Ethical Home Furnishing Alternatives: from Mango wood furniture to buying locally

Support producers and craftsman around the world and be more environmentally friendly by discovering how you can make your home furnishings more ethical. You’ll be surprised how much you can enjoy filing your home with beautiful and unique furniture that doesn’t have a negative impact on communities and the environment where they are produced, without the enormous price tag!

Change to mango wood furniture
More and more illegal timber is being imported into the US causing real concern for the world’s forests.  Therefore, to help save the forests, furnish your home with Indonesian mango wood furniture. You may be thinking, “how is this type of wood ethical and sustainable?” Unable to harvest fruits from a mango tree when it no longer is effectively producing fruit, mango farmers cut down the trees and replace them with more trees to maintain the mango forests, fruit and employment in the local area while adding an extra income to the farmers. Whether you’re after a new coffee table for your living room or a book case for your study, Mango wood furniture is a unique alternative for your home.

Vintage furniture
Buying vintage furniture for your home is not only a great way to make your home more ethical, but is also a fantastic way to furnish your home in a unique style that is completely your own.  Explore a variety of different vintage furniture stores near to your home or alternatively if you live in an area with newer builds then venture out to somewhere with older homes. Flea markets and auctions are a great way to find one off pieces of vintage furniture.

Shop locally
If you shop locally for your furniture, you have a much better chance of buying ethically. So before you go to purchase your furniture from a big brand, have a browse around smaller independent shops that are more local to you. If you buy locally, you’re likely to have a much better idea of where the product originates from, and how it was manufactured.  Buying locally will also require less transportation, reducing your carbon footprint, and studies have shown that more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, strengthening the economy of your community.

Upcycling
Upcycling is a fantastic way of converting useless products into new products and is an excellent way to reduce your foot print.  So before you go to throw something out, think “is there a way I can reuse this?” It’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and make something entirely unique for your home. Here’s a few upcycling examples to get you started…

Getting rid of old kitchen cabinets? Give them a lick of paint and add some hooks and you’ve got the perfect innovative coat rack!

Upcycling

Image Credit: Sticks and Stones

 

Use an old tea cup and saucer to create a quirky office lamp.

 tea-cup-lamp

Choose your child’s favorite story book and make some cute bunting to decorate their room.

book-bunting

Image Credit: Bloesem Blog

This article was written by Laura Harrison on behalf of Fountain Partnership, an SEO agency in Norwich.  Laura is a professional writer that enjoys writing about a broad range of topics, in particular home improvements. 

5 Ways to Update Your Bedroom on a Budget

Decorate-bedroomOne of the quickest ways to change the look of your room completely is to paint it. You can spend hundreds of dollars to get a professional painter to do the work, but with careful draping and taping before you start, you can do it yourself for a fraction of the price. Unlike your living room or den, your bedroom isn’t a place that’s on public display, so choose shades you like even if they’re bright or unusual. Serene blues and greens suit some people while others go for brilliant red or royal purple. It’s your room, so go as wild or as mild as you like with paint colors.

Send a Message with Wall Text

One of the most exciting decorating trends for the last few years has been the use of text as a design element. Getting an artist to hand-paint or stencil text on your bedroom walls is one option, but it’s a costly one. If you have steady hands, you can do the work yourself. Another option is a wall quote decal that effortlessly adds a decorator touch to a wall. Another advantage of peel-and-stick text: When you’re ready to change your message, you don’t have to repaint.

Pick a Motif

When you have a theme to your decor, the finished product looks more cohesive. Choose something you love, such as a favorite era or place, and let it inspire your bedroom’s design. Do the brilliant hues of a Moroccan market inspire you, or is an airy Parisian atelier more your style? Do you dream of taking long walks in a lush forest, or is your perfect vacation spot on the beach? Your bedroom should reflect something about who you are.

Upgrade Your Linens

Luxurious linens instantly elevate your bedroom’s style and make it look more inviting. There’s a reason top hotels offer turn-down service to showcase their fine bed linens; nothing looks more inviting than a freshly made bed with elegant sheets. Follow fine hoteliers’ decor example with embroidered discount bedding collections it’s a good way to tie the main bedroom and master bath together.You don’t need to spend much to create the bedroom of your dreams. Whether you turn your room into a calm oasis or a colorful fantasy, you’ll never want to leave when it reflects your personal sense of style so perfectly.

Add a Sumptuous Rug

Bedrooms are about function as well as form. Stepping onto a soft rug instead of a cold floor on winter mornings is a delight, and bringing in area rugs lets you change the look of your room while making it cozy. Area rugs are also a wonderful fix for neutral carpets that don’t have much of a style impact on their own or that have become discolored in high-traffic areas. Choose pale hues to open up a dark room or vibrant colors to anchor light neutral tones. To link your bedroom decor to the rest of your home’s style, try themed rug collections it’s a good way to tie the main bedroom and master bath together.

You don’t need to spend much to create the bedroom of your dreams. Whether you turn your room into a calm oasis or a colorful fantasy, you’ll never want to leave when it reflects your personal sense of style so perfectly.

Image Credit: Sindterior

Shopping Online can be a Frugal Decision: Yay or Nay

We may be a far cry from the days when people used yay, nay, thy and thou in day to day language, but that doesn’t mean that times aren’t as tough as they were back then. Despite the economic challenges faced by millions of families and homeowners across the USA, UK, and Europe the great news is that modern technology, such as the Internet, can enable us to make frugal purchases.

The common belief is the Internet is always the best source for economical penny saving purchases, but this isn’t always the case. It’s just as easy (if not easier) to overspend online as it is in the store. In this article we’ll look at the top money saving tips to ensure saving money while shopping online.

Avoid Big Brands and Search for Discount Retailers
We all love to buy a well known brand, especially when it comes to clothing items and fashionable accessories, but heading straight to the websites of your favorite brands could be costing you more money than you really need to spend.

save-money

Image Credit: InCharge

Instead, search for websites that can give you access to the brands you love for less. Discount retailers can offer great prices because they sell stock that can’t be sold in store and that is slightly out of season.

However, this is where there are some serious bargains to be had, and the savvy online shopper can grab some great deals from online discount retailers.

Before you start searching for discount retailers is sure to curve your spending before it’s even begun by following these top tips:

–Write a list of what you actually want and need. This will stop you overspending online.

–Give yourself a budget and stick to it. If you think you may give in to temptation then make sure someone shops online with you to keep you’re spending in check.

–Before you pay online you should have a chance to review your purchases. Use this opportunity to review your basket and again ask yourself if you’re really getting a great deal.

Sign up for Email Updates and Shop during Online Sales

Even internet stores have sales, and the best way stay up to date with the latest sales and bargains is to subscribe to your favorite online shopping websites.

This can be a double sided coin, as getting updates on a regular basis can encourage you to spend more than you need, but if you think you can execute the self control then subscribe to newsletters and treat yourself when the online sales start!

Online sales may include:

–Reduced prices on items
–Free shipping for a certain period
–Discounts when you spend over X amount
–Discounts on end of season items
–bird discounts

Auction Websites, Private Online Sales and Recycling Sites
More and more people are selling their unwanted items on auction websites, giving you the opportunity to grab a bargain.

Again, it’s all too easy to go overboard on an auction website, so set a budget and stick to your limit!

Private online sales are the equivalent of ads in the newspaper. Search online for local listings to see if you can find a bargain near you!

change

Image Credit: Global Good Group

Recycling websites are the height of fab frugal shopping online. Using recycle websites users can swap items or give away items for free! From clothes to furniture to garden items, you’ll be surprised what you can find for free online!

Frugal Shopping Online – Live Luxuriously for Less
With Internet shopping being frugal doesn’t mean you have to live a life void of luxury.

These days the frugal life is the best way to make every dollar and ever cent stretch as far as possible; giving you the lifestyle you want at a price you can afford!

Just remember to keep your spending habits in check and you’ll reap the benefits of frugal shopping online!

Author Bio: The article is contributed by Peter Smith who is in the writing industry from past 5 years. He is also working with the site promocode4share, where you can get discount coupons for your online shopping.

 

 

5 Common Budgeting Mistakes

Family-BudgetBudgeting. For some that word only instigates a headache. Crunching numbers and tracking each and every last penny spent is a daunting task. However, it is a necessary evil. It’s hard to think of every last expense you may or may not make. By the end of the month you could have spent a lot more than you accounted for at the beginning. Check out these common things people tend to forget when budgeting, so you don’t have to make that mistake again.

Annual/ Quarterly Payments
Whether it is your car insurance, gas bill or something else, these types of expenses can creep up on you. I mean, you have a whole year to pay them, so why think about it today? Instead of getting stuck a week or two out, panicking on how you’ll pay all your other expenses, set aside some of the expense each month. You’ll be glad you did once the payment rolls around.

ATM Fees
We’ve all been there. You’re out and about with the family and the breakfast place you’ve wanted to go to for months only accepts cash. No problem—you’ll just grab some cash from the ATM. What you don’t think about is the $3+ fee the machine charges plus your bank fee. That $60 you took out really costs $65. These little fees add up fast. Try and think ahead, and budget $20 for emergency type situations.

Car Maintenance
You probably account for your monthly gas bill, but what about that oil change you had last month? Or car wash? These types of car maintenance issues arise every few months so make sure you add them into your budget. Oil changes are usually $30-$40 so putting aside a few dollars in between tune ups guarantees you’ll be ready once the day comes.

Personal Care
Haircuts are something we all need. You don’t have to go every six weeks if you need to stretch your budget, but make sure you account for the expense. The cost for a family of four to get their hair cut adds up quickly. Don’t let it sneak up on you.

Eating Out
Some days are so hectic the only way to get dinner on the table is to make a run to McDonalds or your fast-food place of choice. It’s quick, easy and better yet – cheap. Make sure you account for this expense. Each month, plan on spending X amount on eating out. This includes sit down places as well as fast-food.

Budgeting might not be your favorite thing to do, but like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes. The best we can do is to track what we spend and try to project next month’s spending better.

Have you run into expenses you didn’t think to budget for? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Source: StyleMatters

3 Ways To Save Money On Your Energy Bills

SavingThe price of living seems to go up and up and up these days and has left a lot of us struggling to find ways to keep the costs down. Well, struggle no more. There are many simple ways you can save precious dollars on your energy bills. Energy companies seem to have taken advantage of another cold winter by upping their prices at a very inconvenient time and so now it’s time for us to fight back.

The good news is saving money doesn’t have to cost you mega bucks. There is no point having a solution to save you money in the long run but leaves you with no option but to re-mortgage your home in order to put it in place. Any money spent on these money saving options will be an investment for the future and will help reduce costs almost immediately.

What is it? 

AThermostatic Radiator Valve

How Can It Save Me Money? 

A thermostatic radiator valve can be attached to your existing radiator and will help give you a much more detailed control over the temperature in your room. Usually you only have the choice of a number system from 1-5 which is far from exact and means the temperature not only fluctuates too often but could be set needlessly high without you knowing. These thermostatic radiator valves will regulate the flow of hot water into your radiator in accordance to a pre-set desired temperature. This way there will be no more excessive heat energy used and your bills will be reduced.

What Is It?

Cavity wall insulation

How Can It Save Me Money?

If your house was built between 10 and 100 years ago then chances are  it was built with cavity walls that are not insulated. Simply filling in the gap between the cavity wall means less heat can escape and you don’t have to have the heating on for as long or as high. Discovering if you have cavities to fill is a simple process and can be done quickly and efficiently.  Contact a specialist straight away to see if you need this procedure done.

What Is It?

Standby Saver

How Can It Save Me Money

You can buy them singularly or as a multi socket and all you need to do is plug your electronic devices in and set the saver to switch them off when they are placed on standby. We tend to leave a lot of things on standby all over the house without realizing how much energy is used on a daily basis. With the Standby Saver you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn everything off yourself as the plug will do it for you.

Chris Mayhew likes to save money wherever he can and feels that the best place to start is at home. He is working for West Radiators who supply a variety of different radiator valves to help you reduce your heating bills.