Tag Archives: budget

Feed The Pig {Small Savings, Big Reward}

Hey y’all! Do you want to go on vacation next summer? Us too! We can’t afford to make a line item in our budget for a vacation, so we’ve had to get tricky and think outside the box in order to fund our first ever family vacation. Yes, I said first ever. We’ve never been on a real family vacation before, so we’re planning to take one in 2017 no matter what. 

But how will you fund this thing, you ask? We’re feeding our pig! No, we don’t own a real pig. We have a big, chubby piggy bank we’re feeding every time we find a coin or cash in our bottles and cans for money. All of that goes straight into the pig.

Seriously the saddest photo of a pig I’ve ever seen. This pig needs to go on vacation!

How did you ever get such an odd idea, you ask? I got this idea on my birthday when I was thinking up ways to give a gift to my family because they have given me the gift of love everyday. I shared my idea with them and they love it!

Originally, we’d started saving coins in a clear two and a half-gallon jug, but we could see the coins and after years of emptying it every time we had an “emergency” we decided that just wouldn’t work, so now we’re feeding the pig! So far, we have it about half full already! We estimate there is about $50 in there, but to be fair…it was already about 1/4 full when I first got the idea.  I’m excited to crack that piggy open next summer and see what’s inside!

You might be asking “well, what happens when you fill the pig? Will you empty it out and refill it?” Well, yes and no. We’re going to leave all the money in there until next summer. When this pig is full, we’re going to fill another pig. Ideally, we’ll make our own pig out of fun recycled materials. If we do, I’ll be sure to share the tutorial of how we did it. If not, you know me…I’ll fess up and humble myself enough to tell you we broke down and purchased one at the Dollar Tree or a yard sale. 😉 I estimate we’ll fill this pig by the end of summer, but we’ll see!

We have some ideas about what we want to do. The kids obviously want to go to Disney Land, but I am vehemently opposed. I do not fit that into my list of values. There are much more frugal things to do with that money, y’all! Personally, I’d prefer my kids experience a national park or a cool new beach. I want to experience the outdoors and reset our natural clocks…maybe get Anthony to wake up before 8 am for once? (Yes, I am one of those annoying morning people. I wake up happy, want the house cleaned and children fed before 9 am. I swear, I was meant to be an Army drill sergeant. I missed my calling.)

Anyway, this is going to be a really interesting experiment. If we can all keep up with it, we’re going to have an amazing time. If not, well, I hope the kids like beans and wieners cooked over a campfire at a local campground because I am absolutely serious when I say we’re going on a vacation next year and it’s absolutely not going to be funded by our line item budget – this is all to be funded by coins and bottle returns.

What is the oddest way you’ve ever funded a vacation? Have you ever tried to fund one from bottle returns and coins? How did that work out for you? Share in the comments below. And remember – feed your pig!


A random photo of my adorable son enjoying his first BBQ rib last night. Because my sense of humor is nuts and I love showing off my super amazing kids. Enjoy! 

Operation: Stretch Grocery Budget – Rotisserie Chicken Edition

So you went grocery shopping after a stressful day, caved and bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner. What do you do with it? Well, you glean five meals out of it and feed your furry friends a treat. That’s what! Here’s how!

I purchased a rotisserie chicken from my local grocer’s for $5. When my two little girls and I had eaten our fill (we’re not big meat eaters), I boned the chicken. I placed the meat in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. I have chicken soup on my menu for the month, as well as chicken salad sandwiches. I’ll use this leftover chicken later in the month. Do not, and I repeat, do not throw out those bones! Toss these into the crock pot with 6 cups of water, put the lid on, turn it on high and in five hours, you’ll have the richest chicken broth you’ve ever tasted. It will make about 2 quarts of chicken broth. You’ve just solved the issue of having to purchase broth for any of your recipes this month! You’ve also saved yourself about $5 in store bought broth! HOORAY FOR YOU! Just take a strainer and get those bones and what-not out. But wait…there’s more! Don’t throw out the tiny bits of meat and “goodies” that you strain out. Want to make your grocery dollars stretch even further? Have a furry pet? Dog? Cat? Take that gob of meaty gunk you strained out plus four tablespoons of the broth and 2 or 3 cups of your pet’s dry food. In a blender or food processor, pulse it until it’s all combined. Store in an air tight container (or feed it to your pet right away) and you’ve got instant “canned food” for your furry friend. Yep. I just saved you another couple of bucks in pet food! (for those of you that might buy canned food for pets. I don’t, but my cats sure went nuts over their special treat!)

So, for a chicken that cost you about $5, you’re making five meals (the soup stretches far in our house) and feeding your pets a nutritious treat. Congratulations! You just saved at least $10 off your grocery bill! If that’s not frugality and ingenuity at it’s finest, I’m not sure what is!

Happy Homemaking, friends!