7 Ways to Save Money on Fast Food

Save money on Fast Food

 

7 Ways to Save Money on Fast Food

We try to eat in as much as possible but sometimes we NEED to eat out (why? because momma needs a break!) and sometimes it is nice to treat the kiddos. Considering that the normal expense of eating out could add up to be more than one weeks grocery bill–when we eat out– we need to SAVE!

Do you need to make the occasional trip through the drive thru? If so, you might be wondering how to save money on your fast food purchase. Take a look below at 7 ways to save money on fast food that you can try! These are 7 great ways to spend less when you find yourself needing to eat on the go. Take a look!

1. Check the Sunday paper. You can still find fast food coupons (many BOGO coupons) when you check out your Sunday paper. Clip these coupons and keep them in your glove compartment so you have them on hand when you need them.

2. Take feedback surveys. When you get a receipt for your order, check the back for a survey. Many restaurants will give you a free item if you take the survey within a few days. This is a great way to give your opinion and get a free food item in the process.

3. Try Swagbucks. Take a few surveys each day and earn points for gift cards to your favorite fast food chains. You only need to spend a few minutes a day taking surveys, and then cash your points in for $5 and $10 gift cards. This is a great way to eat for less.

4. Split value meals. Instead of buying two 5 nugget meals, split a large 20 nugget meal. It will be just a dollar or so more, and you will get more food. The super size meals these days are typically enough for two people, so weigh the portions and decide if splitting a meal makes more sense.

5. “Like” your favorite restaurant. When you “like” your favorite restaurant on Facebook, you will get notified of upcoming sales, freebies, and even printable coupons. This is an easy way to stay on top of any money saving deals that may be offered that week.

6. Dine in. When you dine in, many places give free refills. This is also a great way to address any wrong orders so you aren’t paying for food you won’t eat. Plus, you also get all the free condiments you can use!

7. Get your discounts. Many restaurants offer a senior or student discount. Be sure to ask so you can get any discounts you have coming to you.

See how easy it can be to save money on fast food? Give these tips a try and eat for less!

Do you have a financial plan?

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Somewhere in the mix of trying to save money on our family’s everyday expenses with couponing and budgeting.. I thought to myself “what is our plan?” I realized that I wanted MORE than just saving on our groceries every week. I kind of became obsessed with managing our money… I grew a serious love for it. Will we continue to work well into our 60’s and 70’s trying to make ends meet? Will I still have the energy to work a full time job and provide? I honestly gave it no thought before.. and suddenly the reality hit me like a ton of bricks. What was our plan?

Its been 3 years since I started taking that conversation with myself seriously.

For some people this is simple about becoming debt free.  For others it is about owning your own business and being independent in all areas.  Financial freedom comes in many forms with many ways of achieving it.  I hope to give you a sturdy method of achieving your goals in a realistic manner.

Do you simply want to get out of debt?

Focus on needs versus wants, all while you are making investments for the future that will leave you in a safe and secure debt free place.  Getting out of debt isn’t always the financial freedom some think of, but it is the first place to begin if you aren’t debt free already.

Things to consider when setting your goals to get out of debt:

  • Give yourself realistic time frames to complete your goals.  Don’t rush yourself.
  • Focus on paying down existing balances, and not creating new debt (car, home, credit cards).
  • Rethink your financial lifestyle, and how you spend money on a daily basis.
  • Remove unnecessary expenses by eliminating wants and focusing on needs.
  • Stick to a useful household budget to help keep yourself in check and accountable.

Are you working toward an early retirement?

If your goal is simply to have an early or better than average retirement.. Getting your finances in order now will help make that future goal not just a dream, but reality. This is one of our 15 year goals. We are investing 50% off our income at the moment and want to retire before 47. It is completely doable for us at the moment and we plan to continue securing our financial freedom.

Things to consider when setting goals for your retirement:

  • Research what you truly need to have financially.  Look at long term financial changes, and make sure you will allow yourself extra fund for inflation and emergencies.
  • Be realistic in your early retirement goals.  Give yourself a 10-15 year time frame, instead of 5-7.
  • Accept that future financial security may mean temporary financial drought now.  This means you may have to sacrifice wants now to secure your needs for later.

Do you want to work for yourself an not “the man?

For many individuals the concept of financial freedom starts with no longer being dependent on another person for their financial security.  This would entail being able to work for yourself, build your own business or simply making wise investments that allow you to live within your means without worrying about where your paycheck is coming from.  This is one of the most common financial freedom goals individuals will have.

We have found freedom in owning a business and providing for ourselves. It has been a freeing journey but challenging at the same time:

Things to consider when setting goals for work independence:

  • Research quality business that won’t disappear overnight.
  • Invest in your education to further your work opportunities.
  • Be realistic in what you will need to be truly independent.  Not just the paycheck amount each week, but things like taxes, insurance, backup for times of poor business and more are important to consider.

 So, have you answered the question of what your financial goals are?

How to make your home Eco Friendly for FREE

Making Your Home Eco Friendly For Free

This year can be the year you begin Making Your Home Eco-Friendly For Free.  There are some great simple ways to help your home go green without large monetary investments.  These tips will take a bit of ingenuity and work, but are well worth the results.  Not only are you saving the planet one step at a time, you’ll be saving your budget.

Making Your Home Eco-Friendly For Free

Insulate windows and doors for free. In the winter months you may be worried about drafts.  In the summer, you will be worried about heat getting in.  To help eliminate both of these, you can do simple things.  In the winter months hang heavy blankets over your doors and windows to keep drafts out.  It may not be pretty, but it is functional and a great way to cut down on expenses that grandmas have done for years.  In the summer months, you can cut back on air conditioning expenses by making sure that blinds and curtains are always pulled closed, as well as keeping doors shut.  The sun may be nice shining in the window, but it can also very quickly heat up your house and cause you to have to turn the air conditioning back on.

Turn things off. Seriously.  It is that simple.  Unplug things that aren’t in use.  Turn the TV off instead of using it as constant background noise.  Unplug appliances that aren’t in use.  Turn things off. Wasted household energy from unnecessary energy use is much higher than you think.

Open the windows for cooling your home. In the spring and fall, there are many weeks of great mild temperatures where you can easily open your windows and let a breeze go through your house to cool things of and make it more comfortable.  Not only does this save energy, it helps your home air and out and smell fresh and clean. 

Line dry laundry.  Even if you don’t have a special line set up for this purpose, you can easily hang laundry from hangers in your shower to dry them indoors. Line drying your laundry saves a ton of energy costs and helps stretch your budget in the process.

As you can see, these are truly super easy ways you can begin making your home Eco-friendly for free.  Not only can you do some easy things that are great for the environment, they will impact your home and budget in great ways as well.

How are you making your home eco friendly this year?

How to get the best deals at Bath & Body Works

How To Get Great Deals At Bath & Body Works

 

Everyone loves the classic smells of Bath & Body Works products. As a woman there is nothing I like to see more in a gift bag or under the holiday tree than a box that has some of my favorite products in it. As a bargain shopper, it can be tough to spend the extra money on these products, but we have learned How To get the best  Deals At Bath & Body Works on all of our favorite scents. Not only do we routinely get free items, most of the lotions, shower gels and candles we have in our closet were over 70% off when we paid for them. Here are some great tips for you to grab these same sales!

How to get the Best Deals at Bath & Body works

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Sign Up For Their Email Club: Hands down this is the number one savings method. Not only will you receive emails telling you when items are marked down online and in store, but you’ll get great product coupons in the mail. Once every 2-3 months you receive a coupon in the mail for a % off a purchase as well as one for a totally FREE product. Typically they give away their trial sized products, but over the course of a year you can easily grab 6-7 free trial lotions, body gels or mini candles!

Stack % Off Coupons With Their Buy 3 Get 3 Sales. One of the best ways to save is when you take advantage of their Buy 3 Get 3 Sales on their Signature Collection. You will pay around $35 (depending on product choices) for 6 bottles of lotions, soap, bubble bath, body spray, etc. Add to that a coupon for anywhere from 15%-40% off that you have received from a prior purchase or in the mail and you can walk out of the store with 6 bottles of product for as low as $18!

Shop Post Holiday/Season Clearance. After the holidays and at end of season a lot of seasonal scents will go on sale for up to 90% off. This is the best time to stock up not only on your favorite rare scents, but on future items for gift giving. Holiday Sales to watch for are: Post Christmas, Post Mother’s Day, Post Valentine’s Day and end of Summer. There are many of their fragrances only found during specific times of year that will go on clearance in store and online at the end of season or holiday. If your local store doesn’t have it, always check online to see if it is in stock there.

This year you can have your favorite brand of bath and body products for a fraction of the cost. Take advantage of our tips and learn how to get great deals at Bath & Body Works. Not only is this perfect for your own personal use, but it helps you create a wonderful gift closet that all of your friends will love having you create baskets from.

How do you save at Bath & Body Works?? 

3 Steps we took to survive through unemployment

3 steps we took to survive through unemployment

Losing your job isn’t something that anyone wants to wake up and find has happened to them, but unfortunately, it happens more often than not these days. It can be devastating to realize that everything in your world has just exploded and that your family is now relying on the money you have in the bank, the food you have in the cupboard or worse…the lack thereof. It doesn’t have to be though because while you can’t prevent your company downsizing, going out of business or an accident on the job that results in you becoming unemployed, you can prepare for it without too much extra work. 

Our little family of five was once faced with this. We were lucky to have a two weeks notice before my husband was laid off from his job however, we were a single income family and the option of a relying on a second income wasn’t there.

[Read more…]

DIY Orange Furniture Polish

DIY orange furniture polish

 

It is simple to get your wood surfaces clean and glowing when you give this DIY orange shine furniture polish a try. This orange shine furniture polish recipe is so easy to follow, and the end result is furniture that looks clean, rich, and polished. Take a look at how to whip up a batch of your own. It just takes a few minutes, and the end result is a product that is effective as well as chemical free.

Here is what you will need:

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 5-7 drops of citrus essential oils (I use THESE)
  • 1 teaspoon of grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Mixing bowl
  • Soft clean cloth

Directions:

1. Begin by mixing all of your ingredients into a bowl. There will be separating and settling of contents. This is normal.

2. Allow the mixture to sit for a few hours. If you wish, you can then strain it so the orange peels are removed. Or, you can leave them in the mixture so they continue to add oils to the product.

3. Store the mixture in an air tight jar until you are ready to use it. To use your orange shine furniture polish, apply some to a soft cloth or rag. Gently wipe it into the furniture in a circular motion. There is no need to rinse the area or do a final wipe. As long as you apply a small amount at a time and massage it in gently, you should be fine.

When you give this orange shine furniture polish recipe a try, you will find that is can be so easy to effectively clean your furniture without the use of chemicals. You will love how this product makes wood shine, and the smooth finish it leaves it with as well. Try whipping a batch up yourself!

When you choose to be happy, rather than rich (How you can live on one income)

How to live on one income

 

There are many families who actively choose to have one parent stay at home with the children while the other works outside the home.  Can You Find Financial Freedom On One Income? Quite simply the answer is yes you can. However, the sacrifices involved in this choice may be tough for some families. It is a matter of what is ultimately the most important thing to you. Would you rather do without some things now for financial peace later, or struggle with finances both now and later?

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Many years ago, I struggled with this. I longed to stay home with my kids and watch them grow–  it was just something that I wanted to do. My husband was working full-time and made about $40,000 a year… not bad for a family of four, with one car, in a two bedroom apartment. I was also working in a restaurant and had to work long nights, all holidays and missed spending that time with my two boys.

So, we made the choice. I chose to be happy (something that was important to me) rather than live on two incomes and be able to afford the luxuries of life. No, we couldn’t buy EVERYTHING we wanted.. but we did just fine living on one income and most importantly, we were happy.

This post is not about the single parent, or single individual operating on a singular income. This is about the family with children who chooses to have one parent working full time while the other parent stays at home to raise the children. These suggestions, thoughts and recommendations are made with that in mind.

What it took for us to live on $40,000 a year:

Learn to do without frivolous expenses. There are a lot of things that we get accustomed to having that simply are not necessary. Things like the weekly take out, or going out to a new release movie. New clothes every season, or a fun pair of shoes that you saw on sale. While these are not unreasonable items to spend your money on, they are items that you are not going to suffer without. You will be able to enjoy life and have fun without them. You’ll just have to do so in different ways.

Seriously stay within your budget. Often we set a budget but have wiggle room, or skip outside the lines from time to time. This is a time when you really must stay within your budget. One small slip could send you into a financial tail spin. With the goal of savings and finding financial freedom in mind, it is important to focus on the big picture and not just the immediate desires.

Change spending habits. This is the time when you really have to look at your spending habits with an honest eye. Look at what you spend money on that could be considered conveniences. Work to communicate with your spouse about better choices and put them into place. Hold each other accountable in the process. We also started couponing– and saved thousands of dollars over the course of 5 years.  It took a couple of months to learn how to really save–but after we learned, we were saving all the time.

When you choose to live on one income, you are already getting your spouse and children involved in your financial life. Everyone must be on board to make this work. You must also be willing to make some sacrifices to find financial freedom on one income. The end result will be a much more rewarding life with your family.

Have you taken the leap to live on one income?