How to Save Money on Groceries

The cost of groceries for most families represents a significant part of their budgets, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some tricks to reducing a family’s grocery bill. Here are a few of them.

Shop Your Pantry

It can be tempting to go out shopping a few times a week when you’ve run out of inspiration for your meals. However, according to the Dave Ramsey website, this gets expensive, and it isn’t necessary. The next time you’re tempted to run to the store for dinner fare, run to your pantry instead. Pull a meal together with the items you find in there instead. You save money and avoid food waste by doing this.

Cook Meals in Bulk

If you buy in bulk, you know the value of big batches of food. Why not extend this practice to your meal prep by making batches of meals ahead of time and freezing them? Best of all, these make-ahead meals can be popped into the microwave and served in minutes, saving you time and money on hectic nights when you might be tempted just to order takeout.

Clip Coupons

Clipping coupons is another money-saving tactic people use to reduce food costs. If this is a habit you have or would like to develop, then take advantage of it and the savings that come with it—clip coupons for the more expensive items on your grocery list to save big bucks.

Don’t Always Shop at the Same Places

You may be loyal to your local grocers, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deals on food there. It may be in your best interest to take some time to explore what other stores in your area have to offer. Specialty stores, like Asian markets or grocery outlet stores, often have better prices and an excellent selection, making them a viable alternative to your regular store.

Final Words

According to Nerd Wallet, the average family spends over $400 a month on groceries. This alone is a reason to develop better spending habits when buying groceries. The tips on this list offer a few practical ways to do that without forcing you to make significant changes in your lifestyle. This makes them all the more powerful because you’re more likely to try some of the tips if they’re easy to incorporate.

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Originally published on JasonSheasby.net on March 28, 2022

Making Things Work When Feeding Toddlers

Parenting a toddler can be challenging, and one of the most difficult parts is feeding that child and making sure that they have enough to eat. Parents worry when their child is not hungry or when they are incredibly particular about what they will and will not eat. It is essential for a parent to know how to handle the work of feeding a toddler.

Let a Toddler Decide When They are Done Eating:

It is helpful for a parent to let their toddler decide when they are done eating rather than forcing that child to eat more than they want to. When a little one is hungry, they will eat.

Keep Trying New Foods:

No one wants their child only to eat one type of food or one food group, but toddlers can be picky. Instead of giving up on their little one, a parent should keep trying to serve the child foods that they have not liked in the past to see if they change their mind about them.

Sit with the Toddler and Eat with Them:

A child needs to see their parents eating and watch them enjoy some of the foods they are trying for the first time. Mealtime should be family time, and a parent should sit down with their little ones when they are eating.

Encourage the Toddler as They Eat:

When a child picks up a new food and puts it into their mouth, their parent should encourage them and let them know that they are proud of them. They can get the child to try more new foods by being positive and letting them know that it is a big deal when they do.

Be Patient with a Toddler at the Table:

Toddlers can be noisy while seated at the table, and some parents might not like that. A toddler needs to have parents who are patient with them and understand that it is hard for them to sit still, even if it is time to eat.

A Toddler Will Eat Differently as They Grow Up:

In time, a child will learn to eat well and enjoy mealtime. A parent simply needs to be patient during the toddler stage and continue to expose them to a variety of foods.

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Originally published on JasonSheasby.net on March 28, 2022

How to Cook with Friends — And Stay Friends!

Depending on who you ask, cooking can be a joyful way to share love and flavor with your family and friends or a dreaded chore. No matter which camp you fall into, you’ll probably agree that the task of cooking can become even more complicated when more cooks enter the kitchen. If you’re looking to share the task of creating food with a partner (or two or three sou chefs!), don’t fear — just follow a few simple steps to ensure you’re all still friends by the time the oven timer dings.

Plan Ahead

If you’re planning a large meal, like a holiday get-together, you may want to start planning very early. A few weeks before the holiday, sit down together to plan the menu. Talk about anything from breakfast to dessert and about anything that you might want for leftovers.

It’s also essential to make sure that everyone knows when they’re responsible for what will be done in the kitchen. Having everyone involved in specific tasks makes the kitchen more organized, and it allows everyone to enjoy themselves without stepping on each other’s toes.

Coordinate Groceries

Once the menu is established, break down all the dishes and figure out the ingredients you’ll need. Doing so helps avoid missing anything as it allows you to order all of your grocery items online easily, so you’re well prepared with everything you need.

Make sure that you have everything you need to make the dishes on the menu. Friends may be able to bring along a few kitchen tools that make the day easier.

Take Breaks!

Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming! Make sure everyone has time to step away from the kitchen and simply enjoy themselves or de-stress while the meal prep continues without them. Or, you may schedule breaks as a group to chat and have a glass of wine while the dish cooks.

Don’t be afraid to accept offers to help clean up.

It’s not every day that people volunteer to clean the kitchen! It may not feel like the most hospitable option, but if your friends are offering to help because you’ve been cooking away all day, let them! It’s an excellent way for your guests to show their appreciation for your efforts. 

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Originally published on JasonSheasby.net on March 1, 2022

Leadership Tips for 2022

​​It’s time to set goals and resolutions for the new year. One of these is to become a better leader. Various strategies and tips will help you improve and develop your leadership skills.

A new year is a time to set new goals. It’s also a good idea to keep everyone in the loop so that you can set realistic expectations for the following year. One of leaders’ most common mistakes is assuming that their team already knows about the big picture; this isn’t always the case. Instead, share what you’re planning on achieving with everyone in the group.

Stop Micromanaging

Good leaders know that they can count on their team to support them in any situation. This year, make it your goal to let people take responsibility for themselves without you hovering over them. Doing so will enable them to become leaders of tomorrow.

Build a Supportive Culture

One of the most crucial factors of a successful New Year is employee satisfaction. Having a supportive and growing culture is also essential to employee retention. Instead of being indifferent to their team’s efforts, leaders should start offering opportunities for them to develop themselves.

Encourage Innovation

Being a good leader is also about developing an innovative culture. This involves using technology to improve processes and make them more efficient. Fostering an environment where people are encouraged to create their own ideas is crucial for being a great leader.

Establish Accountability

Accountability is often portrayed in a negative light due to its negative connotations. Being a good leader can turn it into a helpful tool that allows employees to manage their own decisions and helps everyone meet deadlines and performance benchmarks.

Appreciate Your Employees

If your company is too big to use traditional employee recognition programs, consider implementing something like peer recognition or a monthly incentive program. Having an open-door policy is also important to cultivating innovation. Instead of holding meetings to discuss ideas, start a brainstorming session to encourage people to share their own.

It’s time to set goals and set new resolutions. As a leader, your personal goals should always encompass ways to improve the company’s performance. To help you achieve these goals, here are some of the skills that will allow you to become a great leader in 2022.

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Originally published on JasonSheasbyIrell.com on March 1, 2022

Fall Desserts Anyone Can Make

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. If you want to enjoy all that fall has to offer but don’t know how to do it in an easy way, this blog post might be for you! We will share four desserts that are perfect for this time of year, and anyone can make them.

1. Apple Roses

Tasty, delicious, and healthy – these apple roses are a must-make for Fall. This recipe doesn’t need many ingredients and is very easy to follow. Serve them as a dessert after your big Thanksgiving dinner! This recipe features cinnamon, which is a great spice for this time of year. The best thing about it is that there are so many variations of this recipe to try – chocolate, raspberry, or honey apple roses look especially good.

2. Caramel Apple Bars

Paleo bars with apples and caramel – pure Fall in a pan! This recipe is the perfect breakfast for cold days. These tasty bars have a crispy base made from almond flour and cinnamon. The filling is made from apples, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and salt. Follow this recipe if you’re looking for something healthy to satisfy your sweet tooth!

3. Apple Pie

Apple pie is an absolute classic in the Fall time. Make these apple pies with puff pastry to get a delicious dish that everyone will love! These pies look good and taste even better. Make sure you try them out if you haven’t already! The recipe is pretty simple and uses ingredients that we all usually have at home. This blog post features two ways of making apple pies – the first one will be perfect for people who like to experiment because it’s made from scratch with yeast dough; the second one features a standard pie crust but still tastes amazing.

4. Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel apples meet cake – this dessert is everything we expected and wanted! It’s everything we love about Fall wrapped into one delicious dessert (that’s also easy to make, bonus!). The best thing about this cake? You can make it ahead of time – it freezes well and thaws out beautifully. Just add the topping before you serve it and enjoy! A lot of people like to make this recipe because it’s moist and features a creamy caramel sauce on top.

Fall is a time for comfort food and delicious desserts. Try out some of these recipes to make your life easier! Nothing says Fall more than caramel apples, so why not try something new with the classic recipe? Either way, have fun baking and stay warm.

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

People have been enjoying wine with their meals for hundreds of years, but the concept of pairing the perfect wine with your food is a fairly new idea. Every style of wine has its own unique flavor profile and acidity level. The goal is to get a wine with a sweeter and more acidic taste than your meal. You also want the wine to match the flavor intensity of the food.

We often associate wine pairing with fine dining, but it can be done to enhance every meal. Since Thanksgiving is one of the biggest food days of the year, there is no better time to pull out the wine. You will be amazed at how much the dining experience improves with the right wine. These are the perfect wine pairings for every course of your Thanksgiving meal.

Appetizers

You will find a different assortment of appetizers at every Thanksgiving celebration. The one thing most of these small dishes have in common is the use of cheese. There is a good chance there will be several dishes using different types of cheese. Luckily, there are a few wines that pair perfectly with just about every type of cheese. Get the most out of your appetizers by drinking a chardonnay or white burgundy.

Main Course

While your main course will include several side dishes, the main star of the meal is the turkey. A pinot noir works perfectly with the mild roasted flavor of a Thanksgiving turkey. If you prefer to forgo the turkey in favor of ham during the holidays, you will need to make a different wine choice. Ham has a much sweeter flavor than turkey, especially if you add a glaze to the meat. A bottle of rosé will create a perfect match with a sweet ham because of the wine’s sweet berry flavors.

Dessert

The two most traditional desserts at a Thanksgiving meal are pumpkin and pecan pie. You will need a very sweet dessert wine to match up with the flavors of these popular pies. The only wine that can fill this role is Moscato d’Asti. The low alcohol content of this wine also makes it a great way to cap off your holiday.             

Preventing Bananas from Turning Brown

After buying bananas, it’s normal to expect them to last a couple of days; however, that may not be the case. After a few days, bananas begin to develop brown spots on the peel or on the banana itself. Fortunately, there are various ways to keep your bananas looking fresh. This piece highlights the various anti-ripening hacks for peeled and unpeeled bananas.

Wrap banana stems

An excellent way to keep bananas looking fresh is by wrapping the stems in plastic wrap. Bananas produce ethylene, a gas responsible for the ripening and browning of various fruits. Much of ethylene is released through the banana crown. Once the bananas are wrapped, the ripening process slows down. During storage, it’s best to separate and wrap each top separately to prolong its shelf life.

Pop them into the fridge

Once bananas are fully ripe, it’s advisable to store them in the fridge. This is because refrigeration slows further ripening and prolongs the bananas’ shelf life for about 1 to 2 weeks. During this period, expect the banana peel to continue browning; however, the fruit’s interior remains firm and fresh.

Add citrus

Adding citrus juice to freshly cut banana slices is an effective method to prevent browning and preserve their freshness. Once bananas are cut, peeled, or bruised, they rapidly develop a brown hue because of oxidation; this browning also reduces their shelf-life. Sprinkling some lime, lemon, or pineapple juice keeps the banana slices fresh and delicious.

Use vinegar

Vinegar works the same way as citrus juice. Add a few teaspoons to a cup of water to make a vinegar bath and soak the banana slices. The essence of diluting vinegar with water is to neutralize its sturdy sourness.

Freeze

Unlike refrigeration, freezing bananas preserves them for a more extended period. Bananas can be stored peeled or unpeeled; however, use freezer-safe bags to avoid freezer burn. Peeling before freezing is highly recommended as they make great banana chunks ideal for smoothies, while bananas that are stored unpeeled turn black in due time.

Store them away from other fruits

one should not store bananas together with other fruits. Fruits such as figs, peaches, pears, avocadoes, plums, and apples release a lot of ethylene, increasing the ripening process in bananas.

This article was originally published on JasonSheasby.net

Getting The Most Out of Your Vegetables

Vegetables! They are healthy and nutritious. However, getting the most out of them isn’t always easy. A major reason is often that consumers may either end up consuming parts of the vegetable or only use it to an extent. To ensure that this doesn’t happen there are two and only two rules that must be followed. Listed below are such rules and you will find that they are extremely useful and effective

Eat The Whole Vegetable

Some may disagree, but in most cases, even the skin of vegetables can be consumed. For example: the skin of potatoes. Some may go the extra mile to peel it before getting it ready for consumption but what they do not know is that the skin is just as healthy if not healthier as any other part of the vegetable. In fact, the only way to get the most out of this vegetable is to consume the skin so that you get to intake all the nutrients that it contains. So, if being nutritious is high on your list but you are still peeling your potatoes, then now would probably be the best time to stop.

Convert The Inedible into Something Useful

If consuming the skin of vegetables right off the bat is too hard for you, then maybe you can still manage to get the most out of it without eating it. For example, maybe the skin could be blended with a few other ingredients to make a natural face mask for your skin. It isn’t unusual for most face masks or skin products to be made from vegetables or foods that are eaten daily. But if this is the method that you choose in order to get the most out of your vegetable then always do your research first to prevent allergic reactions or a failed attempt at conversion

And there you have it! Just two simple rules to follow if you truly want to get the most out of your vegetables. Remember to eat everything because the skin of these nutritious foods is possibly healthier than any other part. And what you can’t consume, be sure to convert it into something useful such as a face mask so either way, your body still gets to benefit!

This article was originally published on JasonSheasby.net

Top Coffee Makers on the Market

As technology advances, the coffee-making options continue to expand. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to pick the right coffee maker. Fortunately, coffee experts have put these coffee makers to the test and developed a list of the best machines on the market.

Considering both the brew size and the aesthetic appeal of the coffee maker, experts declared the Bonita 8-cup Connoisseur as the best all-around coffee maker. This coffee maker is easy to use and has adjustable temperatures to ensure the perfect cup of coffee. In addition to its ease of use, it also comes in a modern stainless steel design to match the kitchen aesthetic.

Another top choice selected by these experts is the Chemex Pour-over Coffee Maker. This design is the definition of simple coffee making and is a gorgeous addition to any kitchen. The glass vessel holds up to six cups of coffee and is a quality option for manual pour-over systems. Not only is this simplistic, but it is an affordable coffee maker option.

The Cuisinart 12 Cup Brew Central Coffee Maker is a quality coffee machine when looking for a standard drip coffee machine. Reviewers rave about the functionality of this brewer: its adjustable warming settings, automatic shutoff, and programable brew settings. This machine may appear as a standard coffee maker, but it outperforms most systems at a fraction of the price.

If budget is not a concern, the Technivorm Master Coffee Maker is a high-quality machine worth the cost. This machine features a ten-cup pot and adjustable temperature settings. The temperature brings out unique notes in your coffee and produces a better taste. This coffee maker also has a futuristic appearance that adds value to any modern kitchen.

Finally, the OXO On Barista Brain Coffee Maker holds its own when it comes down to high-tech coffee makers. Between the water distribution and the precise temperature, the coffee machine guarantees a flavorful cup of coffee. This machine is a bit pricey, but the cost is worth the splurge for the innovative brewing capabilities of this machine.

These are a few of the best expert-rated coffee makers on the market today that meet the needs of every coffee drinker, both classic and tech-savvy. 

Picking Homegrown Tomatoes

Having a home garden may seem like a daunting task. With the correct information, it is easy to have nutritious and tasty produce. When it comes to growing tomatoes, there are a few tips to obtaining the perfect ripeness.

Most individuals would look at the color and size of the tomato to determine the right time for harvesting, but there is a more accurate way to decipher when the tomatoes are ripe. The first piece of advice is to read the harvesting time on the seedling packet of your tomatoes to get a rough estimate of when they are fully ripe. It is also best to leave the tomatoes on the vine until fully ripened.

Most tomatoes will lighten at the beginning of the ripening process and have reached their maximal nutritional value roughly halfway through their color change. Harvesting tomatoes any time after this halfway mark will still provide that home garden flavor.

The firmness of the tomato is also indicative of when to harvest. When harvesting, the tomato is ready when it is still firm but not rock solid. Once picked, the tomato can ripen further to a softer vegetable for eating. Tomatoes are best eaten when slightly tender to the touch. The tenderness of the tomato is directly related to the maturity of the vegetable.

A final indicator for the most delicious tomatoes is the aroma it admits. Ripe tomatoes on the vine will give off a sweet aromatic smell that indicates it is ready to pick. After being harvested, the tomato can continue to produce a sweet scent at peak ripeness. The tomato typically has the best taste during this fragrant state as well.

One instance when it is appropriate to pick tomatoes before ripeness is in the case of unforeseen weather changes and a variable climate. Most tomatoes will not grow well in extreme heat or cold. In the event of weather changes, green tomatoes should be harvested and mature off the vine. Tomatoes will still ripen off the vine if they are in a mild climate: resting on a kitchen counter.

Overall, homegrown tomatoes are not hard to produce. Harvest tomatoes that are halfway lightened, still firm to the touch, and release a fragrant aroma.