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5 Ways to Stretch a Meal Budget with Leftovers

Use Those Leftovers In Your Fridge To Make A New Meal

Use Those Leftovers In Your Fridge To Make A New Meal

Starting and maintaining a meal budget isn’t always as easy as you might wish for it to be, and it can be hard to stick to your plan if you’re struggling to keep enough money in the bank. If you’re looking to stretch your meal budget and get more meals out of your budget, then you might want to start looking to use leftovers to achieve that goal. Leftovers don’t exactly have a glamorous history or reputation, but there are definitely some interesting ways you can use them to stretch your meal budget. You likely won’t even realize or mind that you’re eating leftovers if you follow these tips, so it’s definitely worth looking into in order to see just how you can spice up leftovers and really save some money in your meal budget. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Add a New Side Dish to Leftovers

If you’re just heating up leftovers and not adding anything to that, then it can really be disheartening and not that exciting. You won’t really be excited about dinner, and it can even wind up getting tiring to eat leftovers all the time. If you’re looking to stretch your budget by eating leftovers, you should consider adding a few side dishes to your leftover meal. If you had a roast chicken for dinner and you plan on having leftovers for dinner, why not make a squash casserole or something else to make it a little more exciting? Sure, you’re basically eating the same thing two nights in a row, but at least you have a new side dish to add to it. It won’t cost all that much money and it will really help you get the most out of the experience.

2. Make the Leftovers into a New Meal

You don’t always just need to heat up your leftovers – and why should you, if you can make it into a whole new meal? If you have steaks or tenderloin for dinner one night, you can easily turn that into a Philly cheese steak sandwich the next night. It’s a great way to help you stretch your budget and keep things interesting, and once you start getting into the habit of making leftovers into new meals, you’ll really start to appreciate your meal budget a lot more.

3. Save Different Ingredients from One Meal

Different Ingredients Can Transform Those Leftover Into Something New

Different Ingredients Can Transform Those Leftover Into Something New

Saving different ingredients from one meal can help you transform your leftovers into something new every night you have to eat them. Don’t just save the end product – if you’re making a soup, then save some of the steps along the way. For example, you might want to try making and storing your own homemade chicken broth if you can. You can use this to really add some much-needed flavor to leftovers and make new dishes with it, so it’s worth the extra time and effort for sure.

4. Add a New Sauce to Leftovers

Sauces really make the world go around in the kitchen, so if you add a new sauce to your leftovers, it can really transform the dish completely. Look into making a new sauce to go along with something you’ve already made – roast chicken can be a new dish if you add a new type of sauce to it, and so can pretty much anything else. Making pan sauces is quite easy once you get the hang of it, so it’s worth looking into if you’re trying to make the most of your budget.

5. Make It into a Soup or Stew

Improve Your Food Budget

Improve Your Food Budget

One of the best ways to stretch a meal budget is by making leftovers into a soup or stew. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, you’ll definitely want to give this a shot. It makes a whole new meal and it can have such an amazingly different flavor so that you won’t even know that you’ve been eating leftovers. Learning how to transform leftovers into soups and stews will really help you make the most out of your meal budget, and you might even discover some new favorite dishes this way. It’s worth learning how to do it, especially if you’re trying to stretch a budget at the end of the month.

5 Great Apps That Will Gameify Your Life

Are You Serious About Getting Fit?... Use Fitocracy

Are You Serious About Getting Fit?… Use Fitocracy

The process of gamification is gaining more and more ground in these modern times. Gamification is the idea of applying game mechanics to aspects of life that are otherwise unpleasant or less than fun. Do a task and reward yourself with experience points, gold, and other forms of rewards. Do quests that allow you to actually do the things that most people consider to be what you have to do in order to be a functioning member of society. Some people sneer at gamification as being a sign of weakness of will, but most people enjoy it. What’s wrong with having some fun with things that would otherwise just be a sap of energy? If you want to see what the idea of gamification can do for you, consider these 5 apps. They each gamify a part of life and could be the motivation you need to get things done.

Fitocracy

Fitocracy is a social media network for work out enthusiasts. Are you a gamer who’s serious about getting fit? Are you willing to spend hours grinding a video game to search out that sweet, sweet experience? Do you need a more tangible marker of your progress than the nebulously defined "getting better" quality that comes with working out? Input your workouts in Fitocracy and watch as it gives you experience points for every rep and lap you do. You can level up, participate in clubs and challenges with fellow work out enthusiasts, and complete quests. This app has been working to make the points system fair to everyone, and make tracking your progress easier than ever.

Duolingo

Learn A Second Language With Duolingo

Learn A Second Language With Duolingo

Have you ever wanted to learn a second language? Well, if that language is French, Spanish, or German there’s now an app for that. This little app prompts you to practice every day, taking the time to complete small lessons of 20 minutes or less. This is a mixture approach, asking you to read, write, listen, and speak the language that you’re trying to learn. A combination of dynamic correction and a points system makes you want to go over lessons again and again until you’ve gotten all the achievements. The social aspect means that you can pair up with a friend and get a spurt of motivation every time they score better than you do on a quiz.

HabitRPG

You Can Set Up Daily Tasks Using HabitRPG

You Can Set Up Daily Tasks Using HabitRPG

Like Dungeons and Dragons for modern housework, HabitRPG lets you set your own goals. Team up with friend from real life or from the forums to fight the beasts in a series of quests. HabitRPG is a way to get your whole life on track: you can set up habits that you either succeed at (gaining gold, random item drops, and experience) or you fail at (losing health and running the risk of dying and losing a level). You can set up daily tasks and then turn them off and on on different days to plan your week. As you get better at getting things done you can set your own rewards. Want to buy a candy bar? 500 HabitRPG Gold cost before you can will ensure that you only treat yourself after you’ve completed your to do list.

ChoreWars

Like the idea of HabitRPG, but need a way to prove that you’re better at it than everyone in your home or office, and also you told them that you did the most work around here? ChoreWars allows people sharing a common space, like a family, housemates, or coworkers to join up and share the workload. Every task is assigned a value, and the person who does the chore gets to claim it. Finally you might be able to motivate your deadbeat roommate who never gets off the Xbox to do his dishes. Warning: this app is highly addictive, and some chore poaching to maintain superiority is to be expected.

Zombies!Run

If you’ve always wanted to set up a jogging program but find it hard to run unless you’re afraid for your life, download Zombies!Run. This game is a masterpiece of motivation. With fantastic voice acting and a plot to boot, you essentially listen to an audiobook while walking and jogging—and keep your GPS engaged, because when the story says you’re being chased by zombies you have to pick up the pace or risk being killed! These stories are the perfect length for someone trying to establish their first jogging routine, and can really help motivate you to sprint when it says to sprint. The moans of the zombies come right through your headphones. Don’t run at night unless you enjoy jumping at every rustle in the bushes.

Marketing Your Business Online: Social Media and More

Marketing Your Business Online Using All The Social Media Platforms

Marketing Your Business Online Using All The Social Media Platforms

When you’re establishing your marketing plan, you should focus more than ever on social media. Your business’s online presence is one of the most important things that you need to cultivate and control, and also the most accessible way for you to directly engage your customers. Not only do customers expect your business to have its own website, but they’ll also assume you have a Facebook page as well as profiles on other social networking sites, such as Google+ or twitter. Your goal while using social media is to have your content go some version of viral. In other words, through multiple shares and posts, your business’s name and content will be spread across various different networks and be seen by lots of different people. Even better if someone endorses you who has lots of followers or friends, and is a trusted source of recommendations. Social media has great potential, but it has to be used properly. Here are a few key tips when you’re planning how you’re going to use social media to help your business continue to find success and grow.

Choosing the Right Type of Social Media for Your Business

Social media comes in many different forms. There are the old standards, like Facebook and Twitter, and then there are new platforms that come out every year. Some of them stick and some of them don’t, but the best way to decide which ones will serve you the best is what type of content they’re geared toward. For example, a pinboard site, such as Pinterest or Polyvore, is a strong, highly shareable social media site that works well with images. It’s possible to place text or any other type of content into a pin, but because it’s based on the idea of an inspiration board or bulletin board, images are the primary type of content the site hosts. If you deal in anything visual or have strong images of products that are fun to look at, then a good choice for social networking would be a pinboard site. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with more intangible services that you’re selling online, a microblogging site like tumblr helps make your posts go viral very quickly if they appeal to the community. The best thing about microblogging is that it’s designed to host content that can be liked or reblogged very quickly, and it’s made for every type of post from audio files to pure text.

Understanding the Importance of Content

Tweet Interesting Articles About DIY Projects

Tweet Interesting Articles About DIY Projects

The number one mantra you’ll hear eCommerce experts repeating is the importance of content. Content is basically what makes up your site that customers can access. This includes everything from inventory photos to blog copy, and it has to be engaging. In today’s online marketplace, customers don’t expect to go to your online store and find only a few things for sale. Rather, they are more savvy and expect a more multifaceted experience that incorporates shareable content and interesting information about your industry. For example, if you’re dealing with a company that sells wedding supplies, they might tweet interesting articles about DIY projects for bouquets. Whether or not the business itself is selling bouquets is irrelevant. The point is that they’re offering something of value to their customers and engaging with them about the experience that they deal in, which is weddings. This is the type of content you want to strive for to make your customers’ experiences with your business engaging and dynamic, rather than just static and generic.

Common Social Media Mistakes Businesses Make

Don't Overwhelm Your Customers

Don’t Overwhelm Your Customers

The worst mistake you can make for your business is trying to incorporate too many social media buttons on your site. This is overwhelming to customers and they won’t be interested in clicking any of them to share your content, because they probably don’t even have profiles on half the sites you have listed. Stick to a few major social media sites that everyone has, and then choose one or two sites that are new that suit your business’s content effectively. The idea is to be focused on only a few forms of social media and not dilute your content and brand by trying to stretch it over too many different platforms. You also won’t waste time replicating your content over and over, which gets redundant. Develop your presence on one or two social media sites first, and then reevaluate your social media marketing plan if needed.

Creative Activities That Are Great For Your Mental Health

Improving Emotional Health One Brush Stroke At A Time

Improving Emotional Health One Brush Stroke At A Time

Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or just want a way to relax on the weekends, everyone needs something to unwind. Obviously you could channel that into a shopping habit or something else that could turn sour over time, or you could turn to something a little more beneficial. Studies show that hobbies that promote creation trump those that end it spending too much money. The below are just a few examples, but have proven to be the easiest way to great mental health.

Painting

The act of moving the brush over canvas is actually known to be incredibly soothing. In Buddhism, creating the enso (think a spiral with only one ring) is said to bring peace and harmony to the creator. Now, you don’t have to fill a whole canvas with spirals or anything, but using a brush will cause a natural calming effect in your body. Plenty of places in every community offer painting lessons, or you can just take it upon yourself to learn. Every craft supply store will have a variety of tutorial books. Just pick up a book and get started. Whether you want to paint flowers, people, or go abstract, there’s a book for you.

Knitting

Knitting And Crocheting

Knitting And Crocheting

On the subject of repetitive motions, knitting and crocheting are right up your alley if you want a less messy alternative. This is also great for if you want to relax and watch TV, or listen to an audio book during your relaxation time. You can watch your favorite show while simultaneously creating an amazing scarf, or countless other objects. Doing this will also help you make gifts for family and friends while you’re relaxing. A lot of people who find it hard to remain idle when they’re not working find knitting a great way to wind down while still keeping busy. There are also a lot of books on knitting that you can check out, as well as patterns to follow.

Scrapbooking

This hobby can get a little pricey, but it’s an amazing way to document all your precious memories. Whether you have family memories you’d like to cherish, or you want to detail a trip you’ve taken, getting a scrapbook can really help you out. The scrapbooks themselves aren’t too expensive, but when you start adding in stickers, custom paper, stamps, and specialty pens, the cost adds up quickly. You can do this the cheap way, though, and make a scrapbook that’s just as good. Watch craft stores for sales and coupons, and then strike. You can create a beautiful scrapbook on a budget, and cherish your precious memories while improving your mental health.

Gardening

If you want a way to get outside more, there’s no better way to improve your mood than to start a garden. Even a small flower garden can make you happy, and give you something to do in your free time. Depending on what you grow, maintaining a garden is easy. You just have to make sure that your plants get enough sunlight and water. If you want to go all out, you can plant some vegetables. This way you can have healthy food to bring to the table, and you’ll get the good feeling of taking care of something. If you don’t have a yard to have a garden in, don’t worry. You can create a small spice garden in pots in a windowsill, or even grow a few flowers indoors as well. These might need a little extra love, but they’ll thrive nonetheless under your diligent care.

Cooking

Cooking Is A Great Way To Relieve Stress

Cooking Is A Great Way To Relieve Stress

This one might not seem like a creative process, but you’d be surprised what you can do with a meal. Cooking is a great way to relieve stress as well as express yourself and your interests. These days, presentation is becoming more and more important. Food is more of an art than ever, and spending an evening preparing a beautiful dinner for family, friends, or just for yourself can be incredibly rewarding. For one thing, the preparation itself is a great way to clear your mind of all the stress of a day’s work. Focusing on the little details of a meal will keep your mind on the task at hand and not on all the problems you have. If you’re not much of a dinner person, there’s no limit to what you can do with dessert. If you want to go all out, learn to make beautiful cupcakes and cakes with fondant. Just keep trying new recipes until you find what you love, and keep on creating no matter what.

Five Habits You Have That Drive Her Insane

You Know You Are Charming.. But You Are Not Perfect

You Know You Are Charming.. But You Are Not Perfect

Obviously you think you’re charming, and women must love everything you do, right? You probably don’t think that way, but even so you might not be as self-aware as you think you are. Once the honeymoon stage of dating is over, women start noticing a man’s every flaw, and it can often lead to the end of a relationship. Keep things going strong by taking the time to realize what you’re doing wrong before she has to get mad and point it out herself, because at that point you’re already in trouble. Women have spoken, and these are the top five habits that men have that drive ladies off the deep end.

Strutting

Stop Acting As If You Were Better Than Everyone Else

Stop Acting As If You Were Better Than Everyone Else

You might think that women love a sexy swagger, but what they really see when you come in strutting is a conceited man who is probably lacking in some way. Whether or not that’s true is beside the point. Women might want to screw a guy who acts like he’s better than everyone, but very few actually want to date one that acts like that. When you strut, it tells her that you aren’t serious and that you play women like it’s nothing. That’s not good date material at all. If you two are already dating, then the last thing she cares about is watching you show off. In fact, you showing off when the two of you go out tells her that you’re still trying to flirt with other women.

Being Lazy

You Can't Keep Sitting On Your Ass All Day

You Can’t Keep Sitting On Your Ass All Day

There’s a difference between wanting to take it easy every now and then and just being plain lazy. When you ask her to get every tiny thing for you so you can keep sitting on your ass all day, that drives her nuts. On top of that, it comes off as sexist. Even if you don’t mean it that way, women jump to conclusions. Asking her to get the remote for you translates to you wanting her back in the kitchen. You’re bound to have a mutiny on your hands in no time. Just get the remote yourself. Make your own sandwiches. In fact, make her sandwiches too just to be nice.

Poor Grooming

When you’re in a relationship, taking care of yourself is important. Now you have someone to impress. She doesn’t want to see you be a slob while she makes an effort to look nice. If you want her to look her best, she’s right to expect the same of you. That means you shave, bathe, and comb everything regularly. If you can’t keep up with a daily regimen, then expect to hear complaints. Women will put up with this behavior early on in a relationship, but once things start getting serious she’s going to get fed up fast.

Bad Jokes

Women Hate Sex Jokes

Women Hate Sex Jokes

We don’t mean lame jokes. We mean tasteless ones. Women hate sex jokes, and any joke that could be perceived as sexist. If you make the mistake of making a “get back in the kitchen” joke, you’re more likely to get punched than to get a laugh out of her. Just take time before you joke around and think to yourself about whether or not anyone could get offended by that joke. If the answer is yes, then keep quiet. There are plenty of ways to make people laugh without bringing anyone else down. Either find out how to do that, or don’t joke at all. Countless women have left men because of tasteless jokes. Ladies these days have a very low tolerance for bullshit, and won’t put up with yours either.

Assuming

Don’t Assume Everything Is Ok... Ask Her

Don’t Assume Everything Is Ok… Ask Her

The literal worst thing you can do in a relationship is make assumptions. You know the saying, right? Well, it’s completely true. Don’t assume anything about her. Especially don’t assume anything sexual about her. Unless she’s in your lap begging for you, don’t assume she’s up for it. Men are always up for it. Women are not. If you make the mistake of assuming she wants sex when she doesn’t, you’re in for a horrible night with a pissed-off girlfriend. Always proposing sex is only cute and funny for a little while. Then it’s a nuisance and she’ll just get rid of you. There are plenty of men who are willing to be courteous with her if you won’t be.