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2 In love with Costco? We are too! Check out these tips and tricks to stick to your grocery budget while shopping at Costco!

How to Shop at Costco on a Budget

Want to shop at Costco on a budget? Check out these simple tips and tricks to keep you on budget while fully stocked with all your favorite, everyday ingredients!

Feeding a family on a budget is no doubt a challenge, but if done at the right place and in the right way you can easily stock and store on all your family’s favorite foods and pantry staples. Needless to say, the tips on this post apply to SamsClub and other Membership Clubs.

Okay whether its the actual items offered at Costco or the free samples, no doubt this is one of the best places to shop when you have to feed a large family.

Many people know Costco as a wholesale warehouse that offers everything from electronics and appliances to everyday household items, and of course, groceries! But for this post, we’ll only be focusing on groceries.

Costco offers a variety of fresh, quality produce, dairy, frozen, baked, canned, and dry goods, in bulk size.

What are the perks of buying in bulk? For the most part, buying certain items on wholesale is much cheaper than a regular grocery store -when you need to feed four or more people weekly.

For example, instead of buying a single 12-ounce jar of salsa at your regular grocery store for $3, at Costco, you would buy 2-24 ounce or, 1 48-ounce container for $7. Meaning, you’d spend $12 at a regular supermarket for the $7 you just spent at Costco.

This method of grocery shopping is ideal for families since many of these items are used day-to-day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Plus, in my household, with our devoted love for tacos, we can never have enough salsa! Note: if you only need salsa for a single recipe, don’t spend the $7, but if you are a salsa fan and can use it multiple times, buy it.

That being said, bulk shopping is not for everyone! If you only have 2 to 3 people in your family, buying in bulk might not be the best idea for fresh items like fruit, veggies, most refrigerated, and freezer items. In this case, you would lose both money and food!

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

YOU NEED TO BE A MEMBER:

If you aren’t already a member of Costco (or another wholesale club), do what I did, and go with a friend! Yes, it’s that popular that at least one person in your everyday world is a member of Costco! Information on membership to Costco can be found on their website, and many wholesale clubs let you shop one time for free to try it out.

GET YOUR SHOPPING LISTS READY:

Take time before you go shopping to do a thorough pantry and kitchen check. See what household staples are low. If you are a MOMables Meal Plan Member and receive our weekly plans and shopping lists, then you are ready.

With our family meal plans, we include recipes that use everyday ingredients to create meals the whole family will enjoy. Most of these ingredients are used in large quantities by families anyway, so it’s a good idea to go ahead and bulk-purchase the items on the shopping lists like eggs, frozen veggies, strawberries, bananas, tortillas, peanut butter, milk, and of course salsa!

STICK TO THE PLAN:

Stick to what you need! If you see a 5-pound jar of pickles but only use pickles on sandwiches, don’t buy it! So with these tips in hand, let’s check out the best products to purchase from Costco or your wholesale club:

BAKERY:

  • Bread
  • Tortillas
  • Bakery goods

FRESH PRODUCE:

  • Most fruit including apples, bananas, oranges, avocados, berries, organic fruits, sliced apples
  • Salads, pre-chopped, organic greens, organic spinach, family-size salad mixes
  • Most veggies including, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (in season only), celery, mushrooms, baby carrots, asparagus.
  • Organic produce: it’s significantly cheaper per pound compared to a traditional grocery even though it might cost more than the conventional.
    Potatoes

REFRIGERATED:

  • Eggs, both organic and conventional
  • Butter, buy in bulk, freeze extras
  • Milk, both organic and conventional all varieties -including cream and half and half.
  • Cheese, blocks of cheese and shredded
  • Deli meats, pre-sliced
  • Bacon
  • Ground meat, especially the organic variety you’ll often save about $1 per pound
  • Chicken, frozen chicken is your lowest cost per pound compared to the regular grocery
  • Meat products, conventional meats like beef and pork, sausages, are all cheaper in bulk.
  • Rotisserie chicken– easiest way to make two meals with one purchase! Use them to make my Southern Chicken Salad and Chipotle Burrito Bowls!

FROZEN:

  • Frozen fruit, especially blueberries, pineapple, mango
  • Frozen chicken
  • Frozen fish, including white fish and salmon
  • Frozen vegetables, including broccoli, green beans

CANNED GOODS/PANTRY:

  • Tomato products: sauce, paste, diced, etc.
  • Salsa
  • Beans, canned and dry in bulk
  • Condiments: Mayonnaise, mustard, Ketchup (organic)
  • Olives, black olives canned, green mazanilla, jarred Kalamata
  • Nut butters: peanut butter, almond butter, nut-free butter (at some stores)
  • Jelly
  • Flours, including wheat flour, gluten-free flour mixes, coconut flour, almond meal/flour
  • Baking goods: baking powder, baking soda, salt
  • Rice, especially basmatti rice
  • Pasta
  • Spices, only those you use most since spices do lose their strength
  • Oils, especially olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and also spray

With thousands of products offered at my wholesale club, it’s impossible for me to go one by one, but you get the idea. When you want to eat real food on a budget and have a club membership, I stick to basic food items.

I avoid prepared foods, frozen meals, snacks, treats, and most processed items since they tend to raise my grocery bill tremendously and they tend to bring me over budget.

Overall, it’s safe to say, a trip to Costco or your wholesale club is worth the membership when cooking for a family. Whether it’s saving on all those everyday ingredients or the endless amount of free samples, there is something for everyone at Costco.

 In love with Costco, Sams, or your wholesale club? We are too! Check out my list of things to buy when feeding a family real food on a budget!

In love with Costco, Sams, or your wholesale club? We are too! Check out my list of things to buy when feeding a family real food on a budget!

 In love with Costco, Sams, or your wholesale club? We are too! Check out my list of things to buy when feeding a family real food on a budget!

In love with Costco, Sams, or your wholesale club? We are too! Check out my list of things to buy when feeding a family real food on a budget!

2 10 Tips to make School Lunch a Breeze

Ten Healthy Lunch Packing Tips

Make school lunches a breeze with these ten healthy lunch packing tips.

10 Tips to make School Lunch a BreezeI often hear from moms that “packing lunch takes a long time” or “I don’t have time to pack lunches.” My mantra is that it only takes 10 minutes to pack one or five lunches. In fact, if you can learn to pre-plan your lunches in advance and do most of the prep work ahead of time, then all you need is a weekly plan.

If you are just getting started and find lunch packing overwhelming, here are ten lunch packing tips:

Make a List

Sit down and write a food plan for the week. You can browse the Internet for new ideas or subscribe to a school lunch-planning service. From there, you can create your shopping list or print out the one from your subscription service.

Shop Over the Weekend

If you shop over the weekend, you can come home and prep a lot of your lunch items. Starting the week with fresh produce means you don’t have to stare at the refrigerator and hope something talks back and says, “Eat me!”

Wash all your Produce at Once

As soon as you get home from the store, fill your sink with water and produce cleaning solution (such as water and vinegar). Let the produce soak for 10 minutes, scrub, and rinse. Begin cleaning your fruits and veggies so they are cleaned and ready for when you need to pack them.

Prep your Produce

After you wash all your produce at once, prep the produce in the way it’s meant to be used. This means chop, cut, julienne, or dice your fresh produce and refrigerate in airtight containers.

Hard-Boil your Eggs

Eggs are delicious and filled with nutrition! Of course, they are very portable in their hard-boiled form but they also offer an infinite amount of lunch options! You can make wraps, egg salad sandwiches, or top a green salad in a couple of minutes when they are already in your fridge. If you have older kids who have bigger bellies to fill, you can throw a hard-boiled egg inside a lunch container for an extra boost.

Bake Ahead

Do you know you can use your cupcake pan to make little meatloaves, quiches, spaghetti nests, carrot muffins, or ham and cheese muffins? These are all items that bake easily and freeze very well! Bake single-serving lunch box items over the weekend, freeze, and pull them out when you need a quick lunch box fix.

Assembly Line Packing

Instead of packing each lunch container individually, consider placing all of your lunch items on the counter and filling your lunch boxes assembly-line style. Whether you are making a simple lunch with deli meats, cheese, and crackers or adding baked goods, filling your containers at once can save you a lot of time.

Blend and Freeze

If you have smoothie fans at home, make all the smoothies for the week at once! The easiest way is to make a blender full of your smoothie recipe, blend, pour in individual plastic cups with lids, and freeze. Each morning, pull a sealed smoothie out of the freezer and pack inside an insulated lunch bag. It will thaw to a smoothie consistency by lunch. Bonus: no ice-pack needed.

Freeze your Dairy

Prevent soggy cheese and warm yogurt simply by freezing them the night before. They will be thawed out by lunch, and your child won’t complain of the lunch being a soggy mess!

Prep and Freeze your Fruit

Fruits such as mango, pineapple, grapes, and orange slices freeze very well. I like to save prep time by sticking them in the freezer and having them ready to pack inside the lunch box. Berries also freeze well, so buy them on sale when in season and freeze for smoothies! 

Getting your kids ready in the morning is stressful enough, let alone getting yourself ready! Follow these tips for less work in the mornings and take packing lunch off your morning to-do list.

Do you have any lunch packing tips for me? 

 

 

 

 

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

8 Fun Mother’s Day Crafts for Kids

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother’s Day Crafts! You’ll have something special your kids made just for you.

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

Mother’s Day is such a special holiday! A day all for the moms. Breakfast in bed, relaxing, spending time with my family…it really is the perfect day.

Do you have any special Mother’s Day traditions? Every year my kids (with the help of my awesome husband!) make our favorite pancake recipe and top it with lots of lovely fresh fruit. And of course, they bring me my beloved cup of coffee. They know me so well. ;)

My kids love making crafts, and I love that they get to express their creativity. These 8 Mother’s Day craft would be perfect for kids of any age to make for their special moms. Dads, I hope you’re reading this right now to get some ideas!

1. Handprint Mason Jar Vase from Christina’s Adventures

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

2. Cupcake Liner Flower Card from I Heart Crafty Things

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

3. DIY Floral Herb Perfume from Hello, Wonderful

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

4. Egg Carton Flower Art from Mod Podge Rocks

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

5. Love You Bunches Thumbprint Card from Crafty Morning

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

6. Rainbow Pour Pots from Edventures with Kids

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

7. Hand-Shaped Ring Dish from Mama Papa Bubba

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

8. Fingerprint Flower Card from Crafty Morning

You will definitely feel the love when your kids make you one of these 8 fun Mother's Day Crafts! You'll have something special your kids made just for you.

Becoming a Proactive Parent {Podcast}

Have you ever wished there was a user manual to parenting?   In this podcast you will learn some key tips on becoming a proactive parent.

Becoming a Proactive Parent Podcast is a MUST listen! | MOMables.com

You can download “Becoming A Proactive Parent” at iTunes & Stitcher.

As a mom of 3, I’ve often wondered how I can be a better parent to my kids. I’m often tired from working more than what’s considered full time, exhausted from the pressure of online social media content creating, developing recipes and cookbooks…and yet, when I come home from a long day I want to be the best mom I can be.

My big desire is to raise children that are confident, have little insecurities about my love for them, and that they become loving and respectful people themselves.

Of course, that’s in the “future” and to get there, I have a long road ahead of me. In today’s show, I speak with Sharon Silver about the difficult world of parenting.

She is an educator, author, speaker, and blogger. She blends her 5 certifications in parenting with research-based early childhood development, introspective empowering philosophies, and 29 years of teaching practical parenting skills to help parents focus on raising kids, not just correcting behavior.

Sharon is the author of two books, Stop Reacting and Start Responding and Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool? and contributor to Parents Ask, Experts Answer. Silver’s books are unique in the parenting world because they include a child’s point of view, a crucial component for success.

As the founder of Proactive Parenting, based in San Francisco CA, Sharon has been an online radio and TV host, a weekly blogger for PopSugar, Circle of Moms and Life 360, a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox News, and been interviewed by Parenting magazine, CNN Health, as well as countless radio, newspapers and blogs.

You can check out Sharon’s books and resources on her Proactive Parenting website.

Get a copy of her book Stop Reacting and Start Responding plus her bonus e-Book, Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool?

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