I do love to shop.  So we have to go shopping for the A-Z tips.  I would love to focus on non-essential items however as grocery prices increase I think a few grocery tips may help.  Please feel free to add your own as I know many of you have terrific tips yourself.  I want to learn from them.

Let’s go shopping:

  • At the store shop the perimeter.  All the sale items will be stocked there.  And you will cover fresh veggies and fruit which is more healthy then processed foods.
  • Only purchase fruits and veggies that are in season. 
  • Try making your own salad dressings, seasoning mixes, marinades, and biscuit mixes.  They are fairly easy to do and will save you $$$$$.
  • Compare price per unit when buying in bulk.  You may not be saving money with some items.
  • Keep a list.  This is so true.  All those extras really add up.
  • Buy spices in bulk.  You don’t need as much of some spices and spices don’t stay fresh forever.
  • Stay away from prepared foods.  They are very expensive.
  • Decide if you are a coupon person or not.  If you are not, then accept it and don’t hang on to them and feel defeated.  Instead, shop store brands and use other tips.  If you are then get a good system for using them.  There are also subscription type services like the www.thegrocerygame.com that might work for you. 
  • Find lower priced cuts of meat and find recipes on ways to cook them instead.
  • Keep a budget for food.
  • Eat less meat.
  • In most cases, toiletry items are more expensive at your grocery store.
  • Have you shopped at a 99 cent store lately?  Mine has veggies and fruit.  I also got a beautiful jar of mixed mushrooms (that looked like something you would get in a gift basket, for –you guessed it–99 cents!
  • Use up stale bread to make your own breadcrumbs of croutons.  Easy to do and saves $$
  • Know when the sales are for your store.  And you may want to find out when they stock so they are not out of the items when you go.
  • Start with a menu and then shop.
  • Make your own cleaning products will save a bundle!!!  The companies that produce that stuff is making a ton of $$ as we need very few cleaners yet most households are full of buckets of different cleaners.
  • Watch the register.  Make sure someone unloads the cart and you watch the register.  If you are alone, look over the receipt before you leave.
  • AND NEVER GO TO THE STORE HUNGRY!

Don’t forget to share your tips.

Contest: Link any of my A-Z tips on your blog and let me know and I will enter you in my contest to win some lovely prozes.  Check out my post- Wanna now what you are playing for? to see them.
Have a “Cost-Effective” Day!

Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

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Husband:  Honey, what’s for dinner?

Wife: Ok I give, what?

Oh, it’s not a joke you say.  Do you ever go to the pantry and go what am I going to make tonight?  I think we all do that from time to time.  I know a lot of people are into the menu planning for the week and use the grocery ads for the best deals.  I think this is a great idea but it hasn’t worked for me as it seems time consuming the way I tried it.  So that has led me to a different type of menu planning (or maybe not).  I like to use a seasonal 3- 4 month rotation.  Now this doesn’t always happen but it sure makes it easy when it does.

So today’s A-Z tip will be M = Menu planning.

First, ask everyone what their favorite meals are.  Compile a large list.  Put down fancy and even non-fancy items like mac ‘n’ cheese.  But not too many pre-boxed stuff as you will find better alternatives doing this that will save not only money but will be healthier.

Next, break them down by seasons.  I.E. salads for summer, soups for winter, etc

Now you want to think of your schedule.  Are there nights, like Wednesday night church, that you will need a quick dinner or leftovers?  What about some night that everyone can try a new recipe together?  Don’t forget breakfasts and lunches when needed.

With all this info in hand you want to start putting a 3-4 season (some of us don’t have as many seasons as others…ours just hot, hotter, and “Where am I again?”) menu together i.e. Jan-Mar or Jan-April, etc.  Next list your Sunday-Saturday’s.  And finally fill in the menu items.

Make sure when you plan this to add a new recipe night at least once in the rotation (but try a few more if you can).  And try not to double up as much as possible.  If you take time to create this I bet you have more things that you know how to cook then you think.

Finally gather up all your info and put it into a menu planning binder.  You may want to use clear protectors since this will end up in the kitchen no doubt.

Use can use this binder for your shopping.  And if you want to use the store ads to get the best deals just shop ahead. Take your binder and look at what’s on sale to what you are going to be cooking in the next month or so for non-perishable items or items that can freeze.  Make sure you make note that you have purchased that item so you don’t pick it up again.

Menu planning is a stress reliever.  It may not always happen but when it does it sure makes life happier when you don’t have that deer in the headlights look at 6 pm.

If your hubby is the cook, as I know a lot of men are, this may be helpful for them.  This works great for anyone who is having trouble with added expenses on last minute purchases at the store, the people saying AUGGHH when fixing dinner, those who may always seem to forget key ingredients to recipes, and those who are fixing the same things over and over again.  But if hubby is the cook and there are no problems don’t mess with a good thing!

So what do you say?  Wanna start?

Have a “planning” day.

P.S – Don’t forget about my contest.  Link/ping any of my A-Z tips and let me know so I can enter you in my first contest.  See post on wanna know what you are playing for to see prizes.

My mother passed away with cancer when I was 17.  She almost died from this disease when I was 9 so I grew up with cancer and it’s affects most of my life.  Cancer runs in my mother’s side of the family so it’s a big part of my medical history.  This was very apparent not too long ago when I had some precancerous treatment on my lip.  Now I am a mom and it’s very scary to think of this is my life.  I really do try to keep in mind when making choices like when to go in the sun, sunscreen, but also chemicals in my home.

I am very interested in some natural treatments that we can do in our everyday life as I think there are a lot of chemicals we could do without (ALL around us).  Now, I am not an extremist, yet :), but  I would just like to use less in my life and home.

Here are just a few simple tips I keep on hand for natural healing.  Of course, there is not a substitute for medial advise and I hold no medical degree! 

  • Ginger (try a couple of pieces of candied ginger or tea), chamomile, or peppermint for an upset tummy.
  • Oatmeal, milk, or (cooled) tea for sunburns.
  • Tea Tree Oil for athlete’s foot, cuts and scrapes, and dandruff.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste for acne (white and a little dab will do ya)
  • Duct Tape for Warts
  • Cinnamon has been reported to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar (and no I do not mean a Cinnamon Roll!!!)
  • Oregano is thought to be a Cancer Fighter

If you are interested in natural cures there are many resources on-line and in book form just really get to know your sources.

Here are a few web-links to help with medical issues:

www.healthfinder.gov   – Research your symptoms or current medical trends.  The kid section has links for nutrition.

www.cancer.org  – American Cancer Society

http://womenshealth.about.com/od/surgeryforgyndiseases/a/medicaltests.htm  –  A run down of tests women need to get.

BOOKS:

Amazing Kitchen Cures, by Joey Green

Clean House, Clean Planet, by Karen Logan (If you are interested in natural cleaning – helps save on money as well.)

Also, I would recommend everyone to have a medical journal for you and your family members.  You can keep immunizations, all doctor info, medical history, etc in it.  Also, log all symptoms with dates so that you are ready when you or a family member goes to the doctor.  It is so hard to remember what happened and when.  Or is that just me?

I was just talking with a friend of mine about how are pediatricians know our children but we don’t know our doctors at all (or don’t have a primary care physician).  But kids go to the doctor at least once a year for a well-check.  And I know I am not the only one who’s children go way more than that!  How often do we go?  Our doctors don’t know us!  If we are healthy we may only go once a year or every few years…right?  They will only know what we provide.  So keep up regular visits with your primary care doctor and keep a journal.  They are good at what they do but last time I checked they aren’t mind readers.

Have a ‘Healthy’ Day!!!

Ladies Only

My really good friend Kristine sent this to me.  I thought it was hysterical. 

One for the girls
 

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my shape to keep.

Please no wrinkles, Please no bags

And please lift my butt before it sags.

Please no age spots, Please no gray

And as for my belly, Please take it away.

Please keep me healthy, Please keep me young,

And thank you Dear Lord, For all that you’ve done.

 

Five tips for a woman…..

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn’t lie to You.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don’t know each other.
 
Foot Note:

One saggy boob said to the other saggy boob:

“If we don’t get some support soon, people will think we’re nuts.” 

 I hope no one is offended I just thought it was too funny! 

Have a funny day!

Warning eat your breakfast before reading this post 🙂

I do like my bed made in the morning.  For me at least, it takes just a few minutes, and I like to look at at least one thing that’s done during my day.    I read this information before, and I thought I would share it with you in case you haven’t seen it.  It has made my sometimes wait to make my bed or if I don’t get around to it at least I can feel good about not making it 🙂

This info was from here :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4181629.stm

House dust mite (pretty huh?)

The warm, damp conditions created in an occupied bed are ideal for the creatures, but they are less likely to thrive when moisture is in shorter supply.

Failing to make your bed in the morning may actually help keep you healthy, scientists believe.

Research suggests that while an unmade bed may look scruffy it is also unappealing to house dust mites thought to cause asthma and other allergies.

A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.

The average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million house dust mites.

The bugs, which are less than a millimetre long, feed on scales of human skin and produce allergens which are easily inhaled during sleep.

The warm, damp conditions created in an occupied bed are ideal for the creatures, but they are less likely to thrive when moisture is in shorter supply.

So go ahead and leave your bed unmade and if you already do you just have an excuse to do so.

Have an unmade day!

How’s that for a conspiracy type title?  What I am referring to is media overload.  I think so much of our culture is so dependent upon media that it limits who we are.  This of course can be the TV but any media in excess can be harmful (in my opinion). 

I purchase old magazines (a few months back) from the library that they no longer use.  Sometimes I can pick up a few good ones at Goodwill as well.  These are just normal everyday women magazines that have some helpful info.  At the same time I realized just a little TV and these magazines have my self esteem in a whirlwind.  I felt pretty happy until I started reading these.  All of a sudden my wardrobe, weight, makeup, shoes, purse, parenting, cooking abilities, etc were not adequate.  Not to mention my house is totally in need of a makeover!  I know this is not their intention, but I do believe you can get too much information.  And the messages portrayed in the media can often be that we are not good enough the way we are.

I believe, especially women , need to be careful about how much media we consume.  Of course we need to be the best we can be but the media, in all it’s forms, is not the only form to learn this.  Why not find a mentor?  What about talking with you neighbors?  Being more active in Church?  Volunteering?

Just a thought for a healthier me and maybe you 🙂

While I was at the grocery store picking up my items, and looking at other people’s cart (Does anyone else do that?), I realized I am somewhere between Bulgar and Banquet.  “What does that mean?” you ask.

In my cart I have some products from the “health food” aisle.  Lots of fruit and veggies to boot!  I must be doing great.  But wait….

Behold, there is can chili.  I have several cans of ……green beans.  I’m ashamed..or am I?. 

Milk that is right down the middle of the road at 2%.  Is that healthy or not???  Who knows. 

Pasta that is not whole wheat.  Bread is whole wheat but not with nuts inside (don’t like sunflower seeds in my bread).  

Cereal includes Bran Flakes (plain), that even the kids will eat, and Grape-Nuts but Frosted Corn Flakes (generic of course) for a treat cereal is present an accounted for. 

I bought one frozen lunch meal for my son, that contained a corn-dog and some fake looking dessert.  I still feel guilty over buying something so artificial (but it sure was cheap and easy).

Who would be thinking as much as I do at the store?  Anyone???  OK, I think way too much!!!

So on the scale of Bulgar (Wheat) to Banquet where do you fall?

Have a Somewhat Healthy Day!

Debbie aka The Real World Martha (S)