Meal Planning 101: Save Time and Money

This post may contain affiliate links. I never recommend anything I have not tried myself. All opinions are 100% mine.   I have previously talked about meal planning before as a means to lowering food costs. And since that time, I’ve had a few people reach out to inquire about it more. So, I thought I would dedicate a whole post to meal planning and include a few recipes to get anyone who’s interested, started.   Like Anything, Meal Planning has its Pros and Cons. Pros: Meal planning eliminates the 5:00 panic of what to make for dinner. When you have a plan, your proteins can be thawed out and ready to go when you walk in the door from work. No more unsafe thawing practices or defrosting chicken in the microwave and trying to cut off the dried-up edges—you know the nasty parts…

5 Best Grocery Apps for Cutting Food Costs

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and recommendations are 100% mine. Using the Best Grocery Apps to Cut Your Food Budget   Saving money on food is one of the most impactful areas of the budget to cut back. After housing and transportation costs (includes auto loans, maintenance and fuel), food comes in third as the biggest portion of the American household budget; if you own your cars outright, it’s likely that your food costs then come in second. Food costs, including both eating out and at home, comprise about 10% of the average family’s pretax income. So, it should come as no surprise that the desire to cut those costs back as much as possible has led to a rise in the popularity of grocery apps. And there are lots of them to choose from. Here are the 5 best grocery apps that I use…

Hitting Rock Bottom and Getting Back Up Again

  It was 2001 and I was a senior in college when I hit rock bottom financially. I was waitressing full-time, living alone in an off-campus apartment, carrying a car payment, $6000 in credit card debt and nothing to show for it but some Tommy Hilfiger clothes (he was big back in my day, I swear), a pager (I can practically hear you laughing at me!) and a pantry full of ramen noodles. I was adulting—hard, and at first I had been successful at it, but the more I lived my life on credit, the more I realized I was failing. I was drowning fast and I looked high and low for a life raft. Now $6000 might not sound like a lot of money or a deep hole of debt to you. But you have to put things in perspective and realize that I was a…

How We Made Big Cuts to Our Utility Budget

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and experiences are 100% mine. I never recommend something that I haven’t tried and used myself.   Have you ever sat down and figured out how much it costs to run your house for an entire year? I do this every year at tax time (speak of the devil!) so that we can write off a percentage of our usage for running a business from our home office. I’m always amazed at how much it actually costs to power our certified “energy-efficient” home. I have a few ways that we’ve made some big cost-cutting changes to help our utility budget. And I’m not talking about LED bulbs, programmable thermostats, faucet aerators and shorter showers (though all of those things are great and you should look into them)… Let me start by saying, if you…