Taking notes on what I read 

I love the Web. It allows me to read whatever I want and feed my never ending intellectual curiosity. It’s too easy for me to fill up my Instapaper queue with hundreds of articles.

When I read, it’s easy for it to go in and out of my brain quickly. If you were to ask me what I read and how it contributed to my worldview, I’d say very little. It’s easy for me to flip through news feeds and get nothing out of it. Skimming is an easy bad habit.

So, I’ve started taking notes on everything that I read. I have an Evernote notebook. Each note is on a different topic. When I read something on that topic, I take what I took from what I read and add it to that note.

I really enjoy reading news about the election. It’s easy for the barrage of stories to cause you to grow numb. But if you intentionally take what your reading and see that coverage next to all the coverage for a particular candidate, you start to get a bigger picture view.

If you’re fascinated by a particular topic, like autonomous vehicles, jot down every time you see a story about it. Add a couple sentences from that article. You’ll really start to get a sense for the evolution of autonomous vehicles.

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I love Aldi Grocery Stores!

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I love finding ways where I can pay less for an experience that I’d otherwise pay more. It increases the return on my investment. Food can easily become one of the biggest chunks of your budget. I’m amazed how easy it is to blow a lot of cash at the grocery store, especially if you go in without a plan.

My favorite discovery is the Aldi grocery stores. They defy traditional grocery store features and pass the savings on to the consumers. For example, they don’t use normal product brands. Their displays are made of shipping boxes. You bag your own groceries. You corral your own grocery cart.

With this, groceries are extraordinarily cheap. A tub of hummus that would typically cost $4-5 costs $2. I can get half a gallon of organic milk for $2.25 where in most grocery stores that cost $4+. I could go on for days telling you about their amazing prices. My favorite is you can get avocados for $.50-.89, where they’d typically cost $1.50+.

I went yesterday and got a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 3 for $70.

Some of the non-branded groceries look exactly… exactly like their branded counterparts. It’s like the factory just switched out the labels. With that, you get a HUGE discount.

So… #1 if you want to save a lot of money on groceries, start shopping at Aldi. #2 if you’re an entrepreneur, how can you challenge the assumptions of your industry. Why do you have to do things the way that they’ve always been done? How can you pass more value on to the consumer?

(Photo from Mike Mozart)

Thankful for you. 

Holidays make me contemplative which makes me thankful. I’m so thankful for so many things but wanted to use this time to say thank you to all of you. 

There are so many writers and creators out there that are looking for an audience. The fact that you have chosen to pay attention to me across one of my different social and email channels is a HUGE honor. 

As we head into 2016, I hope to dive more into what it means to be a human being, husband, father, marketer, entrepreneur, and St Louis-ian in the digital age, as well as sharing my normal stuff.  I hope that you find all of it useful and thought provoking. 

If you have thoughts, concerns, or ideas, don’t hesitate to hit me up — jthorp@gmail.com

Happy New Year!