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

Skinny Peanut Butter Cookies

pb cookiesI’m a personal trainer, sports nutritionist, and have lost over 80 lbs. How did I do it??? By not depriving myself of treats! I simply found healthier ways to have foods I loved, and that helped me stick with my plan. Many people cut out the foods they love, so then they feel deprived and binge eat. When they do that, they gain weight back at a faster weight and are farther behind on their goals than when they started. The fix for this??? Don’t deprive yourself! Have the foods you like in moderation and try to make them healthier.

Peanut Butter cookies are one of my favorite treats, and this recipe gives you 24 cookies at 36 calories each!!!! This is a great way to have a snack that doesn’t ruin all your hard work. Not to mention kids loves these too!!

INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar (I used stevia)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Form into quarter shaped balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for approx 10 minutes.

Add a chocolate kiss and bake for another 2 minutes

With kiss: 58 calories

Dana

Skinny Puppy Chow

chexI love sweets. Forget pizza and pasta, sweet snacks are my go to item!! I can eat salad all day long if need be if it means I get chocolate for dessert haha. I’m always on the hunt to find ways to make my favorite treats a bit healthier, and this week I made Skinny “Puppy Chow”. No its not dog food, its peanut butter chocolate covered chex mix. SO GOOD!!!! Its also a great sweet snack for kids!!will and chex

Here is how I made it:

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Wheat Chex Cereal (you can use regular too)

2 Tbsp Natural Low Fat Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp “I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter”

2 Squares Sugar Free Dark Chocolate

1 Package Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding

1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate in a large pot on the stove. Melt over low heat and stir consistently to prevent it from burning.  Once it has all melted, remove from the stove.  Pour the chex mix in the pot and mix it up well. Dump the chex onto a foil lined cookie sheet to cool. Once it has cooled (approx. 20-30 minutes) pour it into a large Ziploc bad and add the pudding and powdered sugar. Shake gently to mix. Store in an air tight container or bag for 3-5 days.

Dana

WHY?????

10367582_10152570653389576_6730199825170286823_nOne question I hear all the time is “WHY are you working from home??? Aren’t you busy enough??” The answer is a simple one, for my kids because doing this gives me MORE time with them!!! I have a Bachelors in Psychology, Personal Training Certification, and Nutrition Certification yet I choose to work from home because it’s the easiest!!! Before Liam was born, I was lucky in that I could usually get 3-4hrs of work in each day. Will and Adalyn took long afternoon naps plus were in bed by 7pm each night. I had tons of free time to write meal plans, workout plans, and help clients one on one. When Liam was born my plan was to take a few months off from personal training and then take on the same work load. But I couldn’t do that!!!934898_10152572574349576_3952406333496227497_n

Will and Adalyn stopped napping, Liam would only sleep on me, plus with nursing Liam wakes up a ton at night. I found that I was too exhausted and stretched too thin and had no time for anything extra, not to mention once all the kids went to bed, I usually passed out. But I still needed an income source as we prepare for a big move, buying a new home, and my husband cutting back his hours as he returns to school soon. So what was I to do???

1456736_10152568941094576_6985649486394944378_nI stay home with my kids because it’s what’s best for MY family and its what my husband and I both agreed on. I never want to miss a moment of them growing up, but I still needed to bring some income in. That’s why I share a few products I love with people. It’s a win for me AND my family AND clients! I introduce people to amazing products, spend less time working and more time with my kids, yet still am able to bring in a full time income. The most important thing for me is to be present for my kids all the time. They only have a few years with me, and sharing products and getting paid for it has made that possible for me and my family!! I love my personal training business and clients and can’t wait to get back to that full time one day, but right now this is what is best for my kids, and provides me with no stress!!!

Sharing a product is not for everyone, and to be successful with it, you need to make sure it’s a product you use daily and love. If its not something you love, you will dread trying to share it and people can tell that!! The reason I have been successful is because I use the products I love daily.

 

 

Its an easy win for me. I work from home not to be a millionaire, but because I want time with my kids!! Its an accomplishment in my book to be able to make a full time income, working a few hours a week, loving what I do, and never having to sacrifice time with my kids. Sure I don’t watch much TV or do anything other than work once my kids go to sleep, but for me it is totally worth it and I wouldn’t change it. Oh, and it also helps to have a great planner and be super organized. That and coffee keeps me on track each day!!

Dana