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What will you do when your car dies when you less expect it?

Sometimes your car dies when you less expect it, putting you in the unpleasant situation of spending time and money to get it towed and repaired. This is normal, it can happen to all of us and there’s no other way to sort it out. However, your mechanic may call you soon after he gets to work on your car and tell you that you also need to change some belt, the water pump, the breaks and whoever knows what else. He is probably going to give you a cost estimate for the job. This is where you can use these tips to cut your costs a little.

1. Ask for a written estimate

Things that involve exchanging services for money should be written and agreed by both parties before any work is started. This is how you can eliminate further issues with hidden costs. You need to know exactly what services or jobs are included in a certain price in order to avoid getting overcharged.

2. Don’t let yourself oversold

If there’s no hurry, you can ask for quotes from other car repair shops in your area. This is a good thing to do, as you may discover the first mechanic was trying to rip you off.

You can find such shops on the AAA’s Approved Auto Repair Network, to give you only an example where to start your search from. A Google search would probably do as well, but you ,may need further information about various companies, so that you make sure they provide high quality services.

3. Do the maintenance as schedules in the manual

Cars come with an owner’s manual that describes routine maintenance jobs and the intervals when they should be performed. Always do them as scheduled if you want to minimize the unexpected malfunctions of various parts that wear out. If the manufacturer recommends to change he oil and the filters every 5,000 or 10,000 miles, stick to the recommendation no matter what various mechanics may say. Some of them may want to persuade you to change your oil every 2,000 miles, but this would only be a waste of money for you, since the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it. It’s not going to harm the car, that’s for sure, but it’s going to hit a little bit your wallet.

This is the best tip to cut your car repair costs: do the regular maintenance as instructed by the manufacturer (and don’t forget to get cheap car insurance).

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Feeding an Army: How Medieval Chefs Kept Knights Satisfied

If you were a medieval chef and you had to cook a banquet for an army of hungry knights, what would you do? The foods that you provide not only have to be tasty to the knights’ palates and filling to their stomachs, but also capable of keeping them high in spirits and energy throughout the day. And your ingredients were much more limited than what a modern chef had at his disposal, especially if you were accompanying an army on the march.

Medieval chefs certainly didn’t have any access to protein powder or whey powder to provide their knights with an energy boost. They didn’t even have access to sugar – there was only honey for a sweetener, which was rare and expensive. What you might cook for your army of marching knights in heavy armor really depended on what your army found on the march. If your army was marching through an area with a lot of farms, you might have access to a lot of breads and cheeses, so you could make delicacies like cheese sandwiches or even french onion soup if you had onions available.

However, if your army was marching through a forest or if you were on a crusade, you would generally have to cook with whatever animals your knights could hunt up and shoot with arrows. This would generally mean deer and rabbits, so you would be making a lot of roasts and stews, and possibly also drying out some of it to make jerky. Believe it or not, jerky has been around for a very long time, and it isn’t always made with beef. Venison jerky – that is, jerky made from deer meat – was very popular, and also provided knights with a lot of energy for a long day wearing heavy armor.