Five Ways To Save Money On Home Expenses

Being a homeowner can be fairly stressful, and it’s definitely not cheap. When you are young and live with your parents they are the ones that pay taxes, fix things when they break, and keep the utilities on. When you are a renter you have some extra bills to pay, but someone else deals with those property taxes, sometimes the utilities, and they deal with things when they break down. Continue reading…

Online Bingo Games

Online bingo has evolved immensely over the past few decades since its inception and is now among the most popular of leisure activities in the UK. The software that is being used by online bingo sites right now can incorporate a large number of games and players can even choose to play various casino games and other instant games while playing bingo. What makes these online bingo sites all the more appealing is the fact that players can even chat with one another while gaming.
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A guide to meal planning

We all have busy lives with work, commuting, children and the whirl of social engagements. In amongst this is the need to eat 3 meals a day and for many, the quickest option is to grab food on the run, have a takeaway or to pull a frozen ready meal out to pop in the oven at the end of the day.

Eating this way though is expensive and not very healthy. Ready meals and takeaways are packed with salt and sugar and a coffee on the way to work each morning quickly adds up to a big hole in the finances.

It doesn’t have to be like this though as with a bit of planning ahead and being committed to organising meals each week, there are huge savings to be made as well as being kind on the waistline.

Meal planning is all about setting out the choices of food for the next few days ahead. Most committed meal planners decide what is to be served on a weekly basis and then set about organising their cupboards and freezer to ensure all the ingredients are in place to use each day.

With meal planning comes the idea of bulk cooking. This is a great way to fill the freezer with portioned meals of healthy foods cooked in large amounts. Family choices often include bolognaise, cottage pie, chilli con carne and soups packed with vegetables and any leftovers. Not only does this mean that you know exactly what goes into the food, you are saving on buying more expensive ready meals.

The first step is to draw up a meal plan. This is usually a timetable labelled with the days of the week along one side and the meals of the day along the other. Next, have a look in the cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you already have which can be used for meals and start to fill in the boxes. This can be items such as cereal and milk for breakfast or lunches with baked beans and tinned vegetables. After you’ve exhausted the options in the house, now look to complete the meal plan with recipes you can make which need just a few ingredients. If you have everything for a chilli except the meat, add mince to the shopping list and fill your meal planner in with what you’ll be eating this. Carry on this way until you’ve filled the whole planner.  Look to utilise leftovers in your plan; if you’ve decided on a roast dinner for one day, use whatever is left the next day in some way.

Take the list to the supermarket and buy all the ingredients needed. Also ensure you have your planner as a reminder of what you are going to cook. Don’t be tempted to stray from your list – you already know what you’re going to be cooking.

If in previous months your overspend on quick solution foods has meant you are now faced with an unexpected bill and you are unable to pay it, look at direct payday lenders to give you a bridging solution at the same time as starting with your new mealtime challenge. Within a month you will have saved money on your food spend, repaid the emergency funding and given your body a great boost with fresh ingredients each day.

Great art gifts for older children

If you have an art mad older child, there are some wonderful presents you can buy them for birthdays and Christmas. An older child, by which we mean over 10 years old, can attempt to use almost any medium, and it is seldom too early to start them experimenting with new mediums. It’s a good idea to encourage children to experiment as widely as possible, with all types of creative mediums, so here we look at some of the great artist gifts you may like to consider for an older child.

DVD magic

There are some skills that are simply a joy to observe in action and creating artistic works is one of them. The artist’s DVD is a growing market and even those without a particular interest in art become engrossed as the process unfolds. There is a wide range of mediums featured in artists DVDs, many of which are filmed on location abroad, or in the UK. There is something mesmerising about watching a real professional at work, and seeing how they work. Older children, from early teens, may well find a DVD a great inspiration, and pick up a few tips along the way. You can find highly-regarded Royal Academy artists producing DVDs now, such as Ken Howard and Fred Cuming. Look out for Jean Haines and Shirley Trevena, and Peter Wileman.

Drawing gifts

For the child who is hooked on drawing there is a wide choice. You may like to opt for a traditional wooden box set of coloured pencils, which make a great gift. There is a Winsor and Newton drawing set, which would encourage a child and is very reasonably priced. You might like to think outside of the box, however, and buy a smart folder for the child’s work, some calligraphy pens, or simply some beautiful new acrylic pens. For children who like to draw people, why not look for a model with moveable limbs for them to work from. Oil painting gifts Oil painting can be an expensive hobby, and this can put parents off buying set for the children. But prices of oil painting sets have come down considerably thanks to a competitive market. You can pick up a simple set of oil paints for £20 upwards from leading manufacturers. There are sets available specifically for children, but older ones may prefer an adult looking gift. Look out for Winsor and Newton again for low cost sets, which come with palettes, brushes and canvas included. You can find a range of sets at http://www.jacksonsart.com/ More inspiration There is a wide range of accessories to choose from if the child is a keen artist already. Paintbrushes, sketchbooks, easels, and canvases never go to waste. You just can’t have too many! But why not give a gift that enables a budding artist to try something completely different? Textile and silk painting, acrylics, pastels, printmaking, glass painting and marbling are all hugely enjoyable for the young artist. What about a set of Chinese paintbrushes in a beautiful fan shaped box? Anything a bit different can fire a child’s imagination. They may discover that they have a hidden talent, and will find a whole new direction to go in.