Buying & Selling Tips

    • 9 Savvy Money Resolutions to Make in 2021

      22 January 2021

      Ringing in the New Year is a good time to make some meaningful financial resolutions; money decisions that will help you save more and spend wisely. Start with a few of these suggestions from money management gurus.

      Read About Money
      The more you know, the better your savings and investment decisions. Utilize books, free budgeting apps and financial newsletters that can help you act with purpose and forethought. 

      Ditch the Cash
      Credit cards and mobile wallets are not only more popular than cash these days, they often offer rewards and make it easier to track your spending so you can make better decisions about where you put your hard-earned dollars. 

      Maximize Credit Card Rewards
      If you’re using a credit card, you might as well get maximum benefit. Shop around for a cash-back card or one that offers air miles or other rewards.

      Boost 401(k) Savings
      Increasing your contribution even just a percentage point can save you big in the long run, thanks to compounding interest. At the very least, try and match up to what your employer offers.

      Use It or Drop It 
      You may not be up for cutting out that expensive morning coffee, but are you really using all those streaming options you pay for? And what about that magazine subscription you can do without or the gym membership you aren’t using? If you don’t use it, lose it.

      Check Your Auto Insurance 
      Rates fluctuate all the time. If you have a good driving record, shop around. You may find better rates than you’re now paying.

      Ditto for Homeowners Insurance 
      It’s worth checking to see if you can find a better rate for the same, or even better, coverage.

      Double Up on Loan Repayment 
      Take the money you are not currently spending on travel, theater and restaurants and use it toward paying off credit card or other debt.

      Prepare for Holiday Debt 
      Your 2020 holiday bills are likely just coming in. Now’s a good time to set up a Christmas bank account that you can dump some funds in every month so you are ready to help Santa when the time comes.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Items You May Want to Insure Before Moving

      22 January 2021

      Even when everything goes according to plan, moving is pretty much guaranteed to be a stressful process. If something gets lost or damaged, however, it’s only going to get worse. That’s why it’s important to make sure that certain luxury items are insured before they’re packed and transported to your new home.

      While homeowners insurance will usually cover you in the event of a break-in or natural disaster, such as a fire or hurricane, you could still be liable for anything that happens while moving. Moving companies, on the other hand, can be held liable to replace or fix a damaged item if you purchase full-value protection, though you’re not guaranteed to receive full compensation because you’re usually only covered up to a certain amount. For items of extraordinary value, which are defined as being worth more than $100 per pound, it can be a good idea to purchase separate insurance to cover you while moving. Here are a few items that luxury homeowners frequently opt to add coverage to. 

      Artwork and Antiques
      For a valuable art collection, it’s quite common to purchase property insurance in addition to your homeowners policy. Even if you’ve already done this, though, you’ll want to check and see if it covers moving, as it’s entirely possible that damage that occurs in the back of a truck is not included.

      Jewelry
      Perhaps the easiest item to “mysteriously disappear,” it’s always important to take proper precautions with your jewelry collection when moving. Be sure to have high-value pieces appraised beforehand and, for items that are truly irreplaceable, you may want to hire a special jewelry shipping service, or carry it with you.

      Wine
      All it takes is a bump in the road or a slam on the brakes, and a rare bottle of wine could be lost to the move. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself unpacking any wine-soaked boxes at your new home, but, given the fragile nature, it’s smart to insure a valuable collection.

      Technology
      A state-of-the-art home entertainment setup, complete with an ultra-high-definition television and high-fidelity audio system, can easily set you back tens of thousands of dollars. These items are far from indestructible, but they are replaceable. With insurance, you can enjoy peace of mind should anything happen en route to your new abode. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Easy-to-Make Cookies to Satisfy Sweet Cravings

      22 January 2021

      (Family Features) Whether it’s a home-cooked meal, a tasty snack or a delicious dessert, sometimes the best recipes are the easiest. Take your sweets to the next level by adding an option to your cookbook that’s as simple as it is tempting and satisfying. 

      These Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies require only three everyday ingredients that can be prepped and baked in less than half an hour. Just preheat the oven; mix the peanut butter, sugar and one egg; roll into individual balls then flatten on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. 

      The key ingredient is the flavorful peanut butter that packs a protein punch while delivering the taste that’ll bring loved ones back for seconds. 

      Find more ways to incorporate peanuts and peanut butter into your desserts at gapeanuts.com. 

      Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
      Prep time: 20 minutes
      Cook time: 8-10 minutes

      1 cup peanut butter
      1 cup granulated sugar
      1 large egg

      Preheat the oven to 350 F.

      In a bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar and egg.

      Using a small cookie scoop, place dough balls on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork to make a traditional peanut butter cookie crisscross pattern.

      Bake 8-10 minutes until done. Cool thoroughly before removing from the cookie sheet. Store in an air-tight container.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 10 Easy Ways to Refresh a Tired Living Space

      21 January 2021

      If you’re like many Americans who’ve been working from home for many months, you may be tired of the living space you once enjoyed and find it is now totally uninspiring. Decorators suggest 10 simple refresher solutions to perk up your living and work space.

      1. Repaint one wall. Add a new splash of color by repainting one wall of your kitchen, bedroom or living room. Choose a color you find relaxing or pleasing and add new interest to your day.
      2. Bring in a few plants. A little greenery can do wonders to brighten up a space and lift your spirits as well. Try an easy-care philodendron, a low-light friendly Devil’s Ivy or Chinese evergreen, or mini-sago palm or weeping fig.
      3. Hang a mirror. It will get a little more light bouncing around, which can make a room look more spacious.
      4. Try some new wall art. Add interest and create something fun to look at while you work by hanging one larger piece surrounded in an interesting way by several smaller pieces. You can even use framed photos or a variety of smaller watercolors to make a pleasing gallery wall. 
      5. Change up the lighting. Overhead light can be pretty boring. Bring in a table or floor lamp or two to get light coming from different heights and angles around the room.  
      6. Bring in a rug. In addition to adding warmth and texture to the floor, an area rug helps ground a room and the furniture in it. Even a small rug in the kitchen or in your entryway can make a big difference. 
      7. Do some rearranging. Speaking of furniture, you can completely change the look of a room just by moving it around. 
      8. Toss some pillows around. Make a tired room more inviting by tossing some comfy, bright-colored pillows on the sofa,  a chair or a bed.
      9. Change out the knick-knacks. Accessorize a bookcase, shelving or a mantelpiece with some new decorative pieces, such as a couple of framed pictures, a small vase or sculpture, a pretty clock or whatever pleases you. 
      10. Try adding scent. If you find the scent of pine or hyacinths relaxing, bring in some scented candles. Bringing scent into a room can liven it without breaking the bank.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Power Family Meals with Protein-Packed Peanuts

      21 January 2021

      (Family Features) Starting fresh with a new year is a chance to hit the reset button for many people, and your family can use this opportunity to rethink homemade meals while striving for nutritious (and still delicious) dishes. From snacks to the main course each evening, the options are nearly endless for planning a revamped menu with healthier ingredients. 

      Dinnertime can be a cinch with Peanut Butter Chicken, a simple dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make when busy evenings call for a quick solution. If a veggie-based option aligns better with your family’s desires, try Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce or go full-on comfort food with Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili. Snacking doesn’t have to mean forgoing your dedication to nutritious choices either – these Peanut Granola Bars can be your made-at-home masterpiece for adults and children to enjoy. 

      These recipes from the Georgia Peanut Commission are powered by peanuts, a nutrient-rich superfood that delivers 19 vitamins and 7 grams of protein per serving for a health benefit punch in each bite. 
      Discover more nutritious recipe ideas at gapeanuts.com.

      Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
      Prep time: 30 minutes
      Servings: 2

      4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
      3 tablespoons lime juice
      2 tablespoons water
      4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
      2 teaspoons soy sauce
      2 teaspoons sriracha
      2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)
      1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
      1/2 cup white onion, sliced into thin strips
      1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
      1/2 cup purple cabbage
      1/2 cup fresh cilantro

      In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha; mix well.

      Spread sauce on both sides of each roll then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro.

      Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili
      Recipe courtesy of the National Peanut Board
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Cook time: 35 minutes
      Servings: 8

      2 teaspoons oil
      1/2 large white onion, chopped
      1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
      1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
      2 garlic cloves, chopped
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon cumin
      1 teaspoon chili powder
      1 tablespoon tomato paste
      1 can crushed tomatoes
      1 can whole tomatoes
      2 cups water
      1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
      1 can green jackfruit, drained and chopped
      1/4 cup peanut butter
      cornbread (optional)
      tortilla chips (optional)
      cinnamon rolls (optional)

      Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion and peppers; cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

      Add garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and tomato paste, stirring to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, water, kidney beans and jackfruit; bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and simmer for 5 minutes.

      Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips or cinnamon rolls, if desired.

      Peanut Granola Bars 
      Prep time: 10 minutes
      Cook time: 6 minutes, plus 30-45 minutes cooling time
      Servings: 12-14
       
      1/2 cup honey
      6 tablespoons unsalted butter
      2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
      1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
      1 teaspoon vanilla 
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      2 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
      1 cup bran flakes
      1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
      1 cup dried fruit (raisins, blueberries or cranberries)
      1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

      In a large, shallow, microwavable dish, combine honey, butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Microwave at 50% power 2 minutes then whisk to combine and microwave at 50% power 2 minutes. 

      Add oats, bran flakes, coconut flakes, dried fruit and peanuts; stir to combine. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds. 

      Press mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish lined with parchment or wax paper with some extra hanging over edges to easily lift bars out. Use the bottom of the glass wrapped with plastic wrap to press the granola mixture firmly into the pan. Allow to cool completely 30-45 minutes. Cut into 12-14 bars.

      Peanut Butter Chicken
      Recipe courtesy of “Unsophisticook”
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Cook time: 12 minutes
      Yield: 6 cups 

      Peanut Sauce:
      1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
      3 tablespoons sweet red chili sauce
      1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
      1 tablespoon soy sauce 
      1 tablespoon honey
      1/8-1/4 cup hot water (optional)
      chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)
      2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
      1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
      1 tablespoon soy sauce
      3/4 cup peanut sauce
      cooked brown rice
      assorted bell peppers, sliced
      chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)

      To make peanut sauce: In a small glass bowl, whisk peanut butter, sweet red chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey until blended smoothly.

      Thin sauce with hot water to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.
      To make chicken: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle oil. Add diced chicken then pour soy sauce over top. Saute about 10-12 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.

      Serve with peanut sauce, brown rice and colorful sliced veggies. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.