Tag Archive for: cheap meals

Security Deposit

How to Guarantee You Get Your Apartment Security Deposit Back

Security Deposit

If you have ever rented an apartment, condo, or house, chances are you had to give your landlord a security deposit before moving in. For some this can be a substantial amount of money, ranging from a half or a full months rent sometimes. A security deposit is intended to pay for damages that a renter may have left after moving out, so if you’re a well behaved tenant you should have no issues getting that money back. Unfortunately, according to multiple studies, the majority of renters do not receive any of their security deposit back. To ensure you get all or most of your deposit, make sure and follow these simple tips.

Document all existing defects before moving in

Moving into a new place can be exciting, but don’t let that excitement get in the way of noticing any defects with the property. Most apartment complexes give you a form to fill out before move in that outlines any existing damages. Go through the property with a fine tooth-comb and find every defect imaginable. If your landlord doesn’t give you a form to fill out, create your own list to give to them before moving in. This will protect you from being charged a crazy amount for that tiny chipped piece of trim that was already there.

Read your contract and abide by the rules

Make sure you know all the rules set in place by your landlord and follow them. Things like installing new light fixtures, painting rooms, or having multiple pets can sometimes cause you to break the terms of the lease. Read the entire contract and know exactly what you can and cannot do. If your landlord gives you verbal permission to do something that is not outlined in the contract, make sure to get it in writing with their signature.

Keep it clean

Leaving your apartment smelling like old pizza is just asking for the landlord to start his inspection with a negative attitude. Clean that place better than you have ever cleaned it before. A lot of contracts have a mandatory cleaning fee that comes out of your deposit. Even if this is the case, clean it anyways. You do not want to give your landlord any excuse to take more than they should. After cleaning, ask to be present during the inspection and bring the list you created of existing defects before moving in.

Be informed of your rights as a renter

Did you know as a tenant of a rental property, you are awarded certain rights by the government? As a renter, you are protected by unjust practices such as, the actual amount asked for a security deposit, charges for ordinary wear and tear to the property, and not supplying a written list of charges to be taken out of a security deposit. In 47 states it is against the law for a landlord to take any amount of money out of your deposit without an itemized list of the damages and the cost to repair them. To find out about all your rights as a renter visit www.tn.gov/health/article/renters.

Fruit Giving

Tips to Saving Money at Your Local Farmers Market

produce

So there is a myth about shopping at farmers markets that we would like to bust. Produce at your local farmers market has gained the title of “expensive “when compared to produce at a chain grocery store, and we definitely do not think this is always the case. Along with being good for the local economy, organic, fresher, and better tasting, local produce can also beat out the price of grocery store produce. You just have to know how to shop. To guide you on your next adventure to the local farmers market, here are some tips to follow to save some money.

Go for less than perfect

Let’s get real. Do your apples really need to be the exact shade of red and shaped to perfection? Well for a lot of people, yes they do, but you’re a savvy shopper and your spending habits aren’t affected by fruit vanity. Because the not so pretty items don’t sell as well, a lot of times they are actually discounted in price. And even if the seller isn’t advertising the items are discounted, just ask. Give a concerned look at that deformed peach and simple say, “Is this one full price?”

Don’t make a list

Yes, in most cases making a list when grocery shopping is a must if you’re trying to save, and especially if you’re on a tight budget until the next payday. If you make a list when going to the farmers market, however, then you might not be as cognizant of the lesser expensive items. Instead of going in with a list of specific items, try showing up open minded without any ideas of what fruits and vegetables you need. Plan out meals based on cheaper produce once you are there and can see your options.

Timing is everything

So it’s pouring the rain outside. Pull up your rain boots, grab an umbrella, and head out to the market to score some deals. Supply and demand drive prices in the sense that if there are less people in attendance, then there is less likely of a chance that farmers will be able to sell all items easily. Going to a market when the crowds are low will give you more options with more say so on prices. Going 30 minutes before the market closes is also a good time to get leftovers that vendors will be trying to get rid of by selling cheaper.

Buy in season

A bowl of cherries in the dead of winter may be exactly what you want, but when it comes to budget friendly eating, it’s probably not the best idea. The beauty of a farmers market is that cherries will not even be an option in the middle of January.   Shopping locally will in-fact force you to buy what is in season, and those fruits and vegetables dramatically decrease in price.

Negotiate

It’s a market, not a grocery store. Don’t hesitate to do a little haggling. Remember that produce has an expiration date and these farmers want to get rid of their crops. Try to build a relationship with the regular farmers and show you’re a loyal customer. Chances are they just might cut you a deal on items if you get in good enough.

Food

Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank

Food

We know the struggle is real. You have great intentions of eating healthy, but the convenience and price of fast food reels you in every time. And let’s face it; a greasy hamburger is a lot more satisfying than a kale salad. Positives aside, eating that McDonalds burger and fries isn’t getting you any closer to a healthier you. Price can be a big contributing factor to losing the battle against fast food, as many healthier food options are actually more expensive. To help guide you toward budget friendly, healthier eating, we have compiled a list of money saving tips.

Meal plan

So this is the part where convenience goes out the window (sorry). Eating healthy needs to be looked at as part of your lifestyle, which means you have to be dedicated to preparing your meals instead of racing through a drive-thru window. Planning your meals ahead of time makes budgeting a lot easier as you have more control over what you’re spending per meal. Plan to make foods like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries, which stretch more expensive items like meat into more portions.

Buy in season

Not only are the prices for fruits and vegetables cheaper when bought in season, but also fresher, adding to a better taste. An issue of concern with buying fruits and vegetables for a lot of shoppers is that the items will ruin. If you think that you won’t be using certain fruits or vegetables right away, buy ones that aren’t fully ripened yet. You can also freeze any leftover fruits and use them later for a smoothie.

Cut out the snacks

We don’t mean all snacks, just those unhealthy vending machine snacks that catch your eye between lunch and dinner. Sodas and sugar filled treats not only are extremely unhealthy for you, they also add up in cost. Instead, try making your own healthy snacks. Items like nuts and yogurt are great to hold you over till the next meal and are super cheap when buying in bulk.

Bulk buy

It’s going to hit your bank account hard at first, but in the long run you will spend less on groceries leading to savings. Items like chicken, steak or fish, as well as large bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables will almost always be cheaper to buy in bulk. Even if you don’t think you’ll use them all in a week’s time, you can always freeze these items and use for the next week.

Start a garden

It’s a lot easier than you might think to grow your own food, and the savings are big for this one. If you’re going to eat healthy, fruits and vegetables are a must for your diet, so you can expect to spend money on these items. So let’s break it down. The average cost for a pound of organic tomatoes is $4.00. The cost to buy a potted tomato plant at Home Depot that will produce 8 pounds of tomatoes costs $4.98. Yep, that’s a lot of savings. And don’t think you need a back yard to have a garden. You can find multiple tutorials online on how to create window vegetable gardens for those living in an apartment or condo.