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Do you struggle with the cost of produce for your family? If so, check out this solution for grocery savings that come in a box — delivered to your door!
Psst! Looking for more grocery savings? Sign up for my FREE cheat sheet on 10 ways to cut your grocery bill by $50 per week!
The following is a guest post by Samantha Hatcher from Inspired By Lucile and Self Care Mama Club.
The Cost of Produce
Have you ever gotten to the middle of the pay period only to discover you have either run out of produce or what you have has gone bad? That was my problem for years. Produce would go bad because I didn’t get to it fast enough, or we would be scrounging around for any vegetable to put with our main dish. (And with nine people in the house, this is a real problem!)
Besides meat, produce is usually the most expensive item for most people. When you are trying to make sure your family has a nice variety of fruits and vegetables, it can start to add up in cost. And when not everything is in season, the prices of out of season imported produce is even higher!
My family has their favorite veggies and fruits that I almost always pick up at Aldi, and while they have some of the best prices for organic produce, their out of season produce isn’t very flavorful. Think of a garden-fresh tomato and one from the store. They taste completely different.
The Struggle with Buying Produce
Buying produce can be overwhelming.
Maybe you pick up the same exact produce each shopping trip, despite being sick of eating it. Why? Because you know these tried and true purchases will work for your family.
Or perhaps you stand there not knowing what to buy, overwhelmed by the rainbow of produce in front of you.
Or maybe you’re the mom who doesn’t have time to go to the store to buy real food between work, errands, and kids’ activities. You don’t care what they eat; you wish it would show up at your door like magic.
I have dealt with all these struggles during different seasons of my life. I know the stress and brainpower it takes to plan meals, shop, put it all away, and cook all the meals. And the night of shopping, we usually just end up having pizza.
I’ve honestly gone through seasons when even going to the grocery store made me want to consider having my entire family fast.
This past year I realized I desperately needed a solution — one that would take care of all these struggles and not break the bank.
Enter Misfits Market
A few months ago, I discovered Misfits Market through a friend.
On a whim, I decided to sign up with her referral link to get 25% off my first box. And I was SO pleased!!
Everything was fresh, delivered with several cold packs, and was shipped to my house in two days. The variety of items was overwhelming, but looked like almost all of it was something I would have bought anyway. Things were a bit odd-shaped or sized, but I definitely didn’t mind!
I checked out the price and picked the larger box, which says it is for a family of five and is 18-22 pounds. The box is normally $35, but with the 25% discount it brought it down to $26.25 — which is a great price, considering all of it is organic!
I was pretty hooked after my first box and knew that I couldn’t get that much produce at the store for that price, especially organic. I decided to give it a try, and knew that we could cancel the subscription if we didn’t like it.
Changing Up Our New Favorite Produce
I was the mom who bought the same produce over and over without thinking. And when I got tired of it, I just stood there and stared at the produce, hoping it would have some answers for me.
When my first Misfits Market box arrived, everything looked like something we would eat, except for eggplant.
I have only eaten eggplant a few times in my life. It was slimy and gross, but I was determined to give it a try. I found this great recipe for eggplant fries, and that changed everything! The first night we tried them, we ran out of eggplant fries instead of chicken, and my children were asking for more!
We had a hit on our hands. The next box contained swiss chard and more eggplant. We once again made the fries, and we roasted the swiss chard with gnocchi. Yum! Once again, something new was a big hit for our family.
When our third box arrives, my six-year-old said, “Oh, goodie, I hope there is an eggplant.” To her disappointment, there wasn’t eggplant, but we discovered how much we loved pomegranates!
Grocery Savings that Come in a Box
Because of the Misfits Market box, I no longer have to make a mid-paycheck trip to the grocery store, which would cost more than it should.
This Misfits Market box not only has saved me from going to the grocery store, but has pushed me to expand my culinary skills and our children’s taste buds.
Never did I imagine that any of my children would say they hope we got eggplant. Never did I imagine my kids would be so excited about new foods and finding recipes to try.
But here we are! I have cut my grocery bill by $250 each month, my family is trying new things, and my children are learning to like new things that I would never have bought before.
Because of all these reasons, I’ve become a faithful Misfits Market subscriber!
Samantha is a SAHM of 7 children who has spent 25 years learning how to live on one income. She used the wisdom of her Grandma Lucile, who grew up during the depression, to learn how to get the best bang for her buck. When she isn’t homeschooling her kids, you will find her blogging at Inspired By Lucile or the Self Care Mama Club. [...]
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In his dream job as a Florida park manager and “burn boss,” Tony Clements wears a lot of interesting headgear.
A Florida Scrub Jay bird mask when entertaining kids, a gorilla head while goofing around pretending to be Bigfoot, and, on a more serious note, a flame-retardant helmet when he’s scorching patches of earth during a prescribed burn.
Clements is also janitor, ecologist, meteorologist and construction manager — all while overseeing the 1,400-acre Oscar Scherer State Park.
But long before Clements landed his dream job, he worked as a paperboy, dishwasher, landscaper, car washer and air-conditioning installer, among other occupations.
It took a lot of persistence and perseverance to get him where he is today, but his wide smile and infectious laugh behind a beard with a touch of grey tells you it was worth it.
Here’s How to Land Your Dream Job (Whatever it May Be)
Clements’ fondest memories from his childhood in Wales are exploring the forest behind his parents’ barn, digging for insects and tracking birds. He conjured these memories after a bad breakup in his 20s led to the existential dread that he needed to find a real job.
“All the jobs I had were great,” he says. “But I needed a career.”
So, he looked to the Florida State Parks system, which seemed like the perfect fit for someone enamored with the outdoors.
“I knew I wanted to make a difference and do something that I wake up every day excited to do,” Clements says.
One problem: They weren’t hiring.
So, he did what he recommends anyone trying to land their dream job should do and started volunteering. After a couple years, he applied for an assistant park ranger job and got turned down. Then he was turned down again. And then a third time for good measure.
“You have to be persistent,” said Clements, who got the job on his fourth try. Now, he’s been park manager for 14 years. He even met, and married, his wife in the park.
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But what if you don’t know what your dream job is?
John Sheehy, Career Development Coordinator at Stetson University, says first think about the things you absolutely don’t want to do for a career and work from there. Start with a wide view: Don’t want to work outside? Consider occupations that are indoors. Then refine that: Can’t stand sitting down all day? A desk job probably won’t be a good fit.
Now think about your specific talents and interests and create a list of fields that tap into those skills but still avoid your “not gonna do it” criteria.
“Talk to professionals in multiple areas of the fields you have interest in,” he said.
Here are a few ways to feel out a career or company:
Job shadow days and informational interviews: You can use LinekdIn to reach out to a company to request a day to shadow someone on the job. The firm will likely allow it even if they’re not hiring. Use a networking cover letter for this purpose.
Internships: These may be unpaid — or offer crummy wages — but will help you get your foot in the door at a company. Actually digging in and doing the work should help you decide whether a particular path is for you. Here’s a guide to land any internship.
Co-ops: These are similar to internships, but are usually paid and last for multiple semesters while you’re in college. They also generally provide college credit.
Volunteer positions: Clements credits his years of volunteering at Oscar Scherer for helping him land his dream job.
Now that you’ve zeroed in on a field, you need to meet people in the industry. Networking can help you refine your knowledge of a certain field and forge connections that could yield a job one day.
Thinking about a career move? Check out The Penny Hoarder’s list of the Best Jobs of 2019 that Don’t Require a Bachelor’s Degree.
Sheehy compares it to starting a fire.
“Work on getting multiple pockets of embers glowing in several areas and then when it’s time, fuel the fire, add the kindling to get the fire red hot,” he said. That means you need to keep up regular communication with your network; you can’t let these relationships get cold.
And finally, remember to be patient. You’re not going to fall right into the dream gig. But once you get that first job in your chosen field, you can start climbing the ladder.
“Dream jobs are rarely the first job one acquires, and knowing that will assist in working your way to it in the future,” Sheehy said.
Facing Reality — and Maintaining Perspective
Surely some folks dream about working on Wall Street and making boat loads of money. But, for many people, a dream job is more about the work and less about the cash — and that can require sacrificing some comforts.
For Clements, who makes $46,000 a year, it’s meant making meticulously planned trips to the grocery store. Every week, his family knows exactly what they’re going to eat, and therefore exactly what to buy.
“They say we throw away a third of the groceries we buy,” he says. “Which is crazy.”
Clements is lucky on one front, though: He doesn’t pay rent or a mortgage while living in a house at the edge of Oscar Scherer park.
Even if your dream job doesn’t pay much in general, you should always advocate for yourself and push for fair pay in the hiring process. Do your research on what the job pays in similar markets, and use these tips to help negotiate a better salary.
Above all, if you’re lucky enough to land your dream job, remember to focus on both the “dream” part as well as the “job” aspect. You’ll have to work hard and make some sacrifices, but you’ll be doing what you love.
Starting Fires and Living His Dream
On May 31, Clements got a call at 5 a.m. A storm had torn through the park and landed a branch on a tent in the camping area.
He rushed to the scene, chainsaw in hand, to remove the tree limb. But Clements’ best days at work are when he gets to be the burn boss, overseeing prescribed burns. These are man-made fires that support the forest’s ecology by mimicking natural wildfires and burning up dead leaves that could send a wildfire out of control and into surrounding neighborhoods.
The weather has to be perfect for a prescribed burn, and Clements has to think through any scenario in which something goes wrong. He puts together a 40-plus page manual that outlines each event.
“You need to be ready for the fire to bite back,” he says.
When he’s not overseeing prescribed burns or asking — extremely politely — that a patron puts his dog on a leash, he relaxes with his wife, son and daughter (when she’s not away at college), along with their two chocolate labs (Mocha and Brady), bunny (Bun-Bun), fish, chickens and Leopard tortoise. The family spends a lot of time rehabilitating animals they’ve found injured in the park.
As a kid, Clements would spend afternoons climbing trees and weaving through the woods in Wales trying to track down robins or goldfinches. Now he spends his days exploring his own forest in his own backy [...]
Want to know what books I finished in April? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.)
5 Books I Finished in April
I set a goal to finish 80 books in 2019 and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here).
By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month!
I finished 5 books in April — yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books:
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
This book had been highly recommended multiple times. When I found it available on Libby, I “checked it out” and started listening to it. Honestly, I almost didn’t keep listening because she has such a strong and brash personality.
But I’m glad I stuck with it because her story was fascinating and sad… but worth listening to/reading. I really had no understanding of what Scientology was before this book and while I know that this is just one person’s story, it was shocking to hear of her experiences in the Church of Scientology, what she was required to do, how she was mistreated, and how much money she paid into the Church as a member.
Note: There is strong and crass language in this book.
Verdict: 3 stars
2. The Glass Castle
After I read Hillbilly Elegy, multiple people said I had to read The Glass Castle. Again, I found it was available on Libby, so I checked it out.
It’s one of those stories that I don’t know how to describe. It was engaging and thought-provoking, but also incredibly sad and haunting.
It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a very dysfunctional and poor family… and yet, despite the dysfunction, there’s also this layer of mystique that she paints her parents in. Like, you want to really dislike them, but you can’t fully allow yourself to because they also have these likable traits, too.
The book left me wishing I could have a conversation with the author and her siblings. It was also one — like Hillybilly Elegy — that I wished I would going through in a Book Club setting so I could discuss my big and sometimes disparate feelings about the book.
Note: There is language in the book and also some various details and stories that could be triggering, depending upon your background.
Verdict: 3 stars
3. Point of View
This book is part memoir, part self-help. Elisabeth Hasselbeck shares lessons she learned from being on Survivor, being on The View, being fired from The View, being co-host on Fox & Friends, and ultimately deciding to leave television and focus on being a wife and mom.
I appreciated her candid honesty about her struggles with pushing herself too hard, trying to do too much, and not acknowledging her limitations and capacity. I also loved the behind-the-scenes stuff she shared about being on the various shows she’s been on.
My complaint with the book is that I wanted more. 🙂 I would have loved to hear even more details on what it was like to be on Survivor, be on The View, co-host Fox & Friends, be wife to a NFL player, and come home full-time to be a mom.
Verdict: 3 starts
4. As Many Reps As Possible
I wanted so much to like this book. I loved Chasing Excellence and was hoping this would be a similar book.
It’s written by CrossFit Games Winner, Jason Khalipa, and the premise of the book is promising. He encourages you to live life with the AMRAP mentality.
(If you’re not familiar with CrossFit terms, AMRAP means As Many Reps As Possible. It’s basically where you push yourself as hard as you can go.)
I enjoyed some of the personal stories and inspirational tidbits he shared, but I felt like the book was sort of all over the place, not well edited, and it was hard to follow because it kept jumping from one part of his story to another and then back again.
In addition, I struggled with figuring out what he was inferring when he encouraged people to live with the AMRAP mentality. How does this actually look in real-life? He talks about being fully present when you are working on, or working on your business, or hanging out with your family, but I would have loved for him to unpack that a lot more.
Clearly, most people disagreed with me on this because it has 72 reviews and every single one of them is 5 star! So yeah, you might completely disagree with me on this one!
Verdict: 2 stars
5. Before We Were Yours
This was — by far — the best book I finished in April! Many of you told me you thought I should read it as soon as possible and you were so right.
It’s the tragic and true story of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals and how they played out in the lives of the children who actually went through this horrific experience.
Truth be told, I had never heard of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals before listening to this book — and I live in Tennessee! I have asked multiple people who live here and they haven’t heard of it either.
It’s heart-wrenching and horrible and I think a powerful reminder of how money can cause people to make terrible decisions that can hurt people in devastating ways.
The book is well-written and engaging and appears to be very well-researched historical fiction. It is also the beautiful story of sibling love and how trauma and devastation doesn’t have to define your future.
Note: There are a lot of situations in the book when it comes to abuse that could be very triggering to people, depending upon your life experience and trauma. The book doesn’t give nitty-gritty details, but it’s enough that it could be very triggering.
Verdict: 4 stars
What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know! [...]