EP. 20 How To Create Dinners For A Dollar

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Reducing your food bill can sometimes sound overwhelming or even impossible, then add on a good-sized family and kids will food allergies…and most people just give up altogether. However, taking control of how much you spend on your meals is a crucial step to getting intentional with your money! Like it or not, we all have to eat…and multiple times a day…but you don’t have to go broke keeping your family fed.

Shelly from Dinner for a Dollar is sharing how she cut her family of 6’s food budget by $12,000 per year! Her system is realistic and down to earth and she has a passion for helping families reduce their food bill so they can accomplish their real financial goals – not just spend all their extra money at the grocery store. Shelly is here to bust the myth that you have to spend a fortune to eat whole foods and to share why cutting back your food budget is actually the fastest and easiest thing you can do to save money.


In this episode, Sami + Shelly talk about:

  • Shelly’s book Dinner for a Dollar

  • How much money you could save by implementing the Dinner for a Dollar system

  • Why budgeting/saving money on food is so important

  • Why Dinner for a Dollar is not a menu or a meal plan, but a mindset

  • How this mindset can help your financial goals + your health goals

  • How you can eat affordable + healthy foods on a small budget

  • Simple action steps for lowering your grocery budget

  • How cutting back on your food waste could equal your entire retirement savings

  • Sami’s favorite parts of the book

  • Shelly’s BEST pieces of advice

Memorable Quotes:

“When we decided to live a financially responsible life, the first area we tackled was our food, because it was so out of control.” -Shelly

“We made a lot of changes over the course of a year, but the food I could do right away.” -Shelly

“When I sat down to do my first budget, and I went back looked through the last 3 months of my bank accountant, I was like, ‘we’re eating all of our money.’” -Sami

“The food is the most flexible part of your budget.” -Sami

“I’ve been feeding my family for a dollar per meal per person for about 4 years.” -Shelly

“Controlling my food budget was the number one way I could financially contribute to my family.” -Shelly

“When I invest in my planning and my shopping I spend way less time on my food.” -Shelly

“If you don’t make a financial plan your money will spend itself…it will disappear into the atmosphere, and at best you’ll have nothing to show for it, at worst you’ll be in debt.” -Shelly

Resources Mentioned:

Who is our guest?

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Shelly Longenecker is a wife, mother of 4, and the author of Dinner for a Dollar. When her son was diagnosed 10 years ago with several food allergies, she felt completely overwhelmed, believing the myth that she had to spend a fortune on food and all day in the kitchen to feed her family safe, whole foods.  She couldn't find anything on the market that taught her how to eat a frugal, simple, allergy-friendly whole food, veggie-forward diet, so she created her own system that ticked all these boxes and turned it into a book to share with you.

Free Chapter: Dinner For A Dollar
Facebook Group: Dinner For A Dollar
Email: Shelly@dinnerforadollar.co


Dinner for a Dollar explains how to feed your family a simple, allergy-friendly, whole food diet with loads of fruits and veggies for $1 per person per meal. Dinner for a Dollar isn't just a book, it's a whole system, complete with detailed action points to follow along so you can start saving time, and money.

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I'm the wife to my high school sweetheart, Daniel, + homeschooling momma to our 3 girls. I'm the Budgeting Coach + Motivational Speaker behind 
A Sunny Side Up Life

My family used to be in $490k of debt + living paycheck-to-paycheck, but after we hit rock bottom everything changed for us!

Now that my family has become debt free + gained financial freedom, I want to help your family do the same! My passion is inspiring women to live abundant lives through budgeting, intentional living, and positive thinking.

I offer a jump start into budgeting with my free 5-day email course + full budgeting experience with my course, Your Sunny Money Method.


Come follow my day-to-day life over on my Instagram Story