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has some openings available for new applicants! If you’ve tried in the past and haven’t been able to get in, you might be able to this time around, as they’ve opened their doors to more of a general population for a limited time only.
is one of my very favorite survey companies and one that I found offered the most surveys for the best pay. You’re not going to get rich taking surveys, but you can earn a nice little stream of income from it.
Looking for more opportunities to make money from home? See my list of recommended survey companies here.
Now that we’re all moved and settled in, I’m having fun getting back to deal-shopping again! And I decided to go “back to my roots” and challenge myself to see how well we could eat on $70 per week for our family of five.
I’m mostly going to be shopping markdowns and planning our menu around that, looking for any really fantastic deals with printable coupons. Since I changed our morning routine (and it’s going SO well!), I now have time in the morning after school drop-off to run by a store for 10 to 15 minutes to look for markdowns.
For some of you, it might feel crazy and ridiculous for me to be going to the store multiple times per week and just doing little shopping trips. For me, it’s a fun hobby that also saves us money!
In addition, I’m not wasting any extra gas or time since it’s right on the way home for me to go to Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, or Target. I’m also hoping to hit Aldi and Dollar Tree every now and then when I’m over in that part of town.
I hit the (see photo above), but I’m not including that $48 total in this week’s grocery spending because that was our “big” grocery shopping trip last week.
Since I’m challenging myself to stick with a $70/week grocery budget this week, I’m allotting $10 per day to spend when I look for markdowns and deals. (I can go over, of course, if I find a great deal, but it means that I have to spend less on another day then! So it’s easier if I just shoot to spend less than $10 every day!)
Here are my grocery shopping trip purchases so far:
4 packages of ALL laundry tabs — on sale for $1.99 this week, used 4 $1/1 coupons (no longer available) + used $3 Walgreens Balance Rewards
Total with tax: $1.72
This Week’s Super Simple Menu Plan
This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂
Cereal, Yogurt, Eggs, Fruit, Toast
Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit, Veggies, Yogurt, Fried Eggs, Avocados, Salad, Leftovers
Monday: Pancakes, Eggs, Fruit
Tuesday: Smoked Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Berry Cottage Whip
Wednesday: Meatballs, Homemade Bread or Muffins, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Salad, Fruit
Thursday: Waffles, Turkey Bacon, Fruit, Scrambled Eggs
Friday: Sausage/Peppers/Peas/Onions, Rice, Fruit
Saturday: Dinner out (not included in our grocery budget)
Sunday: Snack-y dinner (popcorn, cereal, etc.)
Total spent so far this week: $33.13
Total left to spend: $36.87 (Stay tuned for updates over the next few days if I score any great deals!)
Total Cashback: and for buying the Artisan lettuce!
Want to join me in this challenge? Choose an amount that you are committing to spend on your groceries for the next week and then watch for my posts over the next week for you to check in and tell us how you are doing!
Also, be sure to — I’m sharing my grocery shopping savings every day on Instagram Stories!
(Note: This post was sponsored by Zondervan. Read our .)
For a lot of people, the thought of living on a budget or trying to be more frugal can feel overwhelming. There’s a good chance you already feel stretched thin by the demands of your job and your kids and your commitments… and you want to figure out how to live on less and get a better handle on your finances, but you just wish someone would give you some easy tips and tricks to get started.
Well, you’re in the right place, because today I’m going to give you three simple ways to start living a more frugal life right away. These ideas don’t require any extra training or special skills to implement — and they probably won’t take you any additional time!
1. Drink More Water
You all know I’m a big fan of water. It is not only FREE, but it’s also so good for you.
Instead of ordering a drink when you’re out at a restaurant, order water. This simple switch will mean that you stay more hydrated and experience the benefits of drinking more water, but it also means you’ll save quite a bit of money.
And if you can get in the habit of drinking water instead of soda or fancy coffee or other beverages most of the time, this one tip could save you a few hundred dollars (or more!) per year!
2. Shop Markdowns & Clearance Racks
When you’re at the grocery store, take a few minutes to check for reduced produce, meat, bread, and dairy. (Not all grocery stores offer this, but many do and you can find some incredible deals on staple items this way!)
When you’re out shopping for clothes or other items, always check the clearance racks fi
rst. I’ve learned to scan the store when I first walk in to find the sale racks. In most cases, that’s all I ever look at!
By buying the bulk of our purchases on sale or clearance, we’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years!
3. Search for a Coupon Code
Before you make an online purchase, always search for a coupon code. You can Google the site you’re purchasing from + “coupon code” OR, you can just go to a site like RetailMeNot.com to search their massive coupon database.
While it might not seem like 10% here or 25% there will make a difference, it adds up big time. Best of all,
for the time it takes to search for a coupon code (usually a minute or less!), your return on investment can be quite substantial! (Where else can you easily save or make a few dollars for just a minute’s worth of your time?!)
See how simple and painless those were? (Okay, you might not think that giving up soda is painless, but I didn’t say you had to completely give it up!)
I was blessed to be raised by parents who were very financially savvy. We always lived beneath our means, they were very careful with every purchase, and they paid off their mortgage when I was young and then we saved up to pay cash to build a house in the country.
Because of their wise examples, living frugally isn’t something that’s difficult for me; it’s something that comes pretty natural to me. My friend, , is the same way.
But both of us know that frugality isn’t something that comes natural to most people and very few people were blessed to have the upbringing that we did.
That’s why I started December212012.info — because I wanted to give practical tips and help you live on less than you make and be intentional with your money. It’s one of my passions to see families live in financial freedom and not carry around the constant stress of barely making ends meet (or of not having them meet at all!)
Erin has the same passion and that’s why she wrote the brand-new book,
is a gorgeous, hardcover book that is also compact enough to fit inside your purse. It’s super easy to take with you on-the-go when you have spare time to read.
This book is like a money-saving manual, and you can read it all at once or in spurts whenever you feel like it. You can skip around or read it all the way through.
It’s divided up into 8 categories that every family faces when it comes to living a life with financial margin and freedom (pictured below in the table of contents).
This book isn’t like most other financial books that can get quickly overwhelming. is packed with tons of short but meaty money-saving tips that can be implemented right away. Each tip comes with an action step to help you immediately apply the tip and see a real impact on your family’s budget — potentially saving you thousands of dollars each year!
No matter the state of your bank account, this book will give you hope, encouragement, and real-life, practical tips to curb spending, create more income, and practice gratitude and contentment in every area of your life.
Want to grab a copy of for yourself?
Through April 22nd, Erin and her publisher are offering $50 worth of bonuses when you purchase her book! This was a pre-order promotion, but they’re opening it back up just for December212012.info readers!
Here’s what you’ll get with your book purchase:
What are some of YOUR favorite simple ways to save money — that don’t take extra time or know-how to implement? Share them in the comments!
Note: I know that some of you are not in a financial position to be able to purchase this book, but I don’t want that to keep you from being able to get your hands on a copy. So, if you truly cannot afford it and you are unable to get it from your library, I would like to buy a copy for you. Just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail.com) with your address and I will order it for you.
Last week, I found a great deal on cottage cheese! Kroger had the large containers marked down to $0.99!
I bought 3 containers and mentioned on that I was planning to freeze them.
Multiple people were like, “Hold up! You can freeze cottage cheese?” Yes, you totally can!
(If you didn’t know you can freeze cottage cheese, be sure to check out this list 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze.)
I snapped some pictures to show you how I froze the cottage cheese. You could freeze it directly in the plastic containers, but then you’ll need to thaw the full container and use it. I decided to split the three containers into 4 baggies instead.
This way, it was a smaller amount, they’d thaw more quickly, and I could freeze them flat so they’d take up less space.
I always prefer to freeze thing flat in plastic freezer bags to save space. Plus, I’ve found that it’s so easy to thaw things when they are in freezer bags. You just run them under cool water (or set them in the fridge overnight) or on the countertop for a few hours!
Be sure to get all of the air out of the freezer bags before you stick them in the freezer, otherwise, the bag will get ice crystals in it and it will get freezer burn.
Then, just freeze flat! You can keep these in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Note: Frozen cottage cheese will not taste great plain once it is thawed because it will be a little watery. I plan to use mine in smoothies and (you can use honey or raw sugar or maple syrup in place of the Gentle Sweet).
Looking for a way to make money from home? If you are a detailed and thorough person, proofreading might be a great option to explore!
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Looking for more in-depth advice on how to make money from home?
Be sure to check out my book , where I share creative ways to manage money, generate income and–most importantly–live a life of deeper meaning, fulfillment, and generosity than you might have ever imagined possible. This book is packed with hard-won wisdom, real-life stories, and practical tips to help inspire and motivate you!
I also highly, highly recommend . This step-by-step guide is packed with valuable information and tips!