Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Little Help To Lower The Cost Of Your Groceries

Lower The Cost Of Your Groceries

Just like the show on television where you need to know the prices of the grocery item to win a prize, the same applies when you go shopping for groceries. The prize you will win is less money leaving your purse or wallet.

Knowing the normal prices of items can help you greatly on the journey to spending less money. It will help you to know if you are getting a good deal or not. Which makes the question of whether to purchase the item much easier.

I have found that the best deals are usually on the lowest shelves. Most grocery stores will put items in the middle area of the shelves so that you will be most likely to purchase them. Usually these are the higher priced items.

Try not to buy junk foods. They are very low in nutrition, and we tend to buy more than necessary, thus spending money that can be used on something more nutritous.

Though sometimes it can be hard, try not to buy more than you need. This can be a very wasteful practice.

Do not buy items that are considered a convience, example, onions that are already sliced. Your best bet is to buy and slice yourself. And compare the price afterwards and see just how much you have saved on doing it yourself.

When at the cash register, watch the prices of the item as they are being ringed up. Sometimes prices are not what they seemed on the shelves, and be sure to tell the cashier once you spot the wrong price.

Do not just grab a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator at that store. Check the date, or you might bring home a gallon spoiled milk or milk that will spoil too soon.

Try buying the store brand of a item you usually purchase. Sometimes it can taste as good or better that the name brand item you are use to buying.

Couponing will help you to greatly reduce the cost of your groceries. Sometimes an item can be taken home completely free to you. Try looking in your Sunday paper, clip and save.

Lets not forget, growing your own vegetables can help that grocery bill.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Handmade Gifts, Is It A Good Alternative To Store Bought Gifts?

If you have children, and one of them approaches you with a folded piece of construction paper resembling a greeting card with crayon drawings of stick people, all of which represent your family with a big crayon heart on top, wouldn't that just tug at your heart. Well that is what a handmade gift does. Handmade gifts are made from the heart of an individual and they can be the most precious gifts of all.

Even the elderly and lonely people would feel so warm inside with love knowing that someone has thought about them by sending them a card that simply says" Thinking about you".

What reasons should you give friends and love ones handmade gifts?

1. It is inexpensive.
You will not have to save up money to purchase the gift. The gifts can be made from anything in your home. Or it can be an object that you know he or she has been admiring in your home for years, a rare book, an unusual hair clip. It can be anything from food to antique furniture you no longer need.

2. It has meaning and personal.
There use to be a time when people use to view handmade as cheap gifts. Now homemade gifts are viewed in a different light.

Many people are seeing handmade gifts now as a show of expressions from the heart, and that it is creative and practical. And that while making the item the person was thinking of them the whole time. Which makes that gift much more precious to the recipient, a gift he or she will never think to give or throw away.

3. It allows you to express whatever creative abilities you have.
Expressing your talents will give the gift a more personal feel to it. You will be able to add anything from humor to music to that particular gift or handmade card. Maybe even try a hand at modeling clay.

If you need help deciding on what handmade gift you can make, hear are a few suggestions:

1. Write a letter expressing how special he or she is to you. Be sure to mention in detail something you both did that was special or very funny and memorable, include a picture of yourself with that person. That letter will be cherished for a long long time.

2. Write a poem about the person in question. Print it out on the computer using a few clip art decor and frame it. Again you can use memorable events of your life that you have shared with that person.

3. You may want to go a little farther than a letter and make a small booklet of memories that you have had with that special person, Maybe include several pictures with in the book or scrapbook.

4. Buy a packet of mixed herb seeds which would cost around a dollar and plant them months before you wish to give it as a gift. Or if you want to go on a grander scale you can grow each herb in a separate pot. Once big enough you can wrap it with see through gift wrap and tied with a bow.

5. If it is a female, and you know she has been admiring a piece of jewelry of yours for a long time. Clean the jewelry and wrap it in a special box. Then watch her face light up when she see, that now, she owns the jewelry herself.

6. Or go buy a inexpensive necklace or earring kit, it would cost around four to eight dollars, and assemble it together yourself. When you tell the recipient that you made it, it will be cherished all the more. You would be surprise how simple it is to create your own jewelry.

7.Dessert! Now who does not like dessert? Try your hand at baking. If his favorite dessert must have chocolate, bake a chocolate cake or maybe chocolate cookies. There are many recipes that have ingredients that are a favorite for your friends or family. Bake, then wrap them in colored plastic wrap, with a small card with heartfelt words added to it. Example: "Sweets for the sweetest man on earth"

8. Photography? Take a picture of her favorite flower and blow it up. Will cost about six dollars. Or maybe take pictures of her friends and make a collage and frame it.

9. Sewing? Block quilts are easy to make. The elderly would enjoy having something to keep their legs warm during the cold winter months. Or just simple quilts made from beautiful fabric, it does not take long to make.

10. Camcorder! You can record parties that a loved one missed so that they can view it later. Or for the bedridden elderly, you can go around and record the area in which they live, stop by the neighbors houses and allow them to say hello to the individual or maybe even a small sentence so that it can all be played back to the individual. It would feel as if they themselves went around and visit the neighbors. Don't be surprised if it is played over and over again.

Just remember, when making the gift try and make it practical, useful, beautiful and unforgettable.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Who does not love tomatoes? Beefsteak, cherry, roma are among some of the famous tomatoes consumed in the United States.

It is hard to find a tomatoe that have that good grown at home taste. Its the taste tells it all. Most tomatoes from stores have that watered down flavor when you bring them home. You know what I mean. You bite into one and barely taste tomato flavor. Even though some may have a rich red outer skin, the end result is the same. The tomatoe has no flavor.

Even with the taste sort of compromised, tomatoes is pack with lots of minerals and vitamins, including potassium which are all vital for a healthy body and immune system.

A tomatoe come in more than 4,000 varieties, some with a very unique taste and color and texture.
Some varieties are best for just juicing, while others are best for cooking and canning. Still others are just delicious straight from the vine with a little salt, or sliced into a nice bowl of toss salad. But many love it in the form of pizza sauce on a hot pizza, others as ketchup on a nice thick juicy burger, or as thick rich pasta sauce on spaghetti. Tomatoes lands a place on the kitchen more often than most vegetables.

Short Partial History of The Tomato

A long time ago in the early 1500's, tomatoes once were thought to be
poisonous. It took a few centuries and a couple of decades,before tomatoes were found not to be dangerous for human consumption. Around the 1820's a rich man by the name of Robert G. Johnson, set out to prove that the tomatoe is harmless. He did this by gathering a large group of people, and allowed them to watch while he devoured a huge portion of tomatoes. He did not get sick or had no side effects from eating the so called "poisionous vegetable". It is a good thing that tomatoes turn out to be just another great vegetable/fruit that we can put on our list edible vegetables.

Vegetable or Fruit?

Even though it is said that tomatoes are a fruit, and others say it is a berry, tomatoes are mostly used as a vegetable. Because of it many uses, tomatoes have become an essential part of a garden. It is unthinkable to plant a garden without this antioxidant packed vegetable/fruit. Wouldn't it be nice to know how to grow delicious tomatoe in your garden? Wouldn't it be nice to have tomatoes packed with rich tomato taste? Growing your own tomatoes, will give you back that nice tomatoe taste. Leaving your tomatoes on the vines longer is what contribute to this result. Most companies pluck the tomatoes while green and allow the tomatoes to turn red on it way to the store.
So why not grow a couple of tomatoes plants in your backyard?

If you feel you do not have a green thumb you could purchase tomatoes at a neighbor farmer's market. Many people who grow their own veggies in their garden usually have a surplus and most sell to prevent waste.

But you can grow your own tomatoes in your garden even with little experience.

Types of Tomatoes Plants
Tomatoes come in two types, indeterminates and determinates(some are dwarfs and minatures also). Indeterminates usually needs support, stakes and cages. They also produce tomatoes thoughout the summer months until cold weather terminates the plant. While determinates are bushy and can support itself, they produce lots of tomatoes in a short period of time and usually all at once.

Dwarfs and miniature are small and compact enough to grow on your back porch. Which pleases a lot of patio farmers because it does not take up a lot of space.