Summer Food Savings: Buy Local

by Renee' Anderson 12. August 2013

Fresh Local Produce

Along with the hot summer sun comes delicious fresh produce! With the health food/organic craze, more and more people are investing in what they eat. And, when I say investing, I do mean investing. Buying fresh, organic produce can be pretty expensive. However, beginning in late spring, there are ways to cut your food bill and still eat healthy.

Based on Maryland’s climate, now is the perfect time to enjoy locally grown produce. The savings on local produce varies depending on what and how much you’re purchasing, but the bottom line is, you WILL save money. Instead of paying mark-ups on tomatoes shipped from California, you can pick one from your own backyard, or grab some from your local farmer’s market. Not only are you saving money, but the quality of the food is SO MUCH better. I tend to exaggerate often, but seriously, the difference in fresh produce and several day old produce is remarkable.

Another option, if you are able, is to grow your own goods! Prepare a garden in your backyard. If there’s not enough room, be creative. Throw some veggies along the side of your house that gets the most sun. Or, you can even grow some veggies in pots on your patio/deck/front stoop. Last night I walked out to my garden and pulled a green bell pepper off my plant, went inside, cut it up and as soon as I bit into it I felt a huge sense of satisfaction. The pepper was delicious and so much better than what I buy in the wintertime at the grocery store. It was crisp, juicy, sweet and full of flavor!

One more benefit of buying local produce is you’re helping to support our local businesses. As a local bank, 1st Mariner is continuously finding ways to support our community. You can too!

Here is a list of some local farmers' markets you might want to try out:

Baltimore Farmers' Market and Bazaar

Baltimore County Farmers' Market at the Maryland State Fairgrounds

Bel Air Farmers' Market

Westminster Farmers' Market

Anne Arundel County Farmers' Market

Howard County Farmers' Market

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out these related articles:

Why Buy Local?

Is Growing a Garden "Worth It"?

Buy Local, Bank Local

 

Home Improvements You Never Knew You Could Do Yourself

by Renee' Anderson 31. May 2013

Home Improvements

Spring is here, the weather is beginning to get warmer, and I’m ready to kick back and relax!

Wait, there are some things around the house that need to be tended to first. After all, I’d rather kick back and relax on a nice patio than the dirt/mud area in my backyard.

Wait, I don’t have the money to pay a contractor to come out to my house, design and build me a patio. Wait, I’ll do it myself. Seriously, how hard can it be? I mean it’s not like my husband and I work full time and have small children running around getting into as much as they possibly can…sure, we have the free time to build a patio (if we don’t sleep at night). But, do we have the “know-how?!”

DIY Patio

Google?

Google says- YES!

I decided to get this patio started while my darling husband was at work one day. The kids were running around the yard and I walked past a pile of patio pavers that we had lying around from our fire pit project (another DIY), LAST YEAR. I was tired of looking at them lying there and decided I’d fill up the wheel barrel, take them around the house to where I wanted my “patio” unload, and get to work.

I use quotes around patio because my patio and your patio are not the same. There are some elaborate patios that are fantastic, but would that be practical for me to do myself? No. (I didn’t have to Google that one.)

Setting realistic goals (based on the small amount of patio pavers I had and the small amount of money I had to purchase more), I grabbed our pic axe and began loosening the ground. Then I started throwing the patio pavers down, until I realized they were completely uneven. At this point, the kids were done entertaining themselves and were now “assisting” me in building the patio (a.k.a. digging in the dirt to find worms and “cool” insects).

About 10 patio pavers in, my husband arrives home J “Wow!” he says. From there, he got on his smartphone, Googled “make your own patio,” went to the hardware store to buy rocks and sand, leveled the ground and put the patio in! In the end, it took about a week’s time (could have been one day but again, we work full-time and have crazy kids), and $450 for a 150 square foot patio (I told you it was small) vs. $2,500 to have someone else do it for us.

So, I’ve demonstrated one home improvement project you can do yourself, but there are lots more! See our Pinterest page for more DIY ideas.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these other realted articles:

5 Home Improvements That Add Value

The Imaginary Mortgage: Fake It Til You Make It

How to Decide: Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit?

FREE Shred-It Day

by Renee' Anderson 15. April 2013

Free Shred-It Day

What do you do with your paper documents when you no longer need them? Toss them in the trash? You might want to reconsider that decision. I never thought much about shredding important documents, until we found out the trash men were going through our trash! It’s a scary feeling knowing that someone you don’t know has access to your personal information. Don’t let it happen to you - take advantage of 1st Mariner Bank’s FREE Shred-It Day!

1st Mariner Bank is holding a FREE Shred-It Day on Saturday April 27th. There will be Shred-It trucks at the Cockeysville and Dundalk branches from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Just in time for Earth Day (April 20th) and spring cleaning! Not only is shredding your documents an important step in protecting against identity theft, it’s an easy way to help the environment.

So, if you have things like old paper bank statements lying around collecting dust, bring them to 1st Mariner’s FREE Shred-It Day on April 27th. And, by the way, if you are currently receiving paper bank statements, consider enrolling in electronic statements. Why? Enrolling in eStatements is a safe and secure way to receive your account information without crowding up your file cabinets (or if you’re like me, baskets in your kitchen stuffed with papers that you don’t have time to file/don’t feel like filing) and save some trees at the same time!

Go Green! Join us April 27th for 1st Mariner Bank’s FREE Shred-It Day, and enroll your accounts in eSatatements today!



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