3 Lawn Mowers under $200

Happy Friday everyone!

Today we are continuing our focus on the great outdoors and all the great things you can buy to make your yard work just a little easier.

The topic today: Lawn Mowers.

There are plenty of expensive lawn mowers on the market, but why spend $400 plus on a fancy mower when you can get one for less than $200 that gets the job done? So today I have for you three lawn mowers under $200 that are highly rated by reviewers.

1) Black & Decker MM1800 18-Inch 12 amp Corded Electric Lawn Mower

The Black & Decker M18000 is a corded electric lawn mower with a 12 amp motor that produces zero emissions. It comes with a 2 year limited warranty and includes a rear bag and mulch plug. It weighs 46 pounds and has an 18-inch deck size. Most important, though, is that it costs just $179.

2) Yard Machines 11A-B04E000 21-Inch 158cc Briggs & Stratton Mulch/Side Discharge Gas Powered Push Lawn Mower with High Rear Wheels

With a 21-inch deck size, the Yard Machines 11A-B04E000 covers a little more ground than the Black & Decker M18000. It also is a gas mower, compared to the electric M18000. The high rear wheels help navigate difficult terrain. The engine is a Briggs & Stratton 500.

One drawback is that this mower is non-CARB compliant, and therefore not for sale in California.

3) Earthwise 50018 18-Inch 12 Amp Electric Side Discharge/Mulching Lawn Mower

Lastly, we have another 18-inch, 12 amp electric mower. The Earthwise 50018 comes with a 2 year limited warranty, and has a mulch and side discharge, whichever you prefer.

This mower is incredibly similar to the Black & Decker M18000, though it does have hand tighten assembly with no tools required.

Take your pick, all three of these mowers get the job done at a great price.

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Easy Yard Clean Up: 3 Leaf Blowers to consider

With Spring in full force (and summer quickly approaching) there are two words that people dread: yard work.

Not all yard work has to be a pain in the you know what. Life can be made much easier with some of the tools that are now on the market. Today I have three leaf blowers that can save you time and keep you sane with constant outdoor maintenance demands.

1) Toro 51585 Power Sweep 7 amp 2-Speed Electric Blower

If you are looking for an inexpensive leaf blower that still gets the job done, the Toro 51585 Power Sweep is an ideal candidate. Listed at just $35, the 51585 has 2-speed air control (130 mph and 160 mph), weighs about four and a half pounds, and includes a two year warranty.

2) Troy-Bilt TB2BP 25cc 2-Stroke Gas Powered 150 MPH Back Pack Blower

If you are looking for something more heavy-duty, the Troy-Bilt TB2BP is a good option. The 2-stroke engine requires an oil and gas mix, utilizes new padded harness technology, and has a spring assist starting system. List price is approximately $170, and included is a two year warranty. An important side note is that this leaf blower is not for sale in California, as it is not CARB compliant.

3) Husqvarna 356BT 51.7cc 2-Stroke Gas Powered 177 MPH Quiet Back Pack Blower (CARB Compliant)

Last is the $480 Husqvarna 356BT 51.7cc 2-Stroke Gas Powered Blower. Unlike the Troy-Bilt TB2BP, this blower is CARB compliant. This blower boasts low noise technology that is “a revolutionary new concept for blowers.” Decibel rating for the Husqvarna 356BT is as low as 64, and has a tube-mounted throttle control. If you spend a lot of time doing yard work, this is the ideal blower.

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$8,000 television? Believe it.

Okay I know there is likely very few people that could justify this purchase. If you could, though, it would instantly make your house pretty awesome.

I’m talking about the approximately $8,000+ HD LCD Outdoor Television – 55″ – Frontgate. What struck me most about this television is that it can function safely in temperatures from -24°F to 122°F. Incredible! You also get a water-resistant remote, dust cover, and wall mount. I would have a pair of these tvs…if I had unlimited funds.

I know what you are probably thinking, is there a cheaper option? Well, yes there is a cheaper option…but not much cheaper. The ~$5,500 Sunbrite 55″ Class 1080p LCD All-Weather Outdoor TV (Pro Line) offers a somewhat cheaper alternative if you really want an outdoor television. You might be surprised to hear that this tv can function in up to -40°F weather. It includes anti-reflective protective glass that reduces glare.

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4 Hoses and Sprinklers to keep your Yard Green and Healthy

Some people do not have to constantly water their yards to keep it looking nice and green. Most people aren’t so lucky. Are you one of those people?

Do you still have that 15 year old hose in your backyard that constantly leaks? Time for an upgrade. Here are eight products to help your yard looking it’s best.

1) Gilmour 10-58100 8-ply Flexogen Hose

The Gilmour Flexogen hose comes in a variety of lengths, ranging from 25 feet to as long as 100 feet. The price ranges from approximately $18 to $40. Built to withstand extreme temperatures, the hose is flexible even at sub-zero temps. Made in the USA and backed by a lifetime-replacement guarantee.

2) GARDENA 1973 Aquazoom 2700-Square Foot Oscillating Sprinkler

The Gardena 1973 Aquazoom 2,700-square foot oscillating sprinkler comes with an adjustable width of spray ranging from 12 to 46 feet, and an adjustable length of spray from 23 to 59 feet. Included is a 12 month warranty on parts and labor.

3) Dramm 12704 Revolver 9-Pattern Premium Garden Hose Nozzle, Green

The Dramm 12704 Revolver offers nine spray patterns that will help you utilize your hose for a wide range of uses. Priced at approximately $12, you also receive the a lifetime guarentee and can choose from any of the six colors that are offered.

4) Orbit 62001 Lawn and Garden Digital Watering Timer

Many cities place limits on when you can water your lawn. Where I live, you can only do it every other day and only during certain hours. Take some of the hassle out of the process with this programmable hose timer that costs less than $40.

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3 Grills to Prepare you for the Summer

What’s a backyard without a grill? People will start to spend more and more time outdoors. An easy way to entertain in the summer is to have people over for a barbecue. That’s why today we have three grills for you to chose from, so that your house will be ready for all the summer entertaining you plan on doing.

At the time this post was published, all three of the below grills come with free shipping.

1) Weber 1421001 Performer Charcoal Grill

This Weber is a perfect choice if you want to upgrade from your classic charcoal grill to something better but still keep the overall price low. As my friend once said about this grill, “I got the classic Weber…on steroids.”

At a list price of $329, this grill is an affordable alternative to some of the more high end propane grills. Since this is a charcoal grill a nice addition is the touch-and-go gas ignition system, so it still lights at the push of a button like propane grills. It also comes with two charcoal fuel holders and a charcoal storage container, as well as a total cooking area is 363 square-inches. Available in three colors: black, blue, or green.

2) Weber 6531001 Genesis E-330 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

The Weber 6531001 Genesis E-330 is a high quality grill listed at $799. It’s a great choice for a mid-priced propane grill that has plenty of space to grill up food for you and your guests. The primary cooking area is 507 square inches. Also included is a 130 square-inch warming rack.

Three stainless-steel burners, an electronic ignition system, and two front locking casters are additional features. Like the charcoal Weber listed above, the Genesis E-330 is available in black, blue, or green.

3) Napoleon Prestige I Series P450RBPSS9 Liquid Propane Gas Grill with Infrared Rotisserie Burner

My third choice is surprisingly affordable considering the options out there. You can spend as little or as much as you want on a grill, but I don’t see much reason to go higher than the Napoleon Prestige I Series P450RBPSS9 listed at $1,099. This all stainless steel propane grill comes with “the President’s” limited lifetime warranty (check details before purchasing!) which they claim is the industry’s best.

With three 304 stainless steel tube burners and an infrared rotisserie burner, this grill has the capacity and quality you are looking for in a $1,000+ grill. There are also additional add-ons like the Napoleon charcoal tray and the Napoleon Smoker Pipe that can add diversity to your grill.

Anyone else have spring fever? I know I do. Expect a lot of posts in the coming week and month to be outdoors related.

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3 Pieces of Equipment for your Ultimate Home Gym

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve been waiting for this post all week. Today I have three pieces of equipment that, if you choose to purchase, will put your home gym firmly in the “awesome” category. Don’t worry, all three of these pieces are relatively affordable.

1) Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

I thought I would start with an affordable but high quality piece of equipment in the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym. At approximately $450, this is less expensive than other machinery you could buy, but still is a highly popular item. With over 30 strength exercises, the Bowflex PR1000 offers resistance that ranges from five to 210 pounds. One limitation is that it has a three hundred pound maximum user weight.

Some of the workouts include:

  • Bench Press
  • Decline Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Seated Shoulder Press
  • Front Shoulder Raise
  • Crossover Seated Rear Delt Rows
  • Scapular Retraction
  • Narrow Pulldowns
  • Stiff-Arm Pulldowns
  • Seated Lat Rows
  • and more

    2) Body Solid Dual Weight Stack Cable Crossover Machine Functional Training Center GDCC200

    Crossover machines allow for a large number of workouts, and the Body Solid machine offers 20 independent height adjustments and 180 degree cable positioning. There are two 160 pound weight stacks to offer you whatever level of resistance you need. Another nice asset of this machine is a dual position pull-up bar. This machine isn’t cheap, though, as it is currently priced at $1,775.

    Last but not least…

    3) Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System with Linear Bearings

    What I love about the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System is that it isn’t a cheap piece of equipment at $899.99, yet is still affordable for most people. With the Smith Machine people can safely do lifts at home that otherwise carry a risk when a spotter isn’t available. Adjustable bar catches and safety stoppers provide that security that many people who work out alone are looking for. Included in the Elite Smith System is the multi-function bench that has a built-in preacher curl and leg developer. Along with a treadmill and elliptical machine, this machine is a must for any complete home gym.

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    Fight Night: 5 things you need to get started

    While it’s perfectly fine to have the basics in your home gym, such as a treadmilll or elliptical machine, it’s always nice to have something a little different to spice up your workout. So today I have five things that will help you get started on your boxing or MMA career, or at least get a fun workout in 😉

    1) Everlast Mixed Martial Arts Heavy Bag Red, 70-Pound)

    First is the Everlast 70 pound punching bag. At just $59, this is an affordable (and fun) piece of equipment you can add to your home gym or workout room. Constructed of polycanvas, this bag also comes with an adjustable bag chain so that you can punch the middle of the bag no matter what height you are. This bag currently has a 5-star rating by all 12 people who reviewed it on Amazon.

    2) Century BOB XL with Base Unit

    If taking out your anger and frustration on a punching bag just doesn’t do it for you, meet BOB, your new training opponent with a lifelike torso. This freestanding bag holds up to 270 pounds of water or sand at the base, allowing plenty of support for your jabs. Multiple height settings allows the same adjustments you’d expect out of a regular heavy bag. BOB runs a little more expensive than regular bags…it’ll cost you approximately $275 to have him in your home.

    3) Everlast Train Advanced MMA 7-Ounce Striking / Training Gloves

    While the heavy bag mentioned in #1 does come with a free pair of gloves, the Everlast Train Advanced MMA training gloves come in small/medium or large/x-large. The heavy bag in #1 supposedly comes with an extra-large pair of gloves, so if you are looking for a smaller size grab this pair for approximately $26.

    4) Everlast Punch Mitts

    While these may not be too useful if you are working out alone, if you have a workout buddy consider the Everlast punch mitts. Currently listed at approximately $21, these punch mitts are relatively cheap for the amount of use you can get out of them.

    5) Everlast Everfresh Head Gear

    Finally, the most “optional” piece of equipment I am listing here is the Everlast Everfresh head gear. If you really are serious about using fighting as a training technique, buy two of these and two sets of gloves and do some actual fighting one-on-one with a friend. Of course, you can get a fun workout without these. BOB (mentioned above) won’t hit back 😉

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    3 Elliptical Machines to consider for your Home Gym

    Yesterday I gave you three treadmills that you might want to include in your home gym. Today I have the popular alternative to treadmills: elliptical machines. While running can be hard on your knees and joints, elliptical machines can take off some of that pressure. Besides treadmills, this is likely the most popular piece of equipment that people have in their home gyms.

    So let’s get to it:

    1) Livestrong® LS10.0E Elliptical

    At $999, the Livestrong LS10.0E is the most affordable of the three elliptical machines I have chosen to share with you. It has twenty resistance levels, 11 programs, and can support up to 325 pounds. Additionally it contains a lifetime warranty on the frame and brake, three years on parts and one year on labor. Built in is the ability to plug in a usb stick that will record your workout data. When you are done with your workout this data can be uploaded to the Livestrong website, which helps you track your progress.

    2) Precor EFX 5.25 Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer

    The Precor EFX 5.25 elliptical crosstrainer has eight preset programs and sixteen resistance levels. This machine is higher in the price range at $2,999. It’s main selling point is Precor’s patented low-impacted EFX motion, which Precor claims makes workouts more comfortable with a lower level of perceived exertion. Warranties include lifetime on frame and welds, five years on parts and wear items, and one year on labor.

    3) Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer

    Last (but definitely not least) is the Precor EFX 5.33 Premium Series. At $4,499, this is the most expensive of the ellipticals that I featured today. Comparable to the first elliptical, the EFX 5.33 has ten programs and twenty resistance levels. The warranty is the best of the three, with lifetime on frame and welds, ten years on parts and wear items, and one year on labor. This model contains an adjustable ramp (15 to 30 degrees). Handlebars measure heart rate, as well as compatibility with wireless chest strap (sold seperately). The big question is whether this machine is wor the extra $1,500 over the EFX 5.25, and the nearly $3,500 over the LiveStrong LS10.0E.

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    3 Treadmills to consider for your Home Gym

    I’ve been training for a half marathon for the past two months. I spend a lot of time in running on the treadmill in the workout room at the office. I can’t help but think how nice it would be if I could just wake up, hop on the treadmill, and have my workout done within an hour of waking up. Unfortunately as of now I do not have my own treadmill, but you can bet it’s something I want in my house one day.

    Today I have three treadmills that you might consider adding to your home gym.

    First, at just under $1,000, is the LifeSpan TR 1200i folding treadmill. This treadmill has all the basics you’d expect such as an LCD screen and various programs and options to help you customize your run. One of the nice features is the ability to save your exercise data to a USB drive and in turn upload it to your online LifeSpan Fitness Club account. You can adjust the incline and speed right on the handlebars. There are 15 different incline levels. One drawback is that the maximum weight supported is 300 pounds.

    Next, at just under $1,500, is the Smooth Fitness 7.35 folding treadmill. As you might expect, some of the specs are slightly better than the LifeSpan TR 1200i: 3.5-horsepower compared to 2.5; supports up to 350 pounds compared to 300; and a 20×62 inch surface compared to 20×56 inch. Also includes a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor, 7-year warranty on parts and electronics, and a 2-year service warranty.

    Finally, I would like to welcome you to the high end of the market with the Precor 9.33 Premium Series treadmill. At just under $4,500, this machine offers some of the most advanced technology in the field. The belt speed adjusts to foot speed and has a top of the line suspension system that helps minimize the impact on your joints. The Precor 9.33 has 16 different programs you can take advantage of, plus a wireless heart rate monitor. The running surface is 22×56, which is 2 inches wider than the previous two treadmills but the same length as the first.

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    5 Essential Pieces of Equipment for a Home Gym

    Everyone who works out has at one point or another thought it would be pretty nice having a gym in their house. No packing a gym bag, driving to the gym, changing, working out, showering, and driving back home. Instead you can just change and get started right away. Problem is, home gyms can be expensive and it’s hard to find the space.

    Here are 5 essentials for any home gym. These take up minimal room and, with a little research and planning, allow you to do a countless number of exercises.

    1) Dumbbells

    Dumbbells can be used for a number of different lifts, are easy to store, and are great for new home gyms. The Cap barbell solid hex single dumbbell is a great choice, as you can choose only the dumbbells that you want rather than buying a full set. The weights range from 5 lb. for approximately $11 to 60 lbs. for approximately $61. The best part is that these are eligible for free super saver shipping on Amazon (the shipping costs would be huge without it, so take advantage!). Consider getting the Cap barbell dumbbell rack if you plan on buying 4 or more dumbbells.

    2) Weight Bench

    A weight bench is the perfect piece of equipment to complement dumbbells. You can do tons of lifts using a combination of the dumbbells and weight bench, and the bench doesn’t use a ton of space compared to other equipment. At just $78, the Weider Club utility bench is an affordable option for your first weight bench.

    3) Exercise Ball

    Using an exercise ball during your workouts makes a lot of sense if you are working out at home. You can work out a wide range of muscles, and it’s fairly easy to do once you learn the various exercises. Check out the eHow video series on the fitness ball and resistance band. If you don’t already have one, a good exercise ball is the GoFit 75cm professional stability ball.

    4) Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands are useful the same way that exercise balls are; they allow for maximum number of exercises with minimal equipment. The Black Mountain Products resistance band set are highly praised by reviewers, and besides the bands themselves includes a door anchor, ankle strap, exercise chart, and carrying case. At just $30, this is arguably the best value exercise-related product on the market.

    5) Exercise Mat

    Last but not least, the exercise mat. This is useful for floor exercises, yoga, pilates, etc. Below is the Harbinger 340100 durafoam exercise mat which costs $22.50 and should suffice for most people’s workouts.

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