How To Store 2 Liter Pop Bottles

How To Store 2 Liter Pop Bottles


Interested in an easy way to store pop bottles? That picture shows how to store 2 liter pop bottles easily, and concisely. Each pop flat can hold eight two liter bottles of pop, so we have room for quite a few 2 liters of pop before we run out of storage room!

I have no idea where we got these pop flats – I do know we did not pay the $2 deposit on them. In my opinion this is a very easy, space-saving way to store pop, so even if you need to pay the deposit on 3-4 of these pop-flats and then keep the flat, it would be worth paying for if you regularly store a decent quantity of pop. After all, store containers of any sort are not really cheap, and you could store 24 bottles for as little as a $6 deposit cost!

Do you have any space-saving or interesting stockpile storage ideas?


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Natural Disaster Preparedness Tips

Natural Disaster Preparedness Tips


Natural Disaster Preparedness Tips be prepared the next time a natural disaster strikes.

A few years back we were hit with an “October Surprise” snow storm. Through some freak weather condition, snow and freezing rain came down one October night. Rain changed to ice pellets which finally changed to heavy snow. Since the trees had not dropped their leaves – as a matter of fact they were at full peak – it was a complete disaster. Tree limbs broke in loud snaps, dragging down power lines leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power.



Hubby was out of town on business, and after listening to me tell him how bad it was, took a red-eye home from California. When he arrived, I was just on my way out to go hunt down a portable generator. Hubby called around a bit and located one in Cleveland. There were none left between here and Rochester, and nothing in Erie PA either.

It took an entire week for us to get power back, and in that time I learned a lot about how wonderful having a stockpile can be!

Things I learned about emergency preparedness:

I will never live in Florida year-round. Yup, this was #1. It took over a week to get back power to most of the homes in my area (we were day 7, and no I was not happy that the street next to me had power back on day 2), and that was with power workers from two countries: The US (13 different states) and Canada (2 different provinces) working around the clock. My aunt (and cousin) live in Ft Lauderdale and during one hurricane not too long ago were without power for three weeks! My area is pretty easy to access, as evidenced by all the power companies helping from different states, and it still took over a week for everyone to get power back, but it is a looooong drive down to the bottom of Florida, even longer when you are awaiting help. I want to live in an area where help can get to me quickly and easily if a natural disaster occurs.

• I am a product of the 20th and 21st centuries. I like creature comforts like electricity, heat, and water that does not have to be boiled.

• When the electric went out, I was very glad to have our Coleman 5 day cooler. However not all the meat we had in the freezers would fit in our two coolers. The first day was fine, it was cold out and there was snow, but all the snow melted the next day when it went back up to nearly 60°! My old house in Buffalo never lost power. Only four houses in that area had power, my old house, one neighbor, and two house across the street – and one of those houses was owned by my ex-SIL. As soon as the travel ban was lifted, Sonny-boy was sent to her house with as much food as her freezer and refrigerator could hold!

• We are fortunate to have a fireplace. Sonny-boy and I got sleeping bags out, built a fire and kept reasonably warm. When hubby came home, Sonny-boy lasted one more night at home, then made that delivery of food to his aunt and never came back until the power turned on. Can’t say I blamed him.

• Natural gas is good. Sure we have an electric start on our gas stove, but a lighter solved that problem quickly enough.

• Whole. House. Generators. That was my mantra after that storm. There are fourteen houses on my street, and five had whole house generators before the storm hit. Now, four houses on my street do not have one. We got ours the following summer.

• Timing is everything. This storm started early evening on a Thursday, so most of the area closed down on Friday. By Monday, businesses were open and people returned to work.

• The trees were decimated and the wood chips from those trees would fill the local football stadium to over 70 stories. In the six years since then, they have come back beautifully.

Emergency Preparedness Kit Items

Fema has an emergency preparedness kit list.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Manual can opener for food
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional Supplies

• Prescription medications and glasses
• Infant formula and diapers
• Pet food and extra water for your pet
• Cash or traveler’s checks and change
• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
• Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
• Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
• Fire extinguisher
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
• Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
• Paper and pencil
• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Link to Fema supply list.

Have you ever lived through a natural disaster? What type? And what recommendations do you have for a kit for people in your area?

Note: this post originally appeared on my old blog, Coupons, Deals and More.

Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links


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Filling In An In-ground Pool

collage of the desruction of an inground pool to the fill-in


Filling In An In-ground Pool

The story of our inground-pool removal, the cost to remove the inground pool, the cost to fill in the inground pool, the process of the inground pool demolition, and the how the inground pool was filled in and our backyard reclaimed! Hint: best home improvement project EVER!!

Filling In An In-ground Pool


When we purchased our house seven years ago, the number one thing I did not want was a pool!

So of course, our house came with an in-ground pool.

For years I lobbied to have it filled in, always being vetoed by Hubby and Sonny-boy.

For the first few years that we lived here, Sonny-boy and his buddies would use the pool several times a week. While I disliked the cost and the maintenance, at least someone was using the pool.

Or at least that was the argument Hubby and Sonny-boy would give me.

And the truth is, I refused to clean the pool or add water to it, or prime the filter, or purchase the chemicals, or… well, do just about anything related to the pool. And yes, that did include swimming in it.

Over the years, Sonny-boy went off to college and Hubby was working insane hours so slowly it became my job to add the water so the filter would still run. I also scheduled the opening and closing and picked up after the pool guys. Slowly but surely the slippery slope developed where I was adding water, then chemicals, then cleaning the sides of the pool … pretty soon I could see that I would be vacuuming and skimming and that is when I put my foot down. We hired the pool company to do the weekly maintenance.

They were about $100 a week, but it was either that or marriage counseling, so the cost was negligible by comparison. And all this money was for something that was being used under half a dozen times a year!

Throughout this period, I was still lobbying hard to get the pool filled in. I figured we were spending about $3000 a year on a pool no one used! What a complete waste of money.

All of this came to a head last year (2011) when the pool guys could not get the pool blue. They would come out, clean it, add chemicals, etc, but no amount of shock was clearing the pool water. It turned out that our pool had become porous, and an algae of some-sort-or-another was living in the lining, and could not be removed. The cost to empty the pool, blast the sides, reskim, fix the one broken tile and redo the cool-decking was $15,000. Yup, FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! To fix a 35-year-old pool that probably didn’t cost that much to install originally.

When we first moved in, I had given a cursory look into filling in the pool, and that cost was approximately $10,000.

Hmmmmm $15,000 to fix a pool we seldom used + the $3000 yearly costs, versus $10,000 to fill it in and be done with the headache and regain a portion of our yard.

Seemed like a no-brainer to me!

Well, over the course of the winter hubby ruminated on the idea. I kept offering to get a few more quotes to fix the pool, and he kept putting it off. I suspected he was coming around to my way of thinking but wasn’t certain.

Three weeks ago, we had a clean-up landscaper over to quote spring cleaning yard work and trim the bushes that enclose our backyard (they are almost 16 feet tall and that is totally beyond us). During casual conversation, we mentioned the issue of the pool and that we only knew of one place that filled in pools in the area. He told us of someone he worked with frequently who specialized in pool-fill-ins, and gave us a name and number.

A few days later, the excavator stopped by, gave us a quote for $7,800 to fill in the pool and that included sod and resodding.

Done! Hubby checked references, and we signed on the dotted line.

Two days later, they were here and starting the work of breaking up the pool.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Max would like to help!

Filling In An In-ground Pool


The final empty.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


They moved in a small bobcat while the pool was emptying.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


He punched hundreds of holes in the pool for water drainage.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Once he got an area weak enough, he’d start collapsing the exterior of the pool and the cool deck.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


While no one else was amazed with the bobcat operator, I was simply astounded he didn’t dump the bobcat in the empty pool!

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


They had intended to fill in the pool with fill the next day, but as luck would have it rain was forecast and they were concerned that we’d have a mudhole in the backyard before the sod could be laid and the inspector signed off on the work.

So, the initial break-up work was done on Thursday, and they did not return to fill in the pool until the following Tuesday.

Some groundwater did sink back in, but we have a guarantee that if the fill-in sinks, they will come back next year and refill and resod the depressed area.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


They covered all the sidewalks:

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


And the grass:

Filling In An In-ground Pool


And then the dump trucks started arriving with the clean fill.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool


In all, we were told that the 10 rounds of trucks (two per time) were dumping 20 yards of fill each time … 200 yards of fill total.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


The bobcat driver made himself a path that he kept driving over again and again. Not only did that allow him to reach the furthest end of the pool, but he was basically tamping down the fill as he went!

Filling In An In-ground Pool


Filling In An In-ground Pool



Almost done.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


And they filled it!

Filling In An In-ground Pool


After they finished filling in the broken apart pool with the clean fill, they added a layer of topsoil and screened.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


The next day, Wednesday, our sprinkler guy (who is all sorts of awesome! Truly, I can’t recommend this guy enough. If anyone in the Buffalo-area needs a recommendation, you can email me!) came in to lay the lines, the inspector came to check the electric, they laid the sod, cleaned up after themselves (they were amazing!) and we now have this:

Filling In An In-ground Pool


We had a heater and a sand filter in the garage, as well as electric for the pool lights, the filter, and pipes for the natural gas. That is all gone now too! They dumped the sand into the pool, wheeled that empty container out along with the heater, took all the pipes and the pool cover (a shame that could not be reused on another pool, but it is custom made). We now have a good eighth of our garage back which I am sure hubby will quickly fill with useless stuff.

Also, even though it is only April and the daytime highs are only in the 50s, we still need the new sod watered heavily. The sprinklers did this once in the middle of the night, and once during the day for a little over a week. It was soggy, but that sod grass has greened-up nicely.

All in all, for us, this was a wonderful experience. It took three days total to go from a useless, old pool to a wonderful green yard that we will enjoy thoroughly, especially when I consider we are saving thousands of dollars per year on not having to maintain a pool! If we had done this when we moved in, the fill-in would have paid for itself in three years. Oh well, hindsight is 20-20. I am just glad it is done and we can now enjoy the savings.

Filling In An In-ground Pool


It is now a year later and I could not possibly be happier with our decision to fill in our pool. The picture above shows the area a year later, last week to be specific. Not only do we have more green-space in our backyard, we don’t have to deal with pool upkeep. We also no longer worry while on vacation that someone might enter the pool – regardless of how high the arborvitae, or how sturdy the gate lock.

All-in-all this is one of the best decisions we ever made for our homelife!

Update it is now 2018, six years later. It is still my favorite home renovation project to date. I cannot tell you how thrilled I have been to have so much of the backyard reclaimed, to not have the pool costs, to not have the worry of when we go away someone will fall in and hurt themself (and later sue us!). In all that time we have had one small depression at the shallowest point of the fill-in (go figure!). We only notice when we are running over it when playing with the dog. I again want to say how thrilled we are with this project, and the contractor who did it (he’s still in business, and I am still sending out his phone number to those who inquire).

Note: this post originally appeared on my old blog, Coupons, Deals and More



Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

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