MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Tag Archive: guest post

How I Cured My Online Shopping Addiction

Do you have an online shopping addiction and find yourself going over budget each month because you can’t control your spending? Read this article for some practical help and encouragement!

how to cure your online shopping addiction

Guest post from Melanie of Sweet Frugal Life:

I didn’t used to have an online shopping addiction…

It all started before Christmas. There I was… feeling like a frugal queen… and then I decided to buy some of my kids’ Christmas presents online.

My first purchase was a set of PJs.

When I realized how easy and painless the whole online shopping thing was, I decided I needed to buy ALL of my Christmas presents online.

I mean, does it get any better than shopping in my pajamas while watching a movie?? Nope!

But wait, it got even better! The packages started showing up and were delivered right to my doorstep. It felt like Christmas every single day!

I thought I had everything under control until I just didn’t stop. All the gifts were bought, but I kept ordering items online.

For the first time in years, I found myself overspending, ignoring my budget, and buying completely on impulse.

I knew something needed to change.

I reached out to my Instagram support group for advice. Just as expected, they came through with a plethora of ideas to help me curb my online shopping addiction.

I started implementing these tips immediately and they really helped! If you struggle with an online shopping addiction, I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me!

Girl on Computer in Empty Room

7 Ways To Cure Your Online Shopping Addiction

1. Delete your credit card info from the store’s database.

One of the biggest draws for online shopping is convenience. Make it a little less convenient by deleting your credit card info from the store’s website.

I found when I had to manually enter my payment info at each checkout, it gave me those few extra minutes I needed to decide if I truly needed to make the purchase or not.

It hurt MUCH more when I had to manually input my credit card versus just pressing the “buy” button. It felt like actually spending money (go figure!) rather than clicking a button, and it made a huge difference in my spending.

2. Unsubscribe From Store Emails.

Let’s be real. Who can resist those flashy emails promising you “40% off” or “best deal ever”? Get those temptations out of your inbox by unsubscribing to each and every one of them.

It has been so freeing to not constantly have deals pushed at me every time I check my email, and this has been a big key to helping me cure my online shopping addiction. If I don’t know the sale is happening, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything!

And guess what! There will always be another sale… ALWAYS!

3. Implement the 48-Hour Rule

The 48-hour rule is the golden rule to quit impulse shopping.

It’s simple really. Do not buy any unplanned purchases until you have thought about it for 48 hours.

This 48-hour period gives you time to research to find a better deal or to possibly change your mind.

Most of the time when I stick to my 48-hour rule, I end up changing my mind and not making the purchase! It’s funny how just giving yourself some time to think will make something not look so tempting anymore — even if you felt like you had to have that item before!

4. Delete Shopping Apps From Your Phone

As mentioned earlier, the less convenient you make online shopping, the less likely you are to give in to the temptation.

If you have any shopping apps on your phone, delete them immediately. Apps make giving into an online shopping addiction quick and easy.

Make it harder on yourself and get rid of the apps!

Girl on Computer and Phone With Shopping Addiction

5. Rely On A Support System

A good support system is a huge key to success. I am so grateful I had my Instagram support system to encourage me to quit online shopping.

I decided to open up to my Instagram followers and admit I had an online shopping addiction. This was scary to do (I am usually frugal!), but afterward I received so many wonderful messages full of encouragement, support, and advice.

Knowing that I had all of these great friends supporting and encouraging me was the push I needed to finally do something about my addiction.

Find yourself a strong support system — people who will challenge you, encourage you, and motivate you to stick to your spending goals.

6. Give Yourself a Reward

Rewards work great for my kids… and they work just as great for me!

I promised myself that if I could go an entire month without shopping online, I would treat myself to my favorite salad from my favorite restaurant (Café Rio).

This reward was in my mind constantly. Whenever I would get that temptation to click and buy, I remembered my salad and changed my mind. Go me!

If you’re struggling to keep to your goal, promise yourself a mini reward. Maybe you can get your nails done or treat yourself to a movie.

Just make sure it’s something that you don’t do very often so that it feels like a special treat. (Just remember to budget for your reward! ;))

7. Keep Busy

Online browsing is addicting and a fun way to spend time when you’re bored.

If you relate to this and feel like you might have an online shopping addiction, find a hobby that will prevent you from having this extra downtime.

This might be starting a new hobby, reading a new book, or taking up an exercise class. Do whatever it is you need to do to keep yourself off the computer.

My Results

I am proud to say that I am now a reformed online shopping addict! Yay me!!

I accomplished my goal of no online shopping for an entire month.  And now that the month has come and gone, I can proudly say I still haven’t been shopping online. The addiction is gone!

I’ve heard it takes 21 days to break a habit and I am living proof of that.

If I can do it, you can too!

If you are struggling with an online shopping addiction, try to pick one or two of these ideas to implement in your life.

My hope is that these tips will help others cure their online shopping addictions, too!

Melanie runs the blog Sweet Frugal Life where she shares all things frugal. Her world was turned upside down when her husband came home unemployed five years ago. But it also shaped who she is today. She learned how to stretch every dollar, be content with less, and appreciate the sweet life they have. Melanie is now passionate about sharing these important life lessons with everyone else. She truly believes that being frugal does not make life any less sweet!

15 Foods that Give You the Most Nutritional Bang for Your Buck

Trying to eat more healthy foods on a budget? Check out these 15 foods that give you the most nutritional bang for your buck! This is a big list of great ideas!

Psst! Looking for more ideas? Check out these healthy freezer-friendly snack ideas, frugal and healthy snack ideas for kids, and these healthy breakfast ideas for busy mornings.

15 healthy foods on a budget

Guest post from Mary of Healthy Christian Home:

“That’ll be $157.12, please,” said the cashier as I stood, bewildered.

I thought, “Wait – I’m at ALDI! Surely the total can’t be that high??”

A quick survey of my shopping cart led me to realize that gourmet cheeses and unnecessary “healthy” snack foods contributed toward my hefty grocery bill.

As a family of real foodies who support our local farm and buy high quality foods on a tight budget, grocery shopping is a struggle.

How can we eat the most healthy, nutrient-dense foods without spending all of our hard-earned dollars?

When you ask a typical family why they eat junk food, the most common answer is “Because it’s cheaper.” While many junk foods are inexpensive (I’m looking at you, ramen noodles), it’s totally possible to purchase healthy foods on a budget!

With this in mind, I went on a mission to find the top 15 foods to give you the most nutritional bang for your buck.

Each of these foods will help your family stay healthy without emptying your wallet. Over time, they might even save you money on supplements/doctor’s bills because of how they improve your health. Plus, there are creative shopping/cooking ideas to help you incorporate them into a budget.

Are you ready to get the most nutrition per penny? Let’s dive in!

Yogurt with Granola

15 Healthy Foods to Buy on a Budget:

1. Yogurt

Everyone loves yogurt (especially kids), and it boasts high amounts of calcium and B vitamins. The best kind of yogurt to get is plain, unsweetened whole milk yogurt (you can add your own healthy sweeteners like honey or ripe fruits).

$ Tip: If your family eats a lot of yogurt, it’s easy to make yourself! There are lots of tutorials online for making your own yogurt in the crock pot or Instant Pot to save even more money.

2. Ground beef

Ground beef is an economical source of protein that is essential for building muscle. It’s also a great source of zinc & selenium and provides 41% DV of vitamin B12 and 18% DV of iron per serving.

$ Tip: While grass fed ground beef is the healthiest, it can be expensive. But if you have an ALDI near you, you can find it for $5.29 a pound! Other grocery stores typically charge around $7.50 per pound, so this is a great deal.

Or, contact a local farm and ask them about pricing for buying a cow or half a cow. You can often get better deals on quality meat this way, and store it in the deep freezer to use all year long.

3. Butter

Butter-lovers, rejoice — this one makes my list of healthy foods on a budget!

Many studies have now confirmed that healthy fats like butter are necessary for brain and organ function and do not increase your risk of heart disease (source). In fact, butter is a great source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

And never, ever buy a tub of margarine (made of rancid polyunsaturated vegetable oils) as a replacement for butter. It has no nutritional value whatsoever!

$ Tip: Stock up on butter when it’s on sale – it freezes well. During the holidays, butter is steeply discounted for baking season.

Psst! Try this Homemade Whipped Honey Butter for a special treat!

4. Brown Rice

Did you know that lots of people are magnesium deficient, and that homemade cooked brown rice is an amazing source of magnesium and B vitamins? You can also make fluffy brown rice that’s not sticky with a bit of practice.

Cooking Tip: Soaking your rice overnight before cooking eliminates anti-nutrients like phytic acid and unlocks all the vitamins and minerals within the grain. Learn more about traditional diet principles and why it’s important to soak grains before consuming to get the most nutrition.

5. Eggs

At around $2 a dozen, eggs are the perfect healthy food when you’re on a budget — and they’re SO versatile! You can’t go wrong with eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! They are extremely nutritious, with lots of selenium, vitamin D, B vitamins, folate, and vitamin A. There’s a lot of nutrition in just one boiled egg!

Cooking Tip: Here are 3 tricks for making the fluffiest scrambled eggs.

Half Dozen Eggs in Carton on Counter

6. Beans & Legumes

Beans are one of the cheapest overlooked superfoods! Pinto, black, kidney, navy, great northern… there are so many yummy varieties. Beans are loaded with folate, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and iron.

$ Tip: Purchase dried beans instead of canned, since dried beans are MUCH cheaper. Canned beans also have added salt/preservatives that are best avoided. Make sure to soak beans overnight before cooking for maximum nutrition.

7. Seasonal Fruits

Eating fruits in season never crossed my mind until recently. In the past, I bought whatever fruit I craved without realizing why sometimes my favorites didn’t taste so good. It’s because I wasn’t eating them in season!

Eating out-of-season fruits means they have to be shipped from long distances to your store, making them less flavorful and more expensive.

When you buy in-season fruits, they’re often local and have higher amounts of vitamins and minerals too. Plus, they taste SO much better! Summer blackberries and winter citrus, anyone?

$ Tip: A rule of thumb — whichever fruits are on sale are usually in season. Triple-win for your tastebuds, nutrition, and wallet!

8. Whole chicken

Chicken is a wonderful source of protein that’s also rich in tryptophan, a stress-relieving mineral.

$ Tip: To get the most bang for your buck, buy a whole chicken and cook it in the crockpot or Instant Pot! Then, use the bones + veggies to make stock and these homemade bouillon cubes!

Psst! Need more inspiration? Check out how to get three meals out of one chicken!

9. Organ meats

Believe it or not, organ meats are one of the best healthy foods you can buy on a budget!

Traditional cultures knew that organ meats are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. For example, a serving of beef liver contains over 3000% DV of vitamin B12, plus a bunch of other nutrients!

Cooking tip: Don’t throw away the organs inside your whole chicken! Add them to the pot while you make broth. Other sneaky ways to add them to your family’s diet is to grind and add to meatballs, meatloaf, or chili. They’ll never know!

10. Potatoes

Cheap, starchy potatoes are the most versatile veggie, rich in vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. Eat the skins for additional nutrients!

Healthy Foods On A Budget: Oatmeal with Blueberries

11. Oatmeal

For approximately $2 a pound, oatmeal is a healthy and cheap breakfast. Reap the benefits of iron, magnesium, & B vitamins!

Cooking Tip: Cover your oats with water and soak overnight before cooking for better digestion & increased nutrition.

12. Canned wild salmon

Fish is an important part of a balanced diet, especially for Omega-3s. But wild caught fish is expensive. So try canned instead – you can usually find wild caught at a low price. Buy canned salmon with bones, which adds a great dose of calcium!

13. Canned tomatoes

One of the best sources of lycopene for heart health, plus vitamins C and K, canned tomatoes are a cheap base for so many meals and sauces. They also retain much of their nutrition when canned. I always have them in my pantry!

14. Carrots

We love buying a large 5 pound bag of carrots (only 68 cents a pound!) and adding them to smoothies and soups. They are rich in vitamin A!

15. Whole Milk

At just over $2 a gallon, milk is a wonderful source of nutrition as long as you tolerate it well. Make sure to get whole milk, not 2% or skim. (Healthy fats are important, remember?)

If you have a bit more wiggle room in your budget, try some raw dairy from a local farm which contains enzymes and probiotics (these are eliminated during the pasteurization process). Just visit the farm first to make sure they have sanitary farming practices.

$ Tip: Don’t bother with most store-bought organic milks, since many are UHT (ultra-high temperature) pasteurized. This kills almost all of the enzymes and probiotics in the milk. You’re better off with regular store-bought whole milk if you’re on a budget.

I hope this list helped you find some new healthy foods on a budget!

What are your favorite nutrient-dense, healthy foods on a budget?

Mary is a minister’s wife, mom of two boys, and former missionary to Scotland. She’s also the creator of Healthy Christian Home, where she points to God’s spiritual and physical nourishment through the natural world He has created. In her free time, you can find her with a cup of hot tea and a stack of books — or watching a new BBC series.

Listening to Audiobooks with Kids 101

Are you interested in listening to audiobooks with your kids as a family? This is a must-read post on all things audiobooks for kids!

Psst! Be sure to check out how I listen to audiobooks for free. And don’t forget that you can get a FREE Audible trial with a bonus audiobook right now, plus Audible is offering free Audible books for kids!

Audiobooks for kids

Guest post from Kelsey of Orchard Reads:

I don’t think many of us would have expected just a few weeks ago that our kids would become homeschoolers indefinitely, but here we are!

Like many parents, you are probably scrambling trying to keep up with school work and entertain your kids and maintain some type of order and balance in this new season. You are probably also overwhelmed with offers for free educational programs, and it’s tricky to know what’s really going to be beneficial to your kids.

If I had one recommendation of a learning activity to add into your daily routine, it would be listening to audiobooks together.

Our family has found that listening to audiobooks has bonded us, educated us, and redeemed many hours my kids might have spent being “bored.”

Kid Listening to Audiobook

Sources for Audiobooks

There are tons of places to find great audiobooks for kids, but here are my three favorites:

Your Local Library

Each library system is different, but our library has an account with an app called Libby. If you download the app on your phone and put in your library card information, you have thousands of audio books at your fingertips that you can listen to wherever you are. One important note: These books sometimes have significant waiting lists. Most books I put on hold have between a 2-10 week wait, but sometimes you can get lucky and find them available immediately.

Once the libraries open up again, they also have a great selection of hard copy CD audio books. If you still have access to a CD player (we listen to these in our van), there are thousands of options to choose from!

Audible

When you sign up for an account with Audible, you’ll automatically get one month free that gives you access to one audiobook and two Audible originals. It does cost $14.95 after the first month, but there’s no requirement to continue.

Audible has TONS of incredible audio books for kids and teens, and if you can swing the monthly fee, it’s definitely the most thorough and readily available collection of audio books you can find anywhere.

HOT Deal: Right now they’re offering a bonus audiobook when you sign up for a free Audible trial — meaning you’ll get TWO free audiobooks plus two Audible originals!!

Audible also just announced that they’re offering FREE Audible books for kids while schools are closed! While it doesn’t have as many titles available, there are still lots of great books to listen to for free, no strings attached!

Librivox

This is an interesting site that offers thousands of free audio books that are read by volunteers from all over the world. They may not have a specific title you are looking for, but it’s worth perusing the catalog to find out.

Book with Headphones

Incorporating Audiobooks Into Your Daily Routine

Listening to audiobooks in the car is one of our favorite things to do, but now that we’re all mostly homebound, we have to transition to listening at home.

Here are some of my best tips for incorporating audiobooks into your daily routine with kids:

Let Your Kids Keep Their Hands Busy

Whether you let them play with blocks, legos, a train set, a drawing pad, play-doh, puzzles, or another toy, keeping little hands and bodies busy while listening to an audiobook always works best for our family. There is often squirming, arguing, and interrupting — but it’s still worth it!

Turn On Audiobooks When Your Kids Ask for TV

There is NO judgment on my part for letting your kids watch TV (ours are watching a movie as I write!), but we all know that sometimes we really do need to limit the screen time. Listening to audiobooks is actually incredibly similar to watching TV, but it requires kids to use their own mind and imagination rather than having the images displayed before their eyes.

Put On Audiobooks for Afternoon Rest Time

If you have kids who are too old for naps but still need a little bit of down time in the afternoon, audiobooks are the perfect way to give them some quiet time while also keeping them occupied. There are tons of audiobooks that are 30-60 minutes long, and I have found that these are perfect for rest times.

Work Through a Series Together as a Family

While it’s fun to listen to stand-alone audiobooks, it’s also fun to find a series that everyone enjoys and work through it together slowly. Not only does it give you lots of hours of listening, but it also creates sweet family memories since you will have invested so much collective time together.

Audiobook Titles for Kids

Best Audiobooks for Kids By Age Group

Are you interested in audiobooks for your kids, but you have no idea where to start? Here is a list of our favorite 10 audiobooks for each age group!

We have listened to every one of these audiobooks and can personally vouch for the fact that they are meaningful, entertaining, and worth your time. They are also all available on Audible, so if you start the free Audible trial you can listen to at least two for free:

Ages 1-3

Amelia Bedelia Collection (Peggy Parrish)
The Complete Adventures of Curious George (H.A. Rey)
Henry and Mudge Series (Cynthia Rylant)
Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss (Dr. Seuss)
Berenstain Bear’s Stories (Jan Berenstain)
Frog and Toad Series (Arnold Lobel)
Little Bear Series (Else Holmelund Minarik)
Pete the Cat Series (Eric Litwin)
Pinkalicious Series (Victoria Kann)
Fly Guy Series (Tedd Arnold)

Ages 4-5

The Courage of Sarah Noble (Alice Dalgliesh)
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (Alice Dalgliesh)
26 Fairmount Avenue Series (Tomie DePaola)
Phoebe the Spy (Judith Griffin)
Mercy Watson (Kate DiCamillo)
My Father’s Dragon Series (Ruth Stiles Gannett)
James Herriot’s Treasury (James Herriot)
Barkus Series (Patricia MacLachlan)
Anna Hibiscus Series (Atinuke)
The Lighthouse Family Series (Cynthia Rylant)

Ages 6-8

Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Beverly Cleary)
Riding Freedom (Pam Munoz Ryan)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (Robert C. O’Brien)
The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate)
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (Karina Yan Glaser)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)
The Trumpet of the Swan (E.B. White)
Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg)

Ages 9+

Esparanza Rising (Pam Munoz Ryan)
Number the Stars (Lois Lowry)
The Giver (Lois Lowry)
Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor)
Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George)
Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)
Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt)
The Twenty-One Balloons (William Pene du Bois)
Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell)

Our Favorite Series

Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Ramona (Beverly Cleary)
Henry Huggins (Bevlery Cleary)
Little Britches (Ralph Moody)
The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
The Magic Tree House (Mary Pope Osborne)
The Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warren)
The Penderwicks (Jeanne Birdsall)
Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren)
The Great Brain (John D. Fitzgerald)

I hope that as you hunker down in your home these next few weeks, audiobooks will become a big part of your family’s new routine!

Related:

Kelsey is a pastor’s wife, mother of four, book lover, piano teacher, worship leader, and home economist. She writes about her family’s favorite books at orchardreads.com.

How to Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

Want to be a stay at home mom, but worried about the financial implications of transitioning to one income? This post is full of practical advice and helpful encouragement on how to afford being a stay at home mom!

How to Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

Guest post by Kristine of SurvivingMoms.com:

Giving up a full-time or part-time salary isn’t easy, but my sisters and I wanted to stay home with our kids.

To make it happen we knew we needed to get creative with lowering our monthly expenses.

Here are 19 things we did (and still do) to save money:

We Cut Hair Ourselves:

Even at Walmart a haircut for a child costs $12 — and that doesn’t include tip!

Instead of going to the hairdresser, we ordered some nice clippers off Amazon and now we cut everyone’s hair at home as often as we need to.

We Use Grocery Pick-Up:

We love using grocery pick-up! It is convenient and saves us money as it helps us avoid impulse shopping.

We also love that every time we add an item to our cart, we can see the total go up; this allows us to decide if we really need that item this week or if it can wait.

We save an average of $20 per week by using pick-up only!

We Don’t Eat Out:

Eating out can blow a monthly budget really quickly!

We plan a weekly or monthly menu for our family and stick to it. We try to cook our meals at home no matter how good take-out sounds.

We also try to get the whole family involved by giving each kid a job to do.

Dinner tastes so much better when you are proud of what you have made — and that goes for kids, too.

Psst! Check these extra tips to help you stop eating out!

We Buy Used Clothing:

We buy gently used clothes for our children.

Shops like Once Upon a Child, Goodwill, Facebook Marketplace, and garage sales are great places to start!

See if there is a friend or family member that you can swap clothes with. This has been a huge blessing to our family.

We Sell Outgrown Clothing:

We sell our outgrown clothes at a local kids’ consignment shop and then get store credit, which usually offers more money to buy the next size up for our kids.

We Use the Honey Extension:

We installed Honey on our computers and it will alert us when items get marked down and if it’s a good time to buy.

You are able to see the price trends and if there are available promo codes you can use.

We love using Honey!

We Watch for Christmas Deals Year-Round:

Rather than shopping for Christmas presents in November and December, we look for deals all year.

It is easy to get pulled into impulse buying with all the advertising during the Christmas season.

We Buy Used Items off Amazon:

When we find an item we want to purchase off Amazon, we check to see if they have the same item “Like New” or “Used, Very Good.”

These items were typically opened and returned. We have had great success finding brand new items marked down this way!

We Ask Before we Buy:

Shopping online is SO easy… maybe a little TOO easy!

To reduce impulse purchases, we wait and talk to our spouses before we purchase something. This makes us aware of what we are spending our money on, plus it allows us to say whether or not we think it is the right use of our money.

We Make Our Own Baby Food:

Baby food is expensive.

Pinterest has lots of recipes for making your own healthy baby food at a fraction of the cost of buying it from the store.

We Canceled Cable and DirectTV:

This is an expensive monthly bill that isn’t necessary.

We have used Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus instead of cable, so we can still enjoy our favorite shows and movies while paying significantly less.

We Switched to an Off-Brand Cell Phone Service:

We have our cell phone bill down to $50 a month for two smartphones with 5 GB of data each.

Honestly, the service isn’t as good. We do drop calls frequently. We mostly text though, and it was worth the annoyance to lower our monthly bills.

{Psst! Looking for an inexpensive option? Twigby has phone plans that start as low as $9 per month!}

We Implement Meatless Monday:

Meat is one of the biggest expenses in a grocery budget. Having a meal once a week without any meat allows us to lower our grocery budget significantly.

If you need some inspiration, try one of these great meatless meal ideas!

We Share One Vehicle:

When possible, we share a vehicle with our spouse.

This cuts down on gas, car insurance, and other car-related expenses. It’s hard at first but worth it when we look at the savings.

We Always Look for Free Activities:

We take advantage of free classes/activities offered by our local libraries.

Hiking, visiting National Parks on free days, and bike trails are other activities we regularly have on our schedules.

We Make Coffee at Home:

We make coffee at home instead of buying one at the local coffee shop.

Even using a Keurig at home only costs 26 cents per cup compared to almost $2 per cup. This adds up when we start each day with six cups a cup of coffee. 😉

We Look for Coupons:

We compare ads and use coupons or store apps when grocery shopping.

We also plan our menus based around meat that is on sale that week.

We Use Groupon:

We shop Groupon in advance to buy tickets and get the best deals.

We used Groupon to get a great deal on tickets to Sky Zone for the whole family.

We Use Cashback Sites:

We use cashback sites like Rakuten to stretch our shopping budget by getting money back on online purchases.

These are just a few of the many ways we save money every single day.

These little (and big) savings all add up to allow my sisters and I to stay home with our children!

What are some of your favorite tips on how to afford being a stay at home mom?

Katie, Nicole, and Kristine are sister-in-laws with eight kids between them. They now blog at SurvivingMoms.com about mom survival tips, what is helping them get through their days with their kiddos, and how their true hope and encouragement comes from knowing their Savior, Jesus Christ.

5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want to Save Money on Groceries

Are you trying to save more money on groceries and stick to a grocery budget? NEVER do these five things!

Psst! Looking for more ways to cut your grocery bill? Check out my FREE cheat sheet on how to cut your grocery bill by $50 this week!

Guest post from Katrina of Frugal Fun Mom

If you’re a busy mom, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is go to the grocery store — let alone go to the grocery store with cranky kids and still try to find ways to save money on your groceries.

I get it. I feel the same way!

While I do enjoy saving money on groceries, the actual process can be daunting — especially when time is limited and you have kids who would rather be doing anything but grocery shopping.

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to saving money on groceries, my advice is to never do these 5 things…

1. Never Use Grocery Delivery or Pick Up Services

I can hear the gasp – yes, I said it. You should never use grocery delivery or pick up services.

What?! Yes, never… at least not if your goal is to save money on groceries!

While these services are super convenient, they come at a cost and some of these costs are hidden. While a lot of grocery or delivery services are free, most are only free if you buy a certain quantity of items – which can mean you overspend just to make sure you don’t have to pay delivery fees.

Also, most of these services do not allow you to use coupons. I think we can all agree that coupons are like free money, so you always want the option to use them when you shop. Yes, you can choose to buy only those items which are on sale, but you still can’t use coupons – your free money – to buy those items.

If I haven’t convinced you already, the main reason I don’t use grocery delivery or pick up services is that I miss out on all the hidden deals inside the store. I’m talking about the deals you find in the clearance bins, discount section, or the manager’s specials aisle. Plus, when you find a great deal in clearance and can use a coupon on top of the deal, you have just scored yourself an even better deal than you never would’ve found using grocery delivery or pick up services.

2. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without a List

Make sure you always go to the grocery store with a list of stuff you need – don’t go into the store blind! If you do, you will overspend and most likely buy things you don’t need.

Make a list of the things you need and try your best not to deter from your list while shopping.

3. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without Looking Over the Weekly Ad

Always look at the weekly ad before you head to the grocery store! Make sure you know what is on sale, and what is not.

If you have multiple grocery stores in your area, compare prices and deals by looking at the weekly ads.

If you don’t have a newspaper subscription and don’t receive the ads, you can always find the weekly ads online or by downloading the grocery store app to your smartphone.

4. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without Your Coupons

This one should be a no-brainer, but just in case you forgot – make sure to always take your coupons with you when you go shopping. You never know when you will come across an unexpected or unplanned deal at the store. Especially when you’re digging through the clearance or markdown bins.

I like to take my big coupon binder that holds all my coupons, as well as my mini organizer, with me every time I shop. I put specific coupons in my mini organizer that I know I will use at the grocery store based on their weekly ad. Then, when I bring my big coupon binder along with all my other coupons, I make sure to get maximum savings at the store when I find that unexpected deal because I have all my coupons with me.

5. Never Go to the Grocery Store Without a Budget

My final tip is to never go to the grocery store without a budget.

Why, you might ask? Again, because you will overspend. Even if you do find a good deal on an item, it’s not a good deal if you don’t have the money to buy it.

Make sure to have a grocery budget and stick to it.

If you have extra money after you buy all the things you need, then go ahead and buy those unexpected deals you find in the clearance bin that you can add to your home stockpile – but don’t overspend!

If you can stick to these 5 guidelines, I guarantee you will save money on groceries.

Remember that saving money on groceries is not always easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it. It takes a little work, but saving money for your household is so worth it!

You can do it, momma!

Katrina Rauch is a full-time blogger and a mom of three. Her blog, Frugal Fun Mom, is dedicated to helping moms discover practical ways to save money, find encouragement for everyday mom chaos, and be inspired with frugal fun ideas to enjoy their kids.

Cut your grocery bill!

Looking for more grocery savings tips?

If you’re looking for more ways to cut your grocery bill, be sure to sign up for my FREE cheat sheet on 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill by $50!

Plus, check out the links below for more grocery saving tips:

Grocery Savings that Come in a Box

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Do you struggle with the cost of produce for your family? If so, check out this solution for grocery savings that come in a box — delivered to your door!

Psst! Looking for more grocery savings? Sign up for my FREE cheat sheet on 10 ways to cut your grocery bill by $50 per week!

Misfits Market Grocery Savings

The following is a guest post by Samantha Hatcher from Inspired By Lucile and Self Care Mama Club.

The Cost of Produce

Have you ever gotten to the middle of the pay period only to discover you have either run out of produce or what you have has gone bad? That was my problem for years. Produce would go bad because I didn’t get to it fast enough, or we would be scrounging around for any vegetable to put with our main dish. (And with nine people in the house, this is a real problem!)

Besides meat, produce is usually the most expensive item for most people. When you are trying to make sure your family has a nice variety of fruits and vegetables, it can start to add up in cost. And when not everything is in season, the prices of out of season imported produce is even higher!

My family has their favorite veggies and fruits that I almost always pick up at Aldi, and while they have some of the best prices for organic produce, their out of season produce isn’t very flavorful. Think of a garden-fresh tomato and one from the store. They taste completely different.

The Struggle with Buying Produce

Buying produce can be overwhelming.

Maybe you pick up the same exact produce each shopping trip, despite being sick of eating it. Why? Because you know these tried and true purchases will work for your family.

Or perhaps you stand there not knowing what to buy, overwhelmed by the rainbow of produce in front of you.

Or maybe you’re the mom who doesn’t have time to go to the store to buy real food between work, errands, and kids’ activities. You don’t care what they eat; you wish it would show up at your door like magic.

I have dealt with all these struggles during different seasons of my life. I know the stress and brainpower it takes to plan meals, shop, put it all away, and cook all the meals. And the night of shopping, we usually just end up having pizza.

I’ve honestly gone through seasons when even going to the grocery store made me want to consider having my entire family fast.

This past year I realized I desperately needed a solution — one that would take care of all these struggles and not break the bank.

Enter Misfits Market

A few months ago, I discovered Misfits Market through a friend.

On a whim, I decided to sign up with her referral link to get 25% off my first box. And I was SO pleased!!

Everything was fresh, delivered with several cold packs, and was shipped to my house in two days. The variety of items was overwhelming, but looked like almost all of it was something I would have bought anyway. Things were a bit odd-shaped or sized, but I definitely didn’t mind!

I checked out the price and picked the larger box, which says it is for a family of five and is 18-22 pounds. The box is normally $35, but with the 25% discount it brought it down to $26.25 — which is a great price, considering all of it is organic!

I was pretty hooked after my first box and knew that I couldn’t get that much produce at the store for that price, especially organic. I decided to give it a try, and knew that we could cancel the subscription if we didn’t like it.

Grocery Savings in a Box

Changing Up Our New Favorite Produce

I was the mom who bought the same produce over and over without thinking. And when I got tired of it, I just stood there and stared at the produce, hoping it would have some answers for me.

When my first Misfits Market box arrived, everything looked like something we would eat, except for eggplant.

I have only eaten eggplant a few times in my life. It was slimy and gross, but I was determined to give it a try. I found this great recipe for eggplant fries, and that changed everything! The first night we tried them, we ran out of eggplant fries instead of chicken, and my children were asking for more!

We had a hit on our hands. The next box contained swiss chard and more eggplant. We once again made the fries, and we roasted the swiss chard with gnocchi. Yum! Once again, something new was a big hit for our family.

When our third box arrives, my six-year-old said, “Oh, goodie, I hope there is an eggplant.” To her disappointment, there wasn’t eggplant, but we discovered how much we loved pomegranates!

Grocery Savings that Come in a Box

Because of the Misfits Market box, I no longer have to make a mid-paycheck trip to the grocery store, which would cost more than it should.

This Misfits Market box not only has saved me from going to the grocery store, but has pushed me to expand my culinary skills and our children’s taste buds.

Never did I imagine that any of my children would say they hope we got eggplant. Never did I imagine my kids would be so excited about new foods and finding recipes to try.

But here we are! I have cut my grocery bill by $250 each month, my family is trying new things, and my children are learning to like new things that I would never have bought before.

Because of all these reasons, I’ve become a faithful Misfits Market subscriber!

Samantha is a SAHM of 7 children who has spent 25 years learning how to live on one income. She used the wisdom of her Grandma Lucile, who grew up during the depression, to learn how to get the best bang for her buck. When she isn’t homeschooling her kids, you will find her blogging at Inspired By Lucile or the Self Care Mama Club.