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5 Money-Saving IKEA Essentials That You Shouldn’t Miss

5 Money-Saving IKEA Essentials That You Shouldn’t Miss

IKEA is everyone’s go-to for great home essentials. We love the clean lines and simplicity, and easy-to-build pieces. But we shouldn’t be buying less expensive items and then be paying an arm and a leg on utility bills. These five product types available at IKEA are not just essentials, they’re also cheaper than alternatives on the market. This means you won’t have to dish out your kids’ college savings just to afford them or put aside that money you were saving to redesign your home. PLUS, they will save you a lot more in years to come. Don’t miss out on these great items.

1. Rugs and Curtains

Living room

    A lot of homes lose heat through the floor. Because of this, investing in area rugs is an easy, low-cost way to save on those heating bills. Putting up curtains on windows and glass doors can also save you on heating and cooling. Curtains can block the heat from the sun during hot summer months and they can also keep the heat inside during the wintry months. Both rugs and curtains come in so many colorful options at IKEA, so they’re not just energy efficient, they can also give your home a bit of a facelift too. Choose from some stunning designs to pair with your sliding barndoor hardware and you won’t have to sacrifice your design personality.

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    2. Refrigerators

    Refrigerator

      Refrigerators are one of those appliances we have to keep running all day, all night, always. But they sometimes sap more energy than necessary. Most new refrigerators or freezer models are being made more energy efficient than older models. Replacing an old one can save you a little extra money, plus it uses up to 40% less energy than older, outdated models. The newest IKEA refrigerators have been rated A+ or A++, compared to the B- or A- ratings of older appliances.

      3. LED Lights

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      LED lights

        About a quarter of energy consumption is through lighting, but IKEA’s LED lights use about 85% less energy than older bulbs. IKEA has switched all their lighting options completely over to LED. But with their new designs, lighting can also become more fun and beautiful. Not only that, but LED lights come in a wide range of sizes and work with all fittings, so you don’t need to replace your favorite lamp or fixture.

        4. Faucets

        Sink

          With larger families, or even just forgetful family members, saving water can seem like a big ordeal. But IKEA has bathroom faucets that save up to 50% of water and kitchen faucets that will save up to 30% of water use. You can begin to save money on water utility bills by focusing your water-saving efforts at the source. With these new IKEA faucets that come in a great variety of wonderful styles to fit you home’s design theme, you can save without having to change your family’s habits.

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          IKEA also has some great new designs for washing machines and dishwashers that also focus on water efficiency. With these great appliances you won’t feel like you need to start hand washing all your dishes just to save a little cash. You can rest easy knowing that the machine is doing all the hard work for you.

          5. Stovetops

          Stove

            IKEA has some great options for stovetops with new induction technology. Don’t sacrifice your good cooking to save, rather, invest in a new cooktop that heats up the pan (not everything around it, which can result in greater heat loss). Not only do these stovetops save energy, they also work better than older glass-ceramic appliances. IKEA also has great pots and pans to compliment their energy-efficient stovetops.

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            These IKEA essentials are not only energy-efficient, helping to preserve some of the most precious resources the earth has to offer us, but they also save you and your family money. Investing in some of these items will help your family become more eco-friendly and your utility bills will be a little more forgiving.

            Featured photo credit: IKEA/ Gerard Stolk via flic.kr

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            Paisley Hansen

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on August 12, 2019

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

            But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

            I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

            Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

            1. Nuts

            The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

            Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

            Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

            Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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            2. Blueberries

            Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

            When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

            3. Tomatoes

            Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

            4. Broccoli

            While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

            Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

            Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

            5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

            Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

            The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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            Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

            6. Soy

            Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

            Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

            Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

            7. Dark Chocolate

            When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

            Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

            8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

            Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

            B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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            Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

            Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

            To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

            9. Foods Rich in Zinc

            Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

            Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

            Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

            10. Gingko Biloba

            This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

            It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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            However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

            11. Green and Black Tea

            Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

            Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

            Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

            12. Sage and Rosemary

            Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

            Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

            When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

            More About Boosting Brain Power

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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