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When it's Time for Teenagers to Take the Wheel
He has matured past the tricycle phase, grown beyond the bicycle stage, and is ready to try his hand at something with an engine. Your teen says he's ready to drive. Are you ready?

Whether or not you're emotionally up for the task, you can at least prepare yourself financially. Take the following steps before your teen takes the wheel.

Assign for savings: Which car will your teen drive? If possible, ask your insurer to assign your teen to the car with the lowest value. Keep in mind that this must be the car that the teen drives. By linking your teen to the least-valuable car, you can save on insurance premiums.

Boost your coverage: If you currently have minimum liability insurance, consider increasing your coverage. You may be fortunate to have a responsible teen, but statistics are still stacked against him. Research shows that teens are more likely to be involved in car accidents than adults, and their chance of being held accountable for a crash is twice that of adults. You'll be grateful for greater coverage if your teen has an accident that results in costly repairs or lawsuit payments.

Balance the cost: As you raise your liability, you may pay higher premiums. To balance this, consider raising your deductible. Higher deductibles typically result in lower premiums. You can apply this savings to your increase in overall coverage.

Make the call: As with any life changes that may affect your insurance, contact your agent to discuss what solutions are best for your new teen driver.

Best Backyard BBQ Ever: How to Make It Happen
Nothing says summer more invitingly than steaks sizzling on the grill. Whether it's a small family gathering or a fabulous shindig, when you start up the grill, you have an instant party. How can you make sure your culinary creations are a hit? It doesn't take study at the Cordon Bleu, but it does take a bit of know-how.

The first rule is to stay safe. That includes washing everything, never reusing the plate you designate for raw meats, and keeping water handy in case of flare-ups. It also means no rare hamburgers. The Official Scott Robert's Website offers additional tips that are certain to make your party pop. Here are 10 of his best.
  1. If you're using briquettes, light them about 30 minutes before starting to grill. This gives them time to heat and avoids the taste of starter fluid.
  2. When using charcoal, line the inside of your grill with aluminum foil for faster cleanup.
  3. Choose marbled meats for tenderness.
  4. Make chicken skin crispy by rubbing it with oil or butter before cooking.
  5. Don't pierce meat during cooking lest the juices escape.
  6. Coat salted veggies with butter, wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and "throw it on the grill."
  7. Add salt to meats after cooking to avoid drying them out.
  8. Use a stiff wire brush or a piece of crumpled foil to keep your grill grate clean.
  9. When using a marinade, marinate overnight or at least an hour before grilling.
  10. Experiment with different marinades to find a flavor you love.

Reduce Waste with These Food Storage Hacks
One of the best ways to manage your grocery budget is to store your food properly.

Start with the fridge. Not all parts of your refrigerator are created equal. Ignore the built-in egg storage in some refrigerator doors. Keep eggs in their cartons. Those doors are warm and won't keep the eggs. Additionally, dairy products are best stored on top shelves where the temperature is most consistent. Meat stores best on the bottom. Keep in mind that meat should only stay in the refrigerator for four days, fish for two. Vegetables and fruits should be kept in separate crispers. Some fruit, including apples and pears, can cause vegetables to spoil.

Counters are also important for storing food. Bananas, melons, and citrus fruits should be stored here. Tomatoes, potatoes, and winter squash are also best kept on the counter, along with garlic, onions, and shallots. As a bonus, these colorful foods can double as decorations and add beauty to your kitchen. Bread should also be stored on the counter, but only for two days. Wrap it in foil or place it in a Ziploc bag. After two days, move it to the refrigerator.

In your pantry, airtight containers are key. They keep your pantry clean and make dry goods last longer. Spices should be kept here to protect them from heat, light, and humidity.

Finally, remember that your freezer is good for more than meat storage. Stock and wine can be frozen in ice cube trays and muffin tins. Once frozen, place the cubes in freezer bags. Thaw to use at your convenience!

Six Things Covered by Homeowner's Insurance
You're confident your home is covered for burglaries, tornadoes, and fires.
If any of these disasters occur, you know to contact your agent right away. You might be surprised to discover that the following situations also warrant a call to your insurance provider. These unusual costs might be covered under your homeowner's policy.

When Fido gets feisty: Did you know dog bites account for about a third of homeowner's insurance claims? Most policies offer liability and medical coverage for any damages your dog causes to an injured party.

When vandals attack: Are you the caretaker of a family headstone? If your loved one's memorial is vandalized, your homeowner's policy may provide for repairs. Even though the headstone isn't on your property, it's still your property.

When dorm living goes south: Is your child moving into a dorm this fall? If his or her property is stolen from the dorm room, you can file a claim. Your homeowner's policy may consider your child's belongings "off-premises personal property," so that they will be covered by your insurance.

When groceries go bad: Have you ever experienced an extended power outage? If a lack of power causes your food to spoil, you may be able to recoup the cost of the extra grocery bill. Contact your agent to see if this falls under your homeowner's policy.

When firemen call: Did you call the fire department to save your home? You might receive a bill for their services. If so, your homeowner's policy may cover this fee. Coverage may depend on the reason for the call.

When the cows come home: Do you live near a ranch? Most people don't, but it's comforting to know that any damage caused to your property by a stampeding herd of cows is covered under your homeowner's policy. Just in case.
Is Shopping Online for Insurance Really a Bargain?
Buying auto or homeowners insurance on the internet seems easy and cheap. But is it?

Discover how relying on the web to protect your most valuable assets could cost you more - and put you and your loved ones at risk - by requesting my free guide, "The Dangers of Shopping Online for Insurance."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Warm Lentil Salad
Try something new! Makes 4 servings
1 cup French green lentils
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 large carrots, shredded
1 cup diced tomato
1 tablespoon chopped mint
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Rinse lentils. Combine lentils, bay leaf, and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered, until tender. Remove bay leaf and drain lentils. While lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in remaining olive oil. Add lentils, onion mixture, carrots, tomato, mint, and goat cheese, and toss to combine. Serve warm.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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