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budget busters

Because Dave told me so…

I have told more people this lately… it’s becoming insane.

Throughout this process I can honestly say that my husband and I have gotten closer. We have written goals for our future and a plan on how to get there {or at least we agree on how to NOT get there!} We also have come to share our love/hate for Dave Ramsey. I hate it when people are ALWAYS right.

We sat down last week and looked very intently at all of our bills. Things that I have NEVER paid attention to are now topics of everyday conversation. Such as: How much is Netflix and when does it come out of the account? We had no clue! How sad is that! I wasn’t quite sure what we paid for Amazon, Sam’s, Hulu and so many others it’s embarrassing.

I looked through each bill and went back through our online banking to SEE what all we pay for and when. (terrible… I know!) We knew there had to be some wiggle room in there somewhere. After looking through EVERY bill we have–here is what I learned and did.

  1. Verizon. I called them. Let’s talk. “Ya see Dave Ramsey told me to call you.” What changes can be made to lower this bill! I saved us $36 dollars each month by this phone call. I now have my bill drafted {and don’t worry–I wrote down the draft date so I won’t forget!} which saves $10 a month and I took the iPad off of a data plan. We use the unlimited plan so when we need the iPad we can hotspot our phone and save that money!
  2. Entergy. I mean we HAVE to have electricity but what can we do differently? We are on levelized billing and after taking a good look at every bill from this past month I learned that we are over paying by $60 bucks a year! Not anymore we aren’t. Maybe for you this is a great plan to be on… but not for us! I’ll take that extra money any day of the week!!
  3. Dish. Guess what? If we cancel on February 14th (which is our anniversary/contract date) we can come back in 30 days as a “new customer.” So on that date we will no longer have dish! Will we come back after 30 days? Probably. But do we have to? NOPE! Because we are not slaves to Dish anymore! (HALLELUJAH!) In the mean time I looked at some blogs/pinterest posts to see what Roku has to offer. We have one but we really only use it for Netflix. I found a FREE app called Pluto tv. It basically works like dish/cable in the fact that you have tv channels to chose from within this app. There is a news channel and a People tv channel which has some great shows on it. We WILL survive that 30 days with no Dish and possibly survive longer. Roku has some fantastic apps you just have to know what you’re looking for. IF we can stay away from Dish for any amount of time we will be saving TONS of money. Average savings: $88.20 per month.

money

A few phone calls and only a FEW times of having to say “Dave Ramsey asked me to call…” I have saved $125 dollars a month. And I LITERALLY did all of this in less than an hour. Worth every second.

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

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Budget BUSTER #1 Grocery Shopping

I despise going to the grocery store.

Not just like a slight dread but like legit hate every second of it. It’s ALL the prep work.

You have to find the recipes on pinterest that you want to try. Make the list of all the stuff needed to try out these new fancy recipes… then it’s finding coupons and looking through the pantry to see what you have/need. Then it’s realizing you are never going to do all of that and starting over with your same ol’ weekly recipes. {I can’t be the only one…right??}

My husband will NEVER understand all of the work it takes to go to the grocery store. (Though I try to explain every single time we go…) I try to keep up with what we have/need, find my coupons, match the ads for the best prices, decide what night is going to be what, look at our calendar to see if we have anything planned that night, who will be home, who is gone… it’s legit like a never ending cycle!!! STOP THE MADDDDNESSSSS!!!

Two things that have helped:

Clicklist

eMeals

Clicklist is amazing and I use it when I can! You can do it through the Kroger app or desktop and fill your cart, pay for it, then set up a pick up time. It REALLY is life changing! After the first few times you use it you will start to incur a $6.00 fee.

Pros: I believe that I spend less when I use Clicklist. I am not tempted by impulse purchases or a “bargain” that ends up wrecking my budget.

Cons: The fee. You have to decide if that $6 fee is worth not going inside. You might make the perfect list and still forget something. Walking around the store may spark that memory of a forgotten item and you won’t have to make an extra trip to buy it. IF you use coupons then it is more difficult. You pay for your items from your comfy couch, but when you get there and they bring them out to you, you then hand them coupons and they go back inside and bring you back out cash or a gift card. (I’ve had it happen both ways.) Either is great but I have had it take $20 minutes before they came back out. Not griping just telling you the cons.

Price: $6 per trip (be on the lookout for a occasional freebies from Clicklist)

grocery.jpg

eMeals is a great meal planning site that literally gives you printed recipes, meals PLUS the shopping list!!! Wanna know something super cool- It is DAVE RAMSEY approved!! You can sign for free for 14 days and see how you like the program.. You choose your meal plan (family meals, vegan, gluten free, etc.) and from there your program is built. I still spend some time matching my coupons to the list and deciding what I already have and don’t need to buy but it is a time saver for sure. Several of the meals are not worth trying (in my opinion) but if you desperately want to try new meals on a budget while saving time- combine eMeals with Clicklist and there ya go!

Pros: If half the battle is planning meals– then here ya go! Problem solved. You can print the recipes/grocery lists and re use them later! I chose to pay for it for 1 year at a time and I print every weeks meals/list and file them away for next year.

Cons: A LOT of the recipes I don’t want to eat. I don’t think of myself as picky but a few of the recipes required bottles of stuff that I bought and will NEVER use again because I won’t be remaking it. It’s a nice way to try new stuff though. So maybe that isn’t a con…

Price: $50 per year, $10 for 3 months, first 2 weeks free!

Other tips for not busting your budget at the grocery store:

1- Know your family staples.

Each week {most weeks} we are going to have some form of Mexican food, hamburgers and spaghetti. Quick, easy, and yummy! That means no matter what I am picking up a few taco seasoning packets {or making my own when i’m feeling super frugal}, jar of tomato sauce, and hamburger meat. I can use the meals I always have in rotation and then I really only need to focus on having a few more. When Kroger runs their taco seasoning on clearance, I stock up! When Spaghetti sauce is 10 for $10, I just grab my coupons and head out the door. Know what you make on a regular basis and keep extra on hand!

2- Shop on Tuesdays.

It stinks because that is ALSO senior day, but that is also the last day in Krogers week. Which MEANS the mark-down wands will be waving their magic powers all over the store. That is a terrific time to get meat and produce on sale. Go later in the evenings {learn from my mistake} and enjoy a less stressful time to search the bargains.

3- Cut and freeze.

We don’t like to waste at our house. If I have to invite friends over to eat to avoid wasting food– I will do it! When I find meat on sale I will bring it home and cut it up, bag it up, throw in the deep freeze. For example– yesterday Kroger had pork loins on sale for .99 a pound!! (HOLY MOLY!!!!) We stocked UP! Several I froze whole knowing that we will throw them in the smoker and invite friends over for a game night. But 2 I cut up into smaller portions for me to throw in the crockpot during the week. What would have been $55.80 for 20 pounds of pork loin was $20. Now THAT is what i’m talking about. I also freeze bread, buns, and chips.

4-  I’d love to have a 4th point but i’m a Baptist preachers kid… so I have to stick with 3!

What are YOUR tips for saving at the grocery store? Share them with me in a comment or by emailing roxyrambles02@gmail.com

Also–the link to the lettuce wrap tacos is one I found on pinterest earlier this year when I did the Whole 30. It was AMAZING and super easy!!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

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