Is your fridge running up your electric bill? Well you better catch it! Conducting your own home energy audit often shows that it takes a lot of power to keep your food cold, especially if you're using an older model. One way to make sure your refrigerator is running as efficiently as possible is to check that it fastens tightly shut. Here's a simple and quick way to test the seals on your appliance's doors from the California Energy Commission — and all you'll need is one dollar. Take the bill and close the door on half of it, then try to pull it out. If the dollar slides out easily, that means you're probably wasting energy (and money) by letting the cold air leak out. If a new fridge is not in the budget, you can order a replacement seal for most appliances online or from the manufacturer directly.
Recently I was approached by Breville, an Australian kitchen appliance company, asking if I was interested in experimenting with their shiny new slow cooker. My initial response was no: I'm not a huge fan of slow cookers and I've never really understood their appeal. Then YumSugar pointed out that since I hadn't cooked with one, I was the ideal candidate to give it a try. To find out what I thought of Breville's Slow Cooker with EasySear ($180), read more
The cost of maintaining a home and appliances is often a major deterrent for those debating whether to rent or purchase a home. The unexpected expense of fixing leaky gutters and broken dishwashers can be budget breaking if it comes at the wrong time of month. Not to mention it's a huge pain. Consumer Reports has put together a great guide for how to extend the useful life of appliances and pricey goodies. Obviously, the key is maintenance and keeping a watchful eye on appliances so they don't break down unexpectedly and leave you in a pricey pinch. Consumer Reports suggests:
Don't stow in your car's glove compartment during the summer. Otherwise, batteries may overheat, possibly ruining the phone. If you've been known to drop your cell phone, treat it to a protective case.
Clean the lint filter after each use and the entire air duct yearly. If your dryer breaks, think about replacing it if repairs will cost more than half the price of a comparable new model. But don't expect much gain in performance or efficiency, since dryer technology hasn't changed much.
Don't overload. If your washer breaks, think about replacing it if repairs will cost more than half the price of a comparable model. If you're replacing, consider a high-efficiency washer, which should save money over time. Also consider a front-loader, which is less punishing to clothes than a top-loader.
Check the filter regularly and remove any debris.
To see additional suggestions and reminders, read more
Not ready to take the plunge and invest in an all red kitchen? Then create a big impact with minimal color investment by using a red stove or refrigerator in your kitchen. You can paint the rest of the kitchen with more neutral colors, or, as in this Amsterdam kitchen, you can choose gorgeous natural wooden cabinets.
Wondering where you can find red appliances? Check out Big Chill for gorgeous appliances in red, orange, blue, and a number of other colors.
Dishing out extra dough to fix pricey appliances is a real pain so it's in your best interest to keep them in tip-top shape. Consumer Reports recently put out a helpful guide to making appliances last, but washing machines didn't make the list. Thank goodness for the Thrifty Tips — Getting The Most Out of Life group in the SavvySugar Community. Beachwalker advises:
To keep your washing machine new, every few months fill the machine with warm water and a pint of vinegar. This will clean out the hoses and stop clogging. This works for the dishwasher as well!
Inspired by articles in the current issues of Everyday Food and Everyday With Rachael Ray — both feature homemade ice cream — I've decided it's time to get an ice cream maker. Although I already own one, it's the ancient kind that requires ice and rock salt. Since this can be a hassle, I'm ready for an upgrade. Can you help me find a new electric ice cream maker? Look for affordable functional machines that won't take up too much space in my studio's kitchen. Bookmark your finds in the Yum Market on Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keyword tag, Ice Cream Maker. I can't wait to start browsing your discoveries.
Geeksugar has put together an article that explains how to bookmark on TeamSugar. Check it out for more details!
Not sure where to start looking? Be inspired by some of my favorite online stores when you read more
At my house, the kitchen cabinets, fridge, and dishwasher all have the same facing. What's it like at your home?
Think you can't afford energy-efficient appliances? Try this tactic: through Energy Star's website, you can locate rebates for appliances or technologies, such as solar panels, that you want to add to your home. Just type in your zip code, click the upgraded appliances you're looking for, and the search tool will locate rebates on these products. While the rebates may not be huge, when they're combined with other sale offers, such as Sears's current appliance sale, you can save yourself a lot of green, while going green at the same time. Source