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Showing posts with the label grocery shopping

16 Ways To Not Waste Food (and Use Up The Leftovers)

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One of the biggest problems facing the world today is food. Particularly how much food is wasted when there are so many people who would be happy to eat it. Grocery stores throw out perfectly good food every day and lock it into dumpsters. Restaurants scape tons of food into the trash every day because people do not finish their meals and don't wish to take it home.

In other words, food waste is a real problem! The problem isn't limited to just businesses. The problem also happens in the home more than we care to think about. We waste a lot of food in our homes without a thought to our hard earned money to purchase/grow the food and the hours we put into the food.

This really needs to stop! Fortunately, I have some things you can do to combat food waste in your home. Unfortunately, I have learned some of these things the hard way and have done my fair share of not caring as much as I should about our food. I don't want you to make the same mistakes!

16 Ways To Not Waste Food …

25 Crazy Simple and Easy Ways To Save Money

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This is a new year and you need some money motivation. I totally get it. If Christmas didn't scare you into complete money saving mode, your daily finances might have. However, maybe you just need some new ideas or a reminder of some good old ones.

This has some easy ideas and some crazy simple ideas to save money. Some of these might seem like they are not so simple, but they really are. 

25 Crazy Simple and Easy Ways To Save Money

1. Simply don't spend it. We are always buying things we "think" we might need, but truly don't. If money is that tight, don't spend it. Start a spending freeze.

2. Have some change in your pocket? Throw it in a can or a piggy bank to save towards Christmas or a rainy day. You can do the same with your one and five dollar bills. Tuck them into a drawer or a box to save for a special day.

3. Look for the discounted produce at the grocery store or your favorite mass merchandiser. The produce is usually still good for another week or so. …

10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month

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New preppers wonder what they should be buying for their preps every month. More experienced preppers wonder what holes they should be plugging in their food storage to be better prepared. We all know we should be constantly adding and rotating our food storage every month in order to have a good supply.

Since I have written the 10 Preparedness Items You Should Be Buying Every Month and Top Ten Items You Need For Your Food Storage, I have found my preparedness mindset changing a little bit. I think they are things you should be buying every month that are perishable items and non-perishable items. This list will concentrate on the non-perishable items because those are the ones most important to your food storage.

To explain what I have included on this list, I will give you the criteria. I am making this list as basic as possible. Meaning that you can go to the grocery store and buy these items right off the shelf which means the items are shelf-stable. They will not expire or go bad e…

The Best Way To Freeze Zucchini (And What To Do With It Afterwards!)

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Zucchini is one of those rare garden plants. Almost anyone can grow it! Zucchini is also (normally) very prolific meaning that it will produce very well for weeks if not months. We love here at Living Life in Rural Iowa so I like to put it up for use in the winter.

You can use zucchini in place of cucumber in relishes and pickles to preserve and use up the bounty. We like to eat it straight from the garden on the grill. However, we eat a good deal of it in baked goods with the idea that the end result might be healthier!

In order to use it over the winter, I have learned how to freeze it. I went through many trials and errors trying to find the best way to do this. One of the things I had learned right away is that you can easily freezer burn zucchini. The second thing I learned is that the texture of the zucchini changes considerably when frozen and thawed.

With that in mind, I had to find a way to do this so that I could use it again in the winter. The best way to freeze and preserve z…

50 Ways You Are Not Being Frugal

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Being frugal is not hard, but many people make mistakes in their frugal journey in life. Saving money, making smart decisions, choosing used over new, choosing quality over cheap, and being conscious where your money goes is time-consuming and somewhat exhausting.

However, most people believe they are being frugal without even realizing that they aren't being frugal at all. We all like to think we are frugal until we make these mistakes:

1. Grocery shopping without a meal plan or a list.

2. Letting food go to waste in the refrigerator.

3. Eating lunch out instead of eating up the leftovers.

4. Buying brand new clothes when used will do.

5. Refusing to use coupon codes when shopping.

6. Buying store bought cookies and cakes instead of making them yourself.

7. Buying cleaners you can easily make yourself.

8. Holding on to things that no longer have any use to you.

9. Not taking care of your things.

10. Throwing away broken items instead of fixing them.

11. Buying new clothes instead of mending …

Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month 3 and 4 Update!

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So...I am being a bit of slacker on keeping you all updated on this shopping challenge.

Probably because I didn't want to admit I was a complete failure.

Month 3 went smashingly. As I predicted, I made one small trip to the store right before Christmas for apples and Texas toast bread for our traditional apple fritters, French toast, and bacon on Christmas morning. What I took to my parent's house on Christmas Eve, I had all the ingredients for - cavatini and banana bread.

I was well pleased with myself about Month 3. Month 4 has proven to be more difficult.

I started out making my monthly trip to the grocery store and Walmart a few days early due to my schedule. I spent $200 between the two stores for groceries at Aldi's and pet food at Walmart. This was a little high in my opinion, but doable.




I also decided to take delivery of my Amazon Subscribe and Save for January because I had a lot of things on there that we needed. I had stuff on there for school lunches, pet treats, a…

Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month 2 Update & Month 3 Beginning

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Month 2 Update:

November started out with really great intentions. I was set up for the month with one grocery trip and two trips to other stores. I was hosting Thanksgiving and thought I knew how many people were coming. 

Then two days before Thanksgiving hit. We made a trip to the store when I figured I did not have enough food (I was wrong, of course). We had more people coming along with bad weather and I started to panic a wee bit about having enough food. So I went to the store and spent another $50 I should not have spent. 

If that was not bad enough, I went back the next day too! However, I am not sure I am counting that since it was Rob's food I was buying and being reimbursed for. He just couldn't make to the store after he got off work (he's a trucker).

I also made a trip to Dollar General. I had a $30 gift card that I had earned a while ago for trying a product and taking a survey. It wasn't a specific card to Dollar General, but could only be spent in certain …

Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month 2 and November's Meal Plans

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Here we are, Month 2 of the Once A Month Shopping Challenge!

I tried to be a little more prepared for this month. I have officially made my three planned stops as of yesterday. The first stop was to K-Mart to get:

2 bags of dog food
2 bags of cat food (grain-free for the cat with a sensitive stomach)
1 bag of cat litter
1 bottle of shampoo (for me)
1 bottle of shampoo/conditioner (for Dane)
2 bottles of conditioner (1 for me, 1 for Paige)
2 bottles of Vitamin C gummies (buy 1, get 1 free)

I cannot find the receipt right now, but I know I spent $76 with taxes and we saved $25 with coupons and discounts. Some things like cat litter have gone up a bit and that surprised me. 

The second stop was to Menards. I have this receipt! At Menards, I bought:

1 Plastic Window Kit to cover my inside windows
1 Plastic Door Kit to cover my back door until I get a new storm door
1 Garden Hand Shovel to replace the one the dog chewed up
2 different size drill bits because the ones I had were dull
1 set of sticky mouse…

The Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month One Update

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My first month's Once A Month Shopping Challenge will be done in just a few days. I will probably go grocery shopping a few days early due to how my budget works and when I get paid. However, I wanted to give you an update so you can see how it is going so far. 

The successes:

I feel like I have been freed from shopping. Really! We have found so many creative solutions to problems like Paige's Halloween costume. The kids have been on board with this challenge and they like it so far. They even went grocery shopping with me for the month. They thought about things I had forgotten to write down and what I had not fully planned out (cold lunches).

For the first three weeks, this challenge went smashingly. We are naturally frugal as a family so this challenge didn't hit us too bad. We had a lot in food storage and full freezers which helped greatly. We made a good dent in the upstairs freezer and hope to get more done there in the next month. 

We made bread like usual, brownies, m…

Want To Save Money? Learn To Live On Just Cash.

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Money is necessary. It is not evil and it is not good, but it keeps gas in your car, heat in your home, and clothes on your back. Most people need to have money for one reason or another. We would all like to believe that we don't need money, but we would be lying to ourselves. 

However, money is not the problem. The way you use money can be a problem. 

Many people rely on credit cards, floating checks, and not paying bills to pay for groceries. I know all about these tricks because I have been guilty of doing all three at one time or another. Most people have done that or worse. 

In fact, my budget went bust in September due to a high rise in school expenses. I did not have that much money budgeted for school expenses (budgeted $100, actual cost $250). In addition to higher school cost in August (budgeted $125, actual $225). These were not my kids' faults and the expenses needed to be paid. High school is a little more expensive at this school. However, it didn't help my che…

October Monthly Meal Plan - A First In My World!

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In junction with my once a month shopping trip to the grocery store, I needed to work out a month of meals to make. This was actually pretty easy for me because we have a lot of the same meals from month to month. I usually try 2-3 new meals a month as well, but I don't always get it done.

From October 8th, when we went grocery shopping, this what I have made so far:

Thursday: Frugal Refrigerator Clean-out Frittata

Friday: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with Rice and Peas

I put the carcass of the chicken back into the slow cooker, filled it with water, added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, and left it on low to cook all weekend.

Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch were find your own or leftovers. Paige and I were at State Marching Band Contest. Supper was Chicken Broccoli Casserole using chicken leftover from Friday's meal and broth from the slow cooker.

Sunday: Baked Oatmeal for breakfast, Chicken and Noodles for lunch using chicken from Friday night and broth from the slow cooker. Whatever b…