Frugal For Everyone

Tis the Season for…CHARITY SCAMS

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in A frugal Life, Frugal For Everyone | 53 comments

Tis the Season for…CHARITY SCAMS

Before retiring I managed a local branch of an international Charity. This of course means I know very well how legitimate charities operate. On the flip side it also means I’m very aware of charity scams. To many people donating so others can also enjoy a good Christmas is simply part of the Christmas season. Scammers take full advantage of this generosity by pretending to be collecting for Charities at Christmas, often successfully. Think twice before giving . Very few Charities have the resources to go door-to-door or make telephone calls. If approached this way there is a strong possibility it’s a scam. Let’s stop supporting their fraudulent activities. Knowing how to identify legitimate Charities and having a fail-proof way to make donations will go a long way to ensuring your donated funds go where you want them to. Scammers often target the elderly, which I find particularly disturbing. If you know an elderly person, especially someone who lives on their own and who could be taken in, please discuss this with them.   Charity Scams Popular Causes: Charity scams often use the following causes simply because we find it hard to say no to causes that benefit: Families at Christmas Children Veterans The homeless Animals Current catastrophes like earthquakes, health epidemics, refugees etc.   The simplest way to make sure you do not get caught by scammers is to check out the Charity: Get the name of the Charity along with the charitable registration number – if this can’t be provided there should never be a donation; Obtain address and phone number from the Charity’s website. If you have any questions, call the Charity and ask. Legitimate charities know all about donor concerns and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. NEVER use a number provided by the solicitor but always check the Charity’s website for mailing address and phone number.  Things to watch for: Being asked for the donation in cash. Legitimate charities actually prefer cheques or online donations because both leave a paper trail which is important. Being thanked for making a pledge you don’t remember making and being presented with a bill for the so-called pledged amount. Don’t pay it!!  Instead take the bill to the nearest police station and let them deal with it. Scammers may use names that are similar to legitimate Charities. If something doesn’t sound or feel right, place a direct call to the Charity to ask if they are soliciting in your neighbourhood. Fail-proof way to make donations: Mail your cheque directly to the Charity along with a cover letter; If the Charity has a local branch you wish to support, mail the check directly to the branch, again with a cover letter; OR go to the Charity’s Website to make an online donation.   Click on the links below to find out more about the legitimacy and accountability of any Charity: In Canada contact: Canada Revenue Agency-Charities and Giving   or  Charity Intelligence In the USA, contact:  Charity Navigator  or  BBB Wise Giving Alliance  or  Charity Watch Or google the Name and Address of the Charity adding the word ‘scams’, ‘fraud’ or ‘complaints and see what comes up.   Saying NO during this season really doesn’t hurt legitimate charities, after all they need funds all year round. Your donation will be just as welcome in February as in December. The exception of course would be Christmas requests, such as the Salvation Army Christmas Fund or the Emergency Services Toy/Food Drives.   No doubt there will always be scammers looking for an easy dollar. However, by being alert...

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Remembrance Day: Sacrifices Never Forgotten

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in A frugal Life, Frugal For Everyone | 14 comments

Remembrance Day: Sacrifices Never Forgotten

In honour of Remembrance Day I’m sharing a poem by local poet, Floyd Zurbrigg. Although the poem is called “In Canadian Fields” it applies equally to all countries whose men and women sacrificed all for our freedom. Floyd wrote this description: “My poem ‘In Canadian Fields’ developed from my admiration for Col. John McRae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” and my long held belief that there was another poem needed. This one would relay the heartaches and hardships endured by those left at home. Without their hard work and sacrifice, we would not enjoy our many freedoms today.”   IN CANADIAN FIELDS   “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow” When I hear that famous poem I know That our soldiers went to a far off shore And gave their lives in an awful war I’m aware of the hardships they endured So our peace would be assured But the poem that I cannot find Tells the stories of those left behind Of wives and sweethearts, kissed at the train That never saw their men again Of parents, brothers and sisters too Who worried, because they never knew If their soldier was alive or dead Many tearful, heartfelt prayers were said To the ones at home, we owe a debt They suffered too, Lets not forget While in Flanders Fields the poppies blew The folks at home were heroes too ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  “In Canadian Fields” is copied with permission from ‘Seasons of the Elm’, a Book of Poems by Floyd Zurbrigg. On this Remembrance Day let us remember not only those who fought but also the brave ones left behind. Talk to you again soon, Lenie If you liked this post, others will too. Please share. Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save...

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Library Book Sales – $$ For Programs, Great Deals For Us

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Frugal For Everyone | 4 comments

Library Book Sales – $$ For Programs, Great Deals For Us

“A LIBRARY OUTRANKS ANY OTHER ONE THING A COMMUNITY CAN DO TO BENEFIT ITS PEOPLE. IT IS A NEVER FAILING SPRING IN THE DESERT.” ……… Andrew Carnegie It’s no secret that I love the Library. Besides the obvious pleasure derived from the many books and videos we’ve borrowed, it’s also my ‘go-to’ place for research, training courses and checking community happenings. October – Library Month in Canada: October is Library month in Canada with many libraries choosing this time to host book sales to raise funds for programs. These are great sales and I am often one of the first ones there, as much to support the library as to buy books. They always have a large selection from baby’s first book to first-learning books to adult books, and everything in between. Videos, CDs, games and craft items are also available. All items for sale are donated to or discarded by the Library. Everything is checked by Friends of the Library before being placed for sale so no worries about getting dirty or useless books and products. The items sold are at least as good as those found in most Used Book Stores. Prices vary – some libraries ask for donation while others set the price, but no matter how they price it the bargains are real. One of the local libraries offers a ‘buck a bag’ day. You supply the bags and you can fill as many as you want for one dollar a bag. Years ago, I set up a bookshelf for the grandkids and filled it with books, videos, craft materials and games left over from our boys.  Then one of our grandsons, who was only two years old at the time, started this really cute tradition. Usually towards the end of the visit he would be tired out and quite content to choose one of the books to either look at it  by himself or to let me read it to him. When it was time to go home, he would ask if he could take the book with him – naturally, the answer was yes. Since then, more grandchildren have arrived and more books continue to leave the bookshelf to go home with them. Of course, having books leave the house on a regular basis means the bookshelf keeps getting emptier all the time and that’s where the book sales come in. What a perfect opportunity to restock. Libraries are a vital part of a community – showing our support by attending the book sales is a small thing we can do and a win-win situation for all. The library gets dollars for programs and we get great deals – how can you not like that? Why not find out if your library will be holding a book sale (if not, maybe you could suggest they do). Not only will you be able to find books and bookstore products, it’s also a great place to donate those good books, videos, CD’s, games and craft items you no longer use. Show your support – not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to a Library – I’m so glad we do. Talk to you again soon, Lenie If you liked this post, others will too. Please share. Save Save...

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Apple Cider Vinegar: Is It Really a Magic Cure-All?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Frugal For Everyone, Health | 36 comments

Apple Cider Vinegar: Is It Really a Magic Cure-All?

I first learned about Apple Cider Vinegar from my readers when I posted Salad Dressing Doesn’t Require Chemicals. The salad dressing recipes included used plain white vinegar but several commenters suggested using apple cider vinegar instead, claiming it was a superior product. Apple cider vinegar’s greatest claim to fame is its alleged health benefit. However, as with many natural health products, there have been few in-depth scientific studies done to support that. Any claims made are mostly based on folk medicine. That doesn’t mean they don’t work – many old-time remedies are very effective, something world health organizations are starting to acknowledge. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As always – if you have chronic health problems or are taking any kind of medication, do not take ACV without checking with your doctor first. Apple cider vinegar is not a cure-all but rather, when used right, an effective way to maintain the body’s pH balance in order to prevent disease. Unless advised to do so by a medical or homeopathic doctor, apple cider vinegar should not be used to treat disease. Do not overuse. Start slow with ½ to 1 tsp. per day and slowly work up to no more than 2 Tbsp. a day (although I personally think for long-term use 1 Tbsp. (3 tsp.) a day should be the maximum, but that’s just me – I tend to err on the side of caution). Always dilute apple cider vinegar. Drinking it straight can lead to loss of tooth enamel and burn the mouth, throat and esophagus. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits: Leg cramps. I can personally vouch that this works. I add 1/2 tsp. to my cup of honey-lemon tea twice a day, once just before bed. May help balance blood sugar levels. High blood pressure – has been shown to lower blood pressure. May lower cholesterol which in turn reduces risk of heart disease. There is some evidence that apple cider vinegar may slow the growth of cancer cells. More studies are needed. Weight Loss. Believed to suppress appetite if taken before a meal. Sore Throat. Gargle with a diluted solution. Try a warm drink made with 1 cup warm water, 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, add honey to taste. Upset Stomach. Make a mint tea and add 1/2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar to settle the stomach. Honey may be added. Can get rid of that bloated feeling. A honey-lemon-apple cider vinegar tea works well to clear congestion and get rid of phlegm. Helps rid the body of toxins. Apple Cider Vinegar Precautions: All natural products used to promote good health should be taken with the same care as prescription medicines. Apple cider vinegar is no different. This is not a product where ‘if a little works, more will work better’. It won’t and excessive intake can create serious health problems.   For anyone taking diabetic medicine or insulin, apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels too much, leading to hypoglycemia or even insulin shock. Patients taking diuretics may be monitored for low potassium. Apple cider vinegar can lower potassium even more. DON’T USE it straight as a tooth-whitener or a mouthwash. This practice can do serious damage to tooth enamel and mouth tissue. Apple cider vinegar can help balance your body’s pH level which should be around 7.45. Overuse can disrupt this balance and actually create health problems. It’s easy to check pH levels with an inexpensive litmus test, available at Pharmacies. What kind of Apple Cider Vinegar should you use? When using apple cider vinegar to promote good health and prevent disease it just makes sense...

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Twitter Basics: Know These to Twitter Smarter

Posted by on Jun 19, 2016 in A frugal Life, Frugal For Everyone | 38 comments

Twitter Basics: Know These to Twitter Smarter

I’ve been a Twitter user since January 2014 and since that time have sent out roughly 5500 tweets, am following 675 Twitter users and have 785 followers. Rather amazing since all this time I had no idea what I was doing. Definitely time to correct that. Besides learning the Twitter Basics I also wanted to learn how to promote My Etsy Shop on Twitter without spamming. Library staff directed me to Lynda.com, an online video training business, where they believed I could find the right answers. They were right. I’m not normally a fan of video training but this was different. The instructors used a conversational tone and this, along with the clarity of the audio, made learning easy. During the free 10-day trial period I devoted all my time to it and was able to complete the following courses: Twitter Basics Twitter Essentials Twitter for Business Advertising on Twitter Up and Running with Canva Selling on Etsy eBay Essential Training for Sellers Pinterest for Business Learn Instagram – The Basics Now I can’t possibly be the only person not knowing the Twitter Basics therefore I’m sharing  a few of the highlights from my Twitter training, focusing on those things I didn’t know – quite a lot as it turned out. Navigating Twitter: Home – always returns you to your timeline (the constantly moving stream of Tweets) Notification – keeps you updated about replies to a tweet, retweets, direct messages Clicking on the profile photo activates a drop-down menu for profile view, lists, help, keyboard shortcuts, Twitter Ads, analytics, and settings The Who to Follow column lists people Twitter thinks you may want to follow On the top left is about you – profile photo, header photo, Twitter name, number of tweets, number of people you follow and followers Under that is the Trend bar which contains hashtags and topics everyone is talking about – good idea to check some out and even add to the conversation. The importance of the Twitter Profile: Use keywords in your bio Add a header customized to match your other online sites. I used Canva for that Clicking on @name on your home page will bring up the edit profile button to update your bio: add a real photo of yourself or your business logo (400 x 400 pixels) add your header (1500 x 500 pixels) give your location if you want insert your website URL change the theme colour. Twitter Etiquette: includes no blatant self-promotion no adding affiliate links no using all CAPS never use negative commentary no details – less is more. Hashtags are nothing more than Keywords with the pound sign in front of them. You don’t have to use hashtags that already exist but can use any searchable keyword. Find these at: https://twitter.com/search-home or https://www.hashtags.org/ (lists trending and popular hashtags). Using more than two hashtags is not recommended. Timing Tweets. To get the most out of Twitter, Tweet no less than twice a day at least 4 hours apart. 2-5pm EST is thought to be the best time to tweet. Sundays 1-5pm. are better for tweeting than Saturdays. After 8pm everything pretty well closes down. Scheduling Tweets. There are scheduling tools available. https://about.twitter.com/es/products/tweetdeck https://hootsuite.com/ https://www.socialoomph.com/ Twitter Tools and what they do: http://www.tweriod.com/ Tweriod analyses the tweeting habits of your followers and suggests the time when it makes the most sense for you to tweet. https://www.twellow.com/ Twellow allows you to find users that have the keyword you entered in their profile. Twitter analytics provides 28 day summary showing changes over the previous period for Tweets – Impressions – Profile Visits...

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Blending Edible Plants with Ornamentals

Posted by on Jun 12, 2016 in Frugal For Everyone, Gardening, Green Living, Herbs | 29 comments

Blending Edible Plants with Ornamentals

Designing a beautiful landscape can feel overwhelming to non-gardening experts. But designing a landscape that seamlessly integrates edible plants? That may seem unrealistic—but it’s not. Here’s a great place to start: Understanding the basics of line and form in your outdoor spaces. There are different types of lines—curves, straight, vertical, horizontal—as well as forms. Those work with structures and plants to create pleasing visuals. And while many people assume that most fruits and vegetables must be planted every year, there are edibles that grow multiple years in a row. That can help when designing a landscape that has consistency from year to year. Although many people plant edibles for the harvest, there are considerations of height, color, leaf structure, and more to consider, and how those can accent the plants you have already in the landscape. In addition, many edible have flowering times, which can be a great complement to other blooms in the yard. Whatever your approach to landscaping, this graphic can help you integrate more plants to harvest in your yard.   Source: Fix.com Blog When I was asked to publish this infographic on my post I was delighted to comply. It’s exactly the kind of information that’s great to share. Instead of adding it to the sidebar I decided that the infographic would be the post. Attractive, colourful and loaded with useful information to make blending edible plants and ornamentals easy. What’s more, we all know the cost of fruits and vegetables have gone way up and from all reports, will continue to increase. Isn’t this a beautiful way to control those costs? Talk to you again next week, Lenie If you liked this post, others will too. Please share. Save Save...

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