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Simple, easy and money-saving ideas that also do something positive for the environment:

Turn down your water heater

Did you know most water heaters are automatically set to 140 degrees when installed in homes? Not only is that too hot — water at that temperature causes third-degree burns in just six seconds — but it’s also a waste of energy. One easy thing you can do is to lower your default water heater setting to 120 degrees, which will still give you water hot enough for everyday use that won’t accidentally scald you, and this one simple step can reduce your overall water heating costs by up to 6-10% over time, saving energy and major dollars.

Food expiration dates explained

When you’re shopping at the supermarket, it’s important to know what different expiration dates actually mean on food packaging. Something that’s marked with a “sell by” date is actually for retailers to know when food won’t be at its peak freshness; it doesn’t mean the food is bad or unsafe to eat. A “best by” date is an estimate of the latest date when you can enjoy the food at its best quality; you still have time after that date to safely consume unopened goods. A “use by” date notes when whatever you’re buying will have passed the point of being safe to eat.


Top housing markets for buying vs. renting

Of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., here are the best housing markets where it’s cheaper in the long term to buy a home – once you weigh in appreciation over time – according to title insurer First American.  

1. Indianapolis

2. Salt Lake City

3. Atlanta

4. Memphis, Tenn.

5. Phoenix

6. Tampa, Fla.

7. Las Vegas

8. Birmingham, Ala.

9. Columbus, Ohio

10. Orlando, Fla.


By Chuck Sheppard

NOT COVID-19: An unnamed 22-year-old Chinese woman has spent the last 14 years trying to discover the cause of her persistent cough, which started when she suffered a serious fit of coughing as a child, Oddity Central reported on April 22. Over the years, she has been misdiagnosed numerous times, but as she recently prepared for an unrelated surgery, the mystery was solved. Dr. Wang Jiyong at Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine ordered CT scans that revealed a foreign object in her right lung that turned out to be a chicken bone fragment just over half an inch long. Doctors said she had probably inhaled it at 8 years old, when the coughing started.

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