Household

There are things you can do around the house to save money as well. If you’re looking for low or no cost games for the kids, check under the Gifts & Crafts tab. 

Credit Cards
You can spend a lot of money for card sleeves that block radio scanners from stealing your credit card info, or you can make one yourself.  All you need is cardstock (heavy paper) and aluminum foil.
The aluminum foil will block the scanners (or so I’m told).

Cut a piece of cardstock slightly larger than the length of your credit card and twice the width.  Cut a piece of aluminum foil exactly the length of your credit card and twice the width.  Glue it to the cardstock using glue stick or white glue.  Fold the cardstock in half and tape the two edges along the outside to form a credit card sleeve. 

Make one for each credit card or any card with a magnetic strip (driver’s license, library card, student body card, etc.).   

Ceiling Fans If you have a ceiling fan with light fixtures – let all the bulbs burn out and only replace the center bulb.  If there is no center bulb, replace two bulbs on opposite sides of the fan.  You will save money on bulbs and electricity. 

Fireplace or Long Matches Do not buy these.  Light a strand of spaghetti instead.  Use for hard to reach places.  Girl Scout® trick.

Extending the Life of Household Items Here are some tips from the Marie Show (Hallmark Channel) for extending the life of shower curtains, hair dryers, clothes dryers, re-using bottle brushes, etc. The only item I disagree on, is the coffee maker should be cleaned with either 1 cup white vinegar, or 1-2 tablespoons of cream of tartar in water.  Rinse after cleaning by running the coffeemaker for 1 cycle. Grandma’s Tip.
http://hallmarkchannel.com/marie/product/dontthrowitoutyet.

Going Green Helping the environment can help your wallet.  Ed Begley, Jr is well-known for living green.  In the following article, he explains how to take small steps to build up savings to take larger steps.  Ed figures his total savings over the years is $300,000.
http://shine.yahoo.com/at-home/ask-8230-green-living-expert-130300898.html?vp=1.

Of course using vinegar and water to clean your coffee maker and clean your windows (as recommended in this site) will save you money.  You don’t have to pay for expensive specialty cleaners and the chemicals don’t go into the environment.

Lightbulb Recycling
It is difficult to figure out which lightbulbs can go in the trash, recycling, or hazardous waste.  Here is an article that may help you:
Lightbulb Types and Disposal 

Scented Oils
Scented oils can freshen your cleaning solutions, discourage spiders and cats (like lemon grass and ants), freshen your kitchen from odors, and more.  See the link at: Household Uses for Essential Oils
Note:  Geranium oil will discourage cats.  Add a few drops to a cup of water in a spray bottle – and as always, test oil solutions on a scrap for staining issues.

Water Usage
If you are responsible for your own water bill, or live in a drought area with restrictions/fines there are many things you can do.  When rinsing dishes, put a cleaning bucket under the tap to catch water instead of letting it just go down the drain.  You can use the same bucket when you shower to catch and save the water as it warms up. 

Use the saved water on plants.  

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