Thrifty Thursday 03 – Meal Planning!

When I first began this blog, my biggest request was for how we save money on groceries.   Right now, the two of us spend under $200 each month on groceries.  I know this isn’t an outstanding number, but I don’t think it’s too shabby either!  The next few weeks I will be focusing on how we keep a decent food budget!

Meal planning, Thrifty Thursday, Financial Peace, Frugal MealsFirst up is meal planning! Here is my process each week:  Continue reading

Thrifty Thursday 01 – Emergency Fund

Creating and emergency fund, budgeting, thrifty Thursday

Creating and emergency fund, budgeting, thrifty Thursday

To kick of 2015, Cody and I realized that we wanted to totally figure out our finances.  We have a lot of debt, and we are still fairly new to the world of bills and other financial responsibilities.  We got connected with a Financial Peace University Class and have felt really good about the progress we are making so far!

The first step was to make an emergency fund, because we all know emergencies will happen – anything from the heat going out in our car on a day when the temp is 30 degrees below zero (happened this winter!) to the possibility of an unexpected medical expense.    The recommended first step is to start with a small emergency fund of $1000.     We were lucky enough to have saved up closer to $3000 in our savings, so we removed $2000 and put that towards step two (coming next week!).

Although it wouldn’t save us in a huge emergency, having this money at hand gives us peace of mind that while we are still in debt, we are still covered in case something were to come up!

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NYC on a budget!

You may remember a month back when I posted about the AMAZING flight deal my husband found for NYC.  Well, last Saturday we packed our backs and hit the road for O’Hare International Airport.  We got to New York late Saturday night and left early on Wednesday.   It was an amazing trip and a surprisingly inexpensive vacation (for being in a tourist trap big city!)

NYC on a budget!

NYC on a budget!

Since I have been giving tips on finances and how we as recent college grads make the most of our money, I thought this trip would be a great example to show you how you can travel for cheap if you save throughout the year.  We have been putting $50 a month towards a travel fund.  If we have leftover money at the end of the month and have paid a significant chunk towards our debts, we put it in our travel fund as well.  By doing this, we pre-paid for our vacation.  We paid cash for everything accept for the flights as well.   It was great feeling to enjoy ourselves without breaking the bank!

How much we spent:Including all flights, transportation, accommodations, food, museums, souvenirs, etc we were able to spend just under $450.

How we did it:   Continue reading

Back to school – for Financial Peace

When we got married in August 2014, we were both fresh out of college, had never really lived on our own (aside from the two months I lived with two of my best friends the the summer before the wedding), and we had mounds of student debt.  Honestly, the amount of debt we have is horrifying.

Photo Credit: TaxRebate.org.uk

Photo Credit: TaxRebate.org.uk

If you’ve never been in debt, it is not a good feeling.   We both have quite a bit of Federal Loan debt and I have a mountain of private loan debt.  The interest we gain each month on the private loans pretty much evens out with the payments we make each month.  Even from the first month of making payments it felt like we would never keep up. We are blessed to have my parents helping us out paying a little bit towards our student loans each month, which we are beyond thankful for, but it still felt like we weren’t making any progress on our loans.

We knew we needed a strategy. Continue reading

Food, Glorious Food

My (surprisingly small this week) pile of grocery list making resources!

Today is grocery shopping day in our home.  We love food around here. We love cooking and baking (and we really love eating).  Right off the bat in our marriage, we knew that we needed to be smart about how much we were spending, or our stomaches would be full and our bank account empty.

How do we keep our costs down? (I’ll post more on each of these in future posts)

1) Meal plans
2) Price book
3) Coupons
4) Leftovers
5) Stocking up
6) Creativity
7) Plan, plan, plan

Right now, for the two of us, we spend <$200 a month on groceries, and that is a number we may be able to lower with a little more work on perfecting this list.

What methods do you use to keep your grocery bills down?