7 Tips to Stick to Your Holiday Budget

The holiday season is here which means lots of events, shopping, dinners and parties! With all of that comes a lot of spending! Try to stick to a budget this holiday season with these 8 tips.

 

1 – Make a list and stick to it! Decide who you need to buy for and be strict with adding anyone else.

 

2 – Skip the impulse purchases! Stores put a lot of fun goodies right near the register for a reason. Skip checking out the impulse section this year and head right to the register instead.

 

3 – Buy online when you can. This helps because you can compare prices, find online promo codes and many stores offer free shipping this time of year.

 

4 – If you’re hosting a party or dinner, ask your guests to bring things! Don’t put the burden on yourself to purchase and supply the whole meal. Create a menu and give everyone something they are in charge of to supply.

 

5 – Use cash if you’re able. Try not to pull out the credit card to avoid any holiday debt.

 

6 – Rather than buy for everyone in the family, do a secret Santa instead. That way you can only buy for one special person instead of several.

 

7 – Avoid getting tempted by sales. If you are done shopping be done. Don’t buy something just because it’s now on sale.

 

We hope these tips are helpful and that everyone finds time to relax and enjoy the holiday season this year!

8 Tips For Stocking Your Kitchen After Move-In

You have the keys, the movers are on their way and you don’t know where to start! How about the kitchen? The kitchen is one of the first places you should start when unpacking because it’s typically a central location of the home and let’s face it….your family is going to be hungry soon! Here are some great tips for stocking and unpacking the kitchen so you have what you need and it’s easily accessible.

1 – Grocery delivery services are a great option for that first move-in day. You can purchase the essentials and have someone else help with the shopping while you unpack the dishes and flatware.

2 – Speaking of essentials, don’t forget them! Think about oils, cooking sprays, salt, pepper, dry herbs and other condiments. Those are a staple in every kitchen.

3 – Try buying in bulk right away. Get plenty of dry goods for the pantry (think pastas, rice and canned good) and snacks for the kids.

4 – It’s not just about the food. Don’t forget to stock the sink area with soaps, cleaning supplies and sponges.

5 – Frozen vegetables, side dishes and snacks are a great way to start stocking the freezer. Have friends who want to cook for you? Say yes and stock some meals in your freezer for later in the week when you’re busy unpacking.

6 – Choose a spot for pots & pans that makes sense. Having cookware unpacked right away is important when dinner time rolls around.

7 – Paper goods aren’t a bad idea for the first couple of days. Have paper plates and napkins on hand to pull out while you decide on the perfect place to store your dishes in your new kitchen.

8 – Don’t be afraid to order takeout on your first night. You’ve had a long day and our leasing staff will be happy to give you recommendations on the best local places for dinner!

10 Cooking Hacks to Save You Time in the Kitchen

Do you hate cooking at home and find yourself ordering out more often than you should? Start ditching the delivery and cut down time in the kitchen with these awesome tips and hacks.

 

1 – Like breakfast sandwiches but don’t want to make one every morning? You can poach a dozen eggs at once using a muffin tin. Refrigerate/freeze the eggs and pull one out to reheat on your toast each morning.

 

2 – Fast forward your fruit ripening by keeping your fruits in a paper bag.

 

3 – Making mashed potatoes? Don’t waste time peeling the skin. Instead, boil them with the skin on and it will fall off in the water. Better yet, mash them with the skins on for a more textured mash potato dish.

 

4 – Use cooking spray to coat your measuring cups. This will help keep foods from sticking to them when baking.

 

5 – Having leftover pizza? Reheat it in a skillet on your stove top rather than the oven to save time.

 

6 – Love a morning smoothie? Put your fruit and veggies into freezer bags. Put one in the fridge each night to throw into the blender the next morning.

 

7 – Put a piece of white bread in your cookie jar to keep your cookies from getting hard and eventually needing to be tossed in the trash.

 

8 – Dice up a bunch of vegetables and store them in freezer bags. These are great to use as soup starters. You can toss the pre-cut veggies in your crockpot and add your desired broth.

 

9 – Having a birthday party? Pre-scoop your ice cream and put them on cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Pull one out for each plate at cake time.

 

10 – Need to soften butter on the counter? Cut it into tablespoon sizes .The smaller pieces will soften a whole lot faster than the whole stick.

3 Delicious Holiday Cookie Recipes

Whether you like to decorate sugar cookies or prefer gingerbread men we have the perfect recipes to get you started! The snow is going to fall this weekend so head to the market, pick up some supplies and start baking!

 

1 – Gingerbread Men Recipe Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

These smell delicious while baking and are even more fun to decorate! Add some hair, bow ties or buttons…whatever your gingerbread heart desires!

Courtesy of sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

2 – The Perfect Snickerdoodles Courtesy of Cookies & Cups

If you like your snickerdoodles soft and chewy then you’ve come to the right place! These cookies are easy to make and full of flavor.

Courtesy of Cookiesandcups.com

 

3 – Soft Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies Courtesy of Live Well Bake Often

Fun to decorate and perfect for the holiday season! These sugar cookies have an icing recipe that is also easy to make and tasty to eat.

Courtesy of livewellbakeoften.com

5 Festive Halloween Treats to Make This Weekend

Halloween is a week away and you can get into the spirit now by cooking up something both festive and sweet! Pull out your baking supplies and get cooking!

 

1 – Jack-O-Lantern Rice Kreepies

courtesy of realsimple.com

2 – White Chocolate Eyeballs

courtesy of realsimple.com

3 – Spooky Spider Cookies

courtesy of realsimple.com

4 – Creepy Bat Cupcakes

courtesy of realsimple.com

5 – Frozen Banana Ghosts

courtesy of realsimple.com

5 Must-Haves for Summer 2020

Summer is only a few weeks away! Whether you plan to spend your summer relaxing, reading or cooking great BBQ food, there is a cool gadget on this list that you’ll want to try…

 

Hoodivision.com

1 – PadHat Sunshade for iPad or Tablet – If you’re planning to read or scroll your social media feeds at the beach or on your balcony you’ll need one of these! They protect your tablet from the sun and heat so it’s easy to see.

 

sharperimage.com

2 – Grill Light & FanNeed to grill at night? No problem! This grill light and fan has LED lights to help you see your food and a built in fan to blow smoke away from your face.

 

Amazon.com

3 – Bear Paws Shredder Claws – If you prefer smoking to grilling, shred your meat quickly and easily with these shredder claws!

 

Walmart.com

4 – Beach Towel Clips – Claim your chair and keep your towel in place with these bright and colorful beach towel clips!

 

Amazon.com

5 – Popsicle Molds – No visit from the ice cream man? No problem! Make your own popsicles at home by freezing your favorite fresh fruits, yogurts and juices.

5 Recipes for Mother’s Day Brunch

Hosting a brunch for Mom this weekend?  Try one of these delicious casserole recipes that you can make ahead so you can spend more time with Mom on Sunday…

 

1 – French Toast Casserole 

 

2 – Everything Bagel Casserole

 

3 – Eggs Benedict Casserole

 

4 – Chocolate Chip Pancake Casserole

 

5 – Cinnamon Roll Casserole

5 DIY Super Bowl Snacks

If you’re like us, you’re excited for Sunday to get here so we can celebrate the Super Bowl! Whether you’re hosting a party or attending one, here are 5 awesome DIY snacks from delish.com to wow your friends…

 

1 – Slow Cooker Tex Mex Dip

 

2 – Bacon Pickle Fries

 

3 – Garlic Bread Pizza Dip 

 

4 – Pepperoni Football 

 

5 – Buffalo Ranch Waffle Fries