Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana

Get Paid To Write


One problem many people encounter when looking to work from home is the time involved. In my experience, most people want to work from home to have MORE time and to be with their families. The problem is that many set income jobs require you to work set hours each day. I don’t know about you, but working 8 hrs and having to keep my kids quite and away from me that whole time just wouldn’t work for me at all. That would basically be the same as me working outside the home! So what to do???

GET (2)

Get Paid To Write

Jobs with flexible hours are the solution!!! Now the great thing about these jobs is YOU set your hours, work when you want, and work as little or as much as you want. The downside, you have to WORK to make money. You have to devote the same amount of time as you would with any job, but you pick when that is. For me, I get up before my kids, and stay up later than them. I also work during their nap time. I average less than 20 hrs a week most weeks but that’s what works for me. Im also established in what I do so for that work I make a full time income.

 

The most common flexible hours income provider is by owning your own business and sharing products you love. Another popular option is writing/transcribing/data entry jobs. Now these are hard to find and most times you do need experience or a degree in transcribing. When you find a good one, make sure to hold onto it and they are hard to get. This is pretty much the job everyone emails me looking for. A job where you enter information on the computer a few hours a day and get paid. It’s a good deal for busy Moms! Here are a few companies to check out for these types of positions:

 

Quicktate https://typists.quicktate.com/transcribers/signup

Quicktate employees transcribe voicemails, memos, legal files, medical files, letters and other audio files. Some files are 2-3 minutes long, others are hours long. Employees must use proper spelling and punctuation, must follow instructions, quickly type what you hear, have your own supplies. No convictions of a felony of misdemeanor on your record. Average pay is $1 for every 400 words typed.

 

BloggingPro Job Board http://www.bloggingpro.com/jobs/

This is a great place to find writing jobs on any topic! You can find a steady stream of employers looking to hire bloggers here and if you can write on multiple topics, you can bring in a steady income.

 

TranscribeMe https://workhub.transcribeme.com/Account/Register

Register to transcribe documents and files with one of the largest online transcribing agencies. Pay is by the hours and ranges from $10-$20 and hour depending on your typing speed. Jobs are not always available so you work when something comes in. Must have a computer, internet, and a good understanding of the English language.

 

MediaBistro http://www.mediabistro.com/joblistings

If you visit the freelance section of this site, you can find many job options such as ones for writing, articles, blogs, marketing, etc.

 

Aberdeen http://abercap.com/careers/

Get paid to transcribe documents and videos with this family based business. Many jobs require you to work at their office, but the “real time captioning” and “transcription” jobs can be done from home.

 

Capital Typing  http://www.capitaltyping.com/

Hires independent contractors to do jobs such as transcribing, secretarial services, data entry, and online customer service.

 

Tigerfish Transcribing http://tigerfish.com/employment/

If you are a quick typist, have a good ear for language and written English then you can get paid to transcribe from home. Must have a computer, phone, and internet service to do this job.

 

Speakwrite http://speakwrite.com/

Work from home in the US or Canada as an independent contractor doing transcribing and typing jobs. Must have a typing speed of 65 WPM to qualify.

 

Scribie https://scribie.com/freelance-transcription#intro

Earn $10 per hour transcribing files from home. Must have a good typing speed and good listening and comprehension skills.

 

http://beafreelanceblogger.com/betterpaidbloglist/ This is a FREE list that has options for making over $50 per hour blogging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana

Becoming A Work From Home Mom

10402444_10152513761944576_8837897643593524145_nWorking from home is a very popular topic! Especially for busy parents who want to treasure every single moment they can with their kids. In this day and age though, more and more parents are finding they need to return to work to be able to support their kids, even though they would give anything to stay home with them. I was the same way!! I went to college full time while raising two young kids, and once I graduated the bills were piling up. But if I went back into the work force, I would never see my 3 year old and 2 year old. Plus the cost of childcare in my areas was super expensive so It wouldn’t be helping us too much. Thus began my exploration into how I could do both, be with my kids and help my husband with the bills. It took time, research,  trial and error, lots of hours of work, getting outside of my comfort zone, and being willing to work my butt off. But now, 2 years later I make a full time income spending my day with my 3 kids! Its an amazing opportunity and something anyone and everyone can do, but you have to be willing to put in the work.

Learn more about how I got started, my recommendations, and balancing it all on a special PodCast Interview with the wonderful Jim and Teresa Adams of Family Matters First

http://familymattersfirst.org/podcast/99/

Feel free to email me with any questions on how you can become a work from home Mom!!

Dana

Tax Writes Offs For Small Business Owners

tax write offsFor many small business owners, tax time can be very scary!! It was for me when I first got started, until I did my research and learned how easy the IRS makes filing taxes for small business owners. Plus, many things you never would even think of, can be written off at tax time. When you own your own business, remember that any expense you put into your business, is a tax write off. Whether it is training, supplies, work meetings etc. Make sure to always save your receipts though and keep documentation of what you are spending and bringing in with your business. And never be afraid to ask someone for help in filing your taxes. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Here are a few expenses you can write off at tax time:

  1. Home Office. No matter if you rent or own your home, if you have a designated space where you do your work, then you can write that off at tax time. Keep in mind it needs to be a true office space, not your kitchen table or bed. You can write off $5 per square foot of the office area for up to 300 square feet. So if your office is 150 square feet that is $750 you can write off! http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
  1. If your office is at home, you can also deduct the cost of utilities. You need to figure out what percentage of your day is your work time though to get the cost you can write off.
  2. Internet used for your business can also be written off at tax time. Like utilities, you need to figure out what percentage is used for work vs leisure.
  3. If you have a car payment, and use your car for doing your business, that can be deducted. This is tricky though in that you must be driving to meet a client, pick a client up, or delivering products. Going to get coffee or groceries does not count.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/index.html

  1. Retirement Plans- If you have set up a plan for retirement that is tax deductible. Even if you only put in a little bit each month.
  2. Office Supplies- Items like paper, pens, ink cartridge, work computer, work printer, work fax machine, mailing supplies, business cards, thank you cards for business, etc are all tax deductible
  3. Health Insurance- If you pay for your health insurance yourself and are a small business owner, that is tax deductible
  4. Child Care- If your kids are in child care at anytime while you are working, that is a tax write off
  5. Training- If you attend training events for your business, that and the cost to get there is tax write off
  6. Start Up Costs- If your business required money up front to get started, you can write all of that off at tax time
  7. Hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes!
  8. Advertising for your business
  9. Websites, domains, and maintenance that promote your business and company

Remember, when in doubt at tax time, always ask for help!! This is not something you want to mess up on. I personally do my own taxes as a small business owner and while its time consuming and tough, it can be done. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, hire someone to help you!

Great Sites to Check Out For More Information:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Deducting-Business-Expenses

http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2013/10/22/10-tax-tips-for-owners-of-a-home-based-business/

Dana