As you know, we’re frugal. We were especially frugal in the first couple years of marriage. Because we had goals and dreams that required scrimping and saving, we HAD to be frugal. The things we did in order to dump LOADS of debt are not necessarily for everyone, but they were pretty painless, and they worked. Here are a few of our debt-destroying secret weapons.
With all the TV commercials about the upcoming Amazon Prime Day, I have to admit, I was intrigued. Most of my friends and a lot of my family members are already taking advantage of all the savings Amazon Prime has to offer. Even my oldest son is a member, and he’s sold on it! As the frugal mom I am, I did my research and found a lot of really great reasons for frugal parents like you & me to just go ahead, take the plunge, and JOIN!
1. Diaper deals! Amazon prime is one of the most popular places for amazing deals on diapers. Prime members who Subscribe & Save can get a 20% discount and enjoy diapers shipped right to their door for as low as 20 cents per diaper!
2. Awesome deals on feeding supplies. 30% off those fancy, expensive baby bottles? Yes please!
3. Free 2-day shipping. Can’t get out of the house because you’re bogged down with boogers and painted in poo? Me too. With FREE Two-Day Shipping from Amazon Prime, your shopping problems are solved.
4. Sleep deprived parents forget stuff. I get like 4 hours of sleep a night, so carting my Littles through the store trying to remember everything on my list just doesn’t work. I always forget stuff, yet another reason why I have an online shopping addiction. With Amazon Prime, its no problem. Just get online while baby naps, click, and you’re done. It arrives so fast I barely even had time to remember I forgot it…wait, forgot what?
5. I love gift-giving, but it never fails that every event just seems to sneak up on me too fast. 2 day shipping saves me when I need to find a unique gift and get it there QUICK!
6. Unlimited photo storage. Is your smart phone overflowing with photos of Junior? Not a problem with Amazon Prime’s unlimited photo storage! Your cherished moments are safe on Amazon Cloud Drive and accessible from anywhere!
7. Access to movies, music, and Kindle books. Never fret again about heading out in the rain or cold to rent movies for the kids. With Amazon Prime, books, movies, and music are included in your membership and available to you at the touch of a button.
8. They have awesome Baby Registry benefits, including discounts of 10-15% off remaining registry items!
9. All of this is available to you for only $99/YEAR…and you can try it for free now for 30 days!
10. Tomorrow is Amazon Prime Day! WOO HOO! Don’t you want to take advantage of even more deals than you see on Black Friday??? So do I! 🙂 But Amazon Prime Day deals are only available to Amazon Prime members! So, what are you waiting for, you money-saving frugal parent, you? JOIN TODAY! 🙂
If you like my frugal meal plan series, you’ll LOVE my Ebook! 1 Month of Dirt Cheap Dinners brings you an entire month of easy, frugal & delicious recipes, along with meal plans and shopping lists! Best part, it’s $1.99!
We live on a budget to help bring us closer to achieving our dream of being completely debt free!
We cook at home because it’s healthier, it tastes better, and it’s a fraction of the price of eating out. We feed our entire LARGE family on a budget of under $200 per MONTH! This is less than what most people spend in a WEEK! Our average shopping trip is under $50 per week. We only shop once a week, on Saturdays. We ONLY shop at Aldi. They have, by far, the best prices and quality.
This week I fed our family for $46.37!!!! This makes me so so so happy! 🙂 The bill keeps getting lower every week (pat on the back)! 🙂
This is based on a family of 5… Actually, 7 now! (5 adults, 2 toddlers) My parents also live with us now (don’t be alarmed, it’s great!) and eat dinner with us frequently, although not every night. Since my last meal plan post, our youngest is eating big boy food, and our oldest has turned 18. Ohhhhh how time has flown since I started blogging!
My meal plan includes a week of dinners and breakfasts for us all, plus lunches for 1-2 adults (since the entire family isn’t always home during the day).
These calculations assume that you already have some basics stocked in your pantry, like seasonings, oil, butter, etc. Also, it doesn’t figure in the things I buy in bulk and stockpile, like canned veggies, because I only buy those 1-2 times per year when I can get them on sale (or use coupons) for about 20 cents per can. We also can, or vacuum seal and freeze veggies in the summer and eat them all year long. We also enjoy fishing, and have friends who hunt, so we have access to free meat sometimes. Told ya were frugal!
A couple things to note, I use meat sparingly in dishes and bulk things up with veggies to save money. Also, the price of beef, even ground beef, has sky-rocketed recently. Ground turkey is super inexpensive at Aldi, so that’s my new go-to meat on-the-cheap. It’s healthier, too!
Main courses for our dinners this week will be:
Monday: Beans & Rice
Tuesday: Alfredo Pasta with Chicken & Veggies
Wednesday: Homemade Crockpot Veggie Stew
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad (salad greens & veggies topped with grilled chicken we cook in bulk once weekly)
Friday: Turkey Tacos (simple tacos using ground turkey instead of beef)
Saturday: “Thai” Ramen Noodles with Peas & Mushrooms
Sunday: Tater Tot Casserole
Our breakfast options this week, based on our shopping list, are:
Cereal, Greek yogurt, toast, eggs, omelets, French toast, fruit.
Lunch options this week will be mainly left overs, because the dishes I’m preparing make TONS of food!
Here’s my shopping list, and the prices I paid. I shop at Aldi and ONLY at Aldi!
Dried beans- $1.29
Chicken broth- $.89
Alfredo sauce- $.99
Frozen veggies- $.89
Chicken breast- $1.89/lb
Veggie stock- $1.19
Canned tomatoes- $.58
Canned corn- $.58
Canned green beans- $.58
Canned carrots- $.58
Canned kidney beans- $.58
Canned mixed veggies- $.58
Shredded cheese- $2.89
(2) Ground turkey- $1.49/lb
Ramen noodles (6)- $1.49/12 pack
Frozen peas- $.89
Fresh mushrooms- $.49
Tater tots- $1.89
Cream of chicken soup- $.79
Frozen veggies- $.89
(4) Greek yogurt $.85
(2) Milk $3.09
Apples 3 lbs – $2.99
I hope this post helps you with your meal planning this week, and helps you make your money-saving goals!
Photo Credit: Mary LaFrance, publicdomainpictures.net
There are a lot of blog posts out there with money saving ideas. But this blog post is different because it has ideas you probably won’t see anywhere else, because, let’s just say they’re a little bit unique.
My husband and I do all of the things on this list, except that we are no longer a 1-car family. We now own two cars outright that we paid cash for.
What we discovered in our savings journey, is that the things we do to save money have really ended up making us better people and more conscious consumers along the way. We leave a much smaller footprint as we go through life because we reduce, reuse, recycle, and make do.
1. Use single-ply toilet paper.
You know, the thin stuff that nobody wants to buy. Not only does it last forever on the roll, but it’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly. I only have to buy toilet paper about twice a year. I just can’t bring myself to spend more money on something I wipe my bum with than I do on the clothing I wear.
2. Go foraging.
Mushrooms are delicious and plentiful around here in the spring. Just make sure you know what you’re looking for. I’ve also picked fresh dandelion greens from my yard to use in salads and for dandelion tea.
4. Become a 1-car family.
This isn’t for everyone, but you can make it work. We did. By becoming a one car family, we were able to save hundreds of dollars on car payments, insurance, gas and maintenance. We did this at a time when we were both working full time, on opposite sides of town, and I had a middle-schooler who I had to drive out of our school district each day. It took planning. But it was so worth it. Eliminating that revolving payment from our debt-to-income ratio allowed us to buy our dream home.
5. Sell your stuff.
In our efforts to save money for a house, I sold my tanning bed, my car, my stash of Louis Vuitton bags, jewelry, clothing, shoes, and more. Yeah…I USED to be high-maintenance in my former life (not anymore!!) Never once have I looked at my home and thought, “This place sure is nice, but I wish I had my stuff back.”
6. Accept hand-me-downs with a grateful heart.
I love it when friends and family bring me a bag full of toddler clothes that their kids have outgrown, or when my friend gives me a sweater she no longer wears. I’m so thankful that people are thoughtful enough to bless me with their awesome stuff that’s new-to-us.
7. Do your own nails always, always, always.
It costs about $45 for a spa pedicure where I lived. I can buy 45 bottles of nail polish at Dollar Tree for that amount! I can buy everything needed to give myself my own pedi for about $3, AND I get the added bonus that I know where my pedi tools have been, and that they’re clean.
8. Go fishing.
We LOVE to fish, and it’s a super cheap way to stock your freezer with wild-caught, healthy protein. There are very little up-front costs. A yearly fishing license is about $19, and you can find cheap or free fishing poles at garage sales and on Craigslist. There’s a ton of free bait crawling around in the dirt right now, and even if you purchase it, it’s pretty darn cheap.
9. Say yes to free meals.
The parents invite us for dinner? Yes please! Church fellowship potluck? Uh-huh! Give a work presentation with lunch catored in? Sign me up! A volunteer opportunity with free lunch for the helpers? Ok!! Saying yes to these commitments makes us better people and there’s the added perk of saving us money on food.
10. Shop at Goodwill, thrift stores, and Craigslist.
Even though we’re in a financially happy place, years of being frugal has caused me to have a severe aversion to paying more than $3 for a shirt. I buy ALL my cute pajama sets at Goodwill for under $4 and wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you like my frugal meal plan series, you’ll LOVE my Ebook! 1 Month of Dirt Cheap Dinners brings you an entire month of easy, frugal & delicious recipes, along with meal plans and shopping lists! Best part, it’s only $1.99!
We live on a budget to help bring us closer to achieving our dream of being completely debt free! 🙂
We feed our entire family on a budget of less than $250 per MONTH! Our average shopping trip is around $60 per week. We shop one time per week ONLY, either on Saturdays or Sundays.
This is less than what most people spend in a week!
This week I fed our family for $48.90!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, we will have to run and buy milk at some point. AND…the reason I was able to spend such a small amount was because I am still using a few left over items from last week’s shopping list.
If you didn’t see last week’s list and meal plan, you can view it HERE.
This is based on a family of 4. This includes 7 dinners and 7 breakfasts for us all, plus lunches all week for 1-2 adults (since the entire family isn’t always home during the day).
These calculations assume that you do already have some basics stocked in your pantry, like seasonings, oil, butter, etc. Also, it doesn’t figure in the things I buy in bulk and stockpile, like canned veggies, because I only buy those 1-2 times per year when I can get them on sale (and combine with coupons) for about 20 cents per can. We also can, vaccum-seal and freeze tons of our own garden veggies in the summer and eat them all year long. I’m giving you main dish ideas, but I usually also add a veggie for a side dish, which is “free” for me because they come from our garden or stockpile. And then there’s the bonus that the hubby likes to fish, and we usually have fish in the freezer when his outings are successful. Told ya were frugal! 🙂
To simplify dinner planning, I’m going by this guideline:
-Meatless Monday…eliminating meat one day a week saves money!
-Tortilla Tuesday…because everything tastes better in a tortilla.
-Web Wednesday…every Wednesday, a new recipe from the web that I’ve been wanting to try.
-Throwback Thursday…some of our favorite old-school recipes from our favorite little old ladies.
-Fancy Friday…I try to make something a little special on Friday nights, as a way to ring in the weekend, since we usually stay in.
-Sandwich Saturday…Saturdays are the perfect day for sandwiches, and maybe some soup with it!
-Slow Cooker Sunday…hey, Sunday is the “day of rest”… And it doesn’t get more restful than letting your crockpot do all the work for you!
~~Our breakfast options this week, based on our shopping list, are:
Cereal, Greek yogurt (a few left from last week), toast, eggs, omelets, protein bars & meal replacement shakes (a few left from last week)
~~Lunch options this week will be mainly left overs, because the dishes I’m making actually make quite a bit.
**Here’s my shopping list, and the prices I paid. I shop at Aldi.
Red pepper .79
Green onions 1.00
Frozen Chicken breast (bag) 6.49
Frozen mixed veg (peas & carrots) 1.09
Frozen broccoli 1.09
Frozen salmon 2.99
Egg noodles 1.29
Pane Italian bread 3.79
Sour cream 1.29
2 cans biscuits .99×2
Pickle spears 1.49
Green olives 1.19
Canned chili WITH beans 1.29
Refried beans .79
1 can chicken 1.79
Minced garlic in a jar 1.99
Aldi version of Oreos 1.69
TOTAL = $48.90
—Main courses for our dinners this week will be:
**Click on the links for the recipes!
*Meatless Monday: Low Carb Veggie Bowl
*Tortilla Tuesday: Chicken & Bean Enchiladas
*Web Wednesday: Easy Chicken Fried Rice
*Throwback Thursday: Tuna Noodle Casserole
*Fancy Friday: Citrus Glazed Salmon
*Sandwich Saturday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches
*Slow Cooker Sunday: Baked Potato Bar
A bonus this week…Included in the money I spent, I’m also going to do something fun and special Saturday morning. I’m going to make my favorite gooey Vanilla-Orange Monkey Bread and have a Bloody Mary Bar (IDEAS HERE) for Dr. B and myself before we go do something fun for the day. I think that sounds like the perfect way to start the day…and his vacation (or should I say, “Stay-cation”). He’ll be off work all week to work on my Honey-D0 List! Yay!
I hope this post helps you with your meal planning this week, and helps you make your money-saving goals!
This post contains affiliate links.
This is a simple recipe, that’s not even really a “recipe” at all. This just involves warming things up, basically, so it’s great for a night when you don’t really feel like cooking. 🙂 You can add any toppings you like to this list, this is just a good start. Get as creative as you can imagine!
Baked potato bars are fun! Everyone gets to build their own, just the way they like it, with as much or as little as they want. Great idea for parties and big crowds! 🙂
- 6 -8 large baking potatoes
- Canned chili
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Diced deli ham slices
- Steamed chopped broccoli
- Diced onion
- Wash & dry potatoes.
- Layer in crockpot.
- Cook on low 4-6 hrs or until potatoes are tender.
- Add remaining ingredients into pretty bowls and create baked potato bar.
- Let everyone take a potato from crockpot & add desired toppings.
This is a great glaze for any seafood, but I especially like it on salmon. I serve this dish with a side of Lemon-Dill Pasta, and a simple salad. So good, fresh, and light! …and FRUGAL! 🙂
- 4 salmon filets
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 2 TBS salted butter
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Garlic powder (to taste)
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- Add salmon to oil and butter in a skillet on medium heat.
- Sprinkle with pepper and a dash of garlic powder.
- Cook salmon until half way done, then add glaze.
- For the glaze:
- Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, water, sugar and salt in a small skillet.
- Mix well, and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.
- Cook until reduced by half.
- Let cool until the glaze is thick and sticky.
- Brush glaze onto salmon during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Pour remaining glaze over afterwards, or use to garnish your entree.
Photo Courtesy Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee freedigitalphotos.net
Going to garage sales is a favorite weekend pastime for Dr. B and me. We love packing the kids up in the van, getting some good coffee, and heading out on a treasure hunt.
We’re always searching for antique vintage items that fit into my vintage home decor theme. My husband likes to find fishing gear, tools, and outdoor gear. We also are always on the hunt for baby gear bargains.
Some weekends we have very little luck, and some weekends we score so big it gives us a high that lasts all weekend. THIS would be one of those times!
We went to four sales, and found treasures at all but one of them.
Here’s what we found, for a total of just $25!! 🙂 Yay!!
6 antique Ball jars, some with original lids, and even an original seal. I have an ever-growing Ball jar collection, and the teal jars are my favorite. Some of these babies are worth a lot of money, but I’ve never paid more than a few bucks for any of mine. My dear husband spotted these, and scored them ALL for only $11 total. Way to go, Honey!! 🙂
4 antique cast iron skillets. If you are a foodie like me, then you know how awesome it is to cook on an old cast iron skillet. I’m always on the hunt for these, but I never buy them because they’re soooooo EXPENSIVE! Not today, my friends! We got all four of these small skillets for $2 each. They’re worth way, way more than that. And I can’t wait to make some Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies, or fry up some Breakfast Shipwrecks in these. 🙂
Antique porcelain kitchen strainer. $2. I am in love with all the items I found this weekend, but I think this MAY be my favorite. This strainer makes my heart beat fast. Lol. It fits so completely perfectly in my farmhouse chic, vintage kitchen. This sweet little 100 year old strainer was all sad and lonely sitting in a cardboard box in someone’s barn, just WAITING for me to find her, clean her up, and take her home with me to be loved again.
Antique mini Fire King baking dish with lid. This was only $1, and so worth the money. Not only is it cute, but it is very useful. I will be using it to make single serving portions of casseroles, etc, for my teenage son. He doesn’t like some of the things I put into my casseroles, like celery and large chunks of tomatoes and veggies. So, I will use this to make him his own portions sans the stuff he dislikes.
Nevco retro vintage metal bowl from South Africa. I’m a sucker for cool, pretty, unique bowls. This one fits the bill, and at only $1, how could I leave without it? This bowl is just lovely. I’ve never seen anything like it. The bright colors are so pretty. I don’t have a plan in mind for this bowl, but it was just too pretty to pass up (this is the borderline hoarder in me talking).
Antique porcelain pitcher. I love this almost as much as the porcelain strainer. It was $2, and it has red in it, which is my main accent color. Unfortunately, it has some rust and a hole in the bottom, so it can’t actually be used as a pitcher anymore, but it will make an awesome planter! The hole makes for perfect drainage!
I love breathing new life into antiques. And I love the past that they’ve already lived. I love imagining all the hands that have touched them, and the clothes those people were wearing, and what foods they may have been cooking. And I love getting these items at bargain prices! I still can’t believe we only spent $25! I can’t wait until our next garage sale outing, but the bar has been set pretty high after this trip. 🙂
What are your favorite garage sale finds? Share with us!
We all know that Aldi offers us the best prices on our groceries. But, did you know that Aldi also has a photo service? Yep, it’s simply called, “Aldi Photo Service.” They have the best prices I’ve seen on photo books, posters and canvases, greeting cards, photo gifts, calendars, and SO MUCH MORE!!!
And right now, if you sign up they’re offering you 50 FREE 4×6 prints as a way of saying, “Thank you!” (as if their prices aren’t awesome enough!?) 🙂