how to http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4959/all en-US Colorstrology and 3 Modern Décor Trends That Will Fit Any Budget http://www.wisebread.com/colorstrology-and-3-modern-d-cor-trends-that-will-fit-any-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/colorstrology-and-3-modern-d-cor-trends-that-will-fit-any-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_and_woman_dreaming.jpg" alt="Man and woman dreaming" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Changing the look of your home doesn't need to cost much. You can clear the clutter and use items you already own to completely change the feel of your space. Here's how you can breathe new life into your casa with these affordable modern décor trends.</p> <h2>Colorstrology</h2> <p>Colorstrology is a hybrid of astrology, numerology, and <a href="https://www.pantone.com/colorstrology" target="_blank">Pantone colors</a>. Astrologist Michele Bernhardt created a calendar and corresponding book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2tWZWs8" target="_blank">Colorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says about You</a>, with a different Pantone color assigned to each day of the year, as well as one for each month. The colors are chosen based on ruling planets, sun signs, and other important dates and numbers. While there is quite a bit of science and success backing the new colorful trend, a lot of it is psychological.</p> <p>As an example, <a href="http://goop.com/better-than-a-horoscope-what-your-colorstrology-profile-says-about-you/" target="_blank">Bernhardt told Goop</a> that if you're looking for help with your relationship, &quot;You might go to October's color, which is a light blue that is very peaceful and gentle; it helps bring harmony and balance. Or February &mdash; a high vibration purple &mdash; is a great color for people who are intense, and trying to learn how to be more detached and collaborative. Lilac and lavender can help us love without being too clingy.&quot;</p> <h3>How to use the colors</h3> <p>Incorporating these colors into your décor can help bring about positive energy. For instance, you can add a splash of color to any room by painting the trims or one accent wall with a shade in your birthday month color. You can also move certain items into different rooms so they are more color-coordinated, based on the shades you select.</p> <p>Along with using these colors throughout your décor, you can also wear these power colors throughout your clothing, accessories, or makeup each day to capitalize on the positive vibes. Mindful color selection like this might require some time to get organized, but it should cost you very little money to execute.</p> <h2>Minimalism</h2> <p>Minimalism is about more than just cleaning and decluttering the house. It's about focusing on clean design, neutral or muted colors, sharp lines, and simple furnishings and décor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ease-into-minimalism-with-some-simple-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Ease Into Minimalism With Some Simple Steps</a>)</p> <h3>Choose quality over quantity</h3> <p>Create a cohesive look by concentrating on one simple design and complementary accent decorations. This can be accomplished by paring down to one or two accessories per room, and you can you use things you already own. Also, be sure to keep and utilize furniture that serves double duty as storage or that takes up minimal space.</p> <h3>Keep it simple</h3> <p>Once you have gotten rid of anything that you aren't excited about and narrowed your items down to just the essentials, it's time to concentrate on your personal style. Simplify your color scheme and choose textures in similar tones. Adopting a minimalist style also means easier cleanup (less to dust), and you might even make some money selling those excess items that you no longer want.</p> <h2>Maximalism</h2> <p>While minimalism is about &quot;less is more,&quot; maximalism is about &quot;more is more.&quot; Maximalism has no set rules; you can even layer different colors, textures, and styles. Things like bold wallpaper and clashing patterns are acceptable with this affordable trend. This means that you can show off your latest vintage finds or eclectic paintings with pride.</p> <h3>Use mirrors</h3> <p>If a room appears small, add a mirror to make it appear larger. If you don't want to hang a mirror, consider propping a large framed mirror against a wall. It can create drama and brighten the space instantly.</p> <h3>Display everyday items</h3> <p>Take a look around for posters or cards you already own that can be framed, unique items of clothing or shoes that can be displayed, or antique pieces that can serve as the focal point of a room.</p> <p>And if a room doesn't feel cozy, Better Homes and Gardens recommends adding a colorful throw and pillows.</p> <h2>Natural elements</h2> <p>Use items you find outside your home in nature to decorate your space. Birch tree limbs and pine cones can be spray painted in white or gold for decor. Rocks, shells, and leaves can also create beautiful (and free) art pieces or table scapes.</p> <p>This trend also encourages adding lots of greenery. If you don't have any greens of your own, pick up some inexpensive seeds to plant, or ask a friend to divide up one of their plants for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Surprising Ways a Houseplant Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcolorstrology-and-3-modern-d-cor-trends-that-will-fit-any-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FColorstrology%2520and%25203%2520Modern%2520D%25C3%25A9cor%2520Trends%2520That%2520Will%2520Fit%2520Any%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=Colorstrology%20and%203%20Modern%20Decor%20Trends%20That%20Will%20Fit%20Any%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Colorstrology%20and%203%20Modern%20D%C3%A9cor%20Trends%20That%20Will%20Fit%20Any%20Budget.jpg" alt="Colorstrology and 3 Modern Décor Trends That Will Fit Any Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/colorstrology-and-3-modern-d-cor-trends-that-will-fit-any-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-problems-you-can-solve-with-duct-tape">13 Problems You Can Solve With Duct Tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend">19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home colorstrology decor trends DIY home decor home goods how to maximalism minimalism Tue, 11 Jul 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1981391 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Affordable Home Remodel Tips for Pet Owners http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_embracing_her_dog.jpg" alt="Young woman embracing her dog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A pet can bring unbridled joy and unconditional love to your life. However, they can also leave stray hair, furniture damage, and other messes behind. Here's how you can keep your home beautiful even when you have a four-legged fur-baby shedding all over everything. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming</a>)</p> <h2>1. Opt for hard flooring</h2> <p>Install floors that can stand up to scratches and dirt. Hard flooring like vinyl, laminate, hardwood, and tile offer easy maintenance and pet cleanup, along with a great value over time. Ceramic tile is also great because it's particularly resistant to animal stains.</p> <h2>2. Choose the right carpet</h2> <p>Carpeting can be very difficult to clean, particularly with accidents and excessive hair. It can also harbor stains and make your pet allergies worse.</p> <p>If you do decide on carpeting, look for a synthetic blend option with low pile that won&rsquo;t absorb as much hair and is easier to vacuum. Also consider modular carpet tile or inexpensive rugs that can be easily picked up and cleaned or replaced.</p> <h2>3. Select washable fabrics and concealing patterns</h2> <p>Choose washable fabrics for cushion and pillow cases whenever possible so you can easily throw them in the washing machine. Fabrics with patterns can help camouflage old stains. Avoid tweed fabrics that can trap hair between the fibers.</p> <p>Look for items in colors that match your pet's fur. For instance, you wouldn't want to purchase a black couch if you have a white cat; the stray pet hair would be abundantly obvious.</p> <h2>4. Use semi-gloss wall paint</h2> <p>Flat finish paint is nearly impossible to clean. Semi-gloss paint in satin or eggshell finishes is easy to wipe down, making it more pet-friendly.</p> <h2>5. Set up a pet station</h2> <p>Convert an area by the door into a pet station. This will be for hanging leashes, walking shoes, towels, doggy bags, and anything else you need to get your pet out the door quickly. This will also come in handy on a rainy or snowy day when you need to wipe your pet off before they run around the house with wet or dirty paws.</p> <h2>6. Hide the litter box</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2t80yrw" target="_blank">Hidden litter boxes</a> look like an ordinary nightstand or planter on the outside, but have the litter box housed inside. Keep the litter box in a private area, away from feeding areas, so your pet can feel safe and comfortable.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Affordable%2520Home%2520Remodel%2520Tips%2520for%2520Pet%2520Owners.jpg&amp;description=6%20Affordable%20Home%20Remodel%20Tips%20for%20Pet%20Owners"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Affordable%20Home%20Remodel%20Tips%20for%20Pet%20Owners.jpg" alt="6 Affordable Home Remodel Tips for Pet Owners" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-home-remodel-tips-for-pet-owners">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/colorstrology-and-3-modern-d-cor-trends-that-will-fit-any-budget">Colorstrology and 3 Modern Décor Trends That Will Fit Any Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-medications">The 5 Best Pet Flea Medications</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project">10 Things to Know Before You Start a Home Improvement Project</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home furniture home decor home remodel how to pet care pet owners pets Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1969594 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Artisanal Bread on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-artisanal-bread-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-artisanal-bread-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/185084458.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An important diet and budgeting component in our kitchen is homemade bread. While baking your own bread sounds like one of those time-consuming activities, no-knead bread is one of the simplest things to make.</p> <p>No-knead bread is a great starter recipe for kitchen newbies. The basic recipe is so easy that a motivated eight-year-old could learn how to bake bread. If you have the skills to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-recipes-for-slime-your-kids-can-make-and-even-sell" target="_blank">make your own slime</a>, you should be able to make no-knead bread. Plus, you can end up saving tons of cash along the way.</p> <h2>The ingredients</h2> <p>The classic <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html?action=click&amp;contentCollection=Food&amp;module=RelatedCoverage&amp;region=Marginalia&amp;pgtype=article" target="_blank">No-Knead Bread recipe</a> was developed by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City and contains just four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and water. The bread from this recipe costs less than 50 cents per loaf to make, but looks and tastes like the rustic artisan bread you'd pay $5 to $8 for at the store. Also, the recipe is very adaptable and hard to break. It's worth reading the hundreds of comments on this recipe, because they are full of helpful hacks for every type of kitchen and baker, and they include recipe variations such as whole wheat, olive oil, sourdough, cinnamon raisin, and lots more.</p> <h2>The tools</h2> <p>Professional bread ovens have a steam element. The extra moisture during the baking process is what gives bakery bread that flaky crust. Lahey figured out how to replicate the steaming at home by using a lidded Dutch oven to trap the moisture. I use a $40, cast iron pot to bake my no-knead bread, but you can use any lidded pan that can handle a 450-degree oven temperature. One of the great things about this bread-making technique is that it doesn't require specialty, single-use kitchen gadgets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smart-new-uses-for-these-14-kitchen-gadgets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Smart New Uses for These 14 Kitchen Gadgets</a>)</p> <h2>The bread math</h2> <p>One 25-pound bag of La Romanella high gluten (bread) flour at Smart &amp; Final costs $7.99. One one-pound (454 grams) bag of Saf-Instant yeast costs $3.59 at Smart &amp; Final. One 26-ounce (737 gram) box of Morton's Sea Salt costs $2.09 at Target. Each loaf of bread uses 15 ounces of flour, nine grams of salt, and less than a gram of yeast, or 31 cents in ingredients.</p> <p>Even when I splurge and make rye bread from organic flour from Whole Foods or add expensive ingredients like olives or nuts, it's still hard to make a loaf of bread that costs more than $2. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day and Never Get Bored</a>)</p> <h2>Reduce the cost of baking by buying in bulk</h2> <p>I could reduce the cost of each loaf even further if I bought the ingredients in greater bulk, but that makes no sense for my household of two. After all, each one-pound bag of yeast makes over 454 loaves of bread! I am hoping that I can find a neighbor who wants to split a bulk purchase of baking supplies so we can both save on our grocery budgets, but so far my neighbors would prefer to pay for my finished bread, instead of making their own.</p> <h2>The bread schedule</h2> <p>The secret weapon of no-knead bread is slow-rise fermentation. Instead of manually breaking down the gluten protein by kneading the bread, you let the yeast slowly do all the work of lining up the gluten molecules. While the actual hands-on time involved in making no-knead bread is under an hour, the hardest part is waiting the full 24 hours for the yeast to do its magic. No-knead bread is the opposite of instant gratification.</p> <p>If you want to make bread for gifting like I do, you might have to add bread making to your calendar so you don't forget to make the dough in advance. Fair warning: you will have to train your friends and family to give you a 48-hour notice on bread orders.</p> <h2>Make the dough in advance to save time</h2> <p>To save time, I mix the bread dough in bulk once a week and bake on demand. I make enough dough for four loaves every Saturday &mdash; two for us to eat during the week, and two to use for gifts or barter currency. I should note that the loaves I make later in the week always taste better than the loaves I bake immediately. The extra sitting time allows the dough to ferment further and develop a more complex flavor (think sourdough).</p> <h2>Add beer to speed up the schedule</h2> <p>The test kitchen of Cook's Illustrated Magazine came up with an &quot;Almost No-Knead&quot; version of Lahey's recipe. By adding beer as a leavening agent and doing the most minimal knead, the recipe testers found that they could make a loaf with a finer crumb and reduce the rising time of the dough to as few as eight hours. For those who don't have a subscription to Cook's Illustrated, Breadtopia.com republished free copies of the Cook's Illustrated recipes for <a href="http://breadtopia.com/cooks-illustrated-almost-no-knead/" target="_blank">white and whole wheat bread</a>.</p> <p>Because I am not a big drinker, I use the random bottles of beer that get left behind at every BBQ to make bread dough, so I've never actually had to buy beer for baking. But even if I did buy beer as an ingredient, one 12-ounce bottle of mild-flavored beer (it can also be nonalcoholic) will make a little over four loaves of bread, so this pricier version of the recipe is still frugal.</p> <h2>Freeze surplus bread</h2> <p>Another way to save time is to bake multiple loaves in quick succession and freeze the surplus. I like to bake this way in the summertime to avoid heating up my unairconditioned house with the oven more than once a week.</p> <p>Bulk baking also saves money because you won't have to pay the extra money involved in repeatedly heating up your oven to temperature (and then cooling down your house).</p> <h2>The meal options are endless</h2> <p>I firmly believe that teachers need to be compensated for their knowledge. Since I have saved literally hundreds of dollars on bread by using Jim Lahey's original recipe that he gives out for free, I decide to buy his book <a href="http://amzn.to/2rO6NTM" target="_blank">My Bread</a> as a way to show my appreciation for his work. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that his no-knead technique can be used to make everything from pizza crust, to breadsticks, to cinnamon buns. Slow-rise fermentation is a versatile baking technique that allows me to create an ever-expanding collection of delicious bread recipes inexpensively and without fail.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-artisanal-bread-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market">Buy This — Not That — at the Farmer&#039;s Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping artisanal bread baking bread baking hacks baking tips bread bread maker breadmaking how to Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:31:12 +0000 Max Wong 1961113 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make the Most Out of These 6 Kitchen Gadgets http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487542494.jpg" alt="Woman making the most out of her kitchen gadgets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're running a more minimalist kitchen &mdash; or even if you aren't &mdash; you may be wondering which small appliances are worth keeping around. Or maybe you're planning your wedding registry and want to know what should you include on your list. You've seen everything from bread makers to ice cream machines to margarita blenders on the shelves at your local shop. Single-task appliances may not seem like a smart buy, but you need to consider that not all all of them perform only one task.</p> <p>Here's the lowdown on kitchen appliances that every kitchen should include, and how to make the most of each one.</p> <h2>1. Blender</h2> <p>We took the plunge last fall and bought a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2nTpfEO" target="_blank">NutriBullet blender</a>. I sincerely believe that a blender is an appliance no kitchen should be without. Beyond smoothies, you can blend together soups, sauces, condiments, and even baby food. And you can also make milkshakes, banana ice cream, and even peanut butter.</p> <p>Yes! You can make peanut butter in a blender. It's best if you use a heavy duty blender that can grind up the peanuts. Simply pour in your desired amount of dry-roasted peanuts, salt, and sugar. Then blend on the highest setting until smooth. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a>)</p> <h2>2. Waffle maker</h2> <p>We use our&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2p7VZ0o" target="_blank">waffle maker</a> almost every single day. First, we like waffles. I even make my own mix so we can easily whisk it with water and get it cooking in just a few minutes flat. We also use our waffle maker as a panini press to make delicious sandwiches. I mean, this little appliance cost us just $17.00 and we use it often enough to keep it out on the counter.</p> <p>What else can you make with a waffle maker? Pizza, cake, brownies, quesadillas, and the list goes on. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-foods-to-try-in-your-waffle-maker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Delicious Foods to Try in Your Waffle Maker</a>)</p> <h2>3. Slow cooker</h2> <p>I own a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2nM3TZk" target="_blank">slow cooker</a> that also cooks rice and steams veggies. Still, I don't think I need to elaborate much on the merits of owning a crock pot. It can be your best friend in the kitchen. It can be your tool to making dinners a breeze. It may even be your key to keeping your grocery budget low.</p> <p>How? There are countless recipes online for vegetarians and carnivores alike. If you can dream it, you can likely make it in a slow cooker. Toss the ingredients in the pot, set the timer, and sit back. The rest of the work is done for you. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-to-get-more-out-of-your-slow-cooker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Tricks to Get More Out of Your Slow Cooker</a>)</p> <h2>4. Instant Pot</h2> <p>If you want to go an extra step, you can get an <a href="http://amzn.to/2oNjMz0" target="_blank">Instant Pot</a>. This multifunctional pressure cooker is extremely popular with my meat-eating friends. It can cook up a pot roast in as little as 20 minutes. Not only that, it also does the work of seven &mdash; yes seven &mdash; appliances. It functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning device, yogurt maker, steamer, and a warmer.</p> <p>The Instant Pot basically cooks everything &mdash; and fast. Trying to decide between a slow cooker and this device? Consider what you'll be cooking. If you don't need the 7-in-1 functionality, you may be able to get away with a traditional crock pot. If you do a variety of cooking &mdash; especially things like meats, dry beans, and other tough stuff &mdash; the instant pot may be the kitchen tool of your dreams. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Mixer</h2> <p>You don't need a large stand mixer, even if you bake a lot. I have one, but I don't use it much since I got a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2p89JrJ" target="_blank">hand mixer</a> for a fraction of the price last year. You can do a lot with this handy appliance. My favorite is creaming together butter and sugar for cookie-baking marathons. You can also blend fluffy mashed potatoes, whip up salad dressings, and whisk together eggs for a quiche.</p> <p>If you want to get even more use out of a hand mixer, consider buying a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2qb3zpo" target="_blank">dough hooks</a> attachment. They'll help knead together anything from dinner rolls to delicate pastas in a flash.</p> <h2>6. Bread machine</h2> <p>Did you know that bread machines make more than just loaves? You can mix and rise dough to bake pretzels, naan, pizza dough, and rolls. You just have to stop the machine before the bake cycle and continue the process in your standard oven. You can even make jam. No, really. This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-strawberry-jam-in-the-bread-machine/" target="_blank">Strawberry Jam</a> comes together in the bread machine. Simply combine chopped strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice, and hit that jam setting you probably hadn't noticed before. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Beginners Guide to Homemade Bread</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bagless-vacuums">The 5 Best Bagless Vacuums</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-griddles">The 5 Best Electric Griddles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fryers">The 5 Best Air Fryers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping Food home appliances how to kitchen appliances kitchen gadgets recipes Tue, 02 May 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1938295 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Smarter Investments by Mastering This Simple Ratio http://www.wisebread.com/make-smarter-investments-by-mastering-this-simple-ratio <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-smarter-investments-by-mastering-this-simple-ratio" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-171280980.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When doing your research on what stocks to invest in, you will undoubtedly hear analysts and financial pundits mention something called a P/E, or price-to-earnings, ratio. This is one of the key numbers in a stock table, and one you'd be wise to brush up on. Let's review what the P/E ratio shows, how investors use it to evaluate a stock, and some guidelines to make the most of it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginners-guide-to-reading-a-stock-table?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beginner's Guide to Reading a Stock Table</a>)</p> <h2>What is the P/E ratio?</h2> <p>It's the ratio of a stock's market value per share to its earnings per share (EPS). Generally, the EPS is from the last trailing 12 months (TTM). However, some financial analysts may use an EPS figure from a shorter trailing period, such as one or two quarters, or a future period, such as over the next six to 12 months.</p> <p>This is why it's important to pay attention to whether a P/E ratio calculation is using historical or projected numbers. Estimated numbers are subject to a margin of error and will be updated as new data becomes available.</p> <p>A P/E ratio tells you how much investors are willing to pay to receive $1 in return for investing in a stock. Historical data suggests that on average, investors are willing to pay $15 for every dollar of earnings (a P/E ratio of 15). However, P/E ratios can vary across industries and particular companies. On March 10, 2017, the P/E ratios of Facebook Inc. [Nasdaq: FB], McDonald's Corporation [NYSE: MCD], and Toyota Motor Corp. [NYSE: TM] were 39.95, 23.36, and 10.70, respectively.</p> <h2>How investors interpret the P/E ratio</h2> <p>The main appeal of the price-to-earnings ratio is that it provides a single, standardized metric to an investor evaluating whether or not a stock is worth buying (or selling).</p> <p>However, any P/E ratio is open to a lot of interpretation.</p> <h3>High P/E ratio</h3> <p>On one hand, a high P/E ratio could indicate that investors are expecting a company to grow its future earnings. On the other, it could be a signal of &quot;irrational exuberance&quot; &mdash; a term coined by former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan to refer to unsustainable investor enthusiasm. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-pearls-of-financial-wisdom-from-alan-greenspan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Pearls of Financial Wisdom From Alan Greenspan</a>)</p> <p>With a P/E ratio of 331.23 (no, that's not a typo!) as of March 10, 2017, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is open to both interpretations. One investor could argue that the future of media is online streaming and that this company is making all the right moves to become a leader in this industry. Another could argue that this market valuation is a bit out of whack.</p> <h3>Low P/E ratio</h3> <p>While one investor may think that a low P/E ratio indicates that a stock has seen better days, another investor may interpret that same low P/E ratio as a chance to snap up some shares at a low price.</p> <p>Shares of Apple Inc. [Nasdaq: AAPL] provide a great example of this scenario. With a P/E ratio of 16.66 as of March 10, 2017, some investors may think the performance of Apple is just slightly above average (remember the long-term average of 15). Other investors may think that this is just a slow period and that it has room for growth since <a href="https://ycharts.com/companies/AAPL/pe_ratio" target="_blank">its maximum P/E ratio</a> for the last five years is 18.51.</p> <h2>How to make the most out of the P/E ratio</h2> <p>Now that you know what it is, let's turn to putting it to work.</p> <h3>1. Don't rely solely on the P/E ratio</h3> <p>Due to the math behind the P/E ratio, publicly traded companies that are losing money don't have a P/E ratio at all! For example, the hottest talk of the investing world right now, Snap Inc. [NYSE: SNAP], doesn't have one. So for now, their P/E ratio is irrelevant, and you should rely on an alternative valuation metric, such as the price-to-sales ratio.</p> <h3>2. Put the P/E ratio in perspective</h3> <p>It's a smart practice to measure a stock against a group of comparable peers. For example, you could compare the P/E ratio of Marriott International Inc. [Nasdaq: MAR] against that of Hyatt Hotels Corporation [NYSE: H], Wyndham Worldwide Corporation [NYSE: WYN], or the average of the ones from several others within the same industry.</p> <p>Another way to put that P/E ratio into context is to use its historical average, maximum, and minimum. By taking a look at these numbers and evaluating the decisions from management, you can have a better understanding of the current ratio.</p> <h3>3. Pay attention to the P/E ratio with buy recommendations</h3> <p>If you receive recommendations from your friends, relatives, or favorite TV pundits that you should buy a particular stock because it's &quot;going places,&quot; pay attention to the P/E ratio. If a stock price rally is a rocket, the P/E ratio is the fuel that helps it take off &hellip; and keep rising. Without a high enough P/E ratio, a rally will be short-lived or, even worse, turn the other way around.</p> <h3>4. Beware accounting shenanigans</h3> <p>Companies with one-time events, such as selling off a major division or cutting down employee benefits, can alter their earnings and, as a result, their P/E ratios. Dramatic ups and downs in the P/E ratio would render this ratio useless and you'll have to use an alternative stock valuation metric.</p> <p>This is why it's a good idea to keep an eye on current (also known as trailing) and forward P/E ratios. A big difference between these two P/E ratios is a sign that there was a one-time event. Analysts suggest that when there are too many instances of these gaps, investors should pay closer attention to the cash flow statement on company filings.</p> <h2>P/E ratio is no silver bullet</h2> <p>While the P/E ratio can be a useful metric to select stocks, it's no silver bullet. This is why it's important to continuously educate yourself about the inner workings of the stock market and seek the advice of a financial adviser whenever appropriate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Who to Hire: A Financial Planner or a Financial Adviser?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-smarter-investments-by-mastering-this-simple-ratio">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-to-invest-in-during-the-holidays">10 Stocks to Invest in During the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off">How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment how to metrics p/e ratio price to earnings ratio stock market stocks valuations Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1923859 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Ace Your Next Coffee Interview http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000051956032_Large.jpg" alt="acing her coffee interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, the modern job hunt. You've optimized your online profiles, mastered the art of digital networking, and figured out how to stay on the right side of the line between using the Internet to research a hiring manager, and full-on stalking. So far, so good.</p> <p>And you've even landed an interview, but there a catch. Your first face-to-face contact with your prospective dream boss is a &quot;coffee interview.&quot; Say what?</p> <p>Using an informal screening stage in recruiting isn't new, but since this important kind of meeting has moved to a cafe setting, it has become an etiquette minefield.</p> <p>If you've got a coffee interview booked and you're stumped by such vital questions as what to wear, how to identify your interviewer, and, if it's okay to order a double skinny lactose free caramel latte, read on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-calm-your-nerves-and-ace-your-interview?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Calm Your Nerves and Ace Your Interview</a>)</p> <h2>Be Informal, Not Relaxed</h2> <p>Don't be fooled into feeling that the informal environment will lead to a <em>relaxed </em>meeting. One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is to underestimate the expectation of the interviewer and arrive underprepared at this type of interview. If you don't want to fail at the first hurdle, you need to get prepped!</p> <p>Ask the interviewer what the format of the interview will be, and if there is anything in particular you can prepare in advance, or bring along, such as references or a portfolio. Often the first meeting will be a gate keeping exercise, to test basic suitability for the job, and to sound out candidate expectations about salary, working conditions, and availability. Expect to be asked practical questions, and have answers in mind, so they don't become a barrier.</p> <p>Preparing for the meat of the conversation starts with research. Pick out the key skills and experience detailed in the job posting, and make sure you're clear on your unique selling point &mdash; what makes you suited to the role. Learn everything you can about the company, and think of ways you can make your mark even at this early stage. You might consider visiting a competitor, for example, or preparing some thoughts on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the company. By having knowledge and unique ideas, you will stand out for the right reasons.</p> <h2>Map It Out</h2> <p>The logistics of a coffee interview can feel somewhat daunting. Make sure you know exactly where you're going &mdash; especially if you're meeting in a chain cafe that has several different locations in town &mdash; and arrive a little early if possible.</p> <p>Identifying your interviewer from an anonymous crowd is the next challenge. If you know exactly who you're meeting in advance, have a look at their social media presence to find a picture to increase your odds of picking them out in a crowd. Take a seat facing the door if you can, and text or call your interviewer a few minutes before you're due to meet, to describe your location. Be aware that recruiters often batch meetings, so your interviewer might already be in the cafe with another candidate.</p> <p>Once you've found the right person, remember it's an interview, not a date. Take your lead from them when ordering, and don't order anything too wacky! If you're eating, spend a second figuring out what on the menu is suitable. Spraying yourself with spaghetti sauce, or trying to talk while gnawing on ribs isn't a good look!</p> <p>Although you're there to talk about the position, remember that you're creating an impression before you're ever been asked a question. More so than in an office environment, your interviewer will pick up on your interactions with others. Treat everyone with <em>real </em>respect. This is no time to get snarky with your waitress, even if the order is muddled up.</p> <p>Similarly, what you choose to wear is more open in a coffee interview. While office attire is fairly well defined, anything goes in a cafe. Choose something that makes you feel good and that fits with your perception of the company culture. If you're in any doubt, err on the side of more formal. Unless you habitually hang out in your tux, it's hard to be overdressed, in any interview situation.</p> <h2>Exit Gracefully</h2> <p>As your meeting is coming to an end, hopefully you've developed a great rapport with your interviewer, and are parting on good terms &mdash; but you still need to avoid an etiquette fail. Getting the bill is the first challenge. It's pretty common for the recruiter to pick up the tab, but have some cash just in case. Having to borrow a few dollars from your prospective boss is not the best start to a working relationship.</p> <p>When you're done, shake hands and part ways. Even if you might really want to hang round in the same cafe, or grab a bite to eat, it's usually best to leave. If your interviewer has another meeting lined up directly after you, they won't want you in a position to spy on the competition. Make a dignified exit and get your lunch elsewhere!</p> <h2>Always Follow Up</h2> <p>As with any interview, it's a good idea to follow up with a thank you note. An email is fine in such an informal scenario, just to reiterate your interest in the role, and say thanks for the meeting. If you touched upon anything in your conversation that really resonated with you both &mdash; maybe a book you mentioned, or an interesting article about a mutual passion &mdash; then mention this as an anchor to your conversation, and to help your interviewer remember the connection you had.</p> <p>A coffee interview is never going to be quite as much fun as hanging out with friends over a latte and lunch, but it shouldn't be too terrifying, either.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Have you had coffee interview successes, or disasters? Tell us in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-guerrilla-job-hunting-work-for-you">Make Guerrilla Job Hunting Work for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under">10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-your-job-hunt-from-busting-your-budget">How to Keep Your Job Hunt From Busting Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting coffee interview how to interview etiquette job interview tips job interviews job search Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Claire Millard 1722227 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Start Investing http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-start-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-start-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-480177597.jpg" alt="money graph" title="money graph" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on how to start investing, time management for part-time entrepreneurs, and home staging on a budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://asklizweston.com/how-to-start-investing/">How to start investing</a> &mdash; If you are just getting started with investing, remember to not try to beat the market and keep fees low. [Ask Liz Weston]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/time-management-part-time-entrepreneurs/">Time Management for Part-Time Entrepreneurs</a> &mdash; To better manage their time, part-time entrepreneurs can harness the power of routines. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/11/10-keys-to-home-staging-on-a-budget?int=aa6a09&amp;int=a86509">10 Keys to Home Staging on a Budget</a> &mdash; Refreshing your landscape and painting are a couple low-cost ways to stage your home on a budget [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/celebrating-your-achievement-without-undoing-your-progress/">Celebrating Your Achievement Without Undoing Your Progress</a> &mdash; Celebrate your achievements without undoing your progress by finding other ways to commemorate the occasion if you think your celebration may be something you will regret. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Deal-Difficult-Co-Workers-34332751">Don't Let Your Co-Workers Bring You Down</a> &mdash; To avoid letting your co-workers bring you down, try to be positive. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/investing/5-easy-investment-strategies-that-build-wealth-0414/">5 Easy Investment Strategies that Build Wealth</a> &mdash; Cutting costs and diversifying your investments can help you build wealth. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/sage/2014/04/02/four-tips-to-help-women-excel-in-the-workplace/">Four Tips To Help Women Excel In The Workplace</a> &mdash; Women need to be willing to take risks in order to excel in the workplace. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/smart-spending/autos/car-insurance-woes-millennials">Car Insurance Woes for Millenials</a> &mdash; Millenials are being subjected to the highest car insurance premiums. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/4-baby-products-worth-splurging-on/">First Baby? Here are 4 Products Worth Splurging On</a> &mdash; It is worth it to splurge on the safety gear you'll use the most often with your new baby. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-best-blogs-for-your-family-budget">10 Best Blogs for Your Family Budget</a> &mdash; Have you ever checked out Mom Advice or Daily Finance? [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-start-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-investment-yourself">Best investment: yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-asset-allocation">The Basics of Asset Allocation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investors-with-better-returns-than-warren-buffett">5 Investors With Better Returns Than Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers">Should You Trust Your Money With These 4 Popular Financial Robo-Advisers?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment best money tips how to investing Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:24:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1135645 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Become a Morning Person http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-morning-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-morning-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/morning-804741-small.jpg" alt="morning" title="morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on becoming a morning person, ways to avoid common bank fees, and financial resolutions to keep in 2014.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Become-Morning-Person-26607205">How to Become a Morning Person</a> &mdash; Want to become a morning person? Try to relax before bed. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/01/02/7-ways-to-avoid-common-bank-fees/">7 Ways to Avoid Common Bank Fees</a> &mdash; To avoid common bank fees, read the fine print on your accounts. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/5-financial-resolutions-keep-2014/" style="color: rgb(7, 130, 193); ">5 Financial Resolutions to Keep in 2014</a> &mdash; Rebalancing your savings is a good resolution to keep in 2014. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/make-clothing-last-longer.html">How to make the clothes you got for Christmas last at least until next year</a> &mdash; If you want the clothes you got for Christmas to last until next year, store them right. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/money-tips/got-a-gift-card-for-christmas-spend-it-now/">Got a Gift Card for Christmas? Spend it Now</a> &mdash; Spend your Christmas gift cards now because they might have expiration dates. [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/01/30-steps-to-great-finances-steps-1-through-3.html">30 Steps to Great Finances: Steps 1 through 3</a> &mdash; Want to have great finances? Track your spending for 30 days. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalportland.com/how-to-start-a-minimalist-wardrobe/">How to Start a Minimalist Wardrobe</a> &mdash; Start a minimalist wardrobe by not being sentimental about your clothes. [Frugal Portland]</p> <p><a href="http://portal.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C000-S002-3-simple-steps-to-cash-in-unused-gift-cards.html">3 Simple Steps to Cash in Unused Gift Cards</a> &mdash; When selling your gift cards, make sure you find the site that will give you the best deal. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://yesiamcheap.com/2013/12/entrepreneurship-is-not-about-the-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+yesiamcheap+%28Yes%2C+I+Am+Cheap%29">Entrepreneurship Is Not About The Money</a> &mdash; Entrepreneurship is about freedom, not money. [Yes I Am Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/easy-take-away-meal-butternut-squash-quesadilla">Easy Take-Away Meal: Butternut Squash Quesadilla</a> &mdash; Butternut Squash Quesadillas can be prepared ahead of time to save money. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-become-a-morning-person">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums">Learn New Skills for Free: The Power of Forums</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/let-things-go">Let things go</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-proverbs-about-money-and-personal-finance">Chinese Proverbs About Money and Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-slouching-5-ways-to-improve-your-posture">Stop Slouching! 5 Ways to Improve Your Posture</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips best money tips how to morning morning person Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:01:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1107106 at http://www.wisebread.com A Beginner’s Guide to Frugal Living http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holding_starbucks_cup_0.jpg" alt="Woman holding Starbucks mug" title="Woman holding Starbucks mug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don&rsquo;t do frugal living perfectly. There are times (usually around 8:00 a.m. on a Monday) when I cannot be stopped from my single-minded march toward Starbucks. At other times, I willfully disregard everything I know about paying retail and (albeit begrudgingly) fork over $75 for a pair of jeans. Still, I consider myself a pretty frugal guy. The broad brushstrokes of my life are characterized by financial decisions that are well-considered and based on clear financial goals.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re new to frugal living, fear not. Most of us are still learning, and we can all be tempted to veer off track at times. For the newbies out there, here are seven principles to keep in mind as you enter the ranks of the frugal &mdash; it&rsquo;s a sort of beginner&rsquo;s guide that we&rsquo;ve all had to learn (and often, relearn). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-two-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-starting-to-live-frugally">The Two Biggest Mistakes People Make When Starting to Live Frugally</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pace Yourself</h2> <p>Adopting a simpler and more frugal lifestyle can take a bit of practice. Embrace it by degrees. Diving in and cutting your monthly budget by 50% all at once will only be a shock to your system and leave the entire family feeling pinched and resentful. It takes time to phase out unnecessary expenses and gradually redirect your resources to align with your goals.</p> <h2>2. Understand Your Goals</h2> <p>Saving money in and of itself may be a worthy enough goal. After all, we all know we&rsquo;ll need it &mdash; we just may not yet know when or why. But a smarter, more motivating approach is to understand specifically why you&rsquo;re saving. Is it for an earlier and more comfortable retirement? To start your own business? To finally pay off the mortgage? To just sleep better at night? Having a &ldquo;vision&rdquo; for your financial life will help drive your frugal choices.</p> <h2>3. Get on the Same Page</h2> <p>For couples or families, no financial decision is made in a vacuum. Make sure your significant other is as committed to reinventing your financial life as you are. Reach a common goal or set of goals and understand what changes and sacrifices are needed from each person. Encourage each other and redirect each other when necessary.</p> <h2>4. Sacrifice &mdash; Selectively</h2> <p>Living a frugal lifestyle doesn&rsquo;t mean saying &ldquo;no&rdquo; to everything. Rather, successful frugality means understanding your priorities so that the &ldquo;yeses&rdquo; are aligned with your priorities. It&rsquo;s still okay to indulge from time-to-time,&nbsp; and it&rsquo;s still okay to splurge because those moments are balanced by an overall money management style that is driven by clear boundaries. Feel like a lunch out on a Friday? Go for it. You can because you&rsquo;ve brown-bagged it every other day of the week.</p> <h2>5. Don&rsquo;t Over-Budget</h2> <p>The idea of planning, creating, and sticking to a budget gets a lot of airtime. But categorizing and budgeting every dollar that comes in the door might not be the best strategy. This approach can sometimes give frugality a bad name &mdash; it fosters the idea that frugal living means constant number-crunching and long sleepless nights hunched over a calculator. A far simpler approach is to simply pay yourself first and live off what&rsquo;s left. Determine an assertive savings rate (subject to change as your skill level increases) and have that money funneled into a savings account, retirement account, or money market. The money that&rsquo;s remaining will be stretched and redistributed as-needed to cover expenses &mdash; often without hours and hours of conscious effort.</p> <h2>6. Make Mistakes</h2> <p>Living a more conscious financial life is a lot like dieting. You&rsquo;ll have good days, and you&rsquo;ll have those chocolate cupcake slip-up days. Don&rsquo;t let the little bumps and short-comings along the way derail you. Understand that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">mistakes</a> and missteps are part of the learning process. They will fade away as your skill level grows and as frugality becomes second nature.</p> <h2>7. Chart and Reward Success</h2> <p>Adults need gold stars too. The most successfully frugal people I know monitor how they&rsquo;re doing from month-to-month and from year-to-year. They become motivated by successes like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">paying off credit cards</a>, paying down mortgages, and watching their bank account balances grow. The rush of seeing their efforts pay off has replaced the high they used to get from spending mindlessly and acquiring more stuff. Financial milestones acknowledged and celebrated as the truly special occasions they are.</p> <p>There you have it &mdash; the seven principles that will lead you to a more frugal lifestyle. More importantly, these ideas will help make frugality a permanent part of your life, instead of something you dive in and out of as your fortunes change. Embrace the success of it. Embrace the failures. Embrace the road that gets you where you want to go.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-for-when-friends-ask-for-help-being-frugal">A Step-by-Step Guide for When Friends Ask for Help Being Frugal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-i-wish-i-had-known-when-i-started-living-frugally">What I Wish I Had Known When I Started Living Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youth-and-money-finding-the-frugal-balance">Youth and Money: Finding the Frugal Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle beginning frugality compromise how to Fri, 16 Dec 2011 11:36:17 +0000 Kentin Waits 825562 at http://www.wisebread.com Learn New Skills for Free: The Power of Forums http://www.wisebread.com/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/elmo_computer.jpg" alt="Elmo using a computer" title="Elmo using a computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Learning a new skill is hard. Whether it&rsquo;s becoming a better cook &nbsp;or trying to build your own computer, your success rate will improve if you have some help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-paid-to-learn">6 Ways to Get Paid to Learn</a>)</p> <p>That can be expensive &mdash; taking classes or hiring someone to help will cost you. But there&rsquo;s an old-school kind of social media that can help. It isn't talked about very much since it isn&rsquo;t Twitter or Facebook or Foursquare (ugh).</p> <p>I&rsquo;m talking about the good-ol' fashioned forum.</p> <h3>What&rsquo;s a Forum?</h3> <p>A forum is simply a place where people gather to discuss a common topic. If you&rsquo;re trying to learn it, I guarantee there&rsquo;s a decent forum out there of like-minded people talking about everything from growing your own tomatoes to trimming your cat&rsquo;s whiskers. (Forums are better suited for DIY-ish things like setting up a home theater, growing your own herbs, and around-the-house repairs. For things like learning a new language and perfecting a sport, you're probably better off taking classes.)</p> <p>The reason forums are so helpful is because they&rsquo;re filled with people that are knowledgeable and passionate about the topic. Some are like you &mdash; they&rsquo;re there to learn new things. Others are more experienced and can share their tips on how they learned. Then you have the veterans. These people are subject-matter experts and pretty much know everything there is to know about the topic.</p> <p>Some are even professionals.</p> <p>You put a collection of experts and newbies together in one place and you end up with a few things:</p> <h4>Lots of Knowledge</h4> <p>Browsing forums is a great way to get learn the basics.</p> <h4>A Place to Ask Questions</h4> <p>Asking questions (and getting them answered in a timely manner) is probably the coolest part of participating in a forum. It&rsquo;s like Twitter, but everyone here is focused on this one, narrow topic.</p> <h4>Network</h4> <p>Sure, it&rsquo;s just online, but if you hang out long enough and participate, these people will eventually become part of your network, which is always valuable.</p> <h3>How to Use a Forum to Learn New Things</h3> <p>My experience with forums has been great, as long as you follow a few rules:</p> <h4>Do Your Research</h4> <p>Don&rsquo;t just join and start demanding questions because you want a quick fix. It will piss everyone off. Make sure you read any threads that are &ldquo;pinned&rdquo; to the top of a forum and search (you may have to register for this) thoroughly for your question, since it&rsquo;s probably been answered already.</p> <h4>Learn the Language</h4> <p>Know the words people use relative to the topic. If I went into a computer-building forum and asked how I can install the video thingy, people would dismiss me right away. Learn the vocab &mdash; it&rsquo;ll make the communication smoother. You should be able to pick all this up in the forum during the research phase &mdash; just make sure you get it before you start posting!</p> <h4>Say Please and Thank You</h4> <p>You should do this everywhere in life, but especially in forums. People are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-generous-on-a-budget">being generous</a> with their time and their knowledge, so thank them accordingly. It goes a long way.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve had great experiences with forums. <a href="http://forums.anandtech.com/">Anandtech</a> helped me figure out the hardware for my last desktop. <a href="http://forum.xda-developers.com/">XDA Developers</a> guided me through the process of rooting my phone. And the <a href="http://forum.byopvr.com/dvr/">Build Your Own PVR</a> forum has given me a wealth of information about how to build my own personal video recorder.</p> <p>Could I have figured all this out by researching the web? Sure, but there&rsquo;s nothing like several informed voices helping you out instead of just reading what one person thinks on a website. I highly recommend you try it out.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-new-skills-for-free-the-power-of-forums">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY General Tips forums how to learning a new skill Thu, 13 Oct 2011 09:48:13 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 738298 at http://www.wisebread.com Website 101: How to Build a Site and Get It Online http://www.wisebread.com/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004384999XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the technology-challenged person, the idea of creating your own website may seem overwhelming, perhaps even impossible. This is why a lot of people hire web designers. Unfortunately, not only do web designers cost a lot of money, but they often keep your website's files and maintain the site themselves, meaning that you have to wait for their availability and pay them more money every time you want to make another change to your website.</p> <p>Building and putting a website online doesn't have to be difficult or complicated, though. If you are willing to do a little mental gymnastics and learn a few tricks, you can build a simple website on your own and publish it to your server yourself. Here are a few simple tips for do-it-yourselfers.</p> <h3>Get Your Domain Name and Hosting</h3> <p>While you may choose to wait to purchase hosting for your website until you are ready to publish it to the Internet, you should get your domain name as soon as possible. The reason for this is that anyone could take your idea for a domain name in the meantime. It doesn't cost very much to register a domain name for a year, usually about $10 or less depending on whether it ends in .com or something else, and it will keep someone else from taking your idea for a name while you are working on your website.</p> <p>As for hosting, there are a lot of web hosts to choose from. While this article won't go into detail on the criteria for making that decision, you do need to be sure the service you choose allows you to upload files via FTP. Some web hosts also offer website-building software, but you will pay more for these, and as you will see in the next section, they are not really necessary.</p> <h3>Build Your Website</h3> <p>There are a number of ways to build your website. You could use the website builder or templates your web host offers, but you will probably need to pay more for that. You could also purchase a program that will help you to build your own website, such as Microsoft FrontPage. Or, with a little time and work on your part, you can do it for free.</p> <p>If you search online for free website templates, you will actually find that there are many to choose from. (You can also buy templates at a minimal cost, but with all the free ones available, why bother?) A template sets up the website's design for you so that all you have to do is fill in the text on each page. To do this you will need to:</p> <ul> <li>Copy the file for every page you need (e.g., Index/Home, About, Services, etc.) and name each file accordingly (one-word file names with no spaces work best).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Open each page in Notebook or another text editor so that you can see the code.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Locate the header information and change it to reflect your website's name and URL.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find the location of the page's text and replace the placeholder text with your own.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Name all of the buttons in the sidebar or top nav bar, and replace each placeholder link with the link to the correct Web address (e.g., http:&frasl;&frasl;www.yourwebsite.com&frasl;about.html).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search each page (control + F) for &quot;meta title&quot; and name the page &mdash; you can also provide a description and keywords in this section that will be picked up by search engines.</li> </ul> <p>To do all of this, you will need to have a basic understanding of HTML, such as the code for text formatting (paragraphs, bold, italics, etc.) and the code for links and images. All of this is relatively easy, and you should be able to learn what you need by reading a few tutorials online. If you get stuck while working on your website, just do a quick Google search to find the code or explanation you need. You can check your page by saving your edits in your text editor, then opening the file in your web browser to see what the page will look like when someone views it on the Internet.</p> <p>Some website templates have a separate file that acts as a style guide for every page on your website. In this file you'll find the code that controls the colors, images, and other details that are the same on every page, and you might find the sidebar or top nav bar menus in this file as well. If your knowledge of HTML is pretty good, or if you are an ambitious do-it-yourselfer, you might want to tinker with this file to customize your template a little.</p> <h3>Upload the Files</h3> <p>Once you have finished writing the text on your website and fixing all the links in the template, you are ready to upload. This is when FTP comes in handy. If your web host has a good user interface, you can sign into your account and upload the files from your dashboard.&nbsp;If you use Windows, you can also create a network connection (You can find this in My Network Places in XP or by clicking Map Network Drive in Windows 7 and Vista), which will allow you to drag and drop your files from your computer onto your website's server. Fancy programs to help you publish your website to your server are completely unnecessary!</p> <h3>Are You a Do-It-Yourselfer?</h3> <p>If you are reading this article, most likely you are the kind of person who takes an interest in doing things yourself, even if it means rolling up your sleeves and learning to do something new. Building your own website can seem like a big project, and you are likely to feel overwhelmed occasionally while working on it, but there is no reason you can't do it yourself! All you need is the time and dedication to learn what you need to know.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Jason Kay. Jason has created dozens of websites in the last few years by using website builder software. He started <a href="http://easywebsitebuilders.net/">EasyWebsiteBuilders.net</a> to provide a single online resource for finding and comparing website builder services. For more resources:</p> <ul> <li>Create your own website with no programming by using an online <a href="http://www.easywebsitebuilders.net/">website builder</a>.</li> <li>Find and compare <a href="http://www.cheaphostingsites.org/">cheap web hosting</a> plans.</li> <li>Learn more about starting and running a <a href="http://www.easyhomeinternetbusiness.com/">home internet business</a>.</li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-kay">Jason Kay</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-a-personal-website-can-improve-your-life">8 Surprising Ways a Personal Website Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/colorstrology-and-3-modern-d-cor-trends-that-will-fit-any-budget">Colorstrology and 3 Modern Décor Trends That Will Fit Any Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive">Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Technology how to tech advice website Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:36:36 +0000 Jason Kay 280436 at http://www.wisebread.com How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew! http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/494073305_224e4967c7.jpg" alt="MacGyver" title="MacGyver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m a big fan of <a href="http://www.howcast.com/ ">Howcast.</a> Their website is a treasure trove of information, and you can also find their videos on popular sites like Metacafe and YouTube. Sometimes their advice is really useful, sometimes it&rsquo;s just plain weird, but it&rsquo;s always very entertaining. Howcast videos also end with a handy dandy fact; the icing on the cake so to speak.</p> <p>I was recently searching their wonderful site for a how-to video on hard-boiling an egg. You may scoff, but the last few times I&rsquo;ve done this the shell has been glued to the egg, making it impossible to remove. I figured Howcast would have a solution, but became increasingly distracted by some of the other great videos I found.</p> <p>All in all, I watched about 25 videos and have selected my ten favorites for you to check out. They run the gamut, from simple recipes for laundry detergent and butter, to more complex issues like overcoming fear. All are relatively short and are well worth a watch. Some will save you time and money. Others are just an alternative way of doing things. Enjoy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2527381/how_to_make_your_own_soda/">1: How To Make Your Own Soda. Cheap, quick and easy.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/2527381/how_to_make_your_own_soda.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2326550/how_to_save_money_by_making_your_own_laundry_detergent/">2: How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent (liquid and powder). </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/2326550/how_to_save_money_by_making_your_own_laundry_detergent.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1328284/how_to_cure_a_hangover/ ">3: How To Cure A Hangover . </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1328284/how_to_cure_a_hangover.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1328421/how_to_start_a_fire_with_a_battery/ ">4: How To Start A Fire With A Battery.</a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1328421/how_to_start_a_fire_with_a_battery.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1710004/how_to_hard_boil_an_egg_so_it_peels_easily/">5: How To Hard Boil An Egg So It Peels Easily. </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" wmode="transparent" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1710004/how_to_hard_boil_an_egg_so_it_peels_easily.swf"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1328396/how_to_overcome_any_fear/ ">6: How To Overcome ANY Fear. Seriously. </a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1328396/how_to_overcome_any_fear.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1930913/how_to_make_your_own_butter/">7: How To Make Your Own Butter. Mmmmm</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1930913/how_to_make_your_own_butter.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2223003/how_to_tidy_up_in_three_minutes/">8: How To Tidy Up In Three Minutes. Start The Timer. </a></p> <p>&nbsp;<embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/2223003/how_to_tidy_up_in_three_minutes.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1483480/how_to_peel_a_potato_in_10_seconds/">9: How To Peel A Potato In Ten Seconds</a>.</p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1483480/how_to_peel_a_potato_in_10_seconds.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1497566/how_to_become_an_extra_in_a_movie/">10: How To Become An Extra In A Movie.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1497566/how_to_become_an_extra_in_a_movie.swf" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks Consumer Affairs DIY Food and Drink General Tips Productivity Shopping advice DIY home made how to Mon, 23 Mar 2009 20:30:28 +0000 Paul Michael 2963 at http://www.wisebread.com How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fresh-baked-loaf.jpg" alt="Just-sliced loaf of fresh-baked bread" title="First slices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="205" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I doubt if the cost of yeast is really breaking your household budget. If you bake a lot you probably already buy yeast in bulk, so you're not paying the per-packet price anyway. And yet, baking sourdough bread (or rolls or pizza crust) is just so cool. My wife and I haven't bought yeast for years, but we bake bread all the time. And that's what this post is about--baking sourdough bread.</p> <p><img width="300" height="296" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/bubbles.jpg" alt="Sourdough starter" />Carrie wrote a great post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kitchen-could-be-a-yeast-farm">getting your sourdough starter going</a>, so I'll mostly skip that step. You can catch wild yeasts in your kitchen, spend a few dollars on a packet of fancy &quot;San Francisco&quot; sourdough starter, or just use your last packet of store-bought yeast to kick off your starter. It doesn't matter.</p> <p>I'm going to use that phrase a lot: It doesn't matter. By that I don't mean that the bread will come out the same no matter what you do. What I mean is that <em>it will be bread</em> no matter what you do. In fact, that's the theme of this whole post: Making bread is easy. It's possible to screw it up, but most people succeed on their first try. My wife and I have been baking bread at least once a week for years and we haven't had a failure yet.</p> <p>So, assuming you have a jar of starter--even if it's just a couple cups of water, a couple cups of flour, and a packet of store-bought yeast--here's what you do. When you're done, you'll have a fresh-baked loaf of bread. You'll also once again have a jar of starter--which is why you'll never have to buy yeast again.</p> <p>Whichever technique you use to create your starter, remember that it's a living thing. We think of ours as a pet. (We named her Bubbles.)</p> <h2>Feed your starter</h2> <p><img width="300" height="237" align="right" alt="Starter after feeding" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/after-feeding.jpg" />Step one is to feed the starter. You have to do this every week or so whether you're going to bake anything or not, so you might as well bake something.</p> <p>Feeding your starter just means putting it in a big bowl and adding some water and some flour so that the yeast have something to eat. After a week, even in the refrigerator where yeast grows pretty slowly, the yeast will have eaten pretty much all the sugar in the flour, so you have to give it some fresh flour if you want it to live.</p> <p>So, how much water and flour do you need to add? It doesn't matter. What I usually do is add as much water as I want for whatever I'm baking. If I'm baking a full-size loaf of bread, that's usually two cups of water, for pizza dough, one cup. (Lately I've been using a bit less for bread, because I had a couple of loaves rise so much they didn't fit in our bread box.) I add about as much flour as I added water.</p> <p>The books say to add all-purpose flour, because whole-wheat flour has oils that can go rancid.</p> <p>Let your starter feast on that fresh flour for a while. How long? It doesn't matter. The yeast will start growing right away, so in as little as 20 minutes you'll have doubled the amount of yeast. You could go on to the next step as early as that, if you're in a big hurry. You could leave it over night, if you wanted to bake bread first thing the next morning. I usually feed Bubbles right after breakfast and then go on to the next step right after lunch.</p> <p>The books on these things always emphasize that you should keep your starter in a glass jar, as the alcohol and acid produced can leach things you don't want to eat out of metal or plastic containers. For the same reason, they often say to use a wooden spoon rather than a metal one.</p> <p>The starter won't grow very fast while it's cold, so it's good if the water you add is warm. Just make sure it isn't so hot as to kill the yeast. (The books say 110&deg; F. I just go with &quot;warm&quot; and haven't killed Bubbles yet.) You can add cold water and it'll still work, it'll just take a little longer.</p> <h2>Save your starter</h2> <p><img width="300" height="242" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/dough-and-starter.jpg" alt="After saving the starter" />This is the only other step that's different from making bread with store-bought yeast. Once your yeast has had a chance to feed for a bit, pour some back into the jar where you keep your starter. How much? It doesn't matter. I always pour back 2 cups so that we always have the same amount. One cup would be enough. You could pour back variable amounts if you wanted.</p> <p>Put something over the jar with your starter, but don't close it up too tightly. The covering is to keep dust out, keep the starter from drying out, and keep it from exchanging smells and flavors with everything else in your fridge. Since it's alive, though, it'll produce carbon dioxide, and if you have a tight lid the pressure can build up enough to break the jar.</p> <p>Put your starter in the fridge. You can leave it for a week or two. If you're going to go be away from it longer than that, you can freeze it. It may not be as lively as usual the first time or two you use it after that, but it'll usually survive.</p> <h2>Make dough</h2> <p>With the part of the starter that you didn't put back in the fridge, make bread dough. Making bread dough, of course, is easy--just add flour until it's dough and knead it for a while.</p> <p><img width="300" height="287" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/ingredients.jpg" alt="Bread ingredients" />What flour? It doesn't matter. Whatever you like. All-purpose flour will make fine bread. I like bread made with whole wheat flour better, so I almost always use mostly whole wheat flour. I like the way the bread comes out if I use some bread flour, though, so I usually do. You can also put in moderate amounts of all kinds of exotic flours, if you want. We got a big bag of rye flour for 99&cent;, so I've been putting some of that in every loaf just lately. I often put in a third of a cup of rolled oats or of corn meal, just to add a bit of complexity to the bread. I don't think I've ever added brown rice flour to the bread, but I bet it would be good. I almost always add a couple tablespoons of flax seed meal for the fiber and the omega-3 fatty acids.</p> <p>There's a lot of other things you can add. You can put in some oil or butter, if you want. I usually don't, because the bread is just as yummy and lower in fat without it. You can put in some sugar, if you want. That can speed up the rising a bit, by giving the yeast some simple sugars to eat. If you put in a lot, it can also make the bread a little sweet, if you like that. I've been known to add sugar in many different forms--white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses. Just lately we've been adding corn syrup. (We've had this bottle for years, because our previous cat had diabetes and our vet suggested we keep it on hand in case of insulin shock. Rather than throw it out, we're putting a tablespoon or so in loaves of bread here and there.)</p> <p><img width="300" height="267" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/kneading.jpg" />We don't put salt in our bread, because we like it better without, but lots of people do. (If you make your bread in a bread machine, don't skip the salt. Salt retards the growth of the yeast; if you skip it, the timing in the bread machine will lead to the bread rising too quickly and then partially collapsing. If you're baking it yourself, you can just go by how the bread looks and it'll be fine.)</p> <p>Add whatever flour and other ingredients you want. Once it's not too sticky, start kneading. Add flour as necessary until you get dough. That's really all there is to this step.</p> <h2>Let the dough rise</h2> <p>I usually do two risings. I form the dough into a ball, put it back in the same bowl I used to mix it, and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. (The tradition is to cover it with a damp cloth. It doesn't matter. The covering is just to keep dust out of the dough and to keep it from drying out.)</p> <p>The traditional rule of thumb is to let the bread &quot;double in bulk&quot; at each rising. I usually do a short first rising--just 20 or 40 minutes--and then form the loaf and let it rise again in the loaf pan. You can also just do one rising, forming a loaf and letting it rise in the loaf pan right from the start. You get bread either way.</p> <p><img width="300" height="279" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/dough-in-bowl.jpg" alt="" />How you do the rising makes a difference in the texture of the bread--whether it has lots of little holes or fewer, larger holes. If your starter is a San Francisco-style culture, doing a long first rising and then a long second rising may give you bread that's more sour than you get from just one rising.</p> <p>One thing about sourdough is that there's likely to be a lot of variability at this stage. Depending on a lot of different things--how long it's been since the last time you fed starter, how long you fed it this time, how much sugar you put in the dough, how moist the dough is, how much you kneaded it, and no doubt lots of other things--the bread can double in bulk in anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 or 4 hours. (This is probably the reason that people ever even invented yeast packets.)</p> <p>Forming the loaf?&nbsp; Just knead the dough into an oblong blob that'll fit in your loaf pan.&nbsp; You probably want to grease the pan so the bread will come out easily.&nbsp; Drop the blob in the pan and let it rise.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Bake the bread</h2> <p>Once the bread has risen enough, turn on the oven and bake it. I bake mine at 350&deg; F, but I'm sure you could bake it at other temperatures.</p> <p>I do a couple of things to save energy, and because I like the way the bread turns out. One is to just put the dough into a cold oven and then turn the oven on. Unlike with cakes and pies, there's no need to preheat the oven. Another thing I do is to turn the oven off about 15 minutes before the bread is ready to come out--it stays hot long enough to finish the bread.</p> <p>You're supposed to be able to tell of the bread is done by thumping on the bottom of the loaf and listening to the sound, so I always do that. My bread is always done, though, so I've never heard what it sounds like if it isn't done.</p> <h2>Quality control</h2> <p><img width="184" height="300" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/saved-starter.jpg" alt="" />The bread will slice better if you let it cool some before you cut it. But who can wait that long?&nbsp; We always cut a couple of slices right away and perform quality control.&nbsp; Fortunately, it's always of high quality.</p> <p>Besides just eating it yourself, you can also give bread away to friends and relations.&nbsp; It's always appreciated as a gift by people who imagine that it's a lot of work to bake bread.&nbsp; In fact, though, it isn't.&nbsp; The only real issue is wall-clock time.&nbsp; It probably only takes about half an hour of actual work to bake a loaf, but that half hour is spread over at least half a day.&nbsp; If you have to spend all day at work, it would require some pretty fancy scheduling to be able to be there for each step along the way.&nbsp; So I&nbsp;can see why some people buy store-bought bread.</p> <p>If you can bake your own bread, though, there's only one reason not to make it sourdough bread--if you bake so rarely that your starter would die between loaves.</p> <p>As I say, we haven't bought yeast in years, so baking sourdough bread does save us a bit of money--but that's not why we do it. We do it because it's fun, because we enjoy kneading the dough, because fresh bread is better whether it's sourdough or not, because we can make the bread exactly the way we like it, because we can make it different every time, because we can use premium ingredients--and still make it cheaper than store-bought bread. But mostly because it's fun.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-tips-to-improve-homemade-bread">4 Simple Tips to Improve Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-artisanal-bread-on-a-budget">How to Make Artisanal Bread on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking bread bread dough Cooking DIY Homemade how to how to bake bread photos pizza dough sourdough sourdough bread Fri, 13 Mar 2009 18:40:13 +0000 Philip Brewer 2930 at http://www.wisebread.com Dealing with Financial Drought: A Recovery Plan http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2529466333_f5a35dd2fc_m.jpg" alt="Cracked earth at his feet" title="drought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know how it goes. One minute, you have extra money sitting in the bank just waiting for you to play with it. The next, your car needs repaired, or the cat gets sick, or the roof falls in and there&#39;s no way you can afford the bills without dipping into savings. Not only has your &quot;fun money&quot; disappeared, but so has some of your emergency fund, general savings fund, or goal-oriented savings fund. And we all know what happens next: more catastrophe, more bills, more dipping in when you meant with all your will to save this month. </p> <p>Financial drought sucks, but it happens to all of us. Not even the wisest, most frugal person on the &#39;net can avoid it. What we do when the savings numbers are slipping backwards, however, can determine how much we actually lose during the drought and how quickly we bounce back. </p> <p><strong>Know what to expect.</strong></p> <p>All sorts of negative emotions can accompany financial drought. Don&#39;t be surprised if you find yourself wondering if it&#39;s all your fault, or if you&#39;re lying awake at night wondering if you could have seen this coming and how. Your emotions may run particularly close to the surface during and just after a drought, or you may find yourself unable to feel at all. However you respond emotionally, know that you will and that it will go away when things get better. Expecting an emotional fallout of some sort can, rather ironically, help you keep your equilibrium when you&#39;re in the middle of the drought. You won&#39;t be nearly as tempted to follow them into an unwise choice or to change your financial plan on a whim. </p> <p>Rather closely related to that point, know that things will get better. Financial drought doesn&#39;t last forever. It might seem like it&#39;s going to when you&#39;re wading through it with the water at your neck, but it doesn&#39;t. And knowing that it will end can make all the difference in the world.  </p> <p><strong>Take stock.</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, an emergency fund isn&#39;t enough. I hate to bring up depressing stuff, but it&#39;s true. When life throws a really big lemon, not even the most overfunded emergency fund in the world can make lemonade. But you know what? That&#39;s ok. Sure, it means taking money from somwhere else, maybe from a goal-oriented savings account, or a general fund, or even a loan. And that sucks. Even this worst-case scenario, however, isn&#39;t the end of the world. Are you alive? Check. Relatively hale and whole? Check. Ready to get back on the pony? Well....maybe. </p> <p>Wherever you find  yourself after the bills are paid or the wells are dried up, look around. What&#39;s good? What&#39;s wretched? What can you change? What will only make things worse if you tinker with it? The answers to these questions will help you figure out where you are. And generally, when we know where we are, the way forward becomes much more clear.</p> <p><strong>Your goals are still your goals.</strong> </p> <p>Even when you&#39;re negatively saving towards whatever it is you want, that thing you want is still your goal, and don&#39;t you forget it! It&#39;s easy to lose sight of your goals when your finances take a dip for the worst. When you&#39;re taking money out of your savings account instead of putting it in, it&#39;s so easy to let the doubts wiggle in. It might start with a, &quot;Wow, I guess we won&#39;t be able to buy the boat in April,&quot; but quickly progresses to, &quot;Maybe we&#39;ll never be able to buy the boat,&quot; and in the worst cases becomes, &quot;It was silly of me to try and save for a boat.&quot; Nip those thoughts in the bud. Your boat (or car, house, horse, roadtrip, cruise, whatever) is worth the time you spend saving, the effort of saving, and the money you save. Just because it may not happen when you wanted it to happen doesn&#39;t change that. Knowing that your goals have value can help you stay focused and oriented even when life tries to throw you off. </p> <p>Not only that, but remembering the value of your goals and staying focused on them can help you bounce back after the crisis. Sure, it sucks to be in the hole with your savings account, but at least you still have one. And there&#39;s something out there that you want! Focusing on your desire wil help you save even when it feels hopeless to do so. Because that day where everyone sees you having accomplished your goal? It&#39;s out there somewhere, and your saving makes it come quicker. </p> <p><strong>Take your time.</strong></p> <p>All of that said, give yourself some space to figure out where you are, where you want to go next, and how to get there. A drought can change a lot of things in your life, not the least of which are your energy, stress levels, relationshps, and general health. An extended, sudden, or particularly intense drought can impact all of these and more for the worse. So give yourself time. Maybe you need to sleep every Saturday afternoon for a month instead of assessing your finances. Or maybe you need a day at the beach, a chance to finish that book you got into before it all started, or a couple of massages. Whatever it is, you have time for it. Let your whole self take a deep breath before you dive back in. </p> <p>In addition to healing some of the hurts of drought, taking some time can give you a different perspective. It can help you notice that the world isn&#39;t out to get you, no one actually seems to hate you, and things look remarkably similar to how they looked before the drought. What a relief! </p> <p><strong>Get back on the pony.</strong></p> <p>Whether you decide on a recovery plan or just jump back in to what you were doing before, get started. Maybe your drought has lingering consequences and you can&#39;t save like you used to. That&#39;s ok; save what you can. Sometimes, a drought shakes us so deeply that we can&#39;t bear to risk again. That&#39;s ok; do it anyway. The more you follow a plan and get some money back in savings, the more you&#39;ll be able to stop expecting the worst. And once you&#39;ve done that, well, you&#39;ve overcome the drought.</p> <p>What sorts of droughts have you faced? How did you overcome them? I&#39;d love to hear your stories in the comments. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-and-low-cost-ways-to-protect-your-credit">7 Free and Low Cost Ways To Protect Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-the-real-world-my-best-advice-for-new-graduates">Welcome to the Real World - My Best Advice for New Graduates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/personal-finance-lessons-from-online-adventure-game-runescape">Personal Finance Lessons from Online Adventure Game (RuneScape)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance how to personal finance Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:39:50 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2394 at http://www.wisebread.com How to get a job--learn the secret from a bad movie http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rambo-ette.jpg" alt="Rambo-ette" title="Rambo-ette" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="246" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p>I've read a bunch of books on how to do a job search. They all talk about networking. They all talk about researching the company--knowing what they do and what they need done. They all talk about &quot;creating&quot; a job--presenting yourself as a solution to a problem. I read the books, but I didn't understand what they meant, until I saw this really bad movie.</p> <p>The movie was &quot;Let's Get Harry,&quot; and it's bad enough that the director didn't want his name on it. (It's an &quot;Alan Smithee&quot; film.) It's well worth missing, except for one bit near the beginning.</p> <p>The set-up is that a small-town American has been taken hostage in Colombia. The guy's friends decide to mount a rescue mission. Realizing that they'll need help, they take out an ad for a mercenary.</p> <p>The good bit is the stretch where the heros hire their mercenary. They interview a seemingly endless string of lunatics, nutcases, and losers--guys pretending to be dangerous, guys pretending to have connections, guys pretending to have mysterious pasts. Our heros are at the point of giving up, knowing that any these clowns would be worse than useless in a dangerous situation, when Robert Duvall shows up--and shows us how it's done.</p> <p>Duvall's character shows up having already done some research. He'd made the connection between news reports about an American kidnapped overseas and the interview taking place in the man's home town. He'd figured out what the mission was going to be. He'd done some research on the Colombian criminal element, and figured out what group had most likely done the kidnapping. He showed up with a photo of the guy the were trying to rescue and a photo of the head of the gang that had probably done the kidnapping.</p> <p>That little stretch of film made an impression on me that the job search books never had. Here was a worked example of how to create a job:</p> <ol> <li>Figure out what the employer's problem is.</li> <li>Figure out what the solution is.</li> <li>Present yourself as someone who can provide the solution.</li> </ol> <p>It was a revelation to me. Until then, I'd generally taken the lazy path in looking for a job--I showed up for the interview, expecting the employer to tell me what the problem was and what they'd decided to do to solve it. Then, I presented myself as someone with the expertise to do the work. In a high-demand field like software engineering, the lazy way can be successful, but it's never going to give you as good a job as one that's created for you.</p> <p>I got tempted down the path to the lazy way because it seemed so easy--and because it seemed stupid to do a bunch of work for a job I didn't even have yet. If they hired me to solve their problem, then I would. Until then, I had other stuff I'd rather be doing.</p> <p>What I didn't understand was that a position created for me could be <em>nothing but</em> stuff that I'd rather be doing. If that's the pay-off for a few hours of unpaid work, it's well worth it.</p> <p>There are plenty of insights in those job search books--good advice on networking, good advice on identifying the person who can say &quot;yes&quot; to hiring you, good advice on presenting yourself as a can-do person who can get the job done. I managed to get most of them from the books. It was just this one where I somehow never managed to make the connection until I saw this bad movie.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jumpstart-your-job-search-with-instagram">Jumpstart Your Job Search With Instagram</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-job-hunt-tips-you-should-ignore">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Job Hunting career career advancement how to job job search jobs movie movies Sat, 08 Mar 2008 13:41:53 +0000 Philip Brewer 1895 at http://www.wisebread.com