How to Secure Your Shed in Six Easy Steps

garden pathDid you know that shed crime is becoming more common in the USA? Every year thieves and opportunist criminals steal items like lawnmowers, motorbikes and household tools from sheds that are not properly secured and easy to gain access to.

How to you avoid this happening to your shed you might be wondering? Simple…just follow the six easy steps outlined below.

Surround the shed

One of the main reasons why sheds get broken into is because they are easy to get to in the middle of the night. For this reason, you have to make it more difficult for the criminals, and you can do this by surrounding the shed with things such as bushes and shrubs.

Sturdy padlock

The average lock on a shed is a weak padlock that can be easily broken with a little bit of force. With this in mind, you should upgrade to a sturdy padlock as soon as possible, which makes it a lot harder for thieves to break in.

Use an alarm

Most Americans now have alarm systems for their house and garage, but the shed often gets left out. Ultimately though, if you have valuable items in the shed that you don’t want stolen, then it makes sense to have some kind of alarm system in place.

Use special hinges

A popular way for criminals to access a shed is to simply screw out the hinges on the door and then take it off, granting them easy entry to the shed.

Fortunately, there is a way to stop this happening by using special types of hinges that can’t be screwed out once they have been put in place. Go to your local DIY store and ask for screws that have coach bolts or non-returnable screws.

Motion detector lighting

As mentioned earlier, shed thieves like to operate at night so they can’t be seen performing their criminal activities. In order to stop them from entering your shed, it’s a good idea to install motion detector lighting that comes on when it detects movement.

Use curtains

Can anybody look through the window and see inside your shed? In this type of scenario you could be advertising your valuable contents to anyone that happens to walk by, and that is why it’s beneficial to use some curtains to block their view.

At the end of the day, when everything is on display it generally becomes an invitation for thieves, so do your best to avoid this.

Conclusion

Follow the easy steps above and you are well on the way to securing your shed and keeping criminals at bay. While you can never be 100% confident everything is safe, if you do everything in your power you can have more peace of mind.

Should You Buy a Garage or Carport?

home with garageWhen you want to store and protect your vehicle then you might be wondering if a garage or carport is the right thing for the job?

This is not always a straight forward choice, mainly because it depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Hopefully, you will gain a better understanding of which way to go after reading the information below.

Garage

The main reason why you should buy a garage is because of security. Not only can you lock away your car for the night and help to keep it away from criminals, but it’s also possible to store important tools and gardening equipment that you don’t want left around.

As long as the garage has strong walls and a solid roof then you won’t have to worry about the weather, especially heavy rain and strong winds. Everything you keep in the garage is fully protected and will not come to any harm.

So what about the downsides? Without a doubt, the main downside is the cost, as the average garage is not cheap, and even if you try to build it yourself it is still going to be expensive because of all the materials, as well as the time you have to invest.

You might even have to abide by certain city building codes when adding a garage to your property, so make sure you keep that in mind.

Carport

If you are thinking about buying a carport then the main reason would be the cost. They are significantly cheaper than a garage, which makes it the perfect choice for people who want a cheap way to protect their car.

It is also much easier to install than a garage, and if you order a carport from the internet then it will arrive flat packed and with instructions, which means all you need to do is install it.

Something to keep in mind is that a carport doesn’t offer complete security for your vehicle, and while it is safer than being parked on the street, it’s still vulnerable to criminals. A good way to make it more secure is to put a light near the carport at night that is activated by movement, as well as installing a video camera on the wall.

It’s also worth noting that a carport doesn’t usually come with much extra space like a garage does, so you won’t have that much room to store extra tools and equipment.

6 Simple Tips for Saving Money in Singapore

coins silverNo matter if you’re spending a weekend in Singapore before moving onto Malaysia, or you plan to stop there for a month or two, there are certain tips you can follow to save money.

Let’s face it, Singapore is one of the most expensive places in Asia, which means it’s essential you know how to make your cash go further.

Here are 6 simple tips to help you achieve just that.

Get the best exchange rate

The first tip is to get the best exchange rate when turning your home currency into the Singapore Dollar. The exchange rates vary a lot from place to place, so make sure you shop around to find the best deal.

Avoid hotels

Most tourists stop in a hotel while visiting Singapore, but this is without a doubt the most expensive option.

Instead, look for Short term accommodation in Singapore from specialist websites where apartments are offered on a daily rate, coming in at significantly cheaper prices than a hotel.

Drink at happy hour

One of the main attractions of Singapore is the nightlife, but did you know that many bars offer happy hours where you can start the party early? Drinks are typically half price, which means you can have a few beers without spending too much money.

Eat at street stalls

There is no denying that restaurants are all over the place in Singapore, but the price tags are not cheap, and when you’re on a budget this all starts to add up.

For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you eat at street stalls in the city, where the prices are low but the quality of food is still excellent. Eat Chinese, Indian, and a range of other cuisines at only a few dollars per meal.

Use public transport

When you are planning to stop in Singapore for a week or more, then you might be thinking about hiring a car or catching taxis around the city when you visit different places.

Actually, this isn’t necessary at all, mainly due to the fact that public transport is both cheap and efficient. In fact, an all day pass with the bus service will only cost you $5.

Don’t get into trouble

While Singapore is generally a peaceful city where you are completely safe, it is possible to get into trouble if you break one of their laws.

A good example of this is with litter and chewing gum, as being caught throwing it on the street comes with a hefty fine. Not good when you are trying to enjoy your vacation on a budget.

How to Stay on Your Diet and Achieve Success & Save Money

currency manRecent studies have suggested that 85% of Americans and Europeans give up on their diets within the first 2 weeks. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that people struggle to lose weight…if only they had some willpower.

Fortunately, you don’t really need a lot of willpower in order to stay on your diet and achieve success, as long as you follow the basic principles and tips in this article. Ready to get started? Keep reading…

Dieting can also save you money, no more alcohol, trips to the movies or sugary snacks. Plus wholesome food tens to be cheaper and more filling than processed food. So lose pounds and gain dollars with our tips below!

Be realistic

Quite possibly the main reason why so many people end up giving up on a diet is because they are trying to lose too much weight, too soon.

Losing 25 pounds in 3 weeks might seem like a good idea at first, but after a few days you start to feel miserable due to lack of calories. It’s a much better idea to be realistic in order to achieve long term success. Set a goal to lose 2 or 3 pounds a week and keep with that.

Snack sensibly

There is nothing wrong with snacking in between meals when you feel hungry, the key is to do it in a sensible manner. As an example, pork jerky is a very good snack for weight loss, because it has lots of protein and does not have any empty calories.

Give yourself a treat

Research has proven that someone who gives themselves a treat every now and again is more likely to stick to their diet and be successful.

This means if your favorite food is pizza then having a few slices on Saturday night is fine, as long as you don’t eat too much and it is doesn’t tempt you into eating other junk foods.

Exercise daily

One of the main benefits of exercising on a daily basis is that you burn more calories, which means you can eat more food to give yourself energy.

Exercise can be whatever you enjoy or feel comfortable with. Perhaps a run in the local park is a good idea, or playing tennis with your friends? The most important thing is to do something.

Talk with people

Another way stay on your diet is to talk with people who are going through the same thing. This could be on forums or social media, or even with family and friends.

You might also want to look at success stories for inspiration, and especially “before and after” photos that show you what is possible if you are dedicated and prepared to stay on course.

5 Tips for Buying Products for Your Home on the Internet

hotelNo matter if you want to buy some scatter cushions for your couch or a gazebo for your garden, you can pretty much find everything on the internet. Best of the all, the prices are often significantly lower than the high street, which means you save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Here are 5 tips to help you buy products on the internet in the right way. Enjoy!

Understand the return policy

A disadvantage of buying products on the internet is you can’t physically see the product before clicking on the buy button.

Sometimes, this leads to you getting it wrong, and when this happens the only option is to send it back for a refund. That’s why it’s important to fully understand the return policy before making a purchase. Typically, a 30 day policy is standard, as it gives you enough time to evaluate the product and then send it back if required.

Check reviews

Still not sure what make and model is the best buy? In this type of scenario checking reviews from previous customers is a great way to help make up your mind, as they can give you insider information about aspects of the products you might not have thought about, which ultimately makes the purchasing decision easier.

Check customer reviews on the retail site itself, or do a search in Google for “product name + review” to see what independent sites have to say.

Shipping costs

Some sites advertise a really low price to draw you in, but then this price quickly goes up once you get to the checkout page. Why is this you might be wondering? Well, it’s the shipping costs of course. This becomes more apparent when you are buying larger items such as appliances or furniture, as the cost of packaging and delivering these items is not cheap.

The good news is that many sites are now offering free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, which gives you an incentive to do all of your shopping in one go.

Click and collect

Many of the retail stores that made their name on the high street are now starting to turn their attention online, and this is good news for you, the consumer.

The reason? Because a lot of these stores now offer a “click and collect” service, where you are able to shop on the website and order an item, and then go to the store in your town or city and pick it up. This saves you money as there are no shipping costs involved.

Compare price

Perhaps the biggest advantage of buying products for your home on the internet is the ability to compare prices and then choose the best deal.

At any one time the same product might be for sale on 20 different websites, although the prices are usually very different. The best way to find the cheapest price is to use a comparison website that automatically checks each website and the delivers all the information back to you. Quick and easy.

How to Save Energy in The Kitchen

kitchenWhen you want to lower your utility bills then saving energy in the kitchen should be the first place to start. Just a few tweaks here and there could easily save you hundreds of dollars each year, and it’s for this reason that you should pay very close attention to every single world in this article.

Our resident energy experts have picked out their best tips for saving energy in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Turn off appliances

Make sure you always turn off appliances when not in use to save energy. Fortunately, many appliances now have “auto-shutdown” modes for your convenience, such as the best coffee maker models and many toasters, kettles, and microwaves.

Have a cold wash

Everybody needs to wash their clothes in a washing machine, but did you know that by having a colder wash you could easily save around $20 to $35 a month?

This is especially when you do a lot of washing but don’t have clothes that are especially dirty. Simply turn the temperature down from 60 degrees to 30 degrees (or even 15 to 20 degrees in some cases).

Use the dishwasher once a day

One of the easiest ways to save energy in the kitchen is to reduce the amount of times you use the dishwasher. That doesn’t mean you have to go back to washing dishes by hand, but it does mean you have to be a bit more smarter.

The best way to achieve this is by only turning on the dishwasher when it is completely full, as statistics show that it uses the same amount of water and energy when both half-full and full. Also, turn the setting to “quick wash” as in most cases this is more than enough to fully wash plates, pans, and cups.

Use a slow cooker

Cooking meat such as lamb or beef in a slow cooker is a great way to save energy, mainly because it uses less energy when compared to normal oven cooking. All you need to do is put the slow cooker on in the morning on the low setting, and then by the time you get home at night the meat will be expertly cooked and ready to eat.

Give your fridge some space

Lastly, always make sure you avoid pressing your fridge right up against the wall, as lack of space restricts airflow and causes it to work harder, which ultimately means it uses more energy on a daily basis. Give it some much needed space to save money.