Saving Money

May 26

How To Get Rid Of Ants Cheaply

Posted by on May 26, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How To Get Rid Of Ants Cheaply

While I love spring, I wish when all the bugs started moving again they would stay outside. Our dining room table is very close to the back door. With a preschooler who frequently drops food, the ants have found a nice buffet of macaroni and cheese, apples, peanut butter, and whatever else she happened to drop on the floor.

The average exterminator is going to cost you anywhere between $150 and $1000 per treatment, according to CostOwl. Carpenter Ant infestations tend to be more expensive, which is why that range is so high. This article is no substitute if you have an infestation in your walls. At that point, you probably need to call an exterminator to take care of the problem. If you are battling the spring ant invasion, there are tricks you can do to win the battle without paying hefty exterminator costs.

Clean It Up

Ants are invading our home because they are looking for food.  Specifically ants like sweet food and need water sources. Deter them from coming to your house in the first place by cleaning preventatively. Many of us aim to have a clean home, but the reality is sometimes life gets messy. Now is the time to be more vigilant about your cleaning to keep those ants away. Here is a short list of things you can clean to deter ants.

  • Get a trashcan with a lid and is taken out regularly.
  • Wipe down the outside of the trashcan, and any surfaces nearby that may get accidentally splattered.
  • Clean or rinse dishes right away. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Clean out any food trapped in the bottom of your sink.
  • Vacuum up all crumbs, especially near the kitchen, dining room and anywhere else you eat frequently.
  • Vacuum your couches if you eat in that area.
  • Clean the tops of your stove and any other appliances
  • Keep kitchen counters free of standing water.
  • Wrap up any loose foods or open packages. Make sure containers such as peanut butter, honey and jams are clean on the outside of the jars.

Sure, cleaning stinks. In my opinion, battling an ant invasion is worse. They call it spring cleaning for a reason! Now is the time to be vigilant.

Make Your House Taste Sour And Smell Strongly

How To Get Rid Of Ants Cheaply

Ants are hard wired to find sweet things to eat. Sour tasting things are very repellent to ants. Therefore, if you make your house taste sour, the ants are going to head the other way. I tried this little trick just last week with a bottle of vinegar. I was getting so frustrated at the trail of ants parading to my kitchen, that I dumped a quarter bottle of vinegar all over my floors. Yes, my house did indeed smell like a pickle for a few days. The good news is since wiping down the floor with straight vinegar, I have only seen a few stray scavenger ants.

I also keep a bottle of vinegar, dish soap and water ready to go. When I see an ant, I spray them with the mixture. I also make sure to wipe behind where the ant was crawling. Ants leave a trail behind them for other ants to follow to find a food source. If you wipe away the trail, the ants search elsewhere. Rinsing down surfaces with the mixture when you are cleaning also helps. For more details about how vinegar confuses and deters ants, check out this blog post over at Stir-fried Science from the Science Centre of Singapore.

You can also choose to try other remedies if you can not stand the vinegar. Ants do not like strong smells, as they interfere with their scent trail communication. Try wiping down your house with a mixture of water and lemon juice, mint oil or tea tree oil. These extracts also make everything taste sour to ants. You can also add some drops of essential oil to your mixture to help your new cleaner smell better. I would stay away from sweet smelling scents, but lemon, orange or other citrus essential oils will help cover up the smell of these homemade cleaners.

Fight Back With Borax

How To Get Rid Of Ants Cheaply

If wiping down the scent trails and messing with the ant’s sense of smell is not working, the next step I would try would be to try borax.  Practically Functional has a great post that fully details how to fight ants in your home, in your garden and outside using borax and some sugar. You can find borax in the laundry section, but it is generally cheaper if you buy it in the store. Walmart.ca has borax, but not in stock online. According to the post, by mixing the two, you can create baits for the ants. Place this sweet and sticky mixture in places where the ants will find it easily without being intrusive. The scavenger ants then take the mixture back to the nest.

If you are not familiar with borax, it is a cleaning agent. Borax is toxic, so you will want to keep it out of reach of small children and pets. By the same premise, bleach is also toxic if ingested. I find this method is much less toxic than over the counter chemicals, and at around $5 per box should be more cost effective.

If these methods fail, then it is time to reconsider your strategy and consult the pest spray aisle or an exterminator. For most ant invasions, these cheaper combinations listed above should work and save you some cash.

Bargainmoosers, how have you gotten rid of ants without a pricey exterminator bill?

(Image Credits: Mika Hiironniemi, Chiot’s Run, Ben Sutherland)

Moose Rating (6 votes)
May 24

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Posted by on May 24, 2015 at 8:00 PM

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

My silverware drawer is a mess lately. I did have a full set of silverware once, but somewhere along the way I lost a few pieces. I think my husband took a few pieces to work and they never made it back. Maybe one or two pieces of silverware got lost in my last move or slid between the fridge and the counter. I recently picked up a new set to replace this mess. It will be lovely not to have to scavenge in my drawer every time more than three spoons are in the dishpan.

My mismatched set of silverware can be pulled out of the drawer, I am ready to get it out of my kitchen. I hate the idea of wasting good metal silverware, so I thought I would check out ways to upcycle it. Check out some of my favourite projects I found below.

Garden Markers

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Remember where your favourite vegetables are in your garden with these cute garden markers from Homespun Sprout. Even better, there is an included free printable at the bottom to make this project even easier. I find garden markers are particularly helpful for me in my herb garden so I can tell which herb is which. These markers will be much more durable than the cheapie plastic ones. If you do not want to splurge on varnish, you can seal the images with clear nail polish.

Drawer Pulls

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Make your cabinets more interesting by creating handles out of your old flatware. Check out all the images on Hutch Studio.  This is a great project to consider if you are upcycling a new piece of furniture. These handles would also look so cute on kitchen cabinets.

Napkin Rings

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Make your next backyard BBQ have a touch of shabby chic with these cool silverware napkin rings. Check out the full instructions over on Dream Book Design. I think what I like best about this project is these napkin rings would look equally cute for a fancy dinner party or your next summer party on your deck.

Starburst Mirror Wall Décor

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

This is a cute project over at Flamingo Toes. Use your silverware, a plate and a mirror to create a new décor piece for your dining room or kitchen. Mirrors help to open up a space, so they are a great choice for home décor. You would never know this project is made with hot glue on a cardboard base.

Paint Dipped Silverware

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Take all your mismatched silverware and turn it into a set that looks like it belongs together. A little bit of paint goes a long way over at A Simple Kind of Life. This would be a cute way to spice things up for a party, where you need extra silverware. I might use this idea to turn my old silverware into a designated outside patio set for summer.

Plant Hanger

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Reshape old silverware into hooks for small plants. See the full hack over on hutch studio. I think the key to this hack is using small or light planters. The blogger used small mason jars in a covered porch to avoid drainage issues during rainstorms. You could also use a light plastic planter from the dollar store. Just add a wire to hang from the planter from the spoon hook. This is an easy way to add flowers inside or outside your home.

Bottle Holder

7 Ways To Upcycle Silverware

Here is a great place to dry or store bottles. Over on Weupcycle.com they created a bottle holder made out of a plank of wood and old silverware. Use this idea to make a great place to stash clean water bottles, coffee mugs or any other type tall and skinny container.

Bargainmoosers, what projects have you made out of old silverware?

Moose Rating (2 votes)
May 23

4 Life Skills That Will Save You Money

Posted by on May 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM

4 Life Skills That Will Save You Money

Money savvy people know that you do not always need to pay someone else to do a job that you can do yourself. If you are looking for a place you to trim your budget, try teaching yourself a new skill. I would suggest learning to repair, clean or maintain something that you would normally pay someone else to do. With a little practice and elbow grease, soon you will be able to do some of these basic skills yourself without calling in the professionals. If you are looking for a place to start, here are some simple skills to learn.

Learn Basic Car Maintenance

Changing your oil is any easy skill to teach yourself, and can save you cash when it is nice outside. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizena basic oil change will cost you about $50 before taxes. If you choose a more expensive package beyond the basics you are looking at $80 to $100 for the same oil change. These services generally include emptying the oil and refilling, changing the filter, topping off windshield wiper fluid and coolant and checking the tire pressure. If you do not have a covered place to change the oil in winter, it may make sense to take your car to the local oil change shop when it is frigid outside.

In the spring and summer, you can easily save that cash and change your own oil. The general rule of thumb for oil changes is to replace it every 5,000 km or roughly every four months. Some cars say that if you drive in “extreme conditions” such as weather, stop and go traffic or leave your car sit for long periods you may need to change your oil more often. Consult your owner’s manual to keep your vehicle in tiptop shape. If you are not sure where to start, check out this post from Family Handy Man. That post walks you through what to do to get start changing your own oil.

You can also learn to jump your car battery and change your tire to avoid pricey tow. Becoming self-reliant by learning these skills can save you big bucks. A short tow can cost you around $150. If you are unfortunate to be across town, you could be looking at a several hundred-dollar tow bill before your car gets fixed.

Learn To Cook

4 Life Skills That Will Save You Money

It may seem obvious that eating in is cheaper than dining out. That does not stop most of us from indulging in meals and carry out food regularly. On average according to Statistics Canada, we spent an average of $2,226 in 2013 on takeaway food. Trim your takeaway budget by learning to make some of your favourite meals at home.

There are many websites with recipes all over the web. If you need a list to get started on, this Buzzfeed list of 26 Foods You Should Learn To Cook In Your 20’s is an amazing place to start. Learning how to roast vegetables, properly cook fish, sear a steak and make a delicious tomato sauce will help you put that takeaway food money back in your pocket. It is much easier to resist the fast food line if the food you make at home tastes delicious. If you are often crunched for time, check out my past post of 5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead Of Time That Are Cheaper Than Eating Out.

Learn To Repair Your Clothes

Learning your way around a needle and thread can help extend the life of your favourite duds significantly. I find it so frustrating when my new favourite shirt or pants suddenly develop a hole. Learning how to thread a needle and make a few basic stitches will help you save that shirt with only a few minutes of effort.Check out this post from Instructables that has a nice list for creating a basic sewing kit and also includes very basic stitches. Try a few stitches on an old t-shirt. Then as you notice a small hole or ripped seam in your clothes, you can practice that simple repair.

Another common repair is to reattach a button. Check out these instructions at Wikihow, complete with lots of pictures. My wool pea coat popped a button two years ago. I am still able to wear that coat regularly simply because I was able to reattach the button myself. A new pea coat starts at $150 and can cost up to $250 to replace my grey wool coat.

Learn To Groom Your Pet

4 Life Skills That Will Save You Money

I have a short haired cat, which is low maintenance in the grooming department. I know many other people have dogs or cats that are much higher maintenance for grooming. I surveyed a few websites and found that for simple services such as trimming nails, most people spend around $25. For larger dogs or more complex services such as baths, conditioning, brushing and trimming, you can be looking at $100+. My neighbors have a larger dog and in the summer months that dog needs a bath at least once a week.

Cut the costs by grooming your pet yourself. I have a grooming brush for my cat that is handy. He is an inside cat so he does not get terribly dirty, but his claws do need to be trimmed regularly and we give him an occasional bath. That bath usually takes two of us to complete. Cats tend to be pretty low maintenance. Regular claw trimming and brushing should take care of most of your grooming needs. For dog grooming DIY, check out this article on Pawnation. If you do not see tips specific to your dog’s breed make sure to look them up. Some dogs have additional grooming needs.

Bargainmoosers, what life skills do you think are important?

(Image Credit: HVargas, Nicole Abalde, Kevin McShane)

Moose Rating (6 votes)
May 22

How to Save Money Cleaning your Home

Posted by on May 22, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money Cleaning your Home

There are certain aspects of cleaning my home that I like, and there are some that I really dislike (like cleaning the bathroom and kitchen for example).  I must admit that I am guilty of buying different cleaners for different areas of my home.  I have an arsenal of cleaning supplies from CLR cleaner spray that I just bought, to Scrubbing Bubbles, to VIM to clean my stove.  I have even contemplated hiring a cleaner to help clean my home for me just because I feel like I can’t get it to be as clean as I would like it myself, however, thankfully it has not come to this stage yet because that would be serious lifestyle inflation.

Even though most of us probably do not enjoy cleaning our homes, it is something that just has to be done.  So it makes sense to save money doing it because it’s a need not a want!  Here are some ways to save money cleaning your home.

When Cleaning Your Home, Stick to the Basics

Like I mentioned above, I am guilty of buying new-fangled cleaning supplies in hopes that it cleans better than the rest (when usually that is not the case).  Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can get you through most of your cleaning. Check out the post on three household must haves that will save you money.  Not only will it be better for the environment (less packaging, less toxic chemicals in our water system) but it will be better for your pocketbook.  Vinegar (less than $2 for a container) sure beats buying $7.99 CLR spray that is on sale!

Here are 8 more frugal and fabulous uses for vinegar if you’re interested.  In addition, if you are interested in being a frugal and organic cleaner, check out this post.

Clean Out the Stuff that You Tend to Ignore

Sometimes it’s hard to remember regular maintenance on certain things.  However, neglecting to do these regular checks can cause your energy bill to be higher than is necessary.  For example, Wisebread recommends that you clean the dust off the refrigerator coils on the back of your refrigerator.  If you let the dust accumulate, it acts as an insulator and causes your fridge to work harder than is necessary (meaning your energy bills will be higher than is necessary).  All it takes is for you to unplug your refrigerator, move it so you have access to the coils, and dust the coils off.  If your fridge is in an area where it is hard to accumulate dust, even better… but it wouldn’t hurt to check it out once in a while.

Declutter Your Home

AARP highly recommends that you declutter your home and get rid of junk.  The less stuff you have the less you’ll need to clean.  For me, that may mean decluttering my desk.  I have a lot of things that I am too lazy to move off the shelf and dust, so one idea might be to remove all those things and get rid of them so I won’t have to move them to dust the shelf!  The best part is that you can sell these things at a garage sale.  Here’s a post on 4 tips to make money at your next garage sale to get you started.  At the last garage sale I was at, we made over $800.  I’ll definitely be trying to arrange a garage sale again this year.

Prevent Those Water Spots from Building Up

MoneyNing recommends that you wipe down your faucets and fixtures with WD40 and then polish the faucets and shower doors with wax paper to repel water longer.  Personally I use a squeegee after I shower to prevent those water spots from sticking around and it has worked wonders for me.  It saves me from having to clean the bathroom shower doors.

Don’t Buy Brand Name

Instead of buying a Swiffer container of wet Swiffer wipes for $20 (or however much it costs), I go to Dollarama to stock up on my cleaning supplies.  I buy a package of wet wipes for their “Swiffer” for $1.25, bought their Swiffer type broom stick ($2 for the stick and $1-2 for the actual piece that touches the floor) and use that instead of an actual Swiffer to clean my apartment.

Bargainmoosers, are there other ways you  like to save money on cleaning your home?

Photo credit: Jaymie Koroluk

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 19

Where to Get Plus-Size Women’s Clothing Deals in Canada

Posted by on May 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Where to Get Plus Size Women’s Clothing Deals in Canada

When it comes to buying plus-size women’s clothing in Canada, there are not very many dedicated stores to choose from. But with a bit of savvy shopping, you can expand your wardrobe and not break the bank in doing so. This article tells you a bit of info about where to get the best deals for ladies plus-size clothing in Canada and the most popular stores for fuller-figure fashions.

Dedicated Canadian Plus-Size Clothing Stores

 

Additionelle.com

A major name in plus-size clothing in Canada is Addition Elle. The whole store sells plus-size fashion, with some items up to 4X. With up to 70% off in their sale section, you can hunt for bargains there. Addition Elle frequently offer promotions with extra coupon codes, even free shipping. It’s worth joining their mailing list and watching out for the best offers as they happen quite frequently.

Penningtons.com

Sister site to Addition Elle, Penningtons has more of a focus on a younger market. Again, with a very busy sale section, it’s always worth stopping by there to save up to 60% off many items. Like their sister site, Penningtons also quite frequently offer differing promotions, it’s always worth watching out for special offers on holidays such as Victoria Day, Family Day, Boxing Day, etc.

Sexyplusclothing.com

If you are looking for fashion and lingerie for the curvier body, check out Sexy Plus Clothing. They have a gorgeous range of clothing but would be slightly pricier than the above stores. Sexy Plus Clothing quite frequently release coupon codes for discounts and free shipping, so be sure to subscribe to our coupon updates on the page above to be alerted when they have a special offer.

Lingerieforplussize.com

Lingerie for the larger ladies can be hard to find, but not if you shop online at Fran Blass, lingerie for plus size. They sell a beautiful range of sexy nighties, babydolls and hosiery, with some items even going as far up in sizing as 6X. Coupon codes for Fran Blass are rare, but subscribe on the page above and we’ll let you know when they are released.

Voluptuousclothing.com

The online store Voluptuous Clothing, is one I recently discovered when googling for fashion for the fuller figure. If you’re looking for something a little different for your wardrobe, this is a good place to start. Their sale section has a small selection of items at up to 70% off, but the rest of the site is populated with many more choices. Coupons are rare, but sales are frequent.

Curvaliciousclothes.com

The website Curvalicious Clothes is an Ontario based business, offering a range of plus size clothing, everything from dresses to accessories. Coupon codes are pretty frequent for this store, though their flat-rate shipping is quite high. Make sure to offset it with one of their coupon codes when you are buying there!

Lucyclothing.ca

Over at Lucy Clothing, the BC based clothing store specialising in fashion for fuller figures, sells a huge range of clothing in plus sizing. Sign up to their email newsletters for a 15% discount when placing your order!

X-two.com

Online shoppers at X-two can browse a range of fashions for curvy women; boleros, blouses, blazers and more! X-Two was originally an Amsterdam based company, but Canadian orders are fulfilled from their offices in BC. It’s nice to get a more European feel with the choices in this brand.

Theplusfactor.ca

This Ontario based boutique known as The Plus Factor specialises in sizes L to 5XL. Sometimes offering free shipping coupons or even a discount on your purchase, you can buy anything from formal prom dresses to handbags to match your outfit.

Yourbigsisterscloset.com

A smaller Canadian boutique, Your Big Sister’s Closet has one great benefit to this store specialising in sizes above 12, – there’s free shipping on any order in Canada. They’ve got a great set of retro glam dresses and outfits. Have a browse!

Where to Get Plus Size Women’s Clothing Deals in Canada

Canadian Stores with Plus-Size Fashion Sections

Many stores have a dedicated section specifically for clothing for the larger figure. Here’s a quick list with the links to those sections from some of the major Canadian retailers, as well as the link to our coupon pages.

Recommended tip: click through to our coupon pages above and subscribe to coupon alerts so that you get an email when a new coupon code is released!

Questions for the Moosers

Do you regularly buy plus-size clothing? Where do you typically buy from? Have you any more stores to add to the above lists?

Where to Get Plus Size Women’s Clothing Deals in Canada

Moose Rating (4 votes)
May 18

How To Find Amazing Deals At Garage Sales

Posted by on May 18, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How To Find Amazing Deals At Garage Sales

It is officially garage sale season, my favourite type of roadside shopping. Whether you are new to this treasure hunting sport or a seasoned veteran, garage sales are worth your time for scoring a deal. Though items are pre-owned, garage sale prices are a fraction of what you would pay retail. Even better, garage sale prices are negotiable. Dust off a pair of comfortable shoes and start treasure hunting. Here are some tips to get you started.

Where to Find Garage Sales

Laws for garage sales vary depending on your town. Some towns allow you to have them anytime, other towns insist on a specific day or only if you apply for a permit. Bigger citywide sales or community sales are full of goodies. Use websites such as Craigslist, Kijiji or Varagesale to find sales near you or in a particular neighborhood. I usually scope out sales online the night before and plan a route.

It is important to know the general demographics in the neighborhood you are visiting. For example, I head to an area with bigger houses in hopes of finding designer purses and to family friendly starter home neighborhoods for kid gear. Once you are in a neighborhood, keep an eye out for signs. Not everyone advertises online so there is a good chance you will stumble across extra sales. Shopping garage sales is also a great way to scope out a new area if you are buying a house or renting a new place.

Shop Early

How To Find Amazing Deals At Garage Sales

Garage sale regulars can be vultures. From living in several different cities, I have found the expected starting time at garage sales varies from city to city. I am so glad I now live in a city where most of the sales start at 8:30am. The last place I lived people started shopping at 7am! The best deals usually go fast so show up on time a few minutes early at sales if the sign or online ad is promising.

Pay In Cash

Bring cash with you when you shop at garage sales. No one wants to take a cheque from someone they do not know and I can guarantee they will not take debit! In all seriousness, it is a good idea to break larger bills before you start. On a typical shopping day, I usually start with $40 unless I am scouting bigger items such as furniture or bikes. Ideally, I will have two tens, two fives and the rest in loonies and toonies, which make it much easier to bargain.

All Sales Are Final

Be friendly and say hello when you walk up. Make small talk, and sellers are often more open to negotiations. Make sure you inspect items carefully for dents and scratches. Check that the item has all the pieces and is in working condition. I will sometimes ask to try electronics in an outlet.

This is also the time to haggle. I find I have the most success negotiating prices when I am buying multiple items. When buying single items you can haggle but it helps to have some change. A seller may change their mind when you haggle an item down and they see a wallet with several $20 bills in it.

Dress Comfortably

How To Find Amazing Deals At Garage Sales

Sellers are carefully assessing you when you walk up to the sale. When you go shopping at a garage sale is not the time to dress up. Most sellers are trying to squeeze money from their sale and if you look like you are always at the spa, they may be more hesitant to drop the price.

Ten Items I Shop For At Garage Sales

  • Sports And Fitness Equipment- Garage sales are a great place to pick up sports equipment only used a few times. Carefully check the condition of these items for wear and tear. In the past, I have scored kid’s ice skates, bikes, fitness machines such as treadmills and smaller accessories such as yoga balls.
  • Office Supplies- You can find file organizers, photo paper, corkboards and more. Those organizational items can add up so skim garage sales for supplies on the cheap.
  • Frames- A quick coat of spray paint can turn a $.25 garage sale frame chic in a flash.
  • Books- This is an easy item to haggle down the price. Often people do not want to haul these back inside!
  • Purses- I have found several designer purses and a few other nice bags. Make sure to check the lining and all pockets well.
  • Baby Gear and Clothes- Look closely for stains and rips. For gear, be wary of items that may have been recalled.
  • Furniture- Bookcases, small tables, patio sets, and chairs are often great finds at garage sales. Keep an eye out for easy DIY projects that you can refinish.
  • Tools- I find these most often at estate type sales and are often at great prices.
  • Kitchen Gadgets- Bread machines, ravioli makers, food dehydrators, cake pop makers and other once trendy kitchen gadgets are frequent great finds.
  • Gardening Supplies- Clay pots, shovels, mowers and even seedlings can be found on the cheap.
  • Kids Toys- Check to make sure they have all the pieces and are fully functioning

Skip These Items

Some items are not safe to buy used. I would never consider buying a used car seat from someone I did not know and trust personally. You never know if the safety of the seat is compromised from even a minor car accident.  The chances of getting bed bugs from a used mattress are too high for me to consider buying most upholstered items. Readers Digest Canada has a great list of 10 Things You Should Never Buy At Garage Sales.

Here is an amazing garage sale shop I did last spring for my kiddo. Bargainmoosers, take a guess at how much I paid!

How To Find Amazing Deals At Garage Sales

(Image Credits: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose, *Psycho Delia*, Fuschia Foot)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 17

3 Kitchen Appliances that Will Save You Time and Money

Posted by on May 17, 2015 at 8:00 PM

3 Kitchen Appliances that Will Save You Time and Money

My kitchen is so small I’m not the type of person to have every kitchen appliance under the sun, although that would be nice, because the Aqua Sky Kitchen Aid mixer has always had my eye.  There are a few kitchen appliances that I am a huge fan of that I already have, and there are a few kitchen appliances that I am thinking for a future purchase of adding to my kitchen appliance collection.  Most of these aren’t very pricey and really give a good bang for your buck.

There are a few ways to evaluate whether a kitchen appliance is worth it.  I remember my family had an apple peeler (it cored the apple and peeled it in a spiral fashion, it was fun to watch actually) but it unfortunately just collected dust and was never taken out of its box except for a handful of times.  LifeHack has a great post explaining which kitchen appliances people on a budget should have.  Learnvest also has a great post entitled “Are These Kitchen Appliances Worth It?” detailing the number of times you need to use the appliance before it is “worth it” in terms of the price you paid.  Obviously the more times you need to use it to ‘break even’ the worse the purchase that kitchen appliance is to add to your kitchen arsenal.

Here are three kitchen appliances that, in my humble opinion, are worth the money and the kitchen counter space (or cupboard space) because they will save you money and time (time is priceless, isn’t it?):

Slow Cooker or Crock Pot

I am a huge huge fan of the slow cooker and honestly, that feeling you get when you finish the 6 to 10 hours of waiting for the food to cook, when you smell the intoxicating smell of the slow cooker meal, and when you open the lid is to peer in at what you threw into the pot without much effort… is priceless!  Slow cookers or Crock Pots (kind of like the tissue paper and Kleenex analogy) are very economically priced, you can get a decent one for about $50 and they last for a long time.  You can make all sorts of things with a slow cooker.  When choosing one, look for fancier options like one that automatically switches to ‘warm’ when it is finished cooking, or one that can extend the cook time to 16 hours or longer (for those who are interested in making the new health craze, bone broth, this is a great option).  The slow cooker is perfect for busy people who don’t have time to cook at the end of the day, or perfect for batch cooking and freezer cooking.  Personally I make something in my crockpot on the Sunday and have leftovers throughout the week.

Here are a few great easy and cheap slow cooker recipes to get you started.  Also, Bargainmoose often posts some great deals for slow cookers through Amazon.ca, Walmart, or Lowes.  Check out this recent Bargainmoose deal from Walmart for $33!

Dehydrator

I personally haven’t purchased this yet but have been doing some research.  The costs are anywhere from $75 to $200 and it definitely takes up a large portion of your cupboard space (I personally would not want something like that sitting on my counter).  Here is an example from Canadian Tire and one from Amazon.ca.  If you are someone who camps often, this is definitely an investment worth making.  Dehydrating your food instead of buying the $9 per two servings of dehydrated food at your local camping/ outdoor equipment store will save you money.  Also, beef jerky is expensive so why not make your own?  In addition, my dog likes sweet potato chews (he has lots of allergies) and these chews cost $20 for a about 18 slices.  A dehydrator would shave a lot of money off that regular expense.

A French Press or a Nespresso

For all you coffee drinkers, a home brewed coffee costs much less than $1 a cup compared to a $3.95 + tax latte.  Over the course of a year, that daily latte right before work adds up to $1000.  Personally I would rather go on an all inclusive trip to Mexico or Cuba for that annual cost, but to each their own!  Here’s a post from TheKitchn on how to make a latte without an espresso machine.  A Nespresso machine is pricey, but there is a $100 rebate to offset some of the cost currently.  A Bodum French Press costs anywhere from $25 to $50.

Bargainmoosers, do you have a kitchen appliance that you are a fan of?   Do you recommend buying a dehydrator?

Photo credit: Mario Spann

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 16

6 Ways to Save Money at Starbucks

Posted by on May 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM

6 Ways to Save Money at Starbucks

For many, a trip to Starbucks in the morning is an essential aspect to the start the work day off right.  For others, it is a treat once a week, and for others, it is a way to connect with friends and acquaintances during coffee breaks or on the weekends.  Basically, Starbucks is a large part of our lives.

Starbucks coffee is great, however, the prices obviously aren’t if you drink a latte daily.  A cup of coffee is $2 a day and a latte or a specialty coffee can be at least $3.50 to $4 a day.  $500 to $1000 a year on coffee isn’t my cup of tea (no pun intended) personally, but I do understand the importance of Starbucks coffee to start the day.

If you love Starbucks but you don’t love the prices at Starbucks (and your wallet doesn’t like the prices at Starbucks), here are six ways to save money on your next hit of coffee or tea when you head to Starbucks.

Sign up for a Starbucks Rewards/ Gift Card

According to Popsugar, there are numerous benefits to signing up and registering for a Starbucks rewards card.  Depending on how often you use the card, you get benefits including special email offers, a free drink or reward after 12 purchases, and if you use it 30 times in 12 months (which is very easy to do, I’m sure) you can get a personalized gold card.  If you don’t like to have so many cards in your wallet, you can have it attached to your phone (they can scan your the “rewards card” on your phone and you’re good to go).

Go to Starbucks on Your Birthday

Another added perk for signing up for a Starbucks Rewards card (it’s free to register) is that you can get a free drink on your birthday.  You just have to redeem the free gift within 30 days of your birthday.

Order a Hacked Specialty Drink

For the iced latte lovers out there, one way to save big on your favourite drink is to ask for a double espresso on ice (in Starbucks lingo it is called a “doppio”), and then head to the station to add the milk.  This on average saves over $1.50 if you’re getting the grand doppio with milk (aka grand iced latte).  If you want to save money on a hot Starbucks latte, ask for a cafe misto instead of a hot latte and you’ll save almost a dollar with each drink.  A misto is just regular coffee with steamed milk and a hot latte is two espresso shots with milk.  Tastes similar but the cost is different.  For some more fantastic Starbucks specialty drinks hacks including a chai tea latte hack and an iced tea hack, head to the post on 5 Ways to Save Money at Starbucks from Yahoo Finance.

Bring Your Own Re-usable Cup

If you bring your own re-usable cup when you visit Starbucks, you get $0.10 off your Starbucks order.  Not only will you be saving money you’ll also be sparing the environment from added garbage accumulating in the landfill.  Sure, $0.10 isn’t a lot but it does add up over time.  Over a year it is just $24 in savings but priceless savings for the environment.

Get a Short Instead of a Tall

Unbeknownst to many, there is a drink size/ cup that is even smaller than the tall.  The short costs less than the tall Starbucks drinks (obviously).  The great caveat is that you still get the same amount of caffeine as you would if you order the tall if you order an espresso drink (one shot of espresso).  Check out the Foodnetwork.ca post on how to save money at Starbucks for more detail.

Look for Coupons in the Mail

Periodically (I think once to twice a year) I get some cute little coupons in the mail (they are small card sized and don’t look like your typical coupon) for discounts on Starbucks drinks.  You can get a hot or iced beverage for $3 or a breakfast sandwich and a grande sized hot or iced brewed coffee for $4.  A pretty decent deal if you ask me!

Don’t forget to watch Bargainmoose for all the latest deals at Starbucks!

Bargainmoosers, have you tried these?  Do you have any other tried-and-tested ways to save money at Starbucks?

Photo credit: Rudolph Schuba

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 14

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

Posted by on May 14, 2015 at 8:00 PM

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

I would never have thought to use old belts in a DIY project. I was wasting time on Pinterest searching for inspiration to frame a picture for my husband. I have several pictures of our family at the lake last summer that should be hanging on our wall. Along the way, I discovered some of the amazing projects you can make out of belts! There is something about a belt as a decoration that makes your project look and feel expensive and yet still a little rugged.

Some of these bloggers used belts they had around the house. Others ordered belts online or collected old belts from family or friends. Belts are an item I personally tend to keep until they fall apart. If you do not have enough extra belts around the house, I would recommend hitting up a thrift store for belts at a fraction of the cost. Check carefully for wear and tear, but chances are good with a trip or two you will have enough belts for your project.

Belt Hanging Shelves

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

These hanging shelves created by blue i style are an easy upgrade to your basic shelf. She used these shelves in a little boy’s room to give it a little extra style. I also think this project would look especially fantastic in any room that has hardwood floors.  I noticed they used a special tool to make holes in the belt for the screws. If you are ok with the holes not looking manufactured, you could also create a hole with a nail and hammer.

Chair With Woven Belt Seat

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

With spring comes garage-sale season. There always seems to be extra furniture that finds a way to the curb. Why not salvage a chair for next to your front door and create this cool belt seat as featured over at Saved By Love Creations? This project would require multiple belts but would be well worth searching them out for this cool effect. The best part about this project is it looks even cooler if the belts are all different styles. I would probably recommend using this as an occasional chair for decoration, extra seating or setting items on. I would question the long-term durability using this technique on my dining room chairs.

Leather Picture Frame

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

This project inspired this post! I had no idea it was so easy to slice a leather belt and add it to a picture frame. This would surely turn a cheap dollar store frame into a frame that looks much more expensive. I found a couple of great examples, but I love this version from Design Sponge using an old western belt. You can use any belt. Your belt does not need to have a decorative pattern. At she knows, the blogger used a wood burning tool to customize the frame.

Leather Belt Curtain Ties

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

Over at Earnest Home Co., they took a simple leather belt and upcycled it into curtain ties. This project looks like it would not take very much time at all to create. I would use this technique in my bathroom, as I think it would pair nicely with my white linen curtains. This is one of those hacks that looks much more expensive than it really is.

Leather Belt Cuff Bracelet

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

I have seen this leather cuff bracelets at festivals starting at $20 and going for as high as $50 or $60 depending on how intricate it is. They are usually being sold by a vendor who specializes in leather, and has all sorts of intricate products such as belts and fringed bags. Over at The SITS Girls, they are making leather cuff bracelets out of old belts. The snaps and the gadget to attach the snaps (which should come with your snaps) are the only items you would have to purchase to make these cute cuffs. I would make a few for myself or gifts for friends. I love this rustic style. I would wear mine to the Calgary Stampede given the chance to go!

Leather Belt Wrapped Clock

6 Genius Ways To Upcycle Old Belts

Here is another super simple way to give your home a little bit of style. Wrap a belt around a clock, attach and you have an instant conversation piece. Check out the design on Remodelista.  I would use a clock that is sleek looking to contrast with the leather belt. This project looks like it would not take very long to do, which is my kind of project!

Bargainmoosers, how would you upcycle old belts?

(Image Credit: Aurimas)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 12

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

Posted by on May 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

I was talking to Margarita the other day and she was asking me a few gardening questions. One of the things that came up was how much to pay for a planter. She has a cherry tomato plant she needs to re-pot and was expecting to spend about $20 on a planter. While I normally would pick up a few inexpensive planters at the dollar store, those beautiful decorative planters in the hardware and garden shops are quite lovely. The problem is I do not care for the $20 to $50 price tag per planter that often goes along with a decorative or larger planter. Multiply that price for several plants and you can easily spend $60 to $100 and upward for cute plant holders.

Below I rounded up some planters you can make easily on the cheap and will give your garden some personality. Most of these items may already be in your home or in your recycling bin. Thrift stores like Value Village can also be a great source of items to upcycle for cheap, and garage sales are another easy place to pick up some of these items on the cheap. Add a little bit of fun to your backyard, patio or balcony for summer.

Cat Plastic Bottle Planters

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

With springtime parties in full swing, you may find you have a few extra plastic bottles around. Why not make these darling cat planters featured over at Brudiy. A little paint and a permanent marker will quickly make as many of these darling planters as your garden or living room can hold. This blog is in both Spanish and English.

Toy Truck Planter

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

This is the perfect project for a forgotten toy truck. Check out this great tutorial on House of Hawthornes. If you do not already have a truck in mind, check garage sales for this type of treasure on the cheap.

Chair Planter

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

This chair planter makes a great accent to your front door or in your garden. Check out the tutorial from Sew Caroline. I find these instructions are super easy using a basic hanging planter. You can make this same project using multiple chairs for a little cheaper if you use chicken wire and coconut liners like they did at Love Where You Live.

Tire Planters

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

Next time you buy new tires, take the old ones home. This colourful tire planter is begging to be in your backyard. Check out the tutorial over at Lemon, Bean and Things. I would myself start with only one or two tires, but this stacked planter is a super cute backyard feature.

Denim Jeans Planter

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

I am dying of laughter while I write up this one. Check out these hilarious denim jean planters over at Upcycled Garden Style. Place a plastic bag in each leg, then fill with dirt and add your plants. I may have to try one of these for each member of our family. Toddler jeans would be hilarious for this project also!

Colander Planter

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

Here is a classic idea, turn a colander into a planter. Colanders make great planters as they already have holes for air. Stop by Mommy’s Kitchen to see her great tutorial on how to make a hanging basket version. You could just as easily set this on the ground on your patio or backyard.

Cartoon Plastic Container Planters

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

Make some hilarious planters thanks to The Creative Chameleon. These funny planters will have you raiding your recycling bin for laundry soap bottles, dish soap bottles, and other plastic containers. Make sure to wash any residue from the inside of the bottle really well before your plant.

Wagon Planter

8 Upcycled Garden Planters To Make On The Cheap

Drill a few drainage holes in the bottom, and you can turn any wagon into an easy planter. Check out the photos over on Cre8tive Designs Inc. I have seen wooden wagons that are not functional sell for over $100. this would also be a really cute place to focus your herb garden.

For more garden projects, check out Eva’s past post 7 Re-Purposed Ideas to Make Your Garden Funky.

Bargainmoosers, what creative planters have you made?

(Image Credit: Chiot’s Run)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 10

3 Ways to Save More Money When Shopping Online

Posted by on May 10, 2015 at 8:00 PM

3 Ways to Save More Money When Shopping Online

Canadians love online shopping.  In 2012, Canadians spent over $18.9 billion in online shopping (source: CBC).  That’s a lot of money.  Canadians love online shopping obviously.  I personally am a huge fan of online shopping.  I don’t tend to buy clothes or shoes online because I don’t like the hassle of going to the store and returning things, but I do purchase books. I like to shop on Chapters Indigo and I like to shop on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.  There are probably many reasons why Canadians like to shop online.  Namely avoiding commissioned heavy-pressuring salespeople, the convenience of shopping from home any time you like (you know, when 1:00am is the only time you get to yourself in the day!), saving time from not having to drive in traffic and finding a parking spot, and being able to comparison shop online to research the average prices from different retailers.  Furthermore, being able to use a coupon without having to whip out the coupon physically and having a salesperson scan it in into the till is attractive for some, I’m sure!

Here are a few ways to save even more money online shopping.

Trick Dynamic Pricing

Do you ever search for flights on Kayak.com doing multiple searches and then find that the pricing goes up a few days later?  You then panic and press the “buy” button?  Well, that may have been the byproduct of dynamic pricing.  Dynamic pricing is used by marketing professionals to analyze your browsing patterns and searches and it changes the price of what you are planning to buy online depending on your browsing patterns.  To outsmart dynamic pricing, Lifehacker recommends that not only do you clear your cookies and your history, but you log out of Gmail and Google Plus, Facebook or anything else that can track your browsing patterns.  They even recommend downloading an anonymous browser like Tor Browser to save money.

Use Coupons or Promo Codes

I am a huge fan of using coupons or promo codes.  Before I buy anything online, I do a quick search for coupons or promo codes.  Sometimes I do this by just Googling the retailer or online website I am purchasing and “promo code” or “coupon code”. Reader’s Digest agrees that using coupons or promo codes are where its at.  Of course, let’s not forget that the Bargainmoose website has tons and tons of coupons to over 1000 Canadian retailers on the coupon page. These coupons are checked on a regular basis to ensure only the latest working coupons are on the site. If I really love a certain store, I can just pop my email into the subscribe box on that store’s coupon page, so I always know when the newest coupons are available.

Add to Cart…Then Walk Away

According to Forbes, one way to save money online shopping that would be dependent on the retailer is to add the item you think you will be purchasing to the cart, and then leave it for a few days.  The retailer may send you an email or give you a discount.  I personally have not had this happen to me here in Canada (at least not for Amazon anyway) but this works in the United States.

Hopefully these three tips to save even more money when shopping online help you make your online shopping experience even better.  Remember to shop safely by using a credit card with a smaller limit to protect you from fraud.

Bargainmoosers, do you have other tips on how to save money online shopping?

Photo credit: Tim Reckmann

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 8

How to Save Money on TV by Using Chromecast

Posted by on May 8, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on TV by Using Chromecast

I am a big advocate of skipping cable television to save on your monthly expenses.  I don’t have cable television but I do have Netflix.  It works for me because I rarely watch shows – definitely not on a daily basis, maybe a few times a week.  So for $7.99 a month I get to watch my favourite shows (I finished the How I Met Your Mother Series, am watching the Mindy Project now, just started watching “24”) and movies without having to pay astronomical costs for cable television.  For me, paying $50-70 or even $100 a month is not worth it for something that I don’t use regularly.

Some alternatives to cable include getting an Apple TV (again, another $100 that I didn’t want to spend), Netflix, a DVD player with wifi capability, a Smart TV… the list goes on.  There are many alternatives to cable television.

When I first got Netflix, I had to buy a DVD player with wifi built in and Bluetooth capability, which cost around $50 to $70.  Despite me having Internet access through my Sony DVD Bluray wifi enabled player, I find it difficult to toggle/ use the remote control to look for things on the Internet so really I only use it for Netflix and watching DVDs.  I am not technologically savvy enough to know how to use an HDMI cable to connect my laptop to my television. I know it’s probably really easy and probably just involves plugging things in, but I’m too lazy to bring my laptop out from my office to the living room area and also don’t want my laptop to drop on the floor while transporting it because I’m so clumsy.  Besides, my television sits above my electric fireplace so I don’t want wires hanging about everywhere.  Sometimes I am watching You Tube videos or videos on my iPad or iPhone and occasionally it picks up on my television (the Bluetooth capability kicking in from my DVD player) but it doesn’t happen all the time.

Finally, I heard about Chromecast.  Chromecast is a game changer- especially for those who do not have a DVD player with Bluetooth capability and built-in wifi or one of those fancy televisions with Internet built in… they’re called Smart TVs right (I can’t keep up with technology lol)?

What is Chromecast

Chromecast is a doohickey that you plug into the HDMI port of your television.  Chromecast allows you to stream whatever is on your computer or iPhone or Android device onto your television.  It’s a little larger than the size of your thumb and is created by the geniuses at Google.  It works with Google Chrome the best.  It is for sale for about $35 USD or $39 CAD.  You can buy it online at Amazon for $39 and free shipping or at the local electronic retailers, like Best Buy (since Future Shop unfortunately is recently closed) and it is located beside the cashiers.  You can also get it on Best Buy’s website and it ships for free for $39 as well.

The beauty of Chromecast is that anyone near your television with the Chromecast plugged in can use their devices to stream whatever is on their screen onto your television.  That means that if your friend who was visiting wanted to show you a funny video from his or her Android cell phone on your television, they can.

How Chromecast will Save You Money

The beauty about Chromecast is that it allows you to “cast” whatever is on your Macbook computer, or your iPhone, or iPad, or Android device, or Microsoft computer onto the television screen.

So that means, instead of watching all your shows on the small screen of your computer or laptop, your eyes can take a little rest and you can watch it on the television, without having to buy HDMI cables or measuring how many feet you want your HDMI cable to be.

I’m a big fan.  Here’s a review from Save Outside the Box about her experience with Google Chromecast.

How to Use Chromecast

It’s really quite easy to set up (you know, if I can do it you can) but if you want to see a step by step instructions on how to set up Chromecast, check out this CNET article on how to set up a Chromecast.

Bargainmoosers, do you have a Chromecast?  What would you rate it?

Photo credit: Yannig Van de Wouwer

Moose Rating (5 votes)
May 7

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes For Spring

Posted by on May 7, 2015 at 8:00 PM

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

I always get a little intimidated when it comes to pulling out my sewing machine for a DIY project. I know the basics and can wield a needle and thread, but when it comes to making things from scratch out of fabric, I feel like I am all thumbs.

Do not let that sewing machine stop you from changing up your clothes! You can refashion some of those extra clothes in the back of your closet, or ramp up the style on a clearance rack find without spending hours at the sewing machine. Check out these amazing hacks, most of which only require a few stitches with a needle if any sewing at all. I think some of these may end up in my outfit rotation for next week.

Quick Skirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

Bargainmoosers, I have to say I was a bit skeptical of this idea from Our Life Is Beautiful. The pictures looked too easy. There was no way my shirt will look ok as a skirt. I ran up to my closet, grabbed a few long sleeve shirts and started tying. You do need a shirt with a wider neckline and this will not work with every shirt. After my third shirt try (the first two just were not stretchy enough), I found a plain green long sleeve shirt that had a little more weight to the fabric. I was shocked at how well it looked as a skirt. Try this hack with your closet. You may be pleasantly surprised too.

Lace T-Shirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

Here is a quick and easy fix for a plain t-shirt that needs a little lift. Check out this easy lace refashion from Sweet Charli. Buy a small piece of lace and lay it over the top in the pattern of your choice. With a few quick hand stitches from the back and across the top and bottom, your shirt will almost instantly look more expensive. Make sure to match the thread colour carefully either to the shirt or the lace so they virtually disappear!

Silk Scarf Shirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

I love the look of a breezy shirt for spring that looks great styled casually or dressy. Take a minute and head over to Stars for Streetlights to ogle the beautiful shirt she made out of two silk scarves. I am loving the patterns and colours she picked, and the stitching is minimal. For a completely different look, Talk 2 The Trees did a similar hack that is equally awesome and has some additional notes in her tutorial.

Open Back Sweater

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

Here is a great hack for that boxy cardigan you have been hesitant to throw out. Over at In Honor Of Design, she created an open back sweater that is cute and functional. This is a great way to lighten up your look a little for spring. I could also see a cute cardigan such as this thrown over a sweet spring dress. Give this hack a try, this one requires no sewing.

Lattice and Stud T-Shirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

Over at Wobisobi, they took a simple t-shirt and refashioned it for summer with a few studs and cuts. This is a no-sew refashion that will look so cute next to the pool this summer. I might try this with one of my old t-shirts for over my swimsuit. The studs take this project from cut-up shirt to chic.

Lace Insert Shirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

Like the lace look and want more? Check out this cool moon and lace refashion on the back of the shirt from Mr. Kate. You will need an iron and some Stitch Witchery, which is a fabric glue in a tape form that will attach your lace to the shirt with heat. Alternatively, since the lace is attached on the inside  of the shirt you could use Aleene’s OK To Wash-It or another type of fabric glue. Both of these items are found at most sewing stores. If you do know how to sew, your piece will be more durable if you use a few simple stitches instead of the glue.

Cutout Button Down Shirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

I love this slick refashion over at Plan B by Anna Evers. I have one or two button down shirts that would look fantastic with this hack! Best of all you can either sew the hem around the cutout part for a more durable piece or use fabric glue on the inside if you cannot sew. For a look that is a little less edgy, you could add a piece of lace on this piece in the cutout also!

Bleach T-shirt

8 Hacks To Refashion Your Clothes  For Spring

Here is another cute design that can make a plain t-shirt go from boring to interesting. Check out this cute little owl from Practically Functional. While this technique looks simple, you will want to follow the directions carefully on this blog for the best results. Bleach can be powerful stuff!

Bargainmoosers, how have you refashioned your clothes?

(Image Credit: little*star)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 5

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

Posted by on May 5, 2015 at 8:00 PM

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

Pallets are a waste product at many factories, construction sites, and stores. If you are unfamiliar, a pallet is a flat support for moving a larger amount of products and makes shipping everything from electronics to food much easier. Most pallets are made of wood, but there are some made of plastic as well. Wood pallets make a great base for a whole host of upcycled projects on the cheap. They easily transform with a few cuts and a little hard work.

Depending on the project you choose, I would consider sanding the pallet well to avoid splinters. Then I would add a coat of paint or stain to your pallet to give yourself a fresh base to start with. You can often find pallets that are being thrown away and take them home free. Please do be careful about the source of your pallets. According to a study by the National Consumer League quoted on Wikipedia, 10% off wood pallets used to transport food were found to have Listeria or E.coli bacteria. There are other places you can get pallets such as furniture stores and newspaper companies to avoid this contamination issues. Check out this article from 1001 Pallets for more ideas of places to find safe pallets free. Once you have your freebies, you can get to work creating some of these amazing projects for your backyard.

Easy Outside Pallet Sofa

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

I have seen many various pallets turned into outdoor seating. I am with Lazy Mom’s Blog. I want to keep my project simple. I like that this sofa project can be taken apart for wintertime storage. Your efforts should easily last for many summer seasons.

Pallet Patio Coffee Table

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

Turn your space into the perfect backyard BBQ. I never seem to have enough table space outside when I am entertaining, but I am not in a hurry to buy a second patio table. Joy Ever After has created the perfect durable outside coffee table to give you plenty of room for your drinks and party platters.

Pallet Balcony Shelf

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

Before I moved into a townhouse style place, the only green space I had was a tiny balcony. I wish I had discovered this perfect pallet shelf from DIY Passion. This blogger only spent $15 for her little garden. Create the perfect shelf to hold all your planters for your container garden full of vegetables or flowers.

Pallet Garden Walkway

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

I have one area of my backyard that quite frequently gets muddy. I could use this little pallet board walkway to keep my shoes from being constantly caked in mud. Check out the instructions on how to make your own from Funky Junk Interiors. Cute and simple, this walkway is like a cheater boardwalk.

Pallet Swing

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

This is the perfect lazy day swing for with a tall glass of lemonade. Practice your knot tying skills, and soon you will have your own version of this fun swing over at Red Agape Style and Design. Throw on a cushion and you are ready to catch the breeze, or just enjoy a good book.

Pallet Fence

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

Building a fence around your yard can cost you hundreds of dollars. Generally, a fence is on the list right next to many other expensive home renovation projects. Check out this super quick and inexpensive pallet fence from Fairy Wings and Dinosaurs. While I do not expect this fence will hold a large dog, it is an awesome project to consider if you are doing renovations on a budget. I would probably think of this as a short-term solution, as the wood used to make pallets is not the same quality that is usually used to make fences.

Pallet Workbench

7 Ways To Upcycle Pallets For Your Backyard

No matter what you create, every artisan needs a workbench. Over at Beyond The Picket Fence, they have created a workbench intended for gardening. I think this bench can be used as a perfect place to create all of your DIY projects, or would even make a nice little table next to your grill.

Are you looking for more inspiration? I loved the idea of turning a pallet into a raised garden bed that was featured in the past post 4 Cool Gardening Ideas To Fit Any Frugal Budget. I have a fresh pallet sitting in my backyard ready for paint for this project.

Bargainmoosers, what have you made out of pallets?

(Image Credit: Petras Gagilas)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
May 3

Save Money on Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas

Posted by on May 3, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Last Minute Mothers Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is one event where we know we are off the hook for having to spend a lot of money to show that we care or that we appreciate or that we love our mom.  Oftentimes, parents are grateful you are taking the time to be thoughtful and to spend time with them.  It is not like Valentine’s Day, where there is a plethora of high expectations and unfortunately, disappointment in a lot of cases due to the commercialization of it.

Mothers do so much for us, they believe in you, they took you to your soccer and hockey and dance classes with endless positivity.  They stay up late to help you study for the math exam and help you with your English homework.  They take you to countless library visits to borrow library books for you to inspire your love of reading.  They are there to provide you with wisdom and their life experience advice, which you don’t listen to and they watch patiently as you learn from your own experience.  They are there to support you, to encourage you, and to love you.

Mothers are wonderful and their love and presence is a beautiful gift that should be appreciated!

I remember as a child I would get together with my siblings to make breakfast in bed for our mom.  Now as an adult, things are slightly more complicated but I am pretty sure my mom would just appreciate anything that we do for her, even if it is taking her out for lunch and getting her some flowers.

Here are some ways in which you can save on some last minute Mother’s Day ideas:

Plan a Day Out with Family

One of the best and most memorable events, especially if you do not spend time with your family or mom very much, is to plan an entire day out with your mom and your family.  Think about all the things that your mom loves doing.  For example, you could start off with breakfast in bed, then move on to a walk with her furry friend to the local dog park, and a picnic lunch.  If she likes to watch movies or DVDs, have her come to your place for a marathon movie session of her favourite movies.  When was the last time you did these things with your mom?  I believe that planning a day spent with your mom will be really appreciated no matter what the gesture.

Create a Memory Book

One Mother’s Day gift in which I have been meaning to give to my mother is a photobook.  Lets face it, many mothers (especially those in the baby boomer generation), are not technologically savvy and would jump at the opportunity to have their photos and memories properly shared in a photo album instead of on the computer where it is difficult to access.

I know one day that I will get my act together and send my mom a photobook, but I know that if she saw it, she would be utmost excited.  There are many photo books creators out there.  Check out this Bargainmoose link for some ideas, who knows you might find a great coupon code in there.

The only caveat about this option is that you have to allow a month to have the book delivered.  Although I missed the boat this year, I am hoping I to arrange something like this for next year.

Make a Handmade Gift

TipJunkie has a ton of Mother’s Day gift ideas that will fit your smaller budget and won’t break the bank.  For example, buy a trifle bowl at your local dollar store and fill it out rounded stones and yellow tulips.  This makes a beautiful gift to give to your mother to show her your appreciation.  A lot of these handmade gifts from Tip Junkie won’t break the bank and they also appear high quality and are good for the wallet too.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Hope everyone has a great time spent with family and your mother.

Bargainmoosers, how else do you save money on your Mothers Day gifts?  Was there one Mother’s Day as a child that you will  never forget about?

Photo credit: Sylvia Wrigley

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