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

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

Get Paid To Write

transcribeOne 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 8hrs 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???

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 20hrs 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

Live Like A Girl

adalyn2I am a very structured person. I like lists, I like plans, and I like order. And I have 3 kids under the ages of 5. Having kids has been a great lesson to me on living in the moment, knowing whats important, and getting my priorities in order. My middle child, Adalyn, teaches me that daily!!! At 3 years old she dances to the beat of her own drum, ignores rules and order, is her own boss and lives like a fierce and fabulous girl.

If you need a giggle, here is a normal week with Adalyn.

 

Going into Lowes to use the restroom, she announces “I’m wearing boy underwear today!! I stole it from Will!”

 

De-cluttering my closet, she pulls everything from the trash pile “Mom, can I keep this?? Yes or No.” “No, put it back in the trash” “Mom, Yes or No. But NOT No!”

 

“Mom, while you put Liam to sleep I colored my belly. Its pink!!”unnamed4

 

On what to have for breakfast: “CHOCOLATE!!! Lots of CHOCOLATE!”

 

“For Halloween, Im going to be Astrid!!! Not a princess! A dragon rider!” (From How To Train Your Dragon)

 

On why she was closing all the doors in the house ” BECAUSE I WANT TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

 

 

Her Current Favorite Songs: Timber, Shake It Off, and Let It Goadalyn3

 

Her Favorite Activity: Taking care of her “one baby Liam”

 

On what she wants to be when she grows up “I want to wear Lipstick and give shots!”

 

Favorite Superhero: Pink Ones

 

Favorite Food: Ice Cream and Broccoli

 

 

Spending time with Adalyn reminds me that being yourself is the best person to be.  She is the middle child with an older and younger brother, and boy is she FIERCE! Sure she is only 3, but she sings even when she doesn’t know the words, she dances to her own beat, she dresses like she is a superhero princess, she tries to fly and doesn’t cry when she fall, and she says whatever is on her mind. My wish for her is that she never changes and always embraces every part of herself that makes her different from others. And that she always remembers that being a girl means she is strong, fierce, beautiful, and capable of anything she wants! #likeagirl

 

 

Dana