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Shopper's Beware
Caveat Emptor

   MeiDei  Remember the fellow on TV who hawked his books on "secrets" the government doesn't want you to know about .... here's his comeuppance.
May 6 at 11:08 EST .

   15 people like this.

   Balogreene  Our company's fiscal year is 1 July to 30 June. We are just finding out about this year's benefits. It looks like there will be an increase in both cost and deductibles (we haven't had deductibles before ). We can't have FSA accounts (some savings account for medical benefits ) anymore. It is going to be costly.
May 5 at 21:51 EST .

   26 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  Our Doctor, of 23 years informed us yesterday, he is joining MDVIP and will reduce his patients from 6000 to 600. I have been researching all over the web today, pros and cons galore. Wonder if any other connectors are facing this decision. Our present coverage DOES cover preventative care but with all that is going on with socialized medicine, what if it decides not to ? I can't see paying $105/wk for insurance and then this $3000.00 a yr extra but I don't want to give him up. Really need some other input, we have until March to decide. Where is a good crystal ball when you need it.
January 13 at 15:06 EST .

   30 people like this.

   Escaped commieny
January 13 at 15:07 EST .

  20 people like this.

   Tulsa  I answered you on the home page of The Connection. Our MD was going from 2000 patients to 600. The fee was $1650 per person per year and I don't believe that covers anything but access to the dr. It's basically concierge medicine. Our GP is excellent but he does not make hospital visits.

We go twice a year for prescriptions only bc that is as long as the law allows a script to be written and a flu shot. $1650 x 2 was impossible to justify.

Dr. is 50+ ish. He was in private practice. The ACA regs and expenses are high. He joined a large family practice, all of his patients were grandfathered in the new practice. Then he flirted with MDVIP, but decided against it. We would have been forced to select a new GP, but thankfully he decided against it.

In this economy, you might find your dr. changes his mind too. Wait as long as possible and you might get to keep him as we did ours. I do hope this helps.
January 17 at 23:50 EST .

  17 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  I am hoping you are right, received a cell call yesterday from some PR group pushing this carp, I can't believe he would get suckered in, but his son is now his PA, so am wondering what influence he might have behind this 'shift'. I have known this Dr for over 20 years and has never steered us wrong, but I am having some real nightmares since Zero care.
January 20 at 15:19 EST .

  14 people like this.

   Tulsa  Escaped, our dr. went to a ? seminar in Florida about this. He was pumped. He sent announcement ltrs, a robo call reminder, then an invitation for a presentation at a local hotel with a choice of two times when people did not jump all over the offer, another reminder ltr, another robo call and then the ltr he'd decided to stay put.

I honestly don't think he found 600 people clamoring for this service. This isn't the Hamptons and I doubt this service makes house calls like Hank Med in Royal Pains.

I know of one successful specialist here who is cash only for services, and he's a shrink.

We could not justify $1650 per person per yr when we only see him twice for prescriptions. $825 for a brief visit. I don't think so.

I have no idea what your dr will do, of course. I sincerely hope it works to your benefit and his. ACA is a briar patch for drs. The Suit and I were traumatized about losing our dr. So I know what you're feeling.
January 21 at 10:08 EST .

  27 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  Our Doc says 1500 ea/yr but we pay United Health Care thru employer and it covers preventative maintenance. So I can not justify that added expense. BUT, the big kicker is, since DH's accident with bills covered thru worker's comp, what if he can't go back to work and we lose that employee coverage. I am waiting to see what the surgeon says Fri. If DH gets 'grounded' then maybe we will have to go concierge. No Hampton s here either, LOL
January 21 at 15:54 EST .

  17 people like this.

   Tulsa  Consider this. If your dr is a GP as ours is, would the $1500 per person, per yr be justified? Iows, would DH need a specialist? or would your current dr be the only one you need to see?

If you have to pay ins. premiums in addition to $1500 per person, that's getting rilly, rilly, steep, imo. You understand this GP fee is for him covers nothing else. Not x-rays, blood work, flu shots...nothing. It is access to the dr only. You may reach him by phone any time. That's not worth the $, no matter how much we like our dr.

Pls don't share the particulars on DH's accident.

DH may qualify for SS disability. I think that takes a long time and there are no guarantees. If DH loses employee coverage, there is ? COBRA. Is that it? It's interim ins. My hair hurts thinking about this. I'm certain Human Resources at work can help you, guide you, answer questions.

You both must continue ins. coverage. Time was I was bullet proof and never thought about ins. But I grew up.

Goodness gracious, I understand your concern. I'll certainly pray for you both and I know the Lord has the answer and He will surely convict you of what to do.

Again, my very best to you both.
January 21 at 23:43 EST .

  16 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  I don't have a problem discussing his injury. He tore his knee out, it wasn't just a rupture, it was way beyond that, torn in two, so he has a new brace, apparently there is not vascular, blood flow to tendons and ligaments, like if you cut your finger so he has another 30 days before actual PT but doc says he is healing fine.
January 23 at 11:37 EST .

  18 people like this.

   Balogreene  EC and Tulsa, my sister needed SS Disability, her company actually hired a firm to guide her through it. She got it, first time she applied.

I also have United Healthcare through work. My cardiologist was trying to get something for me, and told me they were the cheapest on the market (not surprising ), and very few companies would work with them. Drs. will, but to get prescriptions, CPAP, diabetes stuff, and the like, no one wants them.
March 21 at 19:57 EST .

  12 people like this.

   Tulsa  Thx. B. Your sister is blessed. It's good to learn of companies loyal to employees, 'cause companies expect loyalty of employees.

Our pharmacist warned us to stay away from Humana. I think the list is longer than those 2. If gvmt would get out of the way and give us the options we have on insuring our homes and cars, we the people could sort this mess out in short order.
May 11 at 14:05 EST .

  9 people like this.


Lots of tidbits here to make you NOT want to eat seafood unless you catch it yourself.
January 10 at 09:34 EST .

   24 people like this.

   BirdsNest  This is from the srticle and you should remember it every time you go to buy seafood....
"Under the US federal Country of Origin Labeling Law, also known as COOL, fresh seafood must disclose where the food was farmed or caught. However, this rule does not apply to processed foods, including seafood that is boiled, breaded, or added to packaged meals. Nearly half of all shrimp sold in the US are processed and therefore do not bear country of origin labels. Restaurants are also exempt from this labeling requirement."
Exempt from labeling....that means you could be eating fish/shrimp grown in stagnant toxic ponds pumped with antibiotics to keep them alive til they are sold.
I love shrimp as much as the next person but I cannot bear the thought of eating shrimp like that. And Tilapia is the same way, grown in sewage ponds.

Hope this helps some of you.
January 10 at 09:41 EST .

  20 people like this.

   Balogreene  I'm sure glad my Cod tonite was "fresh". (See Recipe Wall ).
January 13 at 22:37 EST .

  14 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  We buy local, have a past customer's mom that has a fish farm. I have seen emails of the VietNam sewage plants farming seafood, enough to have to replace your keyboard. When we were in Windsor, our lake raised Perch for Cornell. As a little kid my Uncle and Dad took me fishing, gutting them turned me off eating fish, the DH will fry white catfish ( Auntie called them Bullheads ) or Talapia, I can handle that
January 14 at 15:25 EST .

  19 people like this.

   Rake King  Recent announced minimum wage law changes (Seattle to $15.50 hr (double the current federal wage ), $5.00 hr more than even Obama is supporting, a little talked about effect is jobs returning to America from overseas will slow greatly due to our assisting China by widening the gap. While China strives for a better standard of living and have seen wage increases there over the last 2 years, our increases are only playing into their hands by re-widening of the wage gap. The old saying of.... selling the rope to hang us....seems to apply here.
July 25 at 07:33 EST .

   48 people like this.

   MeiDei  Khrushchev's words come back to haunt us.
July 25 at 20:25 EST .

  34 people like this.

   Balogreene  At the grocery store, at a restaurant, I would rather deal with a computer than a human. I would rather pay less and scan my own groceries, than pay whatever the increase will be to meet minimum wage. I would rather enter my order, and pay on a touchscreen at a restaurant or fast food, than pay the increase in prices.
August 5 at 22:49 EST .

  36 people like this.

   Bettijo  Balo, you will probably get your wish. Employers will turn toward automation, electronics, and robots rather than deal with whining employees who are not reliable, or honest (sometimes ). Why have to deal with sick leave, Obamacare, vacation time, unions, etc., when you can have a dependable machine instead. These stupid minimum wage workers are just pricing themselves out of the work force.

Once beginning workers worked as an apprentice for free to learn a trade.

I agree with you, Balo. I don't eat McDonalds, but if I did I would prefer something like an Automat (is that what they are called ) where you can get your food from a machine,
November 4 at 14:15 EST .

  31 people like this.

   MeiDei  Just had a rude shock in an unexpected place, I should be wiser by now. Spices. Running low on one often used spice, I picked up the same brand at the same price.
Last night the extra spice jar didn't quite fit well in the cabinet and both jars fell out. The older jar vs the new. The newest was very slightly shorter, maybe 1/8th of an inch & nearly identical in diameter. The labels were the same but the new one was put on close to the top. Here's where I failed myself: the older jar was 3.5 oz the newer one is 1.75 oz. - same price, & I'm the label reader supposedly. I remember buying coffee in 3# cans. Now we're looking at ounces, even ice cream is downsized.
June 28 at 11:40 EST .

   40 people like this.

   Rake King  I am one who also does not appreciate this kind of stuff. I will give spices a pass, as they are subject to world wide influences and weather. However, why is the wrapper and thus the stiff paper floor in a Tootsie Roll the same size, but the actual candy is smaller around and shorter. That is DECEPTION. MAKE THE PACKAGE SMALLER TO MATCH THE CANDY, THEN IT'S UP TO ME.
June 28 at 16:10 EST .

  37 people like this.

   MeiDei  They do the same thing with Butterfingers grrrrrrrrr.
June 28 at 18:39 EST .

  37 people like this.

   Bettijo  Have you noticed a standard 7-oz can of tuna now weighs 5 ounces? At Costco you can still get 7 ounce cans and the tuna tastes better than from grocery store. Costco brand, Kirkland, is really Bumblebee I have been told.
June 30 at 19:42 EST .

  32 people like this.

   Rake King  Do those producers really think we don't notice? Come on, man!
July 4 at 21:04 EST .

  36 people like this.

   Rake King  My wife found a receipt in an old folder from her Grandma. She went out to buy the ingredients and not one was available in the sized container required in the receipt.
July 9 at 19:35 EST .

  28 people like this.

   Bettijo  Rake King: I had a web site that converted old-size ingredients into what is currently available in our markets. I will look for it and post it if I find it. I have used it with some old recipes myself.
July 19 at 12:41 EST .

  35 people like this.

   Rake King  Bettijo: I will stay tuned in and relate it to my wife if you can find it.
July 25 at 11:32 EST .

  37 people like this.

   Gerty  Don't know if this belongs here or on the Pet Peeves Wall but someone has to alert people as to the scam that is going on in (some ) container stores.

Have you checked the prices there recently?

My latest trip to a BJ's store showed no less than 5 items higher in price than my local chain grocery store---and it was more than a few pennies difference.

Not saying everything was higher, just reminding us that we should know our prices BEFORE we shop there.
June 1 at 19:54 EST .

   44 people like this.

   Rake King  Let me second Gerty's post above. I have never found one store where everything is the lowest priced on "every" item. It's your hard earned money, spend where you want to, but pay attention.
Sometimes mispricing is simply a software glitch, but one thing I detest is subbing a product just for an ad, that is not the same quality.

Items where you must mail in a rebate coupon, on average are redeemed at a low 11% actual use. I refer to them as a saving offered, but not expected to be fulfilled. The stores know this, as do the manufacturers. Customers should not be tricked, they are our economy's life-blood.
June 8 at 08:54 EST .

  42 people like this.

   MeiDei  I check the lower left hand store labels on the shelves for the per ounce, lb., etc. price. Often I find the sale price of something is still higher than one of comparable size & content. This is especially true on canned & packaged goods.
June 11 at 15:33 EST .

  35 people like this.

   MeiDei  Also, in some retail name brand "Outlet" stores not everything is as you think. Yes, you may get a bargain reduced from MSR - even first quality or discontinued; but very often they stock items not sold at general retail; rather made to sell only for the outlet trade & often of a lesser quality. Know your product before buying.

Also the big box stores are A,B or C designated with A stores carrying the highest quality models, B & C proportionately lower. A stores are generally found in the higher income areas vs. say an inner city outlet.
June 11 at 15:42 EST .

  35 people like this.

   Rake King  Compared to your Grandmother, you are a better educated shopper, with way more selections today. Not everything is good for you, especially snacks (carbs ) that take up 40ft of shelf space, and inches around your stomach. Diabetics know (or should ) a lot about carbs.
June 13 at 20:22 EST .

  39 people like this.

   MeiDei  Another thing I noticed a few years ago, when all the stores have the same item on a big sale - that generally means that item is due for a price increase & they're clearing out the distribution centers of old pre-marked stock.
June 13 at 23:41 EST .

  38 people like this.

   Rake King  Sales are a means of balancing inventory, good comment Mei. The food chains receive all kinds of ad funds from the makers, usually requiring proof (ad copy ). Grocery business has small mark ups due to heavy turns (3/4 to 1% ), but have noticed "non-foods" where they can mark up to 50%, that's why you see patio furniture! garden tools! etc.

An interesting fact about Super-centers (combo discount/grocery ) each store unit sells 40% more discount store products than a regular discount store. It is the heavy turning grocery side that is responsible for that. How many times do you go to a grocery store?
June 14 at 15:17 EST .

  40 people like this.

   Rake King  A story on Fox that there is danger in Red Plastic gas cans, noted you should see if a screen is placed in the can nozzle If not, throw that away and go buy one that does have the screen...the screen is a "backdraft" prevention device if gas is poured on an open flame, it will not run up the pour and explode.
May 14 at 09:58 EST .

   51 people like this.

   Rake King  Excellent advice.
May 21 at 11:23 EST .

  43 people like this.

   Safetydude  The biggest problem with the plastic containers is that they can't be grounded. When you fill a portable contaier with a comustable fluid that generates a static charge it can cause an explosion unless that charge can be dissipated.

By the way, if you want to light old or damp firewood use kerosene.
You can pour it(almost )right on an open fire.
It's like JP-5, near impossible to light.
May 28 at 23:05 EST .

  37 people like this.

   Rake King  again, excellent advice.
May 29 at 10:31 EST .

  40 people like this.

   Rake King  The don't mix...right?
May 30 at 20:16 EST .

  42 people like this.

   Gerty  Have a question for you gentlemen:
Why is it that the least knowledgeable person wants to tend to the fire in our fireplace?

The horror stories we could tell---
June 1 at 19:46 EST .

  43 people like this.

   Nugoddess  I picked up some OxyClean™ White Revive last week. It proposes to ''whiten clothes without chlorine bleach.'' To my surprise, it really works!

I tried it on an old down comforter and it came out whiter; same thing with old tee shirts. You might have to use this product a couple of times on really old, tough whites but I noticed a difference right away.
May 1 at 08:39 EST .

   57 people like this.

   Linder  Added it to my shopping list. And aren't down comforters the best things in the world...winter and summer. Waiting for the perfect low humidity, slightly windy day to wash mine.
May 7 at 11:27 EST .

  43 people like this.

   Gram77  If you have been tempted to order the Hurricane Spin Mop.....DO NOT DO IT! No matter how wonderful it seems to do the job on television, it does not. When you watch the TV demo, the mop glides over the floor. Not so, it sticks to surfaces and requires shoving it. Hubby had to pump the lever to spin it and he was surprised even for a guy how hard it was to get it to spin just slightly. Wonder how many have been sold?
April 24 at 13:53 EST .

   56 people like this.

   Pickle1  I never buy anything advertised on TV. It's pretty much junk.
May 24 at 20:58 EST .

  47 people like this.

   Nugoddess  Have you heard ...

General Mills recently changed its online privacy policy so that consumers who - for example - download a coupon or ''Like'' it on Facebook would give up their right to sue the company.

More to this story - after an furious on-line backlash, General Mills reversed its decision, stating their old policy still applies. Downloading a coupon or ''like'' on Facebook no longer precludes any legal action.

Sometimes, the consumer actually wins.
April 21 at 08:49 EST .

   46 people like this.

   Pickle1  You can still sue.
May 24 at 21:00 EST .

  32 people like this.

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