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Category: Living Simply

Slow Day: Week 2

Welcome to my weekly Slow Day post, inspired by Monica from The Homespun Heart. My Word for 2018 is Slow and, in the spirit of that word, I’m taking one day each week (Wednesday) off — I’ll be unplugged and offline and plan to move at a slower pace, take time to do things that refresh me, and just really focus on being present and savoring the moment.

Each Saturday, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into my Slow Day — and I’ll let the pictures almost 100% speak for themselves, instead of giving many explanations. Enjoy a little peek into our lives!

(It looks like I really need to clean the cover of my Discipleship Group curriculum — yikes!!)

Shown in the Pictures:

Why It Pays to Pay Attention at the Checkout Lane

Do you pay attention to the screen as your groceries are being rung up in the checkout lane? If not, you could be regularly being over-charged — and not even know it!

Case in point: See those bags of apples? They were in the Reduced Produce section at our Kroger store. And everything in the reduced produce section is just $0.99 per bag of produce.

Well, when I went to checkout at Kroger, the kind man who was ringing up my groceries didn’t know this and he punched in the code on one of the apples and charged me by weight — which was $3 more per bag of apples than it was supposed to be!

I caught it immediately because I was watching the screen and I asked him if he could fix it, which he did.

But it was a reminder of how important it is that we pay attention to what we are being charged, know what the prices are on items we are buying, and ask for something to be corrected if it’s not accurate.

These simple actions could save us hundreds of dollars every year!

My #1 Tip for Getting Dinner on the Table Every Night

Get dinner on the table every single night with this ONE super easy tip! It makes weekday family dinners SO much simpler!

Do you struggle to get dinner on the table every night? Do you feel like you’re constantly waiting until the last minute to figure out dinner and then sort of going into panic mode when 5 p.m. rolls around and the people in your home are hungry?

(I know. What is it about people wanting to eat every single night?? I always say that if we didn’t have to eat, sleep, or wear clothes, it would save us so much time and effort! I mean, no laundry, we could use all 24 hours in our day, and we wouldn’t ever have to make food or clean up dishes!! ;))

If making dinner every night is a challenge, here’s my #1 tip for getting dinner on the table every night:

My #1 Tip: Plan & Prep Your Dinner in the Morning

Don’t wait until 5 p.m. to think about what you are going to eat for dinner. Don’t even wait until 5 p.m. to start making dinner. Get into the habit of planning and prepping your dinner before breakfast or right after breakfast.

I know that you have a lot to do in the morning. I know you might just feel like, “I gotta get out the door! I don’t have time to think about dinner in the morning!”

But trust me on this: you will be SO glad you planned and prepped ahead later on in the day.

I’ve been experimenting with using my Slow Cooker almost exclusively the past month and I’ve been challenging myself to make dinner and have it in the Crock-Pot before 11 a.m. (Yes, that’s not really breakfast time, but I’m all about giving myself some grace! ;))

You guys! I cannot believe the difference that this makes! When I get dinner made in the mornings, I go throughout the rest of my day feeling like I’m so on top of things (even if I am kind of a hot mess the rest of the day) because dinner is DONE!

In addition, it encourages our family to eat healthier since we aren’t tempted to grab quick food or take out, it saves money because we are eating at home, and it encourages our family to be more consistent about eating dinner together. Plus, it just makes me really happy to be making yummy food for my family and having them love what I’m cooking!

3 Resources to Help You Get Dinner Done Early

  1. Follow Me on Facebook — At least 3-4 mornings every week, I’m doing a live video on Facebook in the mornings as I’m making dinner. This is not only public accountability for me, but I’ve heard from my followers that this morning video reminds them to get dinner prepped and gives them some great ideas of very simple recipes they can make. Follow me on Facebook here.
  2. Join the Eat at Home Challenge Facebook Group — Need more encouragement to get dinner on the table every night? Join the Eat at Home Challenge Facebook Group. It’s a group full of women who share what they are making every night for dinner. It’s filled with great ideas and inspiration! Go here to request to join the Eat at Home Challenge Facebook Group.
  3. Sign up for the Eat at Home Menu Plan — I cannot sing the praises of this menu plan enough! We’ve been using it for our family for the past month and just love, love, love it! The recipes are so simple, so yummy, and have been a hit at our house. Plus, it’s only a few dollars per week and you get three different menu plans for every week — which is so worth it if it saves you a lot of time, money, and stress! (We use the Slow Cooker menu plan and highly recommend it.) Find out more about the Eat at Home Menu Plan service here.

What tips and advice do you have for getting dinner on the table every night? I’d love to hear!

When It Feels Like You’ll Never Get Out of Debt

 Feel like you'll never get out of debt? Read this inspiring post full of hope and practical tips!

We are trying to get out of debt and after going over numbers again today it never seems like it’s gonna happen, and after spending time crying today, I just need to get up and make it happen one step at a time. -Amber

Amber left this comment on my Instagram back in December and it’s one of those comments I’ve thought about a lot since reading it. I think many of you can probably relate.

Maybe it feels like you’re working so hard to make progress on paying off debt and for all your hard work, you have little or nothing to show for it.

You’re tired.


You’re worn out.

You’re sick of having to say no to extras in the budget.

You’re exhausted from working extra hours or having a spouse who is working extra hours.

Maybe you just got one credit card paid off and then you had a medical emergency and now you have the same amount of debt — or more! — to pay off.

It feels like you are fighting a losing battle.

You just can’t ever seem to really get ahead.

You’re frustrated that your husband didn’t get that raise he thought he was going to.

You’re tired of living in a less-than-desirable apartment that is too small for your family.

You’re overwhelmed by all the bills coming in, the rising costs of living, and just trying to make ends meet.

You just want to give up and give in… and maybe go shopping without having a bud

get, for once.

Can I just encourage you today? You are not alone.

There are many, many others out there who get what you are feeling. I read their comments and emails every week. And my heart hurts for you and the financial struggles that so many of you are going through.

Here’s what I want to encourage you with: Don’t give up. Don’t throw up your hands and give up on your budget.

You might feel like you are stuck, like there’s not a lot that you can do to fix or change your situation. But there is always something you can do!

What You CAN Do

  • You can choose to make the most of today, exactly where you are. (“Bloom where you are planted!”)
  • You can choose to look for the blessings and be grateful for them. (The more you look for something, the more you’ll usually see it!)
  • You can choose to approach saving money as a game or a challenge. (“Let’s see how little we can live on today! Let’s see how far we can stretch this meat to last this week. Let’s see how creative we can be with what we have in our pantry!”)
  • You can choose to celebrate any win, no matter how small. Because a win is a win! (You stayed within your small grocery budget this week? Totally a win! You put $5 extra toward your debt? Absolutely a win! You found a way to make do with what you had? 100% a win!)
  • You can choose to focus on the next right thing you need to do — instead of being overwhelmed by everything you need to do, want to do, or feel like you should do. (When you start feeling completely overwhelmed, ask yourself: “What’s the next right thing for me to do?” And then just focus on doing that.)
  • You can choose to set small goals — for today, for this week, for this month. (Stop focusing on big picture of how much debt you still have to pay off. Just focus on paying off the debt you can this week and this month.)
  • You can choose to make the right decisions to help you make progress today. (How do you replace bad habits with good habits? By making one right decision at a time! You can do this!)

Take baby steps. Live fully present today. Do the next right thing. Don’t give up!

What encouragement do you have for Amber or others in her situation? Share in the comments!

photo credit