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Friday, May 30, 2014

Save money and eat healthy in 2017


Eat healthy and save money

This is my new article on saving money and eating healthy. In this post you will get new idea to eat healthy on budget. Lentils are a delicious, low-cost substitute for meat; they cook quickly and can be used in a wide variety of dishes.

Why to eat lentils?

Save money and eat healthy in 2014
Lentils can be an important part of a healthy eating plan for people who are following a vegetarian diet, looking to lose weight, reduce cholesterol, or manage diabetes.
•Lentils are high in fiber and protein. They are a good source of folate, potassium and iron. They are also naturally low in fat and sodium. 
•Lentils are a part of the Meat and Alternatives food group in Canada's Food Guide. One Food Guide serving of lentils is ¾ cup (175 mL). That's about the size of a tennis ball.
•Dried lentils have no sodium (salt) but canned lentils do. Reduce the sodium by draining and rinsing canned lentils under cold, running water.


Save money and eat healthy in 2014

Different type of Lentils

Lentils come in different sizes, colors, and shapes. They may be whole, split into halves, dried or canned. People from South Asia generally refer to lentils as dahl, a type of stew. Experiment with different types of lentils in your favorite dishes. Which of these lentils do you want to try?
•Red lentils 
•French lentils (grayish-brown)
•Yellow lentils
•Beluga lentils (black)

How to save money when buying
Dried lentils often cost less than canned ones. However, canned lentils are still a good buy and can save you a lot of time. Just open the can, rinse for a few minutes and add them to your dish.

Compare brand name, no name and bulk store prices. If you have room to store them, buy extra canned or dried lentils when they are on sale.


Healthy Cooking idea

•Canned lentils are already cooked. Just rinse well and they are ready to use.
•For dried lentils, lay flat on a cookie sheet and pick out any stones. Then rinse and simmer in low-sodium broth or water for 20-30 minutes, until tender.
•Dried lentils can double in size when cooking, so be sure to use a large pot or pan. Add 1 tsp (5 mL) of oil to prevent foam from forming.
•When cooked, green and French (brown) lentils keep their shape. The other varieties, such as red and yellow lentils, and split lentils, will become soft, like a puree. These are great for soups, dips or even baby food.
•Seasoning ideas: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, and vegetables such as onions, carrots and celery. Don't add tomatoes, vinegar or other acids to the dish until the lentils are cooked. Acidic foods slow down the cooking process.
•Try lentils as a side dish (puréed, whole or combined with vegetables) or in salads, soups and stews.
•1 cup (250 mL) of dried lentils will produce 2.5 cups (625 mL) of cooked whole lentils or 2 cups (500 mL) of cooked split lentils.

Five healthy recipes with lentils


1. Basic lentil side dish

New to cooking lentils? Give this a try. Use French (brown) or whole green lentils because they keep their shape after they are cooked.

•Remove any stones from dried lentils, then rinse and drain.
•In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Sauté one of each: diced onion, garlic clove, carrot and stalk of celery.
•Add dried lentils and water or broth to pot. For every 1 cup (250 mL) of lentils, add 4 cups (1 L) of water or broth.
•Cook over high heat until lentils come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender but not falling apart. Add extra water or broth as needed. Enjoy!
•If you are using canned lentils, simply rinse and add to sautéed vegetables until the dish is hot.


2. Dahl

•Dahl is type of pureed lentil stew and is a classic South Asian side dish (also spelled daal, dal, daahl).
•There are many types of dahl. It is often made into a purée with lentils, onions, tomatoes, and seasoning (such as curry powder, turmeric, coriander powder, red chili powder or Garam masala).
•Try it with curry dishes, chapatti or naan bread.
Try this recipe: Red lentil daal

3. Make meat go farther


Add fibre and save money by replacing some of the meat in recipes (like in meatloaf or meat sauce) with puréed lentils. Use them to thicken soups and stews as well. Here's how:

•In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, combine 1 1/3 cups (375 mL) of lentils and 4 cups (1 L) of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat and purée in a blender. Makes 3 cups (750 mL) cooked lentils.
•Store purée in fridge for 5-7 days. If using canned lentils, store for 3-4 days.
•Freeze extra purée in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer cubes to freezer bags, which makes it easier to defrost only the amount you need. Freeze for up to 3 months.
4. Quick lentil lunches
•For a satisfying meal, add canned lentils to homemade soups and low-sodium canned vegetable soups
•Make a lentil salad with leftover rice, pasta, quinoa, bulgur or couscous. Add fresh, frozen or leftover veggies. Season with your favourite salad dressing. Or try brown rice, lentils, frozen edamame or corn, chopped bell pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
•Add canned lentils to prepared pasta sauce. Toss into cooked pasta with frozen mixed veggies.
Try this: Quinoa and lentil pilaf

5. Tasty lentil and veggie tostados

A tostado is a tortilla with toppings (beans, meats, cheese) that is broiled until crispy (like an open-faced sandwich). They are simple to make and kids can help too.

•Lay small corn tortillas (25 cm or 8 inch) on a baking sheet.
•Spread cooked and mashed red lentils over tortillas.
•Top with diced veggies and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
•Baked until cheese melts. Serve hot.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014


Keeping cool in summer without spending $$$ on AC

This is my new article on Keeping Cool in summer 2014 without Spending Big Money on AC

All Air conditioners are really a big hydro suckers

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014

Take a lot of fans to beat the cost of running an air-conditioner, A fan might only be 1/2kw against an air-conditioner 650-850 kW. Fan is small. Air-conditioner is cooling the air, where a fan only moves the air. Two different things they are. Also most air-conditioners have a fan in it as well.

In the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else -- 16% of total electricity used. In warmer regions AC can be 60-70% of your summer electric bill, according to Austin Energy. If you're serious about saving energy, address your cooling costs first, since that's what uses the most electricity.

Of course, you'll save the most money if you can learn to do without your AC at all. It's definitely possible. A combination of ceiling fans, insulation, and the other tips below will keep you comfortable -- and saves hundreds of dollars every summer. You could take a trip to Las Vegas every year from what you can save by not using AC.
A window unit AC uses 500 to 1440 watts, while a 2.5-ton central system uses about 3500 watts. That's a lot of energy. A floor fan uses only 100 watts on the highest speed, and ceiling fans use only 15 to 95 watts depending on speed and size.

Here are some nice tips to keep cool in summer without spending $$$ on AC.

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014

  1.  Check your Ceiling fan spinning (Blowing Down)

Make sure your fan is blowing DOWN, to send air past your body, removing the hot air that surrounds your body. If your fan is blowing up, it won't do any good.  In fact, it's worse than no fan, because it moves the warm air at the ceiling back down towards the living area. It's true that a fan that blows down also pushes the warmer air down from the ceiling into the living area, but it's blowing even warmer air away from your body, so the overall effect is to cool you down.
Almost all fans have a switch to change the fan direction.  It's an up/down or left/right switch on the side of the fan (between the light and the fan blades), and it's usually unlabeled.  Make sure the fan is off (not spinning) before you flip the switch or you can damage the motor.  Once you've turned the fan off, it's fine to physically stop the blades with your hand, just be gentle so you don't bend the blades, otherwise the fan will wobble when you turn it back on.  With the blades stopped, flip the direction (summer/winter) switch, then turn the fan back on.
So how do you know which direction is up and which is down?

For most fans, when you're standing under the fan looking up, a counter-clockwise blow down and clockwise blows up. Check by standing under the fan when it's on full-speed.  If you can feel the wind hitting you hard, then it's blowing down. To verify, stop the fan, change the direction switch, then turn the fan on full-blast again and compare the difference.

  1.  Buy a special kind of "Chillow" pillow

The Chillow is a water-filled pillow that keeps your head cool while you sleep. You can either sleep directly on it or put it inside a pillow case. I bought one as soon as it came out and it really works. You can Order this for $30-35

  1. Use a Bed Fan for comfort sleep

Most people prefer to sleep with covers; even though that traps the heat your body creates. So you can run an expensive AC to cool the whole house just so you can be comfortable under the covers...or you can simply use a Bed fan. It's a small, gentle fan that operates right under the covers. Why didn't someone think of this before? This could be great for people who experience night sweats or hot flashes. And you won't have to run an expensive AC all night long.

  1. Wear a wrung-out shirt

It totally works. It works even better if you combine it with a fan.

  1.  Shower before sleeping

A quick, cool shower can keep you cool for quite a while afterward.  And the water cost is trivial compared to the electric cost.

  1.  Use an AC timer.

For central AC, your thermostat might already have a timer built-in.  If not, you can replace your thermostat with a programmable one.

For window unit AC's, many modern units have a timer built in.  If not, you can use a simple plug-in timer if your AC has a mechanical on/Off switch (i.e., you physically move it into a different position when you turn the AC on).  But plug-in timers usually don't work if the On/Off switch is electronic (i.e., you push a soft button on a panel to turn the AC on or off).

  1. Plant Tree on south or west side of House

If you plant trees on the south or west sides of your house, it’ll keep it cooler in the summer but it’ll actually keep it warmer in the winters because the sun sets and rises on the opposite side in the winter.

  1. Replace all incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient

We all have incandescent bulbs as they burn a lot of energy. It is good idea to replace them with energy-efficient fluorescent bulb

  1. Choose white window shades

If you’re going to do drape window, you could just add white window shades. They’re white so they’ll reflect the light off. Cellular shades or honeycomb shades are awesome too because they almost trap the heat in the cellular compartments of the shade. They’re a little more expensive, but I think if you’re living in a house for a long time it would be a good investment to make.

  1. Paint with Light colours

The light, more powdery pastel colours are very cooling and soothing. You could even go tan as long as it’s like a grayish-taupy tan.

  1. Use More Fans

Fans are good way to get cool air without spending much money on AC.

Cooling your home without hurting your budget in summer 2014
  1. Day to day chores

Sometimes it’s a better idea to shower in the morning or at night and not in middle of the day; same thing with doing dishes, washing and drying your clothes, cooking — all that stuff can help reduce heat in the house. You’re just trying to avoid that midday heat — that’s when it’s the worst.

  1. Use more natural fibre jute rugs

Replace your heavy carpet with one of those natural fibre jute rugs. They’re almost very nautical in a sense so it gives you that sense of coolness. It makes you feel like you’re on the beach.

  1. Add more insulation to your Attic

If you’re going to live there for a while it might be worth adding insulation to your attic. You could go up to like 12 inches of insulation and it’ll dramatically reduce the heat that’s in your house.

  1. Open windows

It is good idea to keep your house cool in night time by opening windows.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Simple tricks to Travel smart and travel economical in 2014


Free tricks to Travel smart and travel economical in 2014

This is my new article on travel summer season of 2014. Summer is the best time to travel in North America. With the high gas cost and other travel problem we have to plan how we can Travel smart and travel economical. Here are some neat travel tips you can use to spend less time on watching your wallet and more time visiting new places.


Travel Light, Save Money

Even though you may be travelling with just one item of luggage, if it exceeds the allowable weight, you'll pay dearly for it. Generally, to avoid hefty fees for an overweight bag, your packed luggage must weigh less than 23kg (or 50lbs). And if it's over? Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $100 more.

Simple tricks to Travel smart and travel economical in 2014 

Advance Seat Selection Will Cost You

Many airlines nowadays offer you the opportunity to pick your seat well in advance of your travels, for a fee. Save anywhere from $20 to $40 per flight by selecting your seats during the check-in process rather than in advance.


Pack Less, Pay Less

Packing poorly can cost you...literally. If you can't fit everything into your suitcase and need to take two, count on having to pay. Fees vary, but 2nd bag service fees (if applicable) usually range in price from $20 to $70.


Simple tricks to Travel smart and travel economical in 2014

Pack Travel Insurance

No matter how short your trip, or how close to home you'll be, pack travel insurance. You should never travel without it; travel insurance will save you more money should you need to rely on it if you fall ill or are injured, than the premiums you paid. Travel insurance is not where you want to cut corners.

Travel Often? Consider an Annual, Multi-Trip Travel Insurance Policy

An annual, multi-trip travel insurance policy gives you the emergency medical health insurance coverage you need for each trip you take within a 12 month period. Annual travel insurance policies come with a variety of options for trip lengths—one week, two weeks, and one month being the most popular—and can save you money in travel insurance premiums over buying a single-trip policy every time you travel.

More saving with Pint-Sized stuff

Travel-sized toiletries are great for helping you travel light, but can be costly. Instead of buying these pint-sized travel companions pre-filled, go to the dollar store and buy empty travel-sized containers that you can fill with your favourite product. In no time, you'll recoup your initial investment (of about $5) and you can re-use them on all future trips too.

ABM Fees Can Put a Dent in Your Account

Call your bank if you're planning on using ABMs while on vacation; you may be surprised at how much this convenience will end up costing you. Transaction fees, additional withdrawal fees (for using a non-affiliated ABM), and foreign currency conversion administration fees may all apply.

Simple tricks to Travel smart and travel economical in 2014

Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card

If you don't yet have a travel rewards credit card, you're missing out on one of the easiest ways to travel cheap. And, depending on the credit card you choose, the points (or miles) you accumulate can add up and often be used towards anything travel-related—not just flights, but also hotels, car rentals, tours and more.

Only You Should Be Roaming, Not Your Phone

The pay-per-use fees for voice, data, and text messages are cost prohibitive and add up quickly when travelling. Avoid paying exorbitantly high fees by getting a travel bundle plan from your service provider. Listed are the big three in Canada with links: Bell Canada, Rogers Communications, and Telus.

Cheap Travel

Cheap travel doesn't have to mean that you travel to destinations you're not interested in, stay at accommodations you don't like, or eat poorly while you're there. In fact, cheap travel—in this one traveller's opinion—means smart travel. Pay for what's important, get the most out of what's easily available to you and avoid falling prey to unnecessary fees and surcharges


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Friday, May 9, 2014

Low down on getting Free College Scholarship


Tips to get Free College Scholarship in 2016-17

The potential of winning a free college scholarship should be attainable for anyone who has the motivation to attend college, but needs financial aid. For many people, a scholarship provides the only opportunity they have for furthering their education, so preparation is essential when considering going to college on a scholarship High school students should begin to build their academic resumes as early as possible: the more they have to show, the better their chances will be of receiving financial assistance for college.

How to get Free College Scholarship?


Low down on getting Free College Scholarship in 2014

Get Good grade

The first place for students to start when the goal is a free college scholarship is with their grades. Although not all scholarships are based on academic merit, students need to show some consistency to prove that they can fulfill a degree plan. The objective, however, should be to have the highest GPA possible.
Low down on getting Free College Scholarship in 2014

Get High score in SAT and ACT test

In addition to grades and grade point averages, scores from tests such as the SAT and the ACT are evaluated and even calculated with other grades to qualify students for some scholarships. If there are pre-tests or practice tests that can be taken, students should take that opportunity to find out where they stand and where they need improvement.

Do More volunteering

High school is also a great time to start volunteering and serving the community. The amount of time that is volunteered is important in receiving free college scholarships, but not as important as the personal characteristics that it develops, such as leadership and dependability. Also, volunteering can open students to new interests that may affect their career choices.

Low down on getting Free College Scholarship in 2014

Specific Career Plan

Having clear goals for the future is a quality that is highly regarded by scholarship selection committees and the sponsors of awards. It is in the student's best interest to have specific education and career plans if they have expectations of winning a free college scholarship.
With adequate preparation, free college scholarships should be attainable for most students.


Not All Scholarships Are Free

The majority of students who receive scholarships are under the impression that they have been awarded a free scholarship. While in most cases this is true, and a scholarship, by definition, is a gift given to pay for college that does not need to be paid back, there are instances where a scholar will end up owing something. Many people do not consider tax penalties that may be associated with scholarships. There can also be stipulations in some scholarships stating that the students are required to pay back the amount of the award by way of service in their field.
While a scholarship is, in fact, free for most students, scholarship recipients should be aware that scholarship awards are not taxable only when the award is used to pay for tuition, enrollment fees, and books and materials that are necessary for the courses they are enrolled in. On the other hand, if the student uses the scholarship to pay for room and board or for travel expenses, even if associated with school, the amount that is spent for these purposes will be taxed. Even scholarship money that is spent on research may be taxed. Since equipment for research is taxable, is would be wise to inquire with the sponsor of the scholarship or the IRS to distinguish between equipment that is taxed and other materials that are not.

Students, who are awarded scholarships which require repayment in the form of work or service, are in the monetary sense, receiving a free scholarship, but they still owe their time. Those who fail to work as specified may owe the remaining balance, with interest. These are facts that all scholarship recipients should be prepared to face, not things that should discourage anyone from applying for or using scholarships as part of a complete financial aid package.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Easiest way to spring clean dust mites from mattress and wooden stain naturally


Spring Clean dust mites mattress and wood stains

This is my second article on spring cleaning our home clutter. In my previous article we see how to clean stove, refrigerator, shower head and Dusty blinds. I this article you will see some healthy ideas to clean wood stains and dirty mattress.

Part 1- Spring Clean wood stains

What you need?

1. Mayonnaise
2 Paper towel
How to clean wood stains
1. Spread about 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise on a paper towel.
2. Place the paper towel on the white water mark. Press lightly.
3. Leave the mayonnaise on the stain about 15 minutes.
4. Lift the paper towel and check the stain. If the mark remains, rub more mayo into it again and check it later.
5. Stain should be gone. Reapply if necessary.

Part 2- Spring Clean Your Mattress

Easiest way to spring clean dust mites from mattress and wooden stain naturally
Spring cleaning mattresses is a simple process for me.  I start by removing all the bedding, including bed skirts and mattress covers… and putting it all into the wash.
Next I lift the mattress and box springs off the bed and thoroughly vacuum and dust.  I also love to wipe down the wall and floorboards behind the bed.

What you need

1.      Baking soda
2.      Lavender essential oil.
3.      Vacuum

How to clean?

1.      Lay the mattress back into place and make my own special concoction.  Take one cup of Baking soda and add 4 drops of Lavender essential oil.
2.      Using kitchen strainers sprinkle the baking soda mixture all over the mattress and let it sit for 1-2 hour.

Easiest way to spring clean dust mites from mattress and wooden stain naturally
3.      Using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress.  Bye, bye dust mites and other nasty things.  The baking soda helps draw up any moisture and deep dirtiness.  It deodorizes and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean. You will also love the faint scent of lavender left by the essential oil.

Lavender is also an anti-bacterial agent. If you want to clean your kitchen you can use water dispersible lavender about 1 tsp. in about 1 litre of water. Works wonders and calms the house down.

If you do not like Lavender smell you can use Lime Essential Oils as well…citrus is a fresh, clean scent any time of the year.
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