Insight News

May 27th


Coupons, Discount Clubs, Rewards…Oh My!

Coupons, Discount Clubs, Rewards…Oh My!
I just finished tucking my Sally Beauty 20% Discount Coupon in my official coupon pouch. I usually go to Sally’s for hair products, so I joined their frequent shopper club. Although they “sell” you the membership for $5, it’s essentially free because they give you a $5 certificate to use the following month. In addition, you receive monthly discount coupons and other perks.

I am feeling so proud of myself these days. See, I used to be one of those folks who clipped coupons every Sunday, but never had them on hand when I got to the checkout register. Those days are over! Now I am always ready to save money, even on impromptu shopping trips because I carry my handy coupon pouch in my purse at all times (bonus: it’s a repurposed clear, zippered pouch, so I can easily see inside to be certain I have all my coupons). It has become as important as my wallet.

What happens in Vegas…Can be pretty cheap

What happens in Vegas…Can be pretty cheapWhile my husband and I are not into casino gambling --it goes against our laws of penny-pinching-- we do, however, really like to snag a deal wherever it may be found. This time we happened to find one we could not pass up in Vegas. We just returned from our first official family vacation and had a wonderful time. To be honest, it was not our intention to head west, but it turns out that this was the best online deal out there (and not that much more expensive than heading up to Brainerd and other popular Minnesota vacation destinations). So if you are looking for a family-friendly getaway that is relatively easy on the wallet, then Viva Las Vegas!

This was supposed to be a big summer for us. Our original plan was to go to Europe, but when our plans fell through we were scrambling to come up with a vacation-plan B, to console our disappointed kids (and their even more disappointed parents). Not wanting to spend oodles of cash-still planning to do Europe next year-we began looking online at cool places in Minnesota that we could reach by car. We were quite surprised at the cost of many of these Minnesota hot spots, and even more surprised to find a lot of them booked solid! That’s when we made the crucial decision to expand our search.

Time for a Change-Simple and Cheap Ways To Update

Time for a Change-Simple and Cheap Ways To Update
Are you ready for a change in your home décor? With autumn around the corner, that’s always my cue to do something new. Play around with simple, low-cost ideas and you can breathe new life into your home.

Change the flow of your home by rearranging the furniture. Take the furniture off the wall and don’t be afraid to float your sofa in the center of the room. Make sure that the seating arrangement invites intimate communication without having to yell across the room.

Display your very favorite items. What good does it do for you to keep your favorite vacation or heirloom treasures wrapped in plastic and tucked away in the closet? Take them out and proudly show off the things that you really like. Whether it’s a special vase or a dainty dish, simply select a safe display spot, and you will be guaranteed to smile each time you pass by it.

A back to school essential wisdom

A back to school essential wisdom“Have you started/finished your school shopping yet?” Most likely you have either asked or been asked that question by now. With the start of school around the corner for most kids, it’s an obvious question. School supply lists are now posted everywhere-at schools, on their websites, and at local stores. Retailers are featuring special sales and coupons for everything from underwear to winter coats. Yet, there is one essential back-to-school supply that isn’t sold in stores. It’s wisdom. New notebooks, pencils, and school clothes mean nothing if we send our kids off to school without challenging them to do their best; listen to and respect the school staff, put forth their best effort, and avoid trouble (and trouble-makers). Let’s get the school year off to a good start by reviewing a few aspects of wisdom. After all, it’s the most important tool for school and for life.

Save money - Buy less

Save money - Buy lessLast Night I stayed up too late watching the addicting cable television show, “Clean House”. Hosted by the quick-witted actress, comedienne, Miss Niecy Nash, the show sets out to rescue homeowners from overflowing clutter that has taken over their homes-and their lives. The families apparently struggle with buying and hoarding, regardless of whether or not they need it. Although your home may not be a candidate for the “Clean House” show (yet), most of us have been guilty of buying things we don’t really need or want. If left unchecked, this issue can turn your home into a dumping ground, and drain your bank account and your peace. Here are a few money-saving (and common sense) questions to ask yourself before hitting the stores and bringing more stuff into your living space.

Learning to Stay: The 12 Keys

Learning to Stay: The 12 Keys“Learning to Stay is a book of self-discovery, change, growth and transitions. It’s intended to restore your mind and relationships to wholeness, thus creating harmony and peace within your soul… Through personal development and mentorship, I’ve discovered ways to change my limiting beliefs that manifested through undesirable behaviors. .. My passion is to prove that anyone, no matter who you are, can change and be a whole person.” -- Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 1-3)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve literally been inundated with books offering dating advice to the African-American community. I suppose this cottage industry of love gurus has sprung up in response to a need for more stable relationships, evidenced by the fact that over 80% of black kids are currently being raised in single parent households. Some of the authors have been credentialed therapists, others simply self-appointed survivors of the battle-of-the-sexes now ready to recount how they found fulfillment in a lurid tell-all.

The public library-A great place for students to camp out

The public library-A great place for students to camp outIt seems unbelievable that we have only about a month of summer vacation left! Where has the time gone? If you have kids, you may already be dreaming of the day when they are back in school, rather than being home and complaining about boredom. If all of the scheduled summer camps are over and you are nearly out of ideas for keeping your young ones out of trouble and mentally stimulated, check out all of the wonderful, free offerings at your local library.

Cool Book Clubs: Throughout the entire year, the Hennepin county library system has book clubs available for all ages and all interests; Kids Book Club, Kids Jr. Book Clubs, Teen-Only Clubs, Girls-Only Clubs, etc. For instance, your son, in the 4th through 6th grade can join the Guys Read Books Club and discuss preselected books which capture the interest of boys in his age group. The same options are, of course, available for your girls. This is an excellent way to build their reading and communication skills.
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