Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ten Things I Learned this Month (July)

Okay okay....mostly this month. But some of these are just things that I had to share. Come on, would you really want me keeping valuable information from you? I think not :)
  1. Storing your batteries in a fridge or freezer can extend life, depending on battery type.
    • Alkaline batteries can lose up to 25% of their power a year if stored in a hot garage or attic.
    • Rechargeable batteries lose 1-2% of their charge every day at room temperature. Storing them in the freezer preserves about 90% of a charge in a month. (Better Homes and Gardens Publication: Storage, Summer 2010)
  2. Making your own laundry detergent can be done in less than an hour and can cost you just a penny per load! Learn more here. (I myself have been doing this for a year or so now and it is so easy to make and very customizable since you choose what bar of soap to use)
  3. Save money by buying gift cards for up to 30% off their face value at sites such as plasticjungle.com, giftcardrescue.com, and giftcardsagain.com (via AARP)
  4. Are you a fan of pastels? The next time you're doing a small painting project, instead of buying a whole can of a particular color, buy a sample a few shades darker than the shade you want and mix it with that spare white paint you have at home. It should save you about $10 and you'll use up that paint that's lying around. (Personal tip)
  5. Here's a two-fer-one on painter's tape:
    • After you've installed your molding, put the tape just a hair above where you're going to caulk to give you a straight line and no mess on the walls. (originally found here)
    • When you're trying to get a crisp line with painter's tape, first use very minimal paint on the brush (dry-brush) and go over the border of the tape. Then, on the second coat, you can apply more paint. The first coat creates a seal so the second coat doesn't seep through. (seen on HGTV)
  6. If you've got kids, then you've probably had a virtual smackdown in the dining room over the subject of vegetables. In lieu of that, why don't you use a little smoke and mirrors and hide their veggies (in their food of course). Try this recipe which cleverly disguises cauliflower in mashed potates. For more 007 recipes, try Jessica Seinfeld's book Deceptively Delicious.
  7. Ok ladies, I know we all have atleast one pair of "sacred" shoes. To preserve their "holiness" spray them with acrylic matte sealer, which can be purchased for as little as $4 and change. This way, when they get dirty, all you have to do is wipe clean! And no one will ever know :)
  8. When cooking a casserole, use ceramic or glass baking dishes; these materials outperform metal and will allow you to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees, saving both energy and money (via Danny  Seo's Do Just One Thing Calendar)
  9. Use a vintage apron as an organizer. Put mail, sunglasses, pens - whatever! - in the pockets and hang it across a door. Just tie the apron strings around the door and secure with double-sided tape. (Country Home February 2008)
  10. Adding color to your room can sometimes be intimidating. Unless you are completely confident in you skills and taste, it's best to spend "big" money on pieces that are neutral, and instead bring in color with low-cost items. (Unknown)
Do you have any useful tips? Let me know and maybe I'll include it in my next tips post :) By the way, I realize I'm 3 days late but hey what can I say..better late than never right? haha

Image Sources:
Family (unknown), Paint (Twig Hutchinson), Clothesline (bal93 {new Icon})