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Below you’ll find the guest article archives from my Rise + Shine Newsletters!
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march 19, 2019

by Shelly Longenecker from Dinners for a Dollar

No matter what we do, our family must eat. Every day. Several times a day. Day after day. Week after week. 
This can get exhausting.

When we hear the words, “Mooooom, what’s for dinner?”, we can find ourselves cringing and wishing we could just skip food. Has anyone else wished we could just skip food? I know I have.

But, we can’t. And – if we don’t find a way to handle cooking fatigue, we can resort to unhealthy convenience foods or budget busting take-out.

#1 way I know to handle cooking fatigue… REDUCING DECISION FATIGUE!

Decision fatigue is when we make so many decisions that we literally wear out from it and consequently, end up making poor decisions - choosing the quickest, simplest solution to our problem. Turns out, we as humans have a finite amount of self-control and that can get depleted by chronic decision making.

So, how do we reduce decision fatigue? By MAKING A FOOD PLAN.

Let me show you what I mean.

In our family of 6, we all eat 3 times a day. That’s 18 meals a day or 126 meals a week. 2 kids have snacks twice a day. That’s another 28 food decisions a week. So, I am responsible for 154 food decisions per week. That is A LOT OF DECISIONS!!! You can probably see now why food is so exhausting!! But, it’s not the food – it’s the decisions about the food!

However, when I make a food plan, I sit down – ONE TIME A WEEK – and make all the food decisions for my family AT ONE TIME!! In 1 hour, I make all 154 food decisions. Then, it is set. Nothing to think about later in the week. Yes, it will take time to sit down, once a week and make a food plan. But, trust me when I say that the amount of time and energy you will spend making a food plan is a fraction of the amount you will spend without a plan - making 154 separate food decisions – all week long.

Take time this week to sit down and make a food plan. Your tired brain will thank you!

Back in November, Shelly graced us with her presents on A Sunny Side Up Life Podcast! We chatted about some of her amazing tips for creating dinners for a dollar. Intrigued by the promise of dinners for only a dollar per person? Check out the podcast episode to find out more.

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march 12, 2019

by Jackie Jones from

I started my blog in the Summer of 2018 after being inspired by many other personal finance blogs and stories being started on Instagram. I have always been intrigued by money – making it, spending it, and keeping it. However, as an adult, I found myself in credit card debt, car loan debt and student loan debt to the tune of $100,000. When I was single, it didn’t seem like a big deal, it was normal because everyone had debt, but as a wife and mother, I knew the cycle of debt had to end because I wanted a better future for myself and my family.

Debt robs you of your income, time, and future dreams if you don’t kill it first. So I created to talk about living a sweet life while having sweet finances. Ultimately to discuss enjoying life while also paying off debt. I believe both are possible because we only have one life and there are so many things that we can take advantage of which are low cost and fun while paying off debt. A few things that come to mind are day trips to the beach, mountains or even a local state park, or a picnic in your backyard – just make it fun and interesting! Investing in a membership at your local zoo and taking advantage of it whenever possible and enjoying free events in your town are also great activities.

At the end of day, everything doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy or expensive for it to be fun, it just needs to bring joy to you and your love ones.

How to connect with Jacqueline:

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march 5, 2019

by Christine White from The Mostly Simple Life

Your mindset plays a big role in your finances! You can choose to come at budgeting from a mindset being restricted and deprived, or you can choose to have a mindset of creativity and fun!

I was reminded of this recently when I only had $46 left in our grocery budget for the last week of February. Instead of thinking how deprived we would feel, my first thought was: challenge accepted! I shopped our freezer and pantry first and got creative about what meals we could make with what we already had. I just had to purchase milk, eggs, and produce and we ate quite well for the week!

"When you can treat budgeting and saving as a game or challenge, you’ll enjoy your life much more and set yourself up for success!"

A few ways to try this:

  1. Have a pantry challenge: Lower your grocery budget for a week or more by challenging yourself to eat what you have in your kitchen and only buy the fresh produce you need.

  2. Do a pack-a-lunch challenge: Print out a monthly calendar and challenge your family to bring packed lunches to work or school for a certain number of days for the month. Every successful day gets a green check mark on the calendar!

  3. Plan a stuck-to-the-budget treat: Plan a special treat for if your family can stick to the budget for the month! It could be a special meal or family activity. Everyone will stay motivated with a fun short-term goal.

I’m so excited to share that Christine White - The Mostly Simple Life - was a guest speaker on my podcast recently! We got to chat about how you can make a budget-friendly meal plan.

What are some are some of her awesome tips? Check out the podcast episode to find out.