Friday, September 27, 2013

Using Less Paper, More Plastic...

Americans are using less paper and more plastic (credit and debit cards) when they shop and buy services. In 2010, consumers used plastic to pay for $2.9 billion in goods and services. More people are using debit and credit cards to pay for everything from groceries, clothing, taxes, cab rides, fuel, to donations and other retail goods and services.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Got Burn-Out? Take These Steps

Are you bummed by job burn-out? If quitting your job isn’t an option, take these five steps to improve your situation. • Identify stress factors and learn how to manage them. Be proactive rather than passive about workplace issues. Know the difference between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” If you have too much work and too little time, talk to your supervisor. • Reconnect with your core work. Maybe you’ve strayed from what you were originally hired to do. Focus on the work you enjoy doing. • Take care of yourself. Take time off to recharge your batteries. • Build new relationships. Make friends with people who might have fresh ideas and perspectives. Do something different – open a Twitter account. • Plan your next move. Outline what you’d have to do to change careers and start taking action.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Strategies To Shop Smarter For Groceries

You can read plenty of articles on the internet about how to save money on groceries, but do you really have a grocery shopping strategy? Here are some supermarket tips and secrets that will make you a savvy shopper.  Approach grocery shopping like a job. You need to have a plan (take a list) and a budget to make the best use of your time and money.  Stick to a time schedule. Shop for what you need and get out. It is said that if you’re in the store more than 30 minutes, you’ll spend an extra 50 cents to $1 per minute as you walk the aisles.  Shop alone. Real Simple Magazine says parents will spend 10-40 percent more if they take their kids along. It might be worth it to hire a babysitter!  Only buy “food” at a grocery store. Generally, you’re better off buying toiletries, cleaning supplies and pet food at a big-box discount store.  Know the floor plan. Shop the perimeter first for fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and milk. You’ll find some good buys in the center aisles, but you’ll also be tempted by items like frozen convenience foods.  Don’t assume everything on sale is a bargain. Stores often display “sale” items at the end of the aisles. Manufacturers pay to have their products put there so they aren’t necessarily a good deal.  Check “price per unit.” Sometimes it’s cheaper per unit to buy two smaller items than it is to buy one supersize package.  Look high and low. Stores often place higher-priced items at eye level (brands pay for the space). Check prices on the top and bottom shelves.  Pay attention at checkout. Shoppers lose up to $3 billion a year on scanner mistakes (current sale prices not reflected).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Start A Family Blog

Stay Connected: You don’t have time to send e-mails, much less cards, letters and photos to keep your family in the loop. You can use Facebook, but why not create your own blog? It’s easy, fun and you can do it as an individual or a group. To get started, check out some of the free blogging hosts, such as, or Each one has templates, instructions and features like custom privacy settings and ability to post from your mobile phone. You can upgrade to a paid account later, if you need advanced features. Here are some keys to success from experienced bloggers:  Keep posts short and to the point (300 words or less).  Include lots of photos (make sure to size them correctly).  Don’t use it to vent (unless it’s entertaining).  Set a date in your calendar so it’s updated monthly (or weekly). Another plus: You can even publish your blog as a book once a year!