Doing a Pantry Challenge / Freezer Challenge -Pt. 2 How To Prepare

Congratulations! You've decided to take control of your grocery budget and your food waste! Now what? Step 1: Gird Your Loins I know that's something only Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show" would say, but we need to do it. In other words, you need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for what this upcoming month will be like. Embrace the fact that this will be worth it! But, in the meantime, we will not have access to convenience, laziness, or constantly feeding every craving that comes our way. And it's OK. It will just take some getting used to and some planning. The pile of cash at the end of the month is gonna be sah-WEET! Step 2: Rally The Troops If you have a family, do this however and whenever you think is best. Find a time when your husband is in a good mood...OR when he's really frustrated with not having enough money. This could be the answer he's been looking for. When approaching this subject with my kids, I framed i

Pantry Challenge / Freezer Challenge Failure #1

Ooopsy. Well, guys...we're only 3 days into the month & I already goofed. It's nothing big. It's nothing irreversible, yet it was an avoidable mistake and a good lesson learned. During our pantry/freezer challenge we are aiming to spend only $20 + tax on perishables each week. My first grocery haul totaled $5.99 before tax which is great. We got fresh foods that will brighten up our frozen and pantry items. However...I didn't get the best bang for my buck. Here's what we got: See those 2 tiny containers of blueberries at the top? They were an awesome price. They were only 98 cents per container which is usually my "stock-up-like-a-maniac" price! However, I should've passed on them this month. Why? Because they lack volume. They won't fill us up. We could easily each gobble up a whole container as a snack. Instead, I should have opted for a bulkier fruit like the apples and pears that were 98 cents/lb or the bananas that were 44

Doing a PantryChallenge / Freezer Challenge Pt. 1 - The Reasons Why

Image we go again.  Maybe. I can't commit. Eek! Have you ever done a pantry challenge (a.k.a. a freezer challenge)? It's where you commit to using only the foods you have on-hand for the month with the exception of a modest weekly stipend for fresh produce, milk and other perishables. We did one 2 years ago and then another one a year and a half ago. They helped us in 3 major ways. 1) We saved a ridiculous amount of money.  For example, our monthly grocery budget is $500 and we spent under $80. Yep. For real. I chose to allot myself $20 per week and I didn't use it all. How much fun could you have with an extra $420? How nice would it feel to pay off some debt? 2) We got out of our usual dinner rut.  We started eating some new, creative (read: weird) dishes and it really shook things up. It was refreshing to get out of our normal routine and the kids were always so excited to see what adventurous dish was next. Now, some of them might be staples in yo

How Can I Serve You?

This is a completely unplanned, unexpected post. Why? Because this blog has been collecting cobwebs for a few years. I am amazed at how much traffic this blog has gotten even while being 100% unattended. The good news is: I'm considering dusting it off & jumping back in to helping people live large on a tiny budget. So! It's time for you to call the shots! Tell me whatcha want! What types of questions do you have about saving money? What do you want to learn how to do? Are you looking for free printables to help keep your progress on track? Holler at me! :) I'll see what I can do to help equip you to achieve your wildest dreams. For any of you who may be interested...the photo shares a glimpse of what I've been up to for the past 5 years. We moved from Las Vegas, NV to central Alabama to build a farm & learn to grow our own food. We love empowering & educating folks about the healing properties of healthy foods. And, YES, we did all this while

Free Printable Labels

Wow!  I just ran across one of THE best free printables & I had to share them with you.  This lady is a killer designer & offers some pretty vintage labels that you can actually customize.  Go to her blog & enjoy!   Customize, print & label your hearts out!

Party Ideas for The Big Game

I am a sucker for party food.  If your team is playing in 'The Big Game', I'm sure you're having or attending a party.  If your team isn't playing...let's just use this as an excuse for some killer party snacks!  Today, I'm sharing two knocked-outta-the-park victories & one epic fail! Over the years, I've been using Pinterest to find innovative ideas for snacks, drinks, party decor & other things you wouldn't believe if I told you. One of my biggest party food victories has actually been about party drinks!  I am obsessed with kitchen gadgets & my sodastream is no exception. Even after having (mostly) eliminating soda from my diet, I still put this bad boy to work! I use it to make sparkling water & just add some mint, lemon, lime, rosemary, cucumber...whatever sounds good.  It's a quick, cheap, healthy alternative to soda & that extra-chemically diet soda.  Sparkling lemonade is also transcendent.  I highly recommend

How To Stretch Your Grocery Dollar (Even After Your Shopping Trip)

A lot of this blog is about stretching your savings.  It's important.  A penny saved is a penny earned! But another crucially important part of saving money is stretching what you've already bought.  I get SOOOO mad at myself when I find an awesome deal on food, buy a ton of it, bring it home & end up losing most of it.  It's usually my fault & could've been prevented.  Even if I had saved becomes a 100% unnecessary expense with 0% nourishment of my family.  Anger! Most of us already have our own ways of stretching our grocery dollar at home.  Some people have instituted "Meatless Monday" at their house.  This saves money and helps their cholesterol.  I haven't convinced my husband yet, but I'm working on it. Some of us have fun, quirky tips & tricks to stretch recipes by substituting less expensive ingredients, switching out cuts of meat, etc. This morning I ran across a post about how most of our depression-era Grandm