Friday, September 18, 2015

Currency Conversion

When traveling out of the country, always choose to be charged in the local currency, and use a credit card that waives all foreign transaction fees.

To stay abreast of the most current conversion rates, download Oanda's Currency Converter app, which tracks the day's rates for more than 190 currencies.

Source: Travel + Leisure, October 2015 issue, page 17.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Check Up On Your Doctor

If you want to check out a doctor, you can go to  You can obtain the following information regarding your current doctor or one that you contemplate using:
  • Practice Information
  • Insurance
  • Specialty Certification
  • Legal Actions
  • Discipline
  • Education
  • Professional Activities
  • Honors & Awards
This information can be obtained only for doctors in the United States.

Source:  Consumer Reports October 15, 2015, page 9.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Roundup Weed Control Alternative

If you would like to make an environmentally friendly alternative to Roundup to kill weeds, please do the following:

  1. Mix one gallon of vinegar
  2. 2 cups of Epsom salt
  3. 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap
Pour is a sprayer and spray on the weeds.  If this mixture gives you too much product, just cut the amounts in half or some other reduced proportion.

You also could try the Avenger Weed Killer, which meets the strict standards of the Organic Materials Review Institute

Source: Consumer Reports, August 2015, Page 8.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Avoid Airfare Hikes

Ever notice that when you check a flight price online but do not book the flight then, a return visit to the website can show a higher fare for the same flight?  It may be the work of customer-tracking cookies that alert the website that this is a return visit, meaning that you may be eager to buy even at a higher ticket price.  To snag the original price, use a different browser for the second visit to the website.

Source:  AARP newspaper, November 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Best Prices

There is a website that lets you create price watches on Amazon products.  You are alerted to price  changes and can browse products with the biggest prices drops.  The website is as follows:

Another smart tool is InvisibleHand, a browser extension you can install on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.  Whenever you land on a page selling a product, it automatically searches the web for the lowest prices on the item.

Source:  Money Magazine, September 2014, Page 26

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cell Phone Coverage

If you would like to check out your cell phone provider performance anywhere in the world, please do the following:

  • Log on o
  • Click Coverage Map button
  • Click Network button to get your provider (Can only do AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon).  You will get a drop down to choose your carrier
  • Type in your address in the search box and click the search button

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Here are some interesting apps for cell phones:

  • Gas Buddy - Free - Android, iOS, & Windows - Finds the cheapest nearby gas in the U.S. and Canada
  • iExit - Free - Android & iOS - Lists food, gas, lodging, and other services at interstate exits and rest areas
  • Google Maps - Free - Android, iOS, & Windows - Downloadable maps of 220 countries and territories, transit directions and maps for more than 2,800 cities, live traffic conditions, automatic rerouting, and lane guidance.  You can also search places to eat shop, and play in unfamiliar cities.
  • Night Sky Lite - Free - Android & iOS - Point your phone or tablet at the sky, and the app will identify the stars, planets, and galaxies
Source: Consumer Reports, August 2014, Pages 24 & 25