March – 2019 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

March 2019

Make Your Car Feel New Again

This is a sponsored post partnered with Legacy Jeep Dodge Ram. All opinions are honest and are my own.

When you’ve had your vehicle for a while, it’s easy for the “shine” to feel like it’s faded since when you first drove it off the lot. If you take a few steps, though, you can freshen your vehicle right up and make it feel almost like new again! Here are a few suggestions to spruce up your ride.

Get it detailed. If you’ve never had this done before, you may think it’s just a glorified car wash. You’d be thinking wrong, my friend. A car detailing gets into every single nook and cranny. Your dashboard will be gleaming; your upholstery will look refreshed. This can cost a lot, but do your research and you can find good deals. There’s one place in my city that charges around $150 for detailing, but I recently discovered another that charges half that (and has a good reputation; you want to make sure you’re putting your car in good hands.

Change out your floor mats. This can be a safety issue as much as an aesthetic one, so you can kill two birds with one stone by replacing your vehicle’s floor mats. They can easily look grungy, but for drivers it can be a danger if mats have holes in them that feet could get snagged on.

Scrub your upholstery. Think about it – upholstery makes up the largest surface area for most vehicles. So even if you don’t see noticeable stains on your seats or floors, giving them a good scrub can really brighten the fabric and give it new life. You can buy cans of cleaners with a built-in scrubber, or you can use a carpet cleaner machine with an upholstery attachment to get it really clean.

Wipe down all windows inside and out. Often times our vehicles’ windows only get cleaned on the outside, but it’s just as impactful to clean the interior side of windows. Fingerprints, smudges, and more can make your car feel dingy and dated. When your car’s windows are sparkling, they’ll look brand new.

Drive Safely on Rainy Roads

This is a sponsored post partnered with Reedman Toll of Drexel Hill. All opinions are honest and are my own.

In the spring season it’s not uncommon to encounter a patch of rain while you’re driving your car down the road. Sometimes it’s just a drizzle, but you might just get caught in a downpour, and it’s good to be prepared with tactics to navigate wet roads safely.

Check your tires. Before you even get on the road this spring, take your vehicle in to a tire shop to have a check-up. You want good, deep treads on your tires to help channel the water out of your way.

Double up on keeping your windshield clear. You’ll want to have good windshield wipers, of course, but it’s also a great idea to put a water repellant like Rain-X on your windshield. On one road trip my family was stuck in a multi-hour rainstorm. We were able to stop about an hour into the trip and buy some Rain-X, and the difference was just amazing – we barely needed to use the wipers because the rain just beaded up and rolled off almost instantaneously.

Watch out for hydroplaning. This is always the thing I worry about most when driving in the rain. The feeling of losing control of your vehicle, even momentarily, is a scary one, and it could lead to a dangerous situation. If you start to hydroplane, let off the gas pedal slowly and be sure to steer straight. If your car begins to spin, turn your wheel slowly in the direction that the vehicle is spinning. This will feel counterintuitive, but it is important. Do not turn your wheel against the direction your car is spinning, and don’t turn your wheel sharply – this could easily turn into an overcorrection and lead you to flip your vehicle.

Stay farther away from other vehicles than you normally would. You absolutely do not want to have to brake quickly on wet roads, because it can send you into a tailspin, and because you don’t have the traction to stop in as short of a distance as you typically would on dry roads. When you’re approaching a stop, try to take your foot off the accelerator earlier to make braking easier.

Pro Tips for Road Trips

This is a sponsored post partnered with Pearson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Summer is just 2 months away, and that means a lot of you are probably already thinking about your family vacations. In our family, we have 3 kids, so road trips are always the most economical option. And honestly, I kind of love them anyway. We try to fit in some fun stops along the way, we play games as a family, and it is an opportunity for lots of memories.

That being said, it’s important to plan well to make your road trip successful. First of all, pack well. You need your essentials, like clothes and toiletries, of course. If you are making multiple stops along the way, rather than packing one suitcase per person, pack one suitcase per night. This way you only have to get one suitcase out of your vehicle – so much easier!

It’s also good to be prepared just in case any problems arise on the trip. Pack a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, foam tire sealant, blankets, and water so that you’re ready for almost anything.

Another aspect of road trips to consider is entertainment. When you’re on a long trip, it can be easy for kids to get restless. There are easy ways to keep things from getting boring even while you’re driving down the road for hours. My very favorite tip for road trip entertainment is to take advantage of Redbox. Movies are about $1.50 to rent, so it’s a cheap option – and you can return discs to any location, so you can rent a movie in one city and return it in another – no need to take up valuable space in the car with a bunch of DVDs. Let the kids take turns picking a movie – or you can even devise a way for them to earn the opportunity to choose. I also like to make “road trip binders” for my kids with blank comic book panels, puzzles, coloring sheets (for my daughter) and other activity pages. When there are puzzles involved I sometimes have inexpensive prizes available, which adds another layer of fun.

I hope these tips help make your road trip stellar this summer!