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Meal Planning Challenge: Healthy Grocery Shopping Once A Month

Meal Planning Challenge: Healthy Grocery Shopping Once A Month

“These days, my idea of living dangerously is going grocery shopping without a list”– Anonymous 

Grocery shopping once a month seems impossible. But with some strategic planning, everything can be possible.

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We are busy, we are tired, and to not go to the store 1 to 2 times a week could really give us some extra time for things that matter. And this is how…

Planning Produce Purchases

This one is tricky since things are perishable. You may have to make a couple of quick “cheat” stops purely due to the logistics of how long things keep. However below is the list for the large trip:

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  • Fruit for snacking (amount dependent on how much your family will eat prior to it going bad)
  • Frozen green beans (if your family enjoys them, stock up on sale)
  • Salad stuff and veggies. Now here is the trick: when planning meals you are going to do the fresh vegetables first. The meals toward the end of the month are probably going to come primarily from your frozen vegetable stash.
  • Produce required for any of the meal plans for the first half of the month. (You are going to make that cheat trip mid-month, so the second half of the month can be planned for separately.)

Lists and Local Bloggers

Find a blogger that lives near to you that lists local ads and deals. I honestly never thought of looking into that, but I have been too intimidated to coupon very much on my own when grocery shopping. This could really help me (and hopefully you.)

Then after finding all of these deals sit down to make your master list. If you shop places that price match then on your master list include the price that you are price matching for and the information that will help the cashier perform that the easiest. If you have the master list not only will it help your shopping, but it helps with your meal planning around the sales for that month.

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Cooking Calendar Creation

Print out or get a calendar with enough blank area to write in meals. Now depending on how busy your family is you may want to pull out the calendar of family activities also. This will give you a little bit of insight into how much time you will have for cooking each day. If there are leftovers, you may only need to cook 4 nights a week and have leftovers other days. Try to plan leftover nights for when the kids have sports etc.

Purchasing Necessary Ingredients

Planning ahead with the calendar allows you to look at the things you will need for the week. You can plan meals that contain like ingredients, so you don’t end up being wasteful.

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Extra Edibles and Essentials

Planning for toiletries, snack foods and milk can be challenging. This is how this can be cleared up:

  • Consider freezing milk. If you know you go through a gallon a week, get 4 gallons and freeze three.
  • Consider doing the same for cheese. Stock up and save.
  • Try purchasing one large snack package for the month. For example a large pretzel package. Eat it and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Depending on how big your family is and the pickiness level there, you may need to have more than one option.
  • Buy several boxes of the cereal that is on sale that week.
  • Check toiletries stock before going to see how much you should purchase.

Make Your List According to The Layout of The Land

Take your list and organize it according to the sections in the store. This will help you avoid running back and forth through the store and make the most of your time.

For further tips please check out this site.

Featured photo credit: Flickr/Happy Worker via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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