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January 2019 Monthly Grocery Haul – Freezer Meal Update

This grocery haul post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links!

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!

Related Articles:

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.

Want to learn how to start a successful cash envelope system? Next week I’ll be doing a free LIVE online training on exactly that! Click here to register!

Step by step help on setting up your cash budget. Help you decide how much money you need. How to make it work with your unique pay schedule. How to manage it all between family members. What and what NOT to use cash for because not everything needs a cash budget. I’ll help you and your family switch the mindset from using your cards to using cash!

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 or the code: qybjrj 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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Pesto Asparagus Tortellini Pasta Salad

Comin at ya with another super easy and crazy fast dinner idea! Plus, you can feel great about feeding this pesto tortellini dinner to your family because it is fresh and full of veggies (if you want!)

Tonight its a 5 ingredient dinner that will be on the table in under 20 minutes!

Tonight its a 5 ingredient dinner that will be on the table in under 20 minutes! You can count this as a healthy dinner idea because it is full of fresh yummy veggies! This cheap dinner idea will help you stay on budget and still keep all the flavor in the meal!

Related Articles:

 

Fast Pesto Asparagus Tortellini

(video)

 

This easy dinner idea is a family pleaser for sure! Leave the veggies cut into large pieces making it easy for your picky eaters to scavenge around.

This quick dinner idea is going to take you under 20 minutes to whip together and less than $5 to feed your family!

Tonight its a 5 ingredient dinner that will be on the table in under 20 minutes! You can count this as a healthy dinner idea because it is full of fresh yummy veggies! This cheap dinner idea will help you stay on budget and still keep all the flavor in the meal!

 

Tonight its a 5 ingredient dinner that will be on the table in under 20 minutes! You can count this as a healthy dinner idea because it is full of fresh yummy veggies! This cheap dinner idea will help you stay on budget and still keep all the flavor in the meal!

 

Pesto tortellini is perfect for busy nights where you feel like there is no time to cook but the drive thru is not on the meal plan!

Tonight its a 5 ingredient dinner that will be on the table in under 20 minutes! You can count this as a healthy dinner idea because it is full of fresh yummy veggies! This cheap dinner idea will help you stay on budget and still keep all the flavor in the meal!

The hardest thing you will be doing for dinner tonight is boing a pot of water! You can do it!

Oooh! This would also make a super good on-the-go meal idea!

 

My Favorite Cooking Tools

  • Bamboo Mixing Spoons that my brother got me for Christmas over five years ago and I still use them every day!
  • I use a Rubber Spatula in almost every recipe I am making.
  • We are still using the same Non-Stick Pot that my grandma got us for our wedding almost 12 years ago and we love it!
  • Insulated Carrier for On-The-Go Meals.

This quick dinner idea is going to take you under 20 minutes to whip together and under $5 to feed your family! There is no excuse tonight to mess up your meal plan! This cheap dinner idea will help you stay on budget and still keep all the flavor in the meal!

Share Your Dinner on Instagram!

I would love to see how your family likes your dinner! Share a picture of how your easy cesar pasta salad recipe turns out and tag me on Instagram @PenniesIntoPearls.

 

Thanks so much for stopping in and I will talk to ya soon! Xoxo

Pesto Asparagus Tortellini
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
  2. 2 lbs. Asparagus (chopped into 2 inch pieces)
  3. 2 cups Chopped Grilled Chicken
  4. 1 lb. Frozen Tortellini Pasta
  5. ½ cup Pesto (Costco is the best place to buy!)
  6. Optional toppings: chopped parsley, grated parmesan, bacon crumbs
Instructions
  1. Boil a large pot of water.
  2. Cook tortellini as package directs.
  3. Once tortellini is cooked and water is drained, in a large bowl combine all ingredients.
  4. Immediately serve and top with your favorite italian toppings.
  5. Enjoy!
Pennies into Pearls http://www.penniesintopearls.com/
 

 

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November 2018 Meal Plan & Grocery Haul

This post about our family budget meal plan contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links!

November is the start of the holiday season! It’s the time when things can get out of control with your meal plan and food budget if you’re not careful. Family gatherings, treats at the kids school, or parties with friends, it can all add up!

This month, I am committed to sharing with you how my family deals with all of these  “unforeseen” events and plans for them as much as possible.

Use this family budget meal plan this November and feed your family for under $520! You will start to save money on groceries as soon as you use this family budget meal plan! Continue Reading →

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Meal Planning for Beginners – October 2018 Meal Plan & Grocery Haul

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links!

Meal planning for beginners might sound complicated and overwhelming at first, but give it a try and use this free meal plan to help make the process a lot easier!

 

Eating healthy on a budget is totally possible! How does $350 to cover your monthly grocery haul sound! This monthly grocery haul is going to show you how to eat healthy on a budget and help your entire family do the same thing! Costco and Target healthy grocery haul 2018.

Last month hubby and I completed our first ever Whole30 and it was awesome! We pretty much just ate meat, eggs, fruits, and lots of veggies for 30 days. The process is to help us figure out what foods our body can use best. Along the process we are also developing a lot healthier lifestyle!

We have learned a lot in the past 50 days but my favorite thing is we are learning how to balance organic eating with a small budget.

This month’s meal plan is another one full of whole nutritious meals that are easy, fast, cheap, and family friendly. Last month was another Whole30 meal plan if you want more healthy meal ideas.

You can read more about the Whole30 lifestyle change here.

Questions About Monthly Meal Planning for Beginners?

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!

 

Related Articles:

 

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

 

My Favorite App for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Did you guys know that Ibotta and I share the same birthday month!? It’s like our grocery bond was meant to be before either of us even existed here on this earth!

Because it’s their birthday (and I’m going to pretend like they are celebrating my birthday too…), between October 2-7 they are going to be giving away $1,000 a day to a lucky Ibotta shopper!

To be entered to win, post on Twitter or Instagram why you love Ibotta and how it’s helped your life, using the hashtag #IbottaversaryGiveaway. Visit the Ibotta blog for more details, and in the meantime, keep earning cash back with the free Ibotta app.

 

Helping your family eat healthy is about to get a lot easier! FREE PRINTABLE MEAL PLAN to cover your healthy eating habits for an entire month! It includes 16 healthy dinner ideas, 8 healthy lunch recipes, and 10 healthy breakfast recipes. All these healthy recipes are Whole30 and Paleo compliant!

Remember how our family used to spend over $1,000 a month on food? Remember how when we were spending that insane amount of money each month it was just for hubby and I? As in, “party of two”. Crazy!

Once I finally realized how much money and food we were wasting, I made it my mission to save as much money as possible on our grocery budget. That is when I first fell in love with Ibotta.

My qualifications for cash back apps to save money were as follows:

  • Must be easy & fast to use
  • Must save me money
  • Gift card or cash (Paypal or Venmo) opportunities to redeem cash back

Check. Check. Check!

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!

This week the rebate I am most excited about has to be $4.00 cash back on a tri-tip steak or roast! I mean, how often do you get to save money on buying meat!? Great opportunity to save! Whenever Ibotta has cash back offers on meat, I claim them ASAP!

All offers were valid as of publish date. Don’t forget to check your app for details as offers change frequently and may not be available in all areas.

 

October 2018 Monthly Meal Planning for Beginners PRINTABLE

Do you want to get my monthly meal plan printables earlier?  If you sign up for my weekly newsletter, you will get them the week before the new month starts! Pretty handy right?

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

Eating healthy on a budget is totally possible! How does $350 to cover your monthly grocery haul sound! This monthly grocery haul is going to show you how to eat healthy on a budget and help your entire family do the same thing! Costco and Target healthy grocery haul 2018.

 

October 2018 Grocery Haul

Eating healthy on a budget is totally possible! How does $350 to cover your monthly grocery haul sound! This monthly grocery haul is going to show you how to eat healthy on a budget and help your entire family do the same thing! Costco and Target healthy grocery haul 2018.

Take a peek at what it looks like to buy all non-perishable or freezable groceries for this exact meal plan.

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

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September 2018 FREE Meal Plan Printable

There is a huge myth that I am on a mission to bust! Have you ever been told, or maybe told yourself, that it’s impossible to eat healthy on a budget? In this month’s free meal plan printable and grocery haul I am going to prove that thinking wrong!

The biggest influence on this month’s healthy meal plan is that Hubby and I are currently undertaking our first ever Whole 30. If you aren’t familiar with the program, pretty much all you eat for 30 days is meat, eggs, a lot of veggies, and some fruit. That’s it.


It is possible to eat a healthy Whole30 lifestyle on a budget and still have food full of flavor and a variety of healthy meal ideas! This FREE PRINTABLE meal plan covers 16 healthy dinner ideas, 8 healthy lunch recipes, and 10 healthy breakfast recipes. All these meal ideas are Whole30 and Paleo compliant!
Continue Reading →

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Easy Cesar Pasta Salad Recipe

What mom isn’t all about easy dinner ideas that their entire family will happily eat? Exactly! All moms need a quick, easy, and cheap dinner. Which is why today I wanted to share with you my  Easy Cesar Pasta Salad Recipe!

This recipe won’t heat up your kitchen, it’s easy on your wallet, and you can pull it all together in about 15 minutes!

 

What mom isn’t all about easy dinner ideas that their entire family will happily eat? Exactly! All moms need a quick, easy, and cheap dinner. Which is why you need this Easy Cesar Pasta Salad Recipe in your monthly meal plan! Continue Reading →

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Meal Planning for Beginners – August 2018 Meal Plan & Grocery Haul

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links! Now, onto our topic of summer meal planning for beginners. 

When life gets crazy my biggest tip for meal planning for beginners is to make freezer meals! The easiest way to tackle this task is to meal plan meals that can easily be duplicated in one night. Then it’s as simple as eat one that night and freeze the other for a busy night!

Meal planning for beginners can feel overwhelming. This meal plan is going to solve all the struggles moms find with meal planning on a budget! Easy, cheap, and quick dinner recipes. Easy and cheap lunch ideas. Every cheap meal idea on this meal plan is linked to help you get your grocery list together. Continue Reading →

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13 Easy On-The-Go Meal Ideas

Any other Pearl moms out there that feel like they are always in need of easy on the go meal ideas? It doesn’t matter what time of year it seems to be, it is always a good idea to have some on the go dinner ideas on hand.

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links!

Us busy moms are always in need of easy on the go meal ideas! These 13 easy on the go dinner ideas are perfect for the family are especially perfect on the meals for kids! It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, it’s always a good idea to have some on the go dinner ideas up your sleeve for those busy days! Continue Reading →