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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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:

Make a Cheap and Easy Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner in 4 Steps

Are you looking for a homemade all-purpose cleaner that works?

You can use diluted vinegar to clean most surfaces, but this didn’t work for me. My family complained our house smelled of pickles.

One day, I was getting ready to toss some unused citrus into the compost bin when I got an idea. I realized I could make a completely homemade all-purpose cleaner that smells good.

If you’re looking for a natural cleaner that’s also frugal, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how I make my homemade all-purpose cleaner:

You’ll need-

·       A mason jar

·       Apple cider vinegar

·       Citrus fruit

**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. Grab the ACV

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

You can buy apple cider vinegar. It’s inexpensive and great for you. I drink a tablespoon every morning to help balance my blood sugar.

The apple cider vinegar with the mother in it is what’s recommended for health purposes. However, if you’re only going to use the apple cider vinegar for cleaning, you can buy the more filtered version.

To make my homemade all-purpose cleaner as frugal as possible (and to avoid household waste) I make my own vinegar. Whether you choose to make your own apple cider vinegar or buy it, make sure you have some on hand.

This cleaner depends upon it.

2. Cut and Squeeze

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Once your ACV is ready to go, grab a few pieces of citrus fruit. The amount will depend upon the size of the jar you’re using for storage.

Cut the fruit in half, squeeze the juice into the jar, and place the fruit rind in the container as well.

I use a half gallon jar for my storage container. It holds approximately five pieces of fruit. I buy citrus fruit when it’s on sale. If we eat it, perfect.

If not, I’ll cut it up, and place it in my cleaner. The fruit will break down while sitting in the ACV. You can remove old peelings as needed and replenish with fresh fruit.

If you put lemon in your tea, use your leftover lemon wedges (and even the wedges you used) and place them in the cleaner. My main recommendation is to stick with citrus fruit.

I’ve only used oranges and lemons, but grapefruit might work as well.

3. Use and Replenish

After you’ve placed the fruit in the jar, pour apple cider vinegar over the fruit. Fill the jar until the liquid reaches the neck of the container.

Place a lid and ring on the jar until you’re ready to use. When you’re running low, add some more apple cider vinegar to the mix to replenish.

I use this as a general all-purpose cleaner. If you have concerns about the harshness of the cleaner, be sure to do your research before using it.

In my case, it has worked well. I love the way the citrus smell evens out the vinegar scent.

Most importantly, I love that it costs me nothing to make, helps me reduce the amount of waste in my house, and I know exactly what’s in this cleaner.

This homemade all-purpose cleaner is a great help to my budget.

4. Uses for the Product

I’ve used this cleaner in a variety of ways. Here are the ways you may want to use it around your home:

·       Wiping down counters

·       Cleaning the bathroom

·       Rinse aid for your dishwasher

·       Floor cleaner

I have even used this cleaner when running the “clean cycle” on my washing machine. So far, it has worked well, and I’ve had no problems.

Again, do your research to make sure the citrus and vinegar won’t be too harsh on the surface or product you’re cleaning.

Hopefully, it will work as well for you as it has for me.

Cleaning your home can be inexpensive . You can avoid harsh chemicals too.

Instead, use the products you already have and reduce the amount of waste you produce in your home by making this homemade all-purpose cleaner.

Happy housekeeping! 

Looking to transform your laundry routine? Check out this post!

Need a cleaning schedule that works? I’ve got you covered there too.

If you need a complete financial overhaul, check this out to help you save money each month. 

7 Frugal Methods for Gardening on a Budget

Did you know some gardening methods are more expensive than others? Why not try gardening on a budget?

Some methods can cost you quite a bit to get started. Certain people garden out of enjoyment, but if you’re trying to do life on a budget, you may be gardening out of necessity.

 If you fit in the latter category, you’re in the right place. I’m going to bring you some frugal gardening methods.

You shouldn’t have to spend a small fortune to start gardening. Here are the frugal gardening methods that can help you become more self-sufficient through gardening without being a financial burden:

**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. Basic In Ground Gardening to Garden on a Budget

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

If you’d like to garden without a ton of investment, plant a garden in the ground. You’ll need a way to till your garden area. 

Consider buying a tiller.

Once you get the soil to a workable point, you’re only out the cost of seeds and fertilizer.

Not everyone has great soil to grow in, but if you’re fortunate enough to have quality soil, this type of gardening is the most inexpensive.

2. Raised Bed Gardening is Great for Gardening on a Budget

Raised beds don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, you can utilize materials you have hanging around your property to build awesome raised beds.

If you have wooden slabs, old pieces of wood, pieces of metal, tires, or any other usable material, create a raised bed. Fill the beds with quality dirt, and you’re ready to start gardening.

If mobility is a concern, try this mobile raised planter box. 

3. Container Gardening is Helpful When Gardening on a Budget

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

People get all tripped out about container gardening. They assume you must spend a small fortune on gorgeous containers to grow a garden.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t. Instead, use old flower pots or buckets to raise a garden. Don’t be afraid to buy pots second hand either. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, especially when using frugal gardening methods.

4. Window Box Gardening

Do you use window boxes on your house during the warmer months to create gorgeous, natural décor? Why not use this space for gardening?

Buy or build inexpensive window boxes. Fill the boxes with quality soil and grow a small garden in each box. They’re wonderful for herbs, vegetables, and shallow rooted fruits.

5. Hanging Basket Garden

Can you seriously raise a garden in hanging baskets? Why, yes! Yes, you can. Again, purchase inexpensive hanging baskets and hang them in a sunny location once filled with quality soil.

You can grow strawberries in a hanging basket, certain varieties of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and other smaller plants.

6. Hügelkultur

If you’ve never heard of this style of gardening, you’re in for a treat. The idea behind Hügelkultur gardening is to incorporate what you have.

For instance, if you have a fallen tree, don’t trash it. Instead, cover it with soil and compost until it forms a large mound. Then plant your garden in the mound. This will compost over the years giving you quality soil to grow in and will retain moisture.

You can utilize this style of gardening inside your raised beds by placing large chunks of wood in the bottom. Layer the rest of the bed with smaller pieces of wood, mulch, compost, and soil. Hügelkultur is a wonderful frugal gardening method.

7. Vertical Gardening

Photo by Juanjo Menta on Pexels.com

Last, but not least, is vertical gardening. Not everyone has room for large gardening spaces which is why many gardeners have started growing vertically instead of horizontally.

Vertical gardening doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as buying a shoe organizer, filling each pouch with soil, and raising shallow rooted plants in each pocket. Again, it’s inexpensive and compact which makes it a great method for those working with limited funds and space.

Consider this planter and gardening pouch!

If you hang around the internet on a regular basis, it’s easy to become discouraged by thinking you must invest a lot upfront to create a functional grow space.

In my mind, this defeats the entire purpose of gardening from a place of necessity. I hope these frugal gardening methods encourage you to grow your own food, save money on your grocery bill, and avoid busting your budget.

It can be done. I know because I’ve done it for years.

Now, friends, I encourage you to try it for yourself. Pick the frugal gardening method that will work best for you and try your hand at gardening.

It’s okay to fail. Consider it a lesson and continue to persevere as you gain valuable gardening experience while maintaining life on a budget.

34 Fun and Festive Memorial Day Recipes

**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!**

Memorial Day is coming up!

What are you going to eat this year? When I think of Memorial Day I think of picnics, backyard BBQ’s, and days spent out on the water.

It’s the official start of summer after all. If you’re unsure of what festive foods to incorporate into your day, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve got you covered from breakfast to dessert. Here are some fun and festive Memorial Day recipes:

1. Kid-Friendly Patriotic Punch

Nothing makes kids happier than having a special drink on a special day. Normally, we choose punch for special occasions. In this case, you mix three fruit flavored beverages, and give the kids a twisty candy straw. They’re going to love it!

2. Patriotic Marshmallow Crunch Brownies

This is a boxed brownie mix with marshmallows inside and finished off with icing and chocolate candies. They’re easy and festive. What more could you want?

3. Easy Taco Salad Flag

Taco salad is a great recipe for Memorial Day. With this design, it can be festive. It’s delicious too! Plus, it’s easy to take on a boat or to a picnic.

4. Patriotic Trail Mix

This recipe is super fun! It would be a great snack to leave out for everyone to munch on during Memorial Day. It contains salted peanuts, almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, Boston baked beans, yogurt covered raisins, and chocolate covered blueberries.

5. Mini Shortcake Cups

When we go out on our boat, I want to take flavorful foods, but I also have to pack in a way that everything will fit in a cooler. This is a great dessert that you can put in your cooler for Memorial Day. It’s packed with angel food cake, fresh berries, and whipped topping.

6. Patriotic Trifle Recipe

A trifle is the easiest dessert for every occasion. Why would Memorial Day be any different? You can make this ahead of time and pull it out for your guests when they’re ready to dive in. This recipe consists of angel food cake, fresh berries, and two different types of gelatin for an added touch of patriotism.

7. No-Bake Graham Cracker Dessert

If this isn’t the easiest dessert, I don’t know what is! Place graham crackers on a flat surface in a rectangle. Cover them in frosting or nut butter, make the white stripes with marshmallows, the red stripes with strawberries, and the stars with Kix cereal. Seriously guys, how cute and simple?

8. Patriotic Smoothie

By Memorial Day, the sun is usually blazing down on us. This means you’ll need new and refreshing ways to cool off. This can be done in a patriotic fashion too! Try this fruit smoothie that’s layered in red, white, and blue.

9. Baked Mac and Cheese

I told you I had you covered with all kinds of recipes. Well, you can’t live on desserts and smoothies (though, don’t you wish you could?!) When you’re ready for sturdier foods, pull out the baked mac and cheese. It’s delicious and goes great with almost anything you’ll prepare on the grill.

10. Patriotic Toast

Even though it’s Memorial Day, you can’t forget about breakfast. Why not start the day off in a festive way? Don’t do boring toast. Do patriotic toast! It’s bread with cream cheese spread on top. The toast is then layered in strawberries and blueberries. It’s healthy and tasty too!

11. Patriotic Popcorn

Popcorn is such a fun and frugal snack. This version looks delicious, too! Plus, it’s super easy. You pop popcorn, add melted butter, and dump marshmallows, chocolate candy, sprinkles, and pretzels in the same bowl. It all melts together and becomes a fun snack.

12. Firecracker Jell-O Snacks

Jell-O is another easy, frugal, and fun snack. Most people love the texture. Why not add this festive snack to your Memorial Day menu? It’s red and blue Jell-O squares layered into a cup. Add whipped topping and licorice sticks to top it off.

13. Best Baked Beans

I don’t care who you are, you can’t have a Memorial Day cookout without someone bringing the baked beans. These beans are easy and delicious! It’s pork and beans with seasonings and hamburger. Give them a try this year!

14. Patriotic No-Bake Batter Truffles

If you enjoy cake, you’ll love these no-bake truffles. They consist of strawberry cake in the center. Once the truffles are made, they’re dipped in vanilla coating and fun sprinkles are added.

15. Firecracker Marshmallows

Some people just really love marshmallows. If you’re one of them, you must try this recipe. It’s cute but also easy to make. The marshmallows are partially dipped in blue chocolate and topped with a cherry.

16. Chipotle Bacon Sweet Potato Salad

Is it really Memorial Day without some form of potato salad? If you’re looking for a side dish that’s outside of the box, you must try a sweet potato salad. It has chipotle mayonnaise, pickles, herbs, onions, apple cider vinegar, and much more. You’ll love this flavorful option!

17. Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Salad

I don’t know about you all, but I love some cheesecake. The only problem is making one homemade takes more than I want to give sometimes. This Memorial Day you can have all the cheesecake flavor in this patriotic salad. Give it a try and see what you think.

18. Red, White, and Blue Cookie Bars

This would make another fun addition to your Memorial Day recipes. If you’re tired of doing plain cookies or brownies, consider making these cookie bars. They’re easy to grab-and-go for an active family picnic or while out on the lake.

19. Summer Fruit Salsa

Picnics are great! You can have traditional foods like hotdogs and hamburgers, or you can do finger foods. If you take the finger foods route, consider making this delicious (and healthy) fruit salsa.

20. Patriotic Salad

I love making fruit plates. They’re pretty when serving and healthy. This salad is so easy. You can design it to look like a flag, and you only need a few different fruits and some cheese.

21.  Heavenly Blueberry Cherry Muffins

If you’re looking for a breakfast idea you can make ahead of time for Memorial Day, check out these muffins. They’re a lemon base with blueberries and cherries inside. It comes together to make a tasty patriotic breakfast.

22. Patriotic Cones

I love this fun idea! Memorial Day is a perfect time for making homemade ice cream, but why should the fun stop there? You can make these festive patriotic cones to put your dessert over the top.

23.  Patriotic Yogurt Bites

Sometimes you want to be festive without ruining your diet. I get it! It can be hard. Check out these healthy yogurt bites with bits of fruit in them. They look festive and are still healthy.

24. Red, White, and Blue Deviled Eggs

Is it really even a picnic without deviled eggs? It isn’t around my house. We raise chickens and always have eggs on hand. If you want a festive way to present a traditional picnic item, you must try these deviled eggs.

25. Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

We’ve covered many breakfast ideas, desserts, and a few side dishes that would be perfect for Memorial Day. It’s time to discuss meat. Whether you’re grilling outdoors, packing a picnic for your boat, or going on a picnic, meat on a skewer is always a good idea. These chicken skewers would make a great main dish!

26. The Best Broccoli Salad

If I’m asked to bring a dish to a picnic, you can guarantee I’m coming with this in tow. Why? Because broccoli salad is amazing! You can’t have a picnic without it (in my opinion, anyway.) It’s a must-have for Memorial Day.

27. Big Mac Sliders

When I think of Memorial Day, I always think of eating off a paper plate. Do you really need a big, heavy burger to weigh down your plate? You don’t, but don’t skip the burgers all together. Make these sliders instead.

28. Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Imagine you’re eating a burger off a paper plate. The burger has toppings, and they fall all over the place. Stop battling your burger! Instead, use these burgers where the cheese and bacon are stuffed inside. Your paper plate will thank you.

29. Loaded Baked Potato Salad

When my family asks for potato salad, I skip the southern style. Instead, I go straight for the loaded baked potato salad. Why? Because it’s really that good! You must try it this Memorial Day.

30. Grilled Barbecued Hot Dogs

Are hot dogs a tradition at your Memorial Day cookout? Do things a little different this year. Grill hot dogs that are coated in ketchup, barbecue, apple cider vinegar, and honey. I’m not a hot dog fan, but this sounds delicious!

31. Everything Pigs in a Blanket

This recipe adds a small twist on a traditional and simple favorite. Roll hot dogs in a puff pastry, top the pastry with Everything Spice Blend, and bake until done. They make a delicious finger food perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue or picnic.

32. Killer Barbecue Ribs

My husband doesn’t think it’s Memorial Day until he fires up his grill and puts a large slab of meat on it. If you feel the same way, you’ll love this recipe for delicious finger-lickin’ barbecue ribs.

33. Smoked Sweet Barbecue Wings

If you have a smoker, Memorial Day is a great time to get it going. Give the grill a break and create these delicious smoked wings!

34. Barbecue Chicken Kebabs

We end our Memorial Day recipes food tour with barbecue chicken kebabs. They’re easy to make, delicious, and easy to eat on a picnic or on your outdoor adventures. They’d make a delicious main course on this holiday.

You now have 34 different recipes to choose from. Hopefully this post will help you plan a delicious and festive Memorial Day menu.

Enjoy this holiday weekend, stay safe, enjoy time with loved ones, and eat as many good foods as you can! Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

8 Tips for Parents Who Must Self-Quarantine

**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!**

Pandemic.

It’s on the news, we’re all trying to figure out how to do our part, but we’re also trying to navigate what this pandemic means for us and our families.

When I learned what I should do if I contract COVID-19, my first thought was, “How will this work for parents?”

I’ve decided to create a list of things we can do ahead of time in the event any of us , as parents or primary caregivers, contract this virus.

Hopefully, it will allow us to focus on healing instead of worrying about our families quite as much during an already difficult time. 

If you’re unsure of what to do if you contract COVID-19, there’s a plethora of resources. Be sure to utilize them to find the best information for your area. 

Here are a few things parents can do to prepare if you must self-quarantine:

1. Avoid the Pandemic

Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

Your initial plan should begin with preventive maintenance. If you can avoid the corona virus, you should.

This means wiping down frequently used surfaces multiple times per day. My house cleaning schedule may help you to maintain a cleaner home during this time. 

It also means keeping a safe social distance from others, washing your hands frequently for 20 or more seconds, and practicing good hygiene. 

Basically, use common sense. Do the things you should probably be doing anyway to avoid contracting other illnesses such as the flu.

2. Pick Your Room

Photo by Terry Magallanes on Pexels.com

Part of being prepared is knowing what you’re going to do if you somehow find yourself in the worst case scenario.

To begin, you need to know what room you’ll hole up in to keep the rest of your family safe.

In most cases, it’ll be your bedroom. It has a door that you can use as a barrier between your illness and your loved ones.

If you live in an open space (like a studio apartment) consider putting up privacy curtains to serve as a barrier.

3. Figure Out the Bathroom Situation

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a home with multiple bathrooms, or if you have an en suite in your master bedroom, you have an easier set-up.

However, if you live in a smaller home with one bathroom (like myself) be prepared to wipe down the surfaces every time you shower, brush your teeth, or use the restroom.

You can use disposable bleach wipes, or you could keep small hand towels and a spray bottle of sanitizing spray to use when you use the area.

Either way, know what your plan is and have all the necessary materials together incase you must utilize your plan.

4. Prepare for the Whole Family to be Home

When one person in the family contracts COVID-19, they encourage everyone in the home to self-quarantine.

This is to stop the spread from people who may not even be aware they have it.

If you live in a two parent home, your childcare is covered.

If not, you’ll need to consider what you’ll do with your children while you’re self-quarantined.

However you work out childcare and quarantine, make sure your kids have plenty of things to keep them busy.

The last thing you want to hear for 14 days is, “I’m booored!!”

Be prepared with activities and think this scenario through based on your individual family’s needs.

5. Freezer Prep Meals

If you’re quarantined it’s going to be hard to prepare meals for your family.

You won’t be able to go out to pick-up food, you shouldn’t go to the grocery store, and you probably shouldn’t order in either. Not to mention, that will get expensive.

Considering how uncertain things seem financially right now, you should try to avoid wrecking your budget…even when sick.

Think ahead and create freezer meals. You can do this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Create make-ahead snacks as well. If you need them they’re there. If not, you’re ready for another busy season in life that’s sure to come.

6. Pack a Bag for Your Kids

If you’re not used to being the primary caregiver, things like making sure the kids are dressed in normal clothes and brushing their teeth can be hard.

Just as you’d pack a hospital bag when a new baby arrives, do the same for your kids now.

That way, everything is there and easy to find for whomever is filling your role while you’re in quarantine.

7. Meal Plan

It isn’t enough just to create freezer meals. In my house, if I get sick, my husband and kids know that there is food available but feel uncertain of what to do with it.

This is where a meal plan comes into play. You make a list of what’s intended for each meal of the day.

It will allow your family to check a list and put prepped meals together.

8. Develop a Household Routine

Having a routine can make life feel normal even when things aren’t. Therefore, go ahead and get a chore chart going.

Make sure everyone knows what they should be doing in this difficult time of stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and even quarantine. 

When everyone knows their role in keeping the house in order, even if you do get sick, the house won’t fall apart. This isn’t just to maintain a certain standard of living. It will help everyone feel more at ease in an already hard time. 

It’s a good idea to think ahead about how you’re going to keep everyone happy if you end up needing to self-quarantine.

Having a game plan can make things a little easier (on you and your family) during this time of uncertainty.

I hope these tips help you, but most importantly, I hope you all stay healthy!

13 Health Benefits of Coffee [And 2 Risks]

**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!**

Are you a coffee drinker? 

There was a time when society tried to make us feel guilty for drinking it.

However, over time, medical science is proving coffee has many benefits.

If you’re looking for a few extra reasons to indulge in your morning cup of Joe, you’ve come to the right place. 

I’m going to share with you why coffee could be of great benefit to your health. Here’s what you should know about the health benefits of coffee:

**Before we get started, let’s discuss the legalities.I’m not a medical professional. This is meant for informational purposes only. Please seek out advice from a medical professional if you have questions or concerns about the benefits or risk-factors of including coffee in your diet. I’m not liable in any way. Thank you!**

1. Gives You Energy

This is a “duh” point because we all know that coffee gives us energy. This is why most of us stumble to the coffee pot before we do anything else in the morning.

However, it’s important to note that coffee gives us energy because of the caffeine it contains. Therefore, it’s a low-calorie method to get our energy boost to start the day.

2. Makes Your Brain Work

After we get our first surge of caffeine for the day, we’re ready to roll. Our brains are awake and ready to tackle whatever comes our way.

The same caffeine that gives us energy also improves our brain function. Caffeine blocks adenosine. By blocking this neurotransmitter, it opens the way for another neurotransmitter (dopamine) in our brain. 

By increasing the dopamine in our brain, it boosts our overall brain function but can have a large impact on our mood, memory, and amount of time it takes us to react. 

3. Puts the Heat to Your Fat

If you look on the back of any diet pill or drink, you’ll find most contain caffeine. Why? Because caffeine is a natural fat burner.

By increasing our caffeine intake, it not only boosts your brain power but also your metabolic rate and can help you lose weight. Caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 10%. This percentage will die down the more you drink coffee, but if you’re new to the coffee-game enjoy this benefit while it lasts. 

4. Gym Buddy

Are you considering heading to the gym in the next hour? Consider drinking a small, black cup of coffee about an hour before working out.

If you have a healthy heart, the caffeine in coffee can increase your adrenaline and nervous system. This gives you more energy and can help you have a better workout.

Again, make sure your heart is in good enough condition to withstand this caffeine boost prior to a workout

5. Contains Nutrients

I don’t know about you, but when I drink coffee, I’m not considering what type of nutrients it contains. 

However, if you need a boost in the arm over drinking your coffee, you’ll be glad to know it does contain important nutrients.

Coffee contains various types of vitamin B, manganese, and potassium. If you like to get your nutrients through food/ beverage sources instead of a pill, coffee could be one more source of the vitamins your body needs. 

6. Fights Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a horrible disease that impacts far too many people. We know that diet and exercise can lower our risk of this disease.

However, scientists are finding that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of battling this disease as well. 

They aren’t exactly sure why coffee helps fight type 2 diabetes, but in recent observations, they’re finding it seems to lower the risk.

7. So Long Depression

Depression is another serious disease which impacts people from all walks of life. Coffee isn’t a cure-all for this disease. 

However, it can help when you’re battling depression. If you struggle with this difficult disease, be sure to reach out for help from medical professionals when you need it, but also consider adding a cup of coffee or two to your daily routine as well and see if it helps. 

8. Might be Good for Certain Organs

Scientists are checking into the health benefits coffee provides. They’re seeing positive results though they don’t fully understand why they’re getting the results they are.

For example, in some studies, scientists are finding that coffee may be good for your liver. They think it may help fight cirrhosis of the liver and other cancers. 

Along the same line of thinking, they believe it may be good for your heart as well. They’re seeing signs it could even help fight a variety of cancers. Having a potential liquid cancer-fighter in a cup is a wonderful health benefit of coffee. 

9. Fights Diseases

We’ve all probably known someone who was impacted by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. If you’ve ever been close to someone who has experienced these diseases, you know how devastating they can be.

The good news is scientists are finding coffee may be able to help deter these two diseases. They still aren’t sure how coffee deters Alzheimer’s, but in recent studies, it appears that coffee may lessen your risk of developing the disease.

Caffeine in coffee may help deter Parkinson’s because it encourages dopamine to keep pumping through the body.  

10. Body Aches

The next time you have a hard day’s work, do take a warm bath to soothe your sore muscles. Once you get out of the bath, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee.

Coffee is thought to soothe sore muscles as well. While you’re applying Bengay, you might as well sit back, relax, and enjoy a hot cup of Joe to relieve the aches of a sore body. 

11. Good for Your Diet

We’ve already discussed how coffee contains important nutrients that our body’s need to function properly.

You’ll be glad to know, coffee also contains fiber. We all need fiber in our diet because it scrubs our insides to remove waste and plaque from our system. Coffee is one more way for you to up your fiber intake.

12. Good for Your Teeth

It’s important to take care of every part of our body, including our teeth. If you practice good home care but still would like to do more to keep your teeth in tip-top shape, drink black coffee.

Black coffee is able to kill bacteria on your teeth. Therefore, this deters cavities from forming. One more reason you can feel good about enjoying your morning cup of coffee.

13. Kicks Gout to the Curb

If you’ve ever struggled with gout, you know how painful it can be on your joints. You should definitely seek medical attention for it if necessary.

But if you’re interested in stopping gout before it starts, you’ll be encouraged to know that scientists think coffee helps protect your body from it. Coffee is more than a favorite beverage. It can be a liquid armor against some things (or so we hope.)

Coffee sounds like an amazing drink and something everyone should partake in. However, I pride myself on offering beneficial information for everyone to make choices based upon the whole picture.

Though the health benefits of coffee seem great in some cases, it may not be a benefit to everyone who drinks it.

Here are the risks to drinking coffee:

1. Boosts Your Cholesterol

There is a chance that coffee could boost your cholesterol. Instead of being a benefit to your heart, it could serve as a hindrance.

If you have concerns about your cholesterol, be sure to speak with your doctor to find out if coffee is the right beverage for you.

2. Heart Damage

Some people are born with a genetic mutation which could cause coffee to do damage to their heart. 

This mutation impacts how your body processes coffee. It slows down your body’s process in breaking down the caffeine which can damage your heart. 

Obviously, the benefits and risks of drinking coffee will vary on a case-by-case basis. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have any medical concerns or questions about your risks of drinking coffee.

Remember, moderation is key. A cup or two of coffee a day probably won’t hurt a healthy person. If you overdo it, you could see negative side effects.

Practice good judgment, seek out medical advice when in doubt, and if you’re healthy (and your doctor says it’s okay) do enjoy every sip you take while also enjoying the health benefits of coffee.

Low Carb Meals on a Budget + Printable

Low carb meals on a budget

Are you jumping on the low-carb bandwagon and need low carb meals on a budget?

Welcome aboard!

My husband and I tried this way of eating a few years ago. We lost quite a bit of weight, but tragedy struck our lives, and the next thing we knew we started eating a traditional American diet again.

This year, we’ve decided to get back to where we were. I feel better eating a low carb diet, and I love losing weight while still eating delicious foods.

My friend tried the low carb way of life a few years ago too. When she heard I was going back to it she said, “I want to, but I wish someone would meal plan for me.”

Well, Jennifer, here you go. (No, I’m not talking to myself. My friend is named Jennifer ,too.) I’m going to give you seven days worth of low carb meals on a budget.

I’m also giving you a few tips to help you adjust to this way of eating. Ready? Let’s get started:

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional and different ways of eating may have varied results. Please speak with your doctor before trying any diet. I’m not liable for your experience. This is meant for informational purposes only. 

**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 sitesThank you for supporting my blog!**

Low Carb Meals on a Budget: Breakfast Ideas

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I include intermittent fasting with my low carb diet. It makes me feel better, and I find I lose weight faster.

This doesn’t mean everyone will have the same results. If I choose to fast through breakfast, I like to drink a bulletproof coffee to help hold me over.

However, if you prefer to start your day off with solid food, eggs and bacon are an inexpensive way to launch the day. 

A few other breakfast options are:

  • Fried bacon and avocado (you can fry them alongside each other for a great flavor)
  • Scrambled eggs whipped with heavy cream, cheese, and cubed ham
  • Boiled eggs with sausage patties 
  • Scrambled eggs cooked with crumbled sausage and cheese
  • Keto yogurt

Low Carb Meals on a Budget: Lunch Ideas

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I’m a basic lunch type of girl. I stay busy and need something I can either prep ahead of time or fix quickly. This is where inside-out-sandwiches come into play.

These sandwiches consist of lettuce as the bread, a sandwich meat in the middle, along with cheese, and finished with vegetables or a low carb condiment. 

Wrap it all up and enjoy! Prepping your meals ahead of time can help you stay the course. Try using handy containers to easily store your prepped meals in the fridge.

This way you can snag a pre-prepped meal, shove it in a cooler bag, and rush out the door on your busy days. All while avoiding the risk of breaking your low carb lifestyle or your budget.

Other lunch options are:

Here are a few more meal prep lunch options which might help you stick to this way of eating.

Low Carb Meals on a Budget: Dinner Ideas

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Dinner doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, if you’re looking for low carb meals on a budget, they usually won’t be.

A great low carb budget-friendly meal is grilled chicken with a side of broccoli topped with cheese and butter.

It’s a well-rounded meal, easy to fix, and contains the protein, fiber, and fat you need with a low carb diet. Plus, it’s inexpensive.

Additional dinner ideas are:

  • Chicken Casserole- Use leftover cooked chicken, cooked vegetables, cream cheese, and top it off with additional shredded cheese before baking. Make sure the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown
  • Hamburgers (no bun) with cheese, keto ketchup, and mustard. Put a slice of dill pickle on the side, and a side of green beans to finish the meal
  • Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole 
  • Skillet Pizzas- Place shredded cheese in a hot skillet, top with pepperonis, and let cook until the cheese has formed a solid crust. Once the crust has formed, gently remove from skillet, slice, and enjoy
  • Polish sausage cooked with sauteed bell peppers and onions 
  • Chili Cheese Hot Dog Bake- cook hot dogs or polish sausages, place in a casserole dish, top with low-carb chili and shredded cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbly and all ingredients are heated through

Snack Ideas

One of my favorite snacks is pepperoni and cheese. It doesn’t need to be as boring as it sounds.

You can take the basic approach and wrap pepperoni around a cheese stick to enjoy cold. 

However, you can spice it up a little by placing it in a skillet to melt it all together. It’s a delicious pick-me-up to carry you through the late afternoon hours. 

Additional snack ideas are:

A Few Extra Tips

If you’re new to leading a low carb lifestyle there are a few things you can do to make your life easier. Try the following tips to help you stick to this way of eating:

1. Check Ingredients

One of the most important things you must do when leading a low carb lifestyle is check the labels of the foods you plan on eating before you eat them. 

You’ll be surprised how many hidden carbohydrates and sugars are in the foods we eat most frequently.

Tomato based products are some of the most common items to have hidden sugars. Be extra diligent when eating these items. 

2. Plan Ahead

You can eat out on a low carb diet, but you must use even more diligence because you’ll be astonished to see how many carbohydrates and sugars are tucked into foods we commonly eat at restaurants.

Therefore, it’s vital you plan ahead. Either prep your meals ahead of time (because we all get busy) or check the nutritional information of what you plan to eat at a restaurant to make sure you avoid foods outside of the low carb range. 

3. Prep Your Meals

Prepping your meals is a big step in finding success with this way of eating. I work from home, but my husband does not.

Therefore, I spend Sunday nights prepping his breakfasts and lunches for the week. This way, he can wake up, place these two meals in his lunch box, and hit the road. He doesn’t have to worry about what he’ll eat while he’s gone or if it’s low carb friendly. 

4. Be Creative

Last but not least, be prepared to get creative when following a low carb diet. You’ll miss certain foods you once loved that no longer fall into this way of eating.

However, you can get creative and figure out how to make low carb versions of your favorite foods. This will keep you from getting bored or feeling as though you’re being deprived of the foods you enjoy. 

Needing some tips? Follow me on Pinterest where I have boards designed for those following low carb diets. They’re filled with recipes from all over the web to keep you inspired and on track! 

If you’ve been struggling to figure out how to launch a low-carb way of eating, maybe this will give you a few ideas of how you can get started without breaking the bank.

Be sure to download and/or print your FREE 7-day low carb meal plan. It’s great to keep on your phone or even stick in your purse/ wallet when you’re headed to the store or need a quick idea of what to eat. 

I hope this encourages and inspires you as you tackle your health goals and try to enjoy more low carb meals on a budget. Best of luck to you!

Get your FREE meal plan here.

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