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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 Replacing an old one can save you a little extra money, plus it uses up to 40% less energy than older, outdated models.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 13, 2018

            5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

            5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

            Making love can be simultaneously the most pleasurable and the most stressful experience that we share with another human being. It is a natural conclusion of the ritual of intimacy we engage in with a person we find attractive on both a physical and psychological level. Yet, we are far removed from our animalistic roots, and that which was once a matter of instinct has become somewhat complex. This is a good thing; we have grown as a society, and there are many factors involved when it comes to the relationship between sexual partners. However, we have also lost a great deal of the physical prowess our primitive ancestors had.

            They engaged in a huge amount of physical activities daily — activities that ensured their cardiovascular system and muscles were in great shape, which allowed them to have healthy libidos, strong erections, and the muscular strength, limberness and endurance to maintain different positions for a long time without getting exhausted. Luckily, we can regain some of these animalistic traits with the right kind of training. Here are some essential exercises that will help improve your relationship, but making you more confident in intimate settings, which means that you’ll have more satisfying intercourse.

            Don Juan

              1. Cardio for Stamina

              If you’re out of shape, the first thing you’ll notice during intercourse is that you start to breathe heavily, sweat profusely and tire easily. This means you’ll have to shift your posture frequently and limit yourself to a few positions you feel comfortable with or significantly slow down the pace. A high BMI has also been linked to potential problems with erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular exercises like running, jumping rope, swimming and cycling will build up your aerobic stamina and enable you to perform longer before becoming fatigued, thus having better intercourse. They’ll also help manage your weight, possibly helping performance.

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              Triathlon symbol
                • Running – 10-20 minutes a day (1-3 miles a day is more than enough)
                • Jumping rope – 5-20 minutes a day
                • Swimming – 30 minutes a day
                • Cycling – 30 minutes a day

                The time in minutes denotes time spent actively performing the exercise, and you need to factor in a bit more time for warming up before and cooling down after the exercises.

                These exercises can be performed every day or every other day, and the goal is to work on both endurance and speed. Don’t just go at a snail’s pace; constantly try to improve your time or add some mileage.

                2. Strength-Training for Your Lower Body and Core

                The next thing you’ll need to focus on is improving both the strength and muscular endurance of the hip flexors, abdominals and spinal erectors. These are the muscles engaged in thrusting and circular motions, and they also stabilize your body in a number of different positions. The legs also play an important role, particularly in standing and kneeling positions. Here are a few exercises that will help you strengthen up this area:

                Barbell squats
                  • Heavy barbell squats – set up at a power rack at the gym and make sure you use proper form and weights that you can lift 3-8 times. Do this exercise before anything else in the gym for 4-5 sets to get big and powerful legs, as well as tighten up the muscles of the core. This is useful for both men and women, particularly if you enjoy the woman-on-top positions and standing positions. You can do hack squats on the machine if your gym lacks a power rack, but you won’t get the core-strengthening benefits

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                  Zercher squat
                    • Zercher squatsthis type of squat is a perfect way for guys to strengthen their body for standing positions where the woman is lifted off the ground. Build up a foundation of strength first, and then use lighter weights and go for 10-12 repetitions to focus on muscle endurance.

                    Glute bridge
                      • Glute bridgethis exercise is great for working the glutes and hip thrusters, and should be done for ultra-high reps —up to 100 — to increase muscle endurance. Once you become stronger in this movement, you can upgrade to the barbell glute bridge and keep the reps high — around 10 to 15.

                      Hyperextensions
                        • Hyperextensions – excellent for strengthening the spinal erectors, this exercise (or a variation of it) may be done in most gyms and even at home. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions at the end of your workout.

                        Ab wheel rollout
                          • Ab wheel rollout – this is a great exercise for strengthening the abs, and requires only a piece of inexpensive equipment. It will help you stay stable and hold positions longer without getting tired during intercourse. Do three sets of this workout for as many repetitions as you can.

                          Cross body crunch
                            • Cross body crunchthis exercise improves your ability to perform explosive twisting motions, particularly good for improving your stamina in the spoon position where you’e lying on your side. Do 2 to 3 sets of this exercise at the end of your workout.

                            Incorporate these exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times a week.

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                            3. Upper-Body Strength Training

                            Upper-body strength plays an important role in many popular sex positions where the arms are used to provide a stable base or hold onto the partner. These including missionary, doggy style, the stand and carry (with the woman holding onto the man’s neck) and others. Use these simple exercises to improve upper body strength and endurance:

                            Plank exercise
                              • Plank – while bench pressing is great for building a big chest, you will find yourself in need of static strength, muscle endurance and a strong core. This exercise is a great way to increase the amount of time you are able to hold positions that require you to support yourself with your arms. For added difficulty, straighten out your arms like at the top of a pushup and hold as long as you can.

                              Close grip pushups
                                • Close pushups – a pushup variation that focuses on triceps, which are the first to give out during a prolonged missionary or similar position. Go for very high reps, 20 t0 50, to work on muscle endurance.

                                Chin ups
                                  • Chin-ups – A great upper back and biceps builder, this exercise will also target the core if you try to be as straight as possible when lifting yourself up. You can jump to help make things easier, or just hold as long as you can if you aren’t strong enough to perform a single chin up. Do 3 to 4 sets for as many reps as you can.

                                  These exercises, done about three times a week, will help you develop a strong upper body that can keep going and hold you up for extended periods of time.

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                                  4. Pelvic-Floor Exercises

                                  You don’t have to perform these at the gym, although you could do them after your workout without anyone even noticing. The idea behind Kegel exercises is to improve blood flow to the sex organs and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor in both men and women. By locating these muscles and tightening and relaxing them for intervals of 5 seconds for 10 to 15 repetitions at a time, several times a day, you can improve pleasure and performance during sex. Women can tighten their vaginal walls for increased pleasure to both them and their partner, while men can delay ejaculation by tightening these muscles.

                                  5. Flexibility Moves for Legs and Hips

                                  Lion stretching

                                    If you want to avoid getting cramps — or even worse, pulling a muscle during intercourse — you should do a few simple stretches every day. The more limber you are, the more comfortable you’ll be with more exotic poses. Here are a few simple stretches to improve hip and leg flexibility:

                                    Take a few minutes to warm up with some light running or jumping jacks before stretching, and spend some 10 minutes on these stretches. You can do them in the morning and at night, or shortly before intercourse.

                                    With just a few hours a week devoted to exercise, you can improve your relationship significantly. If you focus on these exercises, over time, you just might become dynamite in bed.

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