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How to Stock Your Pantry on a Budget

How to Stock Your Pantry on a Budget

A well-stocked pantry is a kitchen staple, but keeping it full of the right ingredients can be both time-consuming and expensive. Not to mention, many people don’t know what having a “well-stocked pantry” actually looks like.

Pantry basics are divided into several categories: grains, canned goods, seasonings and spices. A standard pantry could include:

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  • Grains: flour, oatmeal, rice, polenta, quinoa
  • Canned goods: stewed tomatoes, beans, tuna
  • Seasonings/condiments: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, sea salt, black pepper
  • Spices: cumin, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander
  • Other: sugar, vegetable stock, nuts

With all of these items on hand, you can make a filling meal quickly and easily, without heading to the store – you just need the veggies and protein to round it out. Luckily, you can easily stock your pantry on a budget when you maximize your coupons, choose your grocery store wisely and more.

1. Make a Better List

Once you know what should be in your pantry, it’s time to go shopping. How many times have you gone to store and left with all the things you don’t need and none of the things you do?

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A list helps you stay organized, so you get everything you need, while shopping smarter. Use your list to compare prices on items at different stores, before you go, so you know you’re always getting the best deal possible.

Make your list more effective with apps like GroceryiQ. With this app, you can create a detailed grocery list, find coupons – which are intergrated within the app for major brands and stores across the country – and create favorites so it’s easy to add the same items every few weeks.

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2. Shop Around Before Falling in Love With One Store or Another

While shopping at just one store is convenient, it may not be the most cost effective method. Researching which grocery stores have the best prices is an almost foolproof way to make sure you’re getting the best deal. For example, according to a recent study, Aldi is one of the most inexpensive places to do groceries. Sixty-six of their items were priced the lowest when compared to other grocery stores, like Publix and Trader Joes.

Consider visiting different store for different items – depending on what’s available at what price. Some items may be more affordable for certain pantry items Trader Joe’s while Aldi may provide you with the best price for other items. Long story short: Stock your pantry as items run out and head to the most affordable store for that particular item.

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3. Maximize Your Coupons

Coupons are one of the simplest and easiest ways to stretch your budget. Online coupon companies provide a clutter-free way to get the best deal possible and many grocery stores have entire sections on their websites dedicated to coupons that you can print and use.

Whole Foods recently launched an app that provides users with a barcode for all the coupons offered that day and it’s scanned straight from their phone screen at checkout. Also, many grocery stores, including Publix, allow for coupon stacking, or using both store and manufacturer coupons for certain items.

4. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is the best way to stock your pantry on the budget – just remember to only buy in bulk if you know you like the item. Twenty pounds of quinoa at 50 percent off is great, but make sure that you actually like quinoa before you buy all of that.

With a little research and preparation, you can stock your pantry on a budget. Use these tips to save money on every trip to the store and your bank account will thank you.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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