How to Save Money Easily – 5 Simple Tips to Create Wiggle Room In Your Budget

Here are a few small, yet practical ways to save money easilyHere are a few small, yet practical ways to save money easily. This list isn’t all inclusive, but it’s a great starting point!

1. Cook from scratch. I know I know, it’s time consuming and convenience food is so…convenient! But you will save SO much money by cooking from scratch. For the price of a can of beans  you can buy a 1lb bag of dried beans and make the equivalent of 4 cans of beans. It will be healthier for you too. Freeze what you won’t use immediately and for $.99 you will have already cooked beans for your next 3-4 meals.

Here are some recipes your family might enjoy:

2. Learn a craft or skill that cuts some fat off your budget. When things were really lean, my husband taught himself to cut his own hair (okay, he buzzed it with the razor…but it does take some learning! Trust me, he learned the hard way a few times.), that easily saved us around $20 every 6 weeks. I taught myself to sew which means I actually used to make a LOT of my daughter’s clothes. This saved us a LOT of money. I used to make her boutique style clothing. I loved dressing her up in boutique clothes, but would never pay those prices!!

Some other options:

  • Woodworking (this could actually help with #5 as well!)
  • Make your own cleaning supplies
  • Learn to knit or crochet
  • Start a home garden

3. Remember that some things are investments. Don’t buy something cheap that will just fall apart when you can pay a bit more up front and have it last years and years. Sometimes this is tough. You see the $100 product sitting next to the $300 product and your price savvy side is screaming to go for the cheaper. Cheaper is not always best. Especially when you have to go out and buy a new one in a few months because the cheap one broke.

4. Never buy anything without checking for coupons first. Chances are there will be a coupon, or a sale, or an unadvertised deal. And pay it forward, if you find a good deal, pass it on. Don’t be stingy with your savings! An easy way to save money when you are out shopping is to download an app (my favorite is Coupon Sherpa) and always check for coupons that you can use in stores. For grocery coupons, you can easily save some money by using my coupon database to check your grocery list for matching coupons before you head to the store.

Read this: Learn how to use coupons

5. Find ways to get paid for stuff you’d do anyway. Now I’m not talking about charging your sister to watch her kids when you know you’d do it for free. I’m talking about simple things. Do you need to get rid of clutter? Rather than throwing stuff away, sell it on EBay or have a garage sale. Use Ibotta or Checkout 51 when you grocery shop (they offer rebates based on products you buy). Sign up for a Target Debit Card and save 5% on your purchases.

These are all small things that can really add up over time. I encourage you to try just one (or 5!) and see if it gives you just a bit more wiggle room in your budget.

Happy Saving!

Bacon Cheddar Low Carb Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

 

Looking for even more tasty low carb/keto recipes? Try these out:

Italian Sausage Low Carb Soup Recipe

Low Carb Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash!

Creamy Garlic & Mozzarella Smothered Chicken Recipe

This Bacon Cheddar Instant Pot Low Carb Chicken is amazing! If you are on a low carb diet or doing the keto diet, you need to make this ASAP. (You also need to try THIS amazing-ness ASAP!)

This would be great served over mashed cauliflower, but I was already a bit high on my carbs yesterday, so I just ate a serving of this all by itself. It was filling, flavorful and did not disappoint. My husband RAVED!

I was inspired by this recipe here and didn’t stray too far from the original.

Bacon Cheddar Instant Pot Low Carb Chicken

 

Supplies I used:


Ingredients: 

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt & pepper
  • Parmesan Garlic Seasoning (I think this really gave a TON of flavor!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions: 

  1. Turn your Instant Pot on and put it in Saute mode (I always adjust to the highest setting when I saute). Cut up your bacon (I cut mine in half, next time I will probably cut it in quarters) and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside on a paper towel.
  2. Next I seasoned my chicken breast with salt & pepper and parmesan garlic seasoning.
  3. I sauted my chicken breasts until just brown (I had to do these 2 at a time), remove the chicken breasts when they are browned and put them on a plate.
  4. Next I poured my chicken broth into my instant pot and scraped up all of the yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. I returned the chicken back to my pot and turned it off. I put the lid on and put it on the poultry setting for 11 minutes.
  6. I let the pressure naturally release and then opened my pot.
  7. Using my kitchen aid, I shredded the chicken and then put it back in the instant pot.
  8. Once again, I turned my pot to saute mode on high and added my heavy cream, cream cheese, a bit more salt & pepper and let it simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  9. Finally, I turned off my pot and added cheddar cheese and crumbled up bacon on top. I let it sit until the cheese was melty and then we ate!

This was so good and if you are NOT low carb, you can enjoy this over pasta or rice!

 

Bacon Cheddar Low Carb Instant Pot Chicken
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 pieces of bacon
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt & pepper
  • Parmesan Garlic Seasoning (I think this really gave a TON of flavor!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Turn your Instant Pot on and put it in Saute mode (I always adjust to the highest setting when I saute). Cut up your bacon (I cut mine in half, next time I will probably cut it in quarters) and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside on a paper towel.
  2. Next I seasoned my chicken breast with salt & pepper and parmesan garlic seasoning.
  3. I sauted my chicken breasts until just brown (I had to do these 2 at a time), remove the chicken breasts when they are browned and put them on a plate.
  4. Next I poured my chicken broth into my instant pot and scraped up all of the yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. I returned the chicken back to my pot and turned it off. I put the lid on and put it on the poultry setting for 11 minutes.
  6. I let the pressure naturally release and then opened my pot.
  7. Using my kitchen aid, I shredded the chicken and then put it back in the instant pot.
  8. Once again, I turned my pot to saute mode on high and added my heavy cream, cream cheese, a bit more salt & pepper and let it simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  9. Finally, I turned off my pot and added cheddar cheese and crumbled up bacon on top. I let it sit until the cheese was melty and then we ate!
3.5.3229

 

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What is Target Cartwheel?


We post great Target deals everyday! Find great deals at Target here

What is Target Cartwheel?

Target Cartwheel is a GREAT way to save  more $$ when you shop at Target!

You can access Target Cartwheel from a computer or from your smart phone (download the iPhone app here and the Android app here).

Save on the things you already buy at Target with Cartwheel! Choose from hundreds of offers with discounts of 5-50% off every area of the store. Just add an offer to your Cartwheel list, scan your barcode in store, and save. It’s that easy. It’s like carrying around hundreds of coupons in your pocket, all neatly organized and accessible!

Previously, you had to download a separate app for Target Cartwheel . Thankfully, Target has combined their main Target App and Cartwheel so now you only have to use one app!

How to Take Advantage of Target Cartwheel?

You can either claim offers online (here) or use your Target app.

To print your offers off at home: 

1. Click here to go to Target Cartwheel online

2. Click the offer you want…or just hit the + sign if you know that you want to add it to your account.

3.  Once you have all the offers you want, click “checkout”

4. Click “Print Cartwheel Barcode & Coupons”

5. Take your printed barcode with you to Target and let the cashier scan it when you check out!

6. That’s it! Your discounts should come off your total.

To claim your offers in store:

1. First either download the iPhone or the Android app (my tutorial will go off of the iPhone app…Android could be slightly different)

2. Load your app and choose any offers that you need. You can also use the scanning feature as you shop in store. Scan every bar code before you put the product in your cart. You never know if there will be a discount offer or coupon on the Target app!

3. Press Checkout and show the Cartwheel barcode to your cashier and let he/she scan it. Your discount will be automatically taken off your total.

How to Make the Most Out of Target Cartwheel?

The best part about Target Cartwheel is that you CAN combine Target Cartwheel with Target coupons AND manufacturer coupons!

In theory, you could have a deal that stacks a Cartwheel offer, a Target coupon AND a manufacturer coupon…and walk out paying pennies (or nothing at all!).

(Learn more about using Target coupons here)

Even better, if the item you are purchasing offers a gift card with purchase (a common Target offer) you can use a Target coupon, a manufacturer coupon and Target Cartwheel and you STILL get your gift card!

Use your Target Debit (LOVE ours!) or Target Credit Card for an additional 5% off.

Target Cartwheel has really changed how I personally shop at Target.

Be sure to follow Family Friendly Frugality on Facebook  (you can also join the FFF group!) so you never miss a Target Cartwheel deal!

For specific questions about Target Cartwheel not answered here, check out their extensive FAQ section.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

Easy Creamy Mashed Potato Recipe

Easy Creamy Mashed Potato Recipe

You will NEVER make another mashed potato recipe again! This Easy Creamy Mashed Potato Recipe is the BEST on pinterest and the whole world! Simple ingredients that really pack a punch. Bet you can’t guess what the secret ingredient is (hint, it’s what helps this mashed potato recipe be the creamiest!) #mashedpotatorecipe #potatorecipes #thanksgivingsides #thanksgivingrecipes

Check out these other great recipes as well!

Rice Krispie Treat Turkeys

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pecan Pie Bites

From Scratch Stuffing

Sweet Potato Casserole

We all have that one dish that we’re known for.

You know, the one you have to make EVERY single holiday.

It’s pretty much a given that that dish is yours and yours alone. Every year you make a bit more (because last year there wasn’t enough) and still…every single year you never make enough!

For me…that dish is THIS mashed potato recipe. 

My mashed potato recipe is not complicated.

It is SO simple.

The best dishes always are. ;)

They are not low calorie or low fat either (although, you could make it low fat by using low fat dairy products…but why would you do that?).

These potatoes will stick to you like glue…but it will be worth it.

Now…I never really measure anything in this recipe. I make it to taste, and the amounts can vary each time.

This is pretty consistently my recipe for big gatherings though. When I make them for just the 4 of us, obviously all the ingredients are taken down to portions consistent with a family of 4.

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this mashed potato recipe. It might have simple ingredients but it packs a big flavor punch.

Let me know if you try it!

Heather’s Famous Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb bag of potatoes (I like russet) – peeled, washed, and sliced
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 stick of butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • milk (amount will vary)

Directions:

  1. Boil your potatoes in a pot until they are soft
  2. Drain your potatoes
  3. While they are draining, throw your butter and cream cheese into the hot pot you just poured the potatoes out of and let it start to get melty as you drain the potatoes
  4. Put the drained potatoes back in the pot and season liberally with salt and pepper (you can always add more)
  5. Using a hand held mixer (or your Kitchen Aid stand mixer), mix up your potatoes incorporating the cream cheese and butter as you go.
  6. Now add milk slowly, a bit at a time until you get to a creamy (but not wet) consistency. This is usually between 2-4 tablespoons. The milk can make or break this dish! So add little bits at a time because you can always add more, but you can’t take any out.
  7. Taste your potatoes and see if they are flavored well, if not add more salt and/or pepper.

There you have it! Rich, creamy potatoes that everyone will rave over.

You can put this in a crockpot and set it to warm and it will do just fine on your countertop for quite awhile. It stores fairly well too (although I wouldn’t freeze it).

Easy Creamy Mashed Potato Recipe
Ingredients
  • 5 lb bag of potatoes (I like russet) – peeled, washed, and sliced
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 stick of butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • milk (amount will vary)
Instructions
  1. Boil your potatoes in a pot until they are soft
  2. Drain your potatoes
  3. While they are draining, throw your butter and cream cheese into the hot pot you just poured the potatoes out of and let it start to get melty as you drain the potatoes
  4. Put the drained potatoes back in the pot and season liberally with salt and pepper (you can always add more)
  5. Using a hand held mixer (I seriously swear by this. I’ve tried mashing, I’ve tried my Kitchen Aid…hand mixer is the way to go), mix up your potatoes incorporating the cream cheese and butter as you go.
  6. Now add milk slowly, a bit at a time until you get to a creamy (but not wet) consistency. This is usually between 2-4 tablespoons. The milk can make or break this dish! So add little bits at a time because you can always add more, but you can’t take any out.
  7. Taste your potatoes and see if they are flavored well, if not add more salt and/or pepper.
3.5.3251

 

Easy Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

These are so good y’all!

This makes a LOT of Pecan Pie bars though, so if you are like me and you are the only pecan pie eater in your household…get out some goodie bags for friends and family!

This would be perfect to bring to a potluck or a church dinner. I’m thinking about making it for the week my Bible Study group does breakfast for our church! (so what, I have had a few of these as breakfast sometimes. Nuts. Those are healthy.)

Pecan Pie Bars Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup butter (leave out on the counter for about 30 minutes)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup corn syrup
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups pecans
  • sea salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and white sugar.
  2. Add the flour and either use two forks or a pastry cutter until the dough is kind of crumbly. If you pick up a ball of dough,  you should be able to smush it together.
  3. Add the dough mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Until just very slightly brown on top. Remove from oven.
  4. Next,  mix together the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined. Add the pecans.
  5. Pour the pecan mixture over the top of the crust and put it back in the oven for around 15-20 minutes.
  6. When you remove it, you can top it with some sea salt.
  7. Once it cools, place it in the refrigerator until it cools. Then cut it into 24 bite sized pieces or larger pieces if you want to serve it as a full dessert.

Do you see that ooey gooey layer there? That’s  my favorite thing in the whole wide world I think.

 

Enjoy!

How to “Read All the Books” for Less Money!

I am a total bookworm. Now I won’t admit WHAT I read (basically, I read everything and anything), but I admit I read a lot.

Everyone knows the most cost efficient way to get books is to go through your public library. Don’t get me wrong, the library is a FANTASTIC source for reading material. Apparently everyone else has caught onto this fact as well because I can never get a book I want without waiting on a waiting list for a million years.

Never one to pay full price for…well anything? (okay milk, eggs, stuff like that…) I of course have some great ideas for you! Not all of them are free, but they are all cheaper than going out and buying brand new books.

  1. Half Price Books- Love this store! Take half the price off the retail price shown above the barcode, and that is how much you pay (typically). They generally have a pretty good selection and they’ll pay you for your old books.
  2. Half.com-Ebay’s little sister site. You can buy or sell here. You can even buy your textbooks here. I’ve sold a few books on there and it was a really good experience.
  3. Amazon.com- another site that you can buy or sell on. Look up any book on Amazon and they’ll tell you how much a used of that title will cost you
  4. Paperback Swap– this is free (for now, looks like they might start charging a yearly fee in the future). You list 10 books that you would be willing to mail to someone else and they immediately give you 2 free book credits to request 2 books of your own right away. From that point on, you earn one credit for every book that you send someone (so don’t just put throwaway books in your list of 10, that hurts you too). I did this for a bit before I got my kindle. It was a very pleasant experience!
  5. Books Free– this is a paid for site. You pay a set amount each month to have a set amount of books at a time. Kind of like netflix or blockbuster. 2 books at a time is $8.99 a month. To be honest though, I did this and the media mail took sooo long it pretty much averaged out to me buying 2 books at half price a month and getting to actually own them. It is an option though.
  6. E-Reader like Kindle or Nook (you can get free apps for your phone too)– You can find free ebooks available ALL THE TIME. You can also grab 1 free book a month with your Amazon Prime membership. It might not be something you’d normally read, but since getting my kindle, I have started reading authors and genres I never thought I had an interest in before. Any public domain titles are free as well. I also generally post a free Kindle post every day. You might also consider signing up for Kindle Unlimited. You can have 10 books out at any given time and it’s only $9.99 a month. If you read a LOT (like I do), it is totally worth it!  No dead trees, and honestly you do not feel like you are reading on an electronic device.

So, you have more options than just the library or paying full price. There’s a lot of middle ground in there!

If anyone knows of any other great resources for books, post them in the comments!

Victoria’s Secret: Opt-In for FREE Bombshell Fragrance Mist Coupon ($15 Value)!

HURRY! For a limited time, head over HERE and opt-in for a chance to win a coupon for a FREE Victoria Secret Bombshell Fragrance Mist ($15 value)!!!! Redeemable only in Victoria’s Secret stores. No purchase necessary.

When the promotion goes live, you will receive a email or text depending on the preference you select when you opt-in. Raise your chances of winning by having your friends opt-in under your unique URL link. Good luck!

Thanks Hip2Save

Applique Tutorial | Make A Fun St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shirt

Applique Tutorial

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Thanks for stopping by from The St Patrick’s Day Blog Carnival! Welcome readers from The Crockpot Ladies! Read to the end of this post to find your next stop!

St Patrick’s Day is coming up soon and I decided to make my daughter a cute outfit so her green is covered for the day. No pinching please!

I wanted to do something simple, so I decided to just take a plain white t-shirt and applique a shamrock onto it.

I also made a pair of wide leg pants (see my how to make pants tutorial) to go with her cute shirt.

Her outfit is complete!

(I’m thinking about making my son a leprechaun applique shirt as well!)

This applique tutorial will teach you that applique doesn’t have to be hard or scary. You just need to have the right tools and the right technique.

Here are the supplies needed for this applique tutorial:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Spray adhesive for Fabric
  • Thread either coordinating or contrasting with your fabric choice (depending on the look you are going for)
  • Plain T-Shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine capable of doing a zig zag stitch
  • Iron on or water soluble stabilizer (optional, I don’t use it)
  • Shamrock (I printed out this one and made it a bit smaller) or other applique piece

Continue reading Applique Tutorial | Make A Fun St Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shirt

CVS Mobile App: FREE Gold Emblem Abound Snacks!

Attention CVS shoppers!!! If you haven’t already download the CVS App on your smartphone to score a $1/1 Gold Emblem Snack, Candy or Grocery Item Coupon (exp. 1/16) for a easy freebie!!! You’ll find Gold Emblem Abound Popcorn 2.25 oz. bags and Blueberry Rice Pop Clusters are only $1 each, so essentially FREE after the app coupon!

Thanks Freebies Shark

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