Category Archives: Pinole

Need Help Paying Your PG&E?


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 Sometimes, especially in this economy, most of us will experience moments of economic hardship. Families who need help paying their PG&E bill may benefit from a variety of organizations and programs who offer assistance in paying for utilities such as electric and gas. These organizations and programs offers economic assistance that, unlike loans, do not require repayment. There are many programs to choose from and you can qualify for multiple assistance programs at the same time. This programs are only available to U.S. Citizens.

LIEAP Program                   

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The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant is funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and provides two basic types of services. Eligible low-income persons, via local governmental and nonprofit organizations, can receive financial help to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling dwellings, and/or have their dwellings weatherized to make them more energy-efficient. This is accomplished through these program components:

  • The Weatherization Program provides free weatherization services to improve the energy efficiency of homes, including attic insulation, weather-stripping, minor housing repairs, and related energy conservation measures.
  • The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) provides payments for weather-related or energy-related emergencies (including PG&E bill payments).

In order to qualify for help through the LIHEAP program, applicants must meet basic guidelines. Interested applicants may apply directly through their local Department of Health and Human Services or click here for more information.

Salvation Army – REACH

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The Salvation Army, working in a direct partnership with PG&E, has established a program to help low-income families pay their electric bills. The program, Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) offers  help to people who are in danger of losing their gas or electric services as a result of non-payment. In order to qualify for help through the REACH program, applicants must have experienced an unforeseen and unavoidable hardship, such as a major illness or involuntary job loss, which has prevented them from being able to make their payment.

The Salvation Army determines if customers are eligible for REACH help. To qualify for REACH, an applicant’s must meet basic guidelines. Generally, recipients can receive REACH help only once within a 18-month period, but exceptions can be made for seniors, the physically challenged and the terminally ill.To apply for REACH assistance in your area contact the Salvation Army at 1 (800) 933-9677 or click here for more information.

CARE Program

PG&E offers help to low-income and medically needy people through a program that allows qualifying families to receive a discount on the costs of their electric bills. The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program gives economically qualifying families help in paying their electric bill through discounted rates and payment extension arrangements to help avoid disconnection of services due to inability to pay. To qualify for the CARE program, applicants must meet basic guidelines. Interested residents can apply for this program directly through PG&E. To learn more click here.

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To apply, click here if you are a residential single family customer.

FERA – Family Electric Rate Assistance Program

Families whose household income slightly exceeds the low-income energy program allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which bills some of their electricity usage at a lower rate. FERA is available for customers of Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Click here if you are a residential single family customer.

Energy Savings Assistance Program

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PG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance Program provides income-qualified renters and homeowners with easy, free solutions to help manage their energy use and save money on their monthly energy bills. To see the basic qualification guidelines, click here.

You may be eligible for the following services provided by PG&E:
  • Improvements to your house, apartment or mobile home including compact fluorescent lights, caulking, shower heads, minor home repair and much more.
  • Replacement of your old refrigerator, furnace and/or water heater1.
  • Energy savings tips.

Medical Allowance  – PG&E Program

If you or any full-time resident of your household requires the regular use of a medical life-support device that is essential to support the life of a full-time resident of the household, or if a full-time resident of the household is a paraplegic, hemiplegic, or quadriplegic person, and/or if a full-time resident of the household is a multiple sclerosis/scleroderma patient, you may be eligible for a special medical allowance that may lower your monthly electric bill. For more information, check PG&E’s website.

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High Winds & Rains Coming To Contra Costa


There’s more rain coming to Contra Costa this week!

The Diablo Reporter has worked hard to bring you all the charts, graphs, maps, images and information on all weather data for the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond!

We have two extensive 7 day forecasts, local weather temperatures from various local weather stations, precipitation maps, weather maps, live bay area fog maps, weather radars, doppler radar, cloud temperature maps, wind directions and speeds, satellite weather images and up-to-date weather warnings.

For more Live Weather Information click here!

Free 8×8 Photo Book From Shutterfly – Get Yours!


shutterflyOne of my favorite freebies are free photo books. I create a photo book as a keepsake for every year as well as ones for our family vacations and special events. Since photo books can run anywhere from $30-$70, I’m saving hundreds of dollars each year.

The most common free photo books available are free Shutterfly books. Since Shutterfly is my favorite place to create photo books, this works out wonderfully.

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To get yours, visit Shutterfly.com to get our personal invite!!

FREE Slurpee Every Saturday In Jan & Feb


slurpeeStarting today and every Saturday in January and February, scan your 7-Eleven app you’ll score a FREE small Slurpee! Limit one free slurpee per member per day at participating locations! Go here for more information.

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Every Wednesday through January 25th, 7-Eleven will be offering up a FREE cup of ANY size coffee including iced coffee when you scan your 7-Eleven app at the register.

Uber Offers FREE Ride – Don’t Drink & Drive!


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Want to drink and get around safe? Ride free with Uber tonight!

16 Money Savings Tips on Medications Plus Free Discount Card


Save-Moneyon-Rx

Medications can be expensive and unfortunately a lot people these days are going without. According to the Huffington Post, “Studies show roughly a quarter of patients don’t take medicines they need because they cannot afford them.” This is a startling statement considering if people are not taking the medications they need now, they will be in a world of hurt (and dealing with crazy expensive health insurance) down the road. So I have decided to track down the 16 best ways to save money on your prescription costs.

1. For starters, when a doctor is about to write a prescription, jump in with key questions:

  • Are free samples available?
  • Is the drug is generally covered by insurance plans?
  • Is there a cheaper drug that will work as well?
  • Is there a generic version?

2. Ask your doctor about pill-splitting:

Pill splitting is based on the fact that many pills cost about the same even if they contain twice as much medication. An 80 mg pill is often close in price to a pill with 40 mg of the same drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medication is safe for pill splitting. If so, ask your doctor to prescribe twice the dosage you really need, so you can split your pills in half.

Be aware, many pills are not safe to split, including time-released drugs, coated pills, and capsules. Make sure to ask your pharmacist whether it’s safe to split your pills.

3. Call all your local pharmacies and see who has the lowest prices on your medications. The money you saved maybe worth splitting up your prescriptions at two different pharmacies. If you take this route, it’s best to ask your doctor to write your prescriptions on different pieces of paper so you can get them filled individually.

4. Ask your pharmacist about in-store promotions to fill prescriptions. Sometimes stores will offer a gift card in return for filling prescriptions or a set amount off the price off the original price.

5. Check your memberships like AARP and AAA that offer prescription discounts to their members.

5. Prices at pharmacies are fluid and you can negotiate with your pharmacist. If one pharmacy has the best prices in town on all but one of the medications you’re taking, let the pharmacist know and see if she can give you a discount on that one drug. They want you as a patient and negotiating is a great way to build a relationship with them.

6. A patient assistance program may be able to help lower your out of pocket costs. You can look up patient assistance programs on the NeedyMeds web site, which provides information on almost 6,000 programs. They generally have income limits and other eligibility rules, but some are fairly generous.

7. Many pharmaceutical companies have programs that provide their drugs at deep discounts or even free for people in need. If you have a prescription for a high-cost drug, check out the company’s web site to see if they offer assistance.

8. Patient advocacy groups focused on one disease often can help patients or point them in the right direction to find discounts or savings on medications.

9. Many government-subsidized health clinics provide prescriptions for free or at a discount based on the patient’s income.

10. Several national discount stores, including Target, Kmart and Walmart, as well as large grocery chains, offer hundreds of widely used generic drugs for just $4 to $10 a month.

11. If you’re insured, don’t assume your prescription plan offers the best price. Some high-volume discounters, such as Costco, offer great deals for cash-paying customers, particularly on generic drugs.

12. HealthWarehouse holds costs down by getting volume discounts directly from manufacturers. It sells about 3,500 drugs for people as well as pets, including refrigerated medicines. On the third Friday of each month – it offers a free prescription worth up to $500 to new customers or patients submitting a new prescription.

13. Use Coupons! Flip through magazines or go online to find coupons for the drugs you’re taking. A couple good coupon sites are Optimizerx.com and InternetDrugCoupons.com. Manufacturers often will offer a free 30-day trial or a coupon for a discount on the purchase of the drug. Sometimes, your doctor or pharmacist will have coupons available.

14. Scores of discount cards are available online, generally for free. Most are good for a variety of medicines, including generic drugs.

I like this Community Assistance Program card that saves the card holder an average 15% on brand name medications, and 55% on generic medications. I used it and received 50% off my antibiotics! My friends and family have also used this card and received nice discounts on their medications too. This card requires no personal information and is accepted at over 80% of pharmacies in the US and its territories, including Puerto Rico. Anyone can use the CAP card, regardless of age or income. It can be used in conjunction with your insurance card or other prescription discount cards.

Simply print the card below and present to the pharmacists at the time of purchase. No registration required.

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15. Once you’ve found the best deals for your medicines, don’t assume you’re set for good. If prices for your drugs rise down the road, do your homework again.

16. Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are linked to obesity, require a lifelong commitment to prescription medications to manage them. By keeping fit and healthy, you may be able to minimize your risk of getting sick and reduce your medications all together. Remember the goal is a happy, healthy you not a lifetime consumer of medication.

Do you have any tip that we missed? Did we save you money? Did our tips work? Let us know by commenting in the box below! I’m sure there are tons of people who need this information so feel free to pass this on to friends and family!

Top 10 FREE Heirloom Seed Catalogs for 2017


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When gardening it’s important to start with right kind of seed. An heirloom seed is an old cultivar that is “still maintained by gardeners and farmers particularly in isolated or ethnic communities”. These may have been commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but are not used in modern large-scale agriculture. In some parts of the world, notably the European Union, it is illegal to sell seeds of cultivars that are not listed as approved for sale. Fortunately we don’t have that problem… yet.

You can help spread healthy non gmo seeds by ordering from heirloom sources. Below is a list of the top 10 organic heirloom seed companies that offer free seed catalogs. These catalogs contain a wealth of knowledge about organic gardening, plant varieties, pest control and other important gardening information. The kids will love getting their hands dirty as well as checking out the beautiful photos inside some of these educational catalogs. If you wouldn’t use these yourself, perhaps you would consider ordering some and donating them to a classroom or school gardening program.

1. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
2278 Baker Creek Road, Mansfield, MO 65704 417-924-8917

Baker Creek has  been issuing catalogs for ten years now, and the current one builds on their already impressive offerings. They feature hundreds of non-hybrid vegetables, flowers, and herbs, this catalog is especially strong on hot-weather crops. It lists 44 different eggplants, 175 tomatoes, plus ample numbers of old-time corn, squash, and melons. The other garden vegies are here, too, just in smaller numbers.

2. Colonial Williamsburg Nursery
P. O. Box 1776 Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776

Gardening was part and parcel of colonial life, and this remarkable museum displays everything from the aristocratic pleasure grounds for the governor to a work-a-day kitchen garden of vegetables and herbs, all carefully researched and authenticated. Their “Colonial Nursery” sells period-appropriate vegetable, flower, and herb seeds, plus bulbs, gardening accessories, and other goodies.

3. High Mowing Organic Seeds
76 Quarry Rd., Wolcott, VT 05680 802-472-6174

High Mowing Organic Seeds was founded in 1996 when the company’s founder, Tom Stearns, tilled up a portion of his backyard to grow plants for organic seed production. By 2001, the company had grown so much that he started to contract local farms to grow seeds just to keep up with demand.

4. Nichols Garden Nursery
1190 Old Salem Rd. NE, Albany, OR 97321 800-422-3985

Offering an intriguing assortment of new and old plants, Nichols’ catalog is always a treasure-trove. It has a good selection of heirloom vegetables, including some old-timers that have become popular again, and some odd-balls nobody else seems to have.

5. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply
PO Box 2209, 125 Clydesdale Court, Grass Valley, CA 95945 (888) 784-1722

Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply originated in 1976 on tiny Peaceful Valley Road in Nevada City, California. They are dedicated to preserving the environment by providing you with cost-effective, state-of-the-art, organic growing supplies and the information and tools needed to apply them.

6. Seed Savers Exchange
3094 N. Winn Rd., Decorah, IA 52101 563-382-5990

The most popular suggestion for inclusion was Seed Savers Exchange. Founded in 1975, Seed Savers Exchange is a registered non-profit and arguably the reason why heirlooms are so popular today. You will find seeds for herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers.

7. Seeds of Change
PO Box 152, Spicer, MN 56288 888-762-7333

Seeds of Change® was founded in 1989 with a revolutionary mission: to make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, while preserving rare heirloom and traditional seed varieties, and promoting sustainable organic agricultural practices.

8. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
(540) 894-9580

Offering more than 500 varieties of heirloom vegetables, herbs, flowers, and other seeds, Southern Exposure has an impressive assortment of heirloom tomatoes, plus many other choice varieties. The catalog includes lots of historical information.

9. Territorial Seed Co.
PO Box 158, Cottage Grove, OR 97424 800-626-0866

The very first Territorial Seed catalog was printed in 1979 by its founder, Steve Solomon, who later sold the company to Tom and Julie Johns in 1985. Territorial Seed carries vegetable seeds and plants, along with garden supplies.

10. The Victory Seed Company
P.O. Box 192 Molalla, Oregon  97038 (503) 829-3126 (voicemail and fax)

Along with some nice information about World War II Victory Gardens accompanied by original posters and pamphlets, this family seed company offers a good-sized assortment of heirloom and more recent vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Catalog: free online or $2.00 (refundable with order) for print version email: info@victoryseeds.com

BONUS: We pretty lucky to have the Petaluma Seed Bank a hop, skip and a jump away. The building, formerly the Sonoma County Bank Building (1926), now houses the west coast Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds branch (free catalog above). Entering the building is an experience in itself! Grand arched windows provide illumination as you step back in time. Marble stairs, scenic wall murals and rustic touches. And of course they have seeds and supplies that are prominently featured on wooden seed racks offer some 1,300 varieties of seeds!

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Visit the Petaluma Seed Bank at  199 Petaluma Blvd. North Petaluma, CA 94952  Phone (707) 773-1336  Email: seedbank@rareseeds.com