When my husband and I had children in the last half of the 20th century, baby-proofing our home consisted of getting a gate to block the stairway, covering all the electrical outlets, and adding safety clips to kitchen and bathroom cupboards so curious toddlers couldn’t open them. Now that our son and daughter-in-law have an almost one-year-old, I’m learning about how much more can be done to prevent accidents and make a home safer. What once took an hour or two is now a major project for young couples. Read more
As I was thinking of potential topics for this month’s Diamond Certified Consumer Report, I decided it was time for something completely different. Rather than writing about how to be a savvy online shopper, giving wisely during the holiday season or the pros and cons of gift cards, I wanted to share something more personal.
Every year, I ask my family members to think about how we can simplify our celebrations. For example, how about drawing names for gifts instead of shopping for every person? I’ve introduced the idea of a “white elephant” gift exchange where we re-gift items we already have on hand. Rather than going out for a family restaurant meal before Christmas, Read more
The holidays represent different things for different people, but there’s one seasonal sentiment that’s universally shared: generosity. This can be seen in the annual outpouring of monetary goodwill that transpires as people from all walks of life open their hearts by opening their wallets. Naturally, charitable organizations haven’t overlooked this custom, which is why you’re likely to find your mailbox, inbox and social media feed teeming with donation requests this time of year. However, with so many solicitations coming from all directions, it’s hard to discern where to direct your generosity. We’ve teamed up with Chris Bjorklund, The Savvy Consumer, to provide some advice for giving wisely during the holidays. Read more
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gratitude is “a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.” And to quote a North Bay fire survivor, “Gratitude is a big word in my vocabulary right now.”
“Words are powerless to express my gratitude.”
As I looked deeper into the roots and meaning of this word, I found that psychologists have added a social element to the definition. Read more
This summer, my husband and I had a flooring problem in our home. We have a rolling desk chair that was scratching the engineered hardwood flooring in a downstairs office, so we placed an area rug near the desk. However, the rug was too thick to move the chair back and forth easily. The next thing we tried was a plastic floor mat on top of the area rug. That solution kind of worked, but it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. It bugged me every time I walked by the desk.
Finally, I decided to get some expert help from my local Diamond Certified flooring store. They recommended buying a commercial-quality remnant and having it cut to fit the area around the desk. Read more
Along with rising temperatures this summer, we’re going to see a rise in seasonal scams. I’ve been getting warnings from consumer protection agencies about what to watch out for, and I want to pass them on to you. You may have heard of some of these rip-offs before, but be aware that new variations always pop up and can catch even the savviest consumers off guard.
1. Magazine scams
This scam ramps up in the summer with young people going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. They claim they’re working their way through college and need to make a certain number of sales to earn points for scholarships. That’s not true. Most of the time, Read more
Headed out on a road trip this summer? Watch this video for some tips on how to prepare your car for a long drive. Read more