- Rosemary, lamb and feta with lemon
Ask to see the landlord’s gas safety record Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must have all appliances inspected annually – so ask to see the CP12 certificate (issued after a successful safety check). Landlords are required to hold onto this certificate for two years and should provide a copy to all tenants within 28 days of the check being completed. If there’s no documentation, you might want to look elsewhere.
Inspect the property yourself After meeting the landlord and the tenants, take your time to inspect the property. Browse around each room and look for black stains and condensation around gas appliances. Check that all gas flames are crisp and blue (not weak and yellow) and ensure there’s nothing in front of gas-powered fires. If you do notice a problem, tell the person showing you around as a central heating service could be necessary.
Check for carbon monoxide alarms Carbon monoxide can leak from faulty, damaged or poorly installed appliances, so look for CO alarms dotted around the house. There should be one on every floor as they’ll signal a warning noise if something’s wrong. If there are no detectors around, ask for the landlord to install a few before you commit to a tenancy agreement. Your health comes first, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and make requests.
Look for a safe and secure property and enjoy your new home.
Fiddleheads: tight pinwheels that emerge from the soil and are only edible before they unfurl into fern fronds. Taste woody and are delicious steamed. See here for much more info about identifying and cooking fiddleheads.
Ramps: part of the onion family, ramps taste like a cross between spring onions and scallions. Also known as wild leeks.
Do your research before foraging so you are sure about what you are picking!
Invite your friends over instead of going out I usually do this with my friends, who come over to my house, put on a movie or TV show that we love and enjoy each other’s company. You could even have a potluck or a barbeque; this saves a lot on food expenses because this way you aren’t all racking up a huge bill at a restaurant.
Plan your meals around your grocery’s flyer What’s so great about this idea is you aren’t planning around some over-the-top cookbook recipe with dozens of new ingredients that you need to buy. You can choose the pasta that’s on sale or maybe fish that you can combine with some in-season veggies.
Don’t do retail therapy Go home after a long day at work and relax that way. I’m guilty of simply going to a store and buying something because I think it will make me feel better. But often enough, all I really need is some time to myself so I can relax. An easy way to relax is to take a bath, maybe even use a bath pillow and some bubble bath to mellow out. You’ll feel better about not spending money on things that you don’t need and you’ll feel calmer than ever.
Write a list before you go shopping Whenever you go shopping, write a list of everything you need and stick to it. You’ll be far less likely to buy impulse items that you don’t need if you make sure that the only items you buy is on said list. If you aren’t sure about something, like walking into a store that you don’t need anything from then stay away. While I may not buy things that I can’t afford in those adorable shoe stores, I still leave feeling drained and unhappy. Use your list, it’ll make you feel better about your shopping and yourself.
Packaging can make a difference to the cost of your delivery: the smaller box you can use the better as this is often how couriers and postal services decide how much to charge you. If you’re shipping something delicate, why not forgo packing chips and instead use bubble wrap, which is cheaper and will take up less space in a box.
Likewise if you have two items to send to one address, combined shipping won’t always be possible. Weigh the objects you’re sending and separate the heavier ones from the lighter to get a better price from couriers – you might find you can get an excellent deal using two different couriers to send each parcel.
If you’re shipping something valuable, don’t think that by not taking out postal insurance you will be saving money. If any harm comes to your parcel in transit, you could end up out of pocket, so ensure you insure before you ship.
- a picnic basket (tote, wicker container)
- a cooler and ice packs so no one gets a food borne pathogenic illness (hmmm note to self: remember ice packs)
- a knife, sturdy dinnerware and utensils
- plates; something to eat off and cups; something to drink out of
- a thermos to keep bevvies cool
- a blanket, quilt or tablecloth
- napkins and a few dishtowels
- wine and a corkscrew
- bottled water
- citronella candles to ward off pesky bugs
- salt and pepper mills
- a garbage bag to pack in and pack out
Life is short! Dine in style!
Everyone knows it's difficult to let go of memorabilia and special trinkets that remind you of treasured memories. But, just because you plan to downsize your memorabilia doesn’t mean you are getting rid of the memories. Take a photo and create a photo book of special things instead.
Create a portable garden index on a key ring; trim each plant tag at its base, place it photo side up on a shipping tag and staple it near one end so you can easily read the flip side, group tags on key ring and make notes on the other side about where you planted them. Sweet right?
Don't let those single socks down! Give them a second chance by creating a place for them to wait for their mates. Create sock central for your laundry room by gluing clothes pegs on a board and hang near the dryer. Go crazy, bejewel it out.
Small Notebook Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
$5 Dinners Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Lunchbox Inspiration
BrokeAss Gourmet Apple-Onion Tartlets with Cheddar
Five Cent Nickel Why You Should Consider Becoming a Landlord
A Thrifty Mrs. What Does Thrifty Mean To You?
The Unclutter What To Do With Sentimental T-Shirts?
Jane Honeck's "The Problem with Money? It's Not About the Money!"
Farrah Grey's "Reallionaire"
Laura Laing's "Math for Grownups"
Geneen Roth's "Women Food and God"
It's easy to win! Just "Like" Tightwad on Facebook. That's it.
Here are three ways it could benefit you to take your money to the Internet:
Diversifying your savings In today's economy it may make sense to rethink your retirement savings. Many people are diversifying their savings accounts by taking advantage of online banking accounts that give great rates on CDs, Money market accounts, savings accounts, and even IRA CDs. Learn how you can convert a traditional CD into a Roth IRA CD that will pay higher interest and void future taxation on your funds through contributions.
Finding a middle ground Many people use money market accounts because you get similar returns as from a savings account but with more access to your money. It's basically a mix between a savings account and debit account, with the benefits and disadvantages of both. You're not guaranteed the same kind of interest as with a traditional savings but you have the ability to withdraw money. For many people, this is a crucial feature. In case of an emergency, you can be assured you will access to your money without fear of crippling fees.
Investing with CDs Many people make Certificate of Deposit (CD) investments because they offer a multitude of financial benefits. They provide a variety of terms that you can fit to your situation; they provide short-term liquidity, they provide security as compared to stocks or bonds, they are FDIC insured, and they can offer great growth potential through plans of action like “CD laddering.”
Online banking is about more than just logging in to make sure your last cheque was processed. The more progressive banks are offering a range of options by which you can take control of your finances and make big decisions regarding the future of your savings account. These decisions may include diversifying your accounts and taking advantage of money market or CD accounts. Whatever option you choose, it's important to remember that your money is only as safe as you make it. It's up to you to choose a plan of action that safeguards your financial future.
Save-the-dates Skip the printed stationary announcing your wedding date. Use e-vites, Facebook, email and the phone to spread the word. There are a number of free, elegant printables online if you are committed to hard copies.
A professional wedding planner If you're well organized, you can get away without the services of a professional, so long as you have some reliable people to delegate to, like your mom and close friends.
Long lost relatives The more you can trim you guest list, the more money you'll save. Keeping your guest list short will make your wedding more intimate. Consider sending a wedding announcement with a photo after the event to keep everyone in the loop.
Large bridal party While it may look impressive in wedding photos, a large bridal party is going to cause more headache and strain on the wallet than you need. Your friends just want to be there for you, in any way they can, so ask them for their help with things you can delegate.
Bridesmaid dresses Choose a theme or colour and allow your bridal party to find their own dresses that fit them (and their wallet). They'll probably like that option better anyway because they will be able to choose a dress that suits them and they will wear again. Provide accessories as your gift instead.
Professional hair and makeup Enlist a talented friend for their services and splurge by buying new makeup and hair products that you'll have for the honeymoon and months to come.
Formal wedding registry Often brides and grooms already have many of the things they need for their life together. Consider an online wedding registry that allows visitors to register for gift cards from national retailers for things that you will actually need.
A wedding cake No one is suggesting you don't have cake on your big day! But - a little trick - don't mention that the cake you are ordering is for a wedding. The word "wedding" automatically doubles the price. Order a birthday cake instead, in whatever style you want.
Party favours Unless you can pull this off for cheap and in a non-tacky way, skip the wedding favours. No one will miss them. Really.
For thousands of ways to save on your big day, order a copy of Tightwad's ebook: How to be Fabulous for Less on Your Big Day! Seriously. Save. Money.