We here at Living on the Cheap hope you all had a glorious Thanksgiving Day, enjoying a wonderful meal with loved ones, whether at your home or another, or even at a restaurant.
The joy of sharing a good meal with family and friends makes us remember that it’s something we don’t do nearly often enough.
Though it’s not yet time for New Year’s resolutions, we’re going to offer you one, with a Black Friday sale to get a good start on your plans.
If you want to share more healthy, home-cooked meals with your family, while saving money at the same time, we have an answer. Two answers, actually.
Answer No. 1: Coupons
I resisted using coupons for a long time. My household is small, I don’t eat processed food, it’s too much work. But I was finally persuaded by my business partner, Laura, to give couponing another try. Once I understood how to coupon efficiently, I was able to save 50 percent or more on most of my cleaning products, toiletry, makeup, cat litter and some basic food items, such as tea bags and spices. Combining coupon use with smart shopping, I significantly cut the amount of money I spent at the supermarket.
Laura and I are passionate about savings, so we combined our tips into a book, “The Ultimate Guide to Coupons,” which can help you save on groceries, household products, dining out and more. This weekend only, we’ve slashed the price of our book to share our tips with more people (and it makes a great holiday gift, too).
- Here’s our Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal: You can buy our book as a PDF download for 40% off (just $6) with coupon code BFCM. This deal is good through midnight Cyber Monday, Nov. 27. (You can buy a printed version online for $14.95.)
Answer No. 2: Freezer cooking
If your life is like mine, you often find yourself with very little time to get dinner on the table. You end up ordering takeout again and spend way too much money on bad food that’s not good for you.
Meal planning is helpful, but it doesn’t solve the entire problem – you need to get dinner on the table fast.
The best cooking tactic I ever learned was freezer cooking – cooking in advance, then freezing the extra portions so you can bring them out to cook quickly (or heat up) when you need them. Having a healthy meal ready to go in the freezer is the best way to avoid the takeout blues (and the cost of not planning).
I thought I was a master of freezer cooking until I met Erin Chase, who runs My FreezEasy. Erin takes freezer cooking and meal planning to a whole new level, and as the mother of four boys, she knows the challenges of pleasing a hungry family.
Erin has developed a system in which she can prepare 10 delicious meals and load them into the freezer in less than an hour. That’s TWO WEEKS’ worth of weeknight meals!
And her system makes it all so easy. Every month, you get eight new freezer meal plans (you can tailor them to your taste), plus recipes, shopping lists and step-by-step instructions, including videos. Her system works whether you’re an experienced cook or you’re just starting out.
Don’t worry if your family is picky or has special dietary needs: You have a choice of a traditional plan, gluten-free, slow cooker, clean eats, 20 meals, all chicken, all ground beef or all pork chops – with gluten-free and dairy-free modifications for all recipes. Or, you can create your own customized plan using her recipe collection.
Here’s what one happy customer said about MyFreezEasy:
“So, I finally got round to giving this meal plan a try and I freaking loved it! I love that I have prepared meals sitting in the freezer that I can pull out (or – shock..horror, my hubby can!) and we will have good food cooking so easily. I really loved this concept and now I can let go of the “what’s for dinner” stumper every night!”
You will more than earn back the cost in the money you’ll save because you won’t waste food or turn to takeout. And that doesn’t even account for the time you’ll save once you’re not wracking your brain about what to make for dinner.
Just think about how much your family’s lives will change when you can get a quick, healthy dinner on the table every night – and all the money you can save when you use coupons, shop sales and avoid takeout food.
More Black Friday deals
Last year, everyone got really excited when the Instant Pot – a combination slow cooker and pressure cooker was offered for sale at a great price on Amazon. This year, you can get the eight-quart Instant Pot for just $81.99, a savings of almost $50 off the regular price. Start here if you want to see all of Amazon’s Black Friday deals.
You might also find some great Black Friday deals on Groupon. They’re got pre-Black Friday sales going now.
We wish you and your family a healthy and happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful you have chosen to be part of our community.
- Get “The Ultimate Guide to Coupons” for $6 as a PDF download with promo code BFCM. But hurry, because this deal ends at midnight Monday. (You can buy a printed version online for $14.95.)
- Get 25% off a MyFreezEasy meal plan subscription and membership. The deal is good from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Saturday for Black Friday and 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday for Cyber Monday. We don’t know if we’ll see prices that lower again.
And we wish you many more happy, healthy family meals in the future – plus lots of fun with all the money you have once you start using coupons and doing freezer cooking