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January 2019 Monthly Grocery Haul – Freezer Meal Update

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Welcome to 2019!! Whew, what a whirlwind last year was. We’ve had so much happening with our family, and this Pearl Team keeps growing and growing, which is so exciting! Today, lets talk meal planning and grocery haulin’!

Do you remember last month, when I cooked freezer meals for 2 months?! That was a crazy few days, but now I am so happy I did it, because for January I will not have to cook a thing from scratch! I just need to reheat the meals I have already made. SCORE!

This month, we are going to review how month two of this fun little experiment is going. If you’re interested in snagging a copy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals (the cookbook I used for my freezer meals), click this link!

Don’t know where to start? Pearl! I got you! Make sure you read this article on how to meal plan for beginners. In there you will find all the tips you need to make sure that you plan to the best of your ability and stay on budget!

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I’m also always sharing our daily frugal living tips for summer survival over on my Instagram stories! It’s super fun over there so don’t forget to follow along!

How We Stuck to a $400 Monthly Grocery Budget

If you are new here, hi! You are probably interested to know what we set for our monthly grocery budget. This is how it’s broken down.

When I first started kicking bootie at the grocery budget game we only spend $300 in our monthly grocery haul. That covers all groceries that can last in the fridge, freezer, or pantry for 30 days or longer. We also budgeted $25 each week for fresh produce and milk. All that takes is a quick 15 minute trip once a week! Lastly, we budgeted $160 for all other household needs that are not food.

Things over the past few months things have changed a bit and we are experimenting with bumping up our budgets and honestly, I think we will lower them back down soon. When you are figuring out your grocery budget, it’s all about trial and error.

The key to sticking to monthly meal plan on a budget is to use cash! Remember that stuff? Seriously, cash is T-H-E single tool we use that has helped our family cut our food budget from $1,000 to only $400 a month!

It is statistically proven that when you use cash you spend less money. It is such a powerful visual reminder that the dollar number you are spending is coming from your pocket and not an imaginary never ending bank account.

Using a cash envelope system is exactly what keeps our family on track with our budget every single day! When using this system every dollar you pull out of your wallet is coming directly from a categorized budget. You visually see money leaving your pocket and that gets you thinking twice about your purchase.

“If I buy this now, I won’t have enough to buy _______ later.” You have to weigh your wants with your priorities.

My Favorite App for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

No mom has the time to spend continuously scanning apps over the holidays looking for the best rebate offers and sales. Which is why I have minimized my rebate strategy to help maximize my savings in the smallest amount of time.

This month’s grocery haul is very different from normal! Because I made and shopped for all meals last month, I don’t have any meal prep groceries to buy this month (other than fresh). You won’t believe how much money we saved by prepping our freezer meals this way!

My very favorite app to us is Ibotta! I have done an entire tutorial on how to use the app to maximize your savings. But in a nutshell this is how I do it, I do my normal grocery shopping first.

Then once I get all my groceries home, I will quickly open the app and search the two stores that I just went shopping at to see if there are any rebates that apply to my groceries. There are usually 3-4 that I can claim. This saves me around $5 each time I use the app.

If that doesn’t sound like much, trust me! The three minutes that it takes me to save $5 is 100% worth it! These small savings add up quick and once you hit $20 you can cash out in PayPal or Venmo, or choose from a bunch of really awesome gift cards! I usually choose Target and treat myself to a well deserved “mom’s only” snack!

If you are new to Ibotta, sign up using this link and you will automatically get $10 after you claim your first rebate! So easy!

January 2019 Family Meal Plan on a Budget & Grocery Haul

Made double freezer meals last month so I don’t have to cook at all this month!

Used this cookbook to make this all possible.

You can download this month’s budget friendly meal plan here.

In this monthly grocery haul on a budget I’m shopping to feed our family of five for TWO MONTHS! I’m talking freezer meals this month! Crazy schedules and small budgets are in need of some freezer meal ideas.Take a look at our Costco grocery haul on a budget and learn tips to save money on groceries.

January 2019 Grocery Haul

This month’s grocery haul is very different from normal! Because I made and shopped for all meals last month, I don’t have any meal prep groceries to buy this month (other than fresh).

You won’t believe how much money we saved by prepping our freezer meals this way! You have to watch the video to find out! What should we do with the savings? I’m thinking about using it towards stocking up on meats next time I see a good sale!

So really all that is left for this month’s grocery haul is to replenish any needed kitchen staples, snack foods, breakfast, and lunch supplies. That’s about it. Take a look at the video to see what we bought this month plus the number breakdown!

 

I’d love to hear any questions you have! Leave them down in the comments below!

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Fast Freezer Sandwiches for Easy Lunch Prep

Any task that you repeat over and over needs to be batched! Are you repeatedly making sandwiches for lunches over and over again? It’s time to stop! Let me show you how to make a whole lot of lunch freezer sandwiches at one time to help you save a bunch of time in your week!

I was first introduced to the idea of lunch freezer sandwiches from my friend Stephanie from Six Figures Under. She always has the best money and time saving tips!

This is how to make a whole lot of lunch freezer sandiwches at one time to help you save a bunch of time in your week! Freezer cooking is the perfect way to do batch cooking and make it work for lunches too! Continue Reading →

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Perfectly Chewy Gingersnap Molasses Cookie Recipe

There isn’t a sweet treat I prefer more than a warm chewy cookie fresh from the oven.

Do you like them chewy or crisp? Though I do partake in a crispy cookie every once in a while, my heart belongs to the chewy cookie family.

This recipe is a spin on gingersnaps. The difference is this chewy cookie recipe is, yes chewy, but also a little more flavorful due to the molasses.

If you like those “spice” type cookies, you know the ones like gingersnaps or pumpkin flavored, then you are going to LOVE this recipe!

This is one of the most flavorful, thick and perfectly chewy cookie recipes I have ever tasted! It takes the flavor of homemade gingersnaps up a notch. These soft and chewy cookies will turn out perfect the first time you make them! Continue Reading →

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Crispy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Why in the world is feeding kids so dang hard? You think you are making their very favorite meal in the world only to find out, today, today it’s the most repulsive meal on the planet!

Ugh! #TheStruggleIsReal

There is one meal thought that is almost a guarantee win in our house. That would be chicken nuggets. The problem is our family will go through those bags of store bought chicken nuggets so quick and they aren’t cheap! Not to mention I’m not exactly sure what they are made of…

Perfect recipe for Homemade Chicken Nuggets. They come out crispy and are exactly the chicken nuggets recipe that the kids have been asking for. Continue Reading →

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Freezing Fruit for Smoothies

We love smoothies in our house! It doesn’t matter what time of the year, we will always eat them. You might find us huddled around our kitchen table wrapped up in layers of sweatshirts and blankets because we are freezing. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, we will keep drinking this frozen treat!

One of the reasons it is a constant in our home is because I love that my kids will actually be eating something healthy! My kids are uber-picky eaters and feeding them smoothies is one way I can easily get some nutrition into their little bellies.

Here is a recipe for one of our very favorite smoothies!

The hard thing about this is that frozen fruit can be super expensive! Not only is the price hard to handle sometimes but the flavor of store bought frozen fruit is not always wonderful. The solution, start freezing fruit on your own! You will save at least 50%!

How to freeze fruit so you can save more money on your groceries! This method on how to freeze fruit, saves me over 50% on frozen fruit! Perfect solution on how to freeze strawberries for smoothies!
Continue Reading →

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The Ultimate Time Saver for Meal Planning

I only cooked once this month, but we ate a home cooked meal almost every night throughout the entire month!

The daily dinner prep in our house has gone a little something like this. Wake up, pull a meal out of the freezer and plop it in the slow cooker. About 6-8 hours later, dinner is ready and I haven’t stepped foot in the kitchen all day! Keep reading to find out how this could be you!

Why haven’t I started this earlier!?! Meal planning doesn’t get any easier then this! This completely customizable meal plan comes with organized grocery lists, step-by-step prep, cooking, and freezing instructions. Hassle free weeknights are waiting for you! Continue Reading →

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Doubletree Cookie Recipe

This is not your average chocolate chip cookie people! This Doubletree cookie recipe has two ingredients that I can guarantee you didn’t use last time you made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I think Doubletree hotels did their research when they were trying to figure out what exactly they could to create a “welcome home” feel. Did you know that they greet each guest with a fresh baked cookie! They have won me over for sure!

The BEST Doubletree Cookie Recipe I have ever tasted! Easy to make and is now my all time favorite Doubletree Cookie Copycat Recipe and best chocolate chip cookie recipe! Continue Reading →

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I’m So Glad You Are Here!

With it being a new year and there are a lot of new faces around here, I thought it was time to update my “about video”. I get a little excited when I start talking about living frugal AND fabulous!

I am super excited to meet you and I hope that you enjoy this video! If you are looking for fun and informative videos on how to live frugal and fabulous then you don’t want to forget and SUBSCRIBE HERE to my YouTube channel. 

While you are still here, take a look around the blog. Here are a few places you might want to start:

Casual Couponing 101
Cheap, Easy, and Beautiful DIY Tutorials
Gourmet Tastes on a Budget

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Happy New Year… 2016 Sneak Peek!

Isn’t the New Year so inspiring and motivating? There is something special about the beginning of a New Year and all the possibilities of change and improvement!

Have you set any goals for the New Year? Let me know in the comments bellow! Sharing goals makes them a little more real and keeps you a little more accountable. I personally love hearing other people’s goals because their goals motivate me to do better!

Are you feeling like this is the year you want to live frugal AND fabulous?!

This is my favorite website / blog for learning to live frugal and fabulous! Best tips for frugal living and having a fabulous life! Continue Reading →