Productivity

7 Shopping Mistakes That are Costing You Money

7 Shopping Mistakes That are Costing You Money

You have been shopping in the supermarket for years, but are you doing it right?

There are so many costly mistakes that can be made in the supermarket, which will increase your bill. Worst of all, the supermarkets know exactly how to get you to buy, and spend more, and will do almost anything to make it happen.

Let’s put a stop to that! Here are the 7 Common Shopping Mistakes You should avoid, to help you get clued up with the supermarket’s sneaky strategies, and start saving money today!

1. Ignoring Discounts

Stores often offer special deals or discounts at certain times of the week or month. Do not ignore them.

These deals are worth the hassle and time. You can stock up on some staples, and save money on the process. Pay attention to flyers and ads to find deals at your local stores.

2. Forgetting Your Shopping List

Not making a shopping list can cause you to buy things that you do not need, and therefore, make you forget the things you do. This can interfere with your meal plans, and cause you to make several trips to the store, which leads to buying more than needed.

3. Not Applying for Rewards Card

Rewards cards might seem like a bit of a scam, but you will saved loads using them over the years, and would definitely recommend trying them.

Supermarket loyalty cards will usually allow you to collect points, and these points equate to money off your shops, get you free perks such as tea, coffee or magazines, and give you access to exclusive offers.

Get cards for wherever you shop regularly, then start getting rewarded every time you shop.

4. Not Checking Prices

Are you one of those people who fly through the store, without checking prices? You might feel like this is a faster way to finish your shopping quickly.

This may be true, but, you are probably spending more money. It is really worth it to spend a few extra seconds, comparing prices to save money.

5. You Do Not Look at the Price Per Kilo

When you are buying fresh produce, a good indicator for value for money is the price per kilo on the shelf label.

Do not always assume that a loose produce is the best option, sometimes packaged vegetables and fruits will be cheaper. Get into the habit of comparing loose versus packaged, and also different packaging sizes to make sure you get the best deal every time you shop.

6. You Choose Brand Names

The name brand products always look the best, but, are they really? For known brand names, you are paying for that nice packaging and not what’s inside it.

Did you know that off-brand products are just as good? Plus, these products almost always cost less.

You can at least try the generic, before committing to only buying a name brand item.

7. You are Buying Out of Season

We have all grown used to getting whatever produce we want, and whenever we want it, but, the truth of the matter is that vegetables and fruits are seasonal, and should not be available all year round.

Different vegetables, fruits, and even varieties are less-available during certain times of the year. The shortage of supply, when pitted against the high demand hikes up the price, and means you’ll be paying more in the shop.

Sources:
Homehacks
Expert Home Tips

Related Articles:
1. Place This at the Corner of Your Home to Get Rid of Cockroaches
2. 3 Easy Ways to Whiten Your Clothes Naturally
3. 7 Health Insurance Tips That Can Save You Thousands

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Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
Place This at the Corner of Your Home to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Place This at the Corner of Your Home to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Having a cockroach infrestation is the worst thing that can happen to your house. These cockroaches spread illnesses and are not a very pleasant sight for the eyes.

When it comes to getting rid of cockroaches there are a number of products you can use, from sprays to powders, to all kinds of chemically laden and advance techniques.

But, some of these commercially available products are filled with toxic chemicals that can be dangerous for your family. It is better if you can find a natural alternative that is equally effective, but, is there such a thing?

Here is an effective, safe and easy to use solution for your family, including your pets. All you need is baking soda and onion.

PREPARATION:

1. Chop 1 onion.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda in it.
3. Place the mixture everywhere in your home, and pay close attention to the areas frequented by pests.
4. Do this process every day, and your house will be full of dead cockroaches.

Sources:
Organic Health Corner
Organic Solutions Portal

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Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
3 Easy Ways to Whiten Your Clothes Naturally

3 Easy Ways to Whiten Your Clothes Naturally

The most stubborn stains are very hard to clean, even if you wash it several times. When you use the available commercial stain remover in the market, you will just get a faded clothes with the stain still visible after all.

But, did you know that stain removers are not the only thing that can help make your clothes stainless and white? There are some ingredients that can help you make natural stain removers, and get amazing results.

Here are the 3 best ways to get all those stubborn stains off your clothes:

Homemade Natural Stain Remover for Clothes:

1. ASPIRIN

Aspirin can be used in restoring your precious white clothes to their original color, and for removing those annoying wine or food stain.

How to Use:
1. Crush 5-6 aspirins in a bowl of water.
2. Soak your clothes in the solution for 30 minutes.
3. Then wash them as you normally would.

2. BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a great stain remover, and it is very easy to use.

How to Use:
1. Add 1 cup baking soda to 4 liters of water.
2. Soak your stained or dirty clothes in the mixture.
3. Let them soak for a couple of minutes, then rinse with water.
4. Hang to dry.

3. VINEGAR AND LEMON

A combination of vinegar and lemon juice can restore the whiteness to your clothes, and also remove any stains.

How to Use:
1. Combine the ingredients in a 1:1 ratio.
2. Wash your clothes using the mixture.

All 3 of these natural stain removers are very easy to make and very effective. You can try any one of them, and see which gives you the best results.

Sources:
Natural Healthy Team
Organic Solutions Portal

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Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
7 Health Insurance Tips That Can Save You Thousands

7 Health Insurance Tips That Can Save You Thousands

You all know that healthcare costs continue to rise. This is due to expensive prescriptions and costly hospital visits.

Luckily, there are many ways to reduce costs when it comes to your health. Here are 7 Health Insurance Tips That Can Sae You Thousands.

7 Ways to Save on Health Care:

1. Choose GENERIC

Skimping on your healthcare is foolish, but, paying a premium for name-brand medication when less expensive generic is available would be ill-advised.

Did you know that the FDA requires both over-the-counter generics and prescription to be identical in strength, dose, efficacy and safety? The generic version will save you approximately 30-50%.

2. Choose a Higher DEDUCTIBLE

Yes, opting for a high-deductible plan can be very risky. If something bad happens, you could be facing a huge out-of-pocket costs.

But, according to Kelsey Allan from TermLife2Go, “if you are relatively healthy and do not anticipate lots of doctor visits annualy, you can increase your deductible in exchange for a lower premium. This can save you lots of money.”

3. Catch ERRORS

Approximately 80% of medical bills contain mistakes. Would not it be better if you had a personal assistant to read your bill and check for errors?

Simplee.com, is a free online tool which keep tracks on what you spend on health care. It links your insurance plans, such as vision, health, dental plans, and health-spending accounts, so they are on display on 1 dashboard.

A user-friendly breakdown of each billing showed what insurance covers and what you owe. Also, the website examines each claim to identify errors, including billing for a service that should be free, duplicate charges, or being billed for an out-of-network provider when that should not be the case.

4. Get an AGENT

Employer plans usually provide the best value, but it is also possible to do better on the individual market if you do not have any preexisting condition. According to Bruce D. Benton, the president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, “In some cases, you can save if you are willing to disclose your medical history”.

Choose a health insurance agent at nahu.org; this is because their fees are paid by insurance companies. This will not cost you anything out of pocket. Also, you also have access to more plans, that can tailor your coverage.

Also, skip benefits you don’t need, such as maternity, eyeglasses and consider an inexpensive, high-deductible plan if you are rarely sick.

5. Pay on TIME

Most people wait to pay their bills until after a medical procedure, such as surgery or hospitalization. But, did you know you could be missing out on potential savings?, according to Michael Foguth of Foguth Financial Group. “If you already have coverage, and you also have a procedure that is coming up, inquire about pre-paying or paying in-full in order to receive a discount”.

6. Think Twice Before Agreeing to TESTS

Asking questions is the key: “When your doctor tells you he wants to order X-rays, lab tests, MRI scans, or CT scans, always inquire what he is looking for and if the test is absolutely necessary”.

Never decline on necessary medical tests based on cost, but, when dealing with this question, some doctors will choose to narrow their focus, and take a more of a step-wise approach.

7. Check Your Insurance

Do not assume that your doctor is still in your insurance network. Doctors typically re-evaluate their list of accepted plans at least yearly, therefore, ask each time you book an appointment.

If your Medical Doctor now works with your plan on an out-of-network basis, his services will often be covered at a much lower rate or never at all.

Consulting another doctor in the same practice? Even if that facility accepts your insurance, the doctor might not. This also goes for referrals.

Sources:
Fitness Magazine
Reader’s Digest

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Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
How to Make Homemade Laundry Powder in Just 10 Minutes!

How to Make Homemade Laundry Powder in Just 10 Minutes!

This homemade laundry powder is a fun alternative that will save you money and help you get rid of home of toxic chemical cleaners.

You can make an easy switch of laundry detergent from store bought to homemade. DIY alternatives are just as effective and much less expensive. More importantly, to avoid the fragrances, harsh chemicals, additives and colors in many regular detergents.

Homemade is also much less expensive and so easy to make!

1. Homemade Laundry Powder (with Borax):

1. Borax – Is a naturally occurring mineral used that is used for stain removal and whitening.
2. Soap bar – Used for degreasing
3. Washing soda – Also known as Soda Ash, helps remove oils and residue. This is available at most local grocers.

Materials:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing soda
1 bar Soap

Directions:
1. Grate the bar of soap. A nice, fine grate will mix up easier as compared to larger pieces. You can use any grater in doing this.
2. Add the grated soap in your blender, then add 1 cup of either the Borax or the washing soda.
3. Blend until the pieces are cut more finely.
4. Place the blended mixture into a bowl.
5. Add the remaining 1 cup of either Borax or washing soda. Use a spoon to mix it thoroughly and to break-up large chunks.
6. Place in a glass mason jar.

Notes:
1 recipe of the above materials make almost 1 quart of laundry powder.

Directions for Using the Homemade Laundry Detergent:
1. Add 1 tablespoon to the washing machine as you fill it with water. You should add powder before you add your clothes, so that it begins to dissolve first.
2. For extra dirty loads, you may use 2 scoops.

2. Homemade Laundry Detergent (Borax-Free) Recipe:

This is a simple borax-free option, and which does not require grating.

Materials:

2 Tablespoons Sal Suds
2 Tablespoons washing soda (optional)
1/4 cup Baking soda

Directions:
1. Add all the materials at the beginning of the wash cycle.
2. For an extra boost, you may add 1/4-1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This step is optional. But, this should help keep clothes from looking worn and pilling.

Sources:
DIY Natural
Keeper of the Home
Wellness Mama

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Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
7 Simple Tips for Employees to Stay Healthy at Work

7 Simple Tips for Employees to Stay Healthy at Work

Are you frustrated because you feel as though you simply cannot stay healthy and fit because you are spending most of your day sitting at a desk at work? Then, you are not alone.

Just because you are working all day does not mean you cannot stay fit and slim. You just need to do some simple work habit and lifestyle changes.

You can start with these Tips to Improve Your Health While Working at the Office:

1. Avoid Working Overtime Frequently

If you are frequently working long hours, then something is wrong. You should talk to your manager and explain that your workload is too heavy for the normal working hours.

If you keep on working overtime, you will soon get to the point of burnout. This will affect not only your productivity, but your health as well.

2. Bring Your Own Lunch

Restaurant meals often include high-calorie food choices and large portions. You can eat healthier and for much less, if you prepare your own lunch.

3. Drink Enough Amount of Water

Sometimes when you are immersed in work, you lose track of how much water you are drinking in a day. But, it is important that you drink enough to stay active and hydrated.

Dehydration can cause ill effects, including sluggishness and drowsiness. You should always drink between 6-8 glasses of water everyday.

Depending on the climate in your region and level of physical activity, you may need to consume more water. Eating fresh, juicy fruits is also a great way to fight dehydration and hunger pangs.

4. Eat Breakfast

Eat breakfast is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy and wholesome breakfast can provide you with the energy needed to get through the first half of your day. Also, this will help prevent you from consuming junk food.

5. Maintain Good Posture

When you are in the same seated position for hours, it will have negative effects on your back. You can prevent this from happening if you are seated in a proper position with a straight spine.

6. Move as Much as You Possibly Can!

Walk around your office and stretch every now and then. Take breaks every hour or if you possibly can and move your body. Take every possible opportunity to burn calories.

You can move while waiting for programs on your computer to load. If you need to discuss something with your officemate, go to his or her desk, instead of making a phone call or just sending an email.

Also, if you need to go to another floor in the office building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Team up with a friend at work to take regular breaks for exercise and to help in motivating each other.

7. Take Vacation Leaves

Even if it is just for a weekend in town, take the opportunity to rest. Vacation is not just a worker’s right; it is also a necessity.

Vacation helps in reducing stress and in keeping your psychological health fit.

Sources:
Entrepreneur
Mind Body Green
Youth Incorporated

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2. 7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter
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Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
5 Best Plants that Purify the Air in Your Home

5 Best Plants that Purify the Air in Your Home

Did you know that some houseplants are awesome indoor air cleaners? Some plants are more effective than others, at filtering out toxic chemicals and pollutants in the air.

NASA researchers searched for the best ways to clean the air in space stations. The Clean Air study of NASA, reported below plants are effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene, and ammonia from the air chemicals that have been associated to health effects, including like eye irritation and headaches.

Here are the houseplants that clear-out pollutants in your indoor air:

Best Air-Cleaning Plants According to NASA:

1. Aloe Vera

aloe-vera

aloe vera / pixabay

Aloe vera’s leaves have a clear liquid full of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, and other compounds that have antibacterial, wound-healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, there is some evidence that aloe may help, skin conditions such as psoriasis.

2. Bamboo Palm

bamboo palm

bamboo palm / pixabay

Bamboo palms are very effective at removing chemical contaminants from the air such as benzene and formaldehyde. Also, bamboo palms help to keep the air moist, which is especially helpful during winter months when heaters can produce overly dry indoor air.

Bamboo palms contains a tropical appearance, are characteristic tall, skinny canes, fanned leaves, and are colored-green instead of the typical tan bamboo color.

3. Boston Fern

boston fern

boston fern / photo credit: yates

Boston ferns can remove more formaldehyde as compared to any other plant. They are also very effective at removing other indoor air pollutants, including benzene and xylene, which are components of gasoline exhaust that can travel indoors, if you have an attached garage.

The only downside to these plants is that they can be finicky. You will need to feed them monthly during the winter, weekly in seasons when they’re growing, and need to be watered regularly. Depending on the humidity and moisture levels in your house, you may need to mist their leaves or water them everyday.

4. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums / pixabay

Florist’s chrysanthemums or commonly called “mums” are ranked as the highest for air purification. They are reported to be highly effective in removing common toxins, and ammonia.

The downside to this is this flower only blooms for about 6 weeks, therefore, treat yourself to a fresh pot after. Also, you can fertilize the pot again during spring season, when new growth appears.

But remember that, without the flowers, it will not be purifying the air. If you do not want to wait, you might want to just get a new pot.

For tips for plant care: Check the soil’s moisture every alternate day, and keep it damp. Although this paltn has a friendly name, mums are toxic to both dogs and cats.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, ammonia

5. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

snake plant

snake plant / pixabay

Snake plant is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue. This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is commonly found in toilet paper, cleaning products, personal care products and tissues.

You should put one in your bathroom, as this will thrive in steamy humid conditions and with low lights, while helping filter out air pollutants. You can also place a couple of these sharp-leafed plants in your bedroom.

Interestingly, the snake plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night, which is the opposite of the process most plants follow. Sharing your room with the snake plants could give you a slight oxygen boost, while you sleep.

Sources:
Greatist
MNN
Healthline

Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter

7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Keep Your House Warm This Winter

Are you looking to reduce your heating bill without a big investment? You’re in luck because we have put together a list of 7 cheap and easy ways to keep your house warm in winter.

Some of these options add heat to your home, reduce heat loss, or keep the heat where you need it. Here are some effective strategies for keeping your homes warm.

1. Close All the Rooms You are Not Using

According to Heating oil company Petro, closing doors to create a “pocket of heat” in 1 room, or to lessen the amount of space in your home to heat, allowing warmer air to stay in the rooms you are using.

Is there a room in your home that is always colder than the rest, no matter what? Then, if you are not using that room, make sure you shut it off, so it does not absorb valuable heat from the rest of the house.

Also, make sure to turn off any radiators in there, in order to make sure you do not waste energy.

2. Put Foil Behind the Radiator

Here’s how you can keep your house warm with some easy foil insulation:

Directions:
1. Cover a thin sheet of card using tinfoil.
2. Then place it behind your radiators. If you are feeling a little crafty, you can make it T-shaped so it sits on your radiator brackets. Doing this will reflect the heat back into your rooms, which means they warm up faster and retain more heat. If DIY is not your thing, you buy a ready made foil insulation.

3. Roll Out a Rug

Yes wooden floors look lovely, but they can also let heat escape right under your feet. Placing a warm rug covers up the gaps, and ensures your toes stay toasty.

4. Candles as a Room Heater

You can read all about candle-powered room heater here. This is a good source of emergency heat for people who are living in small, rented homes. This is a useful reminder that we can meet our basic needs with a little creativity, ingenuity and some simple materials.

5. Use the Curtains

Heat that is coming from the sun is free, therefore, make the most of it. Open your curtains, then let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat.

When it gets dark, close your curtains, this act as another layer of insulation and keep your rooms warm. Also, you should make sure you do not have any gaps or leaks, so that the warm air can stay in, and the cold air stays out. This will help to reduce condensation.

6. Use the Oven

Once your dinner comes out of the oven, you all close the door again. But why waste that heat?

You can leave the oven door open, then let the heat transfer slowly into your kitchen. This will help keep your house warm while you eat.

7. Use Creativity in Your Insulation

You can use any spare foam pipe lagging as a door draught excluder, or you can just cut a section to fit the bottom of your door, and then slide it on to form a tight seal against the floor. Also, you could use spray foam insulation to fill any gaps and cracks in your walls or at the back of cupboards. Make sure to check the can for all safety precautions.

But, if you want to take it up a level, call the professionals in to install loft insulation, and prevent all that warmth from escaping through the roof.

Sources:
MNN
The Conversation
Time

photo credit: pixabay

Posted by Lisa in Productivity, 0 comments
5 Ways To Profit From Your Daily Commute in 2018

5 Ways To Profit From Your Daily Commute in 2018

There those lucky people who have daily commute less than 30 minutes to workplace. For the most of us the daily commute chews up 2 to 3 hours of our unpaid time. The first solution that comes to the mind is change the job to a nearer to home but this is not easy as said. Most of work is concentrated in the downtown which acts like a sea to which all rivers flows. There is always plenty of fish in the sea but not rivers. Second solution is bring your home closer to office. If that works for you, Great! but most of us will not be living that far in first place if we had million dollar to shell on a decent size family place near downtown/workplace.

There is a saying that if you cannot beat them ,join them.

The enemy is this context is your commute time. So how do you make turn the disadvantage of time wasted in commute to an advantage. Here is how ?

Do some office work

Most of us have an tablet or a laptop or at least smart phone to access internet and make notes. These days OneNote and Microsoft office is available of all the devices. Provided that you have got a seat, you can do office related work to impress your boss or to finish little early today at office.

Catch up shows

Do you have a busy lifestyle like me and do not get time to watch or complete watching your favourite show on television. Well, now is your time to catch up on that show using your smart device of choice. These days most of tv shows are available either live or as a recording just after the TV broadcast. Invest in a decent headphones (Bluetooth and/or wired) and carry your tv entertainment with you on the commute. Before you know it , you will reach your last station and you will wish that your commute was a little bit longer so you can finish the episode. After all time flies fast when we are having fun.

Get Smart

No, are not talking about Get Smart. We all wish to be smarter everyday. There is no time left in your busy schedule to read good books or listen to talks of people (TED) that know more than you. Well, now you can use the commute time to read books or books or listen to podcasts or watch videos. You will surely more than what you have known before start of commute.

Have a Nap

The commutes longer than 20 minutes are great for having a nap. I do not need to dwell into how beneficial for your body a nap is. You will definitely feel refreshed after your commute finishes , ready to play with your kids or do house chores or get on quick on that office task for last evening. Use your smart phone to put a countdown timer (on vibration mode) so you can wake up just in time to get off at your destination.

Get Organised

Have a look through your emails and notifications and create a today’s to do list during morning commute and update that todo list during evening commute. I have been using Microsoft todo list which is simple and quick to use and works across all devices flawlessly. (Yes flawlessly) . You can still choose to procrastinate but at least the most important things are easy to remember.

Posted by William in Productivity, 0 comments