Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping on the Cheap

grocery shopping on cheapGrocery shopping is one of the large expenses in the American household, but you can be a savvy shopper and make grocery shopping less expensive while still serving great and easy meals for your family.

Shopping less often is proven to save money on groceries, and of course it also saves time to use on other worthwhile projects. If you shop every week or even more often, that is making your grocery bills higher than necessary, and you are spending lots of time and effort needlessly.

Making menus before going grocery shopping is also a waste of money. You may think that is the organized and correct way to grocery shop, but there is a better way to shop.

There are also foods that are better nutrition and more economical than others. Do you know what foods to buy? Potatoes and carrots are usually on the list of economical vegetables to buy.

We have written an article about grocery shopping on the cheap that may put a new perspective on your grocery shopping trips. This is not about coupon clipping. It is about real savings in grocery shopping so you have money and time to do other things.

With Christmas fast approaching and holiday expenses taking some of your income, this should be helpful to you, the consumer.

Here is the URL in case the link does not work in your browser.

See you again in a few days!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Season Begins with Toyota Auto Recall

holiday season begins Toyota auto recall
The turkey has been pardoned and your car has been recalled by Toyota. There isn't enough pumpkin for all the pies this year. What to do? Don't panic. You have no health plan from Washington yet, so you cannot afford to get ill.

Well, they are working on the health insurance issues and we cannot help them--or so they say. You can find something else to eat for holiday meals, but what about that auto recall?

What happens when your automobile is recalled by the manufacturer? Your immediate thought is that you will be without your vehicle for a period of time. Hopefully that will not be the case.

We have written an article detailing how to respond to an auto recall and where to get accurate information.

The best information comes from the Federal Government, so you can determine if your vehicle is one of the recalled cars, and so that you can know the safety hazard and how to avoid it. We give a link to the NHTSA that covers vehicle recall notices at the bottom of this article in Resources.

Here is the link you can copy into a new browser screen if you cannot get the link above to work.

Have a great holiday season!

See you again in a couple of days.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Review Reverse Mortgage Implications for Consumers

review reverse mortgage implications for consumers

Senior citizens are seeing the advertisements on television about the virtues of a reverse mortgage, and what a good deal it is for seniors. A reverse mortgage is available for persons 62 or older who own their home or own equity in their home, and advertisements are that it pays you every month.

Actually, it is a very expensive way to get some equity out of your house, unless you do not care about your children or your heirs. It will leave them with little equity in the home, and may set traps for you that you never imagined.

Consider that there are costs with the reverse mortgage that you will be required to pay. This includes the usual upkeep, taxes, insurance, and a yearly FEE for the reverse mortgage.

Consider even more seriously that you MUST live in the house, and if you go to a nursing home or live elsewhere for more than twelve months, your full mortgage will probably come due.

The reverse mortgage controls your FUTURE, and the inheritance your children may receive. We have written an article on the reverse mortgage implications, and recommend that you consider all your options.

Here is the URL in case the link does not work. Just put this information in the top of your browser and read the article.

We have no affiliation with any business relating to reverse mortgages, but are concerned about the effects the reverse mortgage will have on American consumers over time. Please research this carefully if you are considering a reverse mortgage. Look for less expensive alternatives. They are out there.

We hope this is helpful to some of you!

See you next time.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Avoid FTC Blogger Endorsements Violations and Fine

If you are a blogger, you are probably hearing rumblings that there is a new law in effect on December 1, 2009 to regulate endorsements and promote honesty. This law will affect bloggers as well as many other groups.

If you are a blogger, you need to be informed about the new law and how it may impact your blogs. If you receive cash or in-kind payment for blogging about a subject, you may be impacted. This includes book reviews if you get books for free, or products or services for which you receive a benefit. This includes affiliate product recommendations by website owners, bloggers or sellers.

The eagle eye is watching you. The FTC wants to create a more honest market for the buyers, and Skip McGrath has indicated that even eBay feedback may be subject to the rules. You can see Skip's newsletter for his take on the FTC Blogger Endorsements rules here.

Read more about the FTC Blogger Endorsements rules in an article we have written here.

We have a more-detailed article about how to avoid the potential fine here.
The law requires conspicuous disclosure at the time of the endorsement, not later. You might choose to review only products that you have no connection to the maker, since this might be the best way to avoid a fine. The rules include negative reviews, too, so even if you don't like the product, you will have to disclose any connection you have with the maker.

Another requirement is to disclose typical results. It is no longer sufficient to say that these are not typical results. You must give a figure that is typical. To be safe, maybe zero or one will be typical. Avoid the potential of an FTC Blogger Endorsements fine by reading the article here.

Save yourself some hassle!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Save Money on Utility Bills in Winter

Save money on utilities in winter by thinking ahead and planning ahead. We cannot predict how cold the season will be, but we can predict that it will be cold enough that we need to consider conservation methods. Make yourself cozy in your little home.

It is not just the expense. Many areas of the country have difficulty supplying sufficient energy if everyone uses the maximum.

Make a plan to approach the issue of high utility use and expense in the winter. You can save money and practice conservation of utilities with a plan.

Think through your particular situation and housing. Do you need insulation? Can you reasonably insulate doors, windows and wall openings? Will attic insulation really pay off? Many times, it takes years to recoup major expenses, and if it is not your intention to live in the house for many years, it may not be the best solution. BUT, consider all options, since there is some Federal funding available for weatherizing a home this year.

Consider other possibilities. Purchase weatherstripping for doors and put it in place. Maybe make draft dodgers for the doors. (These are snake-style "pillows" for the bottom of the door.)

Plan to wear warmer clothing if you get cold easily. Even a degree or two makes a difference in the heating costs of a home.

Use the oven and dryer on the coldest days and at the coldest time of day that is reasonable. This will heat the house with the oven and dryer heat, and save some use of the home heating unit.

Use a space heater if you work in one area most of the day. Turn the central heating down, and set the space heater to a temperature that will be comfortable for your specific area. This is usually considered more acceptable than trying to close off areas of the home, and these little heaters are less than $20. They turn off automatically if tipped, but still need to be kept away from flammables.

Cut down on trips in and out the exterior doors. Plan the trips so you do more than one project while outside.

Use a fireplace and wood as supplemental heating. There are fireplace units now that are reasonably priced and easy to install. If you have a fireplace and do not use it, convert it to a gas or electric or whatever utility is in your area that is more economical than central heat.

Turn the water heater down a little. Most people have the water heater higher than recommended. 125 degrees Fahrenheit will burn a child. 120 degrees is about the lowest recommended temperature setting.

Do something for exercise if you are chilly. Get up and work a little and warm up. Drink a cup of something hot. Use a lap blanket. Suggest this for anyone else who is cold. It may even help keep you fit, lose weight, and keep muscles strong.

Learn to use the microwave for heating water or speeding your cooking on the stove. The microwave is less expensive to run than your stove because it takes less time to get to the desired temperature.

Turn off appliances not in use. This includes the iron, the oven, and the little electric heater you just bought.

Purchase energy-saving lighting and change the bulbs to the lowest wattage practical. Use individual lamps for close work or reading. Use fluorescent bulbs in the shop and garage and do not burn outdoor lighting in the daytime. Get a timer to turn these lights off automatically if you cannot remember to turn them off.

Make saving money on utilities a game if you have children. Reward them for energy saved.

You can make changes in your daily activities and save money on utility bills in winter.

If you are interested in frugal living or learning other ways to economize, read about how to cut back and reduce expenses in this article.

We hope your winter is comfortable and safe.


copyright 2009 Linda Richard

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Get Money Refunded on an Internet Purchase

Do you buy online? Have you ever lost money by purchasing online? There are ways to protect yourself and get your money refunded, but if this has not happened to you previously, you may not know what to do.

We recommend that you take action right away, and that the first action is to contact your seller and see if the item is on the way, if there is a delay or an explanation for any delay.

If your seller is not responsive or if the item is not forthcoming, start a new plan of action. Go to the source of your payment and file a complaint or claim. This includes Paypal or your credit card company, or possibly both. Do not let the seller turn his back on you or get away. You can get your money back with a little work and action.

We have written an article for the internet consumer to help you get your money back if you have made an online purchase that did not arrive.

Many consumers think that if they send a personal check or postal money order, they have no recourse. That is not true, as the US Postal Service has a Postal Inspector in every locale to check out postal fraud claims. Postal money orders can be traced, too, and this is a great service if you do not receive an item purchased with a postal money order. See details in this article about how to get your money refunded on an internet purchase.

We hope you never lose money on an online purchase, and if you take action quickly and protect yourself by not using cash transfer methods, you should be safe making purchases online.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Workplace Violence: Are You SAFE at Work?

The news continues with workplace violence, including the incidents at Harvard University, Ft. Hood, and Orlando, Florida.

Management should be doing more to control workplace violence for the safety of other employees, but it may also be time for the American worker to insist on a safer work environment.

If you work with others in an office, it is important to be sure that new employees are not thieves, do not have a criminal record, and will not appear at work with a gun. This requires that management do some investigation prior to hiring new employees, and that co-workers keep an eye out for personality issues and anger problems in the office.

OSHA has specific requirements that the workplace be safe, and some states hold the employer liable for workplace violence. It is time the American worker can feel safe in the work environment. If you do not feel safe in your work environment, tell management about it.

We have written an article about workplace violence that should be helpful to you in assessing your personal work situation.

We live near Ft. Hood and have felt close to this situation. If we can help prevent workplace violence by writing or calling attention to it, we are pleased to help. It will be up to you to discuss this at your employment. Here is the article.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pay Bills and Become Debt Free

It is a good time to consider paying your bills to become debt free. This will be easier now, since so many Americans are cutting back on expenses. You will fit right in with your neighbors and friends.

This is a goal you can accomplish in little steps, with periodic review of your status and accomplishment. You can pay bills and become debt free in just a matter of years if you follow a plan and have the desire to accomplish the goal of becoming debt free. Consider it just over the horizon.

Money that is uncommitted is your road to freedom, so it is much less stressful to be debt free. That alone could be a goal--live your life with less stress by being debt free. We have written a step-by-step procedure to share to help you pay bills and become debt free.

We hope this article is of help.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Is H1N1 Swine Flu Worrying You?

If H1N1 Swine Flu is on your mind, you will want to know what to do to prevent getting this one or the seasonal flu. You are also probably concerned about what to do if someone in your family gets the Swine Flu or H1N1 virus, and particularly a child, since children seem to be particularly susceptible to the Swine Flu.

We have written several articles for the consumer with information to help prevent getting the Swine Flu, and how to take care of a child or an adult with the Swine Flu. It is important to know if you need to go to the doctor, particularly since it is anticipated that the clinics and offices will be full. If you don't have the Swine Flu virus, you may get it there.

Here is an article about prevention--how to keep from getting the Swine Flu.

Knowing how to survive the Swine Flu virus is the next one. We have studied the CDC websites for you to get concise information and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. They are the best information available.

Know how to care for a child with the Swine Flu virus. It is important to know the warning signs for taking a child to the Emergency Room.

The last information is about how to treat the Swine Flu virus if you or someone you know gets it.

These articles also have Resources with links to the CDC information, and we update the articles as the CDC makes new discoveries about the Swine Flu H1N1 virus.

We hope you find this information helpful, and that you can avoid the Swine Flu. If you are unable to avoid getting the Swine Flu, you have some guidelines and help in language for the consumer.


The photo is of an Arkansas sunset taken by my daughter.