I used to crave the excitement of Holiday shopping. There was nothing like the gorgeous decorations, great deals, and shopping around from store to store. The mall looked like a regular old winter wonderland! As always, Holiday spirit filled the air.
Boy, times have changed!! After having two kids, I now try to avoid anything with an early wake up, large crowds, no parking and a line with more than one person.
Although I love a good deal like the next person, I am skipping the Black Friday and mall lines this year and shopping from home!
My goal is to be stress-free this Christmas. Furthermore, you can too with these simple easy tips listed below!
Use my tips to avoid a head ache and bankruptcy this Christmas! Here’s to a whimsical Holiday Season. Let the shipping begin!
Ways to save
1.Ebates-This site actually gives you money back for shopping online and it is totally legit! You also get a bonus for signing up and making your first purchase. When I first signed up I got a ten-dollar gift card for Target and have been using them for over five years! Click here to sign up!
2. Groupon goods – There are many awesome discounted gift ideas on Groupon and right now you can get 6% back if you click Groupon through your Ebates account.
**TIP – I often wait until they have a 20% off coupon code, as well. They usually offer them at least once or twice a week.
*GIFT IDEA– Groupon has personalized children’s book on sale right now for around $8. What a great gift idea for the baby boy or girl in your life.
Have you ever had one of those days, where the kids are screaming, starving, and on the verge of a meltdown, yet you have no idea what you are going to make for dinner? Trust me, we’ve all been there.
Dinner time can be one of the most stressful times of the day. Well, stress no more! One great way to save money and eliminate mealtime chaos is to use meal planning!! Using these simple tricks takes the guess-work out of a busy mom’s dinner schedule (or dad’s, depending on who is the chef in your home) and eliminates the chance of having multiple hangry-I mean hungry ;-)- kiddos. Furthermore, meal-planning helps you save food, money, and time. It is a great way to use your recipes and use up frozen food lurking in the back of your freezer.
I like to pay serious attention to the days my four-year-old has preschool and needs mommy right around meal-time. I save the simple, kid-friendly meals or crock-pot meals, I can make in advance, for these evenings. So play around with my sample and do what works for your schedule!
Crisp air, pumpkin patches, cider and donuts, football games, beautiful colored leafs-These these are just a few favorite things that are reminiscent of fall!! One other favorite, and maybe one of the best, is my budget-friendly chili recipe. This is a fall go-to recipe my entire family of four loves.
Every year around this time, I incorporate my quick easy, budget-friendly chili into my meal planning rotation. For those of you that do not cook, this recipe is so easy, you can’t go wrong! In my next post I’ll give you an example of my two-week meal planning, but for now, here is my favorite chili recipe!
Since Chili is a go-to recipe I try to stock up on diced tomatoes, tomato paste, kidney beans, and ground beef when it is on sale. I freeze my ground beef and stockpile the canned goods. You will need to make a trip to the store for the fresh produce, but that is part of the reason this chili tastes so good! Fresh onion and green pepper! Not to mention, it makes your house smell amazing! What are you waiting for? Give this chili recipe a try this fall!
If you are really ready to save on groceries, check out my favorite cashback app Ibotta. I have literally earned hundreds back on food and groceries in the past few years and the app is easy to use, so why not get money back on the cheap meals you are about to make?
The best part about Ibotta is you do not need to clip coupons, which most of us dislike. Everything is organized on the app and it is easy to add your stores to your account or upload your receipt for some extra cashback when you finish your grocery shopping.
1 lb. of ground beef (season with salt & pepper) – paid 2.99 on sale-stock up
1 large can 30 oz. diced tomato – paid 1.39
1/2 an onion – paid . 99(save other half & make again next week)
1 green pepper – paid .62
1 can kidney beans 15 oz. – paid .89 (rinse)
1/2 can tomato sauce 15 oz. – paid .99 (save other half & make again next week)
1/2 tablespoons chili powder paid 1.99 for an entire bottle (estimate .20 per use)
*optional*Dried red pepper-I don’t use because I make mine kid friendly, but some like it spicy.
(Most ingredients were purchased at Target using my REDcard to get an extra 5% off my purchase, the green pepper was purchased at Walmart.)
Fall Chili Recipe Directions:
1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef & drain grease
2. Add green pepper & onion to the meat and cook on medium heat until soft
3. Dump the rest of the ingredients in and stir-See, I told you.. easy, peasy
4. Simmer and stir on low for 30 minutes or longer
*I’ve made this ahead of time and left on the stove top for up to two hours.
Optional: Sprinkle with shredded cheese & dollop with sour cream
Enjoy Your Chili Fall Budget Meal!
Serve with crackers or garlic toast and ENJOY!!!!
For a family of four, this makes two meals. I have leftovers the following evening, cutting the meal cost in half and the mess! I love serving chili nachos the following day! Just top your chili over tortilla chips and add cheese and sour cream and you have another meal you don’t have to cook! The total cost was $7.67 (this includes my target red card 5% discount) or 3.83 per a meal. This chili is sure to be a winner and it is cheap and filling!
Are you ready to carve your pumpkins? If so, don’t throw away your seeds just yet, Did you know pumpkin seeds are easy to clean and cook, to make a yummy, nutritious snack? Here is my easy recipe:
Pumpkin Seeds – The Money-Saving Snack
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the fall! Yes, that time of year is right around the corner (of the corn maze).
Our favorite fall activity is visiting the pumpkin patch and picking a perfectly round, orange pumpkin off the vine! Our favorite farm has kid’s activities, a corn maze, and a train!
Since we are buying our pumpkins at the patch, they are usually cheaper than the supermarket so we save a little and have some family fun. My kids absolutely LOVE this family day trip!
Nonetheless, what better way to save money than to use something you were already going to buy – your great pumpkin! Don’t let the seeds go to waste. Be ready after carving to scoop them out and rinse them off.
You may be tempted to toss them, but they are super easy to cook and make into a yummy, healthy snack.
After you carve out your pumpkin, rinse those babies off, pat them dry, and stick them in the oven!! You now have a healthy snack (seeds are loaded with magnesium, potassium, and zinc). Depending on how many pumpkins you carve, you’ll have a yummy, nutritious snack for days. Enjoy my simple recipe!
Easy “How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds” Recipe
1. Rinse your seeds well and pat dry. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to get off the pumpkin guts, but you want all of that gunk off your seeds before your cook them.
2. Grease your tray with olive oil (or cooking spray) & lay seeds in a single layer so they cook evenly.
3. Season (use salt or cinnamon & sugar for your sweet tooth). You can get crazy with your seasonings and mix it up with whatever y ou have. Nutmeg or something spicy will work too, but I’m a boring old salt kind of girl.
4. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
5. Cool & enjoy for around five minutes and enjoy.
6. Seal your leftovers and they should stay good for around two months in the refrigerator if you use an air-tight container, according to Allrecipes, or a week at room temperature.
Pumpkin Seed Recipe Final Thoughts…
Pumpkin seeds are an easy, delicious snack. It is a fun treat to keep the Halloween excitement going all month.
You can take “snacks” off your grocery list for a few days and enjoy your yummy treat! I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a great snack with your family! Happy Halloween!
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by Sarah | Comments Off on How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds Recipe (So Easy)Budgeting
What are your kids dressing up as this year? Did you pay full price for those cute costumes? Hope not, but if you did, there is time to save for next year!! Here are five ideas to help you!
1. If possible, the number one way to save is to buy one year early! This works best for younger kids that can be swayed or if you already know what they are into! My son is wearing a Captain America Costume that my mom bought on clearance last year for $5 (marked down from $22). Just buy a size or two up and you are set! No stress next year!
2. Check mom to mom sights or sales. I just started using these on Facebook and I’m addicted! I see costumes all the time and some people are just giving them away to get rid of them!-Way to spread the love!
3. Sign up for a store email list. Many major stores offer free shipping and discounts around the holidays. I am on the Party City email list and they have had free shipping all week!
4. A fairly new way to shop online is Jet.com. I bought my husband’s and my Halloween costumes on this sight last year. The sight actually shops around, will find you a great deal and offer a discount if you wave your right to return your item.
5. Another great idea is to costume swap with friends, family, neighbors or mom’s groups. Many moms are just trying to get rid of old, no longer used costumes.
As always, I hope this post was helpful!! Don’t forget to stock up on Halloween candy next week when it all goes on clearance! YUM!
by Sarah | Comments Off on Happy Halloween-Costume Savings