Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby, it's Cold Out$ide!

5 tips that can prevent your pipes from freezing

Another winter storm advisory with extremely cold temperatures is heading our way and we are expecting the high to be 3 degrees tomorrow in Kentucky

As you know, when water freezes, it expands. If water freezes in a pipe, it will expand in the same way. If it expands too much, the pipe will burst, water will flow and serious damage will occur. This can happen whether your pipes are copper or plastic.

The three causes of frozen pipes are: poor insulation, a quick drop in temperature and your thermostat is set too low. Be aware that any time the tempfrozen pipeserature dips to 32 degrees, unprotected pipes are vulnerable to freezing, especially when you factor in the wind chill.

Here are 5 tips that can prevent your pipes from freezing:

Tip 1: Before the cold hits, insulate pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls. Pipe insulation is available in foam sleeves or fiberglass.

Tip 2: When the weather is freezing, leave kitchen or bathroom cabinets doors open to allow the warm air to protect the pipes. This is especially important if the pipes are located on an outside wall.

Tip 3: Allow a small stream of water to flow from the faucet through pipes that are vulnerable to freezing.

Tip 4: When the temperature is below freezing, keep thermostats at the same temperature at night as during the day. You may try to conserve energy by reducing your thermostat at night, however, this could cause your pipes to freeze.

Tip 5: Every responsible person in the household should know where the main cut-off valve is located in your home. Tag it.

If you turn on your faucet and the water doesn't flow, the water in your pipes may already be frozen. You may be able to thaw out your pipe with a hair dryer, however for safety purposes, call a plumber.

If your pipes have already burst, turn the water off at the main shut-off valve, leave the water faucets turned on and call a plumber.

Stay warm and call the Home-Comfort experts if you have plumbing or heating issues. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Month of Living Frugally

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Well, it's the New Year!  Time to make some resolutions

  According to assorted websites Spend Less and Save More ranks 3rd or 4th in resolutions in 2014.  45% of all Americans make a New Years Resolution and 25% of you will fail to keep it through the first month.  And 2000 lbs of confetti are dropped on New Years Ever--talk about a wast of money !!!

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My Spend Less, Save more for the New Year is a simple on--Spend Less, Save More!  To do that I have implemented the following steps:

1)  Pledged to USE up the food in my Freezer and Pantry
To make this more likely I have taken a quick stock of what I have on hand and have set a menu to take advantage of those items.  
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2)  I will not peruse the sale ads in the Sunday Morning Paper--I have too much stuff already.  To save money I will NOT buy more of what I don't need, already have!

3)  I've planned some craft projects to use up craft items I have on hand (now, I could OPEN my own CRAFT this should be easy but ooh--those new yarns, beads, papers are SO pretty!)

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4)  I continued my habit of having an automatic deduction from my checking account to my savings account each pay date.  A minimum of 10% of my take home pay.  Once I see how the pay cut, new Insurance premiums and 401K deductions affect my take home I plan on adjusting this upward by 2% per quarter.
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5)  Clean out and get ready for a yard sale this spring.  Might as well make a buck if it possible.  I also plan to find a buyer for an old set of china I have had on had for 25 years and some Stampin' Up stamp sets.  
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6)  Make lists of things I (think) I need to buy.  And then wait to buy them until I get a really good deal. Usually by that time I don't need it anymore (or see #8)

7)  Shop Used clothing stores.  I am traveling to the Dominican Republic in April and need clothing that I can leave behind when I return to the US.  I've found some great shorts (Talbots) $3.  Hmmm...maybe I will have to keep these for myself as I had white shorts on my shopping list. More on this in a future post!

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8)  Put stuff away in the RIGHT spot.  I can't tell you how many times I have purchased a (usually CRAFT) item and then have not been able to locate it because I was careless and did not properly put it away.  It was lost in the craft-clutter of my basement.  Having to repurchase is not Frugal, especially when you consider the gas and time I also "spent".

9)  And I vow to not have any more late fees at the Library (after I finish this latest 14 day book)

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10)  Take advantage of coupons by sorting them each pay day, matching them to my shopping list and REMEMBERING to take them to the Grocery store with me.  

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11) Lastly, I am going to unsubscribe from e-mails that flood my inbox with suggestions to BUY something.  This will same me time and money!

I'd love to hear how you are approaching you New Years Resolution to 

and for some additional facts on New Year Resolutions check out these links below
Happy Frugality! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

$lim down and get $tronger with a walking plan

New Year New You?  Walking is a great (FREE) way to lose a couple of extra pounds (or 15).  If that is your plan this year what you might need most is a plan (and motivation)!  Think it is too hard?  Think again

Never begin an exercise program without first clearing it with your trusted healthcare provider.

The benefit of losing just 5% of your weight can lower your risk for heart disease anmd iomprove yor blood sugar.  If you weigh:
  • 150 pounds that is just 7.5 pounds to lose
  • 200 pounds  that's 10 pounds
  • 250 pounds equals 12.5 pounds to lose
Make walking a habit.  Shoot for 1 mile 5 days a week (15-25 minutes) for the first 2 weeks. 

After 2 weeks if you are feeling fine try the following:
  • add weights to your walk (wrist weights, ankle weights or a can of soup in each pocket)
  • go longer; try for 2 miles instead of one
  • go faster, try to complete the same distance in a shorter time
  • add inclines or a few sets of stairs
  • add something new like an exercise class
Here is a sample walking plan

WEEK     Monday     Tuesday     Wednesday     Thursday     Friday     Saturday     Sunday
  1               1 mile        1 mile           REST           1 mile          1 mile       1 mile        REST

  2               1 mile        1 mile           REST           1 mile          1 mile       1 mile        REST

 3&4            1 mile        1 mile           add             1 mile          1 mile      1 mile         REST
                                                      strength                              AND

Change it up:
Some movers you can add at home

PLANKS:  Strengthen your core, start with 10 seconds and work your way up to 60 seconds
MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS:  10 times each leg

add 2 more of each for each week you keep it up!