10 Links for Saving Money

10 Links for Saving Money

A top New Year’s resolution is saving money. We all want to save money, to use for a trip, a new fun purchase, to save for college or a new home. This is a list of 10 links that can help you save money.

  1.  10 Ways to Save Money in the New Year
  2. Create a Monthly Menu – Plan meals to save money
  3. Keep Your House Warm – Don’t pay for heat that leaves your home
  4. Pack Your Lunch – This really adds up, learn how to pack healthy lunches
  5. Read Price Per Pound – Paying attention to price per pound really adds up when you are shopping. Continue reading
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How To Prepare a Freezer Breakfast

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

I love having a quick breakfast that tastes like it took a while to make. I’ve been making my Banana Oatmeal Waffles when I have a spare browning banana. If we can’t eat all of them, I make more and save them for later. Here’s how to save them and cook them in a flash. 🙂

  1. Follow the recipe for blender waffles.
  2. Set each waffle on a cooling rack.
  3. Prepare sheets of wax paper.
  4. Place a sheet of wax paper between each waffle and gently place in a freezer bag.
  5. Freeze on a flat surface, this way it will freeze flat.

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Quickly cook:

  1. Pull desired waffles out of the freezer bag.
  2. Pop in a toaster oven and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Cook until fragrant. You will smell the vanilla extract and the waffles will begin to get toasty brown.
  4. Enjoy!

This way you can have weekend waffles during the week!

Want more quick breakfast ideas? Check out these posts: A Quick Breakfast Sandwich, Quick Oatmeal, and this can easily be reheated during the week.

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10 Free Attractions in New York City

New York City is known for extravagance and expensive things. However, traveling in the city can still be done on a budget… even for free! Here are 10 free things to do in the Big Apple.

1. Attend a TV Show Taping – You can see your favorite TV show recorded in person! Find out more information here.

2. Grand Central and Midtown Tour – My sister and her fiance took this tour and really liked the experience. The AAA Guide to New York rated The Grand Tour as New York City’s “Best Walking Tour.” The Grand Tour meets each and EVERY Friday throughout the year at 12:30 pm in the sculpture court at 120 Park Avenue, located at the southwest corner of East 42nd Street and Park Avenue directly across from Grand Central Terminal. No reservations are necessary.

3. Ride the Staten Island Ferry – Get a great view of the city and the Statue of Liberty on a the Staten Island Ferry. Trips are free.

4. Friday at the Museum of Modern Art – Fridays are free at the Museum of Modern art from 4-8 PM. Visit my very favorite piece, Starry Night!

5. Visit the 911 Memorial – Passes are free to visit the September 11th Memorial and Museum. It is advised to visit the website to reserve passes for a specific day and time.

6. Bryant Park – Bryant Park is beautiful in the winter and after Thanksgiving it is the home to an ice skating rink lined with cute shoppes. During the summer you can enjoy a walk through the park with a coffee or stop at the nearby Crumbs for an amazing cupcake. Raspberry filled are my favorite!

7. Central Park – Central Park is beautiful and covers so much land. Take a walk or have a picnic. Look for events happening throughout the park here. It is truly an amazing site to see tall buildings surround a field and trees.

8. Governors Island – Governors Island is a national park with free ferry service, take a trip for a picnic, ride bikes through a trail, play mini-golf, or visit Admiral’s House.

9. New York Public Library – With the first brick laid in 1902 and opening in 1911, The New York Public Library is a New York City staple. Walking up the steps, the lions, appropriately named Patience and Fortitude greet you.

10. Browse Chelsea Market – Chelsea Market is a fun place to walk through. Window shop or try samples from the shoppes and cafes. Or pick up some exceptional food. If you go I highly recommend orange chocolate gelato. It’s delish.

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How to Save Time, Money, and Still Eat Healthfully

Image copyright adactio.

Here’s how, pick one day to prep food. Yes, it’s work but if you do it right you’ll eat well for the week and save yourself money. Win and win!

I am guilty of doing it too. I will buy tons of fresh fruits and veggies and then the next day look at the refrigerator and think “ugh. what is there to eat?”. Anyone else guilty? So to make an effort to eat up the good for you veggies and stay away from the super easy to unwrap and grab empty carbs here’s the plan.

Chop up carrots and celery – Don’t buy baby carrots, they’re OVER priced. Baby carrots are regular sized carrots that have been cut up for you. Buy yourself a big bag of carrots, like buggs bunny would enjoy, peel and chop them into sticks. Work on your knife skills and watch your fingers. 🙂 Now you will have carrots to snack on instead of chips. They’re in the fridge and easy to access. Put them in a cute plastic container and have dip readily available. Hummus is a fantastic partner to the carrot stick and healthy too. Here’s another tip, set the container out on the table in front of people. They will snack on them if they’re there.

Let’s go one step further. Since you have the knife out, slice up 2 more carrots and celery and put them in a bin for soup. Slice up more and toss them on top of your salad. If you chop up all of your veggies in one day all you need to do the next day or so is toss it in the crock pot. They will keep for the week and you’ll be good to go on the go.

Make a Big Salad – Ever buy romaine lettuce only to find it a week later in the vegetable drawer browning? Me too. On chopping day, break out the lettuce of your choice (the greener the better). Tear or chop into bite size pieces, rinse, and place in the largest glass bowl you have. Now we’re going to top that with our chopped carrots, chopped celery, and sliced red onions. Be mindful of cucumbers and tomatoes, I find that these veggies are best added before serving as they can become… well… mushy. Slice up day of or a day or two before and toss them on with your homemade croutons and top with this Italian dressing. The bowl will be empty by the end of the week.

Tackle the Onions – Get ready to cry. On chopping day we’re not only slicing up a red onion for our big salad, we’re also chopping yellow onions for soup. The knife is out and the cutting board is ready to go, so chop onions for vegetable soup, quesadillas, or lentil casserole. If your recipe calls for garlic, toss it in with the same container with the onions.

Prep the Fruit – Buying a whole pineapple vs. pre-sliced is much more cost effective but that’s if you take the time to cut the pineapple and put it in a nice bowl. If you take your breakfast on the go, arrange homemade fruit cups with individual serving sizes. Get crazy and toss in frozen blueberries too. They will thaw by morning and add flavor variety and antioxidants. Added bonus, you now have fruit ready to make a quick smoothie for breakfast!

Pick the Package – Getting everything to go is easy when you organize it in the right containers. Toss carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in a container. Now it’s ready to go into the crock pot in the morning, adding 2 minutes to your morning to combine the prepared ingredients but saving so much time when you walk in the door and have a meal prepared. Put snacky foods in a container together and put it in an easy to reach spot (read: eye level).

Other foods you can prep in advance: mushrooms, peppers, potatoes.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

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4 Ways to Reduce Your Air Conditioning Bill

Image copyright Candi_N.

While I feel like I was just writing this post about keeping your home warm in the cold winter, it’s time to cool off from a scorching hot summer day. Today I’m sharing 4 tips to save money on your air conditioning bill!

  1. Clean or replace filters – Keep your unit working in top condition by removing the dust and debris in the filter and vents.
  2. Use black out curtains – A few years ago, I made insulated curtains to help keep out the cold, but I discovered a secondary (and more cost effective) use for them. The darkening curtains block out the sun, which can drastically heat up a room. Even if you do not have black out shades, close the curtains and blinds during the afternoon when the sun is at its brightest. This will keep your air conditioner off!
  3. Program your thermostat – If you’ve invested in a programmable thermostat, take the time to read the manual and set the air to run when you will be home or when you will need it most. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, be mindful of when it is on and what temperature you’ve set.
  4. Seal in the cold air – Keep the cool air that you are paying for in the house by checking seals on the windows and doors. You can add foam or trim to the windows and doors.

While I feel like I was just writing this post about keeping your home warm in the cold winter, it’s time to cool off from a scorching summer day.

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