Choose a Bowling Center
Bowling has long earned itself a place in the pantheon of American pastimes. A bowling center can be a place of competitive sport, a gathering place, a location for festive celebrations such as birthdays or graduation parties along with being a center of activity focused on the true spirit of gamesmanship.
Bowling is a beautifully simple game that offers much of what other games, sports and activities cannot. It’s inexpensive, anyone can play and it trends towards a high level of social interaction, which can include food and drinks, all under one roof.
Today’s modern bowling alleys are clean and filled with hi-tech amenities avid bowlers are familiar with.
Visiting a contemporary bowling center can be a pleasant revelation for those who haven’t visited in a while or for younger folks who might never have bowled before.
Here’s what to look for in a place to enjoy your next round of bowling:
Most bowling centers now use computerized scoring systems that make it easier to keep score.
Look for a center that has an easy-to-use scoring system. You should be able to begin a game without spending much time figuring out how
to keep track of the score. There should be instructions on how to keep score. If not, the employee working at the desk should be able to help you.
The best scoring systems will help you improve your game, since you can concentrate on bowling, rather than who is winning or losing. Some scoring systems can be the equivalent of having a virtual coach, giving advice on how to turn a split into a spare.
Fast and friendly service means you will get your shoes and be able to procure a lane without much of a wait time.
Many bowling centers have extra services for birthday parties, corporate events or fundraisers. The best bowling alleys have top-grade facilities and entertainment packages to host events of all sizes.
Bowling alleys are a great place to hold a child’s birthday party. Most alleys have a room you can reserve to gather and have cake and ice cream. They usually offer discounts for groups to bowl. It makes for a fun activity for several hours.
Some bowling centers have special themed nights or midnight bowling events, which can make playing even more exciting.
A modern bowling alley will offer comfortable spaces for bowlers to relax and enjoy a good meal. You should be able to find more than a cup of soda and hot dog at a bowling center. Increasingly, bowling centers offer well rounded meal menus or combo platters that can satisfy even the most hard to please palate.
Many bowling centers have arcades, which can provide fun for the whole family.
Some bowling centers offer indoor or outdoor Mini-Golf as well. Starting or finishing the bowling event with a game of Mini-Golf can set the tone for a bout of healthy competition.
Bowling centers are a great way to spend an entire evening with your friends and family without breaking your budget.
Many bowling centers can be home to the local High School’s Bowling Team. Even those not participating can be swept up in the heat of competition while rooting for the home team.
Most bowling centers offer chances to form or join leagues and play competitively or for fun. Looking on a particular bowling center’s website or Facebook page can give you information on how to create or join a league.
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Choose a Restoration Company
Returning a home to its pre-disaster condition after an unexpected catastrophe strikes can be an expensive endeavor. Restoration services are often a necessity after water damage or fire and smoke damage occurs. The average cost of removing standing water, repairing water damage, and renovating after fire and smoke damage can inflict a heavy financial toll on a homeowner.
Because of the costs of restoration services, homeowners will want to utilize the services of a professional and reputable restoration company. A quality restoration service will be methodical in rebuilding the damaged parts of your home. Pipes that have burst and the resulting flooding are addressed by water damage restoration professionals who dry out the property. Restoration services also clean up the heavy soot and smoke that can result from fires, leaving your home habitable and safe.
When looking for a credible restoration company, several key indicators can lead a homeowner to the right restoration service.
Hire Local Local restoration companies can arrive onsite quicky to assess the damage to the home.
Organizations like the Institute of Inspection
Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and services like the Restoration Certification’s Locator can connect a homeowner to local restoration services.
Hire an Insured Restoration Professional
Make sure you choose a contractor who is licensed and insured. A licensed restoration company has to meet a set of required credentials in order to perform the specified service. The Better Business Bureau helps consumers find businesses that they can trust.
Insurance protects both the property owner as well as the technicians working onsite. Any injuries to the homeowner or workers that might result from the restoration process are covered by general liability insurance. If damage to the property itself occurs, as a consequence to the restoration work performed, it will also
be covered under the company’s insurance.
A certified restoration professional can provide the homeowner with proof that the companies’ employees have received extensive training. Certifications from renowned industry associations, like the IICRC and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA), are a true indication of commitment to quality.
Restoration services can also be known as emergency response teams. If water suddenly infiltrates a home and leads to flooding, you will want the services of a water damage restoration company who can arrive at the property as quickly as possible.
A reliable restoration company should have 24hour service, every day of the year. Water damage and fire damage are unpredictable and can cause destruction to a property within minutes. Keep the contact information of a restoration service on hand with 24hour availability.
Begin Buying and Selling Coins
Coin collecting has a long history as both a fun and interesting hobby and often a pursuit that develops into a business. But coin collectors all point to the joy of discovery and then holding something historic, rare and beautiful in their own hands as the main reason they are drawn to coins.
Coin collectors come by their hobby through different routes. Some inherit collections, allowing them a head-start on their new pursuit. Others become fascinated when they find a rare coin mixed in with their normal currency.
But no matter how they came by their collections, the hobby can prove addicting. Adding to the collection involves some investment, tenacity and research.
Buying and selling coins is great fun but not simple or easy. There are several factors that affect a coin’s ability to go up in value, including its history, quality and scarcity. You’ll also encounter many obstacles with dealers and other sellers. If you are considering starting a coin collection, here are some things to keep in mind:
Know What You Have
Research is key. There are a lot of resources that can help you understand what you are buying or selling.
It is important to discover everything you can about a coin before purchasing it. If you have inherited coins, or have received them as gifts,
educate yourself on their background and value.
Coin shops likely have books that can help you get started. You can also find information at the local library and on the internet.
Once you have completed your research, you can start buying and selling with confidence.
Understand Coin Grades
Knowing coin grades is essential if you collect coins. This system assigns a value based on the coin’s condition.
The grading process is pivotal. You could have the same two coins — same year, same mint, same design — and they could be worth drastically different prices based on the score they received when being graded.
Coins in near-perfect condition are very rare and are more valuable than modified or damaged coins.
Don’t Clean Coins
Never clean your coin collection. Novices are often tempted to give their coins a polish. Shinier coins must be worth more, right?
Cleaning or polishing a coin can destroy its worth. It removes some of the original finish, rendering the coin far less valuable as a result. Real collectors prize coins that are in their original condition.
Ask questions, no matter how trivial you think they
might be. It is the only way you will learn and grow as a collector.
Look for more experienced collectors in your area. You can find them at coin shows and shops. There may even be clubs in your community. Ask them about the best coins to buy. Find out about their successes and failures. It will help you avoid pitfalls.
It is hard to know what is reputable online. That’s why networking in your area and finding people with great reputations is a better way to get your questions answered.
Spend Time at a Coin Shop
Develop a relationship with your favorite coin shop.
Once a dealer knows your interests, he can alert you with information about the coins you are seeking.
Networking with employees may also help you develop new friendships that come out of common interests.
Doing these things will help you avoid wasting time and money on bad purchases. It will also pass the time, as you accumulate more knowledge. Soon you will be on your way toward becoming a seasoned collector.
But once you become familiar with collecting, don’t keep the knowledge to yourself. Give back to the coin collecting community. Help others develop in interest in the hobby as well.
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Select a Storage Building
Stuff piles up. Luggage, tools and garden equipment, and rarely used sporting goods. One day it fills a closet. Soon it overtakes your garage. If you find your living space has become an extended storage facility, it might be time to choose a backyard storage building.
Small, temporary outdoor storage buildings can be picked up at some home improvement stores and assembled either by yourself or by experienced staff at the store. Larger more permanent buildings will likely require some assistance in installing, especially one requiring a proper foundation. Before you hit the market for a new building, keep these tips in mind.
Quality material and construction is a must. The building might be more of an investment, but it will be worth it. While many companies use solid materials and workmanship, some may be out to make fast money. Their reputation means little since they don’t plan to be in business for long. Plan to purchase from a reputable vendor.
High-quality storage buildings are similar to a well-built home. The walls are sturdy; the flooring and
roof trusses are solid. A well-made roof will keep out the elements. These buildings will not leak, so your possessions will be safe.
Don’t overlook the flooring. It should consist of solid joists and decking thick enough to prevent sagging. The flooring should meet or exceed your expectations. Pay more to get better flooring.
Another important factor is functional design. Purchase the best-designed building that you can afford. Your unit should have plenty of room for shelving and adequate floor space. Think of everything you will need to put inside the building. People use these units for a variety of reasons. Some people need room for a tractor while others might keep small gardening equipment on the shelves. You might need more windows or electrical lighting. Maybe you need a wide door or one that opens in a particular direction. If you hang things, then look for a building with space for hooks.
Units with an attractive exterior will complement your home. You can choose from a wide array of siding, trim, and roof shingles
without overshooting your budget.
While you might not think much about the appearance of the building, it is worth it when you consider that it could add to the appeal of your house and property.
A superior retailer will help you find a unit that offers you the best value for your money.
A company that constructs the building for you is often the best option. Misinterpreted blueprints and gouges from a screwdriver can have an impact on the overall appearance of the unit. It might even make it impossible to put together. Let a professional handle this job.
If you are on a tight budget, you might inquire about a payment plan. It will likely be cheaper than the monthly rental expense of a commercial storage facility. That’s money that stays in your pocket.
Buying a unit that features quality construction and design from a top-notch retailer makes good sense. It is a great way to gain a durable and functional storage space.
Let a professional handle this job while you admire the view from your kitchen window.
Your local farmers market provides a valuable service to your community. These markets offer fresh produce, vegetables, baked items, and other goods to a community.
Farmers markets were once only found on weekends on the outskirts of agricultural areas, usually located on well-traveled roads that attracted passersby. These days, they’re also increasingly found in urban areas and bring fresh produce to a diverse audience.
Modern farmers markets are open throughout the week and most are open weekends. This makes them the ideal places to spend a leisurely weekend afternoon, checking out the goods and enjoying anything else that may be on-site. Many local markets have seasonal greenhouses, not only filled with flowers, but also with all the mulching and landscaping supplies you need.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to buy fruits, vegetables, jams, baked goods and locally produced dairy and meat products, there’s no reason not to visit your local farmers market.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of shopping at a farmers market.
There are a whole host of reasons why people enjoy shopping at these markets.
First, you are supporting your neighbors and the environment. After tasting berries picked that morning by the grower himself, it is
unlikely you will prefer twoweek old berries from a chain supermarket, where they likely have been treated with some kind of preservatives.
Farmers markets will often have produce you can’t find in chain stores because some vegetables will not “ship well” or may be out of season. You will find a larger selection of peppers, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and many other vegetables and fruits. The growers may even have tasty tips for you to try at home.
Local markets also have knowledge about cooking ideas, recipes and suggestions. They understand what flavor you should expect from a vegetable or the heat level for a specific type of pepper. They can recommend which fruits are best for cooking. Some markets have signs above each product, describing the best way to cook or eat it. They might even give you a family recipe or let you sample produce you have never eaten before.
Beyond the Produce
In addition to fruits and vegetables, some markets offer honey, herbs, baked goods, hand-made pasta, farm-fresh eggs, milk, cheese, meats and canned products. Where else can you try fresh breads with locally produced goat cheese? A majority, if not all, of the canned or dry goods are homemade by the farmers market using produce they also sell.
Besides fresh foods, markets frequently have floral arrangements, gift items, books, or other art on display. Most of these items come from local or small business owners, promoting their goods within the farmers market.
Once you become a regular at your local farmers market, you will start to understand which days and times are best to shop. You might even come home with fantastic deals.
Farmers markets are often less expensive and provide superior quality than big box supermarkets. Like any business, new customers are important to your local farmers market. Repeat customers are just as important. Your local farmers market will often be responsive to questions about the availability of certain items in the future.
These markets can be an educational experience for the whole family. Your children can talk to farmers and start to understand how food is grown.
Everyone knows that nutrition is important. We should all be eating more fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, we go to a supermarket out of habit or convenience. Then we purchase the same produce each week.
Try something new. Spend some time at your local farmers market, exploring all the produce and goods available for purchase. You won’t regret it.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 3
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Choose an Internet Service Provider
In a digitally connected society, internet service is vital to everyday life. Choosing the right provider can be confusing. Deciphering the prices, packages, bandwidth and installation makes it tough to find the right speed and plan.
While some communities have little choice in providers, others have many. So it’s good to know the basics before buying. The wrong decision means the difference between satisfaction and frustration.
Whether you are moving into a new home or dissatisfied with your current service, contemplate these factors when choosing an internet service provider:
Cost is an important consideration. Most companies charge in monthly increments, so decide what price range best fits your budget.
Faster service costs more. Compare prices from different providers for the best deal while asking about additional
fees. Some providers are more transparent than others. You should know the upload and download speeds for each price point. The higher the speed, the better the service.
Also, check to see if they participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which could mean free or discounted internet for your household based on eligibility.
Type of Connection
The most common broadband connections are provided by service providers over coaxial cables, fiber-optic cables or telephone lines. Both coaxial and fiber-optic cables offer similar speeds that are super-fast. Access via telephone lines, sometimes called DSL, typically has lower available speeds. Wireless broadband access through mobile and satellite companies is becoming available in more locations as well, but both are limited to being in range of a tower or satellite, depending on the technology chosen.
Another important part of getting a broadband connection is having the right WiFi equipment to connect all your devices to the internet and get the most out of your connection.
Finally, it’s important to protect your home network and devices from hackers. Ask potential providers about their network security features or add-on options.
Purpose of Connection
List what you need to accomplish on the internet.
To stream movies, study online or work from home, you will need the fastest connection possible. However, for accessing email or basic websites, settling for slower, cheaper service might suffice. Determining the purpose of your connection will prevent you from being disappointed in the service or your bill.
Many internet providers offer specials or bundles to new customers, giving free service for a few months, free
Find the Right Landscaper
Landscaping is all about beautifying property. Choosing the right types of grass, bushes and flowers, as well as functional details, will enhance your outdoor experience and bring curb
appeal and value to your home.
But an attractive lawn and landscape are often difficult to achieve on your own, so enlisting the aid of a professional landscaper can
make the project and upkeep much more practical.
Consider the following tips if you’re looking to hire a landscaper:
Types of Landscapes
Different landscape styles
Good’s Lawn Care
equipment or upgrades.
Bundles package internet, phone and cable TV services. Search local providers to find a package that suits you. If you have cable or satellite TV, check your eligibility for special discounts by purchasing your internet service from the same company. Also, consider your cell phone provider. Sometimes, mobile phone companies have pack-
require landscapers to have different skill sets.
A formal garden uses many geometric shapes in its design. Plants provide a focal point, making the yard appear balanced. To achieve this design, a landscaper will need to carefully prune hedges.
An informal landscape looks like organized chaos. Plants appear to be placed randomly. Landscapers who use this design should be skilled at working with planters and urns.
The English garden landscape uses the house as its focal point. All aspects of the yard will flow together. Professionals who use this design should be skilled at working with climbing vines, critical to this style.
Oriental designs use rocks, mosses and evergreens. Calm, quiet minimalism tends to be the effect of this style.
To create a woodland design, the landscaper must have great knowledge of native plants and making them look their best.
Choose Garage Doors
Few exterior-facing segments of a home are more noticeable than garage doors. Attractive, well-designed and well-made garage doors extend the character of a home and provide a necessary
If your garage faces the front of the house, a new door could dramatically improve your curb appeal and change the overall look of your home. If you’re selling, worn or dated doors
Thurs., Fri. & Sat., August 17, 18 & 19
tend to say a lot about the condition of the rest of the home.
A garage door is also an excellent security asset for your home, allowing you to secure your vehicle inside.
If you’re thinking about
installing a new garage door, you may be surprised at just how many options are on the market — and how affordably they can be installed.
Garage doors have seen an explosion in styles, materials and colors that are designed to match the architecture of any home, from rural barns to craftsman bungalows or sleek urban getaways. If you thought your choices were limited to simple sheet metal styles, think again.
Some garage door retailers will be able to help you visualize what the different doors would look like — complete with color and material samples, and perhaps even software that will show a picture of what your home would look like.
You should also pay close attention to the materials. Today’s garage doors can be made from expensive hardwoods, textured vinyl, fiberglass or basic aluminum, all of which will have a big impact on the look and longevity of your doors.
Pay close attention to
age deals for residential internet service. Figure out what’s best for you.
Last, but not least, comes customer service.
Read reviews of each company. Inquire if their employees are locally-based and how long they keep their customers on hold.
Also, look at their outage rate. Does the company fix
Set Your Budget
Cost is always a concern when hiring a home improvement specialist. Set a budget and stick to it. Understand what you can afford and are willing to spend annually on your landscaping.
You might need to make sacrifices. If you need a new landscaping wall, you might have to delay getting a sprinkler system. On the other hand, if irrigation is a must, then you might need to cut back on how often your lawn is mowed each month.
Even if your budget is tight, don’t get discouraged. Some landscapers may charge less in order to get your business.
Prioritize Your Needs
Determining what you need will help you decide which services you require from a landscaping company. Most professionals offer the following: weekly or monthly lawn and garden maintenance, weed control, tree pruning and shaping, garden installations, inspection and maintenance of irrigation systems and possibly even the construction of retaining walls or other structures.
the maintenance needs of whatever material you choose. Some will hold their color longer than others, and real wood doors can require regular staining and sealing every few years to keep them looking spectacular.
Depending on climate, the insulation of your garage door can be an important factor to help reduce your energy bills.
Just like windows and insulation in your attic, garage doors come with an “R factor” rating that tells you how well they insulate your home from outside temperatures. This is especially important in heated garages. Even on unheated garages, an insulated door can make a positive impact on your energy usage if it can keep the hot and cold weather away from the interior of your house.
In general, the higher the “R value,” the better off you’ll be.
Before you make the purchase, you should also check to see if your city, county or homeowner’s association has
problems on a timely basis? Do they charge for technicians to fix problems in your home? How do they handle defective equipment?
Studying each company ensures that you will have no surprises after signing a contract. Once you have conducted the proper research, you will have a better idea of which company will meet your needs.
Neighbors are sometimes the best way to get referrals.
If you like what you see in their yard, ask them for their landscaper’s name. Discuss the pros and cons of the service as well. You can even watch the company perform work. It will give you an idea about their employees and work habits even before contacting them.
You could also ask your prospective landscaper for referrals from their current clients.
Availability is another factor when looking for a landscaper. One of the first questions to ask is how often the company will be available for maintenance.
Also consider community regulations. For example, if your town has noise regulations, ask each landscape company what they will do to adhere to them.
Once you find a landscaper that meets your needs, you can sit back and enjoy your bountiful reward.
any special requirements for garage doors.
Homeowner’s associations, in particular, may have very picky requirements about what materials and styles can be used in your neighborhood. Make sure your choice meets with the approval of any local authorities or boards that control their use.
A garage door is typically the largest moving object installed in any home, and safety should be a consideration.
Ask your garage door retailer about any special safety features on the door you select. Make sure it will be installed according to all applicable safety codes in your area.
Finally, when you install a new garage door it’s usually a good idea to install a new opener, too. Make sure you factor this into the cost and explore all your options — including the latest models that can be closed remotely via smartphones and operate very quietly and efficiently.
4 - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News”
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Select an Orthodontist
Visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and fillings is just one aspect of maintaining healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Many people also require alignment of their teeth and jaws, which requires the specialty of orthodontics.
When most people think of orthodontics, they most likely think of braces.
But braces are just one option used by these dental specialists trained in straightening and aligning the teeth, bite and jaws. They use braces, aligners, and orthopedic alignment correctors such as MARA, Herbst, Forsus, etc.
These processes take time, but the result of their treatment will be a healthier bite and a more attractive smile!
If you think an orthodontist could help improve your bite and smile, here are some tips for finding a good one.
Quality orthodontists perform most of the work with a highly-trained staff. The best orthodontists see you as a valued patient and treat you as an individual. You also need a doctor who can communicate well, listen to questions and answer them clearly.
Orthodontic technicians are part of the treatment team, so it is wise to form good relationships with
them. They have undergone rigorous training, and will contribute during all phases of treatment.
Look for an orthodontist who knows the value of time. You should not have to wait a long time in the waiting room.
The waiting area should be comforting and soothing. Focus on how the staff treats you and others.
As children represent a large portion of patients for orthodontists, watch their reactions closely.
If they seem relaxed and comfortable, then you are in the right place.
You may also experience some anxiety while receiving treatment. That is expected. It is how this professional treats you, and the environment around you that will make a difference.
Because treatment takes time, you should develop a good rapport with your orthodontist.
Ask each prospective orthodontist about the technologies they use. There are several systems, each of them quite different from one to the other.
Each professional should explain the trade-offs between systems. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Have the orthodontist explain why he or she prefers one over the other.
Clear aligners are a very common choice for people who care about their appearance. Adults, professionals, and children can receive treatment without having it hinder their appearance.
Orthodontists will also have suggestions on which modality might work best for your situation.
If you are interested in these treatment modalities, ask your orthodontist why he or she uses a particular type. It will guide your choice in which system you choose.
Orthodontists have at least 6-7 years of education after college. There is not just emphasis on tooth movement, but bone movement and development as well. Therefore, the specialty is now referred to as Orthodontics and Dentofacial orthopedics.
Early treatment is encouraged to improve boney relationships while the young patient is pliable and growth can be directed to improve occlusion and space needed for the secondary teeth.
Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment. The right mix of education, certification, experience and personality should make all the work worthwhile in the end.
Choose a Physical Therapist
Rehabilitation is so important when you are recovering from an injury, surgery or just suffering from chronic pain. The right physical therapist will help you understand your body, offer advice and guidance on routine exercises and lifestyle changes that will get you back to or better than you were before. So how do you find the right one? Consider the tips below:
One-on-One Care: Does the clinic schedule patients so that one-on-one care with your treatment team is the norm? Too often, patients may be scheduled in 15-minute increments which significantly decreases the ability of your therapist to provide you with the best care. Wellspaced appointment blocks provide the best patient experience, by allowing ample time for explanation of treatment progress and questions. (It also can decrease the potential for longer waits in the waiting room.)
Consistency of Care: Does the clinic schedule you with the same treatment team at every visit? Too often, clinics book patients with whatever therapist is available. It can be tough for the therapist to properly progress your plan of care if they have never treated you before. Outcomes improve when the treatment team remains consistent.
Research: Not all PT clinics will provide you with the same service. Researching their online reviews is a great place to start! In addition, ask your friends, family and neighbors if they have had a good experience in physical therapy recently.
Scheduling within 24-48 hours: How soon can they see you? In Pennsylvania you may begin physical therapy without a physician referral with a Direct Access certified PT. Studies have shown that quicker access to physical therapy results in a faster and more complete recovery.
Cost: Physical therapy costs can vary widely depending on the type of clinic you choose (hospitalowned, physician-owned, or independent). The clinic should be able to check your benefits for you and provide you with a clear picture of your coverage. If you are a self-pay patient, this becomes even more important, as the cost for a one-hour physical therapy visit can vary from $100 at an independent clinic to $400+ at a hospital-owned clinic.
Privacy: A private room, especially during your first visit and evaluation, provides a place for confidentiality while you discuss your issues and problems with your PT.
Location: A local physical therapy clinic that
is convenient to where you live or work makes it easier to keep your appointments, saves on gas and your time.
Credentials: Check their credentials! First, make sure they are a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Many PTs are generalists and can treat many diagnoses, however if you have a more specific issue, you may prefer a PT that has undergone additional training such as becoming a certified clinical specialist.
Individualized Treatments: Physical therapy is not one-size fits all and your PT should create a flexible plan of care that tracks your movement weekly to determine that your goals and timelines are adjusted as you progress.
If you think you could benefit from physical therapy, call and ask if a clinic offers FREE phone consultations. During this call, you can describe your issue to the physical therapist who can offer recommendations for you to try at home and will advise whether physical therapy can help.
Physical therapy is a combination of science, experience and art and it’s important to choose the right one. Don’t wait… get started today! The right physical therapist and your hard work will put you on the road to recovery so you can enjoy life again.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 5
Benjamin F.D. Chikes, D.D.S., P.C. 717-738-4901 150 West Fulton St., Ephrata, PA 17522 Shown in photo (L-R): Tracy, Tammy, Danielle, Dr. Chikes, Jen and Jill. ChikesOrthodontics.com “Imagine Your Very Best Smile” We invite you to visit us at Chikes Orthodontics for a complimentary orthodontic consultation! 201 N. Carpenter St. Schaefferstown, PA 17088 900-A Centerville Rd. Lancaster, PA 17601 Experienced Orthodontic Care For The Whole Family Family Owned Practice For Over 30 Years!
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Choose a Water Treatment Company
If you’ve made the wise decision to hire a water treatment company, you’ve made a valuable choice in ensuring the water you drink, cook with and bathe in is pure and healthy.
There are many factors that can influence a home’s water supply and affect the taste, smell and feel of your water. The quality of water from wells, as well as the plumbing within both distribution systems and the home can make a difference in your water. These impurities can affect your drinking water as well as the water you use to work in and around your home, leading to hard water spots, iron stains, dry skin and more.
Public water systems contain impurities or chemicals that can affect taste and your enjoyment of water by itself or with other beverages.
Tap water with high levels of calcium, otherwise known as hard water, forms deposits in pipes. Hard water requires more detergent for laundry, and leaves unsightly
spots on your dishes and silverware.
Water treatment companies can remove or reduce these unwanted minerals. Your water will taste better and your glasses will be spotless.
Purified water is passed through a series of filters that remove sediment and minerals. These minerals are not always bad. Actually, some minerals are required to keep the body functioning properly. Your body needs sodium, calcium, magnesium, copper, sulfur and iron. When water is over filtrated, it removes both the good and bad minerals. It is essential that your drinking water has the proper balance.
Think about how you will use your purified water. You will likely be cooking and cleaning with it as well. Consider how much you’ll use for these purposes.
Cost is an important consideration. Some companies might be expensive, while others may not give you the highest quality of water.
Research various companies to compare pricing, quality, purity and healthfulness.
It will take some work to find the right water treatment that meets your needs. People who live in an area with high mineral content in the water will likely have neighbors who have found an alternative. Ask them for recommendations. Businesses in your community may already be assisting people with better water options. You can also find excellent water treatment companies via the internet and phone book.
Look around, do some research and even taste samples of the water treatment system you’re considering.
A quality water treatment company can analyze your water and offer multiple solutions to meet your needs and fit within your budget. After purchasing a water treatment system, it is important that the company you choose can service what they sell, should any problems arise.
Select a Pharmacy
Pharmacies are playing a larger role in health care in the United States than ever before, offering not just easy access to prescriptions but mini markets selling cosmetics, toiletries, home goods, food and other frequently used supplies.
The big chains — Walgreens and CVS — now offer drive-thru pharmacies and an array of heath care services, such as vaccinations and minor medical emergency treatment.
And multiple locations mean you’ll always be able to pick up your medicine in a pinch while traveling for business or pleasure.
All that convenience can come with trade-offs, though. With the amount of customers big chains handle, you may find more individualized or personal care at a smaller pharmacy. Surveys indicate independent pharmacies get top marks for service, speed, accuracy and providing information. That’s largely due to the fact that most of their revenue comes from prescription sales.
Whether you’re looking to try a chain pharmacy or trying to locate a good independent pharmacy, here are some things you may want to think about.
A pharmacy’s hours of operation are a top factor for most people. Limited business hours are not helpful when you are dealing with an illness.
Look for a business with convenient hours that align with your schedule. Some cities even have all-night pharmacies that will fill your prescriptions in a hurry.
Usually, pharmacies that are tied to a corporate chain will stay open late. Smaller, locally owned pharmacies may be open during limited hours, but they tend to provide personalized service, including free delivery and medication packaging.
No matter what pharmacy becomes your favorite, always know where you can find a 24-hour location in case of an emergency.
A convenient location will make filling prescriptions and purchasing medical products much easier. If you can find a store near your home, work or school, it will save you plenty of time. Some independent pharmacies offer more than one location in one town. It is very useful to find a pharmacy that is minutes away, in case you need help quickly.
Does the pharmacy accept your prescription drug plan? Not every pharmacy will accept every insurance policy.
Call ahead to inquire about the types of insurance they accept. Paying out of pocket will likely be a huge, unnecessary burden.
If you have little to no coverage for your prescriptions, contact pharmacies to ask about prescription discounts.
Most pharmacies have generic versions of medications, some of which may be available to you. Between discounts and generic drugs, you could save lots of money.
Seniors on Medicare should pay close attention when choosing a pharmacy. Ask locations in your area if they accept your Medicare Part D plan. There are many options available on these plans. It is important that the pharmacy you select is willing to work with your plan to cover the medications you need. Service
Customer service is another factor to consider when choosing a pharmacy. Do the pharmacist and staff remember your name? Are they happy to answer questions? Do you trust them? Finding a pharmacy staff that is informative and friendly will make it easier for you to take your medication. Some people prefer a more natural or holistic approach to modern medicine. If this is something that is important to you, you may want to find a pharmacist that has experience in these areas. Many pharmacies now offer mobile prescription services, allowing you to easily refill prescriptions and consult with your pharmacist about any issues.
It may take some work to find a pharmacy that fulfills these criteria. With a little time and effort, you can certainly find one that fits your needs.
6 - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News”
BROWNSTOWN 4216 Oregon Pike 717-859-3131 CLEONA 308 W. Penn Avenue 717-273-7555 EPHRATA 1717 W. Main Street 717-733-7730 MYERSTOWN 740 E. Lincoln Avenue 717-866-7555 NEW PROVIDENCE 2318 Beaver Valley Pike 717-786-7373 READING 4850 Perkiomen Avenue 610-401-0390 Your Local Water Experts Serving Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, West Virginia & Delaware Call us for your FREE Home Water Analysis! Family owned & operated since 1973, Martin Water Conditioning has been providing homes and families with safe, clean water utilizing Kinetico’s advanced home water systems. As an Authorized, Independent Kinetico dealer, Martin Water provides on-site testing to evaluate the quality of water coming into your home, determining the whole house water system that is right for your family’s needs. martinwater.com HOW-TO... 334 Main Street, Denver • (717) 336-2292 2590 N. Reading Road, Adamstown (717) 484-2649 (at Weaver Markets) Mon.-Fri. 9am-7pm; Sat. 9am-2pm; Closed Sundays • FREE Medication Packaging • FREE Delivery • COVID & Other Vaccines Available • Essential Oils • Natural Remedies • Unique Hand-Crafted Gifts Made Locally ANDERSON Transfe ing is easy... JUST GIVE US A CALL! HELPING OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY STAY HEALTHY Quy prescripti service since 1946 Now Offering High Quality CBD Products We can match GoodRX prices on most prescriptions!
Find the Right Electrician
Home electrical wiring is complicated — and getting more complicated as new smart appliances come into play with technological advances.
Attempting to make any repairs to wiring — even if you know the basics — can result in significant problems and injury if you make a mistake.
If you have an electrical problem at home, it’s one of those repairs that is best left to the professionals. Even if you have some experience, making a minor mistake can lead to major problems.
Trained professionals can skillfully and safely rewire a home, fix simple or complicated wiring issues, install and repair both indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures, replace electrical panels and circuit breakers, and much more.
In addition, some electricians will do inspections of your home’s electrical system and recommend how it can be updated for both functionality and safety.
Here are some points to keep in mind when looking for an electrician:
1. Don’t postpone a repair. Flickering lights or an outlet that doesn’t work is a warning sign. When
you first suspect a problem, seek an experienced electrician.
2. For a larger project, contact two or three electricians and request information about their licenses, availability, experience and rates.
3. Any electrician who cannot provide references and a current license should not be considered. A reliable and experienced electrician will maintain a current license. Ask for references from recently completed projects. A reputable electrician will understand and gladly comply. If he or she cannot provide references, they may do substandard work or not have recent experience.
4. Check with the local better Business Bureau for complaints. Even the best electrician will have a disgruntled customer or two, but if there are any complaints, find out how those complaints were resolved.
5. Get estimates from two or three electricians. They should come to your home and speak to you about the job. These estimates will allow you to compare rates and make an assessment of their appearance and work habits. While discussing
the estimate, it’s important to convey your budget for the job. If the electrician feels they cannot meet that budget, they may recommend which parts of the project could be completed within your budget.
6. Get all estimates in writing. Read over the estimates to ensure that everything necessary is covered, including a description of the job to be performed, total cost, time for completion, insurance coverage and clean-up. Ask questions and get answers in writing before you sign a contract or agreement. Ask about guarantees and warranties.
7. Don’t make a decision based solely on price. The electrical system in your home is far too important for you to choose simply by choosing the cheapest option.
8. If you are undecided, you can try a potential electrician by hiring him for a small project first. Don’t end up with damages that could have been avoided by being repaired by a professional. Find the right, qualified electrician in your area to make sure you and your home are safe.
Choose a Real Estate Agent
Choosing a real estate agent is a lot like choosing an employee. You’ll want to know about their professional background, successes and how they can best represent your interests.
To do away with any confusion, first consider this: A real estate agent may or may not be a Realtor, but every Realtor is required to be a licensed real estate agent.
A Realtor is simply a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This allows him or her to attend industry meetings and access software and educational tools. Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics and have solid knowledge of the real estate business.
Finding a reliable, reputable real estate agent is essential when you are considering buying or selling a home. These professionals can guide you through complicated negotiations and contracts to secure you the best deal you can get. They’ll also be able to inform you of the precise steps you need to take just before buying or selling.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t make any property decision under the advisement of an agent you don’t trust. So, do your homework and pick an agent you can have faith will get the job done right.
Here’s some guidance in helping you choose the best agent for your situation.
Where To Start Looking
Recommendations are one of the best ways to find a qualified real estate agent or Realtor. Ask people in your social network for referrals. Sometimes agents are good at helping clients purchase homes, but not as skilled at selling them. Keep that in mind when searching for the right professional.
You might also contact local brokers or search the NAR directory online. Always work with credible, responsible agents. Otherwise you are wasting your time.
At the initial consultation with a prospective real estate professional, focus on your comfort level while interacting with them.
Do you get the feeling they are genuinely concerned about your needs? Or are they focused on their commission? Do they know the current housing market? Can they negotiate a contract?
It is important that you feel comfortable with the agent. You must trust that this person can behave ethically and help you secure a good deal.
Communication And Planning
Your agent should be an effective communicator. If you are selling your home, your agent should develop an effective marketing plan, explain it to you and respond to any questions or concerns you have.
The marketing plan will probably involve placing advertisements and conducting open houses to invite the public for home viewings.
If you are purchasing a home, the agent should listen to your guidelines and price ranges.
Above all, your real estate agent needs to provide updates on progress. Do not work with someone who does not return phone calls or emails.
To get a better idea about the process of buying and selling a home, conduct some research on your own. Real estate magazines contain good information and can be a great way to start your research.
There are also a lot of good resources on the internet, such as www.Realtor.com, which is associated with NAR and which contains free, useful information.
You may find housing statistics, market forecasts and tips, but nothing beats the power of networking. You need to find people with similar interests who will help you in your endeavor.
Upon successfully buying or selling your home, keep your real estate agent’s contact information on hand.
You may want to refer other people to him or her.
You may also need their services again someday.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 7
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Choose a Plumber
Plumbing problems mostly happen by surprise and at the most inopportune times. A clogged sink or toilet. A malfunctioning water heater. Correcting these problems requires quick action and swift decisions. Making a mistake can cause even more disruption.
While most tackle these issues themselves, not all plumbing problems can be solved with a plunger or a drain snake. Clogged or loose pipes can create a major home or business nightmare, so if you’ve exhausted your do-ityourself options, it’s time to bring in a professional plumber.
A competent, experienced plumber will ensure your house or business stays comfortable and sanitary by diagnosing problems and determining the best available fix. Here are some tips to help you find the best plumber:
Choose Ahead of Time
First and foremost, don’t wait until you have a plumbing emergency to start finding a good plumber in your town.
Waiting until you have an urgent need is a common mistake. Emergencies
leave you open to dealing with unscrupulous people. There is also a good chance that you will pay too much for their services.
As soon as you can, begin your search for a plumber to service your home.
Ask for Recommendations
Friends and family members may be able to refer you to an excellent professional. Good wordof-mouth recommendations are the best way to find excellent service. Look for people in your local area. Sometimes, plumbers may charge extra if you are not in their designated service region.
Newspaper Ads and Online Search
Consider looking in your local newspaper for ads. Many local companies advertise the number of years they’ve been in business and a description of their services. An online search is also helpful. Just remember the information on the internet is not always correct. When looking at online reviews, one person’s bad experience may not accurately reflect what you can expect. Look for multiple reports from
different sources before drawing a conclusion.
Cost should always play a role in picking a plumber. Contact at least three different plumbers to get an idea of the differences in labor and material costs. They should be able to provide you with estimates for different services.
It is vital that you find a professional who knows what he is doing. Whatever you save up front could turn into extra expenses down the road if the work isn’t done correctly.
Asking questions is the best way to form expectations. Not only should you understand labor rates, but you should also know if there are any guarantees on work. Find out how long the plumber has been in business and where he received his training.
The bottom line is that you need to hire someone who cares about their customers and their homes. Conducting a thorough search before an emergency will prevent you from being disappointed.
Find a Good Appliance Store
Appliances are so-called big-ticket items – expensive purchases expected to last a long time. Because they are such a major investment, it’s wise to carefully consider which store you choose to purchase them at.
You might be lulled into a store after seeing advertisements and sales featuring new appliances with all the latest features and technology. Or you may just need to replace an aging appliance on its last legs. Either way, it’s smart to figure out what you really need, how much you can afford, and which stores offer the best quality and deals.
Chances are you’ve already done some research or quizzed friends or family about their own experiences with various appliances. While shopping for one can be daunting, it can also be fun.
These days, appliance manufacturers produce items that have every conceivable feature to make your life easier. Exploring these innovations in home appliance technology can be an enjoyable and eyeopening experience.
We’ve put together some tips that can help you narrow your search and find exactly what you need. First you’ll have to determine your budget and requirements — what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to pay for it.
Now, it’s time to go shopping.
First, do an internet search for appliance stores in your area. Local stores are easier to work with and you will likely be able to get your appliance much quicker than if you had to go out of the area or order it. If your refrigerator has stopped working, this is especially important. Many appliance stores also offer free delivery in the local area.
You can get a good idea of the services offered by various companies via business review sites. Don’t dismiss negative reviews, but keep in mind that customers who have good experiences are less likely to crow on the internet.
Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau are also great resources for finding reputable businesses. To qualify for listing on the Better Business Bureau site, the business must be reliable and honest.
Many stores also have review sections for customers to leave comments, reviews and ratings for the services and the products they sell, which can give you some insight into the business and their products.
Finding a store with knowledgeable and reputable salespeople that can answer all of your questions will help make the process easier and more enjoyable.
For most of us, getting a good deal is probably a top concern when shopping for appliances. Check your local newspaper and your mailbox for circulars announcing
the latest, greatest deals on appliances in your area.
Many stores will use pricematching to stay competitive. Not all stores have policies on price-matching, so be sure to ask first. If you can find a lower advertised price on the exact same product and model elsewhere, many stores will sell you the product for that price.
As always, conduct research on the appliance you need to make sure you are spending money wisely. Not all appliances are the same; just because one manufacturer was excellent two decades ago doesn’t mean the quality will be the same now.
Review the store’s policies about warranties and repairs. If the appliance comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, you might not need an additional warranty from the store.
Appliances have a yearly sale-price cycle. Washers and dryers usually go on sale during the winter. Refrigerators are often discounted in the spring, with stoves and ovens dropping in price during the fall. If you don’t need it right away, consider shopping seasonally for the best deal.
Consider these questions when you’re looking for an appliance store: Do they have a delivery window, warranty options, repair services and range of products?
Answer these questions, and know that you’ll purchase appliances with confidence.
8 - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News”
HOW-TO... BROWNSTOWN 4216 Oregon Pike 717-859-3131 ALTOONA 433 Sabbath Rest Road 814-515-9516 CLEONA 308 W. Penn Avenue 717-273-7555 READING 4850 Perkimen Avenue 610-401-0390 MYERSTOWN 740 E. Lincoln Avenue 717-866-7555 NEW PROVIDENCE 2318 Beaver Valley Pike 717-786-7373 Seven locations to serve you! Your DEPENDABLE, LOCAL, AFFORDABLE Appliance Dealer Family Owned and Operated Since 1973 EPHRATA • 1717 W. Main Street • 717-733-7730 Celebrating 50 Years of Service martinsappliance.com Plumbing & Heating • Water Heaters • Water Pumps • Sewer Pumps • Bathroom Remodeling & Repairs • Water Softeners Installed & Serviced • Kitchen Remodeling 717-738-0760 www.cocalicoph.com 27 North 4th Street Denver, PA 17517 PA2500 “Get To Know Cocalico And You’ll Know Quality” When your family needs us most... Our family is here. SALES • SERVICE • INSTALLATION Guaranteed Up Front Pricing Before We Start The Job!
Choose an Insurance Company HOW-TO...
Insurance is one product you purchase and hope to never use. But when disaster strikes, you want to know your family, home, auto and business are protected.
Choosing the correct agency, company and policy are vitally important to ensuring you are protected. Especially important, should the need arise, is the ability for the company and agency to offer a smooth claims process. You shouldn’t pick a company based on their marketing hype alone.
Quality customer service can set one company apart from its competitors. Do your research. Review agency and company
websites. What is their mission, vision and values? How long have they been in business? How do others rate them? Ask family and friends about their experiences with their agency and company.
When considering a particular insurance company, inquire as to who you would contact should a claim need to be filed. Some insurance companies expect individual agencies to be involved in the claims process, while others work directly with the client from the beginning. Sometimes it will be a combination of both. The local agency may provide a 24-hour phone number for emergency situations, while
Select a Tree Service
Trimming and caring for trees so they continue to thrive can be hard work. Branches can become overgrown, interfering with power lines. Tree rot can
spread and inhibit healthy growth. But not everyone has the time to ensure trees on their property maintain their natural beauty.
Finding a reliable,
handling questions themselves during normal business hours.
Know Your Policy
Premiums can vary from company to company, as can the type of coverage they offer. Expect your agent to explain all the options. A good agent will explain the coverage clearly and allow you to make an informed decision.
You should look at the coverage details and premium for each policy. If you’re unfamiliar with or are new to buying insurance, your agent should be acting more like a teacher than a salesperson. Your choices may be diverse, with many coverage
professional tree service can provide welcome relief from this laborious chore.
Follow these tips to find a qualified, professional tree service in your area:
AUTO | HOME | BUSINESS | FARM | CHURCH
options, deductibles and exclusions. You shouldn’t purchase a policy based on price alone. Many factors, such as a high deductible or other limitations, affect the bottom-line price. Some companies may offer more coverage options or offer discounts for purchasing multiple types of coverage
• Ask friends, family and neighbors. You may know someone who has used a tree service in the past. They can tell you who does the best work. Also, check newspaper, phone and internet listings.
• Find out how long each company has been in business, their experiences, references and whether they are licensed and insured. Check with the Better Business Bureau for outstanding complaints. Even reliable companies may have a few problems. It is how they resolve the issue that counts.
• When requesting an estimate give the company as much information you can about the trees, access to the location and work you would like done. It’s always a good idea for the homeowner to mark the trees before contacting the company for an estimate. Marking the trees may also help if a neighbor thinks the
Choose an Auto Repair Shop
Everyone seems to know someone who’s good at auto repair – a relative, friend or neighbor who has experience fixing cars. For most simple fixes, that might work. But often the complexity of
modern vehicles surpasses even the knowledge of the best backyard mechanics. That’s when owners begin the search for an auto repair shop.
Some new car owners may
naturally gravitate toward their dealers to follow scheduled maintenance to keep their vehicle in top shape. Older cars will likely need more attention. That’s why it pays to develop a
relationship with a qualified, reliable and professional auto repair shop.
Developing a relationship with an knowledgeable mechanic or auto repair shop early on in your vehicle’s life can prove invaluable. Talented, honest mechanics can extend the life of your car and help you avoid costly repairs. And if the unexpected occurs — an accident or a major malfunction — that relationship can be the difference between hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Even if your car is new, at some point it will need tires, oil changes or even a new engine. If you have a relationship with a good auto repair shop, you won’t sweat it when these things come up. If you haven’t had a regular mechanic in recent years, now is the time to find one.
Here are a few points to consider:
• Less than 40% of new customers in auto shops
from the same company.
The financial strength of an insurance company is very important to a policyholder. Every insurance company is rated based on their financial strength and size, and your insurance agent can explain the rating
tree may be his or hers, and a conversation can occur before the estimator arrives. Don’t choose a company strictly based on cost. Tree work is dangerous. Proper equipment, well-trained employees and insurance coverage add to operating costs. It is worth paying a little more for peace of mind and excellent service.
• Look at a copy of their insurance policy. Coverage should include personal liability, property damage coverage, workers’ compensation and damaged vehicles or home coverage.
• Inspect their previous work by looking at their portfolio. Each tree service company has a work style. Verify that it suits your needs. Photos of past work might also be on their website.
• Get a detailed written estimate of any work to be performed before signing a contract. Responsible companies will provide
are walk-ins. That means word of mouth is still king in the industry. Find a shop that gets rave reviews from family and friends, and you’ll be in good hands.
• The Better Business Bureau can inform you about the repair shop’s performance and reliability.
• Ask about the shop’s range of services. They will need the latest technology to diagnose problems with newer cars. For example, can your prospective shop handle brake systems, electrical components and warranty repairs? Does the shop provide a loaner, rental car or shuttle service while your car is being repaired?
• Look around the shop. Is the equipment in good condition? Is it clean, welllit and organized? These factors all contribute to a level of professionalism.
• Look for brand names and proper certification. Does the auto repair shop use brand-name parts?
These parts are engineered to meet the manufacturer’s
of a particular insurance company. While your insurance premiums are an important factor, it is just one piece of a complicated puzzle. Choose a company that will not only give you fair prices, but who will also be prompt, courteous and financially stable.
detailed descriptions, along with the time and cost for your records. This estimate should also offer information about cleanup expectations. Are logs to be cut up or left for firewood? Will the company haul everything away or leave it for you to manage? Will leaves and twigs be raked up or run through a chipper? If they are removing an entire tree, what will happen to the stump?
• Verify the workers wear property safety gear. They should be wearing helmets at all times. In addition, they should use face shields or protective glasses and steel-toe boots. The person who climbs the tree should have arborist climbing ropes, specialized safety and climbing gear, the proper saddle, helmet and safety glasses. If you find they aren’t wearing safety gear, contact the company to discuss the matter.
specifications and will likely come with a warranty. Shops may use remade or generic brands, which your insurance policy may not cover, so be sure to check.
• Are the auto technicians certified by a specific car manufacturer, the National Institute for Automotive Services or Automotive Science Excellence? Is the shop approved by the American Automobile Association? If so, this indicates a customer approval rating of 90% or higher and the ability to adequately perform the services advertised.
• Compare the services and fees of each shop in the area to find out the average price ranges.
Once you have found a shop you trust, establish a good working relationship and try to use the shop for all of your automotive needs. Your mechanic will come to know you as a dependable customer and always be sure to provide you the highest level of service.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 9
EPHRATA 1020 Sharp Ave.Ephrata, PA 717-733-2050 NEW HOLLAND 650 East Main St., New Holland, PA 610-286-0956 MT. JOY 968 East Main St., Mount Joy, PA 717-653-2990 www.lehmanins.com NEW HOLLAND 650 East Main St., New Holland, PA 610-286-0956 MT. JOY 968 Main Mount Joy, PA 717-653-2990 EPHRATA 1686 West Main St., Ephrata, PA 717-733-2050
Specializing in Hondas for 43 Years!
in Honda/Acura REPAIRS & SERVICE
4337 Oregon Pike, Ephrata 717-859-2784 Specializing
• Tree Removal by Crane • Stump Grinding • Tree Trimming 950 East Earl Rd., New Holland, PA 17557 717.354.5939
Choose a Paving Service
It’s true that no one pays much attention to smooth, well-maintained pavement. But when cracked pavement or pavement with potholes are observed, it is both an eyesore and a headache for businesses and homeowners alike.
Worn pavement can make your home or business look run down and uninviting. It can also damage vehicles and be downright dangerous, with cracks and potholes creating trip hazards for visitors to your property.
Getting started with a new paving job can be especially frustrating as costs including materials and labor can run into the thousands of dollars.
If you’ve been putting off a paving project because you don’t know how to go about getting started or you are worried about the cost, a paving professional may be able to put your mind at ease.
Keep the following in mind, and call local paving companies to learn more about the price and process of updating your drive or walkway.
Be sure that the company provides a detailed proposal outlining the type and compacted thickness of the material they will be using. Tell your paving company how the surface will be
used. If you are paving a commercial lot, provide the company with an estimated traffic count accompanied with details about the heaviest trucks that might use it.
The best paving companies will have deep roots within your community. Climates and types of soil vary around the country and a local company with a great reputation will understand these details of your area. They will know what challenges various types of pavements will face throughout the year.
When choosing a paving company, remember the old adage: “You get what you pay for.” Many companies will take your money and then not deliver on the promised job. It pays to be a smart consumer. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
A knowledge of previous completed work can tell you a lot about a paving company. Request referrals from past customers. In particular, look for completed work that is similar to what you will need. If looking for pavement for your driveway, look for similar driveways the company has installed in your area.
Try to view jobs the company has worked on in
the past. Do the edges of the driveway look crisp and clean? Has the surface held up? Whenever possible, ask the previous customer about their experiences during construction. Did the company finish the job on time and on budget? Were their expectations met?
Also, try to look for older work the company has done. The sign of a quality job is if pavement installed years ago has held up against the test of time. Insurance
For your protection, verify that the paving company is properly insured.
Many homeowner and business insurance policies don’t cover accidents that occur by contractors working on your property. Uninsured companies open you up to liabilities for any injuries or accidents that occur during construction.
Only consider using pavement companies with strong insurance policies. It will give you peace of mind.
Finally, follow the first rule of thumb when approaching any home-improvement project, especially when it comes to paving: Get at least three quotes on your project. Even if you have a favorite or recommended contractor, it’s smart to gather more quotes to compare warranty, price and project inclusions.
Select a Taxidermist
Taxidermy is an intricate craft involving the preservation of an animal by stuffing or mounting its hide. Since it is such an involved practice, those purchasing a taxidermy animal want to be sure they are paying for the best work money can buy. Consider these six steps before choosing a taxidermist.
Learn What’s Possible
Before approaching a taxidermist, become more familiar with the craft. Understanding taxidermy can help manage expectations and judge the quality of a potential taxidermist’s work. If you are unfamiliar with taxidermy, you may not know the difference between high-quality work and a lower quality job. You can visit local taxidermy shows to see different taxidermists’ work and view different styles and approaches. This will also help you choose a pose for the animal you’d like to mount or stuff.
Do Some Research
It’s important to research local shops and the different services taxidermists provide. Some have different specialties, so you should look on their websites and/or Facebook pages to determine if they have what you are looking for. Also, consider your state’s laws on licensing, as some states require taxidermists to pass an exam to document their proficiency, while some do not. Different states have different laws regarding taxidermy, especially surrounding transporting species across state
lines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulates laws regarding animals. Consult their site if you are considering a taxidermist from another state.
Consider Your Budget
Depending on the animal and which part of the body you want to mount, taxidermy can be expensive. If you’re not prepared to spend over a few thousand dollars for a stag or brown bear, you may not get the best work. Smaller animals generally cost less than larger animals, unless you want a more complex mounting or pose, in which case expect your price to go up. Before approaching a taxidermist, think about your budget. Considering that a taxidermy animal is likely to add a significant accent to your home or office that will last for years, invest in the best taxidermist you can find.
Interview Potential Taxidermists
Once you’ve got a picture of the type of animal taxidermy you’d like, have a few poses in mind, you can proceed with finding a local taxidermist that fits your needs. Approach finding a taxidermist as you would looking for a used car. Ask the taxidermist for an account of their experience on the job, what kinds of work they’ve completed before and other relevant concerns.
Feel free to contact a taxidermist’s references. If they have online reviews,
look for mentions of the quality of work, how they take customer feedback and the care they put into their craft. While customers with a negative experience are more likely to leave a review, avoid anyone with too many bad reviews.
You can ask a taxidermist to refer you to a specific customer to speak with them about their experience and ask questions. If a taxidermist is unwilling or unable to provide references, this may be a red flag, and you might want to look elsewhere.
Choose Your Best Option
Choosing the best taxidermist is a matter of preparation and consideration. Doing research and considering your options is important to make the right choice. To choose the best taxidermist, take the following into account:
Price: Price is an important consideration, but it shouldn’t be your only guide. Paying more for quality work will mean you have a better product that you’re happy with for years to come.
Experience: Taxidermists newer to the trade may charge less, while more experienced ones can charge more since they have more knowledge and practice.
Timeline: Taxidermy is an involved process. Turnaround times are often measured by months rather than days. While a quick turnaround time sounds great, it could mean the taxidermist has fewer clients.
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Choose The Right Dentist
Daily oral care is a vital part of an individual’s health care routine. Regular dental visits – at least twice-a-year -- are important to maintaining good oral health, including cleanings and proactive examinations to avoid any future problems with the teeth and gums.
We’re taught from a very young age that caring for our teeth will save us a lifetime of pain and costly procedures. So choosing a dental professional you can trust, along with scheduling regular care and cleaning, can result in just that — a lifetime of beautiful, healthy teeth.
Find a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and explains every procedure in an understandable way, and you’ll be in good hands. Seek someone near your home or workplace to be sure you are able to make your appointments on time. When searching for a dentist, make sure the office hours work for your schedule.
Whether you are moving to a new area or haven’t made time to find a regular dentist, here are a few tips on how to start your search.
First, ask your social
network for recommendations. Friends, family, and colleagues can be a great resource.
Your local newspaper will likely have advertisements from local dentists. Oftentimes, you can find specials and discounts.
Searching on the internet for dental offices in your area will also help.
Professionals usually have their own websites, which include the backgrounds of the dental professionals, reviews, and a list of services provided by that practice.
Once you have gathered a list, begin calling each prospective dentist. You can talk to a receptionist or other staff personnel if the dentist is unavailable.
Lead time for appointments is another consideration. Some offices might be able to see you right away or put you on a cancellation list, while others may have a substantial wait time.
Inquire about how the office handles your dental insurance and what forms of payments they accept. The office should give you an estimate before performing any work.
We’reYour Local, Friendly Full-Service Dental Practice
When you find a dentist who meets all of your requirements, visit the office. The staff should be professional and friendly. Every dentist should be willing to answer all of your questions.
Some people are afraid of dentists or of pain. If you have any concerns, communicate with the staff and dentist. Many professionals are willing to go above and beyond to accommodate these issues.
A basic oral health history should be taken by the dentist or staff. They should also communicate future treatment and prevention options. A quality dentist will help you feel comfortable during your visit.
The best dentists offer friendly and comprehensive dental experiences, communicate clearly what to expect, and provide a comfortable and welcoming setting.
Teeth are extremely important to an individual’s overall health. Finding a good dentist is like finding a friend who consistently brings out your best smile.
Dr. Robert Higgins & Dr. Lance Miller welcome you to Brownstown Dental, (formerly Brownstown Family Dental) Utilizing the latest and most advanced treatment methods to meet your dental needs, we offer comprehensive, personalized dental care for your entire family. We believe in providing excellent dental care in a friendly,
Select a Lawn Mower Repair Company
Lawn mower maintenance and repair is often overlooked. You may find yourself pulling your mower out of the garage to trim an overgrown yard, but it won’t start. Small issues are possible to fix on your own, but you may be doing more harm than good. Depending on the age of the mower and condition, you may think replacement is the best option. However, using the tips below, you can hopefully find a lawn mower repair company that checks all your boxes and repairs your mower in a fast, affordable and reliable manner.
Some companies will be more backed up than others, meaning if you need your mower repaired quickly, you should convey this to the repair shop or ask how fast they can get you in. If you happen to catch your local repair shop during the busy season, your mower could sit around for weeks before they get to it. Additionally, the majority of people that require maintenance on their mowers discover the problem in the spring, when they start cutting the grass. This creates backlog and local repair shops are working with lots of customers at once. To avoid this, you can test your mower on a regular basis prior to the start of the busy season. If you notice any damage or issues, you can get an appointment or service before they start getting busy.
With the increase in prices, repairing your mower might be a better option than replacement. Most businesses will provide a free estimate for the repair work, but be aware of other diagnostic fees. Riding mowers can be much more complex to repair than just a standard push mower. Some companies will send your mower elsewhere to be repaired, while others will do the work on-site. Off-site repairs usually cost more, due to the shipping or transportation of the equipment.
If price is your main concern, ask the business what their labor rate is or about any extra fees they charge, to make sure there are no surprises. Before taking your mower for repair, be sure to look over your warranty, as it may be able to cover several different repairs, making repair much more cost-effective than replacement.
Services & Qualifications
Whether you need a new spark plug, ignition switch, filter, or even a new battery, most repair shops can assist you in getting your mower back up and running. Reaching out to a lawn mower repair service does not necessarily have to be about damages or problems with your mower. Most of these companies also provide tune-up and maintenance services, allowing your
equipment to operate smoothly and prevent further damage. Some companies will offer a guarantee on the work performed by their technicians or an overall satisfaction guarantee.
This means that if you are not satisfied with the work or your lawn mower is still experiencing issues following repair, you are able to bring the mower back to be reassessed. Keep in mind that every business differs in how they handle scheduling, pricing, and services.
Most repair shops can handle a standard push mower with basic features; however, as the mower gets newer or more complex, the knowledge required to work on it or repair it also increases. Mowers are not cheap pieces of equipment; therefore, it is important that qualified individuals are working on it. Ask your repair shop if they have the materials or expertise to work on certain brands or types of mowers. It is always a good idea to ask about a business’s licensure and general liability insurance. In regards to customer service, you want to make sure the business knows what they are talking about and provides honest opinions. Ask about steps you can take at home to help maintain your mower, such as changing the oil or filters and emptying the gas tank before winter.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 11
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Choose Metal Roofing
Versatility, unrivaled protection and variety are the defining characteristics of metal roofing. No other roofing material comes close to the long-lasting sustainability of a metal roof.
While the initial cost of metal roofing may be more expensive than ordinary roofing materials, a properly installed standing seam metal roof can last for decades.
Here are some things to consider when choosing metal roofing.
In the past, metal roofs were often synonymous with shiny tin roofs.
But these days, metal roofing consists of many styles and colors. You can find matte finishes and textured designs in just about every color imaginable. Of course, you can also find the traditional silver if you want. It’s all about functionality and making a design statement.
Find a style that will match the architecture of your building. Online
software can help you visualize how different metal roofs will look on your house or commercial building. Choose a handful of textures and styles, and request samples to see how they will look against your brick or siding.
The best roofing companies will give you design advice about how to realize your vision.
Metal roofing comes in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, copper, zinc or an alloy of multiple metals.
There are also varying grades and thicknesses. Some materials have longer lifespans and are suited to regional weather variations.
You can choose between different stages of prefabrication. Some styles come press-formed and full-painted while others require more on-site work.
It’s important to get advice from a company you trust, one with deep roots in your community. Local companies will
understand which materials and brands perform best for your area. Be sure to do business with a company that has a long track record of happy customers.
As with any product you purchase, it is important to understand what the warranty covers.
Find a company that offers warranties that will give you peace of mind for many years. Look over the specifics of the warranty to learn what is covered, any possible out-of-pocket costs for material, labor or both.
A properly designed and installed metal roof can help you save money on your energy bill. Compare different materials and styles for any factors that will provide energy efficiency.
Some metal roofs can include insulating underlayment and special reflective coatings to deflect solar radiation. These heavy-duty and long-lasting materials can keep your attic cooler in
the summer and warmer in the winter, thus resulting in more energy savings and greater comfort.
While many “big
box” stores carry metal roofing, a local company can be a better option when looking for residential, commercial and agriculture roofing and siding. Many times
local companies have an experienced sales team to assist customers with not only purchasing the correct product, but also in getting referrals for a quality roofing contractor.
12 - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News”
CHOOSE METAL! Long Lasting. Energy Efficient. Beautiful. 82 Garden Spot Road Ephrata, PA 17522 717-455-3534 www.abmartin.net M-F 6:30am-5:30pm Sat. 7am-11:30am Closed Sundays Get Inspiration: abmartin.net/photo-gallery Find a Builder: abmartin.net/contractor
Choose a Window Treatment Store
Window treatments aren’t simply just “window dressing.” When considered thoughtfully, window treatments not only bring beauty and value to a home, but can affect the longevity of your furniture, the quality of your sleep and the amount of energy you use.
Window treatments from shades to draperies come in a wide variety of styles, colors and textures designed to suit any decor or personal style.
You can shop online for window treatments, but nothing beats visiting a store to see and touch treatments presented to give you the best idea of how they’ll look in your home.
Follow these simple guidelines to get the best results
when looking for a window treatment store:
Window treatments come in a variety of price ranges. If you are outfitting multiple windows with blinds, valances and draperies, budget can play a key role in your selections.
The best window treatment stores offer quality products at varying price points. Do you want your window treatments to last for decades or do you like to change up your surroundings and plan on replacing them within a shorter time frame?
Look for decorating ideas in magazines, on TV or websites. You will likely find many suggestions that will work in your own home.
Keep in mind that large
prints and bright colors will overpower smaller spaces.
Sample books in stores will also give you a good idea about the finished products. The store’s staff can help guide you to specific product price ranges if necessary.
Anyone who has tight finances should concentrate on rooms that you and your family use the most. Less expensive treatments will work fine in rooms that are not used as often.
Conventional shaped shades and blinds, such as square or rectangular, are often less costly than specialty shapes. But if you need a trapezoid, triangle or semicircle shape and it works well with your decor, then investing in those is money well-spent.
Heavy-duty, quality components are extremely important when it comes to blinds, shades and drapery hardware. Durability is a main concern when the window treatments will likely be used frequently, perhaps opening and closing several times a day. This construction should withstand years of use.
Using a certified installer is highly recommended. Property installation is critical to insuring all mechanisms will operate properly.
Professionals should guide you on trends that will remain stylish. There are many
choices of fabrics, textures, finishes and product features and capabilities to consider. Having a knowledgeable and helpful staff will save you time and money.
Locally-owned window treatment stores usually have more experienced and specialized staff available to discuss your likes and dislikes in person. When dealing with and shopping at a “big box” store, you may encounter sales staff without design experience resulting in costly errors and much frustration.
In addition, a local business may offer more than just window treatments. Design staff may be able to guide you through a complete room makeover.
Take the time to research all your options, After all, you will live with the results for many years.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 13
We can coordinate everything for a complete home look including room, walls and windows or just give you a few ideas. yp www.HeritageDesignInteriors.com Stop in or call for an appointment: 717-354-2233 VA L A NCES DR A PERIES SHEERS BLINDS SH A DES BED ENSEMBLES PILLOWS 1064 East Main St. (Rt. 23) | New Holland, PA Located one block west of the interstection of Routes 23 & 222 in the town of Blue Ball. Summer Hours: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Regular Hours: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Choose a Furniture Store
Just because you can assemble furniture yourself doesn’t mean you should.
While a desk or shelving unit from a big box store may work in the home office, the spaces you dine, relax and entertain in should be filled with quality, wellmade furniture crafted of solid materials and fabrics that will last.
Choosing the right furniture for your home means choosing a furniture store. You may be able to get some ideas of what you’re looking for online, but you’ll always want to see, try out and imagine what those pieces will look like in your home.
Because you won’t always find furniture that suits your tastes or style, or works for your budget, the process can be challenging. But it can also be fun.
Here are some things to look for in a quality furniture store.
Quality That Lasts
Look for a store that sells quality, long-lasting furniture.
While inexpensive accessories can be bought cheaply and changed often, big furniture investments — sofas, dining tables, and the like — need to be purchased for the long term.
That means putting solid construction before a pretty style.
Solid construction isn’t always apparent at first glance. It should feel solid, not flimsy, of course. Beyond that, find out as much information as possible about the frame, materials and what kind of warranty it comes with.
A well-trained staff can inform you about their furniture, how they’re built and why the construction matters. The best stores have employees who act as guides and teachers, not pushy salespeople.
Value, Not Just Price
It is best to pay more for a quality piece than to try to save money on something that will not last in the long term. The bigger the investment, the more important the design and quality become.
Concentrate on finding the best value. An inexpensive sofa will not be a good value if it is built with cheap and weak materials. Likewise, the most expensive love seat will not be a wise investment if the frame is not built solidly.
It’s best to look for brands with a long track record and good reputation.
Service and Delivery
Every store has a different customer service policy.
Choose a store that is wellknown for being loyal to its customers.
Inquire about return policies. Some furniture stores will allow you to exchange an item within a certain time limit if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Learn what fees are involved if you have to return an item — if that is allowed at all.
Also, be certain to ask about the store’s delivery policy, including how much it costs, how far they’ll deliver and how quickly your furniture will arrive.
If you are comparison shopping, factor in the delivery cost when considering different stores. A low-priced couch will not save you money if it comes with an expensive delivery fee. It may be worth it to pay a little more for the couch if free or reduced cost delivery is available.
The bottom line is that there are only two things that matter: the quality of the furniture you are purchasing, and the level of service you receive. Once you discover them both, furniture shopping can be a fun experience that that will beautify your home for many years, and you can be happy and comfortable with the furniture for generations to come.
Select an Attorney
While there are some reputable online services that offer people the ability to complete simple legal tasks without hiring an attorney, most Americans at some point will need the services of a professional lawyer.
For many, the search for an attorney almost never begins under positive circumstances. Choices made during periods of duress can result in poor outcomes. No matter what your legal issue, it always pays to find a quality, professional lawyer before you need one.
Choosing the right attorney can mean the difference between freedom and a criminal conviction, losing significant money and assets in a divorce settlement or ensuring you don’t get taken advantage of in a business deal.
Opting to represent yourself under these circumstances is often a costly mistake. Attorneys know the laws and legal nuances that may help your case. They know how to work with other attorneys and can recommend the best legal strategy for your case. They also understand how to properly fill out the correct files, forms and paperwork.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing a lawyer: Affordability
Settling for inexpensive legal representation can be a big mistake. Quality should always come first when it comes to attorneys.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” can apply here. Inexperienced lawyers
may charge a lower hourly rate but may take longer to accomplish the same task as an experienced lawyer.
Also, never hire an attorney who has been disbarred in any state. And be wary of those who have been sanctioned by their state bar.
When selecting an attorney, be sure to find one who is experienced in the area in which you need assistance. For example, people who have been arrested for driving while intoxicated will require a criminal lawyer who concentrates in traffic law. Wills are best handled by estate planning lawyers.
Many lawyers have extensive experience in a variety of legal issues. It is vital that you hire a lawyer who practices the type of law you need.
Finding a quality attorney can often be as simple as asking your family or friends for referrals. If you are getting a divorce, look for people in your social network who have been through a divorce who were pleased with their representation.
You can also ask attorneys for references. A true professional should be able to provide you with recommendations from previous clients.
Most lawyers charge an hourly rate. In certain cases, such as personal injury, lawyers charge a percentage of recovery. In other areas,
such as estate administration, some lawyers charge a percentage based on the estate value while other lawyers will simply charge for their time spent. This difference can save you thousands of dollars in many cases where the lawyer charges just for their time rather than a percentage, especially if the estate is large.
Some websites rate attorneys. They are a great resource for client reviews. Don’t give positive or negative reviews too much credence, however. They can be subjective. Some of the comments are not truthful. Focus on comments about a lawyer’s skill, client courtesy and results.
Schedule an initial consultation to meet an attorney and review your case. The meeting will allow you to discover if the lawyer is a good match for you. If not, schedule a consultation with someone else. You should not hire an attorney until you are satisfied that they have the experience and skill that you are looking for, that their personality and demeanor are a good match for you, and that you know what you will be charged or how you will be billed.
Ask questions during your consultation. Expect forthright answers. If you don’t feel satisfied, find another person to represent you. There are plenty of qualified local attorneys who will be willing to help.
14 - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News”
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Begin a Career in Cosmetology
Cosmetology offers those with a creative passion for make-up, styling and a vibrant atmosphere interacting with others who share your desire to make people look their best a path to a rewarding career in salons or even selfemployment.
Besides making people look their best — a reward in itself — you’ll encounter a vibrant atmosphere with co-workers who can help add to your skills and talents to keep you on top of all the trends.
Before you head down to the local salon and ask for a job, you’ll need to learn the requirements for becoming a licensed cosmetologist in your state.
Here’s what you need to know:
The legal requirements you must meet before you can work as a professional cosmetologist vary from state to state.
Some areas of the country have strict rules and training requirements, so it is important to have a clear understanding before you commit to pursuing this career.
It is likely you will have to attend some mandatory training in a cosmetology school, and then pass an exam to get a license. You will have to prove that you can help your customers and meet all of the legal requirements.
It’s also important to consider other programs such as Esthetics and Nail Technology; a cosmetologist can perform all of these services, but if you are interested in only those fields, a “Limited License” may be more appropriate.
A Good School
The training you receive will affect your career, so pick a good school.
The best cosmetology schools have a reputation for preparing their students for the job market. Meeting the requirements set by the government is really just a bare minimum.
After all, you want to succeed at your new career. You will have to learn how to provide the best customer service, communication skills and how to work well with others.
Look for a school with a training environment that replicates what you
will expect to find in the real world. This includes dealing with customers that ask for popular hairstyles and beauty treatments.
Also, ask about career placement services and financial aid.
A Long-Term Plan
Like other careers, cosmetologists generally start at an entry-level job and work up to more responsibility and better paying positions.
You might also choose the path of an entrepreneur. The most financially successful people in the field are also smart business people and decide to start their own independent business.
Take a look at your path and where you want to be 10, 15 or even 20 years into your career.
But it all starts with finding your passion. If cosmetology seems like a good fit for your personality and interests, then visit your local cosmetology school to see what it will take to get started on your new career. Make sure you keep upto-date on all of the newest hairstyles, make-up and other fashion trends.
Choose a Sewing Machine
Some take up sewing as a hobby or even a business. Many creative people like to design and create their own clothes and accessories, choosing quality fabrics and threading of their own fancy. Being handy with a sewing machine also means you can make quick, simple repairs to worn clothing.
No matter what your motivation, choosing a sewing machine is a more complex decision than it used to be.
Modern sewing machines are not simply the needle and spool-wheel of old. They come in all shapes and sizes, capable of large and small sewing jobs and include the kind of computerized systems that make prices comparable to larger home appliances.
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Here are a few tips to help in your search for the perfect sewing machine: Sewing magazines and websites offer detailed customer reviewers. Internet forums and blogs will also offer evaluations of major brands. You will find positive and negative comments so you can make your own choice.
Consider what you need and want in a sewing machine, including must-have and preferred features. Remember that accessories and attachments will add to the overall cost of the machine.
Do you hate threading your serger? Whether or not you have experience operating a serger, you’re probably familiar with the chief complaint about these machines: the time-consuming (and oftenfrustrating) threading pro-
cess. Luckily for beginners and experienced serger users, there is an expanding selection of self-threading serger machines available to you. Each model offers its own unique range of additional features that will add decorative and professional finishes to any of your sewing or crafting projects. Not all self-threading sergers are high-end, expensive machines, but if you spend a little more money for this time-saving function, it will pay off in the end. Selfthreading sergers make a productive investment, and are definitely a great addition to your home sewing room.
Take care not to go over your budget. On the other hand, a cheap, off-brand machine will give you a false savings. Inexpensive products may not last long.
If you use your sewing machine frequently, buy the best product you can afford. Perhaps it means purchasing a very basic machine. Don’t worry, as many manufacturers sell attachments and accessories separately. You can always buy them as you need them.
The purpose of the machine is another factor. Are you using it to sew clothes, make alterations, quilt or for embroidery work? Is upholstery part of your repertoire? Compare various brands’ and models’ ability to meet your needs.
Compact models are convenient for lightweight work and you may be able to sew on the dining room table. Complex machines might require a dedicated area in your house.
Never buy a sewing machine unseen. Visiting a store and trying a few different models will allow you to build a relationship with a store owner or employee that you like and trust. They will give you an honest assessment of features and benefits. Your machine will likely need repair and maintenance periodically, so choose a sewing center you like.
Make a list of features before you go shopping. Note brands and models that interest you. Carry around swatches of cloth and a spool of thread so you can try out various machines. It is the best way to evaluate a product’s performance.
Ask yourself if it was easy to thread and adjust the tension on the machine. Ease-of-use is going to be an important factor.
Your personal comfort comes into play as well. Does the machine hum along or does it make an irritating noise?
Always check on the warranty and maintenance schedule, which should be included in the price of the machine. Look through the owner’s manuals of each machine.
Finally, look at the accessories and attachments that come with your machine. Some shop owners might be able to let you swap one attachment for another, or purchase a group of them as a package deal. Communicating with the retailer will help you get the best bargain for your preferred machine.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 15
“Where Beauty & Wellness Meet” Cosmetology • Massage Therapy Esthetics • Nail Technology • Flexible schedules for day and evening • Financial aid available for those who qualify 50 Ranck Ave., Lancaster • 717.299.0200 Visit www.lancasterschoolofcosmetology.com for a printable brochure of our services and prices. All services performed by supervised students. Be in a new career in as little as five months! ho www.lancasterschoolofcosmetology.com Like us on Facebook!
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Select the Best Cuts of Meat
As the old commercial implores, “Beef — it’s what’s for dinner.” And for many Americans, this is true. We love meat. More, we love a great cut of meat. It makes for a special meal and the taste is noticeable.
Gazing at the meats available at your local grocer, you may be able to identify the simpler choices (hamburger, certain steaks). They’re all labeled of course, but there’s no real guide to which are the best cuts of meat.
If you don’t have access to a local butcher, the following tips can help you through the process of finding those cuts.
1. Choose the right cut of meat for your recipe.
Consider how you are cooking the meat and what you want your result to be. Traditional barbecue uses cheap, tough cuts and cooks them slowly until they become soft and tender.
On one hand, a barbecue brisket is chewy and tough because it is cooked quickly over a full blast of heat. But that same meat can become delicious and smooth if you smoke it slowly over low heat for hours.
Other cuts of meat will become tough and flavorless if you grill them too slowly. For example, Porterhouse or T-bone steaks are best
cooked over high, direct heat for a short time.
2. Consider the density or toughness of the meat and its fat content.
Density can be hard to ascertain, so usually the cut indicates the density or toughness. Meats culled from different areas of an animal tend to be more or less tender.
Marbling — small streaks of fat running through the cut — can sometimes tell you about the fat content.
Many people think marbling gives meat its best flavor.
However, the quality of the marbling is important.
Big veins of fat don’t cook very easily, so thick and consistent cuts of marbled meat would need to be slowcooked to release the flavor.
Small, thin ribbons of fat are usually excellent for a traditional steak cooked over high heat.
3. Examine the color of the meat and ask whether carbon monoxide is used to keep it looking red.
Meat browns quickly when exposed to air. If you find bright-red meat without additives used to preserve that vivid color, then it is an ultra-fresh cut.
Novice cooks might start with a cheaper cut of meat, such as sirloin steak, for grilling. Once
you have practiced your grilling skills, work your way up to expensive meats such as New York strips, T-bones, filet mignon and Porterhouse.
Ultimately, it is the quality of your cooking skills coupled with your selection of meat that will make a great meal.
Consult With Your Local Butcher
Sometimes shopping for meats can be made much simpler by getting advice from a local butcher. Important things to ask include where the animals are raised and the butcher’s standards for handling the meat in a safe and timely manner.
You can also ask how to best prepare a particular cut of meat or what’s the best storage method to ensure your meat is preserved until it’s cooked.
It’s no shame to admit your lack of knowledge about meat. Butchers might not know how to repair cars or build computers, so they visit experts for help. They, however, are experts in their own field and you should use this expertise to get the best quality meat possible. Good butchers will understand their customers and will readily offer their assistance.
Choose a Mold Removal Company
Untreated water damage in your residential or commercial property can lead to the growth of mold, possibly creating serious health issues. If mold is already visible, it would be a great idea to immediately call a mold remediation company. Don’t try to remove mold on your own, as you could potentially cause a bigger problem by creating an air quality issue. Regardless of the visibility, professionals should be called in to assess the situation and handle any removal necessary. Picking a reliable mold removal company can require some research. Listed below are just a few things to take into consideration when choosing a business to treat your property.
Before choosing a mold removal company, it is good to know if they are a certified company. Do not be afraid to ask to see their certifications as well. Most businesses will come in to assess the damage and make recommendations. Testing the environment before and after remediation is crucial to determine if the treatment and removal was successful. Any testing – air quality or surface – should be performed by a third party and have absolutely no affiliation with the company preparing to do the removal. Where there is water, there will be mold if it is not fixed and dried down quickly. Keep this in mind when
having the mold removed from your home or business, as a mold company cannot make any guarantees if the cause of the moisture/water intrusion has not been fixed.
It is important to find a business that is able to educate you on the entire process, address any questions or concerns you may have, and keep you informed throughout the entire process.
Scheduling & Pricing
You should schedule an assessment the minute you notice a problem. Do not wait until the mold becomes an emergency. If there is coverage through your insurance, it is great to know if the company will work directly with your adjuster to ensure you are paying a fair price. Finding a mold removal company that is insured will protect both the company and the customer.
The location and amount of damage will determine the cost; however, look for companies that provide a free assessment of property damage. Taking advantage of a free assessment is a great idea, as the company can educate you and guide you in finding the best solution for your property. It is better to make a decision based upon the education that you received versus a scare tactic or rushed decision.
Qualifications & Licenses
A small amount of water damage to your property may seem like an easy task to remove; however,
moisture may remain in areas that you would not even have known were wet. A qualified company has the correct equipment/tools to find ALL moisture and dry the structure down properly so that mold does not grow. If necessary, check that the company performing the job has the required certifications or licenses. Certification does not always equal experience, so be sure there is at least someone on the site that is experienced and knows how to handle any unforeseen situations as they arise.
Along with pricing, licensure and services, making sure a company is wearing protective gear while working on your property is important. This gear is not only for the protection of the technician performing the remediation, but is also used to keep from cross contaminating from an affected area to an unaffected area. Toxic mold is extremely dangerous and can make anyone sick, including pets, but any mold at high concentrations could be just as dangerous. A mold removal company should be familiar with this and protect themselves and your property accordingly. Be sure to ask how they dispose of the affected structure and how they plan to contain the affected area. Proper containment is essential to prevent cross-contamination and exposure to the rest of the property.
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Choose An Accountant
Selecting an accountant is a task all individuals and businesses should take seriously, as the decision can directly impact your finances or your company’s performance. Before starting your search for an accountant, it is important to define the needs of your company.
• looking to improve your cash flow,
• looking to redefine your business structure
• looking to re-evaluate your priorities within your business
• looking to improve profitability and develop strategies
• looking for assistance with preparing and examining financial or tax documents
Having a basic understanding of what you want the accountant to do for you and defining what your needs are can make the search for a qualified accountant much easier.
Ask lots of questions such as: What are your qualifications? What types of services do you offer? What are the fees and how much do you charge? How long will the process take? You may have to meet with several accountants before selecting the one that works best for you. Be selective and take your time with this decision. See what different accountants will offer and do not automatically accept the first offer you receive.
Consider the following
criteria when selecting an accountant or tax professional for your business:
There are many different certifications, licenses, and degrees an accountant can possess. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are individuals with a degree in accounting, finance or a similar industry that have passed rigorous exam requirements and are licensed by their applicable state boards of accountancy. Enrolled Agents (EAs) have passed a rigorous exam and are licensed by the Internal Revenue Service. They are federally licensed tax practitioners who have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. They may also hold a degree in accounting, finance, or a similar industry.
During the initial meeting, ask your potential accountant for a few references. Specifically ask for long-term clients that are satisfied with the services they receive. The amount of time an accountant has been practicing is also important to consider. Newer accountants will not be able to provide as many references or reviews as a well-established accountant.
Qualified accountants will be able to provide advice about processes that would improve your personal or business finances. On the other hand, utilizing an inexperienced accountant can be counterproductive, and
may end up costing you money. Price
Price may be the most important factor for you. Prices will vary based on the location in which you are seeking accounting services and the amount of services you require.
Common accounting services include bookkeeping, tax planning and preparation, payroll services, financial reporting, and business development, among others. Since you have already defined what your needs are or what services you require, make sure the accountant offers those specific services. Dayto-day accounting can be handled by a bookkeeper or non-certified accountant; however, if you need someone to provide strategic advice or solutions, file taxes, or assist with an audit, you may need to find a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Finding an accountant that is not only available to answer any questions you may have, but is also compatible with your needs and timeline is important. A business owner that is busy with day-to-day operations may require more advice or assistance than someone who has a full staff including an in-house accounting department. Make sure you choose an accountant that can adhere to your specific situation
Choose a Mattress
Let’s face it: We spend a lot of time in bed. And a great night’s sleep is vital to our physical and mental health. So, choosing the right mattress to help you achieve the sleep you need to awake rested and ready to confront the day is absolutely essential.
Buying a new mattress is no longer a one-stop proposition. The mattress industry has boomed with the introduction of memory foam, sensor-activated comfort control and firms that sell quality products online easily delivered to your home.
But don’t lose sleep over shopping for a new mattress. Sure, the number of options can be as daunting as the wide range of prices, but selecting the right mattress for your needs at the right price really is pretty simple.
Ask your friends and family for recommendations, and then start browsing. You can also scour the internet for information and start narrowing your choices.
Purchasing a mattress is a long-term investment in your health and selfesteem. Don’t be afraid of looking at pricier options. Often, expensive mattresses may be on sale or part of a closeout event. Quality mattresses last longer, so you will not have to go through the trouble of buying another mattress in a year or two, or worry as much about the mattress sagging and breaking down.
Consider your bed size. Is it time to buy a bigger bed? Perhaps you would like to sprawl out and relax.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
• Do you need a firm or soft mattress? People with a bad back, neck or leg pain, or other circulatory problems might require firm support to keep their spines aligned. Other people prefer flexible support that fits the contours of their bodies.
• Do you sleep with another person? Mattresses made of memory foam might be beneficial, as it will give you a personalized experience without disturbing the other person’s sleep.
• Standard mattresses can exacerbate allergies if you are sensitive to lint, cotton, dust or dust mites. If you or your partner have allergies, consider getting a latex, foam or water mattress. You might also think about getting a hypoallergenic mattress cover.
When you are looking at actual mattress options, the following are popular choices:
• Pillow-top mattresses are famous for their softness; however, they do have levels of firmness. They also require a larger bottom sheet because the pillow-top adds to their extra thickness.
• Coil spring construction is a great choice for people who want a firm mattress. This option has the ability to keep your spine aligned.
Most mattress stores can show you samples of their product lines. Choose the best construction you can afford.
• “Memory” or highdensity foam or latex mattresses are helpful if you have physical issues, such as skeletal pain or circulatory problems. This mattress conforms to the shape of the body. It also minimizes pressure points from the head, shoulders and hips.
• Adjustable air mattresses allow each person to change the firmness through electronic and mechanical devices that control air chambers. This is an ideal choice for partners who have different mattress preferences. You can also alter firmness for yourself, depending on your physical condition.
When shopping for a mattress, don’t be afraid of lying down and trying it out. Roll over and pay attention to how your body feels. Are you comfortable?
Inquire about the mattress guarantee or warranty. A standard warranty is 10 years. If the warranty is shorter or non-existent, look elsewhere. Some online companies allow you to return the mattress if you’re not satisfied.
Remember, your mattress is a long-term investment. Choose wisely and you will be rewarded with years of restful nights and energetic days.
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Choose an Auctioneer
Whether you’re selling prized real estate or looking to sell your private collection, auctions are a fantastic method of marketing to make that happen. You may ask, why should I sell at auction? A very difficult question, with a very simple answer… it just works. The auction method of marketing has been working well for centuries and is still on the cutting edge in our digital world.
In fact, over a quartertrillion dollars in goods and services are sold at auction every year in the U.S. With the combination of pre-sale marketing and the engaging auction chant, you could have enthusiastic, attentive buyers aggressively competing to purchase your property.
When choosing an auction company, look for an auctioneer who is in the business full-time. Full-time availability is valuable to make sure buyers get their questions answered quickly, so they are comfortable paying top dollar for what they are looking to purchase. Also, look for an auctioneer with many years of experience. Knowing when and where
to advertise, what key “search words” to use, and how to organize your auction are significant to your auction’s success story. Over 90% of an auctioneer’s work is done before the day your auction arrives.
There’s an excitement about an auction that makes it a special event that draws people again and again. By talking to auction professionals, sellers, and other buyers, you can learn which auctioneer would be a great fit for you. Auctions can be a great way to learn about real estate, art, automobiles, furniture and more. You can learn about values, collection practices, what items to collect, and much more when you attend an auction.
An auction professional’s role goes far beyond the speed of the chant. Auctioneer Professionals are entrepreneurs who excel in marketing and advertising. The primary role of an auction professional is to develop a marketing campaign to promote the sale of their client’s assets and attract bidders to their auction. A quality auc-
tioneer is a professional and expert in their field of sales.
Use your local newspaper or the internet to find a qualified auctioneer. Most newspapers have an auction section in their advertising section. A quality auctioneer should belong to professional organizations. Both the National Auctioneer Association and the Pennsylvania Auctioneer Associations hold their members to high standards to make sure your auctioneer of choice is the professional you are seeking.
When speaking to candidates, be sure to ask about their experience. Once you have a list of finalists, attend an auction, and watch them perform. Pay attention to how they handle attendees and the pacing of the event. Take notes on each auctioneer.
Then sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Know that your goods will be professionally described and displayed and more often than not, sold for the highest price the market will allow. The auctioneer of your choice will use their experience to guide you every step of the way.
Choose An HVAC Contractor
When you find yourself in need of heating and cooling replacement or repair services, choosing the right HVAC provider for the job is the most important step in the process; however, it can also be the most intimidating.
Working with a qualified company will ensure the equipment works effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, an inexperienced contractor may lead to an improperly installed or repaired HVAC system. Common mistakes include sizing, measurement, and design errors. An improperly installed HVAC system may cost you more money and energy, while sacrificing the comfort of a temperatureregulated building. Additionally, you will be looking at much shorter lifespan and decreased performance of the unit.
HVAC systems can be pricey; therefore, it is recommended you do your research in order to choose the best heating and cooling provider for the job. Consider the following tips when choosing an HVAC contractor:
Before settling on a company to install or repair your heating and cooling system, look up local HVAC company advertisements in your local community newspaper and consult review sites such as Facebook and Google. Companies should have good reviews and be popular among past
customers. You can also ask friends and family for advice or referrals to specific companies.
Considering companies that have been established for many years is also a good idea. Working with a contractor that has a good reputation for not only quality work, but also customer service will make the process much less stressful.
It is important to use a company whose technicians are licensed, insured, and background checked. A quick check for these certifications ensures you are hiring a company that provides quality work. HVAC companies are required to display their license number of any marketing materials such as advertisements and on their website. Making sure the company you are working with is taking the necessary steps to ensure they are hiring qualified technicians is important to protect your family and property.
Any reputable HVAC provider will give their clients a written estimate before any work begins. If necessary, the provider should walk you through all the costs and fees prior to beginning any repair or replacement service. Upfront pricing will eliminate any surprises or unexpected costs. Make sure you review
the estimate carefully and ask any questions to clear up any confusion before agreeing to work with a company.
It is not a bad idea to meet with several different HVAC companies to see how much the work will cost. Once you have estimates from different companies, consider the quality of work as well. Going with the lowest estimate from a company that is not rated well may save you more money upfront; however, it could result in frustration and larger costs down the road.
Keep Costs Low
Working with a company that offers free estimates can help keep costs low. Since HVAC units, especially replacements, are a large cost for customers, look at the efficiency of a system to keep reoccurring costs low. A qualified HVAC provider can also assist you in understanding the equipment warranty. This way you can consider the best long-term option for your property.
The provider should visit your property before any replacement occurs to conduct measurements and a full evaluation. They can inspect your current system, offer advice on the best option in terms of replacement or repair, and provide a better estimation of costs. A reputable HVAC contractor will spend the time getting to know your property before the job begins.
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Select Home Decor
Everything about your home says something about your style, tastes and preferences. Choosing furnishings and decor for your home is perhaps the most enjoyable part of moving into a new home.
From couches and chairs, tables and bookcases to selecting art and other decorative elements, choosing your home decor is an act of self-expression. But obtaining advice and the opinions of others you are close to can also aid you in decorating.
Here are some things to consider when decorating your home:
Match Your Personality
Home decor should be a reflection of who you are. Don’t think you have to follow the herd. You’re unique, and your home should be, too.
Whether you like excitement and adventure, which translates into bright colors and bold patterns in your home, or you prefer the calm, peaceful feeling of clean lines and muted tones, the right home decor will match your individuality.
Make a Statement
It’s important to find a few bold items that make a statement and set the stage for your room’s feel. Throw pillows on the couch or new artwork on the wall are simple ways to start. Pick a few items that create a visual or stylistic theme for your room. Then look for accessories that fit the theme.
The theme could be as simple as a color palette or something more literal, like a seaside-inspired room decorated like a beachfront getaway. Really, it’s up to your imagination.
Make You Feel at Home
The perfect home decor will just make you feel right. When you mix and match the right items and create a space that matches your lifestyle, it’s easier to relax and unwind in a room that makes you feel comfortable.
Design trends can be fun to follow, but a comfy, cozy feeling that’s unique to you — well, that’s timeless.
Seek Help If You Need It!
If choosing your own home decor seems like a daunting task, there are professionals that can help! Blending colors and patterns to introduce a new feel to your room or house is their forte.
A locally owned furniture and home decor store always has sales persons and designers that can provide advice. Sometimes they will visit your home to help with tasks such as color matching, fabric designs, space planning and furniture layout.
Visiting their store can give you many ideas as to what’s available and what brands that particular store carries. The sales/design person will gladly assist with meshing your current furnishing and decor with what you’d like to purchase.
A design professional will listen intently to your wishes and provide you with a style that’s personalized to exactly what you want. After all, building a lasting relationship to earn your repeat business is their goal.
Choose a Private School
The benefits of private schools are well-documented. Smaller class sizes, individualized attention, advanced curriculums and a focus on specific arts, sciences and athletic interests. They are model institutions where children can develop intellectually, emotionally and socially. Some parents turn to private schools out of personal experience and pride; others, troubled with the state of public education, opt for private schools to provide a more personalized or valuesbased upbringing. Still others value learning with an institution that shares specific religious values or beliefs.
If you’re considering doing the same, follow these steps to make sure you pick the best institution for your children.
First, evaluate your child’s educational goals and needs. Does he have natural gifts you are seeking to nurture? Are there physical or learning disabilities or behavioral issues that should be addressed? Has your child voiced an interest in science, math, sports or music?
Referrals from your child’s current school, teachers, guidance counselors, family and friends can be a good place to start in creating a list of potential private schools.
You should also consider what you believe an ideal
school should offer. Make a list of these features. Will your child attend a local day school or boarding school? Are there travel or budgetary restrictions? Are extracurricular activities, such as sports, band, art or debate club important?
Conduct some research on the internet for schools that have these features. Most sites will have plenty of information as well as policy summaries. Look at photo galleries and videos. Some sites may even give virtual tours of the facilities. Think about your child’s daily commute to school. Are there suitable transportation options?
After looking at these considerations, you can now make a “short list” of schools. It will consist of institutions that fit your criteria. Ask your child for his or her opinion about these schools. Talk it over to decide which ones are best.
When the list is complete, it is time to narrow it down even further. Determine entrance requirements and ensure your child meets them before contacting a particular school.
Make a list of general questions along with a subset of specific questions for each school. Then start contacting the institutions. If their answers are satisfactory, make an appointment to visit them. While there, inquire about the enrollment paperwork
and any testing your child will have to complete.
Check out the atmosphere of the school. Is it relaxed or competitive? Is there structure and discipline, or is it more free-flowing?
Most importantly, will your child feel comfortable there?
Be aware of how you are treated by the staff members. They will be dealing with your child throughout the day. Are they friendly, helpful and respectful? Try to meet as many of the staff and teachers as you can.
Imagine your family engaging in school activities. Is it easy to picture your child spending time there? If your child accompanies you to these appointments, ask him or her about the school. Children often have special insights and reactions to environments.
After all tours are complete, review your findings. You should be able to start eliminating schools.
Now that you have seen the school, asked questions and met the staff, you can also develop a better understanding of the financial cost of each school. Ask about financial aid, if needed.
With diligence and forethought, you should be able to apply to the school of your choice and have your child happily accepted.
Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News” - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - 19
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Find the Right Bank
If it has been awhile since you’ve visited a bank, you’re not alone. More and more, we’ve become a cashless society and many of us do most, if not all, our financial business online.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to find the best bank to meet your needs. To the contrary, you’ll be grateful you did — and rewarded for your patronage with discounted banking products and special services. While you may not need to physically visit a bank often, finding a great local bank is crucial to your financial health.
The array of financial institutions vying for your business is broader than ever. Beyond a physical presence, some choose to combine all their accounts at one bank; others spread their finances around at specific institutions for savings, credit and investment to get the best deals and rates.
Which sort of bank you choose — a “name” institution, credit union or the new-money, internet bank — reflects your financial needs and how you wish to deposit and manage your hard-earned pay.
No matter where or how you access your money, choosing the right bank to serve your needs still requires close scrutiny.
Here are a few things to consider.
Banks want to be competitive. One way they entice new customers is by offering handsome interest rates. It’s not uncommon for savings account interest rates to vary widely, but the majority of institutions make adjustments according to changes in the federal funds rate.
If you think interest rates are inconsequential, you’re wrong. When substantial deposit amounts are involved, the difference a few percentage points on an interest rate makes can be significant. Use online resources and shop around for the best rates in your area.
Banks are also notorious for charging fees for certain transactions. A checking account may only allow a certain number of checks to be written each month before a fee is assessed, or maybe a minimum balance is required to keep the account active.
Some banks offer free checking. But you should make sure that the free checking is really free. There may be stipulations such as being required to keep a minimum balance in
the account at all times or monthly service charges.
Take a look at a fee schedule to determine if it is acceptable to you.
Banks with multiple locations in convenient areas are important.
If you travel frequently, make sure your local or regional financial institution is a member of a national network. Some banks offer no ATM fees at another bank’s ATM.
Also, ask about their online banking policies. Is the bank’s website easy to navigate and secure? Online banking can be a great way to pay bills and transfer money between accounts.
Everyone’s needs are different. Some people may prefer a bank that provides 24-hour banking services through the phone, online, or mobile banking features. More recently, banks have been extending their physical locations to branches on wheels. These fully equipped buses and RVs offer the same services as a traditional bank location.
We all make mistakes. Accidental overdrafts happen occasionally. Each financial institution has a different policy about these matters.
Many banks offer overdraft coverage in the form of a high-interest credit line. Other banks charge fees each time an overdraft occurs.
Other banks provide no coverage. Be sure to research overdraft policies before making a final decision. Some banks send notifications when your account balance is low or an overdraft has occurred to prevent additional fees.
It is very important to consider a bank’s stability. Before you hand money to an institution, check
its history and financial condition.
Banks usually invest deposited funds under a fractional reserve banking system. Any bank with a strong balance sheet should be able to weather any turbulence caused by market corrections.
Most banks are also insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for up to $250,000 per depositor. This can vary depending on the type and number of accounts held by a customer.
If you understand these safeguards, your money
will be safe in a bank. But failures are still possible. Still, a solid bank will limit exposure to toxic assets that put its balance sheet at risk.
Most banks offer a variety of services. Whether you need to get a loan or open a checking account, choose a bank that fulfills your needs with the fewest fees. It should offer the maximum conveniences possible.
Careful and vigilant shoppers will have positive experiences by making an effort to choose a trustworthy commercial bank.
20 - Wednesday, July 26, 2023 - Say You Saw It In “The Shopping News”
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