winter http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7973/all en-US 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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-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/7-diy-tips-to-winterize-your-home-for-cheap">7 DIY Tips to Winterize Your Home for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <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> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <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/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> 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://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mowing-lawn-166736424-small.jpg" alt="mowing lawn" title="mowing lawn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The air is starting to chill and the leaves are starting to fall. Pools are coming down, and plans for how to prepare the yard for winter are being made. There is never enough time, it seems, to get everything in order for the new season, but it isn't the occasion to take shortcuts; in fact, skipping out on the proper way to handle your yard and garden could cause big damage come spring. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-the-life-of-your-lawn-mower?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Improve the Life of Your Lawn Mower</a>)</p> <p>Avoid killing your outdoor space for good with these common mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Cut Your Grass Too Short</h2> <p>Depending on the species of grass you have growing in your yard, a buzz cut can kill the lush carpet covering your lawn and cause high-dollar damages, too. In fact, zoysia grass is not recommended to be cut down to less than two inches high, especially in the fall before it goes dormant. Leaving a little more length on your blades isn't really an eyesore, and it will help preserve your lawn in the long run.</p> <h2>2. Just Do a Once-Over</h2> <p>When mowing, aerating, or reseeding your lawn for the winter, be sure you do it once, and then go over it again diagonally. This will prevent your yard from having &quot;lines&quot; that will appear unattractive come spring.</p> <h2>3. Stop Watering</h2> <p>Unless it has reached freezing temps in your area of the country, continue to water as you normally would. Shrubs, fruit trees, and hedges are especially dependent on water this time of year, as they are getting what they need before they go dormant. Failing to water could cause significant damage to your precious plants.</p> <h2>4. Use the Wrong Fertilizer</h2> <p>If it's still warm enough to use fertilizer, opt for an easy-to-apply spray instead of a granular product. The small pieces of granular fertilizer can sit on your yard for months, failing to dissolve in to-dry conditions. You may end up with a burnt lawn if this happens.</p> <h2>5. Forget to Mulch</h2> <p>As long as the ground hasn't frozen, you still have time to apply mulch around your trees and on top of garden plants such as asparagus and rhubarb. Use the right kind of mulch for the plant, and be certain that you aren't spreading dangerous pests or fungus by moving recycled materials from a diseased plant to a healthy one.</p> <h2>6. Skip Raking</h2> <p>It is so much work, but it is so vital to a healthy yard! Layers of snow over layers of leaves can lead to mold and fungus damage. Plus, it makes it ridiculously difficult for that first mowing next year.</p> <h2>7. Spray Weed Killer When It's Cold</h2> <p>While the fall is the ideal time to get one last weed killing in, you do not want to do this in areas where it is not consistently above 60 degrees. So, southern folks are probably safe; here in Nebraska, we are past that point, already.</p> <h2>8. Leave Spring Planting Until the Spring</h2> <p>If you want beautiful spring bulbs, now is the time to put them in. Tulips, lilies, and even garden &quot;roots&quot; such as asparagus can go in now for a head start on next year. While getting behind on flowering plants isn't the end of the world, waiting an extra six months for asparagus is a big deal (especially since they need two full years to mature before the first harvest.) This is also a great time to plant new trees and shrubs.</p> <h2>9. Forget to Shop</h2> <p>Stores are clearing out all of their spring and summer gardening supplies right now! Stop in to get things you know you'll need like pots, soil, seeds, tools, and more. With savings of up to 90%, it's foolish to wait. Don't forget to check your local dollar store, too!</p> <h2>10. Overlook Pests</h2> <p>Do your apple trees have orange spots on the leaves? Did your fruit all end up with worms in it? Many of the pests that plague the family orchard and yard need to have an aggressive plan to stop them, and fall is the perfect time to take notes of what you see so that you can be proactive next year. Take pictures of any damage done to your yard and garden now, so that you can research the damage and purchase the right tools next year. Many issues, such as fungus and codling moths (the bugs that makes &quot;wormy&quot; apples) need to have sprays applied to trees in the early spring before symptoms appear. Taking notice now is the only way to get ahead of these problems.</p> <p>Taking care of your lawn and garden the right way will depend on location, choices in greenery, and personal style. Being diligent about this last stage of the year can allow you to take a break during the winter before another season of yard work in the spring!</p> <p><em>What are you doing (or have already done) to prepare your yard for winter? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">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-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/save-money-and-water-with-these-6-clever-landscaping-hacks">Save Money and Water With These 6 Clever Landscaping Hacks</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-save-big-money-on-next-year-s-lawn-and-garden">How to Save Big Money on Next Year&#039;s Lawn and Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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> <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/3-ways-to-prevent-brown-lawn-spots-from-dog-urine">3 Ways to Prevent Brown Lawn Spots From Dog Urine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home fall gardening landscaping lawn lawn care winter Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1240478 at http://www.wisebread.com 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment cabin fever staycation winter Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:48:30 +0000 Christa Avampato 1127824 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winteract-78255607.jpg" alt="fireplace" title="fireplace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's all too familiar during the winter. You are stuck inside, yet again, due to the latest snowstorm, bitterly cold polar vortex, or gloomy rain. But it doesn't need to be an all-day drag when there are many fun activities at hand. Try any of these entertaining ideas, and note that catching up on extra work and doing chores are not on the fun list! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas/ref=seealso">Fun Winter Staycation Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan Your Summer Vacation</h2> <p>What better time to get excited for your summer vacation than on a cold winter's day? Check out warm weather websites and magazines, and plan a future getaway with friends and family while you have the downtime.</p> <h2>2. Make an Awesome Breakfast</h2> <p>Time to step it up from the on-the-run breakfast you usually have and make some French toast, bacon, or eggs to enjoy. Or try something different, but easy, like <a href="http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/03/04/apple-pancake/">skillet apple pancakes</a>.</p> <h2>3. Nap</h2> <p>When was the last time you had a daytime nap? Relive your childhood and take an uninhibited, no alarm clock, midday nap in a cozy place.</p> <h2>4. Make Candy</h2> <p>Have fun experimenting with some fun and <a href="http://www.mrfood.com/Candy/How-To-Make-Candy-Easy-Chocolate-Candy-Recipes/ct/1">easy candy recipes</a> that you or the whole family can take part in. You can also make your candy into little gifts to give out later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>5. Take an Online Class or Tutorial</h2> <p>Take advantage of the time to learn something new for a few hours by taking an easy online class or tutorial. Search online for free options ranging from intro language classes to DIY tutorials to crafts.</p> <h2>6. Happy Hour</h2> <p>Assuming it's noon somewhere, use this lazy day to whip up an exotic cocktail, favorite glass of wine, or a delicious <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liquorcom/10-top-hot-drinks_b_4317758.html">hot cocktail</a> to enjoy. Add some small appetizers to the mix to make for your own little happy hour. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails?ref=seealso">Two-Ingredient Cocktail Recipes</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winteract-186047733-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>7. Redecorate</h2> <p>Moving things around in your home can be fun and refreshing if you are into decorating. Try hanging your pictures in different places, rearranging your furniture, or dreaming up new ideas online.</p> <h2>8. Fireside Camp Out</h2> <p>If you have a fireplace, a wintery day is a great time to light it up. Have a little camp-out next to it with comfy pillows, snacks, and games or a good book. This is also a great option if you are without power. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-to-have-on-hand-for-power-outages?ref=seealso">Power Outage Staples</a>)</p> <h2>9. Pajama Day in Bed</h2> <p>Turn your day inside into the ultimate time to do nothing but relax. Get on your most comfortable pajamas, gather some cozy blankets, &nbsp;and round up reading materials or watch TV, all while you do some serious lounging in bed.</p> <h2>10. Take a Luxurious Bath</h2> <p>Get your bubble bath going and make it extra luxurious with nice music, candles, and perhaps a nice book or beverage. And, if you have kids, an extra fun daytime bath with plenty of toys and bubbles can be a fun change from the usual nightly routine.</p> <h2>11. Shop Your Closet</h2> <p>Put the extra time you have today to playing grown-up dress-up. Try out some new combos, and put together outfits for upcoming events. This can help you organize your things, prune unused items, and discover cool outfits you never knew you had. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe?ref=seealso">No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/clothes-3891334-small.jpg" /></p> <h2>12. Indoor Fort</h2> <p>This is a great one if you have kids or just feel adventurous. Transform your living room into a fun fort using chairs and blankets to make a cozy hideout for the day.</p> <h2>13. Check Out Some Good Blogs</h2> <p>There are some great blogs (in addition to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com">Wise Bread</a>, of course) that can help you better your life or learn some great tips. Check out some of my favorites, like <a href="http://zenhabits.net/">Zen Habits</a>, <a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/">The Daily Green</a>, or <a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/">The Art of Manliness</a>, to get started.</p> <h2>14. Afternoon Tea</h2> <p>Have your own tea party right at home. You can get fancy and use nice china and put out little sandwiches and treats. This is also a fun activity you can do with the kids, substituting hot chocolate for tea if you want.</p> <h2>15. Catch Up With Family and Friends</h2> <p>Getting in touch with the grandparents or a long-lost friend over the phone or Skype makes for a great indoor activity and can be a lot of fun for all.</p> <h2>16. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup</h2> <p>The ultimate rainy day lunch is great on any day, let alone a cold one. Indulge in an awesome grilled cheese using any type of cheese you love and put on a pot of some delicious tomato soup. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-snow-day-recipes-to-help-you-weather-the-storm">3 Snow-Day Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>17. Video Game Marathon</h2> <p>Anyone into gaming probably doesn't need a snow day excuse to play, but a day stuck inside provides a wonderful opportunity for a video game marathon. Or, involve the kids and do Wii competitions or learning games on your tablet or computer.</p> <h2>18. Popcorn and Movie Day</h2> <p>Sort of a given on any winter day, but pop up some popcorn and get comfy on the couch with your favorite movie(s).</p> <h2>19. Scrapbooking</h2> <p>Even if you've never scrapbooked before, now is a great time to make a book of the kids' art or your accomplishments, or a gift for a friend's special occasion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-holiday-gifts-that-you-yes-you-can-make-with-paper?ref=seealso">10 Gifts You Can Make With Paper</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winteract-168726221-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>20. Bake Something</h2> <p>Making good old chocolate chip cookies is an entertaining winter's day activity, as is making other delicious recipes like warm pies and fresh-baked bread. Or, try some <a href="http://spoonful.com/recipes/winter-treats-gallery">easy winter treat recipes</a> that the kids can help with, too.</p> <h2>21. Indoor Obstacle Course</h2> <p>Make an indoor obstacle course for the kids (or grownups) using pillows, toys, or other objects to burn off some energy and have fun.</p> <h2>22. Pretend Summer Day</h2> <p>If you desperately need to escape the harsh winter, bring summer to you. Look up tropical sites, make a fruit juice, and put on some Bob Marley. You can also get everyone in bathing suits and flip flops and fill the tub to &quot;go swimming.&quot;</p> <h2>23. Catch Up on Your Shows</h2> <p>Another given for a cold day stuck inside, but catching up on your favorite shows that you missed during busy weeks is a fun way to pass the time. Or, indulge in some mindless daytime TV without the guilt.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winteract-178057614-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>24. Make Soup</h2> <p>Making a nice pot of homemade hot soup is not only easy, but it's also very satisfying on a winter's day. Try a good <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/340241/chicken-soup">chicken noodle recipe</a>, a <a href="http://family.go.com/food/recipe-802377-roasted-cauliflower-soup-t/">roasted cauliflower</a>, or my favorite, <a href="http://www.bhg.com/recipe/soups/butternut-squash-and-carrot-soup/">butternut squash and carrot soup</a>.</p> <h2>25. Magazine Roundup</h2> <p>Spend the day catching up on all those magazines you've always wanted to read. Or, if you can plan ahead, buy some fun magazines just as you would for a long plane flight, and sit back and enjoy during your day indoors.</p> <h2>26. Music Library</h2> <p>Enjoy all that music you have been collecting and listen to some of the tunes in your music library. You can also take the time to make new mixes and organize your collection once and for all.</p> <h2>27. Ice Cream Sundae Bar</h2> <p>Take some time to indulge by setting up an ice cream sundae station. Round up your ice cream and toppings you may have around, like whipped cream, nuts, chocolate chips, and fruits. Kids and adults alike will love it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-easy-and-scrumptious-microwaveable-desserts?ref=seealso">23 Microwaveable Desserts</a>)</p> <h2>28. Feng Shui Your Home</h2> <p>The art of Feng Shui, which is the study of how the energy of our environment affects us, such as the placement and positioning of objects in your home, is both easy to embrace and beneficial. Use the time to learn some <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/create-a-feng-shui-home/index.html">Feng Shui tips</a> that you can easily apply to your own home.</p> <h2>29. Make Something</h2> <p>Get creative and make something with your hands. Crafts can be super simple, like paper crafting, to more skilled things like knitting, sewing, and jewelry making. Check out Joann's and Michaels for some great craft projects you can do at home based on skill level. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>30. Make a Fancy Dinner</h2> <p>Since there is time to actually enjoy cooking and eating a quality meal, why not make yourself or the family a delicious dinner? You can set the table with fancy dinnerware and make it like a restaurant for a change from the usual.</p> <p><img width="605" height="302" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winteract-186928544-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>31. Workout</h2> <p>If working out is your thing, don't despair if you can't get to the gym or go outside. Do your own mini at-home workout using weights, a program online, or a workout DVD to get that much-needed exercise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal?ref=seealso">Frugal Winter Exercising</a>)</p> <h2>32. Brain Teasers</h2> <p>Games like Sudoku, crosswords, and word finds are great ways to relax and enjoy your time. Get cozy with a warm blanket and do some games from the newspaper, online, or any collections you may have.</p> <h2>33. Homemade Hot Chocolate</h2> <p>Make a <a href="https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5265&amp;name=Hot-Cocoa">delicious hot cocoa</a> recipe, or vary it up by adding things like cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, or a dollop of vanilla ice cream. For diehard chocolate lovers, try a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hot-Chocolate/Detail.aspx">hot chocolate recipe</a> using real chocolate pieces as well.</p> <h2>34. Mail a Letter</h2> <p>Spend some time writing a letter to someone special, which you can mail later on. Everyone loves to get a handwritten note, and it will be a nice surprise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter">Reasons to Write a Letter</a>)</p> <h2>35. Window Shop Online</h2> <p>Take the time to browse around to get ideas or prices for any items you may be shopping for in the future. Just be sure you have the willpower not to aimlessly buy if you see things that catch your eye.</p> <h2>36. A Good Read</h2> <p>Curl up with a good book on the couch or by the fire while the winter weather keeps you inside.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winteract-454323283-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>37. Beauty Treatments</h2> <p>Give yourself a mini spa day with a variety of DIY beauty treatments. Whether it's a nice manicure/pedicure, a relaxing scrub, or an avocado mask, it's a good day to beautify and relax. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-spa-treatments-you-can-do-at-home?ref=seealso">Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home</a>)</p> <h2>38. Arrange Your Photos</h2> <p>A whole day indoors gives you plenty of time to go through all those photos you have taken. You can make an album online or just enjoy looking through old shots.</p> <h2>39. Paint Something</h2> <p>Spreading out some paper and paints for the kids on a winter day indoors makes a great activity. Join in the fun and paint your own creations too, or find some extra jars, boxes, or other items to dress up with some paint for some new decor.</p> <h2>40. Yoga Hour</h2> <p>Give your body and mind a relaxing day by doing some yoga. If you're new to the practice, there are some great <a href="http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/beginner-yoga">beginner yoga sites</a> and apps that can help you get started. Follow your session with some meditation and feel good for the day.</p> <h2>41. Plan Your Next Get-Together</h2> <p>Take the time to plan some upcoming fun events for you and your friends by thinking up a great dinner party menu, wine tasting, theme party, or a fun pub crawl. You can have fun planning the menus, looking up details, and coming up with the guest list.</p> <h2>42. Board Games</h2> <p>Break out the Monopoly or other great board games you may have on hand for a game day marathon with your family or roommates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/play-on-5-great-card-and-board-games?ref=seealso">5 Great Card and Board Games</a>)</p> <h2>43. Dress-Up Day</h2> <p>This is a great event for the kids where you get out old Halloween costumes, dress-up gear, or sports equipment for some pretend play.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winteract-1639105-small-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>44. Self-Help Time</h2> <p>If you've been putting off reading your self-help book of choice or looking online for materials, now is the perfect time to take care of you.</p> <h2>45. Organize Something</h2> <p>You may need to skip this if you view organizing as a chore, but for many who get pure satisfaction after it's done, it's a rewarding task when you're not rushed. Pick a spot you have always wanted to organize, like the junk drawer, your jewelry drawer, or the laundry room closet, and go to town.</p> <h2>46. Enjoy a Hobby</h2> <p>Break out your knitting needles, woodworking gear, or model trains, and enjoy some time working on your favorite hobby. Check out some suggestions for new <a href="http://discoverahobby.com/hobby_list.php">indoor hobbies</a> if you are in need of finding something entertaining. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=seealso">10 Money-Making Hobbies</a>)</p> <h2>47. Home Improvement</h2> <p>A day off due to the weather can give you the opportunity to try that home improvement project you have been wanting to do, but could never find the time to get done. Just be sure you have all your materials and can safely do the task. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day?ref=seealso">One-Day DIY Home Projects</a>)</p> <h2>48. Story Time</h2> <p>Another great activity for the kids is to round up some good books, get comfy together with some snacks and blankets, and do an old-fashioned story time by reading aloud to them.</p> <h2>49. Plan Your Garden</h2> <p>A cold winter's day indoors is a great time to plan your garden for the spring. Look online for ideas at garden retailers and sketch out your plans in a notebook. Or, if you are short on space, look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide">container gardening</a>.</p> <h2>50. Turn Your Videos Into Movies</h2> <p>If you have lots of video clips, try spending the time organizing your collection on your computer and burning them to DVDs. Your loved ones will enjoy seeing clips of the kids, and your friends will be so surprised to have video memories of that last vacation you all took together.</p> <p><em>What are some of your fun ways to pass the time on a winter's day stuck inside?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter" class="sharethis-link" title="50 Fun Things to Do When You&#039;re Stuck Inside During Winter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-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/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment indoor entertainment snow day stuck inside winter Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:36:16 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1126533 at http://www.wisebread.com 56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winter-155262290.jpg" alt="winter" title="winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever feel like cold weather gets the best of you? Here are some ideas for facing Old Man Winter and winning, even when it&#39;s cold and miserable outside. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-seal-leaks-and-reduce-your-winter-heating-bill?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill</a>)</p> <h2>Hacks for Your Car</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winwinter-164751374-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>1. If your car gets stuck in the snow, try putting kitty litter under the tires to gain some traction.</p> <p>2. Cover your windshield wipers with old socks so snow won&#39;t stick to them.</p> <p>3. Clean your car often, as de-icing compounds can be corrosive to the surfaces they attach to.</p> <p>4. To help clean the bottom of your car, run a lawn sprinkler under it for 30 minutes on a warmer day.</p> <p>5. Use your car&#39;s floor mats to help you get traction if you get stuck and don&#39;t have any other options.</p> <p>6. Check your tire tread using a penny. If Lincoln&#39;s head shows, get new tires.</p> <p>7. Make your own winter windshield washer fluid from 2 quarts rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon dish detergent.</p> <p>8. Spray your car windows with a 3:1 vinegar/water mixture. This will keep ice from forming on your windows (though you will still have to remove the snow). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-weird-and-wonderful-ways-to-use-vinegar?ref=seealso">10 Wonderful Ways to Use Vinegar</a>)</p> <p>9. Cover your side mirrors with a freezer-sized ziplock bag, zipped as far as it will go. It will prevent ice from forming and you won&#39;t have to remember to clean your mirrors.</p> <p>10. Use a heat rub, like what you would rub on sore muscles, to help loosen a frozen lock.</p> <p>11. Park facing east, so that the sun will do much of your snow removal work for you.</p> <p>12. Throw a piece of carpet or area rug over your windshield to keep off the ice and snow. Tuck it under the windshield wipers to hold it down, then toss it in your trunk when you&#39;re ready to go. If you get stuck, you can also use it to help you get traction.</p> <p>13. If you can&#39;t find/don&#39;t have an ice scraper use a hard kitchen spatula (not a metal one) or even a credit card to clean off windows.</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves?ref=seealso">Car Safety Kit Must-Haves for Winter</a>)</p> <h2>Keep Warm and Save Energy</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winwinter-457827703-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>14. Run your ceiling fan on low and spin it clockwise (reverse) to help warm air trapped by the ceiling to make it back down to floor level.</p> <p>15. Electric blankets use very little energy. If you plan to stay in one place for while, curl up with one to save energy.</p> <p>16. Utilize the sun to help warm your home by opening the curtains when the sun is out. Even with external temps low, the sun will help your home stay warmer, especially via south-facing windows. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter?ref=seealso">Frugal Ways to Warm Up Your Home</a>)</p> <p>17. Use your oven as much as possible, since it will help keep your home warm. When you finish cooking, open the oven door to take as much advantage of the heat as possible.</p> <p>18. Try heating your home (or at least a room) with tealights. Even if it doesn&#39;t work, it will distract you so you stop thinking about the cold for a while.</p> <p>19. Utilize thick curtains to help keep heat in. If you don&#39;t want to change the look of your room, line your existing curtains with fleece or a shower curtain. If you really like this idea, place heavy curtains in front of your doors, too.</p> <p>20. Insulate your garage doors to save energy and stay warm.</p> <p>21. Keep a small refrigerator outside. As long as the temperature is chilly, you can keep food cold without plugging it in and save on energy.</p> <p>22. Use a hot water bottle to warm your bed before you get in it (and then to keep it warm all night).</p> <p>23. Put your pajamas on your hot water bottle, so they&#39;re warm when you pull them on.</p> <p>24. Turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees. With a sweater, you won&#39;t likely notice the difference, and you can save significantly on heating costs.</p> <p>25. Similarly, turn down the setting on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs">hot water heater</a>. You will still be able to take warm showers, wash clothes, etc., but you will save on your energy bills.</p> <p>26. You can lose a lot of heat through drafts. Caulk or otherwise fill in the space where the draft comes in, so you don&#39;t waste energy.</p> <p>27. Use tin foil behind your radiator, space heater, or heating vents to reflect heat back into the house.</p> <h2>Health and Beauty Tips</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winwinter-87474612-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>28. Before you put on eyeliner, hold the end of the pencil between two fingers for about 20 seconds. This will warm it enough so it will apply much easier than when it is cold. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pretty-cheap-makeup-advice-for-the-frugal?ref=seealso">Makeup Advice for the Frugal</a>)</p> <p>29. Keep your showers short. This gives your skin less of an opportunity to dry out.</p> <p>30. Reduce hat hair by using dry shampoo when you remove your winter headgear. It will help lift squashed roots.</p> <p>31. Take lukewarm showers. This will help keep your skin&#39;s natural oils in your skin, instead of washing them off, and will help reduce dryness.</p> <p>32. Keep a teakettle filled with mulling spices boiling at all times. This will help keep the air a bit moister and will fill your home with a wonderful smell.</p> <p>33. Wear cotton gloves over your hands after you moisturize. This will help lock the moisture into your skin.</p> <p>34. Reduce stress and unhealthy food intake to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">lower your risk of cold sores</a>.</p> <p>35. Use a humidifier to help reduce the chance of nose bleeds and general discomfort from winter dryness.</p> <p>36. Wear sunscreen. Even when it&#39;s snowing. Just do it.</p> <p>37. Get out in the natural light. It will boost your mood even if it seems gloomy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-be-happier-today?ref=seealso">Things You Can Do to Be Happier Today</a>)</p> <p>38. Take vitamin D. Your body naturally produces this when you&#39;re in the sunlight, and so you make less in the winter. It can raise your mood significantly.</p> <h2>Winter Clothing</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winwinter-183489059-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>39. Organize scarves by storing them in a hanging shoe organizer.</p> <p>40. Put sandwich bags on top of your socks for instant waterproofing.</p> <p>41. Wear layers, and not just when you work out. Layers allow you to be as warm as you need to be, no matter how the external temperature changes.</p> <p>42. Run a cheap razor over a pilly sweater to remove those gross bunches of fibers.</p> <p>43. Wear running tights instead of long johns for a more efficient, better wicking, and better looking base layer.</p> <p>44. Invest in the right workout clothes, so you don&#39;t lose your fitness over the long winter. Pick up a hat, gloves, and extra layer to be sure the cold weather isn&#39;t preventing you from being comfortable during your workout. (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>45. <a href="http://througharunninglens.blogspot.ca/2013/01/how-to-make-screw-shoes-for-winter.html">Place screws in the soles of your shoes</a> to stop slipping when you run and walk.</p> <h2>Miscellaneous Hacks</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winwinter-176766286-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>46. Sweep light snow away with a broom rather than a shovel.</p> <p>47. Spray your shovel with nonstick cooking spray before you use it, so snow doesn&#39;t stick to it.</p> <p>48. Pour a mixture of 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol, and &frac12;-1 gallon of water over walkways so they don&#39;t refreeze.</p> <p>49. If you need to use your bike in the snow and ice, place zip ties at even intervals around each tire to create bike snow tires.</p> <p>50. Add Nutella to your hot chocolate or mocha, for a different, yummy riff on an old favorite.</p> <p>51. Umbrellas aren&#39;t just for rain. Use them in the snow to keep it off your head.</p> <p>52. <a href="http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/10/26/winter-landscape-photography-how-to-compose-and-expose-any-scene/">Learn how to expose winter photos</a>, so your outdoor holiday pics come out looking grand.</p> <p>53. Mix compost into your soil before it freezes in order to enhance your soil for next spring&#39;s planting.</p> <p>54. Make your own wreaths, to save money or to sell.</p> <p>55. <a href="http://knitting-crochet.wonderhowto.com/how-to/knit-winter-holiday-scarf-with-your-fingers-265297/">Knit a winter scarf with your fingers</a>. If you love it, make some more to give as gifts and save some cash.</p> <p>56. Start a garden in your home to get a jumpstart on spring.</p> <p><em>How do you hack winter? Let us know, and we&#39;ll beat winter together!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter" class="sharethis-link" title="56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-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-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/safety-tips-for-holiday-driving">Safety Tips for Holiday Driving</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/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves</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/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</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/hold-off-on-heating-with-these-10-warming-ways-0">Hold Off On Heating with These 10 Warming Ways</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> General Tips cold weather snow winter Wed, 25 Dec 2013 11:25:19 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1102188 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Saving on Winter Energy Bills http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-on-winter-energy-bills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-saving-on-winter-energy-bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3722252562_c8012fdb4c_z.jpg" alt="Saving on Winter Energy Bills" title="Saving on Winter Energy Bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving on winter energy bills, turning a hobby into income, and things your kids need to know about money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/saving-money-on-winter-energy-bills/">Saving Money on Winter Energy Bills</a> &mdash; To save money on your winter energy bills, open your curtains. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/turning-hobby-into-income/">Turning a Hobby into Income</a> &mdash; When turning your hobby into income, remember to persevere. [Narrow Bridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/15-things-your-kids-need-to-know-about-money/">15 Things Your Kids Need to Know About Money</a> &mdash; It is important for your kids to know that even pennies matter and that self-reflection is an excellent teacher. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/home-additions-that-increase-your-insurance-rates/">3 Home Additions That Will Raise Your Insurance Rates</a> &mdash; Did you know adding a swimming pool to your home will raise your insurance rates? [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/6399/what-income-do-you-need-to-report-to-the-irs-mmarquit01/">What Income Do You Need to Report to the IRS?</a> &mdash; If you have a yard sale and make a profit on the things you sold, you need to report that income to the IRS. [Moolanomy]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/how-to-deal-with-stress-caused-by-debt/">How to Deal With the Unhealthy Stress Caused by Debt</a> &mdash; To deal with the stress debt causes, take action to change your spending habits. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://youngadultfinances.com/tips-for-obtaining-the-best-home-insurance-quotes/">Tips for Obtaining the Best Home Insurance Quotes</a> &mdash; If you want to get the best home insurance quotes, consider increasing your deductible. [Young Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/01/18/3-things-every-young-adult-should-do-before-age-30/">3 Things Every Adult Should Do Before the Age of 30</a> &mdash; Before the age of 30, every adult should try to have $30,000 saved for retirement. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Sell-Used-Items-21381762">Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of Stuff You Don't Need</a> &mdash; Get rid of your unwanted clothes by selling them at a consignment store. [SavvySugar]/p&gt;</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-kid-friendly-cabin-fever-beaters">10 Kid-Friendly Cabin Fever Beaters</a> &mdash; Help your kids beat cabin fever by camping inside or making a movie. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-on-winter-energy-bills" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Saving on Winter Energy Bills" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-saving-on-winter-energy-bills">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home best money tips energy bills winter Tue, 22 Jan 2013 10:48:39 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 967385 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Winter Vacation Deals on the Beach http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-winter-vacation-deals-on-the-beach <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-winter-vacation-deals-on-the-beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/410582158_4f6692c85f_z.jpg" alt="Winter Vacation Deals on the Beach" title="Winter Vacation Deals on the Beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on winter vacation deals on the beach, resolutions you should make this year, and how fighting can be good for your finances.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/lifestyle/travel/10-great-winter-vacation-deals-beach">10 Great Winter Vacation Deals on the Beach</a> &mdash; St. Lucia and Miami are offering great winter vacation deals. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Smart-Money-Resolutions-21429982">Savvy Resolutions You Should Make This Year</a> &mdash; This year, make one of your resolutions to reassess your savings account. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/fighting-money-good-finances.html">Could Fighting Over Money Be Good for Your Finances?</a> &mdash; Fighting over finances can help you and your partner think about your financial priorities. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/shopping-for-a-new-home-in-the-new-year/">Shopping for a New Home in the New Year? What to know!</a> &mdash; When shopping for a new home in the new year, order your credit score in advance. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/questions-ask-buying-daily-deal-websites/">5 Questions to Ask Before Buying From Daily Deals Websites</a> &mdash; Before you buy from a daily deals site, ask yourself if you are buying something you want or need. [Money Crashers]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/frugal-living/post.aspx?post=256167d2-e6be-4764-bf76-61a7429f754b&amp;ref=bfv">9 dangerous financial products</a> &mdash; Rent to own scenarios are not reasonable solutions to the financial issue of home ownership and should be avoided. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/forecast/archive/forecasts-2013.html?si=1">13 Bold Forecasts for 2013</a> &mdash; In 2013, smart phones will take on the role of personal assistant. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/01/03/bjs-vs-costco-vs-sams-club/">Best Warehouse Store: BJ's, Costco, or Sam's Club?</a> &mdash; Sam's Club has the cheapest membership costs. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/how-to-use-caulk-to-insulate-your-home-and-slash-your-energy-bills-0113/">How to Use Caulk to Insulate Your Home and Slash Your Energy Bills</a> &mdash; Do a walk through of your house to find cracks and deteriorating caulk so you can make sure your home is well insulated. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/helping-your-child-deal-with-holiday-letdown">Helping Your Child Deal With Holiday Letdown</a> &mdash; Help your child get through holiday letdown by getting them back into their old routine. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-winter-vacation-deals-on-the-beach" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Winter Vacation Deals on the Beach" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-winter-vacation-deals-on-the-beach">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money">7 More Travel Destinations That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-book-an-all-inclusive-vacation">6 Things You Need to Know Before You Book an All-Inclusive Vacation</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-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a 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/us-airways-promotion-how-to-save-on-international-flights">US Airways Promotion: How to Save on International Flights</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel best money vacation winter Mon, 07 Jan 2013 11:00:30 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 963711 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-frugal-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blahs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-frugal-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blahs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3338981508_77eeb70c89_z.jpg" alt="Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs" title="Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on frugal ways to beat the winter blahs, resources for a complete job search, and what to do with unwanted gifts.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2012/12/26/6-frugal-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blahs/">6 Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs</a> &mdash; To beat the winter blahs, play some lively music and do some spring cleaning. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Look-Job-3305041">10 Resources For A Complete Job Search</a> &mdash; Make sure your job search is complete by using skill-specific job sites. [Savvy Sugar]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.themillionairenurse.com/2012/12/27/got-unwanted-gifts/">Got Unwanted Gifts?</a> &mdash; Donating gifts you don't really want is a good way to get rid of unwanted holiday presents. [The Millionaire Nurse Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/frugal-living/post.aspx?post=f354847f-dce1-48f7-a931-4098e6e1220f&amp;ref=bfv">What if a theif gets your wallet?</a> &mdash; If a theif gets your wallet, remember to cancel your library card. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/6-demand-careers-10-years.html">6 In Demand Careers for the Next 10 Years</a> &mdash; Need a career that you know will be in demand for the next 10 years? Consider being a physical therapist. [Bargaineering]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/best-educational-board-games-money-management/">5 Best Educational Board Games for Money Management</a> &mdash; To teach your kids about money management the fun way, play The Game of Life with them. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/shopping-for-a-new-home-in-the-new-year/">Shopping for a New Home in the New Year</a> &mdash; When shopping for a new home, get a mortgage preapproval. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/11-reasons-to-be-thankful.html">11 Things Going Right</a> &mdash; As 2012 draws to a close, be excited about the fact that the U.S. economy will improve in 2013. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/12/should-americans-be-forced-to-save-for-retirement.html">Should Americans Be Forced to Save for Retirement?</a> &mdash; Do you think Americans should be forced to save for retirement like they are forced to pay for social security? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/book-review-teaching-children-to-be-good-people">Book Review: Teaching Kids To Be Good People by Annie Fox</a> &mdash; A good way to help your kids cope with their own realities is to open up to them about your past.10 [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-frugal-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blahs" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Frugal Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-frugal-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blahs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</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/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment best money tips frugal winter Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 961750 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in December http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-december <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-december" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2072416382_44614728ac_z_0.jpg" alt="mall polar bears" title="mall polar bears" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>December is a month when you almost can't avoid shopping. You may have skipped Black Friday &mdash; overwhelmed by the offers, hype, and crowds &mdash; but the holiday season is a different beast altogether, with gifts from loved ones, friends, and people you barely know coming at you from all angles. Keep your holiday cheer level high by shopping wisely. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" title="Shopping Calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <p>We've pored over the extensive dealnews archives of sales, coupons, and individual products from years past to guide you in your quest for the most savvy purchases in December. Here's what we found.</p> <h3>Buy a Bike, Use it Later?</h3> <p>For many of our northernmost readers, bike riding in the winter is implausible, but you should consider <a href="http://dealnews.com/c476/Sports-Fitness/Bicycling/?eref=wisebread" title="bicycle deals">purchasing a bike</a> this month all the same. While other months might have seen greater volume of bicycle deals, we saw the most Editors' Choice-level bargains during the month of December last year from vendors like REI, Walmart, and Performance Bike. Otherwise, the next time we saw a substantial number of deals and sales came in May.</p> <h3>Get Good Deals on Toys...by Still Waiting</h3> <p>Finally, it's the best time to buy <a href="http://dealnews.com/c226/Gaming-Toys/Toys-Hobbies/?eref=wisebread" title="toy deals">holiday toys</a>! Almost. As we've mentioned before, many toys will hit their lowest price points of the season as we get <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Last-Years-Toys-R-Us-Fab-15-List-Demonstrates-the-Best-Time-to-Buy-Toys/508298.html?eref=wisebread" title="best time to buy toys">closer we get to Christmas</a>. Last year, many of the tops toys of the season hit their lowest points in the week before Christmas. That said, during the week before <em>that</em>, we saw a staggering number of Editors' Choice toy deals on the whole; in fact, it was the best week of the month for top-shelf discounts on toys. Shop during this period, and you'll improve your chances of getting the best deals.</p> <h3>Stock Up on Kitchen Items for More Holiday Cooking</h3> <p>Although we noted in our last buying guide that November is the <a href="http://dealnews.com/c201/Home-Garden/Kitchen/?eref=wisebread" title="kitchen deals">best month to buy cookware</a>, the sales and discounts last year largely carried over into December. Even though the overall volume of deals was down slightly, December actually slightly edged out November with the number of Editors' Choice-level offers. Look for top offers from Macy's, Kohl's, Amazon, FoodSaver, Williams Sonoma, and JCPenney, on items such as cutlery sets, bakeware, and small appliances.</p> <h3>Tools and Hardware Deals for Dad?</h3> <p>Last year, both November and December were excellent months to buy <a href="http://dealnews.com/c197/Home-Garden/Tools-And-Hardware/?eref=wisebread" title="tools and hardware deals">tools and hardware</a> items, matched only by the month of July for Editors' Choice offers. November this year however proved to be significantly less thrilling in this department, with about 50% fewer top-shelf deals. We're hoping though that December will deliver like it did last year, with significant discounts on wrench and screwdriver sets, drills, lawn-care tools, and more.</p> <h3>It's a Great Time to Buy Christmas Decorations! (After Christmas, That Is)</h3> <p>At this point, it's common knowledge that <a href="http://dealnews.com/c276/Home-Garden/Seasonal-Holidays/?eref=wisebread" title="seasonal holiday deals">holiday decorations</a> see their greatest discounts after the holiday in question has passed, and this is no different for Christmas. If you wait until December 26, you'll see discounts of 50% to 70% off from stores like West Elm, Home Depot, Sears, Crate &amp; Barrel, and Macy's. If you absolutely <em>must</em> buy a <a href="http://dealnews.com/c276/Home-Garden/Seasonal-Holidays/?eref=wisebread" title="seasonal holiday deals">fake Christmas tree</a> before the 25th, look to Walmart and Kohl's for extremely inexpensive options.</p> <h3>Blu-ray Movies Make Budget-Friendly Gifts</h3> <p>As we noted last month, November &mdash; and specifically around Black Friday &mdash; is a great time to get <a href="http://dealnews.com/c502/Movies-Music-Books/Movies-TVs-Videos/Blu-Ray-Disc-Movies/?eref=wisebread" title="Blu-ray deals">inexpensive Blu-ray disc movies</a>, but this good fortune extends into December. While we saw a slight drop-off in top-shelf deals last year (there were about 20% fewer Editors' Choice offers in December than there were in November), the cumulative discounts were still much better than any other month throughout the rest of the year. That means movies and TV shows may be an <a title="5 Classy Gift Ideas for Any Time of Year" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-classy-gift-ideas-for-any-time-of-year">ideal gift</a> for everyone on your holiday shopping list.</p> <h3>Put Off Buying a Wall Calendar</h3> <p>You may see some modest discounts this month and early in 2012 that will entice you to <a href="http://dealnews.com/search.html?search=calendar" title="calendar deals">purchase a calendar</a>, but the first <em>significant</em> sales we'll see on these items come at the end of January and beginning of February. (You can of course see even bigger discounts the longer you put it off, but you actually want to <em>use</em> the calendar, right?)</p> <h3>Wait to Buy Jewelry</h3> <p>Sorry, boyfriends and husbands of the world. As our <a href="http://dealnews.com/pages/writers/jeff-somogyi.html?eref=wisebread" title="Jeff Somogyi">Media Editor</a> put it during last week's podcast, &quot;Big Jewelry&quot; has you in a corner this month. <a href="http://dealnews.com/c227/Clothing-Accessories/Jewelry/?eref=wisebread" title="jewelry deals">Jewelry</a> just doesn't see its best discounts of the year before Christmas, so if you haven't already purchased a piece in advance, you might not be getting a great deal. You could always try to get around this by using a broad <a href="http://dealcoupon.com/" title="dealcoupon">department store or apparel coupon</a> for a nominal discount, but many stores, including Macy's, frequently excludes jewelry from these offers.</p> <h3>Like Jewelry, Bad Timing to Buy Watches</h3> <p>Just like jewelry, <a href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories/?eref=wisebread" title="clothing accessories deals">watches</a> don't see their best discounts of the year during the holiday season, likely because so many shoppers feel more compelled to buy them in December. But unlike jewelry, there's a small trend toward decent <a href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories/?eref=wisebread" title="clothing accessories deals">deals for watches</a> before the clock strikes Christmas. During the first and second weeks, we saw a handful of Editors' Choice offers that featured significant price cuts. Be sure to keep an eye on the deal-a-day sites that specialize in watches, like ChronoShark and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2274/World-of-Watches/?eref=wisebread" title="World of Watches deals">World of Watches</a>.</p> <h3>Time to Look Into Top-Brand HDTVs</h3> <p>Black Friday is over, so it's time to forget about TVs, right? Wrong. We saw some rock-bottom prices on numerous sets during the post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday, but many of the best prices were from off-brand manufacturers. And though we saw some choice name-brand deals last week too, they were generally more than their off-brand counterparts in the same size-category. But according to a recent feature, <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Brand-Name-TVs-Will-See-Black-Friday-Prices-with-Time-and-a-Little-Patience/517168.html?eref=wisebread" title="brand name TVs">top-brand sets will approach prices that are comparable to Black Friday</a> during the mid-December to February time period. It may be a good time to set an <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?cat=159" title="dealnews TV email alert">email alert</a> for your favorite manufacturer and screen size, so you can catch those prices when they hit the site.</p> <h3>Opt for Desktop Replacements Over Other Notebooks</h3> <p>Despite its proximity to Black Friday, December has never been an ideal month for <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops/?eref=wisebread" title="laptop deals">buying a laptop</a>. In fact, dealnews data shows that for the past three years, laptop prices for a 15&quot; to 16&quot; dual-core system have gone up an average of 7% from November to December. That's not to say all hope is lost. If your Christmas list still includes a laptop you might want to check out <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops/?eref=wisebread" title="laptop deals">deals on desktop replacements</a> (systems measuring 17&quot; or more) as prices on those systems dropped 40% (from November's lowest price) in December of last year. And with the influx of laptop deals we saw this past Black Friday, we wouldn't be surprised if a few solid deals trickle into December. Just don't expect them to be the year's best.</p> <p><em>This post is by <a title="Dealnews" href="http://dealnews.com/">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s almost impossible to NOT shop in December. Keep your holiday cheer level high by shopping wisely. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-december">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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</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/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</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-art-of-the-group-gift">The Art of the Group Gift</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/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts">How to Buy Art as Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Shopping finding deals holiday shopping winter Fri, 02 Dec 2011 11:36:57 +0000 Dealnews 807573 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Winter Clothes? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-winter-clothes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-winter-clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5376101897_5765db2074_z-1.jpg" alt="How Do You Save on Winter Clothes? " title="How Do You Save on Winter Clothes? " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is upon us and the cold weather has set in. It&rsquo;s time to break out the coats and other warm clothes. For many people, that means pulling winter clothes out of storage. For others, it means heading to the mall to update their winter wardrobe.</p> <p><b>How do you save on winter clothes?</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> Do you shop in the off-season? Instead of hitting the mall, do you shop at thrift stores?</span></p> <p>Tell us how you save on winter clothes and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, December 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 5th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-winter-clothes" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Winter Clothes? " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how you save on winter clothes and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-winter-clothes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</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/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-celebrate-fathers-day">Ask the Readers: How Will You Celebrate Father&#039;s Day?</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/ask-the-readers-i-used-to-but-now-i">Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save money.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-share-your-favorite-frugal-holiday-tradition">Ask the Readers: Share Your Favorite Frugal Holiday Tradition</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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Giveaways Ask the Readers clothes winter Tue, 29 Nov 2011 11:36:38 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 801549 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Update Your Winter Wardrobe on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-update-your-winter-wardrobe-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-update-your-winter-wardrobe-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winter_clothes.jpg" alt="Woman in winter clothes" title="Woman in winter clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's already time to pull the sweaters and mittens out of storage, and it's also the perfect opportunity to clean out the closets and update your winter wardrobe. Male or female, thrifty or lavish, everyone inevitably gets tired of wearing the same old coat and hat every year.</p> <p>You don't have to spend a fortune to expand your winter selection. Here are ten different ways you can be more fashionable this winter without going over your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your&nbsp;Style</a>)</p> <h3>1. Find the Best Thrift Stores</h3> <p>If you're a thrift store junkie, you probably already know the hippest spots in town. But there may be a few trendy thrift stores you haven't discovered yet. Ask around and check out the local papers for ads, or go online and do a quick search for all the cheap clothing places in town. Even an occasional trip to the stores where you haven't had much luck could prove to be fruitful. The beauty of thrift stores is that you never know what you will find. To get the most out of your second-hand shopping spree, find the places that offer the best consignment value. Most stores offer a greater value if you take the store credit as opposed to simply selling your unwanted items. If you bring in enough of what they're looking for, you may get several items to add to your winter wardrobe without having to spend much at all.</p> <h3>2. Organize a Clothing Swap</h3> <p>You won't have to spend a dime if you host a clothes-swapping soiree for your friends. You can even ask them to bring the drinks and snacks. The more people you invite, the more success you'll have; there will be a wider variety of sizes for everyone to choose from and a larger selection in general. Be sure to come up with a trading system before you invite folks over to swap their clothes with each other. Generally, people tend to work together to bargain and come up with a fair trade, but it's nice to have an overall rule about how it works. If you aren't sure what to do, ask people who've been to swaps before to help you come up with a fair system. Clothing swaps can be a lot of fun with the right mix of people.</p> <h3>3. Focus on the Classics</h3> <p>When you do find that perfect thrift store or start exchanging clothes with friends, try to pick out garments with classic styles or colors. Black clothing, for instance, can go with almost any color or print, and the more basic colors you own, the more you can switch things up instead of wearing the same outfit all the time. Choosing the leopard print over the solid navy shirt may be a fun and spontaneous, but it will get old quicker than you think. Having more of the classics in your winter clothing collection also makes it easier to layer.</p> <h3>4. Make Simple Alterations</h3> <p>Even the most classic styles and colors will eventually get less and less wear. Any item of clothing starts to look drab if it's been hanging in the closet long enough. You don't have to own a sewing machine to make small alterations to your garments. Simply cutting the collar off a shirt to give it a new look, or dying your clothes a different color can be a cheap and easy way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe">spiff up the clothes you already own</a>.</p> <h3>5. Add Versatile Accessories</h3> <p>From belts to jewelry, there are plenty of accessories for both men and women to add some bling to your winter wear. And you can always find cheap accessories in good condition at thrift stores, since people typically overlook those items. Check out sales at larger department stores as well, since they will always need to make room for the next trend. Try to look for versatile colors and a mix of dressy and casual. Don't forget the shoes! A pair of kicking bargain boots can do wonders to your look.</p> <h3>6. Layer Everything</h3> <p>Wearing layers not only keeps you warmer in the winter, but it can also be a way to add some variety to your clothes. You can even use items that you already have in new ways. Wearing a dressy blazer or formal jacket with jeans is one way to mix your dressy and casual clothing together to create a new look. If you have a lot of solid colors in your winter wardrobe, layering will be easy and give you tons of combinations to experiment with.</p> <h3>7. Add Some Neckwear</h3> <p>Scarves, shawls, and neckties come in a wide variety of styles and colors, and you can usually find these at decent prices if you know where to look. Stores like T.J. Maxx often sell these items at very low prices, so don't forget to check out some of the box stores. In addition to keeping you warmer in the winter, scarves are extremely versatile, and make anything you wear stand out. Neckties make interesting belts as well. Look for the ragged ones at thrift stores; they will be dirt cheap, and you can hide the wear and tear if you wear them around your waist instead of your neck.</p> <h3>8. Glean From Fashion Mags</h3> <p>Not sure what to do with your wardrobe, or where to even start? Browse some popular fashion magazines, or scan through the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/pages/fashion/index.html">fashion section</a> in newspapers to get some ideas before you start shopping around or trading in that sweater you thought you'd never wear again. There may be something you can do with the items you already have that you hadn't thought of. Checking out the fashion world can give you a better idea of what to look for when you shop, which helps when you are on a tight budget.</p> <h3>9. Start a New Trend</h3> <p>Not worried about the latest in fashion news? Why not start your own trend &mdash; they have to start somewhere, right? Create your own style by coming up with inventive ways to wear your clothes, or try wearing something totally out of character, like a feather boa, goofy leggings, suspenders, a bow tie, or whatever makes you smile when you get dressed in the morning.</p> <h3>10. Go Zen On Your Garb</h3> <p>No matter how much we want to trade in our old duds for new ones, some of us just have a hard time letting go of our clothes. Even if we haven't worn a particular item in ten years, we hang on to it, truly believing that one day we will love it and wear it all the time (you know who you are). Before you start trading or buying clothes, take out each item in your closet, one at a time, and take a few minutes to truly think about whether you need it. You can even start jotting down some notes stating on why or why not it should stay or go. This also gives you an opportunity to catalog your entire <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in">wardrobe</a>. Sometimes it's easier to see exactly what you have when it's on paper. Knowing what you have to start with will ultimately help you make smarter and more frugal choices when updating your winter wardrobe.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-update-your-winter-wardrobe-on-the-cheap" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Update Your Winter Wardrobe on the Cheap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-update-your-winter-wardrobe-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate">8 Cheap Ways to Update a Wardrobe You Hate</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/frugal-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe-for-spring">Frugal Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guys-upgrade-your-style-without-buying-new-clothes">Guys: Upgrade Your Style Without Buying New Clothes</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-your-shoes-last-longer">10 Ways to Make Your Shoes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Style classic clothing update wardrobe winter Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:24:55 +0000 Ashley Watson 778261 at http://www.wisebread.com Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cars_in_blizzard.jpg" alt="Cars in a blizzard" title="Cars in a blizzard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I grew up in the Midwest, where winter preparedness is something between a religion and a science. Midwest winters are a combination of unpredictability, brutal temperatures, and roads paved with black ice. Having the proper winter gear for our cars isn&rsquo;t just about avoiding inconvenience; it&rsquo;s about survival, and there are a few essentials we think every driver should have. So, before the snow starts to fly, create a winter driving safety kit or check out your ride to make sure you&rsquo;re equipped with everyday necessities and those important extras for the cold months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter">10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter</a>)</p> <h3>Gas Can</h3> <p>With gas at its current price, who isn&rsquo;t putting off filling up until the last possible moment? If you find yourself on empty and need to walk to a gas station or have a good Samaritan make a run for you, a spare gas can makes things easier. Not all gas stations have them at the ready.</p> <h3>Jumper Cables</h3> <p>Dead batteries are just part a part of life in sub-zero weather. Have a pair of jumper cables handy and know how to use them (or print this easy <a href="http://www.autobatteries.com/basics/howprintable.asp">cheat sheet</a> to keep in your glove box).</p> <h3>Cell Phone Charger</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re stuck on the road in an area that&rsquo;s not heavily trafficked, your cell phone is your lifeline. Make sure you have a charger to juice up your phone and help get you out of a tight (and cold) spot.</p> <h3>First Aid Kit</h3> <p>A first aid kit is a must-have any time you&rsquo;re on the road. Check your kit to make sure you&rsquo;re well-stocked with sterile bandages, gauze, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, pain relievers, and antihistamines for allergic reactions. For a complete list of first aid kit supplies, check out <a href="http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/firstaid.shtm">FEMA&rsquo;s recommendations</a>.</p> <h3>Extra Food and Water</h3> <p>In modern life, having extra food and water on hand might not be a matter of absolute survival, but it certainly can make things more tolerable. Choose non-perishable, high-calorie, high-protein food like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-gluten-free-trail-mix-bars-for-about-30-cents-each">energy bars</a>, granola bars, and nuts.</p> <h3>Extra Clothes or Blankets</h3> <p>In extreme temperatures, proper clothing can mean the difference between life and death. If your car battery is dead and you can&rsquo;t generate heat from the motor, it&rsquo;s going to get very cold very fast. Focus on extra hats, gloves, and blankets made of wool or polyester for greatest warmth. Emergency blankets made of Mylar are another good option &mdash; they&rsquo;re light, inexpensive, and help retain 80 to 90% of the body&rsquo;s radiant heat.</p> <h3>Flashlight</h3> <p>A working flashlight is essential for safety and to shed some light on those simple fixes you can do yourself. Choose a battery-operated flashlight or &mdash; even better &mdash; go for an emergency model that&rsquo;s powered by kinetic energy like shaking or hand-cranking. If you go the conventional route, make sure to pack extra batteries.</p> <h3>Basic Tools</h3> <p>Carry enough tools to do simple repairs like patching a hose or tightening battery cables. A set of socket and open-end wrenches, pliers, and multi-head screwdriver will be enough for most jobs. Electrical or duct tape comes in handy for quick hose repairs until you can reach a service station. Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget to include a few extra fuses in your tool kit for quick fixes to your car&rsquo;s electrical system.</p> <h3>Spare Tire</h3> <p>Donut or full-sized, a spare tire is godsend on a cold dark night in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have all the accompanying tools to change the tire, like a jack and lug wrench. If you&rsquo;ve never changed a tire before, here&rsquo;s another printable <a href="http://www.barbarasway.com/projects/automotive-care-and-safety/how-to-change-a-tire/printable/">cheat sheet</a> to keep handy.</p> <h3>Emergency Candle and Lighter</h3> <p>Even a small emergency candle or liquid paraffin candle can generate some warmth on a cold night.<b> </b>They&rsquo;re long-lasting, smokeless, and odorless.</p> <h3>Kitty Litter</h3> <p>No, it&rsquo;s not for your bobble-head kitty on the dashboard. For those moments when you&rsquo;re stuck on ice, or in mud and slush, a little <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/really-great-uses-for-kitty-litter">kitty litter</a> poured under the tire will give you traction enough to get unstuck and back on the road (fresh scent is optional, of course).</p> <p>Your winter driving safety kit doesn&rsquo;t have to break the bank or drain your holiday budget. You probably have most of these items in your garage or house already. Others can be found at the dollar store or by keeping an eye out while thrift-shopping. Get the kids involved and make your kit a weekend project &mdash; it&rsquo;ll speed up the process and help raise their awareness about winter safety and emergency preparedness. Stay warm!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves" class="sharethis-link" title="Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/safety-tips-for-holiday-driving">Safety Tips for Holiday Driving</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/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</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-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know">10 Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know</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/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips driving safety winter Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 750549 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Remove Snow and Save http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-snow-and-save <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-remove-snow-and-save" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/snow_shoveling.jpg" alt="Woman shoveling snow" title="Woman shoveling snow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I grew up in New Hampshire's White Mountains, went to college in upstate New York, and am currently living in Philadelphia, which has recently been hit with an increasingly ridiculous series of winter storms. In short: I know snow. And I also know that if you get hit by several storms, removing that snow can get expensive mighty fast. Whatever your situation, here are some suggestions for how to save money on snow removal.</p> <h3>DIY...If the Numbers Add Up</h3> <p>Removing snow yourself; whether by shovel, snow blower, plow, or another method; is often the cheapest way to clear out your driveway or sidewalk. However, in many situations &mdash; such as if you have a long driveway but live in an area where extensive snowfall is rare &mdash; it's going to be more cost-effective to hire someone to plow instead of buying a snowblower or plow attachment for yourself. If you <em>are</em> thinking of purchasing a plow or snow blower and are trying to figure out how much you'll save over hiring someone, make sure to include the value the time it'll take you to remove the snow in your calculations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-age-old-conundrum-time-vs-money">That Age-Old Conundrum: Time vs. Money</a>)</p> <h3>Purchase Double-Duty Tools</h3> <p>Whenever possible, purchase snow-removal tools that have other uses. Growing up, my family shoveled snow with the same metal shovels we used in the garden. Our snow blower was an attachment for our ride-on lawnmower. Even your bag of ice-melt can do double-duty: If you purchase rock salt instead of chemical ice melters, you can use the leftovers to make ice cream come summer (plus rock salt won't leave bright-blue stains on your walkway like some other ice-melts do).</p> <h3>Barter for Snow-Removal Services</h3> <p>Whether you're hiring the shovel-wielding kid next door or the guy with a pickup truck who plows practically every driveway in town, ask if you can barter goods or services in exchange for a clean driveway or sidewalk.</p> <h3>Offer Yourself for Hire</h3> <p>You're certainly saving money if you're making money. Instead of being on the hiring side of the snow-removal equation, offer up your shoveling, snow-blowing, or plowing services (if you have the equipment) to make some extra cash. And if you are driving around town to plow, check out these tips from Linsey on creating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">homemade windshield de-icer</a>.</p> <h3>Avoid Fines</h3> <p>In Philadelphia, homeowners and renters face fines if they do not remove snow from the walkways in front of their residences within six hours after the snow has stopped. In New York City, residents have just four hours after snowfall to clean their sidewalks before risking fines ranging from $100 to $350. Make sure you know what, if any, snow-removal codes affect your area.</p> <p><em>Do you have any tips for frugal snow removal? Share them in the comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-snow-and-save" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Remove Snow and Save" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-snow-and-save">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home outdoor equipment snow weather winter Fri, 04 Feb 2011 13:36:08 +0000 Meg Favreau 487646 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Snow-Day Recipes to Help You Weather the Storm http://www.wisebread.com/3-snow-day-recipes-to-help-you-weather-the-storm <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-snow-day-recipes-to-help-you-weather-the-storm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/snowstorm.jpg" alt="Walking down the street in a snowstorm" title="Walking down the street in a snowstorm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Batten down the hatches &mdash; this week&rsquo;s requisite blizzard is under way.</p> <p>If you believe the hype, many of us are in for a strange sort of storm &mdash; complete with ice, snow, and tornadoes, oh my! &mdash; that some meteorologists are suggesting could be one for the records. (Isn&rsquo;t that always the case lately? Ugh.)</p> <p>First the bad news: It&rsquo;s too late to panic and make a mad dash for your nearest supermarket. All the essentials are gone, the lines are nine deep, and you don&rsquo;t have four-wheel drive. So don&rsquo;t even try it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-to-have-on-hand-for-power-outages">20 Things to Have on Hand for Power Outages</a>)</p> <p>Now for the good news. You needn't stock up to make these hot and hearty dishes that hit all the right spots. They&rsquo;re made from kitchen staples that you already have. Bon Appet-heat!</p> <h3>Breakfast: Sausage and Biscuits</h3> <p>You can spend an hour making buttermilk biscuits from scratch, but I&rsquo;m of the opinion that Pillsbury makes as good a biscuit as I can. That&rsquo;s what makes this meal so easy. Just pop open the Grands can, place the contents on a baking sheet, and pop &rsquo;em in the oven. They're risen and ready to eat in 20 minutes.</p> <p>To finish this recipe off, brown one pound of ground sausage in a skillet, stir in a quarter cup of flour &mdash; and don&rsquo;t forget to scrape those tasty brown bits of the bottom of the pan &mdash; and gradually stir in two cups of milk (whole milk for maximum flavor) until the gravy is thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and ladle over a set of steaming biscuits. Serve with a side of fresh or thawed mixed berries. (Recipe adapted from <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Super-Sausage-Gravy/Detail.aspx">Bob Evans</a>.)</p> <h3>Lunch: Steak BL (Minus the T) Sandwich with Basil Mayo</h3> <p>All credit for this sandwich goes to <a href="http://www.4seasonsgrille.com/">a restaurant I used to frequent</a> near my hometown in Maryland, but it&rsquo;s easy to duplicate from your fridge.</p> <p>I use strips of seasoned flank steak or London broil and pile it on a hand-size piece of a whole grain baguette in two rows, crosswise. On top of that I add two strips of bacon, fresh arugula (although any lettuce you have will do), and shaved Parmesan. Before I make it a sandwich, I smear <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-rate-condiments-homemade-mayo">mayo</a> (light, if you&rsquo;d like) flecked with fresh basil on the top piece of bread. I omit the tomato because they&rsquo;re slimy and gross, but you can have at it if that&rsquo;s your sorta thing. Splurge with a few kettle-cooked (or veggie) chips to round it all out. (Recipe adapted from <a href="http://www.kitchendaily.com/recipe/skirt-steak-blt-with-basil-mayonnaise-84306/">Kitchen Daily</a>.)</p> <h3>Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup</h3> <p>You can&rsquo;t go wrong with this crock-pot classic, but I&rsquo;ve learned a few things along the way. First, store-bought rotisserie <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-do-with-chicken-leg-quarters">chicken</a> is best because not only is the bird super juicy, but the submerged carcass will further flavor the broth. If you don&rsquo;t have a rotisserie chicken on hand, roast a few bone-in breasts and thighs at home. Remember to keep the skin on for extra flavor. As for the broth, I use six cups of stock with four cups consisting of College Inn traditional chicken stock and two cups of the brand&rsquo;s new Bold Stock.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s where I get weird: I don&rsquo;t like vegetables in my soup &mdash; it&rsquo;s a consistency thing &ndash; but they&rsquo;re necessary to give the broth flavor and depth. To avoid having to pick the onions, carrots, and celery out of the final product, I wrap the chopped veggies in cheesecloth, tie it up, and let it float in the stock until it&rsquo;s ready to serve. If someone prefers the veggies, I add them to that person's individual bowl, and everybody&rsquo;s happy. Crusty bread, crudité, and a bottle of chardonnay pair perfectly. (Recipe adapted from <a href="http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotsoup/r/bl43c14.htm">About's Guide to Southern Food</a>.)</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-snow-day-recipes-to-help-you-weather-the-storm" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Snow-Day Recipes to Help You Weather the Storm" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/3-snow-day-recipes-to-help-you-weather-the-storm">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-pantry-that-dont-last-as-long-as-you-think">10 Things in Your Pantry That Don&#039;t Last as Long as You Think</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/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unusual-but-necessary-staples-to-add-to-your-pantry">12 Unusual (But Necessary!) Staples to Add to Your Pantry</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/quick-pantry-snacks-for-unexpected-guests">Quick Pantry Snacks for Unexpected Guests</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-cheap-and-healthy-filler-foods">9 Cheap and Healthy Filler Foods</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink comfort food recipes pantry winter Wed, 02 Feb 2011 14:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 487410 at http://www.wisebread.com