Tag Archives: Household Tips

Cheap and Easy Spring Cleaning

It’s almost time for spring cleaning. It can be an exhausting and expensive activity that induces dread. But it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning and some clever tips from Pennysaver USA, you can breeze through spring cleaning and save money to go out and celebrate the new season.
Cheap and Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

Get Your Cleaning Supplies Together

Gather all of the cleaning supplies you’ll use and find a pail or basket to carry them from room to room. You’ll save having to run around the house looking for that glass cleaner or dust rag. Woman’s Day suggests using microfiber cloths for cleaning instead of paper towels. They can be used dry for dusting and wet for wiping down almost any surface. You can also reuse them after machine washing and hanging them up to dry. They come in inexpensive packs and you’ll save on paper towels that just get thrown away after a single use.

Top-Down Approach

Start at the top of the house at one end and work your way down. Finish one room completely before going to the next. This gives you a feeling of accomplishment even if you haven’t finished the whole house. Take your basket of cleaning supplies with you and leave the vacuum outside of the room for the final touch.

Use the top-down method when cleaning individual rooms. Start by dusting high places, including blinds and ceiling fan, to allow dirt to fall to the floor to be picked up by the vacuum. Work your way down the shelves and walls. As you clean, pick up everything off of the floor so you’ll be ready to do a quick vacuum of the room.

Organize Now or Later

Spring cleaning gives you a chance to do some major organization. Start by cleaning out closets, the garage and basement, recommends House Beautiful. If you have kept up with those spaces, you can work on other areas as you move through the house. If you’ve ignored those areas, you’ll want to set aside time to organize them separately.

If you find that the garage and basement have a lot of junk that should just be thrown out, save money by renting a dumpster instead of hauling away multiple loads to the landfill. Every city has services that offer quick to-your-door delivery of dumpsters. For example, if you live in or around the Denver area, Next Day Dumpsters can deliver a small unit that is the equivalent of six pickup loads. The company will take it away when you’re done so you don’t have to deal with the landfill.

While you have the dumpster in your driveway, take advantage of it to haul away that yard waste accumulating in the backyard. Pick up a cart at rental place in Denver so you don’t hurt your back as you collect the limbs and leaves, wood scraps and old flower pots from your yard.

Save Money on Supplies

You can also make your own cleaning solutions and save money, says HGTV. They are less harsh than commercial cleaners, and easier on the planet. Some of the DIY cleaners they recommend include:

  • White vinegar diluted in water — Cleans floor and wall scuffs, countertops, tubs and sinks
  • White vinegar undiluted — Cleans toilet bowls, sinks, tubs, and any surface stained by hard water deposits
  • Baking soda — Cleans tile, grout and porcelain when mix with a little water to use as a scouring powder
  • Rubbing alcohol — Cleans windows, mirrors and chrome surfaces
  • Ammonia — Cleans stubborn surfaces when rubbing alcohol isn’t enough

Carissa Rogers is the Marketing Specialist at PennySaver USA, California’s leading resource in print, online, and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, local coupons, classifieds, and business listings.

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Household Items: Refurbish or Buy New?

You should be familiar with the expression “When in doubt, throw it out.” Typically this rule applies to food, medications and potentially dangerous toys. When it comes to household products, decide whether to refurbish or repair the item, or buy a new one. Budget-conscious, stay-at-home moms or college students should keep these tips in mind. Ask yourself if you have the skills and time to refurbish the product and access to the parts. If not, consider the cost of having the item repaired professionally. If the cost is 50 percent or more of a new product, you may want to consider buying new. Follow some of these tips from PennySaver USA to help you decide what you need to do..

Clothing and Jewelry

A rip in your favorite pair of jeans is worth sewing. If you have reasonable sewing skills, you can tackle a broken zipper. A new zipper should cost $3 to $4 at a fabric store. Mending seams and replacing buttons can save you money over purchasing new items. When clothing is past repair, head to a local thrift store if you need to save money.

High-quality shoes may be worth repairing. A good cobbler can often repair worn out soles. The $15 pair of sneakers with holes in the sides should be thrown out.

Broken costume jewelry is often not worth the time or money to repair. If you broke a link on a necklace or bracelet, you probably can fix the item for under $1, otherwise throw it out. If you have broken a piece of antique or expensive jewelry, spend the money to have the item repaired. You cannot truly measure the cost of a replacement piece.

Electronics

If you spill water on your new iPhone, place it in a container of rice for a couple of days. The rice should absorb the water and you may have salvaged your phone. If you spilled a sugary beverage on it, you may be out of luck. The sugar can damage the components inside. Consider the purchase price you paid, the replacement cost and repair estimate when making your decision. If you ran over your $40 cell phone backing up your car, buy a new one.

The same does not apply to a computer keyboard. You can try allowing the device to dry out after a spill, but keyboards will often not work correctly after any damage. Replacement keyboards are available for as low as $20 and they are not worth the effort to repair. Computers, laptops and tablets are often candidates for repair, if they are within a couple of years old. Unless you are an expert in electronics work, take your equipment to a professional.

If you damaged your Lenovo ThinkPad, compare the costs of repair and replacement. You might even considering purchasing a refurbished model. If the product is refurbished by the manufacturer and has a warranty, you can realize significant savings. If you purchase a replacement, recycle your old electronic device. According to the Clean Air Council, recycling 1 million laptops would save enough energy to provide power to more than 3,600 homes each year.

Household Products

If your Dyson vacuum quit, consider repairing it or taking it in for service. If you have mechanical skills, examine broken household products like vacuums before you decide to purchase a new one. You may find a broken belt that is easy to replace or a large clog that is preventing suction.

Your $150 or more Keurig coffee maker is a good candidate for repair. The $20 off-brand machine should be replaced. If you break a glass coffee pot, check around local thrift stores or yard sales. You can pick up an entire machine for just a few dollars and get the pot you need, even if the machine does not work.

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Make Your Space Look Bigger for Less than $50

Make your space look bigger for less than $50

Cathedral ceilings and floor length windows fill your dreams, but your reality is a tiny little flat where the walls close in around you. Grab your penny jar, because for well under $50, you can make your space feel bigger with these tips from PennySaver USA. A little paint, a mirror and an afternoon spent de-cluttering are just what your space needs to feel bigger.

Paint

The right color scheme can be life changing. House Beautiful suggests painting everything in the room from the molding to the walls and the window sills the same shade of deft blue. The unification blurs the boundaries of the space and makes it feel bigger. If blue is not your thing, pick a light color. White can be mixed with your favorite undertones of green or blue, or you can just pick pure white for a light and airy effect. Because white will reflect the light in your place, it will make your rooms feel bigger.

Mirrors

The perfect way to reflect light and virtually enlarge any spaces, mirrors should not be overlooked. New, a mirror can cost a lot of money, but a trip to the thrift store or a bit of crafting means that you can have a mirror without sacrificing your budget. Home Depot offers workshops for women, and one of their most popular classes has been the Tile Mirror workshop, which teaches how to convert a plain mirror into a framed tile mirror. Alternatively, you can frame your mirror with a repurposed window frame or a funky used picture frame.

Clearing Clutter

Clearing clutter will make your house feel bigger, but according to WebMD, it will also have positive effects on your mental health. To reduce your junk, make three piles: one destined for the thrift store, one for trash, and one for things that just need to be put away in another room. If you have trouble getting rid of stuff, revisit this strategy every month or two. It’s usually easier to get rid of things when you’ve deliberated over it for several months. If you are really on the fence about an item, pop it into storage. If you don’t use it within the next 12 months, dump it.

Find a New Space

Rather than making big changes to your current space, simply look for a new one. Sites like ForRent.com let you search by location and size. When you finally tour the apartment, look for lots of natural light, light-colored walls and high ceilings. All of those features will make you feel like you are in a big space.

Living Large

Ironically, according to Lowe’s, big objects can make your room feel bigger. Rather than cluttering up the walls with lots of little pictures, invest in a large print, a mirror, or a cool piece of big art. If art is out of your budget, consider some wall decals. They are the perfect way to fill up space without spending too much cash. Replace small throw rugs with a big area rug, and instead of end tables, give your room a focus and some extra light with a giant glass coffee table.

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The Best Lawn Care Guide for Penny-Pinching Homeowners

Save money with these lawn care tips from the PennySaver.Do you have one of those ongoing-yet-unspoken contests each year with your neighbor? You know the one: You compete to see whose lawn is the greenest, whose flowers bloom brightest, and whose yard is the best on the block. No matter the unofficial title at stake, you don’t want to spend a fortune on lawn care this summer.

These lawn care tips from the PennySaver will help you grow a lush, beautiful lawn without breaking the bank:

Use Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is the process of planting trees, bushes, plants and shrubs that are native to your region. According to FoxBusiness.com, xeriscaping can save you a significant chunk of money, because the rain and moisture that is produced naturally in your area is usually enough to keep this native landscaping hydrated. When you add non-native plants to your landscape design, they may require more water, because they are used to another climate where it rains more frequently.

Add Shade Trees

According to BankRate.com, planting big, beautiful shade trees helps protect your grass from the sun and offers you additional benefits at the same time. Trees planted on the west and east sides of your home help protect your house from the glaring rays of the sun and help keep your home cooler in summer. This not only saves you money on watering your lawn, but also cuts down your utility bills each month.

Invest in a Multipurpose Tool

Buy a good multipurpose tool to help you take care of your lawn, rather than one tool for each specific function. It’s usually worth the initial expense; one or two decent multipurpose tools can take care of your entire landscaping needs. String trimmers, for example, can be used to cut grass, trim near objects, keep bushes pruned and hack back overgrown weeds. When accompanied by landscaping attachments, string trimmers become one of the most valuable multipurpose tools a homeowner can have.

Apply One Dose of Fertilizer

Fertilize your lawn just once in the spring, and leave your grass a little bit longer when you cut it. According to personal finance blogger Edward Antrobus, this not only promotes healthy growth, but it helps to save you money as well. Using a time-release fertilizer in the spring helps ensure that you only have to spend the money on this treatment once per year. Longer blades of grass require less water, so you don’t have to spend so much money and time hydrating your lawn.

The best part about these money-saving tips is, they don’t require you to compromise on the quality of your lawn. You can still have the greenest lawn on the block, but you will also have enough extra cash in your wallet to throw the best barbecues—with the most delicious steaks, the juiciest fresh fruit and most succulent corn on the cob. Now that you’re winning the beautiful lawn competition, it’s time to see who can throw the best neighborhood parties this summer.

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Save Money Monday: Saving on Your Electricity Bill

It’s Summer, and as the temperature rises so do your electricity bills. It doesn’t have to be that way. In this Save Money Monday blog, we’re going to provide you with household tips to cut down costs on your electricity bills this Summer and through the rest of the year.

Turn off the Lights

Whenever you’re leaving a room, turn off the lights. Even if you may have the intention of returning within a few minutes, you can easily become distracted, and those few minutes can turn into an hour or more–resulting in a waste of electricity and your money.

Replace Light Bulbs

Replace any incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs.

Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

If you know you’re the forgetful kind, and probably won’t heed the first tip very diligently, then replace any incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs instead. These light bulbs not only use less electricity–saving about 50% when it comes to lighting, but they also emit less heat, reducing your air condition usage. These can be found at many home supplies/hardware stores.

Limit Electricity Usage at Peak Times

For most areas, peak electricity times are during the daytime. Utility companies capitalize on this, and charge you a higher rate during peak hours. If you’re at work during the day, make sure everything is turned off before you leave. If you’re at home during peak hours, open the windows and let the natural sunlight in. Save money and electricity by doing the laundry and washing the dishes late at night or early in the morning.

Turn Off/Unplug Appliances

You can easily save on your monthly electricity bill by turning off or unplugging appliances that are not in use. Some appliances will continue to use a small amount of electricity on a constant basis, even if it’s not in use. Over an extended period of time, the small but consistent usage adds up and leads to more money out of your pocket every month.

Buy Energy Star Appliances

When buying new appliances, look for those that have the Energy Star label. These appliances have been rated by the government and are energy efficient. They are usually slightly more expensive, but save you more during the lifetime usage of the appliance.

Use your Appliances Efficiently

Whether you have or don’t have Energy Star appliances, you can use the appliances that you do have in more energy-efficient ways. For example, when using the dishwasher or doing the laundry, make sure you have full loads and use energy and/or water saving modes.

While most of these tips seem to be just minor adjustments, when combined they can really add up. In today’s economy, every single penny counts, that’s why you’ve got PennySaverUSA to help you out.

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