February 2018
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Deal Stacking for the Home

We all want some things for our home.  We also need to maintain it.  In either situation, the costs can stack up.  So, why not stack up the discounts too?

Groupon Coupons and Gift Cards

If you keep an eye on the Home Depot section of places like Groupon Coupons, you may be able to snag a big discount on what you are looking for in general.  I see one right now for lighting that could come in handy for us.

While doing that, you can also be on the hunt for discount gift cards at places that sell them for less because they’re listed by people that don’t want them.  Or you can keep an eye on deals from things like Discover card cash back.  I can sometimes find $50 gift cards for $40-$45 in cash back dollars.

If you combine that 10%-20% off with a coupon, you can stack the savings.

Why Not?

If you have to buy new stuff to keep your house running, or even if you just finally budgeted enough for that house splurge that you have in mind, why not combine the happy factors of coupons and discounted gift cards?  Seems like a win-win to me.  :-)

How do you save money on your home maintenance?

Frozen Pipes in Freezing Weather

It doesn’t get very cold for very long here in Houston, TX, but this week is one of the coldest ones I can remember.  No, we don’t have a blizzard, but the temperature is between 15 degrees and 39 degrees for 3 days straight.  That is really cold for me, lol.  Here is how we are preventing and handling frozen pipes:

Prevent Frozen Pipes

1. Insulation 

The front and back yard water pipes are insulated and wrapped with duct tape.  The insulation is old and thin – I should have replaced it by now, but that is what we have.  If you don’t have foam insulation handy, any sort of cloth or fabric will work well as long as it’s wrapped around the pipe and is at least half an inch thick.

2. Disconnect Hoses

We heard from several sources that we should disconnect our hoses from our outside faucets.  We have done that and stored the hoses.

3.  Open Cabinets

By opening bathroom cabinets, you are allowing the warmer air of the house to reach the sink pipes.  All of our cabinets were open last night except for the ones in the kitchen since I didn’t want our dogs to eat or drink the cleaners…

4.  Drip Faucets

A lot of sources suggested we drip our indoor and outdoor faucets.  I also found the suggestion that they should drip at least every 5-10 seconds.  I wish I had followed that advice since all our faucets dripped fine overnight except the one in that back yard that is now frozen.  Hence the next section…

If Your Pipes Freeze

1.  Leave the Faucet Turned On

If you try to turn on the water and nothing comes out, leave the faucet turned on.  A few insurance agencies suggest you immediately call a plumber.  I prefer another suggestion I found…

2.  Thaw the Pipe (but not with an open flame)

You can try thawing a pipe by using multiple hot, wet rags, but that can take a while.  I also found a few suggestions to use the warm setting on a hair dryer, which I will be trying when I get home.  If you are using a hair dryer, remember to start close to the faucet itself and then work your way out.  Don’t use the hair dryer around puddles please – electrocution would be bad…

Has the crazy winter weather led you to learn anything new?