Only The Wallet Knows
Healthy Meal Ideas For Thanksgiving Dinner Under $50

Thanksgiving is the official kick-off to the holiday season. Traditional turkey trimmings, while tasty, are full of hidden fat. This year, be grateful for the ability to go lean, both on your wallet and on your belly. Mind you, we’re not suggesting that you should subject yourself to a diet Thanksgiving—and we’d rather not talk about the year we attended a vegan Thanksgiving meal—but these recipes are more health-conscious ways to enjoy the savory flavors of this American tradition. At any rate, healthy recipes prevent us from feeling guilty when we go up for seconds. Prepare these half-dozen fixings before your guests arrive. All told, they should only cost you about $50 to make. Items that need reheating can replace the turkey in the oven while the turkey rests, pre-carving. From choosing the very best turkey to preparing delicious biscuits, we bring you the complete guide to a healthy and budget-conscious meal with the ones you love.

Choosing Your Bird.

The turkey itself will probably be the top determinant of how much you spend on your meal this year. The options generally range from free to about $60: You could win a turkey at a supermarket, pay $1.65 per pound for a fresh commercial bird, or invest about $60 for the goodness of an organic bird. Note that, while organic may not equal frugal, sometimes quality trumps price. The choice is up to you. You can brine your bird, or just stick it into the oven after seasoning. We like to bake our turkey without stuffing, as this shortens the baking time. We put a quartered onion, half of a lemon, and some rosemary into the cavity before tying the legs. Make sure the wings are tucked in before popping the dish into the oven (about 20 minutes per pound).

Check out the slide show for our heart-healthy trimmings. CLICK HERE

LV Daily: What Does The GOP 2010 Election Victory Mean For The Real Estate Market?

The recent midterm elections, which President Barack Obama described as “a shellacking,” gained the Republicans sixty seats in the House of Representatives and a few in the Senate. Clearly, two years after voting for change, the country was voting for change again. But what does this “throw the bums out” mentality mean—for the economy and for a real estate recovery? Bear in mind that the future of the real estate market impacts all of us, whether we’re looking for homes or not, since real estate is a fundamental part of the U.S. economy.

We can’t predict the future (anyone who says that they can is overpromising), but we’ll take a look at some reasons for the big landslide and make a few educated guesses about what the future holds:

1. Voters Are Mad About Unemployment.

Unemployment is down from its peak of over 10%, but at the current 9%, it’s still way too high for voters’ taste. So, here’s one message to Congress: Deliver more jobs. If the Republicans can succeed in doing this, it should be good for real estate and the economy in general. (Check out this expert article for more on how the housing market follows jobs.) One challenge will be on the level of state government, where the Republicans won ten seats from the Democrats, making the majority of state governors Republican. Pressure there to balance budgets and cut spending may outweigh pressure to hire more teachers and cops, so this may be a mixed bag for unemployment rates.
Predicted effect on the real estate market: slightly positive.

2. Voters Are Mad About Health Care.

There’s disagreement about how much Obama healthcare reforms, which aren’t really in place yet, hurt the Democrats—but Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post quotes sources saying it was a piece of the puzzle. Look for the Republicans to cut back Obamacare around the edges, but don’t expect that to have much real effect on the real estate market.
Predicted effect on the real estate market: neutral.

Read on to see how else the election may effect us. CLICK HERE

Should I Buy A Holiday Gift For My Boss? Guide To Shopping For Coworkers

It can be tough enough to find the right gift for our dad or our best friend, so we start to reach our limits when we’re expected to navigate the murky water of gifts for our officemates. In some cases, a gift may be a great way to say thanks for the hard work someone has done, but in other cases it may feel inappropriate. After all, we don’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable or as though they need to give us a gift in return. Even Secret Santa or Pollyanna gift exchanges can lead to treacherous waters, as we don’t want to drastically over- or under-spend.

If gift-giving is standardized in your workplace (say, through Secret Santa), then ask if everyone will agree to set a price range. Once there’s an official guideline, don’t feel pressured to spend more. We heard one story about an office that set a minimum of $30 for Secret Santa, and the head of the company bought one person a gift worth $100. If something like this happens to you, don’t feel pressured to spend extravagantly—just stay within the parameters, gain a sense for what others are planning, and don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.

For guidance with workplace giving, check out our holiday etiquette guide. CLICK HERE

Holiday Gift Guide Contest!
Send us your best holiday gift ideas by the end of day tomorrow, 11/18. We’ll include the winner’s gifts in our official Holiday Gift Guide.


Just retumble with the name of the gift, a link to where we can find it online, and a picture if possible!

Our Favorite Secret Hotel Perks

As much as we love visiting loved ones and seeing the world, we don’t really appreciate the whole sitting forever on a plane and living out of a suitcase thing. Especially with the holiday season coming up, we’re bracing ourselves for hotel rooms and mediocre continental breakfasts. One saving grace? We live for the perks.

From the useful (hospitality suites, around-the-clock shuttles, concierge service) to the fanciful (loaner goldfish, human bed warmers, tattoo artists in residence), many hotels offer lots of extra benefits and services that you have to know to ask for. We’ll walk you through some of the best ones—useful and quirky alike—to show you the secret perks you can tap into if only you know to ask.

Click through our slide show for 21 of our favorites!

thingsmymomnevertoldme:

Minding Your Money Manners
These days we all find ourselves in sticky money situations, and most of  the time we never know quite what to say or do. In fact, Woman’s Day reader Elaine Lee was so confused about who pays when that she turned  to us for answers. So, Elaine (and everyone else), the next time you’re  in the middle of a do-I-or-don’t-I moment, keep these rules in mind.

thingsmymomnevertoldme:

Minding Your Money Manners

These days we all find ourselves in sticky money situations, and most of the time we never know quite what to say or do. In fact, Woman’s Day reader Elaine Lee was so confused about who pays when that she turned to us for answers. So, Elaine (and everyone else), the next time you’re in the middle of a do-I-or-don’t-I moment, keep these rules in mind.

11 Money Links We Love!

We’ve scoured the web and brought you our favorite money-related articles. We read everything so you don’t have to!

1. This is awesome. The 5 Best U.S. Cities For Women. (Divine Caroline)

2. We’d like a Jacuzzi, thanks. 10 Steps To Buying Your Dream Home. (Credit Karma)

3.  Create a low-budget haunted house. (SavvySugar)

4. You can buy these belts without tightening yours! 10 Great Belts For Under $10. (The Budget Fashionista)

5. Would $35,000 convince you to donate your eggs? (Bundle)

6. Crazy Brits. Sweet infographic. What would the British do for free money? (My Journey To Millions)

7. Business networking tips from an expert. (Money Crashers)

8. Can’t pay your bills? Opt for a deferred-payment plan. (The Digerati Life)

9. Could you live in a hotel? (Budgets Are Sexy)

10. Productive,  hard, and paper assets: Which are for you? (20s Money)

11. What could have inspired Lauren and Elissa to spend $28 on a burger? (Four Flights Up)

Adults are just children who earn money.
Kenneth Branaugh (via citysisters)

fourflightsup:

My motto is to enjoy the present while keeping in mind the future. We (I will speak on behalf of Lauren here as well) believe it’s important to strike a balance between spending and saving.

We were faced with a perfect example during our stay in Isabela. Our hotel room at Iguana Cove (Casa…

Department Store To Car Dealership: When Is It Appropriate To Negotiate?

The down economy has created a fertile landscape for bargain hunters at nearly all levels of retail. Asking for discounts is socially acceptable nowadays: Even on an episode of TLC’s Say Yes To the Dress, one father managed to haggle the price of a wedding dress for his daughter down by $9,000. Granted, it was exorbitantly priced to begin with, but the bold move proved that even the most upscale stores are open to negotiating. Whether you’re in the market for a new mattress, a pair of shoes, or new skis, discounts abound. You just need to know how to ask.

Here are the best ways to effort a discount at various types of stores. In all cases, it’s best to ask for a discount from the floor or store manager if the sales associate you’re working with is not able to help.

1. Flash The Cash.

Each time we swipe a credit card, the merchant must pay a fee of about 1% to 3% of the sale to the credit card issuer. These fees often hit smaller merchants hardest, since bigger retailers can better soak up the costs with their greater sales volumes.
Try it at: Small mom and pop retailers, hair and nail salons, the tailor, shoe repair, car dealerships, gas stations, furniture, and mattress dealers.
Potential Discount: At least 10%

2. Buy In Bulk.

We know that we can get discounts for buying in bulk at wholesale clubs like Sam’s, Costco, and BJ’s, but buying multiples of an item at a regular store can also earn us a discount since it allows the store to unload inventory. Mention to the store manager that you plan to buy five or more of a particular item and ask for a discount or a “buy four get one free” deal.
Try it at: Video game stores, department stores, local bookstores.
Potential Discount: A freebie or up to 20% off

Click here to read on!