David Higgins' Blog
If you live a busy work and home life, finding time to cook nutritious and filling meals can be difficult. As a result, many people find themselves ordering out for lunch during the work week and settling for low-effort dinners during the week.
One economical and time-saving solution to this problem is meal prep. You pick one day during the week, usually Sunday, and devote an hour or two to preparing meals for the week.
Not only does it take away the concern of not knowing what to cook for dinner each night, but it also helps you save a ton of money while eating healthy.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips for preparing your meals in bulk, and a few examples of meals that are easily prepared at home in advance.
Expert advice on meal prepping
One of the first issues people face when they start prepping meals is storage. Our best advice is to look for rugged, microwavable and freezable containers.
It’s good to have a variety of sizes, but if you have stray pieces to sets of Tupperware it can make it difficult to find the right sizes. So, we suggest starting from scratch and buying a set of three-compartment and a set one-compartment containers.
Find out the volume of the containers you buy. Doing so will help you keep track of the portions of your meals and make it easier to prepare the right amount to avoid waste.
Many poor eating decisions happen when you’re in a pinch and need to come up with something quickly. It can seem like the cheapest option at the moment is to stop at a fast food restaurant, but you can likely prepare 3 or 4 meals for the price of one trip to the drive-through.
The key is proper planning. Sit down and make your menu for the week. An easy way to start is to think about your favorite lunch items and figure out how you can make them in bulk.
Make sure your shopping list reflects the portions you need to buy, and you’re good to head to the store.
Once you’re home and have started cooking, remember that you needn’t freeze all of your meals. Refrigerate items that you’ll eat over the next 2-3 days and freeze the rest. If you’re worried about losing your meals in your crowded freezer and finding them months from now, use some masking tape to label and date them.
Easy meals to prepare in advance
You can usually find a way to prepare most meals in advance. However, some are easier than others. A good place to start is with rice and grain bowls and stir fries. These tend to be cheap (around $1.50 per serving) and simple to prepare. To add protein, you can include boiled eggs, beans, chicken or beef.
Along the same line, make some brown rice and stir fry black beans, peppers, and onions. Add your favorite southwest seasonings, and buy a large bag of tortilla chips. You can scoop the rice and beans onto your chips for a nutritious and cheap lunch.
For dinner items, you can make your favorites like shepherd’s pie or lasagna in advance and slice and freeze them in portions.
So, you know you’re ready to buy a home and will be purchasing a new home soon. You’re excited that you finally have the down payment and are itching to start your home search. While you’re meeting with real estate agents and interviewing candidates to help you find your home, you can’t help but get started on your own. Everyone goes through this, you see yourself starting to look online and browse around. You may have an idea about your budget and financial and special requirements. That’s good! Just remember that it’s easy to stray outside your guidelines when you’re browsing online. Your real estate agent will ultimately guide you to properties that fit your requirements, but while you’re browsing around you may want to consider setting some boundaries or search guidelines for yourself.
First, know that browsing current listings online can help you create a productive list of features, preferences for your real estate agent to work with. You should feel encouraged to browse around, just remember to think about some basic direction you should consider before you start. This mostly pertains to your mental state when browsing, but know that your browsing will influence your actual buying strategy in the end.
Looking for homes online allows you to look at every price level, area and feature imaginable, or at least available within a range of your current city. It actually isn’t a bad thing to look at home out of your price range, but you should focus on homes within your price range. This can help you understand what your money can get you. You can see what features and locations are available in your price range, as well as above, so you can hone in on the significant areas and features you want to discuss with your real estate agent.
While looking at homes online, you should remind yourself to look at features, price, and location generally, and not focus in on a single home. The house you’re looking at online may or may not be available when you ask your agent. Furthermore, the home you’re looking at may or not be real. Even if you see something awesome online, you should always ask the advice of a trusted agent. They can verify the listing against the official MLS listing and contact the homeowner or their listing agent before you become too invested in the home.
Bottom line, feel free to search online while you select a real estate agent to facilitate your home search. Just remember to be smart, keep yourself from becoming overly obsessed with a single house and always ask the agent you choose to contact sellers on your behalf. With the help of your agent’s guidance, you’ll be well on your way to finding your new home.
The homebuying journey may be complicated, particularly for those who fail to plan for it. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to boost your chances of enjoying a successful property buying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you start a successful homebuying journey.
1. Establish Criteria for Your Home Search
Create homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. With homebuying criteria in hand, you can speed up the process of finding your dream residence.
Think about the features you want to find in your ideal house. For example, if you want to own a residence that boasts a luxurious in-ground swimming pool, you can search for houses that offer this feature. Or, if you want to purchase a home that includes a central air conditioning system, you can hone your house search accordingly.
Don't forget to consider where you want to reside too. If you prefer big city life over small town living – or vice-versa – you should account for this factor as you kick off your house search.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Obtaining a home mortgage is key, especially for individuals who want to streamline the homebuying process. Luckily, banks and credit unions are happy to help you select the right mortgage based on your individual needs.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly mortgage specialists who can take the guesswork out of home financing. If you meet with these professionals, you can learn about all of your mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Navigating the homebuying journey on your own may prove to be exceedingly difficult, regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market. However, if you hire a real estate agent, you can simplify your house search and discover your dream residence without delay.
A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her expertise with you. That way, you can work with a real estate agent to become a housing market expert.
In addition, a real estate agent offers comprehensive support throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will craft a custom homebuying strategy for you based on your property buying goals. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about available houses in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase it. Finally, a real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process.
For those who want to enjoy a quick, easy homebuying experience, it usually is a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can launch a successful homebuying journey and take the necessary steps to acquire your dream residence any time you choose.
If you want to accomplish your desired results during the home selling journey, you should strive to host lots of showings. Fortunately, we're here to help you prepare for home showings and ensure you are ready to host showings at any time.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a home showing.
1. Keep Your Home Neat and Tidy
Let's face it – maintaining a pristine home can be difficult. But if you allocate time and energy to perform various home maintenance tasks daily, you can keep your home show-ready.
Cleaning up after yourself can make a world of difference. For instance, wiping down kitchen countertops after cooking a meal enables you to avoid a long, arduous kitchen clean-up at a later time.
You also may want to create a home cleaning schedule. By planning daily or weekly chores like vacuuming the rugs or cleaning the bathroom, you can ensure your house will look great at all times.
2. Be Flexible
If a homebuyer submits a last-minute request for a home showing, it generally is a good idea to try to accommodate the buyer's request. By doing so, you can show your home to many prospective buyers and increase the likelihood of receiving an offer to purchase.
A flexible home seller usually is a successful home seller. Therefore, if a buyer wants to view your home, it is important to remember that each showing brings you one step closer to selling your residence.
Ultimately, if you maintain flexibility, you can make it easy for dozens of potential buyers to view your residence. And as a result, you may be able to accelerate the home selling process.
3. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter is something that all home sellers can live without. Because if a home is filled with clutter, it may be tough for prospective buyers to appreciate the full size and beauty of a residence.
For home sellers, it is important to remove clutter immediately. A home seller can rent a storage unit to hold excess items until his or her residence sells. Or, it may be beneficial to host a yard sale or list excess items online to cut down on clutter.
As you prepare to sell your home, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you achieve the optimal results during any home showing.
Typically, a real estate agent will offer recommendations and tips to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. If you receive a request to view your home, a real estate agent will notify you accordingly. And after a home showing is complete, a real estate agent will provide you with unbiased feedback to ensure you can update your property selling strategy as needed.
Ready to host a home showing? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can get ready to showcase your residence to potential buyers and bolster your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.