Some Thoughts On Saving A Penny Here And There

There are several great ways you can learn how to reduce your home energy costs if you live in a house or an apartment. I have tried several over the years, and while some work better than others, these are some of the best ideas that I came up:

Your Water Heater

If you are shopping around for a new water heater, try a tankless water heater. We have one that runs on propane and pay maybe 10-15 bucks a month for hot showers. If you have a water heater tank, you can use less energy by turning down the thermostat the hot water heater to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to kill bacteria and have a good bath, but low enough for you to save a lot of money.

You can also save money on your Water Heater by installing a low-flow shower head in your shower. This will use a lot less water than a traditional shower, so you will have less heat and more people can take a shower before I drain the hot water. If you still want to save money on heating bills and water in their water bills, shorten the shower. Turn the water off while you’re soaking or washing your hair. Come on in, rinse, turn off the water, wash your hair, soaping her body, then turn on the water and rinse.

Wash clothes in cold water. I don’t have a hot water connection to my washing machine and our clothes come out so clean with cold water as hot water. I even wash diapers and they are left stain-free. If you use a dishwasher, only run it when it is completely full. If you wash the dishes by hand, you can wash them without the use of hot water at all. Keep a spray bottle of soapy water next to the sink. Once you have finished with a plate, spray it with water and SOAP, wash and rinse it out with your hand, then set it at them next to the easel. For greasy dishes immediately, immerse them in cold water and soap for several hours and the grease will come out well.

If you leave your home to go on holiday, you can turn your water heater to its lowest setting, or you can turn it off leaving only the pilot light on and it uses almost no energy at all. You can also cover your water heater with a water heater blanket of fiberglass. Do not use a regular blanket how can ignite. If you can’t buy a water heater blanket, check the Freecycle to see if anyone has an old that they are willing to part with.

Pre-Dry Clothing

Even if you live in an apartment, you can do so using drying racks or a rack hanging from the ceiling. To make a drying rack for use in your apartment, you will need two large heavy hook bolts, some rope or two metal hangers and a long pole as an old broomstick. Find a stud in the ceiling not too close to the wall and screw your hook screws in it about four feet apart. Hang a rope or a metal coat hanger sticking out of each one and hang your polo among them. Hang the wet clothes on hangers and hang them the pole about three to four inches apart so that air can circulate between them. Small items can be dried in a cheap plastic clothes hanger over its tub. These can be purchased at any dollar store. The above equipment can be overthrown if you have company or when you’re not doing anything.

You can also create a hanging clothes dryer as the bars in your closet used for hanging your clothes against a wall. You will need two or three shelf hangers with hooks like those in your closet. This can work as a discrete shelf in your living room. If the clothes don’t dry completely, using this method, you can beat them by plumping them in a dryer. Clothes much faster dry in the Sun (and the Sun will help your bleach white) then hang the equipment near a sunny window, if possible.

Lights

Besides the obvious turning off lights when you are not using them, there are some other ways to save money on lighting, too. First, replace their bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps. CFLs are much more affordable than it used to be and still cheaper than incandescent bulbs. They may cost more initially, but they last ten times and you save on your energy too.

Then, remove the additional lights sockets that are not needed. If your ceiling fan has four lamps in it, remove three. You really only need to light up a room. Also check your bathroom. Many bathroom fixtures have two lamps when only one is necessary.

There is a myth that says that it takes more energy to turn on the light, especially a fluorescent light, which is used if you just leave the light on. That’s not true. A study done on Mythbusters proved that use light bulbs only a fraction of a second to power when they are turned on and fluorescent lights, while they have an energy burst when first turned on, use only twenty seconds of power on that explosion, so always turn off your lights when you are not using them. Incandescent lamps and halogen lamps use incredibly high amounts of energy, while fluorescent lamps and fluorescent lamps comact are more energy efficient.

Seal the Windows and Doors

Check the seals on your Windows and if there is any leakage, use caulk to seal cracks or cover them with transparent tape. Use a clear shower curtain to cover each of its Windows and seal the edges with strong adhesive tape. This will allow the light and will allow you to view the window without looking bad on the outside.

Use transparent tape to seal all around the edges of doors not used as patio doors. If your front door has all the gaps between the door and the door frame, you can solve this by using strips of cardboard boxes. Cut into pieces of cardboard to fit the gaps and burn them firmly in place. The door should fit comfortably on the Board. If you are careful, this doesn’t look as bad as it looks and should not be visible at all unless the door is open.

Block Off Unused Rooms

Months, to save money on heating and air conditioning during the summer and winter is a good idea to block all rooms that you are not using. If you have additional rooms or bathrooms, you can do it all the time. For other rooms, such as their own bedroom, you can keep the room closed during the day, then open it at night.

Seal the Windows in the room if you can. You can do this by placing a plastic sheet, plastic shower curtain or white plastic trash bag over the window and seal it with duct tape or masking tape around the edges of the great painter. Seal any ventilation of heating or air conditioning in the room also closing the vent and covering it with a magnetic air vent Cap. You can try to burn the plastic on the vent, but we think this often does not work and the air will blow the vent open again. Be sure to check it out. Finally, close the door to the room and stuff a rolled-up towel under the door so no heat escapes under it.

It’s a good idea to shut up all the rooms in the House this way, except for the living room and kitchen. Close the bathroom and bedroom also. You will use the bathroom only for short periods of time throughout the day so it doesn’t matter much. Close the room when you are awake and at night when you go to bed, living room and kitchen close the vents in the rooms and opening the ventilation in the room. You can reverse it again, when you wake up in the morning.

Tips For An Affordable Christmas

I know that the season is now coming to an end and everyone is getting ready for their New Year’s celebration but I wanted to share this so that some of you can put the techniques to use for next year.

A great way to save money during the holidays and save the Earth at the same time doing decorations and supplies of recycled materials. You can do many things amazingly beautiful items that you already have. Doing things by hand is also a great way to involve the children during the holidays.

Christmas Light Decorations

Each year, when you pull out your outdoor lights, invariably has some that have burned. After unscrewing and replacing them, don’t throw it away. They make wonderful ornaments. Wrap the wire or string around the base of the ill-fated bulb for a loop for hanging. Using hot glue, add a special touch to the base of the bulb by pasting in an arc or small piece of foil tinsel garland.

Christmas Card Ornaments

Old Christmas cards can be cut to make large paper ornaments. Scalloped scissors is useful if you have them. Cropping images in different shapes of front of old cards. Back, cut something to fit: any other picture of a different card, some used wrapping paper or aluminum foil. You can also just put the back of the card with glitter. Before gluing the two halves together, make a loop of rope or Ribbon and glue it to the top of your ornament between the two parties. For a brilliant touch, glue a border of glitter around the edges of the ornament. Recycle the parts of the plate that you don’t use.

Reuse A Real Tree

Yes, you can reuse a real Christmas tree year after year. Just set the tree somewhere to dry after you have finished with it. Once the tree is completely dry, the needles will come out easily. Make sure that you get the whole tree needles. Break all the smaller branches very soft.

Then, spray the tree down with water to remove dust and let dry completely. Paint the tree with spray paint in the color of your choice. White is Lacy and delicate. Red, silver and gold are also festive colors. The finished tree can be placed in storage and used again next year. Makes a wonderful and festive piece central to your House when hung with hundreds of lights and decorations.

Mini-Tree Decoration

A beautiful centerpiece can be made by cutting the top of an old Christmas tree. Get your needles and paint it if you want a specific color. They are so adorable without painting. Place the tree on a piece of clay or florist’s foam inside a flower pot. You can cover the foam with embellishments, batting, or dry cotton Moss. Hang small ornaments from confetti.

Ornaments

Recycled ornaments can be made of a surprising number of disposable items. Try using corks, flat-cut can lids, scoops, packing peanuts, burned lamps garlands, paper napkins, aluminum foil balls, dried fruits, pine cones, compact mirrors, pieces of lace, bits of Ribbon, computer chips, old fridge magnets, shell eggs, mismatched, broken earrings, jewels, feathers, buttons, rags, knickknacks of curio, family photos, puzzle pieces , beads, popcorn obsolete, small toys and other items that are not used.

Christmas Card Gift Tags

Make your own gift tags by cutting them from old Christmas cards. Again, cut the scissors can be put to good use for this craft. Use a hole punch on the top of your gift tag and thread with a Ribbon or string. Write the recipient’s name on the back. If you save these, can be used again year after year.

Recycled Christmas Cards

If you reuse your previous year’s cards, you’ll never have to buy new again. Just make sure that you are not sending the card back to the person who sent you. To make a new card again, cut a piece of thick paper slightly smaller than the inside of the card. Scalloped scissors will make the edges more interesting. Fold the paper in half and glue it to the inside of the card and you now have a new card to write and send. To create an envelope for your card, simply Paste a piece of paper around your card in the form of an envelope.

Recycling Gifts

There’s nothing wrong with recycling gifts. Not always we received exactly what we like after all, and sometimes you get doubles of something or an item you already own. Save those present (along with a note reminding you that you sent) in the box with their Christmas supplies and decorations and give them away to others next year. Helps reduce your Christmas shopping.

Sometimes you can have this one at home that is used, but perfectly fine. Jewelry is always a good gift, even if it’s not new. Flowers, vases, Christmas ornaments, handmade items, new clothes with Tags still there, books that are way more recent vintage cameras, antiques, crystals, gems, and all items from heritage make lovely gifts.

Do a set of stationery for someone by gluing pictures of magazines for new pieces of paper and envelopes. I love using photos of flowers, especially roses. They have a very soft feeling.

Instead of wasting your gift cards after you use them, catch them again and give them or use them as stocking stuffer.

If you crochet, there are numerous patterns in internet to make reusable shopping bags out plastic shopping bags used. Make one for everyone on your list!

Do you know anyone who knits? Unlock the old sweaters or concert hall and retrieve the wires to give them as a gift. Wool yarn is especially desirable.

Wrapping Paper

Be sure to save all the gift bags you receive over the years and use them to wrap gifts at Christmas. You can use old clothes and new Christmas cloth to make your own reusable bags for gifts. Sew bags in rectangular shapes of various sizes. Simply place your gift inside, gather the top of the bag and tie with a Ribbon.

Scarves, scarves, Sarongs, scarves and silk scarves can be used for wrapping presents. Tie as a Japanese Bento or attach with Ribbon or Twine.

Paper is an obvious solution, but there’s more you can do to make it festive. Once your gift is wrapped in paper, stamp the entire surface with paint acrylic wash red and green and a star stamp cut half of a potato. Let dry and add a Ribbon or lace.

Cigar boxes and tins of cookies are unique and functional gift wrap. Simply place the gift inside, close and tie with Ribbon. Other containers and boxes become holiday with a simple coat of spray paint.

Cut the front of an old Christmas card and glue it to the front of a paper bag or paper bag lunch. Place the gift inside. Fold the top of the bag once and make two holes in the folded portion about three or four inches apart. Thread with tape to close and tie with a bow. You can also decorate the bag by the stamp of the same way as the newspaper wrap up.

Save the wrapping paper can each year before that is wrinkled or torn. To keep it from getting folded into storage, roll it in the wrap gift. You can roll many pieces of wrapping paper used in the same pipe.

Gift boxes are worth saving as they can be used many times over the years. Often need more than a Ribbon or a bow to make them look beautiful.

Old balloons make great reusable gift wrap for small gifts. You can also save the old bags of potato chips and cut them so they laid. Wipe with a soapy cloth. The silver plastic inside makes very pretty gift wrap.

Candlestick

Make festive candlestick involving thick wire around the mouth of a clean glass jar. Wrap the wire up and over the lid to make a long handle for hanging. Wrap the vegetables real decoration or recycled around the top of the bottle (be careful that it does not go over the mouth of the bottle where you can catch fire) and place a candle inside. You can also paint stars and swirls in the glass with silver and gold paint pens.

A Punch Can Lanterns

Freeze water in clean tin cans. Using a nail and a hammer, punch holes to the frozen to create drawings. These lanterns glow when you put a candle inside.

Christmas Poppers

Toilet paper tubes can be made into biscuits. Simply fill with small treats and gifts, then wrap with paper or cloth wrap and tie the ends with tape.

Homemade Gifts

To make the bath and gifts homemade recipe supplies, food jars clean old use. You can paint the lids or cover them with a piece of cloth pasted on tied with a Ribbon. Things like tinned cookie recipes, bath salts and homemade pastries look so good in a bottle used as a new.

Recycled Bows

Plastic flowers and silk of the old regime and the vintage Christmas decorations are stylish reusable arches that can be saved each year. They are very durable and not smash if present if stacked on top of them.

Instead of using plastic ribbons and bows, save or buy real tapes that can be used again for years. If they become torn, just pass them out. Wrap them around a roll of paper towel or toilet paper for storage.

Gift Tree

During the winter months, garden centers often have sales on your plants and gardening supplies. Save the small potted evergreens to be thrown away. Buy them cheap and wrap a piece of cloth around the base. Put a few small decorations on them and give them as gifts. After the holidays, the recipients can plant them somewhere in your backyard or a local park.

Old-Fashioned Cloth Headbands

Cloth bows are easy to do for all ages. Cut the cloth into strips 1-2 inches wide and 5 inches long. Just tie them on the branches of your tree.

My Knitting Aside

The wind’s picking this Christmas day and temperatures are where they should be back. The ground is wet and the spring in the neighborhood is flowing again. It’s the best we can hope for now, rain for Christmas, and that’s what we need. I might want to snow, but the rain is easier for us to swallow. It’s so nice to have the Christmas gift making! The gifts were well received and yesterday, the day after Christmas, I my first gift available extra for next year!

My grandmother told me how beautiful it was, and there’s still another layer under more colors! I think my first project will be the winter King, although he probably will come from roving I already have in stock. I feel free to create now, which is so good! No more rationing!

The Ice Man was completed on Thursday and I’m so happy. Even used on a walk with the kids, just to test it. Crochet stitch is a wave and was actually quite simple. There are many standards for things like this, but this is just a formula, a set of dimensions. That looks really good to me!

My knitting, now it’s just for me. It’s about time! I’m doing me a shawl and I am so excited. A loose scarf is perfect for warmer days and times when you want to be warm and “fly” on the House as mother Wilder. You can see that they make great Christmas pants and they can still be used for matching tiaras. I was glad. If you’re wondering, we think that the best shoes to shoes. They are really nice in real babies, too.

And now, well, you should clean the granules with the long-awaited sugar cookies. Yay!

Affordable, Meaningful, And Easy DIY Wedding Invitations

When my husband and I got married, we had very little money to buy anything for the wedding, so I ended up making everything myself. I did the decorations, food, cake, invitations, favors – even my dress! Invitations seem to be one of the most difficult for some people, but they are quite easy to make if you know how to make them.

All of the supplies can be purchased at any craft store. You will need blank paper cards, printer-sized sheets of vellum, 1/8 inch satin ribbon, a hole punch, and decorations of your choice. Vellum is a thin but strong paper that is relatively see-through. For decorations, you may choose to use pressed flowers, pressed leaves, or stamps.

Our wedding was in autumn, so I stamped the front of our invitations as well as the back of the envelopes. I purchased a rubber stamp that looked like a cute little damask charm. Using some basic watercolors, I mixed a palette of several mottled colors of orange, brown, red, yellow, and a tiny bit of green soaked thickly onto a paper towel in a flat dish. I dipped my stamp into this mess of colors and used it to stamp the front of my invitations. You may need to practice a little first. The result was a leaf imprint in very nice autumn shades.

If you want to use things that are already lying around you can make a stamp from a damask pattern. It will just need to match the overall design that you want for your invitations.

For any of you who are scapbookers you will know how to do this. You can gather wildflower heads, flower petals, rose petals, grasses, and leaves and press them between the pages of a phone book for at least two weeks until they are dry.

To affix items to the front of your invitation, make a mixture of 2/3 school glue and 1/3 water and paint it onto the back of your items. A strip of cloth could be used to resemble a belly band which you will often find with damask invitations. If you are having a bridal shower you could also use the same design and modify it a little. Maybe you would make the design for the wedding invitations in black and gold and those from the bridal shower in pink and white. There isn’t any difference other wise between bridal shower invitations and those that you use for the wedding. Just remember whatever you do it is important to make sure that you smooth them gently onto the card front and let them dry completely.

You do not have to have nice handwriting to make the words for the inside of your invitation. All you need is a computer and a good printer. If you do not have your own computer, you can print your invitations at a local printing place or office store.

Look up free fonts online and find a few good fonts that you might like to use for your invitations. They should be legible and not too difficult to read. Type up the inside of your invitations and check to make sure that your measurements are correct. You want the insert to fit perfectly inside your card without being too large. It looks best when it is a little smaller than the edges of the card. Usually, you can fit four inserts onto one printed page.

Once you have it typed up, print a test copy and cut it out with scissors or a paper cutter. Once I was happy with the design I printed and cut out what I needed, and stacked everything neatly on my desk. I had purchased some adhesive scrapbooking tape and some glue dots, so I used those to attached the “Pool” invitation mats to the invitation card itself. This takes some practice getting lined up perfectly, but it goes fairly quickly.

Remember when you cut, the straighter the lines the better. Lay the invitation on the inside of the back of the card to make sure that it fits. If it does not, make changes and try again. If it does fit, then you can print as many copies as you will need onto the vellum.

I then put all my inserts into the invitation – and they looked adorable. I closed the invitation and tied a piece of blue ribbon up and down the front of the invitation. I attached the monogram seal to a piece of 2.25 inch by 2.25 inch “Pool” backing paper and glued it to the invitation with the glue dots. For the finishing touch, I tied a piece of natural raffia around the invitation with a small silver shell charm I purchased.

The finished product was more beautiful, personal and meaningful that I could have ever imagined. Although it was hard work – it took two full weekends of 8-hour day, my DIY Pocketfold invitations were truly unique and one of a kind. When our guests received them, I got phone calls raving about them. Most of our guests have kept them as a souvenir, and the design inspired the decor of our wedding ceremony and reception. Best of all, I was able to make these for less than $2.00 per invite (that doesn’t include the sweat equity, of course!)

To attach the insert to the inside of the card, place it in the card exactly where you would like for it to sit. Punch two holes through the vellum and the back of the card with your hole punch. Thread a piece of ribbon through the holes and tie them into a bow inside the card.

That’s all there is to it! I made my own cards for next to nothing. I only spent about $10 on the entire set of invitations and I sent out about twenty of them. Try some other decorative ideas for the front of your own invitations. You never know what you might come up with and it will save so much money in the long run.

Some Balls

I made these three balls of yarn to knit this week. Don’t you think they would be the most lame toy all over the world, but my youngest seems to disagree. She’s having a blast throwing them across the room and then try to run after them.

I feel like I don’t have a pattern (but here is one if you need it from the talented crochetgeek.com), but if you can crochet, you should be simple for you. I start at one end, walking in a circle. For the first round, add one point for each point. For the second and third or more rounds, add a point every other point. For the fourth and fifth, add a point that each five points, I think. I’m not sure. Anyway, gradually decrease the number of points you add until it begins to form a ball. Once you get in the middle of the ball, start to pull each point tighter. So when you want to pull at the end of the ball, passing through a point that each five points. Then skip one every three and so on until you’re done.

Before finishing the ball crochet all, leave a hole at the end about the size of a dime. I keep it with scraps of cloth. For these, cut pieces of a felted Wool Sweater too old. Pack the pieces in tightly to create a ball hard. This will give a little jump and the ball is a form of keep. If the ball is too soft, will only be soft and not round. Stuff the ball until the stuffing is trying to get out and then continue around with crochet until the hole is closed.

A knot at the end and leave two inches of yarn hanging. Push the crochet hook through the ball of the hand and run it under the wire. Connect the end of the wire and pull it to the ball so that it and the knot disappeared.

Making “Clipart” For Your Gifts

I save almost anything with a pretty picture on it. It can be food packaging, magazines, old books, cards, announcements, signs his name. I love to save these images and use them for other things. They are great for scrapbooking, collage, illuminating a newspaper or a journal, or make your own gift cards. You can also use them for jewelry, ornaments, decoupage, handmade crafts, stickers, and more!

You will need a cereal box flat, an Xacto Blade (or a pair of sharp pointed scissors if you don’t have an Xacto-but the Xacto will make your life much easier) and a photo to crop.

Place the image on the cereal box to protect your work surface. Carefully cut around the edge of the image with the Xacto blade. Instead of trying to move the blade around corners too, turn the paper a little instead. If you turn the paper as you work, it will be easier to cut detailed areas.

Now, you have some clipart to use for crafts! I do mine in jewels and use it to illuminate my diary. They are also very fun to use to create my own stationery and Christmas ornaments. The possibilities are almost endless.

Stickers are great for many things.

You can use them for stocking stuffers for the holidays. They make awesome handmade gifts. You can pass a rainy afternoon, making his own

or use the sticker making as a project to keep your children busy. You can run errands with his stickers or open you own craft adhesive stickers shop selling for scrapbookers or collectors.

Homemade Kid Friendly Stickers

The stickers are loads of fun and a great way to express your individuality. You can decorate your notebooks and binders, customize your stationery or illuminate just about any surface you choose. Design your own stickers which you can lick-and-stick. For the use of adhesive glue recipe made with corn syrup. Remember to ask an adult to help you with the recipe when it comes time to use the glue.

Supplies

  • Sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper
  • Your choice of art supplies
  • Small bowl
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon white corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract
  • Basting brush

Directions

  1. Draw as many squares as you like on a sheet of paper. Feeling a little daring? Draw, triangles or any way you would like your stickers to be.
  2. Adorn your stickers using pencils, crayons, markers, or paints. Let your creativity flow.
  3. Now you are ready to make the glue.
  4. Put a tablespoon of cold water into the bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the gelatin in cold water.
  6. Let soften for 5 minutes.
  7. Pour boiling water softened gelatin and stir until dissolved.
  8. Add the extract and corn syrup and mix well.
  9. Brush the mixture thinly on the back of the sheet of stickers.
  10. The stickers will stall as the glue dries. When it is completely dry, flatten the sheet and place it under a phone book.
  11. Remove the page when it is fairly flat and cut their stickers.
  12. When you are ready to apply an adhesive moisten the glue side.

Method Using Clear Packing Tape

Cut a piece of clear packing tape and place it on a table sticky. Choose an item to do in an adhesive. You can cut a picture out of a magazine, an old children’s book, a brand or advertising, or you can even use dried flowers, four-leaf clovers, feathers and other natural materials. Keep the item face down on the adhesive side of the tape. There must be some tape visible around all sides of the object. Cut another piece of Ribbon and place it sticky-side-up on the tape on the table. Use scissors to trim around the adhesive, but leave a little tape around the edges to protect the object pressed between the two pieces of tape. Now insert your tag where you want! You can also make stickers using double-sided tape, if you have any around.

Christmas Cards

Here’s an idea to send Christmas cards every year. We can’t pay for Christmas cards in our House, so what I do is reuse the cards that everyone else has sent us the previous year.

To reuse a card completely written in, open the card and cut a blank sheet of paper slightly smaller than the inside of the cardboard, fold in half and glue it to the inside. The card will be good as new. Make sure that you can not read what wrote the previous person through the paper. Colored paper or craft paper is good for preventing writing transparent. You can make an envelope folding another sheet of paper around the first and writing or pasting it in white, or you can ignore the envelope and closes the card with a small piece of transparent tape or a sticker and put the address and the stamp on the back.

A cheaper alternative is to cut the back of the card entirely. You can send the front of the card as a postcard and postage is cheaper than regular postage. Make sure that you don’t send the card to the person who sent you the previous year. These ideas also work fine for thank you cards and birthday cards.

Another great way to recycle Christmas cards is to turn them into other things. You can crop the images and use them as decorations for glue-down to a scrapbook. You can also cut their ways and make a hole at the top, a Ribbon through the line and use it as a book mark. Is a great gift to add to a Christmas gift basket or place one in a stocking on Christmas Eve. Children and adults can cut the images off the front and hang them as tree ornaments with a rope or Ribbon through a hole at the top.

Christmas cards are free decorations, so make the most of the ones you get by standing them along a windowsill, ledge or mantle during the holidays and then recycle them next year.