Quick Instant Pot Meals Perfect for Hectic Days

Have you made the plunge into the world of the Instant Pot? Need quick Instant Pot meals?

You’re in the right place. The Instant Pot is a time and money saver to many busy families. There are some recipes which are easier than others.

Therefore, I’m bringing you a few useful recipes, from around the internet, to help you throw together a delicious meal, in your Instant Pot, even when time is short.

Here are quick Instant Pot meals perfect for busy days or nights:

1. Easy Instant Pot Hibachi Fried Rice for a Quick Instant Pot Meal

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2. Instant Pot Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

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3. Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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4. Quick Instant Pot Meal: Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes

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5. Instant Pot Stuffed Shells Are the Ultimate Quick Instant Pot Meal

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6. Instant Pot Easy Chili Mac

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7. Instant Pot Sausage and Potatoes for a Quick Instant Pot Meal

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8. Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder

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9. Instant Pot Chicken Marsala

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10. 20-Minute Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls

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11. Instant Pot Country Style Ribs for a Quick Instant Pot Meal

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12. Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

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13. Instant Pot Spaghetti

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14. Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

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15. Instant Pot Broccoli, Cheese, Chicken, and Rice

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16. Instant Pot Chicken Stuffing Casserole

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17. Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

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18. Healthy Instant Pot Beef Gyros

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19. Instant Pot Chicken and Mushrooms

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20. Instant Pot Charro Beans is a Quick Instant Pot Meal

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21. Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo

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22. Instant Pot Potato Soup

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23. Instant Pot French Toast

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This completes our tour of quick meals in your Instant Pot. They can be used to make a healthy lunch for meal prep, fast dinners on a busy night, and there’s even a recipe which might work for breakfast on the run.

Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to utilize your Instant Pot in a whole new way. Happy cooking! 

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Make Working from Home Easier With These 11 Tips

Work from Home Easier with these 11 Tips

Has COVID-19 put you in the position to work from home? Are you searching for ways to make working from home easier?

I’ve been working from home for six years, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I love my jobs, I love the industry I’m in, but the struggles are real when working remotely.

This is why I’ll be bringing you a few tips to make working from home easier. Here’s what you must know:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. You Need a Schedule to Make Working from Home Easier

work from home easier photo 1
Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can lounge around all day. You still have a job to do.

It’s a good idea to create a schedule and decide what your working hours will be. Create a work routine and stick to it to make working from home easier.

2. Create Goals

work from home easier photo 2
Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

Every Sunday, I sit down with my calendar and a piece of paper. I look at everything I need to get done in the upcoming week.

It’s important to have goals for the week to ensure you’re moving forward when you’re not feeling motivated.

3. The Kids Must be Entertained to Make Working from Home Easier

If you’re a parent and trying to work from home, you probably have a million interruptions a day. It’s important to keep your children occupied while you work.

You can supply art projects, chores, allow them their electronics time, or hire a nanny to care for the kids while you work.

4. An Office is a Must to Make Working from Home Easier

work from home easier photo 3
Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

If you want to make working from home easier, create an office space. This can be difficult if you don’t have a ton of room.

At our previous house, I was able to convert an extra bedroom into an office. I now live in a much smaller home, so I’ve turned a corner of my bedroom into my office space. It works, and I have ample room to get my job done.

5. Rest is Essential to Make Working from Home Easier

It may sound odd, but if you want to make working from home easier, stay rested. If you’re tired, it can make staying focused on your job extremely difficult.

This is why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. It might even be a good idea to take a power nap on your lunch break to help you feel rested and focused.

6. Be Flexible to Make Working from Home Easier

If you can’t be flexible, working from home will be difficult. The reality is, when you work from home, life happens.

A package will be delivered, your dog will bark, or the kids will need something in the midst of your work schedule. Learn to smile and roll with it.

7. Work Away from Home to Make Working from Home Easier

If your home is a madhouse, you may not be able to work from home effectively. Don’t assume that because your job has allowed you to go remote that this means you must work at home.

Pack up your computer and head to a quiet place to work (if you can.) A coffee house, library, or even a quiet spot outside might make an adequate office space for you.

8. Routine Will Make Working from Home Easier

I’ve already discussed the importance of creating a work schedule, but you also must maintain a routine to make working from home easier.

If you get up, eat breakfast, start work, and end your workday at the same time, your body will become adjusted. It will be as if you were working in a traditional office setting.

9. Take Scheduled Breaks

Scheduled breaks are a must when you work from home. I usually take a break between jobs. Where I’m a freelancer, I work for multiple clients.

I make it a point to take a break between projects because my brain will start to feel like mush otherwise. Find the times when you need a mental break, schedule it into your day, and take a breather.

10. Take Advantage of What You Can Do

Working from home can be tough, but there are a ton of benefits. You no longer need to commute, you can do what you want when you take a break, and you’re always there for those in your home when they need you.

Take advantage of the benefits working-from-home provides. When you take a break, bake something. Since you’re no longer commuting, get extra sleep in the mornings. If your kids need you while you’re working, smile and be there because working from home allows you to.

11. Be Positive

It’s easy to get in a funk when you work from home. I get extremely tired sometimes because I’m constantly shifting gears.

How do I overcome these feelings? I choose to be thankful! I’m able to be at home, work part-time, and help provide for my family. 

Plus, I have a flexible schedule. That’s a blessing I don’t take for granted. Find what you’re thankful for and focus on those things when working remotely gets tough.

These are 11 tips to help you make working from home easier. Whether you’re working from home because you have a flexible job, or you’re working from home due to COVID, you can make it a positive experience.

Use some of these tips to help develop a work-from-home routine and make the best out of this wonderful opportunity. 

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Homemade Shower Cleaner Hack You Must Try

Homemade Shower Cleaner Hack

Have you struggled with finding a homemade shower cleaner that works?

Cleaning the bathroom is a part of my cleaning routine, but if I’m honest, I hate cleaning the shower.

Between soap scum build-up on the shower walls and shower curtain liner, it’s something I dread dealing with.

But it can’t be avoided because that only compounds the issue. Here’s the solution I’ve come up with to always have a clean shower.

Even better, I no longer dread cleaning my bathroom thanks to these homemade shower cleaner options.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

You’ll need-

·       Soap dispensing scrub brush

·       Homemade shower cleaner

1. Select Your Brush for the Homemade Shower Cleaner

Homemade Shower Cleaner photo 1

The best way to maintain a clean shower with ease is to clean it daily. It doesn’t need to be a long, drawn out process.

In fact, it can take as little as a minute or two per day, and you shouldn’t have to battle soap scum again.

To start, pick out a soap dispensing scrub brush. They’re usually found on the cleaning aisle in most grocery or big box stores.

This style of brush is typically used to wash dishes. You can get the brushes with the longer handles, but I prefer the brush that fits in the palm of my hand.

It makes for easier storage in my shower, but this is up to you.

Once you have the right brush, you’re ready to rock-and-roll!

2. Make Your Homemade Shower Cleaner

Homemade Shower Cleaner photo 2

This next step can be accomplished in a variety of ways. You can use a combination of ingredients to make an adequate homemade shower cleaner.

The first method I used was my homemade all-purpose cleaner. I filled the scrub brush with this DIY cleaner and used it regularly.

I was happy with the way it worked, but my husband hates the smell of vinegar. This is when I began working to find another acceptable homemade shower cleaner.

This led me to the next option: Dawn dish soap. I’m sure you could use another liquid dish soap, but I love Dawn. It does a great job on the dishes, so I feel confident it does an adequate job of keeping my shower clean, too.

What I’m currently using is Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. I use this soap as hand soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, and now I use it to clean my shower too.

I don’t mix anything with the soap. All you need is to pour a few drops of soap in the dispenser, add water to dilute it, and you’re ready to clean your shower.

Choose between any of these options to see which method works best for you as a homemade shower cleaner.

3. Put Your Clean Shower Method into Action

Homemade Shower Cleaner photo 3

This last step is simple. While you shower each day, take two minutes to scrub your shower walls and floor with this brush and homemade shower cleaner.

It helps keep soap scum down. I also use it to scrub the bottom of my shower curtain liner because if you have hard water it can become stained.

This way, when cleaning day rolls around, I don’t have to do much to the shower. I spray the liner with a bleach cleaning solution to keep it looking and smelling fresh.

But that’s all it takes to keep my shower clean consistently. Who knew all you needed was a dish brush, homemade shower cleaner, and two minutes out of your day?

Hopefully this tip will help you to maintain a cleaner home and bathroom on a regular basis. Be sure to add this tip to your cleaning routine to better simplify your life.

Maintaining a clean home isn’t an easy job, but with a few tips and tricks, it can be accomplished without becoming overwhelming. Happy cleaning!  

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23 Amazing Benefits of Yoga You May Not Have Known

Are you looking for great ways to relax?

Remaining calm is surprisingly one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. One way I do this is by practicing yoga every day.

If you’ve considered practicing yoga but aren’t sure of the benefits, you’re in the right place. I’ll be sharing a few reasons why yoga should become part of your daily routine.

Here are the benefits of yoga:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Keeps Your Mind Right

Photo by Oluremi Adebayo on Pexels.com

When I began doing yoga, I was struggling with anxiety. My nutritionist told me to try it because it would help me to remain mindful.

This is one of the best benefits of yoga, in my opinion because when you get in tune with your body you’re more intentional about keeping your mind in a healthy place and making better choices for your body.

2. Body Cleanse

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

Yoga is all about twisting, bending, and stretching. This may sound painful at first, but it gets better over time.

All the twisting, bending, and stretching is beneficial when it comes to detoxing your body. It helps cleanse your body and in turn, makes you feel better.

3. Decreases Anxiety

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

I already mentioned I began doing yoga daily because of anxiety. In my experience, yoga works wonders on helping to relieve anxiety.

One simple move I learned deals with alternating nostrils for breath. It helps me tremendously when my stress levels begin to rise.

4. Lessens Tummy Troubles

If you have tummy troubles, you aren’t feeling well. Whether you’re struggling with occasional constipation or full-blown IBS, yoga could help with this.

The twisting, bending, and stretching of yoga can help your body get things moving internally and level things out.

5. Zzzzz

Are you struggling to get quality sleep at night? It could be because your body needs a chance to relax before you fall into bed.

Yoga is a great way to do this! Try a night-time yoga routine. It could relax your body and help to improve your sleep.

6. Great for Your Balance

Until I began practicing yoga every day, I didn’t realize how little balance I had. Yoga can help fix this.

Some of the poses focus on balance. As you become older, maintaining your balance is important. It’s a great idea to work on it while you still can.

7. Trains Your Mind

We know at this point yoga can help to decrease anxiety and make you more mindful of your body. It can also help train your mind.

I’ve learned much of dealing with anxiety is training your brain to move in one direction instead of bouncing around. Yoga can help improve your focus and mental clarity.

8. Be a Pretzel

I didn’t realize how stiff I had allowed my body to become until I began doing yoga. In the beginning, it was tough for me to even touch my toes.

It’s amazing how much more limber I am since I practice yoga every day. If you’d like to improve your flexibility, yoga could be a good way of doing this.

9. Great for Your Muscles

Lifting weights is good for many people, but you can tone your muscles in other ways too. One way is by practicing yoga.

Yoga uses your own body strength in many poses. This can make you stronger and provide more definition to your muscles.

Need a yoga mat? Check this one out! 

10. Natural Energy Drink

Are you lacking energy? There are many natural ways to boost your energy levels. One of these ways is by practicing yoga regularly.

When you begin moving and stretching your body it’s as if it awakens everything within you. The next time you’re low on energy, take a few moments to do a couple of yoga poses.

11. Watch the Scale Go Down

Many people don’t realize how beneficial yoga is because it’s usually low-impact. In many people’s minds this makes it not worth their time.

In fact, yoga can help you lose weight. There are different types of yoga (some are more strenuous.) Plus, yoga makes you more mindful which should help you to make healthier lifestyle choices.

12. Healthy Heart

We all know how important our heart health is to our overall health. If the heart stops working, it doesn’t matter how toned your muscles are because your body can’t survive without this organ.

Yoga can help improve your heart health. Though some forms of yoga aren’t excessively strenuous, it can still help strengthen this vital muscle.

13. Less Boo-boos

When your body is more flexible, you’re less likely to get hurt. This is another benefit of practicing yoga on a regular basis.

By stretching your body, you’re lessening your chance of becoming injured when you’re doing more strenuous exercise or playing a sport.

14. Stand Up

This is one benefit of yoga I wasn’t expecting until I began noticing it on my own. When you do yoga, there’s a great deal of focus on posture.

You’ll notice over time, your posture may improve. In my own situation, when I slouch now, it makes my muscles ache which encourages me to stand up straight.

15. No More Achy Muscles

This is a big benefit which keeps me coming back to my yoga mat on the daily. When I don’t do yoga now, my body hurts.

If you suffer from achy muscles, do some yoga. It’s great at stretching out those sore muscles and relieving some of the pain their stiffness can cause.

16. Good for Your Joints

Do you have achy joints? You guessed it. Yoga can help with joint health as well. If you suffer from issues with your joints, try adding yoga to your daily routine.

It could improve your joint health, lessen your pain, and improve your quality of life.

17. Works Wonders on Your Spine

This is another benefit of yoga I wasn’t expecting (nor did I realize I needed.) Your spine carries a ton of pressure.

By bending and stretching it out regularly, it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel. If I don’t stretch my spine daily, I notice the difference immediately.

18. Osteoporosis Prevention

Many people have osteoporosis in their family. It’s a huge concern to them because they want to remain as healthy as possible.

Yoga can help in fighting osteoporosis. When you’re stretching, you’re putting weight on your bones. This helps to strengthen them.

19. Gets the Blood Pumpin’

Did you know blood flow is a key in remaining healthy? We need the blood flowing through our body to keep our organs healthy and to allow our bodies to repair any damaged parts.

Yoga is great at getting the blood to flow throughout our bodies. This makes you feel better and helps to maintain good health.

20. Boosts Your Immune Health

I’m a big believer in taking care of the immune system. It’s our first line of defense when it comes to illness.

This is another benefit of yoga. It removes toxins from our bodies, makes our blood flow, and all of this helps to optimize our immune systems.

21. Lowers Blood Pressure

Do you struggle with high blood pressure? One way to naturally reduce your blood pressure is by practicing yoga.

Be sure to still follow your doctor’s orders and take any medication prescribed to you, but yoga could be something you do in addition to these other things.

22. Cortisol Levels Improve

If you’ve ever heard of adrenal fatigue, you know it can be a difficult diagnosis to deal with. Basically, our adrenal systems can get bogged down.

This makes us feel bad. Yoga helps to reduce our cortisol levels which is great for our adrenal health.

23. Decreases Blood Sugar

Balancing blood sugar is something most of us must consider on a daily basis, but it can be challenging at times.

Yoga is great at helping to keep your body in balance. One way it does this is to decrease your blood sugar levels.

You now have 23 different benefits of practicing yoga. Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new fitness routine.

But if you and your doctor agree the benefits of yoga are something you need (and you can safely practice yoga) there’s a lot to be gained.

Good luck to you on your new journey to fitness. 

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Freezer Breakfast Ideas to Simplify Your Mornings

Mornings are tough, but they can become much easier thanks to freezer breakfast ideas.

It can be hard to get everyone moving in the same direction, even with the best family schedule. One way my family stays ahead of the chaos is by creating make-ahead breakfasts.

There are many fun breakfast recipes which are a great way to start your day. Once you have the recipe, make it, freeze it, and pull it out when you need it.

You won’t need to scour the internet looking for your own recipes. I’ve got them right here in one convenient location.

Here are freezer breakfast ideas sure to make your mornings easier:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Freezer Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches

Do you enjoy a good breakfast sandwich to start your day? Check out this recipe for bagel breakfast sandwiches. It’s a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel.

Unfamiliar with freezer cooking? Check out this video to find out how you can begin freezer cooking.

2. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

It shouldn’t be surprising how many people want a breakfast sandwich to start their day. They’re easy-to-make, filling, versatile, and great for eating on the run. This tutorial shows you how to make a variety of breakfast sandwiches to get your morning started on the right foot.

Use this recipe binder to organize your favorite recipes! 

3. Freezer Ready French Toast Sticks

When you buy French toast sticks from the store, they’re expensive for the quantities you get. Instead, make these French toast sticks which are ready for the freezer and much more cost-effective.

4. Freezer Breakfast Quesadillas

This tutorial walks you through how to make (and freeze) breakfast quesadillas in four different ways. You won’t get bored with this many options.

5. Freezer Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie Bags

If your mornings are like mine, I don’t have time to cut up fruit to make smoothies. This is where these bags come into play. The fruit is cut, frozen, and proportioned into a bag.

Yogurt is frozen in ice cube trays and proportioned into the bags too. On busy mornings, dump the bags into a blender, and you’ve got smoothies!

6. Sausage and Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits remind me of sausage balls, only bigger. They’re made from shredded hash browns, cheese, sausage, and a few other basic ingredients. You can have an entire breakfast in one bite.

7. Freezer Pancakes

Freezer pancakes are one of my go-to breakfast ideas for my kids. They’re easy-to-make, frugal, and the kids love them!

8. Veggie Packed Freezer Ready Breakfast Sandwiches

This breakfast sandwich is made from English muffins and a scrambled egg mixture. The mixture contains eggs, spinach, and roasted red peppers. Once the concoction is piled on the muffin, it’s topped with cheese.

9. Freezer Breakfast Bowls

Breakfast bowls are a great way to cook in bulk, freeze, and save money. They consist of potatoes, veggies, cheese, and eggs. Cook it all together, and you’ve got an amazing breakfast when you’re in a hurry.

10. Scrambled Egg Bites

These egg bites have as much variety as you do imagination. Scramble eggs, add salt and pepper, and top them off with any meat, vegetable, or cheese you desire.

Keep up with all your freezer meals with this helpful freezer inventory list. 

11. Make and Freeze Waffles

When my kids get bored with pancakes, we switch to waffles. I love making and freezing waffles because they’re another frugal and easy breakfast recipe my kids will devour any morning of the week.

Need a waffle maker? Check this one out! 

12. Freezer Friendly Banana Bread Muffins

Do you love the scrumptious taste of banana bread? It’s one of my favorites and easy to make, too! Make these freezer friendly banana bread muffins to enjoy even on the busiest of mornings.

13. 15-Minute Make Ahead Breakfast Pizza

If you enjoy pizza, even for breakfast, you’re going to love this freezer breakfast idea. It’s a breakfast pizza which contains bagels, eggs, bacon, and cheese. They freeze beautifully and are great for your busy mornings.

14. Freezer Breakfast Pastries

When I was growing up, one of my favorite breakfasts was a Toaster Strudel. This is what this recipe reminds me of. It’s a puff pastry filled with your choice of jam. How easy and delicious!

15. A Quiche to Build a Dream On

This quiche is a pie crust filled with eggs, meats, cheeses, and veggies. It’s great for dinner or a freezer breakfast. The best thing about this quiche is you can pull it straight from the freezer and bake. No thawing necessary!

16. Freezer Breakfast Cupcakes

Don’t get too excited by the name. These “cupcakes” are actually a savory breakfast muffin. They consist of toast, sausage, eggs, cheese, and seasonings. Though they aren’t a sweet cupcake, it’s still an awesome way to start your day.

17. Freezer Baked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a fan-favorite around my house. If your family enjoys baked oatmeal, you must try this freezer friendly breakfast idea. It’s great for a quick breakfast and healthy too!

18. Easy Parfait Breakfast Popsicles

Do you enjoy a good popsicle from time to time? Why not have popsicles for breakfast? Thanks to this parfait recipe, you can enjoy popsicles any time of the day.

19. Freezer Cinnamon Rolls

When I first began freezer cooking, cinnamon rolls were one of the first items I made. My family loved them. If your family loves cinnamon rolls, too, you must check out these homemade cinnamon rolls which freeze beautifully.

20. Freezer French Toast Casserole

Do you love French toast but don’t have time to make it regularly? You can now have the flavors you love in this delicious (and freezer-friendly) French toast casserole.

21.  Low Carb Freezer Breakfast Burritos

If you love the taste of a breakfast burrito, but need it to be healthy and convenient, this is your recipe. These burritos are filled with veggies, cheese, and meat. Even better, they can be made with a low-carb tortilla for fewer carbs.

You now have over 20 different freezer-friendly breakfast ideas. Hopefully this will help you and your family to eat healthier and save money by skipping the drive-thru on busy mornings.

Since you have these delicious recipes, pick your favorites, buy the ingredients, and start cooking. Bona-petite!

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9 Hard Truths I’ve Learned as a Stepparent [With a Dose of Encouragement]

Are you in a relationship where becoming a stepparent is on the table?

I’ve been a stepparent for over 12 years. It has been a calling; this is for sure. Though it has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, it has also been rewarding.

When I first became a stepparent, I faced hardships I didn’t even know existed. I scoured the internet looking for help, and it seemed there was nothing more than forums where other women (like myself) gathered to complain and compare notes.

It was encouraging to know I wasn’t alone, but it didn’t offer any hope. A few years ago, I did a Bible study at church about stepparenting. The book we used was trying to be helpful, but it still missed some of the hard realities.

I’ll say upfront, not everyone will agree with my assessment because every situation is different.

However, I’ve been the stepparent from many angles, so I wanted to share the hard truths I’ve uncovered during my journey.

If you’re looking for a heads up of what you may experience as a stepparent, here’s my take on the matter:

Note: I’m not a professional. The information I’m sharing is meant for informational purposes only. Please seek the help of a mental health professional or a marriage counselor if needed.

My Story

When my husband and I first got married, he had two kids from a previous marriage. In the beginning, we had the kids every other weekend, one time during the off weeks, and any time we were afforded the opportunity outside of those days.

As the years progressed, the oldest child decided to move in with us. During this time, we had one child while the other remained with the other biological parent. This wasn’t ideal, but it was what we had to do for a year.

The next year, the youngest child moved in with us also, and we shifted to having the kids 100% of the time. How you stepparent will change drastically depending upon which scenario you’re in.

Here’s the scoop on what I’ve learned from being in each situation:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. You Aren’t the Parent…Or Are You?

Photo by Valeria Ushakova on Pexels.com

When you marry someone with kids, their kids become your kids. Yet, this relationship can look different depending upon your situation. You must figure out your place, but this will take time.

During my early days of marriage, I felt pressure from all sides. Some wanted me to back off while some wanted me to step up.

As you begin to feel pressured, it’s the perfect time to get to a place of total silence and prayerfully figure things out.

You’re in the situation. You know it better than most others because you’re living it. Therefore, you must assess where you’re at and develop your game plan from there.

If you have the kids on the weekends or 50% of the time, your role will look different from those raising the kids 100% of the time.

When the kids have two active biological or adoptive parents, you get to be an added person to love them, but you don’t have to step up to fill a role which is already being filled.

However, if you’re in the situation where you’re raising the kids full-time and there is an absentee parent, don’t be afraid to step up if the kids want you too.

This was a hard one for me because I felt like by stepping up, I was giving up hope that my children would achieve reconciliation in their lives.

Growing up with an absentee parent, I know the hurt all too well. I don’t desire for my children to experience the same hurt.

But after a step parenting Bible study, I realized what they needed was a mom right now. It doesn’t mean I’ll be the only mom their entire lives, but that’s my current role.

Assess your situation, and always remember, it isn’t about you when it comes to stepparenting. It’s about what’s best for the kids, their needs, and where you fit in to help them have the best life they can have.

2. Do This Expecting Nothing in Return

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Let’s be honest, if we all had kids and expected them to end up being a bunch of criminals, we probably wouldn’t reproduce.

We all have children or raise children because we want them to be the best versions of themselves.

I got caught up in the lie of holding God to a promise He never made. I took Proverbs 22:6 as a promise instead of a principle.

When one of our children became an adult, I was crushed at some of the choices he was making.

For a couple of years, I became angry with the LORD. I didn’t walk away from Him because I knew I had nowhere else to go, but I was mad.

During those years of wrestling I learned something. I was expecting something in return for my obedience. In reality, I should’ve been obedient to God because I love Him, not because I wanted my kids to turn out a certain way.

It was pride.

From the day I realized this, I’ve parented completely differently. I no longer raise my children with the expectation of who they’ll become.

I raise my children for the present day, and I know if they turn out wonderfully, it will be because of God’s mercy and grace. If they turn out the opposite, it’ll be because of their own choices.

I only answer for me, and I strive now to walk in obedience out of love for my God.

Moral of this story: when you become a stepparent, don’t expect glory or anything for that matter. Fill this role to the best of your ability because it’s the right thing to do.

Don’t take too much credit for the good things your kids do, but also, don’t take too much credit for the wrong they do either.

Do what God has called you to do. Lean into Him every single day and leave the results to Him.

3. The Pressure is Real

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When I became a stepparent, I found two common reactions. Either people were glad I was there, or they wished I’d go away.  

The crowd who’s glad you’re there is frequently the support system. Maybe they’re glad the widow has found a new mate, or maybe they saw the heartache your new spouse and stepchildren went through because of a divorce.

They’re glad someone is there to help them start a new chapter of joy.

For the people who don’t want you there it’s because they’re afraid. Afraid you might do a better job than the previous spouse, take the position of the previous spouse, or worse, the kids might love you more.

Both sides can make life hard at times. The ones who are glad you’re there, can unknowingly put a ton of stress on you because they may have expectations.

For the group who doesn’t want you around, they can make your life hard because it feels like you’re living life under a microscope.

The pressure can feel immense at times, and I’ve cracked under it. I’ll admit it.

There were days I woke up and thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”

I learned early on not to complain about my hardships because most don’t understand. Many people (wrongly) assume you knew what you were getting into when you said, “I do.”

In reality, most stepparents don’t have a clue what they’re marrying into because each circumstance is so different.

But you must learn to take your hardships to God because if He’s for you who can be against you? (Romans 8:31)

Don’t get upset when you’re under pressure. Realize that God has you right where He wants you (assuming you’re in His will.)

Seek Him like never before, and if He’s with you, you will not fail. But I’ve learned, God needs to be the main source of comfort.

It doesn’t mean He won’t send loving family, friends, or even a good therapist your way to help you through, but make sure He’s first.

4. Most People May Not Understand

People may not understand what you’re going through as a stepparent. Even other stepparents may not fully get it because each situation is so different.

Some have totally cordial relationships with all parties in their situation, the kids love them, and their biggest concern is juggling more people in their home.

Need help juggling your home? Check out this book! 

Where other stepparents feel like a complete outsider. Maybe there’s a vindictive ex-spouse, the kids are hurting, and the stepparent’s spouse is always stressed out because they don’t know how to handle it all.

I saw this firsthand in our step parenting Bible study. It was good to know we weren’t in this alone, but it was also clear all of our situations were very different.

Some became stepparents because of a death, some were in civil situations, others were in hostile situations, some step parents were young, and others were older.

Don’t get frustrated when people don’t understand you.

Realize, God is your source of comfort. He won’t judge you or put unfair expectations on you.

He will understand, and He is the only way you will stepparent well whether you have the kids a few days a month or every day.

Check out The Book of Comforts. It’s a wonderful resource when you’re in need of a hug from God’s Word. 

5. It’s a Calling

I’ve been pretty tough on stepparenting up to this point because I don’t want anyone to be disillusioned.

It isn’t about dressing your stepchildren up, showing them off around town, and living life like The Brady Bunch.

This is one thing every stepparent will probably agree with: how you think stepparenting will be and how it is are totally different things.

Being a stepparent is one of the most selfless things you can do. It doesn’t matter how frequently you have the kids.

If you’re making a conscious decision to pour into the life of a child you aren’t obligated to pour into, you’re being selfless.

Not everyone can handle being a stepparent. The percentages of failed marriages rise each time you remarry. I’m not an expert, but I can’t help but believe blending a family is one of the contributing factors.

It’s hard to learn your place in a family and make everything work, but if you can do it and are willing to invest in children you don’t technically have to, it has to be a calling.

Stepparenting isn’t easy. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I know God has brought me to it. Therefore, I get up every day and give it all I have.

6. Tough Skin is a Must

As I mentioned above, don’t be surprised if everyone isn’t your biggest fan as a stepparent.  Maybe some will even doubt your abilities to stepparent well.

Don’t get your feelings hurt. Instead, develop tough skin and remember what they say about opinions. 😉

Discernment is vital when developing tough skin. You shouldn’t become prideful and assume every critique is wrong.

However, you shouldn’t assume every piece of advice is accurate or is sent with well-wishes either.  

It’s hard to take criticism and handle it well, but the sooner you learn how to do this the better you’ll fair in the world of stepparenting.

7. Create Boundaries

This is a big one. As a stepparent (whether you’re raising the kids full-time or only have them certain days of the month) you must realize you aren’t their biological or adoptive parent.

What I mean by this is realizing what may be appropriate with your own child isn’t always appropriate with your stepchildren.

Things such as discipline, bath times, or diaper changes should be discussed with the biological parent before you assist or have any part of them.

In my family, my husband handled bath times and diaper changes when the kids were smaller, and he still handles the majority of the discipline with my stepchildren.

Bedrooms are off limits in our house. All our children know not to enter our room without knocking, and it isn’t a hangout space.

Mine and my husband’s bedroom is on a separate floor from our kids, but our exercise room is on the same floor as our children’s bedrooms.

When I need to exercise, the kids know to go to a different floor in the house.

I was raised in a household with a stepparent. My mom took great care to implement boundaries to ensure everything was above reproach in our home at all times.

It was a no-brainer when I became a stepparent to do the same thing.

You must stay above reproach as a stepparent, and I highly recommend putting boundaries in place in your home as soon as possible.

8. Prayer and Self-Care Are Musts

You can’t stepparent well without prayer. This may be the most challenging job you’ll ever have.

You’re raising kids who have experienced some form of trauma or (to be frank) you wouldn’t be in the picture.

They’re going to have emotions, bad attitudes, many times they’ll be pulled in different directions, and have other people’s insecurities projected onto them.

Their life isn’t easy which means yours won’t be either.

How do you survive and even thrive as a stepparent? Prayer! Lots and lots of prayer.

As a parent (in general) I pour into others in mass quantities on the daily. I used to try to skip out on self-care because I thought, “Why do I need it?”

Reality check: If you’re pouring into others in mass quantities, you need to be refilling yourself faster than you’re pouring out.

If you need a couple hours a day to exercise, do your devotions, meditate, practice yoga, take a walk, whatever you do to replenish yourself then do it.

Don’t feel guilty. Don’t let others tell you it isn’t important. No one is walking in your shoes. No one has the right to tell you how your journey should go besides God Himself.

Take as much time as you can each day for yourself because your family depends upon it. You can’t pour from an empty vessel.

9. Everyone Should Play by the Same Rules

This section will be short, sweet, and to the point. It may be typical for there to be different rules for different people in a situation.

For instance, sometimes the biological families will be given more wiggle room while mutual friends or stepfamily are required to abide by the rules a little closer.

As an example, if grandma can get away with loading the kids up on sweets and not making them take a nap, but the step grandmother would be called out on this behavior, something needs to be fixed.

If left unresolved, it will cause stress in your marriage. It will also be confusing for yourself and the children because the rules change based upon who is around.

Not to mention, it’s just plain hurtful.

If you notice this happening around you, take it to your spouse. Be sure to approach it in the right way but explain how hurtful and difficult this bias makes things for everyone.

These are 9 stepparenting points I’ve realized during my journey as a stepparent.

This role isn’t always glamorous or even super fun, but I love my husband and children more than anything.

I’d do it all again (even the hard moments) to be where I am now. God has used this calling to mold me more than anything else I’ve experienced in my life.

Though the journey may not always be smooth sailing, it’s definitely worth it.

I hope these pointers, though blunt, somehow equip and even encourage you during your own journey as a stepparent.

Best wishes to you and your family!

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DIY Green Tea Beverages: 24 Recipes to Get the Benefits of Green Tea in a Flavorful Way

Are you trying to incorporate more green tea in your life?

Green tea has many awesome benefits. If you’d like to enjoy it in different ways, you should consider making a variety of DIY green tea beverages.

You don’t have to scout them out all over the internet. Instead, hang out here.

I’ve scoured the internet and put awesome recipes for DIY green tea beverages in one convenient location. Here are your green tea drink choices:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Watermelon Green Tea Refresher

If you love watermelon, you’ll love this fresh beverage. It consists of green tea, chunks of fresh watermelon, and fresh lemon juice.

2. Antioxidant Rich Blueberry Green Tea

Are you looking for a beverage which will hydrate and cleanse your body simultaneously? Check out this antioxidant green tea beverage. It has green tea, fresh blueberries, honey, and lemon juice.

3. Strawberry-Kiwi Green Tea

I have friends who aren’t green tea fans (or so they think.) If you don’t like the original flavor of green tea, you should try this infused version. It’s filled with green tea, strawberries, and kiwi.

Check out my latest video!

4. Copycat Panera Green Tea

Do you enjoy the refreshing taste of the green tea you can only find at Panera Bread Company? Thanks to this recipe you can have the same refreshing flavor without leaving your home.

5. Iced Passion Fruit Green Tea

Do you love the refreshing flavor of passion fruit? You should check out this beverage which blends iced green tea and passion fruit for a tasty concoction.

6. Flat Belly Minty Lime Iced Green Tea

It’s no secret green tea is thought to help people lose weight. If you’d like a beverage which is bursting with fresh mint and lime flavor and may boost your metabolism, this could be your drink.

7. Green Tea Frappuccino

Do you enjoy an ice cold coffee beverage on a hot day? You can now have this minus the coffee. This Frappuccino recipe uses matcha green tea, French vanilla pudding, and milk to make a soothing beverage for steamy days.

8. Honey and Mint Iced Green Tea

If you want an all-natural cool beverage, this could be it. It’s filled with green tea, fresh mint, and honey for a tasty drink.

9. Grapefruit Green Tea

What I personally love about green tea is it takes on any flavor you mix it with. If you want the green tea benefits, but love the flavor of grapefruit, you should check out this recipe.

10. Green Tea by the Pitcher

Some people prefer the regular flavor of green tea, but they still want it iced and ready to go when they need a drink. This tutorial walks you through how to make the perfect green tea by the pitcher.

11. Homemade Peach Green Tea

I’ll be honest. I didn’t like iced green tea until my mom introduced me to peach green tea. Now, I’m hooked. If you want a fruity and flavorful beverage, check out this recipe for homemade peach green tea.

Or buy the mix! 

12. Green Tea Kombucha

Kombucha is a natural beverage which is known for boosting your gut health. If you’d like to make kombucha with a twist of green tea, check out this recipe.

13. Instant Pot Green Tea

Many people are using their Instant Pot for anything they can these days. Why should making green tea be any different? This tutorial walks you through how to brew amazing green tea in moments with your Instant Pot.

Do you have an Instant Pot and are searching for more ways to use it? Check out this cookbook! 

14. Peach Green Tea Lemonade

Do you need more flavors in your green tea than peach? No worries. I’ve got you covered with this recipe which incorporates peaches, green tea, and lemonade.

15. Cranberry Iced Green Tea

Do you love the refreshing flavor of cranberries? You can now add the cranberry taste with the traditional flavoring of green tea for an amazing drink. It’s perfect for hot summer days or a Thanksgiving celebration.

16. Sweet Cucumber Green Tea

Some people enjoy the flavor of fresh cucumber infused into their beverage. If you’re one of these people, you’ll love this recipe. They infuse cucumbers into green tea for a refreshing beverage.

17. Strawberry Green Tea

Looking for ways to use the fresh strawberries you find in the grocery store during the summer months? Perhaps you grow your own strawberries? You can now use them in this refreshing green tea beverage infused with strawberries.

18. Moroccan Green Tea Cocktail/ Mocktail

This is a simple beverage. For the mocktail, combine green tea, honey, and lemon juice. For the cocktail, use the same mix but toss in a couple ounces of vodka to finish it off.

19. Ginger Lemongrass Iced Green Tea

Do you want to enjoy your green tea with more of a bite? Use fresh ingredients, such as ginger and lemon grass, in your green tea mixture to get a flavorful drink.

20. Peach Green Tea Sangria

When you’re reading a good book by the pool, you may want a tasty beverage. Reach for this non-alcoholic peach green tea sangria. It’s filled with fresh fruit, green tea, and peach herbal tea.

21. Green Tea Soda

You want more green tea in your life, but you still miss the fizz of a great soda? I can understand how you feel which is why I’m bringing you this perfect combination of green tea and soda in one recipe.

22. Peach Green Tea Smoothie

On a hot day, you may need an extremely cool (and filling) way to start your day. Consider making this peach green tea smoothie. It contains peaches, green tea, vanilla extract, a banana, Greek yogurt, and honey.

23. Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie

Do you like the idea of enjoying your green tea in a smoothie but aren’t a huge fan of peaches? Consider making this strawberry green tea smoothie instead.

24. Matcha Smoothie

Do you love the taste of matcha green tea? You must check out this matcha green tea smoothie. It’s filled with all the good stuff like bananas, avocado, spinach, and of course, matcha green tea powder.

This concludes our tour of DIY green tea beverages. Enjoy these 24 different green tea recipes. Hopefully, you’ll make a few of these beverages and find delicious ways to incorporate more green tea into your diet.

Now it’s your turn. Purchase the ingredients, put the recipes to work, and enjoy the benefits of green tea in your life.

Need more DIY beverages? Check out our DIY Coffee Recipes too!

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook! Subscribe to my YouTube channel too!

9 Fun Ways to Use Old Tires in Your Garden Space

Have you been using old tires in or around your garden?

Are you interested in upcycling scrap items around your property?

Either way, many people have created some cute ideas on how to use old tires in their garden as décor or for gardening purposes.

I’ve scoured the internet and put these ideas together in one convenient location.

Hopefully these ideas will inspire you in your own garden:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. The DIY Tire Planter

Do you have an old tire which is getting in the way? Paint the tire, hang it from a tree, and plant flowers in it.

The flowers will drape outside of the tire and become a beautiful centerpiece in your yard or garden. It’s inexpensive and eye-catching.

2. Tire Wishing Well Planters

If you have a stack of old tires, leave them stacked. You can paint them a fun color, add markings to make them look like bricks, and fill them with dirt.

Add a top, which looks like the top of a wishing well, and place them in your yard or garden. You can use old tires to make a wishing well unique to your garden.

Try these paint pens to create your brick design. 

3. DIY Toadstools

Need a comfy place to sit in your garden? This seat could be used as a place to hang out and enjoy the beauty or as a place to rest after working in your garden.

Either way, you can make these adorable seats from old tires. They’ll fit in perfectly to the garden setting and be functional, too.

4. Stacked Tire Garden

If you have a multitude of old tires, paint them, and stack them in a unique way. Once they’re arranged, fill the tires with dirt.

From there, you can fill them with a variety of plants. It’s an easy and inexpensive make-shift garden space by using what you already have.

5. Tire Steps

Do you need steps to get to or from your garden? You can use old tires to create some. This idea buries them in the ground.

The tires are filled with mulch or soil to avoid twisting an ankle when using them. From there, you space them as you would any steps.

6. The Fancy DIY Tire Planter

This idea takes planting in a tire one step further than most. They show you how to make the rim of a tire flexible.

From there you can give the planter a fancy edge. This gives the planter a unique look which would add to any patio or garden.

Looking for easy-to-grow crops to plant in your tire projects? Check out this video for helpful tips! 

7. The Tire Teacup Planter

This is such a cute and frugal way to create a unique planter to showcase your gorgeous flowers or crops.

Stack tires, paint them, use part of the tire to construct a handle, and you have a teacup made of tires. Fill the planter with dirt, and you’re ready to start growing.

8. Tire Plant Stands

Whether you have one tire or many, you can create these unique tire plant stands. You’ll add wooden legs to the bottom of a tire.

From there, secure the tire to the legs. You should have a tripod at this point. After the tripod planter is complete, fill the tire with dirt, place the planter, and begin growing inside it.

Check out these seeds for a variety of flowers to grow in your plant stands! Need more tips on creating frugal and gorgeous planters? Get tips here!

9. DIY Ladybug Planter

Would you like to use old tires to create a gorgeous (and functional) piece of yard art? Check out this tutorial on creating a ladybug planter from old tires.

It’s a cute idea which allows you to upcycle unused items. Plus, it’s eye-catching and something sure to add a little pizazz to your garden.

You now have 9 different ways to utilize old tires in or around your garden. This is a great way to use what you have while also creating a unique space.

Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it. Collect and use old tires to get creative and begin making your garden space your own.  

Interested in using old tires for raised beds? Check out this tutorial!

32 Cheap Foods to Add to Your Grocery List Today

Are you trying to save money on groceries?

If you buy certain types of foods, you may be able to shrink your budget easier than you once thought. I’m going to bring you a list of cheap foods you can buy at the grocery store.

Fill your meal plan using the cheap foods from this list, and you might be surprised how much money you can save by eating differently.

Here are the cheapest foods at most grocery stores:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Eggs

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Eggs are a great source of protein and inexpensive to boot. Some eggs can come with a higher price tag if you purchase the organic or cage free options.

Take this into account when purchasing eggs. If you desire cage free or organic eggs it might be less expensive to buy them from a local farmer.

2. Bananas

Photo by Kio on Pexels.com

Bananas are full of potassium and most people love their sweet flavor. If you’re working on a budget, don’t pass up the bananas in the produce section.

They can make a great snack or used to make a variety of delicious desserts.

3. Rice

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Rice makes a great side dish or can be used as part of a main course. Either way, it’s a cheap food perfect for your grocery list.

If you purchase white rice, it’s generally less expensive than brown rice. Keep in mind, white rice isn’t as sturdy as brown rice which can cause blood sugar spikes.

4. Oatmeal

We love oatmeal around our house. The kids and I eat it for breakfast at least three times per week. You can add fruit to the hot cereal for a healthy treat.

However, oatmeal is also great to bake with. If you need a versatile and inexpensive item for your grocery list, go with oatmeal.

5. Frozen Vegetables

Fresh vegetables can add up quickly when grocery shopping. This is why frozen vegetables are recommended.

They’re less expensive and in many cases, fresher than the unfrozen produce. If you need vegetables, hit the frozen food aisle.

6. Dry beans

I’m not a huge fan of dried beans, but my husband loves them. Nothing makes him happier than a crock pot of pinto beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread.

If you need a frugal protein source which is shelf-stable and healthy, consider buying dried beans.

7. Spinach

Spinach is considered one of the superfoods of the world. It’s excellent for you and is jam packed with vitamins.

If you need a healthy food but are working on a tight budget, reach for fresh or frozen spinach. It’s delicious too!

8. Carrots

I know what it is to work with a tight budget. At one point, I fed six people per week on around $50. It took lots of creativity on my part.

Carrots were used around my house a great deal during this time because they were fresh, healthy, they stored for longer periods, and were affordable.

9. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another frugal and shelf-stable form of protein. Whether you enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, celery and peanut butter, or peanut butter in your smoothie, it’s a great choice.

You can purchase different brands and sizes to make peanut butter fit into your budget, but it’s a necessity around my household.

10. Garlic

Garlic is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without adding a ton of calories. You can purchase fresh garlic or minced.

I prefer to purchase the minced garlic because it’s easier to store and use whenever needed.

11. Cabbage

Cabbage is a vegetable which should land on every frugal grocery list. It’s inexpensive and able to be utilized in many ways.

You can fry it, boil it, and even ferment it for a healthy condiment. Plus, cabbage lasts for months when stored properly in your refrigerator.

12. Chicken Thighs

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs because I don’t like dark meat. If you do like it, you’re in luck because chicken thighs are an affordable cut.

If you need protein but are working on a tight grocery budget, be sure to add chicken thighs to your list. Keep an eye out for Manager’s Specials. This is a great time to buy chicken thighs to freeze and an inexpensive way to stockpile them.

13. All-Purpose Flour

Flour is a great staple to keep around because it can be used for a variety of things in the kitchen. All-purpose flour can be used for baking in desserts or breads.

However, you can also use it when cooking because it’s great for frying or using in a thickener. When shopping on a budget, it’s vital to buy items which are versatile.

14. Canned Fish

Buying enough protein when working on a budget can be the hardest part because many items high in protein are also expensive.

If you need protein, don’t miss the canned fish. You can purchase canned tuna fish or salmon. They’re an affordable protein option and can be put on your salad at lunch or fried into patties.

15. Canned Chicken

Canned chicken is a great way to enjoy white meat chicken without breaking the bank. You can use it in gumbo style recipes.

But it’s also great for making chicken salad. The best thing about canned chicken is it comes fully cooked which cuts down on your prep time.

16. White Potatoes

When we were living on an extremely tight budget, potatoes were one of my go-to options at the grocery store.

The reason being, I could purchase them in large quantities for little money. Plus, potatoes are a versatile vegetable.

17. Pasta

It’s important to say at this point, if you’re buying cheap foods from this list, you should purchase a variety.

If you live strictly off pasta, you won’t be healthy. Pasta is versatile and inexpensive but be sure to pair it with other items on this list.

18. Apples

When we need healthy fresh foods, it can be expensive. This is why apples are an amazing food. They’re fresh (and when purchased in-season) they aren’t expensive.

You can slice them up for a snack. They can also be used in desserts or fried to become a favorite side dish.

19. Onions

You don’t realize how seasonings add up until you’re working on a meager grocery budget. Suddenly, you don’t have much room for the items which add flavor to a dish.

This is where onions come into play. They’re inexpensive, last for long periods of time when stored properly, and add a ton of flavor.

20. Lettuce

Lettuce doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value, but it’s inexpensive and can help you choose healthier eating habits.

It’s great for salads, toppings on a taco, or used in the place of sandwich bread. There are different lettuce varieties. Be sure to choose the one which will best fit your needs.

21. Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers make a great snack with ranch dressing, a wonderful topping on a salad, or go well cooked in a dish.

However, notice I pointed out the bell peppers should be green. When you start adding colors to the bell peppers, they become more expensive.

22. Hot Dogs

I’ve tried to make this list as healthy as possible, but we’re going to move into the less healthy options because many convenience foods are cheap.

One convenience food which is affordable is hot dogs. You can grill them, boil them, fry them, or bake them to have a quick bite of protein in your meal.

23. Boxed Mac and Cheese

Not all boxed mac and cheese is inexpensive. If you want a quick side dish to go with your hot dogs, be sure to look for the less expensive options.

In most cases, it’s the store brand which uses the powdered cheese. You may have to buy a few extra ingredients to make it, but it’s cheap and shelf-stable.

24. Ramen Noodles

I didn’t eat Ramen noodles until I was married and moved to a different state. It was the first time in my life when money was extremely tight, and I was desperate to feed my family cheaply.

This is when I discovered how ramen noodles could be morphed into great dinners. Add a few inexpensive veggies to the mix, and it’s a quick and delicious meal.

25. Milk

There was a time when milk was getting expensive. Over the past few years, the prices of milk in my area have dropped.

Milk is needed for cooking, drinking, and even baking. Plus, you can drink a glass of milk in the place of a snack to get healthy nutrients and a few calories to fuel your body until the next meal.

26. Sliced Cheese

Some sliced cheese is expensive, but if you buy the processed sliced cheese it’s more affordable. You should check your brands to get the best deal.

Sliced cheese is great as a snack on crackers, or it can be used to make grilled cheese. Either way, it’s affordable and versatile.

27. Saltine Crackers

When you need something to snack on but don’t have a ton of room in the budget for snack-food, where should you turn?

The cracker aisle of course. Saltine crackers are affordable and go well with peanut butter or cheese for an easy snack.

28. Chips

Chips are an easy snack and also go well as a side dish to hot dogs or other sandwiches. They also aren’t expensive anymore.

If you shop the store brand, you might be surprised to find how inexpensive potato chips can be.

29. Polish Sausage

It’s obvious there’s plenty of side items and snack foods which are affordable. Protein has always been the biggest hurdle for me when grocery shopping on the cheap.

This is why (even now during my quarterly grocery shopping trips) I still stock up on cheap proteins. Polish sausage is a less expensive protein, which is great for gumbo recipes, cooked with cabbage, or used as a breakfast food.

30. Pork Sausage

Pork sausage is another inexpensive protein. You’ll need to shop brands to make sure you’re buying the least expensive option.

However, pork sausage can be used in rice with seasonings and a sautéed bell pepper for a delicious dinner. You can also use it as a traditional breakfast food or to make sausage balls for a snack.

31. Sandwich Meat

Some sandwich meat can be expensive, but when I needed to pack my husband less expensive lunches, I turned to bologna.

I found a large package of bologna at one of my local grocery stores. I asked the butcher to slice it, brought it home to package in freezer bags, and for approximately $6, I had enough sandwich meat to last for a month or more.

32. Specific Types of Cereal

Many cereals are expensive, so again, you’ll need to shop brands when adding cereal to your list. Yet, cereal is a quick breakfast or a good snack.

If you shop store brands, I’ve found rice cereal is usually the most affordable. Check your grocery store sales and look for coupons to make purchasing cereal even more affordable.

This concludes our list of cheap foods to add to your grocery list. Hopefully these 32 foods will help you to slash your grocery bill without a ton of extra effort.

Now that you have these cheap foods, check out recipes where they can be used, and start saving money on your grocery budget. 

Looking for more ways to save on your groceries? Check out these 40 tips!

You can also learn more about saving time and money with quarterly grocery shopping in these two posts:

8 Reasons to Begin Preserving Your Own Food Now

Do you have a friend who’s in their kitchen constantly during the summer months?

Are they preserving their own food?

I understand because I’m this friend to my friends. During the summer months I disappear because I’m busy in my garden and kitchen.

It’s vital I preserve enough food to sustain my family throughout the year. This helps us save money and makes it easier to quarterly grocery shop.

If you’ve ever wondered why people preserve their own food, you’re in luck! I’m going to share a few insights with you on why people put in the work to preserve their own food and why you should get started now:

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1. Less Dough

When you preserve your own food, you save a ton of money. You can grow a large garden or purchase produce in bulk.

Either way, it makes the food less expensive than buying it as needed from your local grocery store. By preserving a great deal of my family’s own food, I’m able to have enough of a stockpile where I can grocery shop only once per quarter.

When I grocery shop at these times, I still only spend approximately what most do in a month because I’ve produced and preserved the majority of what we need.

Check out how my family saves approximately $500 per month on groceries with quarterly grocery shopping.

2. Healthier

Preserving your own food is much healthier than what you buy at the store. You know exactly what’s going into the food you eat, and in many cases, you’ve raised the food from a seed.

There’s no hidden surprises.

Plus, the food is stored in glass jars, no preservatives are used (besides natural canning salt), and the lids are BPA free.

If you’re concerned about the quality of food your family is consuming and their health, preserving your own food is the way to go.

3. It’s Delicious!

I tell my husband all the time, when my kids are grown, the first thing I’m going to do is take our tractor and run straight through our two large gardens.

Why? Because they’re a ton of work! When it’s only my husband and I, we won’t need such large plots to raise our own food.

However, I won’t quit gardening all together (until I’m too old to safely do it anymore.) We’ll switch to a nice raised bed garden, have a few containers, and I’ll keep my perennial crops. I’ll still raise enough food to preserve for us.

After canning my own green beans and tomatoes for almost a decade, I can’t go back to the store for these items.

They don’t taste as good from the store (in my humble opinion.) These crops don’t require much effort to grow, canning them isn’t difficult, and they taste amazing!

4. Preparedness

Whether it be a storm or a world crisis (such as this pandemic) my family and I don’t have to worry. The reason being is we preserve most of our own food and stockpile the rest with quarterly grocery shopping.

When you preserve most of your own food, you’re ready. You shouldn’t worry when trouble hits because your family has enough food to sustain them.

Plus, if you can start a fire, you can eat. This goes for canned and frozen foods. Preserving your own food always makes sure you’re ready for whatever may happen in life.

5. Easier on the Earth

If you’re environmentally mindful, you’ll be glad to know preserving your own food is much easier on the earth.

When you purchase goods from the grocery store, there’s a ton of packaging which comes with it. Even if you recycle the cans, plastic, or other packaging, it doesn’t answer for the packaging the product ships in.

As you preserve your own food, you’ll find you’re able to reuse the containers you store your food in. I’ve had the same canning jars for almost ten years.

We recently purchased the reusable Tattler lids which should last us another couple of decades.

Plus, when you store foods in the freezer or by dehydrating you can use reusable containers or minimal amounts of plastic bags which can later be recycled.

Need food preservation equipment? Check out this dehydrator! 

6. The Original Convenience Foods

Are you constantly frustrated because you feel as though you don’t have enough time to prepare your family home cooked meals?

Therefore, your bank account keeps dropping, the health of your family is concerning, and the food you eat doesn’t make you feel good?

Preserving your own food can help with this. Canning is the original way our ancestors had convenience foods.

You can produce quality meals in less than 30 minutes by opening a few jars of precooked foods. These foods are healthy because you know what’s in them and how they were preserved.

There’s no guilt in this style of convenience food.

Need a healthy meal plan? Check out my carb-friendly meal plan with FREE printable! 

7. It’s a Skillset

Preserving your own food takes time, and it takes the patience of learning a new skill set. Here’s the amazing thing: none of it is hard.

Once you learn how to operate a dehydrator and canner, you’ve gained the skills you need to store food for yourself and your family for the year to come.

It does take an investment when purchasing the necessary materials. Plus, it takes the investment of time.

Deciding whether to invest the time and money to learn to preserve food is up to you, but it certainly can provide a great return on your investment. 

8. Do It Now!

If you’re interested in learning to preserve your own food, the time is now. I say this with a sense of urgency.

As this pandemic rolls through, you begin to see a side of people you didn’t know was there. People are panicked and looking out for themselves.

You don’t want to be at your local store’s mercy when trouble hits. We’ve already seen this isn’t an efficient plan.

The same people who are panicked in the stores have headed online and started stocking up on the equipment necessary to preserve their own food.

It’s nearly impossible to find a good deal on canning jars, canners, or canning lids right now because of the panic many are still feeling.

However, if you’re going to begin preserving food, I encourage you to get your supplies sooner rather than later.

Start learning the skills because unfortunately, the chaos of this world is going to keep happening. You should be prepared for the next round of it.

The best way to be prepared is to practice becoming more self-sufficient and learn to preserve your own food.

Hopefully this sheds some light on why many people go the extra mile to preserve their own food each year.

It’s a great skill to have when being prepared, but it can also help you to save money and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Now that you know the perks of preserving your own food, what are you waiting for? Figure out how to garden on the cheap and start preserving your own foods.