How to Save Money on Groceries

The cost of groceries for most families represents a significant part of their budgets, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some tricks to reducing a family’s grocery bill. Here are a few of them.

Shop Your Pantry

It can be tempting to go out shopping a few times a week when you’ve run out of inspiration for your meals. However, according to the Dave Ramsey website, this gets expensive, and it isn’t necessary. The next time you’re tempted to run to the store for dinner fare, run to your pantry instead. Pull a meal together with the items you find in there instead. You save money and avoid food waste by doing this.

Cook Meals in Bulk

If you buy in bulk, you know the value of big batches of food. Why not extend this practice to your meal prep by making batches of meals ahead of time and freezing them? Best of all, these make-ahead meals can be popped into the microwave and served in minutes, saving you time and money on hectic nights when you might be tempted just to order takeout.

Clip Coupons

Clipping coupons is another money-saving tactic people use to reduce food costs. If this is a habit you have or would like to develop, then take advantage of it and the savings that come with it—clip coupons for the more expensive items on your grocery list to save big bucks.

Don’t Always Shop at the Same Places

You may be loyal to your local grocers, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deals on food there. It may be in your best interest to take some time to explore what other stores in your area have to offer. Specialty stores, like Asian markets or grocery outlet stores, often have better prices and an excellent selection, making them a viable alternative to your regular store.

Final Words

According to Nerd Wallet, the average family spends over $400 a month on groceries. This alone is a reason to develop better spending habits when buying groceries. The tips on this list offer a few practical ways to do that without forcing you to make significant changes in your lifestyle. This makes them all the more powerful because you’re more likely to try some of the tips if they’re easy to incorporate.

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Originally published on JasonSheasby.net on March 28, 2022

Making Things Work When Feeding Toddlers

Parenting a toddler can be challenging, and one of the most difficult parts is feeding that child and making sure that they have enough to eat. Parents worry when their child is not hungry or when they are incredibly particular about what they will and will not eat. It is essential for a parent to know how to handle the work of feeding a toddler.

Let a Toddler Decide When They are Done Eating:

It is helpful for a parent to let their toddler decide when they are done eating rather than forcing that child to eat more than they want to. When a little one is hungry, they will eat.

Keep Trying New Foods:

No one wants their child only to eat one type of food or one food group, but toddlers can be picky. Instead of giving up on their little one, a parent should keep trying to serve the child foods that they have not liked in the past to see if they change their mind about them.

Sit with the Toddler and Eat with Them:

A child needs to see their parents eating and watch them enjoy some of the foods they are trying for the first time. Mealtime should be family time, and a parent should sit down with their little ones when they are eating.

Encourage the Toddler as They Eat:

When a child picks up a new food and puts it into their mouth, their parent should encourage them and let them know that they are proud of them. They can get the child to try more new foods by being positive and letting them know that it is a big deal when they do.

Be Patient with a Toddler at the Table:

Toddlers can be noisy while seated at the table, and some parents might not like that. A toddler needs to have parents who are patient with them and understand that it is hard for them to sit still, even if it is time to eat.

A Toddler Will Eat Differently as They Grow Up:

In time, a child will learn to eat well and enjoy mealtime. A parent simply needs to be patient during the toddler stage and continue to expose them to a variety of foods.

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Originally published on JasonSheasby.net on March 28, 2022

How to Cook with Friends — And Stay Friends!

Depending on who you ask, cooking can be a joyful way to share love and flavor with your family and friends or a dreaded chore. No matter which camp you fall into, you’ll probably agree that the task of cooking can become even more complicated when more cooks enter the kitchen. If you’re looking to share the task of creating food with a partner (or two or three sou chefs!), don’t fear — just follow a few simple steps to ensure you’re all still friends by the time the oven timer dings.

Plan Ahead

If you’re planning a large meal, like a holiday get-together, you may want to start planning very early. A few weeks before the holiday, sit down together to plan the menu. Talk about anything from breakfast to dessert and about anything that you might want for leftovers.

It’s also essential to make sure that everyone knows when they’re responsible for what will be done in the kitchen. Having everyone involved in specific tasks makes the kitchen more organized, and it allows everyone to enjoy themselves without stepping on each other’s toes.

Coordinate Groceries

Once the menu is established, break down all the dishes and figure out the ingredients you’ll need. Doing so helps avoid missing anything as it allows you to order all of your grocery items online easily, so you’re well prepared with everything you need.

Make sure that you have everything you need to make the dishes on the menu. Friends may be able to bring along a few kitchen tools that make the day easier.

Take Breaks!

Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming! Make sure everyone has time to step away from the kitchen and simply enjoy themselves or de-stress while the meal prep continues without them. Or, you may schedule breaks as a group to chat and have a glass of wine while the dish cooks.

Don’t be afraid to accept offers to help clean up.

It’s not every day that people volunteer to clean the kitchen! It may not feel like the most hospitable option, but if your friends are offering to help because you’ve been cooking away all day, let them! It’s an excellent way for your guests to show their appreciation for your efforts. 

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Originally published on JasonSheasby.net on March 1, 2022

Leadership Tips for 2022

​​It’s time to set goals and resolutions for the new year. One of these is to become a better leader. Various strategies and tips will help you improve and develop your leadership skills.

A new year is a time to set new goals. It’s also a good idea to keep everyone in the loop so that you can set realistic expectations for the following year. One of leaders’ most common mistakes is assuming that their team already knows about the big picture; this isn’t always the case. Instead, share what you’re planning on achieving with everyone in the group.

Stop Micromanaging

Good leaders know that they can count on their team to support them in any situation. This year, make it your goal to let people take responsibility for themselves without you hovering over them. Doing so will enable them to become leaders of tomorrow.

Build a Supportive Culture

One of the most crucial factors of a successful New Year is employee satisfaction. Having a supportive and growing culture is also essential to employee retention. Instead of being indifferent to their team’s efforts, leaders should start offering opportunities for them to develop themselves.

Encourage Innovation

Being a good leader is also about developing an innovative culture. This involves using technology to improve processes and make them more efficient. Fostering an environment where people are encouraged to create their own ideas is crucial for being a great leader.

Establish Accountability

Accountability is often portrayed in a negative light due to its negative connotations. Being a good leader can turn it into a helpful tool that allows employees to manage their own decisions and helps everyone meet deadlines and performance benchmarks.

Appreciate Your Employees

If your company is too big to use traditional employee recognition programs, consider implementing something like peer recognition or a monthly incentive program. Having an open-door policy is also important to cultivating innovation. Instead of holding meetings to discuss ideas, start a brainstorming session to encourage people to share their own.

It’s time to set goals and set new resolutions. As a leader, your personal goals should always encompass ways to improve the company’s performance. To help you achieve these goals, here are some of the skills that will allow you to become a great leader in 2022.

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Originally published on JasonSheasbyIrell.com on March 1, 2022

Food Trends to Watch in the Coming Year

The culinary world is always evolving, and in the coming year, we will see a slew of new trends. From the rise in vegan eating to the increase in healthy fast food, here are some interesting culinary trends to watch for in 2022.

  1. Healthy Fast Food

As people become more health-conscious, they look for healthier fast-food options. In 2022, we will see an increase in healthy fast-food chains that offer nutritious and affordable meals.

  1. Veganism

The vegan lifestyle is becoming more and more popular, and in 2022 it will be even more mainstream. We will see more vegan restaurants and grocery stores popping up in the coming year.

  1. Big-Box Supermarkets

In 2022, big supermarkets will be a much bigger part of our lives as people become frustrated with small local shops offering lower-quality produce and meat. The larger chains will provide better fresh food options at reasonable prices for many.

  1. More Ethnic Foods

In the coming year, we will see an increase in interest in foods from different ethnicities worldwide. From Ethiopian cuisine to Vietnamese street food, so much more can be offered on restaurant menus across America.

  1. Smaller Portions

In 2022, Americans will start seeing smaller portions on their plates when eating out or dining out at home. The solution is people want healthier options but don’t have time to cook every day – the solution? Smaller meals throughout the day that are both nutritious and satisfying.

  1. Locally-Grown Produce

To reduce our environmental impact, many people will be looking for restaurants that serve locally-grown produce in 2022. This trend is already popular among sustainable food advocates, and it’s only going to become more widespread in the coming year.

  1. More Seasonal Dishes

As people recognize that our seasons are changing, they’ll be looking for seasonal dishes on restaurant menus across America. To reduce wastefulness while still serving tasty options throughout the year, restaurants will turn to locally available at different times of the year.

  1. Technological Advancements

In 2022, we will see a lot of technological advancements in the culinary world. From restaurants that let you order through an app on your phone to food delivery services, there is no end in sight for new technologies making our lives easier.

  1. Less Salt and Sugar

Nowadays, people are becoming more aware of what they eat, and not just how it tastes, but also what goes into their bodies. This means lower salt content at restaurants and finding healthier sweeteners than the refined white sugar that has been used for so many years.

Crazy Foods That Hit the Shelves in 2021

Ever wonder what the future of food will look like? It’s not hard to imagine that in a few years, there will be foods on our shelves that we never dreamed existed. So, here are some crazy foods from 2021.

  1. Bug Burgers

Beetles, grasshoppers, and other creepy crawlies will be turned into patties and sold in grocery stores.

  1. Hot Dog Water

This one might sound crazy, but hot dog water is a thing. It’s made by boiling hot dogs until all the water evaporates, leaving behind a salty broth that can be used to flavor food or drink.

  1. Edible Six-Pack Rings

These rings are made from seaweed and are completely edible. They won’t harm marine life if they’re accidentally ingested, and they also biodegrade quickly.

  1. Fruit Leathers

The fruit leathers of 2021 will be made with avocado, sweet potato, and pumpkin ingredients. They are filled with healthy fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

  1. Pizza Pockets

These pockets are made by frying pizza dough until it becomes crispy before filling them with ingredients like cheese, pepperoni, vegetables, sauce, and more.

  1. Shark Burgers

Shark meat is mixed into burgers to provide a leaner alternative for red meat that provides the Omega fats necessary in your diet.

  1. “Real” Cheese Pringles

The “real” cheese pringles come from an old recipe that was recently revived using traditional methods of making cheddar cheese. This gives you the flavor without worrying about chemicals or preservatives usually added to processed foods.

  1. Vegan Sushi

This sushi is made from vegetables and fruits turned into a sticky paste. It’s then rolled up with rice and seaweed to create a delicious, vegan-friendly snack.

  1. Coconut Water Ice Cream

Coconut water ice cream is made by freezing coconut milk until it becomes solid. The result is a light, refreshing, and dairy-free ice cream.

  1. White Claw Iced Tea

White Claw, a new brand of iced tea and seltzer with four refreshing flavors: lemon raspberry mango peach, introduces their product to the market. This innovative creation combines girly drinks in one bottle so you can enjoy all your favorite summer vibes without having multiple cans or bottles around.

  1. Red Bull Dragon Fruit

In a world where people crave something refreshing and tart, Red Bull released their newest flavor, Dragon Fruit. This energy drink features the taste of summer in every sip, with hints from light floral notes on top that will make your mouth water for more.

We can’t wait to see what else the future of food has in store. In addition, you can check People.com for more crazy food items that hit our shelves.

Biggest Dining Trends of 2022

As the end of the pandemic nears, many people believe that the new year will bring joy and celebration. When asked what trends they expected to see in 2019, many chefs said COVID-19 was beneficial to their businesses.

Even though the first wave of the pandemic has passed, the industry is still dealing with various issues, such as staffing shortages and general burnout. There has also been a slew of innovations in the restaurant industry that we hope will continue. Below are some dining trends to watch for in 2022.

Restaurants Will Open Less

It’s predicted that more restaurants will close and operate fewer days a week due to a lack of skilled workers. The restaurant industry will focus more on the quality of service instead of quantity.

Menu Prices Will Go Up

Higher food prices are expected to happen as a result of the pandemic. Pre-COVID, prices were increasing at a steady pace. Due to weather and importing issues, the cost of vegetables and other goods has risen quickly.

Menus Will Get Smaller

In 2022, restaurants will start simplifying their menus to avoid increasing their food prices and waste. With the increasing cost of goods and the supply chain constraints, it’s predicted that more independent restaurants will start pushing a streamlined e-commerce menu that emphasizes local ingredients.

Restaurant Owners Will Diversify Business Models

As the pandemic spreads, more restaurants will explore new revenue streams, such as franchise models or hybrid concepts. The standalone restaurant model is not as sustainable anymore.

Tips Will Get Pooled

The front of house needs to continue to improve its compensation structure to keep up with the changes brought about by the rise of online ordering and delivery. As a result, companies are under increased scrutiny to ensure that customers’ orders are processed correctly and efficiently.

Stricter Cancellation Policies

Expect to see more restaurants implementing stricter cancellation policies and ticket sale policies in response to the increasing number of no-shows. This is one way restaurants have to make up for the rise in operating costs.

Rise In Local Delivery Services

We will see an increase in local companies’ use of delivery services. This strategy will help restaurants retain more revenue and provide better value to their customers. It eliminates the need for third-party delivery services and allows them to focus on delivering fresh food.

Article originally published on JasonSheasby.net

How to Host a Stress-free Holiday Dinner

With the holidays coming up, you might already feel stressed to impress people you haven’t seen in a couple of years post-Covid. While making memories is essential during the holiday season, here are some tips to help you relax and soak in the special time spent with family and friends instead of stressing over the little details like cooking or how your space looks.

Don’t Procrastinate!

One of the easiest ways to create stress near the holidays is by putting off necessary tasks that add mental clutter on the day of the event. Chores like setting up the table, laying out decor, etc., are all things that can be done days or weeks in advance. By creating an atmosphere in advance, you leave yourself plenty of room to focus on cooking or relaxing before your guests arrive.

Skip the Dishes

While many families center their traditions around family heirloom dishes or fine china, don’t be afraid to break tradition. After all, you’re the one who is hosting! Remind family and friends that an easier clean-up means more time visiting around the fire or playing holiday games. Do you still want something fancier than paper plates? No worries! There are tons of stores that sell disposable plates and utensils designed to look fancy. Check out your local craft stores such as Michaels for seasonal finds like these.

Go for the Premade Foods

“Nobody’s gonna know!” Unless you tell them, they won’t! If baking or cooking is not your forte, but you are asked to provide a holiday dish, check out your local bakery or grocery store for gourmet dishes. Even a frozen pie will look legitimate if you thaw it out or cook it in a real pie dish. 

If you want to avoid cooking altogether, suggest a family potluck where everyone brings a dish. You can even send out an electronic sign-up sheet for families to claim which food they would like to bring. The best part is that it also minimizes how many dishes you are responsible for cleaning up!

While the holidays are meant to be special, they shouldn’t be stressful for those willing to host. Enjoy the season!

Article originally published on JeasonSheasby.net

Fall Desserts Anyone Can Make

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. If you want to enjoy all that fall has to offer but don’t know how to do it in an easy way, this blog post might be for you! We will share four desserts that are perfect for this time of year, and anyone can make them.

1. Apple Roses

Tasty, delicious, and healthy – these apple roses are a must-make for Fall. This recipe doesn’t need many ingredients and is very easy to follow. Serve them as a dessert after your big Thanksgiving dinner! This recipe features cinnamon, which is a great spice for this time of year. The best thing about it is that there are so many variations of this recipe to try – chocolate, raspberry, or honey apple roses look especially good.

2. Caramel Apple Bars

Paleo bars with apples and caramel – pure Fall in a pan! This recipe is the perfect breakfast for cold days. These tasty bars have a crispy base made from almond flour and cinnamon. The filling is made from apples, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and salt. Follow this recipe if you’re looking for something healthy to satisfy your sweet tooth!

3. Apple Pie

Apple pie is an absolute classic in the Fall time. Make these apple pies with puff pastry to get a delicious dish that everyone will love! These pies look good and taste even better. Make sure you try them out if you haven’t already! The recipe is pretty simple and uses ingredients that we all usually have at home. This blog post features two ways of making apple pies – the first one will be perfect for people who like to experiment because it’s made from scratch with yeast dough; the second one features a standard pie crust but still tastes amazing.

4. Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel apples meet cake – this dessert is everything we expected and wanted! It’s everything we love about Fall wrapped into one delicious dessert (that’s also easy to make, bonus!). The best thing about this cake? You can make it ahead of time – it freezes well and thaws out beautifully. Just add the topping before you serve it and enjoy! A lot of people like to make this recipe because it’s moist and features a creamy caramel sauce on top.

Fall is a time for comfort food and delicious desserts. Try out some of these recipes to make your life easier! Nothing says Fall more than caramel apples, so why not try something new with the classic recipe? Either way, have fun baking and stay warm.

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

People have been enjoying wine with their meals for hundreds of years, but the concept of pairing the perfect wine with your food is a fairly new idea. Every style of wine has its own unique flavor profile and acidity level. The goal is to get a wine with a sweeter and more acidic taste than your meal. You also want the wine to match the flavor intensity of the food.

We often associate wine pairing with fine dining, but it can be done to enhance every meal. Since Thanksgiving is one of the biggest food days of the year, there is no better time to pull out the wine. You will be amazed at how much the dining experience improves with the right wine. These are the perfect wine pairings for every course of your Thanksgiving meal.

Appetizers

You will find a different assortment of appetizers at every Thanksgiving celebration. The one thing most of these small dishes have in common is the use of cheese. There is a good chance there will be several dishes using different types of cheese. Luckily, there are a few wines that pair perfectly with just about every type of cheese. Get the most out of your appetizers by drinking a chardonnay or white burgundy.

Main Course

While your main course will include several side dishes, the main star of the meal is the turkey. A pinot noir works perfectly with the mild roasted flavor of a Thanksgiving turkey. If you prefer to forgo the turkey in favor of ham during the holidays, you will need to make a different wine choice. Ham has a much sweeter flavor than turkey, especially if you add a glaze to the meat. A bottle of rosé will create a perfect match with a sweet ham because of the wine’s sweet berry flavors.

Dessert

The two most traditional desserts at a Thanksgiving meal are pumpkin and pecan pie. You will need a very sweet dessert wine to match up with the flavors of these popular pies. The only wine that can fill this role is Moscato d’Asti. The low alcohol content of this wine also makes it a great way to cap off your holiday.