Archive for CSEmployee Newsletter

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers

CONNECTING THOSE WHO PROTECT US

Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 300 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops. Since 2012, “Helping Heroes Home” has provided emergency funds for more than 3,100 returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships.

Provide a lifeline to America’s bravest. Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference. Make your tax-deductible* donation today by:

Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts ALL makes, models and conditions of cell phones.

New and Used, Broken or Cracked. Both Smartphones and Cell Phones.

Cell Phones for Soldiers allows active-duty military members the ability to communicate to their families and emergency assistance to veterans.  We are accepting donations the entire month of July at each branch location. July 31st is the deadline for donations.

For more information email the CSE marketing department or call 337-562-3160. 

 Your simple, powerful gift provides connections that truly make a difference.

*Consult a tax advisor

DOLLAR STORES: ARE THEY WORTH THE PRICE?

Q: I love browsing my local dollar store, but I often end up spending more than I planned or regretting my purchases. Are dollar stores worth the price?

A: Dollar stores can be tremendous spending traps, but they can also be a great way to snag a bargain. It’s all in how you plan your visit.

 

Everything is just a buck, you say. How can you possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, with that mindset, you might find yourself going way overboard with your spending. Before you set out for the dollar store, create a physical or mental list of what you need to purchase.

Love to throw just-for-fun products into your cart? The dollar store is a great place to do that, so exercise caution. You don’t want to blow tens of dollars on stuff you don’t really need and might never use. Establish a limit of how many of those items you can pick up on your trip before you set out. If you always find yourself pushing your self-imposed limit, only shop with cash so you’re forced to stick to your budget.

What’s hot at the dollar store … 😛 

Here are some products that are great bargains at the dollar store:

• Cleaning supplies: Get clean for less by stocking up on Ajax, bleach, glass cleaner, scouring pads, spray bottles, off-brand Swiffer refills, sponges, dryer sheets and ammonia.
• Seasonal: Visit the dollar store before hitting chain stores for your holiday decorations. Halloween décor, cheap gift boxes and wrapping paper can all be had at the dollar store.
• Toys: Load up on bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, card games and kites.
• Groceries: Get your frozen fruit and veggies, string cheese, spices, name-brand condiments, rice, oatmeal and snack foods at the dollar store.
• Kitchenware: Stock up on bargain-priced storage bins and containers, whimsical kitchen décor and glasses. Paper plates, cups and napkins can also be bought at super low prices.
• Party gear: Greeting cards, wrapping paper, balloons, ribbons, streamers, birthday candles, party decorations and gift bags can all be bought for, you guessed it, a dollar each.
• School/office supplies: You won’t be able to find every item on your school supply list that’s actually worth the price, but you can load up on project display boards, tab dividers, binder clips and poster boards at the dollar store.
• Kids’ activities: The dollar store is a great place to stock up on rainy-day supplies for the kids. You’ll find some great books, puzzles, craft supplies, colored papers, stickers, activity books, coloring books and more.

… And what’s not  😥 

Not everything you’ll find in the dollar store is worth as much as a dollar. Plus, there are lots of things you can get elsewhere for a better price.
• Cleaning supplies: The following cleaning supplies at the dollar store are either made too cheaply to be worth the price or can be bought for less in other stores: dishwashing soap, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, laundry detergent.
• Toys: Small toys for young children that aren’t made well can quickly become choking hazards. Also, dollar-store dolls and toy cars are likely to break the day you bring them home.
• Groceries: These foods can be bought for cheaper in a grocery store: pasta, soda, gum, canned goods, chocolate.
• Kitchenware: Plastic cutlery from the dollar store is too cheaply made to be worth the few cents you’ll save. Ditto for disposable baking dishes. You’ll also want to stay away from can openers, knives and oven mitts, as these items need to be well made to do their jobs.
• School/office supplies: The following supplies can be bought for less money and of better quality in stores like Walmart and Target: lined paper, composition notebooks, glue, crayons, markers, Post-its, pens, pencils and highlighters.
• Self-care: Cheaply made soap, shampoo and cosmetics can be harmful to your skin. Don’t buy name-brand travel-size toiletries either; you can usually get tiny shampoo and soap bottles for less than a buck at big-box stores.

When it’s not a bargain 😕 

When making a purchase at the dollar store, hold it up to this checklist. If your item fits any of these criteria, you’re better off without it:

1. It’s sold in tiny quantities. Often, what looks like a bargain is just a product in a really small package. Check the size on food items and cleaning products; you can often get more for less money when you buy a product in a bigger size at a larger store.
2. It’s made with harmful toxins. Check all health and beauty products for toxic and carcinogenic ingredients.
3. You don’t need it. A dollar spent on something you don’t need is a dollar wasted.
4. It’s made super-cheaply. If it’s going to break during the first day of use, or even the first hours, leave it in the store.
5. It isn’t food-safe. Check all products that will come into contact with food, like serving platters or dishes, for a label that proclaims them food-safe.
6. It’s expired. Be careful to check the “Sell by” date on candy and other foodstuffs so you’re not paying for expired products.

 💡 Learn how to shop smart at the dollar store and you’ll go home with true bargains! 💡 

SOURCES:

What to Buy at the Dollar Store, and What to Skip


https://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/things-you-always-should-buy-at-the-dollar-store

How Should I Fund My Holiday Shopping?

Nov 15, 2018 | Q&A

Q: Help! I’m fretting over holiday expenses. How am I going to pay for all this stuff? 

A: Relax! You can keep your budget and your sanity, too! Take a few minutes to learn how you can spend responsibly this season.  

Let’s explore some options: 

1.) No-interest credit cards 

If you can open a credit card with an introductory no-interest period, you can borrow the money to fund those purchases without paying a penny of interest. 

Nice: This option can be ideal if you have an excellent credit score and concrete plans to pay back the bill quickly. 

Naughty: Don’t go this route if you have a poor track record for paying credit card bills. You might end up carrying that balance well after the grace period ends and then getting hit with really high interest rates. 

2.) Personal loans 

Anytime you need a pile of dough, you can stop by CSE Federal Credit Union to apply for a personal loan. Our representatives are always happy to help you! 

Nice: Our personal loans have low interest rates, which make the payback plan affordable for almost any budget. 

Naughty: If you’re already carrying a load of debt and unpaid loans, don’t take out another one just to get you through the holidays. 

3.) Skip-a-Payment 

At CSE Federal Credit Union, we offer you our own gift this time of year: the option to skip a monthly loan payment to give you that extra cash flow. 

Nice: When you choose Skip-a-Payment, you can pay for those presents without adding to your current debt. No high-interest bills to haunt you! 

Naughty: Every Skip-a-Payment makes the loan’s term one month longer. Interest continues to accrue, check details.

4.) Christmas Club Account 

Pay a little bit toward this expensive season all year long by opening a Christmas Club Account. 

Nice: Christmas Club Accounts offer you a way to pay for your holiday shopping ahead of the season, instead of playing catch-up on your bills in the coming months. 

Naughty: It’s too late to open up a Christmas Club Account to help you make it through this season. But, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year! 

5.) Deferred-interest financing 

If you’re considering several large purchases at big-box stores, consider signing up for the retailers’ deferred-interest financing. Many chain stores offer customers this interest-free financing option so they can walk out with their purchase today, and pay for it tomorrow. 

Nice: Deferred-interest financing works just like an interest-free line of credit, only it’s exclusive to the store selling it. If you don’t like the idea of opening another credit card, but you need that interest-free option, this can be the perfect solution for you. 

Naughty: If you neglect to pay off your bill before the interest-free period expires, you’ll be slapped with sky-high interest fees. 

Your Turn: How do you pay for your holiday expenses? Share your method of choice and tell us why it works for you in the comments below.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.thebalance.com/pay-for-big-holiday-purchases-interest-free-4154866

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704782304574541873369727460

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thestreet.com/amp/story/12808150/1/how-pay-your-holiday-shopping.html

Easy Thanksgiving Brunch Ideas

Apple Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 2 (6 ounce) containers vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 banana, broken into chunks
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg

Combine the yogurt, pumpkin pie filling, banana, apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into glasses and serve.

Crispy Potatoes with Green Beans and Eggs

  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • pinch of paprika
Cook green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water until crisp-tender, then drain under cold water.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a piece of potato. Spread potatoes in an even layer and cook, turning every few minutes with a wide spatula, until brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in green beans, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them into the pan one at a time on top of the vegetables, spacing evenly. Cover and cook over medium heat until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your taste, less than 5 minutes. Sprinkle the eggs with paprika and serve immediately.
Monkey Bread
  • 3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt(R) pan.   Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Source: allrecipes.com

 

Bake Sale!

 

Bring your goodies

– cookies, cupcakes, individual cake slices, chocolate-covered treats and more! –

to sell in support of the American Cancer Society!

Label with the price; let’s keep everything around $1 to $2.

A collection bucket will be set up on the honor system in the break rooms.

Thank you!

Easy Low-Carb Cauliflower Mac-N-Cheese

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Arrange cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, mixed herbs, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil; toss until well coated.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Place in an 8-inch baking dish.
  4. Combine Cheddar cheese, heavy cream, ghee, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat; simmer until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Pour over cauliflower; mix well. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

SOURCE: Allrecipes.com

Employee Assistance Programs through CSE

 

Licensed Clinicians Available through EAP

Get access to dedicated clinicians on the phone, through live chat, and face-to-face

As part of Cigna’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if you purchase a plan through CSE, you get access to licensed clinicians to help you with emotional, behavioral, and other issues you may be experiencing such as help with finding pet care, elder care and caregiver support. What’s more, EAP services are available to anyone in your household as well.

EAP clinicians are available in three ways:

  • You can meet with a contracted licensed counselor in person
  • You can talk with an EAP telephone consultant through Cigna
  • You can chat with an EAP telephone consultant through live chat

To learn more about the EAP services available to you, please log in to the myCigna® website

Or view information here CIGNA Life Assistance Program

 

Year after year, Performance Employee Assistance Program counseling and coaching services receives the highest possible satisfaction ratings from participants.

Performance Employee Assistance and Business Services provides high-quality, affordable human support services to leading businesses in Southwest Louisiana. Multiple and single behavioral risk factors are identified and addressed by employee assistance counselors who consider the impact of personal problems in the workplace. Through counseling, consultation and well-designed training, Performance professionals take care of the heart and soul of area businesses so that businesses can pay attention to their bottom line.

Services provided are:

  • employee assistance programs
  • consultative services
  • management services
  • employee relations workshops
  • career guidance
  • executive coaching
  • business/professional development
  • leadership development
  • critical incident stress debriefing

For more information about Performance EAP please contact:

FAMILY & YOUTH
220 Louie Street | Lake Charles, LA 70601
337-436-9533 | info@fyca.org

Boogie Woogie Drive-Thru

Vision Benefits for CSE Employees

5 ways to get ahead in your career

5 ways to get ahead in your career

August 31, 2018

by JOHN PETTITCUINSIGHT.COM

We all want to find success, but it’s not always easy to climb the corporate ladder. Here are some tips to get ahead in your career…

Get off to a good start: If you’re in a new job, don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions. Talk to any experienced coworker or boss to find out how things work, how you fit into the process, and how you can best be an asset to the company.

Don’t skip leg day: You’ve got strengths and weaknesses. Don’t let your weaknesses drag you down. If you know you’re lacking in a certain area, work on it until you’ve turned it into a strength.

Keep your eyes on your goal: When it’s work time, be focused on work. Focus on your priorities so you can finish your day feeling accomplished. You can really mess up your work/life balance if you’re not staying focused from nine to five.

See what you’re made of: There aren’t many benefits to staying in your comfort zone. If you play it safe, you’re never going to get ahead. The tough times are what make or break you as an employee.

Play well with others: Focus on developing your work relationships. If you concentrate on being a great listener and provide good feedback,  you’ll cultivate trust with your co-workers. It also can’t hurt to show appreciation for those who help you out.

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