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  • Cook Your Way to a Healthier You


    The following is a post from Leona Jones. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    It may seem as if everywhere you turn there is a new diet fad on the horizon. While there is nothing wrong with trying a new diet here and there, there are some things you can do to make them more interesting. Here are some ways you can cook your way to a slimmer, healthier, and happier you.

    Upgrade Your Cooking Utensils

    Don’t expect to be able to cook five-star meals if you don’t own quality cooking materials. Cheap pots and pans may be great on your wallet for the short-term. However, you’ll end up spending far more money in the long run because they’ll need to be replaced more often. Since there are several types of cooking materials available, you may need to experiment with several brands before you find a good cooking set that you feel completely comfortable with. (Ed.: I love the Cuisinart stainless steel pots and pans I’ve purchased on sale at Amazon [affiliate link] – they’ve held up well through many years of use.)

    Invest in Some Cooking Lessons and Cookbooks

    Although there is no shortage of recipes available on the internet, there are still some things you can learn from cookbooks and cooking instructors. You don’t need to go to culinary school if that isn’t your career path of choice. You can sign up for lessons and get cookbooks from your local bookstore, library, and online. (Ed.: I learned a lot from watching Sara Moulton’s old “Cooking Live” show on Food Network. She has lots of videos on her web site.)

    Learn How to Stage Your Foods

    One of the biggest factors that can make or break anyone’s appetite is the way a dish looks. Dishes and meals that are put together sloppily are not as tantalizing and appetizing as foods that are carefully and artistically plated. Think colors, shapes, and textures; they all contribute to the final appearance of any dish.

    Learn the Art of Food Pairing

    They may look good together, but not all foods taste and go well together. This is where the art of food pairing comes in. For instance, a meal composed of meatloaf and mashed potatoes is a great dish for anyone who wants to enjoy a comfort meal. However, the pairing of these two foods can lead to digestive complications. Mashed potatoes are a source of starch and saturated fats that may lead to slow digestion and constipation because of its incompatibility with the protein in meatloaf.

    Eat Smaller Portions

    No matter how good something looks, overindulgence can lead to a bigger waistline, higher numbers on the scale, and health issues. Get in the habit of consuming smaller meals throughout the day to facilitate proper nutrient absorption, digestion, and more energy.

    Make it Spicy

    It is possible and more beneficial for you to enjoy better health by incorporating the use of more spices into your cooking. The right combination of herbs and spices can create a powerful and more flavorful experience in your mouth and aid in digestion as well. Spices can also help to lessen your dependence on fatty and sugary condiments and food additives.

    Open Up Your Taste Palette

    Don’t get stuck in a rut and make the same old meals every day. Experiment with different foods so you can discover more of the culinary delights that are out there. Trying out new foods can make it easier for you to eliminate unhealthy ones from your diet.

    Switch to Plant-Based Foods

    Some popular organic food chains like Whole Foods sell products that are made by popular food engineering companies, such as Hampton Creek. What is Hampton Creek? It’s a leading food-tech company that produces popular food products, such as eggless mayonnaise for people who are heath conscious about what they eat. Many plant-based foods are easy on the digestive system, which can aid other body functions, leading to improved overall health.

    Cook With More Liquids

    Foods that are high in water content, such as certain fruits and vegetables can infuse your dishes with more liquid. Liquids help to improve and maintain proper electrolyte balance in your body to promote healthy cell function. Fruits and veggies are also foods you don’t necessarily need to add a lot of heat to in order to incorporate them into your meals. Try them raw, steamed, and baked for added variety and presentation points.

    With the right approach, cooking and eating healthy foods for a better you doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Use the above suggestions to help you to get the look and physique you want. Remember, in order for you to improve what you look like on the outside and how you feel, you need to be careful about what you consume and put on the inside.

    Deal Roundup: Vons/Pavilions, Ralphs, CVS, Target, Whole Foods


    A roundup of the hottest deals and scenarios at popular stores like Target – perfect for beginner and expert bargain hunters alike. Thank you for printing through the affiliate coupon links below, which helps support this site at no additional cost to you! As with all deals, availability and prices can vary so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Deal Roundup - May 18, 2016 | Chief Family Officer

    Vons/Pavilions: Buddig Deli Meat for $0.49
    Buy: 5 Buddig Original Deli Thin Lunchmeat at $0.69 each
    Use: $1/5 Buddig Original coupon
    Final Price: $0.49 each
    Ends 5/24.

    Vons/Pavilions: Farm John Hot Dogs for $0.75
    Buy: 2 Farmer John Meat Wieners or Turkey Franks at $1.25 each
    Use: $1/2 Farmer John Hot Dogs from 5/8 Smart Source insert
    Final Price: $0.75 each
    Ends 5/24.

    Nabisco 20ct Multipack for $5.49
    Buy: 1 Nabisco Single Serve Snacks 20ct at $7.49
    Use: $1/1 Nabisco Multipack from 4/24 Smart Source
    Pay: $6.49
    Submit for: $1/1 Nabisco Multipack Checkout 51 rebate
    Final Price: $5.49
    Ends 5/24. The price works out to 27 cents per multipack, which is a great deal!

    Ralphs: Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat for $1.25
    Buy: 1 Oscar Mayer Zip Pack Lunch Meat 8oz at $2.00
    Use: $0.75/1 Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat Zip-Pak coupon
    Final Price: $1.25
    End date unknown. Via Southern Cali Saver.

    CVS: Tic Tacs for $0.44
    Buy: 2 Tic Tac 60ct at $0.88 each
    Use: B1G1 Free Tic Tac Mints or Mixers coupon
    Final Price: $0.44 each
    Ends 5/21. Via Wild for CVS.

    Target: Totino’s Party Pizza for $0.72
    Buy: 4 Totino’s Party Pizzas at $1.42 each {price may vary}
    Use: $1/4 Totino’s Crispy Crust Party Pizza coupon
    And use: 25% off Totino’s Party Pizza Target Cartwheel {deducts $1.42}
    Pay: $3.26
    Submit for: $0.40/1 Frozen Pizza < href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MobiSave rebate
    Final Price: $0.72 each
    Ends 5/21. Via For the Mommas.

    Whole Foods: Muir Glen Tomato Sauce for $0.69
    Buy: 2 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce at $1.19 each {price may vary}
    Use: $1/2 Muir Glen products coupon
    Final Price: $0.69 each
    End date unknown. Via MySavings.

    Maternity Fashions: Look Great While Expecting – Without Breaking the Bank


    The following is a post from Jenna Smith. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    As you move further along in your pregnancy, the need to purchase new clothing will be necessary. Naturally, you want to find fashions that flatter your growing figure. However, sometimes finding a balance between comfort, fashion, and affordability can be a battle. It seems you find clothes that are stylish, but they cost an arm and a leg, while the cheaper clothing options are less attractive. Luckily, there are solutions that will allow you to look your best without breaking the bank.

    1. Purchase Pre-owned Maternity Clothes

    You’re only going to be pregnant for the next few months, so spending a ton of money on something you won’t get much wear out of is kind of useless. With the exception of staple pieces that you feel like you “must have,” you can opt to purchase your maternity clothes from an online consignment shop. Check out the site for a good example of your options.

    1. Ask a Friend or Family Member

    If you know someone who was recently pregnant, chances are they have some maternity clothes lying around that you could make use of. Ask if you can either have or purchase their maternity clothes from them.

    1. Check Yard Sales

    Yard sales can be a great place to find great deals on maternity clothing. Since the clothes are really only needed for a few months, many women will put them up for sale after they’ve had their baby.

    1. Purchase “one size fits all” clothing.

    If you want to make the best of what you have, then purchasing clothes that are “one size fits all” or that can adjust with your size can save a lot of money. For instance, purchasing a few t-shirts and utilizing your leggings is a great way to save on the need to purchase maternity pants. Oversized sweatpants or elastic waist pants are another option as they can adjust as your belly grows.

    1. Match Sales with Coupons

    Another way to save money is to match sales with coupons. There are a ton of online coupons you can print and coupon codes you can use to receive discounts. As you view the various sales offered at your favorite retailers, try to purchase things on sale that you have a coupon for to capitalize on your savings.

    1. Go Up a Size or Two

    Maternity clothing can sometimes be pricey because it’s a specialized product. Instead of actually purchasing maternity wear, you can simply purchase clothes that are a size or two too big. This will give you room to grow into them and will also save you money.

    1. Use Belly Bands

    Your pants are likely one of the first things to stop fitting once you become pregnant. While “mom jeans” can be great for comfort, they will also set you back a few bucks. A great option to save money on maternity pants would be to utilize belly bands. They are a neat apparatus that allow moms to wear their pants unbuttoned, providing them with a little extra room to grow.

    1. Make Your Own

    If you’re savvy with a sewing machine, then what better way to save money on maternity clothes than to make your own? There are easy to follow patterns and affordable material that will still cost a lot less than purchasing brand new clothes from a maternity store.

    Some women will tell you the cheapest thing to do is to wear your husband’s big t-shirts and call it a day, but where’s the fun in that? Pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful time in a woman’s life and she should be able to dress accordingly. Whether you work or stay at home, when you step out of the house you want to feel great, and using the above tips, you can!

    Car Insurance for Teen Drivers: 4 Ways to Save


    The following is a post from Leona Jones. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    When your teen learns to drive, it is usually a time of pride mixed with apprehension. You are proud of your child’s achievement, but at the same time, you are probably concerned about how buying additional car insurance for him or her will affect your family’s budget. While buying an auto insurance policy for younger drivers can put a dent in your finances, there are a few ways to save so that you can focus on your teen’s well-being behind the wheel, and not what it costs for him or her to be there.

    Focus on Policy Details

    Today’s top insurance companies compete fiercely in order to earn your business by offering special deals and driver discounts. While some of these discounts may ease the cost of auto insurance for your teen driver, it is wise to carefully read the details of each policy you consider. Understanding policy details and restrictions will prevent the shock of having to pay for something you thought your teen was covered for, especially in the case of theft, fire, or other severe damage. Meet with your local insurance representative to go over your policy before you make a purchase so you can thoroughly understand what it entails.

    Seek Discounts but Avoid Cutting Corners

    While you might be tempted by cut-rate insurance that gives your household budget some relief, it might come back to haunt you later. In many cases, dramatically low monthly payments often cost you in other places, such as when the policy comes with fine print restrictions on what your teen is covered for. Consider what you might have to pay out of pocket if your teen has an accident and what might happen if your bargain insurance cannot cover it, especially if your teen is at fault. To avoid this circumstance, seek out teen driving discounts from reputable companies and approach extreme bargains with caution.

    Add Your Teen to an Existing Policy

    One of the most effective ways to save money on auto insurance for your teen is to add him or her to your policy. This is typically less expensive than purchasing a separate policy, especially if your teen will be driving a car that is already insured. For example, if you will be lending your child the family sedan to visit friends, run errands, or to go to and from their part-time job, adding him or her to your policy can save you a few hundred dollars. If you live in the San Antonio area and want to find an auto insurance company that can add your teen to an existing policy, click here.

    Look for Teen-Friendly Discounts

    Some car insurance companies recognize accomplished teen drivers by offering discounts for those who have good grades or who volunteer to take a safe driving course. Teens who make the honor roll can earn discounts that can total 10% or more depending on which company carries their policy. In order to teach your teen driver responsibility and reward him or her at the same time, make their grades an integral part of driving privileges.

    Remember that comparing policies, discounts, and restrictions can help you find the best deal when it comes to finding affordable auto insurance for your teen driver. It is wise to avoid jumping into any policy and to give yourself plenty of time to find one that will benefit both your budget and your child.

    How To Afford Your Home Improvement Jobs


    The following is a post from Leona Jones. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    If you own a home, then chances are there are some things that you have been dying to change about it. There are always little projects (or sometimes big ones) that we would like to do in order to improve our homes, but sometimes money gets in the way. Home improvement projects are not always cheap, and finding money to complete them can be a challenge. To help you out, here are a few tips to help you afford those home improvement projects you’ve been eyeing.

    Start Saving

    The easiest and most straightforward way to afford your new project is to save up for it. By putting away a little money each week, you can slowly accumulate the amount of money you need. The first thing you should figure out is how much you are going to need for your project. You should have a specific amount in mind, as it will make your goal clearer. After you have an amount in mind, look at your weekly budget and see how much you can afford to put away into savings. Even just a few dollars a week can go a long way towards your goal.

    If you are saving up for a particularly large project, a good idea is to open up a separate savings account, and have a set amount deposited into it each week. Then you don’t really have to remember to save each week, and before you know it there will be enough money in the account to get to work.

    Do It Yourself

    For those of you out there who are crafty or handy with tools, doing the home renovation project yourself can be a great way to save some money. There are plenty of DIY projects that you can do around the home, and at a fraction of the cost. So if you are willing to put the work in yourself and are confident in your abilities to get the job done right, you’ll have saved money, your home will be improved, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did it with your own two hands.

    Get A Home Renovation Loan

    When you really want to do a large renovation around your home, and improving your home’s value is a big goal for you, then getting home improvement loans may be the right course of action for you. By getting a loan you can get the money that you need now, and slowly pay it off over time. There are many advantages to getting a home improvement loan, one of which is being able to improve your home now, rather than waiting. But with any loan, you should do your research and determine if it the right move for you before committing.

    Find Ways To Cut Costs

    Lastly, many home improvement jobs can simply be trimmed down in order to cut the costs. Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves when planning our home improvements, and at the end the costs are just way too much. Go back over what you had in mind, and check each part to see if there are ways that you can cut down on the costs. Perhaps changing to a different floor tile or a different paint color can save you money, and allow you to get the job done now, even if it isn’t exactly what you had planned. For some ideas, here is a list of some home remodeling jobs you can do on a budget.

    Improve Your Home

    Don’t let money stand in the way of your home improvement jobs any longer. By planning ahead and choosing the right course of action, there is sure to be a way that you can afford those changes that you’ve been after. Hopefully the above list will give you some ideas, and you can get started on making your home look the way you want it.

    $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway from AZO Bladder Control™ with Go-Less®


    AZO $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway | Chief Family Officer

    When you’re pregnant, you read about the changes that are happening to your body, including your bladder and the muscles surrounding it. But still, I was relieved to learn, during a moment of joking candor with my friends, that after giving birth, we all have the ability to use the bathroom at any moment.

    That’s why it’s nice to know that there are products that can help when “I’ve gotta go!” has a special meaning. (Occasional bladder issues can also happen from aging, menopause or weight fluctuations.) AZO Bladder Control™ with Go-Less® can help women enjoy everyday activities, like a night on the town, uninterrupted. To celebrate this, and to raise awareness of this common struggle, AZO wants to treat one lucky CFO reader to a night out!

    About AZO Bladder Control™ with Go-Less®:

    A safe and drug-free solution to maintaining healthy bladder control, AZO Bladder Control™ with Go-Less® helps to reduce occasional urgency and functions to maintain around-the-clock bladder support. The active ingredient in AZO Bladder Control contains clinically-studied Go-Less, a drug-free, naturally sourced supplement comprised of pumpkin seed extract and soybean isoflavones; ingredients that are proven to support healthy bladder activity and enforce bladder strength. Pumpkin seed extract supports bladder muscle integrity while the soy isoflavones help relax bladder muscles and sustain muscular strength in the pelvic floor.

    Suggested retail price is $18.99 – $25.99 for 54 capsules. Learn more at

    There will be a high-value $3/1 AZO Bladder Control with Go-Less® formula coupon in a free-standing insert in Sunday’s newspaper. You can use it at Target for the following deal:

    Buy: 1 AZO Bladder Control with Go-Less® formula 54ct at $17.99 {price may vary}
    Use: $3/1 AZO Bladder Control with Go-Less® formula coupon from 2/28 insert
    Pay: $14.99
    If you can get the coupon in the weekend edition newspaper on Saturday, you can stack the $3/1 coupon with the current Target in-ad or mobile coupon for a $10 gift card WYB $40 of Health Products!

    WIN IT!

    AZO wants to give one lucky CFO reader a $100 Visa gift card so she can enjoy a night on the town without having to go! To enter, simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    RSS and email readers: Click here to reach the form.