Monday, March 2, 2015

My Two Week Meal Plan: 2/27-3/12/15


Meal planning is a huge part of living on our budget successfully. Every two weeks we budget $150 to feed our family of three for two weeks. In order to ensure our family has enough food to eat for the entire pay period we must first plan our menu and grocery list at home. While walking the aisles of my local Aldi I carry a calculator with me and add up every item as it goes in my cart, that way I know I stay within budget.

If you're trying to get on a budget, meal planning would be a great way to start! For some of my tried and true advice check out our How to Make a Food Budget & Stick to It post series and our Meal Planning Printable Bundle.

Without further delay, here is our two week meal plan for the start of February...

Breakfasts:
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Toast


Lunches:
  • Leftovers
  • Ham, turkey or PB&J Sandwiches
  • Frozen Burritos
  • Chips, Fruit or Vegetables
  • String Cheese & Crackers
Dinners:
  • Hashbrown Casserole
  • Tacos
  • Turkey Pot Pie
  • Turkey Casserole
  • Quiche
  • Spaghetti
  • Kielbasa with Mashed Potatoes
  • Pot Roast
  • Macaroni & Cheese with Hot Dogs
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Leftover/Fend For Yourself Night
  • Eating out (Time for a date with my husband's grandmother)
  • Pizza
Snacks:
  • Applesauce
  • Raisins
  • Fruit & Veggies
  • Crackers
This two week meal plan cost $140. Will you be meal planning this March? I'd love to hear about your meal plan in the comments below!

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This Week's Goals: 3/2-8/15


Taking the time to write out your weekly goals is a great way to stay motivated towards completing them. Here's my goals for last week & this week - I'd love to help you stay motivated, so join me by posting your to do list for the week in the comments below. :)

Last week's goals didn't go quite as well as I had hoped, but that is mostly because of a huge amount of time spent working extra school activities which helped to bring in extra income for our Total Money Makeover, so I'm OK with my shortfalls this week. 


Last Week's Goals:


Classroom Goals
  • Continue lesson planning
  • Wrap up after school program financial documents
  • Plan our March after school program schedule
  • Review RTP behavior procedures, I need to improve my consistency in using the process
Household/Family/Mommy Goals
  • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our February budget
  • Attend week 7 of our FPU class (this is our 3rd time through the class!)
  • Look at paint color swatches I brought home from Lowe's for a future bathroom project
  • Take Hubby's grandmother out to dinner
  • Update February budget & create March budget
Marriage Goals
  • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
  • Write a love note to hubs <3
  • Schedule our next date night
  • Publicly praise my husband (A great tip I picked up here!)
Personal Goals
  • Exercise at least twice this week
  • Journal at least once this week 
  • Catch up on reading my Home & Garden and Parenting magazines
  • Continue listening to  Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income podcast while running or doing housework
Blogging Goals
  • Post 3 planned posts this week
  • Start the March email newsletter
  • Schedule social media posts throughout week
  • Continue to work with mastermind group on improving my skills at blogging
  • Finish updating post tags to match our new navigation bar buttons



This Week's Goals:


Classroom Goals
  • Continue lesson planning
  • Wrap up after school program financial documents
  • Finish planning & hosting our Lock In fundraiser
  • Review RTP behavior procedures, I need to improve my consistency in using the process
Household/Family/Mommy Goals
  • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our March budget
  • Attend week 8 of our FPU class (this is our 3rd time through the class!)
  • Look at paint color swatches I brought home from Lowe's for a future bathroom project
  • Organize basement for next weekend's project
  • Call to have water meter replaced
  • Drill holes for water pipes to be moved into floor joists for basement project
  • Catch up on updating our February budget & creating our March budget
Marriage Goals
  • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
  • Write a love note to hubs <3
  • Schedule our next date night (???)
  • Publicly praise my husband (A great tip I picked up here!)
Personal Goals
  • Exercise at least twice this week
  • Journal at least once this week 
  • Continue listening to  Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income podcast while running or doing housework
Blogging Goals
  • Post 3 planned posts this week
  • Schedule social media posts throughout week
  • Continue to work with mastermind group on improving my skills at blogging
  • Finish updating post tags to match our new navigation bar buttons
Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

Introducing our Meal Planning Printable Bundle


Introducing the brand new, second item in our Gumroad online store - the Meal Planning Printable Bundle Pack! Want to know more about it?

The Meal Planning Printable Bundle


Meal planning is a great way to save money, eat healthier, save time & organize your kitchen in the midst of the chaos motherhood entails. J If you’re new to meal planning check out our How To Make A Food Budget & Stick To It mini series.


This printable bundle includes:


  • 8 Versions of our popular meal planning printable to post in your kitchen: 
    • One that starts with each day of the week, for example in our family we grocery shop every other Friday, so my meal plan starts on a Friday, making the Friday meal plan form perfect for my family.
    • One blank meal plan printable that includes check boxes instead of the days of the week. This is perfect for moms that prefer a little more spontaneity in their lives. With this meal plan form you can easily create a list of meals for the coming two weeks – still saving you time & money – but instead of assigning a particular meal to a certain night you just check them off as you make them, in whatever order you wish
  • Themed meal plan printable
    • This meal plan printable is designed for family’s that enjoy themed meals. For example, Monday could be Mexican night or Tuesday’s leftover night. Feel free to make your themes as generic or specific as your family enjoys


  • This Week’s Breakfast, Lunch & Snack Options
    • Sick of your kids asking “what is there to eat?” Well you’re in luck! This printable is easy to post for your kiddos to see. Now they know what options are in the pantry that week – plus you can easily cross off items as you run out of stock
  • Don’t Stand There With The Door Open! (Refrigerator & Freezer Snack Inventory List)
    • If I had a dollar for every time my mother said that to me in my childhood years, boy oh boy would I have a lot of dollars! J If you’re sick of your kids holding the refrigerator door open for 15 minute at a time staring at the contents in search of snacks then this form is for you. After grocery shopping list out the snack items available to your kiddos in the refrigerator & freezer, that way they won’t need to look inside – it’s already posted. When items run out, just cross them off the list. Viola!



How To Purchase


Email subscribers should check their email inbox - you got a special code to receive a FREE bundle last night. (Join our email list now so that you don't miss the next one!) 

But I don't want my regular readers to miss out entirely, so for the month of March anyone can take 15% off the Meal Planning Printable Bundle pack by entering code "march15" at checkout! :) 

Thank you for being a part of the Wife.Mother.Teacher. tribe. 
While you're here - have you subscribed to our email mailing list yet, 
or followed us on social media? Just click the buttons below!
Thank you!


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rodan & Fields Multi-Function Eye Cream Giveaway: March 2015


Have the long days of winter left your skin feeling dry and scaly? If you're anything like me, by the end of winter your skin is feeling far from it's best - but, lucky me, I had the pleasure of reviewing a mini-facial from Rodan & Fields to share with all of you this month! Are you ready for the best news? Shannon from Rodan & Fields will be sending one of you your very own Rodan & Fields Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream - a $60 value! To find out more, keep reading...


My Review

The first product I tried from Rodan & Fields this month was from their enhancements line - the Micro-Dermabrasion Paste. I have oily, acne prone skin, even as an adult, so throughout the years I've tried many exfoliating products to help alleviate the appearance of black heads. Unfortunately, many exfoliating products are extremely abrasive and rough, even on my thick, oily skin, but Rodan & Field's product wasn't like that. The Micro-Dermabrasion Paste is incredibly gentle. After using it my skin felt soft and smooth without any sign of redness or irritation from the exfoliation. 



I followed up the Micro-Dermabrasion Paste with their Redefine Night Renewing Serum - OMG, this stuff is amazing. My favorite of the three by far! Afterwards my skin felt like silk and I kept "petting" my own cheeks. (I'm pretty sure my husband thought I was losing my marbles! LOL) 

Last, but certainly not least, I tried out their Redefine Lip Renewing Serum. I was surprised at how thick it was - a little bit goes a LONG way - by morning my lips were feeling nice and soft (a huge bonus in this bitter cold we've been having.) 

Overall I'm very impressed by all three Rodan & Fields products that I tried. Are you new to Rodan & Fields like I was? Don't worry, they have a fantastic "what's right for you" interactive feature on their site that takes you through a series of questions about your skin & lifestyle until they find the perfect match for you. Here's a picture of the results I got from my consultation...


I like that it breaks down what I should be doing in the morning & the evening. I'm type A, so clear directions make me very happy. :) Getting into a skin routine is often a challenge for busy working moms, so to have the routine laid out for you is incredibly helpful. In addition, they also list other products to supplement their skin care routine, so this was a great way to explore their site & products.

I really wish I had thought to take before and after photos of my skin, but it honestly didn't even occur to me until writing the actual review. :( Fortunately YouTube came to my rescue - check out some of the fantastic results people have had using Rodan & Fields in this short video.


Exciting Offer Exclusively for Wife.Mother.Teacher. Giveaway Entrants


One more exciting thing... for the entire month of March, Shannon is offering a FREE Acute Care sample to all new Preferred Customers. For more information check out her blog post!

The Giveaway


Ok, enough about how much I liked the products - it's time for the giveaway. For your chance to win a Rodan & Fields Multi-Function Eye Cream use the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will run until the end of March 2015 and is open to all adults with a US mailing address. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for being a part of the Wife.Mother.Teacher. tribe. 
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or followed us on social media? Just click the buttons below!
Thank you!


Disclaimer: I received a sample of Rodan & Fields products in exchange for my honest review. This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Earn Money & Voice Your Opinion At The Same Time With User Testing


Would you love an easy way to earn extra debt snowball money without leaving your couch? Having a hard time earning extra cash because you have little ones at home? Tight schedule that doesn't allow you to get a traditional part time job? If any (or all) of these situations apply to you then User Testing could be a fantastic option. 

Here at Wife.Mother.Teacher, we're all about paying off debt and following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, so whenever an opportunity to earn extra money comes my way - I sign up! Whether it's tutoring online or working concessions at a school sporting event, I'll be there. 

User Testing has proven to be one of those awesome opportunities. They're looking for normal people, like you & me, to spend 15 minutes viewing a website and discussing our opinions via audio recorder. It's literally that simple. I actually like it more than online tutoring because after a long day at work and entertaining my little one my brain is often quite friend and online tutoring actually requires me to think. :) 



Let me warn you up front, User Testing is not going to be some 'get rich quick' technique - in the last two weeks I've earned $40. But that's $40 I wouldn't have otherwise and every extra dollar I earn makes a big difference in my family's budget. So now that I've had some experience with their site, I thought I'd share it with all of you! 

How To Start Earning Money By Sharing Your Opinion Online


Step 1: Apply Online
This is seriously the easiest "application" you'll ever fill out in your life. I imagine that as long as you can speak clearly & form coherent, helpful thoughts they'll take you, but it can take up to 5 days to hear back from them on your application so don't be surprised if you wait a day or two to be approved.

Step 2: Take an Online Practice Test
At the end of your application, you'll be asked to perform a sample test. It's simple & painless, plus it shows you how to use their site and tools. One thing I was surprised by is how long it takes to "upload" your video (audio plus your computer screen, they don't actually see your face). Expect to wait 2-10 minutes after finishing your practice test (and future paid reviews) for your video to load. 



Step 3: Wait For Final Approval & Rating
Once you've submitted your practice test you'll receive an email that confirms you are available as a tester. When you log in to the testing area you'll notice you've receiving a 5 star rating scale score based on your practice test - take a few minutes to check that out since it might contain helpful hints to improving your performance. 

Step 4: Sit Back & Wait
Expect offers to start pouring into your email inbox right away. You could just click on them as they arrive, but I prefer to be a little more proactive. I always have one tab on my computer screen open to User Testing and my volume turned all the way up. Every time a new test comes in you'll hear a chime and then you can run over to click on the link.


Step 5: Don't Be Discouraged If You Don't Qualify
Here's the one downside to User Testing - you won't qualify as a tester for every test you are offered. :( It's a total let down when you're denied for the first time, but have no fear, if you don't meet the qualifications for the first test, you will for a future test. What are these qualifications? Here's an example question you might be asked prior to taking a test. Each company is looking for a certain "type" of person to review their site and they're trying to find out if you're that "type" or not. For example, if I were having a user test my blog I'd be looking for a female in their 20's-40's with children. Don't take it to heart if you're not the "type" they're looking for at this time.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Paycheck
One great thing about User Testing is that you get paid consistently. Exactly (to the minute) seven days after you do the test, you will receive a payment via PayPal of the amount you earned. If you look at my dashboard pictured above step 3, you'll notice I have $10 pending. That's the next payment I'll receive from them.

Do you have other questions about earning money from User Testing that I forgot to mention? I'd love to hear them or some of your own experiences from getting paid to share opinions online in the comments below!

Thank you for being a part of the Wife.Mother.Teacher. tribe. 
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Thank you!


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.
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