Where to shop for milk, grocery, tissue?

"Spending money is very easy but saving takes little smartness". If you want to save money and also want the best product for the price you pay then you need to search for the deals. Here is some information I have for you that would help.

The stores in Orlando,FL, where you could find deals on grocery:
    * Farmer's Market
    * Oriental stores
    * Sam's Club
    * Walmart
    * Publix
    * Target

These stores are not listed in any order of preference because each one has something cheaper than the other.

Sam's club:
This is like a wholesale store where you can find items in bulk for the fair price. But you need to pay the membership fee for an year. There is another similar store named Costco. People have varying opinions about shopping in these stores.Some people do not like to bulk up the grocery because it takes room. I personally like to go there for: Paper towel, bath tissue, milk (see below), bread, oil, chips, bananas, basmati rice, salt, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, & vitamins.

Walmart: Though sam's and walmart are owned by the same company still they are different. Walmart has more number of items and are available in smaller packages unlike Sam's. I go to Walmart especially after new year and find very good deals on clothes. Do not expect very high quality for the price you are paying. I like Walmart because their return policy is awesome, no questions asked if you take the item back in a good condition and with the receipt.

Farmer's market: It might have different names in your neck of the woods: Fresh produce, Fresh Farm, Farm produce, Top produce, etc.. Local farmers sell their produce to these places and hence they are the cheapest compared to other name brand grocery stores.They have fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and other sea food. Try and see if you like it- but let me warn you - some of these stores are not squeaky clean like those expensive stores and malls.

Milk: My friend was surprised when I told her that a gallon of milk is sold for 30 Cents less at  pharmacy store than Walmart.

Meat: People prefer to buy meat in Publix and Target because it is maintained well at proper temperatures. If you are looking for halal meat then please look on internet for the local Pakistani grocery stores.

It is not always true that the store known to sell everything for less has deals on every item in the store. This is where the blog like this and local friends come to use. Ask your friends where do they shop and what price are they paying. You could find some stuff for cheaper price in Walmart than in Dollar store, yes its true.

 If you are on a fixed budget I bet you are looking for some information that will help you save money. Once you have a credit card in your hands then accruing debt takes no time. Save yourself from trouble by shopping smart.

I will touch more on this topic in my coming blogs.

I appreciate the readers who have been sharing their views and request them to keep adding, especially about the deals available in your areas.

Beautiful Thoughts from Brahma Kumaris

I get my emotional strength from Brahma Kumaris. I start my day by reading their 'Thought for Today' email which keeps me going through thick and thin.

The Secret of Happiness
The secret of happiness is to be free of fear. Fear is like a toxin that runs through much of our thinking. It feeds on insecurity, feeling of loss, loneliness, inadequacy and attachment. You are lovable and loving. Accept this as Truth. Appreciate and care for yourself - truly, deeply, intensely, in a way that reflects your real value. Then you will automatically have the same regards for all other living beings and things .
When you smile, not only do you feel happy, but you bring a ray of light into the lives of others.

Speak Sweetly
Nature did not like hardness in speech, so there is no bone in the tongue.

Excuses, Excuses.
If you want to do anything you find a way. If you don't want to do anything you find an excuse.

The Influence Of Gossip
I cannot afford to overlook the influence that other people have on me. To what extent do I check that I am not being influenced by gossip? Negativity in the mind is like poison. Negative thoughts are the seeds of negative actions. Gossip and guessing bring sorrow, heaviness and distrust. Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. Think no evil..

Truth is lost when we argue.

I value others without seeking their attention. Self respect is my inner light. I need nothing extra. I am unafraid of life's great teachings in all their daily guises. Today I will let someone help me.

Humility dismisses nothing, rather, it takes even small things into consideration. It recognizes that whatever life presents, needs to be respected. Small things are easily found in something big, but inside little things there is often greatness.

Spiritual Language
To create the future we desire we need a spiritual language; we must speak from the heart and in the language of the soul - a language of trust, faith and higher values, of inner growth, love and listening.

In the ocean of silence you may discover your eternal treasures of peace, love and happiness. In silence, you can let bad feelings and past sorrows dissolve. In silence you can hear the whisper of God saying "Come child and rest with Me. You are a peaceful soul."
From Expectations to Acceptance
Getting on with people is tough, especially when they don’t fulfill your expectations! Instead, if you accept people the way they are without expecting them to be something they’re not, you end up less disappointed and frustrated.

Give Happiness
One who gives happiness cannot give sorrow. One who gives sorrow, cannot give happiness. Where there is happiness there cannot be sorrow.

Remain content by recognizing the benefit of every moment - and the beauty of every soul.

Fear Nothing
You already have the courage to “Face, Explore, Accept and Respond” to fear. All you have to do is move beyond inertia and discover your true potential. Then, courage will enable you take action in spite of fear

Love, Purity, Peace, Wisdom
When you build a house, every brick counts. When you build a character, every thought counts. You are what you think. Love, purity, peace, wisdom - the more you think of these qualities, the more you will become them.

Remember Things of Happiness
When you feel tired, remember things of happiness and you will regain strength.

Look Before You Leap
Whatever actions you perform, check the consequences and then perform that action. Then you will never say I don't know how this happened. I didn't mean it to happen. If you do not pay attention, lines of tension then become visible on your face.

Learn a Lesson
Instead of being afraid of situations, consider them to be your teacher and learn a lesson from them.

The Solution Focus
Making things positive doesn’t mean a sunny outlook; it means making the choice to see problems as opportunities. Every problem and difficult situation is embedded with a solution - the adventure lies in finding the solution.

Don\'t Lose Today
If yesterday was lost in grief, don't lose today and tomorrow by keeping it in your memory.

If you realize that everyone is an individual with their own unique part to play, then the power of tolerance is easy to develop.

Addicted To Praise
We all want to be liked, valued and appreciated. There's no doubt that we're motivated by praise from those who matter to us. But it's easy to become addicted to praise. Savor compliments without needing them. Enjoy performing well even if no one notices. Give your best without expecting validation.

When we encounter good manners, we feel that some deeper part of us has been honored. Truly, none of us deserves anything less.

Honesty is to speak that which is thought and to do that which is spoken. There are no contradictions or discrepancies in thoughts, words or actions.

Too Much Thinking
The biggest disease of the mind is over-thinking, especially too much thinking about others.Thinking too much is like eating too much. The heaviness makes it impossible to remain light and flexible.

Kind Thoughts
Great souls take advantage of every moment and every opportunity to give happiness to others through kindness in their thoughts; such souls are willing to overlook weaknesses and mistakes and have the desire to help everyone reach their potential.

Peaceful Being
You fill your life with peace when you discover you only have to be yourself, to be what you have always been - a peaceful being.

Good feelings for others are like ointments that heal wounds and re-establish friendship and relationships. Good feelings are generated in the mind, are transmitted through your attitude and are reflected through your eyes and smile. Smiling opens the heart and a glance can make miracles happen.

Seeing Things Truly
We tend to see things not as they are, but as we are. Becoming quiet and simple inside is the first step towards seeing things truly.

Chance to Change
It is better to make use of a chance to change rather than to change your chances.

Thoughts, Words and Deeds
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Power Of Protection
Do you need protection? Are you strong enough to protect yourself? Cultivating self awareness allows me to see how I have the inner power to choose my feelings regardless of what others say or do.

Self - Sovereignty
Subservience to my negativity is a very precarious existence as I can never be sure how well I will handle a difficult situation. With practice it is possible to create appreciative and compassionate thoughts; then I no longer need to indulge in resentment, bitterness or dislike. Training myself to react calmly and wisely offers enormous dividends. Let me talk to myself silently with love and encouragement, balanced with firmness, and like the wise old sovereigns of fairy stories, let me rule the inner kingdom of my mind with benevolence.

To be content with a little is a great wealth.

Like attracts like. Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates.

Time is Valuable As A Diamond
Your time is most valuable, and so you should not waste it. You should not waste time in wasteful thoughts. Every second of yours is as valuable as a diamond.

Think No Evil.
"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." Do not even think evil, because first you think of something, then you speak of it, then you see it.

Why is it hard to forgive others? Usually because we believe that they are 90% to blame for the problem, that I am not as bad as they are. So I start to carry the load of other people's actions. If my ego is too hurt, I will have the sense of correction, of justice: 'I know I am right', 'That is not fair'. But if I start to forgive from the heart, sincerely, then this kind of feeling and attitude begins to dissolve. I remain humble and this forgiveness will bring me closer to others. Then I do not carry regrets or anger, I just let go and remain light

An Angel
Acceptance gives me the experience of being like an angel: never judging, never criticising and never worrying.

At the core of your being, you are deeply peaceful, immensly loving, infinitely wise and profoundly contented.

Consider The Consequences
Become very, very sweet. Remove even the slightest trace of anger. Whatever you think, whatever you say, consider carefully all the consequences beforehand. By performing actions knowing their consequences, success is definitely experienced.

Sweetness of Introversion
Instead of speaking too much and wasting your energy, become experienced in the sweetness of introversion.

I gently return to equilibrium, nurtured by a well-spring of love. I, the soul, am washed and soothed by the quiet energies of stillness. Embracing the vastness of my inner landscape, I understand the cycles of growth and decay. Today I will fix something broken, or find a new use for it.

Daily Decisions
What I am experiencing at this moment is the result of choices and decisions made in the past; what I will experience in the future depends on choices and decisions I make now. Happiness is a daily decision.

Making a Life
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Inner Power and Protection
I 'put a period' as soon as I see myself complaining and blaming. These two habits destroy my inner power completely, because they show I am still expecting solutions and changes from other.

Seeds of Hope
The world is your garden from which you remove weeds of doubt and replace them with seeds of hope.

Great Soul
A great soul is one whose every thought and every act is great. Not a single thought should be ordinary or wasteful. No action should be ordinary or meaningless.

Give and Take
Whatever you give comes back to you. Whatever you take will not stay with you.

You are a soul who does not wait for happy endings, but creates them with the power of a generous heart.

Heart of a Butterfly
"...the caterpillar has the heart of a butterfly!” It is true that if we know within our hearts what we want to become, then we will become that.

Move through life with lightness, touching the hearts of others without leaving a mark.

Peace of Mind
Peace of mind comes not from wanting to change others, but by simply accepting them as they are.

Cheerfulness keeps up the spirit of the one who possesses it, and brings a smile to the lips of others.

It is the art of living, the purpose of our existence. Happiness is the true index of quality of life. Without happiness, life is dry and meaningless. With happiness, life immediately becomes fulfilling and wonderful. Happiness is an infectious feeling that immediately lifts the sagging spirits of people. Happy people keep themselves happy because they know the little ways to appreciate themselves and to see the humour and magic in each moment.

Interested in knowing more about Brahma Kumaris please click here


Self-improvement at home

"Why Do I waste time watching TVeeeeee"

I used to say this to myself all the time and still watch TV uncontrollably because I did not know what else I could do. I had no transportation facility so that I could go out to spend time or visit any friends. Main reason was that I was new to America. The only way I knew to kill time was to watch TV. It became addiction after a while. Soon I realized  that, watching television or playing video games are not very helpful in self-improvement. Hence I searched for ways to rehabilitate myself which I would like to suggest to my readers. 
Here are some activities that could be done at home to keep us busy and active.
Believe you are special
Life is beautiful
 Emotional intelligence: Now-a-days interviewers of multinational companies are checking for EQ (Emotional Quotient) more than IQ (Intelligence quotient). Because a person with high EQ will sustain stress and the pressure of targets . He\she can be trained according to the company needs in few months even though they do not have much experience in the field. Attitude is very important in America. There are so many sources we can reach out  for improving EQ:our holy books, mythological stories, books, youtube, google,etc.,
My personal favorite is youtube:' videos from Brahma Kumaris'. Learn how to realize that happiness is not something you can find somewhere else but it is right within you.
Click here to watch Youtube Video: Emotional Intelligence

Refresh your subject: There are online lectures and videos available on Youtube and Google videos on various courses of studies like: computers, biology, how  to fix a broken faucet, etc., . My favorite one is MIT Opencourseware online lectures.
Click her to go to MIT online lectures

GRE \ GMAT preparation: Have plans to pursue further education, then start preparing for GRE\GMAT\TOEFL. It takes ~6 months to finish up the GRE wordlist if you are aiming for high score, so always start ahead. Need not buy books because you can borrow from a local library. If you have a ride then visit book stores like 'Barnes and Noble' or 'Borders', grab books and study in the store.
Lord Ganesha (Hindu God)
Games, Arts and Craft: For one who is interested in arts and already has some training,  it is a boon to have free time at last to practice what you know and learn even more.There are teaching videos on youtube and google on: photography, music, dance, painting, jewelry making, home improvement, skating, chess,....
My jewelry collection
Kids Jewelry
My husband has melodious singer's voice but doesn't have time to take classes to learn professional singing to improve his talent. I usually print out lyrics for him and he practices singing whenever he has time.

Health: When we are busy we tend to ignore our health and nutrition. Those of you have time now may soon become busy. Nutritious diet prepares you for the future challenges you have been waiting to face. Yoga makes you strong inside and outside. You can find yoga videos on internet and also from library.
Eat Healthy
Start a blog: If you are passionate, have good knowledge about a topic and are interested in sharing it with others then you can start your own blog. Go to blogger.com or wordpress.
Books: Books are the best friends if you have time. There is so much you can dig from libraries, all you need is 'thirst for knowledge'. For example, there are online books for biologists.Link to Molecular Biology Free Online Book  
Create new: If not interested in books or videos, then get creative. You could do something unique.Think about what motivates you, what are you passionate about. Everybody has a talent, remember you are special.
My nature photography
Disclaimer: All the above are honest suggestions. Please use them at your own discretion. IAMNEW2AMERICA.COM is not responsible for any mishap or loss.

Accent in America is not a hindrance

It is hard for both Americans and foreigners to understand each other though we all speak the same language-English. I still have my Indian accent but manage to teach undergraduates and communicate with professors, co-workers, and friends. just by following some suggestions and hints that 10 years of my experience taught me.

Here are some helpful points which helped me during my initial days:

Basics:  Speak slowly, audibly, and separate words in a sentence. Most importantly, remember that English language has its own grammar and rules, so try to get out of the habit of speaking English like native language. If you follow these two rules then it is easy for the other person to understand us even if we have accent.
    Spell It Out: If it is hard for others to understand what you say then spell it out or use phonetic alphabets.There are two types of phonetic alphabets lists available, NATO and western. Find the  lists below (courtesy www.osric.com).
    For example: Juan  phonetically spelled as 'Juliet Uniform Alpha November'  or   'John Union Adams NewYork'.        
    My story: I still remember my first conversation with a customer support employee of a credit card company. He asked my name  but he did not understand because I have Indian accent and my name is very uncommon. So I repeated it twice. Well, it did not work the third time either. My husband was hearing all the conversation from restroom, he shouted from inside  "use phonetic spelling".  At last, it worked.             

    Learn to pronounce correctly: Quickly want to learn how to say words then go to dictionary.com, search for a word and simply click on the sound symbol next to the word.  You can hear the correct pronunciation and learn without others help.

    Subtitles or Closed caption: If you are interested in learning American accent or want to know more about American culture then I suggest to turn on the CC on your television remote. This way you can read and listen the words at the same time. This helps in comparing your pronunciation  with Americans' and also slowly catch up with the American accent.
               NATO Phonetic Alphabet
    1. Letterphonetic letter

      Western Union Phonetic Alphabet

      Letterphonetic letter
      NNew York

    Tips to organize important documents

    Organizing important documents will make it easy to find when you need them and especially when you are in rush. I feel like my life is under control when all my documents are in place. For that we need a skill, i.e oragnization skill. It is not easy to be organized especially when there are million things to do. Hence I have some tips here that will make the job easy.

    A)Buy office supplies:
    Where to buy ?
    Office Depot, Staples, Walmart, Target, Sam's Club.
    What to buy?
    I prepared a short list of items that will come handy.
    1. Hanging file folders($15)
    2. Manilla file folders($9)
    3. Tabs ($4)
    4. Thin Sharpie pen($1.20)
    5. Lateral cabinet($40) 
    All these items will cost you less than $100.
    (Prices vary with number, state and time of the year).  

    B)Categorize files: Make a list of categories based on your requirements and label the file folders with the categories names. You can use the subcategories names to label the Manilla file folders.
    Here is a list of general categories and subcategories that I would suggest:
    1. Personal: Birth and education certificates
    2. Immigration: Visa, passport copies, green card, 
    3. Taxes: By year, receipts to save for write off
    4. Job search: Resumes, Curriculum Vitae and job application copies
    5. Manuals: Camera, handycam, vaccum cleaner, mixer grinder,etc.,
    6. Warranty documents
    7. Utilities: Save at least recent 6 months, sometimes very useful for job and school applications
    8. Credit card: Bills
    9. Car: Insurance bills, Loan documents, Service bills, Repair bills 
    10. Foreign Money Transaction: Receipts, proof of transfer
    C)Sort and file away: Sort the documents, bills and applications based on the categories you decided and then put them in the respective folder. This is the painstaking task and needs lot of time and patience. With little bit of patience and interest - you can do it. Best of luck !!!!!!

    D)Junk mails: Place a small size shredder near the entrance of the house  and shred the junk mail right at the door. This keeps the junk mail getting accumulated.

      Basic american etiquettes for an immigrant

      Etiquettes: Here are some do's and don'ts that will take you long way in your journey on this land of opportunities.
      • Maintain distance when standing in queue
      • Do not stare
      • No pointing finger even to just show some far away thing or store. It has a totally different meaning here. It is a big No No.
      •  'Would you please email"  sounds more pleasing than 'Please email me'
      • Greet: "Hi, How are you?" sounds better than 'Hello'
      • Answer properly if you were greeted:'Fine, thank you, how are you?' sounds better than 'Good.'
      • Wash hands after visiting restroom
      • Do not talk while chewing food
      • If someone sneezed- say 'Bless You'
      • Hold the door open and wait for the lady to walk through the mall entrance , considered good manners
      • Thank people who give you service: handyman, maid, electrician, plumber, customer support, ...
      • Fill out surveys: Customer appreciation is very important for customer support employees
      • Take it easy if you are avoided by people because you have flu
      • Do not burp out, keep it low
      • Sneeze in your elbow
      • Swearing is not encouraged
        Politeness and humility are great qualities that help us in career and growth. When you cross the oceans and land amongst foreigners who are so sweet and welcoming then you want to be friendly with them. Well, we need to know all do's and don'ts that will help our attempt to turn a stranger into a friend in America. Most of those listed may be familiar to you but they were added keeping in mind people from different  corners of the world. I have no intention to hurt or point anyone.
        I will keep adding further as and when readers keep suggesting more.

        Must do things in first week in USA

        1. Apply for driver's license
        2. Watch your diet -very important
        3. Find best friends- try at school, association, temple
        4. Find the best calling card
        5. Join school or community college
        6. Read my blog
        Driving: First and foremost thing is trying to become independent especially finding the means of transport. To find new avenues you need to explore this new place you landed in. If car is the main mode of transtport then I suggest to apply for driver's license and start taking car driving classes. Begin as soon as you can because from my experience I learn't that knowing driving is worth not just million but BILLION dollars. Go to google search for finding local car driving classes.

        Diet: Coming to a foriegn country- we have a long' to do' and 'to achieve' list and in this hustle and bustle most of us ignore diet. Eating something to fill our stomach is not enough when you have a long challenge in front of you. So make sure that your diet is healthy and complete. Remember, you used to eat  dal, roti, sabzi chaval and yogurt at home which has all the proteins, carbs, fiber, good cholestrol, omega-3 and all the nutrition in the world. But here - you are on your own so you are the caretaker who needs to take up that responsibility of feeding your body with all the nutrients. The main problem is we do not know exactly where to find those vaireties of vegetables and for inexpensive cost. I have a solution below.,,,

        Friends: Find friends who can tell you about the local grocery stores and help you show around to fish for best deals. I encourage you to go to the temple or mosque in your city or town to find common friends. At temples, volunteer in preparations of festivals, holiday celebrations, canteen, and social meetings. This is the best way of making friends and increasing your social circle.

        Join school: Another way to make friends is by joining a community college or school where you can learn something new as well as make friends. This will be very helpful if your motto is to  make your career in US. You learn a lot when you are surrounded by people who think like you.

        Calling card: I remember in 2000 - I paid $1000 per month just for my phone bills because it was 13 cents\minute. Now there are a bunch of calling cards available that cost you only 1cent\minute to call to Asia. One such card is Airtelonline service. I tried some cheap calling cards available at grocery stores and was disappointed by their service. If any reader has any suggestions about a best calling card please post your comment. Shop around and you can find best deals.

        I have a lot to share with you in my coming blogs that will help to make your transition smooth. Keep reading to take advantage of using the experiences of your seniors and making your life easy.

        All Quicklinks on one homepage

        One big secret of many millionaires and successful business tycoons is that they can see the pattern and hence they can predict the money market better than an average businessman. In order to be able to reach to that extent one has to start looking at daily stats. Well, if not much we can at least check how rich or poor we get every day by looking at the dollar rate and gold value.

        For your convenience I provided all the quicklinks to currency converter, gold price, daily horoscope, yahoo mail and gmail on my homepage. Visit my blog daily morning to find them all at your fingertips.  Please find all the quicklinks to your right.

        What is " I am new to America"?

         People struggle and learn great lessons after they migrate to foreign countries. This blog is going to be all about it.  It will have forums for specific cities and states in the United States.

         If you are interested in contributing your immense valuable knowledge and information you  learned after coming to US and ready to share it with the world, please post your comments.

        This blog is going to be the platform which we can use to share the information not only to make our lives better but also for those who come to this country with lot of dreams.

        We would love to hear about your experience when you first landed in US.