Category Archives: Consumer Help

helpful articles for the consumer

Looking for that health bargain or sale?

Every consumer  wants to save money and there are some of us like myself who are on a monthly budget. Yes, I decided it was best to be on a monthly budget to keep myself from over spending on the monthly products that I need or going a little too over board with those little side treats when I want to spoil myself with the “must have” items that I really don’t need right away but find a great bargain.

Okay, now that I have your attention shoppers I ended up having one of those insomnia nights so I started to surf the Internet last night and happen to come across an interesting deal from a drugstore that I rarely ever expected to do business with, CVS. Most of the time I do shop through their competitor Walgreen’s but this time I decided because of the pricing structure it was much better to go with CVS for two reasons. The first being all of their vitamins that I needed were BOGO (buy one get one) and two, the price was less expensive in comparison. I was totally amazed especially when double checking the price.

I actually looked again while online just to make sure I wasn’t being tricked and sure enough I happen to see the CVS prices were lower directly on their website and showed to e much higher on the Walgreen’s website so I did the right buyer’s choice and went with the low price as it was the best deal for the consumer pocket. I got the best vitamin brands that I normally get at a fabulous price thanks to CVS. As for the insomnia, it happens but oh well, I eventually did get some sleep but managed to accomplish a good deal and get some shopping for my needs plus still stayed well within my monthly budget. I highly suggest to everyone to watch the prices closely and always keep an eye out for those special deals especially if they are a BOGO.

A few tips that will also help in saving money I take advantage of the shopping flyers from the business locations where I shop. I can get them easily by email and review at it helps me build my monthly shopping list along with keep track of where to best get the deals and also know when those deals will be taking effect. Another item that I use is something called Ebates as it is an Internet extension that will help save on money as I get discounts on all the locations that I shop at especially the locations I visit frequently and I also will get emails from them as well.

Hope the above helps you save money – happy shopping!

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Keep monthly budget and Christian values together when shopping

crucifixAs we approach Christmas the shopping days will become busier. There are two items that hold importance when shopping one is staying within the family budget the other is shopping with a business that holds Christian values. Every year especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas time it seems there are certain business owners who have appeared to lower their standards and not shown their faith to the public shoppers. A perfect example of this is comparison is when Starbucks has chosen a solid red and green cup for the holidays and Dunkin Donuts has chosen a white cup showing a beautiful decoration and the word Joy in cursive. The style Dunkin Donuts is using for the Christmas holiday actually shows the company is happy to show their faith.

Customers now have something they can use before shopping and see which business actually has a higher faith value; it’s called a Faith Equality Index (FEI). There are tons of companies reviewed on this index, not just a small business retailer. Consumers can actually look for anything from restaurants to health insurance, to the best faith equality airline. This is a very Christian oriented index that is well worth using as it does let small business owners know the consumer is faith oriented and they do have Christian values that should be respected and always remembered.

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Filed under Business, Consumer Help

Can we talk financial planning

cashCan we get serious for a few moments and talk about financial planning I mean really talk? How many of you have actually sat down and planned out your monthly budget on spending matters? Or for that matter if you are planning to retire have you A) estimated a cash amount to secure every pay check until you reach retirement age or B) spoken to a financial advisor who can provide the planning and investment tools needed for the specific age retirement bracket?

Both options can be very helpful when building a financial plan it just depends upon what exactly it is you are wanting to do and the type of financial plan you are wanting to create. In this current economy there are many persons who are facing difficulty because there has been the slip in job employment causing a loss in the economy. Even though we are slowly rebuilding and it is not as quickly as we would like the nation is on a rebound, finally. Of course only time will tell. But with that being said, everyone must do what they can do keep their own finances structured safely and their own proprietary needs satisfied. With that final thought in mind, creating a financial plan requires building the correct structure that will be helpful to the entire family in short-term and in long-term.

On a final note, before planning know the exact amount of gross income being made and the exact amount of funds that can be spent. In other words, this will require pulling together all monthly bills that are paid out from car payments to utilities, cell phone bills, grocery bills, baby sitter, paying little Kenny for mowing grass (example), and so on. The point is, every expense needs to be added up. Once you have that total expense minus the amount from your monthly gross salary.

That amount is your household asset and what can be spent. Don’t get excited and think I’m going to go shopping. It doesn’t mean you can freely spend money. You must budget, watch how you spend, and not over spend. The best plan of action is to determine a safe figure of funds that can be placed into a savings account for a rainy day fund or for a retirement fund. Again, speaking with a well-respected financial investor can be of service as he or she can provide the best and legal aspects of how to move forward and what will work the best for your family needs.

Have a great day and a profitable 4th quarter!

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Filed under Business, Consumer Help, Finances

Shopping for a cell phone part 2

woman showing cell phone by imagerymajestic / freedigitalphotos.net

woman showing cell phone by imagerymajestic / freedigitalphotos.net

Let us say that cell phone buyers have determined one of two things after making the purchase of a cell phone; either 1) purchased the unlock feature or 2) they have chosen the contract option. Either one of those choices are okay things to do. The point to the matter, every cellular provider has different cellular packages whether they are by monthly contract or 2-year service and it is best to price matters out first and determine a budget guide line before signing any type of agreement. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • how many minutes do you actually plan on using your phone every month
  • will you be spending more time voice, text, data, or a combination of all three
  • do you need a plan with international calling included
  • what type cell phone accessories will you be needing; are they specific such as batteries, memory, bluetooth devices for business or do you need to look at phone cases
  • do you need phone insurance on the type phone you have purchased

Considering that phone insurance covers a situation of cell phones being lost, stolen, or damaged it can be beneficial to invest in. BUT before obtaining think about the two options mentioned what is that phone used for and how much was paid on that phone. How will the phone be used, in other words are you paying for it or is your employer paying for it in your place of employment. If it is the latter then obviously there will be cell phone insurance coverage. If you have a business that is another reason to obtain insurance coverage. If you are going to be using a cell phone for emergency purposes and the cell phone price is under $100 paying insurance per month may not be worth considering for your cell phone.

The goal of having a cell phone is to obtain it for your specific needs and ONLY your needs. Some persons will use it for emergency needs, some will use it for business, and some will use it for family. There are others that have gotten cell phones for all of the above. The point is everyone has different motivation for cell phone shopping and that is why the above helpful guides have been shared to give insight on how to ease into the shopping for new cell phone buyers.

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Shopping for a cell phone part 1

woman w cell phone

woman showing cell phone by imagerymajestic / freedigitalphotos.net

It was not until a few days ago I actually made a decision on a phone that was perfect for my needs. How I did it was beginning to ask the following questions about the cell phone:

  • Make/model of the phone
  • speed of the phone – can it handle just 3g or also manage 4G
  • what type of memory does it come with and can it be expanded to a larger amount
  • what is the battery life – how long until recharge
  • phone interface – how easy to learn, ability to store data, can new users pick up easily
  • cell phone price – both contract price and 2 year price

The above list I used including reading all of customer reviews that had purchased cellular phone types. I did take notes using either my notepad in the computer or even a spread sheet to keep everything neatly laid out for comparison. A helpful way I managed to locate reviews is two ways. The first is to use You Tube; go onto the website then enter in the type cell phone you would like to review and tons of reviews will appear. You can then review all of them one by one. It might seem overboard but it does pay off when listening to others thoughts.

The second review help I located is Google. How I used Google was to type in two comparison choices I want to review. In my case let’s say I want to compare an Iphone 6 with the Moto G; what I would type into Google is “compare iPhone 6 and Moto g” without the quotes then press enter. It will give you a listing of websites that do nothing but comparisons on cell phones. You can scan through the listing and pick on the link choices and view your comparison review.

The next section I have written is determining your best provider and I chose to write that as part 2.

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Windows 8 mp3 freeware experience part duex

In the second experience of using mp3 freeware for Windows 8, I tried out something called XM Play; it was a bit different. This free application took me awhile to get accustom to but I must say it’s nice but a little more advanced and unique. Something I noticed is the freeware is still simple when it installs. Even though it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as Spider there is one different aspect of placing a file onto it I did not notice nor did I try with the other application.

Just as Spider has the ability to access files and folders for adding mp3 music this one is rather interesting as you can relocate the application within your monitor so it is near your music directory let us say and if there is a selection you would like to add just select those items within the Windows Explorer then drag and drop onto XM Play. By drag and dropping the mp3 as you wish XM Play will automatically begin onto the next one as they are in the order placed.

I have been testing this mp3 application while writing this article as well and notice it does not take a lot of cache to use so it is not a memory hog. As I mentioned previously the size of the interface is fairly small so windows can be opened next to it on your monitor and viewed easily. I am writing this article on a laptop with the Internet browser open and it is quite easy to manage. The only thing I have not attempted is browsing with a playlist going in the background. My entire reason for seeking a Winamp replacement was 1) I was in need as Winamp could not manage the 32-bit but 2) I work during the day and I would like to have something other than the television playing. This will allow me to have my collection of play lists playing in the background or I can choose from one of my many audio compact discs.

This mp3 freeware is surely a benefit just as the first review so I believe I will use them both a bit longer to determine what works the best before making the final choice. Do make note that whether you chose Spider or XM Play you can find them both for free just by doing a search using Google. I hope I have helped persons that use Windows 8 or 8.1 operating service and are in need of an mp3 freeware player.

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Filed under Consumer Help, Technology

Windows 8 mp3 player experience part 1

Well now I have some interesting news. First for the not so good, I discovered that Winamp 32-bit does not run well on Windows 8 as it constantly locks. I actually turned to the two player options that were on Windows 8 and was not impressed. The Windows Media player did not give me exactly the options I wanted and there was another music player that used something similar to a play list but I was not willing to set up an account. So with that being said, I decided it was time to set out on the quest and see what freeware is available for the Windows 8 operating system.

During the quest I uncovered a few rocks that showed Winamp being 64-bit but I was not impressed. The few times I made the attempt to download it directed me right to the 32-bit website. Again, I continued on my way and finally I came across two freeware items that seem to be exactly as required. The two applications are freeware. first application discussed in part one is called Spider Player.

I actually was impressed with this mp3 player because it is a user-friendly application, it installed easily. I like the interface and the ability that it allows me to set up my speakers including the balance and it also has various equalizer settings. There is even a drop down to select different options for the type of music that would go best if you don’t wish to manually change the equalizer; it can automatically do it for you. Plus, you can save those changes so it will remember the next time Spider is opened.

Once you have done all of the settings, there is an open window below the equalizer than below it a plus and minus sign along with a few other options. By using them, it will allow you to open files and or folders of choice music to listen to. It is very easy to find the directories within and I have noticed how smoothly it runs in comparison to the Winamp program. Spider actually runs a lot faster and I have been able to multi-task; I’m using it while writing this article actually. *smile*

Oh and something I really like is you will have this little green icon with a black spider on your task bar that is very simple to just click and it will automatically open for you. Something else that I have learned to do using this program is to open more than one mp3 at a time, hold down the Control key and left click on the mp3. When you have clicked on all you want then click on okay. Everything will then open and to begin the playing, double-click on the mp3 you wish to start with. It’s a wonderful application to use and easy to learn especially those who have upgraded to Windows 8. Enjoy!

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Filed under Consumer Help, Technology

Time to put a stop to decibel noise

I do not have an issue with boom boxes, stereos, etc. But where I draw the line is when they become a daily disturbance to what I need to do in my home on a daily basis. I work from home to make a living and pay my bills. I am a disabled person and I do not have the ability to work outside of the house like those who can drive and have the privilege to get a driver’s license.

With that being said, I have to rely on my skills and my computer to do my job. What I am starting to hear a lot of within the neighborhood are persons who do not seem to think about those outside of the home and/or building they are in when playing a radio or sub-woofer. Prime example, I am inside my home and I am effected by the bass sound of music taking coming out of them. The noise causes a disturbance for my type of working with clients as I need to be on the phone frequently and it also causes the disturbance to just think clearly.

I have found a decibel article that discuss this matter and it discusses how low bass tones can actually cause serious headaches; I have to wonder if that is why I am starting to have migraines more often. I feel decibel range and the damage it can cause needs to be made more public especially in the health news so everyone is more aware of the damage that can be caused to the human ear drum.

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Filed under Chronic migraines, Consumer Help, Health

Dog jerky is being recalled again

Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here we go again. This type of recall took place once before with a dog jerky recall and it was all due to the same factor; toxic ingredients. It raises a few prime questions and the main question is why is it that the nation of China cannot clean their manufacturing plants that they do this type of production in. Secondly, why is it American companies are obtaining ingredients from an overseas company that is unable to perform safe production that can be consumable by our canine animals?

It is quite disturbing to know there are errors taking place and what is being digested yet nothing seems to be done about it from the companies here in the states. They are not correcting who they do business with. Why is that? Do they care about consumers or their canine friends? Do they care about the profit margin and making the monthly bonus? It would seem the answer is more the latter as there have been no changes since this is the second time this issue has taken place and once again the United States has gotten this warning.

I just discovered something earlier today that I did not know in regards to a company that makes dog food and I am not happy about it. Ever heard of the company Purina? I’m sure you have. They might say made in United States or USA but did you know that they obtain an ingredient from China to put into their dog treats? It raises the question what else is this company doing to cheat the consumer and what else is this company that can harm our pets?

When something states “Made in U.S.A.” I believe that phrase to be fully in tact and not false. Now I need to question everything on every company when it comes to consumption especially dog treats that are given to my pets. I highly suggest every pet owner be watchful, speak with their vet frequently if they find something not quite right with Fido and be an advocate on this matter.

Toxic jerky treats linked to more than 1,000 dog deaths.

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Filed under Consumer Help, Current News

ObamaCare will cut work hours – Patient CARE is a silver lining

ObamaCare will cut work hours – Patient CARE is a silver lining.

Finally something has come about that will pull control from the Federal government and hand it back to the American people where it belongs!

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Filed under Conservative Chatter, Consumer Help