Pasta – Budget Family Meals

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Pasta is not only the most versatile food, it’s tops when it comes to budget family meals. That’s because pasta is reasonably cheap, you can make the sauce with or without meat for a further budget saving, and you can serve it in a variety of ways.

pastaYou can make a very nice pasta sauce with a pound or two of ground meat, sauce, celery, onions and seasonings, for a family of four for around $10 or less.

When it comes to the variety of pastas available, meal possibilities are endless. You can serve pasta as a main dish or couple it with a salad, or with a chicken or meat entrée.

Left-over cooked pasta noodles will keep well (covered)  for a couple of days in the refrigerator.  They can then be reintroduced Continue reading

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6 Resume Essentials to Land That Job

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Times have become very challenging and jobs are harder to find. Once the economy picks up, this will improve.

In the meantime, your resume can open the door of opportunity for you, so it’s imperative that it includes the essentials and presents you in such a way, that you can move on to the next round – the interview.

Typical resume words that once grabbed attention such as dependable, conscientious and trustworthy have been largely overused and for the most part, have lost their shine.

Employers no longer look specifically for these, but want a resume that gives them a more realistic picture of who you are and what they can expect from you as an employee. Basically, what can YOU bring to their asset team?

And if you’re thinking of sending out 500 (same) copies of your resume, think again. Where a generic resume might have landed that job years ago, the market is Continue reading

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Definitely a soup day today!

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I tend to make at least one pot of homemade soup a week and more during cold winter months.  Contrary to popular belief, homemade soup is not difficult but very easy to make and you don’t really have to follow any special recipes, unless you want to.

There are basics though for making homemade soup, some of which can be varied for certain types of soups or to enhance a special flavor.  The rest of the ingredients depend on either your preferences or what you have in your pantry. Continue reading

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Save Water With Lower Washer Levels

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washersstub1500Conserving water is not only an environmentally friendly practice, it’s a must in some areas. And using less water translates into saving money.

When you have small laundry loads to wash, use the lowest water level in your top load washer to save on water use. You can shave gallons of water off your water bill.

Front load (or top load) high efficiency washers use less water to wash even large loads, but time cycles are adjusted accordingly.  You may not be able Continue reading

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Trim Expenses = Cut Your Credit Cards

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If you’re serious about cutting expenses, getting out of debt, saving money, or just trying to make ends meet, your first step is to cut credit card spending.  Now don’t get me wrong, credit cards are a good thing if managed properly. 

And a well-managed credit card builds a solid credit history and that matters when you’re buying a home or financing a major purchase. By well-managed, I mean Continue reading

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Find the Right Gift for Your Valentine

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Valentine’s Day holds a special place in my heart, so I usually start thinking of it pretty early.

With only a couple of weeks to go, now’s the time to give some thought to your gift, where you might want to take your sweetie for a nice dinner, movie or simply enjoy a relaxing, no-stress special dinner at home.

There are some great Valentine deals out there, so it’s not too hard to find the right gift for your sweetheart, without breaking the bank.

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Easily Convert an Origami Folding Rack to a Light Garden

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origamishelfIf you haven’t seen the Origami Folding Rack in action, it’s pretty impressive. You can fold or set up this sturdy shelving in 20 seconds or less – really.

It’s extremely durable and versatile to use for temporary shelving, a plant stand or for the college dorm to hold their stuff. And you can fold and store at will. There are no tools required to collapse this rack, though a bungy type cord would keep it securely folded.

I highly recommend this shelf unit; it’s most versatile, well made and takes little space stored in a closed position. It comes with or without casters, but I would definitely recommend the wheel kit, it’s just so nice when I want to move it. Continue reading

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Need a Sewing Machine?

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A positive that has come from pandemic lockdowns is a renewed interest in sewing, as many looked for activities and hobbies while housebound. It has produced a new generation of sewers. And that’s a good thing. Like many other homemaking skills, knowing how to use a sewing machine, even just for altering or mending clothes, was slowly becoming a lost skill.

Making clothing, especially from recycled materials is getting very popular as sewers look for ways to be creative, while saving on the household budget. But what is really surprising is the popularity of antique and vintage sewing machines. And prices are truly incredible for machines that still work fine or maybe need a little dusting and oil.

Continue reading

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Set up a Home Office or Computer Corner

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Computer and lucky bamboo.

Working from home? It’s time to ditch the kitchen counter, table or living room coffee table as your workspace and to find a niche in your home for a designated and more efficient office workstation. Even if you don’t work at home, you still need a  bill-paying corner.

Every household has paper work, you cannot get away from it. There are bills to pay, taxes to file, gift lists to draw up and of course, the family budget to manage. There are also product manuals to keep track of, as well as vehicle maintenance schedules to maintain. And there also important dates to log so you don’t miss appointments.

Though we try hard to have a paperless life, it’s just not possible. If you don’t have a specific place to gather bills and mail as they come in or to save receipts for tax filing and such, that can lead to missed savings. So setting up a home office just makes smart sense and it can help you to better manage your budget and life.

The home workspace should be organized in such a way that you can work comfortably and efficiently. I’ve put together a list of things you need for a home office. Some items are essentials and others can make the space more comfortable.  Read more about setting up a home office or computer corner in my: Must-Haves for the Home Office

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Things NOT to Learn the Hard Way

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tooltipsMost of the points I am about to make are ‘old hat’ to the experienced lot of woodworkers and may sound a bit trivial. So we will direct the following to the folks that are just starting out in this wonderful world of wood and what you can do with it.

We will start out with sharp edges and how quickly they can be ruined. If you drop your chisel, in all likelihood it will land on its cutting edge. If you lay your plane or store it on its sole plate, chances are it will warp the plate in time and dull the edge on the plane blade if you set it down, lay it on its side and store them upright on their heels or on their sides.

The exception to that are Continue reading

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