Save Money

4 Tips for Saving Money on Personal Toiletries

We’ve all got the things that we feel we need to survive. Many of those are the personal toiletries that make our lives more comfortable, functional, and easier overall. These become so engrained in our daily routines that it can be very difficult to give them up if ever we need to cut back on spending. But just because your bank account is running low doesn’t mean that you need to. There are ways out there for you to save money on things like razors and shampoos. It might take a little effort or extra thought, but when you check your receipts later on you’ll thank yourself.

Make It Yourself

The DIY option has become very real for a lot of people. With the Internet to guide you, it’s actually really easy to come up with at home shampoos, face wash, hand soap, body scrubs, and lip balm just to name a few. These are all going to take more time to initially put together, but in the end you’ll save money and your skin will benefit from it. Without having to put all of those chemicals on your body’s largest organ and company you’ll notice that skin will be softer, hair will shinier, and lips will be smoother.

Go Generic

Go Generic
Go Generic to save money
When you really don’t have the time to put into making your own stuff, you can always go the generic route. There will never be just one brand that makes what you’re looking for. Normally that brand will be advertised better or sit at a spot on the shelf that’s easier to see, but looking around reveals the truth. The store that you shop in has a product from their own brand that’s cheaper but does similar (if not the same) jobs as what you’re looking at. The best thing is that there are actually a few different generic brands that are vying for your attention, so they’re trying to go as cheap as possible.

If you can manage to use some of those generic brands to buy things like cotton swabs and toothpaste in bulk you could find that you’re saving even more money. Stuff like this doesn’t go bad so you can continue using it over long periods of time.


Samples Galore

Big cosmetic stores will often have samples
Big cosmetic stores will often have samples
The great thing about companies is that they’re always trying to get you to use their samples. If you go to makeup stores they’ll stick something in your bag to try out. This isn’t just for women, either. There are plenty of face washes, soaps, shampoos, etc. that they make for guys. Even shaving supplies can come in tiny testers for you to use. The next time you’re in a mall go through a few stores and check out some products that you’d like to try. If you can’t seem to commit to buying it then the clerk might offer you a sample of it. If they don’t you can still ask if they’ll give you one. The worse they can say is no. Big cosmetic stores that carry fragrances will also often have samples that they can create for you, so for those indulgent products like cologne you can still manage to get it for the cheap.

Try Subscriptions

Toiletries SubscriptionsIf you find that you’re spending more money on shaving cream or makeup then you normally should be, curb yourself with subscription services. There are subscriptions for makeup, basic toiletries, shaving paraphernalia, and even fragrances out there that cost a fraction of the price while giving you decent sized samples. The way they can do this is by giving you the leftover samples from a group of companies. Since these luxury samples may not be enough to send to their namesake stores, the company sells them for a cheap price to the sub service and you buy it for a set fee per month. Most range from $10-$25 a month and come with coupons that you can use later on. These types of boxes or bags often contain products that you may have never heard of or thought to try before. Sometimes they could end up being cheaper than the alternative that you’ve been using so hopefully you’ll be able to save even more money that way.

green_smothies

Add These Ingredients to Green Smoothies to Boost Their Power

Green smoothies are the breakfast sensation that’s gripping the nation. No sooner did you see that you can mix together fruits and leafy vegetables to make smoothies that are more than palatable, you found out that there are some things that make for an even better smooth experience. If you want to get the most taste and health from each drink, try these mix ins. While the perks of a green smoothie might be that you can customize the flavor profile to suit your own needs, there’s nothing wrong with taking a good suggestion or two when you find them.

Acacia Berries

Acacia Berries Became A Hot Craze
Acacia Berries Became A Hot Craze
It might be a few months since you heard about Acacia berries. These little fruits were on every health show for a few months, and they showed up in everything from protein powders to power bars, all the way to distilled fruit juices. They were supposed to rev your metabolism and melt away fat, and they delivered on their promises about as well as any weight loss supplement does. That is to say, they deliver about 1-2% greater results when paired with diet and exercise. This is why they’re not added in for their weight loss properties, but rather the way their high acid content can bust through stubborn joint pains. Mix in and enjoy.

Blueberries

Blueberries are still the antioxidant kings, and that’s why you should load up your smoothies with these little wonders. There’s nothing wrong with thinking of these heavy, delicious fruits more in terms of muffins or pancakes than smoothies, because just a taste or two will have you changing your mind. Not only are they great for you, their heavy flavor can be just the thing to combat the bitterness of a heavy leafy green that you know you should be eating but don’t really like.

Protein Powder

Protein PowderIf you want to turn your turbo shot of green energy into something that’s going to last you all morning long, then you need to pile on the protein powder. It’s just that easy to make your favorite side dish into a complete breakfast. With the power of protein behind it, a green smoothie can easily last you all morning. This is also a great way to get the ultimate lean protein; the powder without any added fat or calories whatsoever. This means it’s a great pairing for someone on a diet; it will fill you up, keep you going, and replace more tempting dishes that might have caused you to slip up.

Bananas

A good banana can transform your smoothie
A good banana can transform your smoothie
If you’re having difficulties choking down your green smoothie, you just don’t have enough bananas. The flavor of a banana is sweet but mellow, the perfect compliments to the sharpness of leafy greens and the tart/sweet combination of fruit juices that you can use, along with water, to flavor your smoothie. On top of that, the texture is perfect for someone who really wants to have a smoothie that lives up to its name. A good banana can transform your smoothie from unpleasant morning shake to highlight of your day, all while adding potassium and natural sweetness.

Chia Seeds

These small seeds may need to soak a little before you mix them in, but they’re going to be worth it. They have a rich, nutty flavor that doesn’t overpower the rest of the drink. Even more importantly, Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and very, very high in fiber. If you’ve found that your liquid breakfasts aren’t doing wonders for you any other way Chia seeds could be exactly what you need to turn your day around.

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4 Essential Tips for Starting an Online Business

Whether you have a grand master entrepreneurial plan or a hobby that grew bigger than you expected, starting an online business has a few key steps of which everyone should be aware. Joining the world of eCommerce isn’t as simple as snapping a few pictures and hoping your merchandise sells online. No matter how great your product is, just like with a brick and mortar business, you need to know how to package and sell it to online shoppers. This includes driving traffic to your online store and ensuring that once your customers get there, you have what they’re looking for. The steps to starting an online business should be taken one at a time, with one foot in front of the other. There’s an urge to rush into things, especially if your idea is exciting and innovative, but be careful. You should start with a calm and collected strategy of how you’re going to build your eCommerce empire and make your online business a success.

Amass a Core Inventory

Amass a Core Inventory
Amass a Core Inventory
On the essential list of doing first things first is establishing your inventory. Regardless of what you’re selling, whether it’s fine art or second-hand clothing, the product is what forms the core of your actual sales. While finding the merchandise you actually want to sell might be fueled by a vision, the final item you’re trying to offer for sale is what you need to focus on. Be aware of what you have in stock and familiarize yourself with it. If you have a collection of paintings, for example, make sure you know the exact details about each one. The same goes for vintage clothing. Don’t just end up with a pile of garments on a shelf and hope that everything is there. You need to take the time to sort through every single piece of inventory you have and evaluate it. This is what you’re selling, and this will be the tangible, core goods of your store.

Focus on Only a Few Items First

It can be easy to get ahead of yourself if you’re starting a business online for the first time. Although you might assume that everyone will be clamoring to buy your product once they see it, that’s simply untrue. Don’t be disappointed when you put up your merchandise and it gets little to no attention. This is why you need to focus on a just a few key items to begin with and do a little experimentation. Find out what seems to garner attention and drive traffic to your site, whether it’s the use of social media or word of mouth. You should pick your favorite merchandise, but instead of trying to put a lot of things for sale up at once, focus on only a few pieces. Then invest the time in properly photographing the product, writing copy to describe it, and getting all the details listed just right. You should be as detailed as possible, because not only does this give the customer a sense of security that you know what you’re talking about, but it also makes the item seem special.

Make a List of Necessary Tasks

Make a List of Necessary Tasks
Make a List of Necessary Tasks
Many entrepreneurs grapple with what tasks to tackle first. There are so many that it can often be overwhelming, and then new online business owners lose motivation and ambition. Instead of trying to take on too much and getting burned out quickly, formulate a work plan so that you address different jobs in a consistent, steady timeframe. Another good tip is not to underestimate how long something will take. After you’ve completed a task, take a break, and don’t move on right away to the next work intensive step. Slow and steady does it is great advice for when you’re getting ready to take your online business live.

Research the Industry

researchThere’s an industry for almost everything in the sphere of eCommerce. Whether you’re selling intangible goods like proofreading services or physical items like artwork, someone else has probably already done it. That doesn’t mean that your idea isn’t innovative and that you won’t do it differently or more creatively, but it does mean that someone out there already experienced the pitfalls of establishing an online business. Go ahead and take a look to see what other people’s experiences have been by reading eCommerce blogs and news sites. This is a great way to keep yourself updated on the fast-changing world of online business.

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Low Impact Workouts for Beginners

So you know you need to pick up some exercise routines, but you aren’t quite sure where to start. There are a lot of options out there and they can be difficult to navigate on your own, even more so when you have specific needs when it comes to your workout regimen. If you require something that’s low impact either because of a medical condition or just because you don’t want to stress out your body too much the first time you take it out for a test spin at the gym, here are a few great work outs to try that will help get you in shape without a lot of wear and tear on your joints.

Jog in Place Jacks

The great thing about this particular workout is that you can adjust it depending on your desired intensity level, so you can tone it down when you start out and amp it up when you’re ready for a bit more of a challenge. To start you can take it nice and slow. Walk in place with a slow jumping jack like motion with your arms. It may take you a second to coordinate, but that’s fine. As you need to progress, feel free to change your walking motion to marching, jogging, high knees or full blown jumping jacks, increasing the speed of your arm movement as you increase the difficulty of your leg movements.


Windmill Steps

When you first start out, this exercise is just a simple side step. Let your trailing leg come behind you with a slight tap and add a large circular arm swing. Much like the jog in place jacks, this exercise is great because you can increase the speed and strain as you need more resistance in your workout. When you want to put a little more kick into your workout, drop your hips lower to the ground, turning your stance into a squatting position. You can also slowly increase the step width and speed until you can replace the motion with a lateral jump entirely rather than just a step.

Stutter Step

Stutter Step Can Be Difficult For Some
Stutter Step Can Be Difficult For Some
This one is a little trickier than our other workouts and can seem a tad more difficult. The easiest version of this exercise starts with all your weight on one leg with only a slight bend, placing your opposite leg back a few inches behind you and bringing your knee up in front of you slowly as you bring your hands down. You can increase the depth of your squat on your supporting leg while extending the moving leg further and further behind you to increase the difficulty of this particular workout. At the same time, you can start increasing the speed with which you move your arms and leg.

Static Squat + Punches

Static SquatStart out with a very shallow squat and a punching motion using both fists without any additional weight. You don’t have to hold the squat for long; keep the position for a few seconds before coming up to continue your punches. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, stay down longer, squat lower, and start using dumbbells in conjunction with your punching motion. Just make sure you don’t increase the speed of the punches themselves, especially if you’re using extra weight with them.

Static Lunge + Curls

Begin with a shallow lunge, keeping your feet relatively close together and using either very light dumbbells or just arm weight for your bicep curls if you’re new to those as well. As you progress, make your lunges deeper and keep your feet further apart to make the exercise a little more challenging. You can also increase the amount of weight you use with your curl as your biceps adjust to the exercise, though as above, make sure not to increase the actual speed of your curl.