Planning Your Week

 

Have you ever come home from work stressed, exhausted, and hungry only to decide that tonight might be a great night to order in? Do you find yourself doing this two or three times a week simply because your life is so busy? These questions aren’t meant to shame, we have all been there. Life doesn’t stop just because your day has been crazy busy. The kids still need to eat, the laundry still needs to get done and you still have a night of balancing your checkbook ahead of you. Let’s be honest, who would have time to even think about cooking with a schedule like that?

 

This is where the importance of planning comes in. When you are able to plan your meals ahead of time you won’t need to hit that drive thru window because you will already have your dinner ready, all you need to do is heat it. Even better, because everything is already set in place you can focus on other things while your food is cooking.

 

Taking one or two hours a week to plan your meals might seem like a hassle, and honesty in the beginning it might be a bit of a hassle. But this can save you hours throughout the week. Doing something once a week is a lot easier than doing it multiple times a week. One good trip to the grocery store and one afternoon in the kitchen is all you need to make an entire week of meals for your family.

 

But planning your meals is just the beginning, you can also plan your trip to the grocery store. What was once a headache can be a breeze when you have a categorized list in front of you. Make an Excel spreadsheet and list your grocery categories in bold, (frozen, produce, meats, etc.).Then put each item under the appropriate category and print it out. Not only do you have a focused list that will easily keep you on track, but your excel sheet can be a template for your future grocery lists.

 

Get Your Bulk Non-perishables Online

 

Most people don’t realize it, but a large portion of the foods you buy can be delivered right to your door – without busting your budget. Buying bulk food online is convenient and easy. Just pick the foods that you need and in a few days you will have a pretty box sitting on your doorstep.

 

Sure, you can’t do this with your refrigerated items, but you can do this with almost everything else. Dried beans, pastas, condiments, rice, nuts, dried fruits, bottled sauces, spices, and more can all be bought online. Sure, these might not be the ‘star’ of your meals, but they are all things that your kitchen can’t do without.

 

When you buy in bulk, you are paying more money up front, which can be a bit of a shock at first, but you are getting more than you would get if you were buying the regular portions of these items.

 

Basically, you are paying more now but in return you get more of your product, meaning you will have a good while before you need to restock. In the long run, this can save a lot on your budget. What’s even better is that most bulk items aren’t affected by temperature, so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling during shipping.

 

There are many online stores that will let you buy in bulk, but since you are ordering online, there are always risks involved.

 

You want to be sure that what you are buying will not be expired. You also want to be sure that it will arrive on time and is not likely to be damaged during shipping. But the biggest thing that you want to verify is the return policy, you don’t want to receive a package only to find out that it would be easier to keep an expired item than it would to go through the hassle of returning it.

 

This isn’t meant to scare you off of buying in bulk, it can be a great thing. This is just meant to show you the reasons why you should be careful who you choose as your bulk supplier. There are many stores online that sell in bulk and you want to get the best value for your money and the customer service that you deserve.

 

The easiest way to do this is to look for recommendations from others. If you have friends who eat healthy, ask them if they buy in bulk and where the shop. If you are part of an online community, tap them for suggestions. Learning from someone who has already done it is a great way to save yourself  some trial and error. And if all else fails, Amazon also ships some items in bulk, and even though they have their hiccups they are a trusted site that allows people to review the items that they buy.

 

If you choose not to buy your bulk items online, you may be able to find what you need locally.

 

Your local health food store might have everything that you need. Some stores openly offer the option of buying in bulk while others don’t advertise that this is an option. You might need to look at local websites, and maybe even call the stores to make sure they have the bulk items you are looking for. Even when you find a local bulk supplier, you may discover that they don’t carry your favorite brands. This is one reason some people choose to buy certain bulk items locally and get others online.

 

When done right, buying in bulk can be a great asset to your new, healthy lifestyle. There is a little planning involved, but it can be well worth it in the long run.

 

Getting the Most out of Beta Readers

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You’ve put a lot of effort into finding people to read your book, so don’t let that effort be wasted! Here are my tips for getting the most out of beta readers.

The first 20 to become patrons will get their name mentioned in the “thank you” section of my book. This is regardless of which tier you select. That means you can get your name mentioned (which is something only the highest level patrons get) for only $1. Yes, one dollar will get your name in my book!

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