Personal Chef, Maid, Nanny or Personal Shopper

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If you had to choose a personal chef, maid, nanny or personal shopper, which one would you choose?

Maybe your nights are crazy, so you would prefer a personal chef.  Maybe you weekends are already jam-packed with activities and it would be so helpful to have someone clean the toilets.  Or, having a nanny to watch your kids for just a few hours so you can go to the grocery store alone(and actually save money).  A personal shopper-enough said, how amazing would it be to not have to shop for clothing and/or groceries?!

What if I told you that these things are maybe more attainable and affordable than you thought?

I know that maybe doesn’t sound possible, but there are ways to have these things if you change your thinking about them!  If one of the options do not appeal to you, check out one of the others.    One thing to keep in mind with all of the options is this: Are there things you could cut out of your life to have things you would rather have?  For example, maybe try skipping getting take out one night for the extra funds to pay for something you would rather have! Another thing to keep in mind, what is your time worth?  You can’t buy time, but you can buy things that free up more of it.

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Meal Planning…Months Later!

My Wild Friday Night

A Few Months Ago, I Told You About My Journey of Meal Planning

I am here to tell you that I am still in love with it. Every. Last. Bit of it!  Click here to see the beginning of my journey.

When I first started my journey of meal planning, I knew things had to change.  Not only was I wasting valuable time every week grocery shopping, but I was also breaking my budget every darn week.  We all know how an unplanned or sometimes planned visit to the grocery store goes. Two words-Budget Buster!  It also wasn’t helping that I did not have the room in my budget to be doing it every single week.  I needed to find something different and I was desperate.  After the discovery of several blogs, I was very inspired to do meal planning, and it has been one of the best things ever.

Here are the BEST things about meal planning:

  1. Less Grocery Shopping Time= More Family Time or Time For Yourself.
    • This has probably been my most favorite thing about the meal planning!  I have actually stretched my big grocery shopping trips out to once a month!  It wasn’t hard to do, I was ready to do it after the first trip!  In fact, it is more difficult NOT needing to go the grocery store.  I still haven’t completely adjusted to it since it is one of my most favorite types of shopping!  I sometimes just stop by the store to help with the withdrawals…or because my family may need some milk. 🙂
  2. Less Grocery Shopping Time= Less Chance of Breaking Your Budget.
    • I do make a 45 minute trip to the city so I can go to two different stores.  These two stores not only save me a TON of money, but I also get everything I need in those two stops.  Normally when I make these large hauls, I spend around the same amount I used to spend on two weeks of grocery shopping.  On a side note, last time I went, one of the stores had really increased their prices. I was a little disappointed about this, but I still saved a lot of money.  Anyone else experiencing this?



  3. No More Frantic Race Deciding What Is For Supper
    • I used to start thinking about what I was going to make for supper at lunchtime.  My thought process would constantly swing back to that nagging question all afternoon. When I would get home, I would still be drawing a blank!  Secretly I was just hoping something would magically come to me, and, it almost never did.  When I would get home, I would wander around the kitchen, opening cupboards and the fridge thinking something would pop out and me-that didn’t work either. Now with meal planning, I can just look in the morning to see what is on the agenda for the day.  If I find that the meal I had planned for the day isn’t going to work, I just swap it with another already-planned meal.  If I need to pull out meat to defrost-my meal planner is going to tell me to. Easey-Peasy
  4. Again, More Time!!
    • Since I have been trying to add working out back into my schedule(read about that here), I use this extra time to work out for a half-hour.  I can’t seem to get my butt out of bed lately (anyone else?), so this extra time has been amazing!   Although, depending on your needs, it could also be spent with your children or catching up on a quick project.

These reasons may seem like small, but I cannot emphasize enough how much all of them have helped reduce some stress!  Everyone may have a different object to their meal planning, but what do you hope to accomplish out of it?

Get my Meal Planning Printable here!

~Jessi

Why You Need a Kitchen Inventory

Get your notepad!  Time to take a kitchen inventory!!!

In my quest to cut my grocery budget, I decided I needed to an inventory of my freezer, spices and pantry items.  It really was not an exciting thing to do by any means, but my daughter helped and we got through it pretty fast!  It is also one of those things that after you finish doing it, you feel good about it, after all, it will probably save you time and money later!

 

I typically make a quick list when going to the grocery store, but my $50 trip quickly turns into $150 because I keep going there without a true plan in place.  I have been notorious for going to the grocery store and picking up extra things because I cannot remember if I have it on hand or not.  My spice cupboard is a clear example of this!  I have several bottles of the same spice due to my lack of planning.

 

The inventory has also been great because it has cut down on what I have been purchasing over the past month.  I have been forcing myself to get creative and clean out my cupboards and freezer.  I have been in desperate need to get my freezer cleaned out so I can defrost it since we are getting a 1/2 a cow.

 

Lastly, I have included a printable for you and your inventories!  The spice printable fits beautifully in my cupboard and I can quickly look to see what I have on hand or what I need to get more of.  I am going to keep my other inventories in my recipe binder I use for my meal planning.  This way I can easily see what I have on hand when I make my grocery list.

Happy Inventory Taking!

PS-If this seems like a large task, split it up and do on different days or at different times!

Get my Kitchen Inventory Printable here!

~Jessi

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.

 

My Meal Plan for Two Weeks-How To!

My Meal Plan for Two Weeks-How To!

This week, I decided I am jumping in, it is time do the meal planning! I see it in so many places and have actually been excited to try it.

The whole process of planning took me about an hour, although, I had done some things in advance to make it easier later.

mealplanning

Steps of How To Meal Plan

1.) Start by collecting recipes ahead of time!

  • Gather recipes you know your family already loves and keep it in a binder.  Not only are they in one easy to locate spot, but they are easy to page through.
  • Make mental notes or write down meals that your family already loves!  This way when you sit down, it is all right there and you are not having a “mental block.”

2.) Print out My Meal Planning Worksheet! 

    • My worksheet has enough room to plan two weeks worth of meals (1x/day)



3.) Pull our your recipe binder and PLAN!

  • Write in any days you know you have things going on.  For example, we currently have soccer on Thursday nights so I made a note on that day as a reminder.   Busy Nights = Quick and Easy Meals
  • Choose a leftover night…or two
  • Put your “labor intense” or larger meals a night or two BEFORE leftover night.  This way leftovers do not go to waste from not getting ate soon enough!  And do yourself a favor-EAT LEFTOVERS!
  • Try to put a slow cooker meal once a week.  I choose a night I already know I am not going to want to make supper…because hey, I know me!  It is sometimes helpful to put a reminder on the sheet such as “SC” to keep you ahead of the game.
  • I like to keep my “veggie and fruit” section open so I can see what is on sale at the store
  • Keep an -open- or -free- night on the worksheet.  I am using this space to either go out to eat, get a pizza or do an easy kid-pleasing meal (even though I like chicken nuggets as much as the kids…).  This spot could also be used for a week when you have a t
    I forgot to print the page in color!

    on of leftovers!

4.) Write down recipe ingredients on the back of the paper

  • Write down only potentially needed ingredients!  If you know you do not need salt and pepper, do not write it down, it just makes everything more overwhelming!
  • Put a tally in front of the ingredients so you can easily see if you need 2 cans of green beans.-again, keep it easy.

5) Check your kitchen pantry, freezer, and fridge to see what you already have on hand. Cross things off your list you do not need or adjust your count.

6.) Make your final grocery list.

  • Include all things off of your meal planning list
  • Add any additional things to your list.  Ex. Toilet Paper, soap, etc.

7.) Go Shopping!



Additional Tips

  • If you are really wanting to save money, plan your meals around your stores weekly sales.  Pair sales with coupons for even better deals!
  • Before I started meal planning, I cleaned out my pantry, freezer and fridge out quite a bit.  I did this without a meal plan and just got creative(it was a little more stressful though).
  • Do not allow yourself to go to the grocery store if you can help it.  If you do, ONLY allow yourself to buy necessities such as milk.
  • If you run out of an ingredient, improvise!! No Exceptions! Make a different meal, google how to substitute an ingredient.
  • Have your family pick out a favorite meal or two to make it easier on you when it comes to planning.
  • Keep a kitchen inventory to make planning go faster.

Happy Planning

~Jessi

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.