Summer Cooking Tips

Summer Cooking Tips: Cool Off In The Kitchen

Who can imagine summer without summer food? Steaming corn-on-the-cob, each kernel bursting with sweet flavor. Burgers and barbecue. Ice cream sundaes. The crisp red smile of a watermelon wedge, dripping with sweet juice.

There's a darker side to summer meals. Food budgets groan under the strain of substituting quick-cook steaks and chicken breasts for thrifty stove-top casseroles. 

Ravenous children make the refrigerator door thump-thump-thump like a dog's tail. Catch-as-catch-can mealtimes, eaten on the run, substitute convenience for nutritional value. 

Cut Energy Use

Chill Out! Cut Energy Use in Refrigerator and Freezer

With power bills on the rise--and hot weather just around the corner--it's time for an energy-saving tuneup for your refrigerator and freezer.

Keeping food fresh while conserving energy can bring a helpful boost to the strained food budget.  An organized fridge cuts waste and preserves foodstuffs for maximum life and freshness.

Take aim on rising prices with a quick refrigerator check!  Try these tips to minimize energy use and save money on groceries.  

Cleaning tips from professional cleaners

Clean House! Speed Cleaning Tips from Pro Cleaners

Paid cleaning help can be a wonderful short-cut to a clean and organized home--if the household budget can stand the cost. But what do you do if the Prize Patrol bypassed your door this year?

Take a speed-cleaning lesson from the pros! Paid cleaning services are masters of the art of speedy, efficient cleaning. Watch professional cleaners at work: they don't waste time, cut corners or dawdle over the job--and they know how to clean fast, clean right.

organize the pantry

Organized Pantry: Beginner's Guide to Pantry Pride

A working pantry? It's the secret weapon of a well-organized kitchen. 

A planned reserve of foodstuffs and sundries used in the home, a pantry saves time, money and stress in the kitchen. Tap the pantry for unexpected meals and reduce trips to the supermarket.  Stock it with frugal finds to lower grocery costs. Set aside a supply of food and sundries for a rainy day and protect your family against weather emergencies or financial dislocation. 

Properly managed, the pantry is an integral part of an organized home. Polish your pantry pride with our best hints and tips.

Celebrate with kids

Low-Cost, No-Cost Ways To Celebrate Christmas with Kids

Cutting costs at Christmas doesn't mean celebrating like Scrooge. It's not about what you buy--it's about what you do! 

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits. 

Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:

Simplify holiday traditions

Do Less, Enjoy More: Simplify Holiday Traditions

"Tradition" is a powerful force that sometimes pulls an unsuspecting family along in its wake. Do your holiday traditions serve your family, your values and your spiritual beliefs--or are you running a tired and joyless circle during the holiday season in the name of tradition?

To cut stress during the season, it's time to give your family's holiday traditions a stiff scrutiny.  Today, think back to traditions from season's past, with an eye to trimming them.