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The Most Valuable Appliance in the Kitchen for Cooking Any Meat

The Most Valuable Appliance in the Kitchen for Cooking Any Meat

The most powerful tool in the kitchen today for families who want to maximize their grocery dollar while cooking fast and easy is the slow cooker. This is simply one kitchen appliance most people receive at Christmas time as a gift and return before the new year or stick it deep in the storage closet in the garage.

When used properly, the appliance can turn out amazing food with hardly any work at all. The time it takes to prepare a meal is usually less than the time you wait ordering at a fast food restaurant during any busy meal time.

At least once a week I use my slow cooker to cook some sort of meat that will end up being soft, tender and flavorful. When I go grocery shopping I look for some of the toughest and cheapest meats I can find because it makes no difference once they are in the slow cooker.

My routine before I go to work in the morning is to put the meat in my slow cooker with mixed frozen veggies, baby carrots, celery and onion. I then pour in enough water to cover the meat and turn on low and go to work. The low temperature and slow cooking process breaks down all the toughness of the meat. The vegetables add flavor that is the foundation in most soups. Another great feature about the cooker is it uses very little electricity and will not heat up your home while it slowly cooks your dinner.

If meal planning, grocery shopping budget and making nutritious meals with minimal amount of effort and time are all concerns for you, then the slow cooker can become the most valuable tool in your kitchen to help you feed your family on a budget.…

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Unemployed and 7 Tips For Feeding a Family

Unemployed and 7 Tips For Feeding a Family

You maybe one of the many people who has recently experienced loss of a job in your family. Being reduced to one income will create new stress or simply enhance the stress you already feel. Your friends and family keep telling you that something will come up soon but they do not know your financial situation. The something you have been looking for is the information contained in this article.

Most people fall into the category of going to work, eating out the occasional lunch with fellow workers and cooking prepared meals for the family at home or going out for dinner. After years of repetitively doing this you have formed a habit that is very difficult to break. Job loss gives you or forces upon you the opportunity to break these habits.

The first tip is you must stop paying people to cook for you. Yes fine dining is an experience most people enjoy but it is the single most expensive way to feed your family. One meal at a nice restaurant can feed your family for almost a whole week when properly planned.

The second tip is the second most expensive way to feed a family is to purchase packaged food from your grocery store that is quick and easy to make. Packaged food may seem to be a deal in comparison to dining out but not when compared to cooking your own food.

The food budget can be the silver lining to your situation while looking for more employment. You do not have to be a math genius to save your family what could amount to $600 a month.

Following the first two tips are not hard. It is what you do next that will help you reduce your food budget and still have more than enough food for the entire family to eat.

Create a budget, the general rule you can use is $25 per person a week. A family of four would have $100 a week, a family of six would have $150 a week.

Use only cash. This means you need to go to the bank and with draw your budget on a weekly basis.

Only take a maximum 60% of your budget to the store.

Purchase inexpensive chicken, this is usually thigh with leg attached. Chicken can be cooked many ways to feed your family.

Learn to make food with flour, pizza, pancakes, and waffles, can cost under $1 to feed your family.

Once you make your own meals you will realize how much the convenience foods have been costing you. Your hand made-food will also have a much higher quality taste that will make your family feel extra special.

By Rick Henderson…

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Going To The Grocery Store For A Date!

Going To The Grocery Store For A Date!

Have you ever gone to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner after work? Was this experience fun or was it a chore that you just wanted to get out of the way? You are already tired, frustrated from traffic and just want to go home. Well I’m here to show you a simple way you can spend some quality time with your significant other AND get a task done that is not usually fun (for men) to do by yourself and that is going to get groceries at your local grocery store.

Grocery Shopping Sucks!

Going to the grocery store can be a heavy task by yourself (this is usually the case with me) because it is usually right after work. You are tired from the commute, tired from work, and you generally just want to go home and put your feet up for a few hours to relax. I don’t know a man out there who is overly enthused about going grocery shopping. I heard a pastor once say when his wife became ill he had to take on the task of going to the grocery store. He said the only way he was able to do this was to visit the store on Saturday night when the store was empty and he had ample time to concentrate. Furthermore, those times when I stop at a store that is not my usual and I am not familiar with the isles, you may as well shoot me before I even go in. I literally become this growling animal through the isle’s looking for items I need and just when you think you’ve finally found the isle that has your item you come to the realization that it is not there. It is truly frustrating.

A Date At The Grocery Store

Now there may have guys out there who disagree with me. Such as the man who just watched an episode of Rachel Ray who is preparing to impress a new lady friend and thinks he can prepare the meal just like the one he saw on TV the day before. The only time I look forward to going to the grocery store is when my wife and I make it like a date to get away from the kids. We usually find a grocery store (Wegmans) that has a nice hot food bar and a quiet place to sit to relax and chat while we eat. I’m not promoting Wegmans (which is my favorite grocery store by the way), but some of them even have live music. This makes for a great experience going to the store. Their prices are pretty good too.

A Positive Attitude

While there are many things about grocery shopping that we can find unpleasant, what I have learned is that the experience can be good or bad depending on our perspective and attitude about the situation. It can be like going into war against items that are playing hide and go seek or it can also be a pleasurable experience by going with someone you love and enjoy being around. Nevertheless, whether you are a guy who has a significant other or not, do what I do. Try to go with a positive attitude of gratitude. Consider that people in this world (maybe in your own neighborhood) do not always have the privilege of going when they want to go or even cannot go at all. All I am trying to say is, be grateful and have a good time while doing it.…

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For Savvier Supermarket Shopping

For Savvier Supermarket Shopping

For most working moms, the first task they would do after receiving their paycheck or salary is to do some grocery shopping in a supermarket. Some moms find it good to shop in this place because of cleanliness in the establishment itself (less dust and some are air-conditioned) and the items being sold (like packed and sealed meats, vegetables and fruits. The stocks of goods in a supermarket is better than smaller shops or markets and you can even find some rare ingredients and merchandise to your liking. Supermarkets also have promotional offers and discounts which are favorable to budgeting shoppers. However, a trip to a supermarket sometimes turns to be an unpleasant one because instead of sticking to your budget, you end up spending more.

Little do we know that supermarkets play a little trick on unaware shoppers to increase their sale by applications of some Psychological concepts. In order to stick to your budget and buy only what is essential, keep away from brightly colored goods on the aisles(they are meant to attract you to buy them, cleverly placed products (like candy bars at the counter which your kids plead you to buy for them; or more expensive products placed at an eye level so you would likely grab and buy), buy-one-get-one items (that you don’t really need to buy but you are lured to purchase because of the promo). Purchase only the buy-one-take-one packages if you only have a need for them.

The phrase ‘shopping list’ is not just an addition to your vocabulary, rather it is a helpful tool to make your supermarket shopping a savvy practical one. Not only will this list prevent you from forgetting what to buy, but if you will purchase only what are written on your list, then it will enable you to stick to your set budget. To come up with a more comprehensive shopping list, it is better if you could already plan the meals ahead. Look through the cupboards and identify which supply has run out. And before you go out on your shopping, make sure to have eaten a snack or a meal to avoid any food impulse buying.

If you really can’t help yourself from getting attracted to these promotions and discounted products in the supermarket, there is another way by which you can prevent yourself from unnecessary and additional buying. If you have a computer at home with a readily available access to the internet, you may try to browse through some online supermarkets that delivers your ordered right at your front door. With this alternative supermarket shopping option, you may reduce your chances of being tempted to buy a product that would not look as good in the computer screen. However, there are also disadvantages to an online shopping. First is that you may find it time-consuming, second is that you will not be able to inspect first-hand the quality of fresh products like fruits and vegetable.

You might also want to try shopping for grocery items at a local market or store. Prices of commodities from local shops are actually much cheaper compared to supermarket prices, plus products are more fresher. You just have to bear with a humid and hot atmosphere.…

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Family Vacation: 10 Tips for Easy, Nutritious, Delicious Meals

Family Vacation: 10 Tips for Easy, Nutritious, Delicious Meals

Many families get together at a resort or cabin in the summer. The members of my family are gathering together for a long weekend in August. There will be nine of us, which means grocery shopping for different ages and stages. I have to think about food for a toddler and food for me — grandma.

“I can’t imagine how much food we will eat,” I commented to my husband. This got me thinking about menu ideas and fixing meals. At first, I thought I would ask family members to bring food. But the more I thought of it, the more I realized it would be easier to have one person in charge.

Are you planning a summer vacation with family members? These tips will make feeding them easier.

1. Put one person in charge of the menu and shopping. This reduces the possibility of having too much food on hand and wasting it. You may also plan how the food will fit in the refrigerator.

2. Ask about allergies. The last thing you need is someone having a violent reaction to peanuts or walnuts or soy. A friend of mine is allergic to tomatoes, of all things.

3. Have a family member bring disposable plates, cups, and silverware. You don’t have to use these for every meal; use them when you feel like you need a break.

4. Ask another family member to bring beverages, milk, coffee (regular and decaf), tea, carbonated drinks, and lemonade.

5. Before you buy anything think about space. Chances are you don’t have room for an entire watermelon in the refrigerator. Instead, buy one locally the day you plan to eat it.

6. Be sure you have enough containers for leftovers. I like the small rectangular ones that can go in the microwave. (The word microwave should be on the carton.) These containers look small, but hold a lot, and are great for picnics.

7. Cook ahead. If possible, make a large casserole or soup for the first night’s supper. Wrap well and freeze. I often make a coffee cake as well.

8. Keep healthy snacks on hand. When I’m on vacation I tend to look for salty or sweet snacks, neither of which are good for me. Having ready-made snacks — carrot sticks, celery sticks, grapes, nectarines, apricots, melon slices, lower salt crackers and cheese — curbs my appetite.

9. Plan a baking party. Few things are as comforting as warm, fresh cookies from the oven. Baking cookies is fun for everyone and it’s a great rainy day activity. My family likes chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter, and gingersnaps.

10. Eat out once or twice. Locals know the best restaurants, so ask around. Check the newspaper and community bulletin boards for ads. In Wisconsin, for example, many restaurants have an all-you-can-eat fish fry on Friday evenings.

Enjoy each meal and the family members who add so much to your life. Mealtimes can be sharing times, so linger at the table. Casual as they seem now, the meals you eat together may become the stuff of memories.

Copyright 2012 by Harriet Hodgson…

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ADD and Nutrition – Can You Get to the Finish Line?

ADD and Nutrition – Can You Get to the Finish Line?

When you do not eat properly you lose focus and find it hard to attend. Sounds familiar? Like other self care issues, lack of a proper diet can worsen an already compromised executive function system for an ADDer. Likewise, a balanced diet can help you in these areas.

Common wisdom suggest and studies have shown that consuming the recommended amount of protein can help you to be more alert. Also, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that taking Omega 3 can help you focus better. At the same time, eating too many carbohydrates can lead to increased tiredness. The bottom line is that the dietary needs and impact of different foods and supplements is going to change from person to person. For more detailed advice and an individualized plan, it is best to see a nutritionist.

For many ADDers, knowing what to eat is not the problem. Rather, the common roadblocks to eating properly are related to the logistics of grocery shopping and meal planning. If this is the case for you, than strategizing about how to make these tasks easier is the place to start in order to eat better.

Making meals for yourself and your family can become overwhelming when there is no plan. Here is the picture:

It is 6:00 pm and you have not even thought about dinner. Yet, you are famished. The kids are proclaiming loudly that they will starve to death if they do not eat right at that moment. Your head is swimming, as you begin staring in the fridge, wondering… You may be wondering how to mute the kids, stop your head from swimming and make a meal appear without much effort. This is not a pretty scene.

A little bit of planning can minimize the chances of this being the nightly scene at you house. One way to minimize the times that this occurs is to create a list of meals along with all of the necessary ingredients (breakfasts, lunches and dinners) and post them on the fridge.

Since dinners are the most challenging meal, having a rotating list of about 10 easy meals will help. At the beginning of the week you can decide which meal of have on each day. While you can always change your mind, at least you do not have to make a decision at the last minute.

Of course, having lists of meals will be of no help, if you do not have food in the house. For some ADDers grocery shopping can be challenging because of time management issues as well as the overwhelming nature of the behemoth grocery stores. Below are some strategies to help make the grocery shopping experience a bit more palatable.

Stock up on few months of non-perishables.

Have a 2nd freezer where you can stock more frozen food.

Order through a delivery service, such as Peapod.

Shop at a smaller store, such as Trader Joes.

Type up a list according to your meals plans. When it is time to go to the grocery store, check to see what you need. This will also help to avoid impulsive buying.

What is one step you want to take to help you and/or you family eat better with less hassle?

In what ways will eating better help you to be more effective and efficient in your daily living?…

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Nike Dunk Low Premium Notebook

Nike Dunk Low Premium Notebook

The Nike Dunk Low Premium Notebook is one of the Nike dunk products classified as ‘low’ in reference to their height. Other Nike Dunk ‘Low’ products include the likes of the classic Nike Premium SB, the Nike Low Premium SB Trickstar BMX, the Nike Dunk Low Pro SB Jordan and the Nike Dunk Low Premium SB Abyss. Of these, it is the Nike Premium Notebook that I have gotten to personally use. And in the relatively short period of time that I have had the opportunity to use the Nike Dunk Low Premium Notebook, I have gotten thoroughly enchanted with it.

The Nike Premium Notebook is a low book in the real sense of the word; a shoe that is almost flat from the front to the back, with only the shoe’s tongue (which has an elevation) being the only hindrance to this almost perfect flatness. Of course, it is the raised ‘tongue’ that qualifies the shoe to be considered a Nike Dunk.

Another notable thing about the Nike Premium is that it is an un-apologetically colorful shoe. Granted, only the black and white colors are primarily employed on the Nike Dunk Low Premium Notebook, but it is the way they come out at the different parts on the shoe that makes the scheme remarkable.

Nike Notebook has one of the thinnest soles in the Nike Dunk family. Of course, the thinness of the sole on the Nike Low Premium Notebook is accentuated by the fact that the sole comes in two regions (separated by color); namely the bottom region which is white (and whose portions emerge at various lower parts of the shoe all the way round, and the upper region, which is painted black, but which has some quite exquisite white thread work all way round.

To complete the notebook look, of course, the Nike Premium Notebook comes with a patch towards the center, which is made of white material on which bluish lines/stripes are semi-horizontally drawn, to make it indeed look like a notebook page.

The lower front section of the Nike Notebook is primarily colored black, with white ‘speckles’ of various shape orientations at various positions to complete the ‘colorful’ look.

For a tying mechanism, Nike makes use of a thread to put the shoe together; and in this regard, the shoe comes with at least 8 pairs of shoe thread holes, though of course you have the option of leaving some of the shoe-lace holes untied.

For ventilation purposes, the Nike Premium Notebook comes with a section made of ventilation holes near the front of it on the section just below the ‘Notebook’s’ tongue.

The Nike ‘Tick’ on the Nike Low Premium Notebook is, of course (and in keeping with Nike’s modern tradition) quite elongated, starting as it does on the ‘notebook’ section of white patch and semi-horizontal blue, and going all the way to the back of the shoe to emerge and terminate on the other side. The tick, in this case, is of black color.…