14
Jul

His N Hers: How Couples Choose Which Side of the Bed to Sleep On

by Tiffany in Tidbits

How Couples Choose Which Side of the Bed to Sleep On

Think the side of the bed you sleep on is irrelevant? Think again! It could reveal more about your personality than you first imagined. A 2015 study undertaken by Sealy, a manufacturing firm, looked at the sleeping habits of 1,000 people for insights into how they affect our mood, careers, and life outlook.

The results might surprise you.

The 2015 study results

It was concluded that those who sleep on the right side of the bed were:

– 9% more likely to prefer being by themselves

– 7% more likely to wake up in a bad mood

– 5% more likely to be pessimistic

– 3% more likely to dislike their job

On the other hand, those who sleep on the left side of the bed were:

– 8% more likely to have friends and enjoy their work

– 4% more likely to wake up happy

– 9.5% more likely to have a positive outlook on life

Interestingly, the study also suggested that many people – 36% – prefer sleeping alone rather than next to their partner. In some cases this was because of a snoring other half.

These statistics resoundingly suggest that if you sleep on the left side of the bed, you chose your side well. But what makes couples favour the left or the right? How couples choose which side of the bed to sleep on

A study published in Evolutionary Psychology in 2010 found that people preferred sleeping within full view of their bedroom door and windows, although they also wanted the bed to be as far away from the door as possible, most likely because it made them feel more protected.

When it comes to couples, Paul C. Rosenblatt has stated in his book Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing that it’s almost ubiquitous for couples to sleep on the same respective side of the bed every single night. From the interviews he conducted with couples, he managed to identify 8 primary reasons for the right or left preference.

1. Old habits – you developed the preference before you met your partner

2. Claustrophobia – you prefer whatever side is away from the wall

3. Bathroom breaks – this one’s all about convenience!

4. Protectiveness – straight men will often sleep closest to the door to be

protective of their partner

5. Early birds – the person who gets up earliest sleeps away from the wall

6. Parenting – whoever is on child duty sleeps on the outside

7. Pain – you choose the side which is the least painful on the body

8. Temperature – you prefer whichever side is warmer/cooler

What if couples disagree?

Research done by Premier Inn of 2,000 adults has provided some even more interesting data:

● A huge 80% of people have slept on the same side since the start of their relationship

● 22% said they slept on a different side with their ex-partner

● 1 in 20 men were not happy with the side they slept on

● More than 1 in 10 couples argue about which side to sleep on, and women usually win (reasons for arguing including not wanting to sleep next to the radiator)

Claire Haigh from Premier Inn offered some further insights, stating: “Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to their sleeping styles but which side of the bed people sleep on seems to be fundamental to getting a good night’s sleep.

“Interestingly, our research revealed an almost identical split between Brits’ preference to a particular side, with 51% favouring the left and 49% the right, with the vast majority of people maintaining their particular preference for many years.”

Other reasons for choosing a certain side of the bed included noise from the road, crying babies, floor space, comfort, having a better view of the television, and being close to personal belongings.

Which side do you prefer and why? Or are you only interested in sleeping and don’t mind at all where in the bed you do it? We want to know!

About Happy Beds

Happy Beds is the UK’s fastest-growing bed store. They give the best prices on contemporary bed frames and super-comfortable quality mattresses – ensuring you enjoy the night’s sleep you’ve always dreamed of. To find the bed for you, take a look at their website.

10
Jul

A Leader in GMO Labeling & Transparency #KnowYourYogurt

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

dannon

It seems unfathomable that any group, company, corporation or government would take the stance that we don’t have the right to know something as personal and as basic as where our food comes from and the method by which it came to us. Yet in today’s marketplace this is actually a fight we moms have had to take on. It has become a struggle for consumers to be able to ascertain if their food has been genetically modified. Most of the world requires GMO labeling to give people the right to know what they buy. Since food is one of those basic needs we have as human beings there should be no mystery surrounding it. Transparency seems like a reasonable request right?

There are many who do not want GMO labeling and transparency. In fact we keep hearing about legislation that which will make it harder for consumers to get the transparent labeling they deserve.

The good news though is that consumers are getting savvy. They are demanding truth in labeling and transparency about ingredients and practices. This trend has gained more and more steam. The result is that brands have started to take notice and realize they need rethink their current practices.Smart companies are realing they don’t want to be on the wrong side of this issue.

One such company that deserves kudos for pioneering the way and for moving towards transparency when legislation is finding they don’t have to, is Dannon. It’s a move toward doing the right thing for the consumer. Dannon is moving some of their best selling brands toward non-­GMO ingredients and going beyond that to develop a supply of non­ GMO feed for their cows. Dannon is the first national yogurt company to do that.

Not only are they moving towards non GMO products they are being transparent with their labeling. By the end of 2017, Dannon will clearly label its products that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

Dannon moves toward non­-GMO ingredients

To provide consumers a choice of more natural products, Dannon is pledging to evolve all products from three of their most popular brands – Dannon, Oikos and Danimals – toward the use of non­-GMO. This is actually a rather large step in the right direction because these three flagship products represent approximately 50% of Dannon sales. They are taking half their business and changing it for the benefit of consumers right to know!

Because most feed used to feed dairy cows in the US is genetically modified today, they are working with feed suppliers and farm partners to start planting non­ GMO feed as soon as possible to fulfill future needs. Once these changes are implemented, the products from these three brand families will contain milk from cows fed only non­GMO feed. By the end of 2017 all products within the Dannon brand family will be made with non­GMO ingredients and they will have completed the full conversion of cow feed for these products.

This truly amazing when you consider that Dannon’s perspective on GMOs is that those currently­ approved are safe. Regardless of their stance though they know full well that there is a growing consumer preference and demand for non­ GMO ingredients in the US and they can leverage the strong relationships they have with their farmer partners to move faster to provide products that address this consumer demand. This is a big win for the company as they rise to a marketplace challenge to meet consumer demand and this is a big win for the consumer because our voices have been heard and a large company like Dannon is answering.

Dannons Leads the Way With Label Transparency

To further provide transparency about all their products, they have committed to declare the presence of GMO ingredients in their products, on their labels, by December 2017, independent of whatever actions are taken by the federal government. They will become the first of the leading national yogurt makers to embrace this practice.

They are also quite far along in implementing animal welfare practices at their farmer partners’ operations via the Validus Certification system. They are confident that by July 2016, more than 90% of their direct milk supply will come from farms that are Validus Certified.

Why This Development is So Important

As a consumer I want to know what is in my food and the food I feed my family. I want to know where it came from and how it was raised or grown. I want the decision to consume genetically modified foods to be MY choice and not that of government or a corporation who feels that choice should be theirs. Any company who decides to be bring the decision to me and be transparent when they don’t legally have to be…deserves my support. They are making the ethical choice in an ethically ambiguous marketplace.

Smiling farmer woman standing by cattle outside


This post is written in association with The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency, and non­gmo ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ingredients.

1
Jul

Frugal Friday – Garden Goodies

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

frugal fridayFrugal Wins:

  • Husband got a small bonus at work and they put it on a prepaid Mastercard rather than paying via direct deposit. Often times he spends this money like it is personal blow money. This time he gave me the card and I paid some bills freeing up that money from the regular budget. Win!
  • Got $23 in credit to use at Menards from rebates. It sucks that we have to use the money there but they sell food there so it will likely be spent on food for hubby’s lunches.
  • Made chicken with green curry and swiss chard and a few salads throughout the week. The chard, lettuce, and radishes came from our garden.
  • Went to a movie with some friends. Sometimes you just need to get together with the girls. I picked an early showtime that only cost $5 to see and I had enough to cover it on an old gift card. I went without concessions so it was a total freebie.
  • Tallied up the June budget today and found that we had an extra $1800 dollars for the month and it wasn’t one of our best income months either. This shows me we have lots more wiggle room than I originally thought. July should be twice as good since it has 5 paydays and there will be overtime.
  • Paid nothing for gas in almost two months! I have a full tank after I used up the rest of a gas card I got as a gift during a blogger event in May. I don’t drive much and I also had two, week long test drives for a Lexus and a Mirage (they come with a full tank) during that time. Gas isn’t a huge expense but it sure has been nice to not budget for any in two months time.

Frugal Fails: 

  • Electric bill too high for my liking. I need to line dry clothing more often. I already adjusted settings on our dishwasher so that there is a no heat dry and rinse being used.
  • Ate outside the house twice this week. I was hot and irritable (driving without AC) and it was a treat so I am not beating myself up about it.

Looking forward to next month!

29
Jun

16 Ways to Raise a Family and Not Go Broke

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

raise a family without going brokeI often hear that raising kids is sooooo expensive. I honestly don’t think that has to be true. Yes you will spend more than you would if you were childless but it doesn’t have to break the bank. It is all in how you choose to live. Frankly if you do not raise kids in a consumerist driven home environment and you do not fall into the trappings up keeping up with the Joneses and the Joneses children, you can manage quite well financially. You can manage quite well AND give your children a good life.

This may mean that your kids don’t eat at restaurants very much. It may mean that movie theater trips are not very frequent. Extra curricular activities that are accompanied by a healthy price tag may not be on the table. Kids can still thrive when we aren’t throwing money at their entertainment desires. Sometimes the answer is no and sometimes you just find a clever way to achieve the same result without the expenditures. Not only will you save money, you will raise better kids, in my humble opinion. Are you up to the challenge?

Ways to Raise a Family and Not Go Broke

No Unnecessary Baby Stuff – In our culture when we find out we are expecting a baby it is not unusual for the excessive spending to start. We need lots of baby clothes, burp rags, receiving blankets, bouncy chairs, baby swings, bibs, baby toys, pacifiers, a custom designed nursery, a fancy stroller, an fabulous crib..the list goes on. Well, you don’t need any of it. Really you don’t. All that cute baby stuff is mostly a vanity purchase by parents. The clothes will be outgrown in weeks. The baby won’t play with toys for a few months and even then they would rather play with the measuring spoons from the kitchen and not the silver baby rattle you bought. They will hate the baby swing and your fancy stroller will be such a pain to lug around solo that you will decide it is ultimately too much trouble to use. Skip all the baby purchases and buy the bare minimum. Co-sleep, wear your baby, and buy used clothes and toys as you need them. Easy peasy.

Nurse Your Babies & Make Baby Food – Why spend a year or longer buying baby formula when you can breastfeed? Not only is it a hundred time healthier than sugar laden, heavy metal containing baby formula, it is FREE. Breastfed babies are sick less often and they find great comfort in the act of nursing. It is also more convenient. No need to be in the kitchen warming formula on the stove at 3AM, you have milk warm and ready in seconds when you breastfeed. Store bought baby food is also a huge waste of money. Just puree regular foods and freeze servings in ice cube trays so you always have some on hand. This healthier and cheaper.

Hand Me Downs – You will have to buy some stuff, that is true. If you hang on to these items you can pass them on to future children and not worry about starting from scratch with each child. Even if your first child was a girl and she had pink onesies, your new baby boy can wear them around, at the very least around your own home. Why buy new stuff because it the wrong color? Use what you have instead of buying new.

Conserve Resources – With every person that enters the home we use more resources..more power, more water, etc. We need to recognize this and stay on top of it. More people means more laundry so it may be time to start line dry clothes, at least some of them time. Electric clothes dryers are one of the worst energy sucks in your home. Lights that turn off automatically when you leave a room are handy because small kids won’t remember to turn off lights. Teach kids that when it is yellow let it mellow and when it’s brown flush it down. This little act can save tons in the toddler years when they have to pee every ten minutes. Also use a shower bucket (or bath bucket) during all those frequent toddler baths.

Public Schooling or Home Schooling – Yep, no pricey private education. With parental assistance kids can get a good public school education. If there are learning gaps you can address those yourself or seek outside help as needed. It would still be cheaper than a private school. If the environment worries you then homeschooling is an option but in all honesty the environment you want to shield them from in public schools is the same environment they will have to function in as adults. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to pay for private schooling because others in your faith or community do. That is just another way of trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Annual Passes – The best ways to experience local entertainment usually is with annual passes or memberships. A yearly membership to the zoo, the science museum, the play museum, or the waterpark often pay for themselves in one or two visits. And you don’t need to get them every year. If you visited the science museum ten times last year because you had a membership then go for a zoo membership this year. We all want our kids to have fun experiences and this is a way of cheaply providing it.

Thrift Store Shopping – Most of your home purchases can be made at second hand stores. You can buy clothing, back to school gear, dishes, bedding, toys, decor…you name it. Just make a pact with yourself that whenever your kids need something you will look at thrift stores first. Chances are you will find what you need and save yourself lots of money.

Music Lessons Online – Many parents want their children to learn some sort of musical instrument. If your public school does not have a free or low cost option there are always online options. Youtube is full of instructional videos. The Hoffman Academy offers free online piano lessons, The Violin Lab offers online violin instruction for only $6.50 a month. In my area we were able to get a violin for our daughter for $21 a month and that goes 100% towards the purchase price. We are basically renting to own with no interest. There are many, many options.

Cook At Home – When you need to keep costs down, eating out is a rare luxury. This is okay though because I think it is valuable to teach kids that making food at home is the norm and they can learn to do the cooking themselves. It is a truly wonderful thing when your teen children can cook for themselves, their siblings, and for the whole family. Eating out can kill your budget in a matter of days to get used to home cooked meals and packing lunches.

Modest Holidays & Birthdays – Just take a look at Pinterest and you will see the crazy amount of time and money that many people put towards birthdays and holidays. I personally chose to not fall into that trap. We have always done modest Christmas celebrations of maybe $100 per child and decor that we sourced exclusively from yard sales and thrift stores. Halloween decor is sourced the same way and costumes can be made at home. Easter baskets were filled with thrift store finds. Birthdays are also modest…a dinner of their choosing, a home cooked cake, and a gift worth about $50. We don’t host holiday or birthday parties either. We makes these times special and memorable without spending lots of money.

Smart Shopping – For groceries we shop at Aldi almost exclusively if you have one near you I highly recommend you check it out. We also use Amazon Prime for the low prices, the free two day shipping, the music streaming, and video streaming, etc. I do a lot of price checking before I make purchases. There are also apps that reward you with cash back for buying certain products. There are loyalty programs that pay you with gas credit. There are credit cards that give anywhere from 1% to 5% cashback on purchases but you have to be disciplined enough to not carry a balance and pay interest. There are lots of tricks you can use to shop smarter and it is actually kind of fun to do.

No Snacking & Simple Meals – In our house we essentially avoid snacking. We all get our three meals and then perhaps fruit if they get hungry in between but I do not buy snack foods in general. Our meals are also fairly simple with cheap ingredients, definitely not Pinterest worthy. We eat a lot of leftovers, we eat a lot of salad, and we eat a lot of whatever proteins I could find the cheapest that week. I like to keep dinner costs at or below $10 per meal or $2 per person. If I go over $10 a meal then that meal needs to provide leftovers for packed lunches.

Garden and Homestead – You can make your grocery bill go further and put your home to work by gardening and homesteading. Homesteading basically just means that your home is “productive” rather than just a money suck. It produces for the family in some way. Start a garden that provides a couple hundred pounds of fresh produce a year. Plant some fruit trees so that you don’t have to buy things like apples, pear, cherries, or peaches anymore. Raise some animals on a small scale such as chickens, rabbits, or quail and then you have a low cost supply of eggs and/or meat. When times get tough you will be happy that you have this resource and its great for kids to be in this sort of environment.

Cheap or Free Community Entertainment – If you look, you will often find lots of free community events that you can take the family to such as festivals and block parties. There are also great park systems to be had in cities and also at the state or national level depending upon where you live. Look for places to hike, picnic, camp, etc. Look for local waterfalls and swimming beaches. City pools are also very affordable usually. I know in Columbus they are about .50 cents per person per day whereas the pools in the suburb areas are $10 a person/day. Really learn about your community as much as you can and find all the hidden gems.

Libraries – I am raising readers. My husband and I also love to read. Instead of buying books we use the library and we request books so that they are delivered to the library closest to us. Libraries also have free events for kids of all ages.

Modest Vacations – We are not going to be that family who does a six day park hopper pass to DisneyWorld and stays at one of the on location luxury resorts, with a dining plan, and breakfast with Mickey. I am okay with that. It is not worth the money in my opinion. We don’t vacation every year and we actually rarely vacationed when the kids were little and not old enough to value the experiences. They were happy just going to the fair to see fireworks.

We chose to do a few weekend trips that took us to various parts of our home state rather drop a few grand on a week long trip out of state. We stayed in Motel 8s rather than resorts. We brought food with us when we traveled so that we didn’t have to eat out. I also took children with me on business trips if I could. My oldest got to go to DC with me once and my daughter went with me to New York City where we did lots of sightseeing. Now that the kids are older we are traveling more but we still do it on a tight budget.

If you are tight on money do not feel as though your kids are missing out on anything. They aren’t. You can provide a wonderful life for them while on a budget.

spending time with children

27
Jun

Why I Shop at Aldi To Save Money

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

Shop Aldi Save MoneyOnly two to three years ago I was mainly shopping at Giant Eagle and Trader Joe’s for our food and household needs. I still love Trader Joe’s and will stop in whenever I am in the area but my heart has changed. I am an Aldi convert. The bulk of my grocery shopping is done there and I do not see that changing as long as I am within 50 miles of an Aldi. Luckily I have one about five minutes away from me currently.

Two years ago I was spending $1200 a month easily at grocery stores. Nowadays the top end up of my grocery budget is $700 a month. That is a HUGE change and it is do to some diet changes (less paleo centric) and shopping different stores. Pretty much all of my food and household extras (like toilet paper and dishwasher soap) are bought at Aldi. I shop elsewhere for most of my meat purchases and via Amazon Prime for a few other toiletries. Gone are the days of going into Giant Eagle and dropping $300 on a shopping cart full of groceries. Now I go up to the Aldi checkout with an overflowing cart and only spend $100. It is an amazing thing.

The crazy thing is that I have lived very close to Aldi for six years now and did not go there until 1-2 years ago. Why? Because I envisioned it to be like shopping at Big Lots or dollar stores for food. Right or wrong I have always had an attitude about stores like this and imagine their food to be old and the stuff no bought that gets funneled to the cheapy stores. My husband encouraged me to visit Aldi and I refused with my nose stuck up in the air. The very first time I went, tagging along with my husband, I was hooked. I was like a kid discovery DisneyLand. No kidding. These days I have even been known to buy a few things at Big Lots if I am in the area. Oh, how times have changed.

But why is Aldo so great? In my opinion the regular prices at Aldi are equal to or better than the best sale prices at other grocery stores.

Why is Aldi So Much Cheaper?

There are quite a few reason why shopping Aldi saves you money. Here are a few of them that add to big time savings for the customer.

  • They offer a narrow selection. They do not have 20 different options for barbecue sauce and 10 different mayo choices. They have two. Not having to fill their store with every option available means they spend less money to stock their stores and waste less money having to deeply discount stuff just to get it out the door. All their products have a high turnover or they don’t sell them.
  • You rent shopping carts for a quarter. Aldi doesn’t have to pay people to round up carts because the customers return them on their own. You have to insert a quarter in a cart to unlock it and then you get your quarter back when you return it. You always return it because you want that quarter in your car and waiting until your next Aldi trip.
  • You bag your own groceries and you bring your own bags or pay for them. Yes! This company does it right. They scan all the groceries and put them back into a cart. When you have finished paying you take the cart over to a long table and bag your groceries in your own reusable bags. If you forgot them you can buy reusable bags or paper bags at the checkout. They do not have to pay associates to bag groceries or pay for bags in general, saving you money.
  • Aldi private label products have many barcodes (like 4-5 on a single product). This makes checkout super fast, it is actually amazing to watch. They get customers checked out way faster and therefore they require fewer checkout people. My Aldi only has four checkout lanes and the most I have seen running at the same time is two.
  • Because everything is so efficient they have little need for lots of employees. Usually they only have 3-4 working at any given time. Can you imagine a grocery store staffed by only four people? It is amazing and it ends up being reflected in their prices.
  • Stocking shelves is easy because they leave everything in the bulk boxes they are shipped in. Items like milk and eggs stay on huge rolling carts with shelves. Sugar, flour, and heavy items are left on pallets. All of these little changes mean less time involved stocking shelves.
  • Produce is not sold by the pound so there is no weighing and extra time involved at checkout.
  • They have great clearances and sales to make way for new and seasonal products. Loved that peppermint silk pie they had around the holidays? Well, that $6 pie is $2 after the holidays and you can stock up for birthdays and special occasions.

I am simply amazed by the prices. $.69 cents for eggs. $1.50 for milk. Cereal for $1.29 a box. Real orange juice for $1.99 as carton. It is crazy! Produce prices are always the best in town and they have plenty of organic and gluten free products that cost a bit more but are still cheaper than anywhere else. I also stock up on seasonal and sale items. Once I had been eyeballing a cheesecake sampler box for $6.99 every time I went in and then after a few weeks I saw the samplers for $1.99. Needless to say I bought them all for future parties and entertaining. Recently I went in right at opening because I am an early riser and discovered all their whole chickens had large discount stickers on them making each bird only $3 and some change. I bought a bunch and froze them. I have also bought hams after the holidays for about $5 a ham and they are huge hams that are bigger than my six quart crockpot.

ALDI-Slow-cooker-Dump-PlanAdli Meal Plans

Another HUGE cost savings is available via bloggers who have done the legwork and figured out the best ways to leverage Aldi. I adore the Aldi meals plans from I Am That Lady. I think I have all of them and a $150ish dollars and one day spent prepping and freezing meals will result in meals for two weeks or so. When I buckle down and do these plans I save even more, dropping my food budget down to $400 for a family of five with two teens. There are grilled food plans, crockpot plans, dump meals, gluten free meals, etc. They come with shopping lists organized by aisle number too. I highly recommend the Aldi meal plans!!

Another great resource is a book you can find on Amazon, Slash Your Grocery Budget and Eat a Whole Foods Diet with ALDI. It is written by a blogger friend of mine and a mother of eight. It is a great resource for eating healthy and cheap at Aldi with lots of recipes included as well. You can get it free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Enjoy and happy shopping!

aldi book