Quantcast
Homemaking Articles - Imperfect Homemaker

Category Archives for Homemaking

Family Presents: 10 Unique Gifts for Everyone to Share

As our family grows (both our immediate family and our extended family), it becomes more and more expensive and time-consuming to shop for Christmas gifts. Plus, when each child receives multiple gifts from us and from their extended family, the house quickly becomes cluttered with way too much stuff.

We like to do a lot more family presents these days rather than a ton of individual gifts. Not only does it cut down on shopping time, expense, and clutter, but it also helps us to prioritize spending time together.

When we purchase a gift that the whole family can enjoy, we are encouraging quality time together, which is so much more important than just giving and receiving a bunch of stuff.

We've also agreed with the our siblings that we will give gifts to each other's entire family rather than purchasing something individually for each niece and nephew (there are a lot and none of us can really afford it.) Giving family gifts provides all of us with the opportunity to express thoughtfulness for each other without breaking the bank.

 

Here are 10 unique gift ideas for the entire family to enjoy.

 

Disclosure: I was provided with products to facilitate this post. Some of the links included are affiliate links.

 

1. ArmoGear Laser Battle

This is the perfect gift for the competitive family who is always playing together. Rather than dropping a nice chunk to go play a game of laser tag, they will be able to play any time they want in their own back yard. ArmoGear Laser Battle comes with vests and guns (you can purchase either a 2 player game or a 4 player game.)

Purchase ArmoGear Laser Battle here.

 

 

2. Family movie night package

Set up the family with everything they need for a family movie night: a popcorn popper, bowls, a cozy blanket, and an Amazon Prime video subscription.


 

 

3. Family game night package

If your budget is tight, family games are always a hit! I've included some of my favorite family game suggestions below.


And favorite games for the little ones:


 

4. Ice cream night!

This soft serve ice cream maker is a huge hit with families! Pair it with some bowls and ice cream toppings.


 

5. Indoor snowball fight

Want to bring the most unique gift to the party? How about supplies for an indoor snowball fight?


 

6. Outdoor activities

The most clutter free gift for families is a gift that stays outside! Treat the kids to hours of outdoor fun with one of these outdoor toys:


 

 

7. Camping Gear

For the outdoor loving family, a gift of camping gear makes a unique and thoughtful gift.


 

 

8. Game room/Play room gear

Another great family gift is an item for the game room (or play room if the kids are still little.) Some good ideas below:


 

 

9. Slam Ball

This game is one that my extended family members love playing together. It is highly competitive, offering loads of fun for the adults and kids alike!

 

 

10. The Adventum Audio Drama

“Mom, this is…amazing.” That's what my oldest son told me about this set of audio dramas. These audio depictions of Biblical events are an investment into the spiritual life of your children, and are so enjoyable for the whole family to listen to together.

Click here to learn more and listen to a trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our Clutter Free Gift Ideas for Homemakers, Click Here.

5 Prayers for the Overwhelmed Homemaker

In this article: Scripture based prayers for the homemaker who feels overwhelmed.

 

Overwhelmed.

Anxious.

Panicked.

Frustrated.

Discombobulated. (How do you like that word?)

These are all words that have defined how I feel about homemaking at some point or another. That last one has been especially apropos lately, and the only word I could find to describe how I feel inside.

Do you ever feel:

  • Like you don’t know where to start
  • Frustrated that no one is helping
  • Confused as to why you got nothing done today
  • Defeated that you can’t seem to run the household smoothly

You are not alone!

I think most if not all of us feel that way sometimes. Many are the days I have found myself in tears, wondering what on earth I could do differently.

Sometimes there are solutions that help free up my time so I don’t feel overwhelmed (3 Ways to Simplify Homemaking When You're Overwhelmed), sometimes I need better systems and routines (a letter to the wife with the filthy house), but very often I have come to realize that there’s not a whole lot I can do to change the fact that I feel so overwhelmed.

I am constantly tuning up and tweaking things to make things go as smoothly as I can, but the fact of the matter is that life is not always smooth or easy and many of the circumstances that make the road bumpy are out of my control.

So even though I recommend being wise with our routines and learning ways to take the overwhelm out of homemaking, it’s even more important to recognize our need for the Lord. Circumstances beyond our control remind us the He is in control.

We ought to spend more time seeking his face and casting ourselves upon Him in complete dependence than we do in trying to control our circumstances to become less overwhelming.

With that in mind, I want to share some Biblically based prayers for the homemaker who feels overwhelmed:

5 Prayers for the Overwhelmed Homemaker

 

1. Pray that your thoughts would be clear and undistracted.

When you don’t know where to start or how to organize your day, pray that God would direct your steps and give you wisdom to know how to prioritize things.

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. (Psalm 37:23)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

 

2. Pray for physical health and strength.

If you suffer from any type of chronic illness, you are well aware that the brain fog and fatigue that accompany it contribute to feeling completely overwhelmed. When you can’t think clearly and when you’re always behind on the housework because you are physically unable to take care of it, things can become so out of control that you don’t even know where to begin.

Pray that God would grant you just enough strength to do what He wants you to do today (and remember that might look different than what you would like to get done today.)

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

 

3. Pray that you will be diligent in your work.

Perhaps you’re behind and overwhelmed because you just haven’t been as diligent as you ought and now things have piled up. Pray that the Holy Spirit would remind you to be diligent today as you take care of your home and family.

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. (Proverbs 13:4)

 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. (Proverbs 10:4)

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Proverbs 14:1)

 

4. Pray that you will not be distracted by things that do not matter.

So many things fight for our attention throughout the day. Some of them are important, some not so important, and some are somewhere in between. As you seek the Lord above all, all of the other things will fall into place. Pray that you would remember to focus on Him above all else and not to stress about the rest.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

5. Call out to the Lord in complete dependence upon him.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2)

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

A Kid-Friendly Weekend Getaway in Sevierville, Tennessee

Family time is important to my husband and me.  Spending quality time with our children is one way we can get to know them better, show them how much we love them, and bond our hearts together.

But life is so busy that spending time together doesn't always come easily!  The daily necessities of life take up so much of our time that time spent together often consists of folding laundry together on mom and dad's bed.  And while there's most definitely a place for that kind of time spent together, it's also good to have focused, set-aside time together where we're not distracted by the next item on our to-do list.

A weekend getaway is a fantastic way for us to spend distraction-free time doing nothing other than making memories as a family.

Since we live only a few hours from the Smoky Mountains, a convenient place for us to take a weekend getaway is in the friendly town of Sevierville, Tennessee.

Located in eastern Tennessee, Sevierville is in a centralized location to much of the eastern United States.  Its location, combined with the wide variety of family-oriented activities it offers, makes it a perfect destination for a family weekend getaway.

Watch the video for a speed version of our own kid-friendly weekend getaway in Sevierville, then read all the details below.

(Full disclosure: This trip was sponsored by the city of  Sevierville. Our accommodations and attraction tickets were provided to facilitate this post.)

 

FULL TRIP DETAILS:

 

Thursday P.M.

Arrive at our destination.

Since Sevierville is only a few hours away from us, it's easy for us just to hop on up there after my husband gets off work.  Staying over on Thursday night maximizes the time we get to spend enjoying our weekend.  Being there on Friday morning gives us HOURS more time to spend enjoying the day instead of spending travel time that day.

We stayed at the Oak Haven Resort, which offers cabins suitable for various family sizes.  I prefer staying in a cabin when we travel as a family for several reasons:

  1. We don't all fit in one hotel room.
  2. A cabin has a kitchen, which means I can bring healthy food instead of eating out at every meal.
  3. A cabin is much more kid-friendly than a hotel, with plenty of things to keep the children occupied even if we're not out on the town.

Our cabin at Oak Haven Resort

 

 

The view from our cabin

 

 

What kinds of things does Oak Haven Resort offer?  A lot!

The cabin was equipped with a game room downstairs which included arcade games, a pool table, Foosball, ping pong, and a hot tub on the porch.  One small touch that was greatly appreciated by the smallest of our crew was a set of Mega Blocks.  Since our 2 year old is not old enough to play ping pong or Foosball, and since the 4 year old wasn't all that interested, they were perfectly content to play with Mega Blocks any time we were staying at the cabin.

Resort guests also have access to a playground, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a lake with catch-and-release fishing privileges, and several walking trails.

We arrived into town about 5 pm on Thursday, stopped at Chipotle for a quick supper, and spent the rest of the evening enjoying our cabin before bed.

 

Friday, 8:30 AM

We had a busy day planned, so we ate out at Flapjack's Pancake Cabin for breakfast.  The food there is so good!  We definitely plan on making a trip here for breakfast any time we are in Sevierville.

Waiting for our yummy omelets and pancakes

 

 

Friday, 10:00 AM

After breakfast we headed over to Rainforest Adventures.  I'd heard a lot about it on previous trips to Sevierville, but we had never had the chance to take the kids.

Being the homeschooled nerds they are, they were telling me all sorts of interesting things about the animals that I didn't even know.  My least favorite part was the snakes, and I scooted past them as quickly as I could.  I didn't want to even look at them!  The kids didn't seem to have a problem with them, though.  They were posing for pictures in front of them just so they could watch me squirm.

There was also a petting zoo out back where the kids fed goats, donkeys, and sheep.

 

Feeding a baby goat at the petting zoo

 

 

 

Friday, 12 PM

After we finished at Rainforest Adventures we went to Sevier Air Trampoline Park and Ninja Warrior Course.  Friday morning was an amazing  time to go!  The Sevierville schools were already in session, so my homeschooled kids basically had the whole place to themselves! Since it was so empty, the staff went ahead and gave everyone unlimited arm bands, which meant we didn't have to worry about leaving right after our hour time slot was up.

Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Park

I was really impressed with the park.  There were lots of activities to keep everyone busy.  Our whole family was able to jump and enjoy the activities together.

 

 

Sevier Air

Enjoying one of the many activities at Sevier Air Trampoline Park and Ninja Warrior Course| Photo credit: Chad Branton

 

Friday, 1 PM

Next it was time to feed the hungry crew!  We ate lunch at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen. It's a little on the pricey side, so plan your budget accordingly if you have a large family to feed, but the southern fare was delicious, and the portions were huge!

Enjoying a fluffy southern biscuit at Five Oaks Farm Kitchen

 

 

Friday, 3 PM

The plan at this point was to spend the rest of the day at Nascar Speed Park, which the kids had greatly  been looking forward to, but it had begun to rain while we were inside the restaurant, and the little ones were starting to get tired anyway.

But we're flexible!

We headed back to the cabin instead, where we all took a nap, then we took advantage of the game room and hot tub for the rest of the evening.

I popped some hamburger patties into the oven for an easy supper, and we all just relaxed and hung out together until bedtime.

Relaxing at the cabin

 

Saturday, 10 AM

Option A: One fun way to spend your weekend in Sevierville is to get a day pass to Wilderness at the Smokies Wild WaterDome indoor water park.  Since it's open year round, this is a great way to have some family fun regardless of the weather.

Option B: (What we did)

Since we hadn't taken the kids to the Nascar Speedpark the day before, we spent most of the morning there.  There are go-kart tracks for just about every age (the only one who didn't ride was our 2 year old.)

Her first ever go-kart ride

 

They also have a whole bunch of kiddie rides.  The oldest 2 kids drove go-karts all day, and the younger 2 went back and forth between driving go-karts and riding rides.

Enjoying one of the kiddie rides

 

 

As it got closer to lunch time, the heat was beginning to get to us, so we headed back to the cabin to get some lunch and cool off.

After lunch, we headed outside to explore the nature trails at the resort.

(Our original plan for this day was to spend some time hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but the kids (and adults) really didn't want to skip going to the Nascar Speedpark.  However, we did also want to get in some nature time, so we opted to explore the nature trails at Oak Haven Resort instead.

 

 

After a  stop by the playground and basketball court, the little ones were sufficiently worn out, so we headed back to the cabin for a nap.

oak-haven-resort-playground

Little ones enjoying the playground

 

oak-haven-resort-basketball

Daddy and the boys enjoying basketball

 

While the little ones were resting, I put some dinner in the crock pot and enjoyed putting my feet up to read while it cooked.

 

Saturday, 6 PM

We had planned to spend the evening enjoying a Smokies baseball game together, but it had begun to rain while the kids were taking their naps.

We waited until the last minute, but it was still pretty wet outside when it was time to leave for the game, so we opted to stay in out of the rain.

We spent more time enjoying the game room at the cabin.  Finally the weather dried up, so we decided to take advantage of the unlimited arm bands we still had from the Nascar Speedpark.

It was getting dark and late by this time, but it was vacation, so why not?!

The kids enjoyed several more rides before we finally headed back.

 

Night time ride at Nascar Speedpark

 

nascar-speedpark

Waiting for one last ride on the Scrambler at Nascar Speedpark

 

 

Everyone was sighing those “happy, tired, satisfied” sighs.

Check out from Oak Haven Resort was not until 11:00 the next day, which meant we could still sleep in before we headed for home.

It had been a wonderful, much-needed time away to relax and enjoy each other's company.

Many thanks to visitsevierville.com for planning a perfect itinerary for our family.  Click here to check out the Visit Sevierville website for ideas on planning your own kid-friendly weekend getaway to Sevierville, Tennessee.

 

 

Pin this post for later:

sevierville-tennessee-getaway

How to Find Joy and Contentment as a Homemaker

It was an ordinary evening.  I was unloading the dishwasher while dinner was heating up on the stove.  My toddler was  “helping” me, while the older kids were reading books to their younger siblings at the table.  As I worked, I enjoyed chatting on the phone with my husband during his drive home from work.

I stopped to take it all in, and I realized I was having the time of my life!

It wasn't a special holiday.  Everything that was going on was very ordinary, but I was enjoying myself immensely!

I could have this much joy every day if I would only choose to.

I don't need to wait for something special to happen to enjoy  life.  I don't have to have the perfect house or the perfect family to find joy and contentment.  I can choose to enjoy every moment.

When I'm cooking an “ordinary” supper, I can stop and thank the Lord that I have food to prepare for my family and a stove on which to prepare it.

When I'm doing an “ordinary” dishwasher unloading, I can be thankful I have the luxury of owning a dishwasher.

When I'm changing an “ordinary” diaper I can be thankful for these little ones God has entrusted to me.

If I stop and think about the blessings God has given me, the ordinary things seem so much more special.

Just since that evening a few days ago, I have tried to stop and think throughout the day about God's blessings and to make a conscious choice to enjoy what He has given me – not just on the special days.

What will you enjoy today, my friend?  The enchanting smell of a candle?  The sound of beautiful music on the radio?  The way the sunlight looks as it sends its rays through a window?  The love of your family on this ordinary day?

Stop.  Look.  Listen.  Enjoy.

Everything we have is a gift from God.  He loves us, and has given us “richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

So let's enjoy what He's given.

 

 

Other Christian homemaing posts you may like:

The Perfect Homemaker

What I've Learned About Homemaking from the Older Generation

Letting Go of Homemaker's Guilt

 

 

 

A Dress Code for Homemakers: How to Be Beautiful Inside and Out

 

Yes.  I am going to be so bold as to tell you what you ought to wear every day.

 

You see, there's more to what we wear than just what goes on the outside, although I'll be talking some about that too.

 

 

 

As a homemaker, you ought to put on the following things every single day:

 

1. A meek and quiet spirit (I Peter 3:4)

This passage is specifically referring to a woman's submission to her husband.  Through the Holy Spirit, Peter instructs women to show their beauty, not through how they dressed on the outside, but by what shone through from the inside.  A good definition of meekness is “strength under control”.  The meekest person that ever lived was Moses (Numbers 12:3.) No doubt it took an incredible amount of self-control to deal with 2 million or so people, all hungry, thirsty, and whining.  Likewise, submission to one's husband does not reveal weakness, it is evidence of strength that can only come from a spirit-filled life.  It reveals what is truly on the inside, and it is beautiful.  If you want to look nice as a homemaker, asking the Lord to give you a meek and quiet spirit is a great place to start!

 

2. Mercy, kindness, humility, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love (Colossians 3:12-14)

These are 6 things Christians are specifically instructed to “put on”.

As a homemaker, you'll no doubt experience many instances throughout the day that will require mercy, kindness, humility, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love. Any other reaction to the annoyances of the day will not be very beautiful.  But once again, the inner beauty that reveals itself when one is under pressure cannot be outdone by any sort of outward adorning.

 

 

 

3. The armor of God (Ephesians 6:10 – 18)

Ladies, not only should we be meek and quiet and gentle, but we should be meek, quiet, and gentle warriors!

Being “just” a homemaker does not make you exempt from the devil's attacks.  In fact, I'm sure he'd love it if he could throw you off track as you endeavor to train up the next generation for the Lord's glory.

So each day before we enter the fray, let's make sure we're suited up and ready for battle!  We truly do not wrestle against flesh and blood and we dare not engage the enemy unprepared.

 

 

4. A smile

Did you know that the simple act of smiling can be highly motivating, both to yourself and to those around you?

Would you rather be around someone who is smiling or who looks like they got up on the wrong side of the bed?  A lot of homemakers end up with frumpy grumpy syndrome.  They get irritated that someone tracked dirt on the freshly mopped floor, that the laundry is piled up yet again, and that it's time to make another meal and the kitchen isn't yet clean from the last one.  (They?  What am I saying?  I  do this!)

When we focus on all the things that go wrong about our day, we can end up pretty grouchy, and it doesn't look very pretty on our face.

But when you pause for a minute and find something to smile about, you'll look a whole lot nicer and you'll feel better too.  I know my husband would rather walk in the door to find me smiling than to be greeted with a scowl and a list of all the mischievous things the kids have done.

 

5. Appropriate attire

I think sometimes people subconsciously substitute June Cleaver homemaking for Biblical homemaking.  While I believe in looking nice and dressing with excellence (Proverbs 31:22), I don't believe that wearing heels and pearls makes one a Godly homemaker and wearing spit-up stained pajamas makes one an ungodly homemaker.

When you get dressed you should dress appropriately for the tasks you'll be doing that day.  Some days that means you'll be doing nothing more than snuggling with a sick baby and you might not find a chance to shower and get dressed even if you wanted to.  Some days you'll be spring cleaning and wearing comfortable old clothes you don't mind getting dirty.  I know I've heard many times that you should look nice for your husband when he comes home from work, and I agree.  However, I don't think that means you need to feel ashamed if you still have on your spring cleaning clothes or you're still in your pajamas holding that sick baby.

When a person goes to a work place, they're required to wear clothing that's appropriate for their job.  As a homemaker, why should you wear clothing that's inappropriate for your job?  Mop the floor in a dress and heels?  No thanks.

But…before you get too comfortable thinking you can just wear any old raggedy thing every day, let's go back to the dressing with excellence thing.

The point of dressing appropriately is to help you do the best job you can.  When your jobs for the day require you to get dirty, then wear something that will help you not to shy away from that.  But what about the “regular” days where no overwhelming circumstances are prevailing and no extremely dirty work needs to be done?  Just because you can take care of your home and family in your pajamas, should you?  Would you go to your work place in pajamas? Or would you dress in a way that would make you feel more productive and show your co-workers that you care about what they have to look at?

I think sometimes it's easy for homemakers to slip from that place of staying in their pajamas out of necessity to doing it purely out of habit.

Hey, I'm talking to myself here!  Many days I'm just surviving, and I'm thankful I have a husband who understands, but when I look in the mirror I do feel badly that all he gets is the totally frumpy version of me.

And I really feel terrible if I realize that I honestly have no excuse to be dressed like a slob and not have my hair fixed.

Dressing nicely is not a requirement for Biblical homemaking – I think I've been clear enough that beauty truly does come from the inside.  But…why not make the outside reflect what's on the inside?

If I'm truly striving to be inwardly beautiful, why would I not put some effort into how I look on the outside too?

 

The Proverbs 31 woman and her husband were well-known and well-respected in the community.  For someone who clearly cared so deeply about leading a productive life, neglecting her personal appearance would have been contradictory to everything else she believed in.

Likewise, if I desire to be a productive homemaker, it only makes sense that I should dress the part.

I promise I'm preaching to myself here.  I do notice that it's easier to be lazy when I'm dressed in lounge clothes.  I can't imagine but that my husband likes it much better when I don't look like an old hag.  And since I desire to be inwardly beautiful, I think it makes sense to put forth some effort on the outside too.

Again, I'm not talking about June Cleaver expectations; I'm simply talking about dressing appropriately for the day and showing respect for the other members of my family by making my appearance as pleasant as I can under the specific circumstances I'm in that day.

 

Along with that, I want to make you aware of a fabulous resource to help us lose the “homemaker frump”.  It's called the Wardrobe Basics Builder, and it helps you build a 20 piece capsule wardrobe that is PERFECT for stay at home moms or homemakers.  It also gives you 20 days of outfits created from those pieces and a printable you can hang in your closet to inspire you with outfit ideas each day.  (If you primarily wear skirts like I do, you can just substitute the same color skirt for the pants.  Easy peasy!)  Here is an outfit I put together from these ideas.  I never would have thought to put these pieces together on my own!  (Excuse the awkward selfie.  I'm not exactly skilled in that area and I had better things to do with my time than trying over and over.)

 

What will it be, my friend?  Are the others around you seeing beauty from without and within?  Or are they seeing a bad attitude, grumpiness, and a neglect of your appearance?  It's time for us to work on these things!

 

You can pick up the Wardrobe Basics Builder right here.

 

Other resources I use and love:

1. Stitch Fix is an amazing styling service to help you find beautiful clothing. You fill out your style profile, basically clicking on pictures of clothes you like and don't like, then you fill out a little questionnaire about what kinds of clothes you like, and a personal stylist will pick out gorgeous outfits for you and sent them to you. You can try them all on, and the benefit of doing so at home means you can pair it with other items in your wardrobe to see if they match or look well together. You'll only pay for the clothes you keep, and the rest get sent back in a postage pre-paid bag.

You can see a more in-depth post I wrote about Stitch Fix here.

If you want to give it a try, you can get a $25 credit when you sign up through this link.

 

2. Thredup is another of my favorite places to purchase beautiful, modest outfits. The clothes at Thredup are in gently used condition, therefore you will pay less than what you pay for the clothes from Stitch Fix.

I've written a post about how I shop for specific outfits at Thredup here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Surprising Ways to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget

With 5 growing kids, our grocery budget is our highest household expense.  Every week I am shocked to see how quickly we go through the food that I buy.

I am constantly tweaking the menu and trying to make things stretch as far as I can.  Since I know many of my readers are in the same boat (tight budget, but you gotta eat!) I thought I would share some of the more surprising ways I have found to reduce our grocery budget.

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.)

 

3 surprising ways to drastically reduce your grocery budget

 

 

1. Don't use coupons.

Yes!  You read that right!  Now there was a time when I would have vehemently disagreed with that statement, but I've completely changed my tune now!

I used to be quite the couponing queen – to the point that I often made money buying my groceries.  As I traveled further and further down the path to a more healthy lifestyle, though, I eventually realized that there weren't too many coupons for healthy foods, and the coupons were only tempting me to splurge on unhealthy things way too much. (Read about the time we ate 40 boxes of Pop-Tarts!)

I ended up spending 25 cents here and 50 cents there on food I would have never purchased otherwise just because it was cheap.  You might be very surprised to find out that once I stopped using coupons, we were actually able to eat better quality food  for less money.

Why?

Because I was nickel and diming myself to death on the cheapest things I could get, but that we didn't necessarily need.  Sure, our grocery bill was very low, and cooking was a breeze with all those boxes and cans in my pantry that I could just dump into a pot.  But I didn't have planned-out, healthy meals; it was just pure randomness.

Once I started planning healthy meals, and I ditched the coupons, our health improved and our grocery bill went down.  I found that planning trumped randomness on both quality and cost, even when the randomness only cost a few pennies!

 

 

 

2. Use cash.

Paying for my groceries with cash forced me to create a plan and stick to it.

And as I already emphasized, planning plays a gigantic role in lowering the grocery bill.

When I use cash, I am adding up the cost of all the ingredients as I add them to the cart, and if I'm over budget, I can't cover it with a credit card; I'll just have to put something back.

There's no better way to stick to a budget than by giving yourself no other option!

 

 

3. Don't shop on the same day each week.

This strategy might not work for everyone depending on your family's schedule, but one really successful way I have found to keep my grocery budget low is to only shop when I run out of food.

Even though meal planning is important, things don't always go as planned.

  • When I'm cooking I might decide I can use 1/2 the meat that the recipe called for and substitute beans for the rest.
  • We may be invited to someone's house to eat and not end up using the meal that was planned.
  • We may sleep in and have brunch instead of breakfast and lunch that day.
  • etc.

So if I plan to shop once a week, inevitably there will still be random food articles left in the fridge on shopping day.

But if I wait until I've used up everything in the fridge and pantry, I can stretch our budget for an extra day or two (or if I'm really feeling resourceful I can sometimes make it an extra whole week!)

Using everything up before I shop keeps my fridge spic and span without forgotten leftovers rotting in the back too.

 

 

Want even more help reducing your family's grocery budget?

Grocery Budget Bootcamp is a course that my friend Tiffany put together with families like yours in mind.  She has a passion for helping people feed their families well without breaking the bank.  Numerous testimonials like the following are coming from her students:

“I just want to say THANK YOU for the course and the depth it goes into. I've saved $300 from the first 2 weeks!” – Kristen

“In just 2 months I've trimmed my grocery budget by 43% AND saved nearly 10 TIMES what I paid before the course was even over!” – Laura

Enrollment is currently open, BUT only for the next few days.

You can CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

OR

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE MINI-COURSE!

 

 

1 2 3 21