“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
– Josh Billings, writer and humorist.
We could all use a tip or two on how to save some money from time to time, but the sad thing is that most of those tips include a complete lifestyle change in order to see a return of your money. You will find yourself reading about skipping family holidays and switching to lifestyle which is more sustainable; and all you need is a nice tip on how to save some extra cash which you could use on that very holiday. Luckily, not all money saving tips include a complete lifestyle change.
Save money on water. Start with little things: when you’re brushing your teeth, close the tap. Or simply have a glass of water to wash your mouth afterwards instead of standing next to an open tap and brushing your teeth. In addition, how strong a faucet do you need while you’re doing the dishes? Replace your faucet with a low-flow one and see how your bills change for the better. You can cut your bills down from 25 up to 60%. These faucets are not expensive, they cost between $10 and $20 a piece, and the investment is worth it!
Plan ahead. Planning ahead is useful in all spheres of life, so why not plan ahead when you go grocery shopping too? Make a detailed list of things you need for that week and only go shopping once. Remember to really make a detailed list, for going back and forth for a forgotten loaf of bread and bag of sugar will waste your money, time, patience, and gas. In addition, stick to the list you made, many supermarkets make you spend more and buying a thing here and another one there will leave you penniless in the long run.
Saving money over night. So called ‘vampire electronics’ spend nearly a hundred dollars a year worth of electricity even when they’re turned off. It doesn’t matter if your TV or a cell phone chargers are only plugged in and not turned on, they’re still wasting electricity. So, to avoid paying higher electricity bills, plug your devices into power strips and make sure they’re switched off at the end of the day. When it comes to ‘invisible costs’ you should also consider investing in a better home insulation.
Saving money on TV and the internet. Almost every household has and needs a TV, good internet connection, and a phone; but in the long run, you’re paying three separate bills instead of one. Add a Netflix account to that and you can see where has all that money gone. To save a bit on all your tech needs, you can get a Compare Broadband bundle which combines all these things into one single service you pay. No separate bills and additional costs and you’ll save some time along with your money too.
Cleaning-saving tip. Buying cleaning products is a must, understandable, but they cost a lot. To save a bit here as well, try cleaning with baking soda instead. Also, baking soda combined with vinegar can easily unclog clogged drains.
Saving a bit of money is always a good idea, and it can certainly come in handy on a family holiday, and it can teach your children valuable lessons about money too. There is a great German proverb that says: “He who saves in little things, can be liberal in great ones”. So in order to be able to spend some more money someplace else, save on those little things in household.
John Stone is a regular contributor at Smoothdecorator blog. He’s a DIY enthusiast who occasionally likes to put his ideas down to paper and share them with like-minded people. His fields of interest include home improvement, sustainability, new technologies, and pretty much all-things-DIY.
This summer, The Domestic Peach is starting to discover new ways to enhance one’s health and fitness. During the month of August, we have hit the pavement to test out some great new fitness practices and try out some wonderful new recipes that are simple and delicious to whip up in the kitchen. For our first feature from our health and fitness exploration, our new Domestic Peach contributor Suzanne Paddock hit the hula hoop and tested out this new form of exercise as one of Toronto’s favourite alternative fitness studios, Brass Vixens. Here is what Suzanne had to say about the experience…
Have you been to Brass Vixens for a class yet? I highly recommend it. Just going to Brass Vixens itself feels like a fun and sexy adventure – far from your routine workout at the gym. Walking into their Queen West studio feels like entering a sultry, feminine boudoir with an air of naughtiness. But just as your mind starts conjuring up bawdy images, the staff warmly and encouragingly welcomes you – immediately putting you at ease.
Your eyes start to adjust to the low lighting and you begin to notice all the lavish, feminine touches from the damask wallpaper to the dressing room with the heavy velvet curtains. The space feels thoughtful and responsive, like it anticipated your needs and took care of your creature comforts all the while inviting you to let your guard down and have fun. It twists the classic bordello references around to focus on empowering you to occupy this once taboo space in a playful and supportive way.
If taking a pole dancing class seems a bit daunting (although I highly recommend it!), try “HoopVixens” their all levels hula hoop class. I took the 5:30pm Monday evening class with Miss V. Miss V took quick command of the class with pizzazz, and after a few quick fundamental instructions, we were off hooping. You quickly learn the surprisingly subtle range of motion that hooping actually requires and begin to tune into that sweet spot where your body and the hoop move together. Miss V continued her instructions by adding sultry arm sways and coquettish struts to the hooping.
Of course it’s not that easy for everyone. It took me most of the class before I could maintain long intervals of hooping. At first, the loud WHACK! of my hoop hitting the floor punctuated my attempts. I began to feel a bit discouraged but realized, while trying to walk and hoop at the same time, that I am not a side to side hooper but a front to back. After realizing this, I found my sweet spot and could keep the hoop going, which gave me a sense of accomplishment and relief! Thankfully, everyone drops their hoop at some point and as class continues the dropping tapers off considerably as mine did.
The first half of class focused entirely on hooping targeting your abdominal muscles, and the second half focused on dancing with the hoop, targeting your arms. Miss V showed us how to fluidly move the hoop around with different grips, hand movements and throws, all the while incorporating sexy hip sways and struts. When it moves, the decorative tape wound around the hoop creates an optical illusion that gives this mesmerizing sense of magic about the burlesque style of dance accompanying it. I liked the cardio of the hooping in the beginning of class but really enjoyed the playfulness and enchantment of the second half.
Miss V described the class as “light, playful and sexy”, and I totally agree. While not an intense workout, the class provided low-level cardio and some ab and arm work. But perhaps just as importantly, it does so in this interesting and unconventional setting that brings out the coquettish and adventurous spirit we all have, which I found to be just as invigorating as the exercise itself.
Suzanne Paddock is a freelance writer in Toronto, Canada. Her interests draw from cultural and gender studies, from health and well-being to sex and sexuality. Suzanne believes in the value of a life examined and rooted in kindness. To contact Suzanne, please email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter or Instagram.
I don’t know what it is about the summer time, but something about this season sparks the travel bug in most people. However, traveling can happen all year around, whether you are jetting off for work, escaping the cold winters to a hot destination, or taking that road trip that was inspired by your favourite childhood novel. Whatever the reason may be, travel is a constant activity in our lives. This is why I have decided to do a series of travel-focused posts, starting with this one – how to pack well and proper for your upcoming trip!
1) Make a packing list, base it on the trip you are taking AND plan out your outfits. Think about the type of trip you are taking, the length of the trip, and what you will require for each day of the trip. For example, if you are going on a Caribbean vacation for a week, you may want to pack an outfit with each evening, plus at least 4 bathing suits so you have a dry one to put on each day. Always take extra undergarments, pack two extra outfits in case of any dirty spills or change in weather, and multi-purpose your shoes so your suitcase is easier to pack and carry. And if you need to, take your outfit planning to the next level by trying things on in advance and pairing things up.
2) Multi-purpose your packed wardrobe. Take some articles of clothing that you can wear on more than one occasion. For example, a black or white cardigan is perfect for day and night time to keep you warm and the shades are neutral and match with any outfit. Pack jeans or pants that you can do a repeat wear with – you can always freshen up an outfit with a new shirt.
3) Roll, fold, and protect accordingly. When you pack, not only do you want to maximize space BUT you want to pack your clothes that prevents them from getting wrinkled or damaged. For softer items of clothing, roll them up. For stiffer items, fold them and put them at the bottom of the suitcase to keep them as flat as possible. For delicate items (such as a cocktail dress or a men’s suit), package them up in a garment bag, then fold over once and pack carefully in the suitcase, preferably in the middle on top of the stiffer items.
4) Do the double stuffing for the shoes. To keep your shoes in their best form as you travel, stuff the toes of your shoes, minus your runners. This is key for all dress shoes, as it maintains the shape. After you stuff the shoes, put them into plastic bags so any dust or dirt from the bottom of the shoes is kept away from your clothes and other items. Once you complete those two steps, stuff the shoes in your suitcase where there is appropriate space.
5) Go with toiletries that are travel-sized and travel-safe. When traveling, always opt to travel-sized items as they are easy to pack. In addition to the size, make sure your toiletries are packed for safe travels. This means the following: tape closed all bottles and tubes, then put them into sealed plastic bags for further protection. As much as this may be time-consuming, it is better than having a shampoo explosion in your suitcase.
6) Keeping it fresh. A simple way to keep your clothes and the inside of your suitcase fresh and smelling amazing, put a couple of laundry sheets or a drawer or closet air freshener inside the suitcase. It makes a huge difference.
Got any other great packing tips? Please share below in the comments section!