Connie and Bill Dolloff's Blog
Everyone knows it's a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, but we all do it occasionally!
Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach not only causes you to spend more, but it weakens your resolve to avoid foods with empty calories and unhealthy ingredients. When hunger pangs undermine your self discipline, you may also be more likely to buy a jumbo bag of potato chips, pick up a block of cheese and some crackers along the way, and maybe order a pound of Genoa salami while at the deli counter.
Then, of course, there are all those chocolatey temptations at the checkout counter -- peanut butter cups, for example! Maybe you're stronger willed than that, but I know plenty of people who are not!
Although I haven't read any scientific studies on the topic, I'd make an educated guess that when you go grocery shopping hungry, there's a tendency to buy more food than you ordinarily would -- probably to compensate for your hunger. So perhaps having a healthy snack first or going grocery shopping after breakfast or lunch would be a good strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of food shopping on an empty stomach.
Here are a few more ideas for saving money and limiting junk food purchases:
- Create a grocery list and stick to it! That's often easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of food you buy. Impulse purchases may provide immediate gratification, but they can wreak havoc on your waistline and your budget.
- Avoid bringing your children grocery shopping, whenever possible. When childcare is not available, there's no way around it. However, with kids in tow, expect to be buying "a few" additional items that you hadn't planned on. Try as we might to resist the requests, suggestions, and demands our kids make at the grocery store, it's not unusual for a parent's resolve to weaken -- especially if they happen to be tired or stressed out. A lot depends on the age of your children, how persistent they are, and whether they're hungry when you're out food shopping. Many factors come into play!
- Using coupons and taking advantage of discounts, special promotions, and two-for-one sales can noticeably reduce your grocery bill and, consequently, leave more money in your wallet. It may require that you pore over weekly newspaper inserts, clip coupons, and keep them organized, but getting in that habit can help reduce the strain on your household budget. It also pays to shop at supermarkets that offer double coupons. They're often the ones that are the most competitive and willing to help you stretch your dollar.
So if you've been noticing more junk food appearing in your kitchen cabinets, and your grocery bill seems to be taking on a life of its own, consider some of these economical ideas to help reign things in.
If you’ve recently purchased a new home, congratulations! The hardest part and most stressful part of the process is behind you. But moving day can still be difficult, especially if you’re moving with kids, pets, or over a long distance.
Today, we’re going to provide you with a moving day checklist in hope that you’ll personalize it to your own needs, making your moving day as smooth a process as possible.
Not all of the items on the list will apply to everyone, but we can guarantee that if you follow most of our guidelines you’ll be able to sleep more soundly the night before your move and rest assured once you’re in your new home that everything has been taken care of.
Before the big day
The weeks leading up to moving day are an important time to iron out all of the details of your move. It includes making arrangements for pets, setting and confirming appointments with movers, and making sure your all of your belongings are accounted for. Consider this your pre-moving day checklist:
Meet with your family and make your master schedule and to-do list. This could include things like sending change-of-address forms, calling your doctors to update your address, setting up an appointment with cable and internet companies, and so on. Doing all of these things before the move will make moving day much simpler.
Hire your movers early. Don’t wait until a week before the move as some may already be booked for the day. A day or two before the move, call to confirm your appointment and double check to see if the movers require anything else from you before the move. Confirm your current and future addresses with them, as well as routes if it’s a long distance move.
Also for long distance moves, plan an itinerary for things like driving and fuel breaks, hotels, food, etc.
Clean house. Have a yard sale, donate used items to charity, and put unwanted items in your front yard for free. You don’t want to move more than you need and leaving junk at your old home isn’t polite and might be a violation of your contract.
In the weeks leading up to your move, use or discard old pantry items or frozen food. You don’t want to be moving a lot of groceries to the new house, especially perishables.
If you have pets who aren’t used to leaving home, get them used to the new house if possible and have them stay with a friend or pet care facility on moving day to avoid them getting lost or in trouble.
On moving day
Once moving day is here, if you’ve followed the items above, everything should run somewhat smoothly. Here are some checklist items for moving day.
Pack a bag with items you’ll need the first day of your move that can be easily accessible. This includes toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, toilet paper, etc.
Do inventory for your boxes. Odds are you won’t forget any, but having a correct count at your new home will set your mind at ease.
Bring nutritious snacks like granola bars (moving is hard work).
Don’t lift heavy items alone.
Use sliders to move big items to avoid scratching your floors.
Show your helpers they’re appreciated (pizza is always a good “thank you”).
Whether you're selling a home or buying one, the amount of storage space a house offers can have a major impact on its perceived value. Even if you're a first-time home owner who hasn't had the chance to accumulate a lot of clothes, household supplies, and other possessions, you can be sure that's not a permanent condition -- especially if you have a growing family!
So if you're looking for a new home to settle into, storage space will become increasing important. If, on the other hand, you're preparing to sell your home, then showcasing and enhancing storage space will help increase its marketability.
Everyone Loves Big Closets
Walk-in closets are considered a highly desirable feature because they not only accommodate a large and growing wardrobe, but they offer a lot of functionality from shelves, compartments, and other storage areas. They can also be customized to suit individual needs and preferences. The fact that walk-in closets are separate from the master bedroom also creates a feeling of spaciousness and luxury. The additional space and storage features make it easier to keep clothes organized, fresher, and in better overall condition. If clothes are squeezed together in a small closet, they tend to wrinkle faster, become mustier, and are harder to find -- especially when you're running late for an appointment!
Other Valued Storage Areas
Basements, attics, backyard sheds, and two-car garages are great places to store sports equipment, tools, supplies, appliances, old furniture, toys that your kids have outgrown, and other items you're not quite sure what to do with. The big challenge is to avoid accumulating clutter and hoarding things you don't need. Finished basements and attics are especially appealing to many home buyers because they provide additional living space and are more aesthetically pleasing than unfinished areas.
Basement Problems and Remedies
One cautionary note to keep in mind when storing things in a basement is that excess moisture and humidity can wreak havoc on everything from photo albums and old books to musical instruments and framed paintings. One solution is to monitor the moisture level with a hygrometer and install a dehumidifier to extract excess moisture from the air. While other measures may need to be taken to assure a dry basement environment, these two steps should help improve conditions dramatically. If mold is present on your walls, wood structures, or cardboard boxes, then you can be sure it's not a favorable environment for storing anything of value. Most wet basement problems are correctable, but professional and sometimes expensive solutions often need to be sought.
So assuming you don't have water in your basement and bats in your belfry, then lots of storage space will make your home easier to sell and more enjoyable to live in!