How Moving Cities Helped This Man Pay Off $100k in Student Loans — Apartment Therapy

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From Apartment Therapy → How Moving Helped This Man Pay Off $100k in Student Loans

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This $2 Lunch Idea Is Perfect for the Office — Budget Lunch

In my quest to stick to a food budget, I've found that lunch is my downfall. I have some inexpensive breakfast ideas that get me out of bed in the morning (homemade muffins! Eggs!) and dinner is a place I'm now in the groove with for meal planning, but for some reason it's hard for me to break the habit of going out to lunch when I'm at the office. Those fancy New York lunch salads add up, and I know I need to make a change if I want to really stick to a budget.

That's why I was so excited today when our friends at Cup of Jo posted an ingenious idea for a $2 lunch. If that wasn't already exciting enough, it just so happens that the base of the lunch comes from Trader Joe's.

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How To Make Old-Fashioned Date Bars — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Date bars have turned my daily dessert world upside down. You see, up until a few weeks ago I had never even heard about date bars, but after the first batch I knew I had found my new favorite, go-to cookie bar. These bars are made with only four major ingredients — dates, oats, butter, and a bit of brown sugar — and come together in about the time it takes the oven to preheat. They happen to be naturally gluten-free and low in added sugar, which means they're the kind of treat that makes a near-perfect after-school snack (but something that pairs deliciously with a bourbon night cap too).

That's not even the best part, though! Biting into these bars is the most delicious adventure in contrasting textures. The top is crisp and buttery with oat crumble, while the date filling is sweet as caramel and just as lush. The same oat mixture that crisps on top becomes chewy and nutty on the bottom of the pan. Personally, I call dibs on the corner pieces, but here's how to make a whole pan of these delicious old-fashioned date bars.

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Recipe: Sauerkraut and Sausage Roll — The 6-Minute Lunch

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The most important thing you need to know about this recipe is that it comes together in under six minutes and involves hearty sausage, tangy sauerkraut, sweet roasted red peppers, and plenty of grainy mustard, just for good measure. Oh, and it's all tucked inside a tender pretzel roll to gild the lily, because lunches need that sometimes.

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The Water-Infused Brand of Fruit I’m Obsessed With — Shopping

Dried fruit is an actual obsession of mine. I'm one of those annoying people who eats fruit for dessert. It's not that I don't love chocolate or cake — I do, very much so — but I try to keep the added sugar low these days, and dried fruit is my raging sweet tooth's saving grace.

I'm also extraordinarily picky, especially with food, and most dried fruit has added sugar and/or the texture of a tire. This puts me in a predicament. Is it actually possible to have luscious, close-my-eyes-it's-so-good, nothing-added-to-it dried fruit? Thanks to an unsuspecting brand of water-infused dried fruit called Fruit Bliss, the answer is a resounding yes!

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These Colorful Insulated Water Bottles Are Just $10 Right Now — Amazon Kitchen Deal of the Day

I have a thing for water bottles. I've tried the smart water bottles that track how you much drink all day, I've tried the glass water bottles, I've used the classic Nalgene that was so popular when I was a kid. But if you're looking for something that's easy to clean, will keep your drink cold (or hot), and doesn't cost a fortune, than I have just the water bottle you need to buy.

Right now you can get one of these super colorful insulated stainless steel water bottles on Amazon for just $10. Other water bottles like this (ahem, S'well) will cost you a bunch more. In fact, these water bottles from KINGSO normally go for $52 according to Amazon, so that's quite a steep deal — 83% off, in fact.

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