Dec 05 2014
'Tis the season for empty wallets! The holidays are certainly a time when we tend to drain our bank accounts shopping for the perfect gifts. Here are five tips to help you shop this season on a budget!
1. Make a list! Don't go to the mall blindly. Make sure you have a list of people to shop for and budget how much you want to spend on each person. Cross off people's names as you purchase their gifts.
2. Buy children something they want, need and something to read! Instead of going overboard with toys and clothes, ask your children to come up with one gift they really want. Supplement that with an item they really need and then finally something they can read.
3. Search for coupon codes. Websites like retailmenot.com offer coupon codes for hundreds of stores we all shop every day. If you're shopping online, make sure to check for offers first!
4. Wait for sales. Stores like Macy's offer annual sales every holiday season where you can get many things for a discounted rate. Put items on hold and wait until the sale to pay for them and pick them up.
5. Stop when you hit your limit! We all tend to go overboard during the holidays but make sure you set a spending limit and do not go over it, no matter how early you finish your holiday shopping.
Tags:holiday shopping, shopping on a budget, how to shop for christmas on a budget
Nov 24 2014
Interested in starting some Thanksgiving traditions with your family and friends? Here's a list of five great ways to make memories this turkey day.
1. Have every person at your dinner table write down one positive thing about each person in the room. Throw all of the answers into a bowl and read your own compliments aloud. This game will be sure to make everyone smile.
2. Have an award ceremony! Make everyone vote and hand out ribbons to the winners. Ideas for achievements could include "the best pie," "the biggest eater," "best dish washer" etc.
3. Watch a certain movie after dinner. Gather the family and friends around the TV after dessert and start a tradition of watching a great classic movie. Promise that the only night each year you'll watch that flick is on Thanksgiving.
4. Make a thankful tree! Have all of your guests write what they are thankful for on a paper leaf and hang it on a tree used as your table centerpiece.
5. Are you a competitive bunch? Why not have some turkey trivia? After dinner let the games begin, break up into two teams and play some good old fashioned trivia!
Tags:thanksgiving, thanksgiving traditions, thanksgiving game ideas
Nov 18 2014
Thanksgiving is almost here and if you're hosting, you have a lot on your plate (literally!)
Choosing the right turkey is one of the most important parts of Thanksgiving prep along with thawing it. Don't worry, we have you covered! Here's how to tackle these tasks the best way possible.
1. Think about size. Count how many guests you are going to have and then allow for 1 to 1 1/2 lbs per guest. This will ensure you have plenty to eat and some leftovers too!
2. Choose fresh or frozen. If you are buying your turkey soon before Thanksgiving you can purchase a fresh one (although it will cost you more.) If you want to be prepared well-ahead of time, pick up a frozen bird.
3. Thaw in the refrigerator. You'll need to thaw your turkey one day for every five pounds. Have a ten pounder? It will take two days to thaw so keep this in mind.
Tags:thawing a turkey, choosing a thanksgiving turkey, how to defrost a turkey, how big of a turkey to get
Nov 11 2014
The weather is cooling down and it's the perfect time of year to bust out the crock pot and make some comfort food! We've all used a crock pot for convenience-cooking, but here are some tips to bring your meals to the next level.
1. Make sure you are using the right size crock pot. Most recipes will tell you the size of the slow cooker you should be using when preparing a specific meal. Using the right size crock pot will ensure your food is cooked properly.
2. Try not to overfill. If a recipe says a meal will be ready in 4 hours in your slow cooker, try not to over fill or add too many extra ingredients so you can be sure your meal is done on time.
3. Use crock pot liners. These easy to use plastic inserts make cleaning up after a crock pot meal a breeze. No more soaking the pot and scrubbing it down when you're done.
4. Fight the urge to open up your lid and peek in at your meal. When you do this several times, a lot of the heat and moisture will escape and your meal won't be cooked properly.
5. Plan your meal the night before. If you're making a soup that needs to simmer all day, chop your veggies and thaw your meat or poultry the night before to ensure your meal has ample time to cook and settle before serving.
Tags:crock pot cooking, how to use a crock pot, crock pot tips and tricks
Nov 05 2014
We wash our floors, our sinks and counter tops but we often forget about the couch! We sit on it every day and some of us let our pets lounge on it too. Here are 5 easy steps for cleaning your couch.
1. Use your vacuum hose/attachment to give the couch and pillows a once over. Don't forget to flip the cushions so you can remove dust, allergens and pet hair from all surfaces.
2. If your couch has wooden parts (legs, arm rests) dust them off and use a furniture polish to wipe them clean.
3. Read the papers/tags that came with your sofa. They will explain what sort of fabric it is made out of and what cleaners are safe to use.
4. Clean with the proper cleaner. Focus on spots that have noticeable stains and wear. Let the couch dry.
5. Rent a shampooer and deep clean your sofa. Use the attachments to get in all the crevices of the cushions to ensure a deep clean. Let your couch dry.