Smart food shopping in training/Yael Chamay February 10, 2011
I found this article that can be very helpful to all…
Smart food shopping in training
More than half of all grocery purchases are unplanned! No wonder creating and sticking to a list can bring down grocery costs.
Make a list — and stick to it.
This is the cardinal rule of shopping. The list represents your grocery needs: When you stray from the list, you’re buying on impulse, and that’s how shopping trips get out of control. Sure, a magazine only costs $5, but if you spend an extra $5 every time you make a trip to the supermarket, you waste a lot of money.
Compare unit pricing.
The biggest package isn’t always the most cost-effective. Stores know that consumers want to buy in bulk, and so they mix it up: sometimes the bulk item is cheaper, sometimes it’s more expensive. Compare the FAMILY pack volume to the regular pack , are you really getting more for the money?
Don’t examine things you don’t need.
The more you interact with something, the more likely you are to buy it, says Paco Underhill in Why We Buy: “Virtually all unplanned purchases…come as a result of the shopper seeing, touching, smelling, or tasting something that promises pleasure, if not total fulfillment.” Do you know why grocery stores place those displays in the aisles? To intentionally block traffic. They want to force you to stop, if only for a moment. It only takes a few seconds to stare at the cookie pile to convince you to buy them. Stay focused.
Discard brand loyalties.
Be willing to experiment. You may have a favorite brand of diced tomatoes, for example, but does it really matter? Go with what’s on sale for the lowest unit price. You may find you like the less expensive product just as well. If you try a cheaper brand and are disappointed, it’s okay to return to your regular brand.
Better yet, try the store brand. Generic and store brand products are cheaper than their name-brand equivalents and are usually of similar quality. But do you know why you’re reluctant to try generics? The power of marketing. Most generics have unappealing packaging. If they cost less and taste the same, who cares?
Use coupons wisely.
Coupons really can save you money. But you have to know how to use them. Clip coupons only the things you need — staple foods and ingredients — not for processed junk food. Learn to use special coupons.
Make one large trip instead of several small ones.
Each time you enter the grocery store is another chance to spend. By reducing the frequency of your trips, you’re not only avoiding temptation, but you’re also saving money on overhead (time and fuel).
Check your receipt.
If you are not like me , pay attention to the person at the cashier making sure they don’t scan your item twice.
In Why We Buy, the author notes that people tend to buy more when shopping in groups than when shopping alone. “But men are especially suggestible to the entreaties of children as well as eye-catching displays.” Kris complains that we always spend more on food when we shop together. She’s right. If possible, shop alone.
Shop on a full stomach.
Studies show that folks who shop when they’re hungry buy more. This is certainly true for me: If I go to the store for milk on a Sunday morning without eating breakfast, I’m likely to come home with donuts and orange juice and Lucky Charms, too.
A Winter Vacation January 20, 2011
A winter trip
So winter vacation came and with a lot of planning we are set to go.
3 families and 3 cars loaded to the roof with ski equipment, coolers, blankets, gadgets and smiles that can light up any dark sky.
You would imagine that once on the road the goal was to drive straight to Vermont (about 3 ½ or 4 hours drive) but as organized as we are, we planned a stop at COSTCO and purchase all the food needed to feed this bunch. Oh boy ……. Let the kids out of the car and into Costco……. Result: 8 kids stacking all sorts of things on to the carts. “We need cookies, how can we not get this chips” as they put stuff into the cart, Shiri and I took them out. An hour later we are on our way. But an hour later into the road trip….. ” I need coffee, I need tea, I need to pi, and can we stop?” So we pulled at the rest stop .
Finally, we arrived. The view was amazing, white powder dressing up the trees, the roofs filled with snow; you can clearly see the ski trail.
We rented a very nice house that can accommodate all of us. Everybody grabbed something and we ventured inside , the kids ran in as I make a silent prayer for a clean environment ( you never know what you get when you rent a house from a website). To my surprise it was exactly as the pictures but only with one surprise.
The owner of the house was a cow collector, yes I said COW, I am not kidding they had cows in pictures, cows as stuffed animals, kitchen gadgets, door stoppers, cow vacuum cleaner, cow broom, cow dust pan, cow wall paper, cow pillows, cow light switch, entrance cow, cows on top of the fire place, even a cow manikin in the middle of the living room (that Ron was scared of so Shiri had to turn it facing the wall). It was a cow invasion.
I declared myself the designated cook, I am the only member of the crew that is not ski friendly ,I needed to get some office work while on vacation plus I was going to take ONLY ONE SKI lesson just to have it checked on my bucket list. I was pretty happy with the indoor cow environment.
I have to admit I was petrified of taking the ski class, I am a control freak and the day of the class I was getting the butterfly on my stomach feeling. How will I stop, what if I fall, what if I need to pi in the middle of the mountain, what if I am so uncoordinated that I will not learn at all. STOP ! Think positive, you can do it, one class what is the worst that can happen? Think of something else!!!!!!!
I am happy to report that I took the class, my mind was set to nail it, I did not fall, I did not freak out, I did not pi at all. I was so surprised and confident, it felt SO GOOD. Learning to ski…. CHECKED
We spent 5 days in the cow house, eating like pigs (I fed everybody from schnitzel, hamburgers, matzo ball soup, pasta & deli sandwiches with the help of my sous- chef Shiri). Tal even made cookies, yummy .
At night we played Pictionary and found ourselves screaming the answers before the sand clock completed the minute. A shesh besh match between fathers & sons was the highlight. The fathers thinking that they have more experience and can conquer any opponent ( ha ha ha) , kids putting on a Kippa to win the match ( luck is needed at this point) . My husband losing the game to and my son …… priceless.
As the trip came to an end and with sad faces to go back home, we all bonded, friends & family, we had a great time. The cows did not follow us home (thank G-d).
Next trip ….. Laufer’s/ Sofer’s please lets pick a tropical location xoxoxo.
From any family trip you will always get great memories, and with time these are the stories that your kids will remember and cherish forever.
Photography classes by Nitsan Tal January 19, 2011
Many times I had friends ask me to help them figure out why they can’t get good pictures with their cameras. The pictures may be too dark, too light, out of focus or blurry. Many times they assume they just need to invest in a better camera but mostly that’s not true.
So…I would like to offer a photography class for beginners. I will call it “beyond Auto mode”.
The class will cover the basics of camera controls, Aperture, shutter speed, lens length, ISO, what they mean, what they do and when to use what, how to get better pictures indoors and outdoors, use of cheap or home-made accessories to better control difficult light conditions etc.
The only equipment needed for the class is a camera with manual shooting mode.
Classes will be held once a week in Old-Tappan, every week I will give a shooting assignment to reinforce the concepts that where taught, and we will look at the resulting pictures together and discuss them. Every class will be 90 minutes, the initial series will be of 5 classes, the cost 35$ per class. Class size will be small (5-6 people) so I can pay attention and answer all questions.
If you are interested, please send me contact info (e-mail is best), do you prefer morning (10:30-12:00) class or evening (8-9:30)?
Nitsan Tal Photography
My web site: www.nitsantal.com
Achinoam Nini coming to NYC December 28, 2010
Hi everybody ,
We are starting the new year in NYC on January 10, 2011, with a concert at the City Winery, 155 Varick street between Spring and Vandam, at 8 pm.
A very classy place.
we are doing an acoustic set featuring a very talented young pianist by the name of Hila Kooilk.
Always exciting to play in the city of my childhood. So strange, as I sit in my home by the sea in Israel, with three children and 20 years of career behind me and dreams of peace in the middle east before me, that once upon a time I was a little girl that called NY home and wandered her streets with a mixture of confidence, wonder and longing in my dark eyes… (that much hasn’t changed! …)
Whoever is in the big apple, we would be so happy to see you…!
Until then, happy new year and may only good things come your way.