Monday, August 1, 2016

Ways To Save On Cooling Your Home

We've all been shocked by our electric bill from time to time
Lately, I’ve heard many people
 complaining about how high their 
last electric bill was.
 We are mid-summer, and there
are plenty of hot days left! Staying
 comfortable throughout the Summer
 can really become costly if you aren’t 
careful. I wanted to share with you a
 few ways that can help lower the bill
of cooling your home!

Start by raising your thermostat by
 at least 2 degrees. Over the span of 
a month, those 2 degrees can really
 make a difference for the better on
 your bill. 

Utilize Ceiling And Portable Fans:

Most homes have ceiling fans, and portable fans are fairly
 inexpensive. Use them to keep air circulating through the room.
 This can easily help bring the temperature in a room down by a
 couple degrees.  If you have an attic fan, turn it on in the evening
 to pull some of the hot air out. This will help make your nights 
cooler while you sleep.

Keep Air Filters Clean/Changed Frequently:

This will ensure your air conditioner unit runs properly
 and more efficiently.
Turning down the thermostat by 2 degrees can really make a difference on your bill

Use Your Appliances Less:

    •    Dry your dishes on a rack instead of using the heat dry
setting on the dishwasher.

    •    Cook outside.  Spring and Summer can bring along
some lovely weather.  Take advantage of this by
grilling outside. When you cook outside, you  won’t
need to use the oven or stove which can heat up your
house.  It’s also the perfect time for salads and sandwiches!

    •    If possible, line dry some or all of your clothes. Even do this
once a week can help keep the house cooler for the day and
save energy from not using the dryer at the same time!

Take Care Of  Yourself To Feel Cooler:

Stay hydrated! Keep pitchers of ice water in the fridge,
 staying hydrated will help your body regulate your 
temperature better and the nice cold water can be just
 the refresher you need on a hot day!

These are just a few ways to stay cool during those hot 
months while staying on a budget! The best part about
 these tips are they are easy to incorporate and virtually
 free to begin making the changes!

How do you stay cool through the hot Summer months?

Monday, July 18, 2016

5 Tips To Protecting your Identity Online

I do a lot of shopping online, as a matter of fact I take care of many
things online. Manage my bank account, pay bills, stay in contact
with friends and family and get information I’m looking for on
anything and everything. There is a lot of info on the web, and
you want to make sure that yours stays secure.

We are fast approaching the holiday shopping season and there
will be more reasons for you to conduct transactions online. For
some of you, this may be the first year you make a purchase online.

Luckily, I have never had to deal first hand with identity theft, or
 having purchases made that weren’t mine but I do have family and
friends that have had to take care of the mess that left behind! It can
be very scary and quite a nuisance to handle.

Here are some quick tips and things to consider to help keep your
personal information safe while conducting business online.

Make Your Passwords Very Difficult

You would think this would be a no brainer, but many people make their
 passwords something as simple as their pets name, or their birthday. It’s
 not hard for a identity thief to figure this out. There are programs out there
that they use that can quickly go through various words, phrases and digits.
 You should create a password that is a good mixture of letters (capital and
 lowercase) numbers and special characters.

The following would be a good
example of a hard password to figure out.  J8h!ut6Y$

Keep Passwords Different For Each Account And Change Them Often

You don’t want all of your accounts having the same passwords. If your email/
password is compromised and it’s the same as your bank account and credit
card accounts, then you can easily have some trouble become of those accounts
 as well. Change your passwords often. If it helps, you can write them down in a notebook 
and keep them locked away in a safe or other place you keep your valuables hidden.

Use Prepaid Cards For Purchases

To keep your credit cards and bank accounts safe, use prepaid cards
 to make your purchases online. You can keep whatever amount you
 would like on them and will have the piece of mind that they are not
 attached to your personal bank account or credit cards.

Pay Close Attention To Giving Out Your SS#

There may be many places online that ask for the
last four of your SS#. Many people feel safe giving out 
this info since it’s only four numbers. But keep in mind 
that identity thieves can find out a lot with just those 
last four numbers, and it isn’t hard for them to figure
 out your full social considering the first 3 digits of your
 social pertain to the area in which you were born or where
 the number was applied for. So always make sure it is absolutely
 necessary before giving out any form of your SS#.

Keep A Watch On Your Credit Report

Did you know that you have access to your Credit Report
for FREE once a year? If you go to
 you can request your credit report once a year. Monitor your
 report often so that you can be aware of any  changes, open accounts
 that you don’t recognize or requests to see your report from a company 
that you aren’t familiar.  If you notice items like this, make sure to dispute 
them with that credit reporting agency. It is also helpful to put a fraud
 alert on your account as well.

The top 3 credit reporting agencies are:



Each of those sites can tell you more about how you can protect
your credit and report any errors you find.  Got any other suggestions to protect your identity and credit online?  Leave them in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 Terms Every Couponer Loves (And Why)!

As you learn to coupon and interact with other couponers, you will start to discover a whole new language! There are many different terms associated with couponing and I’m going to share five popular terms from the coupon lingo with you today.

Blinkie – When you see the term blinkie, it indicates a coupon that can be found in a small box attached to the shelf near the product. This machine will dispense coupons one at a time. Generally, it will allow you two coupons and will not dispense anymore until you walk away.

OYNO – An abbreviation for On Your Next Order. This refers to savings or promotion to take advantage of the next time you shop. This could mean a coupon for money off that you will earn when you purchase a set amount of items, then later get to use that coupon to take the money off your next order.

RC – This would also be known as a Rain Check!  If a product were to run out of stock on the shelf during a great sale, you can go to your customer service desk and request a rain check. That will lock the item at that sale price for you when the item comes available again. Generally you can get 4 of the item at the sale price and are normally good for 30 days after issued.

STACK – This is a wonderful term, one of my favorites! It means to use a manufacturer coupon on top of a store coupon on one item! Not all stores allow this, but when they do, you can see some amazing deals!  For example, If cereal is on sale for $2.00 a box, you have a $1 off Manufacturer coupon and $1 off Store coupon.  You can use them both on that one box and get it for free!

YMMV – Stands for Your Miles May Vary, or I have sometimes seen it addressed as Your Manager May Vary.  This term is used when describing deals that may only be specific to certain stores, or something that certain managers are allowing, but the same name store in other areas may forbid.

Those are just five of my favorite words in the couponing world.  I would love to hear some of your favorites!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

3 Steps to Get the Grocery Coupons You Want!

Get the grocery coupons you want with the following 3 steps
 Have you ever had a difficult time finding a coupon for your favorite product after looking at the coupon circulars of the week? Chances are it’s an established product that will have very few coupons. But, there is hope! I have found a way to get around the difficulty of searching for those coupons that you so desperately want.

1. Contact a Retailer

    •    If you go to the manufacturer of the product you want and say “can I have a coupon for your product?” it’s very possible that you will get one.
    •    What I Did:
Recently, I went to Chiquita’s website in search of some coupons for produce because I could not find any in the mass circulars. I went to the “Contact Us” section and filled out the Contact Form. Under the “Subject” Section, it already had a subject designated for “Coupons”, which I of course selected. A week or two later, I got a letter in the mail from Chiquita! They had sent me two coupons for Fresh Express Salads, along with a message from a Response Specialist saying that they appreciated my interest in their brand.

2. Sign up for Newsletters

    •    Newsletters have proven to be a good way to gain great coupons on a regular basis. Also, creating an account is a way of “proving” to a retailer that you’re a dedicated customer who deserves to receive offers and coupons.
    •    What I Did: 
I went to Pillsbury’s website and signed up for newsletters by creating an account. Every week they give me access to new coupons that I can’t get anywhere else, for their products and great recipes. Sometimes I even find better coupons on their site than the coupons that they’ve put out in the mass distributed circulars. 

3. Scour a Retailer’s Website

    •    If you go to a particular retailer’s website, you may be pleasantly surprised to find a section specifically for coupons or promotions.
 What I Did:
 I went to Marie Callender’s Meals website and found that they had a “News and Offers” page that had a section dedicated to coupons. I then found two good coupons for two different types of meals.

It may take a little digging, but any or all of these methods will help you lower your grocery bill!!