I can’t help but ask why? Why isn’t the laundry room as beautiful as the kitchen? It serves an important part of the family, just as the kitchen!
Maybe it’s because we don’t gather in the laundry room, but I know my kids always know if they can’t find mom to come looking downstairs, and they will find her with her head deep in the washer or drier!! 😊
Most people don’t think about giving their laundry room the T.L.C. it really deserves, or mama deserves for that matter!
I’ve come up with a list of uber cheap, crazy easy little hacks you can do today to spruce up that much neglected room and help you feel like you WANT to get laundry done! Wow wouldn’t that be an awesome feeling!?
Here are some great Laundry Room Makeovers for Under $50:
Don’t Under Estimate the Power of a Can of Paint!
This might not be crazy easy, (I hate to paint) but it is a super simple way to transform a room! Pick light airy colors that indicate clean, crisp, and bright! These colors will help you want to be in there to get the work done!
By adding a simple sign that has to do with laundry or a pretty painting to your liking you add character and life to your laundry room. It’ll brighten up your day a little more when you walk in to do your next load!
Create a Bin/Sorting Area
We aren’t all blessed with large amounts of space in our homes, but that doesn’t really matter. Nowadays there is ample number of hacks, tricks, and creative ways to condense your space to fit in the smallest of rooms! Try creating a box to store your bins stacking them upright can give you the advantage of using vertical space.
Try changing your light fixtures. By going to your local hardware store, you can pick up a super inexpensive bright new light fixture with can bring new life to any room. Also try using a florescent light bulb instead of a yellow low wattage bulb.
Add Creative Features
Add a fun creative touch, things like putting your Tide Pods in a cookie jar. Or your liquid detergent in big glass beverage dispensers. Use your vertical space again by hanging a hooked peg board and hang little baskets for things like clothes line clips, brooms and dust pans, a plastic bag holder, you name it!
Whenever possible hang it! I recently saw a great hack. Take 2 coat hooks and hang them about 6 to 8 inches apart. Now you can use this to hang your ironing board! Genius!
There is nothing like the joy a plant can give a soul. Depending on where in the house your laundry room is located and how much natural light it has putting a living or even artificial plant on a shelf or on your drier can bring a brightness and peace to the room.
I just did this one myself. I put a large area rug that we were no longer using, right in front of my washer and dryer. It changed everything! It is cozier on my feet and makes everything feel happier. My one tip with this is to make sure you do a nice light color. When in doubt always go light. Light flooring makes the room look bigger all around. You can go to any local carpet installation store and ask for rug remnants. Usually you can get a pretty great deal on a large piece of great carpet!
So there ya’ have it! My 8 ways to do a laundry room make over for under $50!
I hope you found something here that inspired you to spruce up your laundry room for a more productive and happy chore time!
In my younger days I worked as a professional cleaner. I loved it and loved the way we were taught to glide easily through our jobs leaving it immaculate as we went!
I have adopted the methods that they taught us through my motherhood and constant cleaning tasks! I hope you find something here you can use in your daily tasks as well!
Do you ever day dream of hiring help to whip around your house? Getting it sparkling clean and smelling amazing all in the hour you hired them to do it seems like a miracle! Your house could be professionally; dusted, straightened, shined, vacuumed, mopped, swiped and wiped!
However; rather than pay for someone to be cleaning your house while you get other things done, here are some ways the professionals are able to save so much time while getting a house squeaky clean!
Here are my 5 awesome professional cleaning hacks to save you time AND get the same results as the professionals!
No matter what it is, if you want to save time the secret key all the cleaning fairies are using is “pre-treating.” It could be a pot, pan, tub, or even window sill, if it is an above average grimy job, pre-treat it. This is key for the kitchen as well.
Dry It Out
Ever notice how amazingly perfect hotel bathrooms are? They are fresh, crisp, and above all DRY. This is key for a perfectly clean home. When in doubt, dry it out. This goes for towels, bath mats, and slip mats, scrub brushes, wash cloths, anything that could be damp and gathering bacteria.
Divide and Conquer
This one is my secret sauce, and one the professionals use every day. They start in a room picking one task and finishing it until it is perfect. Say for instance the bed. They strip, refresh, make and perfect the bed. They don’t strip the bed, bring the laundry to the laundry room, throw in a load, and then head to the bathroom to start on the toilet.
They do one task till it is perfect. This will help you in the long run because in a matter of minutes if you keep to a task till it’s finished you will find your job completed and perfect. If you don’t know where to begin think of your room like a clock, start at 12 o’clock and work your way around 😉
Figure Out Your Goal
I am a perfectionist. But some days perfect just isn’t in the cards. That doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty darn good though. Byknowing your schedule and prioritizing your day you know how much time you have to get certain things done well. Find your “perfect” for the day. It will look different each day.
Remove Before Cleaning
This is one I’m not too great at. I like to just get in and start the job. But just like painting sometimes tasks need a little “prep.” If you are painting a room you need to sand, tape edges, and lay drop cloths. Same with cleaning sometimes.
If you’re cleaning an oven remove the racks, if you’re cleaning a stain soak up as much as possible, and vacuum sand and dirt before scrubbing the stain. Keep in mind in all cleaning situations your best bet is always to remove as much as possible before you begin. This can go for counters, bathrooms, and tables as well.
There ya’ have it! These 5 simple hacks are going to save you so much time and energy! So next time you start to clean you home just remember:
DRY IT OUT
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
FIGURE OUT YOUR GOAL
REMOVE BEFORE CLEANING
If you have any cleaning hacks that you love using I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment or shoot me an email!
Clothing 5 kids every year, all year round can feel like a full-time job at times! 😊
It is always ironic to me how I almost ALWAYS discover who needs what just as we are needing to walk out the door!!
Son #1 needs new pants because they are ALL too short!
Son #2 needs new shirts because they are ALL stained!
Daughter #1 needs new underwear because I have neglected that item on my list for far too long!
Son # 3 needs new shoes because let’s face it moms, sons just don’t pass down shoes!
Daughter #2…. well, girls can pass things down for years so she’s pretty good!
It can be overwhelming to have to purchase so many items of clothing. Till I discovered a different way to do it! A way that not only saves me thousands, but let’s me purchase for the year at a one stop shop!
Let me explain how I saved $600 on clothes in one day for my kids! 😊
I know we all know about thrifting but this little hack took thrifting to a whole new level!
I shop frequently at Once Upon A Child. This is the #1 kids thrift clothes store in the nation. You can find their locations HERE.
They had a sale this spring where the local high school did a Relay for Life charity drive. It was a fill a bag for $15 dollars event. I went crazy!
I filled 4 bags. One for each child. I knew in advance what each child needed and the sizes they would be growing into soon. I grabbed frantically and these clothes were AMAZING! I wound up clothing all 5 of my children for $45 dollars for the next year! I saved $600 in one day on clothes and that is just by thrift store prices! These clothes look brand new!
When we got home I tallied up the prices that the second-hand store would have charged me.
Even if I had shopped at the thrift store itself I would have spend $660.00!! I spent $60 to fill up 4 grab bags as stuffed and overflowing as I possibly could.
Name brand jeans
I completely outfitted 5 kids for an entire year for $60 dollars!
I know that this kind of thing doesn’t just happen in my town! Find your local Once Upon a Child, or even high school, ask and see what kind of fundraisers and charity drives they are doing! Believe me; it’s worth it!
If you have done your due diligence and there is NOTHING like this in your area an alternative is church sales!
Local churches especially ones that have schools attached to them will usually have huge summer “garage sales” Everything is typically marked super low because they want to move the items donated by parishioners and they would rather get your .25 cents rather than have to find somewhere to donate all their stuff.
I have found so many wonderful things not just children’s clothes at events like there. Entire King size sheets sets in perfect condition for a dollar. Artificial Christmas trees, furniture, kitchen ware, children’s clothes, men’s tools, art, coats! Look in your local paper, ask around on Facebook, I can bet money that you will find a good church garage sale in your home town!
I hope you found something here today that will really help you save thousands like I have! Sometimes it’s all about who you know! 😉
I can’t stand recipes that are only so-so. So, I’m not about to recommend them to you! Because I’m not here to waste your time! What I want strive to provide are legit ways that I have saved time and money that ACTUALLY work! Not ones that just sound like a good idea! As a busy mom of five, I am all about trying new hacks to save myself some daily headache! J
When we set out to clean we are taking time out of our busy schedules to get a job done. We don’t have time for recipes that only work half-way or leave your surfaces feeling gritty or filmy. These recipes have been tested and work very well!
8 Homemade Cleaners that Will Save You TIME AND MONEY:
Note: Lemon essential oil is my all-time favorite. It not only spells the cleanest, but it also helps to cut grease and grim.
The fridge can either be a beautiful sight or a disgusting mess. It is home to our food. It should be as shiny and bright and appealing as possible.
Take a regular dollar store spray bottle and fill ½ way with hot water.
This recipe is amazing for all kinds of wood floors. It leaves it shiny, and smooth. It also smells clean and fresh!
Get spray bottle from the dollar store
Fill it with:
1 cup hot water
½ cup white vinegar
1 tsp. dawn dish soap
Spray an area on the floor and wipe clean with a flat head mop. Which you can find a great option for a fabulous price for HERE.
Side note: I purchased Arm N’ Hammer Carpet Deodorizer a while ago. The smell gave me such a terrible headache from all the chemicals. I set out to find a better alternative. This is the best option for a gentle and mellow deodorizer for your carpets. It’s also great for cars, let sit overnight and vacuum up the next day for a clean and fresh smell!!
AMAZING OVEN CLEANER
I tested about 5 recipes for my oven throughout the years. This one is a conglomeration of all the aspects I thought worked well for oven cleaner. As a renter the ovens were always my nemesis. After I created this recipe oven cleaning became a breeze!
An empty spray bottle.
2 cups white vinegar
½ cup of salt
½ hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup of Dawn Dish Soap
SHAKE UNTIL SALT IS DISSOLVED
Sprinkle baking soda all over your oven and racks. Then liberally spay the recipe above until the oven is drenched. Scrub with a steel wool brush, (if you don’t have one on hand roll up a ball of aluminum foil and this works as a GREAT scrub brush!)
Let sit overnight, and the next day it will literally wipe off with a hot wet washcloth.
Homemade Clorox Wipes
I absolutely LOVE this recipe. It not only saves me money, but it helps the environment as well! I love that I don’t have to spend $4 on a jug of wipes that just get thrown in to my trash at the end of my chore day!
Take any old rags, t-shirt strips, or old socks would even work! Put them into a big jar.
1 cup water
¼ cup of rubbing alcohol
2 tbsp. Dawn Dish Soap
2 tbsp. ammonia (optional) (can be found at the dollar store 😉)
You may need to add more water depending on what kind of cloth you used to absorb the soap.
2 caps of rubbing alcohol (THIS HELPS THE FEBREEZE DRY FASTER AND NOT LEAVE ANY WATER STAINS)
Fill the remaining with water
After the mixture is in the bottle put the spray cap on and swirl around until the unstoppables have dissolved. This can take up to an hour.
I recently discovered that plain old baking soda isn’t as effective as “washing soda.” Washing soda is still baking soda it is only baked at a temperature that alkalize it so that it isn’t edible anymore, making it clean your home and clothes that much better!
To make washing soda:
Take a stainless-steel baking tray (preferably with sides such as a 9×13
Baking Soda about a ½ inch thick in the pan
Turn your oven on 400
Bake for 1 hour. Stirring 1 or 2 times in that time.
Regular baking soda has a silky feel. Washing soda will turn grainy. At this point take out of the oven and cool. Place in a sealed jar in a cool dry place.
I hope these homemade cleaners that will save you time and money work as well for you as they have for me! My home is still clean, and I don’t spend ½ the amount of money at the store anymore on toxic chemicals!
If you have a recipe that you love that helps you clean something in your house and saves you time from the store and money on the supplies, we would all LOVE to hear about it!! Feel free to email me or put it in the comments below!
You’re on your way home, possibly stuck in traffic. It’s 6 O’clock and what are you thinking about? Yep! Dinner! 😊
It’s the first time you’ve thought about it all day and now you’re starving. You quickly think about the evening like a flash of lighting streaking across your brain. Homework, baths, dishes, lunch prep, dog needs a walk, on and on.
The drive thru signs get strangely brighter. You can almost smell the food as you pass! The dinner options are many, answering that question, “what’s for dinner.”
Don’t judge yourself, I can only describe this scene so well because I lived it so many many times! We have all been there!
Don’t get me wrong, fast food has its perks. No clean up, and it’s pretty much instant upon order.
It has its downfalls too. Especially for the budget and waistline.
The thing about dinner is it doesn’t have to be hard.
I grew up in a home where every single ingredient had to be homemade. We spend ¾ of the day in the kitchen and 15 minutes eating the dinner. 2 hours cleaning up after it. (we didn’t have a dishwasher)
There were 6 people in my family. We canned everything we ate. Tomatoes corn, beans, even our own sauerkraut. We made our own bread, even noodles sometimes. It was sacrilegious to make a boxed cake for crying out loud. And something as simple as spaghetti took literally all day from the time by dad woke up to sear the beef tips, to the 6 o’clock dinner the sauce was “loved on.”
I learned very early on to HATE cooking. Sure the time in the kitchen with my sisters and mom were fun….sometimes. If I can forget all the fighting and sore feet. But the cleanup and the endless work was miserable.
Long story not so short after I moved out I wanted nothing to do with cooking and cleaning up. I wanted my honeymoon stage of restaurants to last……well forever! 😊 And I’m not going to lie to you I still do.
But there comes a time (when the kids come) that it’s time to “adult”. and it’s expensive! one of the best ways to cut costs is to meal plan to save money! Have a plan and refine it to save the most when it comes to your cooking and shopping habits!
Here are my meal planning hacks that saved us thousands of dollars on our food budget, kept us out of the fast food line, and didn’t consume my entire evening to make AND clean up!
First: Create a Meal Plan:
Yes of course, first you have to create the meal plan to save money!
Having a mapped out meal plan doesn’t only help you in the kitchen when everyone is starving. It helps at the grocery store too! Meal planning is as simple as writing down 7 meals for that week that you plan on eating. Having all the ingredients to make said meals. You can make them as simple or as special as you prefer based on your schedule that week.
Here is a quick look at a typical meal plan in my home on a regular week:
Tuesday: Soup and Salad
Wednesday: Roasted Veggies over Rice
Thursday: Creamy Sausage and Pea Casserole
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Gourmet Sandwiches
These are just a couple of my go to’s that are easy to make, easy to clean up, and easy on the budget.
Second: Having the Right Tools
Having the right tools for any job is crucial for a successful outcome and rapid results. This literally can be applied to everything in life.
Certain cooking tools help to cook meals way faster than ever before.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Instapot. This cooking wonder is a beyond easy way to make dinner in a snap. From frozen to tender! There are literally thousands of recipes and blogs out there with recipes that help you get dinner on the table in as little as 30 minutes.
My life changed completely when we first bought a rice cooker and I didn’t have to worry about how the rice was doing while it cooked! Rice is so cheap and you can do so many things with it! The right tools for the job can make the biggest difference!
You can do a quick search on YouTube or Pinterest or any platform to find some of these amazing dinner ideas!
Fourth: 15 Minutes Dinners
This is a life saver for those nights you have to rush kids to sports or are running late for an event!
Having an arsenal of 15 minute dinner recipes that are your go to’s help to take away the wait for a hungry family. There are tons of pinterestable posts on 1 minutes dinners. Print them off and keep them handy for dinner emergencies! it’s easy to have a few quick dinners in your back pocket that the family likes and won’t get sick of!
Fifth: Stay Stocked
I have come to the simple conclusion that having frozen pizzas in the freezer for those nights I just can’t stand the thought of cooking isn’t the end of the world! Keep your freezer ad pantry stocked with the tried and true grab goes. Mac n’ cheese, frozen pizzas, or jars of spaghetti sauce. These will guarantee quick and easy dinners that everyone loves. They may not be the healthiest choices, but you can always throw some fresh spinach in the mac n’ cheese or peppers and artichokes on the pizza! (gluten free/organic)
Are you ready to take the leap and start avoiding the fast food lane or take out? I know it’s a hard one to give up, but by being uber prepared you won’t miss a beat! I promise!
If you have any tips or tricks for making eating in easier and more enjoyable I’d LOVE to hear from you, as this is still a struggle for me to this day! 😊
Making a budget and sticking to it can be hard at times. It takes willpower, goals, a vision for what your future looks like when you have reached those goals, and best of all a plan. I am a natural saver, yet when I want to have fun or feel good, spending money is my go to!
This doesn’t work so well when you have a minuscule to almost nonexistent spending allowance each month. Having a go to list of fun activities to do with your family when you don’t want to spend any money is the absolute best way to make sure you don’t spend where you don’t want to.
Let’s be honest for a second. I hate budgeting. I feel poor. Sad. Board. And isolated. But when we don’t “budget” we end up broke and scared. When I don’t have a plan for what our day will look like, my financial plan goes in the crapper.
So, to avoid the feelings of lack, boredom, and isolation I plan out everything. Food and meals presents for birthdays and Christmas, events, activities, you name it. By doing this we avoid overspending, needless spending, and being broke or falling off the budget wagon.
So here is a list of go to things I use for fun free things to do when I want to throw my budget out the window!
Google free local things to do in your town (My kids love the beach and parks)
Go to the library as a family
Invite friends over to play a board game
Go to the dollar store with cash
Picnic at the Park or Beach
Do an art project
Rearrange your house
Go thrifting for 1 piece of furniture and refurbish it
Do an art project
Grill outside in the back yard
Make a fire or light a candle and play a board game, cards, or listen/Dance to music
Read a great book or watch movies
Bake Cookies (always fun)
Go on a nature walk in all seasons!
Go to a free Zoo in your area
Create a Mall scavenger hunt (We did this for my Son’s birthday and they loved taking pictures with our finds! -No money required!)
These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun free things to do as a family when you’re on a budget. It can be difficult to not spend money when you want to have fun. Even harder when you have kids! Just remember how much fun you had as a kid, what was it you did? I can bet money on the fact it was probably free!! Kids are resilient, and in this society of more, more, more they could use a little down to earth free fun! They are good memory makers!
Also if you are looking for something to do with your kids; remember that they want your TIME more than you spending money! My kids like new toys for a day (maybe) but if I am engaging with them and playing a game with them they will never get tired of it! It makes memories and is so fun! We have gotten old board games out, a deck of cards, or just ran around with sticks in the yard! These are the times they bring up the most to me as having the most fun! We also love going on hikes and playing at parks!
The point is, put the phone away and try to be in the moment with your family because we all know weekend go WAY too fast and soon you are back to the work week and busy schedules! Take the time to enjoy the the day and smell the roses! You won’t be disappointed!
I would love to hear what you and your family do for fun to stay on budget and make good memories at the same time! Email me or leave a comment for everyone to see!
You’ve gotten the motivation to get the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, the bathrooms are disinfected, and the floors are swept and even possibly mopped! Well done! But there’s still that one looming chore. The never ending monster in your home….Laundry.
Somehow it has to get done. So, to help you out in this constant chore and pain in the rump, here are 8 super time efficient and frugal ways to help you hack that laundry and get things done!
7 Laundry Hacks You Have to Try to Save Tons of Time and Money:
1. GET YELLOW PIT STAINS OUT WITH LEMON JUICE
Most people think those yellow stains are sweat stains. That’s actually not true. The yellow tint you see around the arm pit area is actually a deodorant stain. Pour some lemon juice on the stained area and let it sit overnight. Your white t-shirts will look good as new in the morning!
2. USE MULTIPLE HAMPERS TO SORT CLOTHES
Using multiple hampers keep your clothes off the floor and sorted in color and fabric category. You can find hampers at the dollar store. This saves a TON of time and frustration with sorting!
3. PUT SOCKS IN A LINGERIE BAG
By putting socks in a lingerie bag sorting socks has never been easier! The 2 socks you put in never get lost in the laundry! Holy Cow!!! NO MORE SORTING SOCKS AND MISSING EVERY OTHER ONE!!!!! Just grab the bag out of the pile and put the socks together! No mess, no hassle!
4. USE WHITE VINEGAR TO GET OUT MILDEW AND STENCH
You know that smell in your wash cloths and occasionally your towels? Yeah that one! It’s horrible, and sometimes super stubborn and hard to get out. I have friends who have rewashed the same things several times to get the smell out! Waste of time and money! Do this instead; throw about a cup of white vinegar into your wash or even into your fabric softener it will kill that musky and mildew smell instantly!!! Check out these other great uses for vinegar:
5. USE HAIRSPRAY FOR INK STAINS
I have vivid memories of standing next to my mother as a young child, pen still in hand as she sprayed the white leather couch with hairspray to get out the ink rendering I had just created(I was an artist) 😋. This doesn’t just work for leather! You can spray clothes as well. Let them set after spraying to effortlessly lift the ink out. If you have little “artists” in your home like I do, this is a total life saver!
6. SALT KEEPS YOUR CLOTHES FROM BLEEDING COLORS
Over time all clothes start to fade and loose their vibrancy. Slow or stop the process by adding a pinch of salt to your load right before rinsing. This gives life to your clothes again and prevent them from bleeding colors.
7. USE DAWN DISH SOAP FOR GREASE STAINS
Dawn dish soap has been known to rescue animals from the oil spills in the ocean and clean the dirtiest messes in the kitchen. Add a drop to the grease splatters on your clothes! It works like a charm and your clothes will have no more grease!
Bonus: USE BAKING SODA AND WHITE VINEGAR TO CLEAN YOUR WASHER
The thought of needing to clean your washer that washes seems strange, but everything needs a wash every now and again. Use a cup of baking soda and ½ quart of vinegar to your washer on the highest heat and let sit for an hour. This will disinfect and remove scum and soap build up.
So, there are the greatest laundry hacks you have to try to save tons of time and money! You’ll enjoy the extra time and money you have after implementing these great hacks! It has changed my dreaded laundry experience to a….less dreaded experience! J
It’s always so helpful to learn new and awesome hacks you had never thought of to make hard jobs easier! I would LOVE to learn more! If you have a trick you use to help you try to save tons of time and money please email me or leave them in the comments below!
We spend 12 to 16 years in school on average. I don’t know about you, but I never once learned about how to get rich, retire comfortable, or even budget my personal finances. So today we are going to go over the 7 things they never taught you in school about money!
Ever since the day I got married I have been on a quest to see how I can save the most money possible. Saving money and budgeting is a game and a job all rolled into one.
It’s a game because you must keep coming up with strategies for doing it differently or correctly over and over. You are always on the hunt for the cheapest option or best deal. You must keep tweaking the budget, finding alternatives and adjusting your habits. It all boils down to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
It’s a job because it’s an everyday conscience effort to make sure your money isn’t flowing out of your hands as fast as it is coming in or faster! It’s such a fulltime job my husband nicknamed me the “Stay-at-Home Economist”!
By saving what you would normally be spending on wasteful behaviors you can put it aside into your savings, or retirement, or have that money start to work for you. Then in time these accounts will be able to become investment accounts and soon your money will snowball into making money for you! How exciting right?!
3: Consider Cash Flow
This one is a game changer. Get organized when it comes to your cash flow.
Knowing what bills are coming out and when you are getting paid so there is an even flow throughout the whole month, not only brings a peace of mind, but saves money. This way you are not “rich” one weekend and “poor” the next!
Over draft fees and bounced check fees are a ridiculous waste of money that nobody can afford!
This can all be avoided by creating a budget. If you are looking for a quick and easy (non-techy) way of starting a budget you can read my budgeting post by CLICKING HERE. The budget will help you know what is coming out, what is going in, and when to tighten all the reigns. However; this action is not enough on it’s own. What took us a while in the early years is ACTUALLY STICKING TO THE BUDGET! Sure, it’s great to see the spending plan on paper, but it’s a whole other ballgame to live by what is on that paper!
4: Add Income
This one is personal and can only be determined by you and your family life. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have battled the ever-unresolved discussion of whether one of us should get another job.
The timing must be right for you and your life.
However, if this is a possibility for you, adding a second part-time income would change your finances drastically. This money should be used completely for getting ahead and reaching your goals! It is easy to just let it go towards the “lifestyle” and forget that there is any extra money coming in at all.
Seriously, how many of us have been excited about a raise only to look back a month later wondering how the heck we made ends meet without it? This is the mistake of letting the “lifestyle” rise to the income level rather than setting a modest lifestyle to reach long-term goals with extra money. It takes consistency and self-discipline, as well as a clear vision and focus on what we really want!
This one can be a bit painful the first month. You will have to make the “rice and bean” kinds of sacrifices to be able to do it. But after you have that extra month in the bank, in a separate account, you create what Dave Ramsey calls a “buffer between you and Murphy.” Getting a month ahead was what was key to my husbands and my own peace of mind and feeling like we had a bit of control.
6: Automate Your Savings
Learning your options for automating your saving is a fantastic hack for getting a savings account good and healthy. Sometimes things like putting money to savings needs to be automatic in order for us to do them. One of the biggest obstacles for people getting their adult life together is that they think it is just too hard, or that they don’t have the right tools to do it.
When it comes to money, the truth is that 90% of the battle is just getting the key automated systems into place. Once you set them up most money actions don’t need to be thought about that much, especially if you choose the right ones. StashInvest is a fantastic way to save money without really thinking about it. It’s an organizational app that allows you to save, budget, and organize your finances all in one crisp and clean app. I highly recommend this app as it has everything all in one, and you can start with as little as $5.
7: Dream With Your Goals
This one is just as important as the rest. It may seem superficial and not necessary to mention, but without a dream there is no vison. By keeping your eye on the ball, you most definitely will succeed.
Life has it’s ups and downs, it’s ebb and flow. There will be months it seems smooth, dare I say easy. And months you think nothing else could possibly go wrong. Getting out of the paycheck to paycheck life and putting some cushion between you and what life throws at you bring you peace. Setup smaller achievable goals with your money that lead to those big dreams that you have in you heart!
These 7 things they never taught you in school about money can be a life saver when applied to your finances. I’d love to hear if you were taught any of these things in school? I’d love to know if any of these steps helped you to move forward in your finances. Please drop me an email or leave a comment and let me know of any steps you’ve learned in your adult life that you didn’t learn in school that have helped you transform your money situation!
We are thrilled to have this guest post from Kim over at ourhomeliving.com! We highly recommend checking out her site for all things design and organization inspiration to turn your home into a sanctuary! She also knows how to stay frugal in the process of reaching your dream home goals! Just see how to start below!
Have you ever wanted to decorate your home and realize that kind of thing costs money? So many times I get stuck in a jam when planning my budget and realize I don’t have the funds to redecorate. Here are some great tips on how to save money when decorating your home.
Hi there! My name is Kim fromOur Home Living. Grace and Scott were kind enough to let me share some of my insight for decorating when on a budget. This truly is a topic most people tend to overlook when creating their budget. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Save Money When Decorating
What Can You Afford?
Most of us have a general understanding what our income is and where it goes after it hits the bank. The issue when it comes to decorating is having that allocated fund for everything you need.
What I want to stress first is that it is extremely important to pay your bills before you start buying decor. I have been guilty of this and it was a hard lesson learned. I was stuck in a pinch because I saw a pretty sign at Home Goods and thought it would look amazing in my living room. Little did I realize I didn’t have enough money to pay the car insurance bill later that week.
I knew I didn’t have a lot of money to work with when I bought that sign but I gave in to impulse. In that sort of situation, I wish I had started my fund/budget for decorating and had some cash on hand.
So make sure you have the money and it isn’t reserved for the important stuff before making a purchase.
Start With Baby Steps
This is in reference to figuring out what you can afford in order to save money when decorating your home.
If you know you want to redecorate your family room but are not sure where to start financially, take a step back. Plan everything. For instance, if I would have taken my time to plan the funds necessary I wouldn’t have succumbed to impulse and purchased that sign.
I would have planned out step by step based on my budget, even if it would take a while to get everything I would need to decorate.
Price shop. Really that is what it all boils down to. If you want to save money when decorating your home you have to shop smart.
Make sure to pay attention to sales. Some great sales are always after major holidays. So if you think you can hold off decorating a room until after such a time, I highly recommend you do.
Can You DIY It?
This is a question that should be asked every time you want to purchase something new if you want to save money when decorating your home. In the world of Pinterest and everything DIY, most pieces of furniture, signs, simple decor have, more than likely, some kind of tutorial on how to make it yourself.
For instance, I really wanted these industrial pipe looking shelves from Wayfair but when I found out they cost over a hundred dollars for not even three shelves my jaw dropped. So my husband decided to get creative. He created his own version of the shelves.
If you want to check out the shelves stay tuned atOur Home Living for the details as soon as they are ready.
Can You Get it for Free?
Free is always a good option but you still have to be careful if it is really worth it.
A few times I have been given old decor from family because they were freshening up the look of their home or it was trash to begin with. I think sometimes I am given things because my family might think I am crafty enough to repurpose things. Which isn’t entirely true.
Another great way to score awesome decor would be to ask if anyone is moving. I know it sounds weird, but hear me out. People that move give away so much stuff. They will usually host a yard sale before the big move. The goal of any yard sale is to 1.) Sell what you can to make a buck and 2.) get rid of it all even if you have to give it away.
This is a great opportunity to get free stuff.
I hope these tips provide you with guidance to save money when decorating your home.
The dreaded food budget. I despise the food budget. I can’t help but feel that I pay hundreds of dollars for good food that gets eaten by my 5 kids, just to pay for toiletries to clean up after it! J If you feel this way then you are always looking for ways to save money on your food budget too!!
It isn’t hundreds of dollars spent on new carpet or fixing the broken air conditioner! It just goes out the window on food that has to be spent the next week on food again and again. But no matter how I feel about the food budget; we all still need to eat!! 😊
SO with that said I am ALWAYS on the lookout for ways to save money on food.
The food budget is one of the biggest money suckers in the family’s typical budget. Especially if you have gotten the rest of your budget so low that there is no more wiggle room in it.
Personally with 7 people in our house it is one of our biggest expenses. I swear the people at the grocery store know me by name!
We have tried everything and let me tell you there are certain things that work and certain things that just don’t. Each family and situation is different. Finding what works for you is secret trick number one. Don’t be afraid to do unconventional things to make it work!
I’ve come up with a list of 10 Tips that I have found help me keep to my food budget AND save money, which is always the frosting on top of the cake for me! Here are 10 ways to save money on your Food Budget:
1. Meal Plan
First on the list of ways to save money on your food budget is meal planning!
Meal Planning used to always feel like such a big chore for me. Every time I would read those words I would skip over them, writing it off as information I already knew. Yet I didn’t apply.
WHAT A HUGE MISTAKE!
Meal planning isn’t a strict schedule, only an outline of what is on the menu for your week. This doesn’t have to be day to day. Here are some of the easiest and most efficient ways I’ve discovered how to meal plan:
A: Ask your family what they are hungry for!
B: Check out what is about to go bad in your fridge or what you have in the pantry.
C: Check your calendar for any late or rushed nights this week and plan a easy meal that day.
D: Check the weather, any freezing nights where soup would be good? How about scorchers, 90 and up where watermelon and grilled chicken would suffice? Meal planning will help everyone in the family eat what they like and make your schedule SO much easier! It will also allow some good thought out meals in your head (or on your list) when you are walking the grocery aisles, keeping you focused and frugal!
2. Meal Prep
Meal prepping is essential if you are anything like me. I am an extremely lazy cook! (Just between you and me I really hate cooking). But there isn’t much of a choice. I have found that I don’t like to sit in the kitchen for hours on end. I am much happier if I can make things when I am in the mood and have it ready to serve. Also, if you are making meat, prepping it for better flavor and texture is always best. Prepping is essential so you aren’t calling your husband to make that quick fast food stop because you have got it all handled for much less $$$!
3. Batch Cook
Third and going hand-in-hand with meal prep is batch cooking. Batch cooking is simply making large amounts of one item of food to be a quick “go-to” for later. I have certain items I ALWAYS batch cook such as beans, rice, and soup. These are great go to things to throw into a tortilla or make a bowl of when you just don’t have time and are on the go. You can batch cook roasts or whole chickens as well leaving you great options for sandwiches soups, casseroles and the like. This can provide a filling and cheap item to be used in with your meals in a pinch! For example if you are having tacos but just don’t have time to make the beans or rice (cheap fillers) you can just grab from the batch you made earlier in the week!
4. Be Creative with Leftovers
Learning how to create a masterpiece out of a leftover is a skill! But knowing this will most certainly save you a lot of money in the long run. Like batch cooking, having the items pre-cooked and ready to go will help you to create many different dishes from 1 meal.
A leftover roasted chicken for instance can turn into the following:
Loaded Baked Potatoes
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
Soup and Homemade Bread
And so many more! It’s a great way not to waste food or money!
5. Never Get Low on Supplies
Shocking as this sounds it is one of the best ways to save money on your food budget! Whenever I let my resources in my fridge and pantry get low, I tend to lean toward takeout. By the time my husband gets home and dinner should be made or at least almost ready, I am in no mood to run to the store (You should never shop hungry anyway)! For some reason I am terrible at timing when my food is going to run out. (Probably because I am always wanting to save money, I want just one more day before I must shop!) So a good rule of thumb is to not let your fridge get too low.
Going grocery shopping when you are on empty at home is an excuse to “over shop” and spend WAAAY over the food budget! It triggers the crises mode in our brain and suddenly budgeting goes out the window! Knowing we have some food back at home enables us to shop with a level head and stick to the food budget and grocery list!
6. Make Your Favorites
There seems to be a trend or thought process that if we are eating at home the meals need to be extra healthy. Unless extra healthy is your thing right now don’t let this thought process block you from making your favorites at home.
At home burger night or pizza night usually winds up tasting 500x better than if you went out and got it! And you save so much money by not eating out for those prices!
Give yourself permission to do nothing but good ol’fashioned pot of creamy mac n’ cheese once in a while! I bet the kids will love it! J Lighten up on yourself and enjoy life!
7. Track Your Spending
This is seventh on the list but was a huge game changer for us!
We would go to the store with our list, and our meal plan, but there was always something that caught our eyes that we needed to have or would be a nice little treat and we would grab it.
It wasn’t until we started tracking what each item cost and how many we purchased and knowing exactly how much money we were going to spend on our food that we started to realize how much we overspent every single shopping trip. You don’t have to be a math genious to calculate what you are putting in your cart! Simply round up or estimate close to where you are at with each item. It gets easier the more you do it!
Try it and you’ll be surprised. Remember if it isn’t on the list, then you didn’t initially need it.
8. Go Ahead and Eat Out
I like to eat out! As a mom, I like to have someone make and clean up dinner for me every now and again! Can I get an Amen!?
I know it’s expensive and puts a HUGE dent in the food money for the other meals I have to make. And yet…….the fact remains I LIKE TO EAT OUT!
I have lived many years feeling guilty for facts like these. For instance if I was to walk into a store I would bet that I will pick out THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM in the place because it is my exact taste! I’m naturally attracted to the more expensive items everywhere!
After feeling guilty for years about being this way, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to be ashamed of who I was, I just needed to work with it.
So I’m here to tell you, go ahead and eat out if that’s what you like. Pick the day that works for you, budget for it, plan the place and know your strategy. Split a meal and only get water if that’s what it takes, but don’t stop living life or worse drop the budget because it makes you want to cry knowing the things you enjoy are no longer yours until the distant future!
This actually can save you money on your food budget because it is easier to stick to the food budget and frugal meals knowing you get a “go out” night later that week! There’s no panic of getting sick of always cooking and meal prepping because a break is coming! It’s like getting to eat a cheat meal when you are on a diet but knowing that you have allowed it and will be right back on the diet for the next meal! It helps! 😁
9. Don’t Get Tricked by Coupons
Coupons! They make me laugh!! Have you ever gotten the ad for the week and all of the sudden find yourself needing things you didn’t even remember existed just because they have a coupon for them?
Don’t get me wrong coupons can be great especially for toiletries but when it comes to food, unless you had it on your list of things to purchase that week, don’t add it just because you found a coupon!! This makes you spend more, not less! And if it is something the kids won’t eat, your just throwing it away in the future anyway!
However if you are going to use coupons I discovered this amazing toolbar that you can download to your web browser that finds a coupon somewhere on the entire internet for the item that you are purchasing. Called WIKIBUY. It’s completely free and incredibly useful.
Don’t forget about Ebates. A fantastic service that offers you literally cash back on purchases you were already going to make online! Great way to put money back in that food budget!!
10. Keep a Fridge List
A life saver for me is my fridge list. This is an actual list you keep on your fridge! As soon as an item runs out I slap it on my list. This is a great help when you are focused on meal planning and forget that the salt is low or other essentials are getting down to the end. It also helps you to know, when you are walking through the store and see something you think you need but forgot to put on the list. It wasn’t essential enough to be put on the list so it can wait for next time!
There you have it! 10 ways to save money on your food budget and make your money/meal relationship much easier!
Let’s be honest budgeting is hard work. It takes sacrifice and planning. But I know you can do it. I know that the life beyond this point is going to be amazing. See how we cut our grocery bill in half and continue to save money on food!