Tag Archive for: cheap meals

Mind Mapping Clip Art

Purchases That Should Be Practical

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Self control. It can be one of the hardest rules to abide by when it comes to your purchasing behavior, but also the key to saving money and being better off financially. At a time when a newer version of a product is introduced on a constant basis, this can definitely be a difficult task to undertake. Marketers are working their magic to make you feel like you need the best of the best and the newest version of everything. But really, you don’t. You don’t have to have the newest version, the best version, or the most enhanced version of anything. Practicality is key, and we have created a list of the top items where the most expensive and best version is not always necessary.

  1. Smart Phone

    Face it. That thin, electric box we all carry around has become the one item that many of us can’t live without. This of course is going to make it harder to resist a flashy new version of what you already have. In a lot of cases, the new version isn’t really all that new. Take the IPhone 7 for example. The difference from the 6 and 7 really came down to a slightly better camera. Being practical in the case of a smart phone is being happy with what you have and resisting the urge to do an expensive upgrade every time a newer version comes out. If your current phone serves its purpose, then the practical thing to do would not be getting a new one. Stay happy with what you have and try to make it to the 2-year mark before upgrading to a newer version.

  2. Vehicle

    There is one question that you need to ask yourself when purchasing a vehicle. What is going to be the purpose of this purchase? Do you run a handyman business and need to haul equipment to jobs? Is it to transport your kids to the many practices and school events they are involved in? Looking at a vehicle as a means of transportation is the practical way to buy one. Getting a brand new, expensive truck with all the bells and whistles yet never intending to actually use it to haul anything is probably not spending your money wisely. Of course, everyone has his or her personal preference when it comes to the size of a vehicle, but a vehicle is a major expense that can put you in a mound of debt. No matter which way you breakdown buying a vehicle, it is simply something to transport you from A to B. So save yourself a lot of money, and buy a vehicle, not a prized toy. It’s the practical thing to do.

  3. Appliances

    Here is a little secret about most appliance brands. The exact same companies that manufacture the expensive brands usually manufacture the “off” brands as well. That means the warranties are usually just as good as well, so there really is nothing to fear with the cheaper options. You may not get the little extra add-ons that come with some of the more expensive fridges, stoves, and dishwashers, but remember the key word for this article – practical. Do you really need a fridge with an LCD screen that shows a slideshow of family pictures? The answer is no.

  4. TV Subscriptions

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, its pretty oblivious that streaming services like Netflix have been all the rage the last couple of years. So much so that a lot of people are ditching cable because of it. But if you really think about it, most of us don’t even watch the majority of the channels with cable or satellite. Instead of paying 100+ a month, switch over to a streaming service like Sling TV. The basic Sling TV package will allow you to stream roughly 20 channels, including ESPN, TBS and TNT, for a flat $20 a month. What’s even better is you get to choose the channels you want.

  5. Groceries

    Let us preface this with saying that there are some brands you are going to be completely loyal to and can’t live without- JIF Peanut Butter for example. But for the majority of the groceries you buy, it’s a lot more practical and easier on your wallet to get the off brand products. Brands like Great Value from Wal-Mart, or Kroger Brand usually have all the same options, while tasting almost the same. And just like appliances, a lot of the “off” brands are actually manufactured by the exact same companies, so you’re not compromising on quality.

Burger With USB- New Idea

Weird and Wacky Items You Need in Your Life

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When it comes to online shopping, the sky is the limit for weird and wacky items available to purchase. Do you actually “need” any of these items? Probably not. They all would definitely add a little uniqueness to your life, though. Here is our list of some of the most interesting items available to order online.

USB Type Writer

UBS-Typewriter

uncommongoods.com


Monkey Nail Dryer

monkey

infmetry.com


Mini Donut Factory

donut

bedbathandbeyond.com


Singing Pasta Timer

sining

amazon.com


Webbed Swim gloves

Web-Hands

wish.com


Scary bottle squeezer

ketchup

blacklabproducts.com


Food USBs

food-usb

amazon.com


Chemist Spice Rack

spicerack

amazon.com


Bear Oven Mitts

bearmittens

amazon.com


Splash Bowls

Splash-Bowl

amazon.com

Sidney James Mountain Lodge Gatlinburg

$33 a Night Gatlinburg Mountain Lodge

Gatlinburg

How does a quick get away to the Great Smokey Mountains and staying in a mountain lodge for $33 a night sound? Right now Groupon.com is offering rooms at a Gatlinburg Mountain Lodge starting at only $33.

CLICK HERE to get this deal!

Heating Cost Cover

Guide to Cutting Heating Cost Down this Winter

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The cold will soon be upon us and with cold weather also comes high heating bills. Whether your home is heated by electric or gas, the cost to heat your home can significantly increase if you don’t take certain precautions to run your system as efficiently as possible. The more energy used this winter the higher the cost will be, so the key is to conserve as much energy and heat as possible. To help out with being energy efficient this winter we have listed 5 quick and easy things to do to conserve the heat in your house which will help to lower your electric or gas bill.

airfilter

A dirty air-return filter can significantly increase the cost to heat your home this winter. Dirt and grime in the filter restricts airflow causing your AC unit to work extra hard to heat your home, which increases your electric bill. Make sure to check all air filters and replace them regularly to ensure your system is working as efficiently as possible.

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fans

If you didn’t already know, you can set your ceiling fans to either spin clockwise or counter clockwise. When your fan is set to run counter clockwise, or forward, it pushes air down creating a cooling effect. This is recommended for summer. When set clockwise, or reverse, the fan pulls air up and redistributes it, which is recommended for winter since heat rises.

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spaceheater

You might be thinking, “Wait? A space heater uses electricity!” If you turn down your ac a few degrees and run a space heater in the room that’s occupied the most, the amount of energy used from the AC is substantially less. Even with a space heater running. Just make sure to turn off the space heater at night, and bundle up with extra layers.

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vents

If you have a guest room or bonus room that is never used, don’t waste energy heating it. Most thermostats are in the living room and the AC is regulated based on the temperature in that room. If you close the vents in unused rooms more hot air will blow into rooms with vents opened, causing the temperature to regulate faster and use less energy.

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doors

Just like closing vents in unused rooms, make sure to always keep all interior doors closed. This will cut down the amount of square footage the AC is heating and cause your house to warm up quicker. Your system will turn on less, which will have a positive affect on your heating bill.

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Weekly Meal Plan

Workweek Meal Plan That’s Cheap, Easy, and Healthy

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The actual decision to start eating healthy is effortless. You just decide one day, “hey, I’m going to start eating healthier.” The phrase “easier said than done” fits perfectly with the idea of eating healthy. You can say you’ll do it, but when it comes down to actually choosing healthier options for meals it can be rather difficult. Below we have created an easy planning guide to making cheap, easy, and most importantly healthy meals that will get you through the entire workweek. A lot of these recipes utilize leftovers from previous meals, which will aid in cutting grocery costs. Links to full recipes for lunches and dinners are included.

monday

Breakfast

Banana and peanut butter on wheat toast

Lunch

Turkey sandwich – Recipe

Carrots with light ranch, and an apple

Snack

Low-fat yogurt

Dinner

Chicken tortilla soup – Recipe

(Note: Make extra chicken and set aside for Tuesday’s lunch.)

tuesday

Breakfast

Yogurt and all bran cereal

Lunch

Grilled chicken caesar salad wrap – Recipe

Celery with peanut butter

(Note: Use leftover chicken from Monday’s dinner.)

Snack

Mixed Nuts

 Dinner

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl – Recipe

(Note: Make extra boiled eggs for Wednesday’s breakfast and extra bacon for Wednesday’s lunch.)

wednesday

Breakfast

Boiled eggs and wheat toast

(Note: use extra boiled eggs from Tuesday’s dinner.)

Lunch

BLT with avocado – Recipe

Chips and salsa

(Note: Use extra bacon from Tuesday’s dinner.)

Snack

Cottage cheese and saltine crackers

Dinner

Chicken, pepper and corn stir-fry – Recipe

(Note: Make extra and before seasoning set aside. Use peppers for Thursday’s breakfast and chicken and corn for Thursday’s lunch.)

thursday

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with peppers

(Note: Use extra peppers from Wednesday’s dinner.)

Lunch

Southwest salad with chicken –Recipe

(Note: Use extra chicken and corn from Wednesday’s dinner.)

Snack

Carrots with light ranch 

Dinner

Antipasti Penne –Recipe

friday

Breakfast

Oatmeal and bananas

 Lunch

Tuna salad sandwich – Recipe

Low sodium chips

Snack

Peanut butter and crackers

 Dinner

Turkey Chili – Recipe

Halloween Crafts

Easy Halloween Crafts To Do With The Kids

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Halloween is the best time for crafts with the kids. Between carving pumpkins, making scarecrows, and making your own spooky decorations, they are bound to have some great childhood memories. To help you make even more memories with the kids this Halloween, we have outlined some super easy and kid friendly crafts to try out.  Enjoy!

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Date Night Deals

Best Date Night Meal Deals

Going out to eat usually means dishing out a little extra cash for your meal, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s worth the extra money to not have to cook or cleanup. At a number of restaurants however, you can get 2 meals that when broken down are actually cheaper than if you bought the ingredients and made it yourself. Below are some of the best date night meal deals to try out when your just not feeling the whole cooking thing but still need to save money.

Logan’s Roadhouse

The Deal:

$15.99 for two full-size entrees including rolls, Caesar salad, and two sides for each entrée.

Entrees:

Southern Fried Fish, Chopped Steak, Grilled Meatloaf, Roasted Chicken Pot Pie, Logan’s Wood-Grilled Chicken, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, Wood-Grilled Salmon, 6 Oz. Choice Cut Sirloin.

Chili’s

The Deal:

$20 for an appetizer to share and then select two full-size entrees including two sides for each entrée

Appetizers:

Fried Pickles, Chips and Salsa, Tostada Chips and Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole, Onion Rings, or Texas Cheese Fries

Entrees:

Classic Bacon Burger, Cajun Chicken Pasta, 6 oz. Classic Sirloin, Crispy Chicken Crispers, Fajitas, Grilled Chicken Salad, Half Rack of Ribs, Mango Chile Chicken, Mango Chile Tilapia, Margarita Grilled Chicken, or Southwestern Quesadillas

Applebee’s

The Deal:

$20 for an appetizer to share and then select two full-size entrees including two sides for each entrée

Appetizers:

2 House or Caesar Salads, Boneless Wings, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Onion Rings, Mozzarella Sticks

Entrees:

Cedar Gilled Lemon Chicken, Sirloin Stir Fry, oriental Chicken Salad, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Chicken Tender Basket, Three Cheese Cavatappi, The American Standard Burger

Outback Steakhouse

The Deal:

$12.99 a person for 3 course meal consisting of a soup or salad, entrée with two sided, and desert

Soup/Salad:

House or Caesar Salad, Baked Potato Soup or Chicken Tortilla Soup

Entrees:

6 oz. Sirloin, Parmesan- Herb Crusted Chicken, Simply grilled Tilapia

Desert:

Double Chocolate Mini Parfait, Fresh Strawberry Shortcake Mini Parfait, Ice Cream Sundae topped with Chocolate or Raspberry sauce

Olive Garden

The Deal:

Endless bowls of pasta with your choice of pasta, sauce for 9.99 including house salad and bread sticks.

Pasta:

Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Angel Hair, Pappardelle, Fettuccine, Cavatappi, Gluten-Free Rotini 

Sauces:

Alfredo, Asiago, Garlic Alfredo, Five-Cheese Marinara, Marinara

Online Shopping

Apps That Help You Save While You Shop

Is the age-old tradition of coupon clipping still part of our weekly routine? Put down the scissors and walk away from the weekly store ads cause there is a better way to save. Stop the tedious searching for coupons and promo codes and download apps that find the deals for you. Not only will you save time but you will also find deals you might not have even realize existed. Here are some of the best apps to start using while shopping.

1. Jet

With the goal to build a better shopping experience for their customers, you can save tons by using the Jet app. With their real-time savings engine, the prices drop as you shop. You can get everything from toilet paper to bed sheets on Jet and the more items you add to your cart that have a tag symbol beside them, the lower the price will drop for each item. So buying in bulk for items like toilet paper, toothpaste and granola bars will save you more. The price per item also drops when you opt out for free returns, and pay with a debit card instead of a credit card.

2. Retail Me Not

Score deals at your favorite stores and restaurants with the award-winning app that makes it easy to save with thousands of deals from over 50,000 retailers. The app syncs with your map to notify you of the best deals near you. Whether you’re on vacation in a new city or just driving through your neighborhood, the app will alert you when a deal is near.

3. Shop Advisor

The Shop Advisor app does just what its name suggests, it advises you when the price is just right to purchase. You simply create a list of items you are interested in purchasing and the system watches that item and alerts you when the price drops the lowest online.

4. PriceGrabber

This app scans the prices on all sites that carry a specific item you’re shopping for and gives a full comparison report. The app gives you the bottom-line price, taking into consideration the shipping cost for an item. You can also simply scan a bar code of a product to get a quick, real-time view of where to purchase an item at the cheapest price.

5. Wallaby

If you take advantage of reward programs on credit cards, then you can double your rewards with the Wallaby app. When shopping for items online, the Wallaby system will scan your shopping cart and compare them with your credit card reward programs and tell you which card to use for what items, getting you the highest reward points possible. You can also set up notifications for when you’re getting close to your credit limit or when it’s time to pay a bill.

Hairstyle

Up to 72% Off Select Nashville Hair Salons

hairnobutton

Getting your locks cut can also take a big chunk out of your wallet. Check out some of the best Nashville hair salon deals running right now.

Vanity Salon and Spa, Nashville – $17 for one blowout ($35 value)

Vanity Salon and Spa, Nashville – $25 for one men’s haircut with neck shave and head & neck massage ($55 value)

Clark and Co, Green Hills – $29 for a haircut, blow-dry, and deep-conditioning treatment ($65 value)

Six Degree Salon, Nashville – $39 for a haircut, deep conditioner, and blowout ($80 value)

The Loft on Music Row, Nashville – $29 for women’s haircut with conditioning treatment ($65 value)

Fine Art Int’l Salon and Barber Spa – $17 for men’s haircut ($30 value)

Wonder Wheel

How to Save Money When Going to the Fair

FairCover

Funnel cakes, rides that make you puke, and a whole lot of beauty pageants. Yep, It’s fair time in Tennessee, and if you’re like a lot of parents, a trip to the county fair with your kids can really set you back, especially if payday is weeks away. Between ride tickets, buying food, and playing carnival games, your pocket book will soon start to feel weightless. But have no fear; Advance Financial and our money saving tips are here. Below you will find some creative ways to save money while still having fun at the fair with your kids.

Snacks

If you have an oversized purse, then use it. Just like the trickery used at the movies, pick up some candy apples, cotton candy, and other goodies at the local grocery store or Wal-Mart and shove it in that purse. When your kids start begging for the overpriced sweets, just pull out the good stuff. You’ll save a substantial amount of money by not purchasing the over-priced food at the food trucks and vendors. Try to also fill up their bellies before you go that way they won’t have as much of an appetite.

FreeStuff

It may seem your children have enough energy to keep them going forever, but sooner or later they are bound to tucker out. Now of course you will have to give in and eventually let them ride some rides and play some games, but first do all the free stuff. Try to spend half or a quarter of the day looking at the exhibits, seeing the livestock, and joining in on any field games or free shows your Fair may be hosting. Spending more time and energy on the free stuff will wear them out and possibly have them ready to go home before you completely empty your wallet.

Tickets

There are usually many companies that pay to be sponsors for the county fair. If you or your spouse work for a company sponsoring the fair, you could get discounted admission tickets. Check your local Fair’s website to see if they have special discounted days for specific groups and their families, like military, educators, or employees’ of companies who are sponsors. Most fairs in Tennessee also have a student discount day where admission is either free or significantly reduced for students.

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