Living on the Cheaper Side of Life
There might be resources out there that you may not have considered using or don't know about that you can use to save money. First I'll be covering how to cut your cell phone plan from your expenses and an alternative plan you may not know about. Then I will be going over different ways to save on food and how to build your own mobile vegetable garden along with a cost effective way to save on planter boxes.Last but not least, I'll be covering birthdays. Birthdays while important do take a lot of revenue to make great, or do they?
Cell Phone Plan
Talking and texting have become a necessity in this modern world and with cell phone providers cutting costs every which way, why shouldn’t you do the same? Most people don't realize that with a wi-fi connection they can make phone calls and even send text without going through their cell phone care provider. There are a couple of apps on your play store or on the app store that you can look into. Many of which are cheaper than your current cell phone plan or even free. Many of these won’t work for the day to day business man or woman as they do require wi-fi and if you are constantly on the move, this won't be practical for you.
Google has recently come out with a phone and a plan that beats any known competitor out there. Using every cell tower regardless of carrier and offering the cheapest plan available while providing the best phone available. There are a number of phones that support Project-fi by Google and these can be found by clicking here. The Google Pixel is available now online for around three hundred dollars and the plan usually ranges from 20-30 dollars per month. Now the best use of this plan is to be on Wi-Fi as much as possible, use Wi-Fi calling when at your home or out at your local coffee house and never use your 4G if you have the option of Wi-Fi. This will allow you to save a ton of money especially if you are spending anything close to 40-60 dollars monthly on a phone plan. The phone will pay for itself within six months and you will have an awesome phone as well. This phone, while it has the best service you can get on a cell phone as it uses every tower at its disposal regardless of carrier, also has one of the best camera’s on the market and a user interface that is easy to use and hassle free. I cannot recommend it highly enough. To check out the Project-fi by Google click here.
We all have to eat and I cannot say it's easy to cut this cost down to anything less than 50 dollars a month per person, but it is possible. Coupons are your best friend. Since the whole coupon show's that have aired in the last couple of years most grocery stores have put a limit on how many coupons you can use at one time but that’s okay! Now I suggest doing your first initial shopping in bulk as you'll need some basic items to start cutting down your cost of groceries every month. The first thing you buy in bulk is white rice; you buy it by the pound and get more than one bag. It lasts for years, it’s cheap, filling and you can do a plethora of different dishes with it.
The next thing I suggest buying in bulk are pasta noodles. I try and get a variety as to spice up my recipes and I suggest you do the same. Pasta lasts for years and is easy to make plenty of dishes with only a few added ingredients. Now the way I do my shopping is I buy pasta, rice, sauce mixes, spices, bread crumbs and basic soup mixes by the bulk. I add these in different combinations and buy the small extra’s one at a time usually using a coupon or finding a coupon online to add to that night’s dinner. This saves me a ton of money in food and we never run out because there is always something I can whip up even if I only have a soup to serve that night.
Peppers, Rice and Gravy:
(I'll be adding a photo of this awesome dish the next time I make it!)
- 2 Cups White Rice
- 3 Bell Peppers (Yellow, Orange and Red), Sliced
- 2 Gravy Packet
- Make the rice following the directions on the back.
- Make the gravy following the directions on the back.
- Slice the peppers so they resemble small triangle chips.
- Lay the cut peppers on a plate surrounding the edges, put the cooked rice on top, cover the rice with gravy.
The peppers become chips and the rice and gravy the dip. This is an easy meal that takes about twenty minutes (just time to cook the rice and warm up the gravy) and it is filling and easy to make. You can bake the pepper slices, even spice them and add a plethora of different ingredients to spice up this dish, just use your imagination. But even this basic version is tasty and easy to make and best of all cheap.
- 1 Cup Rice
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 2 Scoops of Sugar
- Cook the rice
- Put rice into a bowl
- Add milk and sugar
You now have a sweet easy to make breakfast. Also if you have extra rice already cooked from the previous night it makes the job that much easier. I know it sounds weird but do not knock it until you try it.
Basic Stir Fry:
- 2 Cups Rice
- 1 Bag of Mix Frozen Veggies
- 1 Table Spoon of Soy Sauce
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the back.
- Cook the vegetables according to the instructions on the back.
- Throw all of this into a pan, add soy sauce and mix until the rice turns brown, turn on high heat.
- Saute for 15 minutes.
- Sauce (Alfredo or red sauce your choice)
- Cheese of your choice
- Veggies of your choice
- Bread or bread crumbs
- Set your oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil the pasta until it is just a little tough (also known as al dente).
- Warm up the sauce you chose in a separate pan
- Add the veggies that you chose to the sauce while it cooks.
- Take a small oven safe bowl and line the bottom with bread (crumbled finely) or bread crumbs.
- Poor the pasta into the bowl on top of the bread crumbs, add the sauce insuring that the pasta is covered completely.
- Add another layer of bread (crumbled finely) or bread crumbs until sauce isn't visible.
- Cover with cheese of your choice and put into oven for roughly 15-20 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.
- Take out and let cool for 5 minutes and serve!
Now you may have noticed that none of these tasty recipes include meat (unless you want to count the sausage gravy) and there is a reason for this. Meat is expensive and a lot of families are living on a budget. While most of these recipes you can add meat to including the stir fry I did not include meat because it is not necessary to the recipe.
Some stores allow you to purchase seeds or actual vegetable plants on EBT. Just ask!
Growing Your Own Veggie's
If you live in an apartment with a balcony or have a small back yard you don't want to dedicate a vegetable garden to that's okay this is an idea I used when I knew we were going to move soon and I didn't want to loose my garden. We had a couple old coolers sitting around so I decided to make a movable vegetable garden out of them.
1.) Remove the cooler lid
2.) Turn cooler over and drill a series of holes in the bottom for addtional drainage
3.) Fill the bottom of the cooler with rocks (this will stop you from loosing a lot of your dirt when you water and will decrease the weight of the cooler)
4.) Fill with dirt
5) Add plants or seeds
This allows you to move your vegitable garden anytime. Although a lot of plants are a lot happier in the ground this still works and by fall you can have some additional ingrediants for your rice and pasta dishes.
There is quite a number of places that you get free food or drinks on your birthday. Some of this requires planning in advance so don't hesitate to sign up for these offers. Even if you have no money on your birthday it doesn't mean you can't have a good time. There are a ton of offers out there but I shall only list the best ones that are available nationwide. Most of these you have to sign up for their fan club/email list so I have included the links.
Applebee's: free desert!
Arby's: Free milkshake!
Baskin-Robins: Free scoop of icecream and discount on a cake!
Denny's: You don't need to sign up for this one, get a free Grand Slam!
Dutch Bro's: Get any drink free on your birthday! No need to sign up.
Dunkin' Donuts: Free medium drink!
Red Lobster: Free desert! Have to sign up 7 days prior to your birthday!
Red Robin: Free burger!
Starbucks: Free drink or treat! Register 30 days prior to your birthday!
Texas Roadhouse: Free surprise and free desert!
Tony Roma’s: Free entree!
Waffle House: Free waffle!