California Educator

December 2015

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Save Big on Groceries and Gas Make your dollars go further: • T H I N K S T R AT E G I C A L LY. Take stock of what you have, and what you intend to cook and eat that week. Make a shopping list. Go online to check grocers' weekly sales. Google the store name with "coupon" and down- load coupons you can use. • G O M O B I L E . Many stores have mobile apps that provide instant access to the store's weekly ad and in-store coupons. Some let you create a shopping list, search for sale items, and comparison-shop. • J O I N T H E C LU B . When you're a member, grocers such as Safeway and Vons can track your shopping history and offer you special savings on prod- ucts you buy. • G E T G AS R E WA R D S . Some grocers such as Safeway and Vons offer gas rewards that make filling up much less expensive. See for more tips. Get on Track Be your best self in the new year Fitness trackers — wristbands and other wearables that monitor daily activity — are all the rage. Tech advances and design improvements mean they're becoming easier to use, and the increasing selection will let you find one at your price point. Quick & Painless Checkup You may have just started your career, or are planning to retire soon. Whatever your situation, you'll want to take NEA Member Benefits' 5 Minute Retirement Checkup, an online calculator based on answers to a few questions that tells you where you stand right now — and if applicable, what you need to do to achieve a comfortable retirement. It's a great way to get a handle on your personal finances. Go to W H Y YO U N E E D O N E Trackers can motivate you to meet your daily and overall goals — whether it be to lose weight, sleep better or get fit. W H AT TO LO O K F O R Figure out what you want the tracker to do. Most monitor the number of steps taken, calories burnt and sleep patterns, and can be used as a watch. Additional features can include: • Stair-counting, heart rate, perspira- tion levels, GPS capabilities, vibration aer periods of inactivity, and active guid- ance and encouragement to help you maximize your workout. • Extended battery life, water resis- tance, attractiveness (some can be worn as jewelry). • Phone and social media notifications. • Companion app — usually on your smartphone — that is easy to use and clearly displays your collected data. B E S T WAYS TO U S E I T • Set realistic goals. Most trackers are preset with a goal of 10,000 steps per day. Use yours for a few days to calculate your average before setting your own goal. Do the same thing with sleep and calorie-burning goals. • Calibrate your stride. Fitbit suggests counting your steps as you walk for at least 20 paces along a track or spot where you know the exact distance; divide total distance in feet by the num- ber of steps for your stride length. Do the same for your running pace. Set both numbers in your tracker. • Sync it with other apps, such as the food/activity tracking app MyFitnessPal. 14 YOUR WHOLE LIFE Tips and trends for a smarter, healthier you

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