Disclosure: This blog post was written as a part of my collaboration with eBay.

Recently, my husband decided we needed a new Playstation. Not just any Playstation, but the PS4 that comes out later this month. Let me first clarify that I’m not a huge gamer. It’s definitely more my husband’s thing. However, I do love all the nifty features it offers, like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube that let me watch my favorite shows right from the TV. In fact, our Playstation ends up saving us a lot of money since it allows us to do away with a hefty cable bill each month. Yet, I was still speculative. Do we really need a new game console when this one works just fine?

That’s when I heard about eBay’s new interface called Simple Flow that allows you to sell your old game consoles and other electronics easier than ever. It got me thinking. Selling the old console at a good price would help pay for the new device – making both me and my husband happy. I decided to give it a try.

And boy, I’m glad I did. I was blown away by the ease of this new system. It literally took me about two minutes to choose my device, pick the model and list it. I’ve used eBay a dozen times to sell different items and this was certainly the easiest and less stressful experience I’ve used to date. Usually, I have trouble decide how much to start off the bidding, whether or not to include a “Buy It Now” price, and how much to charge for shipping. With Simple Flow, it took care of all that for me in the blink of an eye.

First, you simply click on the device you plan to sell.

ebay sell console

Then, choose the type, model and condition. The system then shows you the best suggested price that you can get for your device.

ebay sell console 2

Click next and the interface does the rest of the work for you. It creates a complete listing with a suggested starting bid, “Buy It Now” price (the suggested price from the last step), approximate shipping costs, and package details. There’s even an option to automatically relist the item up to 3 times if it doesn’t sell. Better yet, the listing is free. So if your item doesn’t sell, you won’t be out any cash.

ebay sell console 3

With the holidays are right around the corner, now is the best time to sell your device online. As a seller, you can cash in on the busy holiday season. Your device might even spark a bidding war (cha-ching!). Additionally, some of the latest and great consoles are due out just in time for the holidays – like the XBox One and the PS4. Don’t you want to give a brand spanking-new console to your favorite gamer this year? (I know I do!)

Visit eBay’s Simple Flow interface today to sell your old mobile phone, tablet, game console, or other electronics. It’s an easy way to make some extra money this holiday season to use on gifts, holiday travel, or whatever else you’ve been wishing for.

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Back to school supplies.Picture this: It’s 9 p.m. the night before school starts, and you’re braving the tides of harassed parents in the same predicament, shuffling through the rejected notepads and pencils littering the aisles of your local office supply store. You look further down your kid’s list—not only does she need three-ring binders, pencils and a ream of copy paper, but they want her to have a laptop and flash drive. What the—?

In our digital age, student supply needs have surpassed simple items such as notebook paper and dividers to laptops, quick and reliable Internet access and flash drives. How is a parent to cope with these demands?

First and foremost, you can let out a sigh of relief, because there are myriad options to choose from. We’ll help you pare down the cost of educational technology.

The Dreaded Laptop Search

Let’s tackle the laptop issue first. Your student is not going to need all the bells and whistles, and you can confidently spend under $500 to get a quality deal. For example, the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 can be purchased online for $238 from Walmart. PCMag.com gives this laptop a 4 out of 5 star rating: it is sleek and ultraportable, and the ARM processor allows for excellent performance while maintaining battery life.

Another viable option is the Acer C7 Chromebook, which is currently available on Amazon for less than $300. The editors at PCMag.com have made this their choice for being the best inexpensive Chromebook on the market.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, PCMag.com’s editor’s choice for best budget laptop is the Lenovo G580, which prices at $479 and offers Windows 8 capability, as well as a fair battery life when compared with similar laptops.

Of course, you can always buy secondhand. Check out your local pawn shop and Goodwill, and don’t forget Craigslist.

Get Connected

So, you’re all set with a laptop. How do you get online cheaply? A common misconception consumers have is that cable is faster than DSL, and therefore better. Contrary to this popular belief, DSL offers an always-on connection that allows for quicker downloads of larger files. Additionally, with cable you might find yourself sharing the line with your television, which will then make your connection less zippy.

DSL plans begin from less than $20 per month and work with existing phone lines in your area. You can also bundle your cable television with DSL Internet, and reduce the price per month by paying for both services in conjunction. Offers usually range from $35 to $75 per month, depending on the speed you require.

Document Storage Options

Finally, you’re going to need a way to store assignments so they can be worked on at school, and to back up your original documents. Walmart.com offers stellar deals for online purchases of USB flash drives, starting at $6 for 8GB of storage. Compare this with Amazon, which offers the same amount of storage for $8.

Better still is a free alternative: Google Drive. This feature is accessible with either a Gmail or Google account, and allows for 15GB of storage immediately available anywhere.

So have no fear parents, there are wallet-friendly, tech-savvy options out there. Have tips for other budget-minded moms? Share them in the comments.

 

Today, I have another guest post for you. This one comes from Naomi Broderick. Enjoy!

Easier said than done, right? Spending money is ten times easier than saving it—but what if I told you that you can start saving your earnings just as easily with things around the home? Utility bills are scary, frustrating, and at times, seem so pointless. We end up wasting about half the energy we have in our households than actually using it. I have a couple quick techniques for you to follow to cut your utility bills in half—resulting not only in your happiness, but the happiness you’ll find when opening your wallet.

What’s the one big money spender for the house that you can think of? Yeah, you guessed it: heating and cooling of the house. Your heater and air conditioner work all day to keep your house at the right temperature. This is the biggest money sucker for your utility bills, and can easily be reduced.

  • Close the windows during the day, and keep the blinds shut. This will keep your house cool during the night hours, and will keep your house from blocking out the hot sun that comes out during the day.
  • A white roof can make all the difference. White roofs won’t absorb heat as much as black or darker roofs can hold, resulting in a lower air conditioner bill.
  • That squeaky door or window that leaves air space in your house that you keep putting off to fix? It’s better to fix that now and spend the money for it, than to lose the cool or hot air that is circulating in your home. Losing energy is worse; spend the money to get your leaks fixed, and you’ll save in the long run

The other highest utility bill that you pay for is water. You pay for water to get into your house and you pay for it to get out, essentially, the sewer system. There are a couple quick fixes here to reduce your bill in half.

  • Installing an irrigation system into your house can help big time. Irrigation systems help control the water you don’t use into the sewer system. Each month your utility company will read your meter to see what you’ve saved, and subtract that from your bill (Bankrate).
  • The water heater in your home is another big spender. Save money by turning this off or lowering the temperature when you’re away on vacation.

And finally, the third highest utility bill: lights. Keeping your lights on during the day can burn a pretty big hole in your wallet it’s estimated that an average home in the U.S. spends about $115 a year on lights alone (Life Coach).

  • Switch out light bulbs for energy efficient or “green” light bulbs. They reduce your bill substantially, and they help the environment.  Start with switching these out in high traffic areas of your home.
  • Turn off the lights! Seems like common sense, but many people forget this simple step. Leaving a light on all night can get you spending almost $10 more a year.

Utilities are a necessity—but spending that much money on them is not. By following these easy steps you can see the impact on your bills, and end up saving much more than expected. By being smart about our spending, we end up saving.

Naomi Broderick is a home safety savant and a proud mother. You can usually find her juggling her three kids or enjoying a good book.

 

iheartmustacheFather’s Day is right around the corner, and there’s no better time than now to begin searching for the gift that tells your dad how much you appreciate him, no matter the budget:

Keep in Touch

The Blackberry Z10 is a feature-packed smartphone delivering the quality Blackberry fans (old and new) have come to expect. The Blackberry Z10 model is the company’s latest touch-screen display model. CNET Editor Brian Bennett gave the device rave reviews earlier this year, stating that the Blackberry Z10 touchscreen is a joy to type with. He also particularly appreciated the Blackberry Hub which highlights important communications coming through the device which eliminates the chance you will overlook them. The Blackberry Z10 starts at $199 (with a contract from most carriers).

For a lower-cost mobile phone present, you could purchase a gift card to your father’s cell phone provider; generally you can add the dollar amount that’s comfortable for your budget and your dad could use this gift card toward either his monthly bill, a hands-free device to go with his phone or he can put the money toward the purchase of new smartphones when he’s ready for an upgrade.

Wine & Spirits

It is, of course, the season for relaxing under the sun. So, if your father enjoys unwinding with his favorite cocktail, adding to his bar is a great idea. A little dark rum along with ginger syrup and citrus will yield a Dark ‘n Stormy your dad will love. However, ginger syrup has been referred to, loosely, as the little black dress of beverages — meaning, when put with just about anything, ginger syrup can be the foundation for a fabulous drink (alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic). Try it with sparkling lemonade, green tea or make dad a cold, refreshing homemade ginger ale. You can find Hand Made Ginger Syrup at Hickorees.com for about $13.

If your father is a do-it-yourself kind of guy, he might really get into making his own whisky — with the help of this Age Your Own Whiskey Kit by the Woodinville Whiskey Company. At $149.99, it is a pricier option, but the kit comes with the aging barrel, funnel and step-by-step instructions to create the perfect whiskey again and again. The whiskey is ready for use within 3 to 6 months and the kit can be used multiple times. Who knows, your Dad may just turn into the next Jim Beam!

For His Office

One of the joys of fatherhood is being able to proudly display the things that are important to you. So, you should never discount the sentimental value of hand-crafted items. At MarthaStewart.com, you’ll find the perfect template for a paper picture frame which can either display “Dad” or can be used to spell out his name. The frame can be used on his desk with the help of card stock paper and paper clips. Creating this attractive and meaningful display costs no more than $5 for the cardstock and paper clips and a little of your time.

You can also take dad back to his youth with one of his favorite childhood gifts — the Rubik’s Cube — re-purposed as either a stress cube, decorative notepad or pencil holder. These items are priced individually at less than $20 at perpetualkid.com.

 

Today I’m excited to welcome a guest post from Penn Ross. Thanks, Penn!

Taking care of personal finance includes various aspects. You must learn to manage debts, control expenses, take care of your financially limits and most importantly maintain a responsible behavior.

Most people don’t realize exactly how important it is to take care of personal finance. Perfect execution of personal finances will help you to solve your financial troubles effectively. You’ll get to save and pay off your due debts on time too. Following are a few tips which you must follow to control your financial stability along with saving considerably. Have a look at the tips below:

1.      Be organized: A systematic behavior is all what you need to regain the essential balance in your financial life. Plan well before you go ahead with any financial decision. It may be an investment or even simple shopping, but you must act prudently during each of your financial venture. An organized behavior actually helps a lot in saving considerably.

2.      Say no to extravagance: Spend according to your limit. Think twice before purchasing any expensive item that may burn a hole in your pocket. A little bit of compromise may lead you to good savings. If you’ve some huge purchase in your mind, then you must save for it separately. Once you accumulate significant amount, you can go ahead with the purchase. This will reduce the pressure and you won’t have to even borrow for your purchase.

3.      List your needs: Whenever you decide to shop, just prepare a list first. Shop according to that list and try not to exceed it. This will help you to finish shopping according to your budget. As a result your savings will also be assured.

4.      Steer clear of lavish lifestyle: Don’t let your lifestyle take a toll on your financial plans. It’s not at all a wise idea to spend all of your savings just to live a lavish life. This may put your financial future at risk. Control your whims and live a frugal life instead. Save considerably to secure financial stability.

5.      Look for discounts whenever you shop: How about getting good discounts on your monthly grocery shopping? Discounts are always like icing on the cake. The extra buck that you got from the discount may raise your emergency fund. So this is definitely an added advantage. Just consider bulk buying and look for shops offering reasonable price. This will certainly help you achieve good discounts.

As you can see, all these 5 tips aren’t difficult to follow. Only you need to follow them regularly with perseverance. Also you must concentrate on proper budgeting. There are countless budgeting apps which you may use to prepare a perfect budget plan. Follow all these points to manage personal finance and save money considerably.

 

Today, I’m pleased to share a guest post from Gary Dek. Gary Dek is a contributor to Gajizmo.com and is always looking for ways to make and invest money. Gary previously worked for an internet company on their M&A team, as well as investment banking and private equity firms in California.

 Credit Card Convenience Checks

If you have a credit card that allows cash advances, you have probably received credit card convenience checks and just don’t know what they are. Many credit card companies send these checks to their customers on a regular basis. Interestingly enough, I have an account with Discover Card and they send these checks on a monthly basis, despite the fact that I’ve never maintained a balance on any of my cards or even like using checks. While convenience checks can be used for any purpose and look exactly like normal checks, you should be aware of how they differ from bank checks before deciding to use them to pay bills.

How Do They Work?

Convenience checks look and work just like regular bank checks or drafts, but instead of drawing on money already in your checking account, convenience checks are treated like a cash advance on your credit card. The checks have expiration dates but within the time stated on the check, they are valid up to the available credit limit on your card.

However, unlike bank checks which are often issued with free checking accounts, convenience checks have fees. The interest rate on credit card cash advances may be as high as 29.99%, even if the rate of interest for purchases on your card is normally only 12.99%. The interest on cash advances begins to accrue the moment the money is borrowed, so interest charges apply even if you pay the full amount when the credit card bill becomes due. The standard transaction fee for cash advances is about 4% in addition to the interest charged by the credit card company.

Honestly, I did not know that last part, but when these offers come from a credit card company, you should just assume there is a catch. Thankfully, I’ve never needed to use them and finally decided to research it.

Why Use Convenience Checks?

The advantages of convenience checks are they can be used for balance transfers from one credit card to another. Low introductory rates on some credit cards allow consumers to save on interest payments on balance transfers for between 6 and 18 months. Furthermore, there is a balance transfer fee of 3% in addition to the fees associated with the convenience check. When deciding to transfer credit card balances, it is smart to consider all the associated fees to determine if transferring your balance will save money or not.

Additionally, some vendors do not accept credit cards. While this problem is increasingly rare in our global economy, it does happen sometimes. If a vendor does not accept a credit card and you do not have access to bank checks or wire transfer, you can usually pay with a convenience check. Obviously this can be an expensive alternative to purchasing items on your credit card or paying in cash.

It is also important to keep in mind that credit card companies apply payments to the balance with the lowest interest rate first, so if you normally carry a monthly balance on your credit card, you could be paying for the convenience check, at the higher interest rate, for months.

Disadvantages of Convenience Checks

Interest Payments. Convenience checks have the highest interest rates the credit company charges, even if you have excellent credit. If you cannot pay off the convenience check right away, the interest on the check may cost more than the initial purchase.

Fees. In addition to extremely high interest rates, fees can be as much as 4% of the total amount borrowed. If your advance is for a small amount, the company may even have a minimum fee which is greater than 4% of the total amount of your check.

Credit Score. Since convenience checks are loans, they increase your debt to income ratio and may have a negative impact on your credit score. Not only that, while bank checks allow you the option to protect yourself from overdraft fees, going over your limit with a convenience check means you will be charged a penalty plus fees for the returned check. Using convenience checks raises your credit card debt, which should not exceed approximately 50% of your credit limit or this can lower your credit score.

No Protection. The purchase protection plan that your credit card offers on items bought with the card do not apply when the items are purchased with a convenience check. The check is considered the same as cash, even though it is issued against your account by the credit card company. Cash advances do not fall under the Fair Billing Credit Act and companies do not have to offer the same guarantees that are offered on credit purchases.

Identity Theft. In today’s world, identity theft is a real threat and using convenience checks can increase the risk of someone stealing your credit card information. If you do not plan to use convenience checks, contact the credit card company and ask them not to send the checks in the mail. Never leave checks out and if you lose them, report the loss to the credit card company immediately.

Bank Checks Are A Better Deal

Using a bank check when credit cards are not accepted by a vendor is financially more responsible than using a convenience check. In most cases, if you do not have the money for the purchase in your bank account, you should not spend it. Checking accounts usually allow customers to apply for overdraft protection, which saves on fees and returned checks if you accidentally spend more than you have on deposit. This avoids the penalties and embarrassment of a returned check for exceeding your credit limit. Unless an expense is an emergency and you do not have the money to cover the cost, a personal loan is a better and cheaper way to pay for necessary items that you cannot afford immediately.

If there is no time to apply for a bank loan, check with family or friends to see if they can give you an immediate, temporary loan before resorting to a convenience check. You might also consider asking your employer for a cash advance. If being short on cash is a regular occurrence and you’ve done everything you can to stop overspending, then it may be time to explore ways to make money from home and create a side income.

While credit card convenience checks may have some advantages, consumers should be aware of all the pitfalls of relying on these disguised cash advances before opting to use the checks. It is smarter to use your credit card for purchases or your bank checks whenever possible to avoid falling into a serious credit trap. If you thought credit card debt was a nightmare, don’t experience worse with convenience checks.

We all know we need protect our children’s privacy and safety – both on and offline. As kids get more tencholigcally savvy at younger ages (my two year old knows his way around my Kindle better than I do!), they are increasingly more vulnerable to having their private information exposed – which may effect their financial future. Today Nico Sell, founder of Wickr and DEFCON Kids, shares with us her tips on how to better protect their information and online privacy with you!

Photo Source: Flickr

Q: What are some ways even non-techy moms can protect their families online?

A: There are a lot of simple ways that even the most un-tech savvy among us can implement strategies to protect their children and families online.  One way is to communicate with your children about what content is and is not appropriate for sharing online.   Another easy way to protect your children online is to make sure they are not using apps suited for adults thirteen and over (Facebook and Instagram are popular ones).

Q: What are some examples of “worst-case scenarios” of children having their personal information compromised?

A: There have been a number of instances in the media where underage youth have experienced serious repercussions for sharing inappropriate content online and through mobile apps.  The best way to ensure your children are safe is to make them aware of these scenarios and why it’s important to share smartly and securely.

Q: What kind of financial implications can this have for them in the future?

A: In the short term, it’s important for children and adults to always make sure they’re using secure networks for online banking, shopping, and other financial transactions.  It’s also important to ensure that your children know that the Internet is forever – the pictures, messages, and content they post online today can always findable by future employers.

Q: Do you think it’s a good idea for parents to block sites and downloads that might be a security risk?

A: I always advise parents to limit their children’s access to sites that aren’t secure or protected, and to also be transparent with their children about the security risks that do exist online.

 Q: Is there any way we can monitor what they do online?

A: There are definitely options and software available that can be used to monitor what your kids do online, but ultimately the best way to protect your online identity is abstinence.  XX Don’t participate in unprotects sites.

The old rule of thumb, friend your kids on Facebook, is no longer a useful option for moms.  Any smart kid knows to create an alias parents can’t see.  Duh.  So, what is a mom to do?  Teach your kids how to be a top secret super spy. Use Wickr to leave no Trace. Teach them about the Wayback Machine.  At least then, you can protect them from the Internet.  The Internet is forever.  Your personal info, like your location throughout each day, shouldn’t be.  It can be used to hurt you.

Another tip – teach your kids how to be aware of their digital footprint.  Some part should be amplified and other parts should never exist on the Internet.  Take control.

Q: What are some ways kids can tarnish their reputations online or via SMS? How can they avoid that?

A: While there are many instances where kids can tarnish their reputations, it is most important that children trust the recipient no matter what type of content they are sharing.  Of course, sending encrypted messages is ultimately the best and most secure way to ensure that even if your child does send potentially compromising content, they are protected.

Thanks, Nico!

What practices have you implemented in your own home to keep your children safe online?

 

Hi everyone! The following is a guest post by Jon Haver of PayMyStudentLoans.com. After paying off 23k in student loans 3 years after he graduated, he started he website to help other graduates pay off their loans. His advice is useful to recent grads or anyone looking to pay off some debt or save up cash.

College graduation is a very exciting time! You have hopefully avoided the most common money mistakes in college and are now ready to look at starting a career. The world is open to you, and it’s full of possibilities. You’re ready to take all the knowledge you paid so much money for and put it to good use.

Certainly, you have things that you need to accomplish. You need to find a job. You want to buy a house and a car. Very soon, you’ll also have to start paying off those student loans. Where is this going to happen? All of these needs and wants are going to have to work together to help you decide where you want to live after college.

Where are the jobs?

There are two things to consider when choosing a place to live after college. The first of which is whether or not you will be able to get a job there. CareerBuilder and the Economic Modeling Specialists teamed up to figure out where the best job growth is right now. This list was obtained from Yahoo. The study looked at jobs created in the most populous metros from 2010-2012.

  1. San Jose, CA.
  2. Houston, TX.
  3. Austin, TX.
  4. Detroit, MI.
  5. Salt Lake City, UT.
  6. Oklahoma City, OK.
  7. Raleigh, NC.
  8. Dallas, TX.
  9. San Francisco, CA.
  10. Phoenix, AZ

Take a look at any of those cities and see if any of the job growth is in a market that you’re interested in getting into.

Photo From – Werner

10 Thriftiest Cities

The second consideration that needs to be had is whether or not you can afford to live in the area of your choice. Having a job is not enough by itself to ensure that you will be able to pay off your student loan. You’ll have to balance your monthly student loan payments with everything else that requires money for you to survive. There are many ways to be thrifty once you are living somewhere including cleaning everything with vinegar and making pizza at home instead of take out.

Forbes magazine released a list of cities where a paycheck stretches the farthest. This list is not necessarily an overview of the cheapest places to live, because it takes average income into consideration and balances that with the cost of housing and general living expenses.

Unless you’ve already scored a six-figure salary in the big apple, you should take that off your list of considerations. New York did not make this list.

  1. Houston, TX.
  2. San Jose, CA.
  3. Detroit, MI.
  4. Memphis, TN.
  5. Dallas, TX.
  6. Charlotte, NC.
  7. Cincinnati, OH.
  8. Austin, TX.
  9. Seattle, WA.
  10. Columbus, OH.

Don’t forget to put personal considerations into the mix. A decision as big as where you want to live shouldn’t just be a financial decision. Are there certain climates that you would be happier in? How close (or how far) do you want to be to your family and friends? How much of a social scene is there in the areas you’re considering? Will you still be able to participate in all of your favorite hobbies or pastimes? If you do your research, you should be able to find a good city (or suburb) that suits your needs.

Do you live in one of the thriftiest cities? Would you consider moving if it saved you money?

 

Have you heard about Mini Micro Kickboard Scooters? I hadn’t, until I was contacted by the company to try one out. Now I see them everywhere. And no wonder. They’re amazing. My two and a half year old loves his. He always asks to ride it whenever we go outside and will actually put on his helmet in order to ride it (which is saying a lot since he’s usually not a fan).

At first, I thought he wouldn’t be old enough to enjoy the scooter since it is recommended for ages 3 and up. I was quickly proven wrong as he jumped on and took off. At first, he He’s was a little shaky and wouldn’t go far without putting his foot down to steady himself, but now he takes off and glides. He’s even taken to bringing his foot up and doing a balancing act like he’s in the circus. Check out this video:

The quality of the Mini Micro is outstanding. It’s surprisingly lightweight and easy for my little one to steer.  He’s obsessed with riding it everywhere we go. I don’t mind because it encourages him to get out there and exercise and there’s nothing better than that.

At $85 a pop, the Mini Micro isn’t cheap. However, if you’re looking for an investment that your kiddos will love for years to come, then the Mini Micro is just what you’re looking for. It’s simply an outstanding product.

 

Did you watch the Super Bowl last night? Great game! Though I have to say, that Go Daddy commercial was kind of… weird. And Beyonce was just awesome.

Over the weekend, in addition to watching the Super Bowl, I made my very first apple pie with lattice topping. Yum! It made me think of how football is such an American thing to do – especially a tradition like the Super Bowl where we’re all glued to the TV, whether it’s to watch the game, the commercials or the halftime show – and so is apple pie!

My pie turned out pretty well if you can go by the fact that my husband and son gobbled it right up. I only had red delicious apples and while I know you’re not supposed to use them in pies, it still turned out good. Here’s how I did it:

Mix the dough (recipe below) and stick it in the freezer for two to four hours. Meanwhile, peel and slice 4-6 apples

Toss the apples with lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Roll out one half of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and press it into a pie plate. Roll out the other half of dough for the lattice topping. Cut into 1/2-1 inch strips.

Fill the pie crust with the apple filling.

Weave strips into a lattice pattern. Top with egg yolk and milk. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes,  then reduce heat to 350 F and bake 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

Apple Pie

Ingredients: (Yield: one 9″ pie)
Pie Filling
8 cups peeled and thinly sliced red delicious apples (about 4-6 apples)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. milk

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flours
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

Directions:

Pie Crust
1) Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2) Stir in the ice water slowly. Stir until you have a uniform dough, but don’t over mix it. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
3) Divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a floured surface. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Gently press into into the pie plate and trim excess from the edges. Add filling (see below).
4) Roll out the other half. Use a sharp knife cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Weave the strips in a lattice pattern.
5) In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.
6)  Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes,  then reduce heat to 350 F and bake 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

Pie Filling
1)  In a large bowl, mix the sliced apples with lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2) Fill pie crust with filling.

What is your favorite apple pie recipe? Are you a fan of lattice topping or brown sugar crumbs? (I like both!)

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