Money Talks: Eating Well on a Budget + a GIVEAWAY!!!

June 14, 2017

Money Saving Cookbook Giveaway

Talking about money and saving is not necessarily the most exciting subject and it can seem impossible at times to actually save money.  I have the opportunity at work to cut down on my hours in order to spend a WHOLE extra day at home with my little one, and despite the anxiety I have of making less money, I am taking it.  Less money coming in + goals the husband and I have = less money better be going out. Two of the things I am working at to help save money are:

#1 Reign in my impulse buys

At one time I was following 20 different pages on facebook that were aimed at selling products. Not only was I following, but  I was buying  these items on a regular basis. I followed Amazon pages  that alerted me when good sales came up. Baby sites with too cute clothes and accessories. A car seat cover for $35?!? Yes I need that (Spoiler: no I absolutely did not need that). 

Unfollowing these types of pages has severely decreased my online spending. And I truly do not miss it, knowing that I have an extra wad of cash in my bank account at the end of every month. Not to say I will never buy any of those items again- but maybe now it will be when I actually need something and not just because I see it.

#2 Shopping with a Plan

With just two adults and a baby we sure go through a lot of food. If we are not careful, a shopping trip to Meijer can easily cost us upwards of $300 (paper goods and personal items included).

I have been trying to be more purposeful in my grocery and personal/paper good shopping by doing some of the following things

A.Making a list

It is just too easy to come home with a huge haul of groceries and the next day realize that I do not have anything to actually make something. Missing some key ingredient of what I thought up that night = last minute running to the store=spending way more money.  I try to take inventory of what we have in the house- honing in on perishables and those expensive ingredients (meat) that we need to use up. Then I plan what meals I can around these items. This helps decrease food waste as well as keep me from buying things that we already have.

B. Checking ads, rebate apps and coupons

I regularly use the ibotta and Checkout51 apps to see if anything on my list is included in rebates. Seriously, free money with only a little work- ibotta has recently made it even easier to get your rebates as now you do not have to scan your individual products: just select what rebates you want to use and take a picture of your receipt. THAT simple. Click here to use my referral link to sign up today!  (or click the link above to visit the site without my referral link).

I am also an avid Mperks user for Meijer stores (Yay Midwest.. LOVE meijer!).  They have also made their app SO Much easier to use. You now just have to USE mperks at checkout to earn towards rebates- no more missing out because you forgot to select the rebate prior to your shopping trip. They always have a huge selection of manufacturer coupons in addition to Meijer brand.   Click here to sign up for mperks if you are near a Meijer retailer.

I like to do a quick scan of the ADs at the stores I am planning on going to. The max number of stores I am willing to travel to for a good deal? Two.. any more than that and to me, it just isn’t worth it.  Looking through the ads can help you to make your list as well. Choosing items that are on sale and/or in season to be the stars of your meals can help reduce costs.

C. Shopping at ALDI first

If you do not live near an Aldi store- I am SORRY! This place is seriously awesome for stocking up on all sorts of foods. Being that they are a small grocer, I am not usually able to find EVERYTHING that we need/want for the week, but at least 2/3 of our shopping can be done here for a fraction of the price of any other major retailer. At Aldi’s, I like to buy snack foods for the hubby’s lunch, wine, dairy products (hello half gallons of lactose free milk!) including specialty cheeses, meat, canned goods and, depending on the season, produce. Shopping here first, then hitting up the larger retail stores saves SO much time and a serious amount of money.

While saving money, I am not willing to sacrifice the health of the meals that I am preparing and feeding to my family. Lucky for me, eating healthy does not require spending a lot of money. In fact, buying whole foods and preparing them yourself can be quite simple and much cheaper than buying foods pre-made,

This leads into…….

the giveaway!!!!

For Plate Half Full RD’s FIRST giveaway, I am including two amazing cookbooks and resources for eating well while still keeping money in your bank account.

Good and Cheap

Leanne Brown  wrote this book to prove that you can eat well on $4 a day. There are a TON of recipes (and beautiful pictures to accompany them) ranging from oatmeal ideas (you know i’ve tried all of those. yum!) and snacks to big batch dinner cooking for a crowd. Visit Leanne’s website here for more information on her book and it’s message.

Good and Cheap Cookbook


Budget Bytes

Beth Moncel, creator of, put together a whole book of amazingness. First off, I am a HUGE fan of her blog and make many of her recipes frequently. Beef and Pineapple Enchiladas are a serious staple in our house (most often made with venison= even cheaper, healthier, and more delicious!) and I have probably tried more recipes from her blog than any other single site. Her book includes 11 chapters of delicious, mostly simple recipes and tips along with sample menus.

Budget Bytes Book

Enter below for your chance to win these two great reads! Who wouldn’t want to eat delicious food AND have some extra money in their wallet?!

The giveaway will be open from 12:00 AM Wednesday 6/14/17 to 12:00 AM Friday 6/23/17!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK and Thank you for entering the giveaway! Of course sharing on facebook or liking the post is not necessary for entry, but …Sharing is Caring♥


More about Kelsey

    1. Great blog, Kels! Can’t wait to read more! My favorite snack are blackberries and raspberries 👍 I eat them almost every morning at school and I’m wondering if this is why I didn’t use any sick days this year 👍

      1. Speaking of berries, we are SO close to berry season in Michigan! Do you know of any local you-pick berry farms? I want to pick and freeze a bunch so Harper (and I 😉) can enjoy them all year this year!

    1. Exactly what I need! Haven’t been to aldi in awhile but I think it’s time to go back. My husband likes to do the staple grocery shopping fast and cheap and I like to read all the labels aiming for healthier options. Do a swaps post soon… any also high protein non meat meal options. I love this blog.

      1. Vegetarian high-protein options is a great idea! That goes hand in hand with savibg money too, goosing meatless options a few meals a week (even if you are not vegetarian) can help keep food costs down.

    1. Great article! I love Aldi too! I will have to check ibotta out again. I wished you lived closer. We are part of an organic CSA from June- Oct. You would love it!!

      1. I was part of a CSA a few years ago and it was awesome! I wish I would have bought into one this year, it is such a good way to save money on fresh local produce.

    1. Aldi is definitely a life saver. We do most of our grocery shopping there now!

      1. If I was not a “brand snob”over a few select items, I probably wouldn’t even need to go to another store! Thanks for the comment 😊

    1. Yes! I’ve unfollowed and unsubscribed from so many pages and company emails! And I definitely never shop without a list anymore. I need to do better about checking for coupons and going to ALDI more often. Great post!

      1. That reminds me that i need to clean out my email inbox and unsubscribe! I had forgotten about how many manufacturers and retailers are reaching me through email. Thanks for the extra tip!

    1. Eating on $4 a day?! Amazing. Obviously takes some organization, but oh, the trips I could go on with the savings. Thanks for the tips – and contest!

      1. Your welcome! It is almost a game sometimes to see how little you can spend for a well rounded healthy meal! It definitely takes planning but it is so worth it!

    1. I am loving your blog Kels! So inspirational and obtainable! You make it easy. Thank you!!!

      1. Thank you Amber! I felt like I had lost my passion as a dietitian and writing this is completely inspiring me.. I am so glad people actually like to read what I am writing 😄

    1. These are great tips! I definitely need to reign in my impulse buys — that’s where I always get in trouble.

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