Home Tips

Money-Saving Tips Around the Home

When tough times come knocking, that is when you understand the importance of saving for a rainy day. This has often been too late in my experience. Many people go around feeling like saving is impossible, especially when there are many mouths to feed. However, I have found several ways to save and even have fun while at it. Here are a few tips I use without even thinking about it.

Bulk Shopping

Shopping every time I need something, especially groceries, forces me to focus on the urgency rather than how much I am spending. This is often the quickest way to deviate from my budget. Buying in bulk has many advantages. Aside from cutting down the grocery store trips, it also allows me to enjoy discounts on cumulative items.

Collecting Pocket Change

One will not often think much about the coins gathered as change. However, when I collect them long enough, I end up saving more than I expected. Such coins have often appeared as my saving grace, especially when I didn’t have loose cash to spend on an urgent household item.

Growing Herbs

Gone are the days when almost everyone owned a piece of land. Although urbanization has changed how people acquire food, I use small pots and planters to plant a few herbs. This cuts down my grocery expenses since most of these herbs can also be stored or dried.

Using Supermarket Loyalty Points and Bonus Cards

Although points collected from such cards do not count for much when few, if accumulated for a long time they become quite useful. There are days I go shopping for almost a month’s grocery plus other essentials without spending a dime thanks to loyalty bonuses.

Mastering a Few DIY Skills

Some problems in your house do not always call for paying an expert a lot of money to solve them. Mastering DIY skills have been quite handy for as long as I can remember. I easily create new shelves, check a leaking tap, and make other storage items by watching a few online videos. On many occasions, I have saved as much as a hundred dollars I would have otherwise paid someone to do the same job.

Go For Energy-Efficient Equipment

Utility bills can deprive one of their sleep, especially when you never saw it coming. Things like electricity expenses can easily be contained by using energy-efficient items. Instead of buying the normal 75 Watts or so bulbs for lighting, I opt for energy-saving ones. They might be more expensive, but their use saves me a lot of money in the long run.

I also find solar bulbs to be quite efficient since they cut down on electricity usage and I only bank on electricity when I have no other option.

Cook Your Own Meals

One way that I wrongfully spent my money, especially during my first days living alone, was eating out more than I should have. Looking back, I can now see how much I spent on coffee, burgers, and fries in the name of a quick bite and convenience. That money would have bought more groceries, maybe even enough to last a fortnight instead of one day’s meal. I now pack my lunch as well instead of ordering online when I’m at work. I even find it healthier than trusting foods from restaurants.

Buying Fruits and Veggies In Season

Once I started thinking about being more efficient even with healthy eating, I discovered that fruits and vegetables are often cheaper when in season. I, however, found it hard to keep them long enough to last offseason. Learning how to preserve and freeze veggies came in handy. If I cannot freeze a fruit, I look for in-season alternatives. This way, I get the same nutrients from different fruits, no matter the time of year.

Reusing and Recycling

With more people getting on board with ways to preserve the environment, programs such as Recyclebank are on the rise. These programs reward people for recycling. I have been a beneficiary of such, including getting restaurant coupons and free magazines for recycling. Plastic containers do not always have to go to the recycling bin. Some come in handy when you are looking for storage items.

Don’t always spend just because you want to. Think of tomorrow and find a win-win for today’s needs.

Fitness, Health

An Overview of Weight Loss

One New Year resolution for most of us is to shed a few pounds. Sometimes we succeed, and for the next few months, we are over the moon with joy enjoying our summer bodies until we gain all the fat right back. Finding the ideal method to lose weight for good is a mission that we all aspire to conquer. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single method that can help us shed the weight at once and remain petite forever. Losing weight is hard but maintaining that perfect figure is even more challenging. Physical fitness is one of the primary yet very efficient ways to ensure that weight loss stays gone.

One of the significant benefits of physical fitness is that it helps us lose weight by burning extra calories, reduces the risk of chronic illnesses, builds stronger bones, and keeps us in a good mood. There are various exercises that we can indulge in. However, for the process to work, we must go for a workout that we enjoy doing. The positive attitude towards the sport or activity will keep us going even after we shed a few pounds. Continuous exercise keeps the weight gone, and we keep getting lighter. Here are some of the fun exercises we could choose from.

Walking

Walking sounds basic, but it has been proven to be a very effective way to lose weight. By walking, I don’t mean taking a few steps within the house; think more of outdoor walking. Taking a stroll at a regulated speed, say 4km/hr for an average of 50 to 90 minutes, three to four days a week, will do wonders for your weight. A big advantage of walking is that we do not need any special gear to start doing it. Also, it is straightforward to incorporate walking into your regular schedule. For beginners, an average of 30 to 50 minutes is enough, and we can keep adding on the time as we get used to it.

Jogging/Running

Although jogging and running are in the same bracket, they are different. Jogging is done at a slower pace than running, but both are very effective. Recent studies show that running and jogging is an excellent way to get rid of belly fat, which is one of the spots that most of us struggle with. Jogging on soft surfaces such as grass or treadmills is easier on joints, making it even more fun. Adding a jog or run to our routine is relatively easy because it does not consume much time. Even better, we can choose to either jog in the mornings or evenings.

Cycling

Nowadays, I can rest assured because even if I don’t have the equipment or space to cycle outside, I can still do so indoors. Many gyms have stationary bikes which we can use for our routines. Various gyms have classes for the practice, and all we have to do is sign up. Of all the exercises we indulge in, cycling has proven to be the most beneficial. Not only does it help in weight loss and staying fit, but it also significantly upsurges insulin sensitivity and boosts immunity.

Lifting Weights

The first thought that comes to mind when we think about gyms is weight training. It is a popular choice for most people, mainly because lifting weights helps turn excess fat into muscle. Also, weight training boosts our strength and keeps burning calories, even when our bodies are at rest. Knowing this, it becomes a good choice for most of us who want to get rid of the weight real fast. Unlike walking or jogging, weight training should be done carefully to avoid overexerting ourselves.

 

Health

An Insight into Choosing the Best Health Insurance Plan

Are you planning to get a health insurance cover? If so, choosing a plan that is affordable and reliable is tricky thanks to numerous companies offering the services. Nonetheless, this should not be a cause of concern. In this post, we will learn how to find the best and reliable cover. Among the essential elements covered include cost of the cover, medical facilities supported, and the maximum amount the cover can pay for our medical bills.

The Hospitals and Facilities Supported

Does the prospective health coverage plan cover hospitals or pharmacies we prefer? This is an important question we should think of when choosing a health coverage plan. Most health insurance cover companies limit their clients on the places they can seek medical care. The limitations come in when an insurance company limits clients to a few hospitals. Therefore, before we sign up with a cover, we should consider the facilities they support. Some of the issues to think of are whether the hospitals they support are well-equipped and have a good reputation. Moreover, we should pick a cover that supports facilities located in or close to our residential areas.

Plans and Prices

Health insurance companies have varying plans that are paid differently. Mostly, we choose the plan that best befits our financial state. For instance, low-income families may decide to take advantage of these medi cal benefits from somewhere like IEHP, which will mean that they are covered for the relevant services if they are medically necessary. When it comes to cheaper plans though, the support offered is different from what higher earners who pay more for improved features get. We should inquire from the brokers or the company about their plans before choosing the right health care plans. We have to consider the premiums and see if our wages can comfortably cater to them.

Deductibles

We have to know the amount a cover will require us to pay from our pocket before they cheap in footing hospital bills. For example, if the deductibles are below $1,000, the cover may hardly pay for most bills. Normally out-of-pocket deductibles include the following:

  • Procedure fees
  • Prescriptions
  • Specialist’s visit

It is also important to note that some insurance companies prevent their clients from accessing advanced medical services. For instance, I can be forced to pay for cancer screening or vaccine bills despite having an insurance cover.

Co-insurance

Do you know other expenses you require to cater for to access medical care? We may have to pay for other expenses out of our pockets. For instance, co-insurance plans need clients to pay a percentage of the bill even after catering for the deductibles. Moreover, we may have to cater to co-pay. These are flat fees clients pay for prescriptions.

Medicine Coverage

One of the main concerns we should have before signing a contract with any health insurance company is whether the firm covers our regular prescriptions. In most cases, insurers have a formula and a list of the medicine they cover for. Hence, before we choose a plan, we have to check if the drugs we use regularly are on the list of covered drugs. Furthermore, the list of drugs covered is classified into tiers. Tiers determine the amount of money that we co-pay. To work with the right health care plan, we should make a list of all the drugs we use and compare them with the formula provided.

Selecting a health insurance plan can be overwhelming. However, this should not be a problem for us. This post captures information about the things we have to keep in mind when choosing the plans. To get the specific information about health coverage to pick for our family and us, we should check the summary of coverage and insurers’ benefits.