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Monday, February 22, 2010

Lifestyle ~ Saving Money

Before we start today’s post, here are two giveaways. The first is a “sure thing’ for the first 50 people!!! You can find all the information at Katie’s Dishin’ and Dishes.

The second giveaway you’ll find here near the bottom of a post from last Friday.

Hey ~ And thank you, to all who have signed up as followers! I am working on a giveaway where only those who are “Followers” will be qualified to enter. We have another giveaway starting in March, so the giveaway for “Followers” will start near the end of April. Hugs!

I was thinking about this post ~ let me rephrase that ~ Thoughts were jumping in and out of my brain, while I was going about my everyday doings and it occurred to me, many of the things I was considering writing about not only concerned saving money, but could also fall into other categories like saving time or developing a healthier lifestyle.

There isn’t time today, to explain how I learned the things I am going to share. For now, let’s just say, this all comes from my frame of reference. You have your own frame from which to work and on which you can hang your own conclusions. So, take these and choose those that may work for you and your family. Just toss the others, I have more.

As a matter of fact, I have so many more, I am going to continue to add to this topic and hopefully organize it under it’s own tab. (I have to get smarter and more creative first, or strong-arm #1 son. There is a reason you have kids. Some grow up to become doctors, lawyers or in this case, computer programmers.) I still have to figure out what to call this section. Ideas, anyone?

And remember, “every journey starts with a single step.” That’s true especially when you are talking about lifestyle changes, such as those that affect your health, your home and your finances.

Groceries and Other Necessities

The first two rules are 1) make a list and 2) do NOT go to the grocery store hungry!

My oldest daughter called the other night. They were at the grocery store and she said, “David (sil) hasn’t eaten all day and you cannot imagine what all is in my grocery cart!”

Oh yeah, I can. Been there, done that. And most of us have.

If you go to the store hungry, everything looks good, especially those things that are already semi-prepared and are more expensive. Face it, a bag of beans doesn’t look too great, even if you love beans, mainly because your stomach knows if you start cooking them right now they aren’t going to be ready for 4 or 5 hours!

I make a list. Often I forget the list, but having made the list helps me to remember most of those items we need to restock.

The fewer trips you make to the grocery store each month, the more savings! How many times have you gone for milk and bread and ended up spending more like $45.00? Every trip means less money in your pocket. And that doesn’t include the gas you will save, by limiting your trips.

Buy those things you have to have, when they are on sale. If the brand of dish soap you use is on sale, buy an extra (at least one). Dish soap is a necessity and it won’t go to waste. (Just put the bag of chips back on the shelf and you can probably buy two extra! This isn’t going to hurt as bad as you think.) You can do this with a number of items and before long you will have a well stocked pantry!

Meal Planning

Proverbs says, speaking of the Proverbial wife (the one with the excellent report) that she smiles at the future! Today, I think more of us look at the future with “dread”. Especially if we don’t know what we are cooking for dinner! Spend a few minutes planning your menus for the next few days. This will really help, if you work outside the home.

If your family is having oatmeal, toast and juice for breakfast, make sure the juice is prepared the night before. If you are planning on having Mexican food on Monday night, why not cook a pot of beans over the weekend? Organize your meals, even if it is just in your head. I know my day goes smoother if I know what I am having for dinner at ten in the morning rather than waiting until five in the afternoon.

I try to have certain days I cook certain things, but at the same time I try to be flexible ~ after all, I have a house full of kids and sometimes they eat what you had planned to have for the next meal!

Still, I try to cook (a pot of) beans on Thursday. 1) I know without wondering, what day those beans in the fridge were cooked, 2) company usually shows up over the weekend and beans can help stretch a number of meals (and they aren’t expensive).

Don’t Pour That Broth Out!

If you boil chicken for chicken salad or whatever, save the broth. That’s right. Just pour it up and freeze. You can pull it out later to use as a base for soups, add to rice, or a number of other things.

I also keep a half gallon container in the freezer for leftover vegetables. If you have 2 or 3 tablespoons of some kind of vegetable you would normally use in soup, add it to the “soup container” in the freezer. Before long, you will have the makings for a pot of vegetables soup ~ a meal that is practically free! You can also add leftover roast gravy, chopped or sliced raw vegetables such as onions (leftover from hamburgers) or green bell peppers. (Don’t throw the tops of bell pepper away, trim around the top and add to your “soup container.”

Sometimes, I freeze leftover onion slices separate in a freezer bag. They can then be added to dishes like stir fry. You could do this with any leftover fresh vegetable (without blanching, providing you are going to use the vegetables in a short time).

Whatchya Drinking?

Often, when people think they are hungry, they are actually thirsty. Make water your “best friend.” It will aid in wait loss, wash toxins out of your system, save you money, keep you hydrated, help to get rid of those nagging headaches ~ the list of positives is endless. And don’t buy bottled water. Most bottled water comes right out of someone else’s faucet. If you are on a municipal water supply, by a water filtering system. In the long run it will save you money.

Stay tuned!


  1. Meal planning is a great way to save money! and I feel like I am feeding my family a littl more healthy when I meal plan! Have you ever tried Metro Mint water?? LOVE the stuff! keeps me drinking water all day! I 'cut' it.... saves money and - and it makes the 'bottled' water last longer! I cut juice in half for the kids too.. makes it less sugary and stretches the juice longer~! hm...didn't mean to write a post in my comment! sorry! LOL! =)
    Just jenn ~

  2. Great advice! It's so much harder to plan here and then head to the store. European prices and quanities are so different from back home. I can no longer buy in bulk and make everything stretch. However Im amazed at what I can do with so little so Im learning something right? lol I make a ton of things from scratch now wich is a plus because back home I always bought prepackaged items.

  3. Great post, Chery! I love menu planning and making my grocery list from that! It is amazing how it seems to stretch the grocery money! And I know it is so true what you say about many times when we think we are hungry, what we really are is thirsty! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Those are great tips! Thanks for sharing! I am going to try to cut down on my trips to the grocery store. I go in to buy milk and I end up buying a ton of other things!

  5. so agree if there is anyone home for meals
    lately it is just me sitting here so find I skip too many meals and end up eating junk.

  6. HI! Two things:
    First, I don't FOLLOW people because of their Giveaways. I FOLLOW them because I like what they say and how they say it.
    Second, Menu planning makes me happy. I spend less money, and less time in the grocery store,
    and my famiy eats better.
    Thanks for the tips!!
    Have a super Tuesday!

  7. Great tips! Have to brainstorm on the page title....hmmm. I love the tip about saving vegetables for soup later! I always ALWAYS make broth - even out of the leftover chicken carcasses I but already roasted from the market. Chicken stock and broth isn't cheap! Do you have a good bean recipe? I need to make those more!

  8. Great tips! Water has definitely been my best friend lately.

  9. Great tips~ I definately like the meal planning part and don't go to the store hungry!


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