Tag Archives: frugal tips

There are a lot of reasons to get started on home improvement projects and renovations. Aesthetic appeal is one of the most motivating factors; people just want their homes to look nice. Most people don’t need anything other than the vision of their dream home in perfect condition to motivate them to get started on home improvement projects. For others, they need the promise of something else to get them motivated. Probably the most important reason you should invest in home upgrades, is for safety reasons.


Exterior Updates


One of the best things about doing outdoor home upgrades, is that they instantly boost curb appeal. Not only that, but they add incredible value to your home, as curb appeal is one of the most valuable things you can add to your home. If safety is your goal, here are a few exterior updates that will not only increase curb appeal, but make your home a safer place for you and your family to live.


Update your door


The front door is the most popular point of entry for burglars. If you have a door with a weak frame, made from flimsy material, not properly weather, or with old locks, you’re making your front door an easy way for intruders to access your home. The ideal front door is made of a material other than wood, as wood is the easiest to break or kick through. Installing jimmy-proof locks, especially for the deadbolt, is a great upgrade if you’re not ready to handle the expense of a brand new door. Most burglars won’t even attempt to pick the lock if they notice a lock they’re not familiar with, so updating your locks is worth the investment.Home Upgrades


Garage doors


While we’re talking about doors, your garage is another popular point of entry for home intruders. The easiest way to keep intruders out of your garage, is to keep your garage door shut. If you have a door that leads into the garage from outside, make sure that it has a different lock than your front door does. And always lock interior doors that lead into the garage. You store valuable things in the garage, but the most valuable things lay inside your home. If your garage door is installed properly, you won’t have any problems with burglars being able to break through it or lifting it manually. Like most areas of your home, your garage door needs updated and checked to make sure it’s functioning properly. If your garage door is old, or you have concerns about the safety of your garage door, call a garage door specialist to come take a look and make any necessary repairs.


Interior Safety


Intruders aren’t the only thing that you need to keep your home safe from. When we think about home safety, safe from burglars is an important part of home safety, yes. But it’s also important that your home and all of it’s mechanics function properly so your home is safe at all times, inside and out.


Have appliances maintained regularly


One of the most important home upgrades is one that you can’t even see. Making sure that your furnace, water heater, and plumbing are all functioning properly and updated is one of the safest things that you can do for your home.Home Upgrades


Install window treatments


Window treatments, such as blinds and curtains, not only make your home look better from the inside, but it also makes your home safer. These sorts of window treatments make it so you can completely obstruct the view into your home from anyone walking by. You’re less likely to experience a break in if potential intruders don’t have the ability to look into your home and see something that they’d like to steal. Having the ability to block the sun is also great to maintain the coloration of things like furniture, carpet, rugs, and even the paint on your walls.Home Upgrades


Educate your family about safety


All of these upgrades can make a big impact on the safety of your family. However, in the end the most important thing you can do is open up safety discussions with your family. This will include outlining a plan for emergencies and disasters so that everyone knows where to go and meet up, and which places are safest in the case of different emergencies. This can also include stranger-safety with your children, and role-playing scenarios so that they’ll know how to respond when approached by a stranger, whether it’s online, at their door, or on the street.


For every upgrade that you put in your home to increase safety, ensure that everyone knows its function and purpose.

Bread Tag Colors – What Do They Mean?


I’ve always noticed the different colors of bread tag but never gave them much thought. Did you know that the colors of the tags indicate what day the bread was baked on? If you want to know what day your bread was actually baked on all you need to do it look at the bread tag color!bread tag colors


This is true, I even checked Snopes! According to Snopes, the bakeries are given two days off, Wednesday and Sunday. Here is the breakdown of bread tag colors:bread tag colors



The bread tag colors are actually for the store clerks as it makes it easier to rotate the bread stock. Bread is usually not kept on the shelf for longer than a couple of days.


It could be helpful to help you pick the freshest bread on the shelf without closely reading all the labels. For example if you go to the store on Wednesday to pick up some bread and you see loaves with yellow, blue and green tags you will want to buy the bread with the green tag as it was baked the day before!


The downside is that the code is not universal, and may vary from state to state or vary from company to company. Each sate has it’s own labeling rules and there isn’t a national standard enforced by the FDA, USDA or any other government agency.


You should be able to find various expiration dates on a loaf of bread.

Sell-By: This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.


Best if Used By (or Before):

This date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.


Use By:


This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. This date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.


Closed or coded dates:


These are the packing number for use by the manufacturer.


Confused yet?


Should you remember the bread tag colors?bread tag colors It might help you to find the freshest loaf on the shelf. My solution for eating the freshest bread possible? Forget the bread tag colors and bake your own delicious homemade bread!Delicious Homemade Bread

Last year there were some major problems with identity breaches. hat can you do to protect your identity?Protect Your Identity

The first step is to determine whether or not you were affected.


Here in Vermont we can contact the Consumer Assistance Program, a joint venture between the Vermont Attorney General’s office and the University of Vermont. You can go to their website. I’m sure other states have similar websites. The Vermont site actually has a page with all of the security incidents that may have affected the consumer’s personal information. The list is quite extensive!


Monitor Your Credit.


Regularly check your credit card statements to make sure there are no erroneous charges. Get a copy of your credit report (It’s free) and make sure that it is an accurate representation of your credit and there are no new accounts opened in your name. There are three major credit bureaus and you should make it a practice to check your credit report every four months. I rotate between the various credit bureaus every four months. This is an important step to protect your identity.

Protect Your IdentityEquifax

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374


Protect Your IdentityExperian

P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013


Protect Your IdentityTransunion

P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022


If your Data was affected, you may want to post a “Security Freeze” on your credit information with the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Transunion and Experian.


This does not freeze your existing credit cards or other credit tools, but it does lock down your information. Fees may apply.


File your annual federal and income tax return as soon as possible.


A known scam is to file tax returns before you do in order to get a refund you may be due.Protect Your Identity


We all may have a breach of our identity at one time or another but by keeping a close eye on your accounts and monitoring your credit reports you can limit the damage done. Keeping an eye on your finances is a good idea and requesting your free credit report is a good place to start.Protect Your Identity




Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

We are so glad that you have stopped by for a visit! We encourage you to look through some of the great posts shared by our readers and then take the time to read those that interest you. If you are adding to our list, thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us. It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings. We hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us.

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram Sandra at Clearwater Farm – Facebook – Pinterest – Instagram Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook PinterestTwitter Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

Our most-visited post from last week’s hop:
8 Organization Mistakes You’re Making
(And How To Fix Them)

My Favorite Post:
12 Things I Do Not Spend Money On


Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.


Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!

If you’re like many people, you’ve thought about making an estate plan, but you just never get around to doing it. Perhaps you’re too busy, or maybe you’d rather avoid considering what will happen in the even of your incapacity or death. Although these concerns are understandable, estate planning is a vital component of your financial well being, and one that’s bet tackled sooner rather than later.estate plan


Why you need an estate plan.


An estate plan is designed to provide financial security for your family, ensuring that your property will be preserved and passed on to beneficiaries. IN addition it can minimize estate taxes and other administrative costs, ensure competent management of your property iin the case of incapacity, enable you to provide for a favorite charity and help mitigate or avoid disputes among family members.


Having lost both of my parents in the last four years I can’t tell you how true this is. My mother always had all of her affairs in order. When she passed away it was an easy estate to settle and there was minimal costs involved.


My father was another story. He was still working on getting his affairs in order when he went into the hospital. As a result we had to hire an attorney and it took three years to settle the estate with the attorneys getting the bulk of his estate.


Now contrary to popular belief you don’t need to have significant wealth to have an estate plan. Basic estate planning is for everyone. Putting a plan in place will help you protect assets during your life and control how you wish your estate to be distributed on your death, as well as ease the administrative burden on you family.


There are three basic components of your estate plan: a durable power of attorney for financial matters, a health care power of attorney and a last will and testament. What are each of these components?


Durable Power of Attorney

This document allows you to appoint someone to handle your financial matters in the event that you become incapacitated.


Health care documents

A health care POA allows you to name an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so. It may be used in conjunction with a living will, which authorizes your health care provider to take specific actions in the event that life-sustaining decisions need to be made.


Last will and testament


A will dictates who will receive your property upon your death and under what circumstances. It also enables you to direct the payment of estate administration expenses and taxes and to nominate an executor to handle these matters. It also allows you to designate a guardian for your minor children.


Revocable Trust


A revocable trust allows you to maintain control and ownership of the trust assets during your life and direct how and when your beneficiaries will receive trust distributions upon your death. By funding a revocable trust during your life, your assets will avoid probate administration.


Remember a will governs only probate property; a trust governs only assets owned by the trust. It is also important to review the ownership and beneficiary designations of such assets as jointly held property, life insurance proceeds, retirement benefits, employee death benefits and retirement plan proceeds.


This may all seem a bit overwhelming but working with an experienced professional will help you to plan. The time to start your estate plan is now!estate plan

It goes without saying that it’s fairly inconvenient when your toilet lets you down and clogs up. Calling a good plumber is another task and expense that you have to face. However if you are brave enough you don’t need to rely on a plumber, and who doesn’t love a good bathroom hack?
Unclog a toilet


In some cases all you need to do is flush few time and poke with your handy dandy toilet brush. However if you are having bad day, this won’t do the trick and you will have to rely on few tricks of the trade.unclogging your toilet


If you are going to jump in and try to unclog your toilet yourself, the first thing you need isn’t far away, you need a good dish soap (if you don’t have one you can rely on your shampoo) and medium sized bucket to hold hot water. Two of these would be great as it will save you the effort to refill them again.


Now first you will have to pour in the dish soap into the toilet and let it be for the next 30 minutes or so. The dish soap or the shampoo acts as a lubricant and helps all the stuff to get moving. After 25 minutes you can start pouring the hot water in the flush. It will help in unclogging the flush.


We found that the above method works in the majority of cases, unless you have a more serious toilet malfunction. But if it didn’t work for you then don’t worry we have more great tricks of the trade for you to try before resorting to calling out the plumber.


So if you are still looking for more ideas to unclog your toilet then you can go through this great infographic by DIY experts Legendary Home Services.


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