Americans spend hundreds of dollars each month on take out and restaurant food. Think of all the things you could spend your money on if you weren’t buying all of that food? Stay home and cook dinner with friends or family and save that money. Here are six essential spices to have in the home to cook flavorful dinner each night.

Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is a kitchen staple. It is not the same as using fresh garlic but it still does the trick. Garlic powder pairs well with all foods that you are looking to add that garlicky flavor to including chicken, pasta, steak, rice, potatoes, and much more. Use it alone or add it with other spices and sauces to create rubs and marinades. 

Ground Cumin: Cumin has an intense flavor that is both nutty and earthy but also slightly spicy. It pairs well with chicken, potatoes, beans, etc. Cumin also pairs well with other spices such as garlic powder, which can be used as a dry rub or added to a marinade.

Onion Powder: Onion powder provides the flavor of onion without the actual onion. It goes well with anything that you are trying to add onion flavor to. It’s best used with other seasonings rather then as a standalone seasoning such as in sauces and spice blends.

Cajun Seasoning: Cajun seasoning has a bit of heat with bold flavor. It’s a combination of paprika, black pepper, onion, cayenne, thyme, white pepper, garlic and sage. It’s often used in jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice, and Andouille, but can also be used in much less intricate dishes. This includes fish, chicken, and steak.

Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes are perfect for adding heat to dishes before, during and after being cooked. Red pepper flakes go great on pizza, pasta, chicken, and anything else you’d like to add heat to.

Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning is a combination of multiple spices including rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme. Adding Italian seasoning to dishes is a simple way to add flavor. It goes well with chicken, potatoes, green beans, and much more.

These are just a few of the essential spices and spices blends that you should have in your home. You can create simple or intricate dishes and endless of flavor with these different spices.

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Are you beginning your house hunt as a first-time homebuyer or looking to buy a larger home that fits the needs of your family? No matter your situation, purchasing a home is a large investment and one that should be approached with caution and the use of your head, not your heart. There are multiple types of homes that one can purchase: condo, duplex, multi-family, single-family, etc. And one of those types will be the right fit for you. Let’s take a look at the pros of purchasing and owning a single-family home.

Space: Single-family homes provide more space­—more outdoor space, more indoor space, and more parking space. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally this is the case for single-family homes. Take advantage of this luxury of more space by entertaining and fully utilizing it all. Since apartments and condos are usually in complexes, personal space can be minimal, where shared space is generally larger. Decks and backyards (if any at all) are small so that each renter or homeowner has their own space. This also goes for the inside; square footage will be less in the types of properties listed above, especially if they are located in a city.

Privacy: Privacy is extremely important to many, and for good reason. With a single-family home you will have much more privacy than when owning other types of homes. Condos and duplexes share walls with other owners’ properties, which means your neighbors are always close by. You may hear them through the walls or be enjoying your separate deck spaces just feet apart. It may not sound like it’s all that terrible, but you never know who your neighbor will be; they could throw parties every night, vacuum at 4 am, or even have triplets that never stop crying.

No restrictions: Unless you are purchasing a historical home, there are likely no property restrictions. A single-family home gives you the opportunity to completely turn it into your own and do just about whatever you want on your land (check with your town before renovating/building additions). Condos can have multiple restrictions that include parking, outdoor work, and BBQs.

If the pros above sound like what you are interested in, then a single-family home may be the option for you. But be sure to research the market you are looking in to make sure that you can afford this type of home. If you are looking in a very desirable location with a smaller budget then this option may not work for you at this time. But fear not, continue saving and in the future you will be able to purchase that single-family home you’ve been dreaming of.

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