December 16th, 2015 by Terri Aubain
With big holidays come big meals, and despite our best efforts, we seldom finish all the amazing food. Ever found your fridge too stuffed with leftovers?
The truth is, many of us don’t manage our refrigerator space well. There’s actually a ton more room in your fridge if you make smart choices about how you organize what you need to store. Here are some surprising ways to make the most out of the cold space you have in your kitchen.
- Ditch the round storage containers. Plastic storage bins are cheap enough now that you can probably afford to replace those old circular ones with stackable square ones. Square or rectangular shapes are far more efficient for the typical fridge.
- Prioritize the shelves. Put what you want eaten soon on a middle rack, and don’t let it drift to the back. Items which fade into the back get forgotten, and typically don’t require the coldest temperatures. Put your milk and your meats in the rearward cold zones for freshness and storage efficiency.
- Remove tomatoes, onions, potatoes. You’re doing these veggies a favor by keeping them out of the cold. Tomatoes will get mealy and soft, while the cold amps up the starch in potatoes. Onions and potatoes can survive just fine if separated into bags and placed in a drawer away from the light.
- Check your condiments. Many of us keep condiments in the fridge that don’t need to be chilled and can be stored in the pantry or cabinets. This includes mustard (8 weeks), ketchup (4 weeks), fish sauce (2 years), hot sauce (3 years), and soy sauce (1 year). Keep them out of direct sunlight in a relatively cool room.
- Supplement with a beverage fridge. Sodas, beers, and other beverages can take up a lot of room in your fridge. Consider investing in a smaller beverage fridge. Many can be found for under $300. A beverage fridge will also reduce the in-and-out traffic to the main fridge, ensuring greater energy efficiency and more stable food storage temperatures. Decluttering your fridge can also promote food safety. A packed fridge prevents air from circulating and keeping foods at their optimal temperature.
If your fridge isn’t the problem, but your small kitchen is, maybe it’s time to start hunting for a bigger house! Get in touch with me, and I’ll help you find homes in your area with dream kitchens.
February 11th, 2015 by Terri Aubain
Homeowners insurance is vital for protecting your investment. It’s also required by lenders holding the mortgage on your home. For some reason many homeowners overlook ways they can save money on their premiums. Shopping around is a good idea, but much like auto insurance, there are many simple things you can do to impact how much you pay annually to protect your home.
Raise your deductible.
Do you really need a low deductible on your insurance policy? Many people can absorb the hit if they go from a $500 deductible to a $1000 deductible, and in some cases this simple move can reduce rates up to 25%. Deductible can have a dramatic impact on your premium, so ask your company rep to quote you the difference.
Don’t insure for your home’s purchase price.
Remember, you don’t have to re-buy the land your home is on if you have to rebuild. If you’ve asked for coverage which includes the land cost as well as the structure cost, you could be paying far more than you need to pay to protect your home.
Retired? Seek a discount.
If you’re over 55 and you’re retired, your insurance company may be willing to drop your rate by as much as 10%. Retired folks are home more often. This can help reduce burglaries and provide an early warning system for fires.
Ask for a loyalty discount.
If you’ve been with your insurance company for at least three years, call them up and bring this to their attention. Let them know you’re considering shopping for a new policy, and you’re curious if they can extend you a discount for being a loyal customer. Savings can range from five to ten percent.
Adjust your coverage for possessions.
You may be insuring for more than you own. Certain high-end computers and other luxury goods may depreciate over time. If the limits on your policy far exceed the value of your possessions, make changes to your policy. The difference can add up. (Do this every year.)
Factoring in insurance costs is an important part of determining how much home you can afford. For more information on how different types of homes can have different insurance costs, talk to me today: Terri Aubain 832-777-8850 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org