4 Tips to Stop Eating Out – Even if You Hate to Cook

4 tips to stop eating out

Guest post from Alexa of Single Moms Income:

It pains to me admit this, but June was the first time I haven’t eaten out for an entire month in years.

You see, over the past year I had developed a really bad habit: I started eating out all the time. To be honest, I was going through a drive thru about five times a week.

Something had to change.

In May of this year, I started cutting way back on our eating out; and in June, I sopped completely — cold turkey. I can proudly say that we didn’t eat at a restaurant one. single. time!!

And it felt good.

I know there are many others out there, like me, who may be embarrassed to admit they have this same problem. So I want to offer you a solution. Here are a few suggestions to help you stop eating out, even if you hate to cook.

1.Get a Dishwasher

I’ve never had a dishwasher. My parents have never had a dishwasher.

After meals were cooked and the mess was made it was then time to roll up my sleeves and hand wash the dishes the old fashioned way. And between working and picking up after two young kids, cleaning up a big kitchen mess was the last thing I wanted to do.

That changed this year when I finally had access to a dishwasher. I cannot even begin to explain what a huge help this has been to me.

I discovered that I really didn’t hate cooking. I hated cleaning up the mess. The dishwasher I have is pretty old and could probably be found on Craigslist for $50 or less. But it gets the job done!

2. Stock Up at the Grocery Store

This might seem a little ironic but I’m actually pretty cheap. Yes, I would go through the drive thru five times a week but when it came to grocery shopping I wanted to spend as little money as possible.

I would buy the bare minimum.

At the beginning of June I decided I’d have to change my ways. Instead of buying the bare minimums I started stocking up on the things that I needed. This included buying several bags of chicken breasts when Kroger recently had a sale and also stocking up on flour, sugar, and other staples.

I also have a garden, so we’ve been using the produce from that for side dishes.

3. Keep Dinners Simple

Simple dinners work for me. I’m also incredibly lucky that my girls LOVE vegetables.

A dinner for us would be some type of meat (chicken several times per week) either cooked on the grill, crockpot, or baked and cut up vegetables on the side.

We’ve also made several batches of the best zucchini bread ever and froze a few loaves. I’ll often thaw some out and add it as a side.

4. Have Crockpot Dinners Handy

After seeing the 40 crockpot meals in 4 hours post I decided I’d do something similar. Instead of cooking 40 meals though, I keep about five in my freezer.

A family friend recently gave me a ton of roast they had from one of their cows and I’ve put several small roasts into freezer bags along with other ingredients.

Now on those busy days when I know I’m not going to cook I can just empty my freezer bag meals into the crockpot and come home to a nice, hot meal.

And the cleanup is a breeze.

My month-long experiment has taught me several things — one of the most important is that home cooked meals are so much better than anything you can get from a dollar menu.

I feel like I’ve turned a new leaf. Not only am I feeding me and my children healthier, more nutritious food, but I’m also saving hundreds of dollars a month!

Alexa is a work-from-home-mom who loves online business. When she’s not playing with her kids you can find her glued to her computer. She chronicles her journey as a single mother trying to make it big at Single Moms Income.

photo source

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Huge Multi-Year Magazine Sale!

Multi Year Magazine SaleThis huge magazine sale is a great opportunity to get a great deal on your favorite magazine subscriptions PLUS you will save even more when you add additional years to your subscription!

There are over 50 titles to choose from, go here to see all of the titles included in this sale!

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 2.09.55 PMYou can purchase magazine subscriptions as gifts, for yourself or even to renew existing subscriptions!

This sale will end Sunday night, July 27th, 2014, at midnight EST.

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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Walgreens: Deals for the week of July 27-August 2, 2014

Here are the best deals at Walgreens this week, with thanks to Mercedes for her help with compiling these:

BALANCE REWARDS

Buy 1 Carmex Healing Cream at $2.99, Get 2,000 Balance Rewards Points
$0.99 after Balance Rewards Points

Buy 2 Simple Products at $5.99, Get 2,000 Balance Rewards Points (Buy 1, Get 1 50% off)
Use Buy One Get One Free coupon from the 7/27 RedPlum insert
$0.49 each after coupon and Balance Rewards Points (coupon will deduct $5.99)

Buy 2 L’Oreal Advanced Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler $3.99, Get 2,000 Balance Rewards Points
Use $2/1 or $3/2 coupon from the 7/27 RedPlum insert
Free after coupon and Balance Rewards Points

Spend $20, Get 5,000 Points

*Deal Idea*

Buy 4 Tide Detergent – $4.94 each
Buy 1 Dawn Dish Soap – $0.99
Use 4 $2/1 coupon from the 7/27 P&G insert
And use $0.25/1 coupon from the 7/27 P&G insert
Pay $12.50 out of pocket, Get 5,000 points
$1.88 each after coupons and points + free Dawn dish soap

REGISTER REWARDS

Buy 2 Bic Razors at $3.99, Get $1 Register Rewards (Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF)
Use $3/1 coupon from the 7/27 SmartSource
Free plus overage after coupon and Register Reward

Buy 1 Colgate Toothpaste at $2.99, Get $2 Register Rewards
Use $0.50/1 coupon from the 7/27 SmartSource insert
$0.49 after coupon and Register Rewards Points

OTHER SALES

Purell Hand Sanitizer – $2.99
Use $2/1 printable
Stack with $1/1 Walgreens printable
Free after coupons

Butterball Turkey Bacon – $0.99
Use $1/1 printable
Free after coupon

New to shopping at Walgreens? Be sure to head over and check out Walgreens 101 where I explain in detail how to maximize the mileage of your money at Walgreens. See the full list of deals at Walgreens this week over at Common Sense with Money.

Find

Do you have your shopping trip planned or did you come up with a great deal scenario/idea? Just post about it on your blog and leave your link below. To make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Walgreens deals post. Links going to the homepage of your blog or any other part of your blog besides the direct link to your Walgreens deals post will be deleted.

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CVS: Deals for the week of July 27-August 2, 2014

Here are the best deals at CVS this week, with a big thanks to Passionate Penny Pincher for her help in compiling them:

Buy 3 Ragu Pasta Sauce at $1.66, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $0.60/2 coupon from the 7/27 RedPlum insert
$0.46 each after coupon and ECBs

Buy 2 Speedstick Gear Deodorants at $5.29, Get $5 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use 2 $2/1 printable or Buy One Get One Free coupon (maximum value $4.29) from the 7/27 SmartSource insert
$0.65 each after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Toothbrush (3 pk) at $2.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
$0.99 after ECBs

Buy 1 Oral-B Cross Action Power Toothbrush (1 ct) or Refill (2 ct) at $5.99, Get $2 ECBs
Use $3/1 coupon from the 7/27 P&G insert
$0.99 after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Total Mouthwash (1 L) at $5.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $2/1 printable or coupon from the 7/27 SmartSource insert
$1.99 after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Zantac 150( 24 ct) or Zantac 75 (30 ct) at $8.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $4/1 printable or coupon from the 7/27 SmartSource insert
$2.99 after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Bic Disposables (3 – 10 ct) at $6.99, Get $1 ECB (Limit 1)
Use $3/1 coupon from the 7/27 SmartSource insert
$2.99 after coupon and ECB

Spend $20, Get $5 ECBs (Limit 1)

*Deal Idea*

Buy 4 Tide Laundry Detergent (40 oz) – $5.94
Use 4 $1.50/1 printable or $2/1 coupon from the 7/27 P&G insert
Pay $15.76 out of pocket, Get $5 ECBs
$2.69 each after coupon and ECBs

OR

Buy 4 Tampax Pearl, Radiant Tampons (16-18 ct), Always Infinity, Radiant Pads (12 – 18 ct) or Liners (54 ct) – $4.99
Use $2/1 coupon from the 7/27 P&G insert
Pay $11.96 out of pocket, Get $5 ECBs
$1.74 each after coupon and ECBs

Other Deals In Ad

Suave Body Wash (12 oz) – $1.49
Use $1/1 coupon from the 7/27 RedPlum insert
$0.49 after coupon

Buy 2 CVS Vitamin C at $3.99 – On Sale Buy One Get One Free
Use $2/1 CVS coupon printing at the CVS coupon machine
$0.99 each after coupon

Gevalia Coffee (8 -13 oz) – $1.97
Use $1/2 coupon from the 7/27 SmartSource insert
$1.49 after coupon

New to shopping at CVS? Be sure to check out my CVS 101 post that gives you the full scoop on how to get the best bargains at CVS. See the full list of deals at CVS this week here.

Find

Do you have your shopping trip planned or did you come up with a great deal scenario/idea? Just post about it on your blog and leave your link below. To make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your CVS deals post. Links going to the homepage of your blog or any other part of your blog besides the direct link to your CVS deals post will be deleted.

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HUGE List of Free Homeschool Curriculum & Resources

This is the weekly list of Free Homeschool Curriculum and Resources compiled by Jamerrill from FreeHomeschoolDeals.com. If you aren’t a homeschooler, but you’re a parent, teacher, babysitter, or nanny, you’ll probably find at least a few useful freebies in this list. You may also want to go through the Educational Deals and Freebies from earlier this week for more.Frugal Pantry List Free Printable

freebies for homeschoolers

You won’t be sorry you stopped by this week because we have The BIGGEST List of FREEBIES for Homeschoolers over at Free Homeschool Deals! You don’t want to miss this list. It has every category that you can think of from preschool to high school level classes in every genre imaginable, and it’s all free.

Homeschool Planning and Resources

Start your homeschool planning with this FREE Blank Printable Calendar and these Homeschool Attendance and Grades Printables {Free and Editable!}

And if you are trying to figure out how you can afford to homeschool try this Living on ONE Small Income as Homeschooling Families resources. Additionally look into Encouragement for When You Have No Money for Homeschool Curriculum and The Cheapest Homeschool Planner You Will Ever Love!

These 40 Ideas for Day Trips with Kids- FREE Printable will help you plan your field trips or maybe it will help you fill the rest of your summer.

Pre- K Through 2nd Grade

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For some letter learning fun this ABC Basketball Game Freebie from My Joy Filled Life will have your child learning and active. Then you can move on to this FREE Letter A Worksheet. Don’t forget to hang these Free SHARK Themed ABC and Number Wall Card Printables.

Looking for some coloring pages?

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Have a blast crafting with these FREE Kids Craft Printables from Kids Activities Blog.
Learn some preschool math skills with this FREE Calendar Learning Binder Printable Pack, a Learning Opposites FREE Preschool Printable, or this FREE Learn to Write Numbers printable.

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Story time will come to life with this Three Little Kittens FREE Felt Story and Activity Set and this FREE Daisy Comes Home Activity Pack.

Math

I love this FREE Math Cheat Sheet that can be used from elementary age through high school.

What is more fun to teach geometry skills than this FREE Minecraft Geometry Unit?

These FREE Pattern Block Printables will be a fun resource during school or just to play with.

Bible

Use this FREE Bible Reading Schedules with Bible Road Trip from Thinking Kids Blog.

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This Letter A Bible Verse Printable Freebie is a great way to integrate Bible and letter learning, while this FREE Kindergarten Bible Verse Handwriting Worksheets combines memory work with handwriting.

Spelling

If your child is struggling in spelling try these great resources:

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Then when you test them you can use this Lego Spelling Test Printables {Subscriber Freebie}.

Finally, these FREE Animal Study Printables teach the difference between hot and cold blooded animals and give some other great facts, too!

Click here thousands of homeschool freebies!

*Don’t forget! If you are looking for additional free homeschool resources please check the huge growing list of free homeschool curriculum and resources on MoneySavingMom.com!

Jamerrill is the homeschooling mother of a large and growing family. After seasons of spending $50 or less annually to homeschool her children, she started Free Homeschool Deals in 2012to help all families afford the homeschool life. You can follow the homeschool goodness on Pinterest and Facebook.

Copyright: oksun70 / 123RF Stock Photo

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Swagbucks Paid for Our Emergency Kits

emergency supplies

Today’s Swagbucks success story is from Emily:

I’m not by any means a “Doomsday Prepper” but I do have a realistic fear of some sort of catastrophe. I live in Las Vegas where water is supplied to the masses from the ever-shrinking Lake Mead. Should something happen that prevented water delivery to the city, I’m prepared thanks to Swagbucks!

I started using Swagbucks after seeing the numerous postings about it here on MoneySavingMom.com. I quickly got a good system going, and managed to get $25-50 each month while staying home with my little one. I used my Swagbucks for the Amazon Gift Cards and started ordering my emergency gear.

We now have three kits (as seen in the picture above). One kit for each vehicle and one for the house. Included are: emergency water packets, water purification tablets, lifestraw, emergency rations, Mylar blankets, hand crank radio/emergency beacon, and moist towelettes.

This is by no means a long term survival kit but I feel better knowing I have enough water to get my family to a more stable location. I use Swagbucks everyday so that I can get more supplies, such as first aid books, large water storage containers, and books regarding local plants and animals.

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