All In

My adventure as I jump into life all in!!

10 Ways to Save Money on Food

  1. Stop eating out
    It’s so convenient to eat out, but it is much cheaper to make meals at home than it is to eat out. The more people in your family, the pricier it gets to eat out. I’m guessing most people could save $20 minimum if they stopped eating out altogether. If you eat out quite often, why not just start by making a few meals at home?
  2. Meal plan around grocery ads
    I never remember to do this one, but I know people who swear by the ads. Some people never buy certain items unless they are on sale, and when they find a sale, they stock up. You can start out by noticing what items you buy often and try to stock up next time there is a sale. It can make a difference.
  3. Use coupons, Groupon, Living Social, etc.
    You don’t have to become a crazy couponer to save money with coupons. Granted, you may not walk out of the store with a cart full of items that only cost you one dollar, but using coupons and deal sites can help to make your grocery budget cheaper. My rule is to only use a coupon on items that we were going to buy or that we use often. For example, if I find a coupon for almond butter, I’m probably not going to use it because I don’t like nut butter and my husband only eats peanut butter. So we would never use it. But if I find coupons for milk, butter, or cheese, I’m more likely to use them because we use those items.
  4. Buy in bulk
    This one can be more costly up front, but if you price things out and realize how much you pay per ounce for some of your food, you may want to consider buying in bulk. Just make sure your family will eat it all before the expiration date, otherwise it is not saving you money.
  5. Make food from scratch (bread, cakes, even potato chips can be made from scratch with minimal cost)
    This is another one that I don’t do much, but the more processing that goes into a food item, the more it costs. You can buy a cake in the bakery section of most grocery stores, but you’ll probably spend over $15. Or you could buy a cake mix for $2 and a $2 container of frosting. Or you could go completely homemade and use a recipe for a cake, and your ingredients will probably cost even less than the $4 box cake! This applies to all sorts of foods, from cakes and desserts to taco seasoning and pasta sauce. Try to be aware of the groceries you are buying and think about how you could make some of them yourself. You could even go ‘extreme’ and raise chickens for eggs and meat, although that is a big time investment that you need to consider.
  6. Eat leftovers
    When eating out or eating in, the cost of food can be stretched by saving a portion of your food for the next day. This turns one meal that was let’s say $5-15 at a restaurant into 2 meals that were $2.50-$7 per meal. Plus this saves food waste if you were possible going to throw leftovers away a few days later. And if you saved money already by making your meal at home, the savings will be even greater if you can stretch your meal into leftovers. Make a point to eat your leftovers!
  7. Check your cupboards/freezer
    You may be surprised that you have enough food to get by for a few days. Even when I think I have “nothing to eat” I can usually find a few chicken breasts & a pizza in the freezer and a few boxes of rice or pasta in the cupboard. That means pizza for dinner, and chicken and rice for dinner tomorrow. I thought I had nothing, but I had 2 nights worth of meals! Get creative and make meals with items you already have. Quite often when I try to put off grocery shopping until the last minute, we will have egg sandwiches or grilled cheese because we have some bread and cheese and eggs but not much else!
  8. Eat your food before it expires!
    How often have you thrown food away? From produce, to meat to canned goods, make sure you are using these items before they expire and you will save yourself money. I know those produce drawers in the fridge are made to keep items fresher, but I swear, at my house, they are made to hide the food until a month later when I realize I bought produce and forgot to eat it! šŸ˜¦
  9. Buy produce only when it is in season.
    It is much cheaper rather than buying it throughout the year when it costs more to bring it in from a location growing it out of season. It also tastes better when it is in season and fresher.
  10. Figure out if you have “budget-busters” in your grocery list.
    Are you eating filet mignon every night of the week? Search your grocery receipts to see if you have some expensive items that can be removed from your list or swapped out for cheaper items. This also helps if your cheaper swapped item is on sale. Next time you plan on making a meal that uses beef or chicken, look at the meat section of the store and find a cheaper cut of meat or one that is on sale for a cheaper price.
  11. Ā (Bonus tip) – Consider how much meat your family eats, perhaps you can make a meatless meal a few nights of the week. Or stretch one cut of meat through Ā multiple meals. Americans tend to eat a lot more protein than is actually recommended, so consider ways you can save money by eating a little less meat. (Grilled cheese, cheese quesadillas, macaroni & cheese, and a potato & veggie skillet meal are just a few meatless things we enjoy)
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Goal Progress – May

I can’t believe it is May already!! Before you know it 2017 will be over! How is everyone doing on their goals? I think this is the first time in a while that I have kept up on my goals this far into the year. I tried to use the blog to keep me in check last year, but I still stopped around March or April. Go me *clapping* *cheers* for sticking with it!! Hopefully it lasts all year. Here goes the update:

Financial Goals:

Start a Side Hustle – Pass-ishĀ – I still didn’t post any more items on Ebay, but I did continue to work at my new network marketing business as an It Works distributor. My It Works paycheck for March came through April 14th at around $40, so that was nice. The only downside is that I spent more than that to join and on some products so far. But I am keeping track of whether this business venture is profitable overall, so hopefully after a while it will become profitable, otherwise I will probably not continue in this business. I know that you get out what you put in, so I need to make sure to spend some time promoting my business if I expect results. We will see how this goes šŸ™‚

Earn $100 extra each month – FailĀ –Ā I didn’t have much overtime last month due to using some PTO for an out of state trip. I maybe earned $20 extra from my job. Added to the $40 that I ‘earned’ from my It Works business and that is only $60 extra. Hopefully next month, I can get some overtime as well as put more effort into my business. I am also curious to see how much my April It Works income will be compared to March.

Pay down vehicles so they aren’t upside downPass-ish –Ā We ended up only making the usual payments this month due to our trip out of state. So, technically we do owe less than we did before, but no extra was paid towards theseĀ loans. I am hoping that in May the budget will allow for some extra to be put towards our cars, so we will see.

Grow our Net Worth by $10,000 (20%) – Pass –Ā We are still working on recovering from a dip in January due to the markets as well as the dip in our Net Worth after transferring the auto loan balance into another auto loan. But we are still chipping away. Our net worth only grew by $850 last month, but that is partially due to some travel costs that we will get partially reimbursed for. If we receive what I assume we will receive in reimbursement, then our net worth will have been around $2000 higher than last month, so I am hoping we get reimbursed soon. Especially because the charges we are getting reimbursed for are on credit cards and I don’t want to receive fees on them before we get them paid.

Personal Goals:

Read the Entire Bible – Fail –Ā Last month went by so fast, mostly because I didn’t want it to. But again, I didn’t open my Bible at all, other than at Church. I definitely want to be more purposeful in this area, even if I don’t get the entire Bible read this year, I want to spendĀ some time in the Word.

Write at least two blogs post per month – FailĀ –Ā The only post I made last month was my goal update, and that was barely posted before the month was over. In my defense, we had a lot going on in our personal lives as well as a trip out of state, so I am okay with missing this goal last month. But I do hope to be back on track this month. [One post down once this is posted šŸ˜‰ ]

Read 13 books –Ā PassĀ – I finished reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis right before the month was over, so I am still on track. I am still working on finishing reading What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey. I also started reading another book (I pre-ordered it even, so it is a brand new book!!) called Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves by Christy Wright. I heard about this book on Dave Ramsey’s radio show and though it would be good to read for my new venture with It Works as well as if I decide to start my own business of any kind down the road. One of my long-term goals is to be a stay-at-home mom, but I know I will need to bring it some income in order to do that so I want to learn all I can until that is a realistic possibility.

Grow Deeper in my relationship with God – FailĀ – Not exactly trackable, but I didn’t read my Bible and didn’t end up spending much time in prayer (other than some begging for personal wants, but that is a story for another time). I yelled at God a lot this month because something big in my life didn’t work out the way I wanted. I know that God has more in store for me, even if it isn’t until I reach Heaven, but I was still upset and didn’t spend much time in the Word. I am hoping to work through this and focus more on this relationship this month.

Make a point to do something special for my husband once a month – Fail –Ā We spent some time on a sort of vacation out of state, so perhaps some of the downtime on that trip could be counted as spending time specifically with him, but I’m not sure. We really need to focus on each other a lot more than we do. We need to be more intentional.

Keep Our House Tidy – Pass-ish – For the beginning of the month, our house was definitely not as clean as I wanted it. But I cleaned a little before our trip out of state around the 20th and then finished cleaning when we got back. Our foster son moved in with some of his extended family, so we no longer have a toddler leaving his toys everywhere (although I love him to pieces even if his toys were everywhere, which was probably partially our fault for not having him put them away every day). Anyway, our house has stayed a little cleaner without his presence, but I would take a messy house with him in it any day!

Looks like April wasn’t the best month so far for hitting goals, but I am still pressing onward and hoping to do better going forward. There’s always next month, right?

What about you, how are your goals or resolutions doing? If you are hitting your goals, great! If not, don’t get discouraged and keep pushing towards those goals! The best way to stay accountable is to share you goals and progress, so feel free to comment below.

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