Condo Blues: budget




Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Benefits of Pet Health Insurance and Friday Favorites Link Party Week 543

Lacey was more than overdue for her annual vet exam, vaccinations, and a very much needed grooming as you can see from the photo. Our fantastic veterinary practice does all of that (including boarding and doggie daycare)  was closed due to lock down when Lacey was due for her shots. When the practice opened, pet parents have to wait in their cars during the exam. I put her exam off for a little longer because Lacey does better when her people are with her in the room and we all hoped things would get better and the practice could be back to business as usual. Lacey was not upset about this at all.

why you need pet health insurance
How would you feel if every time you go to visit Dr. H she squirts medicine up your nose and gives you a shot in the tushy? You wouldn't like it either Lisa!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

How to Install a Bidet Attachment

Disclosure: Tushy supplied product to facilitate this tutorial and review. It had no influence on my opinion because all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate links for your convenience.

I’m working on the details of the guest bathroom renovation while looking forward to the master bathroom renovation. Well planning actually. I’m not looking forward to this even more involved project where are water leak began.

Anyway.

I would have liked to add a bidet in the bathroom to save on toilet paper because according to Tushy it takes 37 gallons of water to make a roll of toilet paper and most people use 1.5 toilet rolls a week! That is a lot of water to flush down the drain, which doesn't include the amount of water it takes to flush it all down the drain.

But more importantly, with a bidet, even if you run out of toilet paper at the time you need it most, you have an option.

Share this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


Unfortunately all of our condo bathrooms are too small to add a free standing bidet. I didn’t think much more of it until friends raved about just installing a bidet toilet seat. I was  intrigued. A bidet toilet seat attachment I can do. Then I promptly forgot about it because I'm awesome like that.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Spa Bathroom Remodeling Plan

Before you start any type of home improvement update or remodel you should come up with a design plan first. This way, you can decide on what to keep, skimp, or splurge to keep your project on time and on budget.

Do you know the absolute worst time to toss out your original plan and make a new one from scratch?

When your room looks like this.

condo builder bathroom demo
Demo day!

My original guest bathroom design plan had us giving the bathroom sink and vanity a makeover.

On demo day I found black mold growing on the back of the bathroom vanity which made it completely unusable.

And just like that, my beachy remodeling plan got tossed just like the mold ridden vanity.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

How to Go Zero Waste on a Budget: Use the Rule of Half

When someone brings up trying to reduce their household waste with zero waste living and one of the first things they ask is me is why does it have to be so strict, expensive, and hard?

I understand how you can get that impression seeing photos online of DIY everything, people using plastic free as a synonym for zero waste (plastic free living is a noble goal but is not the same thing, ) and mason jars full of one year’s trash, but those are the rare, edited for the Internet exceptions, and not the reality.


zero waste ideas that dont cost money

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I get it. I truly do. Local laws prohibit me from using my own containers at bulk bins, my farm markets are only open during the summer, and frankly both of those options are more expensive than Aldi where I can do a monthly grocery shop in under an hour.  However, over time I was able to reduce my household weekly trash to a small grocery store size bag a week.

How do we do it?

Friday, June 7, 2019

10 Quick and Easy Outdoor DIY Projects that Save Money

One of my favorite ways to spend a beautiful weekend day is to work on an outdoor project. I get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, and more often than not, end up with a project that not only quickly pays for itself but saves us a bunch of money on some of those household bills and necessitates.
Bonus points if it includes using tools. Projects involving hammers is cheaper than therapy I always say!

10 Home Improvement Projects that Save a Ton of Money


10 outdoor projects you aren't doing to save money
Save these ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends! 

Think of these as options, not absolutes. Have a different money saving idea? Share it with us in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

6 Ways Plastic Helps Me Live Zero Waste

Almost every blog post I read that offers tips and tricks how to live Zero Waste they almost always use plastic free as a synonym. They say something like, “We got rid of all of our plastic stuff and bought the same exact thing in wood/bamboo/natural fiber to replace it and wow how cool we are living zero waste now!”

It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Throwing away usable items to buy a cool looking replacement is the exact opposite of zero waste living folks!

Zero waste living means giving up using disposable single use plastic and items as much as possible, not no plastic at all.

Plastic free is great but that is a different goal.


6 Easy Ways to Live Zero Waste (ish) and Save Money Doing It!

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Photo used with permission  by Sophia Marston on Unsplash


Monday, January 21, 2019

10 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill When There is Nothing Left to Cut

Over 10 years ago, I took on a year long project to reduce my home’s electricity use and bill by 20% using my brand new non-Energy Star rated appliances, new habits, and under $100 worth of DIYs and cheap home improvements.

I didn’t meet my goal.

I beat it.

I reduced my yearly electric use by 32%.

Over 10 years later my home still uses less electricity than comparable homes and families in my area – including energy efficient rated homes, which mine is not.

How do I reduce my electrify use? There wasn’t one big expense or home upgrade that made my electric bill go down. I knew we used more electricity in the hot and humid summer running the central air conditioning and less during the winter because we have a gas furnace and water heater. The only constant is our all electric kitchen. Turns out the biggest money suckers are a thousand little intermittent habits that felt like picky anal retentive things at first, until the energy use and savings started falling as low as it can go and still allow my family to comfortably live in the modern world.

How I Reduced My Electricity Use Without Sitting in the Dark


Pin this list of tips and hacks to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

10 Meaningful and Inexpensive Gift Ideas Under $25

I am one of those rare people who actually likes to shop for Christmas gifts. I shop year round for items that are a mix of heartfelt, practical, necessary, and/or treat yo’ self quirky cool. When December comes around, I usually finish the rest of my shopping for meaningful gifts on Amazon in December.

Yes.

on Amazon.

And on a budget.


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Don’t believe me?

Well, check out my holiday gift guide of ideas below and keep reading to the bottom of this post to enter my $300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 Ways to Use Less Plastic without Going Crazy

Many folks in the United Kingdom are looking for ways to live plastic free or with less single use plastic for the 40 days of Lent. This is as part of a national Plastic Free (Less) Lent Challenge influenced by the BBC TV program Blue Planet 2: Seas of Life (this show has such gorgeous nature photography and information that I have no problem recommending it to you and using my affiliate links to do it!)

So far, the folks I’m working with are excited when they find a plastic free bamboo toothbrush (read more about it here) or their grocery store allows them to use reusable cloth produce bags and that's fantastic! 

But as they have been living awhile with the low plastic challenge, there are many people who are becoming overwhelmed, or are too time poor to DIY plastic free everything, or worse, being shamed when they admit that they can’t afford the perfect plastic free option. That’s not cool.


6 Ways to Go Plastic Free without Going Broke or Crazy
Pin this list of ideas for later and share it with your friends!


I feel for ya, because I think I am the only person in the world who lives in an area where my farmer’s market, bulk food bins, and fresh vegetable summer CSA subscriptions are typically more expensive than a conventional grocery store. I want to do my bit but I don’t always have the time to regularly grocery shop at three or more markets every other week when one conventional grocery store has everything I need.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Refill a Car Vent Clip Air Freshener

It is not very green or eco friendly, but I use a Fabreeze type vent clip air freshener in the car.

Yes, I know, I know. I’m fully aware of the questionable synthetic ingredients in plug in air fresheners like Glade, Air Wick, Yankee Candle, and the like but I was driving around in a car that smelled like wet dog and gym socks and it was too cold to clean out the car.

Feel free to yell at me and tell me what a horrible person I am in the comments below if you must.

DIY Car Air Freshener How to Refill a Vent Clip with Essential Oil


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Sunday, February 11, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Heating Bills

In 2008, my family went on a year long experience to try lowering our heating bills by %20 thinking it was a lofty goal we may not meet. a slew of Greenzillas swore up and down that the only solution was to trash everything that came new with our house (and was working great) and replace it by buying new top of the time super energy efficient everything. Replacing working and still fairly new things didn't seem very eco friendly. Instead we focused on changing old habits and a few inexpensive home improvements.

And we beat our goal by reducing our use and bill by 32%.

10 years later and we’re still using less energy to heat our condo than comparable energy efficient rated homes in our area – and we’re toasty warm doing it too!

10 Super Simple Hacks That Keep Your House Warm and Your Heat Bill Low

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Quick and Easy DIY Wood Shower Floor Tile

I absolutely adore high end teak in a bathroom, especially the trend of using it for a shower floor. It is warm, it has texture, and not to mention wood is more eco friendly than the vinyl shower pan that came with my house.

On the flip eco side, keeping the current shower floor during our bathroom remodel to be is uses less new resources than ripping it out and replacing it with a new shower pan and wood shower tile just for looks sake.

Fortunately the solution was a quick, easy, and split the eco friendly middle IKEA hack away – install removable outdoor wood deck tile over the current the shower floor.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Friday Favorites Linky Party - Week 334

Monday, I was invited to a National College Move In Week blogger event by BSM Media and At Home stores. Maria Bailey showed us examples of this year's dorm room and small space decorating trends as we toured this store.  While the focus of the event is college decor, most of what I saw was appropriate for tween and teens too.

perfest is boring believe in your selfie decor pillows
They said social media quote pillows are popular for the dorm but I can totally see the Do More What Makes You Awesome pillow in my studio.

Of course, you can use these tips to update and a little zing to adult and family spaces too.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How to Make an Outdoor Chalkboard Paint Table

My outdoor mosaic bistro table and chairs developed so much dry rot mushrooms grew in the table and chairs. I decided to repair it rather than replace it for a greener, cheaper, and more personalized patio table and chair set.

Also, I didn’t find a replacement that I liked in the store. That’s the real incentive for this project.

I got my reused bottle cap craft on and made four coordinating recycled bottle cap mosaic chairs. Read the bottle cap chair tutorial here on Condo Blues. Now it is time to turn my attention to making over the outdoor bistro table with chalkboard paint.

Outdoor Game Table Tutorial

 

Pin this tutorial for later!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

10 Ways to Reuse Plastic Food and Laundry Measuring Scoops

Even though Husband and I try to run a low waste home with careful shopping and find new reuses for what we can't recycle through our city's recycling program, there is one thing we are swimming in and loathe to regularly send to the landfill: plastic laundry and food measuring scoops.


10 ways to recycle plastic measuring scoops
 Pin this list of ideas for later!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to Make a Bottle Cap Mosaic Chair

mushrooms growing in chairs
Ewwww!

The cute little mosaic tile bistro set on our patio has lived outside in the rain sleet and snow for a very long time.

How long?

Long enough for the elements to take their toll and dry rot the wood base of the table and all of the chairs.
 
The thing I like best about the current set is the size and design of the metal ice cream parlor style chairs (minus the mushrooms.)  I wasn’t in love with anything I saw in the stores as a replacement.

Well, when I can’t buy I DIY!

Recycled Bottle Cap Craft Tutorial


   Pin this recycled bottle cap craft idea for later!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to Make Vintage Wall Map Decor

I like big maps and I cannot lie.

I cannot tell you how many times the room I fall for in a decor magazine or on a blog features a big vintage map hanging  on the wall. Swoooooooon!

In my made up fantasy world I would find the perfect old school wall map at a thrift shop for 10 bucks, merrily dance with it all the way home, and after a rousing game of Not It Won't Fit Yes It Will with Husband, hang it on a well deserving wall in our house. Where it fits perfectly, of course.




Photo courtesy of Blesser House

Sunday, May 16, 2010

14 Homemade Laundry Cleaning Supplies

I’m Spring Cleaning and Stash Busting. I found a stash of laundry detergent and whatnot. Some of these old items aren’t compatible as they are with my High Efficiency (HE) washing machine because HE washing machine use less water and can overflow if I use my old mega sudsing laundry cleaners in it.

I hate to throw anything usable away. I’m also kinda cheap in that way too. So I found a way to repurpose and save money by making my own  green laundry stain spray, static cling fighter, wrinkle releaser, wool wash and laundry detergent. You can too. Here’s how.


14 easy DIY zero waste laundry cleaning supply recipes
 Pin this list of ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


7 DIY Laundry Stain Fighter Recipes


  • Mix 3 parts water and 1 part of your favorite laundry detergent in a spray bottle. Ta Da! Instant homemade laundry stain spray. This works with powdered laundry detergent too but you might have to shake the bottle to mix it up before each use.

    Photobucket
  • Soak stained items in a bucket with borax and water does wonders especially for whites. The cleaning power of borax impresses me with each new use I find for it.

  • Pour shampoo directly on the stain especially if it’s a perspiration or ring around the collar stain.

  • Wet and rub a bar of laundry soap like Zote (learn more about my favorite here) or Fels Naptha (you can buy it here) on the stain before popping in the water. Note: For those of you who don't like to use animal products both of these laundry soaps have animal tallow in it. This isn't an issue for me but it may be for you. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)


  • Pour a bit of liquid laundry detergent (or add water to powdered laundry detergent to make a paste) directly on stain and scrub the stain with an old toothbrush is also effective and something I use all of the time with tough stains. Why buy more items than you have to, right?

  • Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush and your favorite stain fighter. I mark the handles of old toothbrushes with nail polish so there’s no mistaking that the toothbrush has been repurposed for cleaning.

3 DIY Static Cling Stoppers


  • Tennis balls in the dryer are the perfect homemade dryer ball. I've been using tennis ball dryer balls in my dryer for over 10 years and it hasn't damaged my dryer one bit. 

funny Culture Club inspired dryer balls



  • Pin metal safety pins to small fabric squares and toss them in the dryer. I use these with dryer ball tennis balls when the air is especially dry during the winter.


  • Cut dryer sheets in half and use the same sheet more than once. You might be able to get away with cutting them into fourths too.

2 Easy Homemade Wrinkle Releasers Recipes


I keep a small bottle of homemade wrinkle releaser in my clothes closet because I’m not a big fan of ironing but I do like wrinkle free clothing.

  • Spritz water from a spray bottle on the wrinkle and gently stretch it out. This is favorite. I always have more on hand and it doesn't compete with any scent I've used on my clothing or myself like Downey does. 
  • Mix ½ water and ½ fabric softener in a spray bottle

Homemade Wool Wash Hack


  • Shampoo or hair conditioner- works just as well or better than Woolite when hand washing wool sweaters and is much, much cheaper!

How to Make Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent



My homemade HE laundry detergent works on everything from delicate costumes to my husband's practically a bio hazard workout clothes. It is the ONLY laundry detergent that doesn't make my front loading washing machine stink!


If you'd rather buy than DIY, check out the following options - and more! - below!



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