Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How to Save Money on Groceries

     Retail stores and online stores have come along way as far as marketing their business and getting more customers. Innovation and technology had made it possible to effortlessly compare prices, provide coupons, manage orders, and make shopping easier for busy families. There are Walmart and Target that is famous for online pick-up. Instacart makes it possible to shop at the comfort of your home and have your own personal shopper. Sam's Club just recently announced its ambitious and yet impressive marketing plans: cashier-less store (Sam's Club Now).

     What is it about? Costumers will use a new Sam’s Club Now app to scan the items they are purchasing as you shop and there will be a final scan from a Sam's Club Now employee as you exit to complete your purchase. Furthermore,its plans will also include smart shopping lists that automatically update as you scan items, intelligent maps that serve as a guide as you navigate the store and hunt for the items on your list( includes) augmented reality and lastly, an addition of electronic shelf labels.

     It does make me wonder, how will it affect the prices? What does this mean to a regular family? While it does make shopping a lot easier, I know most moms agree that our top concern in keeping the budget is affordability.

 



There are a lot of ways we can save (amid innovation) and we just need to careful that sometimes comfort comes with a price. Meanwhile, here's smart ways to save at these stores: Walmart, Lowes, Groupon, and Aldi.

WALMART

Aside from the clearance and roll-back prices, take advantage of their online pick-up and free grocery pick-up. Not only you get to save time but it can significantly save your moolah. I know that I have poor control (working on it!). There's just too many things to see! I pretty much ends up convincing myself that I need an item and get out of the store with more than I intended to buy.

You can also take advantage of their free shipping if you are not in a big hurry.  I also save money on buying after season sale. But you have to make sure that you only buy what you will surely use for that particular season. I love after season shopping for Christmas and Halloween. I can get costumes for our girls for $5.00 each (sometimes less than that) and Christmas ornaments or wrappers for half-off (sometimes 75% off). If you are an avid coupon user, by all mean...use the coupons! But use it only for the items you truly use.

Earn cash back through Giving Assistant. Aside from earning 11% cashback, their coupon codes will also save you money! And you know what's great? YOU have the option to donate a portion of your cash back earnings to any one of 1.2 million 501(c)3 nonprofit and charitable organizations in the U.S.

Sign-up HERE or grab their button so you can be alerted on available cashback when you check-out!

LOWES

First of all, I love Lowe's customer service. They offer 10% military including veterans discount (just like Home Depot --but then again, I love Lowe's customer relations). You can also use competitors coupon (with approval from store management). Read on their statement HERE.

Take advantage of their Price Match Guarantee as well. You can also earn 4% cashback through the Giving Assistant and use their coupon codes.

GROUPON

I absolutely love Groupon! Some of the best memories my family had was purchased from Groupon deals. I kid you not! We went to Vegas for the first time with our kids and spent less that $100 for two nights, buffet for two included. We stayed at Circus Circus Hotel. Even though there is a resort fee, it is still a great deal! I used Groupon for salon experiences and learning experiences too!

Download an the app so you can watch for deals. Sign-up for email alerts because on top of the good deals, they do email you with coupon codes. Similarly, Giving Assistant gives you 7% cashback and coupon codes on goods and experiences.

ALDI

What's not to love at Aldi! You can eat organic and save money on gluten-free essentials at this store, From a mom with dietary restrictions, Aldi is such a blessing to our family. I have heard that you can even save more when you use Checout 51 and Receipt Hog app. I have not tried it yet but I know that stocking up on healthy items is easy with Aldi. The Intentional Mom shares a comprehensive cheat sheet on saving money at Aldi.




About Giving Assistant

    Giving Assistant is a platform that allows smart shoppers like you to earn cash back from their online purchases. Not only can shoppers earn cash back, but they can also choose to donate 1%-100% of their cash back to a nonprofit of their choice!  With over 3,000 partner brands (like at stores like Macy's, Sephora, Home Depot, Forever21, and Lululemon), Giving Assistant we offer high value, online coupon codes.

     Shoppers earn an average 10% cash back on all their purchases. They can keep it, or opt-in to donate as little as 1%, or 100% of their cash back earnings to absolutely ANY nonprofit. (A $100 online spend could result in a free $10 donation their favorite cause!)

Additionally, Giving Assistant have:


  •  A free browser extension, so making money (or donating it!) while you shop is completely automatic. 
  • A Certified B Corp (one of fewer than 2,500 in existence) so you know we’re a good-for-the-world company. 
  • An expansive frugal online shoppers that had raised over $4 million for over 18,000 good causes to date. 









Monday, October 29, 2018

Top 10 Superfoods for You and Your Kids

Frugal mom will agree that it is tough to completely get rid of processed foods in their daily menus. While we all know that processed foods are harmful as it can cause several health issues such as inflammation, it seems like processed foods are affordable. Even vegan families consume some sort of process foods like vegan meats and vegan cheeses.

It was hard for my family when we initially transitioned into a vegan and plant-based family. Truthfully, I will admit that I am not a hard-core vegan. There's a lot of debate on how a vegan should and must behave such as: not consuming or using any animal products including leather bags and cosmetics. Where do we draw the line? In my humble opinion, you do your best! Do not push your conviction to other families who do not have the same lifestyle. We did it for health and dietary reasons. Mainly for me but we decided to do it as a family. We also believe in studies that show the negative relationship of processed foods with behavioral problems and lower IQ's. Read the evidence-based studies HERE  and HERE.

Also, since I am being honest...we do fall-off the wagon too. Most especially when we attend birthday parties. Here's the thing, we want our children to have a healthy relationship with food.

It is really a balancing act.

If your kid needs it because his or her life depends on it ( I am talking about food allergies here), ignore me.

Experts say stick to 80/20 rule, being 80% as the plant-based or whole foods plant-based.

I would suggest providing our children with first and foremost a loving and supportive environment.  Offer foods optimal nutritious foods. Encourage physical activity.

We need to try our best momma's. Sometimes we turn our noses from a significant change. We convince ourselves that "we can't" change our families eating habits. We settle into knowing our kids won't eat vegetables. Just try moms!

Speaking of trying, there are superfoods that we can incorporate into our daily meals or school snacks. These superfoods are versatile you can mix it with stews, smoothies, veggie bowls, desserts, muffins, etc. All you need is creativity and Pinterest (your personal cookbook).






1. Flaxseed

According to Medical News today, flaxseeds are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidant (2017). Its seeds contain protein, lignans, and alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3 which is an essential fatty acid. These nutrients can lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Moreover, it is naturally gluten-free. Vegan families or individuals use this as an egg substitute as well. You can mix flaxseeds or flax meal with smoothies, muffins, homemade granola.

2. Quinoa

High in antioxidants, naturally gluten-free, nutrient and vitamin dense, and low in carbohydrates.

A cup of cooked quinoa contains:

Protein: 8 grams.
Fiber: 5 grams.
Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
Folate: 19% of the RDA.
Copper: 18% of the RDA.
Iron: 15% of the RDA.
Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
Potassium 9% of the RDA.
Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.

How can you incorporate quinoa? You can use them with Buddha Bowls (check Pinterest on Buddha bowls recipes and ideas), stews, Vegan Quinoa Soup, baking, and stir-fry's.

3. Black Beans

Black Beans can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, digestive issues, and diabetes. According to the WHF (World's Healthiest Foods), Black Beans contains 180 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per cup in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), copper, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, and iron. One cup serving of cooked black beans provided about one-third of a day's protein requirement.

Serving Suggestions: Black Bean Chili, Black Bean Vegan Soup, Black Bean Cakes, Black Beans and Rice,


4.Kale

 One cup of cooked Kale contains protein, fiber, minerals (phosphorous, potassion, calcium, and zinc). Vitamin A, C, and K. It also contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin responsible for the prevention of muscular degeneration and cataracts.

Serving suggestions: soups, stews, Kale Brownies, and Kale salad.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed with essential fatty acids, Protein, vitamins (A, B, E, and D), Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, niacin, and thiamine) and antioxidants. It is also naturally gluten-free! It supports metabolism and provides a boost in energy levels.

Suggestions: Sprinkle on yogurts (low in sugar) or non-dairy yogurt, chia pudding, sprinkle on oatmeal, baking goods, salad topping, and homemade granola.

6. Goji Berries

Goji Berries are anti-inflammatory, high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 1/4 cup of this superfoods contain:

100 calories
0 grams fat
3 grams fiber
13 grams sugar
4 grams protein
140 %  DV vitamin A
35–163 % DV vitamin C
100 % DV vitamin B2
91 %  DV selenium
24 % DV potassium
10–100 % DV iron
 4–10 % t DV calcium
18 amino acids (11 of which are essential)
 5 sources of healthy, unsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid Phytochemicals, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and polysaccharides

Serving Suggestions: Acai Bowls, Salads

7. Cinnamon

Benefits of cinnamon include the prevention of digestive problems, diabetes, and fungal infection.

Serving Suggestion: Low carb (GF if necessary) baked goods, mixed with tea or honey, or mix with a pancake.

8. Spirulina

Aside from cleansing and detoxification, Spirulina contains the highest concentration of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll eliminates toxins and heavy metals such as DDT, PCBs, mercury, cadmium, and lead. Spirulina prevents gastrointestinal problems and aids in fighting infections. It also helps in weight loss as it aids in burning the fat during exercise. Rich in antioxidants, spirulina can also lower blood sugar levels.

NOTE: If you have PKU disease, pregnant or with auto-immune disease; please consult your primary care physician before taking any spirulina supplement. Read on harmful effects HERE.

9. Coconut

The healthy saturated fat in coconut can not only boost weight loss, but it also has antifungal properties, beneficial for your hair, skin and brain functions.

Serving Suggestion: Baking and cooking goods, a teaspoon of Virgin Coconut Oil before meals, mix with your coffee.

10. Nutritional Yeast

Every vegan household has this superfood. Don't be turned off by its name and even if you are not vegan, nutritional yeast should be a staple in your pantry! Nutritional yeast contains the 18 amino acids! Additionally,  nine of those amino acids are essential ones that your body are not able to produce. It also provides compounds such as beta-1,3 glucan, trehalose, mannan, and glutathione, which can aid in immunity, reduced cholesterol levels, and cancer prevention.

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins (thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin)Which gives the boost to energy levels.

Serving Suggestion: Vegan cheese sauce, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, mix with scrambled eggs (for non-vegan), tofu scramble, mix with veggie nuggets.


DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician. Please consult with your doctor if you are considering taking supplements or a major change in your diet. I suggest incorporating these healthy super foods in whole form, organic or food form. Take caution in taking Spirulina ( best if you will involve your doctor most especially if you have an underlying condition).










References:

How Healthful is Flaxseeds? by Medical News Today

Benefits of Quinoa

World's Healthiest Foods

Kale Nutrition

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Goji Berries

13 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Benefits of Spirulina

Top 10 Benefits of Coconut Oil

Benefits of Nutritional Yeast








Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Healthy and Happy Living Link Party #174


Welcome to the Healthy and Happy Living Link Party # 174


Join our HEALTHY and HAPPY LIVING LINK PARTY PINTEREST BOARD .Collaborate with us and we would love for you to pin with us. Pin your healthy and happy living related post , recipes, giveaways, reviews and more! If you like to join our collaborative board,  you can email me at abountifullove (at)gmail (dot)com or comment below! 
  We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making every week so amazing! Keep sharing your healthy and inspiring posts with us.  If you are new here , we are so glad to have you!! Have fun and make new friends! I appreciate each and everyone of you for joining us.





The Healthy Living link party is all about living a healthy and happy life. Link up your posts related to healthy and happy living. Recipes that are low carb, low calorie, paleo, keto, organic, frugal and healthy are all welcome. Tips are also greatly appreciated! We believe that happy and content living are essential to being healthy.

We all pick our week's feature, so don't forget to stop by their blogs!

 Here’s what your hosts have been up to this week


 A Bountiful Love  





Day By Day In Our World  




    SIMPLIFIED Rules of the Party: 


    • Link up only healthy living related post --> recipes, tips, guidelines, giveaways, etc.  
    •  Visit your linky neighbor. Comment or share on your favorite social media platform.




    Disclaimer: . Emails are obtained ONLY TO NOTIFY participants of the next link-up and for that reason only. You may opt out of these emails by unsubscribing from them at any time. If other bloggers chose to share your content and your graphic through this link up, the hosts of Healthy Living Link Party are NOT responsible for any article or images that was use illegally.

     Let's party, link up below!




    Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    Healthy and Happy Living Link Party #173


    Welcome to the Healthy and Happy Living Link Party # 173


    Join our HEALTHY and HAPPY LIVING LINK PARTY PINTEREST BOARD .Collaborate with us and we would love for you to pin with us. Pin your healthy and happy living related post , recipes, giveaways, reviews and more! If you like to join our collaborative board,  you can email me at abountifullove (at)gmail (dot)com or comment below! 
      We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making every week so amazing! Keep sharing your healthy and inspiring posts with us.  If you are new here , we are so glad to have you!! Have fun and make new friends! I appreciate each and everyone of you for joining us.







    The Healthy Living link party is all about living a healthy and happy life. Link up your posts related to healthy and happy living. Recipes that are low carb, low calorie, paleo, keto, organic, frugal and healthy are all welcome. Tips are also greatly appreciated! We believe that happy and content living are essential to being healthy.

    We all pick our week's feature, so don't forget to stop by their blogs!

     Here’s what your hosts have been up to this week


     A Bountiful Love  





    Day By Day In Our World  


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    SIMPLIFIED Rules of the Party: 

    • Link up only healthy living related post --> recipes, tips, guidelines, giveaways, etc.  
    •  Visit your linky neighbor. Comment or share on your favorite social media platform.




    Disclaimer: . Emails are obtained ONLY TO NOTIFY participants of the next link-up and for that reason only. You may opt out of these emails by unsubscribing from them at any time. If other bloggers chose to share your content and your graphic through this link up, the hosts of Healthy Living Link Party are NOT responsible for any article or images that was use illegally.

     Let's party, link up below!


    Friday, October 5, 2018

    Why Reading Needs to be Regularly and Productively

    As soon as children enter Pre-school, you will notice how much their teachers encourage reading. Reading to young kids is fundamental to early language skills and it promotes early literacy.  Reading promotes creativity and imagination (De-Vito, n.d.) The promotion and encouragement of reading in our homes are essential for when they progress in school. Likewise, regular shared reading and productively reading to our young children is as vital.






      Regular shared reading, as well as the home support, is beneficial for young kids. Research such as the study conducted to show the relationship of parental involvement to children's mathematical performance and mathematics anxiety presented how the interaction and home support can reduce kid's math anxiety (Vukovic, 2013). The frequency and consistency of reading books to pre-school children and shared book reading had a "moderate-to-strong relationship with measures such as emergent literacy, children’s language growth, and reading achievement" (Levy, R.; Hall, M. & Preece, J., p. 125, 2018).

      While several types of research support the benefits of reading, it is important to note that reading takes time to develop. We can not force our kids to learn how to read at a young age. We need to foster a love of reading and remember that reading is fun but also a journey.

    How can we cultivate their love of reading? How can we regularly and productively read with our kids?

    1. Cultivate by example.
    The study by Levy et al., (2018) also states that older children are more motivated to read when they see their parents read. We can not teach and preach if they do not see a good example in us.

    2. Availability of books
    Over a period of time, you will start to notice what type of books and stories they will be interested in. There was a time when our youngest was into ballet. She loved reading anything ballet. There was a time when all she wanted to read was about sharks. Visit the library often or purchase used books on Amazon.

    3. Reading routine and a reading area
    We started with bedtime reading. It was a scared routine for us. It was my bonding time with them. Then we started reading kid-friendly devotionals. Trust me that as your kid grows up, they may move away from bedtime reading. BUT, you will find them reading at any time.

    4. Read with your child
    This is where productively read comes. Don't just read for the sake of reading. Engage with them. Our girls love when I change my voice to match the characters in the story. Ask them questions! Not only to check on their comprehension but to interact. You will be surprised at how your kids see different things and you will be mesmerized with their perspective.

    5. Try to provide appropriate reading level books.
    Scholastic's five finger rule is perfect. It provides a general idea on appropriate book level reading.


     0-1 unknown words = book is too easy 
     2-3 unknown words = book is just right 
     4-5 unknown words = book is too difficult

    Right track reading also provides a good stage of reading development.




    One of the reasons why some parents fail to read to their young children is the lack of time. That is one of the things I love about this book. It is a collection of five-minute stories that reinforce morals and values. It is also a perfect on-the-go storytime for kids. This book is a collection of Veggie Tale's funny adventures that foster values such as being patient, being responsible, loving others, and doing their best. The illustrations are very colorful and engaging. Even though it is meant for five-minute, don't let that stop you from interacting with them. When time allows, the book is a great tool for conversation and a teachable moment. The age suggestion is for 3-6 years old. However, I think that 3 to 10 years old will enjoy the Very Veggies Five-Minute Stories.


    About the book:

    Age Range: 3 - 6 years 
    Grade Level: Preschool - 1 
    Series: VeggieTales 
    Hardcover: 176 pages 
    Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals 

    DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products/services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it in my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this is in accordance with FTC guidelines.





    References:

    Vukovic, R. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2012.693430 

    Levy, R.; Hall, M. & Preece, J. (2018) Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1183597


    Don't forget to pin and share!