How to Save

Healthy Ways to Exercise in the Winter

Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. During the holidays, we need to stay healthy. Fortunately, there are some ways to exercise in the winter.Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The opportunities to get some exercise become limited when the winter weather gets cold and snow and ice covers the ground. The winter weather happens at the same time that many people are celebrating holidays that involve a lot of sweet, rich, food. Fortunately, there are some ways to exercise in the winter.

Ways to Exercise in the Winter

This could be your last chance of the year to get some unfinished yard work done. Raking leaves, picking them up, and hauling them out of your yard can provide you with some exercise. Whatever you do not complete before the snow falls will have to wait. This “time limit” could motivate you to get a good workout.

Has the snow already fallen? People who are young, active, and healthy can get some exercise by removing the snow from their driveway and the sidewalk in front of their house. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying to remove snow. Your doctor can consider your personal health conditions and determine if snow removal is a safe form of exercise for you.

Before you start shoveling snow, make sure to bundle up. Wear layers that will help you to keep warm. Consider wearing wool instead of cotton. Wool can keep you from losing body heat even when the fabric gets wet. Cover your skin with a hat, scarf, and gloves, to avoid frostbite.

Remember to take breaks. Don’t try and shovel a large area all at once. Do some today, and try again tomorrow. Or, bring a friend or family member to help you. Both of you will be getting some good exercise.

Get some indoor exercise by taking a quick walk through a shopping mall before the stores open (or early in the morning). Take the stairs, instead of the elevator, whenever possible. Go for a short, yet fast, walk on your break.

Now might be a good time to join a gym. Doing so will give you access to treadmills, stair-climbers, exercise bikes, and other exercise equipment. The gym might have an indoor track you can walk or run on. There could be fun exercise classes to try. If you are a college student, you might be able to use your school’s gym for free.

There are also ways to get exercise at home. Set aside time to thoroughly vacuum the rug or mop the kitchen floor. Doing a huge amount of laundry is another way to get some exercise. If this does not appeal to you, see if you can find an exercise video on YouTube that is fun to do.

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Beware of Sales that Aren’t Really Sales

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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sales-signs-from-pixabayWe’ve all seen signs at department stores that alert customers to a sale. Often, those signs show the original price of the item – followed by its new, lower, sale price. This makes it look like people are getting a good deal. Often, the deal is real. But sometimes, the sales aren’t really sales at all.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has sued our retailers who have allegedly misled customers with pricing schemes that were designed to increase sales. In these four separate lawsuits, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer alleges that the retailer posted an original price that was not really the original price of the items that were now supposedly on sale.

Under California law, retailers are not permitted to advertise an alleged former price of an item unless the alleged former price was the prevailing market price within three months of the advertisement, or unless the date when the alleged former price did prevail is clearly, exactly, and conspicuously stated in the advertisement. The lawsuits allege that thousands of “sale” items were advertised at false reference points.

What does that look like? Here is a fictional example that will make things clear. A department store has a “sale” sign over a rack of t-shirts. It says that the t-shirts are now on sale for $15, and that the original price of the t-shirts was $35.

The problem, in this fictional example, is that the store never sold the t-shirts for that so-called original price. Instead, they have been selling those t-shirts for $15 all along. The fictional department store is intentionally misleading consumers by tricking them into thinking they are getting a good deal. As a result, the department store sells more of those t-shirts than they would have if they didn’t put a false sale sign on the t-shirt rack.

The lawsuits filed by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer are specific to Los Angeles and to California law. It is possible that other states do not have a law like California’s law about sale prices.

What can you do to make sure a sale really is a sale? One way to do it is to pay attention to prices. The next time you see something you would like to buy – after it goes on sale – take a photo of the current price. Leave the photo in your phone. Check that photo later if the item goes on sale and compare sale sign to what the item was originally sold for.

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Martha’s Table Brings Healthy Food to Food Deserts

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 7:28 pm
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Fruit & Vegetable PlatterPeople who want to eat healthy foods may find that incredibly difficult to do if they live in a food desert. Martha’s Table believes that access to fresh, healthy food is essential for supporting stronger children, families, and community. Martha’s Table has created healthy eating initiatives to help families make healthy choices.

The USDA defines food deserts as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. Food deserts are often found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.

Martha’s Table began in 1979 as a result of the partnership between Dr. Veronica Maz and Father Horace McKenna, who wanted to create a safe place for children to eat and read after school. Martha’s Table has expanded their services, in response to the needs of the community, since then. Martha’s Table is located in Washington, D.C.

Martha’s Table provides Healthy Markets. They are pop-up grocery stores where children, their families, and neighbors can shop at no cost for fresh, healthy produce and healthy pantry supplies. At least 40% of the food available at each market is composed of produce such as sweet potatoes, cabbage, and kale. Non-perishable staples range from peanut butter to whole-wheat pasta and beans.

Martha’s Markets program began in 2011 as a result of a partnership with the Target Foundation’s Meals for Minds program. Martha’s Markets are currently run in 7 elementary schools, two community centers, and at Martha’s Table, where the market is open to students and families in the Martha’s Table Healthy Start and Healthy Connections programs.

At the pop-up Martha’s Markets, families select from fresh, seasonal produce and healthy pantry staples at no cost every month. The markets also include chef-led culinary demonstrations designed to spread the joy of healthy eating.

Joyful Food Markets started in 2016 in partnership with the Capital Area Food bank. The purpose of the Joyful Food Markets is to increase access to and encourage consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables east of the Anacostia River. Joyful Food Markets are run exclusively in elementary schools. You can find a list of those elementary schools on the Martha’s Table website.

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The Best Things to Buy in December

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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You can save money if you know when certain items typically go on sale. Here are the best things to buy in December.December is an extremely busy month when it comes to shopping. People are spending money on gifts for loved ones, wrapping paper, and food and beverages for parties – in addition to their usual grocery purchases. Fortunately, there are some things you should buy in December when you can get them at the lowest price of the year.

What to Buy in December

Calendars and Boxed Cards
The timeframe between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day is the best time to buy a calendar for the upcoming year. Stores will want to get rid of their stock of calendars as quickly as possible after Christmas is over. The more days of the new year go by – the harder it will be for them to sell a calendar. You can expect to find great deals on calendars.

Boxed cards go on sale at the same time that calendars do. Buy some after Christmas for a very low price. Use those boxed cards next year. You won’t get stuck buying cards at full price next December.

Plastic Storage Bins for Ornaments
All those ornaments that have been carefully placed on your Christmas tree will need to be stored away after you take down the tree. The best way to protect those ornaments, and to keep them dust free, is with a specialized plastic storage bin for ornaments. It will have dozens of small compartments – one for each ornament.

Some departments stores will already have the storage bins on sale. Others will put those organizational bins on sale shortly before Christmas. If you need extra storage, buy the bins now. You won’t find them at any other time of the year.

Toys
Parents will probably be buying lots of toys for their children as gifts. You can save money on those toys if you wait to buy them in the middle of December. That’s when many stores (especially the ones that do not typically carry toys) will put them on sale.

Do your kids have birthdays in January or February? What about your nephews or nieces? The mid-December toy sale is a great time to purchase a birthday gift for kids who will have a birthday in the next few months. Buy toys now for a low price – and you can avoid having to buy them later for a higher price.

Warm Weather Items
Thinking about putting a pool in your backyard next summer? December is a good time to negotiate the cost of it with a company that installs pools. They aren’t getting a lot of business right now, and that typically means they will be willing to negotiate on the price. You can also get a good deal on last year’s models of bicycles and golf equipment.

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A Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle: $15 for $180 in Gift Certificates

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 at 4:27 pm
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Want to save money on your Christmas gifts this year? Our Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle costs just $15 for $180 in gift certificates to great online stores.

Avoid this busy stores this holiday season and shop online! Best of all, we have a great way for you to save on all your online purchases!

One of our favorite companies has put together a holiday bundle.  It’s called A Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle and here’s how it works…

For just $15 you get $180 in store credits from 12 online businesses that align with a simple, natural lifestyle.

With your bundle, you’ll be able to purchase well-made, meaningful and clutter-free gifts like:

    • ethically-sourced coffees from around the world
    • photo products including wall decor, canvas wraps, prints and albums
    • classy custom-made bags, totes and camera straps
    • eco-friendly reusable glass drinking straws
    • healing tallow skin balms and lip love
    • inspirational hand-lettered art prints
    • Kombucha bottles, supplies, and brewing kits

Gift certificates include the following stores:

The more you use, the more you save, all the way up to $165 free shopping dollars, so you can spend less while gifting well this Christmas.

motionmailapp.com

The only catch? It’s available for just 7 short days, so you need to grab yours quick (and then, get shopping)! Last day to get yours is Monday, December 5th.

Don’t wait! Get your’s now and save up to $165 shopping online this year!

 

 

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Thanksgiving Dinner for Guests with Food Restrictions

Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Will you be making Thanksgiving dinner this year? Here is some advice about how to make your Thanksgiving dinner safe for loved ones with diet restrictions.Thanksgiving dinner is often celebrated with family and close friends. Some of your loved ones might have food restrictions that prevent them from fully enjoying dinner. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make Thanksgiving dinner safe for all of your guests.

Thanksgiving Ideas for People with Food Restrictions

Tofurky is a vegan alternative to turkey. It contains no meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal products. There is a Tofurky gravy that is suitable for vegans. Tofurky is not safe for people who have celiac disease or a gluten allergy or intolerance. It also isn’t safe for people with an allergy to soy.

Some turkeys are not gluten free. That may sound strange, at first. Check the package to see if the turkey has been brined. The ones that are brined are injected with a solution designed to keep them moist. That solution often includes gluten. Brined turkeys are not safe for people who have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or a gluten allergy.

Most Butterball turkeys are gluten free. The Butterball Stuffed Turkey is not gluten-free. Some Butterball products are packaged with gravy packets. Those gravy packets are gluten free, too. The gravy contains rice flour instead of wheat flour and the modified food starch is corn based.

It is possible to make your own stuffing by using bread that is allergy friendly. Udi’s makes a gluten free white sandwich bread that does not contain wheat, gluten, dairy, or soy. It does contain eggs, though, which makes it unsuitable for people who have egg allergies or who are vegan.

Schar makes an Artesian Baker White Bread that is gluten free, dairy free, and egg free. It does contain soy, which makes it unsuitable for people with soy allergies. It also contains honey, which might not be good for people with bee or pollen allergies. Some vegans do not eat honey.

While you are making Thanksgiving dinner, it is very important that you keep all of the packages. Doing so allows guests who have food allergies or dietary restrictions to know, for certain, what exactly is in the food they are being served. This enables them to know what is safe to eat.

Keep in mind that some foods might have ingredients that are allergy-free for a specific guest – but unsafe for another guest. The food packages are important for another reason. Some foods are allergy-free but made on equipment that is shared with products that contain allergens. That could make a person who has celiac disease or a nut allergy very sick.

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20 Thanksgiving Books for Kids $5 or Less

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2016 at 12:39 pm
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Surprise the kids with any of these 20 great Thanksgiving-themed books. They'd be perfect for reading as a family after Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving is going to be here soon! Surprise the kids with some great Thanksgiving-themed books. They’d make great additions to their library or would be perfect for reading as a family after Thanksgiving dinner! Thanks to becomeacouponqueen.com for help with this list!

Being Thankful (Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter) – $2.76

Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks – $3.25

T is for Turkey: A True Thanksgiving Story – $3.43

The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks – $3.55

Surprise the kids with any of these 20 great Thanksgiving-themed books. They'd be perfect for reading as a family after Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) – $3.66

10 Fat Turkeys – $3.77

The Night Before Thanksgiving – $3.77

The Story of the Pilgrims – $3.99Surprise the kids with any of these 20 great Thanksgiving-themed books. They'd be perfect for reading as a family after Thanksgiving dinner!

The First Thanksgiving (Step-Into-Reading, Step 3) – $3.99

The First Thanksgiving: A Lift-the-Flap Book – $4.13

Corduroy’s Thanksgiving – $4.24

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet – $4.45

. . . If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 – $4.57

The Best Thanksgiving Ever! – $4.67

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey! – $4.89

My Thanksgiving Prayer – $4.94

Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving – $4.99

Biscuit is Thankful – $4.99

The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings – $4.99

A Plump And Perky Turkey – $5.00

See more Thanksgiving Books for Kids HERE.

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Black Friday Sales – 2016

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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The Black Friday Sales ads are starting to be released.  Here is a quick look at what to expect from some retailers.Are you ready for the Black Friday sales? Some retailers have revealed what their biggest deals will be. Others have already started with smaller sales that lead up to Black Friday. Whether you plan on starting your shopping on Thanksgiving Day or beginning it the day after, it helps to know what your favorite stores will be offering.

Amazon.com
Amazon.com has started its Countdown to Black Friday Deals. They are offering Deals of the Day, Top Lightning Deals, and Amazon Device Deals right now. The Deals of the Day have a countdown clock on each of them to let you know when that sale will end. Scroll down on Amazon.com to see additional items that are being sold at a discount. Amazon will be releasing special offers every day up until November 25, 2016.

Walmart
Walmart’s Black Friday ad is available now on its website. Type in your zip code to find the sales that are specific to the Walmart stores in your area. Walmart has Early Online Black Friday Deals accessible on its website now. There is a wide variety of items on sale. Each one is marked to let you know if it the item is offered with free shipping or if it available for free store pickup.

In addition, Walmart is offering Online Specials that are described as “prep for the holidays with huge savings”. As with the Early Online Black Friday Deals, each item is marked to show if it includes free shipping or free store pickup.

Target
Target has released its Black Friday ad on its website. You will be shown the Black Friday preview ad that corresponds to where you live. There are a lot of TVs that will be on sale and plenty of electronics (among other items).

Target is going to start its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day at 6:00 p.m. It will remain open until 11:00 p.m. on Black Friday. The Target Preview ad shows the items that they are offering as Doorbusters. These items are offered while quantities last.

Best Buy
Best Buy has its Black Friday ad available on its website. The store will open its doors on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. As you might expect, their Black Friday sale includes lots of TVs and electronics. In addition, Best Buy is having a Black Friday Appliance Sale that offers up to 40% off of major appliances. This is helpful for those who need a new stove, refrigerator, or washing machine and dryer.

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4 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2016 at 12:54 am
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When times are tough, it is natural to want to find ways to feel better. Here are a few healthy ways to reduce stress.Everyone has experienced times when their life was very stressful. The source of that stress can vary. It can be difficult to know how to cope. Fortunately, there are some healthy ways to reduce stress. The best part about the healthy ways to reduce stress is that you can do them without feeling guilty about causing yourself any harm.

Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress

Yoga
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. The Mayo Clinic says that studies have shown that yoga may reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga can also enhance your overall mood and sense of well-being.

Check to see if there are yoga classes being offered where you live. People take yoga classes at their gyms. There might be a place that is dedicated to teaching yoga. If all else fails, you can try following along with a YouTube video about yoga.

Take a Bath
Parents might remember when their baby was small and a nice, warm, bath helped him or her calm down and become relaxed. Baths can have that affect on adults, too. Hot baths can soothe muscle aches, which can be very helpful for people who have been physically tense for a long time due to stress.

Baths are the ultimate “me time”. Soaking in warm water makes most people feel good. Some people like to add scented bath products in order to enhance their feeling of relaxation and self-care.

Acupuncture
According to Psychology Today, acupuncture works to reduce stress and depression. In short, an acupuncturist inserts fine needles into certain acupuncture points in order to remove the roadblocks that stop energy, or “qi”, from flowing through the body.

People who receive acupuncture lie on a comfortable table. After the needles are in place, the lights are lowered and calm music is played. Some people use aromatherapy along with acupuncture. The person is left to relax for a certain period of time. Many feel “blissed out” and very relaxed after receiving acupuncture.

Take a Nap
There are a lot of people who are sleep deprived. The person might work too many hours or work far away and have to get up early for a long commute. Parents of young children are often sleep deprived. Some people lose sleep due to stress and anxiety.

Take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. That nap might provide you with more rest than an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning. People naturally feel more tired in the afternoon, which makes it the perfect time for napping. Sleep lets your body, and your mind, recharge.

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Stores that Will Start Black Friday on Thanksgiving

Posted on Monday, November 7th, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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Some of the Black Friday sales start on Thanksgiving Day.  Here is a quick look at some stores that will be open on Thanksgiving.There was a time when the Black Friday sales started on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Today, many stores are open for extended hours on Thanksgiving Day. Those who are intending to shop the Thanksgiving Day Black Friday sales need to know what stores will be open.

J.C. Penney
J.C. Penney will open its doors at 3:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for Black Friday shopping. The Black Friday sale prices will be available on its website starting at midnight on November 23, 2016.

J.C. Penney will give early shoppers an envelope containing a coupon for either $10 off $10, $100 off $100, or $500 off $500 or more purchase in-store or on the company’s website. The $10 coupon will be valid only on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The other coupons will be usable between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

J.C. Penney will offer another round of coupons to shoppers at 6:00 a.m. on Black Friday. The store will remain open for the Black Friday sale until 10:00 p.m. Friday night.

Toys R Us
Toys R Us will open its doors at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open through 11:00 p.m. on Friday, November 25, 2016, for 30 hours of continuous shopping.

Toys R Us will have a dedicated “Express Checkout Lane” for gift-givers purchasing four items or less between Thursday, November 24, 2016, and Christmas Eve. Toys R Us is also offering free store pickup when you make a purchase online from home or on the go.

Kohl’s
Kohl’s will open at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. All doorbuster sales are valid from Thanksgiving night until 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

Kohl’s is offering $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 dollars spent. That offer will be available between November 21, 2016, and November 26, 2016. The coupon will be redeemable from November 27, 2016, through December 5, 2016.

Macy’s
Macy’s will open its doors for Black Friday sales at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. That’s one hour earlier than they opened on Thanksgiving Day in previous years. Macy’s has not yet released information about exactly what their Black Friday sales will offer. It is likely that the Macy’s website will, eventually, have that information.

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