What’s on your 4th of July menu? Follow these tips to be sure it's safe.
Cook until steaming hot before eating.
Although hot dogs are fully cooked, people who are at increased risk for foodborne illness (FBI) should heat hot dogs until steaming to avoid listeriosis, a rare but serious FBI.
High risk groups include: young children, pregnant women, adults over age 65, and those with chronic diseases (such as diabetes). http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/hotdog_safety.html
Wash all melons before slicing.
Any bacteria present on the outside of a melon can be transferred to the inside when you cut or peel them. Scrub the rind with a clean soft brush under cool running water and dry with paper towels. Refrigerate cut fruit until serving. http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/8121.pdf
Potato salad and deviled eggs
Keep it cold in the refrigerator or ice chest.
The same goes for pasta salad, cole slaw or fruit salads. Once served, don’t let it sit out for more than 2 hours (referred to as the 2 hour rule), or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90° F. If it does - throw it away.
Homemade ice cream
Avoid recipes that use raw or undercooked eggs.
Most recipes for homemade ice cream call for raw or undercooked eggs. Avoid potential food safety problems by using pasteurized egg product instead of raw eggs (find it in the dairy case at the grocery store). Or choose a recipe that doesn’t use eggs. http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemadeicecream.html
Keep refrigerated until serving. Put dessert back in the fridge as soon as you're done.
Love those red, white and blue deserts---red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, strawberry-blueberry trifle, cherry cheesecake. Refrigerate any dessert (or salad) made with whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese or meringue.
Now, when you take the San Diego Saves Pledge you can choose to receive text message tips and reminders...And if that isn’t enough, we are giving away $500 to help one person reach their savings goal. (Must be 18 years of age or older to win and standard text messaging rates apply.)
Enter to win the $500---here’s how:
1. Take the San Diego Saves Pledge between now and June 30, 2013
Choose a savings goal and choose an amount to save.
2. Click the box to receive text messages.
Get messages about your saving goal:
• Tips to help you find money to save
• Advice about saving
• Reminders to help you save for your specific goal
Share this with friends and family.
This may just what they need to set their own goal to:
• Start an emergency fund
• Pay down debt
• Save for education or retirement
It's a win-win!
One lucky person will win $500 to help them reach their saving goal---and everyone wins by staying motivated to save.
You won't get unwanted messages or marketing.
*San Diego Saves (SDS) is an educational program of the University of California Cooperative Extension program in San Diego County that is conducted in partnership with the Consumer Federation of America. The program seeks to motivate, encourage, and help families and individuals to save and build wealth for a secure financial future.
Good Luck and Happy Saving!
Consumers who have savings PLANS are much more likely to save and reduce debt than those who don't have plans.
That's the conclusion from the 4th National Savings Assessment sponsored by America Saves* and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC). Opinion Research Corporation conducted the study of a representative sample of more than 1,000 adult Americans in early February 2011.
Having a Plan Influences Financial Progress
Although income level certainly influences how much a person saves, researchers found “striking differences” between the savings progress of those with and without savings plan.
Individuals with savings plans are more likely than those without plans to:
|1. Spend less than they make and save the difference
2. Be reducing debt or debt-free
3. Have sufficient emergency savings
4. Report saving enough for retirement
Take action to improve your finances:
1. Make a basic savings plan.
Set a goal, decide how much money you need, choose your time frame, and determine how much to save each month (or pay period) to reach your goal.
Learn more about SMART financial goal-setting from Cooperative Extension.
2. Commit to your savings goal by enrolling as an San Diego Saver
You'll join thousands of other American Savers across the US who are commited to saving and reducing debt.
3. Start saving today.
Open a saving account (if you don't already have one) and make the first deposit toward your goal.
*America Saves is a national campaign organized by the Consumer Federation of America and a coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government organizations to inform and encourage all Americans to build a secure financial future by saving and reducing debt./table>
- Author: Patti C. Wooten Swanson
- Contributor: Morgan Carne
How often do you sit at a long traffic light and fume over the cost of the gas that you’re wasting while idling? Or, complain about the high cost of gas as you fill the tank at service station outside the national park for what seems like the 100th time on a family vacation?
1. Drive intelligently
This means no speeding, rapid acceleration or abrupt braking. “Intelligent” drivers increase their mileage 33% at highway speeds and 5% when running errands around town. That’s equivalent to saving $0.19-$1.24 per gallon*.
2. Follow the speed limit
Follow the posted speed limits to increase your gas mileage by 7-14%. Each five mph you creep up over the speed limit decreases your mileage, costing the equivalent of paying $0.26-$0.53 more per gallon to drive your car.
3. Get rid of excess weight
Take those extra garden tools or golf clubs out of your trunk to increase your MPG by 2% for every 100 pounds you remove. What’s more, the lighter your car is, the more excess weight affects it, stealing away any chances of saving the equivalent of $0.04-$0.08 per gallon.
4. Idle less
Simply reducing the amount of time you spend sitting at traffic lights, or running your car while parked, gives you a fuel cost savings of $0.01-$0.03 per minute with the AC off, and $0.02-$0.04 per minute with the AC on. This may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly, with only one hour of idling wasting a quarter to a half-gallon of gas.
5. Use cruise control and overdrive gears
Cruise control keeps you driving at a constant speed, often keeping you from going over 60 mph, which drastically reduces gas mileage. Overdrive gears reduce your engine speed, which saves gas as well.
6. Turn off the AC
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you can save gas by turning the AC off when it isn’t needed. Turn it off when you drive up inclines or hills to reduce the strain on your engine, or while you wait for a traffic light. You can also switch your AC to “economy,” “maximum” or “recirculation” settings to get some savings.
7. Eliminate the warm-up
Unless you drive a 1954 Fairlane, you don’t need to warm up your engine. Modern engines warm up as they run. You’ll save gas (and time) by driving as soon as your car starts.
*Estimated savings based on $3.75 per gallon on gas.
Okay. We all know we need to eat more vegetables.
I get it, but how does that translate into what I buy at the grocery store, cook, and serve my family every day? This is where the broccoli meets the plate, so to speak.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends: Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas.
That's a little more specific. But here’s what helps me envision exactly what to eat. Nutrition experts divide "vegetables" into 5 groups based on the nutrients they provide:
- dark-green vegetables (DGV)
- red and orange vegetables
- beans and peas (does not include green beans or green peas
- starchy vegetables (such as white potatoes, corn, and green peas)
- other vegetables (such as iceberg lettuce, green beans, and onions)
Dark green vegetables---What are they?
All fresh, frozen, and canned dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli, cooked or raw fit into this vegetable group.
You’re probably familiar with the many types of salad greens in this group, including romaine, arugula, spinach, and leaf lettuce. Here are other dark green vegetables that you may have not tried:
- bok choy
- broccoli rabe
- collard greens
- Mesclun (a mixture of baby greens)
- mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- turnip greens
Dark green vegetables---How do you prepare them?
Most of us make salads, and steamed broccoli is pretty basic. But don’t stay away from the other DGV because you don’t know what to do with them.
All the dark green leafy vegetables (fresh or frozen) can be steamed or cooked in the microwave with just a little water. (Growing up in the South where turnip and collard greens were everyday fare, I was surprised to learn that “greens” don’t have to be cooked all day and that they taste good without adding salt pork or bacon.)
Try these ideas:
- Sauté Swiss chard with garlic and olive oil.
- Fill an omelet with spinach or make spinach quesadillas
- Make Asian lettuce wraps
- Put bok choy and broccoli in stir-fry dishes
- Add to soups, sandwiches, and casseroles
- Toss with hot pasta and top with a little parmesan cheese
Learn how to select, store, and prepare dark leafy greens—and find easy, healthful recipes on the Fruits and Veggies — More Matters website.
Dark green vegetables---How much to eat?
Take this “small step to health”: Eat 1- 2 ½ cups of dark green vegetables per week.
Less than half a cup a day puts you in the winners’ circle! How easy is that?
Once you start enjoying dark green vegetables, you’ll probably want to eat more (maybe a lot more) than just 2 ½ cups---they’re tasty, low calorie, high fiber and loaded with vitamins and minerals.