Winter always seems to sneak up on us, year after year. Because most climates experience the most dramatic change in weather during the colder months, it’s important to understand what apartment winter maintenance or preparatory tasks you’ll be responsible for at your rental property.
While some tasks fall on the shoulders of your landlord or property manager, there are certain steps you can take as a renter to ensure a safe and comfortable winter at home.
1. Check in with your landlord or property manager
Before the winter hits, touch base with your landlord if you’re unclear on what are tenant responsibilities and what are landlord responsibilities. Who’s responsible for removing snow and ice at the property, and what are the expectations?
Some states have local snow and ice removal regulations regarding public sidewalks or other public areas. Discuss acceptable de-icing measures to make sure you aren’t causing damage to any surfaces.
2. Test out the heat
While it’s your landlord’s responsibility to have heating and cooling systems serviced regularly, it’s helpful to turn on the heat a bit early for a short period of time to make sure everything is functioning properly.
It’s always better to learn about any issues ahead of time instead of discovering a winter maintenance problem in your apartment when the cold temperatures set in.
3. Avoid unwanted guests
Cooler weather and more precipitation means bugs, rodents and other pests are looking for a warm place to call home. An easy way to attract unwanted pests is by providing them with a food source, so be sure to take a few preventative steps, especially now that many of us are cooking at home more than ever before.
Store your dry, perishable food items inside air-tight containers that pests can’t chew through. Try to take trash containing food scraps out as soon as possible instead of letting it sit. Aim to wipe down countertops at least once each day to get rid of crumbs and food remnants.
4. Prevent frozen pipes
Be sure to follow all of your landlord’s instructions to avoid frozen or burst pipes due to cold weather. Most landlords or property managers will provide guidance on temperature levels and other preventative measures to avoid this issue.
If you’re leaving on vacation or will otherwise be away from your rental for a period of time this winter, give your landlord a heads up and ask if they want you to set the temperature at a certain point or leave a couple of faucets on a slow drip.
5. Stay warm and save money
Of course, you want to be comfortable in your own home, but keeping a few things in mind when it comes to turning on the heat can have a dramatic impact on your monthly bill. Experts say you can save up to 10 percent on your yearly heating expenses by turning down the thermostat just 7-10 degrees for approximately eight hours per day, like while you’re at work or while you’re sleeping.
Ceiling fans are an excellent tool to help distribute heat evenly. Many models have a switch that forces blades to spin clockwise, which will push warm air down into a room.
6. Be prepared for emergencies
If you live in an area where winter weather and storms are a frequent occurrence, it’s wise to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time for any worst-case scenarios. Sign up for weather and emergency alert systems to stay informed about any potentially threatening storms and actions should take. In general, stay indoors during major storms and avoid road travel until it is safe to do so.
7. Notify your landlord of any issues as soon as possible
Common winter issues like ice dams, frozen pipes or issues with the heating system can quickly spiral out of control. It’s important to keep tabs on your home and alert your landlord of any potential issues as soon as possible so they can be taken care of as quickly as possible.
Winter is coming
Whether you’re dreading winter or it’s your favorite season, taking the time to prepare your apartment for winter maintenance will help set you up for success as a renter. Come to a clear and established understanding of what your responsibilities are and what your landlord is responsible for, and make sure to hold up your end of the bargain.
The post 7 Apartment Winter Maintenance Tips for Renters appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
Everyone knows that Super Bowl time is snack time.
But this year, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you may be staying home to watch the game rather than heading to a big bash or going to a bar or restaurant and plunking down big bucks.
However you decide to watch the game, you can still enjoy some classic Super Bowl snacks.
6 Cheap Super Bowl Snacks to Enjoy With the Big Game
1. Chex Party Mix
Everyone loves this crunchy, salty snack. While there are thousands of different ways to make it, this time-tested recipe from The Spruce Eats is super easy and will appeal to the garlic lovers in your crowd.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Â½ cup butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Â½ teaspoon onion powder
3 cups corn Chex cereal
2 cups wheat Chex cereal
1 Â½ cups mixed nuts
1 cup small pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavored bagel chips
1 cup mini pretzel rods
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Melt the butter in a large pan and stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic salt and onion powder. Add everything else and toss thoroughly until well-coated. Bake for one hour, stirring the batch every 15 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
2. Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs
For a hearty main course, this incredibly easy meatball recipe from Family Fresh Meals will keep your crew happy. Serve them over noodles or rice for a main dish, or just let people enjoy them as an appetizer.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Â¼ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
Â½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 minced garlic cloves
1 (28 oz) bag fully cooked, frozen meatballs
Mix together the brown sugar, honey, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic. Next, place the meatballs in a three- or four-quart crockpot and cover in sauce, tossing to coat. Turn the crockpot on low for four hours and stir occasionally.
3. Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Enjoy the diner classic at home with The Spruce Eats recipe for baked mozzarella sticks.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Â½ cup brown rice flour
Â¼ cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
6 sticks of low-moisture, part skim milk mozzarella string cheese (cut in half crosswise and frozen for 3-4 hours)
Grapeseed oil for frying
Marinara or other sauce for dipping
Add grapeseed oil to a skillet, and then mix the flours, parmesan, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in a shallow dish. Beat the eggs and add them to a separate dish. Coat the cheese, alternating between the dry mixture and the egg. Make sure to cover the entirety of the cheese pieces, including the ends.
Next, heat the oil in the pan to 360 degrees and then drop the frozen cheese into it. Turn them every 20 to 30 seconds until they are a golden brown color. Place the cheese on paper towels to absorb the excess oil, and then transfer them to a platter for serving.
4. Pigs in a Blanket
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Go with the classic childhood favorite: buttery dough enveloping tasty mini-sausages. Pillsbury has a great recipe for pigs in a blanket.Â
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll all the dough and pull into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle into three narrow triangles. Roll a sausage link up in each triangle of dough. Place them on unlined baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown, rotating halfway through. Serve warm.
5. Crockpot Beer Cheese Dip
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
This snack from The Spruce Eats just may be the most indulgent one on this list. Have it with pretzels or tortilla chips â or even try something fancier like apples and vegetables.
1/2 cup beer
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 pound processed cheese spread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
Youâll also need food to dip into it; The Spruce Eats suggests not only tortilla chips and hard and soft pretzels but also apples, crackers, bread cubes and assorted vegetables.
Combine the beer, Tabasco sauce and processed cheese spread in a slow cooker. Add more Tabasco sauce if you prefer a spicier treat. Cover and cook on high for 40 minutes. Once the cheese has melted, stir it to make it smooth. Keep it in the slow cooker on low and serve with the dippers.
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6. Restaurant-Style Buffalo Chicken Wings
It really is possible to enjoy restaurant-style buffalo chicken wings at home. This recipe from AllRecipes takes more time than others on the list, but thatâs only because you need to chill the chicken before cooking it.
Prep time: 60-90 minutes (includes time to chill ingredients before cooking)
Cook time: 15 minutes
Â½ cup all-purpose flour
Â¼ teaspoon paprika
Â¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Â¼ teaspoon salt
10 chicken wings
oil for deep frying
Â¼ cup butter
Â¼ cup hot sauce
1 dash ground black pepper
1 dash garlic powder
Mix flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl. Put the chicken wings in a nonporous glass dish or bowl and then sprinkle the flour mixture on top, evenly coating the wings. Cover the dish and refrigerate it for 60-90 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees. Mix butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic butter in a small saucepan and then put it over low heat. Stir until the butter melts and blend the mixture thoroughly. Then remove it from the heat.
Remove the wings from the refrigerator and fry them in the hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove them from the heat, put them in a serving bowl, add the hot sauce mixture and stir before serving.
Kristen Pope is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Editor Sushil Cheema contributed to this post.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
Well, we made it. To 2021. The earth, moon, and sun each did their thing again. But somehow this year feels different. Because 2020 was a doozy and so many of us are deeply ready for a fresh start.
RBG fought, she believed, and she persevered—all actions that feel deeply relevant as we look to the year ahead of us.
Last year left many of us with a lot to mourn. For me, and for many, that includes the loss of a national treasure, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The diminutive woman, known affectionately as The Notorious RBG, served as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1993 until her death on September 18th, 2020, at age 87. RBG was the breaker of all kinds of ceilings. She fought, she believed, and she persevered—all actions that feel deeply relevant as we look to the year ahead of us.
Before I charge too quickly into the spin of 2021, I plan to reflect on some of the amazing life and career lessons RBG left behind. She gifted us a legacy of wisdom that will remain relevant for years to come.
So today, let’s reflect on some of what she taught us and consider how it might apply to our own adventures in the coming months.
1. To persuade others, don't react, respond!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg achieved tremendous things in her lifetime. Much of her success required that she persuade others to share a point of view that may not have been popular.
And persuasive she was. Never one to steamroll or shame others onto her side, RBG was artful in how she changed hearts and minds.
She once shared with the New York Times some wedding-day advice she received from her mother-in-law: “In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.”
And she goes on to say of that advice:
I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I believe she was telling us not to ignore or excuse unkindness or incivility but to label and rise above it in our response.
In 2021, we are all going to be processing and wading through the heaviness that was 2020 as we face the challenges of the coming year. Careless words are likely to be spoken. But when they are, try not to let them trigger a reaction. Respond as the version of yourself you’re most proud of.
Respond as the version of yourself you’re most proud of.
The absence of your emotional reaction will make the intelligence of your response stand out even more. This is one way to bring hearts and minds to your side.
2. Disagree with an idea but respect the person who shared it
RBG maintained lifelong friendships with colleagues sitting on both sides of the political aisle. She was asked about her success at this many times throughout her career.
She spoke with NPR about her friendship with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and shared that while they disagreed deeply on many issues, she respected him enough to listen to what he said. And although he rarely changed her mind, his thinking pushed and challenged her own, making her even better.
When an idea doesn’t land with you, take a pause. Can you find the positive intent behind it? Can you empathize with the person suggesting it?
She also spoke of their finding common ground through shared interests and humor. She was able to separate her friend and colleague from the opinions he held. And this too feels like a useful skill to cultivate for 2021.
None of us knows what shape the workplace will take in the coming months. We will all hear many predictions, suggestions, and opinions. We will like some and hate others.
But when an idea doesn’t land with you, take a pause. Can you find the positive intent behind it? Can you empathize with the person suggesting it? Is there something useful you can find in it?
Keep the idea and the person in separate corners.
3. Never stop learning
Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, responding to a letter from an 8-year-old girl
RBG never lost her appetite for more information, for expanding her mind. As much wisdom as she had acquired, it was never enough.
And in this, she wasn’t alone. According to Inc. Magazine, many of the world’s most successful leaders—from Warren Buffet to Tony Robbins to Mark Cuban—are voracious readers.
As we continue to navigate the uncertainty ahead, learning new ways to do things will be critically important. So make continuous reading and learning a priority in 2021.
Not sure how to make it happen? Here are a few ideas:
Choose your sources wisely. Don’t try to read everything. Explore different books, publications, or blogs to see which resonate most with you.
Schedule reading time. Put reading time in your calendar. Maybe it’s 10 minutes a day. Maybe it replaces what used to be a commute before many of us started working virtually. Get creative.
Try audio. Hey, like podcasts or audiobooks? They're a great source of inspiration, motivation, and knowledge. Maybe you can listen while you’re cooking or working out.
4. Prioritize self-care
RBG was so famous as an exerciser that her personal trainer published a book of the workouts she was still doing into her 80s. Once asked who the most important person in her life was, she famously responded, “My personal trainer.”
For RBG, intense exercise gave her the energy she needed to deliver her most impactful work. This is a lesson we all need to carry into 2021. As stress and burnout continue to threaten and plague us, we must all be mindful of how we manage our energy levels.
Working endless hours isn’t the most effective or fulfilling path to success. Working well is what delivers results. So find ways to care for yourself, to recharge your tank, every day.
You too may enjoy some intense exercise. Or you may choose to walk, meditate, journal, or call a friend. There is no right way to practice self-care, but doing it in some form is a must!
If you want some self-care guidance when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and coping with stress, here's where I shamelessly plug podcasts from my amazing Quick and Dirty Tips colleagues:
Get-Fit Guy with fitness pro Brock Armstrong
Nutrition Diva with nutritionist (and renowned nutrition myth-buster) Monica Reinagel
Savvy Psychologist with clinical psychologist and sleep expert Dr. Jade Wu
Search for these wellness experts on your favorite podcast platform or visit QuickandDirtyTips.com.
I hope these nuggets of wisdom have helped you feel empowered to take on 2021. These are only a few of the countless gems RBG left us with. They feel, for me, entirely relevant in this moment. So let’s honor and celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsberg's life together by letting her wisdom guide us through some murky months ahead.
Food is essential to our existence. What isn't essential is paying an arm and a leg for our daily bread. Compared to dining out, buying groceries and cooking homemade meals remains a far more affordable way to eat. But grocery shopping can be even more affordable with these tips the next time you find yourself carting down the aisles.
How to Save Money on Groceries
Don’t Dawdle in the Aisles
Consider the Cost of Convenience
Know Your Terminology
A Full Mouth Is a Quiet Mouth
Go for Day-Olds
Break Free from Brands
Use a Prepaid Gift Card
Let's explore each tip a little further.
1. Don’t Dawdle in the Aisles
Shop more efficiently at the supermarket by leaving your cart at the end of each aisle. It’s faster because you’ll go directly to what you need and grab it, plus you’ll be less tempted to purchase extras since you won’t be wandering slowly down the aisle with the cart.
2. Price Watch
When you’re at the supermarket, make sure you keep a close watch while your items are being rung up. A recent study found that 10 percent of items are scanned in at the incorrect price.
3. Consider the Cost of Convenience
Remember the cardinal rule when it comes to saving money on food: If it’s “convenient,” it’s probably costly. For example, pickles cut flat for sandwiches, juice in single-serving bottles, pre-shredded cheese, and “baby” carrots. Think carefully about what you’re buying and decide if the convenience is worth the extra cost!
4. Know Your Terminology
When shopping, know your terminology: Only the term “use by” means that you shouldn’t eat the food after the date indicated. “Sell by” dates are only an indication for the store, and foods will usually keep one to two weeks after. “Best before” is only an indication of food quality, not of food safety, so again, your perishables may still be fine to eat.
5. A Full Mouth Is a Quiet Mouth
If you find you’re making a lot of impulse purchases at the store because your kids are begging for snack foods, keep them quiet by buying them a package of animal crackers or a similar snack right when you get to the store. Most stores don’t even mind if your kids eat the crackers before you pay for them.
6. Go for Day-Olds
Supermarkets often discount their day-old or slightly overripe items in the morning. This is a great way of getting deals on fruit, vegetables, bread, and other foods. At first glimpse, this money-saving strategy may not seem appealing to you, but you can use these items in casseroles, desserts, and other dishes where you won’t even notice the difference. With a loaf of day-old bread, for example, you can make french toast, stuffing, croutons, bread pudding, and much more!
7. Break Free from Brands
When you’ve been buying the same brand-name product for as long as you can remember, it’s hard to make the switch to generics. However, you’ll be surprised when you find many generic and store-brand products taste exactly the same (or better!) for less than half the cost. Always buy generic baking ingredients such as flour, oil, and sugar. These generics are indistinguishable from their more-expensive counterparts. Frozen and canned vegetables are also usually exactly the same. As for products such as cereals, cookies, and crackers, basic is better—we’ve had good luck with plain granola, potato chips, and wheat crackers. No matter what the product, it never hurts to try. If you end up having to throw away one can of soup, you’ve wasted a few dollars, but if you like it, you can save a lot over the course of a year.
8. Use a Prepaid Gift Card
Need a little help budgeting your trips to the supermarket? Many chains now offer prepaid gift cards. Buy one for yourself and think of it as a portable checking account: Put money on the card, then “withdraw” from it every time you shop. With a dedicated grocery “account,” you’ll find it’s easier to keep a tighter rein on your spending.
Get more great tips on our podcast by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher! You can also sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our daily tips!
Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers have settled into new routines and developed new spending patterns. One of the spending categories that hasnât lost its popularity is groceries, as many people are cooking more at home and eating out less frequently.
See related: Grocery shopping and COVID-19: Whatâs changed and how to save money
Credit card issuers are adapting to these new patterns as well.
On Oct. 20, 2020, Chase announced it would be temporarily adding grocery rewards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* and Chase Sapphire Reserve®. This comes on top of other limited time offers the issuer has recently added, such as limited time redemption options through Pay Yourself Back and gas and grocery store purchases counting toward the Reserve cardâs $300 travel credit.
See related: Guide to Chase Pay Yourself Back
âThroughout this very unique year, weâve provided our cardmembers flexibility and options to get the most out of their cards â¦ Â as well as limited time opportunities to earn more points on certain spending,â Chase said in a statement. âWe want to continue to give our cardmembers ways to maximize value where they are spending today.â
On top of that, on Jan. 28, 2021, Chase added an offer for new Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders: a one-time automatic $50 statement credit on grocery store purchases.
How the limited time grocery rewards work
Starting Nov. 1, 2020 and running through April 30, 2021, Sapphire Reserve cardmembers will earn 3 points per dollar on grocery store purchases, and Preferred cardmembers will earn 2 points per dollar, up to $1,000 in purchases per month. According to Chase, this will be automatic for existing and new cardmembers.
See related: Best credit cards for grocery shopping
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This provides cardholders with an excellent opportunity to earn some of the most valuable travel points while travel is still limited.
The new offer also makes Sapphire cards more competitive when compared with the recently updated Chase Freedom card suite. In August, the issuer replaced the Chase Freedom with the Chase Freedom Flex and added three new valuable rewards categories to both the Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited, namely bonus cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on dining and drugstore purchases.
Considering neither Freedom card charges an annual fee and both earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, some cardholders may be wondering if the Chase Sapphire Reserve is worth keeping during a time when most of its premium travel perks might go unused.
Fortunately, all the limited time offers coupled with temporary grocery rewards make it much easier to get value of these popular travel cards â even when youâre not traveling.
How the grocery statement credit works
Another incentive to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card now is the new one-time $50 statement credit on grocery purchases.
New cardmembers will get access to the statement credit automatically and be able to use it for 12 months from the time of account opening. Eligible purchases include purchases made at merchants coded as grocery stores. Warehouse club purchases wonât qualify.
Chase hasnât announced the offerâs expiration date yet.
Chase Sapphire cards value at a glance
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Newly added limited-time benefits
Cardmembers earn more on grocery store purchases: Nov. 1, 2020 â April 30, 2021
3 points per $1 spent
Up to $1,000 in grocery store spend per month
Gas and grocery purchases count toward Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit:Â
Gas and groceries have been added as qualifying purchases, through June 30, 2021
New cardmembers receive an automatic statement credit:
One-time $50 statement credit on eligible grocery store purchases available for 12 months from the account opening
Cardmembers earn more on grocery store purchases: Nov. 1, 2020 â April 30, 2021
2 points per $1 spent
Up to $1,000 in grocery store spend per month
3 points per dollar on dining purchases with restaurants â including delivery and pick-up
3 points per dollar on travel â including tolls and parking
Complimentary DashPass Subscription from DoorDash, valued at over $100 per year
Up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases â $60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021
10 points per dollar on Lyft rides
Complimentary Lyft Pink membership, worth a minimum of $199 in value when you activate by March 21, 2022
Pay Yourself Back:Â Points are worth 50% more now through April 20, 2021 when redeemed for purchases in current categories of grocery, dining, home improvement and contributions to select charities
Chase Dining:Â Points are worth 50% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through April 30, 2021
2 points per dollar on dining purchases with restaurants â including delivery and pick-up
2 points per dollar on travel â including tolls and parking
Complimentary DashPass Subscription from DoorDash, valued at over $100 per year
5 points on per dollar on Lyft rides
Pay Yourself Back: Points are worth 25% more now through April 20, 2021 when redeemed for purchases in current categories of grocery, dining, home improvement and contributions to select charities
Chase Dining: Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through April 30, 2021
While travel isnât the most lucrative rewards category at the moment, your Chase Sapphire card can still bring you plenty of value, especially given the temporary rewards categories and other limited time offers.
*All information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. This offer is no longer available on our site.
We are a month and a half into quarantine and date nights in many households have devolved into, âWhat have we not seen on Netflix yet?âÂ While we are all ready to get back out and about, there are plenty of fun date night at home options to help you enjoy and appreciate your partner.Â This post is partially inspired by the fact that we are celebrating our wedding anniversary tonight and I was already doing so research on what to do this weekend.Â I figured if I was already doing the work, I might as well share the wealth with you all!Â Â
Check out a few of our best date night in ideas
Name that Tune
This really is a fun activity that we typically do on road trips, but it works just as well for date night.Â Play each other your favorite songs from different eras or events in life.Â Â
What song was popular when you went to your first school dance?Â Did you ever learn a choreographed dance to a song?Â What was it?Â What was your first favorite country/hip hop/punk song?Â Did you ever dedicate a song to someone on the radio? Make a mixtape?Â First breakup/heartbreak song you listened to 100 times?
Music is such an integral part of our memories.Â It is sure to bring out some great stories from your partner that you have never heard before and some great stories from your past that you may have completely forgotten about. All you really need is a Spotify account, your beverage of choice!
This is an amusing challenge for the nose and tastebuds.Â Taste three (or five–no judgment here) wines and figure out which is which based solely on the tasting notesâ¦.you know the âhints of pencil lead and cranberry.âÂ This can be made romantic with dim lights and some candles or you can make this more upbeat with some fun background playlists.
Optional additions to make the night more festive: Cheeses, nuts, olives, crackers, honey
Minute to Win It
Impress each other with feats of strength and balance.Â This is an evening bound to be full of laughter.Â Check out this video for inspiration! Challenges include…
Face the Cookie.
Movin’ On Up.
Junk in the Trunk.
Suck It Up.
Ping Pong Bounce.
Sweets for Sweethearts
Bake together…even if neither of you is an expert in the kitchen, learning something new together is good for relationships!
Here are some recipes that have videos to go along with them
For easy cooking try these 3 Ingredient Desserts
For all those ripe bananas on your counter
For when you can only be trusted with the microwave
It sounds silly, but this really can be a learning experience. If youâve been together you may think you know all the answers…but remember peopleâs tastes and preferences change.Â Do you really know that sweet tarts are still his favorite candy? Or is Paris still her number one destination? The answers could surprise you!
Yes! This is actually possible via Netflix Party. Â Pick a movie ahead of time, grab the popcorn and candy and chat with your favorite duo.Â Â
Take a trip down memory lane
Look at each otherâs pictures from your favorite vacation together.Â Youâll be surprised to see the vacation through their eyes and their memories.Â You can relive the best times together and appreciate it in a whole new way.Â Bring in even more sensory memories by adding a favorite food or drink you discovered during that trip.
Or Take a Virtual Trip
Ever wonder what Venice is like during lockdown?
Join Travel Curious on their next tour with your Venetian born guide, Luca, who will take you on a live virtual walking tour of Venice and will end up in the Venetian mask-maker artisan shop.Â
Join for free on their Instagram Live feed on May 15 2020 at 15:00pm BST / 10:00am EST
We’re all about scoring a good deal here at Apartminty. While we love perusing the top-of-the-line luxury apartments in DC, we also understand, sometimes an affordable rent is the better option. Either way, instead of you searching for Washington, DC apartments on Craigslist and property management company listing sites, we are delivering our choice of the best apartments to rent in DC right now. Here’s our pick for the best Washington, DC apartment for rent today. Want more information on moving to DC? Check out Apartmintyâs Ultimate Guide to Moving to Washington, DC.
Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights
1768 Columbia Road NW
Washington, DC 20009
Studio Apartment $1325/month Unit #: 308 330 Sq Ft Available Now
Why it’s a great deal: The Shawmut is in the intersection of Adams Morgan and Kalorama and just a quick walk to Dupont Circle. This apartment building is one of the most pet friendly buildings in D.C. They allow cats and dogs, but do not charge pet rent or a pet fee. The customer service and maintenance team are incredible.
The price on this studio apartment is not something you will see often! PLUS The Shawmut is offering two months free if you lease before the end of December! You are only responsible for electric and cooking gas. If you’re interested, reach out today! Looking for something a little different? Check out Apartminty’s guide How to Find an Apartment in DC. *Pictures may not be of exact unit.*
SCHEDULE A TOUR
Read Get Two Months Free on This Adams Morgan Studio on Apartminty.
Many lines have been written on the importance of cleanliness and household chores (remember that iconic speech by U.S. Admiral McRaven, urging us all to make our beds in the morning?) and the role they play in maintaining our mental and physical health.
And since we now see ourselves in a position to spend far more time in our homes (whether we want to or not), we can think of no better time to circle back on this subject, and focus on what’s arguably the first room of the house to get messy: the kitchen.
Naturally, with more of our family members inside, our kitchens are bound to become dirtier and more cluttered. And while there’s no way we’ll reach that perfect, Mr. Clean sparkling kitchen anytime soon (and you definitely shouldn’t feel the pressure to take it to that extreme), keeping your kitchen tidy and clean can have positive effects on your state of mind, especially during these troubling times.
According to a 2010 study published in The Personality and Social Psychology bulletin, higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol were observed in women who felt that their homes are cluttered and who had lots of unfinished projects around the house.
That’s why it’s vital to keep your house clean to reduce stress levels and help you feel more relaxed and comfortable at home. In addition to reducing stress, maintaining a healthy cleaning regimen for the home also makes you more productive, helps you sleep better, and protects your family from illness-causing bacteria and pathogens.
However, maintaining a clean home is easier said than done. This is especially true when it comes to the kitchen. And that’s because the kitchen requires more attention than any other room in your house, especially if you have more family members and young children. After every meal, there are spills that need to be cleaned, dishes and utensils to be washed, and lots of tidying up to do. Not to mention that if any dirt or spills are left unattended, there may be a buildup of bacteria that poses a significant health risk for your family. After all, this is the room where we keep all of our food.
Maintaining a clean kitchen requires a systematic approach, and that’s why it is vital to create a kitchen cleaning checklist. Taking a structured approach to your kitchen cleaning will ensure no cleaning task skips your mind and your kitchen is spotless at all times — without making you feel overburdened by all the chores that comes with kitchen maintenance.
Read on to find out what to include in your kitchen cleaning checklist and the tasks that you should schedule on daily, weekly, and monthly basis — so that you don’t feel all the tasks weighting on you without having a clear plan to address them.
#1 Tasks to include in your daily kitchen cleaning list
To ensure that food is not contaminated during preparation, and that your family enjoys meals in a clean and safe environment, there are a few cleaning tasks that must be carried out daily. Don’t worry, they’re not the type that take hours to get out of the way, but they’re crucial to keeping a clean kitchen. Here are the things you should watch for on a daily basis:
Cleaning spills on counters, tables, floors, and appliances as soon as they occur
Washing dirty dishes immediately after meals
Emptying the dishwasher and dish drainer as needed
Putting everything back in their rightful place after usage (think condiments, cooking ingredients, pans and pots, and utensils)
Checking fridge and kitchen counters for expired/spoiled food and throwing them out if you suspect they might have gotten bad
Sweeping the floor whenever something gets spilled
Cleaning the sink with a multi-purpose cleaner so that bacteria doesn’t get a chance to form
Removing items that don’t belong in the kitchen (like the kids’ toys)
Taking out the garbage
Making a habit out of these tasks will ensure that your kitchen is always tidy and will make your weekly and monthly cleaning easier.
Something else that might help, but that might need some advance planning, is choosing an easy to clean and maintain countertop material, which will also reduce your workload.Â Quartz is not only easy to clean, but is also visually stimulating. Read more information on kitchen countertops to understand why quartz may be a good choice for your kitchen and to find good alternatives that are easy to keep clean.
#2 Tasks for your weekly kitchen cleaning list
Depending on your weekly schedule, pick a day to schedule your weekly kitchen cleaning. Setting a specific day is the first step to ensure you do not bail on your weekly kitchen cleaning checklist — and it really doesn’t have to be in the same day you clean up the rest of your house. Having a separate schedule for the kitchen makes sense, and will allow you to spend more time on this crucial room of the house.
For your weekly kitchen cleaning, you’ll want to go a bit deeper into it than you do on your regular daily cleaning routine. Tasks to include in your weekly kitchen cleaning checklist are:
Mopping the floor (if you have small children or pets — or just a clumsy husband, like me — you may need to do this more often)
Cleaning the exterior of appliances thoroughly
Sorting out leftovers in the fridge and throwing away those that have stayed too long
Cleaning off smudges and fingerprints from drawers and cabinets
Cleaning your dishcloths and towels
Cleaning and disinfecting the sink and faucets
Cleaning the interior of your microwave
#3 Tasks for your monthly kitchen cleaning list
If you are thorough with your daily and weekly kitchen cleaning, you’ll breeze through your monthly cleaning. Monthly cleaning should be set for the first or last week of the month to make it harder for you to skip it, and should cover some essentials that don’t need to be checked on as regularly as the other items on our list.
Monthly kitchen cleaning tasks can include, depending on your home setup:
Checking your pantry to see what needs to be tossed out and which items should be restocked
Checking the freezer to see if there are any items that should be eaten soon, and those that need to be thrown or restocked
Cleaning the oven and stove
Cleaning your refrigerator and disinfecting the drip pan
Targeting the dirt and crumbs that hide between cabinets and floors during your daily and weekly cleaning
Dusting light fixtures as well as cabinets and the refrigerator
Cleaning the dishwasher and dish drainer drip pan
General tips to make kitchen cleaning easier
Thereâs nothing more daunting than cleaning a kitchen that’s been neglected for some time. So that you’ll never have to face this challenge, follow the following tips:
Create visual checklists with your daily, weekly, and monthly kitchen cleaning tasks — use our suggestions above to create your own, personalized list with areas that require more attention in your household
Post your checklists in a visible place and encourage other members of the family to take cue on the things that have to be done on a daily basis
In fact, you could take things a step further and assign minor tasks to different family members
Make a habit of dealing with spills immediately and sweeping the floors each meal
Keeping your kitchen clean and safe for your family begins with healthy cleaning habits and a good tidying up regimen. Create a system that works for you and put it in a checklist so that you can keep your mind off all the things that need to be done, and instead, enjoy your time at home with your family.
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The post Kitchen Cleanup Checklist: A Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Breakdown of Tasks appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.
Use the grocery calculator below to estimate your monthly and weekly food budget based on guidelines from the USDAâs monthly food plan. Input your family size and details below to calculate how much a nutritious grocery budget should cost you. Of course, every family is different. Some love coupons and leftovers, while others prefer fresh fish and aged cheese. Once youâve established your budget, use the slider to adjust your estimate to your spending habits.Â
Getting your food budget on point takes practice. With this grocery calculator and the right spending habits, youâll have enough for your living expenses and exciting financial goals like paying off loans or buying a house.
Grocery Budget Calculator
A moderate grocery budget will run you:
Weekly Grocery Cost Food costs per individual are based on USDA research regarding Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and follow MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.
Monthly Grocery Cost Food costs per individual are based on USDA research regarding Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and follow MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.
What kind of spender are you?
Does your estimate look right? If your spending habits don’t add up, explore these other budget options and choose what’s best for your lifestyle.
Thrifty This is the USDAâs estimated food budget for families that receive food assistance like WIC or SNAP.
Cost-Conscious This is an ideal budget for nutritious meals if youâre looking to save a little extra cash with leftovers and coupons.
Moderate This is the standard for affordable, nutritious, and balanced portions for most families.
Generous This budget gives you some spending wiggle room for finer foods or extra portions.
See where the rest of your budget is going Sign up for Mint
Monthly Grocery Budget
Ever wonder how much you should spend on groceries?Â The average cost of food per month for one person ranges from $150 to $300, depending on age. However, these national averages vary based on where you live and the quality of your food purchases.
Hereâs a monthly grocery budget for the average family. This is based on the national average and likely varies by location and shop. For instance, New York City grocers are going to be far more expensive than Kansas City shops. Additionally, organic grocery stores like Whole Foods are pricier than places like Walmart or Aldi.
Youâll also want to consider dietary choices, like gluten-free or vegan diets. These can significantly affect your budget, so consider planning your grocery list online to compare prices and find your preferred alternatives.
Finding a reasonable monthly grocery budget ensures you and your family have what you need, while not overspending. Look back at previous months using a budgeting app or credit card statements to see what youâve spent at the grocery store. Decide if you want to maintain your current budget or cut back.
Purchasing Groceries vs. Dining Out
Donât forget what you spend at restaurants when you consider your food budget. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spend 11 percent of their take-home income on food. It doesnât all go towards groceries, though. Approximately six percent is spent on groceries, while five percent is spent dining out â including dates, lunches with coworkers, and Sunday brunch.
With this framework in mind, you can calculate your total food budget based on your take-home income. For example, Rita makes $3,500 per month after taxes. She would budget six percent for groceries ($210) and five percent for restaurants ($175). So sheâll need a total of $385 for food each month. With a little practice, sheâll better learn her habits and be able to accurately adjust her budget.
Tips for Reducing Your Budget
There are several ways to cut back on what you spend without sacrificing the quality and taste of your food. Trimming your food budget can help you stow away more for your financial goals, such as building an emergency fund or saving for a dream vacation.
Coupons are easy to find in the mail, in store, in your inbox, and even in a Google search. Many popular grocery stores are rolling out apps that track your coupons and savings. Be sure to download and register your email for new updates and sales. These usually work in person or online, so you can shop when and how you like.Â
While a single coupon might not give you a large discount, you can save a lot with multiple coupons. Itâs also important you make sure you actually need the item youâre purchasing instead of buying it for the sale. This can quickly get out of hand and push you over budget.Â
Freeze Your Food
Freezing your fresh food before it goes bad helps your wallet and the environment. You can plan ahead and freeze prepared produce to save time on weekday cooking, or chop and freeze last weekâs produce before shopping for more. Frozen vegetables are great in soups and stews, and you can use frozen fruits for healthy breakfast smoothies.Â
Plan a Weekly Menu Ahead of Time
Plan your meals ahead of time to determine the food items and quantities you need before you head to the grocery store. This way youâre more likely to buy the exact items you need and can plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try to plan for recipes that use the same ingredients so thereâs less to purchase. You can also make larger meals and plan leftovers for lunch so you have less to plan and purchase.
Bring Lunches to WorkÂ
A $13 lunch out might not seem like much, but it can blow your food budget fast if it becomes a habit. Push your monthly food budget further with delicious lunches from home. Salads, sandwiches, and leftovers are all easy, inexpensive, and nutritious.Â
Buy Store BrandsÂ
Many packaged products have a huge price disparity between brand name and generic items, and store brand items tend to be cheaper without sacrificing much quality. You can easily save 10 cents to a dollar per item, which adds up quickly over many trips.Â
Shop at a More Affordable Store
Your local farmers market, chain grocery, and organic store will all offer different specialties and sales. Check out the different shops in your area to find the best combination of quality and price. Some stores might even offer bulk items â great for your favorite products and those with a long shelf-life. Choosing cheaper staple items like milk and yogurt can also make a huge difference over time.Â
An accurate food budget that works for you helps you feel more confident and in control of your finances. Build a budget, learn your spending habits, and keep a grocery list to keep you on track and responsible so you can reach bigger goals, like a new vehicle or a down payment on a house.Â
Sources:Â USA Today |Â EurekAlert | Persistent Economic Burden of the Gluten-Free Diet
The post How Much Your Monthly Food Budget Should Be + Grocery Calculator appeared first on MintLife Blog.
We don’t have to tell you that Thanksgiving looks and feels a lot different this year. This may be the first you you are cooking the big meal yourself. While we wish we could be there to help, the next best thing is to share with you our favorite tools for prepping a Thanksgiving feast. And once you’ve got all the tools ordered, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards, for all of our favorite recipes both for Thanksgiving dinner and for the accompanying drinks.
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Read Must Have Tools for Thanksgiving Dinner Prep This Year on Apartminty.