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10 Ways To Make Eating At Home Fun & Easy!

So I shared my monthly goals HERE and my top priority for May was to rein in our spending for the month on eating out. I am happy to report that a week into “No Spending Month” we haven’t deviated from our plan and I only spent $183 for all of our groceries FOR THE WHOLE MONTH. (Sorry to yell, but I was really excited about this!)

Here are 10 ways I make it fun and easy and not the boring and dreaded “cook every night same meal kinda thing”:

1. Freezer Crockpot Meals

About once every three months I will make freezer meals such as spaghetti sauce, chili, taco meat, etc. There are a ton of lists and recipes available online. Grab a friend or family member and make a day of it. Here are a few suggestions :

12-easy-freezer-meals-2-hours

Freezer Meals On The Cheap

7 Meals In 70 Minutes

30 Summer Freezer Meals

2. Plan your menu a week or month in advance

I have planned our menu for the whole month for at least 15 years now. It makes grocery shopping so much easier even if you go shopping every week, every two weeks or once a month. I take inventory of what I have on hand and plan the menus around my pantry and freezer and fill in with meals as needed. This saves time and money and takes some of the “what should we have for dinner?” thinking out of my day.

3. Snacks & Movie Night

We usually have snacks and movie night on Saturday or Sunday nights. Some nights its chips and dip and veggies with rolled lunch meat. Other nights I make something more. Calling it snacks somehow makes it seem like less work!

4.  Breakfast for Dinner

Enough said. There is something to be said about having pancakes for dinner!

5. Soup & Crackers

Or tomato soup and grilled cheese or soup and sandwich or soup and salad. You get the idea.

6. Bits & Pieces

AKA known as leftovers, but cut into smalls bits and pieces and served buffet style. Add little sauces next to your leftover bits of steak or meatloaf. Add a little cheese to the broccoli. My daughter loved bits and pieces night when she was younger. I think it was fun for the smaller bites and a variety of food.

7. Picnic On The Patio

A change of scenery from the dinner table always helps the meal seem more special. I love using the grill too. Saves with clean up. Everyone fixes their plates and brings it outside. A picnic on the patio is sometimes what is needed to just enjoy each other’s company without distractions.

8. Make It A Family Affair

There have been many nights when I just don’t want to make dinner (a lot lately) and I have just had to ask for some help. Let each family member pick one item to prepare and spend time together in the kitchen.

9. Salad Bar 

Many nights, especially in the Summer, its too hot to cook. You can pick up many pre-chopped, pre-sliced items at the grocery store. Often it only takes a little time to slice and dice and prepare a small salad bar with veggies, meats and cheeses. This way everyone gets the salad they want. Plus less heat in the kitchen.

10. Remember why you are doing this

I hung up a sign on the refigerator with our financial goals. It will all be worth it!!

Step in faith,

10 Steps to Start Your Own Business

As a woman who has started three businesses, I have a lot of experience on what to do and not to do. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I have learned from each mistake. Do you have an idea and just don’t know where to start? Let me help you!

Here are my top 10 Steps to Start Your Own Business:

1. Develop An Idea

Whether your idea is a cleaning business, selling vegetables at a farm stand, selling eggs, becoming a real estate agent or writing a book: think about what you are really good at and concentrate on what makes you happy. Start a business that you will love doing each day.

2. Research Your Market

Find out who is in the market for your idea. If you plan on selling pillow covers, who will your ideal clients be? Find out how many clients you can reasonably sell your products or services to.

3. Write A Mission Statement

Do not confuse this with branding. In order to stay focused on who your company (even if it’s just you!), write down your mission statement and follow it. A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person; its reason for existing; a written declaration of an organization’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time. Your mission statement should read something like this:

One Step Woman is blog to inspire women to put value in her life by sharing ideas, knowledge and experience so that she can reach the best potential and happiness for her own life.  

4. Figure Out A Business Plan

Even if numbers aren’t your strong point, it is important  to write a business plan.  Know your product and know who your clients are so that you know how much money you can make with your idea. There are many business templates available. Find a simple template and see if your numbers work.

5. Establish A Budget

In my opinion this is the number one reason business succeed or fail. You must have a written budget for your home and your business. Write down how much it will cost to purchase your chickens, feed them, get a business license, health permits, packaging, etc.

6. Get Advice From A Mentor

I am not talking about your sister in law who just has an opinion, but from someone who has ran their own business successfully. Take this person to lunch, ask questions without interfering in their business. Give them something of value for them being your mentor.

7. Name Your Business 

This is the fun part. Make sure your name reflects the product. Our business name is Schultz Property Inspections. You got it…we do property inspections. Make it catchy so people will remember the name. Also check your Secretary of State website to ensure the name you want to use isn’t already registered. Google the name as well to see if someone else is using the name so that you can avoid any potential legal problems.

8. Brand Your Business  

What are your colors? Do you have a logo? Does your name, colors and logo all reflect the attitude of your business?

9. Secure Your Permits & Licenses

ALWAYS check with your local city hall to get the complete requirements to operate your business. Seek the advice of an accountant for tax purposes. Do not skimp on legalities. Its not worth getting fined because you did not start your business up correctly.

10. Enjoy The Ride!

There are so many more tips and lessons for opening your own business for you to learn. Most importantly, the feeling of success after you start making money doing what you love is totally worth it!

I am in the process of writing a detailed E-Course on How to Start Your Business. My target date is June 1 2017. I want to give you all the information I have learned to start three successful businesses. I know you can do it!