5 Tips to help you save on groceries

It’s no secret that most people spend a lot of money on groceries. We eat every day and we eat a few times a day. Therefore, our fridge and pantry need to be well stocked. In order to save money, you need to be able to manage your grocery budget efficiently. Doing this right might save you a few thousand dollars a year. So here are 5 tips to help you save on groceries.

Make a grocery budget

Make a reasonable grocery budget and do your best to stick to it. You don’t need to starve yourself in order to be able to save on groceries. All you need is a little bit of planning in advance and focus.

Avoid eating out too often

As I mentioned a few times already, avoid eating out too often. This is the grocery budget killer. You can usually make a few meals for the price of one meal bought at a restaurant. So try to prepare your foods as often as possible. If you don’t know how to cook, learn. There is no excuse: you can literally find millions of recipes for free on the internet.

Meal plan

Meal planning doesn’t mean you need to eat the same food every day. Meal planning is the process of deciding which meals you want to eat for the upcoming week, for example. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen on your days off preparing lots of food in order to save.

A simple way of doing this is to write down the meals you’d like to have for the upcoming week. It’s easier if you just plan for one week in advance and buy groceries based on meals you will be having.

Check your pantry and fridge

Avoid buying too much food. This means that you sometimes buy things at the grocery store that you already have in your pantry or in your fridge. So before you go grocery shopping, check your pantry and your fridge to get an idea of the items you have and what you are missing for the upcoming week. This way you avoid buying things you already have in store and therefore reduce your grocery bill.

Shop based on the stores’ weekly sales

Remember the meal plan process? Do this process based on what’s in sale. Check your local store’s sales in advance for the marked down items and try to find out the meals you can prepare out of them. You will save a lot if you can find great deals every week when you are making your grocery shopping.

Be careful not to go overboard with the sales. Just because the sale price is interesting, doesn’t mean you need to stock up. Some people will tell you to stock up on foods when they are on sale but I don’t believe in that. There will always be sales and stocking will just add to your monthly grocery bill.

You will start noticing the difference in your wallet if you start implementing one of these tips every month. You will see even more changes if you do them all together.

5 habits of financially savvy people

Being financially savvy means having a handle on your money. In order to master this, you need to be able to have a financial plan for the present and for the future.

Budgeting is a strategy that helps you stay on top of your finances and keep track of your goals. The first thing a financially savvy person does is budget to make sure everything makes sense financially.

Are you financially savvy? Below are the common habits financially savvy people practice.

Spend within their means

This should be an obvious one. You should only be spending money you actually have in your bank account. You also need to make sure what you’re spending money on fits within your budget. This is why it’s very important to have a budget. If you make a budget, you’ll know exactly how much money you have left for extra purchases.

Save for emergencies and retirement

Financially savvy people plan for emergencies and save in case they’re stuck in such a situation. Dedicate a portion of your income every month for emergencies. This will prevent you from using your credit card in case of an emergency and paying high interest rates.

Don’t forget to save for retirement. You can only do this while you are still working to make sure you have a solid financial future.

Avoid paying interest

Financially savvy people avoid paying interest at all cost. You would be surprised how much interest you pay a year, especially if you are paying it on a credit card. Most credit cards charge about 20% interest so avoid this to the best of your ability.

Now, I have nothing against using credit cards regularly. In fact, I use mine for all my purchases because I receive great cash back on all of them. For that reason, I use it whenever I am making a purchase so I can earn cash back and I pay every cent back when my statement comes to avoid paying interest.

Always find ways to earn more

Not only do financially savvy people find ways to cut down on their expenses, but they are always trying to find new ways to earn more. There is a limit to cutting down on your expenses. Find ways to make more in order to save more. To learn more about how you can earn more here.

Increase their financial knowledge

Financially savvy people are always in a learning mode, trying to deepen their knowledge of finances. There are so many books out there that you can read. These books share experiences some people have had and mistakes they have made. Read about their mistakes so you don’t make the same.

12 must haves in a woman’s purse

I am one of those girls who walk around everywhere with a 10 pound purse containing my entire life. I have often been told by friends and family that my purse is way too heavy, but do I listen? Nope. I almost injure my shoulder every day carrying it.

Carrying a heavy purse can be a big problem, especially if you are trying to find exact change while digging through compressed receipts and letters for example.

Sometimes, it can be a blessing – like when you have a bad migraine while you’re out and you don’t have any means of getting an Advil or a Tylenol.

I envy girls who are able to carry very light purses. However, I have a hard time doing it as I feel I am missing essential things if I don’t the following items in my purse.

Here are the 10 things I carry in my purse

1. Medication

As I mentioned above, I don’t go out without an Advil or a Tylenol. Since I regularly catch bad migraines, I don’t want to be out running errands or going to an important meeting and not having medication to soothe my pain. I try my best not to get used to medication and only take it if I have to. However, sometimes your back is against the wall and your only desire is to feel better soon.

2. A small makeup bag

Since I am in a hurry almost every day, I do my makeup on the go a lot. So a makeup bag is essential for me. I just keep a couple of basic things for easy touch-ups. I usually keep a lip gloss, a small bottle of foundation, powder and 2 small makeup brushes. This way I am ready for any unexpected occasion where my face needs to look a little more presentable.

3. A small hair brush and hair ties

I always try to keep a hair brush and some hair ties in my purse so I am ready for any bad hair day. My hair tends to get messy really quickly. Especially, in the winter time. I drive a car but even getting out of the car and entering a building can create some very bad hair situations.

4. A pen and small notebook

I know you can use your phone to write down some notes or a cute guy’s phone number in case you run into one. But I find it’s much more fun if I have a pen handy. And besides, for some things you really need a pen. For example, if you are filling out a paper and need to sign something.

5. Disinfectant

I try to not leave the house without one small bottle of it. People who know me think I am a bit of a neat freak. I do my best to avoid microbes. You never know when you might need it to disinfect your hands. I can’t eat without washing my hand but when you are out this can be difficult. So if I can at least desinfect my hands it’s all good.

6. Hand cream

I wash my hands a lot at work so I like to have hand cream to soften my palms, especially during winter where our skin tend to be dry and irritate. Plus, it smells so good. What’s not to love?

7. Pack of tissues

Just in case because you never know when you might need one to wipe something down. It’s also a great way of helping someone in need.

8. Feminine products

I always have these i my purse. No matter what day of the month it is. Because you just never know when you might need one. I have also found myself helping a few girls who weren’t prepared for the occasion. So girls, never go out without these. Trust me, you will thank me later!

9. Mints or Gum

You are better off keeping some of these in your purse at all times. You might have a sandwich for lunch and went a little crazy with the onions. This will be a huge problem if you have to speak to people throughout the day and I am assuming you do. Luckily, if you have gum or mint, you are covered and can feel more confident talking to people.

10. Snack

I am not myself when I am hungry. So I like to keep some almonds or a protein bar in my purse for snacking.

11. Wallet

Because I need my driver’s license and money to go around.

12. Eye drops

So I can soothe my eyes especially when I wear eye makeup.

What about you? what do YOU keep in your purse?

Let me know in the comments below.

6 Daily Cleaning Tips For Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your house. It needs to be kept clean and tidy for your personal use and for occasional visitors. If you give yourself 15 minutes every day, you can accomplish these tasks. Here are 6 cleaning tips for your bathroom so you can keep it fresh, clutter-free and maximize space.

Bathtub

Try running water down the curtains after a shower to remove any soap residue. You can use a spray bottle with some water and vinegar to spray in the bathtub and wipe it. To help dry the shower curtain and avoid mold, draw the curtain after a shower.

Sink

The sink tends to be covered with soap residue and toothpaste. Do a quick wipe on sink using a washcloth or a disinfectant wipe. Disinfectant wipes work much better as they quickly clean and disinfect at the same time.

Toilet bowl

Pour liquid cleaning and use the brush to do a quick washing. You can also use wipes to disinfect the seats all around the toilet bowl if necessary but this step is not needed every day. Maybe every other day.

Floor

Pick up all the dirt around the bathroom: It can certainly get messy real quick if you have kids in the house. There may be clothes or shoes or even paper towel on the floor ,especially if you share a bathroom with kids. Pick them up and tidy the floor as well as the counter next to the sink. After you’ve done that, use the mop on the floor.

Mirrors

Mirrors can also end up with soap residue as well as toothpaste. To clean mirrors, I recommend using newspaper as it’s much more efficient. Give a quick wipe down if necessary.

Walls

If you see dirt on the walls or drawings from your kids most likely, it’s best to clean it right away. Remember the longer a stain stays on the wall the harder it will be to clean.

All this shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes every day. It’s always easier to do maintenance regularly and clean after yourself right away rather than wait for dirt and clutter to add up. It will then take you more time to clean up. Once you start implementing these tips every day you will get used to doing them fast and it won’t even take you long at all. You will be at ease and won’t be embarrassed every time a visitor comes to your house and wants to use the washroom.

Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below about your daily routine and how you keep your bathroom clean.

7 Tips to keep your holiday spending in check

It’s that time of the year again. The holidays are fast approaching and with it, the spending madness. This is the time of the year where most people get into debt and spend the following few months paying it off. Don’t let that happen this year, especially if you are currently in debt or are still not done paying off last year’s holiday splurge. To avoid this, make a plan and stick to it.

Budget

You’ve got to have a plan. It’s important to budget so you know how much you can afford to spend during the holidays. This way, you avoid impulse purchases and stay focused on your long time financial goals.

Start with the difficult one and make a budget for gifts. To keep your budget reasonable and avoid going into debt, limit gift giving to those closest to you. Make sure you set a spending limit for each gift you are planning on buying.

If you usually host parties, make sure to create a budget for that as well. This can include decorations, food and drinks.

Plan for the unexpected

When making your budget, don’t forget to leave a little wiggle room for unexpected last-minute purchases. Obviously, we are all human and it’s hard to plan out exactly everything you need in advance. You will most likely forget a few expenses here and there. So make sure you are prepared for that when the time comes and leave a little extra. And hey, if you don’t end up using that money after all it’s great! You can add that to your monthly debt payoff plan.

Track your expenses

There is no point in making a budget if you don’t track your expenses. You need to keep a close eye to your spending and make sure you’re on track. Try using an Excel spreadsheet for this and enter all the items you are willing to purchase. You can then write down the prices once you’ve purchased the items. This way, you can easily check how much you have spent so far and how much you have left to avoid going over your budget.

Cut back on expenses

Try to find creative ways to cut back on your expenses. You can still have fun with this. For instance, try introducing potlucks as much as possible. It’s a fun way of sharing during the holidays and you also get to try out different dishes.

For gift giving, instead of buying a gift for each and every person on your list, try doing secret Santa for example. This way, everybody ends up with a gift and you only got to spend money on one gift. If the people on your list don’t know each other and you are planning on hosting a party, this will be a great way for them to meet new people. Don’t buy into the general misconception that the holidays are all about gift giving. Instead, embrace the great time you spend with friends and family and this doesn’t have to be expensive.

Give Homemade Gifts

Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive or bought at a store to be special. On the contrary, a great gift is one that can add value and meaning for the person you are giving it too. Try making homemade gifts. If you don’t have DIY ideas, you can find thousands of videos on YouTube to help you. In fact, here are a couple you can check out (And no, I am not affiliated with any of them):

DIY Christmas Gifts For Friends, Family, Teachers

15 DIY Christmas Gifts people will love

25 DIY Christmas Gifts people will love

Aim for sales

Whether it’s for gift purchases, party decorations or food purchases, try to find the best deals out there. Shop during sales as much as possible. Try buying things in advance if you know they are on your list and they are discounted for a limited time. This also goes for food. A lot of things such as meat, dessert ingredients, can be bought weeks in advance and stored for future use.

Avoid getting into debt during the holidays

The holidays are a special moment to spend with family and friends. The most important thing is for everyone to enjoy themselves. And there is not need for these gatherings to be expensive or to justify a huge setback on your financial journey. So think hard before you take out that wallet. Make good decisions now so you don’t regret your choices in the new year.