DIY Pallet Floor: A Thrifty Repurposed Pallets to a Beautiful Floor Idea

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by Cassie on July 23, 2014

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Wow, wow, wow! What a beautiful, practical, thrifty way to repurpose old pallets and walk away with gorgeous new wood floors!  We are definitely impressed to say the least!

That is the feature DIY project that we are sharing with you today! This project was from A Building We Shall Go site.  It is basically a story of a family that lost their home in a fire in 2012 and they are rebuilding their lives…. literally.   The old adage comes to mind “necessity is the mother of invention.”

They are on a tight budget as they do what they can to create their lives again.  The idea of putting in these new wooden floors from old pallets was a very economical, unique and thrifty way to solve the expensive new flooring problem.

We hope that this is inspiration for you as you find ways of creating new out of old!

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This project took them quite a while between breaking down the pallets, prepping, developing a pattern, laying the floor, finishing the floor and completion.

They blogged about the whole experience and process in a few blog posts, but you will find all of the information needed to learn how to make your own floor from repurposed pallets and see several pictures of the process and final project on their site A Building We Shall Go HERE.

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Absolutely Amazing Finished Project!

What do you think of this idea?

See more DIY Ideas

See our DIY Pinterest Board

If you have an idea that you would like to see featured, then send us an email at thriftyus@thethriftycouple.com.

Above photos and idea used with permission

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Alex & Cassie
 

Did You Buy Fruit From Costco, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Walmart or Sam’s Club, Between June 1 and July 12? If So, Read This!

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by Cassie on July 23, 2014

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Photo Credit: The Idaho Statesman

We wanted to give you all a head’s up about this important recall, because, ironically, these are places that we personally buy from frequently – especially Costco and Trader Joe’s.   These are also stores and the majority of Americans shop at, so a pretty important recall to point out and to inform you about.

What is recalled and where?

There is a nationwide recall for fruit purchased at Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s for concerns with listeria contamination at the packing warehouse for peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots.  These would be the fruits that have a potential sticker that says “Sweet 2 Eat.”

What is “listeria”?

“Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause Listeriosis. The most common symptoms of Listeriosis are gastrointestinal issues (such as diarrhea), fever and muscle aches. Pregnant women, infants, older adults and people with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk for a more serious infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

What to do now?

Well, don’t eat the fruit! Second, try to take the fruit back to the store you purchased from for a refund.

According to the news reports, it appears that only Trader Joe’s has made an official recall refund statement (thus far), however, you probably can get a refund from any of the stores affected.

Sources:

Do you have any of these fruits from these stores?  What do you plan to do?

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Alex & Cassie
 

5 Thrifty Steps To Improve Your Home’s Value (Plus 3 Things To Never Do)

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by Alex on July 22, 2014

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Selling your home can be complicated and everyone wants to get the best deal they can. It is often the little things that make the most difference. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to improve the value of your home to help it sell faster and gain top dollar offers:

Listen to the experts - The absolute best thing you can do to increase the likelihood that your home will sell quickly and at a price that makes you smile is to listen to the realtor. Oddly, many people hire professionals to help them with various projects in life and then choose to ignore the experts’ advice. When you do this, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Why hire an expert if you are then going to ignore their advice?

Stage the house for selling-  Yes, they know you still live there, but the idea is to keep the house from looking lived in. When you have family photos still on the wall or Fido’s dish by the back door, potential buyers still see the house as yours and often won’t even make an offer. Staging helps a potential buyer to imagine the home being their own.

Keep the house clean and remove as much of the personal stuff as possible- This is basically free, but can greatly improve the likelihood that your home will sell quickly.

Mow the lawn- If the landscaping is out of date or overgrown, consider inexpensive improvements to the lawn. Replace outdated shrubs with new plantings, plant fresh grass and add new mulch. The landscaping doesn’t have to be extensive, just neat and appealing. Help potential buyers imagine pulling into the driveway and being happy to be home.

Paint and clean the walls – Scuff marks on the paint or fingerprints on the wall accumulate when you live in a home, but the new buyers don’t want to see them. The best option is to add fresh paint in a neutral color. If painting is not in your budget, at least take a magic eraser to the old paint until it looks new. Good old fashioned elbow grease works just fine for most people.

3 Things to Never Do as These Quickly Decrease the Value of Your Home

Sometimes making decisions not to do something is the best way to save money where selling your home is concerned. Here are some things to consider:

Major Renovations – Although major remodels seem like a great idea to increase value, most often they end costing far more than the potential increase in value. You have to be extremely cautious about expensive improvements and really be selective about the ones you undertake. One good reason for this is because you may not have the same taste as the new owner. Think about how much it would stink if the new cabinets that costs thousands ended up costing you a sale?

Skimping on cleaning or maintenance  – This can also decrease the value of your home or the likelihood it will sell. Keep the cobwebs out of the corners, make sure there are no dust bunnies under the bed and change furnace filters as if you were planning to live there another 20 years. It will likely save you from having to do a lot of little repairs to make the buyer or home inspector happy. A fresh coat of paint on a rotting wall is never going to work out for you. Fix the basics and then worry about the aesthetics.

Smoke indoors - Smoking leaves a lingering odor.  Even if you can’t smell it, it can leave nicotine deposits on furniture, walls, light fixtures and more. Smoke outside and make sure to keep your butts cleaned up.

What tips do you have to improve the value of your home on a no or low budget? 

See more Frugal Living Tips and Articles HERE

 

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Alex & Cassie
 

Great Sam’s Club Membership Deal: Pay $45 for 1-Year and Get $20 Gift Card and $26 in Free Food (Basically Means FREE!)

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by Cassie on July 21, 2014

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You will be very happy to see this deal again! Every once in a while, Groupon offers this Sam’s Club deal.  It has been about twice a year.  Last time Groupo had it, it was in November.  So it’s nice to see it back as this is a popular deal through a reputable website!   Basically, in the end, you will get a $5 annual membership!

What this deal is that you spend $45 and here’s what you get:

  • One-year Sam’s Club Savings Membership (a $45 value)
  • Complimentary membership card for a spouse or other household member
  • $20 gift card valid for any in-club, online or fuel purchases
  • Four Fresh-food vouchers, redeemable at the time of membership activation through Monday, October 27, 2014 (a $26.23 value), including:
    • Sliced oven-roast turkey (22 oz. – $7.98 value)
    • Ciabatta rolls (8 ct. – $3.99 value)
    • Black bean five-layer dip (28 oz. – $7.98 value)
    • Apple pie (10” – $6.28 value)

Since the membership alone is $40, you will essentially receive $46 in additional freebies, which pays for the membership!  This is a great option, but you can only get it for a short time or until they sell out. Please note, your membership is valid for one full year after you activate your membership in-store… But to get the $26 in free food, you do need to activate by 10/27/14.

We took advantage of this deal back in November. We have a Costco membership and do like Costco better – there are still several things at Sam’s Club we like to get the member price on… and the biggest factor was that it really ended up costing nothing extra,  so it was totally worth it to have it for the year!

Don’t wait on this deal as it will most likely sell out! 

 So head over to the Groupon site and check out this sweet deal right now for a Sam’s Club Membership Package valued at $91 for only $45!

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  • Click on the blue arrow to make your purchase!

* As an added bonus, all new Sam’s Club members will receive $80 in special members-only savings on select popular items.¹ These savings are valid 30 days after membership activation.

We also wanted to mention the items that we buy regularly at Sam’s Club.  Costco is different as we buy a whole lot more than we do at Sam’s Club, but that is a topic for another day.

Be sure to read the fine print, but one thing to note, this is NOT for renewals.  It is for NEW memberships ONLY.

For example – these items (in our experience) seem to be the cheapest and hard price to beat at the store:

  • Fresh shredded Parmesan (the hard kind) is cheapest there
  • Hormel real bacon bits (these are quite pricey for the non-imitation) in the regular store and we use it in recipes and salads a lot!
  • French’s Fried Onions
  • Honey (although we have been able to get this in our local grocer’s case lot sales the last 2 years for cheaper)
  • There are some frozen bulk foods that can only be found at Sam’s Club that we really like too
  • When we do make our quarterly or so run to Sam’s Club – we often find great produce deals and will stock up to eat fresh or freeze for the future.
  • For a large item deal – we have found that Sam’s Club is a great place to get freezers – for your awesome food deals – they seem to have lower and very competitive prices on new freezers
  • Our most recent large purchase was a new t.v. that was last year’s floor model for over 75% off.  They had it marked down by over 70% as it was last year’s model and the floor display and then we talked them down by another $55.
  • When you are not getting your digital photo prints for FREE and need some photo prints now – Sam’s Club has the lowest price at .08 – .13 a print. It is also easy to upload them from your computer and pick them up in the store and even cheaper that way!
  • They can also have good deals on office type supplies and ink if/when you get in a bind and have not been able to get those items cheap lately and need them now.  We mostly buy our ink with our Max Perks rewards – but have still needed to make a Sam’s Club ink run here and there.
  • With some exceptions – we will purchase the frozen chicken or fish if/when we run out and there are no immediate sales (see our explanation on saving on meat).
  • Finally, we go through batteries very quickly with our camera that is always on ;) We cannot stock-up fast enough to keep up with our usage (after we run out of our awesome stock from the office store sales) so we get the excess that we need at Sam’s Club as they have the lowest everyday price (along with Costco).

See more Online Deals

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Alex & Cassie
 

Ideas For Using Fresh Garden Veggies Series: Using and Preserving Radishes Recipes

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by Cassie on July 19, 2014

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What to do with radishes? That’s the question if you have or are growing the easy garden growing veggie. We have plenty of them ourselves.

The good news is that they last long a time in the fridge. That means you can use them for a few weeks.  So for that reason, they are great simply sliced up on salads or eaten as a fresh veggie appetizer.

But we want to share more ideas with you to help you use up all of your garden veggies this year as we continue our Ideas for Using Fresh Garden Veggies series.

Well, the first recipe/idea up for radishes is a new spin on a salad.

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Check out the recipe for Cottage Radish Salad HERE from the Gnowfglins site.

Second, other than on salads, you can dip them in a yummy ranch dressing.  Even better is when you can make your own! So here’s some recipes for those:  homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, or even 5-minute emergency ranch dressing when you are short on time.

Third, if you can’t use up your fresh radishes, how about how to preserve radishes instead! You can make pickled radishes, which are awesome!

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Photo Credit: BHG.com

The recipe that is great is found on the Better Homes and Gardens site.

Finally, you can freeze them, but they are really only good in recipes where they will be cooked.  In order to freeze them, just like green beans, you need to blanch them first.

How to freeze radishes:

  1. Wash the radishes and cut off the stems and end root
  2. Blanch the radishes – either blanch in a pot of boiling water or a steamer for 3 minutes.
  3. Pull them out and then throw them in a bowl of ice water for 3minutes.
  4. Then drain them and let them dry for a few minutes.  A salad spinner will also help speed up drying time. Even dabbing with a paper towel will help!
  5. Finally, bag them up and label them with the date! Freeze and enjoy later!  

So what plans do you have for your radishes? 

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Keep watching for more ideas on using your garden veggies as we have many more veggies recipes and ideas to share this summer with you as you make the most of your garden and farmer’s market finds! 

For actual garden ideas, we wanted to remind you that we have been sharing so many gardening ideas on our Garden Gallery of Ideas HEREPinterest HERE and Facebook HERE that we hope you are seeing some incredible results with your homegrown food supply.  And, as always, we will continue to share gardening tips and ideas on all our site.

See more Recipes

See our Recipe Pinterest Board

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Alex & Cassie