Momma on a Budget in The Big Woods

I’m a momma on a budget living in the real world, out in the Big beautiful woods.

I’ve been looking into ways to do what I already do better.

I’m a momma who budgets and keeps up with a household.

You’ve heard this before and if you’re like me, you’ve watched the youtube videos, read the blogs, but they don’t work.

Why?

These ladies are obviously good at what they do in the modern towns/city world.

There isn’t anything wrong with that, except it’s not working for me.

1. I don’t live in a big house that is shiney and all things white with grey accents.

2. I live 45 minutes away from the nearest big town, where we buy everything.

3. I believe in buying local first, online second, and I don’t use self checkouts or free pick up.

4. I am outdoors getting dirty A LOT. Getting dressed to impress doesn’t happen often. Keeping a pair of jeans from getting holes in them is a struggle.
5. I could keep adding to this list but I’m not, except, where the heck are their kids?! You can’t tell me you’re getting all this done without a kid wrapped around your legs.

I was kind of thinking to myself, I can not be the only one.

Actually I know I’m not the only one.

Here is what I am going to do.

I’m going to start sharing with you MY tips and tricks that keep my sanity around, well…some of the time.

Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Would you like to see videos too?

What is something you want to improve, but just don’t know how?

Simple Meal Planning

Okay y’all. Let me make myself clear.

I’m lazy when it comes to meal planning, because… well if you’re a mom, someone who is working and going to school, or a business owner reading this I don’t need to explain.

This week is my “no spend” week.

Meaning, I HATE grocery shopping and it’s winter, so you never know when the roads are going to be crappy.

Which leads me to thinking I’m gonna keep my little hiney at home. Put my money I WOULD spend in my savings and stretch my groceries out until I have to go.

Which leads me to doing the following steps

1. Look at what I have in my pantry, fridge, freezer.

2. Come up with meals using those things.

3. Write down a “menu” that has no specific days per meal on a magnetic dry erase board.

Which looks like this.

4. When it comes time to cook I choose one meal and look and see if I need to prep something for the next day- like if I decide I want to make Shepard pie, I would lay out some ground venison.

I erase what I cook as I go, day seven rolls around, I’ll look again.

Now what do I do as far as groceries? Let me explain this to you very sloppy, yet simply

This week, I’m at the end of my stock, so I would look in my kitchen to see what I have + sales and create my grocery list and meal plan based off of that.

TIP: I also leave $10- $20 in my groceries budget to stock up or for a great deal.

I.e.

I make a lot of chili in the winter, I will buy 3 cans/bags/what ever that’s non perishable. Use one now and the other two for later.

chicken broth is on sale for $1, I wouldn’t grab just the one I need I would grab 3. Butter is on sale buy one get one free again I wouldn’t buy just one I would but 4 and put the other two in the freezer for later.

And because I know your going to ask.

My grocery budget for the month is $425. This includes any and all consumables, diapers, wipes, toilet cleaners, laundry soap, normal food etc.

I was at $300, but the cost of living has gone up so I had to adjust.

I try to actually only go big bulk shopping once a month because I live so far from a grocery store and then my husband grabs things as needed on his way home from work.

If you live near a store, cut yourself some slack and break down your budget into a weekly budget.

Anyways, that’s basically it. I hope this helps. 🙂 Any questions ask!

A Snack Time Solution That Works For Kids & Grown-ups Too

This is just what have done and recently discovered.

The To Go Snacks

I have a designated bin for snacks. All of these snacks are quick grabs for the diaper bag and myself.

In this bin I keep baggies of animal crackers, veggie/fruit straws, nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, trail mix,etc.

I also have pudding cups, granola bars, organic fruit/veggie gummies,freeze dried fruit.

Now, y’all. I am cheap! I buy these things in bulk. Separate the serving sizes, i.e 12 crackers per baggie.

My baggies are colored on purpose this allows me to keep things organized.

Here for example, I have yellow bags filled with apple straws and crackers, blue bags filled with just crackers, and the red bags are just apple straws.

I do separate the nuts for myself into smaller, little snack bags, but I’m out today.

The baggies I use are the cheapest of the cheap on the shelf. One day, I’ll get even cheaper about it and buy reusable ones.

The snacks, like I said are in bulk, on sale, or cheap..but also I am weird about certain ingredients, so I always check out what’s in the food before I buy.

The gummies I buy for my daughter are found at dollar general, the freeze dried fruit is at dollar tree (there is more in the package than Wal-Mart’s brand)

Snacks At Home

I recently discovered this trick and it works SO well with my two year old and my mommy brain.

She gets…her own snack drawer in the fridge! …that she has to share with mommy and daddy.

So, I haven’t found containers yet to organize this a little better, but I took my fruit drawer and added a few things.

In mason jars I have string cheese, the bowl has boiled eggs, then we have apples and grapes.

The grapes I haven’t gotten around to slicing up and putting into baggies..

Right above that drawer I have yogurts.

Also, the door bottom shelf I have her drinks of water.

I need to experiment a little with this and find what will fit in that drawer, but I plan on adding other choices, such as half pb&j,cottage cheese,berries.

My two year old can open the fridge get what she wants and is good to go.

She isn’t allowed in there except after she has eaten her meals and not before.

It took a day to set the boundaries, but after a few “no dont do that” she got it.

Since these are filling nutritious , she so far, goes in once after breakfast and once after lunch. That’s it.

It’s helping teach her independence and boundaries, and helping me skip the 3 minutes of “what can I give her for snack” and it has been awesome for those days I don’t have a minute for lunch to just grab a boiled egg and cheeese.

FRUGALLY Healthy On A Budget : Challenge Accepted.

Hey guys,

So time and time again I have heard “I can nor afford to eat healthy. ”

I took that as a challenge and the challenge was excepted! I am going to PROVE you can buy healthy foods and not break the bank.

I went to our most costly grocery store in our area and shopped, just for you spending $59.13 of my budget and spent it just in healthy foods.

Here is the list. ( not all is shown in the video below, my fualt , sorry)

Apple Cranberry Juice

2 1/2 gal Whole milk

2 blocks of cheese 🧀

1 16 slice american slice cheese 🧀

1 16 ozCottage cheese

2 cans of green beans

Can of mixed vegetables

Can of Black beans

Can of Kidney Beans

4 bags multi grain and whole grain bagels

1 head of Lettuce

1 bag Cole slaw

1 jar Cole slaw dressing

1 Cucumber

10 ears of corn on the cob 🌽

2 lb Grapes 🍇

3lb Apples 🍎

2.54 lb of Bananas 🍌

3lbs of cherries 🍒

2 lb ( 2) Big Beef Tomatoes 🍅

2 fresh baked Italian loaf bread 🍞

Natural polish sausage

2 6pack all natural drum sticks

2 pachages of cured diced ham

2 bags of frozen broccoli

 

So I am all about being 100% honest

when I said in the video I spent a little more because I have a family of 3..and shopped for 3-4 weeks… Here is what I meant.

I bought the quick junk food- 6 frozen 🍕Pizza , 2 banquet meals, 4 snack boxes ofpizza rolls, and waffles…for our days I know we will not be getting home + diapers, allergie pills, paper plates.

Making my total grocery bill

Why? Because… honestly …I do not feel like heating up my house to meal prep 😂

I’ll save that for the 20° below freezing temperatures , not the OMG it’s 82° 🔥 in the UP of Michigan days.

Anyways my tips are

1. Keep inventory of your kitchen

2. Make your grocery list according to the adds

3. Use coupons, savings cards, and apps that will help ger your money back.

4. Keep a well stocked pantry with staples

5. Pre cook meats and break them up into meals, cutting and sectioning them

6. Remember less is more, but fill your plate with mostly vegetables.

Know your portion sizes for meats, produce, and dairy.

Have a great week all,

Shanna