Archive for the 'Tips and Advice' Category

5 Ways to Make Your Coupons Easily Accessible 22May13

In the wake of Great Recession, Americans have made a return to frugal living. They are no longer spending money with reckless abandon or putting every other purchase on the family credit card. Rather, they are becoming more economical by cutting back on some non-essential items. Shoppers have also rediscovered a simple way to save on everything from groceries to automotive repairs. We are speaking, of course, about coupons.

History

The Coca-Cola Company grew into one of the largest corporations on the face of the Earth thanks in no small part to redemption slips. These coupons were initially distributed through employees and sales representatives and were later mailed to potential customers and then placed in magazines as sales increased. According to food historians, about one in nine Americans had received a free Coca-Cola during the companies first quarter century of operation.

Where are we now?

According to Coupons.org, an internet research firm, coupon redemption skyrocketed by 63 percent in 2011. All told, Americans saved $3.7 billion dollars by clipping, printing, or swiping vouchers that are accessible to nearly anyone. The total dollar figure represents 3.3 billion coupons, which means people saved an average of a little over a dollar every time they redeemed one. That might not seem like a lot, but on a per capita basis, each American would have saved more than 10 dollars if he or she had simply used coupons. At the extreme end, most practiced coupon clippers save hundreds, even thousands of dollars per annum.

Who uses them?

You might think that coupons are only for old ladies, but you’d be wrong. The demographics of users is rapidly changing, becoming younger, more tech-savvy, and more affluent. Those who have access to the internet and are relatively well-to-do are far more likely to print and use redemption slips than any other group. Not to mention the fact that folks with a college degree are twice as likely to redeem digital coupons as Americans who did not finish high school. Why are younger users suddenly becoming so thrifty?

The simplest explanation is that it is easier to find the vouchers you want than ever before. As long as you signup, most major retailers will send you weekly coupons via email. All you have to do then is print them out and take them to the store. Some stores even let your redeem them online! It couldn’t get any easier than that!


What do we use coupons for?

The overwhelming majority of coupons that are used in the U.S. are redeemed for food purchases. The reason for this is simple—everybody needs food! About two-thirds of the total coupons that are circulated are used for food purchases. Usage almost always increases near the end of the year, since most major supermarkets utilize reward programs in order to increase sales during the holiday season.


How to use them?

Although digital coupons are growing more popular with each passing year, most redeemed coupons—nearly 90 percent—are still procured the old-fashioned way, i.e., clipped from newspapers. But that may soon change due to increased smartphone usage, which makes it easy for users to access mobile coupons. More than 20 percent of smartphone users accessed and may have used mobile coupons in 2011, which was more than double the percentage that accessed them in 2010!


Is it worth your time?

When most young shoppers think about clipping coupons, they think about their grandmothers saving fifty cents on apples or a dollar on instant coffee at the local market. But it’s not like that anymore! With smart searching and couponing, the average consumer can save about $100 in a single hour, according to Coupons.org. This is especially true in recent days, when food costs have risen dramatically and the average American is desperate for relief. Supermarkets are more than happy to give it to them, as long as they take the time to clip and/or print the voucher they proffer.


Of course, when you take the time to find these coupons, you must store them somewhere before you use them. Proper organization often means the difference between a viable coupon and an expired one. Let us take a moment to review 5 simple ways to find coupons and keep them in order for future use.


1. Locate deals online

The local paper will obviously give you access to local deals, but if you desire something outside of your environs, you will probably have to look online. The easiest way to find the best hebdomadal deals is to sign up to coupons blogs that feature weekly coupons from popular stores.


2. Stack

The reason why some astute shoppers save beaucoup bucks is because they combine store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons and use both during a big store sale. This can and often does result in discounts of up to fifty percent or more!


3. Buy one, get one

Whether you need coupons or not, buy one, get one deals are any easy and effective way to save on items you use every day.


4. Use store rewards

Whenever a cashier asks you if you’d like to sign up for a rewards program, do it! The process will only take a few minutes and it could save you hundreds of dollars each year.


5. Get an organizer!

Expect a lot of dirty looks and eye rolling if you walk up to the register with a stack of coupons in your hand…and for good reason! It can take several minutes to locate the right coupons in a large sheaf. Putting them into a coupon organizer with pockets lets you arrange them by category, expiration date, alphabet, or even by aisle. These helpful, handy devices often pay for themselves in a single shop.

Utilizing the Space Above and Around the Toilet 30Apr13

There are so many bathroom organizers available that it’s almost a crime to NOT have a tidy space. You can find plenty of different types at dollar stores, big box stores, specialty shops…even the drug store. Plastic, wicker and wood are some of the materials available for these organizers, and you’ll find them in almost every size and color, compartmentalized or not. What will work is up to you. It’s smart to consider organizers for the space above the toilet and around the toilet, and that’s what we’re going to share with you.


Space above the toilet is too often wasted space, but it can be reclaimed with a shelving system. Choose a style that appeals to you and suits the area and décor. RATTAN SPACE SAVER WITH METAL FRAME AND 3 SHELVES The Rattan Space Saver with Metal Frame and 3 Shelves is a beautiful choice that will fit over most toilets. The metal frame is sturdy and gracefully designed. It looks like a fine piece of furniture with its elegant arches. Three rattan shelves provide you with plenty of space to store towels and toiletries or even a lovely houseplant.


A more contemporary version of this shelf system is the Over Toilet Spacesaver. over toilet spacesaver This one is constructed of tubular steel with a shiny chrome finish. It’s a bit taller than the rattan version described above, so it really takes advantage of the height available above the toilet. Three glass shelves provide an airiness that is important in a small bathroom, but still provide you with all the space you need to store bathroom necessities.


But not every bathroom is large enough for an over the toilet storage unit. 4 tier shelf unitIf you have a smaller bathroom, you still want to get it organized. A freestanding shelf unit might provide you with the storage options you need. Consider the 4 Tier Shelf Unit in glass and metal. This contemporary piece features four tempered glass shelves that have been frosted for an elegant look that always looks clean. The frame is brushed with chrome joints for shine. Organize your towels and toiletries with ease on this handy shelf unit.


If contemporary isn’t your style, consider the Folding Four Tier Organizer. folding four tier organizerThis is a unique piece that features a wood frame and hand-wrapped willow roping. It has the look of a piece of fine wicker. Four shelves provide plenty of room to store towels, toilet paper, toiletries and even hair styling products or books. And for additional uniqueness, the entire unit folds into one flat formation for storage when moving day comes.

Taylor Gifts Can Help You Go “Green” in the Kitchen 22Apr13

Going green isn’t about thinking you are better than everyone else or latching on to some temporary gimmick or fad. Going green is about cultivating a lifestyle where you don’t take any more than you need. It is about recycling and cutting down on consumerism and living a healthy and happy lifestyle.


In this day and age people are going green in more ways than ever before. They cut down on unnecessary spending, they recycle everything they can, they ride bikes to work instead of taking a car, and they look to weatherproof their house to save money and energy.


When most of us need something for around the house we run out to the local big box store and just buy the cheapest version we can find. We quickly deem it “good enough” and go back on our merry way.


But the plain fact is that affordable also means cheap. And a cheap price all too often means low quality. Sometimes you can actually save money in the long run by spending a little bit more in the short run and actually having something that won’t break.


Investing in a well-built product helps to reduce waste. That is exactly what the designers at OrGreenic Cookware have found. They make cooking products that will stand up to the test of time. Here are a few great reasons for going green in your kitchen by switching to OrGreenic Cookware.


OrGreenic Cookware Sets are built to Last a Lifetime

It feels like such a waste to work so hard for your money, and then waste it on a product that ends up breaking right away. Sure, that cheap mop might look like it will work perfectly fine, but you’re going to wish you ended up spending a little bit of extra cash when it breaks in a few short weeks. Not only are you wasting your money, but throwing out cheap products is also bad for the environment.


The designers at OrGreenic Cookware know this and that’s why their sets aren’t shoddily made items that will only last a couple of years. OrGreenic Cookware Sets are made to last a lifetime. When you spend your hard earned money on an OrGreenic Cookware Set you aren’t just throwing caution to the wind. You can have confidence that you’ll never have to buy another set of cookware ever again.


That is because the Orgreenic company guarantees each and every one of the products they make to last the rest of your life. If your pot breaks in fifty years and you are still alive to cook with it, just send it back to the company and they will repair it for you. Buying well-built and guaranteed products like this saves you money, time, and is a great benefit for the environment.


You Don’t Need Any More Cookware when you have the OrGreenic Set

Whether you are making a giant casserole for your whole family, a big beef stew to warm up a winter night, or even just a quick stir fry for a group of friends, you don’t need anything else but an OrGreenic Cookware set. You will be hard-pressed to find any type of cookware you might need that doesn’t come with the OrGreenic cookware set.


Ten different pieces come in the OrGreenic Cookware set. You’ll find two frying pans in the set, one that is eight inches for smaller jobs, and a larger ten inch fry pan for bigger stir frys and the like. The larger one also comes with a handy lid and an aluminum steamer. This set also has pots and lids for one and a half quarts, two and a half quarts, and a much larger one. Lids also come to fit each of these sauce pots.


Lose Weight the OrGreenic Way

Cooking at home is in its very essence a healthy way to lose weight. For one, you aren’t tempted by all of the rich and unhealthy things that you might find on a restaurant menu. It is a whole lot easier to stick to your diet when you are cooking your own meals.


But the OrGreenic Cookware set makes it even easier to drop some pounds. That’s because it has an amazing non stick coating of ceramic. Now you can backe, braise, broil, fry, steam, or sauté all of your food without having to use fattening things like grease, oil, or butter to cook in.


The OrGreenic Cookware Set is obviously a great thing for the environment, but it’s also a smart and healthy choice for your lifestyle.

Daylight Savings 14Mar13

It is finally post-daylight savings, and no longer dark outside when I leave the office at the end of the day! It is quite amazing how springing forward one hour can change so much in life in general.


I have noticed so many changes in this past week, like how it is darker earlier in the morning, and how most people in general seem to be much happier throughout the day with that extra hour of daylight.

outdoor table set

Where I live people love to do things outside. During this time of year the whole city just becomes an open place of friendliness, joy, and fun…no more dreary nights that start before the work day is over. And of course, who would not get excited over the fact that all of our amazing friends with houses and backyards start to uncover their patio furniture so we can all enjoy long days that last into the late evenings outside.


There is nothing quite like this time of year.

All in One Travel Bag 08Mar13

So I am running away from the east coast, and heading to California for a nice long weekend away. This trip was planned months ago so I could visit my friend who has been living out there for three years. After this snow, it is the perfect time to get away and I could not be more excited. One of the best things about this trip is the money I will save. Having the privilege to stay with a friend sure does cut down on travel costs.


I will also be saving money at the airport since I won’t have to check any extra luggage. Not checking luggage also saves you a ton of time after exiting the plane too. With that being said, I always pack in a way that I only need to bring one carry-on luggage bag and my purse on the plane. all in one travel bag
I like to consolidate all of my cosmetics, jewelry, and toiletry items into my All in One Travel Bag that I use each time I travel. The bag helps me save space in my carry-on and it safely keeps everything secure and organized. It is not that I do not care to spend money at all; I just would rather squeeze everything into a carry-on for the flight and spend the money I saved on a pass to go to Disneyland, nice dinners, and entertainment.


Do you have any plans to get away from the cold this year? How do you like to save money as you travel?

Home Décor Ideas To Display In The Bathroom 11Feb13

Having a well-decorated bathroom, is about more than just impresses your houseguests. When you create a serene environment in your bathroom, you are fostering a sense of calm and well-being that you will carry with you throughout your day.


Imagine waking up in the morning and getting ready for work. What is the first thing you do? For many of us it is going into the bathroom to get showered and get ready for work. Visualize how you would feel walking into a dirty bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. Picture blank white walls and old dirty towels.


Doesn’t sound very welcoming, does it? It certainly doesn’t sound like a nice way to start your day.


Now imagine waking up and walking into a pristine, clean bathroom. You have fresh towels hanging up and your shower is sparkling clean. Not only that, when you hop out of the shower and dry off you see pictures of your smiling family hanging on the wall. There is a potted plant by the window and a few lovely trinkets on a shelf.


Isn’t that the way you want to wake up in the morning? No one wants to get ready in a dirty old bathroom with bare walls and no sense of interior design. It may sound silly but decorating your bathroom can make all of your days even better. Here are a few excellent suggestions for home décor ideas to display in the bathroom.


White Flicker Candle Set of Two


There is nothing that makes you feel like you are coming home quite like seeing a candle burning in the window. A primal feeling arises when you see that someone is tending the fire for you and waiting for you to come home.


But in the modern world we also have to worry about fire hazards. With the White Flicker Candle Set of Two you can have the best of both worlds, without having to worry about ever plugging anything in! No wax or flames equals no worries about a fire hazard.


The White Flicker Candle Set of Two has a realistic flickering glow of a candle. white flicker candle set of twoThe LED light source powers on at dusk, and automatically shuts off at dawn. The light on this candle never needs to be replaced, and lasts up to 20 days on three AA batteries (not included).


Triangle Metal Wall Tiles


Looking for an affordable way to revamp your old apartment? Renters often have to settle for dirty old walls when they move into a new place. Sure, most landlords will let you repaint on your own dime, but any serious remodeling will be a hard sell.


Whether you rent or own your home, these triangle metal wall tiles will make an excellent and affordable weekend project. They also won’t break the bank if you just want to do a little minor remodeling in your apartment.


These wall tiles are self-stick and will not ever stain or crack. triangle metal wall tilesThey are perfect for not just the bathroom but the kitchen as well! You can select the square tiles to cover the most surface area, while the triangle tiles will fill in all of the edges. All you have to do is cut them to fit into the space with scissors. You don’t need any grout. Just wipe down the area with a soapy cloth.


A set of 24 square tiles will cover three square feet of wall space. The half-sized triangle tiles will naturally cover one and a half feet squared. You can select your tiling in black, white, copper, or brushed aluminum.


Lace Shelf Edging


To really spruce up your bathroom, you are definitely going to want to have some shelves. Shelves are essential for much more than storing your spare towels and essential toiletries. They are also nice to hold photographs, souvenirs, candles, and all sorts of things that make your bathroom a more hospitable environment.


But you can also take your bathroom décor to the next level by decorating the very shelves themselves!


This lace shelf edging is another amazingly inexpensive way to make your bathroom feel extra fancy. lace shelf edgingThe fine and fancy floral lace has adhesive strips on the back that make it a breeze to just stick right on to the edge of your shelf. You don’t ever have to iron it or do any maintenance at all. You can even use it to make the rims of potted plants feel a little finer! These vinyl lace strips are two inches wide and over eight feet long!


Don’t ruin your day by starting it off by getting ready in a filthy bathroom. Treat yourself with these fantastic home décor ideas to display in the bathroom.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas 05Feb13

Getting started with February means just one thing: Valentine’s Day! There are hearts everywhere, everything is decorated in pink, white, and red, and everyone is already discussing what they plan to do with their friends or significant others for the special day. If you plan to go out, hopefully you have already made your dinner reservations. And most importantly, I hope you haven’t forgotten about a gift for that special someone.


No matter what your plans are for Valentine’s Day, everyone likes to receive a surprise gift on the day as well. Some people really like to go all out and treat Valentine’s Day, yet others keep it simple. There are so many great gifts you can find so you should have no problem figuring something out. For those of you who really want to give your significant other something special, but are having trouble deciding what to get, check out Taylor Gifts’ Valentine’s Day Gift Finder for some great gifts ideas. There are tons of gift options to choose from, including personalized gifts.


For those out there without significant others, have a wine and cheese night with the girls, or head out with the guys. And for those of you out there worried about making Valentine’s Day perfect for your loved one, just remember as long as you put some thought into it, you will have an amazing Valentine’s Day no matter what. This day meant for spending time with people you love, so do that.

Don’t Let That New Furniture Get Ruined By Your Pet: Use These Furniture Covers 25Jan13

Redecorating your home can be either a dream or a nightmare. On the positive side, it can be remarkable how a few small changes around your home can make it feel more comfortable, cozy, and relaxing. Something as simple as hanging up a different colored pair of curtains to match the season of the year will do wonders for livening up rooms all over your house.


Buying new furniture is a more expensive, but also more dramatic way of changing the way a room looks and feels. A room could feel earthy and antiqued with a vintage sofa in there, and then a week later suddenly feel completely airy and modern when you bring in that new black leather couch.


How you decorate and furnish your home depends entirely on the type of environment you want to live in. Some things brighten up a room while others soften and darken it. Take a minute to realize what it will take to make your living quarters into the type of space you want to spend your time in.


The Best Way to Liven Up a Room


If you really want to bring warmth and love into your home, the best way to do it doesn’t have anything to do with buying a new couch or chair. The best way to have a warm and cozy living environment is by bringing a furry friend into your life.


When you adopt a dog or a cat from your local animal shelter you are giving a loving and warm creature a new lease on life. There is nothing quite like the gratitude and warmth that a rescued shelter animal will show to you in their new life.


Still, having a pet is an unbelievable amount of work for the owner. They require more than anything time, love, and attention. If you are going to be out of the house for long hours during the day, for example, you need to at least get a dogwalker to come and take your dog out for a few hours.


The other big part of being a dog owner, as well as a happy and healthy person, is being able to keep cleaning up after them. There is something to be said for a cozy and “lived-in” feeling house, but you also don’t want pet hair all over your furniture all of the time.


Sure, you might say you’re going to keep your golden retriever out of your study so he doesn’t lay down on your brand new love seat, but you can’t always guarantee you won’t want him in there one night while you read. And that is where pet furniture covers can help to keep your home clean.


Pet furniture covers are remarkable tools for keeping your furniture clean of pet hair without having to keep shooing your pet off the couch. Here are two great versions of pet covers that will make sure your furniture is pet hair free.


Quilted Suede Pet Covers


If you are looking for suede pet covers, then you will find that many come in a variety of different styles and sizes. You can find pet covers made out of fine quilted suede that will look amazing on all of the furniture in your rec room or your living room. That way you can pick out a universal style and color of pet cover to match your love seat, your chair, and your sofa.

quilted suede pet covers


Most suede pet covers are made from a single sheet of fabric. This is done for a very specific reason. For starters, we all know that our pets like to take a few laps around the area before they sit down. You’ve probably seen your own pet do it on your sofa or favorite chair. But when you put down a pet cover that is made of suede, that will move around far less than other versions that can bunch up.


Linen Pet Covers


While a suede pet cover is perfectly appropriate for a darker room like a study or a living room, you might consider something a little bit sunnier for other areas of your home. You can still find linen pet covers for your love seat, sofa, and chairs. They just come in a lighter and sunnier shade and feel.

linen pet covers


One of the nicest things about either suede or linen pet covers is that you can clean them with ease. The first thing you need to do is a cursory cleanse of that pet cover with your home vacuum cleaner. After you have gotten rid of the loose pet hair, all you need to do is throw it in the washing machine for a fresh new clean.


Just because you want to have a loving pet in your life doesn’t mean you have to keep them off the furniture. With pet furniture covers you can keep you and your pet happy without ruining your furniture.

3 Ways to Protect Your Furniture This Winter 10Jan13

Winter weather can be harsh on more than people, pets and plumbing. Snow, ice and driving winds can ruin outdoor furniture. Such weather can fade, mildew, crack and even warp or tear various materials, leaving your outdoor décor looking shabby, tired and tacky by the time spring comes back around. Instead of risking what you’ve gone to great effort to acquire, be prepared this winter by considering one of these ways to protect your valuable outdoor furniture.


Try going clear so you can see your outdoor furniture even as it’s being protected from the elements this winter. Outdoor Vinyl Covers come in a variety of sizes to offer protection for patio chairs, outdoor patio furniturestacking chairs and lounges. Each see-through cover is constructed of heavy duty ten gauge vinyl, and each piece features reinforced seams for added strength and security. Elastic around the bottom of every cover ensures a secure fit around the base of each piece of furniture. That means fewer snowflakes, raindrops and ice chips will reach the legs of your chairs or base portions of your outdoor sofa.


When you use a cover, your wooden rockers, wicker chairs, metal or plastic tables and lounges will survive the winter weather and come out looking new when the air turns warmer and dryer. At that time, loosen the covers and remove them, then fold them flat for storage over the summer months.



Go green—or white—this winter with Patio Furniture Covers that act like fitted sheeting for your outdoor furniture. Constructed of 3-ply tarpaulin plastic, each cover features double stitched seams to ensure they won’t tear as you fit them over your favorite wicker chair or chaise lounge. Sturdy and durable, the covers slide easily and snugly in place, so you’ll be able to protect your outdoor furniture in a short space of time—and that will get you out of the winter weather faster, too.


Choose white or green plastic to protect your backyard chairs, deck lounges and patio tables. Everything will stay safe from the elements and dry beneath these weather resistant Patio Furniture Covers because they secure in place with attached cords. And each cover will stay as good looking as the furniture they protect because they won’t fade, discolor or tear over the winter months. You won’t have to worry about mildew forming on your furniture or on the covers, either. Everything will come out of storage looking and smelling fresh when spring is in the air, and the Patio Furniture Covers will fold away until you need them again.


No matter which way you choose to protect your outdoor decor, your chairs and other items will come out of storage in the spring looking fresh and ready to use for the summer season.

Sticking to Your Resolution at the Gym 08Jan13

We are officially into the second week of January. That means everyone who has made a New Year’s resolution they intend to keep is either just beginning to go strong, or is continuing to stick to their resolution. This also means the gym gets busy.


This can be a cumbersome time to hit the gym. Newcomers may feel intimidated, and old-timers may feel defeated. I usually go to the gym when it is normally not very crowded, but it was definitely more crowded than normal yesterday; so much so that one lady found herself INMOTION ELLIPTICAL TRAINER WITH HANDLE
waiting for an elliptical that she always starts her workouts on because someone new was on it. So, she hopped instead to get her workout started. I also had to switch up my work out a little bit. When I went to use the 25 pound bell weights Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
on the exercise bike someone else, who was new to the gym, was using them. I had to go with the 15 pound weights instead. The gym is crowded and will be for about another month or so. For the time being we must adjust and deal with it.


Sometimes it is not as fun going to the gym when it suddenly becomes more crowded with new members and it may throw off your routine. But if a new gym member is using the exercise Versa-Bell II 25 lb. dumbbell
machine you typically use, take it as an opportunity to try a new workout. Who knows, trying something new may be beneficial to you in the end too! Either way, I hope nobody lets the business of the gym today discourage them from going tomorrow. Stick to your resolutions!