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Money Monday: “The Sly Tricks Marketers Use to Get You to Buy”

Article Link

This August 4, 2014 NextAvenue article talks about tricks of the trade used by businesses to get you to buy their wares.

“Clinic in Philly supermarket offers first in-store mental health screening in U.S.”

 

Grocery Store Green Bell Peppers

Grocery Store Green Bell Peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article LinkThis July 31, 2014 Philly NewsWorks article talks about the first mental health screening clinic in the United States to be placed in a Philadelphia grocery store.

My hopes and goals for 2014

Tippy

Tippy (Photo credit: Wolves68450)

 

A lot happened in my life in 2013, I retired my long time Service Dog “Tippy” and started training her replacement, “Orca” the same day.   There have been some health issues nothing too serious, but definitely disruptive.  I got off track with my weight loss goals and have actually gained back some of the weight I had lost (I’m at 236 pounds up from my lowest weight of 226 pounds).  2013 was definitely not one of my better years in more ways then I care to delve into.

 

So, what do I want to aim for in 2014?

 

  • I’ve been working on learning how to write raw code for websites, specifically HTML, XHTML and CSS, so I’m thinking I want to continue to work on those skills (I’m still a noob in many ways)
  • Getting back on track with my weight loss goals is something I want to do.  My specific goals include sticking closer to my 1200 calorie limit and get back to doing an hour of exercise each day as instructed by my doctor.   I would like to get my weight down to 220 pounds or less by this time next year.
  • Read at least 3 books this year (any topic that looks interesting to me when I look for a book to read)
  • Once the snow melts and the roads aren’t icy in the spring, go for regular bike rides, of at least 1 mile per day (I have a steep hill to contend with so a minimum of 1 mile per day is a good starting point)
  • Buy some new clothes (It’s been years since I bought anything new and my clothes are starting to develop holes in bad places so a few new things would be a good idea)
  • Start and finish the website I said I would do for someone else once I finish the book I’m learning raw code from.
  • Aim for at least 365 posts in 2014 (I just missed it this year)
  • Continue to work on my mental health recovery

 

While I prepare to start working on my goals for 2014, my hope for my readers is that it will be a safe and healthy year for all my current and future readers as you go about your day to day lives.

 

 

 

 

 

“Shopping Doesn’t Help in Face of Trauma, Researchers Say”

Article Link

This September 27, 2013 article found on the Philly.com website talks about a recent study that indicates shopping may not be the best thing to do after a traumatic experience.

 

“Too Fat for Seat Belt: Woman Loses 250 Pounds”

English: Obese man early 20th century

English: Obese man early 20th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Video Link

 

This July 4, 2013 video on the ABCnews website is about a woman who lost 250 pounds after a wakeup call in the form a a traffic ticket.  This video is something I’m posting, because I know from personal experience that being obese is more expensive then being at a healthy weight.  Everything costs more, clothing, furniture, healthcare, I’m sure if I really dug, I could comeup with even more things that I have had to pay a high price for because of my weight.  I also know that it is possible to lose weight without a gym membership and equipment amounting to nothing more then a pair of sneakers and a bottle of water.  The exercise I primarily perform is walking, I force myself to walk to the store for my groceries, even when I’m in pain due to my arthritis, If I have access to a vehicle for running errands, I intentionally park further from the entrance of the store then most people do, because it gives me an excuse to get a little extra walking in.  I started out only being able to walk about 1/4 mile once or twice per week, but I’m to a point now where I can walk 2miles per trip 3 or 4 times a week I didn’t reach this point overnight, it was simply me deciding I had enough of being obese and finding ways to increase how much physical activity I get each day.  I’ve also made changes in what I eat, decreasing the mac-n-cheese to almost none and increasing fresh produce, lean meat, fish, and some dairy.  Decreasing my grains and starch intake has also been helpful, not only in helping me to lose weight, but also in helping me manage my pain.  Humans need some starch, but I’m confident that none of us need as much as what is found in the typical American diet … corn is in just about everything, whether it be corn syrup or corn starch, it’s extremely difficult to avoid starch since it is hidden in most processed foods.  My cooking skills were almost non-existent when I started making healthier choices, but since I started learningto improve my cooking skills.  My skills still aren’t great, but I can say I’ve learned a few things that I didn’t know before I decided to try to take charge of my weight.  My weight loss hasn’t been as dramatic as what the woman in the video has lost, but like my doctor has said, any loss is better then no loss at all.   Incase you’re wondering about the bottle of water I mentioned earlier, it can be used as a weight, but more importanatly it will help keep you properly hydrated which is very important for all of us to do.  I think the most important thing I found that helps me keep going though despite the often frustrating journey to a healthier me, is to have a few people who support and encourage me on my journey.  Everyone needs a cheerleader 🙂

 

 

 

Money Monday – February 6, 2012 (Part 1)

For this Money Monday post, I decided to do something a little different, and recruited the help of my Facebook friends who’s brains I picked to see what they do to save money and stretch their dollars a little further, I present to you a 2 part post compiling tips and ideas they gave me to share with my readers.  Special thanks to each contributor for this little project, I truly appreciate it!

  • Jen H-C said she does a couple of things ….
    • “I buy generic/store brand when I buy food…there is minimal difference (if any) in quality. That allows me to splurge on items that are worth it, such as toilet paper, tissues, paper plates, makeup, etc. If you buy generic of those items, you often use twice as much! And who wants a ripped tissue?”
    • “Sometimes generic is not a bargain! I will take the time to figure out how much a certain item (more expensive stuff like soap, cat litter, detergent, etc.) is per pound or per ounce…sometimes a sale on a brand name does make it cheaper than generic!”
    • “A change jar! I keep them everywhere…the ashtray of my car is one, there’s one on my dresser, in my office at work too. Anytime I break a bill, I save the change in a jar (sometimes I keep quarters for vending machine, meters, etc…but you get the idea). Then when they get full, I take them to the bank and use the money for spending money on vacation. I can end up saving a few hundred dollars that way within a year…!”
  • An anonymous friend, gave me the following list of things she does to help stretch her dollars further
    •   Shop at thrift shops, household sales and antique shops
    • darn socks
    • hang cloths to dry
    • take short showers
    • “But I’m not willing to compromise on things that involve my health and happiness as I do value myself more than my $.
    • I use a credit card that earns points for almost all purchases, even groceries, insurance, medical, etc. I pay it off in total every month and still earn points. Each Christmas I can buy over a hundred dollars in gifts and use my points–the gifts and shipping are free.”
    • “I also make gifts such as scarves, embroidered towels and pillow cases.”
    • “Some of my friends barter for both products and services.”
  • Marissa offered the following list
    • Buy off-brand items
    • Recycle cans/bottles
    • Buy cheap food choices: rice, potatoes, pasta, bananas, etc
    • Buy uncooked, unpackaged food and cook at home
    • Pack lunches
    • Use sunlight during the day and sparingly at night. Try candles, and always turn off lights when leaving a room.
    • Turn down refrigerator temperature to conserve  energy
    • Turn washing machine to highest spin to conserve energy
    • Bike or walk instead of driving when possible
    • Use Netflix and other online sites instead of cable
    • Use a water filter instead of buying water jugs
    • Unplug appliances while not in use, otherwise they consume energy even when turned off
    • Hang laundry to dry
    • Keep appliances as clean as possible to extend their life: pull off the bottom-front piece on your refrigerator and clean thoroughly every year, change air filter at least every 2 months
    • Use coupons
    • Buy second-hand
    • Buy at garage sales
    • Turn down thermostat as low as is bearable (you can always put on more clothes for warmth); also open windows for temperature control, during the day for heat or during night to cool
    • Eat well and exercise to avoid medical bills
    • Drink water instead of juice or soda
    • Plant a garden
    • Make sure you get frequent oil changes and keep your tires well-inflated for better mileage. Try not to break hard or start-up fast; the smoother your transitions the better your mileage gets.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post to be posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 …..

“5 Gift Giving Guidelines”

The nineth of December P1620702

Image by tomylees via Flickr

Article Link

This article was found on the Esperanza website posted December 9, 2011, and discusses five simple questions to make gift giving more positive and less stressful.

Money Monday

Here’s some links to sites that may help stretch your dollars just a little bit further

  • ThredUP.com
    • offers free membership, and allow Moms (I assume they would welcome Dads as well) to pick boxes of kids clothes for $5 a box + $10.95 for shipping.  You can also offer boxes of kids clothes for other people to pick so it allows you a way to swap kid clothing without having to transport it to another location.  It’s all handled by mail.
  • FreeCycle.org
    • Freecycle offers localized groups across the US where folks post items they want to get rid of  in an email group, then others in the group who are interested in the item can arrange to pick up the item.  The person posting pays nothing to post and the person acquiring the items pays nothing to get the item … everything must be completely free of charge to both parties.  Great way to eliminate clutter or find some cool item you have been looking for.
  • BetterWorldBooks.com
    • Great place to find used books at a low cost, they offer free standard shipping, and have a huge bargain bin area.  I got a hardcover book through them and paid $4.02 for it from the bargain bin.  In addition to buying and selling used books, it’s also possible to buy and sell textbooks through them as well.  They also give a portion of their earnings to help promote and encourage kids to learn to read around the world in addition to being an environmentally conscious business so everyone wins with this one.
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