How Not to Overspend when Going to the Grocery

My husband and I avoid going to the grocery when we’re hungry. We notice that we tend to by a lot more than what we need. Also, I love going to the grocery to relieve stress? I don’t know, but for some reason, wandering in the aisles and discovering new products are stress relievers. I tend to overspend when I go to the grocery. So for today, I’ve listed down tips on how not to overspend when going to the grocery. This is because I also need to follow these rules for myself.

1. Don’t go to the grocery on an empty stomach.

When you feel hungry, everything looks appetizing. You’re bound to find everything delicious and you’ll end up grabbing “yummy” things that you see (which will be almost everything in the store).

2. Include in the list only necessary items to buy.

Another tip on how not to overspend when going to the grocery, is that before shopping, sit down first and list down the necessary items that you intend to buy. Check for used up or empty items in your refrigerator, bathroom and stock room. Take note that the list should only include the essentials, not the unnecessary ones. Only buy what’s specifically written in the list. Resist the impulse to get items based on what you feel at the moment (which is soooo hard to do, btw!)

3. At the grocery, don’t be deceived by promos!

There will be lots and lots of promotional items and marketing tactics (like bundling of things together to appear cheaper or to make the product seem more valuable), so be smart about it! If an item is bundled with a tumbler, think first. Do you really want the tumbler? Fine, if you were really intending to get that same product which so happened to have the tumbler. I fell into this trap and now, I have 6 or 7 tumblers that I don’t use (A big No-No for people who are following the KonMari Method which I am sincerely trying to do). My point is, think if you really really need that other item.

4. Calculate how much you can save if you buy bundled or bigger items.

I’m not saying all promotions are bad. If you are thinking of buying a bigger bottle of shampoo than a smaller one, calculate how you much you can save from it. Factor in your usage. You might be splurging if a smaller bottle is already enough in a month than a bigger one. For bundled items, make sure to calculate that it’s really cheaper. Some stores just lure you to buy 2 items in one go.

5. Set a time limit.

Do you know how it is in school when the teacher asks you to pass your test papers because time is up. Do that for grocery shopping. This will force you to go through your list first then later wander around IF you have enough time.

6. Pay using your paper bills – not with your credit cards.

You might not be aware of your daily expenditures if you use your cards instantly. Try to pay using your cash because it makes you realize how much money you are losing from your wallet. Ang sakit! (It hurts to see less money inside your wallet).

Let’s not set ourselves up for financial struggles in the future. If we can avoid financial pain and overspending, let’s avoid it! A life without worry is what we want for ourselves. We can sleep well at night and we can live a longer, happy life… and it all starts in the little adjustments that we make in the grocery.

 

 

Ferrywrites: Interview with Entrepreneur Ferry

One of the necessities for a new year is to have a new planner! I’m sure most of us already have planners that we can use. I always think of planners as a way to see the personality of a person, and I admire those who can actually decorate it well and write on it legibly. Today, I interviewed someone whose business is help you decorate and fix your planners! How cool is that! 🙂

About Ferry of Ferrywrites

Hi there! I’m Ferry, a blogger mom with a penchant for crafts. I am married to Raymond Ko for 6 years and counting, and we’re blessed with three (one on the way, yes I am 5 months pregnant now) children. I own a small online shop for planner needs, named Ferrywrites.

I started crafting at the tender age of seven. I started with creating scrapbooks, diaries, collecting stationeries and notepads until I discovered Filofax when I turned thirteen. From then on, I started using planners as if they were an extension of myself. Decorating planners and getting organized the way I like things to be makes me more productive and aware of the things I should prioritize and thing that I need to brush off. It goes hand in hand with my other passion, writing. I don’t see this as a hobby. I consider this as my life’s focal point.

Before I became a momtrepreneur, I was working in the corporate world at the age of eighteen. I would also do sideline jobs as a freelancer that involves writing, listing, calling clients to name a few, all while I was studying in College. Now, I am a full-time mom for almost four years and entrepreneur for a year.

My advocacy is simple, spread kindness. I was raised by a single father who taught me that whenever one can help, one should help. And living with his mantra, we (my husband and I) came up with the idea that part of our monthly sales, whether it’s coming from our partner merchant or online, will automatically go to our chosen charity of the year (World Vision Philippines).

Interview with Ferry:

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Ferry: I own a shop named Ferrywrites. It caters to planner needs such as weekly sticker kits, icons stickers, planner inserts, charms clips etc. I have been doing this for a year now.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Ferry: Mainly, the Planner Community. Funny because only a few people really know that our community exists. We take planning and crafts seriously. It’s a very creative community where you will find girls who are willing to help the girls how to start up or hone their planning and all.

Ginger: Oh, I think I better join that community! I have a planning addiction! haha! So, how did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Ferry: Making planner sticker kits is common in the community. I turned my passion into a small business, not only to gain profit, but to reach out to people too. Since I can doodle and I have a keen eye for what works, I’ve decided to give it a try.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an
Entrepreneur? What are these?

Ferry: Definitely! I used to get depressed whenever I cannot come up with cute or functional or unique design for my stickers. I would always compare my work to others who are doing this way longer than me. The profit was never an issue to me. It was more of how can I level up or get them to know my brand.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Ferry: Looking for materials. It’s been a challenge since day one to find a quality and affordable materials for the business. Of course, all business owners want good provisions at a low price that your clients will appreciate.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when
starting their own business?

Ferry: Vision, Resilience, and Faith.

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder

Ferry: Love what you do, have fun and do not compare with your competitors.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Ferry: You change the path never the goal. If the process of what you are doing right now is not working that much, think of another way to achieve your goal.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Ferry: YES! because I strongly agree with what Guy Kawasaki, the author of The Art of Start said: “Entrepreneur is not a job title, it’s a state of mind of people who want to alter the future.” After all, entrepreneurship doesn’t equate to just having a business.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Ferry: Stay alert of the new things in the market and always look for ways to improve your products.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Ferry: I network as much as possible and I do sponsor craft events. By doing these, they get to know my brand, what I do and my advocacy.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Ferry: Intuos Art, Procreate of Ipad Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator and Silhouette Software.

Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important

Ferry: Be observant but do not copy. Do not believe in the saying that imitation is the highest form of flattery. I think that is disrespectful. Observe the hype and the new things in your field then come up with your own twist to it.

Ginger: Thank you so much for your insights and for sharing your experiences, Ferry! More power to you!

Contact information about your business:

Website – www.ferrywrites.com
Email address – ferrywrites@gmail.com
Mobile Number – 0916-622- 2812
Facebook Page – Ferrywrites
Twitter account – @ferrywrites
Instagram account – @ferrywrites and @ferrywrites.shop
Pinterest – ferrywrites

Is It Too Late to Start a Business? Where can I Start?

I was filling out a survey for Fintech companies in the Philippines, and one of the questions there was how old each founder was. In the tech industry, there are a lot of young founders, so I find questions like these to be awkward. Obviously, there was nothing wrong by them asking that question, since it was a survey and they need data. It was my own mind that was making uncontrollable judgements. haha! It was my own self telling ME that it’s too late to start a business. I’m in my late 30s and I just seem old to be starting these very millennial-ish business.

Because of the voice inside me that was telling me to feel ashamed about my predicament, I decided to write about the PROs why it’s never too late to start a business. It can seem scary to start a business at an old age. But, it does offer a lot of advantages. Take for example Harland Sanders, who started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) at 65 years old and became successful. At an old age, you have a bigger network and gained more experiences and knowledge. You also have more tenacity to make your business venture a success.

A bigger network

At 40s and up, you have already met many people during your professional career. You have already built stronger connections with peers and colleagues. You know who among them are reliable and trustworthy. Tap into their expertise and call them up in case if you need legal, financial, and marketing advice.

A wealth of knowledge and experience

When you’re older, you have gained more experiences and knowledge. You have been through many jobs and experienced failures. These guide you to make better decisions. By this time, you have gained more business acumen and expertise in your craft. Those learnings build you to become more prepared in your business venture.

More tenacity

You are more responsible to handle problems as they arise. You can make a firmer stand on important business decisions. You don’t easily lose heart in the face of problems. You understand that it takes patience and determination to make your business venture a success.

What are the business opportunities for you?

There are a lot of business opportunities for you. All of the things mentioned above make you more likely to succeed even. What really stops you are all of those personal judgements that you make on yourself. No one thinks that! So every day, wake up feeling capable. Each day, tell yourself that you can make things happen.

Believe that it’s not too late to start a business.

Motherhood: How Not to Freak Out When You have a Newborn Baby

Last January, there were a lot of times when I freaked out when my daughter’s temperature would rise. She is more prone to having convulsions, since she already had one episode last December 2017. This is the reason why I am so hands-on when it comes to her health and nutrition. I  guess being a mom means having a lot of times when you freak out, because you don’t know what the #3!! is happening! I know that I am constantly learning new mommy tips and tricks as my daughter gets older. One thing that I am thankful for are the other mommies who have given me advice during times when I would freak out. So as a sign of gratitude, I am also sharing my tips on How Not to Freak Out When You have a Newborn Baby!

What to expect!

I remember feeling happy and excited to see my baby while waiting in the delivery room. After 9 months, you’re finally seeing your newborn baby — that human being that you grew inside your belly! It sounds unbelievably amazing, right? But, let’s face it! I’m sure your are also feeling a little bit of fear and anxiety on how to handle a baby properly. This is your first time as a mom, and you don’t want to make a mistake. I was like that! I wanted things to be perfect! haha! Many first-time mothers are anxious on how to breastfeed, bathe and calm their newborn babies. Today, I’m sharing an overview of things that I did and some ways on how not to freak out when you have a newborn baby. Knowledge is power!

How to breastfeed?

Place your baby’s body towards your breast. As soon as he opens his mouth, let him suck your nipple. His mouth should also cover the areola area aside from the nipple. Hold your breast for support. Be patient as this would require some practice to successfully nurse him. To be honest with you, my nipples hurt like crazy during the first week. But eventually, she (baby) got it right and we manage to pull through our challenge! You can breastfeed him/her as frequent as possible for more milk to be produced. The more demand there is, the more your body will create supply. So when I had my baby, I would feed as often as possible (since I knew I wasn’t gifted in producing a lot of milk). Target on nursing him for 8-12 times in a day.

How to bathe your newborn?

During the first month, it’s fine to only give sponge baths. The real bath can be given after the umbilical cord falls off. This usually happens on the third week. When giving him a bath, prepare first the things that you need near you. These are baby wash, towel and wash cloth. When you wash his body, focus on one area first. Try to work from head to toe. One hand should be on your baby and the other hand to wash him up. As soon as you’re finished, lift him/her up from his armpits. Place the baby on a towel and then wrap this around him/her.

Zeeka’s Bath Time!

How to calm your baby when crying?
Your newborn might be crying because of hunger or he/she is irritated with his wet diapers, or just feeling bored. He can make you frantic with his non-stop crying. Before rushing him to the hospital, you might want to try to comfort him by patting him on the back, swinging or carrying him on his side. If those don’t work, he might just be asking for some silence to doze off and finally fall asleep. My daughter always slept in the car! Cars are amazing for that moment when you don’t know what to do. Just drive around!

Baby Zeeka not feeling well… on the way to the Pedia

How to carry the Baby?

Guess what? We never used a stroller when our daughter was an infant. She hated all the strollers that we purchased. My tip is, just buy the stroller when the baby is there so they can test it out. We made a mistake by buying (because we were excited!) and being super ready even before the baby was born. A nice and super functional item that we bought (but test our first) are baby carriers. My carrier was like a belt with a seat. I would just carry the baby while she’s sitting. That seat acted like extra pair of hands! It was so cool!

So there! These are just some tips that I’d like to share with you so that you don’t panic. Believe me, everything will be okay! 🙂 I used to think of the worst situations, but then I finally accepted that I beat myself too much when things (uncontrollable) go wrong.  So the best advice that I can give is stay calm and don’t freak out, event if you have no clue on what’s happening. When you’re calm, you have presence of mind, and you’ll be able to think  things through.

Do you have things on your How Not to Freak Out When You have a Newborn Baby list? I’d love to hear more about what you have on your list! Share it with the other parents or expecting parents who are reading this. Comment on the comment section below 🙂

 

 

Learning Snippets: What is a Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin?

This year, I thought of sharing snippets of information that I get to learn about. The first one that I’d like to share and talk to you about is  CRYPTOCURRENCY and BITCOIN. There is much talk about bitcoins and cryptocurrency. Of course, I also wanted to know and study what these were!

Ayoko ngang magpahuli! Plus I wanted to know why my husband was constantly borrowing my laptop to “mine”.

What I did was I watched Banking on Bitcoin on Netflix. Here’s a trailer:

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency protected with cryptography. This feature secures transactions that are made online. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2009. It functions like a real money but does not come in printed form. It can be used to buy anything online like book a hotel, buy gadgets, equipment and a lot more. The transfer of funds is much easier and cheaper due to absence of extra fees for wire transfers (more to be said about that, but that was the original intention).

Here is a short video about BITCOINS:

Others trade it. Trading of bitcoin in different currencies occur in marketplaces called “bitcoin exchanges”. Some examples of these marketplaces are Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Coinbase, which is taking the lead.

Bitcoins are stored in the user’s computer or cloud storage. This serves as the “wallet” or “virtual bank account”. It is where bitcoins are being received or transferred, withdrawn or deposited. To transfer bitcoins, just use a mobile application or the computer.

It is not regulated by any institution like the government or bank. It is checked-and-balanced by different people on different computers. Everyone validates everyone else. This is where mining comes into the picture. Mining is basically checking if the ledgers are correct. As for regulation, governments of China, Japan and Australia are now considering to regulate the system and the currency. Others are seeing the possibility of adding tax to it.

Anonymity of the owner of bitcoin is another feature. All transactions that were ever made online using a bitcoin are stored in a ledger called the blockchain. Although transactions are recorded, the personal information of the users is anonymous. Names and addresses are not revealed. It only shows the wallet IDs of the users.

That’s my learning snippet for today! I hope I helped you, even in a little way, to learn more about Crypotocurrency and bitcoins.

 

 

City Chef: Yummy Food you can Eat Anytime, Anywhere!

We (EJ, me and Zeeka) got try out City Chef during our stay here in the hospital. I don’t know if it was a sign to finally encourage us to eat healthier, but that was really good food delivered to us. Let me tell you about what City Chef is in a while, but first, let me tell you about our nutrition scenario at home.

For those who really know me well, I don’t cook. I didn’t know how to boil an egg by myself before the age of 27. I only knew how to work with a rice cooker in the beginning of January THIS YEAR, since I lost my nanny. I hate to admit that, but it’s true. I knew how to cook pasta even before I learned how to cook rice. So the past few weeks was a crash course on cooking different dishes; Most of the dished though were actually stuff that I just heated. For example, my daughter’s baon and our baon for at least a week was rice and hotdog. Then, I knew they were getting sick and tired of it so I incorporated tuna into our meals. I chose tuna because it’s easy to heat and because I love Gold Seas Tuna. I also then added hard boiled eggs for breakfast, because I learned that we should eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. And then, the latest one that I tried to cook was smoked bangus, which turned out to be shredded smoked bangus because when I was removing it from the pan, it broke down into bits and pieces.

As for veggies, I don’t really know how to cook vegetables, so let’s just leave it at that. There were no vegetables for my family for the past month.

I really don’t have the luxury of time to cook, so it is indeed a challenge to prepare meals that your family won’t get sick and tired of and to prepare meals that are actually both delicious and nutritious. So, going back to the sign, I learned about City Chef and ordered food from them to be delivered to the hospital where I am at today. I think it’s that whole ambiance of health that led me to choose cooked meals over fast food.

So City Chef met with my husband at the lobby of the hospital. City Chef is a new food delivery service that eliminates the hassle of cooking delicious and nutritious meals for your family. You need not go out also and spend for an expensive dinner, because you can enjoy it at home while watching shows on Netflix.  The service caters to people who value time, providing freshly cooked dishes to elevate their dining experience at the comfort of their homes. Each entrée is prepared by professional chefs. Meals from the uniquely prepared menu will then be delivered straight to your home from 5 PM to 7 PM, just in time for dinner.

I had City Chef for two days. Enjoy every dish with a group for only Php 450 (good for 2 -3 pax) or get a solo portion for only Php 250. I ordered the Php 450 portion.

This was what we got for Day 1 of City Chef 🙂

 

This was what we got for Day 2 of City Chef

I was so happy with our order! The meals were I feel COMPLETE. We had rice, protein and vegetables. The Php 450 portion was perfect for the three of us. We actually had some left for lunch the next day. Look at how huge the servings were.

My daughter who was sick and didn’t have much appetite had some of the delivered food and found it yummy! Feeding her during those nights wasn’t a problem.

I will definitely order City Chef moving forward. This will be one off from my list of things to worry about. Do you know that City Chef is also collaborating with up and coming chefs in the industry, starting with Chef Noelle Mauricio of Le Petit Soufflé and Ping Pong Diplomacy for the month of February? I love these two restaurants so I’m really looking forward to ordering this coming February.

To place your orders, all you have to do is log on to www.citychef.ph and click on the calendar to order daily or weekly! I order via their website and it’s so easy to order! You can use the code citychef200 to get Php 200 off from your full week family sized orders and is valid until February 28, 2018.

You may also opt to order directly at 0917 805 0280, at least two days before your preferred delivery date.

Being an believer of spending your time wisely, I definitely give City Chef PH a huge thumbs up!

To get updates on City Chef’s weekly menu, LIKE City Chef PH on Facebook and FOLLOW@CityChefPH on Instagram.

Enjoy! Let’s eat!

3 Ted Talks Videos that will Help You Start the Year Right

I’ve created my start the year right spreadsheets. I’ve installed applications that will help me track my progress this year. Now, what I actually need is little dose of inspiration. Being stuck in the hospital for four days has given me time to go through different videos. I particularly love browsing through Ted Talks videos.

If you want to start the year right, then spare some time to hear these three TED talks. Kare Anderson, Sarah Lewis and Susan Colantuono have good pieces of advice for you. Their talks will empower you to think greater, be bolder and reach the top of your career this year.

1. Be an opportunity maker by Kare Anderson

Kare Anderson is a writer who grew up with chronic shyness. Her talk discussed how she overcame it through a shift of mindset. She encouraged everyone to re-imagine the world where one can create opportunity for themselves and others. She said that it can happen through connecting with others and seeing their better side. After that, learn to trust each other. By being with people who share a common interest, serendipitous things can happen. You can create bigger projects or be hired in a new job.

2. Embrace the near win by Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is an art historian. It is in working in the Museum of Modern Art that her view about success and creativity changed. It’s when one painter shared her story of how she threw away a painting that didn’t meet her standards. Only to find out that her neighbor find its beauty and kept it. It was then Lewis realized the importance of “near wins”. You must continue to strive to be good in your craft before you can experience success. As she said it, “mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving.”

3. The career advice you probably didn’t get by Susan Colantuono

Susan Colantuono is the CEO of the organization which she founded, the Leading Women. Her talk discussed about the missing career advice women should know to reach the top as much as men do. She said that women are advised to be more assertive and better in promoting themselves. They didn’t know business, strategic and financial knowledge are more essential to a company. They should know how to identify risks, provide appropriate business and financial recommendations to move the company forward.

What are your favorite Start the Year Right videos? Hope you can share it with us.

 

5 Things Every Mom Should Do to Promote Joyful Habits

Do you feel like things are finally calming down after the craziness of the holidays? I mentioned some of the things that got me down toward the end of the year in an earlier blog post—but these same things also reminded me how important it is to choose joy and to keep choosing it. Depression is a real thing, and people who are fighting it need all the support that they can get. Let’s do our part to promote joyful habits!

Of course, choosing JOY is easier said than done. But I’m sure there are ways to make sure choosing happiness becomes an easy, even habitual process. So I came up with a few ideas for moms to try, some of which will bring joy on their own, but others will make taking time and choosing joy much, much easier despite a busy schedule. Maybe we should try them together!

Schedule a monthly “me” day

Mommies wear so many hats and split our time between so many things—our families, partners, careers, household, hobbies, and more—that it’s all too easy to forget to make time for ourselves. Yet it’s super important that we recharge and re-inspire ourselves, all the better to face all those other things with minimum stress and maximum grace. So ideally, take an hour for yourself every day, or a few hours every week. But also make sure to take a full day at least once a month. And offer daddy the opportunity to do the same!

Insure for the future

One thing that drives me as a parent—but also occasionally is a stress inducer—is the idea of what my family do should we encounter difficult times. Or worse, if I’m not there to help them. So while you might not think it’s particularly “joyful” to dwell on those kinds of “what ifs,” if you put plans in place now to make sure your family is taken care of, no matter what, I think you’ll find it’s a burden off your shoulders. Don’t just look into insurance, but also into educational plans for your children and other investments for the future.

Work on a scrapbook or journal for your child

One thing every parent I know always mentions is how fast our kids grow up. So one great thing would be to take the time to document your child’s childhood. Compile photos, drawings, poems, greeting cards, and more into one collection. The process of journaling or scrapbooking for your child won’t just help you appreciate the memories more now and later, but it’ll be something special to gift them in the future.

Share a hobby with your child

Biking time with my little one!

Again, kids grow up so fast! So spend some quality time with them—and take the opportunity to help them find something to be passionate about—by taking up a hobby you can share. This can be anything from cooking and baking to arts and crafts to reading books to… well, whatever you want! For example, I think I’m having even more fun with and am more of a fan of Zeeka’s YouTube channel than she is, and I love that we are both vloggers of a sort!

Get involved with a parental network

There comes a time in parents’ lives when the biggest help they can get is from other parents. Whether that’s from creating a kiddie carpool, arranging playdates, getting yaya referrals, and more, your parenting network can be a godsend. And if you don’t have one yet, why not organize one with your mommy gal pals? Some things you might want to maintain include a phone tree (for those “walang pasok” alerts!), a baon round robin group (where one family is in charge of the day’s baon), “babysitting” duty swapping (for those “me” days you need monthly), and so on.

Have any other recommendations to promote joyful habits? Leave a comment to share, please! And if you try any of the above and have things work out for you, please share your story. I’d love to hear all about the ways you’re making room for happiness in your life.