Category: Life Hacks

5 Tricks That’ll Save You Money on Your Next Water Bill

save you moneyDid your last water bill give you sweaty palms and a racing heart? Huge bills are frustrating and can feel like you’re flushing your cash down the toilet.

If your bills have suddenly spiked with no warning, it’s likely that you’ll need to talk to some blocked drain plumbers to see if something has gone wrong.

But if they’ve been consistently high, here are 5 tricks to save you money on your next water bill:

1. Make Some Home Improvements

A few smart home improvements can make a big difference The first step is to inspect all of the appliances in your home. Look for drips and leaks, as these can quickly add up and impact your bill.

Pay attention to dishwashers, faucets, and toilets, as they’re the most likely culprits when it comes to sudden leaks.

You may also want to consider installing low-flow toilets or even converting your current toilets. This significantly reduces how much water they use, and can save you 2-5 gallons each time you flush.

2. Check Your Bathroom Habits

You may think that you and your family are doing your best to avoid using water unnecessarily. But most of us have at least a few water-wasting habits in the bathroom.

Here are some examples:

Take Shorter Showers

Simply shaving off a couple of minutes can make a huge difference and save you money on your water bills. Some people even use the Navy Shower technique and will turn off the shower while they’re lathering up.

Shave and Brush Wisely

Running the water while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth can quickly add to those bills. Instead, turn off unless you’re rinsing.

Flush Occasionally

Another option? Encourage the family to flush the toilet only when necessary, and “let the yellow mellow.”

3. Be Smart in the Kitchen

Many people make changes in the bathroom, but forget about how much water they use in the kitchen.

Consider reusing your dishes. Often, you don’t need a new plate or cup each time, which will mean fewer loads in the dishwasher and less water usage.

Hand washing your dishes is also a no-no. Dishwashers are much better at using water. If you don’t have a dishwasher, fill up the sink once and wash them all together.

4. Shop Around

If you think you may need a plumber, take the time to look into your options. There is a wide range of rates, and a plumber with an excellent reputation could charge up to $275 an hour.

If you just need a drain unclogged or a leaky faucet fixed, there’s a high chance you don’t need this level of expertise. Instead, ask for recommendations and find a plumber with reasonable rates.

5. Choose Quality Parts

It can be tempting to buy the least expensive appliances and parts. But many of them are cheap because they use plastic parts that won’t last as long as ceramic or metal.

They’re also less likely to be energy efficient. This means they’re more likely to break down, often need to be replaced, and cost more to run.

These Tips Will Save You Money

There’s no question that large water bills are a pain. But with the above tips, you can slash your bills while saving the environment.

Do you have any other great tips for saving money on your water bill? Or a question you’d love to have answered?

Leave a comment below or get in touch today.

5 Urgent Reasons to Book Self Defense Classes for Teens

self defense classes for teensYour teenager is never too young to take a self defense class. While you may think your teenager doesn’t need to worry about an attacker, there are some pretty grim statistics out there that would argue otherwise.

For example, persons between the ages of 12 and 24 experience the highest rates of violent crime. 

Violence against women proves to be an especially severe problem in the United States. One survey found that 23 percent of college women experience some form of unwanted sexual contact during their college years.

These statistics aren’t meant to encourage you to lock your kids in the house until they’re 30.

Instead, these numbers should encourage you to be proactive about equipping your teenagers with the right tools to protect themselves in violent situations.

And one of the best tools you can equip them with is self defense training.

Let’s take a look at 5 urgent reasons you should book self defense classes for teens.

1. Don’t Question Intuition

Most parents raise their children to be polite and respectful towards others, and especially towards adults.

This is great. However, teenagers need to understand that if they’re in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, they don’t need to be polite. They should trust their intuition and leave.

Self defense classes for teens teach that it is okay to stand your ground against someone who is making you feel threatened. These classes teach that safety is always the number one priority and that coming off as rude should always be the least of their concerns.

2. Learn Prevention

Many people are under the impression that self defense classes are all about kicking and throwing punches.

However, a big aspect of a self-defense class is prevention. Prevention is the best way to avoid an attacker.

Self defense classes for teens teach the key components of prevention:

  • Being aware of surroundings
  • Avoiding risky places at night
  • Conveying confident body language

3. Goal Isn’t to Fight

Self-defense classes help teach teens that fighting an attacker is always the last resort.

This is a very important lesson to learn, as many teens will not stand a chance against an attacker who is larger than them.

These classes teach teens that their primary goal is to shock or hurt their attacker so they can get away.

It’s very important for teens to know an attacker’s vulnerable spots: the knees, groin, eyes, and neck.

Classes teach teens how to attack these areas using their hands or using a device, such as a self defense keychain. 

4. Mental Toughness

Most teens struggle with self-confidence.

Self defense teaches teenagers how to face the unexpected and break through uncomfortable situations. There’s no doubt that your teen will come out of these classes a more confident person.

5. Never Blame a Victim

If your teenager does experience an attack, it’s not their fault. Victims should never be blamed for an attack.

Self defense classes help teens learn this important concept. They also teach teens what to do if a friend or family member confides in them that they’ve been attacked.

Self Defense Classes For Teens: Wrap Up

We hope this article convinces you of the benefits of self defense classes.

If you have any questions about self defense for teens, please don’t hesitate to drop us a comment.

4 Cute Storage Ideas to Help Organize Your Clutter

cute storage ideasEvery now and then, people need to declutter. But even after spending hours and days cleaning and throwing things away, much is still left over.

It’s even harder to organize and hide everything when dealing with small spaces. So, how does someone tidy up and store necessary items when they don’t have much space to work with?

Luckily, there are lots of cute storage ideas that can help organize the clutter and add to a room’s decor.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an attic, a bedroom, or a child’s playroom. You can declutter any type of room and still store everything in discreet – and adorable – ways.

Here are 4 adorable ideas…

1. Side Tables & Dressers

For decades, people have used side tables and dressers to tuck away their excess clutter. But not only that!

Adding a dresser or side table can often be the missing element of a room that ties its decor scheme together. Not to mention, people can decorate the top of them in addition to storing things inside them.

Dressers and side tables are staples to every bedroom. But they also go great in children’s playrooms, living areas, and even indoor porches.

And people don’t even have to buy them brand new! Many are available at second-hand shops, yard sales, or somewhere in a friend’s garage.

2. Wall Shelves

What does someone do if their space is too small to incorporate a side table or dresser?

They go higher!

Wall-mounted shelves have become something of a trend in the DIY community. And there’s a reason why they’re climbing the ranks on the list of cute storage ideas.

They not only take advantage of the walls for storage purposes but style up any room. Plus, they go beyond standard blocks or flat pieces of wood!

Magnetic strips can store kitchen and bathroom items on the walls or sides of drawers. Peg boards and screwdriver racks are also helpful for storing tools in the garage.

3. Bins & Baskets

Every household has items that may be useful in the future, but serve no purpose in the present. And that’s where storage bins and containers come in.

They store and hide clutter away in closets and under beds – in the most organized way possible.

But when there’s no room left, collapsible storage bins allow storage out in the open. They’re made with fabric and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Baskets are also stylish additions to children’s bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas. They’re great for storing toys, magazines, blankets, and even cosmetic devices.

4. Glass Jars & Cork Boards

These days, it’s easy to find stylish jars online to implement cute storage ideas. And there’s no shortage of places to use them for compact storage out in the open.

Jars can take advantage of excess counter space by storing things like spices and teas. They also store cotton balls, swabs, and hair accessories in bathrooms and bedrooms.

But what does someone do about their extensive jewelry collection?

Cork boards have become popular for this exact need!

Cork boards are the trendiest way to organize and hang jewelry with tacks for the easiest access. No more digging through boxes and untangling necklaces!

Cork boards also organize important papers that can’t get thrown out. Junk drawers everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief.

Declutter & Organize with Cute Storage Ideas

You don’t have to put up with excess clutter and mess. Especially if it means styling up one’s living quarters in the process.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small someone’s home is. You can organize clutter and create more space in apartments and houses alike.

For more cute storage ideas, stay tuned with Thrifty Momma Ramblings!

This is Why You Should Be Listening to Music at Work

music at workIf you haven’t jumped on the headphones-at-work trend yet, it’s time to embrace it. Music offers tons of mental benefits—all of which can boost your productivity and lower your stress.

Music has already found its way into the professional world. According to a 1994 study, music helped surgeons perform faster and more accurately on the job.

Music can boost your job performance, too. Keep reading for the reasons why you should be listening to music at work.

Why You Need to Listen to Music at Work

Music Helps Cancel out Distractions

If you work in a noisy environment, music can save you from losing focus after every little distraction. This can be especially helpful for office workers who share space in a manufacturing facility. Imagine listening to the dulcet tones of your favorite artist instead of the noises coming from the box crusher.

As an added bonus, wearing headphones can signal to an overly talkative coworker that you need to devote your full attention to the task at hand. It’s a polite way of saying that you’d love to hear about their weekend—as soon as you’re done with this report.

Listening to Music at Work Can Help You Get Through Tedious Tasks

If you’re facing a day filled with the same repetitive task, it’s time to pop in the ear buds and get to work. Music gives your brain something new to focus on.

It’s the best way to avoid boredom while you finish your work. You might find you finish your work faster, too.

Tunes Can Soothe Your Stress

Most workplaces are rife with stress, but music is a powerful stress-reduction tool.

One 2005 study looked at how listening to music at work affected the moods of 56 Canadian software developers. They found that this group reported more positive feelings the longer they listened to music while working. The more access they had to music, the less stress or sadness seemed to bring them down.

Listening to music can actually calm your anxiety at work. It may actually increase your feelings of happiness, too.

Music Can Help You Do a Better Job

That same study found something else, too. Once the study participants felt happier, they worked harder, faster, and produced higher-quality work than they did during quiet periods.

Listening to music can help you get through the mental blocks that might otherwise trip you up during your day.

New Music Can Give Your Brain a Burst of Creativity

Getting yourself out of your comfort zone can do wonders for your creativity. If you’re up against a deadline at work and you can’t seem to brainstorm a new idea, try listening to some fresh tunes you haven’t heard before.

Trying out a new auditory experience can shake you out of your funk and get you thinking differently.

Consider branching out to a streaming website like Telling Beatzz. As a bonus, if you’re sourcing audio for a video you’re working on, Telling Beatzz has you covered.

Keep up with the Latest Productivity Tips

At Thrifty Momma Ramblings, we cover the latest tips and tricks for every aspect of your life. We offer advice on everything—including how to manage your time while you’re working from home—and we post deals and giveaways for your must-have office items. We’re your one-stop shop for all things productivity.

5 Fabulous Steps to Happy, Beautiful Feet

beautiful feetThe gift of nice weather means it’s time to take out those cute little sandals and let our beautiful feet have their moment to shine. But if you suffer from cracked or overworked feet, you might feel inclined to hide them away from the world.

Extra humidity can be potentially good for dried out skin, but somehow our feet never want to soak up that extra moisture. They hold us up for hours on end every day, take us over to our favorite ice cream shops but still, they are often unappreciated.

So it’s up to us to give them the good treatment they deserve!

Read on to learn more about how to do it!

1. Let Them Breathe

It’s a little-known fact that our feet actually sweat when cooped up in our socks and our shoes. An overly long build up of not taking care of this extra layer of unneeded moisture can lead to diseases such as athlete’s foot.

After a long day at work or after a session of exercise, make sure to take the time to let your feet out and dry off from the activity of the day. Simply taking off your shoes to air out should do the trick!

2. Wear Proper Fitting Shoes

Those of us who are thrifty-minded can sometimes decide to stick with an old pair of shoes because who wants to go out and buy new ones when these old ones are perfectly functional?

However, if your shoes are too old, too small or even too big, it’s best to change them out. Poor fitting shoes can cause blisters and other sores that will hurt. They’ll also leave behind marks on your feet you just don’t want.

Always choose good fitting shoes. You don’t want your footwear to keep you from having beautiful feet!

3. Give Them a Good Soak

Not only can this be a relaxing ritual after a long day’s work, but it’s great for the health of your feet, too! There are a bunch of different varieties you can try, such as simple hot water and essential oils or a special Listerine foot bath!

All you have to do is soak your feet for about 10 to 15 minutes or so, but try not to go too long. If your feet are starting to get all pruney, it’s best to take them out and give them a rest.

The great thing is that this goes along perfectly with our next tip!

4. Scrub

The best time to scrub your feet is after a good soak. They’ll be softer than normal which leads to getting the most out of the scrub.

Use a pumice stone while they are still damp and you’ll have beautiful feet in no time! Make sure to go with the grain of your foot, not against. This will ensure you don’t end up damaging your feet in the process!

5. Always Moisturize

Your feet need a stronger cream than other parts of your body due to the thicker skin. A good tip is to use coconut oil or creams with Vitamin E!

Massage your feet with your chosen moisturizer and relax for an hour or two to really let it work into your skin before rinsing it off. Or, if you prefer, you could choose to let it stay on overnight. Just put on some socks to protect your furniture from getting moisturizer everywhere!

Beautiful Feet Are Just a Step Away!

With these steps in place, you’ll have perfect feet to show off your new pair of sandals on that special weekend getaway you’ve been planning! Go out there are show them to the world!

Have more great tips? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in a comment below!

5 Ways to Exercise on a Budget

exercise on a budgetGetting back in shape doesn’t have to involve expensive gym memberships, pricey fad diet programs or exclusive fitness DVDs. You don’t even need high-end workout clothes.

All you really need is willpower to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and eat a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies, complex carbs, and protein. A good start is adding Jarrow whey protein into your smoothie for an energized morning.

The good news is – you can easily do it without breaking the bank.

But when it comes to actually starting, many people rely on excuses. And the lack of time and money are at the top of the list.

With over 36% of adults in the U.S. being obese, there’s never been a better time to take care of your health and well-being.

Keep reading to discover how you can exercise on a budget, tone your entire body and lose weight in the process.

5 Ways to Exercise on a Budget

1. Go Running or Brisk Walking

One of the simplest ways to add some physical activity into your day is to take up running.

It’s free and you don’t need to spend money on fancy athletic outfits. All you need is a good running trail and quality shoes to support your feet.

Brisk walking around your neighborhood is another excellent cardio exercise as well. It’s a great alternative for people who have health issues or joint problems, but still want to get some workout.

2. Try a Local Gym

The best way to exercise on a budget is to find a local gym in your neighborhood. They usually have all the fitness equipment necessary for a good workout, but for a low monthly membership.

Local gyms may not offer specialized workout programs or personal trainers, but if you prefer the gym over working out at home, this option might be for you.

3. Buy Discounted Fitness DVDs from eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist

You can easily find some great deals on seriously discounted fitness DVDs online.

If you don’t For starters, try your luck on Amazon or eBay and see if you can score used ones or even older versions.

If you don’t find anything there, move on to Craigslist – there always someone out there who’s trying to get rid of their old fitness DVDs.

If all else fails, visit a nearby thrift store or a yard sale and see if you can find some DVDs there.

4. Get on YouTube

What says “exercise on a budget” more than a completely free YouTube fitness video?

All you need is some free time and internet connection and you’re all set. There are so many fitness trainers and instructors that offer excellent at-home workouts. At the same time, you can research healthy diet options to match your exercises.

However, be careful when selecting the videos and exercises. Do your research and see which ones fit your needs the most.

5. Try Biking

Biking is an easy way to get your juices flowing and get some exercise. The only expense you’ll have is buying a bike if you don’t own one already.

However, you can always find second-hand bikes on Craigslist or even new ones for cheap. And if you have kids, biking is a great family activity that you can do in your free time, especially when the weather is nice.

Conclusion

When trying to lose weight, getting fit or just being more physically active, you should also reconsider your dietary choices.

Eating healthy foods doesn’t have to be expensive – you just need to learn how to choose the items properly and plan your meals around them.

This combination of daily exercise and clean eating will make you fitter, more energized and ready to tackle the days ahead.

5 Tips for Booking a Trip to Rome on a Budget

dreamstime s 89889321One of the best ways to make memories with your family is through travel. However,  it can be very expensive if you don’t plan right.

Italy is an ideal place for family travel: great weather,  history, and pizza!

It is possible to take a trip to Rome on a budget. Here are 5 tips which will help you enjoy this amazing city without breaking the bank.

1. Shop around for airfare

There are many ways to find deals for international travel to Rome.

Obviously, you should explore using your travel points if you belong to a frequent flyer program.

Many airlines fly to Rome, so do some comparison shopping.

You might find deals on some low-cost airlines like Ryanair or Easy Jet.

You can also fly into neighboring cities like Milan, and take a train to Rome.

2. Stay in the suburbs

Hotels in the center of Rome can be very expensive, especially if you are traveling with kids and need more than one room.

AirBnB and other home sharing apps have changed the way families can travel. Consider renting an apartment or small house on the outskirts of the city.

You can easily take public transportation to see the sights. You will also have a kitchen, giving you the option of preparing your own meals and avoiding the high prices at restaurants.

3. Plan meals carefully

If you are taking a trip to Rome on a budget, you need to consider the high costs of eating out.

Italian food is some of the best in the world,  but it can cost a lot for a family to go to restaurants in cities like Rome.

If you are renting a house or apartment,  take a trip to the local grocery store and pick up provisions. It will give you and your children a chance to sample the local bread, produce and pasta.

Shopping locally and cooking fresh food during your trip to Rome on a budget will give your family an authentic Italian experience.

If you choose local street food like pizza (delicious!) while you are out and about, you might be able to splurge once on dinner at a real Italian trattoria during your visit.

4. Use public transportation-  or walk

Many of Rome’s biggest attractions are accessible by foot.

Make sure everyone in your party has comfortable shoes and a good map.

You can plan out efficient walking tours to give you a glimpse of some of Europe’s most iconic sights: the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican.

The Metro is Rome’s subway system, and it offers a convenient, cheaper way to get around than taxis.

5. Look for deals on tours

Part of planning a trip to Rome on a budget includes knowing when you want to spend a little money in order to get the best experience possible.

Sometimes it’s worth it to purchase a guided tour of major attractions. Prebooking an excursion like the Colosseum Area Floor tour ensures that you and your kids will learn everything you can about this historic locale.

Search for deals online before you go so you can maximize your savings.

Arrivederci!

With some forethought and planning, a family trip to Rome on a budget can be a joyous experience.

Do your research for deals before you go for both travel, accommodation, and attractions,  and you and your family will be able to enjoy the trip of a lifetime without too much damage to your pocketbook.