Coupon Crazy, Frugal Living/ Budgeting

Coupon Crazy!

Who doesn’t love a great deal? Using coupons is a great way to score some major savings!

I’ve been couponing pretty much my entire life. When I was a kid my mom was a super couponer before it was chic. I’d go with her and watch her buy a buggy of groceries for amazing deals. I loved the idea of saving money from a very early age.

Once I had my own family, and was young and broke, I knew coupons would help me stretch my small budget. Once I got the hang of it, I was hooked.

I’ve been a couponer myself for over twenty years now. I’ve saved countless money over those years. I’ve also learned a lot of tricks and tips.

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Here is a recent purchase, with a negative subtotal! I love it when that happens. Razors is a staple that is easy to stockpile.

Here’s a few tips for beginning couponing:

  1. Know your stores’ coupon policy. Most are accessible online and can be printed and stored in a binder. Always follow the policies.
  2.  Stay organized! There are several methods for keeping your coupons organized. Choose a method and get going!
  3. Get social! Join Facebook groups, follow blogs, Instagram couponers, and local fellow couponers. We love to share deals we find! This is vital to seeing what deals are going on.
  4. Don’t feel like you need to catch every single deal! It will take a few misses before you get it down. I even have scenarios all worked out, then something goes wrong. It happens, just don’t let it deter you.

Stay tuned for more great coupon deals, trip hauls, and ways to become a super couponer!

I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead! May God bless you!

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Eating Real Food, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, Recipes/ How To, Weekly Meal Planners

How to Meal Plan Like a BOSS!

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Okay y’all, so it’s a weeknight, about 5 pm and you have no idea what’s for supper and you are in a panic. Sound familiar? Yep, we’ve all been there before!

  So let’s talk meal planning. I’m going to give you tips so you can meal plan like a BOSS! You’ll know exactly what meals you have all the ingredients for, what’s fast and easy and what you’re saving for when you have more time in the kitchen.

   To start this meal planning lesson, let’s start right in your kitchen: do a quick mental inventory (or if you’re obsessive like me, jot it down)  of what you’ve already got on hand. This will save you money, you won’t be buying extra stuff you really didn’t need. This list will be our base for the meal planner.

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 Check your freezer, fridge and pantry. Please overlook my messy-ness, apparently I need some help with organizing!

   Once you have your “inventory” list, you’re ready to start planning! Now this is where it’ll be a bit different for everyone: I plan for 6 meals for each week, we usually go out one night a week. When planning, I may jot down specific meals for specific nights, but it can always be swapped around. I try to plan for leftovers, for my lunches. I typically plan 2-3 chicken dishes, 1-2 beef dishes, 1-2 pork dishes and 1-2 “other” dishes (like pizza, hot dogs, tuna sandwiches, fish, etc).

   I keep a list of meals my family likes in a little notebook. I have them categorized by meat type: chicken/beef/pork/ other. I also have them marked with a star if they’re for the slow cooker. If I’m wanting something different/new I turn to my old pal Pinterest! How did we survive without it? I will only add one or two “new” things per week, because my bunch is picky and we tend to stick with old stand-byes. I don’t cook super fancy, we tend to like basic type foods.

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  Here’s my pretty notebook (I’m kind of a notebook geek, I have way too many!) that I keep meals we love written in. This little step makes meal planning much quicker.

  The last step is matching up meals with what you’ve got and making your grocery list. So just based on my inventory (as seen in above pics) I’ll jot down a quick plan:

1. Chicken Fajitas

2. Marinated Grilled Chicken and Grilled Asparagus

3. Pulled Pork sandwiches and Potato Wedges

4. Green Chile/Pork Nachos

5. Meaty Italian Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

6. Tuna/Egg Salad with Veggies and Dip

   Now I would look at each meal and see what components I was missing, grocery shop once for those items and be eating for the week!

   Here’s a link to a weekly meal planner template that I love! It has spots for planning breakfasts/lunches too! And a grocery list on the side. I keep one printed out and use them.

https://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/meal-planner.html

 

   There you have it! No more wondering  “What’s for dinner?”. And no more looking forward to a specific meal, then not having all the ingredients for it on hand. By planning out meals, it’ll save you stress, time and money.

  I hope you all have a very blessed day! If you have questions/comments I would love to hear from y’all!