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Kristia Ludwick
Kristia writes about family finances, frugal living, and food at Family Balance Sheet. She spends her offline time raising her two daughters, helping her husband run a small business, and training for her first half-marathon.

How to Roast a Whole Chicken – 4 Recipes to Save Time & Money

By Kristia Ludwick

whole chicken for roastingThe smell of roasted chicken conjures many memories of Sunday dinners during my childhood. It was a family favorite. When I grew up, I thought roasting a chicken was too hard and labor intensive to try on my own, so I never attempted it. Buying the individual parts of the bird seemed easier, even if the price per pound was more expensive.

But then I became aggressive about saving money on groceries and I realized how easy and economical roasting a whole chicken can be. I use the meat from one whole chicken and turn it into four dinners for my family.

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10 Unique & Inexpensive Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

By Kristia Ludwick

teacher students classroomAs my children grow older, more people are becoming involved in their lives through school and extracurricular activities. These teachers and coaches have had quite an impact on my children, and I want them to feel appreciated during the holidays and at the end of the year. But as the list grows, the financial impact adds up, especially with more than one child.

In today’s economy, parents shouldn’t feel obligated to give an expensive gift, as teachers are not expecting one. However, personalized, handmade gifts are a great way to show the teacher or coach that you and your child are grateful for their hard work. It will also teach your children that gifts do not need to be elaborate or costly to be heartfelt and enjoyable.

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5 Cheap & Easy Rice and Beans Recipes

By Kristia Ludwick

rice and beansAs food prices continue to rise, I am always looking for ways to control my budget without sacrificing the quality of food that I feed to my family. Rice and beans have been an affordable and tasty addition to my family meal planning.

To some people, “rice and beans” may be synonymous with “dull and boring.” However, with the wide variety of beans available – such as black beans, great northern beans, lentils, red kidney beans, lima beans, and pinto beans – boredom is not an issue. Beans make a simple meal; they’re low in fat and high in fiber and protein, have zero cholesterol, and are inexpensive – thus making them a healthy superfood and a great substitute for meat.

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10 Affordable & Green Arts and Crafts Ideas for Kids

By Kristia Ludwick

craftsKeeping kids entertained indoors can be a challenge. Finding fun activities for children in the summer, however, is not an issue. I send them outside and they play on the swing set or ride their bikes for hours. But when the weather is bad and they’re trapped inside, I need a plan. Inevitably, I will hear, “Mom, I’m bored.” This means I need to be ready with craft supplies and ideas to make those long, “boring” days fun.

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10 Family Meal Planning Tips & Ideas on a Budget

By Kristia Ludwick

meal planning woman cookIf your grocery spending has spiraled out of control, yet you often feel like you have “nothing” to eat, you can adapt meal planning to make every meal a success. With careful planning and organization, you know ahead of time what to serve for dinner and what to defrost ahead of time, and you have all of the ingredients that you need on hand to make every meal. More importantly, your grocery spending becomes more manageable when you plan your meals.

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12 Healthy Breakfast Food Ideas That Are Quick & Easy

By Kristia Ludwick

woman blender breakfast smoothieYou have five minutes before you need to head out the door to make it to work on time, and you haven’t eaten anything for breakfast. Do you skip breakfast altogether, visit a drive-thru, or stop by the vending machine in your company’s break room? If you answered yes to any of these options, then it’s definitely time for a change.

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How to Write a Great Resume for a Job – Tips & Examples

By Kristia Ludwick

resume folderAs a small business owner, when an applicant piques my interest with a good cover letter, I still need to see an impressive resume before setting up an interview. Your resume acts as the first point of contact for you and a prospective employer. If you want prospective employers to contact you about a job, you need to have a resume that impresses. Your resume must demonstrate your achievements, accomplishments, work experience, and education.

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How to Write a Good Cover Letter for a Job Resume

By Kristia Ludwick

business people cover letterThe job market is very competitive, with many determined applicants competing for the same job openings. As a small business owner and employer, I won’t even consider reviewing your resume, if your cover letter doesn’t grab my attention.

Your cover letter is the first thing potential employers see and if your cover letter is not interesting, concise, and error-free, it will be the last thing they see; they won’t even bother glancing at your resume. You have just a few seconds to make a good first impression, so do not submit lengthy, rambling cover letters to prospective employers and headhunters.

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Top 21 Resume & Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

By Kristia Ludwick

resume deskMy husband and I have been small business owners and employers for over ten years. During that stretch, we’ve received a good number of low quality resumes and cover letters whenever we post for open positions in our office.

Job applicants can avoid mistakes and errors by reviewing their resumes before applying for jobs. When we hire employees, we look for detail-oriented, reliable, and professional people. We can usually detect those qualities just by glancing at an applicant’s cover letter and resume.

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