AHA Sparkling Water Chatterbox!

Check out this awesome party opportunity from Chatterbox! Add a little sparkle to your cocktail (or mocktail!) with delicious NEW AHA Sparkling Water flavors, including Pineapple Passionfruit, Blackberry Lemon, and Fuji Apple White Tea. And the best part? There are no sweeteners, no sodium, and no calories. So sip AHA-way!

If you are selected, you will receive:

  • $10 Walmart gift card
  • 2 recipe cards including 3 AHA Sparkling Water mocktail/cocktail recipes

You must apply and complete the required activities by June 5th to be considered.

To get started and apply, click here.

 

A Practical Guide to Setting A Budget (Part Three)

The first two parts (Part One, Part Two) of this series talked about the essentials of how to budget. This third part is for those of you who are having a difficult time making the ends meet to get your needs met.

I’m talking about when cutting cable and going cash only for groceries isn’t enough. When you need help. When there isn’t much (or anything) to eat. When the power might be shut off. When there isn’t money to put gas in your car to get to work or job interviews.

This is the most important thing to remember: It is ok to ask for help. It is ok to seek out services and take advantage of programs. Do not worry about what others will think- This pandemic and all of the fallout that has happened has affected so many of us. So many hardworking families and individuals need a hand up right now. 

A lot of the services and programs listed below are specifically for San Diego County. If you live outside San Diego County, I recommend that you call 211 anywhere in the US. They can help you find resources- all judgment free!

So when I talk about needs being met, I mean:

  • Shelter (Rent/mortgage assistance/utilities)
  • Food (Healthy food for you/your family and pets)
  • Comfort (Clothing, healthcare, medication)

Shelter:

  • If you have a mortgage, contact your lender for a forbearance. You may have to provide them with proof that you are unable to pay.
  • If you are a renter in San Diego, here is the County Rental Assistance site.
  • If you require assistance with your utilities, SDG&E has many programs and assistance available.
  • For your water/sewer bills, you will need to contact them directly. There are so many water municipalities in San Diego County.

Food: Food insecurity is a cause near and dear to my heart, so I have all kinds of resources to share!

Many food banks give out pet food as well- don’t forget to mention your furry friends when you complete your intake paperwork (which is oftentimes to find out demographic information to obtain additional funding from the government or private grants). Some do not require any paperwork at all.

Comfort: Being housed and fed is important, in addition to this I’ve added the comfort category. This includes clean, well fitting clothes, access to health care, and prescription medicines.

  • There are many resources for no and low cost clothing (besides thrift stores, which have become increasingly higher in cost in the past year). Naomi’s Closet, Closet on 54th, Charity’s Closet at Sonrise Church, Sharia’s Closet are all San Diego resources. I’ve been told that some Salvation Army churches offer free clothing vouchers to be redeemed at their thrift shops. Don’t forget your local Buy Nothing Group too! So many of your local neighbors are cleaning out their clothes and purging while they are stuck at home, you’d be surprised what your neighbors are will to share with you.
  • If you are in need of healthcare, there are several options. Medicaid/Medi-cal may be available for some. If you have had a “life event” (job separation, birth of a child, death of a spouse, marriage, etc.) you can look for health insurance in your state’s Health Insurance Exchange. Here is a link to California’s Exchange. There are frequently lower rates or discounts for those with certain income limits.
  • If you or family members take prescription medicines, look into discount programs like Singlecare (which you can access via the Fetch Rewards App and earn cashback/points), or GoodRX. Some pharmacies have their own discount programs too. Make sure to ask the pharmacy staff. Another option is to ask your doctor for medication samples when you are visiting them. Many doctors have medication samples in their offices, and most doctors are willing to help you when you tell them you need assistance with medication costs.

 

 

 

Easy, Family Friendly Water Saving Tips

file0001379338996

You may have heard, California is in a pretty severe drought situation, which has led to some pretty severe water use restrictions.

As a California Native, I honestly don’t remember a time when we haven’t been actively conserving water. However, now it’s more important than ever.

How can you and your family help out? Like most things, small tweaks can lead to big  changes, especially if many people pitch in.  Here are a few examples of ways YOU and YOUR FAMILY can help out:

Fix any leaky faucets. It may be as simple as replacing a worn out gasket in the faucet. Depending on how many drips you count per minute and how many faucets you have that are drip drip dripping, you could be wasting up to 5 gallons of water A DAY!!!

Limit showers to 5 minutes or less.  I know take a long, hot shower is nice, but realistically, most ladies don’t need to wash their hair every day, and all that water is just going down the drain. If you need to relax, take a bath.  Once you are done… try the next tip.

Got kids who still take a bath? Once they (or you!) are done, scoop the some of the water out of the tub in a bucket (I like the 5 gallon Homer Buckets from Home Depot) and use it to water your lawn, houseplants, or even your garden. For more tips and info on how and when it’s ok to use gray water in your garden, check out this segment from KPBS Midday Edition.

Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. That seems like a no-brainer, but it really does save water!

Use the correct setting on your washing machine! If you don’t have a large load, remember to change the load size on your washing machine. Using Energy Star rated appliances will not only help you save electricity, but it will also help you save water! Read the washing machine  manual to learn about which water settings should be used.

Turn off the sink while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. You could save up to 8 gallons a day per person who brushes their teeth.

Consider removing your lawn. I know having a lush, green lawn is a source of pride for some homeowners, but now is not the time!  You can Xeriscape, which is where you pull out the lawn and replace it with decorative rocks or mulch and native, drought tolerant plants. It’s really pretty. And you’ll be saving tons of water!

Pick up some rain barrels. I know, I know, we’re in a drought! But it still does rain here from time to time. The City of San Diego has a rebate program for those who purchase and install rain collection barrels. For those of us who can’t install barrels, you can always set out buckets to collect water and store it appropriately.  We always set out a few buckets to collect water for our patio garden.

Take your car to the carwash! Most commercial carwashes use  recycled water, so taking your car to the carwash is a great way to conserve water. It’s a lot more water efficient- the average commercial carwash uses 30-50 gallons of water per carwash (and most of it is or can be recycled), whereas a DIY at home car washing can use upwards of 100 gallons of water!

Compost your kitchen scraps! Instead of running your garbage disposal (which requires water!) to dispose of organic waste (that includes food waste), start a compost pile/bin.  You can find small compost bins (including table top versions!) at Home Depot for those who don’t’ have a large yard (like us). In addition to most food waste, yard waste, newspaper, and cardboard can be added to compost piles/bins. You can learn more about composting here.

So, there are just a few ways you can be water wise. How do you like to conserve water?