Don’t forget that many coupons will no longer be available for printing after the end of the month. Many coupons will no longer be available or reset, so print the ones you want before they disappear! There is also a *rumored* Super Double event starting this Sunday, April 2nd at Harris Teeter. This would be a great time to get ready and printing!
Today I made a small trip into Harris Teeter (with no kids…does Carlton dance) to pick up a few needed items and get a few items that were on sale. I plan to pick up some more meat and produce later this week or maybe at Costco over the weekend since I have a good amount left in my weekly budget.
I am always looking for ways to spruce up my home without spending a lot of money. Lets face it, we all love a great DIY project that is also friendly to the wallet. There is just something about looking at a project and knowing that you did it that makes me feel good. Check out these easy and affordable upgrades that you can do in your own home.
1.) Plant baskets
Adding baskets to planters in your home adds flair and makes it look expensive. I found baskets marked down to $5.00 each at Target and I have started to add these to the plants around my house. I love this look!
2.) Paint hardware and vents
Rusteloum “oil rubbed bronze” is one of the best products for sprucing up a home. One $8.00 can of spray paint can refresh your hardware (door knobs, cabinet hardware, sink faucets) and make them seem new. I have spray painted almost all the hardware in my home and even went as far to spray paint my brass shower doors! Literally a brand new look.
My taste in items change frequently and lately I have not been feeling my couch pillows. I was tempted to throw them out and purchase new ones until a thought occurred to me. It would be so much cheaper to just buy pillow covers and give them an update. If you like to sew you can also make your own, but that is not up my alley.
I am a huge fan of using yesterday’s dinner to recycle for the next day’s meal, if there are leftovers of course. When I am in Costco and want a quick and cheap meal then I will pick up one of their rotisserie chickens. At $4.99 for a whole cooked chicken, who can beat that? My family loves rotisserie chicken and I have found that Costco tends to have the largest rotisserie chickens at the cheapest price!
We had leftover chicken last week and I wanted a quick and easy recipe for our leftovers. I went to my handy-dandy Pinterest and typed in leftover rotisserie chicken recipes (what did we do before Pinterest?!?) and viola! I tweaked this recipe from the original I ran across and I had all the ingredients on hand in my stock pile.
3 cups rotisserie chicken (or cooked chicken)
2 cans of black beans (or pinto, whichever you prefer)
1 can of rotel (or diced tomatoes)
1 can of whole kernel corn (or frozen)
5 cups chicken broth
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch seasoning
Combine all ingredients together in a dutch oven (or pot) and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Serve with cheese, sour cream or chips if you like.
How easy is that? I love an easy and budget friendly meal! Our $4.99 chicken lasted two dinners and I still had soup leftovers for the next days lunch 😉
Starbucks is my weakness. There are not many things that I splurge on, but Starbucks iced coffee is one of them. I love to make my own cold brew at home, but it is never quite as good as Starbucks iced coffee. Here are some tricks to saving money while enjoying a nice cup of coffee.
1.) Bring your own cup
If you bring in your own cup, such as the reusable ones sold at Starbucks, you will save .10 cents per cup. If you get coffee daily this will save $36.50 per year.
2.) Buy a venti/trenta and split
Having coffee with a friend? Buy a venti or trenta size and split into a tall cup. Many stores are strict about not giving you a tall cup when you order a venti (for this purpose) so bring your own reusable cup!
3.) Ask for light ice
When you buy an iced beverage, you are really paying for half ice and half beverage. Ask for light ice (or ice on the side) to get more of the actual drink.
4.) Ask for a size up (for room)
If you are one who likes cream in your coffee, then order a tall size coffee in a grande cup. For instance, “Can I have a tall coffee in a grande cup so I have room for cream?”. This way you are not sacrificing coffee to be able to add cream.
5.) Order espresso-then add extra
Do you want a cheaper latte? Order 2-3 espresso shots (hot or iced) and then add in your own milk at the condiment section.
6.) Ordering iced tea? Ask for no water.
Starbucks makes their iced teas concentrated to be strong. They will add water to dilute the concentration, so next time you would like a stronger cup of tea order without water.
7.) Join Starbucks rewards
Starbucks has a rewards program that you can use with a Starbucks card or download the Starbucks app to your phone. For every dollar spent, you will earn 2 stars. Once you receive 120 stars you will get a free beverage or sandwich. You also will receive a free beverage on your birthday for joining their rewards program. You can sign up here.
8.) Order a grande
Venti drinks (except regular coffee) has the same amount of caffeine as a grande size. For a venti, you are paying more for the ice, milk or cream.
Starbucks will occasionally run promotions for buy one get one free or buy one get one half off beverages.
10.) Free in-store refills!
If you are a Starbucks rewards member you can get free refills on coffee and teas while you are in the store. This only applies if you are dining in the store. If I have time, I will order an iced coffee and sit in the store while I work or read and then get my refill and head home. Two iced coffees for the price of one!
My husband and I bought our home 5 years ago, this month. We moved in with enough furniture (bed, sofas, side tables) for the basics. I remember looking around in our home and thinking “how are we ever going to fill this home?”. Fast forward to 5 years later (and 2 kids) and now I look around thinking “where did we get all this stuff”.
A few weeks ago, I was standing in our bedroom. The floors were filled with clothes, our kid’s toys, shoes and other miscellaneous treasures hiding from eye sight. I was stressed. No matter many how many hours I would spend cleaning and tidying it never stayed that way for more than an hour.
The clutter was so distracting that I could not focus when it came time for me to sit down to work. I would look around and my mind immediately shifted me into “clean” mode before I could begin to focus on the task at hand.
I thought to myself, “there has to be a better way to clean and stay clean”.
I began some research and ran across the idea of minimalism. No, I don’t consider myself a minimalist (yet…), but it has made me reconsider my whole concept of my belongings and how much I really need.
I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I recommend! The overview of the “KonMari” tidying process is simple. Does a specific item bring you joy? If not, get rid of it. I never realized how many items I was surrounded by that I had just because. Just because I wanted another black dress. Just because two cutting boards sounded better then one. Just because my favorite movie came out on DVD (while also being available on Netflix).
Realistically they served no purpose, function and they did not bring me joy.
As I mentioned before, I am not a minimalist to the degree of its definition. What I did find in the lifestyle of minimalism is clarity and frugality. Clarity, in respect to feeling as if the process of decluttering and letting go of non essential items decreased my stress. Frugality in its very meaning. Letting go of items that serve minimal purpose, has given me the opportunity to save dollars and shop smarter.
So far we have decluttered close to 1/3 of our home and you know what? My spending has decreased! I no longer feel the urge to purchase random items when out shopping.
Below is a list of benefits that you will truly experience right away. Benefits that are visible and non visible. I hope that you are able to breathe a little easier and enjoy life with happiness first.
1.) Less stress
With less clutter comes less cleaning which equals less stress. I now walk into our bedroom and feel relaxed, which is how each person should be able to feel in their own personal space.
2.) More time to focus on other things
When you have less belongings there is less to clean. I have noticed, even within the first month, that I have more time during the day to focus on other things. I no longer have to walk into our home office and begin tidying before I can sit down to focus on my work. Imagine the things you can accomplish with an extra hour added to your day!
3.) Less spending
Before putting an item in my cart, I consider the purpose of the item. Does this item serve a function? Do I know exactly where the item will go in my house? Will this item bring me joy in my home? I learned that many of my purchases were in the moment. “Oh look, this vase is 70% off!”. Yes, the vase may have been 70% off, but I simply made a purchase because the price of the item was low, not because I actually needed a vase.
4.) Sell your items
One of the areas in our home that I began to declutter is my children’s toys. Trust me, they still have more toys than they need, but I was able to find a good amount that were no longer of interest to my kids. I took our discarded toys to a local children’s consignment store and sold many of the items. I received store credit (you can also get cash back) to use on future clothing purchases for my children. Mom win!
Guys, this is a section of my closet before the decluttering began. What you do not see is is the countless amount of shoes on the ground and clothes about to pop out of the drawers. Stay tuned for the after! I am currently on the 3rd round of my closet declutter which has resulted in close to 20 garbage bags of clothes to be given away.
Last week my husband and I were on a tour viewing a potential preschool for our daughter to start this fall. I feel like it was just yesterday she was a tiny baby and now we are looking at preschools, WHAT?!? This makes me want to cry writing about it, so send me some good thoughts when September comes!
Back to the story, the school director was going over some fun activities that they like to do throughout the year. She landed on the subject of St. Patrick’s day and how someone would come in dressed as a leprechaun, they turn the water green and have coins spread throughout the classroom.
I thought to myself, “Why have I not been doing more for this holiday?”.
Sure, I have my kids dress up in green, but anyone who knows me or reads my posts know that most holidays are full of activities at my home.
I went searching on Pinterest to come up with some “magical leprechaun” activities and snacks for the kiddos. My personal favorites are the leprechaun trap, pancakes (no-brainer!) and footprints in the bathroom. This may be one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with the kids now. Enjoy!