Kroger’s shopper card has a Community Rewards program through which you can designate reward points you earn to the participating school, charity or organization of your choice. The procedure is that those accounts reset on April 1. You, as the customer, have to update your charity designation every year. I have heard from more than […]

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An Identity Theft presentation by the Office of Michigan Attorney General will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday April 12 at Milan Public Library, 151 Wabash St., Milan, Mich. The topics include recognizing and avoiding identity theft, how thieves steal such information and what to do if you are a victim. The program is sponsored by […]

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The Monroe on a Budget column runs Tuesdays in The Monroe News. Here is this week’s installment. Did you realize you could spend as much as $30 on one pre-filled Easter gift basket this year? It’s true. Even though some retailers are selling filled baskets in the $5 to $10 range, those arrangements typically have […]

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The following is on page 5A of today’s edition of The Monroe News. The Michigan Activity Pass presented by the Li­brary Network has been renewed for a second year. The program is support­ed by federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Nearly 400 public librar­ies, including the Monroe County Library System, and […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget The idea of donating expired manufacturer coupons to military families living at the overseas bases is so well-known among today’s couponers that I’ve learned to expect this question every time I teach a grocery class or sit on someone else’s. As best I can can find out, […]

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If you’re a long-time reader of Monroe on a Budget, you’ll know that one of my annual public service projects involves providing disaster planning tips during Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week. This year, my project was a Pinterest board on this theme. I’ve looked for the tips that are most applicable to tornado season, bypassing […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget When my daughter was in grade school during the 1990s, the American Girls magazine had a recurring paper doll series relating stories of the ancestors of “today’s girls.” The feature was a terrific way to relate the concept of the A.G. fictional dolls to family history. I […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget Easter egg decorating, which is of the most popular family activities at Easter, is also very budget-friendly. Eggs aren’t expensive to begin with, and are frequently on sale just before Easter. They’re also one of the WIC-friendly foods, a detail that low-income families with young children who […]

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By Paula Wethington My Monroe News column for Tuesday April 8 will give a show and tell as to three different stores where one can buy everything needed to assemble a complete Easter basket, bucket or gift bag for three people for a total of less than $30. What did I end up getting for […]

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Are you looking for non-candy treats for the Easter baskets? I usually include small trinkets total value no more than $5 a person in our candy baskets. While I haven’t finished shopping for 2014, this is what I purchased for Mom, Dad and adult daughter in 2013. The gel clings, Hot Wheel car and stickers […]

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The Thrivent Financial for Lutherans workshop, Social Security – Strategize to Maximize, will be presented at 10 a.m. Thursday April 10 at Francis Family YMCA, 2000 W. Dean Rd., Temperance, Mich. Day care will be available from the Y. This is a free workshop about navigating the choices in Social Security retirement benefits. Reservations are […]

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The Sixth Annual Mobile Food Pantry at Munson Park, 2700 N. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich., will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday April 12. This event will be held immediately after the Seventh Annual Monroe Community Easter Egg Hunt, which starts at 11 a.m. The Monroe Community Opportunity Program, Gleaners Community Food Bank […]

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We’ve noticed a surge in social media “vote for me” appeals this spring. As I wrote in 2010 when a flood of those were taking place, and again in 2013 when I learned about a wedding service contest, these popularity-based appeals seem like easy fundraisers at a time when nearly every traditional source of funding […]

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Crossroads Community Church, 6960 Sylvania-Petersburg Rd., Ottawa Lake, Mich., will host a food give away starting at 10 a.m. Saturday April 12. “Drive your car through the line and receive an Easter dinner,” the announcement said. One family per car, please. For information, go to http://www.crossroadson23.com

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Who is middle class? Many national studies peg it to individual interpretation, rather than just income brackets; as the cost of living can be dramatically different from one location to the next. Read this Associated Press article: More Americans see middle class slipping. Since 2008, the number of people who call themselves middle class has […]

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Schoolcraft College’s VisTaTech Center at the main campus, 18600 Haggerty Rd., Livonia, Mich., will hold a Job Fair from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday April 10. More than 60 area employers in culinary arts, health care, manufacturing, technical and other industries will be available to accept resumes and discuss job opportunities with students, alumni and […]

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The Thrivent Financial for Lutherans one-hour workshop, “Preparing for Long Term Care” will be offered at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday April 9 and again at noon Thursday April 10 at Monroe Family YMCA, 1111 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, Mich. This program is presented by Mark H. Johnson J.D., M.B.A, Financial Representative with Thrivent. Reservations are due […]

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The Alliance of Downriver Watersheds is hosting a rain barrel sale, with the goal of offering homeowners a discount on the water-saving, water-protecting devices. Purchasers can go online through Wednesday, April 23, and use the promo code ‘SAVEWATER’ to order rain barrels for pick up between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday April 26 at […]

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Which stores make the most money off food stamps? What are the grocery items that are most likely to be purchased at their stores? Marketplace tried to look into those details in its report: The secret life of a food stamp. Last year, a record $76 billion flowed from the U.S. Treasury to peoples’ food […]

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The Monroe on a Budget column runs Tuesdays in The Monroe News. Here is this week’s installment, with reference links at the end: By Paula Wethington Is the era of double coupon promotions coming to an end? Shoppers might have reason to think so, as as the number of stores in Michigan and Ohio where […]

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