Monday, January 7, 2013

Smart Suzy: A grateful attitude, clearance deals, go-green ideas, $$ for young students


Here we are in our first full week of a brand new year. Still hopeful we can improve ourselves and our families and our communities – and the world, and Suzy thinks we’ll do it! Suzy’s grandkids have embraced the idea of a “Blessings” jar – into which, over the course of the year, you write down the good things that happen to you and put them in a jar so you can remember them at the end of the year – and be reminded throughout the year that you have plenty to be thankful for.


This is a good exercise, and Suzy would recommend it. Attitude is everything, and positive trumps negative any ol’ day. May make a difference in how you see things.


Suzy’s middle granddaughter had to go for a bigger jar after just the first day – she had written so many little notes for her jar. No one had the heart to suggest she pace herself. She’s a very grateful child. Let that be a lesson for the rest of us. How full will your jar be at year’s end?


Quickie deals


Target has 90% off all their Christmas items. This past weekend, Walmart had theirs marked down another 75%. As Suzy was checking things out, an enthusiastic and frugal mom was happy to find 25-cent items – just what she was looking for – and a reminder that “Christmas” items are all just “Christmas” stuff. Filling her basket with 25-cent little-girl-sized lip gloss and nail polish – in all the glittery, wild colors – she was happy that she’s be able to just the gift-box full of goodies they’d love for their next birthday. Gift sets of bath items – small baskets with lotion, soap, bath sponges, etc. – were available for giveaway prices and they make nice hostess or birthday gifts year ’round. Still time to take advantage – but these things won’t last much longer.


Go greener



As you think about what you want to accomplish in 2013, Earth911 reports a number of opportunities to make a difference through recycling – and through just saving a little here and there on waste. Remember: small efforts add up. Yours count.


• Recycling aluminum cans saves energy. It also contributes to the increasing recycling rate since they are the most-recycled item. The Aluminum Association indicated that the aluminum can recovery rate is on the rise – and reached 65.1% in 2011. (See? This matters.)


• An impressive 34% of our waste stream could be composted – not surprising given that we waste about 33 million tons of food annually. (How can you help reduce food waste? Prepare less? Creative leftover meals? Sharing?)


• We are composting more, but if you aren’t, check out to learn how . May be one of your 2013 goals. It matters.


Scholarships for your students – start now


It’s never too early to start planning for college – or to help your children understand the value of a college education. The Kentucky Education Savings Plan is sponsoring a “Dream Out Loud Challenge” – which is a great incentive for starting the conversation with your K-6 student. And there are rewards for doing it.


Kentucky students in grades K-6 have a chance to win $1,500 toward college and $500 for their school in the “Dream Out Loud Challenge.” Students are invited to submit an original drawing, poem, essay or video answering the question: “How will I change the world after I go to college?”


The challenge, sponsored by the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust (KESPT), is intended to remind families that it is never too early to start saving and planning for higher education. Six winning entries will be selected by a panel of judges. One winner will be chosen from each of two submission categories — drawing or video and essay or poem — in grades K-2, grades 3-4 and grades 5-6. The winning students will receive a $1,500 KESPT college savings account, and their schools will win $500. The contest runs from Jan. 21 through March 22, 2013. Entries must be postmarked by March 22 and received by March 27.


KESPT is Kentucky’s official college savings plan and is administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing. The plan helps parents, grandparents and others invest in a child’s future college education.


Visit to learn more about the challenge, including official rules and a complete description of entry requirements.


Hope you are having a great Monday, Suzy Friends. See you tomorrow.