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Category: Living Simply

18 Creative Ways We Cut Our Grocery Bill

Looking for some creative ways to cut your grocery bill? Here are 18 strategies from my followers that you might not have thought of doing:

Creative Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

I recently asked my followers to share some of their best creative ideas for cutting their grocery bill. Here are a few of my favorites that were submitted…

(Psst! Have more creative ideas to cut your grocery bill? Please leave a comment on this post and let us know!)

1. Can you make it yourself?

“Make homemade items instead of buying them in the store. Example: homemade taco seasoning. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Use less meat and more veggies in your recipes. You don’t have to use all the meat that comes in the package.

“Make homemade laundry detergent (for coloreds and darks). It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment just long enough to help you save money now. Almost anything you get at the store you can make at home. Think outside the box.” -Christine

2. Pretend you’re Ma Ingalls!

“I always pretend our family is Little House on the Prairie and it’s a day’s horse ride into town to get groceries. So, once I have purchased groceries, I don’t go back to the store. I get clever about what I can make with what I have. Kind of my own version of Chopped.” -Kathleen

3. Order groceries online.

“One thing that helps us save money is to order groceries online. I can closely watch what is being spent.

Yes, that means I may give up my 25-cent-off coupon, but if I’m saving $5 because I bought something on an impulse, then I still see it as saving.

Or, I’ll order online and then shop my coupons in store. Saving money is hard, you always need to be watching, always counting, always scouring for the best deal. It’s a job all in itself. But when it pays off…boy does that feel great!” -Jessica

4. Cash is king!

“If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it! We spend $100/week on food and toiletries for our family of 6. It’s hard but doable. The reality is, if you only have $150, you’ll only spend $150. Maybe working a zero-based budget will help you succeed more?!” -Alicia

5. Stretch your chicken.

“I buy big packs of chicken breast and can use 1 pack for 3 meals. I separate the chicken tenders from the breast and cut those into cubes for casseroles. Then, I place those pieces and seasonings/marinades in labeled freezer bags and freeze them.

The breasts, I fillet, turning one portion into two. These I season/marinade and place in bags or parchment lined tins and freeze — it just depends on how I plan to cook them.” -Jessica

Pro Tip: Check out this post on How to Stretch One Package of Chicken to Make 4 Dinners.

6. Have a Waste Not, Want Not Day.

“Take a look at what’s leftover at the end of the week from your most recent shopping trip. What meal(s) can you make out if it? Or snacks, treats, etc.? Every so often I have a “Waste Not Want Not Day” and I use up every odd/leftover food items I can find. Be creative.” -Helen

7. Stop using so much!

Rethink how you use some items. Using too much laundry soap? Only use the bare minimum. And sometimes hand wash small batches! Shampoo? Wash your hair every 2nd or 3rd day, rather than every day.” -Sue

Pro tip: Read my post on How I Only Wash My Hair Once a Week.

8. Think in terms of cost per meal.

“I try to break it down by cost per meal. Most meals (dinners) I make regularly can be done for under $10-12 for my family of 5… $4 or less worth of meat, a couple bucks in veggies, a couple bucks in carbs.

“I try to keep snacks under $0.30/each, at most $0.50, so I’ll break down the cost per item or estimate the number of snacks I can get from one box and divide.

“It really helps to see exactly what your meals are costing you, if the ingredients you use in your average dinner costs $25 to buy, you either need to reevaluate your menus or reevaluate your budget.” -Jessica

9. Use a store gift card & shop with a calculator.

“A tip to avoid going over on groceries is IF you shop at stores like Safeway (Vons) or QFC (Kroger) that offer gift cards for purchase… load up a gift card each week for the dollar amount you have planned. Only use that gift card (as best you can) for grocery shopping.

“If your card doesn’t have enough to cover it at checkout, it’ll really make you have to think twice when you have to pull out your debit card to cover the difference.

“Also, shop with a calculator in hand. I’ve done that so many times during tight payday periods. Then you can re-evaluate what’s most important in your cart before you get to checkout.” -Helen

10. Shop Dollar General for OTC medicines.

“I’ve recently been introduced to Dollar General brand of OTC meds. They actually seem to work better than most of the name brands.” -Alice

11. Simplify your meals.

“Simplify your meals. Some nights we don’t do the traditional meat, starch, veggie. We hardly ever have a bread/roll or even dessert. We might have just a casserole or just spaghetti alone with no sides.” -Allison

12. Shop at CVS.

“CVS is the best for personal care items. Although their regular prices are high, their deals can’t be beat.

One day recently, I walked out with 2 bottles of L’Oreal shampoo, 2 Pantene hairsprays, and 1 shaving cream for $0.53. I used the coupons at the kiosk, with manufacturer’s coupons on sale items. When I get an overabundance, I share with my daughter or donate to one of the local shelters.” -Kathy

13. Make your own convenience items.

“Making cleaning products with vinegar, baking soda, ammonia provides lots of savings. Also, we stopped using paper towels years ago. (You can even cut up old t-shirts for hand towels. I keep them in a basket by the sink.)

“Make convenience items from scratch. Or find homemade solutions for expensive items.

“When I had kids at home, I made lots of muffins, baked oatmeal, homemade frozen hot pockets, and frozen burritos. Hillbilly Housewife had a great basic muffin recipe and I made it with whatever I had for add-ins.

“Eating breakfast for supper saves lots and having things like pancakes, biscuits and gravy, or eggs and toast. Cooking once to re-use leftovers saves a lot also. Taco meat becomes chili, baked chicken becomes soup.” -Gina

14. Cut down on what you buy.

“You can still go broke chasing a good deal! Former coupon instructor here. You can up the amount of your budget OR you can cut down on what you buy.

“Perhaps one week a month (or a quarter), do a spending fast and don’t shop. Use what’s in the pantry, and eat what’s in the fridge/freezer.” -Amanda

15. Use Walmart Grocery Pickup.

Walmart Online grocery pickup has been great for me lately. You can see exactly what you’re spending before you get to checkout and you are only buying what you need for the week/two weeks versus buying things that you see that jump into your cart.

“I still have to supplement with trips here and there to our local grocery store, but knowing I can purchase the bulk of it for very low prices and control what I’m spending WHILE I spend it, has been a great thing for me.” -Susan

Pro tip: Did you know you can earn United Airline Miles by using Walmart Grocery Pickup?

16. Use bar soap instead of liquid soap.

“Bar soap is also a fraction of the price of liquid, one $2 bar of Dove lasts more than a month compared to a $6 bottle of liquid for 2 weeks!” -Marge

17. Try the Envelope System.

“I highly recommend the envelope system. Put your grocery money for the week envelope and only spend that amount (you might need to leave your credit/debit cards at home until you get the hang of shopping with a set amount of cash).” -Kathy

18. Check out FOOD Rescue Organization.

“Have you ever heard of a FOOD rescue organization? Google that for your zip code and see if there are any nearby. I have an active one near me in Baltimore and I go to their giveaways a few times per week My family are BIG veggie eaters. This easily saves me $75 per week.” -Kirsten

Have you tried any of these ideas? Did they work for you? What other creative ideas do you have for cutting your grocery bill?

photo credit

How to Save Money on Organic Food

Is it possible to save money on organic food? In this post, I’ll share 8 easy ways to save money on organic food — even if you have a tight budget!

Looking for more ideas? Check out this post where Jennifer shares 10 Ways They Afford to Eat Organic Foods on a $100 Monthly Budget.

You can afford organic food on a budget! Here's how!!

Can You Save Money on Organic Food?

So many people have a misguided idea that the only way to eat healthfully is to spend exorbitant amounts to do so. If you live in Alaska or some remote part of the country, this might be the case, but in most areas, you can feed your family natural, unprocessed foods without spending hundreds of dollars each week to do so.

Sure, you might spend a little bit more than someone who is eating a diet composed mostly of processed foods, but it really doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg as some people will make you think — especially if you’re willing to get creative and think outside the box.

Here are eight ways to afford organic food on a tight budget:

1. Plan a Menu Based Upon What’s In Season and On Sale

If you want to feed your family on a budget, the first step is to have a plan for what you’ll be eating. Make your menu plan mostly based upon what is on sale at the natural foods store, what is in season at the Farmer’s Market, what organic food is on sale at Aldi or your other grocery store, and/or what you’re reaping in abundance from your garden, you’re going to significantly reduce your grocery bill.

2. Practice the “Buy Ahead” Principle

If you happen to come upon an incredible sale on tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market, or the health food store has organic frozen vegetables on a great sale, or Sprouts has a great weekend sale, or Aldi is offering some great deal on organic products, or you find a great markdown deal on organic food at Kroger, stock up. Buying items you routinely use when they are at their lowest price is another surefire way to savings.

3. Plant a Garden (Or Barter With Someone Who Does!)

Produce is typically only pennies per item from your own backyard, it’s tremendously fresh and you know exactly what you did or didn’t spray on it. Plus, you can can or freeze your extras — or bless your friends and neighbors with them!

Have a brown thumb? Find a friend who loves gardening and trade services (babysitting, bread-baking, car maintenance?) in exchange for their garden excess.

Note: When I’ve done the math on how much time you invest to plant and weed and water and harvest food from the garden, for me, it just wasn’t worth the return on my investment of time. However, if organic food is something you want to prioritize and you love gardening, it might be a great option for you!

4. Stick With Simple Meals

When you’re planning your menu, think about how much your recipes will cost you to make.

It doesn’t have to be a scientific to-the-penny figure, but just having a good idea that there is a $10 difference between the price of making one meal as opposed to another meal can help you decide whether you can afford to make something or perhaps should save it for a special occasion.

Sprouts Natural Foods Market

5. Serve Meat as a Condiment

I shamelessly stole this idea from Family Feasts for $75 Per Week because it’s so brilliant. Serving meat in soup or on pizza is going to be a lot less expensive than serving roast and sirloin, especially if you’re buying high-quality meat.

6. Buy in Bulk

It is usually much more cost-effective to purchase meat and staple ingredients in bulk. Call around to local farmers and see what they would charge you for purchasing half a cow.

In many cases, it’s at least $1 cheaper per pound to purchase in bulk. Buying grains, beans, as well as many other basic ingredients with long storage lives in large quantities will almost always save you at least 20%, if not more.

Costco, as well as many bulk foods stores and local co-ops, offer great pricing. You can also check with your local health food store to see if they’d offer you a discount for bulk purchases.

7. Consider Joining a CSA or Co-Op

If there is a co-op or CSA in your area, check into pricing and details for joining. You might find that it is an affordable and money-saving option for your family. If you can’t find an affordable co-op in your area, you could consider starting your own co-op.

8. Use Coupons on Non-Food Items

I know a number of my readers don’t eat processed foods, but they use coupons to save money on toilet paper, toothbrushes and other non-food items which they purchase. Your savings might not be so exciting as others who use dozens of coupons each shopping trip, but even saving $5 each week by using coupons can start to add up over time.

What other tips do you have to add for saving money on organic food? I’d love to hear!

How You Can Make a Difference in South Africa

Welcome to my series all about our recent family trip to South Africa. I’m recounting some of our favorite experiences, lessons we learned, travel tips, and some of the most memorable stories and takeaways. To read all of the posts in this series, click here.

As I close this series on our trip to South Africa, I want to give you an opportunity to help in a tangible way. Many of you have asked me if there is a way you can send money or help in other ways.

First off, please know that I only share this with those of you are feeling a tug in your heart to be involved. I rarely share these types of opportunities because I know that most of you are on tight budgets and I never want you to feel in any way obligated to help.

But I also know that many of you would really love to help and are eager to find out about specific ways to make a difference in South Africa. Know that just by reading here and by occasionally purchasing deals we post or buying my online courses and products, you are making a difference in South Africa — because our family gives a significant portion of our income to help pay for the operational costs of Take Action Ministry.

We believe wholeheartedly in the work of Take Action Ministry and we also know exactly how they spend every penny. We know that they are extremely careful and prayerful and wise with all funds given to them and we know firsthand that the money we invest there goes very far.

In addition, Jesse serves in a volunteer position on the board of the ministry, so he is actively involved in the decisions that they are making and the direction they are taking. I only share this because I want you to know that this is something our family is personally deeply invested in.

Take Action Ministry is helping to feed, teach, nurture, and provide care for around 1100+ children at 17 different centres they work closely with. These centres are located in some of the poorest areas of South Africa and these children are some of the most vulnerable kids in those areas.

Many of these children live in child-headed households or with a grandparent or aunt. Their parents are either no longer living or they work in the city. Since transportation from the city to these rural areas is expensive, parents working in the cities often can only come home once a month or so.

It’s very common for these children to be left to pretty much fend for themselves and take care of themselves. The government does provide schooling, but the education is usually very minimal as teacher training is also minimal. Many children not only do not have parents who are teaching them basic skills and caring for them, but they are also not learning much at school.

That’s why the work that Take Action Ministry is doing is so vital to these kids and their futures. The centres they work with provide so much support to these communities — feeding the kids nutritious meals, teaching children to read, helping them with schoolwork, teaching them basic hygiene (such as how to pick up trash instead of just throwing it on the ground), giving them opportunities to be involved in sports, helping them to have a safe place to go to after school, providing counseling services, teaching the kids about Jesus, and helping them to feel part of a community where they are loved and cared for.

While there are so many needs that I could tell you about in South Africa, I wanted to highlight three needs that I’d love for you to consider being involved in:

1. Buy a Pair of School Shoes for a Child

Take Action Ministry is currently hosting a Shoe Drive with the big, big goal of providing a new pair of school shoes to every school age and preschool age child in each of their 17 centres. That’s 1110 pairs of shoes total. It sounds like a BIG number, but I know that we can all band together and make this happen!

Here’s more information from Take Action Ministry:

All children of school going age at our partner centres are supposed to wear black school shoes as part of their uniform, but many children are unable to do so because they come from households where the cost of a pair of shoes is prohibitive.

Although most of the schools in the Hammanksraal area show leniency with this requirement, the children still suffer as not wearing school shoes singles them out as being vulnerable and poor, which takes away their dignity and feelings of self worth.

We are asking you to stand in the gap to provide a pair of new or very gently used school shoes for every child from our partner centres who will be attending school in 2019. In addition, we hope to bless those who are too young for big school with a pair of shoes they can be proud of!

On average, a good pair of school shoes costs R250. The cost varies by size, with smaller sizes costing less than larger ones.

We reached out to a large shoe supplier and have been given an amazing discount on black school shoes we purchase through them! In addition to this fantastic news, we can also purchase shoes for children who attend creche at this same discounted rate!

In our original newsletter, we said that we needed to raise R250,000/$20,000 to provide shoes for every child. We are so excited to share that those numbers have changed to R159,000/$11,500!

These figures are based on the discount we will receive and also on the current exchange rate, which is always in flux.

I’d like to challenge each family who reads here to do is to prayerfully consider donating the cost of one pair of shoes to Take Action Ministry. This would be around $15 to $25. If you have more than one child, maybe you might consider donating a pair of shoes for each child you have?

Think of fun ways to get your kids involved in this! Maybe they could come up with creative ways you could earn or raise the money. Or they might donate some from their savings, piggy bank, or allowance.

If you donate, would you leave a comment or send me an email so I can personally thank you? Also, if you come up with a creative idea to raise money for this or to find the money in your budget for this, would you send me an email? I’d love to consider sharing it to inspire others!

To donate to the Shoe Drive, just go here and enter your amount and information. Then, put “Shoe Drive” in the notes section. 

2. Become a Monthly Sponsor

If you feel God tugging on your heart to do something more, there is a big need for ongoing donations to Take Action Ministry. They currently have a need to hire more locals to help out at some of their centres and they would also love to be able to pay some of those locals who are giving up many hours of their time to volunteer at their centres.

If you are interested in becoming a monthly donor, even just $20 or $40 per month can go a long way toward helping with the these salaries and could make such a difference.

To become a monthly sponsor, you can set it up here. (Just enter your details and choose “Monthly Donation”).

If you’d like more information about Take Action Ministry and the work they are doing/how they manage their funds, I know that Jesse would be happy to talk to you more about it. (Just email me and I can put you in touch with him!) We are so careful about where we choose to give our money, so I want you to feel very confident in what you are investing in and make sure to have all of your questions answered.

Thank you so much for considering this! You have no idea the far-reaching impact you could be making… and I hope maybe someday I could take you with me to South Africa and get to show you firsthand!

3. Donate to Amo’s House Fund

Amo is a sweet, sweet girl that our family got to meet when we first visited South Africa. Our friends, the Feys, often take care of her while her mom works. They have become like family to her family and have long dreamed of being able to help build her family a home. (You can read more about Amo and her family here.)

When we first visited South Africa, Kathrynne got to go with their family to Amo’s house. When she came back home, she told me that was one of the points of the trip that stuck out most to her. I vividly remember her looking up into my eyes and saying, “Mom! Amo’s whole family lives in a house that felt smaller than my room! And it was so old and cramped!”

She was pretty overwhelmed by the poverty she saw and she then said this, “Mom! I don’t understand! If there are Christians in this world, why does Amo’s family live like that?”

I had no answer for her, ya’ll.

But I did tell her that this is why our family chooses to be very careful with how we spend our money and that this is why we often say “no” when she asks if she can have certain things… because we are choosing to give that money away instead of spend it on our family. We can’t meet all the needs or help all the people, but we can do what we can do — and that’s why we want to live beneath our means so we can give generously.

I think Kathrynne is forever going to be changed by what she saw that day.

The story didn’t end there, though. Guess what? The Fey’s worked tirelessly to raise enough support from Christians around the world to build Amo’s family a house!

We got to go and see this house when we visited South Africa and it was pretty incredible. They were so proud of their house and I was, too. Because it was beautiful! (See pictures and progress reports of the house-building project here.)

The house is finished enough that they can move into it, but we asked permission to take their picture and share their story here because I thought maybe some of you might want to donate to the house project — there are still a lot of needs to help furnish it and finish it out.

If you would like to donate to Amo’s family’s house, you can click on the donate button on the sidebar of the Fey’s blog here

(The old house)

(The new house — isn’t it so nice?!)

(Amo was talking to me here! She’s so precious!)

(Pictured are some of the wonderful team from Take Action Ministry — they aren’t just people we know in South Africa; they are people we consider our dear friends!)

Whether you donate money to pay for a pair of shoes, sign up to become a monthly sponsor, give to Amo’s house fund, share this post with someone else, or just get inspired to give in some way in your own community through this post, all of us here pictured say thank you. You might never know this side of heaven the impact that your support will have to change children’s lives and futures.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Slow Day: Week 17

Welcome to my weekly Slow Day post, inspired by Monica from The Homespun Heart. My Word for 2018 is Slow and, in the spirit of that word, I’m taking one day each week (Wednesday) off — I’ll be unplugged and offline and plan to move at a slower pace, take time to do things that refresh me, and just really focus on being present and savoring the moment.

Each week, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into my Slow Day — and I’ll let the pictures almost 100% speak for themselves, instead of giving many explanations. Enjoy a little peek into our lives!

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

I told you last week that we finally found a table we loved for our formal dining room. We wanted something that would seat up to 10 people, that was in our budget, that would take wear & tear well, that was simple and durable, and that matched with our overall look of our house.

We were so excited to find this one as it meets all of our qualifications! The leaf is built in and when it’s fully extended (as shown above), you can seat 10 people around the table. (It’s cozy, but you can do it!)

We got 10 chairs — two have different backs and we’ll use those on the ends. They are on order and will be coming in in June.

Now we just have to find some simple wall-hangings and this room is done! We’re excited to now have seating for large groups between our kitchen table, our dining room table, our covered deck, and our walk-out basement patio!

I’m still enjoying the $0.99 flowers!

Ruth Schwenk had a new book come out this past week and she sent me this air plant. I’d never even heard of an air plant before, but I am determined not to kill it! Any advice or tips for me?

Jesse and I watched Dunkirk while the kids were at school and then I went to meet a friend for lunch. I always love it when I have leftovers to bring home for lunch the next day!

They were filming something right outside where we ate lunch so I had fun people-watching before I left for home!

We picked the kids up from school and drove to downtown Nashville for a fun family outing. I got in a little reading while we drove — until I got crazy car sick! (I’m slowly savoring this book. It’s been really thought-provoking and I don’t want it to end!)

We hit up Dave & Buster’s for another Half Price Wednesday! Our whole family is quite competitive and the kids had been researching and watching YouTube videos on the best arcades to play at Dave & Buster’s. (Yes, we are those weird people that go into these kinds of things super prepared and with a strategy!)

We did another guys versus girls competition and had a blast! We girls did better this time and we decided not to cash in our winnings but to just save them on our cards so that we can get a bigger prize next time.

On the way home, I wrote a few cards to people and then I headed out to spend the evening with my Discipleship Small Group.

It was a good Slow Day! And by the way, I am just loving taking Wednesdays off! It has made me so much healthier and productive this year — and I look forward to Wednesdays every week. I especially love the fact that I can forget about my phone for a day!

Hospitality on a Budget: 5 Simple Ideas

You can still show hospitality, even when you're on a budget! These 5 simple ideas are great!!

Is it possible to show hospitality when you’re on a tight budget? Well, judging by the emails and comments I’ve received on this topic in recent months, this is something that many of you are struggling with.

You want to open your home and exercise more hospitality. You want to reach out to your neighbors and co-workers and friends. You want to develop closer relationships.

But for many of you, you feel like your home isn’t large enough, your house isn’t nice enough, and your budget isn’t big enough.

I believe that no matter your budget or size of house, you can be hospitable. You just need to get creative and think outside the box.

Many times, we think of hospitality as being when we’ll host another family or group of people for a meal. While that is definitely one form of hospitality, it is by no means the only form of hospitality.

So how can you exercise hospitality when your budget is slim and/or your home is tiny? Here are some ideas:

1. Host an after-dinner dessert and coffee night.

This could be as simple as brownies or cookies or ice cream. Or, skip the dessert and just serve coffee and tea.

You could also invite friends to come over after dinner for popcorn and games. You could ask them to bring a favorite board game and snack, too!

In each of these instances, it’s simple, it’s affordable, and you don’t need to have space for everyone to sit at a table. People can sit on the floor, if need be! (Or ask your guests if they have extra folding chairs they can bring!)

2. Make a simple and inexpensive meal.

What about having a baked potato bar, or prepping a simple crockpot meal, or homemade pizza, or making soup and homemade bread?

I always keep it simple when we open up our home… mostly because it makes me stressed if I try to cook a fancy meal. I’d rather be relaxed and be able to fully focus on loving on our guests and investing in them so keeping things really simple is what works best for me!

If you’re short on time and you have the money in your budget, you could even do something like picking up the $5 pizzas from Little Caeser’s. It’s not the healthiest option, of course, but most people care more about spending time with you than about how amazing your food is!

3. Serve breakfast for dinner.

Breakfast or brunch foods can be a fun change of pace for dinner. And they are usually inexpensive and easy to make, too!

Think pancakes and eggs and bacon. Or a waffle bar with fruit and whipped cream and chocolate chips. Or an egg casserole with cinnamon rolls and fruit.

4. Ask people to join you in free fun.

Maybe your home is really tiny, but don’t let that stop you from inviting people into your life! Look for opportunities for invite people to join you for free fun!

Many areas offer free concerts or festivals or events that would be great for the whole family. Why not ask some friends to join you?

Or, pack picnic lunches and go to the park! (Check out this list for lots of great free fun ideas.)

5. Go out for tea/coffee & dessert.

Hospitality doesn’t just have to mean opening your home. In fact, I believe it’s much more than that. It’s about opening up yourself and your heart to relationships with others.

One of my favorite ways to do this is by inviting someone to coffee. It’s more low key than coming to our house and it can feel less intimidating. Plus, it’s super simple, very inexpensive (especially if you literally just order a cup of tea or a cup of coffee!), and can be a fantastic way to begin connecting with someone on a deeper level.

Start looking for ways to show hospitality and reach out to others and I bet you’ll begin to find them all around you! (Need some extra encouragement and inspiration? I highly recommend checking out Jen Schmidt’s book, Just Open the Door.)

P.S. Here’s another idea for a simple way to celebrate someone even if you have a small house.

Re-inventing the Layered Dip Recipe

This Layered Nacho Dip recipe can be tweaked to fit all preferences or dietary restrictions. It's SO easy and versatile!

I wanted to make Layered Nacho Dip for the Super Bowl. This is a recipe that my mom used to make and then my sisters and I made it often when we were growing up.

I haven’t made it very often since I’ve gotten married and had kids, because two of the kids don’t like raw onions, one doesn’t eat tomatoes, Jesse doesn’t eat olives, and two of us don’t like spicy things. (We sound high maintenance or picky. We really aren’t about most things; this dip just seems to have all of the few things we don’t eat in it!)

So I decided to re-make the Layered Nacho Dip recipe to be a little bit more in line with what my kids and husband would like.

I used one can of refried beans mixed with homemade taco seasoning (well, I actually just dumped in some of the taco seasoning spices because I’m all fancy like that! ;).

Then, I topped it with guacamole because we had that on hand.

Next, I put a layer of sour cream.

Then, I added a layer of black bean salsa.

And I topped it off with shredded cheese.

It might not be as fancy as regular Layered Nacho Dip, but it was still very delicious and my family loved it!

I’m all about making do, using what you have, and never feeling like a recipe is set in stone. It’s a suggestion of how to make something; not a must-follow sort of rulebook! 😉