The April Referral Bonus - $5 per Referral


It's April, and Swagbucks has an early Easter treat in the form of a $5 bonus! Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash. 

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $5 bonus! Here's how: 

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before 5/1/17. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it! 

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you'll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you'll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but you'll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)! 

That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned hundreds of dollars for Christmas, birthday presents and even grocery shopping!

*You must receive your shopping SB before June 1st

Learn To Make The Right Financial Decisions For You and Your Family

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There is conventional wisdom which teaches that the cheapest way of doing something is to do it yourself. Why would you hire someone to do something that you are able to do? They, after all, are trying to make a living and their prices will be designed to elicit a profit. If you do something yourself, you don’t need to pay for your labour and there won’t be a mark up on any parts or materials that you might need. It seems like the better option but sometimes conventional wisdom is exactly that: a convention. Not all tradition is worth hanging on to and advice can become stale. Sometimes your time if worth more to you than the cost of hiring others to do things. If you run your own business, or if you have a job that pays quite well, it can be the case that taking time off to do other things does not make financial sense. In every aspect of life, you need to delegate and part of deciding which things to assign to others is calculating whether by doing so you can make the most of what you have.

Monster Trucks

  “A delightful family film”
— Andy Webster, New York Times


FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS AND GEAR UP FOR A FUN,
ACTION-PACKED RIDE
 
Hilarious and Heartfelt Family Film Hits the Road Just in Time for Easter on
Blu-ray™ Combo Pack April 11

Get the Film Two Weeks Early on Digital HD March 28

Get ready for “big, big fun” (Max Evry, Coming Soon) when the “perfect family film” (Mike Reyes, Cinemablend) MONSTER TRUCKS revs up on Blu-ray Combo Pack April 11, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Get in the driver’s seat two weeks early with the Digital HD release on March 28.
            
Tripp is a high school senior with a knack for building trucks who makes an incredible discovery - a gas-guzzling creature named Creech. To protect his mischievous new friend, Tripp hides Creech under the hood of his latest creation, turning it into a real-life super-powered Monster Truck. Together, this unlikely duo with a shared taste for speed team up on a wild and unforgettable journey to reunite Creech with his family. A fun-filled adventure that never slows down, MONSTER TRUCKS features a terrific ensemble cast including Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse), Jane Levy (Don’t Breathe), Thomas Lennon (“The Odd Couple”),
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Amy Ryan (Central Intelligence) and Rob Lowe (“Parks and Recreation”).

Get Kids Outside with Lucky the TurfMutt, And Their Health Can Benefit Too



Spring is here and it’s time to get outside with your family and have fun! You can inspire your child to get outside with the TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program.

Kids relate to Lucky, a real-life rescue dog, who calls on kids to become “backyard superheroes” who take care of green spaces while learning backyard science. Fun activities, e-books and more are available at www.TurfMutt.com.

And research shows that children reap health, social and personal benefits from spending time outside playing. Here are a few reasons why getting outside is such a great health benefit for kids:

Outdoor Essentials for Summer Entertaining from CB2

CB2 is the perfect place to grab modern, fun furniture for your outdoor spaces. Entertain in style with chic, functional pieces that give you every reason to host more summer dinner parties.
From patio furniture to outdoor rugs, start shopping our favorite outdoor pieces now.

Maya Wood Outdoor Chair
This slat back chair is handmade out of tabebuia rosea wood at a small family workshop in Mexico. The natural-feeling chair can be used in spaces of all sizes and easily folds up for quick storage.
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Earn Income From Home As A Stylist!

As an independent Stella & Dot stylist, you can set a flexible, manageable schedule while earning extra income.
Stella & Dot consultants represent a line of jewelry and accessories that is fashion-forward, high quality and adored by fashion editors and celebrities.

Each stylist provides one-on-one style consulting through trunk shows, helping guests find exactly what they’re looking for. Have a busy week? You decide when to host style parties and can even take them online, hosting from the comfort of home.

You’ll earn a 25-35% commission on any sales you make, and get up to 50% off for yourself. Plus, you’ll receive up to $350 in free products.

Whether you’re looking for a second part-time job, or something that can be done on the side while the kids are at school, Stella & Dot can provide you with the flexibility to be your own Style Boss.

Save Money On The Little Luxuries That You Just Can’t Live Without

When we’re on a budget, often we cut out all of the luxuries of our lives, to help save ourselves money. However, if you plan on budgeting for the long-term and saving money by doing so, you can’t cut all of the luxuries out of your life, can you? Well, you could do, but the chances are that there are some things that you just can’t live without. It’s not like you can go forever without topping up your makeup supply or buying new shampoo, is it?

So the best thing to do is to find ways to save money when it comes to buying those little luxuries that you just can’t live without. That way you don’t have to miss out on getting your hands on the luxuries that you need to enjoy life, such as your beauty products, for instance, but don’t have to break the bank buying them. Wondering what it takes to save money when it comes to buying your luxuries? Here’s everything that you need to know:

How To Avoid Straining Your Wealth When Entertaining Yourself

We all want to be entertained when we get in from work and school or simply when the weekend swings around and we can actually enjoy entire days to ourselves. Of course, with a whole world of entertainment possibilities out there, thanks to the progression of technology and the mass content era in which we live, the thought of picking any one way to entertain yourself might seem to be an overwhelmingly difficult problem to solve. This is certainly true when you’re constrained by money and, as much as you wish you could, you can’t buy every device or every form of entertainment out there. You need to be frugal.

The answer to entertaining yourself without straining your wealth isn’t quite as difficult as you might think. Compromise is always necessary when you’re budgeting your life, but you might not have to compromise to the extent that you’ve envisioned. There are always routes to getting forms of entertainment far more cheaply than most people realise. If you want to find cheaper ways of entertaining yourself, then here are some tips and tricks.

March Madness Collector's Bills


March Madness is here, and Swagbucks is celebrating with "Collector's Bills" worth bonus SB points that you can collect by simply searching the web. Collect them all, and you get an SB Bonus! Once you've collected enough SB, you can redeem them for gift cards to stores like Amazon, PayPal Cash, and many more!
Here's all the information for this week's March Madness Collector's Bills:
Search the web through the Swagbucks search starting Monday, March 27th through Friday, March 31st, and when you get a search win, you may get a special Collector’s Bill valued at either:
  • 5 SB
  • 8 SB
  • 10 SB
  • 12 SB
  • 22 SB
When you get a Collector’s Bill you’ll receive the value of the bill and the bill will be added to your “Collector’s Bills” ledger. Collect all 5 Collector’s Bills and you’ll instantly earn a 20 SB Bonus!
Keep searching til you find them all!

Kids Email Review & Giveaway!



This generation of children is surrounded by technology whether we like it or not. Kids are growing up watching adults on their smart phones, iPads, and laptops on a daily basis making it impossible for them not to be interested in using them as well. Safety is a big concern when kids are obtaining access to the internet, and there are many reasons to worry. Cyber predators are more common these days creating a whole new way for your child to be victimized. Now there is a solution to the problem! Give your kids safe and secure access to connect with friends and family without any fear of strangers getting involved. Kids Email has created a platform for kids to send and receive email to their own personal email address that not only can you monitor but you have full control of every aspect of it.




What is Kids Email?

KidsEmail.org was established in 2009. The concept and idea was written and designed to be a part of the solution to protect children and families online. KidsEmail.org was designed to provide safe email for kids.

Save More Cash By Reducing Food Waste With These Top Tips

So many people struggle to find enough cash to feed their families well. According to Gallup, Americans spend $151 per week on their groceries. That figure may seem quite high to you, and you may even wonder where it all goes. Sadly, a lot of it ends up in the bin. Many of the foods we buy have a short shelf life. They spoil or become unsavory after just a few days. Food waste is a big problem, and it costs us money!

So how you can you avoid food waste, and will it really cut down your weekly food bill? Yes, you can, and yes, it will. All it takes is a little conscientious planning and a few tweaks to your lifestyle. You may find you can eat healthier too.

Childproofing Your Bathroom In Five Easy Steps

Keeping up with kids can be hard work. While as parents we’ve developed eyes in the back of our head to keep up with little ones, it only takes a minute for them to wander off and get themselves into trouble. The bathroom is home to a number of hazards, so it’s one room to be particularly safety conscious off. Here’s how you can go about it.

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Moving Home as a Frugal Mommy

Frugality goes hand in hand with saving pennies and cutting costs, which is why buying a new home is often out of the question. After all, frugality is all about making the most of what you have and getting great value deals, making a home purchase one of the silliest things to associate with being frugal. However, there are times when we need to take the plunge and spend a lot of money or take out a loan for the sake of our children and their futures.

For instance, we might need to move home because we’re adding more members to the family, the local schools might not be very good, or we might get relocated for our job and, as a result, have to move to another city or state. But fear not! This handy guide is going to give you a great morale boost when it comes to saving money on moving costs. After finishing this short read, you’re going to be a lot more confident in your ability to move home on a budget.

Image: Pexels

Swago: Shopping Edition

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.
Here’s what you need to know to get your 200 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):
  • Shop Swago will begin on Monday, March 27th at 9am PT/12pm ET, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, March 31st at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

Free Spring Cleaning Planner

 Spring is finally showing its face around the world which is such a welcome sight for sore eyes. The only down side is now we need to think about organizing and cleaning. Careful planning can help get your cleaning started and finished efficiently, without a hitch. So if your looking for some fantastic resources to help you get in the spring cleaning groove look no further. My friends at Living Well Spending Less® have offered these great free resources:

Spring is here, and that means it’s time for Spring Cleaning! Our Spring Cleaning Planner is the perfect resource to help you get your house in ship-shape this spring. For a limited time, we are offering it for free at Living Well Spending Less®--just our little way of saying Happy Spring!
Not sure you’re ready to dive into spring cleaning just yet? Take our short and simple free quiz assessment and discover your cleaning personality!

The Thorium Stratagem




A shy financial analyst from New York visits his school chum in Moscow who works for the FSB, formerly known as the KGB. Discovering that corrupt US cabinet officials and a Russian billionaire plan to steal the technology from Russian scientists about a green energy source, the FSB Agent asks his American friend for help, hoping that together they can prevent the theft and avoid the conflict it would cause.

Thrust into the dangerous world of political intrigue, and not sure he will survive, the financial analyst must overcome his timid nature and find the courage to prevent the heist and the killing of the Russian president. If he and his friend fail, more than their lives will be lost; war between the two countries will erupt.

Get it on Amazon!

Liquidity Wines Annual Adult Egg Hunt & Easter Brunch

 
This Easter, adults are invited to join in the hunt through 30 acres of scenic vineyard for Liquidity Wines' Third Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt. On Saturday, April 15, the vineyard will stash scrumptious treats, coupons, and other surprises and delights within the property's lush tangle of vines. Also on offer: a pre-search wine tasting and Easter brunch for the whole family at Liquidity Bistro. 

Now celebrating three years of Easter fun, Liquidity's grownup-themed egg hunt opens the vineyard for those who are kids-at-heart to explore at their leisure. The event is free of charge and takes place from 12pm to 3pm, though guests who arrive early can fuel up for the hunt by sampling a range of Liquidity's award-winning wines. No tickets are required; simply arrive any time within the event hours to pick up a map and learn the details. 

While the egg hunt is geared toward adults, the entire family can enjoy Easter brunch at Liquidity Bistro. Located in the Heart of Wine Country™, be sure to bring a camera as the space is perfectly situated to capture stunning views of Okanagan Falls. Enjoy special features on Saturday, April 15 between 11am and 3pm, such as potato roesti with goat cheese, thyme and farm-fresh eggs; decadent banana bread French toast adorned by banana compote; and maple glazed ham cassolette served alongside baked white beans and potatoes. Over Easter weekend, the bistro will be open from Thursday to Sunday (12pm to 8pm), and the adjoining tasting room will welcome guests from Thursday to Sunday (12pm to 5pm), reservations are recommended.

Winemaker Alison Moyes and the Liquidity team craft wines that express the personality of the vineyard while capturing the variation of the seasons and distinct wine varietals. Liquidity's light-filled tasting room features rare art installations, incredible valley and lake views, and a range of estate-grown wines available to sample. At the adjoining Liquidity Bistro, Executive Chef Simon Bouchard curates menus that honour the seasons, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms. Collectively, the vineyard, bistro and tasting room offer an exceptional guest experience that centres on wine, food and art. 

For more information, visit Liquiditywines.com or call (778) 515-5500.

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About Liquidity Wines
Based in Okanagan Falls, the Heart of Wine Country™, Liquidity offers an artisan approach to winemaking - taking you on a journey of the senses that captures the art of winemaking from grape to glass in a stunning space where guests are wowed by the incredible views, eclectic artwork and locally inspired food. Time is spent enjoying these finer things in life, while in the vineyard care is taken to carefully hand-harvest the best fruit and artfully blend them into fine wines. For more information, visit Liquiditywines.com.

Eight Steps to Squash Struggle Forever




Almost everyone struggles with something, whether it's the kids going off to college, an unfulfilling job, divorce, looming retirement, or simply not having enough fun. All of these situations can lead to struggle, but what if it doesn't have to be that way? What if it is possible to face life head on, go through transitions, and actually become stronger and  have more fun in the process? You can. Here are eight action steps you can take right now that will help eliminate struggle and make your life easier and more fun!!
Step #1:  Take full responsibility for your life. All of it. When you let external conditions control your destiny, you surrender your power and authority. By the same token, when you allow someone else to be in charge of your life, you keep yourself stuck. You are the victim and that is not a powerful position. The truth is you may not be able to control all your circumstances, but you have total control on how you respond to all them.
Action:  First, get clear about what you want.  Most people think about what they don’t want.  "I don’t want to be poor," or "I don't want to be bored," or "I don't want to be alone." Revise this list to say what you DO want. "I want to make more money. "I choose to have more fun." "I am going to spend more time building and enjoying my relationships with others." Now you have something to work with. Each of these items require NEW activities and new actions.  It's time to do something different.  

Swag Garden Swag Code Extravaganza





Spring has sprung, and Swagbucks is having a Swag Code Extravaganza to mark the occasion, which is one of the easiest ways to earn SB! What are SB you ask? SB are points you earn on Swagbucks, a website where you can get gift cards for the things you do online - I've gotten over $500 worth of gift cards just in time for Christmas shopping with Swagbucks! These are the best days to start! 

It takes place Wednesday, March 22nd at 7am PDT and goes until 5pm PDT! All you have to do is look out for the Swag Code notifications, enter the code, and you earn SB (which can be redeemed for gift cards)! There will be 6 Swag Codes throughout the day worth a total of 40 SB!
Look out for the Swag Codes all over Swagbucks!
Sign up here to grab as many Swag Codes as you can and get your first gift card even faster!

Stretch Mark Solutions…What Can Be Done Safely?



Women of all ages regardless of height, weight, or parental status are susceptible to stretch marks. This is a simple fact. Another fact, which will hopefully make you feel a bit better, is that supermodels yes, the bikini models you see in Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, have stretch marks. If you’re like the 95% of the women out there you prefer them gone. Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic in for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20 offering insights on cosmetic surgery, shared the real deal on stretch mark solutions with several facts on popular procedures and topical options to prevent and remove stretch marks. Here’s what he has to say.

Option #1: Topical Creams & Preventative Foods
“There are a variety of topical treatments, the ones with cocoa butter are the trend, but they won’t do much if anything to improve severe stretch marks. These creams and oils perform better when used as preventive measures because fully developed stretch marks are rarely skin-deep,” explains Dr. Brandow.

Gelatin powder has been suggested as a great way to get more collagen into your system. Coconut oil mixed with beeswax is said to prevent stretch marks especially when applied throughout the day. Eating foods rich in vitamin C can help prevent stretch marks from the inside out. Adding things like red peppers, parsley, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts are good bets.

Option #2: Lasers
Many women who have post pregnancy stretch marks turn to lasers to eliminate this unwanted scarring. Kim Kardashian recently announced via her Snapchat that she would undergo laser treatments to rid her stretch marks. The Coolbeam laser, which is the one Kim Kardashian is going with, requires up to 5 treatments at around $5,000 per treatment which adds up to $25,000. Lasers are known for high level of safety and efficacy and most patients come away very pleased with the result. The treated area heals rather quickly, within a week to three weeks.

“Lasers are far less invasive than a tummy tuck, which has a much longer recovery time. Lasers do have some risk in that they can burn the skin or cause tissue damage. Therefore, it’s very important to choose a doctor who knows what they are doing,” advises Dr. Brandow.

6 Foods That Can Help Save Your Skin From Sun Damage


Just as an unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Since antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. We connected with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine for his list of foods that help prevent sun damage.

To be clear, Dr. Calapai is not saying you should completely replace using daily use of sunscreen with food, but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin. So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, add these six sun-friendly foods to your next shopping list.

1. Berries & stone fruits
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.

2. Leafy greens
If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.

Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.

3. Red & orange produce
The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.

4. Micro-algae
Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea, along with chlorella, contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.

If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.

5. Chocolate
As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sunburns and other UV-induced issues.

Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.

6. Green & black tea
The myriad health benefits of tea are well known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.

About the Doctor:
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike TysonMickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham's, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

Okanagan Fest of Ale - Contest


Just 3 short weeks to go...

Make plans to join us at the 22nd annual  Okanagan Fest of Ale to sample the best beers and ciders from 65 craft breweries from BC and beyond. 
Enjoy tastings of 175+ quality-crafted brews and ciders including new releases, experimental brews and cask ales.  Guests of the fest can also look forward to fabulous food, with many restaurateurs incorporating a craft inspired twist on their dish, and great live entertainment taking place both indoors and out.  


Click Here to Buy Your Tickets Now

Sip, Stay and Celebrate in Penticton at the 22nd annual Okanagan Fest of Ale!

In partnership with our local hoteliers we are pleased to offer specially priced hotel accommodation + ticket packages for the 2017 Event.  

Sip & Stay Packages will be offered until March 26th and are subject to availability – check out the package options on our website and Book your Fest of Ale Getaway Today!


Drink Beer From Here Contest Alert!


Head on over to our FaceBook Page by Clicking Here  and Like, share and tag the person you'd bring with you to the #FestofAle to be entered to win
Grand prize includes 2 Weekend Passes to the Okanagan Fest of Ale a Friday night stay at the Penticton Sandman and gift basket filled with goodies from Bad Tattoo BrewingBarley Mill BrewpubCannery BrewingDetonate BrewingFirehall BrewingHighway 97 Brewing & Tin Whistle Brewing

Increase your odds by dropping  by  Government St. Liquor in Penticton to enter by ballot!

Contest runs from March 17, 2017 – March 26, 2017
Winner will be selected and notified March 27th, 2017

Earn Big with the St. Patrick's Day Collector's Bill - 3/17 ONLY


Hey Swagbucks folks! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Swagbucks has a one-day-only Collector's Bill worth 17 SB. You can get it randomly from Search, and if you get it, you'll also get an additional 20 SB bonus! It'll be available all day today (Friday).

If you're not a member of Swagbucks yet, you can create your account now and earn points called SB for doing things like searching the web, shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos! You can then take those points and turn them into gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Target, PayPal, or hundreds of other retailers.

I have earned hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards using Swagbucks, making my monthly bills much more manageable so I can save for the things I want. It is so simple yet so lucrative, it would be foolish not to sign up. 

4 Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make


We all have the dream of saving for our dream home and having a place to call our own. The problem is that it is such a big decision and makes such a great impact on your life that it needs careful planning and consideration. These are the most common mistakes made when purchasing a home:

Rushing In!

There are  a million reasons you can come up with to buy a home as soon as you see the sale sign on the front lawn. But the truth is, rushing into a purchase before you’re ready could cost you big time in the long run. Here are a few things to consider:

If you’re new to a city, give yourself some time to enjoy the surrounding areas to decide which part of town you want to stay in long term.

If you’re not sure how long you’ll be living in that city, hold off purchasing a home until you know you’ll be there for the future .

If you are entering a fresh relationship give it time to grow as things change you may not be happy forever.

Not Saving Enough!

Buying a home takes a huge investment worth tens of thousands of dollars just in the down payment. It would be fantastic to pay 100% cash but most of us don't have that luxury. It is ideal to have at least 10% to 20% of your homes value as your down payment. On top of that you should consider:

Creating a savings for emergencies. Owning a home means you can't call the landlord to repair your stove or fix your dryer. Think of what could happen if you are not prepared to fix things on your own.

Remember to consider all the hidden fees and closing costs when buying a home you may want more cash on hand to cover those fees so your down payment goes mainly towards your home and not closing costs and realtor fees.

Buying More Than You Need!

We all want nice big homes that can hold house guests and pets but realistically do you need 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms for a family of 4? Only buy the amount of home your family needs, the more you buy the longer you will be in debt. Consider this:

What space does your family need to be comfortable for the next few decades? Are you having more kids? Do you want more pets? 

Discuss what you and your spouse want for the future and what types of space you require.

Ask your friends and family who have been through the home buying procedure previously. They may have some tips for you.

Not Asking For Advice!

Many of us believe we can do anything and everything on our own without asking for help. This is true with some stuff but in the world of home buying it is important to know exactly what your getting into. Asking a real estate agent questions will be beneficial in your venture because this is what they are paid to do. An agent can tell you:

What all the fancy terms and contracts mean for your future and what it is going to cost you. 

How much the costs will be and whether your home is a smart investment or a money pit. Agents know the ins and outs of the homes they sell so don't be afraid to ask about every tiny detail.

An agent can help you find the exact type of home you want for the price you can afford. 

Top 5 Things Set to Impact Your Grocery Habits

Grocerants, urbanization, online shopping, and more!


The grocery industry, valued at $120-billion, affects all of us, with an economic, environmental, health and societal implication.

The Grocery & Specialty Food West (GSFW) conference and exhibition returns to Vancouver March 20-21. 

At this trade conference, more than 2,400 grocery thought-leaders will convene for discussions about innovations, trends and how the future of the grocery industry are expected to impact habits in the years to come.


Five key factors to impact daily grocery habits:

1. A demand for "grocerants" and home-meal-replacements

A grocerant blurs the line between a restaurant and grocery store, and is aimed at the time-starved consumer with ready-to-eat or fresh heat-and-eat, grab and go items.
Added to this, grocers increasingly offer in-store eating areas. Canadians currently spend $2.5 billion a year on this home meal replacement category, as reported by foodserviceandhospitality.com, and the millennial cohort in particular is attracted to the grocerant model.
2. Growing popularity for online grocery shopping

In Canada, online shopping for grocery is less than 2% of the $120-billion in annual grocery sales (as compared to the 5% of the $1-trillion grocery market in the USA being online). The next generation, all digital natives, expect everything including groceries to be bought online. Retailers are reacting to meet the needs of this cohort of Generation Z-ers, with services such as click-and-collect, to full online and home delivery service.
 
3. Re-Urbanization 

With the higher transportation, energy and housing prices, a population increase, particularly Millennials, are moving into smaller housing units in densely populated urban areas for the convenience and walkable community factor. This creates a new urbanization and consumer shopping trend. With smaller storage space and a lack of access to cars, population tend to grocery shop more frequently but with fewer items at once. Younger urban households with kids are more likely to shop online. This influences the type of products that retailers stock on their shelves. 

4. Going hyper-local for energy savings

Food grown in your own backyard and urban farming, as well as eating local, are large global trends. Grocers are getting involved, and examples include a German supermarket initiating an indoor vertical farm, or a greenhouse affixed to the roof of Brooklyn's Whole Foods Market. The produce grown at these stores is then sold in the stores. This hyperlocal greenhouse trend saves energy too; produce grown hydroponically in a rooftop greenhouse, uses 50% less energy than one on the ground. 
 

5. Growth in Discount Grocery Channels 

Canadians are always looking for a deal, regardless of their economic circumstances. Discount grocery channels often sell products that near the end of their shelf life or that do not sell as well in mainstream grocery stores. Nielsen reported that the discount grocery channel in Canada grew 4% in 2015, compared with zero market share growth at conventional full-line grocery stores. Nielsen stats show today 36% of all grocery items are sold on a discount price promotion, a figure that has been on the rise since 2010. 

To learn more about other factors that influence Canadian's grocery habits, sign-up to attend this year's GSFW show and meet with decision makers from every aspect of the grocery industry. 

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