Carol Snider and Laura Snider Cooperman's Blog
If you live a busy work and home life, finding time to cook nutritious and filling meals can be difficult. As a result, many people find themselves ordering out for lunch during the work week and settling for low-effort dinners during the week.
One economical and time-saving solution to this problem is meal prep. You pick one day during the week, usually Sunday, and devote an hour or two to preparing meals for the week.
Not only does it take away the concern of not knowing what to cook for dinner each night, but it also helps you save a ton of money while eating healthy.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips for preparing your meals in bulk, and a few examples of meals that are easily prepared at home in advance.
Expert advice on meal prepping
One of the first issues people face when they start prepping meals is storage. Our best advice is to look for rugged, microwavable and freezable containers.
It’s good to have a variety of sizes, but if you have stray pieces to sets of Tupperware it can make it difficult to find the right sizes. So, we suggest starting from scratch and buying a set of three-compartment and a set one-compartment containers.
Find out the volume of the containers you buy. Doing so will help you keep track of the portions of your meals and make it easier to prepare the right amount to avoid waste.
Many poor eating decisions happen when you’re in a pinch and need to come up with something quickly. It can seem like the cheapest option at the moment is to stop at a fast food restaurant, but you can likely prepare 3 or 4 meals for the price of one trip to the drive-through.
The key is proper planning. Sit down and make your menu for the week. An easy way to start is to think about your favorite lunch items and figure out how you can make them in bulk.
Make sure your shopping list reflects the portions you need to buy, and you’re good to head to the store.
Once you’re home and have started cooking, remember that you needn’t freeze all of your meals. Refrigerate items that you’ll eat over the next 2-3 days and freeze the rest. If you’re worried about losing your meals in your crowded freezer and finding them months from now, use some masking tape to label and date them.
Easy meals to prepare in advance
You can usually find a way to prepare most meals in advance. However, some are easier than others. A good place to start is with rice and grain bowls and stir fries. These tend to be cheap (around $1.50 per serving) and simple to prepare. To add protein, you can include boiled eggs, beans, chicken or beef.
Along the same line, make some brown rice and stir fry black beans, peppers, and onions. Add your favorite southwest seasonings, and buy a large bag of tortilla chips. You can scoop the rice and beans onto your chips for a nutritious and cheap lunch.
For dinner items, you can make your favorites like shepherd’s pie or lasagna in advance and slice and freeze them in portions.
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Moving into a new home can be a very exciting experience. From getting to know new people to starting a new job, it can all be a very enjoyable transition. However, there are some aspects of moving that many people don’t really enjoy. And the biggest factor of all is the money involved. From hiring movers to buying boxes, all of the expenses can add up very quickly. However, there are some tips and tricks if you want to save as much money as possible.
Donate Your Unused Goods
One tactic to save on moving costs involves getting rid of the things you never use. This strategy is especially useful if you’re hiring a moving company to help with the transition. While these professionals are typically paid by the hour, you’re going to want to downsize to prevent spending an arm and a leg for this service; the more stuff you have, the more money you'll have to fork over. Furthermore, the more belongings you bring, the bigger the truck you’ll have to rent. To save time and loads of money, do good for yourself and others by donating the items you don’t need.
Don’t Move During Peak Season
While this is sometimes out of your control due to a job or another reason, you should always try to move during the off-peak season. People tend to move from May until September, so try your best to schedule a move between October and April.
Do the Move Yourself
Many people decide to hire a moving company when they’re moving to a new home. However, this can cost thousands of dollars. If you want to save, consider renting a truck and moving everything yourself. While it may take a lot of time and energy, you can experience tons of savings. Try to find family members or friends that are willing to help, then you can have the whole process done quickly. Not only can this lead to a great deal of savings, but you can also get some quality time with loved ones and a solid workout in the meantime. However, if you have large items and are not comfortable moving them, utilize a professional service once you've reached your destination.
Rent a Moving Container
Another beneficial option is to rent a moving container. These still can be expensive, but it is far cheaper compared to hiring a moving company. In addition, these containers are becoming far more common nowadays, which has really dropped the price of this service. It’s best to choose a container if you have a larger time window for the move, and especially if you’re doing most of the work yourself.
Moving can be expensive and stressful, but by focusing on the tips mentioned above, you can save hundreds of dollars as you’re making this important life transition.
New technologies are constantly being produced that are designed to make our lives easier. Technology around the home is no different.
America recently underwent a boom in residential solar power, a trend that doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. And, big tech companies like Google and Amazon are trying to nudge their way into the smart home technology sector with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Many of these tools and technologies are great for convenience around the house. Amazon Dash buttons let you reorder common household goods like paper towels and laundry detergent with the touch of a button in your pantry when you run low.
However, some forward-thinking homeowners are looking towards home improvements that can increase the resale value of their home by making it more desirable to potential buyers.
In today’s post, we’re talking about the latest tech that homeowners are buying to give their home an edge over the competitors in the real estate market.
Read on to find out which technologies can make a difference and which ones will soon be obsolete.
Smart home technology
Our phones have gradually become all-encompassing devices that help us organize our lives, and smart home tech companies hope to do the same thing with your home.
There is no shortage of competition for access to your home in the form of remotely controlled lighting, sprinklers, HVAC, and more.
And, while some state of the art systems might attract potential buyers, it’s important to remember that smart home tech is a fledgling industry.
That means that the tech is constantly evolving and might not be relevant or useful to potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home. (It would be like trying to sell an iPhone that is 4 generations too old for anyone to want it anymore.)
While home security technology is still rapidly changing, there is a benefit to having a system installed that can help woo potential buyers who are concerned about the safety of their family.
Aside from safety, this tech can also be just plain convenient and time-saving. Smart door locks can sync with your smartphone to unlock when you arrive at your home and lock when you leave, shaving a few seconds off of your daily routine.
One benefit of installing solar panels on your roof is that you can then show potential buyers physical evidence of the amount of money they can save each month on their utility bills.
However, it should be noted that there are some exciting new residential solar solutions coming to the market in the near future--one example being Tesla’s solar roof that looks almost exactly like a regular roof but generates electricity for your home.
So, when considering new technology for your home to boost its resale value on the market, remember that technologies are still changing. Keep your timeline for sale in mind, and try to avoid tech that will be obsolete before you plan on putting your home for sale.
If you receive an offer to purchase your home, you may have only a limited amount of time to decide whether to accept this proposal. As such, there are several factors you'll want to consider to determine whether to approve an offer to purchase your home. These factors include:
1. The Price of Your Home
If you established a competitive initial asking price for your home, you should have no trouble determining whether an offer to purchase falls in line with your expectations. Thus, if an offer to purchase your home is at or above your residence's initial asking price, you may want to accept a buyer's proposal and move forward with a house sale.
Of course, if an offer to purchase your house falls below your residence's initial asking price, you should still evaluate the proposal closely. If you feel the offer to purchase is the best proposal you might receive, you may want to accept it.
2. The Current State of the Local Housing Market
Examine the current state of the local housing market – you'll be glad you did. If you discover you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, you can assess an offer to purchase your home accordingly.
If you find a buyer's market is in place, you may be more inclined than ever before to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home. Because in this market, the number of sellers exceeds the number of buyers, and rejecting a homebuying proposal does not guarantee you will receive better offers to purchase in the near future.
Comparatively, if a seller's market is in place, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to any offers to purchase your residence. In this market, the number of buyers exceeds the number of quality houses available. As a result, you may receive dozens of offers to acquire your residence if you wait for the local housing market to develop.
3. Your Home Selling Goals
You should feel good about accepting an offer to purchase your house. Therefore, if an offer to purchase enables you to achieve your home selling goals, you may want to accept it sooner rather than later. By doing so, you can take the next step to finalize your house sale.
As you debate how to proceed with an offer to purchase your house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional may be able to offer housing market insights that you won't find anywhere else. Plus, he or she can provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ultimately decide to accept an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can guide you along the final stages of the property selling journey.
There is no reason to settle for a subpar offer to purchase your house. But if you consider the aforementioned factors, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.