Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

  • Student Loans
  • Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)
  • Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

NO CREDIT CHECK LOAN

If you need a loan now, but are concerned that you might not qualify for a personal line of credit, you can qualify for a No Credit Check Loan. You could be on your way to a better financial future in no time.

Important Features You Need To Look For In A Laptop Bag

Laptops are crucial nowadays. Every single person uses this gadget and most of them carry it regularly from home to office or vice versa. Though carrying such expensive and precious gadget on the board is hard and if you are looking for something that makes it easier for you to carry, so, a laptop bag is something you need. A laptop bag not only makes it convenient for you to carry it, but also increases the safety of the gadget from any damage due to the sudden change in environment, water, dust, etc. With their rise in demand, now a number of companies manufacture such bags in endless designs, material and color options and making a selection in between the one is actually a daunting task. Well, the task is daunting no more, as here are some important points you need to consider before buying that helps you make a wise choice.

  • Snug Fit: The very first and foremost thing you need to look for in a laptop bag is its snug fit design. This is because, if the bag is too big, so your laptop will continually slide, which increases their chances to get damaged. And if it is too small, so, it doesn’t fit your gadget. Therefore, it is important to buy a perfect fit as per the size of your gadget, so, you can never face any hassle on the board and take it anywhere with you handily.
  • Durable Material And Secure Fastening: It is important to double-check the material of the laptop bag, whether it is able to prevent it from water or not. Make sure the bag is fluffy enough to give complete protection to the gadget and keep it secure inside. Also, you should check all its fastenings are safe and stable.
  • Eye-Catching Design: Another thing you need to look when you are about to purchase a laptop bag is its design, color and overall look and feel. Pick a beautiful design that helps you make your own style statement and increase your reputation among your colleagues. Also, the design should be trendy and must compliment your personality.
  • Adequate Space: Do remember that you need to carry your laptop along with all its accessories like charger and therefore, your bag should be spacious enough to carry both the things together without damaging any of them.

These simple things you need to check while buying a laptop bag and you will never regret your choice. Apart from all the above factors, the price is also a major concern, so, you shouldn’t miss that too.

How to Come Up With Your Best Legal Move for Copyright Cases

Whether you’re the alleged infringer or the copyright owner, calculating damages for a copyright infringement case is critical in determining your potential legal strategy. To analyse, the first thing to consider is if the pirated work has been registered with the copyright office. Registered works are afforded greater protection and these registration records can be found in a free online database. To access the copyright registration records, you need to go to the Copyright Office website.

Statutory and Actual Damages

Your best legal strategy is not only determined by the best copyright infringement software. Read on to know more about the types of calculated damages that could just help determine what works well for your case.

Statutory damages are often higher than actual damages and they are easier to calculate. So the majority of plaintiffs or content owners usually choose to pursue for statutory damages. For illegal filesharing cases for example, actual damages per pirated song may be around $1; however, statutory damages could go up to $20,000 or more.

Regardless of the actual damages suffered by the content owner, the amount of statutory damages is set by law. Each infringement usually range from $750 to $30,000, but damages for “innocent infringers” can go as low as $200 and up to $150,000 if the court determines that the defendant acted “wilfully”. The courts do not award damages outside this range and they consider the purpose of the infringing use, the value of the infringed work, and the infringer’s intent or state.

Aside from statutory damages, plaintiffs can also ask for attorney’s fees and if awarded, the infringer will owe them the total sum or part of the legal fees plus the fees of their own lawyer. Although attorney’s fees are awarded through the discretion of the court, unregistered copyright is never allowed to ask for attorney’s fees.

Plaintiffs pursue actual damages when their infringed work was not registered prior to the infringement. This type of damage is the calculable profit the infringer has gained from infringing the copyrights or monetary loss that the content owner has suffered.

Proper Analysis

Aside from getting a better understanding of the strength of your copyright infringement case, proper analysis of the potential damages plays an important role in determining a legal strategy. Calculating damages for copyright infringement is just one of the things involved in determining a person’s rights under the copyright law.

Most copyright cases do not go to trial and some defendants even choose to settle as the cost of a court case is already high, and added legal fees could possibly grow larger too. So, if you feel like your work has been infringed, talk to a copyright entity. They can help you identify the individual specifics that you will need to determine to come up with the best legal actions. Also, they use high-quality copyright infringement software to track pirates.

Posted in Law

Why Homeowners Prefer Solar Letterboxes

There are numerous letterboxes homeowners can make use of in order to secure their mails and documents. However, homeowners look for unique features to make simple letterboxes into wonderful decorative piece on their homes. That is why, more and more homeowners now make use of solar letterboxes. This type of letterbox has the same length and width of other mailbox. However, it provides more features such as a key lockable system as well as a wide mail slot for all your A4 mail & documents. In addition, this mailbox also has a newspaper holder. Fortunately, solar letterboxes even offer more features for homeowners. Below are some of the following.

Features stainless steel body and lid

One of the main reasons why homeowners are now using solar letterboxes is due to its stainless steel body and lid. Most of the time, homeowners use steel letterboxes to secure received mails and documents properly. However, due to extreme weather conditions, steel mailboxes may rust. As a result, mails and documents will be dirty, which can compromise important information in your mail. Fortunately, solar letterboxes are made from stainless steel which is weather resistant. Not to mention, stainless steel is easier to maintain and to clean.

Reduce the use of lights

The next reason why homeowners prefer solar powered letterboxes is they can reduce the use of lights. This is possible since solar letterboxes are equipped with LED lights that can last from 10 to 18 hours. This gets even better since the LED lights are solar powered, which mean you will not be paying expensive electric bills to light your letterboxes.

Better visibility

Since solar powered letterboxes are equipped with LED lights, homeowners are rest assured that the boxes will be more visible which can help you receive mails and documents that will be delivered during night time. Plus, the mailbox comes with 3 sets of adhesive numbers, plus a letters “A”, “B” & “/” to allow homeowners to customize their address.

Easy installation

Finally, solar powered letterboxes are easy to install. Homeowners only need simply tools such as screwdrivers, power drill and drill bits. Apart from that, solar letterboxes are wall mounted. So, you do not need to create holes on your walls to install it. And, homeowners do not need to install wiring to the LED lights.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Recovery Testimonial

In 1989 I was medically diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, due to chemical poisoning from pesticides such as 245-T, Network, Roundup, Asulox and Malathian and heavy metal poisoning from Mercury (due to toxicity from amalgam fillings in my teeth), aluminium and lead.

After consultations with many doctors, specialists and natural health therapists, including Homeopaths and Acupuncturists, I was told that I would never regain normal health again due to the length of time I had been ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. At that time, I wasn’t able to work, couldn’t sleep at night, had no energy and reacted to almost everything I ate!

I was getting pretty desperate at that stage to get my health, life and career back to normal when I met Philip Rafferty while he was doing allergy testing in a health food store. As I already knew of my allergies, I thought I would put him to the test. You can imagine my surprise when in a couple of minutes of using Kinesiology; he was able to correctly identify what my allergies were.

My life at that time had been a real struggle. I had just undergone two years of medical treatment and was taking all the right remedies and nutrition; however, I was still suffering from extreme fatigue, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), chronic Candida, food allergies, poor concentration, short term memory loss, acne and had very little energy. I then decided to have several Kinesiology treatments, and to my surprise, I started feeling much better.

Kinesiology Got Rid Of My Allergies, Lots Of Health Issues And My Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
To help me understand, Philip explained that Kinesiology encompasses holistic health disciplines that use gentle manual muscle monitoring to obtain information about a person’s well-being. It may assist with pain, stress, allergies, TMJ problems, toxicity, heavy metals, candida, dehydration, learning, sabotages, and more. Kinesiology realigned the muscles in my body, and as the muscles are connected with the organs, puts the organs back into balance, and this allowed my body to assimilate nutrition and water properly. He said that by putting the muscles back into balance, that my body would be able to heal itself from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

While my muscles were out of balance, my body was using up all its energy just trying to function on a basic level, therefore leaving me with no energy to do anything else. After several Kinesiology treatments my food allergies reduced, my blood sugar came back to normal, the severe cystic acne on my face cleared dramatically, I started to gain weight and I had a lot more energy.

Amazing Results Recovering From Myalgic Encephlomylitis Lead Me To A New Career
At the time of seeing Philip Rafferty he started teaching Kinergetics, a new modality of Kinesiology here in Melbourne, Australia and asked me if I would be interested in learning this for myself. After having such amazing results and a full recovery from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis due to Kinesiology, I was curious to find out how it actually worked and why.

I found learning Kinergetics absolutely fascinating. After completing the whole series of eight levels of Kinergetics, I then trained to become a Kinergetics Instructor and began teaching Kinergetics in 1994.

Always interested to learn and grow more, I went on to attain a “Diploma on Health Sciences in Holistic Kinesiology” at the Kinesiology College for Energetic Sciences in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

I love practicing and teaching Kinesiology and Kinergetics, and seeing the life-changing results in my clients and mentoring students. I continue to work using my Kinesiology skills and knowledge using Transformation Coaching working with many people all around the world.

I work with clients with a broad range of issues relating to Myalgic Encephalomylitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease including resolving allergies, candida, heavy metal toxicity, emotional issues, stress, pain, TMJ, dehydration, sabotage and much more.

9 Tips for Selecting the Best Hotel at a Tourist Place

In a tourist place, there are hundreds of hotels available for travelers. To select a hotel in the city for your travel, it is important for you to identify what you actually need from it. The needs may vary from individual to Individual and from family to family.

The below-given tips will make your search for best hotels and resorts easy and productive. It will save you time and also reduce frustration.

1. The first work you will do is to filter and sort hotels on the basis of facilities they provide and the budget you can afford. First of all, put in the name of the city and the date on which you need to book a hotel.

2. After filtering date and locations wise, now you can sort resorts amenity wise. There are hotels which offer free WiFi services, parking and swimming facilities to guests. I for myself will always select a hotel offering these amenities.

3. If you are traveling along with your family then you can look for a family hotel in the city and travel with a Girlfriend or wife, then you can look for a “romantic” type of hotel.

4. A good hotel is one that is located close to the airport and has decent road and rail links. Although these resorts mention these details in their description, it is not possible for a traveler to read the description of each hotel.

5. There are some hotels booking sites that show hotels on a single map. You can use their map to find a hotel that meets your travel requirements.

6. Some people intentionally look for a hotel that offers its guests free breakfast while as others don’t consider free breakfast as that much important. Similarly, some homestay have free WI-Fi service for guests. If you really need internet then only makes it a deciding factor.

7. These days every hotel has its own website where they make announcements and update their guests about any new development. People post their reviews directly on their website. Read those reviews and what people think about the hotel.

8. Price is the deciding factor when it comes to making a hotel booking for an average person. An average income person may not be able to afford a costly hotel. Booking engines sort hotels price wise. Some resorts offer discounts to their guests. So check out that which hotel in the city is offering discounts on bookings.

9. The environment of a hotel should be soothing and pleasant to have a peaceful stay during your travel. A good and healthy environment will ensure your well-being. There are a number of green and best hotels and resorts, visit their websites and select an Eco-friendly hotel for your travel.

Conclusion

When it comes to select a hotel, always focus on what matters to you most and don’t pay heed to other matters. That will only waste your time. Filtering out the hotels that meet your requirements is an ideal way to identify best hotels.

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Posted in Law

Customer Service Can Makes a Company Great

What makes a company great, makes it stand out head and shoulders above the rest; has not only loyal but repeat customers who go back time and time again?

Is it the size of the company – bigger is always better?

Is it the amount of profits they make – well they must be good if they are making all that money – right?

Is it maybe they are the only business which has a particular item – hardly.

Or is their marketing excelling, taking full advantage of ALL media including online, social, TV and broadsheets as well as radio and tabloids.

What is their secret?

The truth is there is no secret, it all boils down to one thing – no matter size, profits, products, services or marketing plan, if you don’t have this one thing you may as well shut up shop and go home – and that one thing is Customer Service.

Don’t get me wrong the other things do help in some small way but Customer Service is King.

It should be natural and not forced. How annoying did “Have a nice day” become? It was novel at first but…

So how do you achieve great Customer Service?

Try following these dos and don’ts as guidelines:-

Do smile when talking – seems strange I know but it works, try it and see the difference.

Do listen and hear what your Customer is saying but don’t sit in silence use audible nods and empathise then repeat to show you have been listening using expressions like “If I have heard you correctly… ,” or “If I may repeat to make sure I have understood you… ” Goes a long way and also informs customer that you have been listening.

Never use the expressions “You need to… ,” or “You have to… ” They neither have to nor need to do anything.

Do ask permission “Is it OK if I take some details?” “May I have your name?” “Can I take a message?” “Are you happy to give me…?”

Don’t swear, be rude or argue back, tempting as it maybe, wait till your are of the call/ customer has gone/can’t see you, if you must vent/rant.

Don’t take it home, and never carry it over to the next customer.

Do treat each customer individually and although you may think that they are Bat Crap Crazy/stupid or what they are contacting you about is trivial, always remember to them it is important.

Don’t take it personally, they are just wanting to rant at somebody and don’t know you, all they want is for someone to take responsibility, not pass them from pillar to post and to listen.

And finally always end on a positive note, even if it’s a simple thanks for your call.

Follow these guidelines and you will notice a difference, not just in your customers but also in your staff who will be happier in their work and less stressed and if they are less stressed then they are willing to go that extra mile.

Pet Food Market – Trends, Industry Competitiveness and Future Outlook

PET FOOD MARKET

The pet food market was valued at USD 74.9 billion in 2016. North America accounted for the largest share of over 35% of the global market in 2016. The second largest market is Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific with around 20% of the market share, thus, accelerating the trend of pet owners across the globe. In North America, the United States holds the major market share of pets and pet owners, which is expected to register a high CAGR, during 2017-2022 (the forecast period).

TASTES FOR NEW EXPERIENCES AND PORTIONS AS INDULGENCE ALIBI

Flavors and textures are becoming bolder, more complex, authentic, and specific. The correlation of pet food and the modern formats blending freeze-dried bits, with kibble or treats, for texture variations, is making pet owners choose from a range of variety of shapes, textures, and flavors. Moreover, clean labeling continues to grow. Health conscious consumers look for permissible indulgences, like the smaller portion sizes of treats or candies with healthier ingredients like chia seeds or yogurt. Pet treats are developing, in terms of ingredients with functional or other nutritional benefits, which is allowing pet owners to indulge their pets free from guilt. New dog food products comprised of 80% of the global launches in 2015. The launches from September 2015 to September 2016, are keeping the health-related trend intact in new products by category. The share for cat food was around 68% globally. This trend of health and wellness has made good sales for the manufacturers. A few instances in this context are Hill’s Ideal Balance, a new range of dog and cat food that combines natural ingredients with Hill’s perfectly balanced nutrition, is now available in South Africa. CORE® RawRev, a new high-protein grain-free product, is launched by Wellness CORE®, a family of grain-free, natural animal nutrition company.

IMPROVEMENT IN DISTRIBUTION NETWORK LEADS TO GROWTH IN PET FOOD SALES

The high internet connectivity available in the major countries is boosting the use on e-commerce sites as an effective distribution channel. The notions of convenience, affluence or exclusivity, safety, and market awareness play a very crucial role in the developing nations. The unreliability of local goods, as indicated by the recent scandals, is also making people rely on foreign goods. These are made easily available through the e-commerce, further making the sales high. Owing to the industry’s two pet superstores, PetSmart and Petco, the e-commerce channel is exploding with the pet product sales. The late embrace of the market connectivity in the minor markets of small economies, such as Vietnam, Thailand etc., is a cause of infrastructure lag and almost negligible product awareness. These stores offer the nascent market advantages of low regulations and competition. The companies, as the e-commerce is strengthening, are negotiating the ever-changing internet landscape with the factors such as dealing with giants like Amazon that is deciding to sell through similar e-commerce websites and mergers & acquisitions. For instance, in April 2017, PetSmart announced that it will acquire Chewy.com, which heightened the consternation in the independent pet retailers. In response, Tuffy’s Pet Food, a manufacturer to independent and family-owned businesses, announced pulling out its products from Chewy, as it would be owned by the largest US pet store chain. Though Tuffy’s reports a very positive response, not every company detaches itself easily from any large e-commerce sites.

“FREE FROM ALL” AND “FLEXITARIAN EFFECT” BOTH HAVING THEIR WAY TOGETHER

Though the consumers today are part-time vegetarians, they seem to do the opposite when it comes to pet food. The pet owners look for diet options, which focus on the carnivorous nature of dogs and cats, thus, driving the number of products with high and fresh meat claims. Despite the demand for carnivorous diets, veggies are still going mainstream and the producers are innovating their existing products. Free from” for all-the free from trend has been growing, since the past few years and has now hit the mainstream. Pet foods are being formulated with respect to the concerns of humans that include organic and non-GMO ingredients. These ingredients are used in low-carb recipes and have gluten-free claims on new cereal products that increased from one in 15 in 2011 to one in five in 2016. New product launches, with organic or GMO-free ingredients, are witnessing growth in the market. Organic and natural food sales are expected to increase 14.6%, annually, in next two years. For Petco and Pet Smart, organic pet foods are bought at a 7.1% and 5.6% rate, respectively, with organic purchases at veterinary clinics at 5.3%. Brands communicate more about the production processes, due to the rising consumer interest in natural plus authenticity and transparency. This is true for the buyers, too, especially, for the ones seeking products in non-traditional formats such as raw, freeze-dried, frozen and baked. Balchem Corp., a global health, and nutrition company, introduced a new line of specialty nutrients and unique processing additives. The Omega Plus range was launched in the South Island in September 2016, after the two years of continuous R&D. In addition, Bob Martin launched Simply+, a range of products marketed as “nutritionally advanced food that provides dogs with all the essentials of a healthy diet”.

CROSS-BORDER ZONE TO HELP MEET BUOYANT DEMAND

The domestic market is growing at an annual rate of above 30% in China and is poised to accelerate at the same rate by 2022, reaching CNY 150 billion and further, making it the third-largest market, worldwide. Moreover, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province inaugurated the first cross-border pet industry experimental zone in the city’s Jianggan District. The experimental zone will pilot the reforms on the regulation and approval of cross-border imports. It will explore the introduction of national standards in the industry and promote the exportation of domestically made products. Moreover, more than 35 enterprises, including the cross-border e-commerce sites like Tmall, Kaola Beibei, and related logistics & warehousing companies, have been established in the experimental zone. The zone, basically, enables one-stop services and aims to enroll open, transparent, and smart pet food import channels and regulatory policies. Similar efforts are being taken by the countries to focus on the growing pet population and trends. The market players are taking complete advantage of this situation and investing in R&D for innovative product launches.

NOTABLE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS

  1. Nestlé Purina launched a new production hall at its facility in Bük, in Hungary’s northwest, making the plant the largest production center in Europe and opened the USD 86 million factories in Brazil. This step is expected to boost the Nestlé Purina for more growth than the domestic market.
  2. Carna4: Formulas Inspired by Health Food Trends. This manufacturer takes inspiration from the human health food sector to formulate innovative and whole-food recipes for dogs and cats.
  3. PetLife Supersedes Expectations for the Acquisition of Dr. Geoff’s Real Food for Pets. PetLife Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a developer of a new generation of high potency veterinary cancer medications and nutraceuticals for pets, announced that it is acquiring Dr. Geoff’s Real Food for Pets™ and expansion plans for a national rollout.
  4. German Company Entering Thailand. Interquell, a German-based dog, and cat food company, entered the Thai industry by forming a joint venture, named Happy Pet (Thailand) Co Ltd, with partner Technic Pet Holding, reported Pets International. Interquell holds 49% of the joint venture. Interquell owns the Happy Dog and Happy Cat premium brands.

TOPICS COVERED IN THE REPORT

  • How will face-to-face interaction boost the pet food market in Digital Age?
  • Is low thiamine cat food the cause for Australian cat deaths?
  • Gluten free foods, GMO foods making their mark in the pet food industry.
  • Edible insects creeping into pet food popularity.
  • Humanization and premiumisation on peaks in the pet industry.
  • Will the US and China continue their dominance in the pet food market? What are the emerging markets?

Will growing market connectivity in Asian countries of Vietnam, Thailand etc. boost the Asia-Pacific pet food market?

6 Healthy Packaged Foods That Save You Time And Money

When choosing packaged foods, it’s important to read the labels. This can be time consuming but worth it. To save time, try focusing specifically on foods low in sugar, low in salt and high in protein. Stay away from anything containing high fructose corn syrup which is an unnecessary sugar additive. Why do we even need sugar in bread? Foods with the fewest ingredients are best. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, chances are it’s not good for you.

Marketing techniques labeling foods as Lite, gluten free, healthy or wheat may not always be the healthiest choice. As an educated consumer you should know the difference. Many so called “wheat” products may not be whole grain or made from whole wheat. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, multigrain, enriched, and stone-ground wheat flour are alternative ways of saying “refined white flour.”

To save you some time in the grocery store, I’ve compiled a list of packaged healthy foods that can also save you money. Here are 6 packaged foods that I recommend:

1. Canned beans. Opt for the low salt version if you can. Always rinse the beans thoroughly to wash away any unnecessary salt. Try to avoid beans with sauce or refried beans that tend to be high in sodium.

2. vegetables. Plain vegetables without sauces and added salt are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. Steamables are a great choice when you’re in a hurry or just too tired to cook. They are quick and easy and leave you with little clean up. They can be more expensive, so stock up when they’re on sale. I’ve found them on sale for as little or close to $1 a bag.

3. Frozen berries. Not only are they delicious, but can really save you money. Especially in the winter when berries are out of season and more expensive. Try mixing them in plain Greek yogurt. Or serving them with pancakes or French toast. It makes a natural sweet sauce. Sometimes we thaw them in the microwave, making them a little warm to pour over our pancakes. Try topping them with a dollop of Greek yogurt too. It gives it a taste that’s almost like a crepe.

4. Nut butter. If the ingredient says almonds, you have a winner. It takes some time to stir, but if you store it in the refrigerator, you shouldn’t have to stir it again.

5. Low sugar cereals. Ideally cereals should have less than 6 grams of sugar. Opt for whole grain cereal such as toasted oats and muesli. Unsweetened instant oatmeal can be thrown in the microwave for a quick & healthy breakfast.

6. Canned Tuna fish. Packed in water. This is a quick and inexpensive source of protein. I pack my tuna salad with lots of vegetables like onions, celery, carrots, vinegar, pepper and olive oil mayonnaise (it tastes just like the real thing without adding as much fat and calories).

When choosing pre-packaged foods just remember, marketing can be deceptive. The fewer ingredients, the more natural the product. Look for whole wheat flour as a first ingredient when selecting whole grain foods. Try to stay away from processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar or contain high fructose corn syrup.