So, you know how I’m always talking about how I like to pay it forward? This is not just talk, people–this is genuinely who I am.
That’s why I’m excited to announce a new feature here at Project Blissful that allows me to do just that–to “pay it forward” to those who are joining me on this journey to bliss. 🙂
So here it is.
I’ve got a new page here on the site that is dedicated to one thing and one thing only–free downloads of personal development and weight loss eBooks, worksheets, tip-sheets, motivational wallpapers and more.
Have you noticed lately that your grocery bill is going up? While the cost of food may be rising, some of your growing grocery store costs might be increasing because you’re making impulsive purchases.
If you shop when you’re lacking energy, hungry, or in a hurry, chances are good you sometimes make hasty decisions about food.
So, how many times have you come home from the store and wondered what you were thinking when you bought this or that?
We’ve all done it, and we’ve all found ourselves throwing out food and products we never use as a result of it. That means we waste our money.
But if you think ahead and try the following ways to save money at the grocery store, you’ll never go over-budget again. Give it a shot.
7 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store
Write it down!
Keep a pad of paper and pen in the kitchen. When you notice you’re getting low on something you use regularly, write it on the list.
If you’re tech-oriented, enter those items into your smart phones so you’ll have them with you the next time you go to the store.
Think about food products you don’t use much or that your family doesn’t want to eat anymore. Consider excluding them from your store list.
Before you leave home to go grocery shopping, double-check for any items you may need but haven’t yet listed. Add those to your list.
Don’t rush it!
Allow a reasonable amount of time to grocery-shop. Having ample time to shop means you’re more likely to cut down on hurrying through the store and grabbing whatever food product strikes your fancy at the moment.
Consider shopping during off-peak hours to avoid additional stress that can cause impulse buys.
Eat real food!
Make a real effort to avoid processed food. Food items in boxes, bags, or cans usually have additives and other unhealthy ingredients.
If you “think healthy” at the store, you’ll most likely save yourself from picking up all those processed, packaged foods.
Get what you came for, nothing more!
Stick to the store list. Now that you’ve made a list of everything you need, purchase only items you’ve listed.
If sticking 100% to the list is difficult, consider allowing yourself just one or two foods not included on your store list.
Think about those items carefully to ensure they’re worth the price and that you can use them in preparing healthy meals or snacks for your family.
Don’t go hungry!
Eat a meal before you go grocery shopping. Like your mom used to tell you, “Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.”
It’s no secret that people tend to spend more when they’re feeling starved while shopping. A bag of chips here, a candy bar there, and you just bumped your grocery bill a few dollars.
Spend what you intend!
Establish a budgeted amount of money you plan to spend at the grocery store and only spend that much, no more.
Some financial experts recommend that you only shop with cash. It seems that handing over your hard-earned money in cash is more difficult for most people than punching in a pin number. (It works, trust me, I’ve done this and saved a ton of money in the process!)
Bonus tip: What to do if you go over budget
Dilemma: Let’s say you don’t want to exceed $75 per week on food. While you’re at the checkout counter, the store staff tells you your bill is $79. What can you do?
How to solve it: Quickly look over your food items. Ask yourself what you can do without. See if there are snack items you don’t really need. Make a concerted effort to reduce the total to $75.00, as you planned.
Follow up: Then, when you get home, consider whether you need to raise your budgeted amount to spend on your next trip to the store. You might conclude you didn’t really need the items you put back. Or you may realize that $75 just isn’t enough to meet your needs and you should raise your budget a little.
Stay the course!
Pat yourself on the back for the planning you did to avoid impulsive purchases at the grocery store. You made a real effort and it shows.
Recognize that with just a few small changes you can nearly end impulsive purchases at the grocery store, if you really want it. Cutting down on your impulsive purchases at the grocery store is entirely possible.
With some advance planning and use of these tips, you’ll reduce your overall grocery store spending and decrease your impulsive purchases. You’ll be successful in reaching your shopping goals, and have more money to show for it!
What do you think? Share your thoughts and money-saving tips in the comments section, below.
If you’re like most people, at some point you’ve probably been in an uncomfortable situation where you needed some help.
You might have spent hours going over the particulars of what you were going through, desperately trying to determine how you would resolve the event.
If only you’d had enough money to get through until payday, had someone to babysit for you, or been able to borrow someone’s vehicle, the issue could have been all worked out. Your situation would most likely have been easily and quickly resolved had you reached out for assistance.
You may even have had someone in mind whom you could have asked. But you just couldn’t bring yourself to request help. What stopped you? Why didn’t you ask for help?
Maybe it was your pride. Maybe you were ashamed or embarrassed about what you were experiencing. Perhaps you convinced yourself no one else in the world has ever been in the fix you were in.
But even if this may seem contrary to what you were taught as a kid, it’s okay and even smart to ask for assistance when you need help.
Why you should ask for a little help from your friends
1. All of us are entitled to ask for help. Sometimes, each of us needs a bit of assistance to solve a challenge we’re dealing with. When you ask for help, you acknowledge your humanity. You show you belong to the worldwide community.
2. Asking is an effective method of problem-solving. Sometimes, issue resolution and relief is just a phone call or conversation away.
3. Give others a chance. You’ll provide a friend or family member with an opportunity to help you through a difficult time. After all, if one of your friends or a family member needed assistance and all it would take was a quick call to you to solve the issue, wouldn’t you want to get that call? Your friends and loved ones are most likely glad to help you.
4. Set the example. When you ask for help, you show friends that they could ask you for assistance someday if they’re in a bind. Frankly, asking for help is what friendship is all about. Friends are usually pleased to reciprocate some favor you’ve done for them in the past.
* Your relationships are also enriched when you ask for and accept help from others. You’ll feel closer to the person who helped you and they’ll feel emotionally closer to you.
5. Connect with others. The person who helps you will gain a better understanding of you and your current situation. Knowing that someone you care about truly understands you can feel incredibly reassuring.
6. Show your character. By asking for help, you’re provided with an opportunity to show your true character. If you borrow money, for example, you’ll be able to show that you repay your debts by promptly paying back the person that helped you. And that’s a good thing.
Re-frame the way you view asking for help. Asking for help demonstrates your humanness, is an effective way to solve challenges, and provides your loved ones with the chance to reach out to you.
Asking for assistance also lets friends know they can ask you for help later on and enriches your relationships. Go ahead and reach out the next time you need help!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–getting the weight off does not fix your head. When you’re overweight or obese, it can feel like the solution–just getting off the weight in any way possible–but when you don’t fix the issues that caused the weight gain in the first place, it can be temporary.
Maybe you gain the weight back, maybe you succumb to another, lower-calorie addiction (studies have shown that people get addicted to sex, alcohol, drugs and more–all in an effort to avoid dealing with their issues), but in any case, it’s important to fix the psychological issues you’ve got going on while you’re working on getting your body in shape. You’ve got to get your head in the game before you can expect to be truly healed.
This is exactly why I started Project Blissful on some level–because I have lost and gained a ridiculous amount of weight over the years, but it never stuck until I figured out that I couldn’t just put a bandaid on my “issues”–the ones that sort of led me to gain the weight in the first place.
Besides being involved in a really toxic family situation for most of my life, I was also dealing with many of the same issues that we’ve all dealt with–low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and lack of concern for my personal well-being, among others.
But whatever cross you bear, you’ve got to figure out how to drop it off at the next stop if you’re ever going to get and keep the weight off.
Dr. Lavinia Rodriguez, a psychologist and expert in weight management who wrote “Mind Over Fat Maatters: Conquering Psychological Barriers to Weight Management,” says that while weight loss procedures like bypass surgery and gastric banding can lead to quick weight loss, it definitely does not solve the issue.
“It’s understandable why someone who’s struggled with obesity for years would place all their hopes on bariatric surgery. Many patients think it’s their last resort. (And in some cases, it may be),” Rodriguez wrote in a recent Tampa Bay Times article. “But advertisements gloss over the tough realities of bariatric surgery. And even when the facts are given, many people are so eager to lose weight, they ignore what they don’t want to hear.”
Rodriguez said that people need to know some important things about weight loss–most of all that if you have “psychological issues connected to disordered eating, bariatric surgery will not eliminate these problems.”
Even more importantly, when patients regain weight, it’s usually because of psychological issues, rather than physical ones.
And it’s not always the dark, deep issues that cause the problem, but sometimes simple things like your attitude about working out, being a perfectionist and other common issues.
Rodriguez agrees with what I’ve always said–it’s all in your head. When you address those psychological issues and learn to change your mind, you can achieve long-lasting results.
What do you think? Is getting your head straight what you need to do to keep the weight off? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!
“Success demands singleness of purpose.” ~Vincent Lombardi
Some days I’m totally on top of things, focused and centered and productive. I love those days–I get things done and when the day is over, I feel accomplished and positive.
Then there are the days when I’m scattered and randomly jumping from task to task without any real focus.
Those days are less enjoyable, and even though I “get a lot done,” I don’t actually feel like I’ve accomplished much–and I often find myself feeling guilty. That doesn’t feel good.
It feels good to get things done, to be intentionally focused on not only what needs to be done, but also on what I want to do.
It feels good to accomplish what I set out to accomplish, to meet my daily goals–which always lead toward the more long-term goals. And feeling good and accomplishing my goals is a sure-fire way to bring more positive things into my life.
So how do we find focus when we have one of those scattered days?
One Step at a Timer
I don’t know about you, but I tend to multi-task nearly all the time. However, on those scattered days, I feel the need to stop and focus on only one task at a time. Maybe that’s because when I’m feeling scattered, I’m far more easily distracted.
I find that setting a timer for a specific amount of time and forcing myself to focus on a single task makes a big difference. Even five minutes can be enough to shake off that scattered feeling and get back into a focused mindset.
The feeling of being scattered goes right along with a cluttered work area or home. When I’m feeling that way, sometimes just clearing off my desk or tidying up around the house is enough to help me change my mind.
When our living and working spaces our cluttered, we’re bound to feel mentally cluttered too. Even just clearing off a single table top or shining your kitchen sink can make all the difference in the world.
Just Do It Already
A lot of times, when I’m feeling unfocused, I procrastinate or distract myself with busy work. Then, I find myself staying up late into the night to meet my deadlines or finish up my projects. (I’ll admit, sometimes the late nights are a direct result of just plain being busy–but other times, they could be avoided!)
So, when I feel myself procrastinating, just forcing myself to BEGIN doing the task is enough to get me back on track. Even if I’m not feeling it when I get started, I eventually find my groove and keep on keeping on.
Take a Break
Ok, I realize this sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. If you’re anything like me, sometimes the fact that you have things to do can cause you to become paralyzed, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. So, while taking a break may seem like it would slow your productivity, the opposite is actually true–at least for me.
If I find myself feeling frustrated or unfocused, a fifteen minute break away from my desk can sometimes be all I need to develop a fresh perspective. Sometimes it’s just doing a mindless activity like watching a little TV or walking around the block, and other times it’s talking with one of my family member or friends. And sometimes, it’s just about being still and quiet and not thinking about anything at all.
The point is that if I take a quick break, I come back refreshed and ready to get things done–while if I skip the break, I might waste even more time by remaining unfocused.
This might seem obvious. But if you’re anything like me, planning may not come naturally to you. What I find effective is to sit down at the end of my work day and look at what I’ve got going on for the next day. I’ll check my calendar for appointments, check my list of assignments and tasks and then I set up a priority list for the next day.
I decide what MUST be done, then what I would like to get done. I set up a really basic plan of attack for the next day, and then I make a point of sticking to it as much as possible. Of course, things come up and priorities change–but having a basic plan for the day can still mean the difference between being focused and being scattered. You might be surprised how significantly a simple plan can change your perspective and increase your focus.
So, how about you? What do you do to get back on track when you find yourself losing focus or feeling scattered? Tell me in the comments!