How to Extend the Life of Laminate Countertops

Have your laminate countertops lost their shine? Do they have nicks and scratches in them? It’s actually pretty easy to breathe new life into those old countertops, all you need is a little food safe wax, which you can get at your local hardware store or from Amazon.  Clean the counters well with bleach or vinegar, rinse and allow to dry completely.  Next apply a thin coat of wax to the counters with a soft cloth and once it dries use another clean cloth to wipe off the excess.

If you have deeper scratches or gouges then look for laminate filler at the hardware store in a color to match your counters, or if they need more help than that you might also consider painting your counters with one of the new products available to completely transform their appearance.

Photo Credit: iClipart

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8 Ways to Stay in Shape Without a Gym Membership

Most of us want to get in shape and stay healthy. However, we always find reasons to keep us from exercising—and having a limited budget is one of the reasons people often use. The great news is that you don’t need a costly gym membership to get in shape!

Here are some inexpensive ways to be fit and trim without spending a fortune:

1. Work out from home.

Instead of spending a hefty amount on monthly gym fees, why not spend on your own equipment? A jump rope, resistance band, stability ball and dumbbells are some of the more effective yet affordable things you can purchase. Check CraigsList or local consignment stores for larger equipment.  No budget for equipment? Then do push-ups, crunches and squats!

2. Hit the pavement.

You don’t need a treadmill to keep in shape. Step out the door and go for a walk or a run around your neighborhood. Map out a route you can do regularly, then work on increasing your pace or logging a longer distance the next time you head out.

3. Go sightseeing.

There’s no reason you can’t sightsee in your own city. Call your neighborhood parks and recreation centers to inquire about free or inexpensive walking tours. You can also opt to make use of your park facilities and walking trails.

4. Take the stairs.

Forego the convenient elevator ride up to your office and take the stairs instead. If you’re pressed for time during the day, then take advantage of the empty stairwell after office hours. Get a great workout by repeatedly running up the stairs, and then walking back down.

5. Check out your local library.

If you’re strapped for cash but are looking to keep in shape, the library is a great place to go. Borrow workout DVDs or explore the periodicals section for health and fitness magazines. If you’re getting bored with your routine, then check out a new magazine or DVD next week!

6. Do housework.

You may not be excited about this, but doing the house and yard work is a wonderful way to burn a few calories. Clean the house from top to bottom and you’ll be able to stay in shape while keeping your house spic and span!

7. Go dancing.

Dancing is a fun way to get your blood pumping and your calories burning. Check your local clubs or community center to see if lessons are being offered. You’re likely to find group classes that are either free or very inexpensive.

8. Drink water.

Drinking only water and staying away from sodas, carbonated fruit drinks and alcoholic beverages is another inexpensive way to keep healthy. Not only will your calorie count drop, but your expenses will, too.

These are eight simple ways to stay in shape without having to enroll in a gym. Turn these activities into a habit and you’re well on your way to a becoming a healthier and happier you!

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Six Secrets for the Frugal Shopper

Are you new at living frugally? Yes, the life of a frugal shopper may seem daunting at first. However, don’t feel overwhelmed just yet. The great news is that you can take a few small steps and you’ll already be making a dramatic impact on your lifestyle and your budget.

Here are some top tips for the frugal shopper:

1)  Plan ahead.

Always have a plan in place before heading out the door. In order to avoid making unplanned purchases, know exactly where you’re going and have a list handy containing the errands you need to do and the items you need to buy.

2)  Refrain from making impulse purchases.

Do you ever aimlessly walk around the mall only to end up buying something you don’t really need? The best way to deal with these impulse purchases is to put the item down and leave the store first. Do you really need a particular item? Give yourself at least twenty-four hours to decide if an item is something really worth buying.

3)  Use coupons.

Coupons are a great way to get discounts and deals on just about anything. Take the extra time to search for coupons for your favorite stores. You can find coupons in mailers, newspapers and even on the Internet!

4)  Join a Wholesale Membership Club.

One way to save money on your groceries is to buy them in bulk. Wholesale Membership Clubs like Costco and Sam’s are a great place to get deals on meats, vegetables and bulk items.  Just make sure that you’ll be buying enough to make up for the membership fee.

5)  Shop at thrift stores.

Thrift stores are a wonderful place to get clothing, furniture and other household items at extremely low prices. You’ll find mostly secondhand goods—but you’ll also find barely used and brand new items. Remember: Some thrift stores are better than others.

6)  Do your research.

If you are making a large purchase like an appliance, furniture or even a car, spend some time comparing prices and reading reviews. Get quotations from various stores to see where you can get a better deal. An informed shopper is a smart shopper.

Follow these steps and you’ll find yourself saving a great deal of money. Keep in mind that shopping frugally is not a punishment, but a way of living a simpler and more economical life!

Photo Credit: iClipart