Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill: Part 1

Last month I saved all of my receipts from my grocery trips to see how much money I saved by coupons alone, the total was $434.00! So I want to share with all of my frugal minded friends how to save LOTS of money on your groceries. First, I love coupons but I am not an "extreme" couponer. The most papers I buy are 4 at a time and that is ONLY if the coupons are REALLY good that week. Normally I buy 2 every Sunday after Church inside of Ingles. Some of my family and friends give me coupons too, and I love them even more for it ;) I do buy plenty of things without coupons, it is not realistic or healthy to buy coupon only items. You can't find many coupons for meat, produce, or milk. The biggest way to save on these things is to shop around sales. I get a lot of my families meat from my hubby and my dads deer hunting. Meal Planning is VERY important, if you don't meal plan START! It prevents wasting money and food which helps feed your family for less. For example: Plan spaggetti with salad, tacos and chilli for supper. BLT's for lunch and pancakes with bacon for breakfast in one week. You then have cheese and sour cream for the chilli and tacos, ground beef for all 3 suppers, lettuce and tomatos for your salad, BLT's and tacos. Bacon to top your salad, go on your BLT's and go with the pancakes...Plan the rest of the week the same way making all of the menu ingredients work in other meals. Plan your meals with your weekly ad paper in hand so you know what can stretch your budget the most. A trick I have with stretching ground beef: In all recipes that call for 1pound (other than tacos) reduce it to half a pound and add a veggie that works with your meal. When I make chilli I add onions. In spaggetti I add peppers and Onions. To stretch fresh milk I use evaporated milk mixed with water in cooking, baking and gravy. With produce, buy in season fresh fruits and veggies. Out of season produce is priced best in cans and frozen plus you get lots of coupons for canned and frozen produce :) I hope this helps!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Relaxation: Mommy's Way

My family and I are enjoying our winter getaway as I write...I have had an amazing time. I am super refreshed and it got me to thinking about all of the things that have made me so relaxed (other than getting away from the day to day stuff) I can do them all at home. I know now that to make myself a better Mommy I have to fit some "ME" time somewhere in my insane and weird schedule. With my hubby working a schedule of 24 hours at work and 48 hours at home I have always thought it was too hard to fit in...I am MAKING it a priority (as you should!) at least once a week after the kids are in bed. I have figured out as moms we tend to put our "me" time last or even feel guilty for wanting it. We have to refresh ourselves or we are going to be hateful old goats all the time! Or at least very grouchy most of the time. Here are a few ideas for you ladies, for after the kids are in bed or at nap time. First: The next time you are out take $10 out of the grocery budget and get yourself a couple face masks (or google the ingredients for a homemade one) buy or swap a good magazine with a friend and get a bag or box of your favorite chocolate...Put all of the above in a small plastic container. Label it "Mommy's Sanity Box" find a few more things along the way to add to it. Now...Pick a night when the hubbys favorite tv show comes on (or in my case a night that he is at work) and put the kids to bed early.

*Lay out your most comfy Pajamas

*Light your favorite candle

*Sit your magazine/book on the bed

*Turn some relaxing music on

*Take a long hot bath or shower

*Get dressed and get under a warm blanket

*Put your mud mask on (skip this step if you're not in the mood for one)

*Sit back, snuggle up, eat some chocolate, read and RELAX.......

***~Ladies, you DO NOT have to be a mommy to deserve some "me" time. Label your box "____'s sanity box"

~GIRLS: What do you do for a good session of "me" time? Please share in the coments below ;)