Trying to Adult…

As a single mom, I have a very limited budget. Bills get paid, but there’s not much wiggle room after. And the holidays are coming up…😳 This led me to the decision that I need to be more resourceful and keep a closer eye on our spending. 

Pinterest is so much help when it comes to looking for tips and tricks. The one that popped up the most on my recent search was “meal planning” and “save on groceries”. You caught my interest. Let me click and see what it’s all about. The posts I read (ok, mostly skimmed) had a good bit of resources and tips. So I decided to give a weekly menu a try.

I planned my week starting on  Monday and going to the following Sunday. I planned breakfasts, after school snacks, weekend lunches, and suppers. Crockpot meals and quick fixes are on there for days Rae has cheer practice. Leftovers are on there too. I also left one day open for going out to eat or eating with my parents. 

I then went through my fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I had that I could use. I started with the meats and planned the rest of the meal to go with how I wanted it cooked. We will try out a few new recipes this coming week, but they are quick meals (and Pinterest finds). 

After I got the menu finished, I made a grocery list for that week. Surprisingly, it wasn’t crazy long or anything too costly. I stated in an earlier post that I am NOT a couponer. I am, however, really good about sticking to my list. But I do tend to falter if something I need is on sale… I tackled the grocery store after work today, and without Rae. I walked in to realize that a good sale is going on this week. I was able to stick to my list, but bought two items that were “1 for $5.99 or 3 for $10” and “1 for $4.99 or BOGOFree”. How could I pass those up??? They will get used and won’t go bad anytime soon.

All in all, I spent about thirty minutes planning the week, and a total of $60 on groceries. No coupons, lots of sales, and my Plenti card. I don’t think I did too bad. Now if I can make myself stick to it, I should be good to go. 🙂

Earning Cash Back!

Let me begin by explaining that I AM NOT an avid couponer. I honestly can’t for the life of me figure out how people save hundreds of dollars by clipping paper and doubling coupons and comparing prices…it’s too much for me. How do you do it?? I would love to know some tricks and tips, but to be honest, how do you find the time? I know people that are amazing at it and I know people who, like me, suck at it. So what do I do to save some money and earn cash back? Let me tell you…

The first app I discovered was Retail-Me-Not. I used that app on Black Friday, and I was hooked! You search the name of the store you’re shopping at and scan the coupon or get online codes for available sales. Not hard at all! I saved close to $100 on Christmas shopping last year. That’s a WIN!

The second app is one that I was recently introduced to. IBotta…I know it’s been around for a while, but I’ve never really given it a chance. I downloaded it and looked over the rebates I could use, and I found more on there than I ever have when trying to coupon. I can find tons of coupons on things I don’t buy or use. These rebates have added up quick. Shampoo? That was a $1 rebate. Bananas? I’ll take that $.25 back. Juice boxes?? Multiple rebates available??? Yes! So yeah, I got a little excited about it and gave it a go my last shopping trip. I earned $5.00 cash back on around $100 worth of groceries. That may not seem like much, but I also earned a welcome bonus of $10 just for redeeming those offers. Websites have them too! Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes…why not get money back from shopping?

Now all you avid coupon clippers, if you combine a coupon and a rebate, and if a coupon is doubled, that’s a big score! I make my list with the items I have rebates for first. Then I add my other items after that. It makes it easier for me to remember what items I need to scan the barcode on to get those rebates finished. I’ll take every bit I can get back. If you would like to try IBotta, my link is shared at the bottom. Join and earn your welcome bonus! I’ve already earned enough for almost a full tank of gas! 😊

Now…who wants to teach me some simple couponing tricks???

*Disclaimer: I get nothing for promoting these apps. I’m just trying to help y’all save and earn! 😁