Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge, Unclutter Your Life

Instant Energy Boost

Yup it is here again and you lost an hour over the weekend with the time change.  I am always glad for this change because it means longer days with warmer weather on the horizon.

What better topic for today than “instant” energy boosts, right?  I’m not talking about massive amounts of coffee although it may be an option.  It was for me many years ago when I was doing the commute of 4 hours a day round trip…

Here are some natural ways to rev up your day WITHOUT caffeine… and yes, it is possible.

#1 – Inhale Mint

Believe it or not, a whiff of this scent can make you feel more alert.  I don’t mean sniffing a candy mint, I mean the real thing FRESH or peppermint essential oil!  There is research which says it can also enhance your memory.

#2 – Slow Down

“Slow down, you move to fast”.. yes, it is an old song so I am showing my age.  The truth is a low or moderate paced walk can energize you because it sends more oxygen to your brain.

#3 – Balance your B12

Eating a healthy balance of foods could do wonders for your energy level BUT vitamin B12 helps your body turn food into fuel.  The vitamin is found in only animal proteins such as meat, poultry and dairy.  If you are vegan or vegetarian, you may want to take a supplement but check with your doctor first.  I actually had an over abundance of B12 for awhile and it can have negative effects on your body as well.

#4 – Have a Hearty Lunch

Do you have mid-afternoon slumps?  I do and it is usually a result of what I ate for lunch.  Yup, your lunch can make the difference in how you feel in the afternoon.  The key is to have a lunch combo of fiber and protein.  Make sure you pick whole-grain breads and pasta or have a hearty soup, stew or salad.  Pack your own lunch in one of Thirty One’s amazing thermals… try the thermal lunch tote and you can personalize it so no one takes your lunch!

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#5 – Just Add Sleep

When I think about sleeping more, I usually think of getting up later  but we should really go to bed earlier.  I know your favorite shows start later at night, right?  The truth is as adults, we need 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night to feel rested and alert.  What is your average?  Here is a trick to help you prep for bed: set an alarm on your phone so you can start winding down for the night.  Once the alarm goes off, put all of your electronic devises AWAY for the rest of the night.  I have been trying to do this a half hour before bed and it seems to help.  Tough but it does work.

#6 – Find Fresh Air

Feeling tired?  Take a break and go outdoors.  Being outside for about 20 minutes may be enough time to shrug off the sleepy slump of the day.  Taking a walk may rejuvenate you.

What do you do to gain energy during the day?  Share your best tips with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Money Saving Apps

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I will be the first to admit that I am technically challenged.  I am on a mission to pay off debt so I am moving into the digital age for coupons and savings apps.  So, pull out your smart phone and check out some of these money saving apps.

Shopkick  rewards you with “kicks” when you visit participating retailers like Macy’s, Target, Best Buy, etc.).  Admit it, you go to at least one of these retailers every week.  You also can earn “bonus kicks” for scanning specific items while in store. NO, you don’t have to purchase them, just scan the UPC code.  Once you’ve earned enough reward points you can redeem them for retail and restaurant gift cards.

Checkout 51 – to save on groceries. Every Thursday morning, Checkout 51 updates with a new list of offers. Simply choose the offers you like, purchase them at any store then upload a photo of your receipt through the mobile app or website. When your account reaches $20, Checkout 51 sends you a check.

Ibotta – Before heading to the store, choose the offers you like then go shopping. (The more offers you select, the more you can earn.) After you check out, take a photo of your receipt which Ibotta will verify and then credit your account. Cash rewards can be deposited directly into a PayPal account. Every time you redeem an offer a new one will be sent to you.

SavingStar  offers e-Coupons for participating stores that are automatically added to your store’s savings card. The savings are stored in an account and once you’ve saved $5 or more you can be paid through a bank transfer, PayPal account or Amazon.com gift card.  This is a great way to save and use the extra money to pay off debt.

Retail Me Not – Before you shop use this app to find coupons and coupon codes for most major retailers. You can use Retail Me Not for online shopping as well.  A great way to get the best deals.

Shop Savvy – Use this app to scan items in the store to compare prices so you can see if you can get a better deal. This is super helpful if you have a specific item you’re looking for and want to find the best price.

Gas Buddy – This app helps you to find the best gas prices in your area by listing current prices at the gas stations closest to you. You can even earn points when you report a gas price.

Every Dollar – Dave Ramsey’s free online budgeting tool with a iPhone app. Helps you to create your budget for the month and allows you to connect your bank account for a small fee.

Mint – This free budgeting app automatically tracks your accounts and allows you to see exactly where your money is going. This is one of the top apps recommended by money saving individuals.

Ebates – my favorite site for saving money when shopping online!  Earn bonuses too when you help your family and friends save.

What are YOUR favorite money saving sites?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!