With the crazy weather we've had in the last few weeks, many people are not only feeling the chill of the weather, but they're also feeling the sting of the financial challenges that high heating bills can cost. These days, it's extremely important to ...
With the crazy weather we’ve had in the last few weeks, many people are not only feeling the chill of the weather, but they’re also feeling the sting of the financial challenges that high heating bills can cost. These days, it’s extremely important to get the most out of your heat and to find ways to save on utility bills. Your heating system can be a real budget breaker when the weather gets really cold, but there are things you can do! I want to teach you how to save on heating costs.
How to Save on Heating Costs
Alternative Heating Sources
It pays to look into alternative means of heating your home or the room(s) you’re in. Pellet stoves, kerosene heaters, wood stoves, and various types of space heaters all help to augment your hard-working central heating unit. See if you can use one or more of these alternatives in the rooms you use most, keeping the vents closed in the rooms you’re not using. Please keep in mind that if you have a traditional fireplace, you’re probably losing heat up the chimney, so don’t count on using your fireplace as a way to save money.
Change the Filter
I know this sounds crazy, but not only is it one of the easiest things you can do for your heating system, it’s also one of the most important. You should change the filter in your furnace at least every 60 days or even once a month. This keeps the unit running smoothly and efficiently. A dirty filter can result in anything from high electric bills (due to the extra effort the unit has to make to get air through the dirty filter) to a broken-down system. Make sure to check Amazon to find great deals on furnace filters.
Turn It Down
When you’re not in the house, make sure you turn down the heat before you leave. Also, turn it down at night. You can use a space heater in the areas where you’re sleeping if you need to.
If you’re not using a room, shut the heating vent in that room. That way, you won’t be paying to heat rooms you’re not using. If you don’t have the kind of vents you can shut, you can purchase vent covers at home improvement stores.
Check Doors and Windows
Part of saving money on heating bills is making sure your heat isn’t escaping. Windows and doors can have leaks you don’t really notice until it gets cold. Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to install, and can save a lot of money on heating bills. We’ve also used this Seal and Peel Caulk on our windows and have been quite happy with it.
Use Residual Heat
In the kitchen, when you’re finished baking something in the oven, leave the oven door open a few inches and let the heat escape into the room.
What Not To Wear
If you are hanging around in a t-shirt and shorts and constantly cranking up the heat to feel like summer, you are wasting a lot of heat (plus you’ll look extremely ridiculous if anyone drops by unexpectedly). Dress for the season! Wear several layers, a sweater and thick wool socks. Warm house slippers can help, too.
Your best bet to save money is to use a combination of these tips and tricks. Since my husband and I both work from home, we keep our programmable thermostat set to drop the temperature 12 degrees after everyone goes to school. We use a space heater in our office and that keeps that room warm enough for us and we don’t have to pay to keep the rest of the house warm. We also keep warm throws in our living room so that people can wrap themselves up while watching TV, doing homework, or hanging out. This is my absolute favorite throw and it is oh-so-warm!
Leave a comment if you have other suggestions on how to save on heating costs!
Looking for the perfect gift for a basketball coach or player? Need a centerpiece for the next basketball party or banquet? You’re going to wow everyone with this DIY Basketball Centerpiece! It’s really fun to make and it looks incredible!!!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameForBasketball #CollectiveBias
If you’re planning a basketball party in the near future, whether it be an end of the year party for a high school team, a party to watch an NBA game, or a March madness party, you’re going to want to make this Basketball Centerpiece!
Plastic Tablecloths in your favorite team colors (or just go for black and white)
1-2 large packages of snack size candy
3 packages of clear gems (found in the floral section)
DIY Basketball Centerpiece Instructions
To begin with, figure out what part of the basketball you want to be the top of your centerpiece. I chose to put the logo side down so that the side you see of the basketball is free of any writing.
Next, using a utility knife, cut a square the same size as your floral foam in the top of the basketball. If you are using round floral foam, you’ll want to cut a circle about the same size as your floral foam. This will be the centerpiece opening.
If you’re not comfortable randomly cutting into the top of your basketball, feel free to trace your floral foam with a marker. The marker will come off if you use rubbing alcohol.
Next you’ll want to add your glass gems to the bottom of the basketball. This is to keep the basketball from getting top-heavy and falling over. You could also use balloon weights, sand, or gravel.
Once your gems are in place, add your foam to the inside of the basketball. If your foam is not tall enough, stack multiple pieces of foam so that it sticks up a little above the outside of the basketball. I used a bamboo skewer to keep my 3 piece of foam together.
Next you’ll want to cut your tablecloth into 4-6 inch squares. It’s ok if they’re not perfect (or even close to perfect). Once you have your pile of squares, grab 2 opposite corners of each square and pinch them towards each other.
Next take your floral pin and place around the center of the square then stick into your floral foam.
You’ll want to alternate colors and go all the way around the floral foam. I think it looks best with 2-3 rows of tablecloth squares.
Next, you’ll want to attach your candy to the bamboo skewers. Depending on the type of candy wrapper, you may want to use packing tape instead of scotch tape. Also, your centerpiece will look best if all of your candy is facing the same direction so you may want to lay all your candy out in the way you’d like it displayed before you begin taping. You can buy bamboo skewers in all different lengths, but I bought the long ones and broke them into shorter pieces for the front few rows. They’re really easy to break.
Now just add your skewers of candy to your foam in an artful display and voila…you have a basketball centerpiece!
Don’t want to head to the store? You can get all you need for the basketball centerpieces below!
I was first introduced to the idea of a Word of the Year five or 6 years ago. I’d always been a goal setter, but thought that maybe there was something to this word of the year thing. While I haven’t chosen a word every year since then, I’ve chosen quite a few. And in the process, I’ve put together a pretty extensive list of words.
Since I’ve had multiple conversations in the past week about choosing a Word of the Year, I thought I’d share my list with you. I even put on my thinking cap and added a few extras!
If you’d like a printable to look at and work though, I’ve created this Word of the Year Printable!
If you don’t want a printable, that’s totally cool too!
Here are your 200+ Word of the Year Ideas!
I hope this will help you choose your word of the year! If you’re drawn to a few, look up the definitions in the dictionary and compare! I narrowed my word for the year down to three words that were similar in my mind, but when I looked up the definitions, I was amazed at how different they actually were! I’m absolutely thrilled with the word I chose for the year and I hope you’ll chose a word you love!
If you’ve already chosen your word, leave it in the comments! I’d love to know!
I remember the thrill of being a teenager and having my first job. I loved being able to spend money on clothes, food and whatever else my heart desired. Unfortunately my heart desired lots of things and I never saved any money! This is something that I have always struggled with. Now that I have 2 teen daughters, I’m hoping to impart some saving and budgeting wisdom to them so they don’t have this same struggle as they get older. I hope these tips will help you help your teens learn how to budget.
Budgeting is something everyone should learn when they reach an age where they can understand the concept of money. It is very easy to spend more money than planned if there is no budget in place. By teaching your teen the concepts of budgeting, you will help them to learn how to avoid overspending and how to make their money stretch. Both of these are valuable lessons that will come in handy during adulthood.
Helping Teens Learn How To Budget
The first lesson in budgeting is to teach your teen how to document both income and expenses. If you have a household budget, share it with your kids. Be specific about where your money goes. Not only will this help them understand all that they need to think about and plan for as they get older, but it will also help them to realize that money is finite…not infinite as they so often seem to think. Also, make sure that they understand that necessary expenses such as mortgages or rent, food, utilities and car insurance get priority over the newest gadget on the market. Once the necessary expenses have been taken care of, a stipend of the balance can be put into a savings account for a rainy day and then the wants can be addressed. Better yet, teach them to save before spending. If your teenager is looking for ways to make money, make sure to check out these Creative Jobs for Teens.
My oldest daughter is using the 52 Week Savings Challenge. She uses the printable to check off her contributions each week. If that’s a little too ambitious for your teen, consider the 365 Day Saving Challenge! Both of these are printables and are a fun way to track progress.
If you fall into the category of living paycheck to paycheck, like many Americans do, this is a good time to teach your teen how to make your money stretch. Tips such as using coupons to cut the costs of food and clothing, or buying second-hand items, go a long way in establishing healthy spending habits in your teens. These habits will carry over into adulthood if taught properly.
Teaching your teens about credit is also extremely important. Credit is valuable and most people do not realize how valuable it truly is until it is tarnished. Avoid credit cards as they tend to have very high interest rates, even if the minimum payment is low. Be sure to teach your teen that it takes years to build up good credit and only a few months to destroy it completely. Without credit it can be hard to rent an apartment, buy a car or a house. Teach your teen two valuable credit lessons: use credit only when necessary and do not extend yourself beyond what you can afford to pay. These two lessons in themselves will create a good credit history for your teenager leading the way into adulthood.
Teaching your teen how to budget and manage money properly does not have to be a nail-biting experience. If you find that your own budgeting technique could use a bit of work, why not share that experience with your teen? It is beneficial for your teen to learn from your struggles before they experience their own. Most of all, budgeting and being responsible with money is a life lesson that typically gets carried through to adulthood and your teen needs all the help they can get.
Getting in shape is one of the top resolutions women make each year. It’s important to be healthy and to get in lots of movement. If you’re wanting to up your workout game and you want to look great doing it, these cute workout clothes are for you! These Mix and Match workout outfits will keep you looking great while you’re getting in shape!
Cute Workout Clothes Shopping List
Here’s what you’ll need to purchase to create these 15 looks. You may already have some of these items (or something similar) in your closet. Shop your closet first and then fill in the rest of the items on the list!
Here’s how to mix and match your cute workout clothes!
You don’t have to wear the same workout outfit every day. With only 12 pieces of clothing and 2 pairs of shoes, you can create 15 different looks! These cute workout clothes are perfect for running…or running errands!