January 23rd, 2008

Wordless Wednesday – From My Daughter's Camera

picture by ariel

picture by ariel

picture by ariel

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January 17th, 2008

13 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

In light of yesterday’s post on the economy and rising food prices, I thought I would share ways I save money at the grocery store.

shopping carts

  1. Don’t shop hungry.
    Some of the oldest food shopping advice, and some of the best.
  2. Plan ahead.
    The more you know about the meals you are going to make in the days ahead, the less extra stuff you are likely to buy, and the less spoilage you should have in your fridge.
  3. Go through the ads.
    It’s easy to miss a special if you aren’t particularly looking for an item. If you use the ads in combination with planning ahead, your meals can be based on what’s fairly cheap right then.
  4. Go to more than one grocery store when reasonable.
    I have a Henry’s and a Vons sharing a parking lot, and Stater Bros. across the street from them. It makes it very easy to shop them all, even though Vons most often has the highest prices. But driving too far can ruin your savings.
  5. Take advantage of coupons for things you would buy anyhow.
    Coupons can save you a nice bit of money on the things you need.
  6. Don’t buy things you don’t need just because you have a coupon.
    Buy what you need, not just what is at a good price.
  7. Know who, if anyone, doubles coupons.
    This is harder to find than it used to be, but if a store near to you does it, take advantage if the price is then the best.
  8. Know the regular prices and what a good sale price is.
    Any time you can get something for it’s best sale price, you’re doing pretty well, and the more you can avoid the regular price on most foods, the better. I also have just general guidelines such as “most fruits and vegetables should be under $1/pound, under $0.75/pound is better”. A lot of people keep notebooks so they always know if the price is good. I’ve seen stores drop a price $0.01 and call it a sale.
  9. Plan at least an occasional vegetarian meal.
    Meatless meals generally cost a lot less. One of my favorites is called Sand and Shells, and the kids just wolf it down. Most of the ingredients are *ahem* dirt cheap in my area.
  10. Take advantage of your freezer space.
    I love keeping meat in my freezer that was bought at cheap prices so I don’t have to buy so much when the prices aren’t so good.
  11. Check out farmer’s markets.
    Sometimes the prices are great, sometimes not so great. But know what you have in your area.
  12. Garden.
    Not easy for everyone, but if you have the space and are willing to give it a try, you can produce your own food for reasonable prices. Note it may take a while for you to regain your investment. But if you compost your other food scraps you will have a great natural fertilizer, saving one expense as well as concern about chemicals. It may also help your kids to see where their food comes from, and some even eat their vegetables more eagerly.
  13. Make your own mixes.
    Spice packets and other mixes can cost significantly more than what the individual ingredients cost. Mixing up your own is pretty easy, especially since many from scratch recipes are readily available online.

And a bonus tip, just because I thought of it…

Don’t buy in more bulk than you’ll actually use. It’s not a good deal if you paid more and used less than is made up for in savings.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

January 16th, 2008

Wordless Wednesday – First Shave

first shave

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

January 10th, 2008

13 Things I Try To Do Every Day Working at Home

I love working at home. It’s exhausting, but well worth the tradeoffs to be able to have the kind of time for my family that I can take at need.

The daily routine can be a bit challenging at times. These are some of the things both in terms of my business and home life I try to do daily. It’s definitely not the full routine.

  1. Play with the kids.
    Can’t forget this one. Being able to have a little fun with them is the biggest reason to work at home.
  2. Post on this website.
    Well, this is likely to be 5 or 6 out of 7 days a week, not really each and every day.
  3. Check basic website stats.
    I don’t check all stats daily; that would take too much time. But a quick glance to be sure everything is running well is important. I go over things in more detail weekly.
  4. Check email.
    The trick to this one is to not do too much of it. I try to keep it to once or twice a day, unless I’m actively communicating with someone by email.
  5. Post on other sites of mine.
    Which ones varies. This site gets more attention than the others do; it’s my favorite.
  6. Read relevant blogs in my areas of interest.
  7. Follow my writing schedule.
    I plan out the kinds of writing I do at different times, such as writing articles for article marketing.
  8. Make meals for my family.
    We hardly ever eat out. My daughter rarely buys lunch at school, although she always wants to. It just makes more sense to make it.
  9. Read to my kids.
    I have a simple rule when I work during the day – if the kids interrupt me because they want a story, I stop as soon as possible. Similarly for games and such, but that’s balanced by making sure they know how to entertain themselves as well.
  10. Get some exercise.
    I walk my daughter to and from school on school days. Other days I try to find something else active to do.
  11. Take advantage of quiet time.
    If the kids are sleeping or out of the house, that’s serious working time. This is harder in the evenings, with my husband home, but still possible.
  12. Clean.
    This is good for those times I know the kids are going to be interrupting me a lot anyhow, although things like sweeping and mopping are best done with them not so underfoot.
  13. Get some downtime.
    Can’t be working all the time, even though it’s often tempting. I love what I do!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

January 9th, 2008

Wordless Wednesday – Big Wine

big bottle of wine

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.