15 Clever Ways To Save On Your Grocery Bills

15 Clever Ways To Save On Your Grocery Bills was originally published  on http://www.littlematrix.com

The best way to save on your monthly budget is to be conscious of what you spend on groceries.

Here are the things to keep in mind and lookout for to save big on your grocery bills.

1. Collect Coupons: You can collect coupons in supermarket sale flyers, magazines, newspapers or online. If you are in Australia, you can also join the Cashback club Cashback Club for free to get discounts on your groceries and also clothing, insurance and even home loans!

2. Follow supermarkets on Social Media: Nowadays, most are active on Social Media where they post special deals and promotions. For instance, you can ‘like’ their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter to make sure you get all their updates.

3. Create your weekly menu based on what’s on sale: Once you know what’s on sale, create your menus for the week keeping those discounted items in mind.

4. Make a List: Don’t just browse the aisles, if you are anything like me, you will end up spending on something you already have in the cupboard! Instead, after you have created your menus for the week, add all missing ingredients to the list. If you stick to your list you won’t spend more than what you budgeted for.

5. Use Applications: There are also applications for iOS and Android to help make your shopping lists and menu planning. Anylist, Grocery List by Hensoft, Out of Milk, Grocery IQ.

6. Buy what’s in Season: When you buy fruit and veggies while they are in season, they are not only fresh as they are most likely grown locally but they will cost less as there is good supply.

7. Buy Home brands: Did you know that a lot of the home brand products are made by popular brands on the same production line? Often the only difference is the label! In many cases, the home brand is just as good as other popular brands and cost half the price.

8. Take advantage of sales on non-perishables: Another way to make your groceries last longer is to buy frozen fruit and veggies, pasta, preserves and other non-perishables when they are on sale.

9. Avoid pre-prepared meals: Those may save you time but certainly do not save you money. Did you know the mark-up can reach up to 50%? Preparing your own meals is not only cost effective but you get to choose the ingredients and you know there are no added preservatives.

10. Go meatless at least one night a week: Meat is among the most expensive component of a meal. If you tend to serve meat at every dinner, try to go meatless at least one night a week.

11. Wash, cut & prepare food yourself: All packaged pre-cut fruit and vegetables are a lot more expensive and don’t last as long.

12. Always double-check your receipt at the store: Prices are not always entered correctly in the system. Make sure the right price is being recorded on your receipt including any discounts. If you did not go through self-serve, take another look at your receipt before leaving the store to make sure the right amounts and prices have been entered.

13. Do one BIG shop for the week: This is great as you won’t keep on going back to the supermarket for things here and there and won’t spend on things you don’t really need. Plus, you won’t waste as much food. When you think about it, how many times have you pushed food at the back of the fridge to make room for more only to find it couple weeks later once it’s gone bad!

14.Compare price vs size or quantity: Remember it’s not because you buy the biggest size it’s necessarily the cheapest option. Always look at the price per 100g or per 100 sheets( toilet paper, paper towel etc)

15. Separate Ethylene producing food items: Have you ever noticed how some fruit and veggies don’t last as long as others? That’s because some are more sensitive to Ethylene produced by other items. Ethylene is a gas that can cause other produce to become spotted and soft. All you have to do is separate these 2 groups for the Ethylene sensitive group to last longer.

Ethylene Producing

  •  Apricots
  •  Avocados
  •  Bananas
  •  Honeydew melons
  •  Kiwi fruit
  •  Mangoes
  •  Nectarines
  •  Papayas
  •  Peaches
  •  Pears
  •  Plums
  •  Rockmelons
  •  Tomatoes

Ethylene Sensitive

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and other greens
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Watermelons


Preparing for Your Baby: Everything You Need for Your Newborn

A visit to a baby store can be overwhelming for new parents, with a virtually infinite array of baby supplies of every stripe. Babies require lots of supplies, but not nearly as many as the sales consultant at your local baby store might have you believe. Decorations, tons of cute clothes and a lot of toys are great if you can afford them, but the truth is that you really only need the basics in order to give your baby a great start. Here are the things you absolutely must check off of your baby-shopping checklist.

Feeding Supplies
Newborns need to eat, and many parents are surprised at how much their babies eat! If you’re planning to breastfeed, you’ll need the following supplies:

Feeding Supplies
Newborns need to eat, and many parents are surprised at how much their babies eat! If you’re planning to breastfeed, you’ll need the following supplies:

• Breastpump—most parents find that electrical breastpumps are easier to use, though they also tend to be more expensive. Consider renting one.
• Breastfeeding bottles
• Breast milk storage containers. While many people simply store their breastmilk in bottles, it’s safer to store them in storage bags or specialty breastmilk containers which can be used for freezing the milk.
• Breastfeeding pillow
• Breastfeeding cover
• Nursing bra and nursing pads

Despite the benefits of breastfeeding, time and convenience considerations cause some parents to choose formula instead. If you’re planning to use formula, or if you plan to use a mix of breastmilk and formula, you’ll need the following:

• Bottles. The more bottles you can afford, the better, because this means fewer washings
• Bottle sterilizer
• Brush bottle cleaner
• Infant formula. Consult with your pediatrician about the best choice for your needs, and buy at least three canisters in preparation for your baby’s arrival.

You don’t need baby food, teething biscuits or other items for a newborn; The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies should not have solid foods until they are six months old.

Transportation Supplies
You’ll need supplies to transport your baby the moment you bring her home from the hospital, so make sure you have everything loaded up in your car. Items you’ll need include:

• Carseat. Make sure the seat is installed properly. Many police and fire stations will show new parents how to install carseats for free.
• Stroller
• Baby backpack or carrier. While this is optional, many parents find that it’s easier to wear their babies than to maneuver strollers through crowded areas.

Diaper Supplies
In the first few months of your child’s life, you’ll go through hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of diapers. To make diapering easier, get the following:

• Boxes of diapers in several sizes. Your baby will quickly outgrow her newborn diapers. If you have a preemie, you may need to buy diapers especially for very small children
• Diaper rash ointment
• Baby wipes
• Hand sanitizer
• Changing pad or changing table
• Diaper genie or sanitizer. While this is optional, it can make diaper changes easier and cleaner.
• Diaper bag with a wet bag compartment for dirty diapers you can’t throw away

Health and Comfort Supplies
Every new parent quickly learns that a fussy baby can ruin an otherwise wonderful day. Stock up on these supplies to minimize crying and distress.

• Baby swaddler in several sizes. Wrap this around your baby to help her sleep
• Pacifier. Some breastfeeding parents opt not to use pacifiers
• Humidifier
• Infant first aid kit
• Nasal bulb to clear baby’s sinuses
• Thermometer
• Baby bath tub to attach to the sink
• Tear-free baby soap and shampoo
• Soft-bristled baby brush

Best money saving tips

As a mom, you will find that a lot of opportunities are created for you to spend money and in most cases unnecessarily. It is always good practice to be mindful about the money you spend or the things you spend your money on. If you take time to consider your spending habits, you will notice that by making a few changes, you will be able to save money.

Below are some of the best money saving tips that you can try out.

Do not always carry money when you go out
As mothers, we obviously require time with our friends to catch up or simply unwind. Try to make it a habit that you do not carry money or a lot of money when you go out with friends. Although in some cases, your friends might suggest going shopping (which you might want to do as well), at other times, also suggest going out to the park or the library. In the event that you are persuaded to go shopping, if you do not have money, even window shopping will suffice; you will find that most things that you normally buy are not even necessary anyway. If you have a little bit of money, you will not spend much.

Save on electricity and water bills
In general, people have a tendency of leaving their electrical equipment and lights on when they are not using them or when it is not necessary to do so. One of the best ways to save on your electricity bills is to turn off the lights and other electrical equipment when you are not using them. You can also cut your water bill by simply washing big loads instead of washing multiple smaller loads. This might seem like you are not saving much, but in the long run you actually will be saving money.

Try buying your groceries in bulk
Although it might seem convenient to buy individually wrapped food items or you are just used to going to the grocery store every other day, it is actually better to buy your groceries in bulk. Buying fewer items at a time can actually drive up the price. So, for instance, make it a habit to do your main grocery shopping once a month. That is when you buy all your non-perishables, frozen items, meats and pantry samples. You will notice that if you take care of most of the grocery bill at the onset of the month, it will help your monthly budget.

Try rummage sales every now and then
The idea really is not to stop you from enjoying your hard earned money, but it is always good to save money. So, once in a while, instead of buying new items, try a rummage sale. You will be surprised to find good clothing items there; even for your children. You can also find nice shoes and toys at a rummage sale. Just make it a point that you clean and disinfect them before use.

Top 5 Favorite Activity Ideas for Kids

Having kids does not only mean that you feed them and protect them from danger. As a parent you also have to ensure that your children are constantly active and that they just don’t sit and watch TV. Being active does not only benefit children physically, it also benefits them mentally as well.


However, it can be a bit tricky to figure out the types of activities that your kids can engage in. Basically, activity ideas for kids can be divided into indoor and outdoor activities. These two categories can then be further divided into sub-categories.

For instance, under indoor activities, there are sub-categories such as family activities, reading and writing and imaginative play just to mention a few. Under outdoor activities, there are sub-categories such as backyard play and water play just to mention a few.

Family activities
There are so many activities you can engage in as a family. For instance, you can do the Spaghetti Dance. You can do this dance whenever you prepare spaghetti in your house. Your children will be copying exactly what the spaghetti does; how it dances and swirls in the water. Another fun game is the Two Truths and a Fib. Basically what you will be doing when playing this game is figuring out which statement is false. There is also a game called Musical Animals, another version of the popular Musical Chairs game.

Reading and writing
When it comes to reading and writing you can play a game called Just Jokes. What you simply do is that you make a joke book in which you showcase your children’s favorite jokes. This will also assist your kids to build their drawing and writing skills. Another fun game is called When I Grow Up. With this game you will basically have your children write down what they think their lives will be like when they grow up. There is also a game called the Happiness List. This allows children to list all the things that make them happy.

Imaginative play
This category includes games such as Animal Dress-Up. Basically, with this game, you will allow your child to play dress-up with dolls and stuffed animals. Another game is Make a Sentence. This is a fun activity to do with your children. Basically, you will be telling stories by creating a story on the fly.

Backyard play
Backyard play involves activities such as After School Olympic Games. This is a popular game at kid’s parties where they take part in Olympic-type games. Another popular game is Fox and Geese. To play this game of tag, you will require four or more players as well as a big open area of snow.

Water play
Your kids can also play water games such as Backyard Water Games. The games are fun and they keep the children cool during those hot summer days. You can even take part in a bubble blowing contest with your children. Another fun party activity is river rafting. Your children can make a raft using plastic bottles.

Tips for Families Relocating to Another Country

Relocating to a new country can be a bit unnerving. This is largely because, even though there are greener pastures in another country or even if you do not have a choice but to relocate, home is always best. There is something about being surrounded by your loved ones and knowing that they are there for you through thick and thin which makes life so much easier. However, at the end of the day, some things cannot be avoided, and that includes relocating to a different country. If you are moving to another country, the tips below can be of assistance to you.

Conduct some research
One of the first things that you need to do months or weeks before your move is to conduct some research about the country or area you will be relocating to. In most cases, if not all, it is the first few weeks in a new country that are the hardest. A lot will be going on in your life mentally and psychologically. You are bound to experience culture shock and you will be feeling lost and alone. In other words, it will be an overwhelming experience for you. However, you can minimize such effects buy doing some research. Read books, go to travel sites and read newspapers from the country you are going to. It is important to familiarize yourself with the country that you will be relocating to.

Go to a language class
If you are relocating to another country as a family, it probably means that you will be there forever or for a long time. It would be a good idea therefore to sign up for a language class so that you can learn the language that is spoken in the country you are moving to. This is especially important for children as they will need to quickly blend in with the other children in that country. In the event that you already speak the language, just join a book club.

Take care of everything before leaving home

Make it a point that you take care of any unfinished business before relocating to another country. For instance, if you have any unpaid bills, make sure that you sort them out before leaving because it will be difficult for you to handle the situation when you are outside the country. So take care of all your obligations before relocating.

Try to lower your expectations
People have different reasons for relocating. However, whatever your reasons might be, before you actually go to another country to live there, have reasonable expectations. Just like with every other country, you will realize when you relocate that there will be benefits and downsides associated with that country. This is not to say that you should not be optimistic about where you are going. Just have reasonable expectations.

Carry sufficient funds
Relocating is hard on its own, and money problems will just worsen the situation. In order to avoid unnecessary financial stress, make sure that you have all your finances in order. In other words, before you move, do some careful financial planning so that you and your family will not suffer in another country.

Have a look at Internations.org for more information on relocating your family. If you are traveling with young children you can find useful tips on flying with a baby at littlematrix.com

All the best for you and your family in your new adventures!

Easy Way to Make Extra Cash Playing the Best Online Casinos

Happy Mom Playing Online
Nowadays, there are so many ways that one can make extra cash. This largely has to do with the advent of the internet which has created many opportunities for people to make money. There are people who are under the impression that it is impossible to make decent cash via the internet. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. For instance, there are many individuals who are making decent money as freelancers online. Another way that you can make extra cash is through online casinos. If you are a stay at home mom who has a few hours to spare every day, this could be the fun option for you. However, although there are plenty of good online casino sites, there are also some which have managed to gain a bad reputation. So if you want to enter the world of online casinos, it is best that you opt for the best online casinos.

Know your Game
If you have never played online casino games before, it is important to do a bit of research regarding online casinos. Basically, online casino is a mechanism of gambling that is internet based. Through online casino, you are given an opportunity to play in a virtual environment. Online casino is comprised of a number of classic games such as Poker, Slots, Blackjack and Roulette. Basically, there are two forms of casinos; Download Casinos and No Download Casinos. Most online casinos are Download Casinos which require you to download as well as install a free software program prior to playing. With No Download Casinos you will be offered instant play from any browser with the use of Java or Flash technology.

Consider the Sites’ Software
When choosing the best online casinos, take into account the software they use as this is an indication of whether or not a site is reliable. Some of the reputable software providers are Boss Media, Playtech and Cryptologic. You can be assured that with a reputable online casino site, you can actually make extra cash.

Online Casino Reviews

Another great way to ensure that you make extra cash and also have fun in the process is to look at online casino reviews of various sites prior to choosing a specific site. Through online casino reviews, you will get an indication of what the games are all about and how you can actually make money. Online casino reviews will also help you choose the best games and strategies, especially if you are still a beginner.

Examples of Some of the Best Online Casinos
When ranking online casinos, there are various factors that are considered. These include customer service, the payout percentage of games, the variety and number of games, game features and the software used. Some of the high ranked casino sites are Royal Vegas, Jackpot City, Spin Palace, 888 Casino and Mansion. Remember that as much as you would want to make money out of online casino games, you should also have fun while playing the games.

Top 3 Challenges of Starting a Home Business and How to Overcome Them

Work from home mom
Starting a business is no easy task. It requires a lot of dedication, patience and the ability to overcome obstacles which you will most likely face. Even the greatest businessmen and businesswomen will tell you that during the first couple of months or years of implementing their businesses they had to face and overcome great challenges. However, be that as it may, in order to be a success in whatever you do in life, you require that spirit of perseverance despite the odds. As long you have a vision and you are willing to do anything to make that vision or dream a reality, you can overcome any obstacles and achieve your business goals. Below are some of the challenges of starting a home business and how to overcome them.

It Will Take Time Before you See Results
The fact of the matter is that any business plan or venture that will ultimately be a success in the long run will start off on a slow if not stagnant pace. It normally takes time before you begin getting the type of income that can support you. What that means is that you need to plan ahead financially for those starting months. So, you should make it a point that you have set aside enough money to sustain both the business and yourself for the first 4 to 6 months of starting the business. You will notice that in the long run, if you have a sound business idea and if you have done your homework regarding that particular business, you will start getting reasonable profits.

Are you Prepared to be your Own Boss?

Another factor that you need to take into account is that once you start your home business, you will essentially be your own boss. That means that there will be no one to push you around so that you can actually work. You will also be around things that can distract you, such as TV and web surfing. If you are a family person, there will be kids that can also distract you. Being your own boss requires a lot of self discipline on your part. Maybe you are the type of person who is used to following instructions.

If that is the case, you might find it very difficult to come up with your own strategy as far as your day to day schedule is concerned. You have to be a persistent hard worker if you want your business to be a success. You can overcome this obstacle by setting certain ground rules in your home, which everyone must adhere to. Also come up with a schedule for your daily routine. Also set deadlines for yourself, even if your clients haven’t given you specific deadlines. It is also a good idea to reward yourself when you meet set goals.

Do you Have the Clientele to Sustain your Business?
Another factor that you need to consider is whether or not you have the clients that will sustain your business in the long run. This all goes back to good business planning. You cannot start a home business when you do not have good clients or if there is no prospect of having such clients in the near future. Remember that business centers on clients. They are the ones who bring money to the business. So, you need to take that into account prior to starting the business.