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

10 Awesome Perks To Working From Home

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1) FLEXIBLE HOURS! This is key for me as my kids are 4, 3 and 8 months. I’m able to work when I want such as nap times or when they are in bed. I have had to cut back since my youngest was born, but thanks to working at home for awhile, It hasn’t affected my income!

2) Working Everywhere! Sometimes I answer emails while at the park, or in the grocery parking lot while waiting for my kids to wake up, or most common: in the backyard while my kiddos play! Its great to take my work with me and allows me much more flexibility.

3) Never miss the milestones of my kids growing up! Lets face it, time passes by quickly and being a work from home mom, I’m able to help with our income AND make sure I never miss a moment of my kids growing up. It’s the best of both worlds!!!

4) Taking Off When I Want and Need too. With 3 kids, I love that I can take off from work to go have a fun day at the park, the museum, or when someone is sick! I never have to worry about a boss getting mad or missing too many days. Because Im the BOSS and that’s priceless!

5) PJ’s And Coffee! I don’t have to rush around in the morning. I can enjoy my coffee and stay in PJ’s all day if it suits me! In fact, my work wardrobe is whatever I want it to be! (that saves money too!)

6) Less Stress For My Husband! With me being at home with the kids, my husband doesn’t have to worry about taking off if someone is sick or about running errands and doing chores on his days off from work. Being a work from home Mom allows me to help him more so he can enjoy time with the family when he is off. With me working, we also have a larger income and are able to do more fun activities, pay off debt, and put money away for our kids college funds.

7) I’m In Control!! Being in control is super important with kids. No only am I able to be the one teaching them how to act, treat others, and to have manners, Im also in control of my home. I don’t need someone else to come in and cook or clean, Im around all day and can do it when I have the time!

8) Family First! This is HUGE for me as I never want my kids to miss out on something. With me being home, I’m able to devote time to them FIRST and everything else last. The dishes and laundry can wait, spending time with my kids is most important.

1922359_10152741781254576_5496341979720602245_n9) No Stress!! I don’t worry about making my boss mad, being late to work, having to take time off, missing out on my kids activities, or not being around for my kids. Working from home lets me have less stress and more joy!

10) More Time and Money! Losing my income was tough, but being home with my kids all day is worth it. Finding that I can make that same income from home, with fewer hours is the best of both worlds. I still bring in a full time income. But on average I work 2-3hrs a day. And I work when my kids are asleep most the time so they never miss out on spending time with me!

 

Learn how you can work with ME!

Dana

Teaching Your Kids to Love Books

booksAs a Mom of 3, I am always looking for ways my kids can have fun and learn at the same time. I want them to learn, but at such young ages I also don’t want to force things on them so they end up bored. One ritual at my house is story time. Since my oldest was a baby, every night we have cuddled up and read together. It’s a nice way to wind down and get ready for bed, plus it keeps all the kids sitting down, and they are learning to love books at the same time!!!
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I am always on the hunt for good books for my kids. I grew up being a reader and even as an adult, I love sitting down to just relax and read a book. But I’ve found that so many kid books are just kind of silly. Sure they have great colorful pictures, but they don’t teach the kids anything or help them learn. And some I found cover topics that are not appropriate for all age groups. Even ones I personally think are good, often times my kids have no interest in. So its hard to find lots of books I approve of and the kids enjoy at the same time. We end up not agreeing on what book to read.

 

Luckily I met a wonderful woman named Andrea who introduced me to Usborne Books!! The books are not only GREAT quality, but they are also educational and engaging for children. One of the books we received from Usborne, we have read over and over again the first day as all 3 of my kids loved it so much!! I even found my 4 year old reading it to my 7 month old and helping him “feel” the different textures on the pages. It was great to find a book that both boys could enjoy at the same time. Of course another great quality is the durability in the books as it instantly went in the babies mouth HA!!

adalyn
One quality of Usborne that really impressed me was all their different options in books. The catalog had anything and everything from fun books, to education books, to sticker books, to novels for older kids. It truly covers all the basis and has something for every single kid no matter what their age, interest or education level!! My daughter loved the ice skating sticker books, while my 4 year old son loved the book teaching about the body parts.  Its so wonderful to see them sit down with the books and look through them all on their own! Not to mention the catalog is over 100 pages!! That’s right, 100 pages filled with awesome books!!! The prices were very affordable too for such nice quality books!!

 
I know many of my lovely Mom friends are always looking for a great way to not only teach their children, but also provide for their families financially, and this seems like a great opportunity!!! I snooped a little into what it costs/what you earn sharing these books and here is the low down on it.

*You can join for as low as $69 and that includes 7 titles plus your website. ((Now here is my two cents, $69 for 7 books is a good deal AND you are getting a business!! I see outrageous prices for at home businesses all the time but this one is a great deal!!))
*Commission is 25-30% based on your sales

*No Monthly Sales Quotas

*Earn free and discounted products for yourself

*Can work at book fairs and events or do home or online parties

*Have the option to sell to libraries, schools, offices, etc

*You can purchase your kit, then sell the books from it to make your money right back

*You can get a refund on your kit by selling a certain amount in 30 days

*Earn 30-60% off your own purchases or FREEkids couch

Those are just a few tidbits about the business opportunity, but from what I’ve heard it seems like a GREAT business opportunity for any Mom that loves reading and helping children learn. If you would like to learn more about the business opportunity, or the products, my good friend Andrea would be happy to answer any questions! She is also giving us a super awesome deal and all orders placed through this link https://c4370.myubam.com/66452, can be entered to win $50 in FREE books!!! (end Feb 14th) I highly recommend trying out these books and if you like them, look into the business opportunity!! I’m sure you will love them as much as me and my kids did!!

For more information on Usborne Books, contact:

Andrea Blanchette

raisingbookworms@yahoo.com

http://www.raisingourbookworms.com

Dana

Making Time For MOM

making time for momLast weekend, I was standing in line at Target with all 3 kids. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “Going to Target on the weekends is a BAD idea!!!” I realized that once I pulled in the super busy parking lot, haha!!! But standing in line, I got to chat with the lovely Mom of 2 behind me. She was a bit frazzled and was having a rough time, so I helped her with a toy her child threw down. It took 2 seconds, but she was so thankful to have someone to help!!!

When I handed the toy back, she saw my manicure.  Her question to me in a very shocked voice was “How do you have time for such nice nails with 3 little kids??? I never make it to the nail salon!!!”

Been there, done that!!!! I had given up on nice nails after my second child was born. No one to babysit so I could get a manicure, and not enough time for them to dry at home!! Over 3 years it has been since I stepped in a nail salon!!! Yet as a Mom, I still want some part of me too look put together when I’m in sweat pants, baggy t’s and my hair in a bun on a daily basis.  I have 3 kids under 5 so spending time on my appearance is very tough!!myjams

Often times as Mom’s, we come dead last. We take care of our kids, our spouse, our house, and then there is nothing left for us!!! We go all day long, give everything we have, and at the end of the day are just too exhausted to spend any time on our appearances or things we enjoy. That was how I was!! Forget manicures, I didn’t have TIME for me!! And then I realized, I needed to find some way, every once in awhile, to do something I enjoyed just for me.

I stumbled across these fabulous little gems almost 2 years ago. They are vinyl adhesive “nail wraps”. You warm them up with heat, and then stick them on your nails!!! Super easy!!! In fact, it takes me about 10 minutes to do my manicure and they stay put and keep looking fabulous for 2 weeks!! One of the best parts??? A manicure at the nail salon use to cost me about $15-$20 not including tip. With these, I get FOUR applications for $15!!!!! Not to mention they have so many styles to choose from!! You can do animal print, floral, or French tips! And the whole “no dry time, no chipping, no touch ups, no glue” is a BIG plus for this Mom!!! I can change diapers in the middle of a manicure haha!!!

This is my “me time”. Sure its only 10 minutes every other week. But it’s a chance for me to do something for myself. Every single Mom needs something for them, wheather its a bubble bath, glass of wine, chocolate bar, or manicure. We work so hard taking care of others, we each DESERVE something for ourselves every once in awhile. All week long when I look at my nails, I feel put together!!! Sure I might not look it to the rest of the world, but I FEEL IT and that is what matters!!! No matter what it is, a manicure, a massage, a haircut, make sure as a Mom that you find some time for YOU!!! Because no matter what, you are doing a great job and deserve it!!!!

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