HOW WE PAID OFF $55K OF DEBT ON 1 LOW INCOME

HOW WE PAID OFF $55K OF DEBT ON 1 LOW INCOME

Debt is a horrible thing. It robs us of what is ours, it takes away opportunity, freedom and security. It keeps people awake at night and working around the clock.

I know because my husband and I have been up to our eyeballs in it since we got married.

I handed my poor young husband $22,000 of personal consumer debt the day we got married. And we proceeded to tack on $33,000 more through our early years of marriage. Shockingly neither of us have a spending problem! This debt was all average, run of the mill, everyday living debt. Cars, student loans, and of course children! None of that is an excuse just a description of the picture we were dealing with.

At first neither of us knew what to do. We didn’t know where to begin or who to turn to. Yet the dream of being debt free was the drive behind our fervor.

I remember coming across a success story of a woman with a large family, living on a low single income, and being debt free, AND SAVING MONEY!! I was obsessed with the notion. Part of me laughed at myself and thought

“of course she can do it…..but you can’t”

I had so many excuses for myself. Things like, “we can either be healthy, or debt free, but it’s impossible to do both.”

Or “I think it’s fine once we have things like a nicer car and bigger home, then we can really go crazy getting out of debt.”

These and many more I tried to convince myself of. They were all lies.

I would get angry when I wanted to buy something or update something and we simply didn’t have the money. I always snapped, “where the heck is all our money going?” But it was always going to the same place:  Debt

I finally had it with the whole idea of debt. Borrowing to get things we wanted just to be punished for the rest of our lives. Never getting ahead or being able to afford anything of quality. And never being able to move forward with dreams or goals.

So we did 4 things:

First: We Got Our Finances in Order.

We laid it all out. We wrote EVERY blessed thing down. And we made a budget. It started with understanding down to the penny what we made each month followed by exactly what we spent. this was somewhat unknown as we were not keeping track of any spending whatsoever at the time. it was painful and not fun at all the first few times we sat down to talk about finances. However, as time went on and we were incorporating better habits and seeing them work, it became very exciting!

Starting a budget is not easy and I recommend having a lot of patience when you do it with your spouse! A couple things to remember;

  • It’s not one person’s fault. -Finances are both your responsibilities and if they need help, it’s up to both of you.
  • A budget doesn’t last forever. -You will have to go back at least once a month if not more to change and update things in your budget!
  • This is a starting point. -It’s easy to get frustrated at past habits and mistakes but you have to take note and move forward with that knowledge of having control of your money.

See the fool proof way to budget even for non-tech people!

 

Second: We Got Rid of Anything We Couldn’t Eat, Wear, Drive, or Stay Warm With.

I’m talking everything. Magazines, cable, expensive cell phone plans, restaurants, movies. You name it and if it didn’t help keep us alive we removed it from the budget.

See what you need to stock a frugal pantry!

Third: We Consolidated.

We took all the different loans, credit cards, and car loans and we consolidated them into one low interest rate payment. I have heard different opinions on this. Personally, I wanted to take all that interest and diminish it as much as I could. I couldn’t think of a smarter way than bringing it all to one place and only having 1 interest rate.

Also, the benefit of this is only having 1 payment and one due date. Resulting in never missing a payment and never paying late fees. There are many consolidation companies that can help you get started with your debt-free journey. They are widely accredited and well known for their quality services. You would be putting yourself in good hands with them. However, do your due diligence and research what is a good match for you.

Fourth: We Put Our Heads Down And Powered Through.

After putting it all down on paper. Getting rid of excess. Putting the debt all in one place. We were set.It was simple, and it was hard. That is to say; it is not complicated but that doesn’t make it easy!

The process was easy, but the follow through took discipline. We put every extra dime toward debt.

See how we saved hundreds by changing this one coffee habit! 

We researched and figured out health meals on a budget and smarter ways to grocery shop on a tight budget.

I thrift shopped everything first. What I couldn’t find at the thrift store, I went to the dollar store for. After that the last resort was Wal-Mart or something as cheap.

For food it was the same concept. Aldi first, Wal-Mart second, but I dreamt of the day I could walk into a Trader-Joe’s and Target again. I knew I would, but the days felt long and tiring to get through.

See how we cut our grocery budget in HALF!

I decided to fall in love with the process. I decided to make it a game. As the debt started to melt away and we could see the end of the tunnel more and more it became exhilarating. Things became less important. Food was just food. It didn’t need to be expensive or fancy, only nutritious and satisfying.

We always kept the dream and focus in the forefront of our minds. It took a lot of “pain now for results later” mentality, but it worked! We turned our dreams into goals and used that as our motivation! This let us discuss our dreams over a nice cup of coffee while having the knowledge of knowing we were working our plan to get there and reach them! It has been a huge challenge and one that has to be done together if you are married!

I am so excited to be able to tell you that if we accomplished this challenge, if we climbed the mountain of debt to reach the top and find freedom so can you!

All it takes is these 4 simple steps, and the courage to see it through to the end!

I wish you all the luck in the world and all the financial freedom you deserve!

 

 

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TOP MONEY SECRETS OF REAL MILLIONAIRES

MONEY SECRETS OF REAL MILLIONAIRES

When we think about “success” we think money. When we think money, we think of having so much of it that it no longer brings concern. Some of us may even think in numbers like millions or billions.

If you have any ambition to be successful at all, why not learn from the best?

I’ve studied millionaires for the past 16 years and becoming a millionaire has been a life-long dream of mine since I can remember! Although at first, of course; I didn’t have much of a plan. It was just wishful thinking; a dream rather than a goal.

Through the years however I have taken the wonderful advice of the ones I have studied and applied it to my daily life. After hard work and detailed application, things began to fall into place in ways that have taken my life and turned it around 180 degrees.

By applying the things, we learn; our lives can start to look like the ones we want to emulate. It’s so easy to read quotes, read books, and watch movies about other people’s success stories fiction or non. It’s so simple to then dismiss their success as a “fluke”, or just cracking it up to it being what they were “destined” for, but that’s not OUR lives. It safe to stay put. To not ever go out of our comfort zone. Safety isn’t success it’s average.

Here are 18 Things that typical millionaires have in common regarding good personal and money habits:

  1. Get Up Early

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You don’t have to be up before the sun. But being up before people start pestering allows for time to focus and get the most done. It also allows for Personal time. Spiritual time. Mental time. These 3 things are things the world and other people do not allow for you, so you must chisel time out for yourself. Being up before the world starts pulling you each and every way allows for that time.

  1. Get Self-Employed

This one seems like a no brainer, it also seems to be said a lot these days with youtubers and bloggers up the wazoo. It was background to me for a long time. Something I dismissed for some unknown emotional reason. Self-doubt perhaps. But this one is truly an important factor. Either by a side-hustle or full on business getting self employed allows you the freedom to bring in any amount you set for yourself. Start with a budget!

  1. Take Risks

Taking risks is so far out of most people’s comfort zones that they literally never will do it. Not even once in their lives. Millionaires however have all taken some risk. Either on themselves or in an investment. Learn what risks are practical, safer, and will yield a return and then start.

  1.  Invest Consistently

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Learn the numbers and get comfortable with it. Take a course, ask an advisor, do whatever it takes for you to understand what you are doing with your hard-earned money but then do it. Teach yourself how to make your money work FOR you.

Invest often. Don’t get scared and quit. Don’t sit on one investment. Invest often.

Invest early. It’s the hardest and most important phase for getting a foundation under your belt.

  1. Gratitude and Satisfaction

Millionaires are people who have had massive amounts of gratitude and satisfaction throughout the entire process. They learned early on to enjoy the journey. By being grateful in our present states and having satisfaction with the things we have and the achievements we have conquered we stop looking outside of ourselves for happiness. The happiest people have the most to offer the world.

  1. Cut Waste

Becoming a millionaire isn’t always about MAKING more money. Part of it is taking care of what you have and not wasting it. See: the best ways to start saving! That goes for time and resources as much as belongings. Cut the waste out of your life as much as you can and keep what you have and your life will see great returns. See the best ways to cut the waste out of your grocery budget!

  1. Be the Best NOW

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People who are successful are typically the best in their field or expertise. Be the best NOW!!! Don’t wait until the money starts coming in. Give the best of yourself. Show up. Excel at whatever you are doing but excel NOW. Be the best waitress. The BEST cashier. Smile. Bring Joy and value. Make people laugh. Be attractive and you will attract. If you hate your job, change it. If you can’t change it create a business, you will love. Just remember you can’t start a business tonight and quite your job tomorrow, it will take time. But the time will pass if you start one or not. So, you might as well start creating your future today. While you are at it though, be the best version of you.

  1. Figure Out Your “Why” First

If you don’t have a reason you don’t have much of a pull. How will you be willing to do what it takes if you don’t have a reason behind you. It doesn’t have to be profound or elaborate. Figure out what your reasons for stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown are. This will keep you going in the hard times. This will be the drive to get you to the top.

  1. Believe in Yourself

More times than not we sit on the sidelines watching. We are all afraid. Don’t be fooled. All the millionaires I’ve ever spoken with have had a point in their lives where they were afraid.

Most millionaires didn’t have parents who handed them a bank account after school. They came from where you sit today or worse. Also most of them were so scared and they didn’t know what to do, but they kept putting one foot in front of the other. You can’t run the race sitting on the bleachers. You have to get off the sidelines and start. Believe that you have something to offer that no one else does. The world is waiting for you!

  1. Start Small

Little sacrifices add up. Start small and slow. You don’t have to go all in. Just do 1 small thing each day that moves you forward. You want to build momentum. These millionaires didn’t get here in a day. They followed a process. They started small and slow and eventually they won the race.

  1. Plan B

It’s important to have a plan B. Otherwise we let road blocks get in our way. We set ourselves up for failure. Create a plan B to keep moving forward. There will always be road blocks and doors that slam shut. Don’t let it be discouraging.

  1. Don’t Purchase These 2 Things

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There are 2 things in life that we are programed to need, want, and continually buy. New Car’s and New Houses. Resist the urge as much as you can. As the money starts to come in remember that the Mazda you drove to get to class will still get you around. The house can be fixed and upgraded.

  1. Make Your “Millions” Come to Life

What does being a millionaire mean to you? It means something different to each person. There are no two people alike. A millionaires lifestyle to you will be a completely different picture to me. Paint your picture. Dream. Visualize. Sometimes when we think “millionaire” we think in money, but money has no feeling. Think about what a day in your life would look like if you made a 7-figure income. This is your million come to life!

14. Planning, Commitment and Perseverance

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Plan your money so you have plenty at the end of the month. By making more or cutting expenses, whichever you prefer. Create and commit to a plan, then persevere. The hardest part is perseverance through the hard times.

  1. Get Rid of Bad Debt

Learn the difference between good and bad debt. Avoid consumer debt at all costs, but don’t neglect the benefits of good debt. Good debt is a debt that is an investment that will grow in value and generate long-term income.  Purchasing a home would be an example of “good debt.” It is an asset that typically grows in value and is sold for a profit.

  1. Avoid Peer Pressure and “The Jones’s”

Its super easy to get sucked into the trends and what other people are doing or having. Social media makes it even easier to be constantly up to date with what everyone is buying.  This is where remembering your “million come to life” comes in very handy. Always having that scene playing out in your head of what your day will looks like after you achieve your goals is the perfect tool to keep you on track and let the Jones’s be.

  1. Learn How to Work 10% Harder Than the Average Person

  • The average person comes home and watched Netflix.
  • They get up in just enough time to maybe shower before work and head out the door.
  • The average person lives paycheck to paycheck.

Learn to work only 10% harder than that and you are bound to succeed. See the Habits of Successful People vs Unsuccessful People.

  1. Never Stop Learning

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Never stop reading, listening to podcasts, studying the people you want to emulate. Don’t give up on your dreams and always be working on reaching them. The minute you stop learning, is the minute you give it all up. If you don’t understand something you must research it until you do. And if you fear something; do it until you are comfortable. Never stay comfortable, because comfort is average!

Remember becoming a millionaire is NOT hard to do, but so it NOT becoming one. It’s a choice in the little things.

  • Working a bit harder.
  • Setting aside instant gratification
  • Being grateful for what you have and are experiencing
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Investing in yourself

Through my 16 years of study these 18 things ring loud and clear as common denominators. If you can implement them into your life now slowly but surely you will start to see a snowball effect of results.

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
― Earl Nightingale

Where will you be in the next 10 years? Will you risk your comfort, learn to work 10% harder, and ignore the Jones’s to be able to give your advice for making 7-figures?

 

 

HYGGE-THE SECRET TO NORDIC LIVING FROM THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD

Let me paint a picture for you:

You’ve just graduated from high school. Everybody and their neighbor has asked you what your plans are. Every time someone asks your stomach gets all knotted.

You don’t really know, and you go off to college anyway.

You start your classes and pick a major based on statistics. Income margins, work life balance, and maybe, just maybe; you pick something based on your personal interest, yet probably not top of your priority list.

You graduate and head off to your first job. And for the rest of your life you work.

Early mornings

Long commutes

Always answering to someone about things you try to care about.

Does any of this sound familiar? Is your life anything like this?

Most people live like this. They follow the blueprint society lays out and they go with the proverbial flow of “life.” But are they happy?

Are YOU happy?

Happiness is a tricky thing. It isn’t something that we can buy, hold, or store away for later. It isn’t something we plan for or even schedule in.

Happiness isn’t a place, or a destination. Yet, we are all always looking for it. It is our world’s eternal quest.

Have you heard that the Nordic people are some of the happiest people in the world and have been for a while now? Have you heard of the word –hygge-?

Hygge, {hue-ga} has no English translation. (See the definition)

Hygge is a state of mind, a feel in your world and atmosphere. And you need it!

Here is a list of things that would make up a hygge evening.

GET COZY

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The first step for cultivating hygge is getting cozy.

Taking off any restricting clothing, and getting into slippers or flip-flops.

Putting on soft and soothing clothing.

Close the drapes. (Here’s how to make your home more Hygge)

Put on some slow soft, peaceful music.

Light a couple candles (really relaxing scents help too)

CULTIVATE CLOSENESS

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Hygge is all about close relationships.

Partners, spouses, children, and friends. Whomever you have bring them close and make memories!

Bake cookies or goodies and invite a friend for hot chocolate (or coffee) and a treat to catch up and chat!

Arrange a little winter get together with friends and their kids and go sledding!

Snuggle up with your loved one on the couch with big blankets and read books and listen to music!

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Get the girls together for a fun DIY Spa day! Do each other’s nails, and do a massage train!

I’m not much of a “friend” person. So if you’re anything like me you don’t have a lot of friends, or they may live far away. Pets are amazing friends. A kitten, or little puppy can bring more joy than describable! A snoozing cat all snuggled and warm with you on the couch with an over-sized blanket and hot cup of your favorite beverage is just the hygge type picture to paint!

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ENJOY EVERYDAY

Some days are hard, some are ok, but each day, no matter how horrible, has something worth enjoying. And you can never get that day back! Once it’s gone; it’s gone. So enjoy the blue sky and sunshine, your health. If nothing else your dreams are worth enjoying!

Some days are so hard that you have to make it a point to enjoy something, and that is what the Danes are so well known for. They make it a point to E.N.J.O.Y.!

Make it a point to enjoy the things you do each day. Try to be mindful of your actions as you go through the motions of your enjoyments.

Life is too short to drink terrible coffee. Buy the coffee that you love and brew it the way you want! You can actually save money while getting a better cup of coffee too!

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Take advantage of your work breaks. Go outside and walk, or eat on a bench. Winter is long!

Do you hate the cold weather as much as I do? Going out in the winter is not a fun thought! To help this rememebr that the right supplements can drastically change your mood through the winter and make you feel like summer 😉!

This being said; I notice that every time I step outside and breathe deeply; the fresh air hits my lungs and i instantly feel happier like energy and positivity just shot through me! And when I move around in nature (even winter nature) I am so thankful for the lift I get in my mood, my mental clarity and my productivity.

 

Buy a plant and try to keep it alive! (See how Vinegar can help!) I am notorious for this one. I don’t know what it is but it seems like I can’t keep a plant alive for the life of me!

That being said; there are plants that don’t need any care! So if you have my same lack of growing gifts you’re in luck! 😁 Even the sweetest little succulent plant will bring joy on a rainy day therefore brightening up your home and your mood! Get yourself some green, living, breathing plants!

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Hygge isn’t something you can buy. It’s all the moments you mentally pin as enjoyable, cozy and warm, safe and friendly.

It’s an art of intentional living

Remember; Hygge is ALL ABOUT YOU!

In a world of fast pace, striving deadlines, and constant stress, you can choose to come inside yourself a little more and enjoy the one and only life you’ve been given!

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10 HACKS YOU NEED FOR A PERFECTLY CLEAN HOME

So, I have a bit of a confession.

I’m sort of a neat freak. I’m undeniably “type A”. If my home is messy, unorganized, or at all out of place I tend to get stressed out and ……well angry. I lose my patience very quickly when my house is not clean. I’m not proud of that, but it’s my confession! 😁

I have a big family. Lots of little hands grabbing things and DROPPING THEM. If you are a parent you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I don’t know what the deal is, but I’ve watched my children and other people’s kids for years with this one.
They grab a toy, or clothes out of the laundry basket and then take a couple steps and drop in it on the floor as they walk away.

It baffles me. It’s like they don’t think I have anything to do but walk behind them cleaning (which I sometimes feel like I do).

Over the years I’ve put some habits and systems in place that help keep my home looking abundantly clean (for the most part) pretty much all the time.

1. Unload the Dishwasher the Night Before

I LOVE an empty dishwasher. It goes hand-in-hand with “I brought home pizza” and “I have great news”!!! I love all those words!
But, seriously; having an empty dishwasher when you go to do the dishes makes a world of difference!
If you’re like me I generally wait until the dishwasher is packed full after dinner and bedtime snack to turn it on. Resulting in having me unloading in the mornings. However, if you turn yours on after dinner, unloading it before you head to bed will jump start your day 10-fold.

2. Make the Bed AND Clean the Room

No one says this, and it always bugs me. I can make my bed and still feel yucky when I walk back in there hours later and their clothes, towels, paper work and whatever else was dragged and dropped in there. By decluttering and minimizing everything off the dressers and floors the bedroom will feel airy and fresh when you walk back in! I love having my sanctuary to go to when I just need to refocus.

3. Baskets, Baskets, Baskets!

Ok, I might have a little obsession with my baskets! I adore baskets, their versatility, their instant organization and their beauty! They make everything more elegant. I have baskets for everything from random unmatched socks, to first aid, to books and mittens! My next project is putting 2 big baskets under my bathroom sink for towels and toilet paper! So much crisp organization in one little trick! I even have baskets in my car for the front and back seat. They make for quick and easy tidy and/or removal of items form the vehicles. Comment and let me know any ideas you have for my next basket task! 😊

4. Stay In 1 Room

I have found in my many many years of cleaning that by staying in one room until it’s finished not only saves a crazy amount of time but helps with the quality of your work. Carrying around a tidy tote which I mention in a previous post 4 Genius Ways To Clean Your House Like a Professional, you can fill it with things for rooms and then carry them to that room as you go. This way you aren’t running around the house putting things away and getting side tracked and distracted.

5. Focus on Your Major Traffic Areas

This one is huge for making quick progress. Focus first on your most “lived in” areas. Places like the living room, kitchen, and mudroom. Not every room of your house needs to be clean all the time. This one is a huge relief for me and helps relieve stress. By running around and cleaning up the high traffic areas you can quickly and almost effortlessly get ready for company or just give your home a quick lift.

6. Use the 2 Minute Rule

Ever heard of this rule? The two-minute rule is if a job can be done in 2 minute or less, do it now! Don’t put it off for later. I use this one all day long. My dad said a little saying all my growing up years, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Which I later found out is a famous saying. But no matter who coined the phrase it’s meaning is very important. Procrastination is the poison to any progress in our lives. By not letting things pile up tasks become easier and almost effortless to maintain.

7. Set a Timer for Larger Tasks

I like to set a time for when things overwhelm me. By telling myself I only have to work on it for 15 minutes I am more apt to get going and work quickly instead of dragging my feet or worse never starting! (What a child am I!) I’m always amazed at how much I get done when that timer is ticking!

8. Minimalize

About 2 Christmases ago my husband and I watched a documentary on minimalism and I was immediately attracted to it. I have found that it goes hand-in-hand with my cleaning and effortless routine. I can always tell when things have piled up a bit and I need to get rid of some things or just store some things away that aren’t being used. By minimalizing your home, you have less to pick up and put away. I truly recommend decluttering and donating anything you don’t love or use often.

9. Work in One Direction

When I’m cleaning a room (say the kitchen for instance) I work starting at one counter and just move down. I work in one general direction so that I’m not bouncing around the room. Like the staying in one room concept. I keep a fluid motion and before you know it all the counters are cleared and swiped!

10. Grace and Forgiveness

This is the hardest one for me in the moment. I must consciously remind myself that not everyday is perfect. There are days I am more exhausted than humanly possible. Kids are unpredictable creatures. Being a mom of 5 little ones there isn’t much sleep in my schedule. I’m sure you can completely relate if you are a mom to any number of children. Even 1 child who has a hard night can destroy your energy level for the next day.

I have found that my most valuable tool for keeping my house tidy and staying sane is knowing when it’s an off day and living in complete forgiveness of myself, and all the people who live here. Asking for the grace to sustain my days and remain calm cool and collected as I move through my day.

Having a mess day is okay when I tell myself it is! Sometimes mess days are the most fun days here at my house! Each day is unique, if you are having a hard day and the house is a wreck, check in within. Be true to yourself. If you have ambition to get it pulled together more power to ya’ mama! If not that’s okay too.

There is always tomorrow!

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF!

Want to know how we cut our grocery bill in half? Well, believe it or not there is a wrong way to use coupons and shop the deals, even when you are saving money with your grocery shopping. Grocery chains spend so much money on marketing and advertising. They spend this money knowing it will pay off! After all, they are a business that is in it to make more money.

It’s no surprise that they spend so much on studies and human behavior in order to know exactly what will attract the most spending by us! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these companies are bad! From a profit standpoint, they actually do a very good job! It is up to us to be smart enough to see and realize the right way to use their coupon and ad system to our advantage rather than theirs!

I learned this early on in our marriage when we started grocery shopping together for the first time. My mom was a devoted couponer and her mom before her. They didn’t go crazy enough to get shopping cart-full for pennies but they were pretty close!

 

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

It took a while for me to catch on to how I was being played by the grocery ads. I wasn’t using them to my benefit as my mom had done when I was a kid. 5 kids later and it is absolutely essential for me to get this right when I go grocery shopping! This is a great way to actually save money shopping instead of feeling like you’ve been played!

Before kids, we would grocery shop together (back in those romantic days) and I would bring my coupons along and know what was on sale. Like most newlyweds we had little money and wanted to keep as much of it as we could! We bought everything that was on sale or that we had coupons for, in the name of saving money.

This turned out to be a disaster! It seemed like we were saving money but ultimately that was not the case! We were missing some key elements that everyone should consider when trying to save money on their groceries!

 

Here is the breakdown of HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF:

  1. Comparing Stores

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

We did not look around at other locations once we found a coupon. If avocados were 2 for $3 with a coupon, I didn’t bother to see their regular price at other stores. This is a huge deal because sometimes the coupon or ad prices don’t beat the competitions regular prices on certain items!

Grocery stores do this because they can’t afford to sell everything at a deal and tend to try to make some good money (this is called profit margin) on high demand items. So it’s important to see if the “deal of the week” is actually a deal or if you could find it for much less at another store. Just because it’s a featured ad or on a coupon doesn’t mean it’s the best out there!

 

  1. Buying Only What You’ll Eat

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

This one was huge for us but is 10 times more important now that we have 5 little mouths to feed! Our kids tend to be picky eaters (as all kids are) and there is no point in getting a deal on something that will rot away in the fridge because no one likes it! Sure you can get ten cucumbers for $6 but if nobody likes them, then you’ve wasted $6-not to mention your time shopping.

My husband (who is in the Finance world) calls me the “Home Economist”. It’s my job to save money and keep our lives running as efficiently as possible just like it’s our business (which it is). I have to keep us running at a profit in order to use our hard-earned money for important things! And throwing out food is not on my list of important! See how I was able to save us hundreds by changing this one coffee habit!

It may look like a great deal on the ad page but it’s not worth it if it’s a waste of money! Just like those Black Friday deals that are selling luxury spa sets that you know you’ll never use but like the idea! You buy it and there it sits in your closet because it was “such a great deal”. We can’t afford to do this every time we go to the grocery store!

 

  1. Getting a Little Extra

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

Speaking of shopping for what your kids will actually eat; get an extra one or two when it’s on sale! If your kids eat bananas faster than monkeys in the jungle, buy some extra when they go on sale. Just don’t buy so many that you’ll have to be throwing them out at the end of the week.

When blueberries or some of their other favorites go on sale or have a coupon, I like to buy extra so that on my next grocery shop, I can skip that item knowing we have some at home. It saves money and adds to the concept of not throwing out expired or rotten food, because they devour it!

 

 

Even when shopping just for yourself this concept saves some serious cash! If you consume coffee like an addict (guilty) and your favorite brand goes on “buy 1 get 1 free” go for it! Buy 2 or more and stock up and save money! That way when it is back at regular price, you won’t be buying any at least for a while.

I had a friend who used this concept with gift cards. During the Christmas season his wife and he would purchase Target gift cards that were marked down on a sale for 10% off. They bought $900 dollars’ worth of gift cards! Yikes! However as a result; they now had $1000 dollars in gift cards! They use these the rest of the year buying NECESSITIES (that’s the key word there) at the store. Yes, still shopping the coupons and best deals there. So right off the bat they were ahead $100!

That’s some serious home economics!

  1. Learning the Layout

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

Grocery stores (and all stores) are laid out to maximize store profit (you’re spending). I actually know this because my husband has also worked in markwting and for a large grocery chain as well! This is why the toilet paper is usually at the back of the store! Therefore; you have to pass every other item to get to it! Let the spending commence!

From insiders: all of those cameras in stores are not just there to catch shop lifters. No, they’re there to study our shopping habits, how we enter the store, which direction we walk, what catches our eye. Yes they’ve put this much thought into it down to what you smell when you walk through the door and what music is playing to get you in the shopping mood! Grocery stores usually have the upbeat tempo and smell of fresh baked goods to put you in the mood!

No wonder they make so much money! My advice on getting through this system that is designed to make you spend is something that I force myself to always do:

Bring A Grocery List!

 

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

If you sat at home and wrote down all of the essentials that are needed than you can shop confidently knowing that anything not on that list is not needed.

When I have my list, something will catch my eye (like it’s supposed to) and I will sit there and debate if I need it. If it’s not on my list that’s my answer. It’s like the little Angel on my shoulder telling me what to do “if you didn’t write it down it wasn’t important enough to get you to the store”. If it is on my list, that’s my permission to get it, it’s a necessity that is needed in our household. Also, I’ve looked at the ads and researched which location it is the cheapest at!

 

  1. Getting the Best

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

This one is a personal habit and can be difficult if your schedule doesn’t allow for the right timing. Grocery stores have fresh delivers on specific days of the week. For some its Tuesdays and Thursdays while others could be every Wednesday.

Knowing when the store gets their product trucks unloaded is really nice! There have been a number of times where I’ve seen a great deal, but by the time I get to the store, they have run out of the item. You know, because everyone else saw that deal too! Instead of having to come back for one or two items, it’s nice to know what day they get their shipments in and make it there preferably that day or night!

This allows my grocery stop to be one stop, per store and I walk out with everything I’ve needed at the best price possible!

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

 

Before I followed these guides for shopping my food budget was much higher! I’ve managed to cut that budget IN HALF by spending a little more time planning for my grocery shop! It has been a life saver as our family grows and our kids eat more and more! See also what we did to save $600 in one month!

 

My grandma is a now a multi-millionaire and still cuts coupons and shops using these methods! These shopping tricks have helped us free our finances and free up income to use for our long-term goals!  I truly believe if you put in the effort to follow these rules you too will see your household budget grow rather than the grocery stores!

Remember that being a home-economist is a full-time job! The money you save is money you earn!

HOW WE CUT OUR GROCERY BILL IN HALF

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

-Benjamin Franklin

13 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With a Food Processor

I have a food processor in the cupboard that I used to only use for the 1 or 2 tasks a month.. A while ago we took our eating habits to a much healthier level and this thing has made it much simpler! I use it almost daily now after researching some great healthy recipes on Pinterest!

Maybe you just got a new one for Christmas, and you’re not entirely sure what to do with it?

Here is a list of 13 AMAZING ideas that you can create with your food processor! These recipes are delicious and so much easier using this handy thing! If you don’t have one you will be headed out the door for one after you see these!

1 compact kitchen appliance and the world is your oyster! The possibilities are endless!

Hummus

Hummus
Hummus

You will never buy hummus ever again. This quick and easy recipe thrown in your food processor will be whipped up and creamy in just 5 minutes.

Found on RecipeTinEats.com

Bread Crumbs

Bread Crumbs
Bread Crumbs

Save your old stale bread and bring it to back to life with this quick easy trick. Add the results to chicken, fish, or other breaded savory dishes

Found at PopSugar.com

Nut Butter

Nut Butter
Nut Butter

This delectable treat is perfect for spreading on toast, adding to cookies, and drizzling on oatmeal!

Found at Detoxinista.com

Homemade Mayo

Homemade Mayo
Homemade Mayo

Homemade Mayo

 

Forget the artificial preservatives and scary ingredients in your condiments. Whip up a quick mayo to go with anything! Add some garlic or dill and you’ve got an entirely new twist on a scrumptious sandwich.

Found at Umami Girl.com

Pie Crust

Pie Crust
Pie Crust

I don’t know about you, but I can’t count how many recipes I’ve avoided because it called for pie crust, and I didn’t have any roll out in my freezer. Here is a great way to throw together a flaky, buttery crust just like grandma would have!

 

Found at Crafty Baking

Shredded Cheese

Shredded CheeseShredded Cheese

 

Did you know that store bought shredded cheese has wood pulp in it? Don’t believe me? Google the term a cellulose powder. They add this to our cheese to keep it dry enough to not clump together. Don’t prefer wood pulp in your food? Next time you whip up tacos use your handy dandy food processor. I guarantee it will taste 100x better!

If you want to read more on wood pulp in shredded cheese CLICK HERE. 

Found at The Kitchn.com

 

Healthy Fudge

Fudge
Fudge

Have a chocolate craving, but you’re trying to be good and eat healthy? These amazing energy filled raw fudge squares are bound to satisfy.

Found at Detoxinista.com

 

Guacamole

Guacamole
Guacamole

I prefer my guacamole creamy! Some like it nice and chunky, however you prefer your guac, throwing all that green goodness in your food processor and giving it a couple pulses will make a gorgeous bowl of smooth guacamole in the blink of an eye!

Found at Genius Kitchen.com

 

Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo is one of those recipes that everyone loves but it’s a bit of a trick to create. Mrs. Happy Homemaker gives you an amazing step by step recipe with fantastic pictures to help you though your next New Year’s Eve treat.

Found at Mrs. Happy Homemaker.com

 

Salsa

Salsa
Salsa

This is a great one to go with taco dinner, or just a snack with chips and drinks! Who doesn’t love homemade salsa? Especially when you can cater it to your own spice level!

Found at Hamilton Beach.com

 

Whip Cream

Whip Cream
Whip Cream

This one is fun and tastier than you would think. Fresh churned butter on hot toast! Yummy!

Found at Savor and Savvy.com

 

Grind Meat

Ground Beef

Hamburger is typically the worst piece of meat ground up to be eatable. You don’t have to suffer with that anymore, put a nice chunk roast in the processor and you have gourmet hamburger.

Found at The kitchn.com

 

Pesto

Pesto
Pesto

There really is nothing summerier than a big bowl of fresh garden pesto! Thought to be a more gourmet dish, this is one of Italy’s specialties. And now with the convenience of your food processor you can have this any old time! …….As long as you have some fresh basil on hand!

Found at The Kitchn.com

I hope this fantastic list of scrumptious creations will encourage you to use your food processor more!

 

Here’s a bonus for sticking around till the end! 🙂

Bonus:  Spinach Artichoke Dip

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/spinach-artichoke-dip/

This is one of my families’ favorite recipes! We whip up batches of this all the time and it is a huge hit! Game day snacks has never been easier!

Found at Gimme Some Over.com

Enjoy!!

15 AMAZING THINGS VINEGAR CAN DO THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

The average household ingredient, vinegar, is thought of mostly as a salad or cooking ingredient. But did you know the crazy things this simple product can do? From gardens to house, from germs to food, this amazing ingredient can transform the way you clean and hack your life! Here is a list of the top 15 things vinegar can do to change your world!

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IN YOUR GARDEN

  1. Use Vinegar in Your Garden.

By putting white or apple cider vinegar straight on your weeds, it will pull the moister out of the leaves and therefore kill the weeds! Stop wasting money on toxic and hazardously expensive products in your garden! All you need is basic vinegar and you won’t ever have to pull another weed again! Careful though, vinegar doesn’t know the weed from the tomato, be careful which plant you spray.

  1. Getting Rid of Ants.

Ants hate the smell of vinegar. Mix equal parts white or apple cider vinegar and water and spray the ant hill in your yard and garden or around your doors and windows. You could even bring it on your next picnic or outing to the beach! This mixture will have them marching in the opposite direction!

  1. Keeping Fresh Cut Flowers Fresh.

Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tsp of sugar in the vase and your beautiful cut flowers will stay fresh much longer. No more waking up to drooping petals 2 days after you bring home that gorgeous bouquet of fresh roses.

  1. Feeding Your Plants.

There are tons of plants that need more acidic soil. By mixing 1 gallon of water and a cup of white vinegar and spraying it AROUND THE GROUND of the plant (remember vinegar will kill plants and weeds) you can add acidity to the plants and help them flourish like crazy. Some plants that require more acidity are hydrangea, blueberries, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Holly, Gardenias

  1. Keeping Animals Out.

There are always pests in the garden. But most of them can’t stand the smell of vinegar. Drench some rags or towels in white vinegar and lay them around your garden. This will have the animals running away, and possibly you too! (unless you like the smell of vinegar!) Remember to re drench the towels and rags weekly to keep the smell potent and doing its job.

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IN THE HOME

 

  1. Disinfect the Toilet.

Instead of buying overpriced and toxic cleaning products all you need is the natural white vinegar. Use vinegar and baking soda in your toilet. The ratio is up to you and how gross a job you are tackling. Heat the white vinegar up to 104 degrees and add baking soda. For every 7 oz of vinegar you will need 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Pour the mixture into the toilet tank leave it for several hours. For best results do it at night so it can sit all night without being flushed.

  • Vinegar can dissolve lime scale and melts off rust
  • It removes odors
  • It kills bacteria

 

  1. Clean Kitchen Garbage Disposal.

By freezing vinegar in an ice cube tray and throw the cubes into the disposal. Turn it on. This will clean and sharpen your blades.

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      8. Dishwasher 

Removing the filters and wiping under the door area is a must. These places can get slimy, and moldy. After you have swiped and removed the filters pour white vinegar into a mug and put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher, pour about 2 cups of baking soda into the bottom of the dishwasher and run on a high temp wash cycle. Your beloved appliance will be sparkling and smelling like new in no time. And it will last a lot longer.

  1. Clogged Drains.

1 cup of baking soda and pour vinegar down the drain. You will see a foaming bubbling explosion, but it will melt and dissolve the clog. After some of the bubbling has calmed down pour a pan of boiling water down the drain to wash it all away. (you may need to do this several times depending on the severity of the clog)

  1. Laundry.

By pouring a cup or two of white vinegar into your load of laundry you can get rid of musty, smelly odors in your socks, workout clothes, towels, and washcloths. It also strips the clothes of lint creating less static.

  1. Removing Stickers.

By soaking a sponge in vinegar and microwaving it for 30 seconds you can press the sponge onto the sticker and the sticker will magically wipe off! No more scrapping or breaking your nails!

  1. Freshen Up the Fridge.

Clean the shelves and walls with a solution of ½ vinegar and ½ water and your fridge will be sparkling and smelling fresh and clean. Be careful not to use chemicals in the fridge or you might cause your food to taste the same way the product smells. Here are a couple other vinegar based cleaners.

  1. Coffee and Tea Stains

By using a cloth soaked in vinegar you can polish the coffee and tea stains out of your mugs and tea cups. Making them sparkle like new all over again.

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  1. Clean a Coffee Pot.

By filling the water basin with white vinegar, you can clean mold and calcium build up out of your drip pots and Keurig’s. No more moldy cups of coffee! Gross! You can learn how to clean your coffee pot here.

  1. Restore Old Socks.

You can restore your old socks by soaking them in hot vinegar. Getting all the stains and smells out of your white socks. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to a pan of water and bring to boil. Let them soak overnight and the stains will be gone like magic in the morning. You can also add a couple drops of your favorite essential oils to add the freshened smell.

You can also check out my post on How to Clean Your House Like a Professional in 4 Quick and Easy Steps HERE!

 

It’s amazing what kind of versatility and magic this simple house hold ingredient can do! I hope you found at least 1 option here that will change your life!

Please email me any ideas you have I’d love to make another post with more powerful uses for vinegar we would have never thought of!

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