Save and Spray Mold Away By Nadine Cheung

Have you ever used distilled white vinegar for cleaning?

I use it all the time.
I’ve never tried.
I’ve used before, but felt like it wasn’t as good as branded cleansers.

Household mold is not only unsightly, but it can also be a danger to your health, if left untreated. Many brand name mold removers are effective, but aren’t exactly the safest and cost-effective solution.

For instance, Lysol costs around $4.50 for a 32-ounce bottle, but is made with harsh chemicals that aren’t necessary to get the job done. According to DIY Life, many products are made with chlorine bleach, which contains sodium hypochlorite. When mixed with water, sodium hypochlorite forms hypochlorous acid, which can be harmful to your skin, eyes and lungs.

So, how can you get rid of mold in a safer, more inexpensive way? Reach for a bottle of vinegar. White distilled vinegar can kill 82 percent of mold, and is effective in removing any mold-associated odors. A gallon of vinegar costs around $3, which is just 2 cents per ounce. When compared with the cost of Lysol, vinegar is seven times cheaper. You can’t beat that.

Simply mix three parts vinegar with two parts water. Pour into a spray bottle, shake well and spray on the unsuspecting mold. You’ll be amazed by the results.

So, when it comes to mold removal, pass on the harsh chemicals and choose this natural solution instead. Your home and your wallet will thank you.

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Improve Your Credit Score

Aver­age Daily Bal­ance

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard the term “Aver­age Daily Bal­ance” (ABD), but it affects over 75% of Amer­i­can adults. And that’s because over 75% of Amer­i­can adults have at least one cred­it card.

In essence, ABD is a for­mu­la that deter­mines how much inter­est you’ll pay at the end of your cred­it card billing cycle. If you think the inter­est charge is cal­cu­lat­ed by mul­ti­ply­ing your APR by the bal­ance on your card at the end of the month, you are wrong.

It’s actu­al­ly cal­cu­lat­ed by mul­ti­ply­ing your APR by—you guessed it—your aver­age daily
bal­ance. That means you could be pay­ing much more inter­est than you need to! Let’s use an exam­ple to illus­trate why: imag­ine you receive two pay­checks each month—one in the mid­dle and one at the end. Since you don’t know about ADB, you wait until the end of the month to make your cred­it card pay­ment. That means the aver­age bal­ance on your card through­out the month is as high as possible…leading to high­er inter­est charges.

What if you instead split your cred­it card pay­ment into two – one in the mid­dle of the month and one at the end? If you start­ed the month with a bal­ance of $4,000 and made a pay­ment mid-month of $3,000, your aver­age daily bal­ance for the month would be $2,500—which is $1,500 lower than what it would have been if you wait­ed until the end of the month to pay. Assum­ing your APR on the card is 20%, you would save your­self about $3,000 worth of unnec­es­sary inter­est charges per year!

Cred­it Uti­liza­tion

Believe it or not, you can be penal­ized for using all the cred­it that has been offered to you. That’s because one of the main vari­ables in deter­min­ing your cred­it score is how much of your avail­able cred­it you’re using. The term “cred­it uti­liza­tion” refers to the ratio of your total debt to your remain­ing avail­able cred­it. For exam­ple, if you own a cred­it card with a cred­it limit of $20,000 and then you put enough pur­chas­es on it to reach the limit, your cred­it uti­liza­tion would be 100%. As you can prob­a­bly guess, that’s not good for your cred­it score. Fur­ther, if you also had an auto loan for $20,000 that was half paid off, then your total cred­it uti­liza­tion would be 75%. Experts usu­al­ly rec­om­mend a cred­it uti­liza­tion of no more than 30%, but it depends on your indi­vid­ual sit­u­a­tion.

Under­stand­ing this con­cept can help you save money through­out your life. Many peo­ple close a cred­it card once it has a zero bal­ance, but if you’re informed about cred­it uti­liza­tion you will often real­ize it makes sense to leave the card open (as long as it won’t tempt you to get in debt). As long as it remains open, the avail­able cred­it on the card will help your cred­it uti­liza­tion—and boost your cred­it score.

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Use Baking Soda to Clean Almost Anything

I recently overcooked some quinoa, severely burning the bottom of the pot. Hoping to salvage it, I tried this baking soda and vinegar cleaning trick. It worked well enough (I may have to do it a couple more times to get it completely stain-free), but since I had the baking soda in my hands, I sprinkled some on my stainless steel sink. Holy Moses, it worked wonders.

Bonus: the stuff is cheap and safe for the environment. I didn’t even know how dirty the sink was until I saw the “after.” Now I’m obsessed. Here, more cleaning tricks to try with baking soda (with a little help from our friends at Care2):

1. Surface Cleaner: 
Sprinkle some on a damp sponge and scrub bathtubs, tile, sinks, counters, even microwaves, then rinse.
2. Dish Soap: 
Add 2 tablespoons of it to your dishwater (along with some dish soap) to soak tough-to-remove food off dishes, pots, and pans. Use it to scrub when washing, too.
3. Sponge Freshener: 
Soak stinky sponges in 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water.
4. Silverware Polisher:
 Add 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and rub onto silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse well and dry.
5. Coffee and Tea Stain Remover:
 Wash mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Soak overnight with detergent for stubborn stains.
6. Oven Cleaner: 
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of your oven, spray with water, then let it sit overnight. Next day, scrub the grime away.
7. Shower Curtain Cleaner: 
Sprinkle some on a cleaning brush and scrub your shower curtain liner, then rinse clean.

For 43 more uses for baking soda, visit

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Makes me think of yummy baked goods and spicy good smells… It’s good stuff, that cinnamon.

In addition to its over-all yumminess, recent studies have been showing that cinnamon can provide added health benefits.  It has fiber and calcium, which helps to improve colon health and to fight heart disease.  It also has been shown to:

  • help lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol
  • help to regulate blood sugar in diabetics
  • have anti-clotting effect on the blood
  • helps fight yeast infections
  • boost brain function and cognitive processes
There’s a ton of info out there.  Just google benefits of cinnamon.
Here’s how I get my daily dose of cinnamon:

Yep.  Shake a little cinnamon right on top of the coffee and brew as usual.  (I don’t have a Kureig, so if you do, well, I don’t know what to tell you…)  It adds a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ to my coffee each morning AND it helps me to get a little cinnamon in each day.

It’s the little things that we do regularly that help us stay healthy.  It may not seem like much, but it all adds up.

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