Quick Tips for Food Budgeting

Quick Tips for Food Budgeting

It’s a rare family that’s not on a food budget. The family food shopper searches for any way possible to cut back on the amount of money spent on food. One of those is using coupons. Personally, I love the flexibility and convenience (also a time saver) of the AmazonFresh program.

Conservatively speaking, there are millions of coupons circulating every day that could cut your food budget by 30 to 50% – even more if you’re willing to turn couponing into a passion.

Even the casual coupon clipper can become quite successful overnight and with more work and dedication become a super saver shopper. You have to be patient, flexible and perhaps give up your favorite brand, but it can be done and you can save a lot of money.

Remember, coupons are designed to sell a certain product and get you in the store but if the item is not one you need and use, then saving money on that item is a moot point.

Food coupons can be found anywhere. The Sunday newspaper is usually the best source but also look on line, at public libraries and at coupon swap boxes at the store itself. Some stores issue coupons at checkout for use on your next trip. Be sure and note expiration dates and if a cash value is offered. Don’t let them expire and go to waste.

  • Organize before you shop. Keep coupons sorted by food type in an easy to search through container and match coupons with needs on your grocery list. Some coupons have mail in rebates. Beware of this and follow up.
  • Sign up for a store loyalty card that usually offers coupons plus bonus points that are cumulative each time you shop. Using a store’s own credit card can lead to double points and free item coupons.
  • When you combine regular coupons with sale prices, you’re becoming a super saver. If a coupon item is not on sale and it’s not an urgent buy wait until it’s on sale. Be on the lookout for sale and bonus points tags.
  • Compare ads. It may pay you to drive to more than one store if it’s an item you need, have a coupon and it’s not available anywhere else. But, before you burn up extra gas, ask if the store honors its competitor’s coupons. Many will do this just to keep you in the store. You can call ahead to save a trip.
  • Don’t be susceptible to the 2 for a dollar marketing tool unless it’s to your advantage with a coupon. If you need two of the item go ahead and buy them; but save by buying only one if that’s what you need. For example, the sign may read: 15 limes for a dollar. Unless you’re a big lime user, some could go bad before you use them.

There was a time when some shoppers felt using coupons was not appreciated by the grocer and hesitated to use them. They didn’t want to hold up the line while the checker scanned coupons.

It’s a faster and easier method now with computers. Some of these strategies may not be right for you. It takes practice and patience, trial and error. If stretching your food dollar is your goal, there are few better ways than using coupons!

Overwhelmed? 7 Simple Questions That Will Free Up Your Time

Overwhelmed? 7 Simple Questions That Will Free Up Your Time

We all have too many priorities and too little time to do them justice. You can create more free time in your life by asking yourself a few questions. Questions are powerful, because they focus your attention and generate solutions.

You just have to ask the right questions!

Ask yourself these questions and create more space in your life:

  1. What are my three greatest distractions? The most common distractions and time wasters are often electronic in nature. Your cell phone, laptop, and the television can leave you wondering where the time went. Other distractions might include an annoying neighbor, an organization that requires too much of your time, or frequent headaches.
  • Think of ways to eliminate or minimize these distractions and spend your time in a more meaningful way. 
  1. Am I making the best use of the free time I already have available? When you do have free time, how do you use it? Consider both the small blocks of time you have available throughout the day and the larger segments of time that you have free.
  • If you’re waiting for a meeting to start, how do you use that time?
  • Are you using your time in the car as productively as possible? You could use the time to make phone calls or listen to educational programs.
  • Examine all the spare time you have each day and resolve to use it more productively.
  1. What are the three greatest distractions I have at work? An overly chatty cubicle mate might be neutralized with headphones. You can turn off the ringer on your phone. Think of the distractions you face and create solutions.
  2. What are my priorities? Make a list of your work and personal priorities. You can’t focus your time if you’re unaware of your priorities. You can focus your attention by reminding yourself of your priorities each day.
  3. What are the optional activities in my life? Make a list of everything you do in your life that’s optional – from watching TV to playing softball on the weekends. Some of those activities add to your life in meaningful ways, while others do not. Which of those activities are you willing to give up to create more space in your life?
  4. How can I simplify my life? How many blogs, magazine subscriptions, and podcasts do you follow? Are they all worth the time?
  • How often do you check your email? Is that more often than necessary?
  • Can you hire someone to mow your grass or clean your home?
  • Can you get rid of a few possessions that are taking up time and space in your life?
  1. What would I do if I had more free time? How would you spend that time? With whom would you spend it? If you can identify how you want to spend your free time, you might become more motivated to create more free time in your life.

Are you lacking enough time to enjoy your life? It’s time to set priorities and reduce distractions.

Decide what is most important to you. Then determine how you’re using your time inefficiently. Ask yourself the important questions that will allow you to make meaningful changes. Free up your time for your priorities. You’ll be glad you did!


15 Survivor Life Hacks for Beating Laziness & Overwhelm

15 Survivor Life Hacks for Beating Laziness & Overwhelm

Beating overwhelm is a necessary part of getting things done. While overwhelm can have a variety of causes, for narcissistic abuse survivors, it can feel like you’re absolutely paralyzed. In most cases, the task that needs to be completed isn’t enjoyable. Or you lack inspiration. Mowing the grass when it’s 90 degrees outside is a good example of both.

Dealing with laziness is an important self-management skill. Getting things done when you don’t feel like doing them is practically a superpower. You’re unstoppable.

Beat laziness and accomplish more each day with the 15 tips I’m sharing in today’s video.

  1. Take frequent, short breaks. Tell yourself that you’ll work for 25 minutes and then take a quick break. Focus with all your might for those 25 minutes, and then relax for five.
  2. Be tough with yourself. Getting started requires the most willpower. Once you’ve gotten started, it’s easy to keep going. Grind your way through the first few minutes and then use the momentum to your advantage.
  3. Stand up straight. Slouching and laziness go together. Stand up tall and straight. You’ll feel better and more motivated.
  4. Monitor your inner dialog. Say positive things about the task at hand. Negative talk will stall your progress.
  5. Stop thinking about it. When you think about doing an undesirable task, you feel uncomfortable. That’s the reason you won’t do it. So, don’t think about it. Keep your mind on something else and get started.
  6. Keep it short and intense. Change your physiology, and your thoughts will change, too.
  7. Use a timer. See how long it takes you to complete the task. Make a game out of it. Another option is to set a timer for five minutes and see if you can perform the task for those five minutes without having even one negative thought. Timers are great for increasing focus.
  8. Get rid of the distractions. Get away from the TV and lock your cell phone in your desk.
  9. Keep your mind on a single task. Ironically, when you have a lot to do, it can be hard to do anything at all. Keep your mind on one task and forget about the rest. When this task is complete, the others will still be there.
  10. Think about how great you’ll feel when you’re done. Thinking about how dreadful the task will be is the best way to ensure that you won’t do it anytime soon.
  11. Be proud of getting your tasks completed. Most of us hate performing a task, and then feel neutral about getting it done. Get excited about completing these annoying tasks. Give yourself a pat on the back when they’re completed.
  12. Start with something easy. When faced with several things you don’t want to do, start with the quickest and easiest. The sense of accomplishment will keep you going.
  13. Make a to-do list. Cross the items off as they’re completed and enjoy the progress you’re making. There’s something satisfying about marking items off a list.
  14. Consider the benefits of the task. Will you get to keep your job? Get a date? Have a freshly manicured lawn? Consider the benefits of the activity. Focus on these benefits and get started before your attention drifts.
  15. Plan a reward at the end of the day. If you get everything completed, do something enjoyable. Meet a friend for dinner or rent a movie.

 

Laziness is a common dilemma. It occurs when the motivation to do a task is insufficient. There are several causes for this, but the cause isn’t important. Choose a few workable strategies to get you going and put them into action. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at your results.

When People Think #WAH Means ‘Ask Me for a Favor’ (Video)

When People Think #WAH Means ‘Ask Me for a Favor’ (Video)

Time management is enough of a challenge, but when you’re working from home (especially with a busy family), you’re in a whole new ballgame. Here are some of the things I do to get through it (video from last night’s periscope broadcast!). What do you think are the best ways to get stuff done when you work at home? Share your thoughts in the comments below

It’s Your Time: This is how you manage it intentionally

It’s Your Time: This is how you manage it intentionally

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-ExupéryIntentional Time Management Can Change Your Life

Regardless of what you do with it, there are only twenty four hours in a day. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make more time. You can, however, find more time using a mindfully intentional method. (more…)

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