Thursday, October 22, 2009

Restaurant at Home

One of the biggest ways to save money on your grocery/food budget is to eat out less. If you eat out a lot, try going for half as much the first month and keep cutting back until you're eating out less than 5-6 times a month. Here's an example of how it can really cut into your budget. On my husband's day off, we all headed off to get some shopping done at Wal-Mart and to run a few errands (I have to admit, living in a town without a Wal-Mart has done wonders for my budget!) Since we were in the big city over lunch time and had to spend some time waiting for some service to be done, we spent some quality time at the McDonald's playplace. We were going for cheap so the boys shared a happy meal (6 pc. chicken nuggets!), we all shared some large fries (and got a Boardwalk piece, halfway to a million dollars, woo-hoo!), I had a double cheeseburger, and my husband had two double cheeses and a hot 'n' spicy. Most of our meal came from the dollar menu and we still racked up a $10 dollar bill, (when I paid I was thinking we could have headed over the Pizza Hut and got a large pizza for the same price--alas, no playplace). You're thinking, that's not that bad considering we were feeding 4 people, even if two of them are sorta smallish. You're right. Because we only do stuff like that 2-3 times a month, we're doing okay; but when you're eating out like that 2-3 times a week, that adds up to $120 a month. YIKES!
So this is my suggestion, make restaurant meals at home. For example, buy pre-made hamburgers. You can get about 20 for around $6 at Wal-Mart, and a package of shoe string french fries (usually very cheap!) Add some cheese and you're favorite toppings and you have the exact same meal you had at McDonalds. There are even sites like Top Secret Chef which specialize in copying restaurant foods. He can teach you how to clone a Big Mac right down to the secret sauce, and even make you're own Oreo Cookies! This site has a ton of clone recipes, some free some not, and you can even check him out on YouTube. By eating out right in your home, you will definitely save!

Monday, October 5, 2009


So when my youngest was born, I was reading up on keeping his teeth and gums healthy and it talked about washing them off with a washcloth before they go to bed each night. I do have a nice healthy stack of washcloths at my house, but that was just an addition to the loads and loads of laundry that I already do, so I didn't like that idea much, plus you don't need a whole washcloth for one little mouth!
Instead I hopped on over to the local dollar store and bought a bunch of washcloths and cut them into fourths. Using my mom's serger I sewed around the edges to keep them from fraying (you can use a really tight zig-zag stitch on a regular machine, or even just a straight stitch around the edge).
But now I don't just use them for smart dental hygiene! These little babies have a million uses and even though I only bought two or three packs of ten I seem to have an endless supply, so they last right up until I'm doing my regular load of dishtowels. I use them to wipe up small messes, instead of grabbing a paper towel, which saves me money and saves some trees as well. I have a dishwasher, so they work great to wash up a couple of non-stick pans.
To be truthful, it was probably the best idea I've ever had. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Check out this Site!

If you don't have a Wal-mart near you, this site is your new best friend.
I've just been surfer there for the heck of it and the prices are defintely comparable to our big-box store friends. Decent shipping prices mean you save on gas.
Example: 100oz. Tide is 13.82 plus a $1 off coupon!
Check it out. Sign up and see if it's right for you!