Never Buy These Again! 13 Things You Can Make At Home To Save Money

When we were kids our parents would mend our clothes, build things around the house and find a way to re-use almost every product they bought. So why are we so quick to rush out to the restore and replace every little thing? It’s become normal acceptable to toss something away as soon as it’s not working, and to spend money on things we don’t really need just for the convenience.

If you want to, it’s easy to save some money and make your life simpler by making things yourself.

It’s a simple idea, but once you take a moment to look around at your life you’ll be surprised how many things we buy could easily be made at home!

1. Insect Repellent

We’ve already shared a number of easy way to keep your home and garden free from ants and other pests without paying for expensive and harmful chemicals. Some are even pretty, like these all-natural Mason jar luminaries.

2. Air Fresheners

People used to keep natural air fresheners to add the scent of sweet ingredients to their home, but over the last few years scented candles and reusable air fresheners have become a big business. Like razor blades, these products are designed to hook you into buying the refills every week – but there’s no need!

3. Swiffer Pads

Here’s another example of a product that forces you to regularly waste your money. Swiffers are so handy to tidy your home, but buying the pads is so expensive. Thankfully, we have a hack that you can use and re-use forever!

4. Potato Chips

The average American eats 4 pounds of potato chips a year – which is a lot! Instead of stocking up on bags every week, you can buy cheap potatoes and make your own healthier versions. Our recipe uses sweet potatoes, and cooks in your microwave!

Click the next page for more frugal ideas, including how to save on groceries!

5. Bread

Bread is almost always the #1 item on your grocery bill…but why? Sliced bread is actually a very recent “invention,” because just a few decades ago it was normal for families to bake their own fresh bread or buy it from a baker. Now that bread makers are so common, there’s no reason not to make your own. It’s expensive at first, but over the weeks and weeks your investment will pay off.

6. Laundry Detergent

There are some very simple recipes to make your own laundry detergent from ingredients you already own, which will save you from picking up one of the more expensive items on your grocery list. Then, use that detergent in these handy cleaning hacks.

7. Instant Oatmeal

If you’re like me you don’t mind the taste of regular or “rolled” oatmeal, but you still use the instant packs because they’re so simple. It turns out you can actually cook rolled oats in the microwave exactly the same way (cover them in water, cook slowly until you find the right temperature and time for your microwave). This is much cheaper than buying the bags.

8. Deodorant

Deodorant is another product you can easily replace with some simple DIY recipes. Along with saving money, these recipes can be much better for you if you have sensitive skin.

9. Other Beauty Products

Finally, just about anything you can think of – from skin creams and face masks to shampoo, has a homemade variety that will help you cut costs. But be warned: switching to natural products from store-bought always takes some getting used-to.

Click the next page for even more ideas, including how to save money on clothes!

10. Paper Towels

Okay, so you can’t actually make “paper” towels very easily, but un-paper towels have become a big trend lately. Basically, you take some old rags, fabric odds and ends or a towel you haven’t used in years and make small, washable and re-usable napkins that are great for all kinds of kitchen messes. You can keep things plain, or really get creative with some wacky designs that are much more fun that boring old white paper towels.

11. Clothes

Now, this one is tricky. If you have some sewing know-how it can be easy to make clothes for your family, but you could also wind up going over-budget. Start simple by taking a few plain t-shirts from your local craft store and screen-printing some fun designs. It’s thrift and a fun activity.

12. Jewelry Cleaner

You should trust the experts on what materials are and aren’t safe to use on your jewelry, but it’s totally possible to add some shine to your rings and necklaces without spending a dime.

13. Popsicles and Ice cream

Promise yourself right now that you won’t buy either of these this summer. Why would you? With a Popsicle mold or some simple ingredients for ice cream, they’re a snap to make at home – and we guarantee it tastes just as good!

Share this list so everyone can save a little money!

7 Secret Menu Foods You’ll Wish You’d Tried Sooner

Now we all know what to avoid if we want to make healthy choices when we eat out, but sometimes you’ve just got to throw the calorie counter out the window and indulge!

Most people don’t know that their favorite fast food restaurants have a SECOND menu – one not commonly known to the public. If you want to dial your take-out game up a notch, order one of these secret menu items below!

If you love their animal-style burger, you’ll go ape for this “secret menu” fries option. Ask for an order of fries topped with cheese, secret sauce pickles and grilled onions. You can even order your fries ‘well done.’

If you’re a fan of overstuffed Mexican-american fare, then you’ll love the off-menu Quesarito. Just don’t order this delicious quesadilla-burrito hybrid during a lunch rush.

Did you know Burger King has a burger so loaded you eat at your own risk? See it and more on the next page!

Sure, you could choose the salad, but why not throw caution to the wind with some of these tasty secrets?

Whether you’re a fan of extra meat or cheese, these delectable dinners are game-changers for your dining-out experience! After you finish reading the list, you’ll be part of the privileged few who order like a boss from the fast food secret menu.

Feeling like a death-defying dinner? Try BK’s Suicide Burger: jam-packed with four beef patties, four slices of cheese, bacon and special sauce squeezed between two sesame seed buns.

Potato lovers will get a kick out of this hack. Ignore your calorie count for the day and make sure your next Double Down sandwich includes a dollop of delicious mashed potatoes and gravy.

Can’t decide what you want? Get one of everything! This behemoth of a burger combines the Big Mac, McChicken and Filet-O-Fish into one insane sandwich.

Crispy, crunchy fries with spicy, tangy cheese and chopped peppers is one of the more popular secret menu items you can request at the Shake Shack.

Once upon a time, this delicious concoction was a main menu item. Most restaurants still have the ingredients, so if you ask nicely, chances are good you can still enjoy an enchilada filled with beef, beans and cheese topped with onions and red sauce.

Which secret menu items would you try? Let us know in the comments below!

[h/t The Daily Meal]

10 Reasons Why Bacon Grease Is The Secret Weapon You Should Be Using In The Kitchen

Growing up, our moms had all these tricks that they would use in the kitchen. They would pass them down through generations, but it seems like a lot of people are leaving behind these old traditions and moving on to new techniques.

One popular trick our moms once used was bacon grease. Now, a lot of people just throw it away, but when we were kids our moms had a bunch of different uses for it. Did your mom ever do any of these?

French toast is already pretty amazing, but the bacon grease will help take it to the next level.

This one requires a little bit more work, but if you heat up bacon grease, coconut oil and beeswax in a double-boiler, you can make it into a candle. Once it is 140 degrees, pour it through a cheesecloth and then you can use that to pour into a jar with a wick.

Use it while it’s warm and mix it with red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard to create a unique salad dressing.

Cast iron skillets are great, but to keep them in their best possible condition you need to season them. If you rub a tablespoon of bacon grease over a heated pan, you can cook it at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes it will stay rust-free for a lot longer.

A little bit of strained bacon grease goes a long way. You can use it on a soft cloth to polish leather boots or belts.

That’s not all bacon grease can do…

Bacon and eggs are obviously a classic breakfast combo, but the way to make that even better is to leave some grease from the bacon in the pan when you start frying up the eggs.

Bacon grease is probably one of the best fire starters you can get. If you use the cooled grease from the paper towel you served it on you will be able to start a great fire super quickly.

Probably the most simple option, but skip the Pam or butter and just use a little bit of bacon grease instead. It’ll give what ever your cooking a little bit more flavor!

Anytime there is a sticker on something, bacon grease can come to the rescue. The sticky residue left behind after you peel up the paper can be easily removed with the grease and then you just use regular cleaner to get the grease off.

Birds will help you keep your garden free from bugs, so keeping them happy is a must. Spread strained bacon fat onto a pinecone and then roll it in birdseed. The seed will stick and you can hang it outside for the birds.

You might think that bacon grease is just garbage, but as you can see there is a lot you can do with it!

Share if you still use bacon grease in your kitchen!

Gardener’s “Genius” Invention Has Animal Lovers Up In Arms

It’s the time of year when gardeners start to make plans for the rest of the season, including how they’ll deal with the unwanted visitors that stop by to check on their vegetables. No, we’re not talking about annoying relatives that leave with a basket full of your cucumbers. We mean snails, slugs, and other critters that will chew through all your hard work. The urge to protect your garden at all costs can be overwhelming, but most people don’t want to harm the innocent creatures that wander into their yards.

Reddit user WHELDOT doesn’t seem to have a problem with collateral damage, because he’s set up a modern, high-tech defense system in his backyard.

WHELDOT’s says he worried about using pesticides to kill the slugs in his garden, because his young daughter might find the dead bugs and try to eat him. His more humane solution is a small-scale electric fence, made from a length of garden wire hooked up to a 9-volt battery.

How it works, and what’s upsetting activists on the next page

He claims the voltage is too low to kill the slugs, only to hurt them so they will crawl away. There’s no telling if slugs can actually feel pain, or something close to it, the way other animals do, but a few animal lovers have voiced their disapproval of his invention.

While it’s definitely a clever and non-toxic way to protect your carrots, we have to wonder if there wasn’t a nicer way to keep the slugs at bay. The first snail to test the fence definitely seemed upset.

While people are always looking for new ways to get rid of pests, it’s important to remember that all sorts of friendly animals will find their way to your backyard. It would be a shame if these fences hurt anything other than little bugs.

If you’re interested in making your own snail fence, follow WHELDOT’s instructions here.

Share this creation with someone who loves gardening!

6 Hacks To Make Your Morning Coffee That Much Better

If you’re anything like me, that first cup of coffee is less a part of your routine, and more akin to a religious experience. The smell of it brewing, the sound of the boiling water, the sensation of stirring the cream and sugar into it, and the anticipation of that first sip all contribute to the act of the morning coffee, and it’s one that people love nationwide.

Lady’s Life

Of course, there’s always ways that you could make your experience just that much better. Some people are just satisfied with using the pre-ground stuff like NescafĂ© or Folgers, tossing it into a pot and gulping it down before taking off for work. But no, not you. You’ve got the refined taste of someone who really enjoys a solid pot of coffee, and you’ve decided you want to step up your game and get the maximum flavor out of your beans.

Strictly Coffee

Well, your friends at Shared have you covered. We’ve assembled a crack team of coffee-ologists and quizzed them for all of their best information, and we’re passing the information on to you! Keep reading for ways to up your coffee-making skills!

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Wait wait wait, before you leave, hear me out on this one. Sure, things like a Keurig or Nespresso machine are easy and straightforward to use, but if you really want to get to the good stuff, this is an easy and cheap way to do it. You can get a single-cup French press for under $10 at places like Amazon, Walmart and IKEA, they’re absurdly easy to use, and they consistently give great results. It’s the first step towards treating yourself!

Fairwinds

Much like any kind of food or drink, coffee comes in all sorts of varieties that can have subtle yet significant differences. Think of it like trying different kinds of wine: look for tastiness, aftertaste, smell etc. Also, make sure you write down ones that you like, so you always remember which ones to get when faced with a ton of different varieties.

Storibook

We like Starbucks coffee as much as anybody else (the recycling bin by my desk is a testament to that), but when it comes time to make your own, the freshest and best beans are gonna be the stuff that gets harvested locally, not the stuff that’s pre-packaged and has preservatives added. That plus you’re supporting the little guy. You deserve the best, so treat yourself to it!

Frugal Mom

So, you’ve finally found the perfect bean and now you wanna invite your friends and coworkers over for a cup. While this is a great idea, you might wanna try to schedule that get-together sooner rather than later. Believe it or not, coffee does have a “shelf-life” in some sense; while the beans never really go “bad,” they will go stale after being exposed to air for a few months, and you’ll start to notice the taste has gotten a bit more dull. So don’t wait!

Simply Hired

Baristas spend their entire days serving coffee alongside food and other things, so if anybody’s going to know what goes well with a particular blend, it’s them. Don’t be afraid to stop by your local coffee shop and ask for some tips, because they might just make your experience that much better!

PriceCheck

There are going to be people who insist that there’s a “correct” way to drink specific roasts of coffee; either it has to be served black, or at a certain temperature, or paired with this kinda food yadda yadda yadda. The truth is, the “correct” way to drink your coffee is however YOU like it best. Like it black? Go for it! Can’t drink it without cream and four sugars? Be our guest! It’s YOUR drink and you need to enjoy it.

Share these tips with anyone you know who’s looking for the perfect cup of coffee!

Why Chewing Gum Is Bad For Your Breath But These Foods Will Improve It

If you’ve ever been worried about your breath before a date or an interview then you have probably instinctively reached for a package of gum, just so that people don’t automatically run away from your face.

Unfortunately, that may have just made your problem worse. Most of us have been taught to think that the powerful flavors of different types of gum are enough to mask the smell of bad breath, but it actually does the opposite.

Dentist James Buchanan has studied how gum affects his patients mouths and has discovered that most brands are actually working against what they seemingly advertise.

However, the first clue that this is not the case comes from the high sugar content in gum.

“Mouth bacteria turns sugar in mints to acid which wears down teeth and causes bad breath,” says Buchanan.

However, he does mention that sugar-free gums can help, but there are even better ways of fixing your bad breath with these delicious foods!

So if gum is out of the question, how do you make sure no one runs away screaming when you open your mouth?

Turns out, snacking may be your best option. Having yogurt in the morning actually helps clean your mouth out of bacteria and freshens your breath with lively scents.

Fruit is also a great way to tone down breath odor, and both celery and apples are the best, since their high water content helps wash away food particles stuck on your teeth and gums.

Next time you’re worried about your breath, reach for a snack instead of the pack!

Share if you want people to know about these bad breath life hacks!

The Surprising Reason You Should Never Start Your Day With A Cup Of Coffee

The average American coffee drinker enjoys just over three cups of java a day, which means that I’m a certifiable coffee addict by comparison.

I usually start my day with a large coffee from my favorite shop, then make one or two more during the workday.

I pour myself another mug when I settle in for Jeopardy, then maybe one more before bed – just to settle in for the night.

Coffee
Pixabay

Obviously drinking that much coffee is not healthy, but research reveals when you drink your morning joe is as important as how much you drink.

A high tech study by the United States Army claims to have zeroed in on the best time to drink coffee.

Researchers used a special computer algorithm to pinpoint when your morning coffee would give you the biggest boost of wakefulness.

Coffee
frau_bine – Flickr

The army’s eggheads say you can get 64{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} more alertness from your coffee by using their method, or drink 64{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} less coffee and feel just as alert.

While the actual study is not out yet, experts have already agreed that drinking coffee as soon as you wake up is a bad idea.

Your body has a complicated and highly specific routine to wake you up each morning.

As the sun rises, it sends a burst of cortisol through your system. This helpful hormone gives us an energy boost that makes us feel alert and awake.

Max Pixel

But drinking coffee at this time will make the caffeine and cortisol mingle.

The coffee actually interferes with the cortisol’s benefits, giving you the stereotypical coffee jitters and hyperactivity.

Then, when the caffeine and cortisol leave your system at the same time midmorning, you experience a more intense crash and feel exhausted.

Repeating this routine every morning trains your body to dump out more and more cortisol, which is basically a stress hormone.

You’ll also develop a dependency on coffee more quickly, since your body depends on the caffeine to wake itself up.

It sounds tough, but experts say you should delay your first cup of the black stuff for a few hours after waking up.

Coffee
Chichacha – Flickr

Enjoy a cup (or two) between 9:30 A.M. and 11:30.

Then head back to the pot for a cup in the midafternoon, say between 1:30 P.M. and 5:00.

These will give you a helpful rush of energy that works in harmony with your body’s daily cycle.

Bear in mind, everyone’s sleep schedule is different. But most people get a daily cortisol rush between 8:00 A.M. and 9:00, so that’s a no-go time for coffee.

Being mindful of how much coffee you drink will also reduce the burnout and jitters of overindulging.

Try to keep to just three cups a day, drink a glass of water with every cup, and switch to healthier options like decaf and black tea if you can.

Has this information convinced you to delay your morning coffee? I definitely won’t, but then again I’m totally hooked!

Are you a serious coffee drinker?