Savvy Tips

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

A Perfect 10!

Posted on May 28, 2019 by Chris Bjorklund

I bet a lot of you have stayed in Airbnbs in the past, so you know how the quality of the accommodations can vary widely. Even when you carefully read the reviews and compare properties, you can still end up renting a real stinker. One time our apartment was in the attic of an old Virginian mansion that smelled like mothballs. Another place looked inviting in the pictures but really needed a deep cleaning. And the worst one was located right next to a fire station! We didn’t sleep too well in Savannah, Georgia.

Mostly though, I’ve had great experiences with Airbnb properties, and my recent stay in San Antonio, Texas was the best one ever. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , , , , ,

Seafood Fraud Persists

Posted on April 30, 2019 by Chris Bjorklund

My husband and I try to eat seafood at least twice a week and look for what is fresh at the market. But the labeling can be confusing and is often misleading. In fact, if you eat a lot of seafood, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve eaten mislabeled fish in the past 12 months. Seafood fraud is a common problem, according to the nonprofit group Oceana, which conducted an investigation across the United States last year. Over six months, Oceana collected 400 samples from seafood markets and found that about 21 percent of them were mislabeled. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Consumers, Health Tips, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , , , ,

Lesser-Known Freebies From Your Public Library

Posted on March 26, 2019 by Chris Bjorklund

I was at my public library picking up a book for my book club when I noticed that the woman ahead of me was checking out a pass to the Exploratorium for her family. I asked the librarian for more information and found out that San Francisco libraries and others in the Bay Area have a “Discover & Go” pass, which offers free and discounted tickets to attractions such as the California Academy of Sciences, the Legion of Honor, the Oakland Zoo, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Pacific Pinball Museum. You log in with your library card and the listings include details about the conditions and how to make online reservations. The passes can be printed at home. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Please Give Us More Icing on the Cake!

Posted on February 26, 2019 by Chris Bjorklund

It often surprises me how little it takes to brighten someone’s day. I wish more businesses understood that sometimes even a tiny thing can perk you up or just make you smile.

For example, I was window-shopping at an outdoor mall when I came across free organic lemons outside of a storefront. The owner had more bowls of fruit at the sales counter. This small gesture wasn’t just a conversation starter—I was lured inside to see the merchandise and left with a positive feeling about the place. I didn’t buy anything that day, but I will return. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , , ,

Avoid Space Wasters in Your New Kitchen (And Replace Them With Space Savers)

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Jennifer Chan

Back in 2011, Chris Bjorklund, the Savvy Consumer, wrote the original version of this article. Kitchens have changed since then, but the sentiment is timeless: for those of us who live in the Bay Area, there simply isn’t room for space wasters in the kitchen. With that, read on to learn how to replace those space wasters with space savers.

Out: Kitchen desks

In her original post, Chris mentioned that the only family member to ever use her kitchen desk was the dog. Even in 2011, laptops and cellular devices were making traditional desks obsolete. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Home Remodeling, Home Organization, Home Improvement, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , ,

Expressing Gratitude All Year Long

Posted on November 29, 2018 by Chris Bjorklund

During the month of November and the Thanksgiving season, most of us are more focused than usual on the gift of gratitude. But given the positive impact of gratitude on others, perhaps we should think about ways to express our gratitude throughout the year.

I started reflecting on that the other day after listening to my voicemail. A local framing store manager called to let me know that my two paintings were ready to be picked up. Then, he added something extra—he said he sincerely appreciated my continued business, which meant a lot to him. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Holiday Related, Seasonal, Consumers, Customer Service, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , , , ,

Straight Talk Runs Deep

Posted on October 25, 2018 by Chris Bjorklund

I was lucky enough to travel to Alaska recently on a small ship adventure. The Wilderness Discoverer cruised from Sitka to Juneau through the Inside Passage, an archipelago that was created by glaciers. With only 76 passengers and 25 crew members on board, it was an intimate experience. The activities ranged from sea kayaking and bushwhacking to snorkeling and meadow meanderings, all of which provided chances to both see Alaskan wildlife and get wet and muddy. There was even a polar plunge for some!

The Captain spoke to us every day, mostly via intercom, as did the Expedition Leader and Kitchen Steward. We received updates on the itinerary, how choppy the waters might get and why dinner would be late. Read more

Share
Leave a comment

Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
Tags: , , , , , ,