Month: April 2015

Saving Money at Restaurants

Eating out is America’s favorite pastime…  75% of us eat out at least one time a week.  The average restaurant diner who eats out regularly eats out 2.3 times on average per week. But consumer research shows that over half of us are cutting back on restaurant spending due to the tough economy.  70% have chosen to eat out less often rather than eat at cheaper restaurants.  Want to save money at restaurants?  Here’s how: 1.   Munch at Lunch – Lunch is 50% or less than the price of dinner. 2.   Mind the Menu – Watch menu tricks.  Be...

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Current Restaurant Trends

I spoke at the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association summit, and I was able to get an inside scoop for you on HOT restaurant trends: Social media is hot in restaurants.  Many restaurants are using Facebook to  provide an online experience. Restaurants are buying local.  And many restaurants are using the freshest produce which they are growing in their own gardens.   One of the hottest trend in restaurants this year, more chefs are getting involved with the eat local food movement and are growing their own tomatoes, herbs, and produce.  Independent restaurants are more equipped to have their own gardens because...

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How to Complain Effectively

No one likes a complainer, but believe it or not, businesses do!  Retailers consider a complaint letter a gift, because they want to know if you are dissatisfied with a product or service.  They want you to keep coming back and they don’t want you complaining to your friends about the bad experience.  Effective complaining can get us what we want:  that cheaper price, a free meal, or our money back. According to a recent survey, 78% of us have complained to companies about bad service, but do we do it right? Here are some tips on the art...

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Should You do your Taxes Yourself or Hire a Pro?

Do you look forward to your annual tax-filing duties? The truth is that Americans universally dread the task. Just how much anxiety it evokes might depend on how you decide to complete your filing responsibilities. You basically have two choices: Do your taxes yourself or turn the task over to a professional. But even if you do the latter, you still have to do most of the prep work yourself. Each option requires some additional considerations. Before you start, ask yourself some important questions:   Ways to self-file Are you generally familiar with your tax situation? For example, do...

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14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

From: From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener Paul James shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze. Here, the latest tips and tricks from Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard: 1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it. 2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean. 3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer. 4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet)...

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