Archive for February, 2017

Take Your Online Shopping to the Next Level

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

So you are a professional when it comes to shopping online, are you? Even if you are an old hand at online shopping, you likely have not heard of this fantastic new trick that is emerging right now. Many people who are experienced shoppers have no idea that they can be saving huge amounts of money on the same high quality products that they know and love.

The natural progression of a shopper is to start out cruising aisles and simply picking what jumps out at them. Of course, what jumps out at them is what is strategically placed there by stockers – who are following orders from strategic consultants hired to offload failing stock.

The next step is for someone to get a bit savvy and recognize which stores are constantly just offloading shoddy products, and which are not. Then, the savvier shopper might start looking through their favorite publications for a chance to cut out coupons that can help them save a little cash.

More experienced shoppers will probably realize that without having to support a brick and mortar operation, stores can offer a lot lower prices. That means that shopping online has instantly built-in savings. Rather than pay overhead and retail staff, a clothing or shoes or jewelry line can build some of those cost savings into the product price, and pass that on to the customer.

But the ultimate step in this evolution of the ever-more experienced shopper? Take yourself to ASOS’ Groupon Coupons page for a shining example of how you can save a huge amount on fantastic products. ASOS offers all kinds of great gear, and by going through their Groupon link, you have the chance to save 20% off of full price items, get a 10% student discount, and even secure free express shipping.

There is nothing wrong with shopping in person at a retail store to see if you like something, or even following the coupon trail to uncover a new favorite. But if you really want to maximize your shopping budget, you need to search for your favorite brands’ Groupon pages and go from there.

Brought to you by our friend, Justin.

How to Prepare Your Child for College

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Going to college is a scary time for children and parents. For many, this is the first time they have lived away from home, and the first big decision that they have had to make for themselves. As a parent, you want to help them, while allowing them the freedom to grow and learn, which can be tricky. Here on some tips on the best ways to help prepare them for the first big challenge of their adult life, whether it’s still quite some time away, or they are thinking about it now.

Look at All the Options
There are more options when it comes to further education than there has ever been before. There is a huge range of courses available, from all different educational institutions. They could study close to home or far away. They could even stay at home and study an online degree, such as an online respiratory therapy degree. Or they could even study part time, and gain valuable work experience at the same time. The best thing to do is make a list, then sit down together and talk about their options. Try to go to as many open days as you can.

Encourage Them to Make the Right Choice
As a teenager, it’s always tempting to take the easy option or to follow your friends. While you can’t, and shouldn’t tell them not to do something, you can explain the benefits of other choices. If they have a dream career, help them to research what they need to do to get there. It’s not always black and white. For example, they may want to work helping children, in which case there are lots of courses and career paths they could take; even a bachelor in respiratory therapy program could lead to a career in pediatrics.

Teach Them Life Skills
If they are planning to move away from home for the first time, now is the time to make sure they know how. You’d be surprised at how many students know nothing about cooking and cleaning. Start teaching them how to make a few simple meals, and get them to help more around the house. They might not enjoy it, but these skills will help them immensely in the long term.

Prepare Financially
They probably haven’t had to control their finances too much before now. Even if you are paying their fees, or they have financial aid, they will need to make money to live. If they have never had a job, perhaps encourage them to start working a few hours, and let them control their money. Teach them as much as you can about saving and budgeting. There are some great apps which can help.

Start Shopping
Start thinking about what they need as far in advance as possible. Make a list, and between you get some shopping. They’ll need course materials and stationary, but also a laptop or tablet, and household supplies, such as bedding. After that it might depend what’s including in their dorm room, but prepare as much as you can.

Moreover, you’ll need to help them with the applications, and support them emotionally as they make these tough choices. How much help and support they need will vary, just make sure they know that you are there when they need you.

Brought to you by our friend, Carol.

What’s in a Title?

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Over the past twelve months I have made many career changes, while at the same time retaining other roles. Thus, when I have introduced myself, I usually described myself as the CEO of an online publishing company. Then, a couple weeks ago, I met a new neighbor and used that description. As I walked away, I had one of those lightbulb moments: should I really describe myself as that now?

The easy answer may be yes. I am writing the Editorially Yours column for the aforementioned online publishing company to share this quandry. However, I know that PeKu is not the company it was even six months ago. And PeKu itself doesn’t take the bulk of my time. Thus, what do I call myself?

An option would be to describe myself as a food blogger, recipe creator, or food authority. However, I wonder what others will think of that. My honest fear is that they’ll think I’m one of the many people who thinks she knows what she’s doing in her kitchen and writing on some community forum, not that I have been building Think Tasty over the past ten years and am currently putting many hours every week into this role.

Another option would be to announce myself as the Dean of Content and Instruction for an entrepreneurial education program. The problem with that title is that most people have no idea what I do. It becomes a longer answer in which I explain my role, how it works, who I educate, and more. And still, people give me a quizzical look, as they nod in agreement.

Part of the problem simply is that I hold two (or three, if you count PeKu) roles that exist primarily in the virtual world. A second part of the problem is that people want simple answers. “I’m a teacher.” “I’m a barista.” Just like we expect to hear “Good” when we ask how someone is doing. Maybe the best answer is to use a description rather than give a title. I work in the startup world in two diverse ways: educating entrepreneurs and blogging about my food creations. It is what I do with the bulk of my days.

Give me a title, if you need: Director of Content and Instruction, Recipe Creator, Founder of PeKu. I’m good with all of them. Just ask me to explain if you’re not sure what I do.