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Savvy Kitchen Investments PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
 
Thursday night I gave a presentation on running a Savvy Kitchen at the Cooks Nook in McPherson, KS. 
 
It’s one of my favorite talks because in my experience of working with clients, food is the number one area where people struggle. The presentation focuses on how to save both time and money from creating an effective grocery list all the way to managing leftovers. 
 
What was particularly cool about doing the event at the Cooks Nook is that part of the presentation concentrates on the importance of investing in good tools. Not gadgets, but tools. 
 
Gadgets are the As Seen On TV items you buy that never get used. Tools are the things that get used on a regular basis and are worth spending a little more on to ensure they work well and last. For example…
  • Invest in a good set of knives and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you can dice an onion or slice a tomato.
  • Purchase a quality set of pots and pans and they’ll cook more efficiently and last twice as long as their cheaper counterparts. 
One of the aspects of a professional kitchen that's worth imitating is that everything pulls its weight. There’s no clutter to slow down the process of preparing each and every meal.
 
With that said, it’s important to note that one person’s gadget is another person’s tool. It all depends on what you like to cook. For example, my husband Paul is crazy about egg salad. Fifteen years ago I purchased an egg slicer for about $5 that has paid for itself over and over again by saving me time. 
 
Another item that could be considered a gadget in one person’s eyes but a tool in another is the Chop Stir. I first saw one at my Aunt Sadie's house that she used while cooking hamburger. She has rheumatoid arthritis so the tool is a blessing for her! My mom now swears by it too.
 
To take the first step to streamlining your own kitchen, consider going through everything in it and getting rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year. This will not only help make cooking more efficient, but will also help make room for quality tools you may purchase down the road. 
 
One of the racks at the Cooks Nook
 
 
Take Advantage of Labor Day Weekend Sales PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti
 
Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial transition between summer and fall.  Retailers have created a tradition of offering deep discounts to encourage consumers to use their extra day off to shop.  Listed below are just a few of the items you can pick up at some of the best possible prices during the holiday weekend. 

Office & School Supplies
Now is a great time to not only stock up on school supplies for your children, but home office supplies as well.  Just make sure to only purchase what you're going to use.

Home Improvement
Paint and other home improvement products will be on sale this weekend as retailers know we'll have an additional day to get home projects done. 

Automobiles
With 2015 models rolling on to car lots, dealers are anxious to liquidate their older models.

Outdoor Living
Desperate to make room for Halloween and Christmas items, retailers will offer fantastic sales on patio furniture, BBQs and other outdoor living products.

Clothes
Thanks to a competitive market, Labor Day sales are hitting clothing stores a week early!  For a list of stores and their discounts, check out Labor Day Sale Prices Are Here.

Beyond Labor Day
The sales don't necessarily end when Labor Day is over.  Stores are trying to get rid of excess stock in anticipation of their most lucrative season of the year - the fall and winter holidays.  Throughout the month of September, pay attention to your favorite stores sales ads and take advantage of the great discounts.  Just remember, only purchase what you're actually going to use.  

 
The Power of $6.58 PDF Print E-mail
One of the reasons people hesitate to begin putting money into a retirement account is because they feel like they can't contribute enough to make a difference.  And yet you read stories of school teachers, librarians and bus drivers who managed to accumulate millions of dollars on small salaries.  How do they do it? 
 
In the article, How to Turn $200 a Month Into $5 Million, Patrick Morris demonstrates how just $6.58 a day can transform into $5 million.
 
The key to is to stop making excuses and just do it!  Call your financial advisor right now and ask them to increase your monthly contributions or call your HR department and ask for the forms you need to start contributing to your 401k. 
 
 
 
Easily Manage Those Annual Expenses PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
 
Over the last few weeks, a common theme that has popped up with clients is how to manage those annual expenses so they don’t negatively impact a single pay period.   
 
Even if you’re a rock star at managing your daily and monthly expenses, taking your pet in for an annual checkup can throw you completely off. 
 
The easiest, and least painful, way I’ve found to manage these expenses is to set aside money for them with each pay period. 
  • Start by listing the expenses that come up on an annual or semi-annual basis such as:
    • Car Registration
    • Pet Check Ups
    • Car Maintenance
    • Property Tax
    • Insurance Premiums
  • Add the expenses and then divide that number by the amount of paychecks you receive each year. 
  • Finally, set up an automatic transfer of that amount to a savings account that is specifically set aside for those expenses. Do not put it in with your Emergency Savings or a Travel Savings account. It’s too easy for that money to get used for other expenses, or visa versa.   
If annual expenses are typically a stumbling block for you, take 30 minutes today to set up the process. It will immediately pay off for you both financially and emotionally!  
 
 
 
 
Wardrobe Tips from Sophia Loren PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

Years ago I picked up a copy of Women & Beauty by Sophia Loren.  I remember being incredibly surprised at the practicality of her advice.  I felt like I was reading something my mom or one of my aunts would write, not something written by one of the most glamorous women on the planet.

Earlier this week I was flipping through it and was again surprised at her down to earth advice.  For example, she writes:

I used to buy clothes on impulse.  Something in a store would catch my fancy.  I would try it on and if I iked it, home it went.  But so very many times these purchases would turn out to be mistakes.  They would hang in my closet, never worn, and reproach me every time I looked at them. 

My new approach begins with planning... the main thing is to avoid going into a store wtih no idea of what you want.  This can spell diaster and this is how you fill your closet with clothes you never wear. 

Before you go into a store you must also examine what you already have.  It is simply wasteful to buy all new clothes every season; even if you have the money, and certainly not many people have, it means you haven't discovered what really is the best look for you.  When you buy the right clothes, you should find that you can wear them for many seasons.

The book is now out of print, but if you can find a used copy, it's a worthy investment!  In addition to advice on building a wardrobe, she also discusses skin and hair care as well as the value of a healthy diet and exercise. 

 
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