Instead of To-Do lists, make a To-Do jar

Write tasks on little pieces of paper, fold them and when you feel like doing something productive, just pick one out at random. It’s also much more fun for kids to pick chores at random. Makes them complete different chores instead of just sticking to doing the one they find the least bothersome.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you are a former drug addict and working through recovery, voluntarily administer yourself drug tests on a monthly basis at a local drug testing center

This will create a paper trail that proves you have been clean for as long as you claim you have.
My brother is currently in this position. He got clean in 2012, but his hospital admissions records were visible in his permanent medical history. His initial application for a medical certification was rejected by the FAA. When he appealed, the FAA inquired about proof of his current sobriety. Since he had no paper record of his sobriety, he had to start taking drug tests voluntarily to prove he is sober.

The point is that as far as an employer or government agency is concerned, you are only sober for as long as you can prove you are. Your word isn't going to mean anything to these people. If you claim to have been sober for X period of time, the only way to prove it is to have a paper trail of regular drug tests performed by a certified lab testing service. Despite finishing his rehab program in 2012, my brother can only prove he has been clean for 9 months.

He pays about $65 per test and does it through Lab Corp in case anyone is wondering.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Never Toot Your Own Horn in Social Situations, Instead, Say Amazing Things About Friends and Coworkers Instead of Passive/Aggressive Digs

When I was a teenager, I picked up on the fact that most people want to be thought well of by other people. So people try to contrive situations in which they can talk about how awesome they are. On the flip side of the coin, people will often do passive/aggressive digs to denigrate their peer group, friends, and coworkers.

For instance, a group of guys are out at the bar and they run into a very attractive group of girls. Guys in the group will often start doing passive/aggressive digs at each other to make their friends seem less attractive so that they themselves will appear more attractive. Similarly, guys will start bragging about themselves...

Unfortunately, this will often have the opposite affect. You come off as a hater, conceded, immature, and insecure.

Somehow, I got it in my head early in life to just do the opposite. When I'm in those social situations, I immediately will talk my friends up. So, in that same social situation I will tell the girls, "Oh, this is my friend John, he is a ridiculously talented singer and has opened for some big time groups..." ... "and this is my friend Keith, he's a business genius, he'll be the next Jeff Bezos with the start-ups he's working on..."

When you combine the above with lighthearted self-deprecating humor, it produces amazing results.

I also do the same thing at work. I will talk my coworkers up, never lying of course, but if my coworkers have amazing abilities or are good at their jobs, dependable, etc, I will broadcast that out in work/social situations.

My results have been phenomenal. When I run into that group of attractive girls, the girls will often want to know about me and think of me as a "good guy". And at work, I seem to always cultivate a high degree of friendliness and loyalty from my coworkers and my opinion carries more weight with the execs and powers that be...

Lastly, I do the above with the utmost honesty and sincerity.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


The cool-down cycle on your dryer isn't just for your clothes

It cools the heating coils to extend the life of your dryer.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you find a locked phone, with no info on the lock screen, swap sims to find a contact

This happened to me the other day. I found a lost phone in a bunch of trees on a hike with my kids. The phone was locked, with no contact info displayed on the screen. I some generic codes (1111 etc), no luck. I called the carrier, and they couldn't give me, and didn't have any info on the guy for some reason.

So I popped the sim out of his phone, and put it into mine. I unlocked my phone, went to contact, and looked at the ones that were tied to the SIM card. Called "home", found the guy, and gave him his phone back.

Thinking twice, I figured this would be pretty obvious, but I've never actually heard of anyone doing this, and don't think it's as obvious a tip as it seems now. Hope it helps someone else.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If You're Giving Advice or Help, Never Start By Using the Word "Just"

It Sounds Extremely Condescending and May Alienate the Listener
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When thinking about purchases, consider Cost Per Use not just the price tag

Many times items with lower price tag turn out to be much more expensive if you only use it a couple times versus everyday.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Clean as you cook or don’t cook at all!

That was mind blowing for me the first time I read it.

It really helped keep my kitchen clean. Gotta wait 5 min while something is ready ? No problem, time to clean something in the meantime.

Another rule that helped me a lot is cleaning in the evening so that I wake up to a fresh kitchen every morning.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


It is important to know when to stop arguing with people, and simply let them be wrong

You don't have to waste your energy everytime.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When someone is crying or you are trying to console someone who just started crying, the first thing you should always do is get them a tissue if they don't already have one.

This may seem like a very simple life pro tip but as a teacher, whom has had to deal with many a crying child and parents, I have found if you take a therapeutic action as the first course (followed by a short time letting them collect themselves) the person almost immediately becomes more receptive to you.

I've also noticed that when people do receive a tissue they tend to release their breathe and it helps them collect themselves. I'm no expert in psychology by any means but man, this small act is something I have seen so many people miss out on, in fact, I often see most people just letting others cry without providing any tissues/napkins at all. So ya, if you see someone crying and are planning to help/console in any way, first thing you should always do is get them a tissue
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When putting coins in a machine (laundromat, vending machine, ticket machine) always start with the lowest-value coin

Now your most valuable cash doesn't get lost in case the machine is defective.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you miss a call from your boss, ALWAYS check your e-mail before calling back

Now you're prepared if they make a reference to it on the phone.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you’re feeling down about something, try to remind yourself to follow the advice you would give to someone else if they were in that situation

It’s easier to give advice than to follow it yourself. It’s harder to follow your own advice because often times, our emotions get in the way of our judgement. The next time you get into a tough situation, think about what advice you would give someone else since it might be more practical. Sometimes you have to try to think from an outsider perspective.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you play a contact sport with a high risk of head injury - volunteer as a participant with neuroscience research

They'll likely perform an MRI of your brain for free, and when/if you receive a head injury the neurosurgeon/specialist will actually have something to compare it to.
This could also likely help in work compensation cases to prove an injury wasn't pre-existing. You will also help out various aspects of research and assist in fast tracking volunteer requirements for research in neuroscience. Its a win-win situation and they may even cover travel costs.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could see a movie again “for the first time”, watch it with someone who’s never seen it

You may be surprised how effectively it enables you to view it from the perspective of someone who hasn’t seen it.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Always quantify your goals

You will be more motivated to complete the goal of solving 100 algebra problems than having a vague goal of becoming good at algebra. The former allows you to measure your progress and gives better sense of accomplishment.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If Your Cat Blinks Slowly At You, That Means They Wanted You To Know That They Feel Happy And Safe When You Are Around

Also, you can slowly blink back to reciprocate. I do this with my cat and she will usually start purring too.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you're learning a new language, learn numbers

Particularly if you're learning the language to travel with. I've been traveling for a year through predominantly Spanish speaking countries. All the language coaching apps, and a few language schools, focus a lot on nouns and verbs, which is great. But the category I find myself needing the most: numbers. What time is the bus? Number response How much is this? Number response How long will it take? Number response And learn your numbers up into the 100's and 1000's, as often currencies will be in these ranges. Happy and safe travels mi amigos. When we're allowed to again.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Dots doesn't matter in gmail ID

abc@gmail.com, ab.c@gmail.com and a.b.c@gmail.com are all the same. You can use these variations to create multiple accounts on a website when you need to have multiple accounts and the website says "the email has already been registered".
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips



Don’t force kids to hug you/show you affection

They will like you better after that.
I’ve noticed sometimes when I’m around someone’s child they will be extremely shy and their parent scolds them to give me a hug. I always tell the parent no, if they don’t want to they don’t have to and smile at the child after to show them I’m not upset and there is no pressure to make them uncomfortable. The kid usually seems very relieved and will most likely interact with you on their own basis and be a lot happier.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If someone is mad at you, give them enough time to calm down before trying to talk with them

People often don’t think logically when they are upset so trying to solve a situation while they are still mad can make matters worse quickly
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you’re having a hard time running, listen and chant (or whisper) along to marine corps cadence

I couldn’t get to a mile straight of running even though I was really trying. Until I did this. It helps with motivation, distraction from the pain, and even breathing.

This actually works with short songs and jingles that match your breathing pattern. Used to sing kookaburra song when riding my bike up hill to work to get my pace comfortable. 7 miles- up hill- through snow. Just kidding. It was very hilly though.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips



Do not underestimate or forget the power of music and it’s ability to bring you out of a bad mood, help you concentrate, help you forget or remember things and get motivated when not much else is working

I noticed years ago that great upbeat music wakes me up better than a cup of coffee, it's amazing! It also sets a good start for the day.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When you get home from work don’t sit or lay down

Probably the worst thing you can do for productivity, but if you want to be productive don’t let your body know it’s rest time. Begin doing something right away and finish what you need to then rest. It’s easier to continue being active then interrupt your rest
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When learning a new language, just speak, don't be afraid

It's ok to make mistakes, go on different Apps and find people to talk to in the language you're learning. It's free and will help a lot.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you’ve accumulated a lot of unread emails in Gmail and want to isolate them so that you can mass delete/mark as read, type “is: unread” into the Gmail ‘Search mail’ tool

You can also specify which category of email (ie: Primary, Promotions, Updates) by typing:

“is: unread category: [insert whichever category]”
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Start your day with a small win

I know it's management 101 but I have found that starting my day with any small task completed sets me up to be productive for the rest of the day.

Pick something too mundane to even add to your to do list, something that only takes a couple of minutes, and do it right away. You will be surprised how good it makes you feel!
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you're trying to learn a new language, change the audio dubbing on your streaming services to the language you're trying to learn and turn on English subtitles (or vice versa)

While we're all stuck at home, it's a good time to exercise our brains and learn a new skill. I cannot stress enough how much this simple tip has helped improve my Spanish skills. It's a very passive yet effective way of learning. It also helps you to understand "slang" terms that language learning programs often otherwise miss.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Prepare a checklist of things to do for the next day and stick to it

When we don't have other people to tell us what to do, setting goals the day before will motivate you to do things that you want and have to do.

Your checklist doesn't have to be all obligations, but finishing the level you were on, or finishing a movie. Make sure your checklist is balanced and get into a routine. Shower, deodorant, dress, all that. Itll improve your mental (and physical) state by a lot
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Introverts, in this time of self isolation,check-in with your extroverted friends

This started as a joke, I was calling my extroverted friends today. I realized that some are having a really hard time...
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Mute yourself on teleconference calls!

Now that teleconferencing is becoming a lot more commonplace, and even our kids are using it for school, there are lots of people out there that don’t realize this yet.

If you’re not muted then every sound you make can disrupt the sound quality for everyone. Also, if you’re muted, then it will help you to be more deliberate in your comments. This seems especially useful for kids (mine just started using this technology for school from home this week).
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you feel guilty about panic buying so much food, donate it instead of returning it to the store

People who feel guilty they bought too much food are returning it to the store, but the store can’t resell it. They have to dispose of it.

Instead, try donating it or giving it away. If anything you should at least just keep it, since returning it to the store is as good as trashing it yourself.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Before reaching for food, ask yourself if you're truly hungry

You could just be bored or stressed.

There is no doubt that there are a lot of people staying home due to mandate or at the very least reducing the duration & frequency that they go out. With that said, there's the potential for folks to stress eat or eat out of boredom. It should be obvious that one shouldn't overeat for health and financial reasons, but given today's circumstances:

  • Your food stores will last longer and therefore you don't have to go out as early for a food run; good for social distancing.
  • By not having to buy more food as often, it will help ease the stress on grocers in the face of all the food hoarding going on.

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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


With many of us working from home and possibly having more downtime than ever, use this time to review all you subscription based service you pay for and cancel the ones you no longer use

Or use your time to improve yourself, like, learn a new skills; so you'll be more valuable in the job market.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you suffer from any form of allergy, hay fever or Asthma, start taking a daily antihistamine

Some of the symptoms cross over with Covid and you can save yourself unnecessary worry by keeping your allergies down
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you work from home with a company-issued laptop, cover its webcam

This is especially true if the computer is managed by the company, because some unethical companies may want to monitor whether you're at your computer.

This is well-known advice for your own laptop due to the threat of malware, but you may not be thinking of your workplace as a malicious entity.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When you are offered a free trial quit before the charging period starts, even if you like the service

Most companies offer great discounts for members that were not convinced
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


There’s a song that’s been proven to reduce anxiety by 65%. It’s called Weightless by Marconi Union

The song was written and produced to slow down your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels.

Weightless by Marconi Union

Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the study verifying this information and I admit that I should’ve put more effort into verifying the info before posting this. I just did a quick google search and read a couple of articles about the study and posted it without finding the actual study. Anyways, if you are a person that found the song helpful, I’m glad it helps you.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If your company is allowing/forcing you to work from home, stay visible and productive

Layoffs may be coming, and you want to make sure your management knows you can effectively telecommute.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you're using Zoom for work or school, be aware that Zoom has an attention tracking feature

Basically, Zoom has a function that allows the leader of the meeting to be notified when a participant's Zoom window is closed/inactive for 30+ seconds.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


If you're stocking up on food and can cook, buy fresh, prepare and freeze food instead of buying instant or long life things

So many people are stocking up on store cupboard things like soup and jars of pasta sauces. If you have the time and skill to meal prep, buy fresh ingredients (which aren't selling out as much compared to long life ones) and make your own so you can freeze it for any periods of isolation.

It takes some of the pressure off dry stock levels, leaves the instant food for those that really need it (those who really don't have the time, skills or means to cook properly) and gives you healthier food which will be easy to heat if you or your family do get ill.

Veg can be super cheap when its not selling. Chop onions and potatoes and freeze them for quick food prep. Tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, courgette, carrots can be all roasted from frozen, spinach/cabbage/kale reduces loads anyway so cooking from frozen is fine.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Do some stretches if you spend most of the day sitting down

APT is awful!

Sitting down a lot can lead to APT. Anterior pelvic tilt is no joke. These last few years I thought I had a huge butt, but only recently when I went to a physiotherapist I realised how bad the problem really is. It hurts for me to sit or stand. The only time I feel relief is when I'm lying down. I've spent the last few months trying to correct it, but I'm really struggling.

Trust me if you sit down all day you really should work those hip flexors. Here is a link to some exercises you can do to prevent it so you don't end up like me: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/anterior-pelvic-tilt-exercises
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Practically all of men's pajama pants have pockets. Practically none of the women's do

If you want pockets and can find a decent fit, buy men's PJs.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


A lot of people give good advices to people but they rarely look at themselves from a third point of view

If you're ever feeling down, try giving yourself a therapy session!

I understand I could've phrased it different so my bad on the wording. Obviously, you can't solely rely on yourself for therapy and seeking help from a professional is highly recommended.

This LPT was mostly just to encourage people to take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective. There's people that would give up easily on their problem but would give helpful advice to a friend in a similar situation.

You're not using this method to completely uproot a tree of problems. You're taking a step back to look at the tree as a whole and maybe trimming away a couple of twigs or catching and acknowledging leaves that are falling.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


When storing an item you won't regularly use but will need to use at some point, pretend you are trying to find said item

The first place you would look for it is the best place to keep it safe.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


Make Irish Soda Bread if the Grocery Store runs out of Bread

Irish soda bread takes less than an hour to make and it's a very forgiving bread. Unlike some bread/pastries it still tastes good even if you mess it up.

Here is the recipe I use : https://www.recipetineats.com/no-yeast-bread-irish-soda-bread/

I substitute buttermilk for 2 cups milk and 1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice (you can also use vinegar)

The bread rises through the release of gas cause by the baking soda reacting to the lemon juice. As such, it's important to get it in the oven quickly (within 3 minutes) once you mix the wet and dry ingredients. I recommend prepping everything you need before you start mixing.

For sweeter bread:

  • 3 Cups Flour (wheat if you prefer and want additional fiber)
  • 12 Ounces Beer
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Butter (softened)
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
How to make it:

  • Sift the three cups of flour into a medium size mixing bowl (make sure that you don’t use 3 packed cups or you’ll have a much less moist bread).
  • Add all of the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well, then add the beer of your choice and the room temperature butter and blend again.
  • Lightly dust a bread pan with flour or coat it sparsely with grease and distribute your dough evenly throughout, smoothing over the top. Bake for 60 minutes at 375°.

Good luck, and stay safe!
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


The most important routine to establish is your morning routine

Developing good habits is a matter of developing patterns and routines, and just like breakfast, your most important routine is the morning routine.

If you get up everyday and make yourself a good breakfast, take a shower and get dressed like you mean to do something productive, you start your day in the right frame of mind, which will carry through the rest of the day. (That's my routine, and yours might be different, of course, but I would recommend that at the very least.)

Once you've got your good habits going in the morning, it becomes easier to establish good habits for the rest of the day, because continuing on a good run is easier than starting one.

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 LPT | Life Pro Tips


Don't put your life on hold waiting for closure on something you're struggling with

Many of life's most difficult situations don't have reasonable explanations.
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LPT :: Life Pro Tips


How to meal plan like a champ

My meal planning and grocery shopping habits are something I really pride myself on. Over the last 3 years, I've worked really hard to maximize efficiency in this area, therefore saving me a lot of time and money. I thought I would share my process and tips to help anyone out who might be struggling in this area. Please feel free to share any additional tricks you have!

Get started.
Take a look at your bank account history and add up all the money you spend on food each month. Factor in your grocery expenses, fast food, coffee, snacks from the gas station, etc. Find the average and use that as a point of comparison for how much you spend while meal planning. This part isn't mandatory but I find it really neat to compare. Commit to 1 month of meal planning. Your comparison results will be skewed if you go off track.

Meal planning
  1. First you need to think about how all the parts of you life, habits, and preferences should factor into your plan. How many people do you need to feed? How many nights do you want to cook? How long will you realistically eat leftovers for? Do you have an obligation one evening that could affect your plan? It's really important to think about all of these things and seriously consider your family's habits. For example, I won't eat leftovers twice. If I plan for that, I always end up going off track because 3 day old food is just not appealing to me. Also, I don't feel like cooking a big meal every night, so I build in an "easy" meal that I can make with my toddler that doesn't take a lot of time (think Grilled cheese and tomato soup). I also enjoy spending Sundays preparing a big meal, so I know that will influence which recipes I choose for the week.
  2. Choose your recipes. It's important to read the instructions and ingredients before adding them to your list. There is nothing more frustrating than getting home ready to make your meal, and realizing it should have been marinated overnight. Also, if you see an ingredient you are not familiar with, check google for substitutes. That way if you get to the store and they don't carry it, you already have an alternative in mind. This happens often with health foods which might only be carried at specialty stores. If you're trying to save money, consider which ingredients (such as meat) will be more costly. Bonus: If you can find recipes that use the same ingredients, this will save you money.
  3. Figure out which recipes will be made which night. I personally plan my healthier meals at the beginning of the week because I'm more motivated. By Friday, I might want some comfort food to take a load off the stress of the week. There is some flexibility to switch around meals by night, but I like to space out my meals so that I'm not eating similar things two nights in a row. If you plan to eat out, be honest with yourself and add it in your plan/budget. Don't plan 7 nights of cooking if you can't stick to it. If you plan a meal and eat out instead, you're wasting money and food. I personally plan 4 nights of real meals, 1 easy night, 1 "fend for yourself night" and 1 night of eating out.
  4. Plan your lunch. Some people meal-prep lunches at night, but I find that takes way too long. I also don't want to meal prep 5 lunches on Sunday that I am sick of by Wednesday. I always make enough dinner to have left overs for both my husband and I for lunch and plan one free day to buy lunch. I would recommend this to anyone on a budget.
  5. Plan your breakfast. The costs of coffee and breakfast sandwiches really add up. A quick, healthy breakfast is not hard to plan. I normally do oatmeal, fruit, eggs or english muffins. I pick one of those things and eat them all week. I will switch it up the following week. Each of these are good for a "grab n go" breakfast.

Make your grocery list
  1. Throughout the week, keep a sticky note on your fridge. Every time you run out of something, write it on the list.
  2. Make a list of all the ingredients from each recipe.
  3. Take inventory. Anything on your list that's already in your pantry you can cross off. If you notice your low on a staple, add it to your list. Don't forget to consider non-food essentials (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc)
  4. Add all items from your collected list from the past week.
  5. Share your list with family/roommates. They can tell if you if there is something you are forgetting or if they have a request.
  6. Now re-organize your list by department. This is important. It will help you move through the grocery store more efficiently without having to go back for something you missed. I separate mine by: Dry, Frozen, non-food, dairy, bakery, meat, and produce.
Get to the store
  1. Don't forget to grab your coupons!
  2. At the store, stay focused! If it's not on your list, don't buy it. Period. Impulse shopping is no good.
  3. Start with the inner isles. Canned goods, non-food, etc. those are heavier and nothing is worse than having cans on top of tomatoes.
  4. Finish up with bakery, meat and produce. If you are planning healthy meals, this should be the bulk of your cart. Produce is cheap relatively cheap and if you fill your cart with it, you will save money!
  5. Double check that you've crossed everything off your list before you leave!

TIP: Don't forget to buy on sale, but only if it's a smart move. DON'T "buy one get one half off" on perishable items that you won't eat within the week. DO take up good deals on your essentials (rice, frozen vegetables, oils, condiments). Make sure to compare sales. Sometimes the store brand price is already lower than the name brand sale.

There you have it! That's really my entire meal planning and shopping process. From there, all you have to do is start cooking. It takes practice to get it down, but when you've got it figured out, it starts to get easy.

Here are some additional tips I would recommend:
  1. Type your meal plan with links to recipes and save them. When you don't feel like meal planning, you can resort to the archives.
  2. If you don't have a food processor, get one! It's cheap and saves you so much prep time.
  3. Crock pot meals are amazing for those nights you want to get home and just relax. Only problem is you have to prepare them the night before or in the morning.
  4. Sign up for emails from sites like MyFitnessPal or Cooking Light. It's a great place for inspiration.
  5. Plan to have a night that you don't need a recipe for. Grilled chicken and frozen broccoli requires like... zero brainwork. After a long day, that's important.
  6. Remember that cooking is an art! Once you have enough experience in the kitchen, you don't need to spend as much time finding recipes. I'm at the point where I use recipes for inspiration, but I change them depending on my preferences.
  7. Remember to bring your lunch! What's the point in all this if you end up buying lunch everyday anyway?! Seriously, set an alarm on your phone if you have to. But DONT FORGET YOUR LUNCH.
  8. Plan desserts. I have a weakness for cookies. I actually might be addicted. If I plan in a night of cookie baking, it helps me from running to McDonald's at 9pm.
  9. Remember to stay stocked on your pantry staples. This list can help you determine what those are


 - LPT - Life Pro Tips

Always sit at the back when at a conference/convention

Newer people/less-experienced people sit at the front or in the middle of the crowd. The people you want to network with almost always sit at the back, and walk outside to meet with people, etc.

Sit toward the back, and they think you're one of them, or at least wonder. Strike up a conversation with them, and at least get some mentor-ship advice while at the conference.

The information provided during the lecture is important, sure, but usually not as important as the informal connections and negotiations happening among the big players at the back of the room.

 - LPT - Life Pro Tips