Protect Your Flower Beds
My flower beds were always being dug up by my dog. Finally I put chicken wire on the ground around the flowers. I used stakes to hold it down. Now my pooch leaves my flowers alone!
Protect the Fruit
We have a few fruit trees. To protect the fruit from birds, I hang old CDs or Christmas garland in the trees. For some reason, this seems to keep the birds away. It might look a little strange, but I'd rather eat the fruit myself!
Athlete's Foot Prevention
The cheapest and most effective way to prevent athlete's foot is bicarbonate of soda. Sprinkle a little between your toes before you put your socks and shoes on. Also, make sure your socks are 100% cotton to help the skin breath.
Samantha in Manchester U.K.
Protect Your Hair
Spending time on the beach or at a pool is great, but it's hard on my hair. Therefore, I carry a bottle of conditioner in my beach bag. When I get there, I run some through my hair and leave it in. This simple step keeps my hair looking good all summer!
First Anniversary Present
First I totally agree with the idea of eliminating wedding favours. They just get thrown away. One thing I do keep is the wedding invitation. On the first anniversary, I arrange to have the wedding invitation sealed in a picture frame and present it to the couple as a gift. It has always been warmly received.
Kate S. in Victoria BC Canada
I learned how to kill roaches when I was out of the country and didn't have access to pest control products. The locals mixed 50/50 cornstarch and plaster of Paris. They left it on can lids under cabinets, dressers, etc. Roaches were attracted to it, ate it, and died. The only caution is to keep it away from pets and babies.
Sometimes I get to feeling down and have a hard time getting out of the rut. My sister told me what she does when this happens. She takes just two minutes to write down all the good things that she has in her life and the good things that have happened recently. I tried it, and it works. I always run out of time before I run out of good things! And it never fails to give me a better outlook on life!
Selling Your Home?
Before you put your home up for sale, you'll want to complete those little repairs that you've been putting off. Fix all the squeaky hinges and dings in the walls. Fix anything that might make buyers think that maintenance has been neglected. Another way to reassure potential buyers is to pay for an independent home inspection and let them see the report.
Really Under Cabinet Storage
We moved to a smaller home after our kids moved out. The kitchen lacked cabinet space, so my husband built small drawers on wheels. He took off the kick plates on the base cabinets and the drawers roll under the cabinets. I store my cookie sheets and some canned goods there. We're inspired by those tiny houses. Now, if we can only figure out some extra storage in our bedroom, we'd be set.
One of the biggest savings tools I've found is learning to do some basic home repairs myself. When something breaks (like a lamp or faucet), I search on Google and YouTube to see how to fix it. Sometimes the repair is beyond my comfort level or the tools that I have, but at other times, I can do the repair for a fraction of what it would cost to have replaced or have someone repair it for me. An added plus is that I get to brag on Facebook!
The Sun Solution
We have a west window in our home that lets in a lot of afternoon sun and heat. I like the morning and afternoon view, but I wanted to block the late afternoon heat. I picked up one of those solar blankets for $2, but it tore when I put it up and took it down. Then I had the idea of attaching it to an old roll-up window shade that I had lying around. Now it rolls up and down without a problem.
Waiting for Your Doctor?
Hate waiting for a doctor's appointment? Then try these two tricks I learned as a receptionist. First try to book an appointment first thing in the morning. Most doctors run late because of unplanned interruptions. They accumulate as the day wears on. Therefore, earlier appointments are more likely to be on time. It also doesn't hurt to call before you leave for your appointment to ask if the doctor is running on time. The receptionist won't mind telling you if they're running behind schedule.
What's Your Car Cost?
Two weeks ago, I started biking as much as the weather and time permits to go to work as well as run errands. I found an interactive tool on a website where you can calculate the true cost of driving your particular vehicle. In my case, it is a Chevy Equinox. It calculated that it is costing me 63 cents per kilometer (I live in Canada). Every time I go somewhere by bike, I determine the distance from Google Maps and then figure out my savings. In the last two weeks alone, I have saved over $150. Seeing this dollar amount has really motivated me to keep on doing it and now I really make sure I have the time to do it. Not only am I saving money, but I'm getting fitter as well!
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