Family Easter Devotional

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by Laura

Easter.  What is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Is it jelly beans?  The chocolate bunnies?  Coordinating outfits and lace gloves from your childhood?

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It is hard to get into the celebration of the true meaning of Easter, especially when there’s a ham to glaze, dress to buy, eggs to hide.

Easter afternoon just a few weeks before Malachi was born!

Easter afternoon just a few weeks before Malachi was born!

Sure, Good Friday service and Sunday morning help us reflect on the holiday that surrounds Jesus’ death and resurrection.  But, a few years ago, I wondered if there was something we could do as a family that would help visualize the events of passion week and be a fun and memorable way to anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

Supplies: Easter Basket, Bible, Paper Slips, and Towel.

Printable Version: click here! 

Good Friday

When you aren’t rushed and the kids are attentive, gather in a specific place like the kitchen table, circle on the living room floor, or a couch.  Get the family ready by saying, “It’s time to do an activity for Good Friday. We’re going to learn about what sin is and what God thinks about it.”  

If your children have a difficult time sitting still listening, you could have them color while you continue.  Here’s a few links to some coloring pages.

Then, you can share that:

When we do wrong things, when we disobey God’s law, it is called sin.

Our sin deserves God’s punishment.  God says that if we sin, we deserve death.  That sounds pretty strong-but that is God’s perfect rule.  So, Jesus, God’s son wanted to take our punishment away so that we wouldn’t have to die!  That is amazing!  Jesus died for our sin, not us.  

Then, continue with a simple scripture reading from Mark 15 about Jesus dying on a cross. Your older children could read Mark 15:1-39, but younger children will do better with Mark 15:24-37.

Transition to your activity by saying:

Today we are going to think of some of our sins that Jesus died for and write them down and put them in the basket, we will remember that Jesus took our sin away.

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Then, on the pieces of paper think of 1-3 sins/person and write each sin on a different piece of paper, then, put it in the basket.

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Examples of sin: hate, disobeying mommy or daddy, lying.

Then, read the following scripture. Romans 8:2. Cover the basket up with a towel and say, “Jesus covered our sins with his blood while he was on the cross, he took them all away, and then he died.”

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Take the basket out of the room telling the children, “Jesus died, and his body that carried our sin was taken away to be buried”. Hide it until Sunday.

Say a closing prayer thanking Jesus for taking our sin and our punishment away.

Easter

On Sunday, the basket can be filled with pieces of paper that tell what Jesus gives to those who love him (joy, peace, the Holy Spirit…), Easter eggs with treats, etc.  Anything celebratory of His resurrection!  You could hide the basket, or have them uncover it to reveal replacements inside!

Explain that “even though Jesus died as punishment for being with sin, he did not stay dead.  He had power over death.”  Read Mark 16:1-6.

Close by praying, or singing a fun song to celebrate!

Again, here’s the instructions with scripture printable.

Angela and I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your families!

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Putting Groceries Away

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by Angela

I can’t look at a jar of applesauce without thinking of a memory sooo many years ago. My husband and I had gone grocery shopping- like a Costco and Walmart Grocery store trip. My kids were young, preschool age. We had done all the shopping, pulled into the garage and realized we had to put all the things away. We knew it would feel really good when it was all done- but why does this step of putting things away always get under-estimated of how much time it would take. The kids had had enough. They were ready to be done. We were carrying in the groceries while trying to do some entertaining of the crawling baby and busy preschooler. The jar of apple sauce, the Costco size Applesauce fell out of my hands and smashed upon the floor. It was the tipping point. I joined the kids in tears! I complained at my husband because surely if he had been carrying it in it would of been fine. We fussed at each other of who was going to clean it up. Applesauce is hard to clean up! 🙂 Thankfully it fell on the tile. Accidents happen. We know can smile about the distant memory. But lets talk about the last step before the groceries are done!

1- Plan some time for it. You might want to give in at this stage to leaving it to finish later. Don’t do it!! It will feel good to be all done. Don’t try to rush it to close to another activity or to lunch. Have a lunch ready to go when you get home especially if you have kids. Power through.

2- Use the One Touch System as much as possible! Remember the One Touch Post “The One Touch System is pretty much summed up in its name. You will save time by touching an item the least amount of times.” I am especially guilty of moving the toilet paper from the car to the hallway, to the bottom of the stairs, to the top of the stairs, to outside of the bathroom closet. Why do I keep moving that package of toilet paper? I need to walk that right into the bathroom closet and put it away!!! Not look at it and touch it 4 times. Note to self. No one else is going to put it away. Resist the urge to feel self pity that everyone uses the toilet paper but no one else CLEARLY sees where you moved it in the hallway to put it away. Your kids will have years of buying and putting away their own toilet paper when they become adults. Did you put it away when you were a kid or ever thank your Mom/Dad for doing it? Ok, enough about toilet paper.  If you use reuseable bags- walk the 4 extra steps to the trunk and put them away- ready for the next time. Anyone ever hang them on the side mirrors of the car instead? I never have done that. 🙂

3- Tidy Up. If you haven’t yet, do some tidying of any leftovers in the fridge/ pantry. Start fresh with the new food for the week. If the crackers that nobody wants is still in the pantry, throw them away and take note not to buy them again. Clear out the clutter so you can see the new things to enjoy.Putting Groceries away

4- Plan an Easier Dinner Meal. On grocery shopping days you have spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen. In some seasons of life we have bought the pizza during the grocery trip to heat up in the oven that night. It made things less stressful for everyone. Find what works best for you and your family in the season of life you are in.

5- Treat yourself. Plan something you want to do after you have finished all your grocery shopping duties for the day! Make a cup of coffee or tea and sit down and catch up on the latest of the It’s So Delightful Blog 🙂 Take a little nap. Sit outside on your patio while your kids play outside and get some large muscle activity!Tea time

6- Train your older kids to help you. When I pull into the garage from grocery shopping my kids come out to help carry in groceries. (My hubby does too). My regularly hungry son is more interested in what is in the bags I think. But still he can carry in 5+ bags at a time. Give your kids a clear instruction to put the soup cans away from the bag or the fruit into the crisper. Be patient with the training process. Cheerfully ask them to help you and thank them when they are done. Before you leave let them know to listen for you to come home so they can come out and help carry things in.

Grocery Store Kid Helpers

My kids have always had fun at the grocery store 🙂

We are just over half way through our March Meal Makeover! We’ve organized our kitchens, our recipes, made our meal plans and lists. Survived going grocery shopping with the Littles and powered through to get everything put away. Laura and I have been trying to cover it all! It has been So fun to see your response, more than 4,600 views on www.itssodelightful.com.

Stay tuned for more! Next week we will be tackling some common Meal Planning challenges. Comment if you have a question you want us to answer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Friends Guide: 10 helps for the Mama at the Grocery Store

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by Laura

There is nothing that can make my blood pressure go up like a shopping trip with two small children.  I’ve had my share of embarrassment, frustration, tears, and then, I’ve also had joy, success, laughter, and relief!

If you were my best friend, and you were needing some help in the grocery shopping department, this is what I could tell you from my life.

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Malachi’s very first time sitting in the cart.

1.  Time and Day Matter.

Choose a day during the week where your children are rested and best behaved, and choose a time during the day that will allow for maximum success.  For me, that means Monday morning at 8:45 we depart the house for our week’s worth of groceries.  Thursday and Friday, my kids would be too tired from the week.

Early afternoon shopping would mean we’d go instead of a nap so DANGER awaits that mama.  Too close to lunch time, is too risky, and same with dinner.  So think about your grocery “sweet spot”.  If you can keep it the same every week, your children will appreciate that routine-and you will too!

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New babies are pretty flexible as far as grocery runs go, but the nursing schedule might not be.  I would either nurse right before I left home, or I’d nurse in the car before we went into the store when I had my babies.

2.  Set Up For Success.

Get ready for a successful shopping trip.  Get your game plan ready.  Write out your grocery list and put it in categories, less eye scanning for you means a quicker trip for the kids.  Have you checked out our meal plan template yet? or an app that helps with the grocery list?

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Chose grocery stores wisely, do you have to drive 30 minutes to get there?  That’s 30 minutes of their patience and behavior you’re playing with.  Consider a closer grocery store.  What about the huge grocery stores?  They take much longer to get through, consider a smaller store.

3.  Mom/Dad time before car time.

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Eric reading to Eva before we start a task.

Before you get in the car, spend 20-30 minute of un-divided attention with your kids.  Read books, play tickle time, build a train track, nurse, pretend tea party, anything to give them some mommy time before mommy needs some think time at the store.  This simple act will go a LONG way.  This is preventative for the super needy grocery store kid meltdown.

4.  The Survival Stash.

In my diaper bag or small kid backpack I keep the Grocery Store Survival Stash.  Depending on kids ages the stash has; 2-3 snacks/child, pacifier, stickers, a pen, 1 small toy/child (matchbox car, play cell phone, baby rattle, flashlight…).

I like to choose a snack that will take the MOST time to be eaten.  Cheerios and raisins go with me to EVERY grocery store.  These take forever to eat 🙂  You’re going to need one of those nifty non-spilling snack containers for wee ones or you will be stepping on Cheerios ALL THROUGH THE STORE.  #cheeriodust.

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Apples!

Another snack we love is a whole apple.  My kids started eating whole apples when they were 14 months and they are another LONG snack.  Little ones drop them a lot so sometimes I have them sit in the big part of the cart for the first part of the store when they eat the apples.

Our kids rarely get candy, but sometimes a sucker can be a good emergency if everything else has run out.

Stickers!  After every successful aisle or area of the store give them a sticker for good behavior.  I wouldn’t entice them, (If you are good you’ll get a sticker) or warn them, (If you are bad you won’t get a sticker).  That will motivate behavior in a different way.  Just get to the end of the aisle and say, “Wow, great job with the ketchup aisle, here’s a sticker!”.

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I’m showing them the little smiley face on my finger that got added after an aisle of great behavior.

Smileys.  A friend told me about smilies.  The same theory as stickers, but when an aisle or area is up draw a smiley on your finger or their finger.  My kids think these are SO funny.

5.  Parking Places.

Now, you’re going to need to park strategically too.  So, park next to the cart return, ok?  This will help you get kids into the carts on your way IN to the grocery store, and help you safely load kids/groceries and return the cart after you’re done at the grocery store.

6.   Set Limits.

Ok.  So you have your categorized list, your Survival Stash and you’re ready to head out the door.  In the car ride continue your mom time by singing to a silly cd, telling them a story in the car, or pointing out the things you see on the drive.

Malachi looks TERRIFIED but it's really just his super smiley face.

Malachi looks TERRIFIED but it’s really just his super smiley face.

Before you get out of the car it’s time to have a team meeting.  I learned to “Set the Limits” as a children’s leader at BSF, but I use it multiple times a day as a real life mom.

So, I turn around and say with cheerfulness and not fake, “It’s time to go in the grocery store.  We get to get our food for the week. We will sit in the cart and eat yummy snacks, we will see if we can find some fruit, we will see the workers there.  We will not fuss and we will obey Mama if she gives us an instruction.  Ready?”

And then, depending on how the day has been going I stop and pray.  I am not even kidding.  I pray out-loud so my kids can hear.  I pray for my patience, I pray for their endurance, I pray for cheerful attitudes and I pray for quick resolution to issues.

Out of the car we come

7.  Carting around infants and small kids.

Baby’s:

Oh, you sweet little fresh babies.  What do we do with you at the grocery store?  We get shunned if we put the car seat up in the top, we have no room for our groceries if we put you in the big basket, it’s so much work to put you in the wrap.  What can we do?

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The wrap was nice. The Ergo was nicer.

The baby carrier was the easiest for me to do at the grocery store.  While we were still in the parking lot I put them in their carrier.  I’ve tried 3 of those ridiculously long pieces of fabric that you mummify yourself with and then plop a baby into and I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT.  I’ve tried several carriers and my absolute favorite is the Ergo.  You’ll need that little insert for infants, but I can get it on and off without feeling like I’m going to drop my baby, head is TOTALLY supported and it doesn’t kill my back or push down all my post baby tummy squish.

For Kids:

When you get your shopping cart, IF you want your kids to sit in a certain spot, stand in a certain spot, whatever, do not give them a choice.  If toddler cannot handle himself unless he’s in the cart you do not say to him, “would you like to walk or sit up here”.  NONONO.  You say, “today you get to sit up high on a diving board and let your legs dangle down into the swimming pool”.  Or something really ridiculously fun like that.

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This sticker shows where Eva needs to keep her hand when the cart is moving.

If a child gets to walk beside the cart you can put a sticker where they should stand, or where they should hold on to the cart.  Maybe they can walk through the produce section and that’s all they can handle for the day.  Let them know before hand, “Today you get to help me get fruit and vegetables and then you can eat your snack in the cart!”

If big sister gets to walk, and toddler doesn’t get to.  Fine.  Toddler might not be old or responsible enough to walk and you can say, “When you are older Mama will help you learn how to walk in the grocery store, right now Mama is teaching sister how to do it.”  

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I sing to my kids when the going gets tough. “I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee” #classic

There is a 10 second rule for grocery shopping.  If you stop in one place for longer than 10 seconds it might start to get crazy.  Make sure you have that store mapped out, grocery list categorized, (third time I’ve said that), and keep it moving.  My kids are no bueno when we have to stop at the meat counter and get meat.  I pull out all the stops there.  We do every finger play I know to get us through that 4 minutes.  Ie: twinkle twinkle, pat a cake, eensey weensey spider…

8.  Correct when needed.

If you kid.  When your kid starts to act like an alien at the grocery store,  it’s ok.  They will scream, they will fall on the floor, they will pretend like you have never done one day of child rearing in your life, and you cannot let yourself be defeated about this.

Quickly get down on their level and talk very softly sportscasting their action.  “Oh, you are mad, you are mad mad mad”  You are lying down on the floor and kicking and you are mad”.   Once they see and hear that you know how they are feeling then you can start to talk to them about their behavior.  “You are tired of being in that cart huh?  Well, Mama will sing three little monkey’s jumping on the bed while we go through this aisle, here we go…”

Now sometimes kids are tired, and bored, and that encourages negative behavior issues.  All the things we talked about above will help prevent that, not always, but they will help.

Other times they are plain defiant.  From the time my kids were 2-2.75 the grocery store was a dread for me.  I prayed every week I would make it through in one piece, I posted on Facebook when we got through without meltdowns, it was not a pretty site.

We would park our shopping cart all over the store while I carried a SCREAMING child into the bathroom and we served a time out, I soothingly sang to them until they settled, and we would talk about what they did wrong, what they should do, and we’d try it again.  I believe my current record is 6 times to the bathroom for correction in one morning.

When you enter into this phase, know that it will pass, it is a right of passage for a mom and that you will make it out and one day this writhing child on the floor will walk across a stage and get their diploma.

9.  Check out, Success.  

Ok!  You’ve given out the snacks, the stickers, you’ve been singing and gabbing all through the store, and now it’s time to check out.

We pull our cart over once more before getting in line and set the limits again.  “While we’re in this line, we will talk about the colors we see, play I-spy, and stay in the cart.”  By this time, you want to get out of there as FAST as you can, you’ve almost made it, or your beet red with embarrassment and want to go cry in your steering wheel.

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A friend of mine with 3 kids had a great suggestion.   If the line is long  ask the clerk, or go find someone to open up another lane.  Explain that your kids are losing patience and you would really appreciate being able to get them through the last part of the grocery store quickly.  Love that idea during those tough days.

10. Practice makes Patience.

Just because you try the things I suggested, just because you work hard at parenting, just because you pray that you can make it through the grocery store doesn’t mean things will go well for you.

Our challenging times as parents can break us, they can defeat us, they can demoralize us.  But, we can seek to understand that when we practice being parents a little more of us understands what our heavenly Father experiences in us.

We are His challenging children, we know His love, we know His best, we know how to get along well with Him, but yet we test Him, we choose our own way, and we frustrate the relationship with Him.

My friend, as you parent your little ones, may you allow yourself to be parented by God the Father, and seek first His path for your parenting.

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Grocery Shopping Apps and Store Delivery

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by Angela and Laura

Times have changed. My, (Angela) Grandma tells me how her neighbor friends used to get together and iron and help one another with some of their daily chores. I barely iron anymore let alone have I ever thought to have a Girls Night In and have everyone bring their irons, ironing boards and clothes to iron. Might be fun though:)

Today we want to talk about Grocery Store Apps and Grocery Home Delivery. Years ago those concepts would of made my Grandma and friends chuckle in disbelief. Take your phones with your to the store with a list? Milk maybe came to the door, but full grocery deliveries?

Grocery List App:

I like lists. I sometimes make lists from my lists. List Apps are interesting to me and I like that they work like a paper list with the ease of being on my electronic device. Any list App I use, MUST have a cool check off feature my favorite is when a line goes through it!  I was searching for a new Grocery List app to use in my Meal Planning and came across several free options. I have used a list app on and off before, but the last one I had used stopped working. My phone was old and it didn’t update well. I briefly used my list feature on my Google Tasks, but that doesn’t do much but make a list.

🙂 So in my search I came across this app I am going to review today! Its clever name caught my eye! “Out of Milk”Out of Milk App Pic 2

It had Good reviews.  Available on both Android and Apple. It was free.

When you enter the items you need it automatically groups items in Sections of the Grocery store- Dairy, Meats, etc. I really liked that when I went grocery shopping. Helped me not to return to a section because I forgot the butter in the dairy section.Shopping List 2I like that I can save ingredients for meals that I regularly use. Since I am a wife of a pastor, we regularly have groups that come over for lunch on Sunday afternoons. One meal I use regularly is a Baked Potato Bar. The Out of Milk app allows me to save the ingredients I buy for that meal under a category all of its own. LOVE that. I won’t need to rewrite that list or remember to get that list from home when I am doing the shopping for that upcoming Sunday.Baked Potato Bar List 2The Out of Milk App allows me to take stock of stuff in my pantry and fridge. There is also a bar scanner attached to the app. I used this and it made listing these items really fast!  Sooo easy! And just a little bit fun to scan! It beeps as you scan. 🙂  REALLY LIKE this feature.  Once it is on the list you can mark low or full and when that item is needed you can then highlight it and move to your shopping list.

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Scanning items into my pantry list.

Pantry List

Here is what the Pantry List looks like.

I liked how I can easily check my pantry list while I am at the store instead of calling my hubby or kids to check to see if we have it. It also saves from buying another bottle of honey when we have 15 bottles at home.

I found the speak option to add to my list is clear and easy to use too.

I am not a extreme couponer, but like to take advantage of a deal and the Out Of Milk App allows you to check any store ads in your area by putting in your zip code.

Deals on OOM

You can move a sale item into one of your list as well.

There is an easy to use details section to the items on the Shopping List that allows you to list quantity that I need, price (this is helpful as I can’t always remember what is a good sale price) and extra notes I want to make.Details on OOMI was able to easily txt a list from the app to my hubby who was out and about and was able to stop at the store. This is most helpful as we share a car with our teen- age driver so I find myself home without a car sometimes.

You can also log into the computer version and add your lists there if need be. My daughter logs into outofmilk.com on her computer and adds her list directly in to my account to sync to my phone app.

Once you check off you list at the store and get home or you begin a new list you can go back and uncheck the staples you buy every time, like bananas. They go directly back onto the Shopping List. Can I hear you say EASY!uncheck items 1There really isn’t anything I don’t like yet! It has an option to add in recipes, but I don’t use that part. I am a bit mechanically impaired and I found that I was able to figure it all out and not ask my teenagers for help 🙂 That is huge.

Grocery Store Delivery

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Imagine, your infant is napping and you know when they wake up you have a 2 hour window to get to the grocery store before another nap time hits.  What if, WHAT IF all those groceries arrived at your doorstep?  How about this?  You are SICK and just need someone to bring you chicken noodle soup and some tylenol, but you don’t have the energy to do it. Ever wonder what you would pay to have someone run that errand for you?  Now there’s a price and a service!

Grocery Store delivery has been around for a long time, but there was usually a hefty price to pay and it catered to people that were home bound.  Today grocery delivery is for anyone and can be found in lots of communities. I, (Laura) did some research to tell you about it.

Making an order is simple.  You sign in to an account online, search the groceries, select what you want and the quantity.  Arrange your delivery time and then, check out!

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There are several grocery stores that do delivery, but a quick search on that grocer’s website will let you know if they have it in your area.  Here are a few chains that offer it.

  • Safeway
  • Hy-Vee
  • Walmart
  • Albertson’s
  • Some Military Installations (Travis AFB, Offit AFB)

My sister was the first person who told me about grocery delivery.  Last Thanksgiving she was stressing about taking her totally adorable baby to the store and buying all the holiday items.

Addy Goes Shopping

My niece loves to say hi to every person at the store and they all talk back to her so it takes my sister forEVER to do grocery shopping.

Here’s my conversation with Melissa about Walmart delivery.

Laura: Hey Melissa, How did you hear about Walmart Grocery Delivery? And why did you start?

Melissa: There were advertisements on TV and a friend used it.  Then, it was Thanksgiving week and I didn’t want to take that long (baby say hi long) for my grocery trip that week.

Laura: How did you place your order?  Was it easy?

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Melissa: I did it online.  For produce I’ve never been impressed with Walmart produce, but the grocery delivery produce seemed fresher and better quality than what was in the store.  There were a few issues with ordering, for instance, you have to check your quantities.  It’s hard to tell what you’re getting.  I needed 3 leeks for a recipe and got 3 bunches of leeks.  Their interface and sorting is a little weird.  If you type in carrot, you will pull up EVERY random thing that has carrot attached to it.  A nice feature is it saves what you ordered before so the next time you order things you don’t have to search all over for it again.

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Laura: What if they don’t have the item? Can you buy non-grocery things?

Melissa: It will tell you if things are in stock or not.  So then you can upgrade to larger volume, but pay the price of the smaller.  There are some things you can order that are non-grocery. You can buy a few non-grocery items like hygiene things, diapers…

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Laura: How far in advance do you have to order and how do you choose delivery times?

Melissa: You can only choose between a two hour time slot for delivery.  The further in advance you order the cheaper the delivery cost.  I believe it’s between $7.oo-$10.00 Back when I did it, it was cheaper and it was WAY worth the cost in gas, not having to wake a sleeping baby, and the length of time it takes to shop.  And they deliver TO THE DOOR-but those nice drivers aren’t allowed to take tips. You can also arrange to pick up your groceries at Walmart for free.

Laura: That sounds like it could be really worth it!  Thanks for the info!

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Now Melissa lives in Colorado, but the Walmart where I live doesn’t offer delivery. So I wanted to see where the closest grocery delivery service was to me.  Hy-Vee had it!

I went online to register and check it out.  I have several friends who RAVE about this.

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Here’s the facts:

  1.  Delivery – Free if your order is over 100.00. Otherwise, $4.95.  Even though this grocery store is more pricey, this would have saved me during those early months with the babies, ESPECIALLY with the two babies!
  2. Set a delivery timeframe that’s convenient for you and a helpful, friendly Hy-Vee employee will deliver right to your door.
  3. If you want to swing by and pick it up at the store, say, on your way back from pre-school drop off that will be 2.95!  WOAH.  This could be dangerously addicting.  You set the pickup time and a Hy-Vee employee will load them in your car for you.
  4. Ordering.  I put a few things in my cart to try it out.  So easy, so simple.
  5. It looks like you can order just about anything from the store.  Medications (Infant Tylenol anyone?), charcoal, diapers…

The next time I have a crazy week or a big holiday shop I am absolutely going to try the grocery pick up or delivery!  WOW.

I was so pleased to hear that some military bases have “click 2 go” where they shop for you and you, (or your husband after work) picks up your order, already packed for you. What a wonderful deal for those service members who work long hours and for those who can do a quick grocery shop for their wives and remember everything on the list!

We hope you find your grocery experience can be easier with an app, or a delivery!

We are not receiving commissions from this post. These are just a few things we like…and had to share.  

 

 

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10 Steps to Meal Planning Part 2

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by Angela

So as Laura said in her Meal Planning Post yesterday, the question you would get in the grocery store is Paper or Plastic? When it comes to meal planning Laura and I ask Paper or Computer? I like a mix of both 🙂 In some researching on Meal Planning Apps, I found that the reviews were mixed and not a very stable place to keep all your recipes.

If your phone stops supporting the updates or you get a new phone and the app doesn’t transfer smoothly there is a lot to loose in the storage of all your recipes. So for me, in my meal planning, I use a mix of some paper and some computer and apps.

So I give you my:

 10 Step Meal Plan Process

  1. I gather my Recipe Binder with the Recipe Capsule and Index, tablet with my Pinterest account and my phone where I have my calendar! 🙂 I like to gather my family too and have then put in some input of meals they are wanting 🙂Meal Planning
  1. I start by putting dinner plans into my Google Calendar. I like being able to plan right into my calendar either on my phone or computer, because the events of each day/evening are right there.  My hubby and I share our google calendar and he likes being able to see what is for dinner too. If our schedule changes I just move the meal to another day- so easy to do on the google calendar. Plus, I can easily refer back to my meals in the calendar over the past few weeks/ months.
  1. I use a Grocery List App on my phone. I like using an app for shopping as there is not much to risk in losing recipes like the Meal Plan Apps. My list is regularly changing – besides the staples,  and if you need to change to a new app it’s a way to start afresh. I like having it on my phone as no matter where I am I usually have my phone. If I think about something I need to add to the list, I add it immediately. I also try to add something when we run out. Try is the key word there!
  1. I go through my recipes and check what I have and what I need and add it to my grocery store list app. More to come later this week on what I like about my Grocery Store App. 68e61-outofmilk
  1. I generally plan for one week at a time sometimes two. When my kids were younger I would always plan for two weeks- sometimes a month.
  1. We generally eat the same things for breakfast/ lunch so those are just staples that stay on my list. I will make a note on the calendar if we plan for a special breakfast or lunch and add those things to my list.
  1. I then go through my calendar and double check to make sure I am not needing to add anything else. Potlucks, company, holidays, taking a meal to a church family and kids needing some food to go, etc.
  1. My Grocery Store App allows a place for “Other” so I will add in non-grocery items if I going to a store like Super Walmart. If I need a gift bag/ card or pillows- I like to have it on my list just in case, I can pick that up while I am out!
  1. I also like to check in to see how the toothpaste, shampoo, soap supplies, etc are at in the bathrooms and add those.
  1. Ready to go shopping! Armed with my list on my phone. If I need to double check my weekly meals it’s on my calendar. Meal Planning 2
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