Do you start your month with good intentions of sticking to $X amount for groceries and then all of the sudden it is the end of the month and that money is GONE?
Here are 5 ways I have survived the end of the month shortage of funds in the grocery area.
Did you stock up on chicken last month and have some in the freezer still? Do you have some chicken broth, cream of mushroom, or cans of anything in the pantry.
Even if it is 1 jar of sauce, a single frozen meal, write it down.
List your meats, vegetables, sauces, frozen meals and more. Many times I buy things that are a good deal and they are sitting in the pantry or freezer but I have never used them.
This is my #1 Go To Website when I am trying to stretch things out. Go to the “Ingredient Search” section. Add the ingredients that you have on hand. It will show you meals you can make with what you have-or maybe you only need to buy 1 or 2 things to make something instead of buying for a whole extra meal.
If you have some chicken, cream of mushroom and some frozen broccoli- there is a long list of items you can make. When I pulled this up- I realized I had rice too and I had 2 meals I could make that did not cost me any extra. This could make your list shorter.
Make a menu from where you are-until the end of the month. Add the meals that you can make with what you have to the menu. If you have to have cereal everyday-write it down. If you or your kids won’t like what is on the menu-writing it down and informing them will prepare them and let them get mad all at once so they can get over it before meal time.
If you would like the meal planner and shopping list in one form I created-email me Diana@pantryoverflow.com and I will send it to you!
#4 Be Creative.
If your kids are a little bit older you can tell them ” I am not going to go grocery shopping for ____ days. What can we make out of what we have?
- *Breakfast for dinner-pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, cereal.
- *Everyone has a different item– Many times I clean out the fridge or freezer with random items and I tell everyone I am trying to use up what we have so that I can buy more groceries. One of them will have a pot pie, another Cup of Noodles, a chicken quesadilla, whatever I pull out that needs to be used up.
- Create meals that have the same ingredients. Ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese can give make you cheeseburgers, tacos, nachos, and salad. This will shorten your list and stretch it out without feeling like you are eating the same meals.
#5 Plan for next month.
Sometimes there is just nothing you can do because you already blew it. Happens to everyone. BUT- are you going to do it again next month? You can decide that right now. Figure out where you went wrong this month. Did you spend too much at the beginning? Did you buy too much at Costco or Sam’s Club and not have enough for actual food? Did you buy too many “really good deals” but not have enough for “really good food”? Did you make a menu, a list, a budget? By figuring out where it went wrong and deciding how you can correct the problem, you can avoid it happening again. If it is the end of the month-you only have a few days to start over! Look ahead to next month and start planning now. Do you have events, parties, school lunches etc? Make sure your shopping list has these items on there so you will make less trips to the store and not buy any unnecessary items.
- Stay out of the store. If you don’t go in, you wont spend any money.
- Do not use your credit card. Even though it is tempting-it is a temporary solution and you will end up here again.
- If you do go into the store-stick to your menu, list, and budget. NO EXTRAS.
- Do not go crazy at the beginning of the month just because you finally have money again. Think the whole month through if you have to.
- Do not go out to eat. Yes, it is easier-but that money could go towards meals at home.
- Stick to the sale items in the ad and use your coupons.
- There will be MORE deals again when you have money-don’t let that fear of missing out actually cause you to miss out! Deals cycle through again.
If you are in this or a similar situation and need more specific help-please feel free to email me your situation and I would love to further help you. I have been in many different financial situations over the years and yet I have survived. Just email Diana@pantryoverflow.com!
Here is $50 From POSTMATES!!!!
It isn’t $50 all at once, but $5 for 10 orders!
Which is still awesome because if you choose the PICKUP option-you can get free/cheap pizza. coffee, soda, desserts, sides, etc! My kids got Sub sandwiches, soda and cookies-and friends and readers have got many different combinations as well!
Here is a reader’s pic sent to me-
They ordered 5 orders and got $5 off on each one and picked up dinner for the family! the 5 orders came to $3.69!
I live in Northern California and Southwest had a $29 flight sale for Wednesday and Thursday flights and my birthday just happened to be on a Wednesday-so we flew out Wednesday morning on the earliest flight-and headed back on the next to the latest flight home!
When I went with just my husband we were there longer than just one day, so we took some time to explore and try out lots of food and tourist spots. Then, when we came back with the kids-and we were only there for 1 day- we knew how to make the most of it. My parents, brother and his family all live in So Cal, so they met us in San Diego when we got there and it was just one of the best days of my life. We had so much fun.
I know some people who are headed to San Diego this Summer so I am really writing this post for you guys because there is SO MUCH you can do in San Diego without spending very much money.
If you are flying-wait for a deal-you should be able to get $49 and $59 flights. If you are driving-which is cheaper if you can avoid stopping for food several times along the way- Pack food, snacks, and drinks with you! The more you stop-the more you spend!
Each time someone had to go to the bathroom on my last trip-someone wanted to buy food, snacks, coffee or something and I know that could have been eliminated because on the way there I spend $0-on the way home $60!
Once we got to San Diego it was still pretty early in the morning so business areas were not open.
We headed to Coronado. Driving over the SUPER TALL bridge is an event in itself!! It is so high!
Once over, park along the beach-as close to Hotel del Coronado as you can! My husband and I actually stayed at this hotel for his birthday and it is absolutely gorgeous! It is a Hilton hotel if you are an Honors Member or have points for your stay- HIGHLY recommend.
Even though we did not stay there with the kids, we went there so I could show them how beautiful it was!
It is on the beach and you can walk through the hotel and the property and it’s shops which is just agreat sight to see. Also along the streets there are lots of shops you can look through as well. It is just very pretty.
After Coronado we went over to Old San Diego at 10 am.
Lots to look at there. A favorite of mine-and the kids was Candle Making! You just buy a plain wax candle and you can dip it in to the colors and make your own design. They had candle sticks 4 for $5 for basic ones, we got some that were $2 each. This was a very cheap and fun souvenir!
Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop
2645 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110
We walked through the shops and tried on wrestling masks, ponchos, and found some sweatshirts etc.
Another CHEAP Souvenir Idea-PRESSED PENNIES!
EVERY part of San Diego has pressed penny machines. You put in 2 quarters and a penny-turn the crank and a pressed penny with a picture of your spot you are at comes out. Each machine has a few options to choose from.
My boys got so into this that $1-$2 per machine was entertainment and souvenir enough for them that was all they asked for!
I bought an empty book they sell for $5 there and they started collecting them! This has paid off on later vacations as well. Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, etc all had machines like this so they just needed a couple bucks for souvenirs! Just save your quarters and SHINY pennies!
In Old San Diego we ate at the Mexican Restaurant-
2754 Calhoun St, San Diego, CA 92110
There were 13 of us and we had the whole outside patio area for our group which made it very special-and we did not have to wait. PLUS-the food was very good!
There are LOTS of shops to look through and we even saw a performer that was breathing fire (strange to me, but kids were entertained FREE!) We walked through the shops-some had cupcakes, some had dessert there too. It was nice. Make sure you pay for parking- we forgot and received a parking ticket on that stop. The newer area had neat shops, boutiques, Starbucks and a jail you can get some fun pics and read some history in (FREE)
After that we headed to the USS MIDWAY Aircraft Carrier
We parked in the parking lot by the Kissing Statue and took pictures. We took pictures of the carrier too, but did not tour it. We did walk along it and down along the outside of it.
The “Kissing Statue” is at the Port of San Diego. The 25-foot installation — officially known as “Unconditional Surrender” — recreates the famous embrace between a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II in New York’s Times Square in 1945
We did not take tour the USS MIDWAY aircraft because of time, but hung out by the statue and took some pictures recreating it, walked past the carrier looked at the “Pirate ship” took some pictures all around this area.
This is the area my husband and I had l lunch at the Carnitas Shack-DEFINITELY worth going. These were our tacos and they were so big! I didn’t eat the shell of my tacos and they were very filling! And the GUACAMOLE WAS INCLUDED!
We walked through the Gaslamp district and that is where my husband had Burger Lounge for the first time (since then we have fortunately got one in Saceramento!)
San Diego, CA 92101
b/t Island Ave & Market St
Let me tell you-if you only go to ONE place with your family-GO HERE
First of all-it is very cool looking with all of the surf memorabilia
-2nd super affordable.
Tell them you want fries and onion rings for the group and they bring out just the right amount of baskets for everyone-then order your burgers. If you are contemplating bacon-GET IT- they are very generous with it and somehow it was the best bacon on a burger I have ever had. For 13 of us the bill was less than $100 and we were very full. They let us take pictures, took pictures for us, photo bombed them all– very fun and GREAT food.
There is a big shopping area with stores and all that-which is fun to walk through if you have time- there are some murals and fountains..but I would pick this last since many of the stores you may have on your own city.
It is just fun walking through places you have never been-and then taking cool pictures there!
If you have Snapchat- use it!! The filters are VERY FUN- and then you will remember where you took your pictures at when you look at them later!
We ended our day at Mission Beach. It was a beautiful sunset tehre. The kids enjoyed the roller coaster, rides and carnival games. They have an Escape Room, Laser Maze (waste of Money don’t fall for it!!!) Zip lining, gift shops and some nice surf stores. If it isn’t in your budget, skip this area. It was nice for the beach and to walk through-but it is really hard to tell your kids “No” to thinks that look SUPER FUN! I spend more in this area than I planned to, but the kids loved it-except for the Laser Maze-lasted 30 seconds.
There are many other places you can go too- SEAL BEACH is awesome if you make it to La Jolla .
I really love just taking great pictures and having fun! Playing at the beach is free and that is my favorite too! Leave a comment if you have another attraction is San Diego you enjoy!!!
Earn a FREE $10 Movie ticket when you buy 3 Participating Kellogg’s Cereals at TARGET!
- Toy Story 4 Cereal 17.9 ounces
- Frosted Mini Wheats 24 ounces
- Rice Krispies 24 ounces
- Apple Jacks 19, 4 oz
- Froot Loops 19.4 ounces
- Honey Nut Frosted Flakes 24 ounces
- Cocoa Krispies 24 ounces
- Frosted Flakes 24 ounces
Go to KelloggsFamilyRewards.com make sure you are a member-
and you can also print coupons for the cereal and pay even less!
Check your Ibotta app as well because you can get cash back for buying Apple Jacks!
There are some AWESOME deals at Smart & Final this week to help you with your Memorial Day celebration!!
These deals start 5/22 and continue through Tuesday 5/28!
Foster Farms Chicken Half Breasts $.89 lb.
Farmer John Pork Spareribs $1.69 (this is an AWESOME PRICE!)
This is the BEST deal on cans of soda this week!
4 for $10 for 12 packs of Pepsi or 8 12 oz. bottles!
You do have to buy 4, and spend $25, which is easy because of the great deals this week!
Minute Maid Lemonades 4 for $5
Shasta Soda 2 Liters $.79 each
Crystal Geyser Water Bottles 35 ct. $3.99
First Street Milk 1% and 2% $2.65
This is also the best produce deal!
Sweet WHOLE Watermelon $2.99 each!
Sweet Blueberries 18 oz. $2.99
Nabisco Cookies and Crackers $1.99 each
You can use the $.75 off 2 Nabisco Products coupon from 5/19 SS
Johnsonville Brats or Sausage $3.49
(cheapest of any store this week!)
Bush’s Baked Beans $1.79
Nabisco Snack Packs 12 ct. $3.99
Use $1 off Coupon from 5/12 SS
Here is a CBS 13 Sacramento news segment I was featured in with a couple other bloggers with Vacation Savings Tips! There are SO MANY ways to save money!
Planning a vacation this Summer? Traveling with kids? As a mom of 7 I am going to share with you some tips that have helped me through the years -and some things I wish I knew before!
1. If you use a credit card, do you have one where you earn rewards or points? We have a Hilton American Express where we accumulate points for hotel rooms. We also have a Southwest VISA where we accumulate points for flights. We don’t always have enough for our whole trip-but many times it has helped cut the expense!
WARNING: If you are not disciplined in paying your credit cards off, these can be very high interest and you may end up paying more in interest than what a hotel would actually cost. I have fallen into bad habits and realized that the hard way-so this tip is for the disciplined! FYI- HIlton Embassy Suites is our family favorite for their full breakfast buffet (included)!
2. Depending on the attraction you are visiting-neighboring hotels may have tickets and events included as part of a package which may save you even more. I have seen this at Great America, Magic Mountain-and even the Disney Hotels have packages that include the hotels and passes. This may also give you additional benefits!
3. I have a larger family and as they are getting older-hotels can seem a little cramped-or expensive getting multiple rooms. You can check out vacation rental homes or Air BNB for local houses to rent. This can help your food expenses as well because you can go to the grocery store and stock up and eat before and after for less!
4. Find out if your hotel has a shuttle to and from where you are going if it is not within walking distance. If they have a shuttle you may be able to avoid paying for parking! Sometimes even an Uber or Lyft to your location may be cheaper than the parking fee.
1. Check if the attraction or park you are attending will allow outside food and drinks. Bringing bottled water and snacks with you can save a great deal of money (and time standing in line). If not-plan your meals and snacks BEFORE you enter!
2. If you are staying in a hotel-make sure it includes breakfast! With a big family we save lots of money just for breakfast alone! I tell the kids to eat up because we are only eating once in the park. Then we will eat dinner after we are done (if it closes early) If the park is open until Midnight then you may have to plan for a 2nd meal in the park.
3. Kids meals- many times the kids meals are close to the same size as the adult meals-but cheaper! Often they come with a drink too! My teen girls never eat all of their food anyways. Also, you can split meals too. You aren’t going to be able to bring leftovers home so you can maybe have the smaller kids split something and then they can have a snack if they are still hungry. Also a huge pretzel could be quite filling to hold you until dinner-and cheaper than a meal!
4. Buy the refillable cups, popcorn, anything. If you have the refillable items buy them right away. Then you will avoid buying extra snacks-and avoid the constant asking if they can have something else. Plus-they can share!
1. Look for packages when you book a hotel and see if the tickets are included!
2. Look for discount coupons and promotions at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, etc. I saw $8 off Raging Waters coupons at the check stand at Smart & Final. May seem small, but if you start looking you will start noticing the offers around you.
3. Check the Season Pass prices! You may have to spend a little bit extra at the beginning-but it could provide you with multiple trips and family time without spending extra money later! You also won’t have to keep buying souvenirs, or staying as long for visits when you know you can come back at anytime! And-if they have parking passes- buy one! Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Season Passes are on sale this Memorial Day Weekend and it includes a free parking pass! GO HERE for details!
1. Ok- this one only works for little kids. This is an example from what I did. Before we went to Legoland I went to Target and bought T-shirts with Lego guys on them for $8 and a small lego set. When we got to the hotel I gave them to my boys! They got to wear their Lego shirts IN Legoland, and they knew that when we got back to the room they got to build a Lego set! They didn’t ask for souvenirs because they already had them! I spent less than $20 per kid that trip on souvenirs! I miss them being little…
2. Older kids- If they are going to want souvenirs and it is in your budget-give them a set amount of money. Say “Here is $30 for souvenirs”. Then they get to decide without asking you for random stuff throughout the day or being mad that you said no because it was too expensive.
Whatever your budget, if you plan ahead you will spend less. If you do have a budget-try to communicate that to everyone so the arguments may not come up. I have had to tell my kids ” We can go- but this is what we actually have the money for” and then if they agree to it and know ahead of time-they are totally fine.
Many times we just go to a beach. I can bring all my own food and the sand and waves are FREE! But-for those times you want to go BIG- spend time planning and saving. My kids know that we are going to go to Disneyland in September and we have a plan of what we want to do there. So, we needed a few extra months to prepare and save. Since they know that-they will easily support me when I say-let’s just go to the beach a few times in the summer so we can save our money for Disneyland! Then it is a family project too!
Feel free to add to the list in the comments-or email me Diana@pantryoverflow.com if you have any feedback or questions!!!
Buy 3 Blue Diamond Almond Milks
Go to activaterewards.com/almondbreeze
Submit your receipt and get a $12 Movie Ticket!
Here is a great deal too
Blue Diamond Almond Milk 96.oz (Large refrigerated) $4
Print $1 off Blue Diamond Almond Milk 96 oz.
Submit for $1 Cash Back from Ibotta!
If you have 3 coupons, you will pay $6 (after cash back) for 3 large almond milks and a Movie Pass!!
Either way, the smaller cartons are on sale for $2-$3 most places! You will still spend less than $12!
Buy 3 Dr Pepper 12 packs and get a Movie Ticket for Spider Man!!
Many times the tickets are for any movie, but if you want them for Spiderman-I would wait for a sale!
When you buy 2 Ziploc Avengers or Disney bags- you can submit your receipt for a $9 movie ticket~~
Go HERE to enter your receipt or get more details on this offer-ends 6/30
This deal ends May 22- so hopefully I remember to update this post-(check your date as you read this!)
When you buy 3 General Mills participating products- get a $13 Movie Ticket!
The items are the LARGER cereal boxes, the larger Go-Gurt packages, and the larger pack of Yoplait yogurts, Go HERE for the details and to enter your receipt!!
Not savings related, but wanted to to share with you all!
Here I am with my daughter Megan-we got to be part of the Future Forward campaign this year!
The commercial is playing on TV!!
And— if you are out and about and see this billboard- this is my daughter (proud mom right??)
They have been spotted off of 80, South Sacramento, and Elk Grove so far!!