Monday, September 30, 2013

Money Monday-Freezer Cooking


Things have changed in our household.  My office has moved and now I will be driving farther everyday.    Normally Brett and I do all of our grocery shopping on Friday nights for the weekend and following week.  We kinda got out of this habit since I drive by a grocery store everyday.  

Now that I am driving farther I don't want to commit to stopping on my way home nor do I want to cook a full meal everyday.  Brett does cook too but we both are so tired after work that neither of us really want to cook. 

We decided that after this week we are going to start prepping and cooking the bulk of our meals for the following week on either Saturday or Sunday.  

How are we going to do this???  I will be honest.  We haven't put a ton of thought into this yet.  That is why I am giving it a week.  Today I researched some freezer meals, plans, etc.  Checkout my Pinterest Board HERE.  Of course... all good research comes from Pinterest!  

On Friday evenings we will checkout our pantry, freezer and fridge and make a list of the ingrediants we have.  My goal is #1 to quit wasting food and #2 to spend more time planning for the week.  We will also create our grocery list and shop!

Allrecipes.com is a great resource to look up ingredients for meal ideas. 

Saturday or Sunday will be our prep day.  We will prep all ingredients and cook meals. 
Our plan is to cook as much as possible, portion ingredients out and freeze.  

Do you freezer cook?  What are some of your fav recipes?? 



Monday, September 16, 2013

Money Monday- How I Save Money on Beauty Products


Hi there!!  Remember me???  I used to blog regularly on this blog but took alittle break.  Sorry for being so sparse this summer.  I have been working hard on our market booth, store and my youtube channel that it was September before I knew it! 

We all know I love to shop.  That is no secret but the gazillion haul videos on my youtube channel.  I often get asked how Brett and I can afford to do the things we do, shop like we do, and still pay our bills.  This wasn't a hater, fyi. 

I thought about it for a second and decided this would be a good topic for Money Monday.  

Brett and I both work.  He is law enforcement and I work for a financial firm.  We also have hobbies that bring in alittle money here and there but we never budget that.   We are a dual income household.  This helps.  

I would never be dishonest or make it sound like we make more money than we do.  We have a smaller house in New Mexico.  The cost of living isn't crazy high.  We have a mortgage, utilities, etc.  We also drive 2 fairly new cars.  My car is basically paid off.  Still.. we have bills.  We both save for retirement. 

Some months we have extra $ and some months we budget differently to do the things we want to do.  Every month we look at our expenses and decide what we want to do with any extra $.  We both get an allowance to spend on whatever we want.  If we are planning a trip we have an understanding that our allowance may need to be lowered.  I know... we sound like kids but I can't tell you enough how important it is to talk money with your spouse.  

Aside from budgeting I have a few tips on how I save money around the house. 

#1-  Craigslist-  I basically use craigslist as an online yard sale.  I will list just about anything up there for a few days.  If it doesn't sell after a few days I will donate to Goodwill for the tax write off. 

#2-  Deductions-  I deduct everything I can off our taxes.  I go through our receipts every 2 weeks and enter them into a spreadsheet.  You would be surprised what you can save! 

#3- Car Pooling-  I car pool into work atleast twice a week with another gal from my office.  This saves me atleast $30-40 per month.  

#4-  Sales-  I will shop sales and stock up on items i know we can/will use.  

#5-  Finish Products-  I never ever waste a product.  I either give it to a friend or find another use for it.  For example.  I love shea butter and lotions.  I normally buy unscented lotion for Brett.  When I am down to the last little bit of a perfume I will grab some lotion and mix it with my perfume.  Free signature lotion!  

#6-  Back to Mac-  MAC lets you return empty containers and pick out a lipstick or shadow.

#7-  Delete Emails-  I delete sales emails unless I have the budget.  I have a special inbox in my gmail account where all sales/marketing emails go.  If I don't have the budget I delete the whole inbox without even looking.  No temptation.  

#8-  Coupons-  If i am shopping online I always always always look for coupons.  I've even downloaded coupon apps on my phone.  I've saved so much money!

#9-  Stay-cations-  When Brett and I are in the mood to get out of the house we plan a small trip.  Our rule is we must be able to drive back and forth within 12 hours.  Normally we just find cool stuff to do around Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe.  

#10-  Check Your Receipts-  I can't stress this enough.  CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS.  I have been miss-charged, double charged, etc for so much stuff.  

#11- Shop with a Friend-  Our household consists of just Brett and I.  Getting a Costco membership didn't make sense for just us.  I asked my friend Bev if she wanted to pay for 1/2 the membership and I would grab the items she needs.   This works out great for both of us. 

#12-  Menu Planning-  Brett and I plan our lunches and dinners once a week.  We look at the ads and do our shopping in one trip.  This cuts down on running into the grocery store during the week and wasting gas. 

#13-  Left Overs-  We plan for left overs.  We will freeze them for make ahead meals.  This meals are great for lunches or when we are to lazy to cook dinner.  Pasta is a great make ahead meal.  

How do you save money???