Are you eating your money?

23 May


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Yesterday I took the kids to meet up at the park with a few other mom friends and their kids.  Between stopping our kids from eating dirt and playing with “ABC” gum, 🙂  we did find a little time for some mommy conversation in the shade of the picnic area.  It was a warm, beautiful summer day, and we were relaxed as could be as we talked about everything from our children’s education, Memorial Day plans, and finding time for romance with our husbands.  During a lull in the conversation, I realized that three out of four of us had stopped at Starbucks before coming to the play date, so immediately, the new conversation turned to how we needed to get better at saving money, meal planning, and packing lunches so that we don’t have to spend our hard-earned money at Starbucks, (or eight-bucks,) which is what you’re really more likely to spend. 🙂

So let me ask you the same question we asked each other –  Are you eating your money?  I recently read in another blog an analogy that has stuck with me for some time.  One woman spoke of how every time she bought fast food or went to a restaurant, she realized that she was in essence “eating money” that could be used for a family vacation, her daughter’s ballet lessons, or even a romantic getaway with her husband.  While I am all about eating at a nice restaurant every now and then, I also think that it’s important to consciously do what we can to save money here and there, (especially when it comes to eating out!)

Here are a few ways we came up with to cut back on “eating your money.”

1. If you’re going on a play date with the kids at the park, or even running errands for a few hours, bring a snack.  Most likely, you’ll get hungry, and end up taking the kids through the McDonald’s Drive through or getting a candy bar and a vitamin water while waiting in the long line at Wal-Mart – (I’ve been guilty of the latter so many times.)  🙂  Instead, make your own snack pack complete with a few carrots, some cheese slices, a turkey roll, and a couple of grapes.  And bring a bottle of water and some snacks that the kids will like too so that you won’t have to grab a bag of chips for a hungry toddler who is yelling “chippeeeeees,” during your trip to the grocery store.

2. Instead of eating dinner out, eat lunch or brunch out.  Often, the lunch menu is way cheaper, as well as the Sunday morning brunch menu.  You can get the same meals, (such as the Seafood feast at Ruby Tuesdays,) for almost half of the price on Sunday mornings/afternoons.

3. Bring coupons with you, or go to the places where kids eat free.

4. Eat dinner at home!  People often end up ordering pizza or Chinese b/c they don’t know what to make for dinner.  So many people have caught onto the meal planning craze, as have I! 🙂  I use Dave Ramsey’s emeals – they are easy and yummy, and I have bought dinner for seven nights for two for 44.00/week!  Definitely worth it!  It even lets you choose low fat and low sodium options, the store where you want to shop, and it tells you where the items in the store are located, (such as the deli section, produce section, etc.)  And to top it off, it even plans the meals around items that are on sale for the week, and the meals are never longer than five steps, (and have few ingredients!)  Find out more info here –>

I hope that these tips have helped you!  Please leave (nice) 🙂 comments if you can think of any other ways to save money on food!

***The book is due out in the fall.  I’m just editing all summer.  🙂


8 Responses to “Are you eating your money?”

  1. Melissa J. May 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks for the tips, esp. about the Dave Ramsay site 🙂

    • lholmes79 May 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      You’re welcome! That site has saved my life! If you have any other tips, please share. I know you guys are smart with your money. 🙂

  2. Who I am today... May 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    I enjoyed your post! Have you read Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman? I think that you might enjoy it and agree with much of it. See my quickie review at:

    • lholmes79 May 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Oh thanks so much! I have heard of that book and I have been meaning to get my hands on it, (but have been so busy with the kids.) 🙂 I would love to read your review. Going to check it out in a minute! 🙂

      • Who I am today... May 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

        It’s just a quickie review, but I am working on a formal one for a local magazine in the region where I live. I really enjoyed it. In fact, reading about you chatting at the park with your friends is mirrored by French mothers in the book when the author talks about French mothers chatting at the park while their kids behave and play on their own. 🙂

      • lholmes79 May 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

        Oh wow! That sounds like mine and my friend’s parenting style to the T! 🙂 We always let our kids play independently while we relax. I cannot wait to read this book and your new review. I’ll probably order it tonight. I review books too – in fact, I’m overdue on one that I’ll probably be doing this week up here. 🙂

  3. Crystal @ Serving Joyfully May 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I found you on a link up, and it’s so neat because I just posted today about why I don’t eat out and this is a lot of the reason.

    • lholmes79 May 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

      Yes this is such a great topic! We like to save money so that we can take nice vacations versus eating out all of the time! 🙂 We just went away for Memorial Day, and I had to write a blog about that too! 🙂 I’ll have to check out your post too!

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