Thinking about a get-away? Well, February through May and September through November are the ‘off-season’ months. So now would be the best time to plan a vacation. Airfares are lower, hotels are cheaper, car rental rates are down and entrance fees into attractions are less. What can be better than coming home from a vacation with some money still left in the bank without having to compromise on the vacation?
First things first, vacation is a necessity, not a luxury like most people believe. Now that we got that cleared, here are some ideas that can help lower the cost of the vacation without compromising the experience.
- Budgeting throughout the year and setting aside some money each month will end up being a big help financially. Eliminate unnecessary spending such as going out to eat frequently, compare prices when grocery shopping, buy only the necessities and take advantage of the sales.
- Not waiting for the last minute to plan a vacation is a brilliant idea since the closer you wait to book and plan, the higher the rates will be. You want to plan everything from A-Z prior to the vacation, such as the car rental, hotel, attractions, food etc. enough in advance. Do your research. It will save you lots of money and time.
We got an interesting email last week that we’d like to share with our readers. One of our customers ordered a Keurig B30 Mini Personal Single-Serve Brewing System and we shipped it with UPS. Our customer emailed us to let us know that when UPS came to deliver the package, instead of walking up to his front door and ringing the bell, as would be expected from any decent delivery guy, especially one that is delivering a package containing a delicate coffee maker, he tossed the package 15 feet in the air and it landed on the hard cement on the other side of his fence!
Now, to be perfectly honest, UPS is quite fair with their claims process. Had the package been damaged (our customer notified us later that thankfully, it was not) we would have gotten our money back in no time in order to provide him with a new coffee maker. As we have no idea who the driver was, we forwarded the complaint to our UPS account manager for further action. Are we confident that this won’t happen again? Definitely not. Was the driver reprimanded or penalized for the way he treats deliveries? We can’t imagine. So what can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Absolutely nothing.
Unfortunately, UPS drivers are the among the most underpaid, overworked work bracket so we can’t actually blame them. Or can we? Can UPS take responsibility for each of their thousands of drivers across the United States? Who do we blame here?
Ever wondered how the rest of the world celebrates their New Year’s Eve? What are their New Year’s traditions and beliefs? Well, I was curious so I did some research and boy am I amazed. Thought I should share it with you. Here goes:
In Spain, the Spaniards celebrate New Year’s Eve by eating grapes. They invite several friends over for a late dinner. Late meaning 9:00 in the evening at the earliest! A few minutes before 12:00 a.m., they bring out the dessert which consists of bunches of grapes. With each ring of the midnight bells, everyone eats one grape. This tradition which has been passed on for many generations is meant to carry with it some good luck for the New Year.
In Colombia, it is the custom to construct a dummy representing the closing year. Each family member donates some clothing that is no longer worn to make the dummy. They then stuff it using straw and firecrackers. Every participating member then takes a piece of paper and writes down a bit of bad luck or some fault that they would want to free themselves of. At 12:00 am on the button, the dummy is lit and left to burn until all that is left of it are ashes. The old year’s faults and bad luck is thought to disappear together with the dummy.
In Greece, it is a tradition to serve New Year’s Bread at 12:00am on January 1. They place either a coin or a charm inside this special bread. At exactly midnight, the head of the family slices the bread and distributes it to each family member, in age order. The member who receives the piece of bread with the coin or charm is believed to be showered with good fortune throughout the New Year.
New Year’s Resolutions- It’s that time of year again. Some of the resolutions that you are thinking about for this year were on your list last year and the year before… and the one before that. The truth is that you very possibly even started following through on some of them. Every 12 months, you promise to start anew or to make a change or two. You’ll quit doing this and you’ll start doing that. You are not alone! It appears to be that the majority of the world is riding on the same boat.
Here are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions (not in any specific order) for you to think about:
1. Lose Weight : Unless you are 100% determined and make a promise to get fit, it will never happen. It’s your choice. Skip the elevator and head for the stairs, go for the fruit instead of the chocolate…etc.
2. Stick to a Budget: The best defense is a good offense. Sticking to a reasonable financial plan is a brilliant move as it avoids overspending and guarantees peace of mind. All beginnings are hard. The good news is that the longer you stick to a budget, the easier it becomes.
3. Get out of Debt: If you are unable to pay cold cash for it, you could do without it. Make it that effortless and you will find yourself debt-free in no time.
4. Make More Time for Family and Friends: It’s time to set your priorities straight. Start right now by taking day-to-day measures that will produce nothing less than an extra special family.
5. Find True Love: More and more people seem to be searching for that special someone who they will love forever. However, we don’t believe that that romantic relationship is anything more than a fairytale. That fairytale can become a reality. It is up to you to make it happen.
Having a hard time deciding what to buy your loved one, a close family member, a good friend or that special neighbor for the Holidays? Well, we at TigerChef.com, have decided to try and help you out with a random survey made amongst our friends and co-workers. Here are some suggestions that you may find useful.
- ‘Personalization is the key. My closest friend always makes picture boards. Using her creative talents, she arranges photos that include herself and the person she is making it for. She actually once put together a CD for me with six of
my most favorite tracks on it.’
- ‘My children made a “Lifetime Book” for us for our 40th anniversary. They got all our buddies- some of whom we had not been in contact with for quite some time- and family members – to write down a personal reminder of a little memory that we shared together. They also got a great deal of pictures to go along with the memories. Thrilled? An understatement! We were extremely emotional since we had never realized that so many people think so highly of us and that we had touched so many lives that significantly.’
- ‘No matter what time of year it is, if you see something, buy it- particularly at sale time. That way, when the holiday rolls around and it’s present time, you can shop in your own closet first and you will discover a nice amount of gifts you can choose from. Trust me, it saves you a big headache.’
Whether you hosted or attended a party or prepared a festive meal, then you know nice and well what a difference centerpieces can make to a table. The same holds true with centerpieces for the Christmas dinner. I think I’m pretty safe to say that the Christmas dinner is the most significant one of the whole year and what wouldn’t you do to make it that much more special? Much thought goes into every iota of this special day- from the actual meal, to the presents, to the decorations, the tree and yes, even the centerpieces.
Before you start working on the centerpieces, you have put some thought into it. What is the atmosphere that you are trying to create? How tall/short would you like it be? How much money do you want to spend on them? How much time do you have on your hands to get them done on time? Etc.
Naturally, nothing says chic more than something traditional. Winter plants, candles, berries and fruits, all add to the decor in a very classy way and create a striking ambiance. They can be arranged in an endless amount of ways to create the desired effect.
With the Holidays upon us, and the celebrating that comes along with it, there is a huge probability of having your guests, or yourself for that matter, spill something by accident of course- on yourself, your rug, your tablecloth or practically anywhere! That something can vary between water- which is no big deal, all the way to gravy. Now what? How in heavens name will you ever get that nasty stain out of your tablecloth? Why not give these tactics a shot?
#1- Missed your mouth when you went for that luscious red wine? Grab the salt shaker and pour a very generous amount over the stain. Let the salt sit
on the stain for a minute or two and then scrape away the grains. Rinse the stain with water.
#2- Lost your balance when carrying the plate full of gravy? Chill out! All you have to do is scoop up the excess and sprinkle cornstarch over the spot. Let it stand for about fifteen minutes and then vacuum it up. Next, sprinkle carbonated water over the stain and blot dry it to disclose your freshly cleaned carpet.
#3- Coffee on the tablecloth? It’s simple. Just rinse the coffee stain using cold water, and then treat it with a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water. Rinse it with water and toss it in to the washing machine. It will come out as good as new.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the most important “guest” at the dinner table is the turkey. All the others attending the feast will be “keeping an eye” on that turkey. Therefore, you really want to make sure that you choose the right size and type of turkey in order to create the ideal Thanksgiving dinner experience. The following are some tips to help you with your Thanksgiving turkey.
1) Knowing in advance how many other guests will be attending your dinner is an excellent idea and it will save you much headache. On average,
individuals (especially males) can consume approximately two pounds of turkey. As a rule, it is always better to have some left-over food rather than not having enough. You would never want anyone leaving your house hungry. If left-overs don’t sit well with you, just remember that you can always doggy bag whatever is left for your guests to take home with them.
2) A younger turkey is usually a better choice since they tend to be more tender and juicy than the adults.
3) When packaging the turkey, the skin is marked with an A, B or C. You definitely want to pick an A graded turkey since these are the ones that are just about bruise, blemish and feather free. As the letter decreases, so do the skin conditions.