Showing posts with label prepare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prepare. Show all posts

List of States with Tax Free School Shopping Days

 
School is starting just around the corner, and its time for the annual tax free shopping weekend all over the nation. Some states even include Hurricane preparation items too! Here is a chart from Fed Tax Administrators that lists all the states participating. This year in Florida you can get the discount on laptops and computers too.


State
Days

Items Included

Maximum Cost
1st Year

2013
Dates

Information Links *
Alabama3hurricane preparedness
generators - $1,000
supplies - $60
2012February 22-24http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Alabama3clothing - $100
computers - $750
school supplies - $50
books - $30
2006August 2-4http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Arkansas2clothing - $100
school supplies
2011August 3-4http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/
Connecticut
7
clothing and footwear - $300
2001
August 18-24http://www.ct.gov/
Florida3school supplies - $15
clothing - $75
computer - $750
2010+August 2-4http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/
Georgia2school supplies - $20
clothing - $100
computer - $1,000
2012+August 9-10https://etax.dor.ga.gov/
Georgia3energy and water efficient products - $1,5002012+October 4-6https://etax.dor.ga.gov/
Iowa
2
clothing - $100
2000
August 2-3http://www.iowaccess.org/tax/
Louisiana
2
all TPP - $2,500
2007
August 2-3http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana
2
hurricane preparedness items - $1,500
2008
May 25-26http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana
3
firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies
2009
September 6-8http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Maryland3energy star products2011February 16-18http://www.comp.state.md.us/
Maryland7clothing & footwear-$1002010August 11-17http://www.marylandtaxes.com/
Mississippi
2
clothing & footwear - $100
2009
July 26-27http://www.dor.ms.gov/
Missouri7energy star products - $1,500 2009April 19-25http://dor.mo.gov/
Missouri3clothing - $100
computers - $3,500
school supplies - $50
2004August 2-4http://dor.mo.gov/
New Mexico3clothing - $100
computers - $1,000
computer equip. - $500
school supplies - $30
2005August 2-4http://www.tax.newmexico.gov
North Carolina
3
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
instructional material - $300
computers - $3,500
other comp. - $250
sports equip - $50
2001
August 2-4http://www.dornc.com/
North Carolina
3
energy star products2009November 1-3http://www.dornc.com/
Oklahoma
3
clothing - $100
2007
August 2-4http://www.tax.ok.gov/
South Carolina
3
clothing
school supplies
computers
other
2000
August 2-4http://www.sctax.org/
Tennessee
3
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
computers - $1,500
2006
August 2-4http://tn.gov/revenue/
Texas
3
energy star products
air conditioners - $6,000; other - $2,000
2008
May 25-27http://www.window.state.tx.us/
Texas
3
clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100
1999
August 9-11http://www.window.state.tx.us/
Virginia7hurricane preparedness items - $60
generators - $1,000
2008May 25-31http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Virginia3clothing - $100
school supplies - $20
2006August 2-4http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Virginia4energy star products - $2,5002006October 11-14http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

Weight Loss Breakfast: Zucchini Patties #Recipe



This is one of my favorite diet foods since it is quick and easy to reheat premade patties for  breakfast. They are filling and healthy. You will love them too! Serve as a breakfast item with some bacon or sausage, or serve as a vegetable side dish for lunch or dinner.
 
Nutrition Info: 95 calories for 3 patties (14 gm protein, 6 gm carb, 2 gm fat) 
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
 
Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini, shredded by hand or in food processor (top blade only)
1 T. green onions, chopped
2 T. parmesan cheese, ground
1 egg, or 2 T. of egg beaters
Spray Pam or Olive oil for skillet lubrication
 
Instructions:
1. Shred zucchini and place in a mixing bowl.
2. Add onions, parmesan cheese and egg.
3. Stir mixture until well mixed.
4. Put skillet on medium heat stove top burner, add lubricant, warm up the pan.
5. Place spoonful of zucchini mixure into pan, flatten and shape as desired. About six or seven spoonfuls will fill a skillet.
6. Cook zucchini patties until brown on bottom, then flip with spatula and cook other side too.
7. Place 3 or 4 patties on plate to serve, or cool for eating later.
 
Serves 2

Are You Ready For A Hurricane?

The weather news is starting to feature Tropical Updates since we've turned the corner into a busier time for storms. Isaac is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system has only been declared a tropical storm, it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
  •  Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basic tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
HERE is an excellent article outlining more detailed preparedness for a disaster.

How To Plan A Remodel

We live in a house built in the mid 50's and it's time to remodel. The wood paneling from the 70's, and the shaggy carpet in brown tones are aging the place. But our thoughts have always been, if its not broke don't fix it. Everything is perfectly functional but it looks aged. Is that a good enough reason to sink thousands of dollars into a remodel? Not really. But since we've paid off the mortgage we have the means to pay for everything as we go. We've cut back on our travel too, as we have everything we need to be happy right in our own back yard. So we've decided to at least modernize the remainder of our house that hasn't been remodeled. If you remember, in 2010 we totally gutted our two bathrooms and kitchen, replumbed the whole house and remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen. It took five months and twenty five thousand dollars, but it has also made life more enjoyable having new rooms with an absence of any problems.
 
Our next project is to remodel a couple bedrooms, our dining room and living room and office area. The bedrooms will be easy with just paint and carpet and new ceiling fans. Its the living room and office that will require more planning. One of the things I've always hated about my house is that the previous owners put up paneling over the stucco plaster walls of our block home. It makes the living room look like a trailer house. The office also has a hung ceiling with big cardboard panels and rectangle florescent lights - Oh and thats in addition to the faux wood paneling. The paneling will be removed and the original walls restored, and the ceiling removed as well giving us a taller ceiling to drywall and change the lighting. We're also replacing the exterior door and adding a window to the room. This is the last room of our remodel plans but it will be the most satisfying and transforming.
 
The reason we're finally doing these projects now is we've decided we just don't want to wait for our dog to die before getting new carpet. We had  been waiting for years to be pet free before remodeling - but have decided its not that big a deal. The dog lives outside in the yard except when we're inside she comes in to join us. She is older and mellow and simply lays on her "place" most of the time, unless she is begging for a nibble when we're in the kitchen. The new carpet will not get ruined by having her around a few more years. 
 
So now that we've decided that we're going to move forward with the remodel there are some steps to take to make sure everything falls into place smoothly. Here are some steps we've accomplished so far:
 
1. Finance the project - either save the cash in advance or make sure your budget can handle the ongoing expense of paying the handyman, the paint store and the online vendors for your supplies. If you need to put anything on credit cards to pay later you probably can't afford the project right now. 
 
2. How will you pay? - Figure out if you can get any coupons from the big box stores where you'll be spending thousands of dollars. I just bought 10% off coupons from ebay for our carpet and it will save hundreds. Also redeem those extra reward or airline points for the big box stores for gift cards to buy your supplies. If they mail you the gift card it will take a couple weeks so do this early in your plans.
 
3. Design - figure out what you want and how you will use the features of your new remodeled room. We've discussed what to do in our guest room and decided since we rarely have visitors sleep over anymore it really is not going to be a guest room. Since our couponing has become extreme, we need the space for our stockpile and I would like a place to read quietly away from the TV, so it will be a stockpile, office area after the remodel. We also are increasing the number of electrical outlets to handle more power strips and to provide power where it currently is lacking. We no longer have a landline so all phone lines and jacks will be removed too.
 
4. Plan - Think through your steps and document them. I wrote of list of what has to happen first, second, third etc. You need to consider moving things, temporary storage of furniture while the rooms are being remodeled, what purchases need to be done first, what are the lead times, what colors will you use and do you have flooring, walls, windows and ceiling items selected and or purchased? Flooring typically requires a measure session be done by the installer before you can purchase, plus they won't schedule an install until the flooring is delivered. This can take weeks. Plus you don't want to paint after new flooring when you can do it easily before and not have to worry about making a mess.
 
5. Action - working on a remodel project often involves tedious tasks like tearing out the old, cleaning, patching and repairing and trips to the trash can. It may involve moving furniture and junk around to another room and ruin your groove. It may also involve lots of errands to pick up something you realize you need. It can be stressful and annoying. Its important to plan a timeline and goal for completion and allow yourselves time to relax each day too.
 
So, if you're planning on a remodel or household project (or not) you can follow along with us as we do ours. So far we've removed the old tile windowsills in the bedrooms and replaced with marble slabs. Now the walls are dry so we can paint. We pulled up the old carpet in the guest room. We've almost done moving everything out of the master bedroom and this weekend we plan to paint the ceilings and walls in the two rooms.

Safe Backyard Fire Tips

It was 72F this morning, a bit chilly on the bike ride but I'm not complaining. We've been waiting six months for some cool mornings and evenings to give us some relief from all this sunshine in FL. One of my favorite things about cool Autumn weather is having fires in our chiminea in the evening. The rich, woodsy aroma of a campfire brings back wonderful memories of being outdoors. One of the attractions of having a backyard fire pit is the adventurous, risky behavior we get to enjoy - right in our own yard! And I'm not kidding, backyard fire pits can be hazardous if you don't follow a few simple safety precautions:
  • Location, Location, Location - choose your placement of your fire pit, chiminea or grill carefully. Be sure it is not too close to house siding, wood deck railings, patio umbrellas, awnings or overhead lines. It's also important to place it somewhere out of the normal traffic pattern of the household so when things start to get wild and crazy, the fire is not in the way of people running with scissors.
  • Weather - before you decide to have a fire, check the weather to be sure there are not bans on burning in drought areas, or that those 20 mph winds won't blow sparks all over the dead leaf pile you just raked up.
  • Kid Zone - if children will be around your fire be sure to take a minute to warn them of the safe zone of about 3 ft around the fire pit. No playing with airborne objects or throwing balls near the fire.
  • Tools - be sure to use long tools to manage your fire or any food preparation. When you are not using that poker, store it safely out of the traffic path. If you are cooking marshmallows use a fresh stick that won't burn up and frighten a young child into hurling that burning chunk of sugar into your mom's lap.
  • Dress for Success - keep those warm blankets a safe distance from the fire, and avoid loose fitting flyaway clothing. I always make sure my jacket or over shirt is not nylon which will melt if a sparks flies on it. Cotton is best to wear around the fire.
  • Burning Materials - we always build our fire starting with crumbled up newspaper balls, then some dried leaves that flame nice, a layer of tinder or small branches, then some splints of wood tipped up like a tee pee, with a couple smaller logs placed up around the edge. Pine and Cedar are wonderfully aromatic woods - but they tend to pop and spark more than Oak. Usually we empty most of the ashes from a previous fire but leave some for no reason that I know. Anyway, some people burn scrap lumber but this may give off fumes from chemicals used on the wood. My sister always starts hers with a duraflame log and then a few oak logs make a tee pee over the chemical log - no kindling or tinder or paper. It works great, but could be expensive if you want a frugal fire.
  • Emergency Preparedness - of course no one would ever have a fire without safety measures in place, would they? We keep a 5 gal pail of wood bark nearby that we could dump out in an emergency, and then fill with water from the nearby pool. If you don't have a pool, be sure to locate your household fire extinguisher and have it handy. If you haven't a fire extinguisher (shame on you - get one now!), at least unwind the hose and have it nearby in you need it.
Now, you're ready-  Light that fire!

How Ready Are You For A Hurricane?

The weather news is starting to feature Tropical Updates since we've turned the corner into a busier time for storms. Emily is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system has not been declared a tropical storm or hurricane, it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
 
  • Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basica tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
HERE is an excellent article outlining more detailed preparedness for a disaster.
 
I sure hope we manage to avoid the big one this year, and as I write this list I realize I'm not quite prepared. But I will be. Will you?

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and this is to remind citizens that they can take steps to be prepared if there's a disaster. It's important to make a kit, make a plan, and stay informed. A survival kit includes basics like fresh water and food for up to three days, blankets, matches, battery-operated radios and lights. Checklists on what to include can be found on here
 
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival:
fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children