The first time we strike out on our own, we're 100% guaranteed to be shocked by all the little things we need but didn't ever think to buy. We're looking at you, garbage cans! That shock is only multiplied when we purchase our own home. Congrats! Everything is now completely your problem. Hope you remembered to get everything you needed! Pro Tip: You didn't. Brace yourself. Because we love you, we're going to share the answers one Reddit user (who is a total unnamed hero for any first time home buyers) got when they asked:
The Unsung Hero Of Home Repairs
An item I never see listed but I use a lot. A big container of zip ties.
Honestly about 10 thousand dollars
Because that first few months is going to be very expensive as there isn't "one" thing you need but about 200
If you lived in an apartment you might not have things like ladders, lawn mowers and such
A voltage pen! Old houses can have weird wiring and sometimes you just want to know if that old plug in works. Save yourself the zap. These things are cheap and handy.
Yes, we did have a home inspection! But once the papers are signed and the warranty expires, you are on your own. And Murphy's Law dictates that is the exact time for stuff to get weird.
Projectile Puke Cleaner
You have 8 grand worth of carpet? Buy the $300 carpet cleaner so you dont live on a dirty rag
Everyone really needs a shop vac at some point and will be happy you own when you need it. Shop vacs should come with every baby
First time your baby projectile pukes across the whole house you will understand.
Please Have A Plunger.
A toilet plunger. Until you know your new homes plumbing... look out.
You Don't Think About It Until You Need It
A fire extinguisher.
I was hanging something at my boyfriend's place and asked if he had a stud finder. "Well, of course, but I don't see how my mirror is gonna help right now."
But Do We Need A Tarp?
Got a big pile of leaves in the front that you wanna move to the back? Slide it around on a tarp.
Did your grill cover blow away in the storm last night? Cover it with a tarp.
Have a broken screen panel on your screened in porch from the same storm? Hang that tarp.
Need a drop cloth while you paint your kitchen? You get yourself a tarp.
Need to catch branches on the ground while your prune your trees? Get a bucket.
JUST KIDDING GET A TARP.
One Key To Rule Them All
One key. Have all your door locks set to the same key.
When my wife and I first bought our house, I told her the same thing. The first couple of days after we closed, we planned to paint and replace all the door knobs and deadbolts. The house had 3 different keys: one for the knobs, one for the deadbolts, and one for the detached garage. On the day of closing, I changed them all with matching knobs and deadbolts so they all used one key.
Come a few days after closing and we get a knock on the door. It's the previous homeowner with a box full of a few things that they didn't realize they had packed: the owner's manuals for all the appliances, a little hook tool to open and close the flue, and about a half dozen keys to the doors. As soon as they left, I turned to my wife and said "and this is why we changed the locks."
An Air What?
This took me 7 years to discover: An Air Comb
This thing is simply a stick with some holes drilled in it, and you attach it to an air compressor.
What would you need this for? Well, my old house was built in 1969. It had a 17 year old HVAC system, which did not perform very well. I hired 5-6 different HVAC contractors to come out and diagnose the issues, and each one told me something different. The problem was that the system could not keep up with the weather - hot days were hot inside, cold days were cold inside. We bought a window AC to help in summer, and oil filled electric radiators to help in winter.
The system ran 24x7 most days, and during the summer we were lucky to see temps in the high 70's indoors, it was more like 84 - 88 degrees. In the winter, well, we were freezing. It was like it wasn't even on.
And of course, my electric bills were expensive - $300 to $700 a month. It was killing me. None of my neighbors had bills as high as we did. All their homes were comfy, too.
Finally, by accident, I discovered the issue when I was changing my HVAC filter. There was a big piece of ... crap on the filter. It was black and made of dust and dirt. I stuck my camera into my air handler and took a picture of the A-coil (evaporator coils) and discovered they were coated almost completely with dust.
I bought the air comb, used my compressor and blew the coils clean, and suddenly it was like I had a brand new HVAC system. The house would cool down in an hour. We could set it to any temp we wanted and be comfy. Our usage dropped by well over 60%, and my electric bills dropped well over 50%.
All because of a $20 tool.
Good Guy Seller
When I sold my house I gave the buyer measurements of all the windows and all warranty paperwork (roof, furnace, windows etc). I also provided a list of all house quirks.
Example: our garage opener sensor was askew ever so slightly so when you pulled in on the right side spot you had to aim the opener to the left - this may sound stupid but it will save them a sh*t ton of aggravation.
Another example: we had lovebirds nest in our front hedges - they would come every year and lay eggs. When that happens they get VERY defensive of their space which made our front door pretty much unusable. We didn't mind, but they might, so we left information on who to call to relocate them (a local nature center will come and do it for free!)
We also provided our garden and plant information - we had a pretty decent garden and nice little flower arrangements. We also provided the name of our landscaper, handyman, roofer, the kid's number to call to shovel snow in the winter, plumber, furnace people, oil company we used and other oil companies in the area for bids.
i tried to provide everything I was not provided when we bought the house.
A notebook for house repairs and reno'ing. As the years go by, it can be really hard to track all the things you do, and when you did them. Was there a one year warranty on that window replacement, or two year? When did the furnace get serviced last? We're currently dealing with a huge tunneling under our yard with the City due to drain issues, and also had work done 7 years ago. Trying to remember what and where the City and plumber dug/did back then, is causing some issues now. Take notes new home owners of Reddit, lots of notes!
This Answer Became A Painting Tutorial
Get a decent brush, like a Corona Excalibur and learn how to cut in really well. Learning how to cut in will save your HOURS trying to tape everything perfectly. If you spill paint let it dry a couple hours before cleaning it, especially on carpets. One little dot of paint on a carpet is easy to cut off with a razor blade, a big smear of paint in the carpet is impossible to get out.
Take the time to prep the walls, skim coating with joint compound if necessary, you will see every imperfection through the paint, don't think it will cover it up. Fill holes, and prime water stains.
Paint ceilings first, then trim, then walls.
Edit: if you do decide tape is the way for you, get the green tape, not the blue tape. Paint and peel the tape right away, don't load up a lot of paint in the corner or it will drip once you peel the tape up. The green tape (Frog Tape) has a chemical reaction when paint hits the edge of it and foams up to keep paint from wicking underneath. Also, buy new tape every time you paint, don't use that roll you've had sitting around for a year..
Also, if you have wallpaper on the walls that's bubbling, do not paint over it. You need to remove it or your walls will continue to look like shit. WP Chomp is magic for that. Once the paper is off you need to clean the crap out of the walls to remove any residual glue. Then you will want to skim coat to even the walls out, then prime, then paint. This will take you a few days if not a couple weeks, do not expect to paint in an afternoon. Prep is at least 75% of the job, the painting part is the easy past...
Water-key. It's the little key you use to open the tiny manhole cover that connects your house's water to the city line. When you get that open, you can disconnect your house from water pressure. I've been able to fix a lot of things with that off.
"I Haven't Felt This Good About My Butthole..."
A bidet, I now think using paper is unhygienic and kinda gross. I haven't felt this good about my butthole ever. A bidet is just so good.
Stagehands Will Already Have One... Or Ten.
I bought a leatherman first week after buying my house. It lived at my hip and saved me many dozen trips to the toolbox for a quick adjustment or tightening of bolts or screws or cutting something. I used to think swiss army knives were the shit, but then I realized you could have one with a set of pliers built in.
We Love Lamp
A headlamp. Invaluable for hands free spot lighting during repairs, painting, etc. Couldn't believe how much we used it or how glad we would be to have it
Insulate Like You Mean It
Extra insulation. When we had our home inspected the inspector told us that the insulation we had was adequate, but in a few years new regulation would require more if we wanted to sell the house. I contacted a company that would blow in insulation on top of what we already had. When he asked how much I wanted to put, I said put as much as will fit.
It ended up costing us more than $800 but since we live in the deep south, I thought this was a good investment.
Years later we had to replace our air conditioner. When the employee asked how much we pay for electricity for the hottest part of the year, I said conservatively about $100 a month. He looked at me in shock and said a house this size should run $200 to $300 during those months. He didn't really believe me until he went into the attic. He said he has never seen so much insulation in a house before.
That investment paid for itself in the first couple of years.
"... And Both Of My Stupid F*cking Cats."
Sticky traps for insects. When I first moved in I found an old sticky trap behind the washer. It was a bit dusty so I threw it out. A month or so later I started seeing spiders everywhere in the house. It was so bad that I would update my weekly spider count on a dry erase board. Finally I bought a shit ton of sticky traps and out them all over the floor in the laundry room. To date I've caught numerous spiders, a couple flies, and both of my stupid f*cking cats.
Think Of The Beers!
Best thing I've had while being a homeowner is an extra fridge in the garage. Expanded cold storage is extremely useful. Beer, bottled water, frozen meat, extra ice, etc.
Sometimes you just don't have any money and you have to make it work. I learned how to make the most out of bargains at the grocery store and know how to make food that is hearty and will last more than a day or two. Beans and rice are your friends, by the way. You'd be surprised by how many delicious meals you can make with just these two basic ingredients.
Being poor requires you to be creative.
Penny pinching is an art, as we were so deftly reminded after Redditor naranja_cheese asked the online community,
"What is the most penny pinching you've ever done?"
"I used to steal..."
"I used to steal half-used rolls of tp when I was a janitor. Lived off white rice and Worcestershire sauce for months. Got a job as a cook & always saved a few scraps while plating people's food so I would have something to eat without paying for a meal. Also worked at a butcher shop& would take home bones to roast and make a stew with. I can share hundreds of things like this."
"I worked part-time..."
"I worked part-time in school, but was pretty broke. I wasn't being paid until the following day, and I needed soy sauce for my extra super tasty stir fry. I literally had negative funds in my account. So I went to the grocery store, grabbed a sushi tray, threw a ton of packets of soy sauce in my pocket (they don't charge you for these), wandered a bit, pretended I changed my mind, and left."
"While at the grocery store..."
"While at the grocery store, putting back that pack of chicken breast that cost $2.98 for the other pack of chicken breast that cost $2.95."
"Things were insanely tight..."
"Used to make my own laundry detergent during a time when we had relocated and our prior home had not sold so we had rent on top of a mortgage for 18 months. Things were insanely tight in those days, to say the least."
I definitely know what this is like.
"I took some cedar boards..."
"I had no money for Christmas gifts. I only had enough to pay rent. I took some cedar boards in the backyard, cut them, burnt them a little black as I had no money to finish them. Then I passed them off as cutting boards."
"One Friday night..."
"One Friday night in college, my two buddies and I had a grand total of $3 to our names. I bought a box of Mac 'n Cheese, a can(!) of escargot, and three Lil' Debbie Star Crunches. We had a full meal with starch, protein, and dessert."
"I lived on pasta..."
"When I was at university my entire budget was less than £40 a week. I lived on pasta and stolen sauce packets from the Students Union. The cafeteria ladies would always take pity on me at closing time and give me free burgers."
"I lost my job..."
"I lost my job and lived in a $1400/month apartment where electricity (which included heat) and internet were ludicrously expensive. $400-450 a month in the winter because the building was an old mill with huge windows and no insulation. Fortunately, gas and water were free."
"I only turned on my lights when I had to, turned off the heat entirely, and heated my apartment by boiling a huge pot of water on the gas stove 24 hours a day and going to the business center to use the free DSL connection to apply for jobs. I ate rice with frozen vegetables and spices for three months."
"It sucked, but I got by."
Hopefully things are much better now.
"If I ate fast food..."
"If I ate fast food or takeout food, I would ask for extra sauce packets or garnishes that they give out for free. I would stock up on them, use them when I cook instead of buying the stuff from the store. For example, a $1 box of pasta, a clove of garlic, and 2-3 ramekins of parm cheese, half ramekin of chili flakes, and a pinch of Italian herbs I got from a pizza place makes a quick meal."
"My local mall..."
"My local mall used to do paid surveys, you'd watch a video or try some new soda or whatever and they'd give you a couple of dollars. Then I'd use that to buy a meal."
Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. It's not easy.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Now, this isn't going to be a long, "Let's all pile on how bad the internet is and only think about the good ol' days when the rocks were soft and we could only communicate using cans with string."
People old enough to remember life pre-Internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?
Many habits we used to possess were made completely irrelevant thanks to the internet. Not that we didn't enjoy doing them, we just started asking ourselves, "What's the point?"
Completely Devoid Of Technological Interference
"Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with."
No One Needs 24 Hours Of Nonsense
"News only being on at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with "news." And when you saw "Breaking News" on the screen you knew something serious went down."
You Mean We Actually Have To Go?
"It used to be a lot harder to bail on things. You'd have to call the person at home and tell them yourself, or at least leave a message if you wanted to be risky. Typically if you were gonna bail you'd give at least 24 hours notice. Nowadays people can let you know they're bailing last second since you're always reachable."
"RSVPing mattered. If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn't go, you were the a--hole and everyone knew it."
You can get almost anything on the internet. Almost. Still no sign of real working Lightsabers anywhere out there, but the internet has eliminated many of our purchasing practices.
Just In Time For The Holidays!
"The Sears catalog. That was how I found out about all the cool new toys."
"Catalogs in general, for me. Before the internet made mindless browsing of stuff you didn't need ~really~ easy to do, we still liked doing this without having to drive to the mall. The solution? Sign your mom up for those cool seed catalogs, those not safe to browse at the office gag gift catalogs and then everything in between. That stuff was really nice to have when you grew up somewhere that was not even cable ready."
1 Good Song Out Of 15
"When you bought new music you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best."
"There was so much excitement to going to a cd store to buy an album that you only knew one song of or the band/artist name and just listening to that entire cd over and over again picking out which tracks were your favorite while still learning every lyric to all the songs on the album.
Building a cd collection was also fun."
Talk About The "Immediate Gratification" Generation, Huh?
"The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it's just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don't even bother anymore."
Finally, there's these activities, to difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there. How do you get someone to understand that not having a supercomputer in your pocket at all hours of the day radically changed your life?
Keeping It In Front Of You
"I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds"
"It's so weird. I can only vaguely remember what it feels like to not have a smartphone and to be alone and think.
Wondering what my friends are doing and if they'd like to do something on the weekend. We'd have to talk during lunch break at school and plan it...
Trying to find the answer to a math problem... Having to figure it out by re-reading the problem and explanations 5 times."
There Used To Be A Time When You Couldn't Play Everything
"Not being overwhelmed by choice.
Don't get me wrong, having nearly every form of media downloadable is great, but back in the day, i rented a video game and i played that video game as much as i could.
Now, its hard to give it more than 2 seconds before i try one of the 20,000 games i have access to.
New game plus used to be cool. Now, I'm happy if just beat the game"
Floundering. Just A Little.
"My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a Let's Go Paris book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.
I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My "credit card" was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.
I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared sh-tless, but in absolutely completely control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own.
I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence.
I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed."
We can never go back. Not really, anyway. The only way is to keep going forward, be aware of the effect the internet has on us, and do our best to not let it take away the things that really matter in our lives.
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Look, unless you enjoy cooking, no one likes spending time in the kitchen longer than they have to in order to whip up something mediocre to eat.
Ordering food or, for the time being, enjoying a socially distanced lunch at an establishment is convenient, but it can take a toll on your wallet.
So what options are there?
Fortunately, there are plenty of them that do not involve nuking a frozen entree.
"What's your go-to under 5 minute meal?"
These dinner selections are super sufficient.
A Loaded Course
"Two hotdogs and a side of judgement from my fiancé"
In Case You Didn't Know
"Quesadilla. super quick and easy to make and there's a ton of ingredients that you can add without much effort that will make it even better."
"Ramen and an egg, but not the traditional way."
- "Boil roughly half an inch of water (we want just enough water to boil the noodles, with very little water left over when it's done boiling)."
- "Smash up the ramen noodles, while still in the package (optional but cooks MUCH faster)."
- "Open the package and remove the seasoning."
- "Dump the noodles in."
- "While boiling, crack an egg and whisk in a small bowl."
- "Noodles should be done and almost all the water should be gone, if not strain out some.
- Remove from the heat."
- "Slowly pour in the egg while mixing very quickly, try not to let the egg touch the pan."
- "Mix as much of the seasoning packet as you like (I prefer 1/2 - 3/4 because I usually add a salty component at the end.)"
- "Add to bowl and top with some chives, thinly sliced, ripped up ham/salami and/or parsley. Leftover bacon or pancetta are fantastic crunchy components to dial up the texture."
"Easy, fast and checks so many of the 'munchie' boxes for me."
Don't Underestimate Soups
"Tomato soup and add tortellini. I like the spinach ones from Trader Joe's and Progreso creamy tomato with basil. It's bomb and it really makes a decent meal."
For people in a rush, these tasty snacks would suffice.
Goes Well With Veggies And Cheese
"Hummus is such an underrated food. It goes well with a lot of veggies and breads and chips or heck even cheese. All the time I hear hummus being listed as one of those weird, gross foods when its actually an amazing snack, or a meal if done correctly. It's not really unhealthy, either, especially if eaten with veggies (celery and carrots go great with hummus)."
Ready In Seconds
"All I do is get a paper towel, and put 5 Oreos on it."
"Then go back and get the whole package."
Peanut Butter Fantasies
"Peanut butter sandwich."
"If I'm feeling extra froggy I'll add nutella to the peanut butter and honey sandwich and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Goes down about as well as a popeye's biscuit though."
"It's like cheating the system. You eat sweets and call it healthy."
Start your day without all the hassle of a fancy breakfast.
Put It In A Bowl
"Oatmeal or cereal."
"Cereal is definitely underrated as a meal outside of the breakfast dynamic."
"A very simple recipe my grandma prepared for me when i was a kid."
"It's basically scrambled eggs...but before adding the egg she would cook sweetcorn (from a can) with a little bit of butter, add the eggs and then when the eggs were almost ready, add small cubes of cheese and cook for a minute or until the cheese start to melt (she was using fontal, but any swiss or white cheddar will do). Just a little black pepper and salt."
"Takes 5 minutes to do but it's absolutely delicious, fill you up, not so unhealthy and I feel my late grandma with me."
'I tried variations with chives or spring onions, paprika or other stuff. Still good but nothing as good as a simple "uova strapazzate con mais e formaggio.'"
I consider yogurt a healthy snack/lunch option.
I like having a bowl of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, blueberries, sprinkled with granola and drizzled with honey.
It's packed with nutrients and gives me a nice boost of energy.
Yogurt also makes for a perfect chip dip. I sprinkle some onion soup mix and stir in the mixture. Who knew quick and easy food prep could be so delicious?
We all like to assume that a big old scar has an amazing, hardcore story behind it: maybe a valiant fight or some life threatening-escape.
But despite what Hollywood would have us think, that is so rarely the case.
Usually, some kind of bizarre accident leaves us with the biggest scar of our life. There's no action movie story behind it, just a careful mixture of foolishness and bad luck.
Clearly not put off by some gruesome anecdotes, Redditor fluffybear45 asked:
"People with scars, how did you get them?"
For many, it was the wild antics of childhood that left them slightly maimed. With many years now separating the Redditor from the event, these were pretty hilarious.
Out of Nowhere!
"I was playing on a swing and then my leg got stuck in barbed wire." -- Soviet_God-Emperor
"I feel like we missed a couple steps here, or your local park had some serious issues." -- Henfrid
"Yo that went from 0 to 100 real fast" -- IHaveButt
"2nd grade, defective slip-n-slide." -- AdmiralAkbar1
"I'm pretty sure the general design of the slip'n'slide was defective. Those stakes weren't covered originally, so you had to be straight down the middle of the slide or else....." -- Q-burt
"Could you refer to this incident in a gravely voice while staring into the middle distance, pausing only to shudder and sip your scotch?" -- CaptValentine
That's Why You Need an Axe Yard
"My dad hit me with an axe (bladed side) in the face. Stupid 10 yo me just had to look over his shoulder while he was hammering in herrings for our tent."
Others talked about freak accidents that came not from the stupidity of childhood, but the bad luck of mistakes made as an adult.
Bad Conditions for Practice
"Dad gave me a folding knife for Christmas"
"I read online that you could flick it open with one hand"
"So I practiced it, after my hands were greasy from eating a burger"
Take Your Pick
"Multiple long scars on my back are from falling onto a old soviet steel welcome mat ( i dont know how to describe it in english but its meant to wipe dirt of your shoes with triangle shaped steel beams."
"Medium sized one on my forearm is from a barbed wire fence, another one next to it is from a motorcycle accident and one on the base on my thumb is from a cars hood slipping and cutting me."
One Heck Of a Fall
" 'This one is from a skateboard, this one was a truck accident, and this one was a fire hydrant.' "
" 'Oh really? I bet each one has a very unique story.' "
" 'Not really, I skateboarded off of a truck into a fire hydrant.' "
Last, some people talked about the medical procedures that left them with the big gash. These stories had some ninth grade words and not nearly as much stupidity.
"A rare auto immune disorder called pyoderma gangrenosum twice... Don't google If you don't like gore... I had to have daily wound care and high doses of medical steroids"
"My intestines telescoped on themselves 8" scar on my belly." -- Anom8675309
"I never wanted to see the words 'intestines' and 'telescoped' together. Ouch." -- LadySygerrik
"I was born 2 months premature. I wasn't born with an esophagus so drs. cut my stomach open and used parts of my colon or intestines and created a new one for me. I have a huge scar on my neck and my stomach is one big scar. Also had a stomach feeding tube for quite a bit and heart surgery at 2 days old."
"I love science. I wouldn't have experienced life if it hadn't been for advances in medical science."
So if you've been sitting on an embarrassing backstory for one of your scars, feel free to share. You're hardly alone.
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