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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

23 Secrets Your Supermarket Hopes You Never Find Out

1. Shopping carts have gotten bigger so you buy 19% more groceries.

2. A 6 pack of soda is now a 12 pack so you start drinking 12 cans of soda
 a week instead of 6.

3. The average person only remembers the price of milk, bread, bananas and eggs.
So bring  last week's receipt with you so you don't over pay for stuff you buy every week.

 4. About 60% of shoppers ditch products as they check out. So they made the check
 out lanes narrower so its harder to dump goods at the last minute. So don't be shy about
 handing products back to the cashier or just putting them on the floor.

 5. Supermarkets can't compete with Walmart on price.

 6. The average apple is 14 months old or older.

 7. Some of the same cheeses behind the deli case are available in the dairy
 case much cheaper.

 8. The French, Italian and white bread are made with the same dough but shaped differently.

 9. If you see an item that will expire the next day, ask to have it marked down at
     least 50% since they have to throw it out anyway.

10. In the produce department, individual fruits and veggies are almost always
     cheaper thanthose grouped in mesh bags.

 11. Just because something is advertised in a circular doesn't mean its on sale.

 12. The milk sold at drug and convenience stores is always 30 to 50 cents
       cheaper than supermarkets.

 13. Never buy hot pizza from the deli since its usually the same store brand pizza
       in the freezer section at half the price per slice.

 14  There is usually very little difference between the taste of prepackaged
      deli items and fresh sliced items. But you're paying $1 to $2 per pound
       more for the same product.

 15. The best days to shop are Monday and Tuesday. Avoid weekends at all costs.

 16.  Fresh bread is given to you in a paper bag so it goes stale faster
  and you have to buy more. So when you get home, put it in a plastic to stay fresher longer.

 17.  At the fresh seafood counter, most items were previously frozen.
        So buy your seafood in the frozen section and pay 40% less.      
        Plus you won't have to use right away since its frozen.

 18.  Its always 30% cheaper to buy a large cut of meat and have it trimmed
        for you instead of buying it already cut.

 19. You butcher usually  marks down meat between 8am and 10am. Find out when.

 20. You save $3 to $5 a pound when you buy fillet Mignon that's on a whole T-bone steak.

 21. Veggies and fruits that don't sell are recycled into prepared foods.

 22. The carts NEVER get cleaned. So wipe yours down with a handy wipe.

 23. When you buy prepackaged ground meat in a tube or foam container,
       it may have come from hundreds of cows. And it if one of those cows
       had E coli, its in your hamburger. So ask the meat cutter to grind you meat
       in the store since its coming from one cow. 




Friday, January 3, 2014

An Easy Way To Start Your Own Online Classroom

Do you have a special skill? It could be anything: math, the guitar, a second language, geography, history, literature, even elementary grammar! If you're good at something, no need to let it go unknown. There is actually a sure-fire way to profit from it: teaching.

And if you already have a full-time job, or you're not interested in dealing with schools or all the baggage that comes with being a professional teacher, that's okay, too.

In fact, it's more than okay. It's great! Because here's you how to start an online classroom - a place where you can display your knowledge and your passion for that special skill of yours, help others, and even make money doing it. You can start out – or even stay part-time - while making plenty of extra money. Or you could take teaching online full-time and make a very good living. 

Where to Begin

You might think the first step in starting your own online classroom is to register a domain name and build a website. And while that's one way to go, experts  recommend using free websites such as YouTube to start out with.

One of the most popular independent online classrooms began just that way: Sal Khan started tutoring his cousin over the telephone and email. The lessons worked. So he started tutoring a few more relatives, all in his spare time (he was working at a hedge fund in Boston at the time).

Eventually his tutoring schedule became so hectic, he started recording his lessons and posting them for free on YouTube. That way, people could watch them on their own, at their own pace, and pick the specific topics they needed help with.

Word spread and pretty soon he was getting thousands and thousands of hits. That's how the Khan Academy started. And his videos are nothing flashy; heck, he isn't even in them, all you hear is his voice explaining the lesson as he writes it down. And he covers all the big topics a K-12 student studies. From math to science, computer science to art history, the Khan Academy offers lessons for all of them.

That’s just one example of how your own online teaching career could take off. 

The Key to Teaching Success

Think about your favorite elementary or high school teacher. What makes them your favorite? I'm willing to bet it was their passion for the subject matter that made their classes so much fun. They might have told funny jokes or given light homework, but it was probably their passion and the joy they took in teaching that really shone and made you enjoy that class.

That same passion for the subject matter is also the key to success when starting your own online classroom. That's why it is suggested you focus on a particular skill you have, one that you excel at, to teach in the beginning. In teaching other people something new, it's important to have patience, perseverance, and knowledge.

As far as format, it really depends on the subject matter. You’ll have to figure out whether videos (talking head or the “watch your screen” program Camtasia), books, webpages, or some other format conveys your lessons best.

Expanding Your Brand

After you've completed a few lessons and you've developed a small following, it's important to foster the growth of that community. So make yourself available for questions/comments from the folks viewing your lessons. Get active on Facebook and Twitter. Start a free blog at www.blogspot.com and encourage participation in a forum.

This is all necessary as you start marketing your online “school” as a paid service. You have a couple of options here.

•    You could offer a subscription model, where students pay a monthly or yearly fee for access to different combinations of online educational materials like ebooks and videos.  

•    You could set up a paid membership site; members get a username and password for a fee.  

•    You could charge students you work with over the phone or Skype a per lesson fee

•    You could even sell your course materials piece by piece.

It may take a while for your lessons to get traction and for you to start making money, but that's why patience and perseverance are so important.

And you will probably discover the type of online teaching that you're the most comfortable with. It could be YouTube videos, Skype meetings, or other eLearning software like WizIQ.

Taking It to the Next Level

Eventually, you might find your lessons have become so popular that you could turn it into a full-time gig. To take the example of Sal Khan and the Khan Academy, Khan tutored online for three years before he left his lucrative hedge fund job and dedicated himself full-time to teaching online.

That's when he started his own company, hired a staff, rented office space, and even then, he ran it as a non-profit organization. His biggest source of income is from grants and other charities. But plenty of other organizations are run like corporations: they have subscription fees, sponsors, and advertising. Education is big business.

So while creating an online classroom might not be an overnight cash-cow for you, it has the potential to be a tremendously satisfying outlet for those special skills you have while bringing in extra cash. You'll help others, share your knowledge, and - if things really work out - you'll make a great deal of money.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How To Guarantee You'll Keep Your New Years Resolutions

How do you do that, you ask? Well your first step has to be to look inward. You must ask yourself how you got to this place where you don’t want to be anymore. Identify what caused your troubles in the first place. Is it a spending addiction or are your monthly bills more than 25 percent of your monthly income? Whatever it is you need to identify the areas that are causing you to overspend. Then make a commitment to yourself that things will be different in 2014. I can give you all the tips and tricks available, but if you don’t commit to making change then this information will do you no good.

Once you’ve made yourself this promise it’s time to set some goals. Think about what you want to accomplish this year. Do you want to travel more? Or pay off your house? Do you want to make more money? Choose one or two  goals to accomplish this year.

If in years past you’ve made New Year’s resolutions only to fall off the bandwagon just a month or two later, then here  are a few easy solutions that will help you stay committed this year. The real secret to keeping your resolutions is in the crafting of your goals.  Follow the SMART goal setting protocol.  Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

Specificity is the key to staying on point throughout your journey. Don’t say I want to be richer by the end of this year. That’s too general. Say I will open an IRA account this year and contribute the maximum amount. It’s much easier to accomplish your goal when you are precise.

It’s also important to make your  goals measurable. You will not be able to accomplish your goal overnight. It will take you months, if not the entire year, to reach your goal. Because of this your goal will need to be tracked throughout the year. This is important to staying committed to your goal. If you can see the progress you are making, you will remain motivated to attain your resolution.

Break your goal up into monthly or weekly mini accomplishments so you can measure your progress. For example if your goal is to pay off $5,000 in credit card debt by the end of this year, break that down into 12 monthly goals you need to meet ($417 a month). Break that down further by paying $104.25 each week. That way you can check off each week you pay and see that $5,000 balance come down.

You’ll never reach your goal if you make them too hard to accomplish. That’s why you not want you to set more than two goals. You don’t want to over commit and then fail when you realize you made things too hard on yourself. You must be realistic in your pursuit. Every exercise professional will tell you it’s impossible to make a 360 degree change. No one goes from never working out to working out three days a week. It’s too big of a change and you set yourself up for failure. The same goes with other goals too.  You can’t go from big spender to cost cutting queen overnight if you want to find long term success. Choose one or two things you want to accomplish this year and set your mind to it.

 Loosing weight, breaking a bad habit , saving for retirement or putting money aside for a rainy day are not fun things to do. So  don’t make goals simply because you think you should. You’ll never meet a goal you don’t care much about. Instead of committing to saving 20 percent of each of your paychecks, tie it to an action you actually want to do like traveling more or retiring early. These goals are much more motivating, than simply saying you want to save money.

Just like you need a starting line for your goals, you also need a finish line. Set a deadline for accomplishing each goal. You’ll need that pressure to motivate you to continually move towards your goal.

Once you’ve made your selections right them down on a sticky note. Then place them in an area that you see every day. Try  the mirror in your bathroom. Every day when you  get up, they are the first thing you'll  see in the morning and the last thing you'll see before you go to bed. They help continually remind you of what you want to accomplish. It also keeps you  focused on your  goals, which is especially helpful for when you're  feeling depressed and want to give yourself a pick me up by buying yourself  something nice.

Next write yourself a letter detailing why these goals are important. You need to remind yourself what it is about this goal that makes you want to achieve it. Come up with at least two to three reasons for each goal. Then go to futureme.org. This site lets you send a future letter to yourself. We all need motivation and reminding yourself of why you came up with these goals in the first place in a great way to keep yourself on track. You type out the letter and set a future date to send it to yourself. This will help keep you motivated along your journey.

Finally, don’t worry if you get knocked off track along the way. It will happen at some point that you make a mistake, or miss a benchmark. When this happens you may feel like giving up. Don’t allow that to happen! Instead come up with an action that will get you back on course. If you do that you will be better off than 95 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions.