn't forget about the supplies you'll need to take care of the outside of your home either. Do an early check to make sure you have rakes, shovels, snow blowers, sidewalk salt, and other winter cleanup items that you'll need to keep everybody safe who will step on to your property before, during, and after a winter-weather event. Rush the hardware store a day before and you'll likely find very little stock left or face supply-and-demand pricing, which will only make matters worse.</p> <h2>4. Clear Vents and Chimneys to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Mishaps</h2> <p>Tim Flynn, owner of <a href="http://wintershomeservices.com/">Winter Home Services</a>, has seen firsthand the dangers of obstructed chimneys and vents &mdash; a hazardous scenario due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. He offers a few tips on staying safe and warm this winter:</p> <ul> <li>Inspect vents and chimneys to make sure they are unobstructed. Clear leaves and vines; prune shrubs and plants so they do not block vents. Anything around a vent or chimney needs to be removed as it can block the exhaust, which can cause carbon monoxide to back up into the home as well as trigger heating system shut-off or malfunction.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Install, check and/or replace smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Both fire and carbon monoxide can be deadly and silent. Manufacturers recommend replacing detectors every five years.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Take Preventative Measures Against Pipe Freezing</h2> <p>The last thing you want this winter are burst pipes that have frozen because you didn't properly prepare them. WikiHow has a great <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Frozen-Water-Pipes">step-by-step DIY article on how to properly prevent pipes from freezing</a>, but you also can find a few great tips from Wise Bread.</p> <p>Bill Redfern, founder and president of A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections, goes a couple steps further when he suggests that we &quot;check to ensure sprinkler systems are blown out and winterized and exterior faucets and water lines are insulated; drain the air conditioner pipes; and if your air conditioner has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.&quot;</p> <p>If you have a swimming pool in your yard, it's important that you properly winterize that as well.</p> <h2>6. Visit Your Doctor or Local Pharmacy for a Flu Shot</h2> <p>Ebola fears have reached a fever pitch lately, but that virus doesn't hold a candle to seasonal influenza, <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm">which claims thousands of lives each year</a> according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Give your body the best chance of avoiding the flu &mdash; and fighting it if you do catch it &mdash; by getting a flu shot. While you're at the doctor, update your prescriptions and take care of any other check-up type necessities, so you can make fewer trips when the weather is poor.</p> <h2>7. Outfit Your Car for Winter Weather</h2> <p>Paul Purcell is a terrorism and natural disaster preparedness trainer and author of <a href="http://www.disasterprep101.com/">Disaster Prep 101</a>. He suggests topping off your tank, &quot;docking&quot; your car, pre-treating your locks so they don't freeze, covering your car if it's susceptible to the elements, and keeping the engine block warm.</p> <p>Personally, I also would recommend keeping a first-aid kit in your car (at all times, not just during the winter), along with hand warmers, flares, heavy blankets, an emergency phone (<a href="http://spareone.com/">I own this model from SpareOne</a>), and a few days' non-perishable food and water in the event that you're ever stranded. These items literally could be the difference between life and death.</p> <h2>8. Replace Shingles and Clean Your Gutters</h2> <p>Hop up on the roof to inspect and replace any loose shingles to avoid a potentially devastating in-home disaster from melting precipitation that could make its way inside. At the same time, clean out your gutters to remove leaves, sticks, and other debris that can block the flow of rain and melting snow and ice and which also will put an added strain on your gutters with additional precipitation on top of it.</p> <h2>9. Consider the Well-Being of Your Mind and Body</h2> <p>Winter is notorious for bringing on bouts of depression as a result of many nefarious factors &mdash; cold temperatures, limited daylight, cabin fever, etc. That's why it's important for you to plan ahead and prepare yourself based on how you expect you'll feel when the going gets tough.</p> <p>These preventative measures will be different for every person, and I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you exactly what you should do here, but you probably have a good idea of the initial steps you can take to make the best of this situation. You'll also want to make sure you've stocked up on moisturizers and other skin-hydrating products (or make them at home) so your skin can stay smooth and comfortable throughout the winter.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for winter? Do you have other tips you'd like to add to this list? Please share in comments!</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/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-snow-and-save">How to Remove Snow and Save</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home disaster planning SAD winter winterizing Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1251654 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-changing-thermostat-iStock_000032848840Small.jpg" alt="woman changing thermostat" title="woman changing thermostat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's snow in the forecast. As much as I'd like to ignore all the fallen leaves in our backyard and gloss over the shorter daylight hours, the fact remains: Winter is upon us.</p> <p>We're in a new-to-us home this year, so how much our heating might cost is a wildcard. Thankfully, we've lined up some defenses to keep our energy bills as low as they can be. And these simple tips are universally helpful whether you live in a 1960s ranch or an 1880s Victorian.</p> <h2>1. Tame Drafts</h2> <p>The best way to keep the warm air in is to make sure it isn't flowing out. Take a tour around your home and examine windows and doors for any drafts. Our front door had a sizable gap at its base, so we installed weatherstripping and it took care of the cold air problem immediately.</p> <p>There are many ways to <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5955246/drafty-how-to-seal-your-windows-and-doors-from-the-cold">fill in voids</a>, including stripping, insulator kits, foam, silicone, etc. If you're in an apartment or just want a temporary fix, you can also use one of those draft guards. Here's a <a href="http://thefeltmouse.blogspot.com/2009/02/we-got-new-dog.html">DIY tutorial</a> using an old pair of tights, polyfill, and only a few stitches.</p> <h2>2. Lower the Thermostat</h2> <p>How low can you go on your thermostat this winter? Start just one degree and you could <a href="http://news.discovery.com/earth/big-savings-by-degrees-120515.htm">save up to 5%</a> (or around $10 per day) on your overall heating bill according to an analysis released by EnergyHub in 2012. The EPA recommends settings on 70 degrees during the eight hours most people are home turning it down to 62 degrees for the 16 hours when people are away or sleeping. And if you can get away with keeping your thermostat on lower (we keep ours on 67 during the day), that's great, too. Using a <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Simple-Dollar/2012/0601/Properly-used-a-programmable-thermostat-cuts-energy-costs">programmable thermostat</a> also helps you save by taking out the manual temperature changing.</p> <h2>3. Cover Yourself</h2> <p>Feeling nervous about taking the plunge? Keeping comfortable at lower thermostat levels isn't difficult. Wear more clothing! Long sleeves, pants, thick socks, and layers are the fashion statements in our house during the winter. We also keep a fleece blanket on the couch to ward off chills in the evening. Our beds are topped with flannel sheets and wool covers for the nights when our thermostat is at its lowest setting. You don't want to be frigid all season long, but some common sense is employed here.</p> <h2>4. Zone It Out</h2> <p>My family lives in a 4-bedroom home, but we're currently only using two of those bedrooms on a daily basis. So, we've closed the hot air vents in those rooms to redirect the heating to the spaces we're living in and keep the doors shut most hours of the day. If you have baseboard heating, see if there's a localized switch in your room so you can turn it off and shut the door. The savings here are hard to quantify because so many factors are involved (room size, etc.), however &mdash; the less area to heat, the more money that stays in your pockets.</p> <h2>5. Use Curtains</h2> <p>During the day, take advantage of the sun's rays by opening your curtains to let the light in. Even on the coldest days you'll get a boost, especially with those south-facing windows in the afternoon rays. Then in the evening, close your curtains to help keep the heat indoors. If your windows are bare (or you only have sheers), consider purchasing some <a href="http://www.sparkenergy.com/blog/2012/january/save-energy-with-insulated-curtains/">insulated curtains</a>, which protect your home from heat loss through conduction, infiltration, convection, and radiation. They come in all colors and patterns, too!</p> <h2>6. Service Your Furnace</h2> <p>It's one of those annoying home maintenance tasks you don't think you should need to do, but getting your furnace cleaned and evaluated each year can help save you cash and unexpected breakdowns. (It's also a safety thing, as furnaces can leak carbon monoxide into your home without your knowledge.) You'll also need to change out the filter at least once per season &mdash; or whenever it's dirty &mdash; to keep everything flowing as it should. Check your local coupon books to see if any HVAC providers are offering promotions.</p> <h2>7. Add Insulation</h2> <p>If your house is still feeling quite cold, take a trip to your attic to assess the insulation situation. In our last home, we were surprised to find only a few inches of the stuff keeping our heat from flowing out the roof. (Insulation acts like a hat does on your body.) We added a thick fiberglass roll to the entire attic ourselves and could tell the difference in our second floor level almost immediately. How much insulation you add and where you add it is going to depend on your home. If you plan to stay there for quite a while, it certainly makes sense to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/adding-insulation-existing-home">evaluate and correct</a> any issues that might cost you big dollars as the years go on.</p> <p><em>How do you save on your winter energy bill? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">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-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter">How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</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/stay-warm-without-burning-a-hole-in-your-pocket">Stay Warm Without Burning a Hole 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/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Green Living Home furnace heating insulation utility bill winter Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1251558 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mowing-lawn-166736424-small.jpg" alt="mowing lawn" title="mowing lawn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The air is starting to chill and the leaves are starting to fall. Pools are coming down, and plans for how to prepare the yard for winter are being made. There is never enough time, it seems, to get everything in order for the new season, but it isn't the occasion to take shortcuts; in fact, skipping out on the proper way to handle your yard and garden could cause big damage come spring. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-the-life-of-your-lawn-mower?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Improve the Life of Your Lawn Mower</a>)</p> <p>Avoid killing your outdoor space for good with these common mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Cut Your Grass Too Short</h2> <p>Depending on the species of grass you have growing in your yard, a buzz cut can kill the lush carpet covering your lawn and cause high-dollar damages, too. In fact, zoysia grass is not recommended to be cut down to less than two inches high, especially in the fall before it goes dormant. Leaving a little more length on your blades isn't really an eyesore, and it will help preserve your lawn in the long run.</p> <h2>2. Just Do a Once-Over</h2> <p>When mowing, aerating, or reseeding your lawn for the winter, be sure you do it once, and then go over it again diagonally. This will prevent your yard from having &quot;lines&quot; that will appear unattractive come spring.</p> <h2>3. Stop Watering</h2> <p>Unless it has reached freezing temps in your area of the country, continue to water as you normally would. Shrubs, fruit trees, and hedges are especially dependent on water this time of year, as they are getting what they need before they go dormant. Failing to water could cause significant damage to your precious plants.</p> <h2>4. Use the Wrong Fertilizer</h2> <p>If it's still warm enough to use fertilizer, opt for an easy-to-apply spray instead of a granular product. The small pieces of granular fertilizer can sit on your yard for months, failing to dissolve in to-dry conditions. You may end up with a burnt lawn if this happens.</p> <h2>5. Forget to Mulch</h2> <p>As long as the ground hasn't frozen, you still have time to apply mulch around your trees and on top of garden plants such as asparagus and rhubarb. Use the right kind of mulch for the plant, and be certain that you aren't spreading dangerous pests or fungus by moving recycled materials from a diseased plant to a healthy one.</p> <h2>6. Skip Raking</h2> <p>It is so much work, but it is so vital to a healthy yard! Layers of snow over layers of leaves can lead to mold and fungus damage. Plus, it makes it ridiculously difficult for that first mowing next year.</p> <h2>7. Spray Weed Killer When It's Cold</h2> <p>While the fall is the ideal time to get one last weed killing in, you do not want to do this in areas where it is not consistently above 60 degrees. So, southern folks are probably safe; here in Nebraska, we are past that point, already.</p> <h2>8. Leave Spring Planting Until the Spring</h2> <p>If you want beautiful spring bulbs, now is the time to put them in. Tulips, lilies, and even garden &quot;roots&quot; such as asparagus can go in now for a head start on next year. While getting behind on flowering plants isn't the end of the world, waiting an extra six months for asparagus is a big deal (especially since they need two full years to mature before the first harvest.) This is also a great time to plant new trees and shrubs.</p> <h2>9. Forget to Shop</h2> <p>Stores are clearing out all of their spring and summer gardening supplies right now! Stop in to get things you know you'll need like pots, soil, seeds, tools, and more. With savings of up to 90%, it's foolish to wait. Don't forget to check your local dollar store, too!</p> <h2>10. Overlook Pests</h2> <p>Do your apple trees have orange spots on the leaves? Did your fruit all end up with worms in it? Many of the pests that plague the family orchard and yard need to have an aggressive plan to stop them, and fall is the perfect time to take notes of what you see so that you can be proactive next year. Take pictures of any damage done to your yard and garden now, so that you can research the damage and purchase the right tools next year. Many issues, such as fungus and codling moths (the bugs that makes &quot;wormy&quot; apples) need to have sprays applied to trees in the early spring before symptoms appear. Taking notice now is the only way to get ahead of these problems.</p> <p>Taking care of your lawn and garden the right way will depend on location, choices in greenery, and personal style. Being diligent about this last stage of the year can allow you to take a break during the winter before another season of yard work in the spring!</p> <p><em>What are you doing (or have already done) to prepare your yard for winter? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-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/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</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/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</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-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home fall gardening landscaping lawn lawn care winter Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1240478 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-78810822.jpg" alt="friends" title="friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is it cold enough for you? In New York City, a typical winter brings about 25 inches of snow. This winter New York City has had over 40 inches of snow, and spring is weeks away. Well over half the country has been in the freezer, and the cold has extended all the way to the Florida panhandle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter?ref=seealso">50+ Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</a>)</p> <p>All this winter weather has left a lot of people wondering how to get a much-needed warm and comforting break. If you have the vacation time and the extra cash, the Caribbean is an option, although there are probably warm staycation options in your own backyard that will cost a lot less, take less time, and don't require navigating the country's jammed airports. Here are ideas that offer respites from the cold, won't break the bank, and will bring some warmth into your life despite the chill in the air.</p> <h2>1. Warm Up With Afternoon Tea</h2> <p>Nothing warms us up like a spot of tea, right? Many hotels and restaurants across the country offer afternoon tea that ranges from simple and elegant to traditional and decadent. Although Revolutionaries threw tea into Boston Harbor, there's a very different kind of tea party going on over at the <a href="http://www.fourseasons.com/boston/dining/afternoon_tea/">Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons</a>, for example. On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer quite the spread for Afternoon Tea at a very reasonable price. The Four Seasons Tea includes sweets, sandwiches, and tea for $32 per person. They also offer the Royal Tea for $40 that includes everything in the Four Seasons Tea plus a glass of Kir Royal. Your city's hotels may offer something similar and if they do, jump at the chance to grab some friends and go. Afternoon tea is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon with friends. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/go-tea-go-the-10-best-online-tea-merchants?ref=seealso">Best Online Tea Merchants</a>)</p> <h2>2. Jacuzzis, Saunas, and Steam Rooms, Oh My!</h2> <p>When the wind is howling and the snow is falling, nothing feels better than the warmth and comfort of a local day spa. They're cropping up in many cities, and your local full-service gym may have them, too. While some require a membership, most have the option of a day pass or a pass that is good for a limited number of hours. One of my personal favorites is <a href="http://www.bodybybrooklyn.com/wordpress/">Body by Brooklyn</a>. Sleek and modern, it provides plenty of comfort with its wide variety of options. A day pass costs just $45 and includes a Russian sauna, Swedish sauna, Turkish aroma steam room, thermal hot tub, and cold plunge pool.</p> <h2>3. Get to Know Your City From the Inside</h2> <p>Historical and neighborhood tours are big business in most major metropolitan areas. The cold weather gives us the perfect opportunity to be tourists in our hometowns. Chicago is a great example of a city that knows how to turn foul weather into interesting indoor opportunities for its residents. <a href="http://www.chicagodetours.com/">Chicago Detours</a> offers indoor tours that feature the city's stunning architecture and racy history. My favorite is the historic bar tour that takes guests back to the days of swanky prohibition underground spots, hot jazz, and iconic theater, all while sipping tasty Chicago libations. Prices run between $26 and $34. The Second City also has a great way to have fun for zombie fans. <a href="http://roomescapeadventures.com/">Trapped in a Room With a Zombie</a> is a group game that requires guests to collectively solve puzzles and riddles to help them locate a key to get out of the room before the zombie is unchained from the wall. This blood-pumping excitement will only set you back $28, and if you escape those zombies, you'll have priceless bragging rights with your friends and colleagues. Connect with your local tourism office to find out what types of indoor tours are available in your city.</p> <h2>4. Let's Get Cultural</h2> <p>Like the farmer's markets we've grown accustomed to seeing when the weather is sunny and warm, some cities are also starting to invest in indoor markets that offer a wide variety of food, art, and entertainment that celebrate the city's heritage and diversity. You can eat, drink, and be merry (and warm!) while showing your hometown pride in places like this. Minneapolis, one of the snowiest cities in the country, has taken this concept to new heights. With the tagline &quot;Many Tastes, One Place,&quot; Minneapolis offers a toasty culinary escape to hungry Twin Cities residents and visitors at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.midtownglobalmarket.org/visitor-info">Midtown Global Market</a>. Over 50 vendors serve up tasty and authentic food and drink, hard-to-find specialty groceries, and a plethora of unique gifts from all over the world. The market even offers group tours. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-free-things-to-do-in-any-city-you-visit?ref=seealso">Free Things to Do in Any City</a>)</p> <h2>5. Climb to New Heights</h2> <p>When it's cold outside, it can take the fun out of our fitness routine, especially if you're like me and enjoy mixing up your physical activity. Started in the 1980s, indoor rock climbing gyms give us a way to enjoy being active while staying warm and providing us with an activity that challenges our bodies and minds. If the cold and lack of sunlight have you down in Seattle, combat them by going up...way up! <a href="http://www.verticalworld.com">Vertical World</a> has multiple locations in the Seattle area that offer unbeatable indoor rock climbing experiences for adults and kids. They're the experts in their field; they opened the very first rock climbing gym in the US in 1987. Now they boast a wide variety of classes and programs to keep Seattle moving so they're in shape for a serious case of spring fever when the cold subsides. Many other rock climbing gyms all over the country have followed their lead by establishing a very similar set-up and newbies are always welcome with plenty of instruction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal?ref=seealso">How to Be Fit and Frugal in Winter</a>)</p> <p>These ideas offer plenty of inspiration to escape the cold wherever you call home. Other options could be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-an-awesome-frugal-movie-night">creating a movie night at home</a> complete with all the concession stand fixings, breaking out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians">crockpot</a> for a delicious, easy, and nutritious home-cooked meal, and dedicating a day to art in all its indoor forms &mdash; museums, theater, dance, and live music. Soon winter will fade into spring. In the meantime, get through these last few weeks of cold by finding warmth right where you are.</p> <p><em>How are you keeping yourself sane and entertained throughout this extra chilly winter? Share your favorite staycation spots in the comments section below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends">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/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter">50 Fun Things to Do When You&#039;re Stuck Inside During Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</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/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes">Beat Stress With These 28 Inexpensive Pastimes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-money-saving-channels-on-youtube">9 Best Money Saving Channels on YouTube</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cabin fever staycation winter Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:48:30 +0000 Christa Avampato 1127824 at http://www.wisebread.com