With some careful planning you can find easy ways to save money, without having to deprive yourself of the things you enjoy.
According to a 2017 expense report from the Bureau of Labor, the third highest expense for households after housing and transportation is food. When looking for ways to save, a good place to start is to examine your grocery shopping habits. By taking a smarter approach you can stretch your dollar, get the food items you want, and avoid unnecessary expenses.
In most matters, having a plan saves time and makes the most of every situation. This also applies to meals and saving on groceries. A good way to start is to begin with a weekly meal plan. With a meal plan, you have a clear picture of what every grocery visit should achieve. You will have all the details you need to create your weekly shopping list.
Having a shopping list will reduce the number of visits you make to the grocery store. To make things easy, you can use a mobile app or produce a preprinted list of the things you buy.
For non-perishable items especially, it is usually better to buy larger sizes when available. Be sure to check the unit prices to make sure the bulk items are the better deal. This saves money and frees up your grocery budget on your next trip. Just make sure you limit bulk purchases to pantry items that have extended expiration dates.
Another way to save is to check out weekly specials in your grocery flyer or app. These discount specials can help you stock up and save. You can find deals on canned, bagged goods and even meat products. It is important however that you check expiry dates and mark the items to be eaten first.
Cutting coupons from the Sunday paper can be a bit tiresome, but thanks to the smartphone you do not have to do that anymore. Most grocery stores have their own apps that allow to clip digital coupons that automatically get applied to your store card.
In addition to digital coupons, there are a several good cash back apps like Checkout 51 that allow you to scan your receipts after shopping, and earn money back on select items. Compounding the digital coupons with cash back apps can add up to some real savings. So it’s worthwhile to learn more about cashback apps.
Planning a meal for the evening or next day? If so, you should take advantage of items you see in the meat department marked down for quick sale. If the sell by date is within your time frame, these items are perfectly safe and a great way to eat well on a budget.
Depending on where you live, there are always a vegetable or fruit for every season. During the seasons, local fruits and vegetables are plentiful and cheap, just what you need to save cost. Plan your meals around in-season foods; it is way cheaper than buying produce shipped from across the country.
You can also take advantage of online sources like Amazon, Sam’s Club, and Costco for non-perishable items you can buy in bulk. Sometimes you can find better deals, get more selection, and take advantage of free shipping. You can also buy your household goods like napkins, paper products, etc online and save, versus buying in smaller quantities in the supermarket. In addition, think about all the time you will save.
By having a grocery strategy, you will find that it will be easier to keep to a weekly budget. Spending a little time to plan your shopping can reap the benefits of having extra money at your disposal each week. Having that extra money each week to save can add up, and maybe help offset other expenses or put into savings.]]>
However, when at least one party is willing to make dietary changes to benefit a loved one, serving up quality meals can become less of a hassle. Though men are often stereotyped as carnivorous cavemen, the majority are willing to change their eating habits – trading in those porterhouses for veggie burgers – to make their partners happy, according to a survey from Yves Veggie Cuisine. While 63 percent of men and 62 percent of women would eat less meat if their partner asked, 59 percent of men said they would also eat less of their favorite foods, at the request of their significant other.
In the same survey, dietary changes in the name of love were found at every level of the food pyramid, not just meat. Among the changes men have already made are eating less meat (22 percent), eating less dairy (18 percent) and eating less gluten (15 percent). However, it was found that women tend to hold their ground more when it comes to giving up certain foods with only 14 percent eating less dairy, 10 percent eating less meat and 6 percent eating less gluten for the sake of their relationship.
Making dietary compromises can be as simple as using high-quality ingredients like Yves Veggie Cuisine Appetizer Bites to complement, complete or even reinvent family-favorite meals like tacos. The gluten-free, non-GMO bites are low in fat and contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, making it easy to put a plant-positive twist on nearly any meal with one of the two varieties – Kale and Quinoa or Falafel.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Find more balanced, veggie-forward recipes that can inspire shared moments together at yvesveggie.com.]]>
Each year, millions of Americans suffer from symptoms ranging from coughing, sneezing and congestion to aches, fevers and vomiting that can leave them feeling less than 100 percent.
While you may not be able to avoid illness entirely, you can take steps to protect yourself from the common cold and more serious bugs like the flu.
This cold and flu season, keep essentials on-hand from thermometers that can help you diagnose a fever quickly to humidifiers and heated blankets that can potentially help shorten your recovery time.
If cold or flu viruses happen to strike you or a family member this winter, it’s important to consult a medical professional with any health-related questions.
Many parents place speed, accuracy and ease-of-use at the top of their list when choosing the ideal thermometer. Consider the Vicks RapidRead Digital Thermometer, which consistently delivers a professionally accurate temperature reading in Fahrenheit or Celsius in only two seconds. To help interpret fever, the Precision InSight feature provides site-specific, color-coded guidance, since temperatures register differently between oral, rectal or underarm readings. Find more information at VicksThermometers.com.
Sleep is essential for letting your body recover, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. A heated blanket or mattress pad can provide natural pain relief and help to relax sore muscles, ease tension, promote blood flow and increase body temperature to help fight fevers that often accompany colds and the flu. Often washer- and dryer-safe, featuring variable temperature settings and available in a variety of sizes to fit nearly any bed, a heated blanket can help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
The cold, dry winter air is an ideal breeding ground for the flu virus. However, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, help fight cold and flu symptoms and aid in preventing dryness and irritation in many body parts, such as skin, nose, throats and lips. Available with a multitude of tank sizes and features to fit nearly any room in your home, some humidifiers even offer smart functions, rotating mist nozzles, programmable timers and automatic shut-off when they run out of water.
As the flu virus can survive for up to 48 hours outside of the body, good personal hygiene can play an important role in preventing the spread of germs. One way to do so is by coughing or sneezing into facial tissues, which can help reduce the amount of germs released back into the air. There are even antibacterial, aloe vera and eucalyptus varieties available, which offer added cold and flu fighting benefits while helping prevent dry skin from the excess nose blowing that often accompanies illnesses.
Hydration is a key part of recovering from nearly any illness, and warm drinks like tea can help relieve a cough or sore throat by simulating salivation and secretions, which can help soothe and lubricate your throat. Having a high-quality tea pot on-hand that alerts you when your hot water is ready can ensure relief from a warm beverage is never more than a few minutes away.]]>
Three of the most popular and health-promoting eating plans of the moment – the Mediterranean Diet, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet and Flexitarian Diet – all include dairy milk as an important component, and according to a study in the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association,” it’s hard to get nutrients you need without it.
New research also suggests adding an extra serving of dairy to the Mediterranean Diet makes it even more nutritious, boosting amounts of calcium, vitamin D and potassium without exceeding recommendations for nutrients to limit, like saturated fat and sodium, according to a study published in “The Journal of the American College of Nutrition.” A second new study found not only does incorporating more dairy improve the quality of the diet, it benefits health, as well – specifically improving blood pressure and levels of good cholesterol (HDL) compared to a standard low-fat diet, according to research in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” While the Mediterranean Diet typically includes around two servings of dairy a day, these studies built in 3-4.
The DASH Diet, long known for its positive effects on heart health, includes three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy per day. Good news for fans of whole milk: it may be just as effective when it includes full-fat dairy, too, according to recent research in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Researchers found a DASH diet that included whole milk and other full-fat dairy products lowered blood pressure just as much as the traditional version.
As a high-quality, complete protein, dairy milk is also an important part of the Flexitarian Diet, which encourages more plants and less meat. Many plant-based proteins are incomplete, which means they don’t provide some of the building blocks your body needs. Dairy milk is also an important source of calcium, as substituting milk with non-dairy calcium sources like fortified soy milk or leafy greens can lead to gaps in other key nutrients such as protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin B12, according to a study in the journal “Nutrition Research.”
Instead of eating in a way that could leave you at risk of nutrient deficiencies, opt for a more balanced approach to the new year and consider a plan that includes dairy milk. Visit MilkLife.com for more information and milk-inspired recipes.]]>
Life is never easy. However, keeping your head high in times of adversity is the key to survival. J. Edwards Holt’s story and career teaches us that.
Struggling with Tourette syndrome, Holt had a tough life. Talking, communicating, interacting and penning down thoughts were always difficult. However, what was consistent in these times was his passion to do something. Holt always wanted to be a writer and he never let his adversities come in the way of that.
Today, J. Edwards Holt, who reigns from North Carolina, US, has become a success story and is an author of 2 books. When asked who inspired his work, Holt cited authors such as C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), and J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings).
Holt wanted to pursue teaching as a career but his passion of becoming a writer was always there and something he never dismissed. He eventually left teaching in order to become a writer.
With consistent self-belief, today, he has successfully written two books and hopes to write more in the years to come. His is a story of success, courage and life-lessons.
Being a writer of Young Adult fantasy novels, J. Edwards Holt published his first novel by the name of ‘Little Men, Big Treasures’. Available on Amazon, “Little Men Big Treasures” is about a dwarf who, in an aim to win the king’s reward for finding ‘The Lost Treasure of Undur’, leaves everything behind, against all odds, to find the lost treasure in the mysterious Mountain Realm. It is a book of dealing with criticism, of fighting against all odds, of being different and achieving what you put your mind to. It is also a reminder of Holt’s own story of struggles and overcoming those struggles.
A book of great enthusiasm, experiences, outstanding adventures and fun/laughs along the way, this is a tale close to Holt’s heart and one that has received incredible recognition worldwide.
In September, Holt released “The Summoner’s Gem”, which he says is the sequel to his first book, “Little Men, Big Treasures”. Not much can be said about “The Summoner’s Gem” without giving away spoilers, but if the success of his first book is any indication, Part 2 is sure to be a hit as well.
With enthusiasm, drive, and passion, you can overcome any obstacle in life and achieve what you set out to achieve. He always wanted to be a writer and not once did he let his condition come in the way of that. He is a success story waiting to be commemorated.
It also teaches us that while some problems we take on during life, others are God-given. We cannot raise our hands and give up. We shouldn’t. In fact, we should always be determined to achieve what we set out to pursue.
All of J. Edwards Holt’s books are also blossoming with tales of courage, diversity and winning against odds. They are incredible to teach your children a thing or two about overcoming adversities and living life with your head held high.
If you are willing to move forward, there is no force in the world that can stop you! J. Edwards Holt teaches us that.
He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, via email at: email@example.com or through his official website.]]>
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Entertainment: Ensure guests enjoy a good time by offering entertainment that is suitable for their personality types. If your guests are more drawn to energetic activities, choose light-hearted, competitive games like charades. For guests who are more laid back, organize classic board games. There are many popular games available in special holiday editions for extra-festive fun. You can also simply play holiday movies and music in the background for crowds that would rather just mingle.
Beverages: Stock up on refreshments all ages can enjoy. Keep a kid-friendly favorite like lemonade on hand, and tea is a traditionally well-received option for the grownups. Put a special holiday touch on your drink menu with a recipe like this Holiday Hot Tea featuring Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea, which has been fresh brewed from custom-blended tea leaves with no added acids or preservatives for generations.
Favors: Send guests home with a sweet memory of the event, such as an ornament that connects to the party’s theme or a bag of seasonal treats like homemade cookies or candy to nibble on during the trip back home.
Simple Snacks: Building your menu around simple snacks and finger foods guests can nibble on while they mingle is perfectly acceptable for almost any type of holiday gathering. Include options that can satisfy all the taste buds. You can even combine sweet and sour with a seasonal crowd-pleaser like this Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread, which draws its flavor from a secret ingredient: Milo’s All Natural Lemonade.
Find more holiday hosting ideas and recipes at drinkmilos.com .
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Note: For easier serving, place cloves in tea ball or double layer of coffee filters sealed with kitchen twine.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread)]]>
However, when it comes to the holidays, gifts don’t have to come in glossy paper with crisp edges and hidden tape (though those are nice, too). For example, author Carol Lavin Bernick recommends focusing on gifts that make an impact, such as giving back within your community.
The former chairman of beauty conglomerate Alberto Culver, Bernick published “Gather As You Go,”a book sharing insights she’s learned through her many roles: corporate leader, working mother, philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit organization Enchanted Backpack.
Consider these tips from Bernick for making a difference without breaking the bank.
Find more inspiration to give back at gatherasyougo.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images]]>
However, if you’ll be entertaining this season, you may want to go beyond the tree and take your seasonal decorating to whole new level.
Create a scene filled with festive joy and get your home holiday-ready with these tips from the holiday hosting experts at Macy’s:
Choose a theme: Designing around a specific theme is a simple way to keep your holiday decor from feeling cluttered. Your theme might be based on color or a favorite seasonal character like Santa or snowmen. If you’re starting from scratch, begin with a few statement pieces and let your collection grow over time. Choose a new item or two each year, and soon you’ll have a treasure trove of beloved holiday items that can brighten up your home.
Cook up some fun: Whipping up dinner for a house full of guests won’t feel like such a chore if you rely on cookware that makes meal preparation fun. For example, Martha Stewart’s Holiday Enamel Cast Iron collection can bring on the holiday cheer. With its festive plaid pattern and bright colors, the collection makes holiday entertaining special. Oven safe up to 500 F, these pieces can also be used with nearly any cooktop. Choose from gray or red plaid designs and 2-quart or 6-quart pot and lid combos.
Offer cozy accents: Tables, shelves and mantels tend to get their share of decorative love, but don’t overlook the ways you can bring cheer to other parts of a room. A snuggle-worthy throw in vibrant holiday hues and some plush seasonal pillows add practical warmth and good cheer. Another option: fun holiday floor decor, from welcome mats to area rugs to cushy kitchen mats that can make all that time cooking easier on your feet.
Set a stunning stage: Go ahead and fill your guests with delight before they even sample their first bite. A holiday spread served over festive placemats and cheerful motifs can make your table come to life. Bring vibrant colors and cheeky detailed design to your dinner table with an option like the Cellar Holiday Dinnerware Collection. Placemats and coasters feature seasonal images like snowflakes, ornaments and red and green lettering with a cheerful “Ho Ho Ho.” Salad plates and mugs showcase whimsical animal art with beloved creatures like dogs and giraffes.
Add pretties to the powder room: The bathroom may not be the first place you think to add some holiday spirit, but it’s a room virtually every guest will visit, so don’t leave it undone. Deck out the room with hand towels in seasonal colors and prints, and add plenty of festive accent pieces like rugs and soap dispensers. Don’t forget a candle with a subtle seasonal scent.
Find these holiday entertaining products and more at macys.com.]]>