30 Fun and Frugal Date Ideas

Just because you’re on a tight budget or trying to save some money doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your significant other. Here are 30 frugal date ideas for having fun together without spending much money.

Frugal Date Ideas with free printable

 

What’s your favourite cheap date idea? Mine’s a toss up between going hiking or visiting the farmer’s market. I’d love to hear yours!

Want a copy of this list of frugal date ideas? Download it for free here.

3 Money Saving Challenges for 2017 – FREE Printables

One of the best ways to save money, instead of just saying you want to start saving more money, is to have a plan. Have a goal, and figure out how much you need to put aside on a regular basis to meet that goal by a certain date.

A Money Saving Challenge makes it easier for you to keep track of your progress as you work towards your savings goal, by setting a specific amount to save each week.3 Money Saving Challenges for 2017. Save up to $1404 in one year. Free printable tracking sheets.

Today, I’m sharing 3 printable 52 Week Money Saving Challenges to help you save more money this year.

  • 52 Week Money Saving Challenge
  • Reverse 52 Week Money Saving Challenge
  • 26 Paydays Biweekly Money Saving Challenge

By completing any of these three challenges over the next year you will save between $1378 and $1404.

Whether you have a specific thing you’re saving for (a trip, a car, house down payment, renovations, money for next year’s Christmas shopping) or just want to increase your savings account balance for peace of mind, these challenges can help you reach your saving goals.

  • Click on any of the photos below to download the free printable Money Saving Challenge tracking sheet.

 

1. 52 Week Money Saving Challenge – Save $1378 in one year

The concept behind the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge is simple. Each week you put an extra dollar towards your savings, and at the end of one year you will have saved $1378. This plan starts out nice and easy to help build the savings habit.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge - Weekly tracking - free printable

(Click on the image to download the free printable 52 Week Money Saving Challenge tracker.)

 

2. Reverse 52 Week Money Saving Challenge – Save $1378 in one year

This challenge starts off with saving larger amounts in the early weeks and gradually declines over the year. There’s a couple of advantages to doing the Reverse Money Saving Challenge. First, you get the hardest work done first, when you’re likely the most motivated to save. You can see your balance growing quickly right away, which helps keep you motivated to stick with the plan.

Download this free printable 52 week money saving challenge tracking sheet to saye over $1300 in one year.

(Click on the image to download the free printable Reverse 52 Week Money Saving Challenge tracker.)

 

3. Biweekly Money Saving Challenge – Save $1404 in one year

This challenge is ideal for people who get paid biweekly (every two weeks). Put aside the specified amount every payday and you’ll hardly notice that you’re building up a nest egg that will grow to over $1400 over the year.

Biweekly Money Saving Challenge | Saving Our Money - Save over $1400 in one year with this free printable money saving challenge

(Click on the image to download the free printable 26 Paydays Biweekly Money Saving Challenge tracker.)

So, if you’d like to increase your savings this year, pick one of these 3 money savings challenges, print out the free printable tracking sheet and start saving!

I’d love to hear which money saving challenge you’re going to do this year! What are you saving for?

Good luck!

6 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Budget

If you’re trying to save more money this year, looking for ways to save money on groceries is a great place to start. Food costs keep going up and this trend will likely continue into the foreseeable future.

6 ways to stretch your grocery budget. Money saving tips.

These days, maintaining a healthy diet can really take a toll on your budget. Fresh ingredients and healthy meal alternatives tend to be expensive. So, every bit of money you save while shopping counts. Consider these 6 tips to help you stretch your grocery budget. Your wallet will be glad you did!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links, at no cost to you.

1. Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals a week or month ahead of time means you know exactly what you need to buy when you go shopping. This helps to keep you from picking up things you don’t absolutely need or won’t end up using. Meal planning also helps you avoid expensive take out food or ready-made meals. Making meals ahead of time and having them in your freezer can be a huge time and money saver.

Need some help getting started with meal planning? Check out these helpful meal planning resources:

Freezer Cooking: 10 Tips for Getting Started

$5 Meal Plan

eMeals

Once A Month Meals

Freezer Meals 101

Freezer Meals for Moms

Real Food Planning Challenge

2. Take Advantage of Coupons and Money Saving Apps

Coupons are a great way to save money at the grocery store. Look for coupons in the newspaper or online that offer deals on food items that you use often. While finding coupons can take a bit of time, it’s well worth the savings. Some stores now offer discount programs rather than coupons, which let you save money after registering for a free account.

Apps like Checkout 51, Zweet and Caddle allow you to get cash back on certain products you purchase while grocery shopping. These savings can really add up, so be sure to download these apps onto your phone and check them whenever you go shopping.

3. Make It Yourself

Many of the things that you commonly buy at the store can easily be made at home. Making your own snack foods such as muffins, cookies or granola bars is quite easy and will save you money. Not only that, but they will likely taste better and be healthier for you than the store-bought versions. Baking your own bread gives you a tasty alternative to buying several loaves of bread every month.

4. Drink More Water

Whether it’s soda, coffee, tea, or juice, beverages represent a costly part of every shopping trip. To combat this, try to drink more water and less of other beverages – your wallet and your health will both benefit!

5. Grow Your Own Food

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but can be quite expensive at the grocery store. If you have a bit of space in your yard, or even a sunny spot on a balcony, you can easily grow some of your own fruits, vegetables or herbs to help cut your grocery bill down during the growing season. If you’ve got room to grow extra, you can really save money by canning or freezing some of the surplus to eat the rest of the year.

Want to get started growing some of your own vegetables? Check out these handy vegetable gardening resources:

Food to Grow: A simple, no-fail guide to growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs

7 Easy to Grow Vegetables for Gardening Beginners

Simple Ways to Save Money on Gardening

6. Don’t Throw Food Away

Try not to let any of your food go to waste. After all, you paid for it! Make sure that you save all of your leftovers and attempt to eat them before they spoil. Have a plan for leftovers so that they don’t end up in the garbage. Try to find a use for stale or over-ripe food, such as making browned bananas into banana bread or muffins and bruised apples into applesauce.

Shopping smart and stretching your grocery budget is probably simpler than you think. These tips will definitely get you started!

Easy Berry Chia Yogurt Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Looking for a quick and easy healthy breakfast idea? This berry chia yogurt breakfast bowl is nutritious, delicious and so easy to make. It’s the perfect way to get your day off to a healthy start!

It also makes a delicious healthy snack any time of day.

Berry Chia Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

Berry Chia Yogurt Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup of Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons honey, divided
1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
2/3 cup of chopped berries (strawberries, blueberries and/or raspberries)
1/4 cup of granola
1 Tablespoon of sliced almonds
1 Tablespoon of pomegranate seeds

Makes 1-2 servings.

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, and chia seeds.

Mix together greek yogurt, honey and chia seeds.

In this order, layer yogurt mixture, berries and granola into a bowl.

Berry Chia Yogurt Breakfast Bowl - mix together greek yogurt, chia seeds and honey.
Strawberries, blueberries and pomegranate seeds for berry yogurt chia breakfast bowl

Sprinkle with almonds and pomegranate seeds, and drizzle remaining honey over top.

Healthy breakfast or snack idea: Fruit chia yogurt breakfast bowl

Enjoy!

A Berry Yogurt Chia Breakfast Bowl is a healthy way to start the day

 

A healthy and yummy way to start the day - a breakfast bowl with greek yogurt, berries, granola, honey and pomegranate seeds.

This recipe also works really well when you layer it into parfait dishes. If you’re having trouble getting your kids to eat a healthy breakfast, try this as a breakfast parfait – they’re sure to love it!

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Latte Recipe

Slow cooker gingerbread latte recipe - an easy and delicious recipe for the holidays

Winter weather is here, and the Christmas holidays are just around the corner. ‘Tis the season for holiday get-togethers, delicious food and of course yummy hot drinks like fancy lattes and hot chocolates.

Before you plunk down $5 (or more!) for a specialty drink at your favourite coffee shop, why not try making a delicious latte at home at a fraction of the cost? This Slow Cooker Gingerbread Latte recipe is so easy to make, and is the perfect treat to enjoy while you’re doing some online shopping, wrapping gifts or watching your favourite holiday movie with your family.

It’s also a wonderful drink to enjoy on Christmas morning or at a holiday get-together with friends. It’s easy to make a big batch of it so you have lots to go around.

slowcookergingerbreadlattecloseup

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Latte Recipe

Ingredients:

5 cups of strong brewed coffee*
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 cup of half and half cream
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
Whipped cream (optional)

*Instead of coffee, you may also use 5 cups of water + 10 teaspoons of espresso powder

Directions:

  1. Pour the coffee into the slow cooker.
  2. Add in the molasses, cream, and spices. Stir with whisk to combine well.
  3. Cover and heat on high for 45 minutes or low for 2 hours.
  4. Ladle into mugs or glasses. (Be careful – drink will be very hot!)
  5. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

easy to make this gingerbread latte in your crockpot

 

slow cooker gingerbread latte recipe