Raising kids today is expensive. From diapers, food, and clothes these items can add up over time. But there's hope. You do not have to splurge on these big ticket kid items.

Most of these items are not even necessary and can easily put a dent in your wallet. Marketers target parents by convincing them to buy certain products for their children. The added pressure from the media can become overwhelming and that is why it is important to understand what purchases are truly worth it and which ones are not.

Kids Don't Need To Be Expensive: 11 Creative Ways to Save Money
To bypass all the unnecessary products, try these applying these 11 tips to save a few or possibly hundreds of dollars in the long run.

1. Reusable/Cloth Diapers
Skip paying the cost of disposable diapers and consider buying reusable diapers. Simply wash and air dry them and use them for up to a lifetime.  When you compare the two, you could easily save more than two to three thousand dollars per baby.

2. Thrift Shop
Local thrift shops often have gently used children's clothing for less than half the price of the regular retail price. Check out each thrift store's discount days to save even more.

3. Say No to Accessories
Avoid buying pointless children's accessories such as bottle warmers, children's electronic toys, swaddle blankets, etc. Only focus on the necessities or things your child(ren) need to survive.  Remember, there’s a good chance your parents didn’t buy most of these things when you were a child and you turned out just fine, right?

4. Cook At Home
By cooking at home you will save added expenses from pricey restaurants. Not only is cooking dinner at home easier on your wallet but also good for your health. 5DollarDinners.com, for example, offers many recipes for less than $5.

5. Search for Exclusive Deals
Certain places offer a discount or even free admission for families with children. Take advantage of these deals by inquiring about discounts and freebies from store managers.  For example, Bank of America offers free museum admission throughout the year.

6. Choose Family or Friends as Babysitters
Ask family or friends to share babysitting responsibilities. Often times, they will happily do it for a lesser charge than daycare or even for free.  Also, consider exchanging babysitting with someone else who may have a child your age.

7. Take Trips to the Local Library
Your local library offers many educational resources for children for free.  This will include thousands of books, newer DVDS, eBooks and some even have video games. Some libraries may offer classes and put on shows for entertainment purposes the whole family can enjoy.  Be sure to sign up for your library’s newsletter to see which events are being held.

8. Buy Fewer Toys
Contrary to media advertisements, children do not need a ton of toys in order to be happy. At a minimum, buy one toy every other month to keep toy hoarding at bay.  When buying those toys, consider looking for gently used toys at local garage sales, Mom to Mom sales or the thrift store.

9. Explore Local Attractions
Children love to explore their surroundings, so what better way than to explore your hometown? There’s a good chance your local town is filled with parks, walking paths or even a downtown you can stroll around for the afternoon.  Entertainment doesn’t have to cost you a dime if you’re creative.

10. Game Night
Instead of hitting the movies, consider a board game night.  Going to the movies could cost a family of four $40 easily.  If you were to take that $40 and buy some games, you could walk away with one or two quality board games that will last you for life, when compared to a movie that will only entertain you for two hours.

11. Seek Out Financial Aid
Search for scholarships for camps or financial aid to cover basic necessities when in need. Many non-profit organizations receive generous donations that are meant to help cover needed fees for families who couldn’t afford it otherwise.

About the Author:
Stephanie is from the cost-helping database Howmuchisit.  She resides in Gilbert, Arizona, and enjoys biking, hiking and spending time with her family in her free time.

If you want to make sure your lifestyle is luxurious, you should think about the car you drive. The car we drive is an important part of any lifestyle. It’s how we get to work each morning, usually on a long commute.

It’s what we’ll take on holidays and family trips or even just the common road trip. It’s also what other people are going to see us driving. That’s why you need to make sure that it is a beautiful and incredible machine that offers a smooth ride.

But how can you do this? Well, there are a few different ways that you can make sure your vehicle is luxurious.

Choose A Luxury Automobile
If you are looking for luxury in your next vehicle, you may want to consider choosing your car carefully. There are a couple that you can consider. For instance, you may want to buy a Rolls Royce Phantom.
Luxury car Bentley

There is no better car on the road offering a more pristine drive. You will feel like you’re driving around in a hotel suited to your every need. The Rolls Royce Phantom is one of the only cars in the world big enough to contain a mini bar in the trunk. It’s comfortable too, and it feels as though every inch of your back is being massaged as you drive.

The only downside to this vehicle is the price. A Rolls Royce Phantom is easily one of the most expensive vehicles on the market. It will cost you the same price as a small mansion. If you do have that kind of money lying around, there might be better ways to spend it.

Alternatively, for a cheaper deal, you could pick up a Bentley. Still a luxurious car, this machine is just as eye-catching as the Rolls. Although, not nearly as expensive. The reason for this is that while it does have the killer engine, it doesn’t have as much space.

Driving around in a Bentley feels great, but it is more like your typical supercar. That’s not a bad thing, though, and there are worse ways to spend half a million. Clients are going to notice when you pull up outside one of their offices if you buy one of these.

Kit Out An Older Car
Is it possible to make your current vehicle a better ride that gives you a touch more luxury? We think so because you can start by buying the best tyres. If you use a brand such as Apollo tyres, you can guarantee yourself a smooth ride on the roads.

luxurious car
It may not seem like a big change, but we promise you, you will feel it. The car will stick to the road, and the corners will be effortless. Rather than being bumpy the car will be easier to drive. Of course, the suspension might still be an issue. But, if you speak to a mechanic you can consider lowering that too.

As well as this, you may want to think about upgrading the seat in your car. You can get a racing seat for your vehicle. These are designed to give the best back support to drivers on the tracks. Why not add this to your average driving experience? You’ll love the effect this has!

Have fun making your car a little more luxurious this year. Or, upgrading it completely.

Carving and slicing raw materials can be quite fun if you think about the final result. Everyone would want to snap their fingers and end up with their dream recipes, without wasting time preparing them.

However, this is not going to happen. Therefore, all these procedures can take a lot of time. While snapping fingers will never work, easing these operations is actually piece of cake. How would you like chopping all those bowls of vegetables within minutes and not within hours?

Electric Knives – Why And How To Use Them
How about doing everything with one button? While it sounds like a dream for many, it is reality for more and more people. This is when the electric knife kicks in.

To a lot of people, the electric knife is among the most significant inventions out there. Most importantly, people invest in such tools in the attempt to reduce the cooking time. Forget about wasting half a day covered in grease and sweat while cooking for your entire family. Instead, do it in just a few hours and enjoy the free time.

An electric knife is used like a small gun. You keep it normally, then press a button and it starts cutting. You just need to push it down a little, only to cut through. Electric blades do all the work for you. But what other major advantages does it bring in?

Plenty of power with no effort at all
Electrical power is different from your muscle power because it does not get tired. Sometimes, cooking can be associated with a workout session. You switch the cutting arm every once in a while because your biceps start hurting.

You feel like working out, yet you are just trying to cook a meal. Electrical power steps in to ensure a continuous efficiency. The knife can be operated with a cord, yet you will also run into plenty of products operating on batteries too.

They need to be recharged upfront though. All in all, the power is more significant when the knife is connected to a plug. Besides, it is continuous, which is great for long cooking sessions.

No special training needed
An electric knife is one of the easiest kitchen gadgets to use. No matter how tough it is to cut specific foods, you just need to wait patiently and give the knife a few extra seconds. However, keep in mind that most knives cannot cut through bones or other rough materials.

There are, of course, a few models that are more powerful and can do it, but look for the manufacturer's specifications.

Anyhow, the lack of effort and the simple operation have seriously boosted the popularity of these tools. Today, even elders with no strength at all can finally advance their cooking possibilities.

As if all these were not enough, electric knives are extremely simple to use as well. Cordless units are safer than the corded ones, which ask for a little attention with that wire. There are also more safety options and features to rely on.

About Author
Vera Miller is an avid food enthusiast who loves everything about cooking and especially using modern tech in cooking that can make even a novice cook look like an expert chef. She occasionally shares her opinion about the latest and craziest kitchen gadgets on the Kitchen Expert blog. Also, for more info about electric knives and reviews, check this link https://kitchenexpert.org/best-electric-knife/.

Every smart homeowner knows that a healthy garden is a happy garden. But if you’re not a professional, how do you make this happen?

It’s not as simple as giving it a good night’s sleep and a homemade smoothie like it is with humans! In fact, maintaining all aspects and elements of a garden and keeping them healthy can be tricky!
Luckily, there are a number of tried-and-tested techniques that can help you out. Read on to find out more.
Smart Gardener
Image Courtesy: Oregonstate
Use water crystals in your hanging baskets
Hanging baskets are a gorgeous addition to any garden. They’re also fantastic if you don’t have a garden, but want to bring some color and life into a patio area or driveway. Here is the catch. Hanging basket soil dries out far faster that soil in the ground.

This means that unless you can water them every single time, they will dry out, and plants will die. A fantastic alternative is to mix water crystals in with the soil. They will keep the soil or compost moist, meaning less responsibility on your part to look after them.

Put your plants in trays when you go away from home
There will be times when you go away from home, and thereby can’t look after your plants and garden as a whole. This might be for a holiday, or a work trip, for example. Aside from having a friend come and water your plants, there is an alternative.

Before you go away, collect your potted plants from their various locations in your garden. Get a long tray, relatively deep, and fill it with pebbles and water. Then, place your plants inside. This will allow them access to fresh water throughout your time away from home.

Use Oasis for your plants
Even if you haven’t heard of Oasis before, you’ve probably seen it. Oasis is that thick, dense green sponge that flower arrangers use. The reason they use it is because it holds an immense amount of water, thereby keeping the plant or flower fresh. Take inspiration from the professionals and use it for your indoor plants or greenhouse plants. It will cover your back if you forget to water them occasionally.

Invest in a PH soil kit
Not every garden is the same because each one is in a different place. This means that the soil in one part of a city might be different to the soil a few miles away. Therefore, it’s always smart to invest in a PH soil kit. It will give you an idea of your soil, and once you know that, you are far more informed.

This means that you are able to buy the right plants for your garden. Certain types of soil will make certain types of plants almost impossible to grow. Don’t waste your time with these, and plant things that will flourish instead.
Healthy Garden
Image Courtney: bigfatpurse
Invest in a professional irrigation system
Just as humans and animals need water to survive, so do gardens and plants! Install a professional irrigation system. Relying on yourself, and even worse relying on the unpredictable weather is far too risky! Seek professional advice to find out what kind of system will work the you best.

It might that you need rotating sprinklers, fixed-spray sprinklers or something else. You can see more from Pro Irrigation, who supply these products, for the facts and benefits.

Figure out where the sun falls
It’s important to be familiar with where the sun falls in your garden. You’ll want to put the majority of your plants in areas that the sun hits. Conversely, you’ll want to put your shade-loving plants in the areas where there is the most shade! Getting this mixed up could smell disaster! Shade-loving plants are things like ferns and other woodland type plants.

Plant sensibly
If you aren’t a super-dedicated garden, plant according to this. You will only be disappointed if you get over-ambitious and never get anything to grow. Go for plants that don’t need watering all the time, like succulents.

Cacti are another good option; obviously, if they grow in the desert, they’ll grow in your garden! Herbs are also relatively straightforward to grow successfully. Plant things that you can regularly use in your cooking, like basil and rosemary.

Use targeted insecticides
It used to be the case that gardeners covered their entire garden or outdoor space with insecticides. However, while these worked to kill bugs and weeds, they also have the ability to kills everything else! They can harm bees and butterflies, and if you have a pet cat that comes into contact with them, they can be lethal.

Instead, use targeted bug killers. Your local garden center will advise you on the best products.
Alternatively, make insecticides at home with your own household ingredients. The pesky green fly will eat your leaves, but you can kill them with a mixture of water and washing up liquid. Or, if slugs are your biggest pest, beer will kill them.
garden or outdoor space
Image Courtesy: Irishnews
Don’t waste your money on an expensive brand! The simplest one on the liquor store shelf will do the jobs just as well. Eggshells and coffee grounds are two other things you probably have at home that will keep away pesky insects and bugs.

Have a water feature
Obviously, water features look great in gardens and outside spaces. But aside from aesthetics, they have another benefit. They encourage water wildlife, like frogs and newts, to live in your garden. After all, you’re giving them a place to breed and live! Just be aware of the potential dangers if you have young children. One option is to cover the pond or water feature with a net.

Know where to invest and where to save
For some things in your garden, investing more is worth every penny. Take garden tools, for example. The best spades, strimmers, and rakes will make all the difference.

However, there are other items that you can save money on, and it won’t make any difference. The Internet holds all sorts of new and innovative gardening hacks. For example, use plastic forks to label your plants, and turn a large, plastic milk bottle into a watering can!

If you are a beginner in the field of cooking and you are looking for some great recipes that you can cook at your current skill level, then this the right place for you. There are many recipes for you to try, but you should focus first on simple recipes that can help you master different aspects of cooking quickly and do not require any fancy kitchen equipment.

You should probably first skip the idea of cooking complex meals and give your attention to cooking recipes that you can do right now. Just do your best in cooking these first and someday you will find cooking as easy as walking in a park.
Easy Recipes Even Beginners Can Cook
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Easy Dishes for Beginner Cooks

1. Hard Boiled Egg
You might think that this is a lame idea especially if your aim is to be a great cook someday. But this is something that can help you a lot. The challenge lies on the way the end product should look like. The egg white should remain white and the egg yolk should have yellow color from inside out and not grayish in its outside. You think that this will not teach you anything, but this recipe can already teach you cooking techniques such as blanching.

2. An Omelet

You finally learned to boil picture perfect eggs so the next step to cook an egg in a different way. For your next recipe, you can try a simple omelet. Again, you might think that this will not help you a lot because it is easy to cook. But this will challenge you to know when a fried dish is ready or not.

3. Fried Chicken Thigh

Frying meat is a lot more complex than how it looks. It may appear to be very easy, but this recipe will teach you a lot. You will learn how to clean meat properly, how to make plain meat have unique flavors and you will also learn the value of patience. Remember, the more you stand up and check what you are cooking (frying) the more you increase the chances of you ruining it.

4. Chocolate Covered Pretzels

You won’t have to cook this, but you will definitely learn a lot especially in cooking that deals with sugars and even candies. This will also help you to learn creativity in presenting your dishes. Doing this will help you reveal your artistic sides.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Image Courtesy: Getchenrubin
5. Poor Man’s Sushi
If you think you are now ready to do something a little bit complex then try out making poor man’s sushi.  You will need sushi rice, seaweed wrapper, cucumber (as its filling). You don’t have to start with the usual sushi ingredients. This simple recipe will help you out to slowly master the art of making a perfect tasting sushi.

These are just simple dishes and some of them don’t even need to be cooked. But these are all helpful for beginner cooks that are aiming to learn the art and science of cooking. Just be patient and prepare to do some mistakes. Learn from them and become better in each of your cooking activity.

Keeping our children safe and sound is every parent’s utmost priority. Why? Because this is the starting point; the baseline. If your child is safe, they can then also be happy, and flourishing, and having fun! And if your child is safe and happy, you can be happy also.

Outside of the house, there are many things you don’t have control over. However, inside the home, you can take a number of steps to make the environment as safe as possible. Read on for some suggestions.
Making Your Childs Bedroom Safer
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Barriers on raised beds
Bunk beds are a great choice for children’s bedrooms. On one hand, they are fun for the kids. Having a bed they love in their room can make the bedtime routine go a lot smoother. But on the other hand, for the parents, they are a fantastic practical solution.

This is because they create more space in the room. Instead of two beds taking up floor space, bunk beds only take up the space of one bed. Did you know that you can know get triple bunk beds, not just double ones? Triples are great if you have three kids, but they’re also a good bet if you have two.
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This is because you can then turn the top bed into secret den! You can see more bunk beds from Cuckooland, to get a real idea of how much space you can free up. Just make sure they have barriers on the sides, so your kid can wiggle freely and safely while asleep.

Safe window locks
Children near open windows makes every adult nervous! Be sure yours are safe and secure. Invest in complex window locking systems. Or, go for a fitting that only allows the window or windows in question to be opened a portion of the way. This means that you can still let fresh air into the room without needing to worry about their safety.

Invest in plug covers
A necessity for crawlers and curious kids alike, plug covers are a must have. Small and plastic, they are inexpensive but mean that your kids can’t put their fingers into the plug holes.
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Under floor heating
Many parents worry about having little ones near radiators. In family rooms, you can keep an eye on them, but this might be harder to do when they are playing in their bedroom. Even if they know not to touch them, they could still slip or trip.

This is why many parents are now turning to underfloor heating to warm their children’s bedrooms. This means that the kids don’t have access to the heat source. Instead, you control it from outside of the bedroom, via its own panel.

Window blinds for sensitive skin
Does your children have particularly pale or sensitive skin? Do you have single glazed windows in your child’s bedroom? Then you may want to invest in window blinds. Glass doesn’t block out all of the sun’s rays on a hot day, and you don’t want your child getting burned.

Rizwan Ahmad

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