9 Things Debt Free People Do That Will Change Your Life

HOW TO CREATE A HABIT

We are, what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Will Durant

 

The latest surveys show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February.

Does that mean that you shouldn’t make a new year’s resolution because you only have an average 20% success rate? NO! So how then can you keep it? What chance do you have at succeeding at a goal in your life? The answer is: through your actions.

We will see big change through creating a habit of smaller consistencies that we do on a daily basis! Climbing a mountain takes every step to get to that final goal of reaching the top, but it still takes every single, step. It takes discipline and determination in our daily struggles to change our lives!

  Continue reading HOW TO CREATE A HABIT

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Fika

FIKA: WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED IT

It is no surprise if you have been around here at all that I have a thing for coffee!!  I have a love affair with my coffee. It’s my me time, it’s my personal moment. When all the world is pulling and pushing and demanding every second of every day from me it is the 10 minutes I get to breathe deeply, center my mind and just be. It is my Fika!

There is nothing like the smell of a fresh brew. The first couple sips of the hot velvety liquid hitting your lips and tongue. There is nothing like that personal silent moment of adoration as the steam tickles your nose and you breath ever so deeply the smells and sock in the moment of taking the time for yourself, and of course, your coffee!

See how Fika is different from Hygge! 

I recently learned of something that goes hand in hand with another concept I am in love with, Hygge. Yet it is all about, yep you guess it, COFFEE!! It’s called Fika and it is an intentional, and romanticized coffee break.

Fika basically means a coffee break. It usually takes place in the mid-morning around 10 or maybe even around 3 p.m. If you are really lucky you might get to have a “akvallsfika” (a night time coffee break) in the evening too!!

What Fika is All About

Fika Coffee Hygge

 

It’s more than just a coffee break like the American’s do. It’s more of a Hygge Coffee Break. (What’s Hygge?) It is taking the time to stop what you are doing, get cozy, indulge in the little luxuries of life such a piece of cake, or cookies, heavy whipping cream and sugar in your coffee, but most of all surrounding yourself with fabulous company.

Drinking coffee is not enough with Fika, it is a Swedish Tea Time. You must have something savory or sweet to munch on. Small sandwiches, or cake. Even cinnamon rolls. As long as you are eating something while drinking and talking with people you enjoy you have accomplished Fika.

In the work place Fika is a great way to get to know your coworkers, mingle and chat. At home it is a fantastic way to reconnect with your spouse after a long day of being apart, and in the evening, it is a perfect way to recharge for the evening bedtime routine ahead, whatever that may mean for you.

To the Swedish to Fika is to go out for coffee, to mingle, to get into society. It is an ageless tradition. Children, middle aged and elderly enjoy this break together each day. It is a Swedish lifestyle. If you can’t make it to a coffee shop multiple times a day, don’t worry. You can Fika in your own way as long as you change up your environment, change up your company, and of course have a hot cup of coffee and a special treat!

Fika is a way of being mindful, it’s a way of being intentional. It’s a way of being nice to yourself and taking care of yourself. Life is busy. It can pull us in a thousand different directions each day. You would greatly benefit by adding Fika to your life. Who will it hurt if you decided to go in the coffee shop and sit at a table, putting your phone away, not bringing in your laptop, and just people watching for 15 minutes. Who will it disturb for you to take the time for yourself, just a couple minute each day to stop and enjoy. Today will be over in hours. Never to be lived again. Will you decided to add this small intentional break to your life?

HOW TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT DONE IN A DAY

HOW TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT DONE IN A DAY

This post contains affiliate links. See Affiliate Disclaimer

 

Everything you know about time management is wrong!

We have more gadgets and gizmos to keep us on track than ever before, yet people are more behind, overwhelmed, and stressed than any other time in history.  Why is this?

With all this technology made to keep us on track why can’t we do everything? We should be able to do EVERYTHING we want in a day!

When it comes down to it, it all boils down to TIME MANAGEMENT!

However, all this crap in the name of organization ends up stealing our time.

Continue reading HOW TO GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT DONE IN A DAY

WHY YOUR ATTITUDE IS KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL BUDGET

WHY YOUR ATTITUDE IS KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL BUDGET

According to Gallup poll only 32% of households in America maintain a household budget. The rate of financial success within those households is even fewer due to approaching it with the wrong attitude. Anyone can create a budget, it can be simple or complex if desired. It can be full of detail, charts, graphs and financial calculations. However, without approaching it with the right mindset we all fall short of our money goals, every time.

Continue reading WHY YOUR ATTITUDE IS KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL BUDGET

HOW WE SAVED $600 IN JUST ONE MONTH

HOW WE SAVED $600 IN ONE MONTH!

We saved over $600 in just one month by changing some all-too-common habits that were draining our budget! Saving money starts as a choice followed by direct action. It takes discipline and intention. Your mind has to be made up that it is more important to save money for, (fill in blank) then to have instant gratification.

Saving money is hard. It takes discipline and dedication over a long period of time! We are not used to delayed gratification and things taking time these days. Just ask my 3 year old who complains if the load circle appears on YouTube! (Back in my day we had to actually rewind VHS’s)

This is why saving money for a future goal is so hard for us, probably more so than it was for past generations. It takes a lot of intense focus and drive, much like losing weight in a healthy way so that it stays off! My husband and I decided to see how much we could save in one month so that we could see some pretty quick results when it came to our saving goals.

See how we paid off $55,000 of Debt!

We have dreams of travel and adventure as well as putting our kids through college and so we have a lot to save for! So we focused our time and effort on saving money just to see what we could accomplish in 1 month and the results were amazing! We saved over $600 in one month by making some easy and some intense habit changes in our life!

And that’s really what saving money all boils down to; changing habits and goals. So rather than ordering Pizza at night we put money away for that car we have always talked about buying! It is all about your mindset and changing it to feel the gratification of knowing you are preparing for the future rather than comfort in the present.

Here is what we did to save over $600 in just one month:

Some of these may not apply to you but you may also have other areas of your life that could use adjusting in order to save money. The most exciting part about this is seeing the results in just one month! Feeling that excitement of knowing you are working towards your big dreams and taking charge of your future!

Cut Cable                                      $50         (Channel flipping is a boring waste of time)

Nix Netflix                                    $10         (More time to work on a side hustle)

Stop Eating Out                           $80         (Brown bag it and stop getting drinks/snacks at gas stations)

Grocery Shop Right                     $200       (Also see what you need to stock a frugal pantry)

Don’t go to Target                       $40         (Thrift shopping is a GREAT option)

End Gym Membership                 $50         (Enjoy outside instead)

Delete Shopping Apps                 $30         (It’s so easy to 1-click buy from a phone and spend a lot)

Consolidate Debt Payments        $100       (Lowers the payment in order to put more towards principal debt)

Stop buying expensive coffee     $40         (See how to “coffee” the right way on a budget!)

Total money we saved in one month:     $600!!!

That’s a lot of money to see in just a little bit of time! It really helps to see these kind of leaps so that focusing on your dream gets more exciting month after month knowing that you are working towards it!

See the Secrets of Real Millionaires 

Changing habits can be hard, but it does get easier once the determination is there. It also gets much easier to continue to save money once you can look back and see the benefit of it. For example; being able to look back and see $600 in the bank in just one month made us excited to do it again and again!

When looking at how you can save money this month, I would encourage you to stay focused on your dreams! Maybe even write them down in detail! That is something I have done many times! It helps while saving money for them in order to stay focused on what I really want! Comment on some things you have done that have saved you money fast!

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!

 

 

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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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!!