Heating season is in full swing, and heating costs will undoubtedly rise this winter. To avoid sticker shock, you should know that there are ways to mitigate some of that energy use and save money every month. We consulted several energy experts, and they had some universal tips to share. Some you’ve heard – and maybe some are new to you. Most of these ideas won’t cost you anything, but will save you money. For the full story, check out our sister site, Living on the Cheap.
Headed for a national park this summer? It’s not too early to book a room. Did you know that by booking online through a third party you often pay an additional reservation fee? Well, you won’t if you book through Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the official booking agent for many Western parks. Their service is FREE and they guarantee your room will be in a park, not a nearby town. Some of the parks they represent include Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks, Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley. Go ONLINE to get the right toll-free number for the park you desire to visit.
You pay a lot of money for that artisan loaf of bread, then don’t eat it all before it gets stale. You have a recipe that calls for egg whites (or yolks) but not the rest of the egg. The rotisserie chicken is pretty much stripped of the best meat. But don’t throw them away! Some estimates say that we waste as much as 40% of our groceries because we buy them but don’t eat them. In 2010, Americans wasted nearly 24 billion tons of food – enough to fill the Empire State Building 91 times. OK, enough of the shocking statistics. Ask yourself, though: How much of the food I buy ends up in the trash or compost heap? Maybe you’re just not being smart about using things that seem useless. We have come up with a list of five foods you should never throw away until you get every last bit of use, and nutrition, out of them. Read all about it on our sister site, Living on the Cheap.
The Pikes Peak Workforce Center announces its popular workshop: How to Make the Job Fair Work for YOU! just in time for its Spring Job Fair. The workshop’s purpose is to help job seekers be successful at the job fair. Attendees will learn: how to research companies in advance; how to create a 30-second elevator pitch; how to develop a game plan for the job fair; how to talk with recruiters, and the art of follow up. How to Make the Job Fair Work for You! will be held at PPWFC’s main office at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road as follows: Tuesday, March 3, 10 am – 12 noon’ Wednesday, March 4, 2 – 4 pm; Thursday, March 12, 10 am – 12 noon; Friday, March 13, 10 am – 12 noon; Tuesday, March 17, 10 am – 12 noon; Monday, March 23, 10 am – 12 noon; Wednesday, March 25, 2 – 4 pm; Thursday, March 26, 2 – 4 pm; Monday, March 30, 10 am – 12 noon; and ‘ Tuesday, March 31, 2 – 4 pm. The popular workshop will also be held in the community at: Fountain Library Community Room, Monday, March 9, 2 – 4 pm; Woodland Park Library Resource Center,
Wednesday, March 18, 1:30 – 3:30 pm; Sand Creek Library (for young adults, 16-21, and adults), Friday, March 20, 3:30 – 5:30 pm. To register for this workshop job seekers should go to www.ppwfc.org and then click on Adult Workshops. PPWFC’s Spring Job Fair is scheduled for Thursday, April 2 at the Hotel Elegante, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. More details on that closer to the date.
The Open Enrollment period for healthcare Marketplace 2015 coverage began on November 15, 2014 and ends Feb. 15, 2015. If you’re planning to sign up, it’s time to act. If you don’t enroll by Feb. 15, you’re pretty much locked out of Marketplace health coverage for 2015 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (i.e. certain life events that involve a change in family status like marriage, birth of a child, or loss of other health coverage). Don’t forget — if you choose to go without health coverage during 2015, you’re not only taking a big risk, but you may also have to pay a penalty that amounts to the higher of 2 percent of your income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child. For those of you who were in a Marketplace plan in 2014, your coverage ended Dec. 31, 2014 unless you renewed it. Also worth noting, you can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at any time, and if you’re a small business owner, you can offer coverage to your employees throughout the year as well. That being said, here’s what you need to know if you want to get your Marketplace health coverage application in before the 2/15 deadline. For full details on how to enroll, visit our sister site, Living on the Cheap.
Of course, there’s sledding and snowman building, but if you’re looking for something a little different, check out these 5 fun things to do in the snow, courtesy of our sister site, bostonlivingonthecheap.
- Snow Painting. Super easy-super cheap. Fill spray bottles or water squirt bottles with water. Put 4 or 5 drops of food coloring in each. Head outside and spray or squirt away. Kids can draw, write, make silly designs, or whatever they want to do.
- Make Tire sur la Neige. This Canadian sweet treat is basically maple taffy and can be found at sugar shacks in Quebec. This may not be 100% authentic, but pretty close. Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a large saucepan and simmer several minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, it should reach 240 degrees). Pour in a thin stream over clean snow.Let set for a moment to begin to harden.Roll up on clean stick (like a Popsicle stick) and eat.
- Snow Ice Cream. Just 3 ingredients are all you need for this yummy treat. But try experimenting with different milks and flavorings.
- Make Mazes. March through the snow without really lifting your feet much– create letters, names, designs, and more. Bonus: while kids are having fun, you’ll get a good thigh workout.
- Blow Ice Bubbles. Get out those bubbles leftover from last summer and have some fun.
Super Bowl Sunday is a great day for skiing and snowboarding. You’ll find uncrowded trails and an absence of lift lines coupled with midwinter conditions. While others prepare to watch the big game this Sunday, Feb. 1, hit the slopes — and score some of the best deals of the season on lift tickets. Liftopia, the largest online marketplace for discounted ski lift tickets and mountain activities, has launched its annual Game Day Sale with exclusive discounts of up to 80% off at more than 200 ski areas. With kickoff late in the day, you’ll have plenty of slide time before you settle in to watch the Ravens and 49ers with chips and brewskis. Here are a few of Liftopia’s Game Day deals in Colorado: At Arapahoe Basin save 34% on lift tickets, plus a Bacon Bloody Mary, with prices starting at $62. Save 28% at Sunlight Mountain with prices starting at $65. And get 31% savings at Copper Mountain with lift tickets starting at $89.
This Valentine’s Day, win the opportunity to impress your valentine with a personalized message on one of Mountain Metropolitan Transit’s bus benches. Surprise a loved one by professing your love for thousands to see. For a chance to win, simply “like” our facebook page at www.facebook.com/MountainMetro and tell us why your valentine deserves a special tribute. A winner will be selected from the facebook posts on Feb. 4. Then, the special valentine message will be installed on a bus bench in an area of the winner’s choosing on Feb. 13 where it will stay for one month. Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day. We love our riders!
If you don’t feel like cooking on Super Bowl Sunday, a lot of restaurants are offering discounts on take-out or incentives to dine-in and watch the game. Some require coupons, so make sure you read the fine print. Not all of these deals are limited to Super Bowl Sunday, so you may be able to take advantage of them after Feb. 1. Here are the deals:
- Cici’s Pizza: Two large one-topping pizzas for $5.99 each. No coupon required.
- Fox & Hound Sports Tavern: BOGO take-out wings. No coupon required.
- HoneyBaked Ham: Get $5 off any party platter for 10 or more people or $7 off an order of $50 or more. Click here for the coupons.
- Hooters: 50 wings to-go for $43.99 or 100 wings to-go for $79.99. Both deals come with your choice of dressing and celery. No coupon required.
- Macaroni Grill: Family Meals to go starting at $5 per person. No coupon required.
- Olive Garden: 15% off catering or to-go orders when you order online. Use the promo code GAMEDAY15.
- On the Border: Get a $20 dining certificate with a catering order of $150 or more. Call 888-682-2287 and mention the promo code FOOTBALL 20.
- Outback Steakhouse: 20 hot, medium or mild wings for $14.99. No coupon required.
- Papa John’s: Order online between now and Feb. 1 (minimum order of $15) and enter the promo code SUPERBOWL. Beginning Monday, you’ll be eligible for a free pizza.
- Pizza Hut: Any pizza for $11. No coupon required.
- P.F. Chang’s: Get a 20% discount on takeout or large party orders when you order online. Use the promo code BIGGAME at checkout.
It pays to be a little older and wiser. On the first Tuesday of every month, Walgreens offers customers 55 and older a discount on many in-store purchases. (Proof of age may be required, so bring a photo ID. Plus, the offer is only valid with its Balance Rewards program.) On Senior Savings Day, qualifying customers save 20% on all regular-price merchandise. Note: The discount no longer applies to sale items. Of course, there are some restrictions: Discounts are not valid on prescriptions, cigarettes, dairy products, liquor, liquor department items, phone cards, newspapers, magazines, stamps, gift cards, items or services submitted to insurance for reimbursement or where otherwise limited by law. Make sure to read the fine print on the bottom of Walgreens’ Senior Savings Day page for a full review of restrictions. If you don’t qualify, consider asking an older relative or friend to go shopping with you to get in on the savings. Be sure you’re a member of its FREE loyalty program, Balance Rewards, for maximum savings.
Only the groundhog knows whether good weather awaits us in the next six weeks. However, one thing for sure is that this is a good deal. On Feb. 2, Sonic Drive-In is offering 50% off its Footlong Hot Dogs — all day. Choose from the Footlong Quarter Pound Coney, Footlong New York Dog, Footlong All-American Dog or Footlong Chicago Dog. There’s no limit, so everyone in your car can down a dog at participating locations. For locations nationwide, click here.
Southird (South Third Street Merchants Association of Victor) sponsors Victor’s 3rd on 3rd. The merchants on South Third Street will be open until 8 p.m. (and on the third day of every month). Merchants included are Sue’s Fortune Club, The Victor / Lowell Thomas Museum, The Victor Trading Co. & Manufacturing Works and Marigold Mercantile, all located on South Third Street. FREE refreshments will be served at each location and many will have specials from 5 till 8 p.m. For more information, call 689-2346.