From Aquapod Bottles To Milk Ghosts

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 11:27 am on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Check out these adorable Halloween Party additions: Milk Ghosts made from Zephyrhills Aquapod water bottles. From the site:

I was literally staring at my Zephyrhills Aquapod water bottle, lightbulb! I ripped the bottle wrap and cap plastic and voila, the shape of a ghost somewhat. I cut out pieces of black cardstock to make the eyes and mouth, filled them with milk and displayed a black and white straw!

And these ghosts don’t have to just hold milk. You can paint the outside with white paint and fill with any kind of delicious beverage you like.

Paying Too Much For iPhones

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:58 am on Monday, October 22, 2012

Even as people have cut back on their expenses the last four years, they have been paying more for their iPhones. The Wall Street Journal reports that with smartphone bills running about $100 a month, “the average household’s annual spending on telephone services rose to $1,226 in 2011 from $1,110 in 2007, when Apple Inc.’s iPhone first appeared.”

And those with numerous iPhones pay “sometimes more than $4,000 a year.”

On top of that, people sign contracts locking them in at these high rates for a years at a time.

Needless-to-say, we can do better than that. Up until recently, I used a T-Mobile plan that cost about $45 a month and had unlimited Internet and more texts than I ever came close to using. It was important to me that my cell phone plan:

a. not be AT&T, because their bad customer service and monopolistic tendencies bother me,

and

b. not be month-to-month. As soon as you sign that contract, you lose your right to switch carriers and are at the company’s mercy.

But $540 a year for a cell phone is still pricey, so I decided to try this $10 per month plan recommended by Mr. Money Mustache. Assuming it works out, that will save me $440 a year.

And if it doesn’t cut it for my cell phone needs, Virgin Mobile has a plan that costs $35 a month with no contract.

More contract-free plans are showing up every day, so a bit of shopping around can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in your budget.

What cell phone plan do you use?

LEGO Halloween Costume

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:16 am on Friday, October 19, 2012

I’m not sure where this image came from, but it’s a LEGO Halloween costume made out of cardboard boxes, solo cups, and glossy paint. Here’s a similar how-to using round craft boxes instead of solo cups. Adorable and easy to make, too.

5 Slippers Patterns

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:48 am on Thursday, October 18, 2012

I’m playing with the idea of making slippers for family members this Christmas. Here are a few patterns that looked promising:

Chunky Knitted Slippers. Cute, and you can leave the pom-poms off if you want.

Rosie’s Slippers Pattern The pattern covers Childs, Small, Medium, and Large sizes.

Mary Jane Slippers. There are a lot of patterns for this slipper design on the Internet, but this one looks like it turns out well.

Cozy Slippers. If you can’t knit, these sewed slippers are pretty cute too.

Fox Slippers. These are my favorite. Instead of making the slippers, you buy a pair from the store, embroider the fox faces, and glue them on. Love them.

What’s your favorite DIY slipper pattern?

Drawer Dividers

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:20 am on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Here’s a neat gadget–Drawer Dividers. They are spring-loaded wooden dividers that you can insert into most drawers and create compartmentalized storage.

$18 for a set of 2.

I could use a few of these.

Layer Cake Slicing Kit

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:22 am on Tuesday, October 16, 2012

If you, or someone you know, makes a lot of cakes, this Layer Cake Slicing Kit would be pretty useful. It’s a metal collar, of sorts, that guides your knife through the cake, making for a perfect cut every time. From the site:

All you do is secure the slicing mold around the cake and slice along the evenly spaced grooves for up to eight even layers. Then use your cake lifter to place a cut layer on your cake stand, top with some homemade filling or buttercream, and then repeat until complete.

While this may qualify as a unitasker, it looks like it makes cake baking a lot easier. $60.

Little Monster Jeans Patch

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 10:22 am on Monday, October 15, 2012

Most of the time, I don’t like how patched jeans look and would rather leave the hole, but this Little Monster jeans patch is kind of awesome. One Artsy Mama turned a hole in the jeans into a felt “little monster” on her son’s knees. Great way to extend the life of those jeans, and very fun for the kid too.

Make A Leather Cell Phone Case

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:19 am on Friday, October 12, 2012

I kind of like these Leather Cell Phone Case. They look like something you might see in a department store.

And they are easy to make, especially if you have a leather scrap lying around. It’s a matter of cutting out the template (which you can print from the site), then sewing and gluing up the envelope. Great Christmas gift potential!

Love Letter Napkins

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:18 am on Thursday, October 11, 2012

Napkins with love letters from famous writers on them. From the site:

Each cotton napkin carries the complete text of a love letter written by a literary great. They are as sweet (Emily Dickenson), profound (Jack London), witty (Mark Twain) or bold (D.H. Lawrence… writing to the husband of his mistress!) as we all dream of being when expressing our own feelings.

Kind of pricey at 4 for $48, but what a conversation starter.

3D Printing

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:39 am on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Awhile back, I told Mr. Savvy that I was going to stop buying plastic things made in China because they kept breaking on us. Unlike things made out of wood or metal, plastic is nearly impossible to fix… or it was. Then Mr. Savvy became fascinated with 3D printing.

3D printing is a way to create three dimensional objects out of plastic (or other material). To do this, we purchased a Printrbot.

The way a Printrbot works is, a spool of plastic is threaded through the machine, which is melted and squirted out in a pattern, kind of like a hot glue gun. Once it cools, you have a usable object. Here’s a short video of the Printrbot in action:

The Printrbot costs $550. I mention this because a short time ago, the most affordable 3D printer cost $2000. We’ve experimented with different plastics and settled on PLA, a nontoxic plastic made out of corn and sugarcane. It costs $35-$50 a kilogram.

The Printrbot is not something I could use on my own–it took Mr. Savvy’s considerable technical skills to calibrate it when we first got it. But it’s still pretty cool. Here are some of the better things we’ve printed out:

The end of this plastic watering can (made in China) broke, so we printed out a new tip and attached it with duct tape. It works great now.

Paper towel holder.

A plastic case that converts an AA battery into a C battery. No more purchasing of different battery sizes for us. We use it to run our Roomba.

This little plastic doodad fixed our dishwasher. When we first got our dishwasher, the plastic washer cracked and the spinner on the top broke, making the machine not work as efficiently. We replaced the broken washer, and it works great now.

A bottle opener.

A tube squeezer.

Giant keys, a baby toy for Savvy Junior.

A hedge hog, another baby toy for Savvy Junior. The wheels roll.

A case for a Raspberry Pi, a $35 computer. (But that’s another post.)

Plus much more.

3D printing is the manufacturing of the future. Instead of buying crap from overseas, we will be able to print our own crap in our own houses. Imagine the creative possibilities.

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