So as some of you may know, I don't like spending money. At all. But I absolutely love owning nice things, having an organized house, cooking, and saving money. Now when it comes to cooking, I like making delicious, 'fancy' dishes, but I HATE spending a lot of time on them. I try my hardest to make things in advance (like cooking a whole chicken throughout the day so it's ready when I get home) or making bulk meals to freeze later (like buying bell peppers when they are on sale, cutting them up and freezing them for a quick stir fry later). I also double most of my recipes so that there are leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. I cannot explain how much that helps me keep things organized and less stressed.
Another thing that helps me greatly is by stocking up on things. For example, last year I bought 12 boxes of Corn Chex. What the hell. I know. That's a ton of cereal. BUT, it was only 1.88, and it is usually around $4.50! That is one of the very few gluten free cereals that I can eat/enjoy, so I knew I would buy it again in the future. Instead, I dropped a little over $20, and saved even more than that. Plus, I haven't had to buy cereal for over a year!
These are just some small example on ways I save money, but I apply it to every food item I buy, and even clothes, cleaning supplies, everything! The only problem I have is lack of space. I live in a tiny little apartment downtown, and there are very few cupboards, and only 1 closet. My room is so small that my queen size bed pretty much takes up the entire space. I am pretty nifty though, and store food on top of the cupboards, under my bed, and under a table that has a pretty fabric over it. You just have to find a solution that works!
My aunt recently sent me a link for a fantastic website, Deals to Meals. I've come across this website numerous times while researching food storage/savings, but I've never really done anything with it because it's $5 a month. In my aunts email though, she said they were making this week free, if you type in this email address and password:
Now that I have thoroughly checked out this site, it is AMAZING. Seriously. It gives you a meal plan that goes along with what is one sale that week at the store, tips on shopping and storing, and what is on sale this week. I'm absolutely going to pay the $5 a month, because this will simplify my life so much.
My biggest downfall with saving money is that I hate to look through the circular ads because I don't want to pay for a newspaper, and I don't want to have to drive to all the stores to pick up the ads. This website has all the ads in one place! It lets you select the stores you want to view, and it has it on a simple list of what deals are really good that you should stock up on, and deals that are somewhat good that you should buy only if you need it. It's also great to have the list of super good deals and somewhat good deals because I can't always remember what is good or bad.
I have been relatively consistent with saving money and having a small grocery bill ($175 or less a month for 2 people and a dog), but I want to be better at both. I was wondering if anyone else wanted to join me? I know some of you are single mommies, mommies who just want to eat better and save money, or even a childless person(like me!) that wants to be prepared financially in life. I was thinking of creating a little 'group' of people who get together once every two weeks or so to plan some meals, share simple recipes, plan our shopping lists, eat some delicious cheap food at my house, and just have a good time. I think this is something so simple that can have a huge affect on our lives and it actually is fun to save a ton of money. I'll pay for the mealstodeals subscription and I have a Sam's Club card if we need to go.
I know there are some people who read this blog that I don't know, and I want you to be a part of this if you're interested! I always love meeting new people or reconnecting with people who I may have know in high school or middle school. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, send me one on facebook, or text/call me if you have my number. You can always leave a comment on here as well. And of course, babies are always welcome!
Once I see if anyone is interested, we can set up a time. Hopefully some of you want to do this! I think it's really important to take control of your life and be productive without having to put too much effort into it. Don't waste your hard earned money by practically giving it away to corporation!