Category Archives: How to’s

Minimalist Dinner Plan (w/ freezer meals)

One really simple approach to creating your monthly dinner plan is batch cooking. Which, with all the overly complicated meal prep YouTube videos out there, can seem incredibly daunting. However, just a little bit goes a long way when cooking ahead for the month. (Especially if you’re just cooking for one or two and you’re ok with repeating foods!) “Feed your freezer today, feed yourself all month”… is that a saying? It should be.

Here are four things you can make for the month ahead to make dinners a little easier…

Baked Beans

A big pot of baked beans is kind of obnoxious to make on the regular. But it freezes incredibly well. This is a great side item, but I like it as the main dish. I got the idea from one of my favorite books, My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss, which talks about having baked beans for dinner with steamed broccoli and corn bread. Yum!

Alternative – Any other type of beans or grains

Twice-Baked Potatoes

These are more of the side item situation. You can make them the cheesy way or as more of a loaded baked potato with sour cream and bacon and chives. Then, add one half to round out a meat and veg meal. Or have both halves with a salad or some soup.

Alternative – Any other starchy side item

Starbucks Copycat Wraps

These have been my obsession lately. You basically cook some quinoa, corn, and black beans and throw them in a wrap with some jalapeno Havarti shredded cheese. Wrap ’em in aluminum foil and stick in your freezer for the quickest dinners. (Great if you have to take dinner on the go!) With some chips and a pickle spear you’ll feel like you grabbed fast food.

Alternative – Any other freezable sandwich or wrap

Buttermilk Pancakes

If there’s one thing I’m committed to on a deep and spiritual level, it’s breakfast for dinner. But I’m also way too lazy to make pancakes on a weeknight. Sunday around noon while listening to some tunes? Sure. When I’m starving after working all day? Not so much. Good thing you can throw a batch of these in your freezer then whip a few out as needed, scramble some eggs, fry up some sausage, and bingo-bango you’re eating like a brekky-for-dinner CHAMPION.

Alternative – Waffles, french toast, sourdough bread, etc.

How it all comes together…

If you’re cooking for a household of 2 and you make 6 potatoes, 2 lbs of beans, 18 pancakes, and 10 wraps…

That’s 6 meals with potato halves (3 if you’re doing the whole potato), 6 meals with beans, 3 meals with pancakes, and 5 meals with wraps. 20 meals that are partially complete before dinnertime even rolls around!

What do you think? Would you try this monthly dinner plan approach? Do you feed your freezer? Comment below! xoxo 

P.S. Quick + Easy Meal Plan for One on a Budget.

Recipe: Colorful Luteal Salad

As you might know from our second book club book, I’ve been very interested in the idea of cycle syncing lately. It’s really fun to play around with adapting different areas of life to the cyclical nature of women’s hormones. Especially when it comes to food! So I thought I’d pop on and show you an example of a meal I created for the Luteal Phase.

In the Luteal Phase, you want your foods to be rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. Combined, these can: 1) stave off sugar cravings, 2) mitigate fluid retention, and 3) help your liver and large intestine flush estrogen through the bowel. In addition, roasting or baking veggies increases their sugar concentration which gives you a healthier and natural source of sugars. This will help with the dip in estrogen in the second half of this phase.

With this in mind, I decided to throw together a salad that combined leafy greens, apples, chickpeas, and roasted butternut squash. Here’s how to make it!

What you’ll need:

Salad components —

1 small butternut squash, cubed (you’ll also need olive oil and S+P for roasting)

leafy greens

1 can of chickpeas

1 cup feta cheese

1 Granny Smith apple, diced

Sprinkle of fresh dill

Dressing components–

2 Tbsps olive oil

2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar

And how it all comes together:

– Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss your cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove and let cool.

– Whisk together the dressing components with a bit of fresh dill.

-Toss salad components in the dressing and top with more fresh dill. Enjoy!

It might sound super simple, but I can’t recommend this combination of ingredients enough. This salad is my new favorite lunch!! : )

To learn more about how to cycle sync, check out THIS BOOK and all the book club posts —

Post 1 // Post 2 // Post 3 // Post 4

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How to Wind Down: 8 Activities for Self-Care and Relaxation

This post is brought to you by BetterHelp. If you’d like to make therapy a part of your self-care routine, I recommend checking them out. 

Hi friends! Welcome back to the blog! Hope you’re all doing really well. In one of my recent posts, I talked about some different actions and practices that may be helpful to incorporate at different phases of your monthly cycle. You can check that post out HERE. But I wanted to do a follow up post specifically about relaxation techniques. No matter where you’re at in your cycle, listening to your body comes first and foremost. And if you’re body is telling you to slow your roll, it’s nice to have strategies to take heed.

Here are 8 ways to wind down…

1. GO FOR A WALK

A leisurely stroll, where you are intentionally walking at a slower pace, is a lovely way to connect with yourself and your surroundings. Walking mindfully, not for exercise or to get from Point A to Point B, is very relaxing. This is a great way to chill out on the weekends or to wind down in the evenings. If you have a park or some woods near you, all the better! But nearby neighborhoods work just as well.

2. CLEAR SOME CLUTTER

Not everyone finds this calming, but I’m sure some folks would agree with me on this one. We’re not talking a huge undertaking here. Just a small space, like a drawer or the table that collects junk mail. The act of tidying up can be relaxing, but the tidy space that occurs as a result of your efforts can feel really good, too. If you binge watched Marie Kondo on Netflix, surely you know by now that a tidy space can promote a sense of calm!

3. LIGHT A CANDLE

Candles are the best, aren’t they? Lighting them in the evening is a really easy way to create a calm atmosphere. They are also a great add-on to other activities to make the experience feel more like a relaxing, self-care activity. Curled up on the couch listening to a podcast? Add a candle. Gotta wash your hair or do a face mask? Add a candle. You get the idea.

4. TURN ON A CALMING PLAYLIST

Create a couple playlists to have at the ready for whenever you need to set a relaxing tone. You might not have time to dedicate a portion of your evening to self-care. Maybe you had an event at work and now you have to quickly do the dishes, iron your clothes for tomorrow, and wash your face before you crash. Why not go about these chores with some soothing music playing? This is a great way to promote a relaxing atmosphere and calming state of mind alongside anything else you’ve got going on.

5. ROLL OUT A YOGA MAT

Give restorative yoga a try. (Just do a quick YouTube search if you don’t have any favorites at the ready.) This isn’t your typical rigorous yoga class, like a vinyasa flow, it is much more gentle. You’ll find yourself almost in a meditative state as you flow through relaxing positions. Thirty minutes to an hour of this gentle stretching and mindfulness is time well spent.

6. FOLLOW A GUIDED MEDITATION

Pop on your earbuds and get comfortable. Traditional meditation can get frustrating sometimes, especially if your mind is racing a mile a minute. Alleviate the pressure of having to shoo away thoughts for yourself with the help of a guide. This is great to do right before bed or if you just wanna zen out.

7. DRAW YOURSELF A BATH

Taking a hot bath is a classic. This is a great way to carve out a little “me time” while promoting sleep. Try adding essential oils into the water. Lavender is definitely a go-to in the relaxation department, but do a little experimentation. Different smells evoke different feelings for different folks. Try: frankincense, geranium, chamomile, pine, etc.

8. POUR YOURSELF A DRINK

No, not a bourbon on the rocks (although, you might want that once and awhile, too!). I’m talking about soothing, healing drinks like herbal teas. Enjoy the process that goes along with brewing the perfect mug and then take some time to sit down and mindfully enjoy.

What activities help YOU relax? Share your favorite ways to wind down below.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

Email Marketing Do’s & Don’ts

I’ve talked a lot about a “set it and forget it” mindset on the blog. Anything that allows me to make a bulk number of decisions and do the work up front is a win in my book. Meal planning, capsule wardrobes…even self care!

But would you be surprised to know I also use a similar approach with my marketing clients? Often, an entrepreneur or a small business owner will hire me for online marketing and think the buck stops with website copy and social media campaigns. Many of those same folks will have an existing email list (gathered from online sales or some sort of passive sign-up form) that they’ve never done anything with! That’s when I get to swoop in and explain how dang awesome email marketing can be. Why? Because you can set it and forget it, of course!

Email sequences and automations allow you to frontload a huge chunk of marketing work. Once you have all your copy written and all your triggers in place, you get to sit back and watch the magic happen.

Here’s the thing. The internet is a noisy place. Getting people to click through to your corner of the web takes some work and demands you build some trust. Social media can help…but what happens when your platform of choice goes down? Email marketing gets you guaranteed screen time. A front-row seat in someone’s email inbox? That’s a powerful place to be! And with great power comes great responsibility. Here are some tricks of the trade to make sure your email marketing is on point…

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: 10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts by Campaign Monitor

Sold on the idea of email marketing and interested in learning more. Check out Campaign Monitor. Need help making the most of your existing email list? Shoot me a message HERE. I’d love to help!

Ballin’ on a Budget Mini Tips Pt. 2

I have a whole series on the blog that highlights strategies for BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET by way of ditching — ie) ditch the bare cupboards, ditch the gym membership, etc. Today, I’d like to build on this BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET theme with my new series — Ballin’ on a Budget Mini Tips (here’s post #1 from the series). The last series included posts that proposed something for all of us to ditch, in order to free up line items on our budgets, and offered a 4 week plan on how to implement. These mini tips are things you can implement RIGHT NOW. Like, straight away. As soon as you read them!

Whether you’re actively pinching pennies or simply want to re-direct some of those pennies to better serve you, this series is for you!

Here are 10 (more) MINI TIPS

1. Break Down Your Meat

If you’re going to eat meat, consider buying options that require you to do a little butcherin’ for yourself. This is a great cost saver. Buy a whole ham and slice it. Get the full chicken and split it up yourself. If you see a pork loin for sale, nab it and turn it into pork chops for the freezer. I’m lucky enough to have a former butcher in the household, but there are tons of video tutorials online for just about everything these days. 

2. Ditch the Printer

Being super diligent with electronic organization drastically reduces the need to print out documents. Consider printing at work or the library instead of keeping up with the costs of a printer (they always seem to run out of ink at the least convenient times!).

3. Repair Your Wardrobe Pieces

I’ve talked about ditching fast fashion and I still think investing in higher quality pieces is the right thing to do. However, if you’ve plunked down a good amount of money on your capsule wardrobe, you have to be willing to fix rather than throw out. Shave sweaters, fix hems, patch up holes, take your shoes to a cobbler, take clothing pieces needing alteration to a seamstress, etc. 

4. Identify Impulse Shopping Triggers

We’re only human. If you have a specific impulse shopping trigger, what can you do to help curb it? This could be as easy as sticking to the U-Scan so you don’t add a bunch of last minute candy and soda. Maybe you have a tendency to drop a fortune when you hit up book stores. Can you work weekly trips to the library into your schedule to scratch that itch?

5. Clean Your House Once a Week

If you stay on top of your cleaning you’re less likely to need to do deeper cleaning with more expensive cleaning products. It also will keep you from over-buying things because everything is put away and organized so you know what you have and what you need. This goes for laundry, too. Have you ever bought a shirt for an event just because you didn’t have anything clean? I sure have. 

6. Diversify Grocery Shopping

Different supermarkets will have better deals on certain items as well as different “loss leaders.” Make it a habit to check circulars and sales. If there’s a store with a consistent lower price on an item you frequently use, buy it in bulk once a month or once a quarter. 

7. Suit Maintenance

If you have to wear business apparel (read: suits) to work, maintenance is key if you want to avoid sending it out to the dry cleaner after every wear. After you’ve worn the suit, hang it up straight away. Twenty-four hours on a hanger will help the light creases to fall out and hopefully you won’t have to iron between wears. Invest in a good umbrella and rain-coat to keep your suits dry in rainy weather. And if you really wanna stretch things, grab a pack of Dryel

8. Grow a Garden

Even if it is just a windowsill lined with pots of basil, cilantro, and rosemary! Any ingredient you can grow yourself will cut down on that grocery bill. Do a little research to see what would do well in your area and go for it!

9. DIY Your Cleaning Supplies

Keeping a collection of baking soda, white vinegar, borax, and Dr. Bronners will save you TONS of money on commercial cleaning supplies. Just mix up your own! Pinterest is a great resource if you’ve never done this before. Glass cleaner to carpet cleaner to stain removal. Just do a quick search and you’re well on your way.

10. Drink at Home

The mark-up on alcohol at restaurants and bars is ridiculous. If you’re trying to save but still want to indulge in a glass of wine or a cocktail now and then? Buy your own bottles and drink at home. Wanna save even more? Skip the elaborate mixers and go for something simple like a vodka and soda or a gin and tonic. And if you’re looking for a cheap bottle of wine that’s still somm-approved — go Old World!

Thanks so much for reading! What small change have you implemented recently to save money? In mini tips that you think pack a huge punch? Share below!

P.S. How to have unique clothing style on a budget.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

How to Make a Super Simple Pocket Letter for Your Pen Pal!

I LOVE pocket letters. I love making them, I love following #PocketLetter on Instagram, and I DEFINITELY love opening up my mailbox to find one inside.

I’ve posted some PL’s on the blog before, but today I thought I’d show you an easy way to dip your toes in the water of this particular paper-craftin’ phenomenon. This method is especially fun if you have a pen pal and want a little inspo on something new to send their way.

So, for a more in-depth tutorial, and links to buy the pocket sheets, check out this post. But a quick run-down on the basics —
* each sheet comes with 9 “pockets”
* use your stationary stash to decorate each pocket to your heart’s content
* throw in some goodies for the PL recipient
* give the whole thing a theme or don’t — this is YOUR creation

Let’s take a look at this super simple pocket letter I created for a pen pal —

When you’re just starting out, it can help to give each pocket a “role” to guide the decorations and goodies. These can include —
* TAGS
* TEA
* STICKERS
* LETTER
* EPHEMERA
*MAIL TAG
* HOLIDAY
* WASHI
* and more stickers! 😉

Following that formula, here’s a look at the goodies in the back…

If you’re sending to a pen pal, the most important components are your letter and mail tag. But isn’t it fun to include some other surprises?!

The best part about pocket letter creation is digging deep into your stash and sharing with a friend. Think about the kinds of things your pen pal likes, their favorite colors, what they might appreciate. (For example, I’m pretty sure those vintage V-day stickers and macaron page flags will be a hit with mine!)

You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of supplies to deliver these mailbox treats either. I happen to be a bit of a washi and sticker collector. But if you’re not, use whatcha got on hand. Use up old wrapping paper, cut images out of a magazine, hand letter a sweet mantra. You get the picture!

Do you love sending and receiving snail mail? Tell me what you like to send in the comments below!

How I Plan to Put My 2019 Goals into Action

Hello friends! Welcome back to my blog. My name is Beth, if you are new here. I recently shared my 2019 Resolutions and I wanted to expand on this topic in today’s post.

Today I’m going to discuss some specific strategies I’m planning to employ in order to meet my 2019 goals. The new year is such a wonderful time to reflect on the positive changes we’d love to make and the new habits we’d like to adopt. But without a plan for how to stick to these changes, implement new habits, and actually…ya know…FOLLOW THROUGH, we run the risk of setting the same resolutions year after year after year. Know what I mean?

I’m definitely guilty of getting hung up in that little no man’s land between conception and action. I love research and planning and thinking things through. Maybe you’re the same way?

Well then dear friends, let’s do this together! Let’s make a plan and get shit done! Shall we?

Here are some ideas about how to follow through on our 2019 resolutions…

Outline Steps to Success

For each of my resolutions, I’m coming up with a plan of attack that I need to complete in order to succeed.

Integral to this process has been establishing a 2019 GOALS NOTEBOOK. I wrote out each of my resolutions, with blank pages left in between so that I can outline my steps.

It would be really easy to list one of my resolutions as “eat healthier”…and leave it at that. Instead, after my Whole30 reintroduction process, I plan to sit down with my notebook and map out what foods my body best jives with.

For my resolutions about spending more time growing my business and creating materials for this blog, I’m working on defining a schedule and setting due dates.

This gives my brain something concrete to work with so I know what I need to do to reach the end goal.

Schedule for Success

I’ve mentioned before that I really love to approach my day like a puzzle. (It’s why I love planners like this one.) Figuring out how the various pieces fit together to maximize my day and productivity is something I enjoy.

So, with that in mind, I’m not only making it a point to schedule in time for planning out how to achieve my goals…but then using that time to stick those plans into my schedule! Still with me?

For example, today I had a few minutes to devote to my “2019 notebook” and I sketched out a workout plan for February.

THEN…I grabbed my planner and scheduled my workouts for the first week of that month.

I can do the same thing when I make plans for quality time with my husband or writing postcards to friends or deep cleaning once a week.

When I schedule something, I’m making a COMMITMENT. Like, that shit is engraved in my calendar IN PEN (and hell, might even be highlighted!). Commitments are exactly what I need in this, the year of COMMIT!

Connecting with Others

Sharing this process publicly is a nice, healthy dose of accountability! I really, really want to make these things work…because I’m talking about them openly. I definitely think there’s something to be said for our good ol’ internet-age//social media-riddled lives when it comes to this stuff.

However, I also think sharing my goals and the process privately, with trusted loved ones in my life, is also important. This is where I can seek out encouragement (or more realistically…a good kick in the butt when I get lazy) as well as fresh perspectives when and if I get stuck.

Connecting with Self

We’re only about 1/12th of the way through the year. And while I’m still feeling pretty fired up about making the most of 2019, I can’t guarantee I’m going to feel this same way every minute of the next 11 months. So staying inspired is equally important as making and talking about plans.

That’s why my notebook isn’t just for lists and steps and action plans. I also created sections for journaling and mantras and a vision board (!) and quotes.

I want to stay connected to the reasons I set these intentions. These reasons are what gives the process power and purpose.

I hope you found these ideas helpful for planning your own 2019 “follow through.” If you would like some encouragement, motivation, or just want to type your intentions out for someone/anyone to see; LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW!

Do you have any specific strategies that have helped you stick to goals? Leave those below, too.

Here’s to achieving our goals in 2019! xoxo

Staying Busy to Keep the Winter Blues at Bay!

staying busy to keep the winter blues at bay*This post may contain affiliate links.

With the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping, we’re starting to become limited with our options for things to do outside. At this time of year, there are no warm ‘golden hour’  walks at 8 pm, dinner in the backyard after work, or sunny picnics at the weekend. It’s all about heading indoors, keeping cozy and finding things to do indoors instead.

I’m all about that winter hibernation, hygge lifestyle…BUT! One thing I’m NOT about? Being bored. I’ve gotta remind myself at this time of year to stay busy. That (and daily doses of Vitamin D) are tantamount to keeping the winter blues at bay.

Here are some ideas for those looooong winter nights (and snowy weekends, too)!

Have a movie/ tv day

When the weather is bad and you just want to relax, a movie or tv day (or evening) is a perfectly acceptable choice. (Don’t let the haters tell you otherwise! LOL) With all the streaming services out there, chances are you have more options than you could ever work your way through. Plus, if you have a niche interest you want to explore, a snow day is a fine time to scratch that itch. Go down the rabbit hole of beauty tutorials on YouTube. Fan of anime? Binge watch as much as you want on this website. Even if you don’t normally indulge in too much tv (can’t relate), a bit of escapism when the weather outside is frightful never hurt anyone. I’m sure I’ll be queuing up Survivor to escape to tropical islands all winter long! 

Related:
18 Movies to Watch When You’re Hibernating
TV Recommendation: Westworld
The 7 TV Shows I Can’t Wait to Watch
6 True Crime Documentaries For Your Inner Detective

Discover a new hobby

Hobbies are important for people of all ages. They help you to build your skills, stay productive when you have free time, and can give your life purpose too. So many of us fall into the ‘work, eat, sleep, repeat’ cycle, especially in the wintertime when heading home from work in the dark. But hobbies can give you something to look forward to on that cold and dark commute home. They also allow you to connect with other people, and maybe even get you out of the house once in awhile. 😉  You could start a new craft from home, write a blog, or attend classes at a local library or community center. Even if your new hobby will be done from home, you can still find ways to connect with others online. Starting a podcast with my friend Katie has been such a fun hobby to pursue. There’s always something to do and lots of sweet peeps online who are just starting out, too! 

Related:
3 Things to Remember When Your Blog Becomes a Side Hustle
In Search Of: More Delight!
How to Make Time for Books
A Spring-Themed Pocket Letter

Work out

During the colder months, it’s easy for a healthy lifestyle to fall by the wayside. With less time spent outdoors we’re naturally less active, and warming comfort foods are a far cry from the light, fresh salads we enjoyed over the summer. However, you can still live healthily without depriving yourself, and there’s no need to go running in the rain every morning before work! Gyms tend to be quieter at this time of year, and if you head down to your local gym or fitness center you might even have the place to yourself depending on the time of day! You can work out and enjoy a steamy sauna afterwards which will make you feel great. Not down for the gym? You can always workout at home. There are plenty of workouts (FO’ FREE) online. If you have a Wii fit, ballet barre, weights, or any sort of exercise equipment–throw it in the mix!

Related:
How to Make Your Own Fitness Challenge
The “All You Need is a Clock” Workout
Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever
My 10-Day Ballet Challenge

Do you guys have a plan for staying busy this winter? 

Fall At-Home Date Ideas with Date Night In Box

It’s that time of year again. By the time I’m done with work for the day, it’s already dark outside. The last thing I want to do most nights is bundle up and head back out into the cold. But on the flip side, spending every night ’til Spring binge watching TV shows on the couch isn’t exactly my idea of the greatest love story ever told. So, what’s the middle ground?

Here are a few fall-friendly date ideas that you and your partner can enjoy from home…

1. Cook dinner together while you listen to tunes

Sure, you gotta eat EVERY night but a lot of times that can mean divvying up the labor, grabbing something on the go, or heating up leftovers. For an at-home date night, consider planning something special and then cook together. You can pop a bottle of wine, chat at the table as things are in the oven, and…

 

 

 

…don’t forget the tunes! Pop on a fun playlist that you can enjoy in the background as you cook. Music can really set the tone for the evening so pick songs for the vibe. Romantic, fun, can’t help but sing along — you get the idea.

2. Get cozy & make a craft

You don’t have to go wild with supplies, but putting your heads together to make something is a great way to spend an evening…and looking at the finished product will always make your heart swell. Chet and I spent several weeks one summer figuring out how to turn vintage books into notebooks and the ones we kept bring back such wonderful memories.

Pictured above are the materials we used to make a Christmas ornament (the ink pad was for thumb prints and the ballpoint Sharpie for writing important-to-us dates) and a little tea light candle. Who knows!? If you enjoy a craft enough, you can always consider batch-making a few more…holiday gift-giving is right around the corner! (And that candle was so easy to make, I’m thinking everyone is gonna get one in their stocking this year, lol)

3. Engage in a little friendly competition

 

Playing a game is another great, screen-free option. A lot of games are geared for more than 2 players but do a little research to 2-person games the two of you can get behind. This dice game is a lot of fun! I also can endorse backgammon (though I’m terrible at it, lol), Trivial Pursuit, and Rummikub.

 

 

4. Curl up on the couch with a movie

Ok, ok…so curling up on the couch is SOMETIMES allowed! You’ve Got Mail is the perfect Fall film after all. Other cozy options? Autumn in New York, Good Will Hunting, October Sky, Practical Magic, Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, and When Harry Met Sally.

Plus, checking this one out of from the library with the intention of watching during a fall-themed date night felt way more romantic than clicking something from the queue, ya know?

Wanna leave the planning out of your at-home date nights?

You get all of the above (& MORE!) with a subscription to Date Night In.

Date Night In is a custom created, memorable date night subscription experience that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Each box includes interactive activities with ambiance, materials, and suggestions on  how to get the most out of your date. DNI’s highest priority is to help customers connect with their partner. 

And the best part? You don’t have to plan a thing! Everything you need to create a meaningful and romantic date night is waiting for you on your doorstep each month.

 

 

Interested in enjoying a monthly date night from the comfort of your own home? Consider a subscription to Date Night In Boxes. Every month features a new theme for you and your partner to enjoy! 

P.S. Here’s a look at last month’s box.

Ballin’ on a Budget Mini Tips

ten ballin' on a budget mini tips

I have a whole series on the blog that highlights strategies for BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET by way of ditching — ie) ditch the bare cupboards, ditch the gym membership, etc. Today, I’d like to build on this BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET theme with a new series. My favorite budget mini tips. The last series included posts that proposed something for all of us to ditch, in order to free up line items on our budgets, and offered a 4 week plan on how to implement. These mini tips are things you can implement RIGHT NOW. Like, straight away, as soon as you read them!

Whether you’re actively pinching pennies or simply want to re-direct some of those pennies to better serve you, this series is for you!

Here are the first 10 MINI TIPS

1. Automate Payments and Savings Whenever Possible

You KNOW I love a “set it and forget it” option. If you’re able, schedule your bills so that payments are automated. This will save you time, but it will also save you from accidentally incurring any late fees. Similarly, set up a fixed amount that will come out of your paychecks and get whisked away right into your savings account.

2. Price Compare with Amazon

A lot of household and personal care items are available on Amazon. Before impulse purchasing at the grocery or drug store, pop on that smart phone and check out pricing on Amazon. It’s a 30 second search that could save you quite a few bucks. And if you have Prime, you’ll have your items lickety-split anyways.

3. Find Ways to Winterize Your Home

If you live in an area that actually sees seasons, do a little research about how to best keep the heat in and the cold out. Every house and apartment is different so do a quick walk around your space looking for ways to winterize. Performing an audit on your home each Autumn can help you devise a plan for the coming Winter and allow you to purchase certain items before it gets too chilly.

4. Incorporate Affordable Recipes You Love to Eat 

If you stumble upon a meal you’ve made yourself that was both, super budget friendly AND delicious, don’t just leave it as a one off! Work that sucker into your meal rotation. Even if you don’t meal plan (which if you’re trying to save money you totally should!), you can still choose to have the meal every week or every other week. That is, until you get sick of it and have to find a new “cheap meets yummy” favorite…

5. Shop the Produce Section

Everyone knows, if you’re trying to eat healthy, you’ve gotta focus your grocery shopping efforts on the periphery of the store. If you’re ballin’ on a budget, you need to spend the majority of your time in the produce section. Start in this section, get all the deals you can, and then build out your buggy from the rest of the departments.

6. Ask for Cheaper Rates

My belief is that it never hurts to ask for what you want. And if you’re ballin’ on a budget, you want things to be cheaper. Ask for student rates, AAA discounts, special deals, etc. When your cell phone bill goes up, call and see what can be done. The worst that can happen is you get told no.

7. Have a “Buy Price”

Create a little cheat sheet listing food and household items that you like to have in stock. Then, do some research to determine the best sale prices for these items in your area. These are their buy prices. Then, when you’re checking out a store’s circular or see an item on sale, you can refer back to your sheet to see if it’s the right price to stock up.

8. Use Open Source Software

There are so many options out there. If a software isn’t necessary for your work, look into the free versions before plunking down your credit card.

9. Feed Your Freezer

If you double one meal a week and stick the extra servings in the freezer, you will have a plethora of ready-to-go options in no time! These “defrost and heat” meals are perfect for busy (or lazy) nights and will keep you from hitting up a restaurant or take out option.

10. Buy Only What You Need at the Grocery

This hearkens back to the importance of a meal plan, but at the very least, attack your grocery shopping with a PLAN. Make a list, check it twice, and STICK TO IT.

Thanks so much for reading! I know tons of you have your own favorite budget tips – what other advice can you share? On the other end, what aspects of budgeting do you find most difficult? 

P.S. My top tips on getting control of debt.