This is my third round of bi-weekly dinner meal planning! However, this time it comes with a twist! Why? A fellow frugal friend needed help. She had to find a way to feed herself and her husband for two weeks, but the kicker was she only had $35 for food. Realizing the need for low-cost meal planning, my “$40 Meal Planning Your Family Will Love” was born.
Inspired by her situation, I wondered how many others out there could use low-cost meal planning. So my challenge for this round is to keep your grocery bill around $40. Hopefully, you have some items on hand and you will spend even less, but if you do not, you will come out right around $41.
This list is a dinner meal plan so let’s see how well we can do. Be sure to read until the end and click the printable grocery list to save you time and money! My shopping for this meal plan was mostly done at Kroger.
Keep in mind, if you are saving money on your groceries, you will be able to put money away for other important areas of your budget such as an emergency fund, savings account, or retirement fund.
Cutting your food costs is one of the easiest ways to put extra money in your pocket. Not to mention, my $40 meal plan will save your sanity because you will not be rushing around your kitchen, like a crazy person, trying to throw something together when your kids are hungry. This is not a fun situation for anyone!
We all know credit cards are dangerous, yet if used correctly, they can actually be very advantageous. There are an array of cards available that offer points, rewards, airline miles, statement credits and YES, they are all very lucrative. However, if you do not know how to use your card to your advantage, you could be digging yourself into a whirlwind of debt. It is estimated that the mean credit card debt for the average American is $5,700. (Source ValuePenguin)
With this amount so high, I’m not suggesting you use your card to go on a spending spree. (Although that would be fun!) Nonetheless, I’m offering some advice to help you build credit and earn some of the amazing rewards these plastic gems have to offer.
Let’s change that $5,700 figure around and let the cards work in our favor. If you are sick of being one of the people that pays interest on your card and gets nothing in return, keep reading…
Kids learn at different ages and different stages. With that being said, one important lesson every parent should teach is the power to be in control of money. According to CNBC.com eight out of ten people are in debt in the United States alone. Moreover, wouldn’t it be amazing if your kiddo was one of the two out of ten that are not in debt?
“Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow.” anonymous proverb
If you teach your child basic money lessons through-out all stages of development, he or she will then be able to handle finances as an adult. Therefore, starting early is the key! Plant the seed and your child’s money IQ will grow. You can begin a solid money foundation with your child. This will be in your best interest because they will not ask you to borrow money!
How early is too early? Children can understand the concept of money at a very young age. My two-year-old knows that we have to pay for items when we go to the store and he helps me hand our groceries to the cashier upon checkout. Nonetheless, I was just telling my four-year-old son how much money I have in my retirement accounts and he asked me if I had interest and investors. Kids are little sponges and they soak up what they hear mommy and daddy talking about. I’m not saying my son really understands what investing is, but he will one day. Start those conversations and be open about money with your kids.
As you continue reading, this post will give you ideas on how to begin teaching your child about money. You will find age-based examples to help guide you in your money-teaching quest. Furthermore, I am a former teacher and if there is one thing I love, it is teaching kids real-life skills.
We often hear people talk about “needs” versus “wants” and the impulse to spend? However, for the average impulse spender, this may sound like a foreign idea. If we want it, we need it, right? Impulse buys are one major way to throw off your budget. Nonetheless, being able to have impulse control over spending could really save you money.
Why Should I Stop Spending Freely?
You may be asking, why would I want to do this? I like shopping! I love treating myself and I love the thrill of spending!
Yet, do you ever have that feeling of emptiness after you bought an expensive item you didn’t need? Have you ever bought something to make yourself feel better? Well this post is for you (and let’s face it 90% of us have-including myself!) Retail therapy used to be my stressor’s best friend.
What is a need?
There are the basics. For example, we need food, water, clothing, and shelter. Additionally, paying your mortgage/rent and utilities are big needs. If you have children you will need diapers and baby food. Additionally, we all have transportation costs. In fact, needs vary from person to person. Therefore, prioritize what you really need. Then if you have money left, buy your want! (That’s after saving too.)
Failing to plan, is planning to fail. – Benjamin Franklin
Goal setting… A way to reach for your dreams. As a former teacher part of my job was to teach kids to believe in themselves and I enjoyed teaching how to set goals and stick to them. It’s true, many of us have a clear vision of where we want our lives to be. Yet, finding the next step on that path can prove to be difficult. Although research shows many New Year’s goals go to the wayside by February, studies also show people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
Many goals are financial, personal or health-related; whatever it is you want to work on, you will need to set up a plan of action. In my post below, I will teach you how to set goals with three examples. Use my examples to start your own plan of action! Don’t worry if you fail, you can always adjust your goals down the road and learn from this. You can do this!
Here is a free Goal-setting Printable PDF to help you on your journey! Goal Setting