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Go green: Save on your water bill

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Good morning Loves.  BF and I have been in our new apartment for a month now and I’m still learning about how to save money on hydro without taking cold showers and living in the dark.  This is the first time in 34 years we’ve had to pay hydro; not only are we learning how to fit this variable payment into our monthly budget but we’re also learning to be more conscious about how much energy we consume.

We already received our first hydro bill.  It was $65 from October 1 to 16.  We moved in Oct 1 and I guess the cut off is mid month so that’s why we already received a bill.  This means our hydro bill, which includes electricity and hot water, should be around $130 each month.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad but it seems like a lot since we haven’t even turned on our heat yet for the winter or our air conditioning for the summer.  Does that sound reasonable for an 1100 sq. ft. apartment?

4 ways we are trying to cut down our water bill:

Turn off the water.  I know this seems like common sense but it’s not as easy as it sounds.  I never noticed how much water I used to waste because I never had to pay attention to it.  I would turn on the shower and let the water run for a few minutes until it was hot and I am notorious for leaving the water running while I brush my teeth.  Let me tell you that all this has stopped, but old habits are hard to break.  I’m also trying not leave the water running while I’m cleaning because not only is it a waste of useful resources, it’s also letting money run down the drain – literally.

Make sure your appliances are full.  For six years we had to wash dishes by hand so having a brand new dishwasher is amazing, however it’s also a very expensive luxury.   We would love to run the dishwasher whenever we needed to use a dirty dish, but that’s just not smart.  BF and I tend to always eat the same things which means we always use the same dishes and cookware, but we don’t want to run our dishwasher until it’s absolutely full.  This means we still end up washing some dishes by hand but it’s better than wasting water and our money.

Wash in cold water.   This is probably the best money saver tip I can give.  Cold water is free so if you run the dishwasher and laundry machine on cold water it only costs electricity not electricity AND hot water.  That’s a great money saving tip.  Of course it doesn’t mean we should all start doing a load of laundry every time we need one pair of socks cleaned because that would be a waste.  Just be cautious with your water temperatures because it could save you a lot of money.  It also saves water because if you’re washing dishes by hand no one wants to linger their body parts in cold water.  I for one always wash faster when the water is cold.

How do you save money on your water bill?

Photo from Flickr

How Custom Barcode Implementation Speeds up Work Flow

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Custom barcode creation for a business purpose is relatively cheap and easy now with hardware and software from companies like Shopify making it easy for a company to invest in these to speed up their efficiency.

Barcodes are not exactly new technology but their presence on the business scene at present is unprecedented, and the medium is only expected to grow as time goes by. It has managed to raise the levels of efficiency and production in a number of different areas of business and marketing. But how exactly does implementing a barcode solution help a business become more efficient? Here we take a look at the multiple ways implementing a barcode solution helps the efficiency of a business.

Inventory Management

Originally, when barcodes were invented for business use, their first purpose was for the management of inventories. They were well suited to this task since they could be easily manipulated to hold the data that would be most relevant to the inventory management style that the company already had in place. A company that dealt with retail stock movement, for example, could easily update its database when one or more items were scanned, allowing them to easily see, at a glance, how much of a particular item they had in stock. This allowed much more efficient management as well as the ability to implement a system that allowed for early re-order of items before they ran out of stock.

Such a system makes the business on the whole very efficient, since it allows the free movement of information regarding the stock to the people responsible for the reordering without needing an intermediary. It also avoids the problem of retail stores being caught unawares by receding stock numbers.

Service Improvement

Entering values for items into a cash register has a lot of shortfalls. First and foremost is the tendency for human beings to be imperfect when entering values. Thus, every now and again, an error creeps in that requires someone to come and reset the system or void the information, then re-enter it.

From any point of view, this type of data entry is heavily inefficient. The application of barcodes to this problem can make the cashier system far more efficient. Scanning a barcode is far quicker than entering data, and it allows the cashier to get through items faster. The barcode also makes sure that errors don’t creep into the calculation of the final total. This leads to an overall improvement in service through quicker checkout times as well as more efficient use of resources. In the long run, it would retain the company more business than if the old system was kept.

Financially Responsible

Probably the number one thing recommending barcodes to a company for the purpose of upgrading service is the fact that they are extremely economically efficient. The kind of gains that a business would make in productivity and possible return business is virtually unheard of with such a small initial investment cap. Buying a barcode designer and printer and combining it with a reader can cost a whole lot less than other solutions for increasing business efficiency.

In addition to this, the barcode systems can even come with add-ons from time-cards to allow employees to clock in, to statistical analysis tools to cater for real-time following of sales numbers across multiple retail outlets. Barcode scanners and printers require very little maintenance overall. When compared to other technology that may impact the effectiveness of a business (for example time-clock-cards) the investment is tiny, making it the obvious choice for a company looking to get as much bang for their buck as they can.

The simple fact is that barcode scanners and readers comprise a business upgrade that pays for itself a hundredfold after being installed. Their minimal cost for installation coupled with their low maintenance costs can benefit a company by lowering the amount of investment that must be made to raise the level of efficiency of the business. Their ability to interface seamlessly with current inventory management solutions makes them ideal for retail businesses.

However, because of the level of customizability of the label printers and the labels that can be produced, they can work for pretty much any business in order to improve their efficiency. In retail businesses especially, checkout times can take a lot longer than in other types of businesses, and barcodes help to alleviate this problem by allowing less-skilled workers to make less errors while at the same time increasing the speed at which orders are cashed.

In any type of business, barcodes can benefit the company immensely and overlooking it as an upgrade option can be detrimental to the business’ growth in the long run. Thus when deciding to upgrade, hands down the best value you can get with the largest level of return for the smallest investment capital is the barcode system. Easy to implement and simple to learn, it’s almost guaranteed to make a massive impact on the way you do business.

photo by Victor9501

Are you pumpkin crazy yet?

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Good morning Loves.  Well it’s the last week of October and I don’t know about you, but I had a great month.  On October 1st BF and I moved into our gorgeous new apartment (I promise once we’re settled I’ll share pics) and on October 9th I turned 34 years old.

Decorating according to the season

I know I’ve mentioned this before but I just love fall.  It’s definitely my favorite season for a variety of reasons such as the beautiful landscape colors, the wardrobe options – I love sweaters and boots, my birthday and of course pumpkin.  I look forward to pumpkin flavored everything this time of the year from home scents to hot beverages – yes you know the one I’m talking about.

Oh yes I am one of those people who follow seasonal trends.  Right now our apartment is full of anything and everything that smells like apple orchards and pumpkin patches.  In the next few months I’ll switch it up and all rooms in my new apartment will smell like evergreens and Christmas cookies.  Oh yes I love this time of the year.

Are you buying into the pumpkin craze?

So here’s my question, have you gone pumpkin crazy like I have?  I know some people think the pumpkin hype is just a marketing tactic used by retailers to kick off the shopping season, and maybe they’re right.  I for one don’t care.  I love celebrating the change of seasons, this time of year I go pumpkin crazy, in the winter I buy new mittens (yes every year) in the spring I buy a fresh bouquet of flowers and come summer I get a pedicure to kick off the warm season.  Those are just my traditions and I like them.  So what if the anticipation of pumpkin season is all a marketing scheme made up by Starbucks and Bath & Body Works, I like my apartment to smell good and I like to enjoy a hot coffee to keep warm.

What pumpkin things have you bought so far?

Did you notice the so far?!  That’s because it’s not over yet.  We don’t have to start thinking about Christmas for at least another month, so let’s enjoy fall while it’s still here.  My mother takes the change in seasons to a whole other level; she decorates her house according to the time of year.  If you were to visit my mother right now you would find a fall wreath on the outside of her front door, Halloween decorations all over her house and a beautiful pumpkin inspired table center piece that most likely looks like The Horn of Plenty.  Maybe that’s where I get it.

So far this year I’ve indulged in half a dozen Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks, there is just something so comforting about a hot beverage on a cold fall afternoon.  I bought a pumpkin pie for BF and I to eat as dessert on Thanksgiving (remember we’re Canadian so we celebrated Thanksgiving at the beginning of October), I have three fall flavored candles burning in my apartment right now and two other Wallflower scent diffusers that are filled with Pumpkin Cupcake flavored oil.  Then of course there is our actual pumpkin which is already carved because I wanted to roast the pumpkin seeds.  Now that I’m writing it all out I’m thinking to myself WOW that’s a lot of pumpkin.

What’s your favorite fall flavor?

Photo from Flickr

Friday Faves: French Toast for breakfast

BREAKFASTGood morning Loves.  Was it just me or did this week seem exceptionally long?  I’m glad it’s over because for the next two days I can sleep in (in my new king size bed, is that getting old yet?) and take time to make a good breakfast – I like to eat French Toast with cinnamon for breakfast on the weekends and I just don’t have time to do it during the week.   Yep I’m one of those girls who will do anything for an extra 15 minutes sleep in the morning.

And yes that really was my breakfast a couple weekends ago.  My blueberry pancake disaster is why I switched to French Toast – it’s much easier to make.

Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy these posts from our friends:

Dear Debt – How My Blog Changed My Life

Common Sense Millennial – The Reason Why You Fail to Achieve Financial Goals

Careful Cents – Is Now the Right Time to Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur?

Broke Millennial – Why You Should Still Save When in Debt

Stapler Confessions – It’s Not Too Late to Save Money on Halloween Costumes

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads – The Gold Digger Who Would Murder for Money