By Linsey Knerl

Welcome to Wise Bread’s Best of Personal Finance roundup. Today, we tell you how to become inspired with your meals again, what a little bit of chalkboard paint can do for a worn-out chair, and how insulating your water pipes can save big money!  

Top 5 Articles

Tips and Tricks to Combat Cooking Burnout — If you’ve gotten tired of chopping and dicing, but you can’t take another pizza night, these tips are for you! Deal Seeking Mom

Chair Makeover with Chalkboard Paint — Who would have thought to use chairs in such a delightful and inspiring way? This tutorial will have your little artists clamoring to help prepare for dinner every night! Pretty Ditty via Mom Advice

Save Money and Energy By Insulating Your Hot Water Pipes — This is a simple trick to keeping heat where it belongs (hint: not into the winter air). While you’re at it, wrap your hot water heater! Consumer Reports via Consumerist

How to Build Your Own “Modified Staycation” Vacation Package — Can’t travel far from home, but need to do something daring with your time off? These tips rock, and they won’t cause you to bust your budget. Squawkfox

How to Dry Mushrooms in the Oven — Were you able to snag a great deal on Shitake this week? Not sure how to use ‘em all up? Check out these simple drying techniques designed to make the flavor last! The Kitchn

Other Essential Reading

How Student Loan Interest is Calculated and Why It Varies from Month to Month — No one likes paying interest, especially on that student loan that lurks overhead for years! Get the scoop on how your monthly bill comes about. Debt Free Adventure

How to Run Your Garage Sale Like a Business — There’s more to making money on your old stuff than just setting it out on the front lawn. With a little preparation and strategy, you can run it like any other business (and a profitable one, at that!). Mint

Bread and Tomato Salad — I would have never thought to combine these two ingredients, but the results are breathtaking! Get the full recipe at Stone Soup via Slashfood

Time Management: Outsource to Save Time and Money — I love that this post enforces the theme that you “don’t need to do it all.” Why not? It may be cheaper to have someone else do it for you! Whether you hire UPS, a house keeper, or your older son, there are ways to decrease the workload and get more done with less time and money. Consumerism Commentary

How to Create a Blog for Fun or Profit — While it takes hard work and dedication to build your blog from the ground up, it can be done. These tips will help ensure you start out right — profitable or not! The Digerati Life

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