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Private Pesticide Applicator tests can now be scheduled online (San Diego)

Private applicator certificates allow the grower to apply pesticides on his/her own property only. In San Diego, the tests are given monthly by the County Ag Commissioner's  (CAC) office. UC Cooperative Extension does not give the tests but we do provide the study guide in English and Spanish which you can pick up at our office 9335 Hazard Way, Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92123 or you can order online.

CAC now has online scheduling to make the appointment to take the test

Contact the CAC is you have any other questions.

Posted on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 9:34 AM

Pesticide Container Recycling Event 2/3/18

San Diego County Ag Weights and Measures is holding a FREE Pesticide Container Recycling Event Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 from 8-2 pm. Commercial users only  (Growers, Agricultural Pest Control Businesses, Landscapes and Structural Pest Control Businesses, Public Agencies, Golf Courses, Cemeteries etc.).   

EDCO Recycling 1371 Grand Avenue San Marcos, CA 92078 Enter off Grand Avenue and follow the signs!

Please Download the flyer for more details about the types and sizes and location information.

Residential containers can be put in home trash cans if empty and rinsed. Residential use pesticides must be taken to your local household hazardous waste facility or a local HHW event.

Container reycling 020318
Container reycling 020318

Posted on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 9:18 AM

Prevent a Post-Holiday Financial Hangover

The messages to spend, spend, spend are everywhere. Online stores promote sales that last only a few hours, the daily deals from every company I've ever contacted clog my email, and I get several pounds of catalogs every week.

However, there's still time to take control of your spending and prevent post-holiday financial headaches. Here's how:

1. Plan your gift-giving strategy.

Decide how much you want to spend on gifts. Make a list of everyone you plan to buy for, along with any gift ideas. Then, divide up the total dollar amount you have to spend by allocating the amount to spend on each person's gift.

Brainstorm possible gifts ideas for everyone on your list that can be purchased with the dollar amount allocated for that person. To reduce the amount spent consider family gifts (rather than individual gifts), gifts of time or service, or if appropriate, passing on family heirlooms as holiday gifts.

2. Decide how to pay.

Charging holiday gifts means starting 2018 in debt. Instead of using your credit card pay cash if possible.  Unlike swiping a credit card, the “ouch” factor when we open up our wallets and hand over the hard cash keeps our spending in focus.

Some people use the “envelope system” for cash management. Put each person's name on an envelope and the amount allocated for their gift inside. When an envelope is empty, you are done buying for that person.

Alternatively, pay for gifts with a debit card instead of your credit card. This avoids interest charges and big bills in January because the amount spent is automatically deducted from your bank account. Keep track of debit card spending to avoid overdraft charges.

If you buy holiday gifts using your credit card, stick with just one card so it's easier to keep track of spending. Pick the card with the lowest interest rate and a grace period (if available).

3. Pre-shop before you buy.

A good rule of thumb is to compare prices with at least 3 sellers. You may save as much as 30%. Mobile apps and online shopping make this fast and easy. If buying an item you are unfamiliar with, find out the most important features to look for. Know the going price so can recognize a true sale. Just because an item is advertised in red letters doesn't mean it's a good deal, or even that it's on sale.

4. Shop with your list.

Stick with your plan. Only buy gifts for people on your list, and stay within planned spending limits.

Your name is not on the list so don't buy things for yourself when holiday shopping. If you see a great buy on that mini tablet you've been wanting, or a red cashmere sweater that would look terrific on you---leave it in the store and drop a hint to someone who has you on their gift list.

5. Check your receipts.

Double-check your receipt before leaving the store to be sure you were not overcharged. If you see a mistake, get it corrected immediately. 

Check the receipts for online purchases too. I recently bought something from an online store that offered free shipping on amounts over $50. My purchase exceeded $50 so I entered the required code and completed the purchase. However, the receipt showed I was charged for shipping. I called the company's 800 number to get the problem corrected.

6. Enjoy your holiday gift giving and wake-up to a debt-free 2018.

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2017 at 8:05 AM

Holiday Spending: How NOT to Blow Your Budget

Is overspending a holiday tradition? It doesn't have to be.

Start a new tradition this year---stick with your budget and avoid credit card debt.

Here's how:

1. Create a holiday spending plan.
Develop a spending plan (aka budget) that includes all your holiday expenses. Besides gifts, include the costs of wrapping paper, cards and postage, decorations and lights, entertaining, eating out, special clothes (Christmas sweaters anyone?), charitable gifts, and travel.

2. Make a gift list. 
Write down each person's name and how much you plan to spend on each. Add up the total dollar amount for all the gifts. Does it fit in your budget? (See your spending plan). If not, adjust the amount per person or limit the number of people on your list.

3. Pay cash for gifts.
 Take cash when you shop and leave your credit cards at home. Research finds that people spend more when paying by credit card, than by cash. Why? It's easy to overspend when all you have to do is swipe your card. Handing over cash is more “painful” so cash shoppers generally pay more attention to prices and spend less.
Plan to do some or all of your shopping online where paying cash is not an option? Keep reading.

4. Use the “envelope system” to manage your cash.
Get enough cash to pay for all the gifts on your list. Sit down at home with the cash, your gift list, and a stack of blank envelopes. Write each person's name on the front of an envelope, and put the budgeted amount of cash inside.
When you go shopping, pay for gifts with cash from the appropriate envelope. If there's not enough money for the gift you selected, find another gift that fits your budget. When an envelope is empty, you are done shopping for that person.

5. Pay with a credit card and use a “modified” envelope system.
Are you planning to shop with your mobile device or online? Modify the envelope system so it works for you. Label an envelope for your “checking account”. Each time you charge a gift, put cash to cover the payment in your checking account envelope. When you are finished shopping, the envelope will have the money needed to pay the credit card bill that arrives after the holidays.

No debt, no fees, and no interest---that sounds like a happy start to the New Year! Is overspending a holiday tradition? It doesn't have to be.

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 1:14 PM

Your Precooked Holiday Dinner---Serve it Safely!

Are you taking it easy this holiday by purchasing a complete pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner? 

Don't invite foodborne bacteria as dinner guests.  Follow these steps when you bring dinner home:

If it's hot from the oven: Keep food in the oven at 140° and eat within 2 hours.

If you're eating later in the day: Food shouldn't be kept hot for longer than 2 hours. As soon as you bring it home...

• Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavity, put it in a shallow container in the refrigerator. (No need to cool it first.)
• Cut up a whole turkey into smaller pieces, including slicing the breast meat and put it in the refrigerator. It's OK to leave the legs and wings whole.
• Refrigerate potatoes, gravy, and vegetables in shallow containers (so they quickly reach a safe temperature of 40° or below).
• Keep cold food cold by putting it in the refrigerator.

When its time to eat:

  • Reheat the turkey, dressing and side dishes until hot and steaming, or (the best way) until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F as measured by a food thermometer.
  • Bring gravy to a rolling boil.
  • If using a microwave oven, cover the food and rotate the dish so it heats evenly.

After dinner:"Chill" before you chill out.

  • Put all perishable foods in the refrigerator or freezer within 2 hours of cooking.
  • Cut up leftover turkey into small pieces before refrigerating.
  • Place the leftover turkey, stuffing, and side dishes into shallow containers and refrigerate at 40 °F or below.
  • Don't forget to refrigerate the desserts, particularly any prepared with eggs or dairy products such as pumpkin pie.
  • Freeze any leftovers you won't be able to eat within 3-4 days.
  • Throw away any perishable food left out for more than 2 hours---including raw or cooked vegetables, and cut fruit. (Getting food borne illness (aka food poisoning) is no holiday!)

After 3-4 days
Throw out any uneaten leftovers.


Other food safety questions?
Call the “USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline” 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) which is open on Thanksgiving Day from 8:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m. Eastern Time and regularly Monday- Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.


Get answers 24/7 from “Ask Karen”, the FSIS automated response system:
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