Saturday

Lifestyle Changes That Can Save You Money on Gas

Save Money on Gas

Everybody's looking for a break just about wherever they can get it these days. With the economy behaving the ways it has been over the course of the last several years, it can be pretty tough to find ways to ease the financial burden that we all seem to be facing. Gas prices can be one of the biggest burdens that the average American consumer faces these days, and it's gotten to the point where we're looking for just about anything that will help us save some serious money at the pump. As it turns out, there are a pretty good amount of relatively simple lifestyle changes that you can make, which will see you shaving a few bucks off what you spend on gas every month, so that you can get to where you go in a bit more of an affordable way. We'll talk about some of the best ways you can make small adjustments, and then reap relatively big rewards for them. Saving money at the pump is easier than you might think.

Carpool

One of the most obvious ways to save on gas is to find a carpool if you're going somewhere on a regular basis and you do it with someone else who lives in the same area as you do. You can get your carpool to split gas costs with you, or you can trade off driving days so that your weekly commute doesn't wind up being such a pain in your neck. What's more is that you'll be saving even more money on gas if you live in a commuter area with a lot of traffic. All that stopping and going that has a tendency to come with the morning rush hour can really do a number on your gas mileage, but when you get to use the carpool lane you'll use up significantly less fuel.

Cook at Home

Another way to save on gas? Try eating in a little more often. Believe it or not, a lot of our gas is spent on simple trips to nearby destinations. It's all that city driving that is the worst for your gas mileage, so if you can cut down on the amount of time that you spend doing things like going out to eat for dinner or running to get fast food, you'll significantly reduce the amount you spend on gas each month. Learning how to cook and spending more time at home might be one way that you can really save some money on gas if it's become a serious issue.

Hybrid Cars

If you're actually in the market for a new car, you can consider something that will  be a lot more gas efficient like a hybrid or electric car, budget permitting. Cars like these also make it easier to get inexpensive auto insurance because they're actually statistically likely to get stolen. Not only this, but their innovative energy-efficient power-trains mean that you get to save a ton of money on the pump while reducing your ecological impact at the very same time.
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Friday

Bathroom Improvements That Can Add Value to Your Home

home improvement



When it comes to home improvements, you are no doubt aware that some are more valuable than others where return on investment is concerned. You could certainly drop a ton of dough scraping popcorn ceilings, knocking out walls to create an open floor plan, or installing rare hardwood flooring, but these upgrades won't show you a major percentage of return, even if they do make your interior more appealing to modern buyers overall. However, there are certain home improvements that are proven to increase the value of your home, and the kitchen and master bath are two areas you might want to pinpoint if you're looking to get more value from your property when you go to sell. That said, you still need to be careful about where you spend your money if you want it to come back to you down the road. So here are a few improvements you can make in the master bath that will surely show the best returns.

For the most part, cosmetic upgrades don't hold much value, but they're also relatively inexpensive. And if you suffer from a terribly ugly or outdated bathroom it could be worth spending a little in this area in order to make your property more attractive and increase your chances of a sale. While this might not result in direct monetary value, a higher number of interested buyers could provide a better chance of starting a bidding war, or at least selling for your asking price. So there is some value to be had even from simple cosmetic changes like painting the walls, replacing peeling linoleum, or adding some new hardware (towel racks, etc.).

However, there are also a number of improvements that stand to show a significant percentage of return on investment. The most value will come from a complete overhaul that includes high-end installments and modern amenities, but you need to be careful to make sure that these upgrades are in keeping with the scope and scale of your property. For example, you might not want to include pricy granite, marble, and rare hardwoods in a town house. The costs associated with such materials may be too rich for the buyer looking at your type of property. If you're listing a million dollar home, on the other hand, these materials will be expected.

You might also consider what you can salvage. If the cabinets are solidly constructed and in good shape, you should keep them and spend your remodeling budget in other ways, like on a granite countertop, a Kohler sink, and shiny new fixtures. Or you might save an antique, claw-foot tub but install new tile all around. You may be keen to gut the entire room, but if you want to show the best return on investment it pays to save money where you can. From there you should think about replacing cheap materials with nicer fare, like swapping out low-end linoleum for faux-stone tile, for example.

And of course, you'll want to include plenty of modern amenities such as a spa tub, a separate shower space, a water closet, a double sink, a variety of lighting options, and perhaps even a sauna, depending on how much space you have and what your budget will allow. You may even want to call a local plumber like to find out about options for conservation, such as low-flow toilets, aerated faucets, and tankless water heaters. Modern touches to your bathroom remodeling project will not only help you to sell your house, but also show a greater return on investment.
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Thursday

Easy Ways to Save Money on Food Without Using Coupons

save money on groceries



It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, the money you spend on groceries can start to add up; and collecting all those coupons can contribute to a lot of clutter in your home. With the combination of a rising population and a greater number of mouths to feed, the cost of food is rising. Average annual household food expenditures are rising incrementally each year, meaning you can barely notice it adding up. There are a number of ways to save money on food that doesn't require a pair of scissors and a couple of hours cutting vouchers out of the local newspaper. A lot of the time those coupons do the opposite of saving you money. Here are 5 easy ways to save money on food without using coupons.


Buying in Bulk

Buying in bulk can save you money for a number of reasons. Namely, you don't have to keep going back to the market to pick up what you've just ran out of, like cereals and pasta. Buying a large quantity will save you a lot of money in the long run by decreasing those unnecessary costs, like the gas spent on running to the market and various taxes applied to multiple purchases. If you do the math it can be astounding how much money we're just tossing away. You can also buy perishables in bulk, like meat and poultry - just be sure to keep it in the freezer.

Make a List

Another great way to save money on food is to keep detailed grocery lists. Keeping an itemized record of what you actually need, will keep you from buying unnecessary items. Typically when we visit the market we just pull anything off the shelf that might look appetizing, when you really went to the grocery store to pick up only a couple of items. So, make a list, keep it organized and stick to it.

Eat First

Also, remember to never go to the market hungry. One of the easiest ways to spend a lot of money on food is to go shopping on an empty stomach. Make sure to eat a proper meal before you head out to the grocery store. Studies show that people who go to the grocery store hungry spend up to twice the amount of money on food than they usually do when they don't have an empty stomach.

Check on Online

You can also save money by getting creative! Newspaper coupons are the cost saving method of yesteryear. You can easily go online and find a lot of deals on food that work for you and actually save you money. For instance, you can visit websites, couponmom.com, that have amazing deals on food at grocery stores and even restaurants.


Lastly, one of the biggest and easiest ways to save money on food is to buy individual ingredients to prepare your food. If this seems daunting, you can teach yourself to cook. Cooking your own meals will save you money and can be a rewarding experience.


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