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Avoid Buying a Cheap Sofa

Avoid Buying a Cheap Sofa

When you are in the market for a sofa, consider paying a little more for it upfront. The quality of the sofa will pay off in the long run. Yeah, you may get tired of the fabric on it, but at least it will be constructed in such a good way that you can have it reupholstered for a fraction of the original cost.

Here are some things to ask and look for when you are shopping.

Frame

The frame should be made of a hardwood like oak, maple, ash, and kiln dried. The kiln drying keeps the wood from warping or cracking during seasonal changes as well as changes in the humidity. The cheaper sofas will be made from a softer wood like pine. The joints should either be screwed or glued using dowel and pins. The cheaper models are stapled together. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you usually can’t see how an upholstered piece is put together so you need to find out.

Support

The cushion support system ideally should be eight-way tied spring coils. These are coil springs that are hand tied to each other. The cheaper sofas will have pre-assembled coil units that is stapled or nailed to the sofa’s frame. These springs will prevent the cushions from bottoming out, even after Fat Aunt Edna has gone home. Pull up the cushions and look at them. They should run from front to back and you should be able to stand on them with no problem. Yeah, I said stand on them. You gotta know if this sofa is going to be able to handle whatever or whoever you throw at it.

Cushions

When you are checking out the cushions pick them up and see if they are heavy. You will want a heavier foam Dacron cushion. The firmer the better. The softer the cushion, the quicker your sofa cushions will flatten out and look horrible. Just know, with time the cushion will soften and starting out firmer means you are going to get a longer life out of it.

If you are looking at cushions that are filled with down, remember that you will have to fluff those quite often. If you like having that extra chore, have at it. You also could get the Dacron foam cushion with down on top of that, but you may see some wrinkling in the cushion.

Place the cushions back on the sofa and take a nice big plop on top of it. If the cushion pops up on the other side, move along. You want the cushions to stay in place.

While you are at it, try to get a sofa where the back cushions are semi attached. The loose back cushions are cheaper to make and will break down sooner.

If it has upholstered arms, sit on those, too. If you feel the wood through it in the store, it is just going to get worse with time.

Covering

You have two options… fabric or leather. It’s all a personal choice, but here’s what you need to know for either choice.

First, the grade of the fabric is in no way toed to the quality of the fabric. It’s about the cost of the fabric. Think about it this way, silk is expensive and would be considered a higher grade, but we all know that silk is not very durable.

If you have kids or pets, look at microfiber. It is almost stain proof and feels like sude. The downside is that you will see butt prints on it. If you don’t mind that, go for it.

Better fabrics for sofa use are the blends. Also consider getting a solid color fabric instead of a print. Sticking with a neutral plain fabric will mean that it will stay current for a longer period of time. You can always change it’s appearance with pillows and throws.

Leather sofas will last twice as long as fabric sofas, but that look isn’t for everyone. Leather from best to last in terms of quality are as follows: Full Grain, Top Grain, and split. Now, I am not a leather expert by any stretch of the imagination, so with that said there are all sorts of variances and treatments in between in regards to leather that someone could say well, this is better than this, but that is a whole other article.

Full grain leather hasn’t been buffed and you will see the marks on it. Remember this is a cow’s hide and if the cow had some scratches on him, you will see leather will patina over time.

Top grain leather has been buffed. This leather won’t age as much and will have a greater resistance to stains.

Split grain leather is created once the …

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Christmas Shopping Tips For People Who Hate to Shop

Christmas Shopping Tips For People Who Hate to Shop

—Shop early and shop online. Why? Because you’ll be less likely to spend as much money. The last thing anyone needs on Christmas Eve is to find themselves desperate and standing in a jewelry store with a sales clerk rubbing their hands together in glee because they know they have an easy mark. Last minute shoppers tend to do two things: buy things they never intended to when they left home, and spend too much money because of the pressure to buy something, anything, that will bring a smile to face of the person they love.

Online shopping was made for people who hate shopping because it’s so easy and allows you to thoroughly research everything before you buy it. The Internet offers endless ideas and is far less stressful than fighting traffic and wandering around a big mall with all the other last-minute shoppers.

—Make a list. Make a list not only of what you need to buy, but the people you need to buy for. If you work in an office, do you exchange gifts? Are you the boss and expected to buy your closest employees a gift?

The easy part is knowing who you are buying for. The tough part is figuring out what to buy. Go to a search engine and type: “gift ideas for” and plug in the age and gender of the person you are looking to buy for. It’s a beautiful thing. You’ll get site after site offering help coming up with that perfect gift.

—Compare prices. Once you know what you want, compare prices to find the best deal. Prices on high-end items can fluctuate by hundreds of dollars. It’s worth it to spend a bit of extra time doing research before plugging in your credit card information.

—Watch those shipping costs. Sometimes an online retailer will give a low-ball price, then charge an exorbitant amount in shipping, which can knock you off your budget. Many retailers, especially around the holidays, include free shipping or provide free shipping if you spend a certain amount. Sometimes there are restrictions.

—Will it ship on time? On Christmas morning, no one wants the person they love most in the world to open an empty box with an I.O.U. in it. It does happen and it’s not a pretty site. Make sure the item you order is in stock and will ship in time for Christmas delivery.

—Purchase only from reputable companies. Nowadays, ordering online is pretty safe and reliable, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you are buying from a reputable company. Most online companies are rated for their reliability. Pay attention to those ratings as they can help you to avoid a lot of heartache.

—Have the gift sent to a friend or relative. When the UPS man delivers your present, it’s probably a good idea not to have the recipient sign for it. Have your gifts delivered to a trusted friend or relative and make certain you tell them your plans.

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a stressful thing if you plan ahead and set up a budget.…

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Shopping Tips at the Grocery Store

Shopping Tips at the Grocery Store

We all need to shop for groceries. Why not do it smartly?

Here are few shopping tips at the grocery store that will save you time and money.

Budget

Determine how much you will spend. Knowing exactly how much you can spend on groceries will help you avoid impulse buys. You will also be able to manage the rest of your household expenses better if you have a firm idea of how much you are able to spend on your groceries.

Know what you need

Check your cupboards and find out what you’re out of and what’s running low. Open the fridge and check what’s lacking or missing. Knowing what you need to buy will save you repeat trips to the store. This will save you time, effort and gas.

Plan your Weekly Menu

Knowing what you will be cooking for the week to come can be of great help in determining what purchases will be necessary. While there are a few staples in your home, a variety of food is a must for every household.

If you plan in advance what recipes you will be trying out next week, you save time on deciding what to cook and running to the store because you missed one ingredient.

You’ll have all the ingredients you’ll need if you plan your menu in advance.

Make a list

As important as making a list is, keeping to it is even more important. There will be temptations galore in the grocery. Buy only what is in your list. This will help you avoid making rash purchases of things you don’t really need. Impulse buying can really affect your budget if you’re not careful enough to avoid them.

Grocery owners know that many shoppers are unable to resist temptation and thus, put them directly in the path. Keep a tight hold on your list and go directly to the items you need. Always keep in mind the difference between what you need and what you want.

Eat

Never, ever go to the grocery when you are hungry. This is a rule that cannot be emphasized enough. Always eat before you go to the grocery.

When you’re hungry, you tend to concentrate on food. The grocery is full of food items and you may not be able to resist buying more than what is in your list. Can you say impulse buy? When that happens, you can say goodbye to your budget.

Ask for Help

If you can’t find a particular product, ask for help from the store personnel. They can lead you right to what you need. Browsing the shelves may lead you to purchasing items that are not in your list. The more you interact with a product, the higher the probability that you will purchase it.

Don’t put yourself in temptation’s way. Go straight to the products that you need.

Dare to Experiment

Sure, there are some brands that we all swear by, but do consider other brands. Better yet, try some of the in-store brands. In-store brands cost far less than regular brands. Chances are, they’ll be equally good, too. They won’t look as pretty as your preferred brand but if they’re just as good and cheaper, why worry about what it looks like?

Coupon cutting and other promotions

Coupons and other store promotions like sales can really make a difference in the long run. Cut coupons for the items you need. Don’t buy an item because the product is on sale. Buy an item because you need the product. Having coupons for the items you need is just a win-win situation.

Watch out for sales. If you can afford to stockpile on your favorite non-perishable items, buy as much as you can.

Balance Quality with Quantity and Cost

Striking a balance between quality, quantity and cost can be quite an act. Often, quality is sacrificed at the expense of cost. If you’re looking to buy fresh produce like fruits and vegetables, go to your local market. They’re more likely to have fresher produce from local growers. They’ll be more affordable too.

You should also bear in mind that a larger container does not mean that you are saving more. Compare what the unit price comes down to before buying that huge bottle of fabric conditioner. There are occasions when buying the smaller containers is cheaper than getting the huge one. Check what the price per milliliter or per milligram comes down to. You just might be surprised.…

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Back-To-School Shopping Tips – How to Save Big Bucks

Back-To-School Shopping Tips – How to Save Big Bucks

One of the things that are always on top of parents heads is their children’s education. Always, the start of the school year is when they have to shell out big amounts of money for school supplies and clothes. And during this period, one can expect more parents’ increasing their stress levels just to make ends meet. However, with proper planning and an open mind, shopping won’t have to be such a chore and the best thing of all is that you get to save a lot of money, too.

Shop at a much later time. Some parents opt to shop months before the start of the new school year. Though the purpose is to avoid the back-to-school rush, the downside of this is you get the old stocks instead of the new ones. Besides, most of the time, school requirements are given on the first day of classes, thus, buying school supplies after the classes have started will be more convenient. Another way to avoid the rush is to buy items during department store down times. This way, you also don’t waste your time lining up to the cashier.

Buy in bulk. If you have several children going to school, buying in bulk is cheaper than purchasing individually wrapped school items such as pencils, bond paper, envelopes, and folders. Another advantage of bulk-buying is it minimizes the times you have to go to stores, thus, you again get to save transportation money.

Buy school supplies in school. These days, you can buy most schoolbooks in your child’s school, thus, you avoid the hassle of going to bookstores to purchase books. If your child also wears uniforms, the uniforms either are available in different sizes or are made-to-order according to your child’s fitting.

Consider hand-me-downs. Younger children usually frown at the idea of them using an older sibling’s things, while the older one gets to buy new stuff. If you will let your children wear used clothing, ensure these clothes do not look so old that using them will make your children look like they are wearing rags. Choose clothes, socks, and other items carefully before you offer the hand-me-downs to the younger one. Be creative in putting together old clothes to come up with an entirely new look. When they see that you’re able to create a fashionable look out of the old clothes, they will surely open up to the idea of them wearing used clothing.…

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Fashion Tips And Tricks You Must Know

Fashion Tips And Tricks You Must Know

At points in your life, you are going to spend time around photo-fanatics that snap hundreds of pictures with their camera or phone and upload them to their social media account. If you want to always look your best in pictures, you need to always dress your best. However, fashion is easy to pull off with the right ideas, and some of them are in this article.

Fashion Clothes

For a longer life for all the fine clothes you buy, make the time to care for them properly. Hang these clothes as soon as you are done wearing them to reduce washes. Don’t dry them in the dryer, but hang dry to extend their life.

Fashion Style

Do not count on Hollywood to guide you in the right direction when it comes to fashion style. Due to competitive fashion, there are many mistakes made in an attempt to attract attention. So it to look to those around you for fashion tips so you do not stand too far out from the crowd.

Fashion Trends

In order to make sure that you can fit into the latest fashion trends you are going to want to make sure that you are as slim as possible. Diet and exercise so you don’t feel embarrassed because you can’t fit into some of the latest trends that this season’s fashion has to offer you.

Latest Fashion

Look inside fashion magazines to get an idea of what you should be wearing for this season. You don’t have to get clothes that directly match what the latest fashion is. However, you can form a style that is very similar so people may know you are up to date with the latest fashion.

Latest Fashion Trends

In order to make sure that you can fit into the latest fashion trends you are going to want to make sure that you are as slim as possible. Diet and exercise so you don’t feel embarrassed because you can’t fit into some of the latest trends that this season’s fashion has to offer you.

Latest Trends

In order to make sure that you can fit into the latest fashion trends you are going to want to make sure that you are as slim as possible. Diet and exercise so you don’t feel embarrassed because you can’t fit into some of the latest trends that this season’s fashion has to offer you.

New Fashion

While some fashions go in and out of style, and new fashion trends are set all of the time, the seasons have certain rules regarding fashion that tend to stick around. For instance, during the spring, wear brighter colors and stand out. During the fall and winter months, go for more earthly tones and reserved patterns.

You never know where you will be when someone takes your picture and puts it online for the world (or at least their social network friends) to see. If you want to always look at least a little fashionable, follow the easy ideas presented in this article. It does not take much to look like a lot!…

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Shopping Tips For Finding A Running Watch

Shopping Tips For Finding A Running Watch

When looking for a watch, it is important for a person to find one that is both practical and attractive. There are many watch manufacturers from which to choose, but, they do not all produce the same quality watches. This does not mean, however, that finding the ideal running watch must be a difficult task. One must simply determine the features that he or she considers most important, and then choose a day to do some comparison shopping.

To choose the ideal watch, one should determine the features that he or she considers to be necessary, and then also create a list of additional features that would make the watch particularly special. There are many watch accessories available on today’s market, from GPS options, to MP3 players. Many of these features have come about due to advancements in technology. Some traditional features include stop watch mechanisms, and functions that can show individuals how many laps they have swam or walked. Once a person has determined which features are absolutely vital, the optional features list should be examined to see which accessories he or she would actually use.

One can find a running watch online, or at a traditional bricks and mortar store. Athletic stores, whether traditional or online, will typically have the best selection of running watches. Some people prefer to purchase such items on sites such as eBay or Amazon; however, there are those who prefer to see the item in person before it is purchased.

By taking the appropriate amount of time to decide which accessories are truly important, a person will save time and effort in the long run. This can also keep one from spending from too much money, as unnecessary features will be crossed from the list ahead of time. It is also a good idea to shop around, rather than make an impulse purchase. This way, customers can be assured of getting the most for their money.…

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Back to School Shopping Tips For Parents

Back to School Shopping Tips For Parents

Back-to-School season can bring parents either dread or excitement. It really depends on whether they prepared for it or not. One of the top items on their to-do list is usually back-to-school shopping. Who would want to wrestle through crowded bookstores and department stores with all the kids in tow? While it’s something quite inevitable, parents can better prepare for back-to-school shopping and lower their stress levels if they consider some of the tips below.

Discuss with the Kids and Get Them to Cooperate

Those who are directly affected by back-to-school shopping are usually the kids themselves. It’s best for busy parents to set aside time to sit down with their kids and find out what they want to shop for. If parents want cooperative kids at the store, then it’s best for them to get their kids’ buy-in early on.

• What are their non-negotiables? Can they let Mommy decide on choice of notebooks and school supplies but make sure to pick their own school bags and lunch boxes only? Do they need to be around when Mommy buys the paper and office supplies?

• What are the kids’ current sizes from clothes to shoes? It’s best for mom to have an inventory of where the kids are in terms of size so that she can bring a size chart with her and make her life easier when dealing with store clerks. While mom can actually shop with just the size chart, nothing beats having a child try on the clothes or shoes needed for school.

• Is there something that they are looking forward to? If mom finds out that her son is dying to have a Ben10 pencil case, she can save this incentive for last as a reward for good behavior while on the shopping trip. Of course, parents are discouraged from giving monetary rewards for simple tasks or good behavior. It’s a good venue for them to understand their child’s preferences and personality so that they can gear their motivation towards the things that excite their child.

Bargain Hunter or Convenience Shopper

A parent has to make the firm decision of whether she is a bargain hunter or a convenience shopper. This can color what she will do with her productive time. If a mom is ready to go canvassing in various shops, she can opt to have one day devoted to checking out prices even without the kids so that she’s ready to get the best prices without having the kids whining while she’s at it.

However, if a parent is willing to sacrifice price for convenience, then she can just set a budget ceiling and immediately take the kids to a less crowded store and do away with price canvassing. If a parent prioritizes what she values early on, she will be better prepared to go on her shopping trip.

Have a List Ready

Lastly, a parent will greatly benefit from organizing her back-to-school shopping trip with a list by child (specifying gender, age and requirements). This way, her shopping trip is done with efficiency and without too much meandering. With a checklist on hand, a mom will be less tempted to browse and to just focus on the task at hand.…