Tips On How To Avoid Overspending On Your Groceries

It gets hard to stay on budget while grocery shopping, especially when deals are shoved in your face through every aisle you walk in. When you see the big words spelling “Sale” on a product you do not even need; the temptation becomes hard to resist.

Do not fret; the temptations can be controlled, and you will be able to follow your grocery list. Here are some tips or advice for you to be mindful of on your next trip to the grocery store.

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Make a Shopping List

One may think making a shopping list is a waste of time, but it helps you a lot. A grocery list should be filled with items that you are sure you need. Going to the store without a list to refer to can be tricky as it is that easy to grab something that you do not need randomly.

By writing down and sticking to the grocery list, you will be able to save money and only reach for the items that you need. It is also important to write down the items you can use more than once a week. For example, having a type of vegetable that you can make into more than one dish.

Reverse Shopping List

Similar to the shopping list, the reverse shopping list is also helpful to ensure you do not spend too much. The list consists of things you may have in your pantry. Then you check your pantry before leaving, checking off the items you already have. So, the list now only consists of items you do not have.

There are a lot of instances where we end up buying something we already have back home. This happens because we usually do not bother to check our pantry or kitchen before leaving. With the reverse shopping list that you can refer to, you will not be buying doubles.

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Go by Yourself

An easy tip to follow would be to go to the grocery store alone. This will help you not to have too many in your shopping cart. This is because, when you shop with your significant other or your kids, you are more likely to be influenced into buying stuff that you do not need.

Furthermore, going in a group will also make you look at your shopping list less, making you buy unnecessary items. Moreover, you will not be the only one reaching out to grab items, making it hard not to overlook unneeded items.

Online Grocery Shopping

If you are not too keen on leaving the house or going on your own, you could always try grocery online as easy as accessing from your HP laptop. Grocery shopping has become much easier these days and has become available online.

Online grocery shopping is convenient as you can easily browse through the catalog whenever you want to. Moreover, you will not have to wait for the stores to open or wait for the staff to restock the aisles. Not only that but you will also save time and energy by not leaving your house.

Adding to this, by doing your groceries online, you can even compare prices without the hassle of the physical store brings. All you need to do is download the apps from Android phone and you would be able to do everything you usually do in a physical store but easier.

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Get Discounted Items

Grocery stores usually have deals, sales, and discounted items to help you save money. From products like milk to candies and drinks, there is surely a discount for the item you are looking for.

You should consider purchasing products on sale, especially if the price is normally high. Sale items are frequently clearly displayed throughout the store, such as at the entrance and end of aisles. In addition, sale items are marked with banners and signs to make them easy to find.

Prepared Foods Aisle

Next, you should try not to go to the prepared food aisle where single servings of food are made ready to be bought and eaten. This is because the cost of prepared foods is generally higher than the cost of you making the same food on your own.

The prepared foods typically include dressings, toppings, and even cutlery in the food container. So, you are not only paying for the food but also other inclusions. So, to save money, you should opt for making the food yourself instead of buying a ready-to-eat version of it.

Bring Your Own Grocery Bag

This may be a trivial thing, but it could also be a game-changer. Some stores may charge you for grocery bags, adding to your existing bill and making you pay more. If you decide not to pay extra for the grocery bag, you will have to use your hands to bring the items back home. 

To avoid this, you could simply just bring your grocery bag. Not only is it sturdier than the usual plastic bags the store gives you, but it is also more eco-friendly. With this, you are not only saving money but the earth as well.

Racking Different Kinds Of Shoes At Home

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Most people have a few pairs of go-to footwear choices — athletic sneakers, casual sneakers, boots, and something dressy — but there are so many other styles out there! Variety is the spice of life, and adding some new styles to your closet is a great way to add some flavor to your wardrobe. Additionally, there are many types of specialized footwear options that can really improve the overall quality of your life. Here’s a look at 10 types of shoes to add to your rack!

1. Slippers

Every footwear collection deserves at least one pair of cozy slippers for relaxing around the house. Besides keeping your feet warm and comfy, many types of slippers are much more versatile than most people realize. For example, you could certainly get away with wearing moccasins when you check the mail or even take a quick trip to the store. As an added bonus, you’ll never have to worry about cold kitchen floors when you’re grabbing a late-night snack!

2. Orthopedic Shoes

Orthopedic shoes are most well-known for their added arch support, especially for people who have flat feet, but anyone can appreciate their benefits — even those who don’t have foot conditions or injuries. Orthopedic shoes are designed specifically to support the contours and shape of feet, as well as to complement and facilitate their mechanisms and movements, so besides being extremely comfortable, they can actually help to prevent common problems before they occur. For example, did you know that your shoes can cause knee, hip, and back pain?

3. Loafers

Loafers are so versatile and convenient, not to mention stylish. They can run the gamut from casual to fancy, and being able to slip them on and off with ease is a simple pleasure that folks don’t fully appreciate until they have it. The classic penny loafer is an iconic look that works equally well with jeans or slacks. You can also find loafers with tassels, ornaments, and exotic patterns — the possibilities are endless!

4. Hiking Boots

When you’re in the mood to connect with nature, reach for your trusty hiking boots. Rugged yet comfy, hiking boots offer a nice balance between sneakers and boots, so while they’re naturally ideal for your outdoor adventures, they can actually be a fantastic option for any situation that requires you to be on your feet for a long period of time. Plus, with the right outfit, hiking boots can be surprisingly fashionable. Choose a quality pair and they’ll last a lifetime.

5. Fancy Shoes

Maybe you have a go-to pair of snazzy shoes for the office, but do you have a pair of formal dress shoes or heels for those special occasions when you really want to go all out? Even if you’re not attending red carpet events on a regular basis, having a pair of classy kicks might inspire you to seek out the finer experiences in life. Going out to dinner at a local restaurant feels like more of an extravagant event when you’re dressed to the nines!

 5. Sandals

While sandals are often associated with beachwear, you’ll be amazed by how often you’ll reach for them. Traditional sandals can be quite stylish when paired with the right outfit. Slides and flip-flops are incredibly convenient for quick errands or wearing around the house. And, of course, there’s nothing better on those hot summer days and nights.

6. Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots exude coolness! They work beautifully with a laid-back outfit, but they can also be dressed up very successfully. Maybe you already have some boots, but there’s just something different about Chelsea boots that makes them worthy of their own category. They’re an ideal choice for autumn outfits, but really you can’t go wrong with them all year round.

7. Boat Shoes

You don’t need to be a sailor to enjoy boat shoes! Whether you’re gearing up for a yacht trip or just looking for a new look, learning how to style boat shoes is absolutely worth your time. Boat shoes are a great alternative to sandals on those chillier spring and summer evenings. When sneakers are too casual but dress shoes are too much, boat shoes offer an excellent middle ground.

7. Monk-Straps

Like Chelsea boots, monk-straps offer a distinctive take on the traditional dress shoe/boot style. What makes them unique is — you guessed it — the strap! This style dates as far back as medieval times, so they have a very classic look that’s undeniably elegant and sophisticated. The strap and buckle look so smart — pair your monk straps with a sweater vest and a collared shirt for a put-together aesthetic that’s professional, yet relaxed.

8. Equestrian Boots

Equestrian boots, also known as riding boots, are a great alternative to western boots. While they can be worn with similar outfits with a rootin’-tootin’ vibe, the slimmer profile and tighter silhouette make for a look that’s a bit more refined. Some lace-up equestrian boots are a superb choice for rustic, bucolic outfits inspired by country living.

9. Athletic Sneakers

You don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy athletic footwear. It’s just nice to have some sneakers that are reserved for trips to the gym, jogs around the block, and other physical activities. Not only will you perform your best, but you’ll avoid wear and tear on your everyday sneakers.

10. Platform Shoes

When you want to go big with your look (quite literally), platform shoes will do the job. The look is super trendy, and they can add 1-4 inches (or more) to your height. While many platform shoes feature over-the-top, statement-making designs, there are plenty of subtle options on the market too.

Have Fun Shopping Around

Hopefully, this little guide can inspire you next time you’re shoe shopping. Fashion is fun, so don’t overthink it! If something strikes your fancy, go ahead and treat yourself. As your shoe rack fills up, you’ll love being able to select the perfect pair to match your mood and look. There are so many other unique shoe styles waiting to be discovered, so enjoy the journey!

How To Design Space For Wellness At Home

Chronic stress and negative emotions can strain your mental and physical health. Generating a wellness routine is more important than ever between managing long hours at work, paying bills, and other daily responsibilities.

Research has shown that creating time to practice self-care and healthy habits can elongate your life. In one particular study, researchers found that women and men who adopted healthy habits lived until they were 93.1 and 87.6 years old on average, respectively.

Self-care requires making time for a comprehensive wellness routine comprising positivity, nutrition, exercise, and optimal sleep. That’s why designing a designated space to focus on wellness is a helpful reminder to prioritize yourself every day. Here are five ideas for creating the perfect wellness space at home.

1.   Choose a Location

Decide which area of your house is conducive to creating the perfect wellness zone. Perhaps this is a vacant room, an outdoor area, or even a corner of an occupied space, such as your living room.

If you’re planning to foster a daily yoga practice, somewhere with a solid surface to place your mat is probably best. Otherwise, an empty bedroom may be an excellent place to turn into a meditation or arts and crafts room.

Do you enjoy reading? Turn a corner of your living room or bedroom into a reading nook with a bookshelf, comfy chair, small table, and a reading lamp. This would also provide a wonderful space to journal or listen to relaxing music or your favorite podcasts.

Maybe you like gazing out the window or spending quiet time outdoors, such as on a patio or balcony. Consider the space you have to work with and decide how it can best fit your needs.

2.   Design With Intent

Depending on who you are, slipping into a self-care routine could be difficult for some and easy for others. Therefore, setting an intention for your wellness can assist you in maximizing your design.

When thinking about your ultimate wellness space, how do you intend to improve your health? For example, if you plan to create an at-home gym, a large spare room or a finished basement is ideal for a few pieces of exercise equipment and an oversized wall mirror. Of course, the layout should be functional, with plenty of workout zones.

You might also want to check in with yourself and think about how you want to feel in your wellness space. Are you looking for greater tranquility to ease your anxiety and stress? Consider adding acoustic panels to maintain even more quietude.

Understanding exactly how you want your space to make you feel will help shape your wellness area into the perfect relaxation spot.

3.   Incorporate Natural Elements

You’re probably aware that natural elements, such as wood and plant decor, evoke a sense of calm. Surrounding yourself with plants has several therapeutic benefits, including better memory and cognition, lowering stress and anxiety, and enhancing mood, healing, and a positive outlook.

You might choose to create an outdoor oasis to better care for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Studies show that spending 120 minutes a week in green space is associated with higher well-being.

There are many ways to turn your patio into your ideal wellness space by incorporating an organized layout with comfortable furniture and cushions, potted plants, lighting, and a partition for privacy.

Natural elements may also come from a beautiful window view, a landscape mural, nature photography, or botanical fabrics.

4.   Enhance Lighting

Although natural light is always the best choice for your wellness regimen, direct sunlight may be too intense or distracting.

If your wellness space has a large window, framing it with light sheer curtains or adding mesh blinds can filter some brightness without making the room dark.

Of course, if your space is missing light or you’re designing a cozy nook for nighttime reading, finding lighting that enhances your wellness space is essential. A table lamp with soft illumination has just the right amount of light for you to read without hurting your eyes.

You might also want to consider adding unique lighting – for example, market lights on the ceiling, twinkle lights on furniture or plants, or colored bulbs to change the aesthetic of your space.

5.   Support Sensory Stimulation

When designing an at-home wellness space, you should consider tapping into all five senses. Think of ways to cancel unwanted noise, such as a noise machine or adding a sound system to play meditation music.

A diffuser is another option for providing aromatherapy benefits, such as eucalyptus, tea tree, or lavender essential oil. Several studies have revealed lavender’s relaxing effects on anxiety symptoms.

You might also stimulate your senses for optimal health by bringing a hot cup of tea into your wellness space or including decorative accessories, such as throw blankets and pillows for enhanced comfort.

Temperature is another crucial factor for wellness, especially since you don’t want to be uncomfortably cold or too hot. Installing a smart thermostat can help regulate the room’s temperature and provide better air quality.

Making Room For Self-Care at Home

Designing a space for self-care takes some time, consideration, and patience. You’ll likely continue adding and removing elements until you’ve cultivated a room that works best for you. However, these tips can help get you started improving your well-being at home.

Author

 Evelyn Long is a Baltimore-based writer and the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She publishes home decor advice and product roundups for readers in spaces both big and small.

A DIY Guide To Cleaning Your Chimney

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Fireplaces bring old charm and cozy warmth to homes. These beautiful additions create a comforting ambiance, but they require a certain level of care—especially the chimney. Cleaning a fireplace is relatively easy, but effectively cleaning your chimney can be a big job.

It’s crucial to stay on top of your chimney’s cleanliness for optimal functioning and to prevent severe fire hazards. To effectively care for your chimney and your home, follow these steps.

Step 1: Determine if You Can DIY

Before you start, you first need to determine if you can clean your chimney without professional help. Chimney cleaning is a tedious task, and it can take professionals anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to finish the job.

Your goal in chimney cleaning is to rid the chimney shaft of creosote and soot build-up. If the build-up is too large, you need to call a professional to take care of it. However, if you find the build-up is less than 1/8th of an inch deep, you may be able to tackle it on your own. In addition, you’ll need to access your chimney crown, located on your roof, to complete the job. If you’re unable to get to the crown safely, you’ll need to call in a professional to complete the task.

Step 2: Gather the Right Tools

If you determine you can safely access the chimney crown, you’ll need the right tools to get there. These include a ladder, safety harness, safety helmet, and an additional person or persons to supervise. Never attempt to work on your roof without the supervision of another capable individual.

Once on the roof, you’ll need a high-power flashlight, metal bristle brush, and enough rods to handle the height of your chimney. You’ll use these tools to determine the depth of your build-up. Note that each chimney is different, so you’ll need to measure the size of your chimney and its flue to get the right brush size.

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Use your flashlight and a fireplace poker to scratch the smoke chamber and flue to determine the buildup. If the soot has a black matte finish and is 1/8th an inch deep or less, you know you’re okay to clean yourself. If you see a shiny or tar-like appearance or the build-up is more than 1/8th an inch deep, you should call a professional to take on the job.

Step 4: Set Up Your Area

If you are moving ahead with cleaning yourself, your next step is to protect your home’s interior. Lay your canvas tarp over the fireplace and spread it throughout the surrounding room. Secure the tarp over the fireplace opening with tape and insert the shop vac hose through the tarp. Seal everything with duct tape to keep soot from pushing into the room.

After setting up your shop vac outside, connect sections to the hose so it can reach. You’ll run the vacuum while you brush the area, keeping an eye on the filter and replacing or cleaning it when it clogs. Close the windows and doors near your shop vac to prevent any fine soot from reentering your home.

Step 5: Begin Cleaning

Start at your fireplace and ram your cleaning brush up and down several times around the flue section to remove any hardened soot. Use your flashlight to check your work before moving to the next section, ensuring you clean as much soot as possible from the flue area. Once cleared, start your shop vac and move to the roof.

Before cleaning, make sure you are safely equipped with your harness and have supervision from an individual on the ground. Again, you should only clean out your chimney with proper supervision, on a stable rooftop, and with a safety harness and a hard hat. Those without experience working on rooftops should strongly consider hiring a professional.

Once you are secured on the rooftop, add rods to your cleaning brush, moving it down the fireplace till you no longer feel resistance. At this point, you pushed down the soot to the smoke chamber. Climb down from the roof and start to work inside at the firebox. Use a long-handled brush to clean the smoke chamber and a flue brush to remove soot from the smoke shelf. Switch back to the long-handled brush to clean the sides of the firebox.

Vacuum out the firebox and fold up the canvas when you have cleared as much soot and debris as possible. Take the canvas outside and shake out any residue. Fold up the sheets to use again for your next cleaning.

Step 6: Schedule an Inspection

Your fireplace isn’t safe until you’ve scheduled your annual chimney inspection. Even the best DIY job can’t handle creosote build-up, and you need to be sure you didn’t miss any build-up during your cleaning. Have a chimney repair and cleaning professional inspect your chimney once a year to assure you don’t have additional build-up and or repair needs.

How To Move To A New House Like A Pro

When you’re moving into a new house, there’s a lot to think about. While we generally think of moving processes like packing and unpacking as the only main roadblocks to properly settling in, the things you do after you move into a new house are what make the largest impact.

Of course, you already have a lot on your plate. So, to help you organize your to-do list, we’ve compiled a fast list of the ten most important things to accomplish when moving into a new house. The majority of these tasks aren’t time consuming, but they do demand you to make a conscious effort to complete them. Read on to learn what you need to know, then make a strategy. Soon, you’ll be able to relax, crack open a bottle of champagne, and toast your new home.

1. Perform a walkthrough

When your new house is absolutely vacant, there is no better opportunity to undertake a comprehensive walkthrough. Take a look around before setting up your furniture and getting unpacked. You’ll want to double-check that: 

  • The previous owner has completed all required and agreed-upon repairs 
  • Everything that was supposed to be included in the transaction is present in the house 
  • All outlets, switches, and fixtures are in good working condition.

If you discover something that violates the sale contract (for example, the previous owner took the washer and dryer with them when they were supposed to leave them behind), contact your agent right away to see what options you have. Issues that you discover that were not covered by your contract are now your problem, but knowing what they are can assist.

2. Figure out where everything is going

When moving into a new house, establishing a plan of attack for putting everything up rather than winging it will save you a lot of time and headache. 

This is especially true for goods that are large and heavy, such as furniture. 

While you undoubtedly already have a general sense of what belongs in whatever room, take a minute to consider how you’d like the setup to appear. 

Of course, you may make adjustments afterwards, but approaching this activity with a basic strategy will always make the process easier.

3. Confirm that your utilities are operational

Hopefully, you took care of getting your utilities set up before moving into your new house, in which case, now is the time to double-check that everything is in working order. 

Check your electric, gas, water, heating and cooling, phone, and internet connections on moving day. Then contact your local waste management facility to make sure your new house is also set up for rubbish collection. 

If you’re having troubles moving try hiring Pinnacle Removalists to avoid stress and have experts do the whole moving process for you.

4. Find the water valve and fuse box

The fuse box and the water valve are two items you don’t want to be hunting for when you need them the most. It’s far better to locate them now, so that if your electricity goes out or you need to cut off the water for whatever reason, you’ll be able to get there quickly. 

Your fuse box will most likely be in your basement, garage, or storage area, whereas your home’s water valve will most likely be positioned someplace around the perimeter of your property.

5. Perform a thorough cleaning

Cleaning your new house from top to bottom may be the last thing on your mind after going through the moving process, but it is the greatest time to do it. 

Fortunately, we’ve put up a new house thorough cleaning guide to assist you. Consider hiring professional cleaners instead if you don’t have the time or interest to put on your cleaning gloves and grab a mop right now (we don’t blame you). Starting life in your new house in a clean condition is more than worth it, whether you invest in time or money.

6. Replace your locks

Changing the locks on your new house is always a smart idea. Even if the former owner isn’t a worry, you never know who could have a key.

 It’s best to be safe than sorry in this case, so call a locksmith or change the locks yourself if you’re comfortable doing so. Rekey the locks on all doors going from the inside to the outside of your house, as well as the windows. It’s a tiny price to pay for a lot of assurance.

7. Modify Your Address

You may have already notified the post office of your change of address prior to moving day, but if you haven’t, now is the time.

 Friends and relatives, subscription services, your bank, any loan providers, and anybody else who sends you regular communication or invoices should all be informed of your relocation. 

A comprehensive list of who should be notified may be seen here. If you’ve relocated to a new state, you’ll need to contact your state’s department of motor vehicles to get a new driver’s license and updated car registration.

Moving into a new house is naturally stressful, but following the 10 steps outlined above can make the process go more smoothly. However, there is a lot to do, so don’t be hesitant to ask for assistance, whether from a friend or family member or from a professional service provider. The sooner you can deal with the major issues, the sooner your new house will begin to feel like a home.