Five Reasons You Need to Start Meal Planning Today



Healthy food on table

Now that I meal plan every week, I find it almost hard to remember a time when I didn’t meal plan or to imagine how I ever went to the store without a list. Meal planning makes grocery shopping and cooking so much easier; I don’t think I could ever go back. Sure, I don’t always look forward to sitting down to meal plan when I’m especially busy–it does take a little time one night a week–but once my meal plan is done, I’m always glad I did it.

Haven’t started meal planning yet? Here are five reasons YOU need to start meal planning this week.

1. It Will Save You Time

How much time do you spend each evening looking into the cabinets wondering what you are going to make? How much time do you actually spend making those “quick” trips to the store? Even if you only spend 15 min a night trying to figure out what to make, that’s an hour and 45 min a week. Add in three 30 min “quick” trips to the store, and that’s over three hours of your life wasted each week. By sitting down one night a week for 45 minutes to an hour to make a meal plan and a grocery list, you can easily save yourself a couple of hours every week. Plus, your shopping trips will go much quicker as well.

2. It Will Save You Money

One great thing about meal planning is that it allows you to make your list around the items that are on sale or that you have coupons for every week. Instead of just going to the store and picking up whatever looks good, you can intentionally fill your list with items that you can get for less. or example, if hamburger is on sale this week, then this week would be a great time to make more hamburger-based recipes. Not only will you make fewer impulse purchases when you shop with a plan, but you will be able to buy the things that you do need for less as well.

3. It Will Save You Hassle

Figuring out what to eat very night can be a real hassle. Plus, who wants to make extra trips to the store at 5 p.m. when you just got off work or when the little ones are clamoring for dinner? By planning your meals in advance, you can make sure you already have the ingredients on hand, you won’t have to make decisions every night, and you can even do some of the prep work ahead of time. Get dinner on the table and get on with your evening faster with a meal plan.

4. You’ll Eat Healthier

What happens when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry but you have nothing in your house that goes together to make a real meal? You hit the drive thru or order a pizza instead. While this is okay on occasion, many Americans have taken to eating convenience foods every night only is this very expensive, but it is very unhealthy too. Save your wallet and your waistline by meal planning instead.

5. You’ll Waste Less

Another great perk of meal planning is that you can plan meals with similar ingredients for the same week so nothing gets wasted. Have a recipe that requires half a bag of spinach? Plan another spinach recipe the same week and put that spinach to good use! Stop throwing out all of those leftover ingredients. Make a meal plan, and you’ll reduce your waste and your grocery budget.

Need a little bit of a meal planning boost? Try eMeals Meal Planning. eMeals offers a variety of plans including low fat, low carb, portion control, gluten free, clean eating, paleo, vegetarian, natural & organic, and classic plans. You pick your plan, get great recipes, shop and save, and cook and enjoy! eMeals helps to take the “guessing” work away so you can start planning great meals for your family.

Do you meal plan? If not, what’s stopping you?

Tailgating Fun with Jingit – Save on Your Tailgating Needs #TryJingit #shop



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Jingit

Do you like to save money? I do! I love how easy it is to save money on everyday purchases. There are so many great coupons out there to help you save. There are also several great money saving apps to download that will help you save on your purchases as well! I never leave home without my smartphone loaded with . I use my money saving apps everywhere I go to save additional money on items I know I need!

Earn cash with your favorite brands when you download and shop with the Jingit App. You can save on essential grocery items such as milk, bread and eggs. Or even home goods like paper towels and dish soap. More offers are available every week from your favorite stores.

Here is how it works:

  • Reserve offers prior to purchase
  • Purchase item(s) and save receipt
  • Capture receipt to redeem offer
  • Get cash back

The app has many additional features that help save money.  Create a shopping list when reserving your offers or check in for more cash earnings. (A mobile phone with text messaging is required. The Jingit app is free.)

Jingit-2

Get your game on! For a limited time purchase tailgating supplies and earn cash with your Jingit app. For instance you can receive $1 cash back on ANY brand bag of charcoal when you shop at Walmart, Target, or Kmart. Enjoy the football season without breaking the bank by downloading the Jingit app!

Download the Jingit App and check out all the ways to earn cash.

#TryJingit #CollectiveBias

5 Easy Steps for Throwing the Perfect Yard Sale



yard sale

It’s yard sale season. And while you should definitely use yard sales to find great deals on furniture, toys, books and all sorts of other stuff, you should also consider throwing your own yard sale. You’ll not only get rid of some of your unwanted stuff, you make a few dollars (or several hundred dollars), too!

And while throwing a yard sale can be fun, it also takes a lot a planning to get it right. Here are five tips to help you do exactly that.

Treat Shoppers Like Friends – If you’re nice to people, they’ll be nice to you, which means they’ll be more likely to buy something and more likely to buy it for the price you asked. When shoppers arrive, don’t just sit in your lawn chair. Walk up to them, smile, greet them, and make small talk. Just like you would if a friend were visiting your home.

Offer Freebies – Have you ever noticed that yard sales that offer free coffee, soda and snacks (doughnuts are a good choice) usually have the most people? That’s because people like free stuff. And even if they only stop by for the free soda, they’ll still take some time to look around and they might even buy something.

Make Sure Your Stuff Looks New – Okay, you might not be able to make it look “new,” but you should at least take some time to dust it, clean it, or repair it as much as possible. This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many sellers skip this step – and then wonder why no one wants to buy that barely used (but very grimy looking) toaster oven.

Start Early – Yard sale shoppers get up early, which is why the peak yard sale hours are between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. With that in mind, you should definitely resist the temptation to sleep in until 8 and then take an hour to set up your yard sale. Wake up at 5 (on a Saturday? Yes!) and be set up and ready to sell by 6 a.m.

Grab a Friend – Waking up at 5 a.m. and standing around your front lawn for four hours is a lot more fun with friends. For that reason, you should definitely invite a friend or two to bring some of their unwanted goodies and join you. You’ll not only have a companion to talk to during the slow periods, but all of your stuff put together will make your yard sale look bigger, and when it comes to yard sales, bigger is better!

5 Ways to Get Good Furniture at a Great Price



ways to get furniture at a great price

Furniture isn’t cheap. Actually, that’s not true. Some furniture is cheap, but good furniture isn’t. And at the end of the day, we all want good furniture, right? At the end of the day, we all want to save a few bucks on that good furniture, too. Here are five ways to do exactly that.

1. Spend More For Quality – Saving money by spending more money might not make sense at first, but it will in the long run. By spending a little extra on higher quality furniture means your purchase will last longer and you won’t need to buy another couch, bed, or dresser in a few years.

2. Buy Used Furniture – The first rule of buying used furniture is to not think of it as “used.” Instead, think of it as a deeply-discounted great deal! I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to pass on hand-me-down upholstered furniture like couches and mattresses, but hardwood pieces like tables and TV stands are much easier to wipe off and restore to like-new condition.

3. Shop Around – Just about every list of money-saving tactics includes this tip. It’s good advice, especially when shopping for more expensive items like cars, electronics and, in this case, furniture. Compare similar pieces of furniture in at least three different stores – or five stores if you really want to make sure you’ve found the best price.

4. Timing is Everything – The best time of the year to buy furniture is during the big holiday sales (President’s Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, etc.). If you can’t wait until then, shop at the end of the month. That’s when salespeople will be eager to earn some extra commission and, in some cases, they’ll even be willing to negotiate when it comes to price!

5. Buy the Floor Sample – Yes, that couch has already been sat on, but buying the furniture on the showroom floor is an easy way to save 25 to 50 percent. You probably won’t be able to buy it right away (it might be a few weeks or even a few months until they ready to part with it), but if time is on your side, it’s well worth the wait!

6 Ways to Save on Vet Bills



ways to save on vet bills

According to an AP-Petside.com poll, pet owners spend more than $500 a year in vet costs. Depending upon the age and health of your pet, some of you might pay much more than that. But even though that expert assistance is well worth it, it is possible to save a few bucks (or a lot of bucks!) when it comes to health care for your pooch or kitty.


1. Shop Around for Pet Insurance – Pet insurance can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 a month, but it can be a lifesaver for your pocketbook when it comes to expensive operations and procedures. Since pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, the best time to insure your pet is when they’re younger.

2. Score Discounts with Pet Assure – If insurance is outside your price range, you might consider a more affordable option like Pet Assure. The plan offers up to 25 percent off all medical services and 50 percent off pet products from participating vets. And at just $99 a year for dogs, $79 for cats and $149 for a four-pet family plan, it can pay for itself with just a few visits.

3. Get a Written Estimate – Imagine being told your car repairs will cost $300 and then being charged $700. The same can happen with vet bills. A written estimate can help you avoid “surprise” costs and make sure both you and the vet are on the same page when it comes to your pet’s care.

4. Get Regular Check Ups – Can you save money by going to the vet more often? You bet! Regular check ups for your pet are like yearly tune-ups for your car – they’ll help diagnose smaller problems before they become expensive bigger problems.

5. Visit During Regular Hours – Emergency visits, either after hours or during working hours but without an appointment, can be costly. If your pet is truly sick or injured, definitely take him to see the vet immediately, but if he’s merely under the weather and can wait 24 hours or so, go ahead and make an appointment.

6. Take Advantage of Discounts – There are all sorts of vet care discounts available to pet owners. Those cost-cutters include senior and veteran discounts, but can also be used to save money if you’re a multi-pet owner or the owner of a stray or rescued animal. Not all vets offer discounts, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask!