Thursday, December 29, 2016

A few ways I save money on groceries

I've talked a bit about the need for our family to be better with our money. There are a few shopping apps that I use in order to maximize the things that I buy. Two things to remember though before I share these apps:

1) Don't buy junk just because you get cash back. There are offers for many items on these apps that I don't buy. Be careful not to buy the sugar sweetened beverage that you normally never buy, just because it's a good deal. On the same spectrum there are always great produce deals on these sites. This week for example on Savingstar you get %20 cash back on bananas.

2) Don't buy something just because there is a cash back coupon for it. Many people may get into the same trouble with normal coupons, just because you can get a bit back for it, doesn't mean it was on your list. Make a list, plan your meals THEN check the following apps to see what you may get cash back for.

Now the apps I use MOST:

Checkout 51
Checkout 51. Click above to look into it. I like this one because they always have a "pick your own" type of produce offer. The likelihood that I bought something on the list is always high. This week it is .25 cents back for either oranges, raspberries, grapefruit or bell peppers. I bought a big fat red bell pepper for .49 cents and then got .25 cents back for it. There are other things also such as popcorn, coffee creamer, Heinz mustard etc. Normally there is at least $2-$3 a week of stuff on this app. Again, these are things I normally would buy anyways. So once you hit $25 you request a check and boom a week or so later it is in your mailbox. I cashed out 2 times last year, each time was effortless and that money went straight to debt.

SavingStar, Inc. Save on groceries with no clipping and no printing today
Savingstar always has some neat Buy X of Whatever and get X amount back. For example there currently is a buy $10 of Bush's Beans and get $3 back. I had some $1 off coupons for Bush's Beans, I bought 10 cans when they were on sale for $1 and got back $3. So 10 Free cans of beans for my pantry plus $3. They also have freebies every so often so buy for example a box of jiffy cornbread mix and get the price back in your app. You can cash out for paypal, starbucks gift card or bank deposit. I normally do the paypal, then transfer it to my savings account or whichever debt we are working on.

The last one is Ibotta. 
Here you search by the store you are shopping at and it gives you the items you can purchase. There are some called "any brand" for things like a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. They don't care the brand, which is nice because I buy a lot of generics. They have bonuses often also for things like redeem 5 offers get $5 extra dollars or something. This really is a great one to use. You can cash out for paypal or e-gift cards. I had $50 worth of Target gift cards I got from here that I used to purchase some extra baking supplies and gifts for Christmas.

All of these can be found in your app store on your phone. They are all free to download. You normally either have to scan the bar code of the item you purchased or take a picture of the receipt, or sometimes both. The apps are all super easy to use and tell you what to do.

There are some others one I use that I'll try to write about soon. Any apps that you guys MUST MUST use you would like to share with me for grocery savings?

Happy Homesteading!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Here we come a caroling....

Ever since I can recall, our church has gone Christmas caroling a few days before Christmas. Last night was our annual excursion. The last few years have been especially fun because my own children are old enough to kind of realize the importance of serving others in our communities.

We visit a few church members that may be older, or in bad health, and those that have lost a spouse and may be lonely.

It's such a rewarding experience to see them smile ( and in many cases cry!) with tears of joy. We normally give some small little token gift, some home made cookies, some fruit, some home made jam then sing 3-4 songs. Last night we sang.

Joy to the World
Away in a Manager
Silent Night
We Wish you a Merry Christmas

One house we went to were the couple are both in their late 90's, both the husband and wife cried, then the lady gave all the kids suckers.

It's not too late to go this year! Just bundle up a few of your kids and friends and visit a few homes of families that may need a bit of extra Christmas Cheer this year.

Something free, easy and so rewarding we can do this Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Word of the year? 2017 is coming

I'm sure we are all still excitedly getting ready for Christmas- and rightfully so! What a beautiful and serene time of year. However I wanted to share something I've been doing the last few years. I'm not sure if I came up with it myself, or if I read it on a blog or in a book somewhere, but I've picked out a "word of the year".

In 2015 I chose the word " thankful".  I tried my hardest to really teach thankfulness to my kids and to show them what it meant to be thankful. I took special time each day to give thanks to my Lord for his abundance and his blessings. I really tried hard to embody the word. Every time we had a testimony at church, I felt lead to share my thankfulness. Overall, it was just a good year of spiritual growth. But of course when January 1, 2016 came around, I didn't stop being thankful. Just the contrary, I became aware of what a year of super thankfulness did for me and my family and I've tried to continue it.

In 2016 the word I chose was "prayer". I had always prayed. We always prayed before meals and such. But this past year I really made an effort to get more involved with my prayer life. I read the book ( and watched the movie) The War Room- which really encouraged me. I have been studying prayer more in my Bible readings and have been trying to elevate my prayer life. I have had some personal victories in my prayer life and feel myself drawing closer to the Lord. I feel like this extra commitment has just given me incentive to really make more time for prayer.

So here we are almost to 2017. I've been searching for my word for the year. Of course I still hope to keep up with my thankfulness and my prayer life, but my new word for 2017 is.....


I hope to really get in the frame of heart to be super content. I want to study the word, pray for contentment, be thankful for what I have and learn to appreciate all the little things that are truly amazing.

Anyone else want to throw in a word for the year? Anyone been thinking about what your word could be for 2017? I'd love to hear about it?