Monday, October 7, 2019

How I Cut My Grocery Spending in Half in September

At the beginning of September, I was inspired by multiple sources to take a look at our spending, create a realistic budget, and stick to it! Some of these sources of inspiration were as follows:

+ The Cultivate a Good Life podcast episodes 48 & 49 where Becky & Becky interview Miranda Anderson (author of the book titled More Than Enough) and then the Beckys discuss their own personal application of what they learned from this book.

+ Hearing about how my friends budget and about how they recently reached some monetary goals.

+ Conversations with friends about @funcheaporfree's "shelftember challenge."

girl sitting with grocery order from Aldi

From what I understood after listening to my friend's descriptions, the "shelftember challenge" was to meal plan around the items you already have on hand. The goal was to keep the spending down to around $25 a week on necessities like milk, eggs, and produce. While I thought this idea was fantastic, I didn't think we could realistically keep our spending as low as $25 a week (groceries in the city are EXPENSIVE). I did, however, love the thought of cooking more, eating out less, and planning meals based around ingredients we have on hand. So that's what I did!

I followed my sister-in-law Dani's example and took a full inventory of everything we had in stock each Saturday in September and wrote it all out on a piece of paper. From there, I got out my cookbooks and planned 6 meals for the week (I left out Friday for date night) based on ingredients in our inventory. Once I had my meals planned, I made lists of all the ingredients necessary to make the planned meals. I checked off each item we already had and grocery shopped online using Instacart for the rest. As I added items to my cart, I checked those off of my list as well.

If you haven't used Instacart and it's available in your area, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Especially if you have kids! An Instacart shopper does the shopping for you and they deliver your groceries right to your door within a couple of hours of ordering. It's SO EASY! After I've submitted each Instacart order, the site shows me how many hours of shopping I saved and sometimes it makes me want to sing because I loathe the grocery store. Instacart has been one of the very best perks of living in the city! Also, this is in no way sponsored. I just really love Instacart!

If you want to give it a try, be sure to use the code PARKERH10A1BF to get $10 towards your first order.

I cooked dinner 26/30 days in September which is UNHEARD OF around here! I have decided to stop calling myself a bad cook haha. If I made supper that many days this month and the majority of the meals I made were actually quite good, I think it's safe to say that I'm an okay cook now. We have lived to tell the tale and I'm really excited to keep this system going!

girl sitting with grocery order from Aldi

If you have any other meal planning, grocery budgeting tips for me, I'd love to hear them!

xoxo, Chelan

P.S. Pin this image below to easily access these tips later!

Food prep with text overlay saying how I cut my grocery spending in September

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Closet Remix 9.29.19

One of my very favorite fashion and lifestyle bloggers to follow is Merrick from Merrick's Art. She is one of my style icons so this week I thought it would be fun to recreate one of her outfits using items from my own closet. Y'all voted for the following outfit on my IG stories this week and Merrick was also kind enough to share my story with her followers so there were a lot of votes from her fans which was fun!

Also, can you believe that she made this skirt?! It's so cute and you can view her sewing tutorial for it here. When I get my sewing machine out of storage in Ohio, I have plans to make a skirt like this using her tutorial.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Easy Meal Round-Up For the First Week of Fall

Yesterday was the first official day of fall according to the calendar but the temperature around here has increased and the humidity is back so it feels like summer again and I'm not mad about it. We did have a few fall-ish days last week which made me want to cook cozy meals so I figured I'd share another easy meal round-up featuring those fall-appropriate dinners!

Easy Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

This recipe is from Yummy Healthy Easy and it's a favorite of ours. We don't eat it as just a bowl of chili, though. For some reason, I've always served this over rice which seems super random but my mom served it that way so that's what I've always done. We are having this meal this week and I'm really excited about it! So easy and delicious! Parker approved (and requested) as well!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Closet Remix 9.21.19

You know those days where you look at your full closet and think to yourself, "I have nothing to wear"? I have been feeling this way for the last couple of weeks and I think I figured out why. I tend to wear the same outfits over and over again rather than using the individual articles of clothing in my closet in different ways. And as a result, I get tired of my wardrobe really quickly. But since Parker and I are on a budget and I can't spend $100 a month on new clothes, I created a little challenge of stretching my closet this last week to try to push my creativity and help me not get so tired of my clothes so fast.

I shared two photos on my Instagram stories of cute fall transition outfits as inspiration and had my IG friends vote on which one I should try to recreate using items already in my closet. This was the inspo photo for this week.