Kitchen

Don’t Buy These 10 Things In Bulk

We all love a bargain, and shopping at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club definitely cuts costs on groceries and household items. Diapers, pet food, paper products, detergent, vitamins—items such as these are certainly a way better deal at the big stores! But is everything a better deal at the warehouse stores? Not necessarily. Here are ten things you (generally) shouldn’t buy in bulk.

1.  Produce

Fruits and vegetables don’t last too long, whether it’s the kind you store in the fridge or the kitchen counter. Even if buying a large amount of produce seems like a good deal, throwing out spoiled items at the end of the week is wasteful and not cost-effective. Buy fresh produce according to how much you use within a few days. Of course, if you are making French onion soup, do buy that big bag of onions at Costco! A friend of mine makes smoothies each morning for herself and her family, so fresh bananas and berries bought in bulk definitely saves them money.

2.  Meat and Fish

Meat and fish at warehouse stores are not wrapped for freezer storage, and if kept too long can get freezer burn and tough to eat. And though the FoodSafety.gov says frozen meat kept at a temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or lower is “safe to eat indefinitely,” remember the difference between “safe to eat” and “good to eat.” While keeping some meat and fish in your freezer is handy for a quick meal, fresher is usually best.

3.  Cooking Oils

Assess how long it takes you to finish a gallon of cooking oil—do you really finish it by the expiration date? Even if you do, NutritionFacts.org‘s study shows found that many cooking oils begin to go rancid and oxidize long before that date. Unless you do a lot of frying, get your oil at the grocery store instead. This way your cooking oils will always be fresh, and you can have regular-sized bottles of a wider variety, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil.

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Summer Home Maintenance Projects

summer home maintenance

Summer is THE season for grilling, outdoor activities, icy cold drinks, and…home maintenance. Wait, what? You read that correctly! Take advantage of the long, warm days to do home projects that aren’t viable during the cold, wet months. Besides beautifying your home and adding value and curb appeal, you’ll want to ensure your home’s integrity through the rest of the year. For instance, if you ignore that small leak in your roof or that overflowing gutter, by winter it could become a much bigger—and way more expensive—issue to repair. Summer is also a great time to add a cool and fun new feature to your home (fire pit, anyone?). We’ve got a super list of possible projects—some you can do yourself, while some are best left to professionals.

Outdoors

Roof Repair or Replacement

If you’ve got a leaky roof or missing shingles, or a roof past its lifespan, don’t wait for next summer to repair or replace it. It’s literally the roof over your head! The average lifespan of a roof is 20 to 30 years, although slate, copper, and tile roofs can last more than 50 years. Make the decision to repair or replace, and hire a well-recommended roofing company to do the job.

Power Wash

Your walkways, driveway, and home exterior could likely use a high-power cleaning. Rent a power washer and DIY; be sure to get professional tips on how to do this without causing damage. If you’re not sure, hire a pro.

Replace Siding

How do you know it’s time to replace your home’s siding? When paint is flaking and peeling after only a few years, when there are loose or missing boards, or when any mildew, mold, or rot are clearly visible. Angie’s List has an even more detailed list of telltale signs. This is definitely a big budget project, but it’s not something you want to neglect.

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The Instant Pot: Best Small Appliance Ever?

One of the most widely purchased kitchen products of recent times has been the Instant Pot. This new rendition of your mother’s pressure cooker has been heralded as the newest work-reducing, time-saving, must-have device. Now, I am not one to jump on trends, so I asked my girlfriends on Facebook whether the Instant Pot is something I should buy, what they liked about it, whether they used it frequently and what recipes they’ve tried.

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Streamlining the Morning Lunch Crunch

Streamlining the Morning Lunch Crunch

When my eldest daughter was in kindergarten, I was a class helper. She sat next to a sweet boy from Japan, whose lunches were a daily source of amazement and envy—from the kids, as well as me and the teacher! He had a three-piece stainless bento box, and each layer contained beautifully-prepared food that looked like it should be on display somewhere: sushi rice shaped into animals or cars; carrots or apples carved into rosettes or spirals; bits of dried seaweed carefully cut into whiskers, or grass, or decorative stripes; tiny bite-sized cookies in ethereal shapes and colors. I’d glance over to my kid’s turkey and provolone sandwich, banana, and goldfish crackers, and wondered if I should be making more of an effort.

Fast forward many years, and I can’t even do the math on how many school lunches I’ve packed for my three children. I never did make anything remotely close to that boy’s lunches; my need to sleep in a little later (we all know even that extra 15 minutes helps!) overruled my desire for Instagram-worthy lunches. I have, however, been able to streamline my routine so the lunch-making portion of my morning takes just minutes. The key thing is to do as much as you can the night before…crazy simple!

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Better Mornings Begin With an Organized Kitchen

Looking to get a jump start on your productivity or make your mornings less of a struggle? There’s no better place to start than the kitchen. A well-organized kitchen can have a lasting effect on your health and happiness. There are ample opportunities to streamline your morning routine. From your first cup of coffee to grabbing a coat and rushing out the door. Use these organizing tricks to put frustrating mornings to rest and start celebrating the sunrise on your terms.

Clear Out the Clutter

Before you add anything to the kitchen, take stock of what you have. You’ll be surprised at how much space you can create

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10 Quick Ways to Make Your Kitchen Holiday Ready

Holiday Kitchen

During the holidays we use our kitchen more than any other time of the year. We will bake cookies. We will host family and friends for dinner. Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve give us plenty of opportunities to use all our dishes, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, appliances, and panty items. This makes it a perfect time to make decisions about what kitchen items are still relevant, needed and useful.

  1. Check your pantry supplies. Use website stilltasty.com to determine whether your spices or other pantry staples need to be replaced. Make a list of staples you need to replace.
  2. Will you use fine china for special dinners this holiday season? Many don’t.
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