How to Save

Ripple is a Non-Dairy Milk Made from Peas

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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Ripple is made from peas.  It is healthy and could be a safe option for people who are allergic to milk and other forms of non-dairy alternatives.There are plenty of alternatives to dairy milk out there. People who have an allergy to milk can substitute non-dairy milk, such as soy, almond, or coconut. What if you, or a family member, are allergic to all of those? There is a potential solution. Ripple is a non-dairy milk that is made from peas.

Ripple is a non-dairy milk that is high in protein, low in sugar, and loaded with nutrition. Ripple has 8 times the protein of almond milk and half the sugar of dairy milk. It is high in bioavailable calcium (and has 50% more of it than dairy milk does). It is also high in potassium and provides a good source of omega-3s. Ripple is lower in calories than dairy milk.

The consistency of Ripple is described as having a “creamy, delicious texture”. It is not thin, or chalky like some almond or soy or cashew milk can be. The bottle that Ripple comes in is 100% post-consumer recycled plastic that is 100% recyclable. That means Ripple is a healthy choice for people and also good for the planet.

Ripple is made from yellow peas. They are high in fiber, low in fat, cholesterol free, and a good source of protein. Making a non-dairy milk from peas has a substantially smaller carbon and water footprint than other kinds of non-dairy milk. Almonds are grown in the Central Valley of California – which is experiencing a drought. Peas are grown in the Midwest in an area that doesn’t need a lot of irrigation or fertilizer.

According to Ripple, its non-dairy milk takes 96% less water to make than almond milk, 99% less water than dairy milk, and 76% less water than soy milk. The carbon footprint of Ripple is 93% smaller than dairy. Despite what you might think, Ripple does not taste like peas. The creators of Ripple removed the things from the peas that “gives it that off-flavor and color”.

Ripple will retail at $4.99 for a 48 ounce bottle. Those of you who are interested in giving it a try should visit the Ripple website. Right now, you can get a coupon for Ripple if you put your name, email address, and zip code into the website. The coupon is redeemable at Whole Foods.

Like many other non-dairy milks, Ripple is lactose-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. It is also nut free. It may be a safe alternative for families that include a family member that has celiac disease, is gluten-intolerant, is lactose-intolerant, or who is allergic to nuts, coconut, soy or dairy.

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Signs that Food is Unsafe to Eat

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2016 at 3:11 pm
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Food that you have to throw away is a waste of money.  Pay attention to the signs that indicate that food has gone bad.Do you know how to tell when food is unsafe to eat? It’s important to recognize the signs. Ideally, you want to consume all of your groceries before they go bad. Doing so is a good way to avoid food poisoning, and to save money. Food that you had to throw away is a waste of money.

4 Signs that Food Should be Thrown Away

Throw Away the Green Potatoes
It is highly unlikely that a green potato will make it into the produce section of your local grocery store. That being said, it is possible to find a potato that has green colored skin, green sprouts, or greenish eyes. Or, a potato that looked good at the store may have become green after it sat in your home for a while.

Snopes points out that solanine develops in potatoes when they are subjected to light or very cold or very warm temperatures. Solanine, when consumed in large quantities, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and central nervous system paralysis. Long story short, don’t eat the green potatoes.

Don’t Eat Moldy Food
You paid good money for that food, but it sat too long and has grown mold. Some people believe that it is ok to cut off the moldy part and eat the rest. Don’t do that!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points out that the mold you see on food is just the “tip of the iceberg”. The little bit of mold you see on the surface of a food means that “root” threads of mold have infested the entire food. Some molds are dangerous, and some can be poisonous.

Don’t buy the foods at the grocery store that have visible mold. Throw away the moldy food that you find in your refrigerator, pantry, or counter.

Be Careful About Food Temperature
The FDA points out that when food gets between 40°F and 140°F is in the “danger zone”. This is the temperature range in which bacteria in food can multiply rapidly and lead to food borne illness.

If the food from your picnic, backyard barbecue, or outdoor party has been sitting outside for more than 2 hours (or more than 1 hour when the weather is hot), it may be unsafe to eat. You should throw it away before anyone gets sick from it.

Bad Smells Mean Bad Food
Sometimes, your nose can tell you when food is unsafe to eat. If it smells bad – it means that the food has gone bad. ABC News points out the “rule of four”. Catherine Donnelly, professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Vermont says leftovers must be kept “no more than four days at 40°F or 4°C”.

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Ways to Save Money on Tech

Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Computers and smartphones are expensive, but you can't really do without them.  Here are some tips for saving money on technology.It can be expensive to try and keep up with the newest, hottest, latest version of computers or smartphones. Most of us cannot realistically choose to go completely without a smartphone, laptop, or computer, either due to our employment situations or lifestyle. Fortunately, there are some ways to save money on tech.

Don’t Buy the Newest Model
There are a lot of people who feel a strong need to have the newest version of everything. Of course, the newest model of smartphone, laptop, or computer is going to be expensive. The most obvious way to save money is to simply not buy the newest model. If the one you are using still works, and functions well, you don’t actually need to upgrade it.

Another option is to buy the newest model and then try and sell your old laptop, smartphone, or computer. You can’t expect to sell an older model for the price you paid for it when it was new, but you may get some money out of it.

Check for Discounts
Apple offers an education discount on new Macs and new iPads. Apple’s education discount is available for college students, students who have been accepted to college, parents who are buying for a college student, faculty, homeschool teachers, and staff at all grade levels.

If you qualify, you can save up to $200 on a new Mac and up to $20 on a new iPad. The purpose, of course, is to enable educators and students to have the tools they need for school.

Lower Your Cellular Bill
Depending on your situation, it might be possible to cut back on some of the services that you are paying for. USA Today suggests that you might not need as much data per month as you think. It also notes that there are apps that can help you save data.

Another option might be to try a family plan, or a shared plan, instead of individual plans for every member of your family. This might work best for people who don’t typically use tons of data on their smartphones every day.

Pay Attention to Sales
Whenever a new model of computer, smartphone, or tablet comes out, the previous model tends to drop in price. This is good news for people who need to upgrade the really old tech they are currently using. You can get a good deal on the model that is no longer the newest one. Start checking the websites of stores that sell technology. They might have a sale going on older models.

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Tips for Buying the Best Fruits and Vegetables

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 at 12:48 pm
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Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Here are a few tips that will help you to buy the very best fruits and vegetables.Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Some people feel a bit intimidated in the produce aisle because they aren’t sure how to figure out if a particular piece of produce is still good. Here are some quick and easy tips for buying the best fruits and vegetables.

Tops Still Attached
Root vegetables stay fresh longer when they have their green, leafy, tops still attached. Look for carrots, beets, and radishes that still have their stems attached to them. They will taste better than the ones that have had their tops removed.

There is a growing trend called Root-To-Stalk cooking. It involves using as much of the edible parts of a fruit or vegetable as possible. Vegetarian Times has some suggestions for how to use carrot greens in a salad.

Tips for Potatoes
New potatoes (the kind with the red skin) should be easy to peel. You can use your nail to gently rub against the skin of a new potato that you are going to buy. A small amount of pressure should be all it takes to remove a little piece of potato skin. This tip won’t necessarily work as well on other kinds of potatoes.

Look for potatoes that feel firm. The squishier ones might be rotted inside. You should probably avoid potatoes that have sprouted. If the sprouted potato is still firm, it is likely safe to eat. However, it is going to be difficult to peel and you will have to cut off all the sprouts. That may be more work than you want to do.

Gently Squeezed Oranges
Many people assume that the orange with the brightest color is the best one to buy. That’s not necessarily true. An orange that is light in color, or has a green area, might be just as good. It’s color is dulled because it was growing underneath a leaf and didn’t get as much sun as the other oranges.

Look for an orange that feels heavier for its size that you expected it would be before you picked it up. In general, the heavier the orange, the more juice it contains. Give that orange a gentle squeeze. Good oranges should have a little bit of “give” to them.

Tips for Bananas
How soon are you going to eat those bananas? The answer to that question determines what color you should look for. The greener the banana, the longer it will last. So, choose a banana that has some freckles for breakfast tomorrow. Select some slightly green ones for later on in the week.

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The Best Things to Buy in May

Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 7:00 am
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There are plenty of sales to take advantage of in May, besides just Mother's Day gifts. Here are a few tips about where to find the best things to buy in May.May is the month when the mattress sales, and Mother’s Day sales, happen. You are probably aware of those opportunities to save some money. Other great deals in May are less well known, and might surprise you. Here are a few tips about where to find the best things to buy in May.

Cookware
There are a lot of people who graduate, or get married, in May or June. In both situations, people are about to embark on a new life – which very likely involves moving to a new place. People typically want new cookware to go with the new chapter in their lives.

The best place to shop for new cookware is a department store. Do your shopping early in May and you might end up with more savings than usual. The store could have a cookware sale and a Mother’s Day sale going on at the same time. Make sure to use your store credit card, and to check for coupons, for additional savings.

Shop the Thrift Stores
Most people are done with their Spring Cleaning by the time the calendar turns to May. A big part of Spring Cleaning is getting rid of things that a person no longer needs. Plenty of those items end up in thrift stores or consignment stores.

May is a great month for finding gently worn used clothing at consignment and thrift stores. The price will be much less than if the clothing was brand new. Thrift stores are also a great place to find unique paintings for an extremely low price.

New Carpet
According to Carpet Professor and Consumer Advocate, Alan Fletcher, one of the best times to buy new carpet is between May 15th and June 10th. It is one of the slowest periods in the carpet business.

Smart shoppers might be able to take advantage of the carpet industry’s slow time and negotiate a great deal on brand new carpet. Not every carpet dealer will be willing to negotiate – so you may want to shop around for one that will.

Star Wars Items
People who are huge fans of Star Wars know that “May the Fourth” is “Star Wars Day”. Say “May the Fourth” out loud, and it sounds a lot like “May the force” (as in “May the force be with you.”) Stores that sell action figures, toys, posters, Star Wars coffee mugs, or Star Wars clothing will have a sale.

ThinkGeek is a great place to start if you like to shop online for Star Wars items. Don’t forget to check your local toy stores and the department stores that might sell clothing with Star Wars characters on it.

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Which States Eat the Healthiest at Work?

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Which States Eat the Healthiest at Work? | FreeCoupons.comDo you bring a healthy lunch with you to work, or do you visit the nearest fast food restaurant on your lunch break? Those who started off the year with the good intention of changing to a healthier diet may have stopped working toward that goal by now. A website that focuses on catering put together information that shows which states eat the healthiest at work.

A company called ezCater took a look at its nationwide ordering data from 2015. It is the only nationwide marketplace for business catering. Based upon this, they were able to figure out which states ate the healthiest while at work.

A color coded map appears on their website. The states that were colored the darkest green are the ones where people at the healthiest at work. The lighter the color green, the less healthy a state’s workers ate at work. At a glance, you can see how well, or how poorly, your state did.

According to ezCater, these are the “Clean Eating Capitals”:

* Rhode Island (259%) – Ordered healthy food at 2.6 times the national average
* Washington State (almost 259%) – Kept it healthy twice as often as the country overall
* Massachusetts (176%)
* Oregon (162%)
* California (153%)

According to ezCater, these are the “Less Healthy Locales”:

* Vermont and Wyoming each had the lowest percentage of healthy orders.
* Mississippi (10%)
* North Dakota (13%)
* South Dakota (13%)

It was also possible for them to figure out the healthiest eating cities. The top five were: Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York City. The cities that ate the least healthiest at work were: Greensboro, North Carolina, Nashville, Louisville, Kentucky, and Raleigh.

What does it mean to eat healthy? Health.gov has put together some Dietary Guidelines key recommendations.

A healthy eating pattern includes:
*A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups – dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
* Fruits, especially whole fruits
* Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
* Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
* Oils
* It also includes limiting saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

They suggest a healthy eating pattern, rather than recommending a specific menu, for good reason. It allows individuals to have more than one way to achieve a healthy eating pattern. The pattern can be tailored to the individual’s socio-cultural and personal preferences.

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Millennials are Better at Saving Money than Their Parents

Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Millennials are Better at Saving Money than Their Parents | FreeCoupons.comMillennials had the misfortune of growing up at a time when the economy was absolutely dire. Good paying jobs required a college degree, and many young people ended up with expensive student loan debt. Despite this misfortune, a study shows that Millennials are actually better at saving money than their parents are.

A study was done by Bankrate, which has over three decades of experience in financial publishing. They are the Web’s leading aggregator of financial rate information, and they continually do surveys that relate to finances.

The study done by Bankrate found that Millennials are better at saving money than any other age group is. It found that 62% of Millennials are saving more than 5% of their income, and that 29% are saving more than 10% of their income. The same survey also found that 50% of older adults (defined as age 30 and up) were saving more than 5% of their pay.

One of the reasons why Millennials are better at saving money than their parents are is because of the Great Recession. They watched their parents struggle to pay mortgages and other bills, and decided to take actions that could help them avoid going through the same financial struggles if another recession happens. What are they doing?

Making a Good Savings Account
Millennials who are employed are opening savings accounts. They are regularly adding money into it. The money in the savings account is intended to grow and be used in case of an emergency. Or, it can become sort of like a retirement fund.

Avoiding Credit Cards
Millennials feel very uncomfortable about the idea of ending up with credit card debt. In order to avoid racking up an expensive credit card debt, they do one of two things. Some entirely refuse to get credit cards.

Others limit themselves to only one or two credit cards that they use responsibly. In other words, they don’t spend much money on their credit card, and they pay off the entire balance every month (to avoid interest payments).

Paying Down Student Loans
It is easy to see why many Millennials are uninterested in credit cards. Their generation has the highest amount of student loan debt. It makes no sense to take on more debt if you can avoid doing so. They make efforts to pay off their student loan debt. They are very motivated to become debt free.

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New Rule Could Help SNAP Recipients Eat Healthier

Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 2:31 pm
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New Rule Could Help SNAP Recipients Eat Healthier | FreeCoupons.comIt costs less money to buy processed food than it does to buy fresh, healthier, food. That makes it difficult for people who are low-income to buy produce for their family. People who live in “food deserts” also have trouble finding fresh food. A new rule could make it easier for SNAP recipients to eat healthier.

What is SNAP?
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It was once called “food stamps”. It is a program run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is why the Farm Bills in Congress can affect the SNAP program (and its recipients).

The purpose of the SNAP program is to assist low-income individuals and families who are struggling to buy food. There are financial eligibility requirements attached to the SNAP program. SNAP covers breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, and dairy products.

What is a “food desert”?
The USDA defines a “food desert” as: “parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas.” This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other healthy food providers.

People who live in “food deserts” might not have a car. They can’t simply drive to the next town in order to find a supermarket. They end up buying their groceries at convenience stores (which do not typically stock fresh produce).

What is the new rule?
The USDA proposed rule would require stores that accept SNAP to offer a broader variety of healthy food choices. SNAP retailers would be required to offer seven varieties of qualifying foods in four staple food groups for sale on a continuous basis, along with perishable foods in at least three of the four staple food groups.

The staple food groups are: dairy products; breads and cereals; meats, poultry, fish; and fruits and vegetables. Stores would need to sell at least six units within each variety for a total of at least 168 required food items per store. The USDA will accept public comment on this proposed rule until April 16, 2016.

How can this rule help people eat healthier?
The proposed rule would make it much easier for people who are low-income and eligible for the SNAP program to find fresh, healthy, food. It will enable individuals and families who have access to a working refrigerator and stove at home, and who also have access to pots, pans, and clean water to cook with, to eat healthier.

The rule does not specifically state the price that stores can charge for the fresh produce. If stores price the healthy foods too high, SNAP recipients still won’t be able to purchase them.

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When Buying a New Car Won’t Save You Money

Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Piggy BankHow long should you keep your vehicle? There are those who buy a new car every year or two. Some people believe that buying a new car can save you money. That’s not true in every situation! Here are some clues that buying a new car won’t end up saving you money after all.

Is your car paid off?
Your current vehicle needs some repairs that are more expensive than you can comfortably afford. This is the point where some people get the idea that buying a new car is the solution to the problem.

Take a moment to consider if you can afford to make monthly payments on a new car while still paying off the old one. Selling your current car in the hopes of getting enough for it to buy a new car is not a realistic expectation.

New cars require maintenance, too.
All vehicles require a certain amount of maintenance. Buying a new car does not mean you won’t have to spend money to keep it running. Some people are of the mistaken impression that a brand new car won’t need to be taken into the shop for a “checkup”.

Lack of regular maintenance can cause parts of your car to wear out and need replacing. Those that skip it or put things off for too long are not going to save money. They are going to end up with a very expensive car repair!

Consider the insurance costs
Some car insurance companies will charge a higher premium on certain kinds of vehicles. The reason has to do with risk assessment. The insurance company will generally believe that a person who drives a mini-van is going to be a safer driver than a person who drives a sports car.

Many people assume that buying a new car won’t change the cost of their insurance premium. You could end up with a more expensive premium than you have right now, especially if you are going from a mini-van to a sports car. On the other hand, you might end up saving money if you trade in the sports car for a family friendly vehicle.

Your car has been totaled
When we think of a car that has been totaled, it often means the car is damaged beyond repair. In that case, you will need to buy another vehicle (despite the expense).

Sometimes, an insurance company will declare a car to be totaled when it is still safe to drive. A minor fender bender could cause a ding that the insurance company feels would cost too much to repair (compared to what your car is worth). In some states, you can still drive that car on a salvage license.

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Things to Know About the DARK Act and GMO Labeling

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 at 9:21 pm
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Tips for Shopping at Your Local Farmer's MarketYou may have seen people posting their thoughts about the DARK act on social media. Those posts were in reference to a bill that was making its way through the U.S.Senate. The bill involved rules about how GMOs are labeled on food packages. Here are the things you need to know about the DARK act.

The DARK act is not the actual name of the bill.
The bill was subtitled “National Voluntary Bioengineered Food Labeling Standard”. If passed into law, the bill would enable food manufacturers to decide for themselves whether or not they wanted to let consumers know that GMO foods were included as ingredients in a package of food.

People who dislike the bill started calling it the DARK act. It was an acronym of “Denying Americans the Right-to-Know” Act. People who were opposed to the bill felt that it would undercut state laws that mandate GMO labeling.

What happened with the bill?
The bill passed through the United States House of Representatives in the summer of 2015. It was sent to the United States Senate and passed through the Senate Agricultural Committee in March of 2016. The United States Senate took a vote on the bill, but it did not pass the Senate.

In the United States, a bill must pass through the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate, and then be signed by the President of the United States before it can become a law. This means the DARK act will not become a law. It also means that states that have passed laws that require the labeling of GMOs still stand.

What is a GMO?
GMO stands for “genetically modified organism”. It is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering. The biggest use of GMO technology has been in large-scale agricultural crops. At least 90% of the soy, cotton, canola, corn, and sugar beets sold in the U.S. Have been genetically engineered.

The Non GMO project says that most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. It points out that Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union have restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science says “The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: Consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GMO crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”

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