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  • 5 benefits of hiring a handyman service

    Today, one can easily access videos on fixing, repairing, or renovating a space; however, sometimes, it’s hard to resist the temptation to roll up one’s sleeves and dive right into DIY land. Hiring a handyperson to carry out the job they were trained for will always trump homeowners trying to figure out how to achieve the same thing on the fly. Here are a few benefits of hiring handyperson services.

    Experience and expertise

    While DIY-ing may seem the better choice, what with a flood of how-to videos on the Internet, sometimes hiring a handyperson is the way to go. Such professionals bring expertise and experience to the table, and if one hires the right person for the job while not skimping on the cost, the job at hand can get done quickly and efficiently. The skill lies in not tightening a screw but in knowing which screw to tighten.

    Time-saving and convenient

    Imagine searching online for hours for the correct video on fixing what’s broken or assembling something large. Hiring a handyperson will save time and be more convenient than racking brains about what goes where. Tasks like plumbing, electrical work, repairs around the house, and even some appliance repairs can look easy when someone else does them but could go wrong if attempted by oneself. It’s best to outsource such projects to a handyman and save time and enjoy the convenience of it.

    Cost and access to tools and equipment

    DIY-ing may seem like the cheaper option, but one does run the risk of ruining whatever they are trying to fix and end up spending more on an entirely new purchase than they would have by simply paying a handyman to do the job! Handymen also have access to the necessary tools and equipment to handle a wide variety of tasks, saving one the trouble of purchasing or renting those tools. Power tools can be expensive and add the burden of storing them safely after purchase.

    Safety

    Household repairs can get a bit hairy, and if one is not careful or does not use enough safety precautions, it could result in an untoward situation. Handypersons are well-versed in safety protocols and are equipped to deal with a problematic situation should it arise. Without appropriate safety gear and knowledge of using certain power tools, one could seriously injure oneself if one attempts to do repairs or renovations independently.

    Insurance and guarantees

    Reputed handyperson services can come with insurance coverage and guarantees for their work. This way, one is covered should there be an issue with the repair work. The handyman, too, would be covered by insurance if they are part of a proper setup and licensed contractor, should an unfortunate incident occur.

    Quality and longevity

    Hiring a handyman to perform maintenance and repair tasks around the house, or even an assembly, guarantees that the job done won’t be just a temporary quick fix. Choosing a reputed, knowledgeable, and skilled person to handle household tasks can ensure that the work will be one of quality and won’t come undone in a matter of days. A professional can also guide and suggest best practices for usage and maintenance, extending the life of whatever they have fixed.

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  • 5 types of water filtration systems

    Over time, the water filtration system has undergone several technological advancements to provide water access to billions of people worldwide. There are not just one but several ways pollutants can be removed from water. Depending on the location, area, and need, an appropriate type of filtration system can be used for water purification. Below are some of the different types of popular water filtration or treatment systems that are helpful.

    Mechanical filters
    This is one of the most standard and most common methods of filtering water. A physical barrier is used in the filtration system, which helps remove the dirt, particles, and chemicals from the liquid. The water usually travels through this mechanical filter, made of synthetic foam and nylon floss that helps clean out the water’s physical impurities. For this reason, this is often a prevalent method for the pre-filtration process.

    Ion exchange filters
    This is usually one of the most effective ways of filtering out the impurities from the water. In this method, the filtration system works by splitting the atoms of the contaminated particles, like chemicals and dirt, into ions, which is done using limescale. This ion water softener is also the best way to soften hard water. This is usually used in commercial places to help store water safely at a low temperature. There are also other unique ways of using ion exchange resin in the form of tiny beads that help replace contaminants with sodium ions that keep the water clean.

    Activated carbon filters
    These are also known as absorption filters, commonly installed in homes. This type of filtration system contains a large internal surface with nooks and hooks responsible for trapping water pollutants. This type of filtration system is also a bit pricier as it helps reduce the odor and bad taste of the water that comes from contaminants. Activated carbon is made up of granules of charcoal that are highly absorbent, making it an effective way to filter out liquids.

    Reverse osmosis filters
    This type of filtration uses two types of technologies – the mechanical filter and the activated charcoal filter, which helps give water with much fewer contaminants. In this method, the polluted water is forcefully passed through a membrane using a specific pressure. This pressure allows for the water to pass through. However, the pollutants or impure particles are left behind. There could be dissolved particles like magnesium, calcium, and more, but with the correct pressure, the water passes through, leaving these particles behind. RO or Reverse Osmosis is usually used in kitchen spaces.

    Ultraviolet filters
    In this method of filtration, the water is diverted towards ultraviolet light. This light then helps kill pollutants like viruses, parasites, and bacteria. One of the perks of this filtration system is that it runs on battery and is lightweight so that it can be carried around easily. However, this type of filtration will not be able to remove solid materials from the water, just the chemicals. The ultraviolet filters attract microbial bacteria cells to kill them and purify the water. One can use this filter combined with other filter types to eliminate contaminants such as chlorine, lead, and pesticides to deliver clean, soft, and healthy drinking water.

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  • Benefits and drawbacks of rent-to-own homes unveiled

    A rent-to-own home helps individuals buy the home they are renting once the lease expires. It is an excellent option for individuals who cannot secure traditional mortgages upfront. Here, part of the monthly rent payments may go toward the purchase price, and additional expenses and fees might apply. However, before signing the agreement, one must explore various details, like the advantages and drawbacks, to make informed decisions during their home-buying journey.

    Benefits of rent-to-own homes

    Helping save for a down payment

    Those who direct a portion of rent payments towards the purchase price could help accumulate a significant down payment towards the home’s purchase price. It could make it easier for them to handle a big down payment they might have had trouble saving up for. Going with the rent-to-own home option may also help an individual build equity.

    Ample time to improve finances

    One could use the rental period to pay down their debt, cushion their savings, and improve their credit score. Moreover, signing up for the rent-to-own home agreement may also help increase one’s income before one purchases a home. Therefore, the option could help one marginally improve their finances.

    Lock in prices

    Individuals who sign up for this agreement are usually aware of the purchase price from the start. The information may give one peace of mind and enable them to be financially prepared to handle all associated expenses and purchase the home later.

    There’s no moving required

    An individual who moves from one home to another at the end of a rental contract may incur thousands of dollars in expenses for furniture, supplies, and transportation of other utilities. Moreover, there may be expenses associated with renovating the new home space. However, in the case of a rent-to-own home, one would already have everything set up, and there would be no relocating involved. Therefore, such home ownership may help save in the long run.

    Drawbacks of rent-to-own homes

    Higher than average rent

    An individual might have to pay higher than average rent, especially if part of their payment goes toward the purchase price of the rent-to-own home.

    Other fees

    Rent-to-own homes may come with certain fees. These might include nonrefundable options. Therefore, one could lose their money if they decide not to buy the home towards the end of the contract.

    Maintenance and insurance costs

    There are several out-of-pocket costs associated with rent-to-own homes. It might add up drastically, especially in cases where there is damage to the roof or if the air conditioning stops functioning. The maintenance costs and insurance costs in these situations might be quite hefty. One may also be liable to pay property taxes.

    The financing isn’t assured

    Contrary to popular belief, the financing options for a rent-to-own home are never assured. One has to qualify for a mortgage if one wants to finance the purchase of a home. Moreover, the individual may also have to pay closing costs, which may add an extra 2% to 5% to the total due amount.

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  • 6 ways to support people with disabilities

    There are many ways to support people with a disability, and it is imperative to be vocal about it to advocate for the community. However, there is also a lot of false information and misunderstanding about people with disabilities, which is why it’s crucial to dispel myths and taboos. Additionally, specific days are dedicated to raising awareness and support for disability rights and voices. So, here are some ways to show kindness and support.

    Offer help with consent
    Assuming that a person with a disability will require assistance may be an unpleasant idea to some. Therefore, one must always get permission before offering help, as this allows them to communicate effectively. Since they know their needs better, it is always best to follow what they suggest for their assistance.

    Provide a comfort zone
    It can make people with disabilities uncomfortable when they are being stared at, or their disability is being pointed out. Creating a safe environment where they can be themselves is essential to support them. One must pay attention to small gestures like maintaining eye contact while conversing and not focusing on the disability to make a difference. During conversations, it’s best to talk about constructive topics like family, work, music, or any fond memory of theirs. This gives them a sense of belongingness and uplifts their mood and mental health.

    Communicate respectfully
    When conversing, treating the other person with respect and kindness is important. One should avoid using a condescending or patronizing tone and always maintain a normal tone. It is crucial to address the person directly and not their caregiver if they are present. Additionally, some people may have service animals, so seeking permission before petting them is crucial.

    Educate children about being compassionate
    Children are naturally curious and always eager to learn about the world around them. When they come across someone with a disability, they may get curious and start asking questions. Instead of shutting them down or pulling them away, this can be an excellent opportunity to teach them about disabilities respectfully. For instance, if they ask why someone is in a wheelchair, one can explain that some people use wheelchairs to move around. Depending on every parent’s teaching approach, the answer can be tailored to their age. The main idea is to help children understand that everyone is unique and should be treated by everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their differences.

    Always park legally
    It is important to remember that there are designated parking spaces for individuals with disabilities, and it is crucial to respect their needs by respecting their space in public. Choosing to park in a parking spot that is specifically marked for disabled people is equivalent to taking away their right to free and safe access in public.

    Respect personal space
    It is essential to be aware of the wheelchair, cane, or any other device a person with a disability may be using. Treat them with the same respect for personal space that one would give to any other person. Also, one must obtain permission before pushing their wheelchair or cane.

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  • 4 common mistakes employers make with daycare programs

    The most responsible and ethically sound organizations provide their employees with daycare benefits. These benefits tend to be of great help for working parents who do not have enough hours in a day to balance their work, their personal lives, and their ambition of pursuing educational degrees while giving complete care and support to their children. However, employers make certain mistakes while providing daycare programs to their employees. Here are some pitfalls employers should avoid.

    Selecting a static daycare network
    All daycare networks are not the same. Certain low-cost networks provide daycare services but not of the similar quality or coverage as certain other premium ones. Also, daycare providers have their own scope of location. So, selecting a static daycare provider for employees in terms of location is a bad idea. Employers need to see where each of their employees reside and design the daycare program in a way that employees can use the daycare facilities nearest to their home or work address. Employees would find it inconvenient to travel several miles in order to leave their children at a static daycare provider’s facility.

    Bending the rules for individual employees
    Certain employees may need (and request) companies to make subtle changes to the daycare benefits they are receiving. For example, a given worker may have run into financial problems, and is, therefore, asking if their daycare amount to be paid can be reduced, or other workers may be asking for greater cost coverage by the employer. Now, yielding to these individual requests is an empathetic thing to do on the employer’s end, but doing so may create a lot of problems. For one, other employees who do not get such customized benefits may be unhappy about it. Also, offering a specific deal to one employee and a completely different benefit to others creates unrest and allegations of special treatment on employers.

    All in all, organizations must not change their daycare rules for individual employees. Consistency is key when it comes to daycare programs.

    Covering the complete daycare costs for all employees
    Organizations need to keep their costs in check too. Most businesses thread a very thin line between being profitable and being loss-making. Therefore, while offering to cover the entire cost of each employee’s daycare expenses is indeed commendable, that would unnecessarily strain the coffers of the organization as well. So, companies must have their workers pay a subsidized percentage amount of the daycare expenses every week or month in order to keep the operation afloat and their business sustainable.

    Offering the same benefits to full-time and part-time employees
    Speaking of consistency, companies should offer better benefits to full-time employees who have committed themselves completely to the organization compared to part-time workers. On certain occasions, employers offer the same benefits to full-time and part-time employees. While that is great for contracted part-time workers, it is unfair to the full-time employees who will end up generating greater revenues and profits for their employers.

    So, organizations must offer that incentive to their full-time employees by giving them the complete range of daycare program benefits. This would not only be fair for everyone but also set a precedent of consistency for all employees.

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  • 6 mistakes to avoid while using trash bags at home

    Managing household waste is a daily chore that must be taken seriously to maintain hygiene and optimal house health. But sometimes, something as mundane as misusing trash bags can cause more damage than one would think. It is essential to make appropriate decisions when purchasing trash bags and discarding waste on a personal level and in terms of potential wider impacts. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using trash bags at home.

    Not buying the correct type of trash bag
    Medical waste, recyclables, biodegradable waste, hazardous materials, etc., have a color code for trash bags for proper waste segregation. Not separating waste can lead to harmful chemicals leaking into the soil, causing land and water pollution or even spreading disease. When waste is segregated, disposed of, and managed correctly, it helps recycle non-biodegradable waste, and only biodegradable waste is disposed of in the natural environment. Ensuring that all garbage is put in suitable bags can help waste management companies efficiently dispose of the waste.

    Not securing the bag to the rim of the trash can
    Sometimes, the trash bag can slip off the rim of the dustbin and fall into it, causing leaks and spills, and then there’s time wasted cleaning up the mess. To avoid such a situation, ensure that the mouth of the trash bag never leaves the rim by using simple, inexpensive techniques. Buying trash bags that fit the trash can is one way to go. If that is not possible, the other options are a quick knot at the corner of the trash bag to make it fit, binder clips to hold them in place, heavy-duty rubber bands, command hooks to secure the trash bags, using magnets on the rim (if the trash can is made of metal), or using adhesive dots to secure the trash bag.

    Overfilling the trash bag
    Overfilling a trash bag can cause it to tear, make a mess in the dustbin, and spill waste while on its way to waste management. Overflowing waste can spread odors, cause air pollution, and even respiratory diseases.

    Not using compostable bags
    Compostable trash bags are a wise choice to reduce the impact of plastic usage on the environment. Since they are an essential part of a kitchen’s day-to-day working, making an environmentally conscious choice to dispose of biodegradable waste can be a good decision. Choosing compostable bags decreases the plastic footprint and is important in reducing plastic waste.

    Not double bagging
    Sometimes, trash like hard plastics, glass, or metal can tear through the trash bag and possibly injure waste disposal personnel. Double bagging ensures the waste is secured in the trash bag without tearing through.

    Choosing cheap options
    One must prefer quality over quantity when buying trash bags. Buying cheap trash bags might be a good way to save money, but will not pay off in the long run. Cheap trash bags can easily tear and spill garbage, causing one to constantly clean up the trash cans to avoid smells, odors, and decomposing garbage from attracting pests and rodents. One might also have to double or even triple-bag trash on most days to avoid tearing and spills since the cheaper options might not be sturdy enough to withhold an average amount of trash.

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  • 7 mistakes to avoid when using buy now, pay later

    Digitization has made transactions cashless and quick. Now, people don’t have to depend on the available balance in their bank accounts while shopping as they can choose to buy and pay for a product flexibly. Such an option is “buy now, pay later,” which allows consumers to pay for an item later without charging any interest and with quick loan approval. However, there are some mistakes one can avoid while using BNPL:

    Not making BNPL payments on time
    It’s important to remember that buy now, pay later payments can have varying payment frequencies, such as weekly or bi-weekly, making it easy to overlook them. However, failing to make these payments on time can lead to penalties that may have long-term financial consequences. Additionally, consistently making late payments can negatively impact one’s credit score.

    Failing to read the terms and conditions
    Different retailers may have rules and regulations with buy now, pay later. Reviewing documents on terms and conditions may seem tedious, but it is important. Not paying attention to such rules and regulations may cause trouble later. One should also actively ask related questions, if any, to the retail store’s customer care.

    Buying products impulsively
    Many people may buy products impulsively with BNPL because they do not have to pay up at once. But with impulse buying, one may buy unnecessary expensive products, which wastes money and leads to cluttering. So, before making an unplanned purchase, one should consider whether the product is a want or a need. One should also consider alternatives available at lower prices.

    Taking multiple loans within a short duration
    Buy now, pay later is a good option to buy different products one cannot immediately pay for. But if the number of transactions increases considerably, one becomes highly indebted, which can be overburdening. It is also difficult to track the last payment dates for each transaction. So, limiting BNPL to only a few transactions every month is good.

    Not being aware of the retailer’s dispute regulation policies
    Credit cards, banks, and financial institutions protect consumers from billing errors and poor product quality. This is not the case with BNPL. However, individual retailers may have their policies around this mode of payment and how to resolve such issues. For this reason, one should always inquire with the retailer about such dispute regulation policies before using BNPL.

    Not inquiring about the store’s return policies with BNPL
    Return policies usually differ among stores, and there may be specific ones regarding those using the BNPL option. For instance, in some cases, the BNPL payment can be canceled only when one presents evidence that the store has processed the return. Awareness of these specific return policies allows consumers to take action quickly if a product needs to be returned or exchanged.

    Failing to set a BNPL budget
    With BNPL, one may be tempted to make all payments through this mode, which is convenient and hassle-free. However, using only BNPL can cause overspending and problems repaying the money when the due date approaches. Therefore, setting a clear budget for BNPL transactions helps prevent such issues.

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  • 7 mistakes to avoid when renting out a vacation home

    Owning a vacation home is a luxury that can also be a lucrative investment. Many people who own vacation homes let the property pay for itself by renting it out. It’s a great way to earn money, but it can also be slightly tricky, considering one will be letting strangers live in their home. To get the best out of the investment, here are some common mistakes to avoid when renting out a vacation home.

    Taking on too much responsibility
    Putting a vacation home up for rent is a lot of work, especially for one person. Outsource the work instead; make use of apps for accounting and apps to fill vacancies to simplify the process. Hire a maintenance crew to clean up after each renter leaves or a property manager to check up on things while the house lies vacant and prepare it for the next renter.

    Wrong and inflexible pricing
    Pricing is everything. In a high tourist-traffic area, keeping the prices too high could deter potential renters, while low pricing could send a barrage of queries, which will take ages to sort through. Consider the location, the scope of the property, and, of course, the demand. Events near the home, proximity to seasonal holiday spots and famous landmarks all determine the cost of rent. Keeping an open mind regarding flexible pricing will go a long way in determining a constant flow of interested renters.

    Not having vacation rental insurance
    Short-term rental insurance is great for homeowners looking to rent out their vacation homes. It covers potential liabilities that could occur while the home is being rented out. Standard short-term rental insurance covers theft and liability, guest liability, and property insurance. What short-term insurance does not cover is intentional damage, damage to the guest’s property, and wear and tear. Not having this insurance leaves one open to a lot of liability that could result in hefty payments.

    Not considering laws
    Laws and by-laws differ from state to state, and these need to be studied well to rent out a vacation home legally. Consult a real estate lawyer to understand the legalities of owning a vacation rental home and the rules, regulations, and laws that could apply when it comes to noise offenses, illegal parking, and garbage disposal. Also, look into the area’s occupancy limitations, procedures, and regulations for registration and tax collection.

    Not having a rental agreement
    Renting out a home may be a lucrative venture, but it could turn into an expensive one if the rental agreement is not clear and precise. A real estate lawyer can help draw up the agreement in accordance with the area’s codes and regulations to protect one from any kind of liability, unforeseen expenses, or even difficult, unruly renters.

    Skimping on maintenance
    Maintaining the home and the attached property, if any, will allow for a great first impression. Simply expecting the renters to leave a clean home is not an option, and one must always have a backup plan, like a professional cleaning service, to spruce up the place before the next set of renters arrives. Alternatively, consider hiring a professional property manager to handle bookings, maintenance, and guest communications.

    Not focusing on marketing and advertising
    The most luxurious homes won’t have any takers if no one knows about them! Get the word out there through listings on booking websites and social media. Create a great-looking profile with vivid, high-quality, attractive photographs of the property accompanied by tastefully written copy to ensure the listing gets the right kind of attention.

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  • 7 tips for using and disposing of waste bags effectively

    Waste bags are used everywhere, like in houses, hospitals, offices, and schools. These bags help us keep the place clean but can be very tricky to dispose of. One reason is that people generally buy bags made of plastic. And plastic bags don’t break down but increase carbon emissions. To make disposing of garbage more environment-friendly, we must use and dispose of these bags correctly. There are some simple ways to get started.

    Ensure the bag doesn’t slip off the trash can
    This is a very common problem that occurs when managing trash. The waste bag slips off the edge of the can and the garbage spills all over the bottom. Consequently, the simple job of disposing of the garbage becomes more messy. So, always ensure that the waste bag doesn’t slip. Rubber bands, binder clips, trash bag hooks, or even duct tape can help keep the bag in place.

    Check the bag’s outer surface before disposing of the trash
    No one likes to clean the mess that leaks out of a waste bag that has been damaged. Even a small hole or a tear in the bag can cause a bigger mess, especially if someone has thrown liquids in the garbage. To avoid creating a biohazard situation, always check the outside surface of the waste bag before it goes in the bin. Do this check even while taking out the bag from the trash can, as any sharp object thrown in can cause tears or holes. One way to minimize the risk of tears and holes is to use the double bag technique. Simply place one waste bag inside another to have a double layer in the trash can.

    Seal the waste bag properly
    Before disposing of the trash, completely seal the waste bag. Doing so will keep its contents from spilling and stop pests and bugs from getting in the trash and creating havoc. For sealing, use adhesive tapes or ties that have been specially made for these bags.

    Use compostable or biodegradable waste bags if possible
    Many people get waste bags made of plastic because they’re cheaper and easy to find. But, such bags are hard to dispose of sustainably because of the plastic. So, choose biodegradable or compostable garbage bags instead. These deteriorate quicker and help the environment stay cleaner.

    Read the local guidelines before disposing of the bags
    Some cities and communities have rules for disposing of waste. Read these rules well to know if biodegradable bags are allowed to be used. Sometimes, these guidelines have specific rules about how to dispose of compostable waste. Follow these regulations as far as possible while disposing of the trash.

    Remove non-compostable and non-recyclable parts from the bag
    Always remove anything that’s non-compostable and non-recyclable when using biodegradable waste bags. They can stop the bag from breaking down. If not removed, using a biodegradable or compostable bag is completely pointless.

    Dispose of compostable bags through the composting process
    Compostable bags release a lot of methane gas when they’re dumped in landfills. So, always put them in a compost bin at home. Or, take them to a local composting facility.

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  • 6 popular brands to order meat online

    If a person asks someone to buy meat today, the first thought would be to place an order online. Individuals can find hundreds if not thousands of meat vendors who have shifted focus to a digital business model that helps them deliver exotic and quality meat to one’s doorstep. But placing an order will require finding a reliable supplier. So, for those interested in shopping online for meat, here are some top options.

    Carnivore Club
    If an individual wants to pick up snacks instead of heavier meats, they ought to consider shopping from Carnivore Club. The brand offers free delivery on select boxes. One could opt for subscription boxes, which offer deliveries each month, every other month, or every three months. Meat lovers could also choose to make one-time purchases of cured meats and jerkies to satiate their hunger. The website has a Jerky Club for customers who wish to try various types of gourmet jerkies with each shipment.

    Omaha Steaks
    Customers can find an assortment of meats on Omaha Steaks’ website, which makes it an overall favorite. Additionally, the brand offers various combination pack options and other promotions to help save money. Some delicious options that one could relish include beef, pork, bison, and fish. One should keep in mind that Omaha Steaks has a minimum purchase of $99 on all orders, while orders above $149 ship for free to select states.

    Porter Road
    Many prefer shopping from Porter Road for their expertise in pasture-raised meats. The brand sources these meats from family-owned-and-operated farms, which are then shipped fresh instead of frozen. They have no minimum purchase for orders, while orders above $125 qualify for flat-rate shipping. Porter Road also offers single-purchase meats or subscription options, where customers can receive box deliveries every two, four, or eight weeks.

    Snake River Farms
    If an individual is interested in specialty beef, they must not miss out on this brand. Snake River Farms excels in specialty meats, such as American Wagyu beef. Customers can also choose from a range of other cuts of steak, rubs, roasts, and ground meat. While most cuts could be bought individually, mixed boxes are also available. These could work well for gift-giving, parties, and meal planning. There is no minimum order, but standard shipping charges apply at $10 per order.

    Chicago Steak Company
    Chicago Steak Company is a household favorite for its meat options like Tomahawk ribeyes and porterhouse steaks. They also offer a range of desserts, sides, seafood, and merchandise options. One should note that the brand vacuum-seals and flash-freezes all steaks before delivery. Additionally, these foods are labeled with a unique registration number for assured quality.

    Good Chop
    Pork lovers should check out everything that Good Chop has on offer. Its pork comes from farms that raise pigs in climate-controlled barns. What’s interesting about the brand is that it offers a monthly subscription model that is fully customizable. For instance, customers could mix and match their shipment to include a variety of pork, chicken, seafood, and beef selected from over 25 menu items. While the company offers a subscription-only service, one can cancel it as long as the cancellation is completed before the five-day shipment window.

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