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4th of July Savings

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 22nd June 2015

The Fourth of July is all about red, white and blue… so why does it end up costing so much green?  From patriotic clothing to yummy picnic treats to parking fees, there are hidden expenses around every corner.  BeFrugal.com has some great ideas.

1.    Take advantage of free summer outdoor activities to have fun. Some ideas include face paint, sidewalk chalk, hula hooping, running through the sprinkler, having a water balloon toss, and tossing the ball around at your nearby neighborhood park or school field.

2.    Attend a free event. Listen for activities held at parks and attractions near you. Some cities have free concerts and many have public fireworks displays.

3.    Instead of buying new clothes with patriotic colors, shop your closet. Look for anything starred, striped or red, white & blue.

4.    Don’t give into buying unnecessary items. Often at public firework displays there are goodies for sale like food and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Pack the kids’ favorite treats and toys instead of purchasing new stuff.

5.    To keep the costs of entertaining down, hold a pot luck meal and ask guests to bring their own beverages if you are hosting a gathering. Buy items like plastic cutlery and paper plates online to take advantage of free shipping offers plus use online promo codes and earn cash back – all on the same transaction. Also look at your nearby grocery store’s weekly ads to see the sales and prepare your coupons before going to the grocery store.

Stay safe and have a great 4th!

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Staying Above Water, Staying Hydrated And Why Is It So Crucial

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 19th May 2015

Today’s guest post hits the spot with information about staying hydrated.

Your body relies on water for functioning; water is the key element to our survival. Water makes up more than half of your body weight.  Each and every cell, tissue and organ in your body depends on the powerful properties of water to function properly, your body uses water to maintain its Homeostasis, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is a core ingredient for optimum health.

When going about our daily routines, our bodies rids itself of water each and every day.  When use the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe, when you exercise or in the heat of the summer months you tend to lose water at an even faster rate. Vomiting, fever and diarrhea can also lead to significant fluid loss. If you don’t replenish the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration consist of:

  • Diminished or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • No tears when crying

Please do not wait until you recognize symptoms of dehydration to get help. Dehydration warning signs are difficult to recognize when you are already dehydrated, and pay close attention to those of the older age groups. Be proactive in the prevention of dehydration, by drinking plenty of water.

There are multiple recommendations regarding daily water consumption. Most generally people have been advised that they should be drinking 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is an attainable goal for most individuals. However, various individuals need different amounts of water to maintain hydrated. Generally healthy people can stay adequately hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, less than 8 glasses of water may be enough. Other people may need significantly more than 8 glasses of water each day.

Those individuals that are at a higher risk of dehydration include those who get a lot of exercise, have certain medical conditions, are ill, or are unable able to get an adequate amount of fluids during the span of the day. Older adults are also at greater risk, because you age your brain may be unable to sense dehydration and relay the signals for thirst.

If you are worried that you may not be drinking enough water, observe your urine output. If your output is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are probably are staying well hydrated.

There are times you may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking, especially if you:

  • Have certain medical conditions, such as kidney stones  or bladder infection
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are going to be outside during elevated temperatures
  • Are going to be active or exercising
  • Have a fever, or have been vomiting or are experiencing diarrhea
  • Are on a weight lost diet.

Water is the best choice for staying hydrated. There are a variety of  drinks and foods that can assist in providing you with an adequate amount of water, so that you can get the amount of water that you need, but some of these other options tend to add  many extra not needed, unhealthy calories from sugar to your diet.

If you feel that water can not be your only option, due to its tasteless flavor, drinks like fruit and vegetable juices, milk and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water you should get each day. Even caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea and soda, count toward your daily water intake to a certain limit.  It is best to limit caffeinated drinks, as caffeine is a diuretic and tends to cause some people to urinate more frequently, or feel anxious or jittery. A moderate amount of caffeine, 200 to 300 milligrams (about the amount in 2 to 4 8-ounce cups of coffee), is not harmful for a majority of people. Another option for those looking to incorporate more hydrating foods into their diets, should know that water can also be found in fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, tomatoes and lettuce, and in soup broths.

Generally water is all that is needed to maintain good hydration on the most part. However, if you are planning on exercising at a high intensity for an extended period of time, a sports drink may be of help because it contains carbohydrates that can prevent low blood sugar. Sports drinks can also help replace lost electrolytes if you spike a fever, have been vomiting or are experiencing diarrhea.

When choosing a sports drink, choose wisely, as they are often high in calories and may contain high levels of sugar and sodium.

Recap on How to Stay Hydrated

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Invest in  a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap rather than buying bottled water, which is expensive and  causes plastic bottle waste.
  • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make it a priority to make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.
  • Schedule your water drinking, if you have a hard time remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water every hour or so.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s economical too!

Here is a great recipe I found for making an all-natural orange flavored homemade sports drink.

·         1 quart of water (we use distilled water)

·         2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup (optional)

·         1/2 teaspoon of Sea salt

·         1 pint orange juice

·         Juice from 1 lemon

Directions

Heat 1/2 cup of the water to boiling, remove from heat, add honey and sea salt, stir until dissolved. Add the remaining water to a pitcher, add the honey water, orange and lemon juice, stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to drink.

+ Stu Lieberman has been writing about Medical, Health and Beauty Supplies for 3 years; from Vitamins and Supplements to Therapy Equipment to Online Medical Supplies.  Stu uses MedicalSupply123.com for all his personal medical needs.

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Play It Again Sports

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 15th May 2015

We’ve all been there – wanting to exercise and never finding the time, thinking equipment is too expensive, and worried that our investment will never be used. Play It Again Sports makes the initial outlay reasonable and encourages you to try something new. If you can never make it to the gym this is a great place to buy a stationary bicycle, treadmill, or weights. For a fraction of the cost, see if this option works for you. Sometimes a small investment makes a big difference in your health, plus you might be able to sell it back if this isn’t your type of workout.

Knowledgeable salespeople know all the right items and how to best fit your child for a glove or bat. Kids pass through sports crazes quickly and there is no reason to pay full price when they will only be playing for a few months. Check with your local store to see how they can help you fundraise for your team.

Now Play It Again Sports also carries some never used items they picked up at reduced prices during  manufacturers closeouts.

This store is a good resource for  ski season or for walking off those extra pounds indoors for next swimsuit season.

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Mother’s Day is Almost Here

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 8th May 2015

There are so many mothers these days. Between moms, grand-moms, step-moms, step-grandmoms, moms-in-law, step moms-in-law, surrogate moms, egg donors moms, birth moms, and Heather has two moms, make this day special with choices tailored to your mom or moms.

If my own mom were here she would be so happy to see me featured  in GoBankingRates.com advice to mothers on saving money bit.ly/1Ihv9ad.  She would also be laughing at how it was her advice that eventually seeped in and made me into The Frugal Diva. As a Nature Loving Mom, a day at Descanso Gardens would have been her idea of perfection.

Here are some ideas for other types of moms on Mother’s Day

Art Lover Mom reads the Calendar section first, collects catalogs, and thought your first grade drawings were influenced by Kandinsky. Take her to the local art museum and have a bite at the cafe.

American History Buff Mom knows the name of every U.S. President, fact checked your homework, and easily quotes what happened on this day fifty years ago.   Head out to the a historical site in your city and have a picnic nearby.

Environmental Mom recycles everything, knows global warming is not a hot flash, and uses both sides of the printer paper.  Spend the day helping out at a beach clean up or food bank.

Design Mom knows what is the new black this year,  how to use Photoshop to make your holiday pictures more interesting, and only sees French films.  Take an architectural tour of your city.

Sports Mom was always at little league and knows all the baseball stats. Take her out to the ball game for some peanuts and cracker jacks.

Spiritual Mom stays flexible, eats vegetarian, and believes that meditation will solve all your problems.  Take her to a yoga class and then to the newest vegan spot.  Sit outside afterwards and chant OM (almost spells MOM).

Let me know if you have interesting ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.

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What To Buy In May

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th April 2015

From Mother’s Day to Memorial Day, May is a busy month for retailers and shoppers alike. In addition to being the unofficial start of the summer, it also marks the start of spending more time outdoors, and that can lead to additional spending. But, before you purchase a new grill or try on summer apparel, you’ll want to read DealNews’ latest monthly buying guide, which reveals the best (and worst) products you can buy this month.

From mattresses to mobile devices, here are the Best and Worst Things to Buy in May: http://dealnews.com/features/what-to-buy-in-may/

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Military Discounts

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th April 2015

CouponLawn.com is a deal based site that offers coupons and money saving resources. They have just released the largest publicly accessible list of companies that offer discounts exclusively to active military members, veterans and their families. Unlike other hard to navigate smaller lists available online, users can sort their list according to the company name, discount amount and category with an added search function that lets users find exactly what they are looking for. This master guide can be found on their site at http://couponlawn.com/special/400-discounts-for-military-veterans/.

Here’s another awesome resource from Gift Card Granny. She has compiled an exhaustive list of 133 military discounts – just in time for summer fun.  It’s a little way of saying thanks to those who serve. Included are ways to save for veterans, all active branches and, in some instances, the families who stand behind them. Participation may vary at different locations, so check first!

“133 Military Discounts”
http://www.giftcardgranny.com/blog/military-discounts/

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Mother’s Day Shopping Tips

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 28th April 2015

Great guest post for Mother’s Day shoppers!

Seasonality doesn’t just affect the weather; prices across a wide range of products can change on a month-to-month basis as demand fluctuates. Considering millions of consumers will shop for Mother’s Day gifts this week, being aware of these best and worst buys can help you make smarter purchasing decisions that delight Mom and keep your budget intact. Take a look at these worst buys and consider gifting a best buy for Mom.

WORST
Sadly, many go-to gifts for Mom represent the worst buys of the season! Avoid these cliche gifts in favor of better buys.

Flowers – Mother’s Day is the third busiest day for florists behind Valentine’s Day and Christmas, and over 66 percent of consumers plan to buy a bouquet for Mom this year. However, you’ll pay more for flowers now than you will just a couple weeks from now, making them a bad buy. Labor, supply and demand are all factors contributing to this price increase, as florists have to fulfill a high volume of orders in a very short time frame. If you have your mind set on flowers, opt for a flowering plant or head to the grocery store for cheaper prices.

Jewelry – Something sparkly may seem like just the thing for Mom, but it’s definitely not the right choice for your wallet. According to some sources, select jewelry items actually cost more around Mother’s Day despite being advertised as a sale price. That’s because demand is high: an estimated $3.6 billion will be spent on jewelry for Mom, and retailers want to compete for your business without cutting into their profit margins.

Perfume – Like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Mother’s Day is another popular occasion for fragrances. Though you’ll likely score free samples or a free tote with your purchase, you won’t find any good deals on fragrances until after Mother’s Day. Of course, you may never buy designer perfume again after you read this exposé from DailyFinance. Those who receive a specific request for fragrance should check discount retailers like TJMaxx and Marshall’s for up to 50-percent off designer and name-brand scents.

BEST
It is possible for Mom to enjoy gifts that don’t sparkle or smell sweet! According to the same NRF survey, practicality is highly valued by both consumers and their mothers this year. Enjoy these gift ideas that both your mom and your bank account will love.

Gift Cards – There’s nothing more practical than giving Mom the gift of choice, and the stats agree: over 43 percent of consumers will buy gift cards for their mothers this year. Avoid paying full price by ordering cards from GiftCardGranny.com, where you can save up to 25-percent off face value. For example, you can score an Ann Taylor gift card for 25-percent off, or gift Mom with a SpaFinder gift card for 21-percent off.

Experiences – Your mom likely has everything she needs and wants, so gifting her with yet another coffee mug or ceramic tchotchke just creates clutter. Consider the gift of an experience — a popular choice this year, as consumers are expected to spend $1.5 billion — by purchasing a daily deal through Groupon, LivingSocial or Amazon Local. You can treat your mom to a spa day, wine tasting or horseback riding adventure for over 50-percent off. You can even schedule her a free makeover at Sephora, where experts provide complimentary makeup and skin consultations, plus provide deluxe samples.

Dinner – Consumer spending on dining out for Mom is expected to reach $3.8 billion this year. Before you empty your wallet on a pricey feast, show Mom how money-savvy you are by using restaurant coupons from apps like Coupon Sherpa to save on dinner. For example, you can shave $10 off any two entrees from Buca di Beppo, or score a free appetizer from Carrabba’s with entree purchase. You can also check Restaurant.com for discounted dining certificates for eateries in your area.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

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The Surprising Health Benefits of Chocolate

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 28th April 2015

Thank you for this guest post just in time for Mother’s Day Shopping!

The other day my daughter was looking for a snack and asked “is there any chocolate in this house?” I smiled and replied “you are so my daughter.”  I’ve been a chocolate lover for as long as I could remember. And now both of my girls are fans of the rich, sweet treat as well.

Yes, chocolate is full of calories and sugar. But, some chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can also deliver big health benefits.

Chocolate Supports Weight Loss. Studies have found that dark chocolate promotes satiety, so you feel fuller longer. In addition, it reduces cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. Eating chocolate can also enhance weight loss by about 10 percent, according to new research just published in the International Archives of Medicine.

For the study researchers divided volunteers into three groups. One group followed a strict low-carbohydrate diet. A second group followed the low-carbohydrate diet and also consumed 42 grams (about 1.5 ounces) of 81 percent dark chocolate per day. The remainder of the volunteers followed their regular diets.

The results showed that while both the low-carb and low-carb with chocolate groups lost weight, those in the chocolate group lost 10 percent more weight. Even better, the weight loss was maintained in the 3 weeks following the study, whereas the low-carb group saw the weight return.

Chocolate Lowers Risk of Stroke: Studies have found the consumption of chocolate is associated with a lower risk of stroke. In one study, over 37,000 Swedish men were tracked for over 10 years. It was discovered that the men in the study who ate the largest amount of chocolate, the equivalent of about one-third of a cup of chocolate chips per week, had a lower risk of stroke compared to those who did not consume any chocolate.

Chocolate Promotes Heart Health. Dark chocolate is rich in phenols and flavonoids, which help maintain normal blood pressure levels, keep your arteries healthy, and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. One study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that eating about 30 calories of dark chocolate a day helped to lower blood pressure after 18 weeks, without weight gain or other adverse effects.

It’s important to note that these health benefits where found with dark chocolate consumption. Milk chocolate does not offer the same protection. Look for dark chocolate containing at least 70% cacao content. The higher the percentage of cacao, the higher amount of antioxidants per serving.

And, when it comes to chocolate, a little goes a long way. In these studies only a small amount was consumed. Chocolate is loaded with sugar, fat, and calories. So, moderation is key. Aim for a quarter to a third of a cup each week.

Also remember that the sweet treat has caffeine. And, the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it holds. And, it contains another stimulant called theobromine which can cause sleeplessness. So, if you’re going to indulge, be sure you’ve got several hours until bedtime. Otherwise, you might find yourself unable to fall asleep.

Sources:

University of Copenhagen. “Dark Chocolate Is More Filling Than Milk Chocolate And Lessens Cravings.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2008.

International Press Release: Slim by Chocolate. Press Release. Institute of Diet and Health. Mar 2015

Larsson, SC, et al. Chocolate consumption and risk of stroke: a prospective cohort of men and meta-analysis. Neurology. 2012 Sep 18;79(12):1223-9.

Dirk Taubert MD, et al. Effects of Low Habitual Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure and Bioactive Nitric Oxide A Randomized Controlled Trial ,JAMA. 2007;298:49-60.

Heptinstall, Stan PhD, et al. Cocoa Flavanols and Platelet and Leukocyte Function: Recent In Vitro and Ex Vivo Studies in Healthy Adults. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, June 2006; 47:S197-S205

This article is written by Lauren Kent the writer for Nutri-Health.com, an online High Quality Health Supplements and Health Store.  Assisting people and helping them find quality natural supplements and health products online is what Lauren has been doing for several years.  Nutri-Health.com carries Digestive Supplements to Probiotics to Joint Health products.

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Sprouts April Savings Support Earth and Autism Awareness

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 10th April 2015

Why The Frugal Diva loves Sprouts!

Healthy grocery store committed to inspiring customers to eat healthier and live a better life

This April, Sprouts Farmers Market is helping consumers celebrate Earth Month with sales on organic products, herbal supplements and earth-friendly cleaning products to inspire consumers to eat healthier and live better lives. April is also Autism Awareness Month, and Sprouts invites customers to round up their purchases for one week with all donations going to Autism Speaks to support local communities. A long-time supporter of autism charities, Sprouts has raised over $5 million dollars in the past five years.

Let Sprouts make your April earth-friendly and green.

Earth Month is a perfect time for consumers seeking a healthy lifestyle to shop for food and household products that are free of toxic pesticides and chemicals. Organic foods are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can deplete the soil of valuable nutrients and increase environmental degradation. A recent study found that organic agriculture had lower pesticides and higher levels of antioxidants than conventional agriculture.

“Parents know that providing foods that are grown without chemicals and using cleaning products that are toxin free helps to provide a healthy diet and safe home for their families,” said Janet Little, Sprouts’ nutritionist. “This April, Sprouts offers customers easy ways to go green, eat better and save money with incredible savings on products from organic foods made without GMOs to non-toxic cleaning products.”

Organic Sale – April 15 – 22: Stock up and dig into amazing savings on hundreds of organic items on sale throughout the store. From organic meat, dairy, produce, coffee, vitamins, body care and earth-friendly cleaning products – Sprouts offers great variety and great prices.

Clean Sweeps – April 1 – 22: Customers can win a high-efficiency washer, dryer and a $1,000 Lowe’s gift card. Additionally, 10 runners-up will receive a laundry basket filled to the brim with cleaning products from Seventh Generation to promote a non-toxic lifestyle. Enter to win in-store or at sprouts.com/cleansweeps.

Botanical Bliss – April 1 – 30: For the entire month of April, Sprouts will offer an interactive educational experience in the vitamin department designed to help consumers better understand herbs and their functionality. What better way to thank Mother Nature than to find your botanical bliss!

April is Autism Awareness Month.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys. In honor of Autism awareness month, Sprouts is providing an easy way for consumers to help support Autism Speaks.

Round Up – April 22 – April 29: Customers can simply ask to have their purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar or make a $1, $5 or $10 donation in support of Autism Awareness Month. Customers can also donated online sprouts.com/autism-awareness. One-hundred percent of the funds raised are donated to local organizations that provide services to the Autism community through a grant program with Autism Speaks.

For more information or to book an interview, please contact media@sprouts.com or call (602) 682-3173.

About Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market is a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices. We offer a complete shopping experience that includes fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, meat and seafood, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, natural body care and household items catering to consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Sprouts employs more than 18,000 team members and operates close to 200 stores in 12 states. For more information, visit www.sprouts.com or @sproutsfm on Twitter.

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Deal News For April

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 8th April 2015

With that highly anticipated tax return already on its way, April showers bring the best deals to savvy shoppers who know where to find them, so don’t get fooled!

To help save you money, here are the DealNews archives for sales, coupons, daily deals, and individual products to guide you in your quest to make the smartest purchases this month.

From Apple Watches to avocados, here are the Best and Worst Things to Buy in April: http://dealnews.com/features/what-to-buy-in-april/

They can also give you tips for  10 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund.

Happy shopping!

About DealNews:

DealNews is a deal-discovery website that lists the best online deals on consumer electronics, gadgets, computers, clothing, and more. DealNews’ mission is to inform consumers of the best online bargains offered by trustworthy stores. The Company relies on a team of expert editors and proprietary research tools to uncover 200+ of the web’s hottest deals, discounts, sales, and bargains every day. Founded in 1997, DealNews is headquartered in Huntsville, AL, with offices in Brooklyn, NY, and Dublin, Ireland.

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