Frugal Living en-US 12 Delicious Slow Cooker Breakfast Ideas for Lazy Cooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-delicious-slow-cooker-breakfast-ideas-for-lazy-cooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="homemade cinnamon roll" title="homemade cinnamon roll" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm sure many of us are seasoned veterans when it comes to using our slow cookers to simmer up soups, casseroles, and other dinner favorites. But have you ever thought to extend the ease to breakfast?</p> <p>It's a whole new world of deliciousness coupled with some savvy time savings. The following basic breakfast recipes are highly adaptable, satisfying, and cook while you sleep. (See also: <a href="">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>1. Overnight Oatmeal</h2> <p>Here's a new twist on oats. This <a href="">Apple Pie Oatmeal</a> comes together by combining cubed apples, steel cut oats, spices, milk, and brown sugar. Cook for three hours before turning the heat to medium overnight. The long warming process lets the flavors mingle till morning. You could easily use other fruit in place of the apples in an equal ratio.</p> <h2>2. Breakfast Burrito</h2> <p>This <a href="">Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burrito</a> looks protein-packed and sustaining. You'll cook the filling in the pot before scooping into tortilla shells. The green peppers, onions, tofu, and black beans get loads of flavor from cumin, turmeric, paprika, and chili powder. If you're not vegetarian, you could easily substitute breakfast sausage for the tofu.</p> <h2>3. Frittata</h2> <p>Rather than scrambling eggs, make this easy <a href="">Crock Pot Frittata</a>. This recipe is highly adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand, but the author featured kale, red pepper, and feta &mdash; a winning combination in my book. Just mix all the ingredients together in the pot and cook on low for around three hours. Keeps well in the fridge for several days.</p> <h2>4. Cinnamon Rolls</h2> <p>No way! <a href="">Overnight Cinnamon Rolls</a> sound like heaven, and I can't wait to make this recipe myself. After mixing together the dough and filling components, you'll grease your crock pot, roll and slice, and let everything rest overnight in the fridge. In the morning, turn the pot on and cook for around an hour.</p> <h2>5. Applesauce</h2> <p>Getting kids to eat fruit and veggies in the morning is tough. Make it easier with <a href="">Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce.</a> Chop up apples and crack a can of pumpkin puree and combine in the pot with cinnamon, lemon, water, sugar, and vanilla. Kids might not like so much spice, so feel free to use less and to skip the sugar entirely.</p> <h2>6. Spiced Latte</h2> <p>If you'd rather make a drink to go with your breakfast mainstay, this <a href="">Pumpkin Spice Latte</a> will surely fit the bill. Stir together five cups of strong black coffee, milk, whipping cream, canned pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Let cook on high for two hours.</p> <h2>7. Morning Casserole</h2> <p>Start your day the hearty way with this <a href="">Breakfast Casserole</a>. You'll layer frozen hash browns, cooked sausage, shredded cheese, and green onions before tossing in a dozen eggs whisked with milk, salt, and pepper. Cook for four hours on high. Vegetarians can use TVP or other sausage-like substitute or simple leave out that part in favor of more veggies.</p> <h2>8. French Toast</h2> <p>Now for a sweet twist. This <a href="">Crock Pot French Toast</a> is nothing more than bread, eggs, milk, cinnamon, and sugar. I think the key here is using really delicious French bread whenever possible. It will hold up better than standard sandwich slices.</p> <h2>9. Cheesy Grits</h2> <p>The classic southern staple &mdash; <a href="">Cheesy Grits</a> &mdash; makes a great side for breakfast. And these guys are irresistibly creamy without any addition of milk or cream. Let grits cook on low with water, salt, and butter overnight. Note: This recipe only works with stone ground grits.</p> <h2>10. Baked Apples</h2> <p>The author of this <a href="">Baked Apples</a> recipe has them slotted for dessert. With ingredients so healthy, they'd make a fine breakfast, especially if served with Greek yogurt on the side. After removing most of the apple's core, you'll fill them with raisins, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, and a little melted butter. Toss them in the pot with water and cook on low for four hours. (See also: <a href="">15 Mouthwatering Slow Cooker Desserts</a>)</p> <h2>11. Breakfast Stew</h2> <p>This nutritious <a href="">Breakfast Stew</a> will be your new winter staple in the morning. Start with a base of butternut squash. Then mix in apples, apricots, zucchini, raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, persimmon, and kale. Yes, kale! Quinoa and almond milk round out the rest of this super healthy vegan meal.</p> <h2>12. Pancake Bake</h2> <p>Try using Bisquick in a new way with this <a href="">Slow Cooker Pancake Bake</a>. You'll combine the popular baking mix with milk and an egg before pouring it into your crock pot. A cinnamon and sugar mixture adds some flair to this recipe, but you could also use fresh fruit or chocolate chips.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite breakfast slow cooker recipe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Delicious Slow Cooker Breakfast Ideas for Lazy Cooks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink breakfast crock pot easy recipes slow cooker Wed, 29 Oct 2014 21:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1246266 at Best Money Tips: Save Money By Winterizing Your Life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-money-by-winterizing-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="winter grocery shopping" title="winter grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on how to save money by winterizing your life, how to feed your family on $80 a week, and 200+ mind-blowing upcycling ideas.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">27 Steps to Save Money By Winterizing Your Life</a> &mdash; Don't just winterize your home (although that's important too). Before winter sets in, get the last of the scrumptious summer produce and preserve them. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="">How I Fed My Family on $80 a Week</a> &mdash; Sticking to a strict grocery budget can be hard, but it's possible. One way to do it it to use credit cards that give you rewards and cash back. [Women &amp; Co.]</p> <p><a href="">221 Upcycling Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind</a> &mdash; Combine coffee grounds and leftover wax candle ends to make coffee-scented candles! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">4 Reasons You&rsquo;re Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Results</a> &mdash; Doing too much cardio will use up the recovery reserves you need for strength training, which is the better way to burn fat. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="">10 Not-So-Common Frugal Living Ideas</a> &mdash; Move to a cheaper part of your city if it makes financial sense and it won't increase your commute by too much. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">3 Sneaky Scams I Fell For (and How You Can Avoid Them)</a> &mdash; Do your research before you contribute to a natural disaster relief fund. Scam artists often take advantage of people's goodwill to collect identifying info. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="">8 Ways to Stay Safe While Using Your Phone to Manage Your Money</a> &mdash; Use apps that have a passcode feature for an added level of security. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="">How to Get Good at Something: 5 Simple Lessons</a> &mdash; Apply what you've learned. The more you practice, the better you'll get! [Life Optimizer]</p> <p><a href="">5 Keys to Becoming a Millionaire</a> &mdash; As your net worth rises, make sure your insurance coverage does, too. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="">8 Ways to Keep Your Children from Becoming Victims</a> &mdash; Building your child's self-esteem can give him a stronger sense of right and wrong, which will help him recognize abusive behavior. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Money By Winterizing Your Life" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Ask the Readers winterizing Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1246265 at The NFL's 5 Most Frugal Players <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-nfls-5-most-frugal-players" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="american football" title="american football" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Professional football players are among the highest-paid people in America, and yet the story of the bankrupt NFL retiree is so common it's become a stereotype. Sports Illustrated reported that 78% of former <a href="">NFL players experience financial hardship</a> after just two years of retirement.</p> <p>That's no great wonder, when you read about rampant spending of newly rich players, like Chad Ochocinco spending $100,000 for his own <a href="">personalized semi truck</a>. Other players lend to friends and family who see their new salaries as limitless lending accounts, or, as inexperienced investors, sink money into ventures that never pay off.</p> <p>So it's refreshing to hear these five players &mdash; well compensated all &mdash; talk about gas mileage, retirement accounts, and distinguishing &quot;needs&quot; from &quot;wants.&quot; Read on to see who makes the list of the NFL's Most Frugal.</p> <h2>1. Aaron Rodgers</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Green Bay Packers</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Quarterback</p> <p>As one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Rodgers earns about <a href="">$22 million a year</a> in salary and endorsements. Yet he lives in a relatively ordinary &mdash; <a href="">some might even say ugly</a> &mdash; home in a suburb of Green Bay. He <a href="">mows his own lawn</a>, shops at Piggly Wiggly, and likes to hang out at a modest-looking place called Chives Restaurant.</p> <h2>2. Giovani Bernard</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Cincinnati Bengals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Running Back</p> <p>Bernard signed a $5.253 million dollar contract in 2013, plus a $2.2 million signing bonus &mdash; hefty for a rookie. But instead of buying a custom Hummer with his first paycheck, he <a href="">drives a minivan</a> he borrowed from his girlfriend's mother. He lives in a modest apartment near the stadium.</p> <p>Bernard knows how unexpectedly hard times can turn life upside down. After his mother died when he was a child, Bernard lived with his father, who owned a dry cleaning business. But when Bernard was in high school, his dad lost the business &mdash; and the two <a href="">lost their home</a>. Bernard moved in with the family of his best friend, James White, now a <a href=";team=17">running back for the New England Patriots</a>.</p> <h2>3. Antonio Cromartie</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Arizona Cardinals</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>After <a href="">blowing an estimated $5 million</a> in his first two years playing football on nine (NINE!!) cars, lavish jewelry, and two homes, Cromartie realized he had spent everything he had coming to him. Instead of spiraling into debt, though, Cromartie wised up, sold the excess stuff, and bought a Prius.</p> <p>&quot;I'll fill it up every two and a half weeks or so, and I'm only spending 33 bucks, while everybody else is spending 80 or 90 bucks a tank,&quot; he told Newsday. &quot;Right now, I'm all about saving money.&quot;</p> <p>He'll need it: Cromartie is the father of 10.</p> <p>Cromartie now has his retirement account fully funded through age 100, and he advises younger teammates on how to avoid making the same mistakes he did.</p> <h2>4. Rod Smith</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: Denver Broncos (retired)</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Wide Receiver</p> <p><a href="">Smith told Forbes</a> that he lives well in retirement because he always kept his post-NFL life in mind during his playing days, which led him to avoid spending like some of his teammates did: &quot;The most luxurious thing I bought was my house. I wasn't a big jewelry or car guy. I don't have Ferraris and Bentleys. I had a motto that I lived by, 'There are two places I want to look good at: home and practice.'&quot;</p> <h2>5. Prince Amukamara</h2> <p><strong>Team</strong>: New York Giants</p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Cornerback</p> <p>Amukamara isn't just a professional football player, he's also <a href=";nfl.html">Nigerian royalty</a>. Really. And no, he didn't email me about how I could get $100,000 if only I helped him transfer some money.</p> <p>Despite his paycheck and his pedigree, Amukamara isn't a wild spender.</p> <p>Back in 2011, just after leaving the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the NFL, he tweeted that he was &quot;<a href="">looking at getting a good deal at Husker Auto</a>.&quot; Apparently he proceeded directly to the <a href="">used car section</a> and successfully bargained for a lower price on an SUV by paying cash.</p> <p>A subsequent <a href="">&quot;Ask Me Anything&quot; session on Reddit</a> revealed more signs of Amukamara's frugal nature. He said the most common mistake NFL rookies make is &quot;Spending their money on 'wants' and not 'needs'.&quot; He also said that his favorite place to visit when he plays in California is In-N-Out Burger, where meals are under $10.</p> <p>Being thrifty is not the same as being a tightwad, though. Amukamara once spent<a href=""> $10,000 outfitting a Nebraska high school football team</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you heard any tales of frugal-minded sports stars? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The NFL&#039;s 5 Most Frugal Players" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Budgeting Lifestyle frugal lifestyle retirement saving thrift wealth Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1245699 at 10 Surprising, Non-Physical Benefits of Exercise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-non-physical-benefits-of-exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="young man gym workout" title="young man gym workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sad fact: Research suggests that about half of <a href="">people who begin a regular exercise</a> program will throw in the (sweaty gym) towel within six months. Maybe the weight didn't come off, or the six-pack never appeared. For all the time and energy and delayed-onset muscle soreness that exercise entails, some days it just doesn't seem worth the effort. (See also: <a href="">7 Simple Ways to Get Motivated for Your Workout</a>)</p> <p>But you might be surprised to learn that the benefits of working up a sweat go far beyond your bicep strength or belly fat. Here are 10 surprising non-physical benefits of exercise that are just as important as a number on the scale.</p> <h2>1. Better Cognitive Function</h2> <p>Smaller butt, bigger&hellip; brain? It looks that way. In fact, exercise's benefits to the brain are well documented. Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can help create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance by <a href="">boosting the level of a brain protein</a> that is believed to contribute to decision-making and learning. How's that for a reason to rock those spandex (smarty) pants more often?</p> <h2>2. Better Mood</h2> <p>There are <a href="">nearly 50 antidepressant drugs</a> on the market today, but one of the most powerful antidepressants doesn't even require a prescription: exercise.</p> <p>In 2000, researchers at Duke University <a href="">compared the antidepressant effects of aerobic exercise to a popular antidepressant</a>. What they found is that the group who exercised for about 40 minutes for three to five days per week experienced the greatest antidepressant effect. By increasing blood flow to the brain and releasing endorphins and serotonin, the body's natural antidepressants, exercise can influence brain chemistry in a positive way. If the thought of hitting the gym sometimes make you miserable, don't be fooled into skipping out; research says you'll come out happier than when you went in.</p> <h2>3. Better Sleep</h2> <p>I've never been a great sleeper, but on the days when I manage to get in a good, long run, I can collapse into bed and sleep like a log not long after dinner, spandex pants and all. Most studies link regular exercise to better sleep, even for those who suffer from serious insomnia. There's only one catch: <a href="">It takes a while to work</a>. Research shows that insomniacs who add exercise to their routines fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and report higher quality sleep than those who are less active, but the <a href=";_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">effects don't appear for several weeks</a>. If you're working out and sleeping poorly, keep it up. Better sleep is on the way.</p> <h2>4. Better Sex</h2> <p>Research suggests that exercise <a href="">makes sex better</a>. By improving blood flow &mdash; to everything &mdash; sex can have a positive effect on sexual response and even <a href="">prevent erectile dysfunction</a>. Exercise also boosts endorphins and improves body image, helping put people in the mood. Experts also say that sex is a pretty decent form of exercise. You literally can't lose here, people; train for each by doing the other.</p> <h2>5. More Confidence</h2> <p>We often assume that exercise will make us feel better about ourselves because it'll make us look fitter, stronger, and healthier. But that's only partly true. In fact, <a href="">exercise has been shown to improve self confidence no matter what you see in the mirror</a>. According to research, the act of simply getting out and doing a body good will make you feel better about yourself, no matter how long or hard you push yourself &mdash; and no matter how much muscle tone you do or do not develop as a result.</p> <h2>6. More Creativity</h2> <p>We don't often think of artists as hard-body types, but many creative folk &mdash; <a href="">particularly writers</a> &mdash; are known to be avid and regular exercisers because they're in on a little secret: Inspiration is often found in motion. The philosopher and author Henry Thoreau claimed his thoughts began to flow &quot;the moment my legs began to move.&quot; Got writer's block? Working out a creative problem? <a href="">Exercise is likely to help boost your creative thinking</a>. Your next great idea may only be a few steps down the road.</p> <h2>7. Better Control of Addiction</h2> <p>Having trouble quitting smoking? Or maybe you drink a bit more than you'd like, or even suffer from more serious addiction problems. Exercise can help with that. Addiction is based on the release of dopamine &mdash; a feel-good hormone &mdash; in the brain. This is what people become addicted to, therefore becoming addicted to whatever produces it, whether cigarettes or drugs or even sex. Fortunately, exercise produces dopamine too, making it a healthy alternative to more damaging addictions &mdash; and maybe even <a href="">making bad habits easier to kick</a>.</p> <h2>8. More Energy</h2> <p>It seems a bit counterintuitive, but expending more energy through exercise can help boost <a href="">energy levels</a>, even for those suffering from severe fatigue. But don't overdo it; if you're really worn out, <a href="">a shorter, lower intensity bout of exercise</a> has been shown to have the most positive effect.</p> <h2>9. Fewer Wrinkles</h2> <p>Maybe the fabled fountain of youth isn't a fountain at all. In fact, research suggests that it's probably a swimming pool &mdash; for swimming laps. No matter your age, exercise will improve your strength, endurance, posture, metabolism, and overall health. Those things can all help you look and feel younger. But the effects of working up a sweat are far more powerful than that; a recent study found that <a href="">exercise can actually reverse the skin's aging process</a>. If you're buying fancy wrinkle creams, consider diverting the money to a gym membership instead.</p> <h2>10. Better Memory</h2> <p>Remember how I said that exercise can improve cognitive function? If you don't, you might need more exercise, which <a href="">has been found to have a powerful impact on memory</a>, particularly as we age. Regular exercise actually boosts the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning.<a href=""> It may even help prevent dementia</a>. Now, if you can just remember where you put your running shoes&hellip;</p> <p>People exercise for so many reasons, but exercise is such a physical pursuit that it's easy to forget that not all its benefits are entirely physical. As it turns out, exercise is good not just for you body, but for, well, just about everything else. Okay, maybe not everything, but its <a href="">stress-relieving properties</a> are well-documented, so at least it'll help take the edge off whatever else life throws your way.</p> <p><em>What does a good hard workout do for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Surprising, Non-Physical Benefits of Exercise" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development benefits of exercise exercise health benefits workouts Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:00:06 +0000 Tara Struyk 1245698 at How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="modern businesswoman" title="modern businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More than 70% of graduates finish college with debt, at an average level of almost <a href="">$30,000 per student</a>. The <a href="">national student debt level</a> has reached $1.2 trillion and a staggering 7 million borrowers have already defaulted on their loans. With so many adults seeing their debt situation as helpless, it was refreshing to come across a young borrower who managed to pay off her hefty $40,000 student debt burden in just a few years.</p> <p>A $40,000 debt load put Michelle Schroeder in the top 10% of borrowers. Even with a loan burden substantially higher than most young graduates, she was able to return her debt by the time she was just 24 years old. &quot;It was hard but it paid off in the end,&quot; says Schroeder. &quot;It's the best feeling ever. I don't have to submit a $1,000 payment every month for something I don't see.&quot; (See also: <a href="">How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Retiring Debt</a>)</p> <p>Schroeder concedes that her journey wasn't easy, but that anyone can do it, if they really want to. To reach her goal and pay off her debt, Schroeder took three simple steps. Read on to discover how you can follow in her tracks.</p> <h2>1. A Financial Assessment</h2> <p>When Schroeder reviewed her personal balance sheet, she didn't like what she saw. &quot;I didn't want to be one of those people with $40,000 in student loan debt when their kids are going to college,&quot; she said. &quot;I just wanted to be done with it. I made a crazy action plan to have it paid off within the year.&quot; Schroeder admits it can be scary to add up 10 different student loans and realize how much they total. Even so, she knew she'd have to face up to her reality before she could create a game plan and start to pay her burden off.</p> <p>According to Schroeder, this is a step anyone can take, and yet many don't. &quot;A lot of people are afraid to look at the total or they're just not interested in doing the work to pay it off right now.&quot; Even so, it's not a difficult task, once you bulldoze past the psychological barriers. (See also: <a href="">Your Money Worries Are Holding You Back &mdash; Here's What to Do</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Decrease in Spending</h2> <p>Schroeder's first line of attack was to figure out where she could scale back. She cut her gym membership, dropped her cable TV package, and scaled down her food budget. She also took on mystery shopping work, which would often fund dinners, snacks, and other perks. She received an annual bonus that she used to fund her emergency savings account and further reduce her debt. All together, she was bringing home $5,000 per month in salary and was cutting costs wherever she could.</p> <p>Anyone can develop their own cost cutting strategies by identifying areas of excess consumption. To target where to reduce spending, check out an online tracking service like Mint or Quicken. (See also: <a href="">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a>)</p> <h2>3. An Increase in Income</h2> <p>Schroeder was already doing more to decrease her debt burden than many borrowers but even so, she wanted to speed up her debt repayment pace. To make a real dent in her burden, she started looking into ways to boost her income.</p> <p>She got creative and took on a boarder, which brought in an extra $300 &mdash; $400 per month. She next started a side business, first as a virtual assistant, later as a staff writer, and finally as a blogger and website consultant at <a href="">Making Sense of Cents</a>. &quot;I wasn't making much money for the first one to two years,&quot; she says of her online business. &quot;Plus, I sacrificed a lot like hanging out with my friends and watching TV. Instead, I focused on growing my business.&quot;</p> <p>Between her day job and side gigs, Schroeder worked 100 hours per week for three years straight. Her small side income grew and she eventually was paying $5,000 per month toward her student loan debt. In the final month, she wiped out her emergency savings account to pay the $10,000 remaining student loan balance.</p> <p>According to Schroeder, anyone can build a side income, regardless of skill set. Her suggestions include a part-time job in a retail store, walking dogs, babysitting, or starting a business. (See also: <a href="">You CAN Earn More Money &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <p>Last year, once her loans were repaid in full, Schroeder left her day job. She now lives off of what was once a side income, and works from home. When asked why more people don't take a fast-track approach to paying off their debt, Schroeder chalked it up to societal expectations. &quot;It's not normal to pay student loans off fast,&quot; she says. &quot;People consider it good debt and they're fine with it because everyone else has them.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Most people can pay their loans off within a couple of years if they try really hard,&quot; she says. For her, the upfront work was worth it. &quot;Life's not as stressful, now that I don't have student loans,&quot; she says.</p> <p><em>Are you burdened by a mountain of debt? How do you plan to eliminate it?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Alaina Tweddale</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance Budgeting debt repayment debt stories entrepreneur personal finance side gig student loans Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1245576 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on Coffee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="girl making coffee" title="girl making coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to save on coffee, where to get Halloween candy on the cheap, and things millionaires know that we don't.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Save on Coffee</a> &mdash; Store your unground coffee beans in an airtight container in the freezer for extra freshness. [Bankrate]</p> <p><a href="">Trick or Treat! Where to Score Cheap Halloween Candy</a> &mdash; You'll save a bundle if you buy candy in bulk from warehouse stores like Costco or Sam's Club. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">What Do Millionaires Know That We Don&rsquo;t?</a> &mdash; Millionaires aren't necessarily experts in investing. Instead, they hire financial advisors to help manage their money. [Daily Worth]</p> <p><a href="">How to Buy Furniture You Like Without Spending Too Much Money</a> &mdash; If you need to buy new furniture for whatever reason (allergies?) and you find something you like at a retail store, ask when their next sale will be and buy it then. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="">The Secret to Saving? Share-Economy (Plus 4 Other Tips)</a> &mdash; Reduce the cost of ownership by sharing resources. Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are just a few services that you can use this way. [Ready For Zero]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Moving and Banking: Do You Change Things Up When You Move?</a> &mdash; You probably won't need to change your bank after a move if you handle most of your banking online. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">How It&rsquo;s Never Too Late to Start Saving for Retirement</a> &mdash; If you don't have an employer- sponsored plan, you can still take advantage of tax-deferred investment income to help boost your retirement savings. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="">How Much Mortgage Can I Afford?</a> &mdash; Some suggest that you limit your mortgage payments to 30% of your monthly income, but you should look at your situation and see what you're comfortable with. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="">Should You Sign Up for Legal Insurance?</a> &mdash; If you plan to use a licensed attorney at least a few times a year, it may be worth it to get legal insurance. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="">12 Ways to Help Stop Bullying</a> &mdash; Teach empathy to your kids. You can do this by volunteering, helping others, and even reading to them. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on Coffee" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink best money tips coffee Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1245577 at 10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="employee fired" title="employee fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was laid off from my job recently, I had to quickly learn how to survive. I must do everything I can to save money while I search for work. (See also: <a href="">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a>)</p> <p>If you are in a similar position, you probably feel as if you are scraping by and that saving money is nearly impossible. But it isn't hopeless. Here are 10 ways you can save money and make some extra cash while you search for a full-time job.</p> <h2>1. Take Advantage of Local Resources</h2> <p>Even if you are not receiving unemployment, there are organizations that can help you with getting your basic needs met, including food and housing. The United Way and The Alliance for Information and Referral Services (AIRS) have created an easy way to find these resources in your area. You can dial 211 in most areas, or go to the <a href="">2-1-1 website</a> to learn more about what resources might be available to you. By taking advantage of social services, you can save a lot of money on the essentials.</p> <h2>2. Use Alternate Transportation</h2> <p>We all know that gas can be a major expense, especially if you rely solely on your car for transportation. Try not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary. Public transportation is much cheaper than driving, and buying monthly passes is often a better deal than a one-time fare. Check with your local unemployment office to see if your state offers free or discounted passes for public transportation in your area for unemployed people and low-income families.</p> <p>You might also find local programs that offer cheap, alternate modes of transportation. For instance, here in Burlington, Vermont, you can purchase a bike for as low as $30 through the non-profit program, <a href="">Bike Recycle Vermont</a>. Or you can get discounted tune-ups and bike accessories through the program. If walking, biking, or public transportation are not an option, some gas stations may offer discounts on groceries at local grocery stores when you spend a certain amount on gas, so you can at least save on food if you must drive.</p> <h2>3. Quit Unhealthy and Expensive Habits</h2> <p>A friend of mine also recently lost her job, and then she started smoking as a way to cope with the loss. Aside from the obvious health risks, smoking is an incredibly expensive habit. She often pays as much as $10 to $12 a pack! Alcohol is another nonessential that can take a huge chunk of your budget and a toll on your health. Keep in mind that recreational drugs and alcohol are also depressants that will make you feel worse about your situation. Even if you don't drink or smoke, there are probably other unnecessary purchases that you could cut out for the time being.</p> <h2>4. Eat Your Meals at Home</h2> <p>In addition to cutting out items that are not part of your basic diet, there are plenty of ways to save on the groceries you do need. First, avoid going out to dinner or grabbing fast food for your meals. Fast food joints might be cheap, but in the long run, eating out all the time can be more expensive than making food at home. Don't forget that soup kitchens offer free hot meals once a day, and you can find the locations through your local food shelf. Many food shelf organizations also offer recipes if you are picking up groceries, or you don't feel like you know how to cook very well. Also check with the unemployment office to see if you qualify for food stamps.</p> <h2>5. Find Ways to Save on Groceries</h2> <p>Resisting the urge to dine out and taking advantage of the food shelf are only part of saving on the overall cost of food. There are plenty of ways to save money when you go to the grocery store. Buy in bulk whenever possible, and take advantage of discounted items and coupons. One caveat: never purchase a sale item unless it is something that you buy regularly. You may end up spending more overall. Most co-ops offer a basic discount for members, and a larger discount if you volunteer a certain number of hours per week. (See also: <a href="">How to Feed Yourself on $50 a Week or Less</a>)</p> <p>Joining a local <a href="">CSA</a> can save a lot of money on produce, and some CSAs offer other staples, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Ask a friend to join with you and split the cost and the food if you can't afford the membership. The CSA weekly pickups usually include too much food for one person to eat in a week anyway.</p> <h2>6. Create a Realistic Spending Plan</h2> <p>Everyone hates to budget, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to manage your spending. Because the word &quot;budget&quot; implies that you are limiting yourself, one trick is to call it a &quot;spending plan.&quot; Even though it is more difficult to create a spending plan if you don't have a regular income, it is much easier to save when you know how much you are spending. You can easily find templates for a basic spending plan online, and <a href=""></a> has some great advice on how to get started when creating a spending plan.</p> <p>The key is to be realistic about how much you spend each month and ensure that you are covering every category. This includes purchases you may not have thought about, such as entertainment (you have to treat yourself every once in a while), cat food, emergency fund, etc. Once you do find a job again, stick to your spending plan, and put some money into a savings account each month for an emergency fund. Then if you do lose another job, you won't be as stressed about finances.</p> <h2>7. Join a Support Group</h2> <p><a href="">Debtors Anonymous</a> is a great resource for people who have lost a job. Being unemployed for a long period of time can easily lead to crippling debt. The group meetings are based on the same 12 steps as AA and other 12-step programs. You may find that you already have issues with debting, and the group provides support when trying to break old habits, such as overspending or maxing out credit cards. <a href="">Underearners Anonymous</a> is a similar program, and often people find that they consistently accept jobs under their skill level and salary needs, which can easily lead to debting. These groups may not meet as often in your area as other 12-step groups, but if you go to the website to search for a local group, you should be able to find phone meetings as well.</p> <h2>8. Negotiate Reduced Rent or Mortgage Payments</h2> <p>Before I started receiving unemployment (keep in mind there is a waiting period, so apply as soon as you get laid off), I was unable to pay my rent in full at the beginning of the month. I decided to talk to my landlord about splitting my rent in two payments. She was very understanding and said she would be willing to work with me as long as I communicated my needs to her. You'll find that as long as you are honest about your situation, most people are willing to work with you, especially if you have been a good tenant and always pay your rent on time. If you own a house, talk with a loan officer about refinancing. You may be able to get a lower interest rate and lower your mortgage payments.</p> <p>If you have student loans, you can get them deferred while you are out of work, or at least put them in temporary forbearance. For credit cards, make sure you are at least paying the minimum each month. It can be tempting to want to continue paying off debt with your normal payments, but you will risk getting further into debt if you can't realistically make those payments.</p> <h2>9. Don't Be Afraid to Accept Money</h2> <p>One of the key rules of Debtors Anonymous is not to start a new debt, which includes loans from friends and family. However, if a friend or family member offers you a monetary gift, it is okay to accept it, as long as you have a good relationship with that person. By the same token, avoid using loans to pay off other loans, even if the new loan has a lower interest rate. It may save a little money in the short term, but it can create debting habits that are hard to break.</p> <h2>10. Earn Extra Cash</h2> <p>This last tip has kept my head above water for the past few months. Even before I lost my job, I was a regular house and pet sitter for friends. While we had bartered for this service in the past, I had to ask them to start paying me after I lost my job. Again, people are very understanding if you are upfront with them.</p> <p>Find out what the going rate is in your area, and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. I've also been paid for doing yardwork, cleaning houses, babysitting, freelance writing, editing, and helping friends with websites. There are plenty of opportunities to make a some fast cash while you are out of work. Use social media and online forums to offer your services. Be clear about how much you want to get paid but also try to be a little flexible if the pay is still reasonable for the amount of work you are doing. (See also: <a href="">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <p>While I wish I had read <a href="">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a> before I lost my job, I have found ways to make ends meet and minimize the stress so far. Just keep in mind that you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and support groups to help you out during this difficult time.</p> <p><em>Have you ever endured a long period of unemployment? How did you reduce your spending?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Watson</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Budgeting saving spending unemployment Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Watson 1245575 at 5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-bodily-fluids-you-can-exchange-for-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="blood donation" title="blood donation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>John Mayer likes to say that<a href=""> your body is a wonderland</a>, but if you're into selling bodily fluids, it's more like a cash machine. If you haven't done it, it might sound pretty extreme &mdash; and pretty gross &mdash; but there's a booming business in bodily fluids. (See also: <a href="">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a>)</p> <p>So what bodily fluids are worth money? And what's the cost to donors in terms of their time, effort and, perhaps most importantly, their discomfort? Here are five bodily fluids you can sell.</p> <h2>1. Plasma</h2> <p>Plasma is probably the simplest, least questionable bodily fluid you can sell. This clear fluid contains enzymes and antibodies and is the largest component of human blood. Even though a lot of plasma goes to pharmaceutical companies, it is used to create treatments for people with blood clotting disorders, autoimmune diseases, or even serious burns, so it's a move you can feel pretty good about.</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>As long as you aren't too needle-shy, donation is relatively painless; blood is drawn from your arm and pulled through a machine that separates the plasma from the rest of the blood, which is returned to your body. The process takes about an hour. Even so, you have to be at least 18 years of age, 110 pounds, and will be drilled with rather personal questions to determine whether you might have viruses like HIV and hepatitis.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>Blood banks set their own rates for plasma, but they generally fall in the $20-$50 range per donation. According to the American Red Cross, it's safe for healthy people to donate plasma about once per month.</p> <h2>2. Sperm</h2> <p>For a young guy who lacks money, sperm donation can seem like the ultimate gig. It pays well, and the process involved is, um, pretty <em>familiar</em>. (The <a href="">vast majority of donors are college students</a>.)</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Sperm donation kind of seems like getting cash for something you may (or may not, no judgments&hellip;) be doing anyway, but it's a lot more complicated than that. You have to be tall (at least 5'10&quot; or taller, depending on the sperm bank.) You have to be smart&hellip; or at least be enrolled in college. You have to be between the ages of 18 and 35. In terms of of your chances, most donors are caucasian (most recipients are white couples), of a healthy weight, and <a href="">not redheads</a>.</p> <p>If you fit the bill, you'll still have to sit through a job-interview-style round of questions about you, your life, and your future goals. This will be followed by a battery of health questions, including ultra-personal ones about your health status, your sex life, and your sexual partners. Even if you make it through this gauntlet of challenges, you'll have to hand over your first two donations free of charge, so that your little swimmers can be tested.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>Sperm banks set their own rates, but payouts range from $30 to $200 per, um, donation. However, if you're accepted as a donor, you'll often have to sign a contract to donate weekly over a long period of time &mdash; like six months to a year &mdash; during which time your checks may be held in escrow until your term is up. The money might be good, but it isn't fast and it isn't as easy as it sounds.</p> <h2>3. Eggs</h2> <p>I really don't know if eggs are a liquid or not. What I do know is that they are donated to people who are unable to conceive, and they provide a very high payout compared to most other fluids. So, let's just assume they come in liquid form and roll with it, okay?</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Donating eggs is no picnic. In fact, just getting to the actual egg donation (and payment) stage takes time, energy, and some degree of physical discomfort. First, donors have to fill out a questionnaire. If that's accepted, they will be asked to come in for a physical exam, psychological testing, blood tests, and a genetic screening. If you're approved as a donor, you'll have to wait at least a month to donate.</p> <p>Next comes the donation cycle, and that's no picnic either. You will be injected with fertility drugs to stimulate the development of a number of eggs. Over the next two weeks, you'll have to continue to inject yourself with hormones and make daily morning visits to the clinic so that they can adjust your dosage and check on your progress. After seven to 12 days of this carnival ride, you'll be ready to have your eggs retrieved. You'll be anesthetized, and the eggs will be removed with a syringe. The procedure isn't painful, but the hormonal changes make it physically demanding, and mild side effects like moodiness and fluid retention can last up to two weeks. There are also some <a href="">very serious side effects</a> (although they're rare) to consider with this procedure.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>Well, it's big &mdash; $6,000 to $10,000 per donation depending on the market, the desirability of your particular donation, and the donation center you choose. If you work full time, that'll be offset by some lost time at work and some serious hassles, not to mention potential health consequences. There are no firm rules on how many times women can donate, but most clinics ask that they only do so a few times because the long-term health risks of the procedure are unknown.</p> <h2>4. Breast Milk</h2> <p>If you're a new mother, you may be carrying the equivalent of liquid gold: breast milk. And because some moms have way too much, while others have very little (or none at all), a group of moms got the idea to share the love by donating or selling breast milk to those who can't produce their own.</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Pumping your breast milk and shipping it, on ice, to people who need it. There are online services to facilitate this process, most prominently <a href=""></a>, the Craigslist of breast milk exchange. You could probably even post your own ad in your community.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>On breast milk exchanges, milk tends to sell for $1.50 to $3.00 per ounce. To put that in perspective, a baby needs between<a href=""> 13 and 42 ounces of milk per day, depending on his or her weight</a> &mdash; at $3 an ounce, that's $39 to $126 a day. Yowza!</p> <h2>5. Urine</h2> <p>Why would someone want to buy your pee? Because those who are subject to drug tests &mdash; whether for work or sports or parole &mdash; may not be able to pass those tests with their own urine. And, where there's demand, <a href="">there will be supply</a>.</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Producing, packaging, and shipping your pee to other people. If you're really enterprising, you could even make a business out of it. In the late 1990s, a South Carolina man produced 50 urine samples a day, selling more than 15,000 samples per year before the <a href="">state shut him down</a>. Several other states have since passed similar laws.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>The going rate appears to be about <a href="">$20 per ounce</a> &mdash; and possibly jail time.</p> <p>Whether it's a tiny condo in a bad part of town or a bag of someone else's urine, if there's enough demand for something, it will become valuable. Why do people sell bodily fluids for money? Simple answer: Because they can. That's just the way economies work.</p> <p><em>Have you ever parted with a bodily fluid for cash? Would you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Extra Income donating blood extra income medical donation side hustle Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Tara Struyk 1245572 at Best Money Tips: Worst Things to Buy at Walmart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-worst-things-to-buy-at-walmart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="sad couple shopping" title="sad couple shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some terrific articles on the worst things to buy at Walmart, recipes for homemade junk food, and tricks to make groceries last longer.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">11 Worst Things to Buy at Walmart</a> &mdash; Organic fruits and vegetables, as well as organic milk, are less expensive at Aldi and Trader Joe's than at Walmat. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">Make Your Own Junk Food!</a> &mdash; Here's a cheap and easy DIY soda recipe: squeeze lemon juice into sparkling water, and add sugar-free flavored syrup for more variety. [The Savvy Scot]</p> <p><a href="">12 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer and Save Cash</a> &mdash; Don't cut fruits or veggies until you need them. When parts are cut, broken off, or pulled apart, micro-organisms start to grow. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">How to Get the Most Out of Thrifting</a> &mdash; Location matters! Go to thrift shops in the big city for trendy pieces; if you want more selection and lower prices, you'll find them in suburban shops. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="">5 Steps to Changing the World Doing What You Love</a> &mdash;Make sure your decisions and actions come from a place of love, not fear. [LifeOhm]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">7 Money Conversations You Want to Have With Your&nbsp;Kids</a> &mdash; Discuss the role of money as a tool. Having money isn't an objective in itself, but a means to live with options and a sense of security. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="">4 Ways to Get into Expensive Conferences for Free</a> &mdash; Look for volunteer opportunities at the conference you want to go to. Many offer free meals and access to most programs and acitivities. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="">7 Credit Card Mistakes Even the Rich Make</a> &mdash; When you're rich, you may think you can afford to leave your negotation skills in the boardroom, but this is a mistake. Negotiate to reduce your interest rates, fees, and to get more perks on your credit card. [Credit Donkey]</p> <p><a href="">Simple Halloween Games You Can Make</a> &mdash; Play ring toss with a paper mache witch's hat and pipe cleaners. [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="">How to Manage a Second Job With Your Dad Duties</a> &mdash; Spend your free time wisely &mdash; turn off the TV and have fun with your family. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Worst Things to Buy at Walmart" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips WalMart Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1243570 at 10 Kitchen Mistakes Good Cooks Make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-kitchen-mistakes-good-cooks-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="baking disaster" title="baking disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How did I manage to overcook that roast? Why did my cookies spread all over the pan? These cooking mistakes are common, yet can be avoided.</p> <p>We have all made mistakes, even pros like <a href="">Julia Child.</a> My mother once made a Baked Alaska mistakenly using salt; my mother-in-law set off the smoke alarm so many times we called it her oven timer. Just learn from your mistakes, and move on. (See also: <a href="">7 Surprising Cooking Hacks That Save Time in the Kitchen</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 common errors, and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. You Didn't Taste Before You Served</h2> <p>So, you followed the recipe to the &quot;t,&quot; but it just didn't measure up when it hit the table. Who is to blame? You are! Taste as you go. Your sauce may need more sweetness, acid, or salt, and <em>while</em> you are cooking is the best time to add, not once it is ladled out. (Note: This does not apply to baking, where use of exact ingredients is important, and where you <em>do not</em> want to eat raw eggs.) If you are still unsure, get a second opinion. My husband is pretty used to me coming at him with a spoon.</p> <h2>2. Under-Salting</h2> <p>My parents' generation got a big scare from the media about the use of salt. As a consequence, food often tasted bland. Most salt in your diet comes from processed foods, so if you are cooking your own food, you don't have to be such a fraidy-cat. Just watch a few professional cooking shows or videos and see how much salt the chefs use. I am usually astounded. Certainly, if you have issues with high blood pressure or your heart, you need to be careful &mdash; but otherwise, salt away!</p> <h2>3. Eating Right Away</h2> <p>It is much easier to slice up a roast, or a chicken, and the result will be tastier, if you allow it to &quot;rest&quot; after cooking. Meat continues to cook even after you remove it from the oven. The center continues to heat while the outside cools down. Let the meat &quot;rest&quot; and re-absorb the moisture. A large roast needs about 25 minutes; a whole chicken or turkey should sit for 20 minutes. If you are worried about it getting cold, tent it with some aluminum foil. Slice too soon, and there go your juices!</p> <h2>4. You Don't Know Your Oven Temperature</h2> <p>The oven dial may <em>say</em> 350 degrees, but is it, really? Get a second opinion. For just a few dollars, you can buy an <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004XSBV&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5S3UVXXWHV4U5XPS">oven dial thermometer</a> to check. If it's off, check your owner's manual; you may be able to fix it. If not, you may want to call a professional repairman.</p> <h2>5. Over-Softened Butter</h2> <p>I do this too often, because I live in a warm, humid climate. Butter softens here in record time. And then what happens? Cookies, which should be plump, spread. Cake batter will not cream properly. If this happens, start over. Properly softened butter should be the consistency of Play-Doh.</p> <h2>6. Your Knives Aren't Sharp</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//"></iframe></p> <p>Dull knives are <em>dangerous</em>. If your blade is dull, it can slip off of the food you are cutting and cut <em>you</em>! You also use more force with a dull knife. You are more likely to work more safely when using a sharp knife. <a href="">Sharpening knives</a> is not that difficult to learn.</p> <h2>7. You Crowded the Pan</h2> <p>Sometimes, I just want to get some big-batch cooking done and put too many vegetables on the cookie sheet to roast&hellip; or try to brown too much meat at once. And then what happens? Things get soggy. Yuck! Food that needs to brown needs room, so it's better to do it in batches, if you have a lot of it.</p> <h2>8. Dang, Burned It Again</h2> <p>Most often, it's because I am using the wrong burner size on my gas stove. Sometimes, I have the flame up too high (it should never go up the outside of the pan). Also, sometimes I get distracted between the news, texting, or checking a recipe while I am cooking. Good tricks to prevent burning are to set a timer, if you are walking away, or to eliminate some of the distractions until you can turn the stove off.</p> <h2>9. What's Wrong With the Mashed Potatoes?</h2> <p>My mother insisted on &quot;whipping&quot; her potatoes with a hand-mixer, and that's why they became gluey. You are much better off using a ricer or a hand masher. The potato you select makes a huge difference, too. Try Yukon Golds &mdash; and <a href="">this perfect mashed recipe</a> &mdash; for really delicious potatoes.</p> <h2>10. You Didn't Practice &quot;Clean As You Go&quot;</h2> <p>Unless you want to end up with a sink full of dirty dishes, pots, and pans, you may as well clean up as you go along. It's pretty tiring to cook a meal, then turn around and survey the mess. If most of the dirty kitchen has already been dealt with, you will simplify mealtime.</p> <p>Cooking should be fun. Even if you make mistakes, chalk them up to experience, and move on. Everyone who cooks has a funny &quot;mistake&quot; story! Remember, as Julia Child said, &quot;Have the courage of your convictions!&quot;</p> <p><em>Have I overlooked any common kitchen mistakes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Kitchen Mistakes Good Cooks Make" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Cooking kitchen Mistakes skills Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Marla Walters 1243332 at 13 Seasonal Dishes for Your Next Fall Feast <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-seasonal-dishes-for-your-next-fall-feast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="pumpkin pancakes" title="pumpkin pancakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's fall and that means delicious recipes in line with the season's harvest: apples, pumpkin, and squash. As the heat of the summer gives way to cooler fall temperatures, food becomes hearty and satisfying with a stick-to-your-ribs vibe that provides comfort and warmth through a spice palette spiked with cinnamon and cloves.</p> <p>Here are 13 of my favorite fall recipes that are sizzling in my kitchen. All of them are fit for a crowd, so invite some friends over to celebrate the season with you.</p> <h2>1. Autumn Apple Punch</h2> <p>Punch is an easy beverage display to help guests serve themselves with minimal effort for the host. This <a href="">apple punch</a> is a snap to prepare with five simple ingredients and can be served at room temperature or over ice. Subtract the bourbon if you have little guests in attendance and place apple slices tossed in lemon juice on a serving plate (to stave off browning) and a mason jar of cinnamon sticks for guests to use as garnish.</p> <h2>2. Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa</h2> <p>Nothing warms us up on a chilly fall day like a toasty cup of hot cocoa. This easy <a href="">hot cocoa recipe</a> mimics the Starbucks version for a fraction of the price per cup by marrying bittersweet chocolate, creamy caramel sauce, and sea salt in frothy milk.</p> <h2>3. Spiced Wine</h2> <p>Give a <a href="">bottle of wine a spicy kick</a>. There are hundreds of variations for this drink, though I keep it simple with cinnamon, cloves, a bit of sugar, and lemon.</p> <h2>4. Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes</h2> <p>Pancakes are a decadent way to make brunch a celebration. Fall pumpkins give us a way to make pancakes seasonal and healthy. Because the pumpkin serves as a binding agent and a source of moisture and sweetness, <a href="">these pancakes don't need eggs</a> and require only a minimal amount of sugar. As an added bonus, they fill your kitchen with a sensational aroma.</p> <h2>5. Autumn Arugula Salad</h2> <p>Salads live long after summer, and in the fall they can often be the main course. This one uses a <a href="">bed of spicy arugula</a> as the backdrop for roasted acorn squash, avocado, and pomegranate seeds. The dressing dons a fall flavor with apple cider vinegar, ginger, and cloves.</p> <h2>6. Savory Butternut Squash Soup</h2> <p>In the fall, soup is definitely on and it's so easy to make for a party of one or a large crowd. This <a href="">paleo soup recipe</a> is as healthy as it is delicious because it's loaded with a combination of fall root vegetables. Creamy soups like this one also freeze well, so make extra.</p> <h2>7. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork</h2> <p>Fire up the crock pot! This genius of a kitchen gadget was made with fall cooking in mind. Prep the ingredients, toss them in, and the crock pot does all the work while you enjoy playing in the crisp fall air. This <a href="">pulled pork is delicious</a> served on sandwiches or over rice, potatoes, or couscous.</p> <h2>8. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili</h2> <p>Don't put that crock pot away yet! <a href="">Turkey chili</a> is a crowd pleaser that lets guests doctor it up with fixings served as a buffet. Try shredded cheese, scallions, dollops of sour cream, and chopped olives. It also freezes well, so even if your crowd is small, make a big batch to eat later in the week.</p> <h2>9. Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Flatbread</h2> <p>Flatbreads are excellent canvases for roasted fall vegetables, rich and velvety cheeses, and seasoned meats. Make your flatbread simple or intricate or in between like this <a href="">butternut and caramelized onion flatbread</a>. Let guests personalize them, pop them in the oven, and you've got one happy crowd.</p> <h2>10. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Apples and Bacon</h2> <p>Brussels sprouts are an underappreciated jewel of the fall harvest. I dice 'em, slice 'em, saute 'em, and roast 'em with any seasoning that sounds good to me in the moment. This version <a href="">pairs salty bacon with sweet apples</a> to concoct a completely satisfying side. Like other members of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C making them a natural immunity booster to fight off colds.</p> <h2>11. Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower</h2> <p>Cauliflower is even more densely packed with vitamin C than Brussels sprouts. A single serving has almost five times the recommended daily dose and <a href="">it couldn't be simpler to prepare</a>. Toss with any herbs you like, olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper, and sea salt. Place it in a single layer on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and let a very hot oven turn it into your next favorite comfort food.</p> <h2>12. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Apple Skillet Cake</h2> <p>No fall meal would be complete without some sweets and fall has no shortage of options in the dessert department. This <a href="">rustic take on a traditional apple cake</a> is baked and served in a cast iron skillet that provides a very fall motif to any table.</p> <h2>13. Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Trifle</h2> <p>Pumpkin pie is my all-time favorite dessert. However, it's tough to make it feed a crowd. This <a href="">trifle has all of the pumpkin-y goodness</a> and it goes a long way. The rum and gingersnaps provide a welcome punch of flavor and novelty to this traditional dessert.</p> <p>Let these recipes inspire you to get to the market and then head to your kitchen to celebrate the bounty of this delicious season.</p> <p><em>Do you have favorite fall feast recipes? Please share them in the comments below. Happy fall, y'all!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="13 Seasonal Dishes for Your Next Fall Feast" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink autumn feast fall fall foods fall recipes recipes Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:00:12 +0000 Christa Avampato 1242976 at 10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="bookshelf home" title="bookshelf home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most frustrating parts of living in an apartment is lack of space. And even if you have ample room, organization can present other challenges. Of course, cleaning out your belongings is always a useful activity when maximizing square footage. (See also: <a href="">10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <p>For those items you just can't part with, try some of these smart storage solutions.</p> <h2>1. Custom Shelving</h2> <p>You can configure pipes and plywood boards in any way that pleases your aesthetic (and function) with this <a href="">DIY shelving project</a>. Check out your local hardware store's plumbing section to find pipes, connections, and flanges that will make the framework for your boards to rest upon. If you can't find boards the size you need, you can get them cut for free or a nominal fee in the lumber section.</p> <h2>2. Hanging Baskets</h2> <p>Small bathrooms and kitchens can benefit greatly from the addition of <a href="">hanging fruit baskets</a>. The benefit here is that there's little required for installation &mdash; so even if you have a picky landlord, you should be able to do this project and get your deposit back. The photo shows bath toys stashed in the baskets, but you can put in anything you need off your counters.</p> <h2>3. Clothing Rack</h2> <p>Closets are another issue in apartments large and small. Heck, my first house hardly had any closets &mdash; so it's an epidemic, if you ask me. The solution: Get yourself a sturdy garment rack! You can buy one for as little as <a href="">$10 at Ikea</a>. Making one &mdash; here's <a href="">a tutorial</a> using more pipes and boards &mdash; might cost a bit more but give you some flexibility with regard to design.</p> <h2>4. Corner Storage</h2> <p>If the industrial look isn't your cup of tea, this <a href="">corner shelving nook</a> might be more what you're after. Just head to the organization section at your home improvement store to find the basic shelving brackets. They most often come in plain white, but you can spray paint them to match any decor. The author suggests saving money by purchasing narrow boards for top shelves that might house lighter, smaller items.</p> <h2>5. Hooks</h2> <p>If you look around, you can probably find a million purposes for hooks in your space. And the good news is that hooks are <em>cheap</em>. Use adhesive hooks anywhere you need to hang something. In the kitchen, for example, that might mean <a href="">stowing pot covers</a> on a cabinet door.</p> <h2>6. Ottoman</h2> <p>Most of us like to prop our feet up after a long, hard day. And this <a href="">DIY Storage Ottoman</a> is perfect for this purpose &mdash; all while providing some extra hidden space to toss belongings. The instructions include directions for adding wheels, but you can skip that if you want your cube to remain stationary. Total cost is around $40, which is much cheaper than store ottomans I've seen. (See also: <a href="">10 Super Cool Ways to Hide Storage in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Bookcases</h2> <p>When I was living in apartments, the most useful piece of furniture I owned was my large bookcase. I used it for books, of course, but it was most useful for other items I needed to organize in my everyday life, like dishes, records, craft supplies, and &mdash; eventually &mdash; my child's toys. You can find bookcases at thrift shops for a dime. Making them <a href="">work for non-book items</a> is easy with some baskets, hooks, and bins tossed in the mix.</p> <h2>8. Door Racks</h2> <p>You know those over-door storage solutions for shoes, makeup, and other items? Forget the advertised purpose and use them for whatever you need up and out of the way. The shoe organizers can be great for <a href="">cleaning supplies</a>, cooking utensils, or bathroom items. You can even use them to organize art supplies and <a href=";">small toys</a> in your child's room.</p> <h2>9. Book Gutters</h2> <p>Though I most often see this project for children, I think a <a href="">rain gutter bookshelf</a> would work equally well for adult books (and other smaller items, like craft supplies). Stock up on plastic rain gutters in the exterior section by all the roofing materials. Spray paint them to your desired shade. Hang them on the wall. It's that simple!</p> <h2>10. Laundry Dresser</h2> <p>When I lived in my small studio, the biggest problem I had was keeping my clothing off the floors. This <a href="">DIY Laundry Dresser</a> is a smart, stylish solution. If you are working on a <a href="">minimalist wardrobe</a> or don't have many clothes, you can also use this type of dresser to organize a large number of things from kitchen gadgets to office supplies.</p> <p><em>How do you create storage in a tiny space? Please share in comments &mdash; we'll make room!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home organization small spaces storage Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1242977 at Best Money Tips: Money-Saving Household Hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-money-saving-household-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="water bottle faucet" title="water bottle faucet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on household hacks that rack up savings, things to remember when you&rsquo;re having a bad day, and how to juggle debt and retirement.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Great Household Hacks That Rack Up Savings</a> &mdash; Rent tools and appliances that you only use once or twice a year. [Smart Asset]</p> <p><a href="">18 Great Reminders When You&rsquo;re Having a Bad Day</a> &mdash; Don't be afraid of being yourself because of how others may see you. What they think about your situation is not important right now. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="">How to Juggle Debt &amp; Retirement</a> &mdash; Saving and paying off debt are both important &mdash; tackle them simultaneously! [Experian]</p> <p><a href="">3 Ways to Delegate When You&rsquo;re on the Bottom Rung</a> &mdash; Who says you need to delegate to a human? Use services like IFTTT or Zapier to automate your tasks. [Ridiculously Efficient]</p> <p><a href="">22 Ways to Get a Better Night&rsquo;s Sleep</a> &mdash; Go camping for a week to find out how much sleep your body needs. When you get home, shoot for that ideal. [The Art of Manliness]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">10 Tips for Safer Online Banking</a> &mdash; Never click on any links or attachments in emails supposedly sent by your bank. Instead, log in to your online account or phone your bank to see if there are any issues. [Help Me to Save]</p> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Let Food Day Inspire Your Family</a> &mdash; Today is Food Day! If you're shopping at a grocery store, take a trip around the perimeter where you'll find fresh veggies, fruits, meats, and dairy products along with organic bread and snacks. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">12 Golden Rules of Decluttering</a> &mdash; Get rid of anything that you wouldn't buy now. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Top 10 Money Mistakes New Parents Make</a> &mdash; Don't postpone estate planning! You need to address questions like who will have custody of your children and how they will receive your assets. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="">4 Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance</a> &mdash; You can get a discount on homeowners insurance by installing a security system. Any brand will do! [Cash The Checks]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Money-Saving Household Hacks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living best money tips household hacks Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1242727 at 6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="neighbors " title="neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our communities just don't have the same bonds they used to. Think about it: Of all the people you've lived next door to, how many of their names do you know? (See also: <a href="">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</a>)</p> <p>This is a problem, given the tangible, material benefits of having neighbors you know better than, say, the receptionist at your dentist's office. Don't believe it? Then check out these six ways it pays to be friendly with your neighbors.</p> <h2>1. Splitting Chores</h2> <p>Some chores impact more than just one house in a neighborhood. For example, if you share a common driveway, you can all pitch in when it comes to repaving it. It's not just about communal chores, though. Doing small favors can encourage a mini sharing economy. Help your neighbor plant a garden, he helps you change the transmission on your car. Start saving a mint based on the things that you couldn't do yourself, but can do with a spare set of hands.</p> <h2>2. Sharing the Cost of Big Equipment</h2> <p>Just like there are some chores that are impossible alone, so are there pieces of big equipment one person might not want to buy, but a neighborhood can go in on together. Think of things like wood chippers, cherry pickers, or power washers. Particularly if you're not going to be using them a lot, the price can be cost prohibitive. However, once you start splitting the cost three or four ways, the investment starts making a lot more sense.</p> <h2>3. Splitting Entertainment Costs</h2> <p>Especially for the sports fan, the ability to split entertainment costs can be a big deal. Maybe you don't want to shell out for the next UFC fight, WWE pay-per-view, or a season of NFL game day on your own. However, with the help of a neighbor or two you can make the cost of an expensive paid cable event no more than a couple of lattes. What's more, you might also be able to get package deals on vacations if you all coordinate your time away from home. Once you get there you don't have to be joined at the hip, though hey &mdash; if you guys are close, why not?</p> <h2>4. Learning New Skills</h2> <p>Chances are good that you have skills your neighbor wants and vice versa. So why not go about trading those talents? Not only can you learn them without paying any money, you can also save money over the long run by applying the skills you learn. Maybe it's auto repair. Maybe it's bread baking. Maybe it's interior painting. Whatever it is, when you learn how to do things for yourself, you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you.</p> <h2>5. Tolerating Your Big Bash</h2> <p>Having a party? Making any amount of racket? Get ready for a noise complaint and the charges that come along with it. Making friends with your neighbors not only makes them a little more tolerant of things like watering your garden on the day that you're not supposed to, but it also makes them more likely to talk to you directly about the problem rather than going straight through more official channels. No one wants angry neighbors, but if you're going to have them they can be angry in the neighborly way or the expensive way.</p> <h2>6. Networking</h2> <p>Networking is more important than ever. Looking for the best plumber in town? Your neighbor might be a friend. Trying to find a marriage counselor? Maybe your neighbors recently got through a rough patch with the help of a family therapist. Is your nephew looking for his first job in publishing? Talk to your neighbors and see if they know anyone who can help. Knowing more people is always helpful, starting with the people who live just down the street.</p> <p><em>Are you neighborly with your neighbors? How has it paid off for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nicholas Pell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Lifestyle neighbors networking real estate sharing sharing economy Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1241737 at 12 Easy Squash Recipes for Fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-easy-squash-recipes-for-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="butternut squash" title="butternut squash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have a CSA share this season or regularly visit the market, you might find yourself with more squash than you know what to do with. As I watch the different shapes and colors pile up on my kitchen counters, I've been trying some new recipes and methods to taste the season. Here are some of the best fall recipes I've encountered in my kitchen adventures. (See also: <a href="">Gadzukes! 10 Ways to Use Up Your Zucchini Bounty</a>)</p> <h2>1. Delicata Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>We'll begin with my absolute favorite of fall recipes: <a href="">Delicata Mac and Cheese</a>. You'll roast your squash for around an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, puree with some water until smooth, and then mix together with cheese, milk, and spices. Add the noodles and an egg and bake for just an hour more before devouring.</p> <h2>2. Delicata Harvest Salad</h2> <p>This <a href="">Fall Harvest Salad</a> has chunks of roasted delicata squash tossed with kale, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and more. If you don't have millet on hand, use any other sort of grain to make up the bulk.</p> <h2>3. Delicata Soup</h2> <p>A smooth <a href="">Delicata Squash Soup</a> might be just what you need to warm up on a blustery day. The unique addition of pears sweetens the mix. And for those of you who are unfamiliar, crème fraîche is essentially sour cream.</p> <h2>4. Spaghetti Squash Noodles</h2> <p>There's a definite art to baking spaghetti squash so it actually <a href="">resembles spaghetti noodles</a>. Instead of cutting the squash lengthwise (the standard method), you slice into 1 inch rings. Then bake atop parchment for 40 minutes and let cool before separating into perfect strands.</p> <h2>5. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna</h2> <p>These <a href="">Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls</a> are gluten-free and teeming with deliciousness. The recipe calls for ground turkey in the meat-based sauce. However, you can use tofu or TVP as a substitute (or even skip the sauce recipe entirely and use a store bought blend).</p> <h2>6. Easy Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash</h2> <p>What could be easier than <a href="">Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash</a> with meatballs? Simply slice and gut your squash before placing each half in the crock pot with frozen meatballs and tomato sauce. To serve, pull the squash out with tongs, score with a fork, and then top with the rest.</p> <h2>7. Roasted Acorn Squash Salad</h2> <p>All your health nut friends will enjoy this <a href="">Roasted Acorn Squash</a> with apples, quinoa, and kale in a flavorful tahini dressing. The author made this recipe for her Thanksgiving table, but I think it'd be just as appropriate for an autumn dinner party.</p> <h2>8. Acorn Squash Bread</h2> <p>If you need to hide veggies from your kids (or reluctant friends and family), try this <a href="">Acorn Squash Bread</a>. The recipe calls for quite a bit of sugar, which I'm sure makes for an amazing loaf. If you'd like to cut back, try using a half cup less or natural sweetener like maple syrup.</p> <h2>9. Acorn Squash Custard</h2> <p>A dessert! This paleo-friendly <a href="">Acorn Squash Honey Custard</a> would make a surprising finish to dinner. Or perhaps a great snack. You'll need grass-fed beef gelatin to help it firm up and rich coconut milk for full-bodied flavor.</p> <h2>10. Butternut Squash Soup</h2> <p>If you're into copycat recipes, this version of Panera's <a href="">Autumn Squash Soup</a> will delight you. Along with butternut squash and some pumpkin puree, you'll combine apple cider, heavy cream, vegetable broth, and a robust mix of spices for punch.</p> <h2>11. Butternut Squash Pizza Crust</h2> <p>Those of you with dietary restrictions or a desire to eat healthier meals will like these <a href="">Butternut Squash Pizza Crusts</a>. And making them is easy. Just peel and slice squash into quarter inch thick rounds. The wider your slice, the bigger your pizza base. Then roast and flip halfway through cooking to add your toppings.</p> <h2>12. Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells</h2> <p>I have a soft spot in my heart for <a href="">Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells</a>. And this batch is finished off with a refined sage brown butter. You'll roast your squash first and then mash with ricotta cheese and other ingredients to create the pasta filling. Boil the shells, stuff, bake, and eat!</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite fall squash recipes? Please share a dish in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Easy Squash Recipes for Fall" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink fall squash squash recipes Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1241730 at