My sister, Rachel Coons is back on the podcast. She’s going to share her 3 tips on reducing spending on groceries. If you're somebody who's been wanting to cut down your budget, make sure you're more intentional with where your money goes so that you’re spending a little bit less at the grocery store and you can spend a little bit more on leisure or save for a rainy day, then this episode is going to come in clutch for you.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/263
- Money saving grocery tips (15:08, 15:51, 20:52, 31:08)
- Meal Planning (15:51)
- 2-Week grocery shopping technique (20:52)
- Ordering groceries online (31:08)
- Walmart App (32:03)
Want to save $20 off your first grocery order at Walmart? Click here.
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 263.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Amber B 00:47
Hey, hey, hey. Welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke and today is such a great episode. One, because I have my sister on the podcast, Rachel Coons is back. She was on episode 161 where we talked about moderation with food and that has become a top ten podcast, downloaded podcast, so that's definitely a good one to go back and listen to. But today we're changing up the topic a little bit and talking about reducing spending on groceries. So if you're somebody who's been wanting to cut down your budget, maybe make sure you're a little bit more intentional with where your money goes so that you're spending a little bit less at the grocery store so that you can spend a little bit more on I don't know things that are a little bit more fun, like travel or paying down debt or saving for a rainy day, then this episode is going to be clutched for you. Now, one of the things that we talked about on the podcast episode is grocery pickup or ordering groceries online. So Rachel does grocery pick up. I have my groceries delivered and I talked about that experience during the podcast. If that's something that you are curious in trying out, I do have a referral code for you. When you go and use this code, you save $20.00 off of your first time at Walmart Shipping or doing online shopping at Walmart and I get $20 as well, so just a heads up, it is an affiliate code, but I will link that in the show notes. So if you're wanting to, you know, after you listen to this you want to try online shopping at Walmart for your groceries, I highly recommend it. You'll hear me share my experience during the episode, but you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/263, so that's just the episode number 263 and in the show notes, we'll have that referral link for you. All right, without further ado, let's jump into the episode with Rachel Coons.
A big, huge welcome to my sister and amazing grocery budgeter extraordinaire Rachel Coons. Hey, Rachel, how’re you doing?
Rachel Coons 02:48
Amber B 02:51
So this is the second time that we've had my sister on the podcast. We're talking about a little bit of different. Is it second time or third time? second time?
Rachel Coons 02:59
Amber B 03:00
The first time, we talked about moderation with food and we'll link that one up in the show notes. I don't know the number off the top of my head. But if you search Biceps after Babies and Rachel Coons, it'll come up. But the first one we talked about, moderation, and actually I don't think I told you this, but that was a very highly loaded episode like in the top of episodes that have ever been downloaded.
Rachel Coons 03:18
Amber B 03:19
So that was, that's a great episode, but having, having reached back, we're talking about a totally different topic today and that is the idea of saving money specifically on your grocery bill. And this is a perfect topic I think, especially for the beginning of year, because I think a lot of people are resolving to you know, be better with their money or to budget more and with food prices the way that they are. I think this is really timely, timely topic that we, that we're going to be talking about. So I'm really excited to have you on Rachel.
Rachel Coons 03:50
Yeah, I'm excited to be here.
Amber B 03:51
So OK, tell us a little bit about you and specifically, what you're, what you're doing now and how you're helping people with their grocery budget?
Rachel Coons 04:00
So I am a stay at home mom of four children and I have I started my well, I've had an Instagram for a long time that I kind of I dabbled in like intuitive eating, and then in 2020 I kind of switched over like sharing easy budget friendly recipes for you know busy moms and about that same time so this is like during COVID, about that same time kind of realize like how important my grocery budgeting was and how easy it was to save money on my groceries like just by being attentive to a couple of things, I was able to drastically cut our grocery spending and I kind of shared this on my Instagram as I was going through this process and it just took off. I got tons of questions about it, I felt like people were really interested, those posts or stories or whatever got the most engagement. So like kind of just like leaned into it and I was like, OK, well maybe this is what people want to hear and I think I'm pretty good at it. And so it just kind of evolved into like, oh one day I woke up and I was like I guess for grocery budgeting coach, I guess that's what I'm helping people with. But then also seeing the results that people are having so like share was sharing what I was and the tips and tricks and I saw how many people were saving all this money and it just kind of fueled my fire to keep going and to keep helping and then, you know, with last year in this crazy inflation on food prices, people were just I mean, I think everybody was super overwhelmed with what they were spending on their groceries and so then it was just like we're finding that and helping more people feel empowered and so that's where we are today.
Amber B 05:43
Yeah, I mean I, we, I was just doing grocery shopping the other day and and I do it all on the Walmart app and get it delivered and I know you do that I do delivery and like a game changer for me and I'm showing my husband some of the prices for things., eggs especially.
Rachel Coons 06:01
Oh my gosh, don't get me started.
Amber B 06:02
Stupid crazy right now. But even things like I was noticing the Kale is up 50% from what I used to pay. That was like Kale! So I think it's a really timely thing. I think a lot of people are feeling that pinch right now, and especially if you have a very static budget, meaning you bring home the same amount of money each month, and that's not going up seeing more money be diverted towards food can be kind of scary for a lot of people.
Rachel Coons 06:28
Amber B 06:28
And yeah, and stressful, so it's it's such a timely topic and I know that you have some tips planned for us that are going to be really actionable. So as you guys listen, the goal is for you not to just listen and nod your head and say, yeah, that's really great, but for you to actually be able to walk away with some things that you can actually implement today to start making money on your grocery bill. I am curious, since you're my sister and we were raised in the same household, I'm curious what you think your upbringing and your experience, you know in our family had, if at all, with kind of the path that you've gone down.
Rachel Coons 07:01
OK, well I think you and I are the same in this respect. I don't have a good memory like I just don't, I don't really remember very much very well.
Amber B 07:10
Do you know I just learned? So I've been diving in, this is a total side tangent, but we're going to go here because this is like we've been learning about attachments, different attachment styles.
Rachel Coons 07:21
Amber B 07:22
I'm not having a good memory is actually very common with avoidant attachment styles, right like, I anyway and I really identify with is definitely like an avoiding attachment and when I read that I was like Oh well that explains a whole lot. So anyway, that's something I've been diving.
Rachel Coons 07:39
Well, I feel like I have like a secure attachment but maybe not, maybe I'm more avoidant.
Amber B 07:44
Right, well I thought so too and then I started diving and I was like, oh I, I have a lot of bulls.
Rachel Coons 07:49
Yeah OK, OK, OK.
Amber B 07:51
Anyway, I don't have a great memory as well, but is there anything that you think from our childhood or is it just like I don't know nothing.
Rachel Coons 07:59
Yes, I do. So no shade on mom, she was raising seven children like it was not so chaos and I just remember that dinner was, it was all I mean she was so good about making us have family dinner, but the focus was never on the food, like it was never on like, what we were eating, it was just being together.
Amber B 08:19
Being together, I agree that's great.
Rachel Coons 08:21
Yeah, it was so great and and it still is that way like it's still we're not worried about what we're eating it's that we're together. But for me, that kind of drove me the opposite way as like as a Mom, I was like no, I'm not just going to have dinner. I like, want to eat good food and you know, having like good delicious meals, but then also mom and dad were super smart with their money growing up. They, they gave us a really good like a really good picture of what it meant to be frugal and no matter how much money you make, still, being careful with what you spend and where your money goes and that has obviously translated to me and the value of where your money goes is where your priorities are right like what, what are you, what are you focused on? And that's where your money should go.
Amber B 09:10
I have, I have a funny memory of being in the grocery store. So we're one of, I'm one of seven, I'm the oldest of seven and I remember I mean probably most of us were there was probably five or six of us were there following mom like little you know, like the hand and like little chicken, you know in the grocery store and I just remember I don't even remember how many gallons of milk that we got and like put in the cart. We had this like lady like stop stop my mom and she just like looked at my mom and said, “Why don't you just buy a cow.?” And all this were like Oh my gosh! Oh yeah, you just buy a cow.
Rachel Coons 09:47
Mom, she didn't, even she was so like excited by that comment, she didn't even have a good answer. I think she was like what she should have said why should I buy you?
Amber B 09:57
Rachel Coons 09:58
That was the comeback she should’ve used.
Amber B 10:03
That was the missed opportunity to comeback.
Rachel Coons 10:05
No, it's probably good she didn’t do anything.
Amber B 10:05
But but our mom is very frugal and we were going to thrift stores like I remember going back to school shopping and going to thrift stores and we Nike village reach at a budget that we can buy buy clothes to like fit that budget so you know, I definitely feel like we had a good upbringing. It specifically in just budgeting and being money conscious and you know making it work with whatever resources that you had and I went through a phase of couponing and really really budgeting when we were in residency. So I think I think we got a good tutorial in in that really, really young, but I don't think a lot of people get, and I think it's maybe while some of this comes short, easy to you and now yeah, share it with other people who it doesn't come naturally and easy too. OK, so money can be a really touchy subject. Right? And I know that you deal with that sometimes on the Internet it's like as we start talking about like people get riled up in arms about the talk. But we but we all we all have to deal with it on a very daily basis. So what if you're like someone's asking you what your overall money philosophy is, how would you answer that question?
Rachel Coons 11:15
Oh, this is like such a loaded question and something actually something that I'm really working on right now with my own money mindset and how I view money, you know, as an entrepreneur and and focusing on yeah, what, what do I think money does and how does it affect our lives? I think, I think the hard part too with me preaching, budgeting, and I I say this because I'm really focusing on like an abundance mindset, right like money comes and goes, money doesn't rule us. I I don't actually believe it's the root of all evil I think money is good, it can be such a powerful thing in our life but also like I said before, your priorities are where your money goes. So when you look at your budget breakdown of where you're spending your money every month or something why I'm so passionate about grocery budgeting is it's it's an expense that you have to do every single month, right? Like you have to buy food for your family. But it doesn't have to be a high expense and it doesn't have to rule everything else you know you don't have to be spending all this money on your groceries, and it's just the little things that can really bring that down. So then what you're saving on your groceries can then go to your high priority items. Are you really focused on saving for retirement? Are you really focused on going out on date night with your husband, or on family vacations? Like putting money where it actually counts is how you can build real wealth and yeah, I don't know if you have any thoughts on that, but that's like what I'm that's where I'm trying to target with my followers.
Amber B 12:54
Yeah, I I, I think a lot of what you're you're trying to teach is intentionality is like yes, spend as much money as you want to on your groceries. It's you're not telling anybody that they they have to spend less, but it's an intentionality. It's like, do you want to be spending that much money? Or would you rather put that money towards a new house or a car or kids schooling, or travelling, or retirement or whatever it is, it's just like an intentionality with your priorities. I heard a quote once, recently and they the quote was something to the effect of your actions indicate your priorities more than what you say your priorities are, and I think it's such a good reflection of looking and saying. First of all doing like an inventory of where do I spend my money currently and what does that indicate about my priorities and do I like do I like that? Do I want, am I always saying oh I want to prioritize travel but they never actually putting money towards it or I wanna prioritize retirement or a new house or whatever it is, but then you don't have money., you're not prioritizing money towards it. Is there a way to be able to shift some money from one part of the budget? And like you said, it's somewhat easy to reduce your grocery budget maybe more so than your mortgage.
Rachel Coons 14:02
Yeah, yes, like 100% and I was just I was just telling my husband the other day, I was like I don't care how much money we make. Like it doesn't matter you know whether we're pulling in a ton of money. I'm still going to grocery budget like there is, this is so easy. I've got the system and system’s in place now and I'm so confident in what I'm doing, there's no reason for me not to do, and maybe as time goes on I'll get more lax on some things. You know my kids will get older, we might need more easy go to meals or whatever but sure, this is something that I will always focus on because it is I would rather have my priorities be somewhere else.
Amber B 14:43
Yeah, that's so good. OK, so let's get into some, some tangibility and some ways that people can leave this episode and go and actually start to implement some of the tips to really be able to see a reduction in the amount that they are spending on their grocery bill. So I want to go through I know you have 3 money saving grocery tips for us. So let's kind of can you give us like the quick 1-2-3 of what they are and then let's dive into each of them. Is that cool?
Rachel Coons 15:08
Yeah, yeah, so the first one is meal planning. Planning your meals for the week. The second is to limit your grocery ship trips being really intentional with your grocery trips. I teach 2-Week grocery shopping. That's like one of the big things that we will talk about in my course is pushing out that grocery trip and then the third one is ordering online, but that might be that might be the biggest one. That's the big end all be all.
Amber B 15:36
That's that's the juiciest one that we're going to save till the very end. OK, so let's start with number one, which is meal planning. What do you mean, like I think when people hear meal planning, they think lots of different things. So when you say meal planning, what do you mean?
Rachel Coons 15:51
OK so I am also super simple and like anything that is going to take me a long time or be super intensive, it's going to be a barrier for me. So I try and keep my meal planning very simple and this is kind of what it looks like for me as I sit down. At the beginning of the week or whenever you want a meal plan, I give myself, you know 20 to 30 minutes and I pick four to five meals for the week that I'm planning, and it's literally whatever sounds good and whatever like goes with what I have on hand already. So usually I call it shop the shelf where I'll I'll look at my fridge, I'll look at my pantry, see what I have that I need to use up, and then try and meal plan meals around that. And then maybe if I found a meal that I really want to try for the week, I'll throw that in there as well. I write down the four meals that we plan and then I immediately, again, like I said, go on and order my groceries. It's super simple. It's not, it shouldn't take you a ton of time I'm always like saving recipes that I want to try or I have a list of like 20 recipes that I or I go back my go to that I know my kids will like but everything, trying to be frugal budget friendly, kid friendly in my, in my organization.
Amber B 17:02
I think one of the cool things that I heard you say once because I think a lot of people when they hear meal planning they think OK, I have to plan 7 meals for the entire week, remember you talking one time about like no like three to four like, yeah, three to four meals, you know maybe one of those nights is a date nights you don't have planned one of those nights is leftovers. You know, maybe one of those nights you like, do something else, but I think people get really overwhelmed with trying to plan 7 meals and I just love your recommendation of, like let's plan like 4 like yeah this week yeah going from there and what do you usually do the other nights of the week?
Rachel Coons 17:37
It's funny. I'm actually like pre-recording of Reel on this today, so by the time this Podcast comes out you can go back and and look at this on my page. OK so I I found my sweet spot is 4 meals and that is because one of the meals will be leftovers. One of the meals is date night, so my husband and I go out the kids will just eat you know Mac and cheese or chicken Nuggets or whatever, and then the third meal is either leftovers or it forces me to do a shop the shelf meal and sometimes people want a meal plan that meal just so they know what they're doing, but it just gives me flexibility throughout the week where I'm like, you know, I opened the fridge and I’m like shoot, I have Brussels sprouts that I really need to use. OK, I'm going to like go off schedule and use those. I find that working like when I've worked with clients before and people who are meal planning 6 to 7 meals, they just end up having a ton of food waste, like wasting too much food.
Amber B 18:30
Rachel Coons 18:34
Overbuying, yes, yes. So we just want to make sure you're using everything that you're purchasing and that's what that's what works for us
Amber B 18:42
Yeah, I like that idea. So it's one night of leftovers, one night of date night and then one night of like shop the shelf. It's like a little challenge I I see it, it's fun for me, I see it as like a little challenge of what can I make from all the things that I have.
Rachel Coons 18:53
Exactly. And it gives me flexibility too, right, like I don't, I also don't meal plan for specific days of the week it's not like Monday night we're eating this Tuesday night eating this because our schedule is fluid. There's some nights like last night we got invited to a friend's house for the national championship game, I had a meal planned but it was like oh that's going thrown out the window that was one of our shelf cooking nights that I just decided we weren't going to shop the shelf that night and we went and had food at somebody else so it allows for some fluidity in your week.
Amber B 19:21
Yeah, that's really good. For us, Friday night is always pizza night, so we've done homemade pizza for my entire years.
Rachel Coons 19:28
Yeah, years yeah.
Amber B 19:30
The kids know it's like Friday night it's like homemade pizza night, so that's been something too that's been really helpful for me is like having some designated days where it's like I do try to do like a meatless Monday. I try to do like pizza on Friday and that kind of helps me build out my schedule a bit easier, so I I’ve to think less and then you’ve really been encouraging me, so I've been doing it recently is just keeping a record of what I've done in the past so before I would like refresh my every time I would just like to start a new Monday through you know Sunday calendar, and he's like why are you saving those? Why aren't you? Like yeah, I mean that's like go back and like reason so I've been doing that and that's been really.
Rachel Coons 20:07
Totally. Every, every couple of months you could do that right, like it's still feels so new every time.
Amber B 20:15
And you're like me, you're like me though, like you want to try new recipes too, I don't want to always cook the same recipes, new stuff.
Rachel Coons 20:20
Yeah yeah. Even if I make the same thing, I like, want to try any recipe.
Amber B 20:27
Like if you're making enchiladas, you want to try, like a new enchilada recipe.
Rachel Coons 20:30
Exactly, exactly, yeah yeah, find the best one.
Amber B 20:33
Got to find ways to like make it fun when you're making dinner every night for the rest of your life, well not for this for life, but.
Rachel Coons 20:38
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Amber B 20:42
Absolutely. OK, so that's good. Meal planning, but make it simple, don't overwhelm yourself.
Rachel Coons 20:46
Or overcomplicate it.
Amber B 20:48
Yes. Make it simple. OK cool #2.
Rachel Coons 20:52
#2 is well, I'm going to say two-week grocery shopping. This is going to, this is going to stress people out just by saying that, but yes, two-week grocery shopping. I'm going to stand my ground on this one.
Amber B 21:03
OK, tell us what that means?
Rachel Coons 21:04
OK, so two-week grocery shopping is basically like you are buying everything you need for two weeks and not going back to the store for two weeks and, and this is like something that you may have to build up to, but that that's the end goal, like that's where we want to get you is to where you're only going to the grocery store twice a month.
Amber B 21:24
Rachel Coons 21:25
Because every time you walk into the grocery store, you are going to spend money and you're probably going to spend more than you want. I mean, honestly, I've had people who just don't do anything else and they just do is grocery shop and they are like how the heck did I spend this like way less than I was before just by doing a two-week course shopping.
Amber B 21:47
Yeah. That's super cool. So what are the big objections that you hear?
Rachael Coons 21:51
Barriers. OK so the number one is some barriers in my head.
Amber B 21:52
I have some barriers in my head.
Rachel Coons 21:54
I'm sure you do, and it's always produce it's always the what do I do..
Amber B 21:58
It’s not produce. My fridge is too small to like fit as much food as we need for two, two weeks for the size of people that we have.
Rachel Coons 22:07
So then let's let's dive into that for a second because I've seen your house and I know you have room in your garage for a second fridge.
Amber B 22:16
We don't, we actually, the measurements don't work. Our height of our ceiling the runners go.
Rachel Coons 22:19
I know, the cabinets.
Amber B 22:20
I want one. I've tried, we've tried. We have a room for freezer I guess if I got like a short I do have short freezers, I don’t know.
Rachel Coons 22:30
You can check it out, yeah, so that's like, like there are people who live in apartments or whatever like they just don't have room for second fridge. I get that, so then to breakthrough that barrier, let's get the main bulk of every, of everything that you need and then on that second week it's just an either or like just milk, just produce whatever, but I mean if you can handle not even going into the store that second week is not a grocery trip, it's just getting those some items and I also think a lot of people are amazed with what they can freeze. I actually learned from you freezing milk. Like I literally cannot taste the difference with frozen milk or non frozen milk. I have people who tell me they can which I'm like yeah, let's do a blind taste test that actually test this out.
Amber B 23:18
And my kids did that. And my family can’t taste the difference.
Rachel Coons 23:22
Right. Bread, milk, like some of those things that you think you can’t freeze you actually can, and that frees up a lot of fridge. I actually have a massive fridge like my fridge in my house is really big. I don't have a second fridge. I have a second freezer. But yeah, definitely having more storage makes it easier to two-week grocery shop.
Amber B 23:42
I like that idea just of of making that if you if you do not have space of making that second grocery trip, just like the only the essentials that you you know have to have in order right, like because you don't have space or whatever.
Rachel Coons 23:54
Right. And then, and then but that also like coincides with meal planning, two-week meal planning, right So you're not just meal planning for one week, you're meal planning for two weeks at a time. Also because who actually likes meal planning, really like does everybody have fun sitting down meal planning? No.
Amber B 24:12
I used to when I felt like I had a ton of time like it was kind of fun and it was like I don't know I was like have ideas for what I was going to make but I I'm not there anymore.
Rachel Coons 24:21
No, no, like you get to a point where you're like this is just a task that has to be done so why not do it less?
Amber B 24:26
That's get checked off.
Rachel Coons 24:29
Why not do it twice a month instead of every week. I mean again, barriers like we want to cut down as many barriers as possible.
Amber B 24:38
I have a funny story about freezing things, so I also think we were raised in a house where like everything was frozen like.
Rachel Coons 24:44
Oh my gosh, don't get me started. There are things frozen at mom and Dad's house that should not be frozen. Let's be honest.
Amber B 24:52
Our mom freezes everything.
Rachel Coons 24:53
Ugh, so people probably think the same about me like that chick freezes everything.
Amber B 25:00
Yeah, so I remember when I went to College, I was I I I have learned a lot about like freezing everything and I remember I was like huh, I wonder if you can freeze, I think it was either cottage cheese or sour cream. It was one of the two. I think it might have been sour cream. So I'm like I don't know I I don't know if you can you Google? I did not have a phone that point in my right, right, I didn't even know Google was at that point that says how old I am. TJ actually taught me what Google was when like when I met him, which yeah there was no Google and so I was like you know what? I'm just gonna test it out and so I like froze my sour cream and let me tell you, hmm sour cream is crazy, bread, but not sour cream.
Rachel Coons 25:45
Well, most dairy.
Amber B 25:49
It doesn't and not block cheese doesn't work as well as like shredded cheese, but..
Rachel Coons 25:53
Yes, yes. Unless you're, unless you like if you pre shred it, it will work better.
Amber B 25:58
Yeah, yes yes. Anyway that was my like funny story. I still remember that I've like taking it out of the freezer and looking and be like well, that didn't work. That was a failed experience.
Rachel Coons 26:06
Now I know. Now I know.
Amber B 26:08
Now I know for the rest of my life it doesn't really work.
Rachel Coons 26:11
But then something also with the two-week grocery shopping is planning for that second I mean another barrier that people have is produce like how do I get my produce to last. I know that's a lot of, OK so I I I also want to question people when they say that produce doesn't last long. Like let's dive deeper into that. Does all produce not last long, or is it just maybe the produce that you're buying that doesn't last long. There are a lot of produce items that will last two weeks. You just have to find out what they are. And I actually think I have a list on my page somewhere of like long lasting produce options, so then for that second week, focusing your meals around those items that you know will last for that second week. And then you know, and fruits as well, because you know people want to have food available for their family, and you know some berries are going to last two weeks, but oranges, apples, those kinds of things will last two weeks and really getting those those long lasting produce for the second week. But you know, if you're really stuck on having fresh raspberries available for that second week then you just go grab it. You know there's nothing stopping you there, but really being mindful of like I don't want to spend a lot of money that second week.
Amber B 27:24
Yeah, I think yeah, it's so good and and you can also use frozen things that second week too. I know you've talked like maybe that first week you have fresh raspberries and then the second week you have frozen raspberries.
Rachel Coons 27:36
Yeah my kids love frozen raspberries.
Amber B 27:38
Yeah, same like Sam will just eat like frozen strawberries. That's like that's his snack.
Rachel Coons 27:42
Amber B 27:43
I know like rock hard frozen strawberries.
Rachel Coons 27:46
Amber B 27:47
I know frozen is it good. What are some other if you have them off the top of your head of some of the longer lasting fruits and vegetables so people can kind of have a sense of things that they can be thinking.
Rachel Coons 27:58
Sure, OK, so anything with like a skin on the fruit will last longer. So like all melons, oranges, cantaloupes will last longer in the fridge. A lot of things also will last longer in the fridge than they would on on the counter. So like maybe it'll have my tomatoes out for the first week, but then they'll put them in the fridge for that second week so they'll last the full 2 weeks. And I know I mean, we live in California, our produce is probably a little bit fresher than certain areas of the United States, but then also like romaine hearts will last a long time. Like I can get my romaine hearts to last for almost a month. And there's also storage options, so like wrapping your lettuce in tinfoil will make it last longer. Wrapping your celery in tinfoil will make it less longer. Your herbs in a little cup of water in the fridge, they'll last longer if they're stored, the stems are stored in water and then broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes. I'm trying to think of like my green onions and my cilantro will last that long.
Amber B 29:01
Rachel Coons 29:02
Carrots for sure. I always I always keep carrots on hand because they last for forever. Anything else you can think of?
Amber B 29:10
Those are good, yeah.
Rachel Coons 29:11
Most, most fruit options will last two weeks in the fridge except for berries, berries are the hard one. But if berries, if with berries you can rinse your berries in a vinegar water rinse and that will help them last way longer too because it gets off all the bacteria on the outside I think it's three parts water to one part vinegar. Rinse them in that when you first get them and they'll last longer.
Amber B 29:36
Do you know what it is about the tin foil? I've never tried that, like wrapping your romaine hearts.
Rachel Coons 29:41
I think it might, I think it might keep it colder. Like a temperature regulation type of I don't know I actually don't know. That's a good question.
Amber B 29:49
I was just curious, I've never tried it.
Rachel Coons 29:50
It definitely works, but celery will last a long time too right like celery isn't usually one that goes that fast.
Amber B 29:58
We go through a lot of lettuce because we have bunnies.
Rachel Coons 30:00
Oh yeah, Oh yeah, those the five pack of Romaine hearts from Costco or Sam's Club for like 3 bucks.
Amber B 30:06
Yeah, except that my Costco's like stop selling them I think we're having like they're having stocking issues.
Rachel Coons 30:10
Shortage issues, yeah, that could be true.
Amber B 30:15
Neither here nor there. OK so two-week shopping, I love this is the things I love about you Rach, is like it's, it's like it doesn't have to be 2 weeks. Like if you can extend it from going every week to going every week and 1/2 like that's gonna be better than than going every week. And so I think sometimes like you, you said earlier, it's starting with the end in mind like how can I move towards that? What could that look like to move towards that with that feeling like Oh my gosh, Rachel said that I have to and they grow shop every two weeks and this is impossible and they can't do it and they hate it so I'm just not, you know, I'm not going to do it which is it.
Rachel Coons 30:48
Yeah, yeah. Right and and like I guess, a lot of it is just like do what works for you like I'm sharing what's worked for me and what works for the people that I work with. But like yeah, I mean yours is the same way with your macros like you can do it if you can't it doesn't it doesn't change what I do.
Amber B 31:05
Truly. Yeah. Alright #3. Grocery, online groceries. Talk to us about that.
Rachel Coons 31:08
Da da da. OK, so ordering your groceries online or for or for delivery, whichever one works, it will drastically decrease your spending first, because you're way more intentional with what you put in your cart and you're not like actually kind of bugs me sometimes I'm like shoot, I'm not walking down an aisle like to see what I need just throwing random things I have to like actually look up the item that I want want to purchase, and then you're also watching that running total on the side you're seeing like OK, I just added that to my cart and now I'm at 160. My budget is 300 so now I have you know you you play around with the numbers way better than if you're in the store. You're not buying things you don't need and uhm, and it also it's way easier honestly than than having to walk into a store.
Amber B 32:03
Yeah, like I said I I started just a year ago because I just had my renewal of doing the delivery for Walmart plus. For me it's like worth the $100 a month, a year to like the total. And I like it changed my life. It like revolutionizes my life to like not have to go to the grocery store to have it show up on my front porch. And like you said, to be able to be intentional about what I'm buying and not necessarily walking down an aisle and having something called to me and throwing in my cart. The other thing that's really nice and this is more for people with older kids or even like spouses is that everybody in the family has the Walmart app and so if they need something they need she just goes on to the Walmart app and like puts it in and if Ethan needs something she goes on the Walmart app and like puts it in and that's been really nice. Instead of having to be like mom, can you pick me up XYZ they just put it in the cart and then when I go through I like I'll see, oh I didn't put that in. Hey, do you need this? Is there something else we can do? Uh, like have a conversation about it, I don't just like randomly buy crap, but it's that's been really nice with my older kids. It's like when they need a binder for school, they just like go put it in the app. They have it on their phone.
Rachel Coons 33:08
Amber B 33:09
Put it on the app and then I don't have to remember all.
Rachel Coons 33:12
Well, that's another thing that reminds that reminded me too is it helps with like forgetting things at the grocery store like you don't have a list, So what throughout the week, if I open my fridge, I'm like, oh, we're out of Mayo. What do I do immediately go add it on so. Again, I'm not shopping as often and I'm keeping my essentials like all in the app.
Amber B 33:34
And like I have a list so I can go see like the things that I buy every single week. Yes, add them, it's like
Rachel Coons 33:42
The reorder list like reorder what like that's usually where I go first is just the reorder list and see what I need to add. But yeah, that'll that'll like instantly drop your grocery spending.
Amber B 33:55
Yeah. And I would, I would have never tried it except for you were like preaching it to like high like it was high bread.
Rachel Coons 34:00
Oh yeah, oh, it's like the new which seems to like this a lot, I'm really, really yeah very well there's, and there's obviously barriers like people have barriers to it, but I'm like go like if you just want to make your life easier don't even do it to save money, do it to make your life easier. You have to be careful. I will say it as a caveat. You do have to be careful, like a lot of people will be like well, I order on Instacart. Yeah, Instacart does upcharge. Like instead of having your romaine lettuce be $3, it might be $4.50. So like each item might be a little bit more, so you have to be careful about the the like price difference and you can just like spend a couple times like in store versus on Instacart but like Sam's Club, Walmart you know your main grocery stores, Kroger they don't upcharge their items for pickup or delivery.
Amber B 34:47
Yeah, and and you have to be careful you've alerted me to this as well, but I saw at the same time the app that when Walmart does substitutions, they used to just substitute it for the same amount. And now for the increased price. So this morning I have a delivery coming this afternoon and they wanted me to approve one of the substitutions and I was getting like bagels that were like I don't know $1.70. And they wanted to put me bagels that were $5.28 each. Ahm, no. I refused.
Rachel Coons 35:14
Yeah, you know, if only I had a if only I had a contact at Walmart.
Amber B 35:18
Rachel Coons 35:19
I just I deserve one at this point for how much business I brought them. Seriously, come on Walmart I got some feedback for you. OK, another thing about ordering online is you can price check also. So I I grocery shop at 2 stores. Shop at Walmart and Sam's Club and I'm constantly like as I'm ordering OK is this cheaper at Walmart or Sam's Club? Per price per oz and then I can like decide which item I want to get.
Amber B 35:47
That's awesome. That's a good tip.
Rachel Coons 35:47
So that's nice. That's a nice thing too.
Amber B 35:50
I mentioned at the at the beginning that you know money is a touchy, touchy subject and you can get a lot of grief online when you start talking about money, especially when you talk about specific recommendations. But you do it anyway cuz you're ballsy and one of the things that you get the most grief about is the idea of a a budget of $125 per person per month for a grocery budget as like a guideline to give people a place if everybody wants a guideline until you give them a guideline and then nobody wants the guide and tell you how the guide so stupid and so wrong.
Rachel Coons 36:20
And they don't like it.
Amber B 36:23
So yeah, where did that number come from and why do you continue to stand by it?
Rachel Coons 36:29
So the $1.25 per person per month is is kind of like the end, that's the endpoint, right? We're talking about the endpoint it's not where you're starting, it's probably not where you going to be in the first couple of months, but that's where we want to get you to and the reason I stand by that is because I've seen everybody do it like, like when I work with someone one-on-one. Like we can get them down there within three months like we can get them to that point and and and I just think it's a really healthy number where you're not overspending, but you're also having some having some wiggle room so that you can maybe get some items that you want to splurge on like it's just a it's just a good place to be and you know every family is different. Everybody's needs are different. It's just kind of like an average of what I think is a good place to be.
Amber B 37:19
Yeah, and and again I I just think it's so funny how everyone wants a guideline and then you give it to them and then they just want to tell you why it’s.
Rachel Coons 37:27
Well, they tell me it's not true. That's one of the things I was doing it this morning is like your kids eat lunch at school and you probably eat out all the time and I'm like, OK well like don't shoot the messenger, OK? I'm just telling you what I do.
Amber B 37:41
Yeah, people just wanna argue for their limitations, right? Like it's it's it's innate in all of us to kind of want to argue for our limitations and why we feel like we could never do that. But the other thing I love about you is that you're like OK. well, then fine like set a number and stick to it. Maybe it's a $150.00 per person for you. Maybe you have like food allergies, or maybe you have, like you know hungry boy teenagers or whatever it is. Great. Then do it one at $150 a month, but it's like the intentionality buying it. It's like let's just be intentional about I'm dedicating this money towards a food budget and I'm, you know, stick with this and that's going to help me to save money in the long run.
Rachel Coons 38:20
And it's a stretch goal, right, like we want to stretch people. We want to make them feel like they are actually working towards something. I would say the average person that I talked to that starting out is spending between $200 to $250 per person per month. Even if we're dropping that down to $175 per person per month, you're still saving hundreds of dollars every month, right like even with just a little bit of cutting back. There's still savings had so it's not an all or nothing mentality it's just working each month and seeing what you can do and some months, some months I spend more because it's Christmas or whatever. Like we're on vacation more or whatever. You know it's OK as long as I know. I know I can always get to $125. I I know I can always do that.
Amber B 39:03
Yeah, that's so good, awesome. OK, is there anything I know we talked about meal planning we talked about the grocery app and we talked what was the second one we talked about?
Rachel Coons 39:12
The 2-week shopping.
Amber B 39:13
Two-week shopping. Yeah, so obviously those are like super tangible like people could start doing that today. Is there any other tip that you're that someone who is listening who's be feeling motivated, feeling like OK, I want to get started on this process that's like simple and can start saving the money today.
Rachel Coons 39:30
Like what's another, another tip, I think a lot of problems that people have too is feeling overwhelmed at meal time and just feeling like you know, yeah highest energy time of the day, right between the hours between 5:00 and seven everyone's ticked off everyone's tired, everyone's hungry. It's it's a high emotional time like it's I think we can, but, but when we can lower down those emotions we can have it can be peaceful. It can be enjoyable, it can be a really great time for bonding with our family. And so that comes down to like how you're prepping your dinners and what you're cooking and how you come to the kitchen, right, like how are you going to set the tone for the night? And this is something that I've really been trying to work on is is to get my dinners prepped and ready while the kids are in school so that way it all just comes together at the end of the day, and dinner's ready on the table and everybody's happy I mean that's the picture perfect.
Amber B 40:38
Rachel Coons 40:39
We’re working on it. OK. But keeping your meals simple, simple, simple, simple, like, I just always go back to that. What can I cook in the instant pot? What can make it so that I don't have to be like hands on all the time? We'll just make your life a lot easier and it will make you want to cook, right, like burnout is real when it comes to mom life and cooking dinner and that is that is a real thing and what happens when we burn out? we want to eat out every meal, and then you're going to be spending more money. So just finding what works for you and and pacing yourself through the process, I don't know if that was helpful with grocery budgeting. But that's just overall like feeding your family stress.
Amber B 41:21
Yeah, I think I think there's you know and we kind of circle back around to where we started at the beginning of the the podcast was talking about how we were both raised in a family where dinner was really important, mostly because of the connection, the time for connection not necessarily, but it's just the time spent together and we were both raised in the house at like every night we ate dinner together and that was an important time for that connection. I think that's the idea I think is what we all want is to be like have this like time with our families, but I I do agree that a lot of times it is taken over by the frustration of kids not liking food and the stress of trying to get on the table and everybody's hungry and everybody's crabby and we're trying to get out the door for soccer. And you know all of the things, and so I think, yeah, you stepped back and asking yourself the question, how can I make that time as easy as possible. The least resistance as possible is a really smart way.
Rachel Coons 42:10
Right. Right, well and then just making it not not a fight. It's not a fight. Dinner’s not a fight with my kids. It's, you know it happens every night. There's no reason to create arguments over whether or not they want to eat their chicken and broccoli, you know.
Amber B 42:26
So then how do you deal with that? I think that's very common.
Rachel Coons 42:29
Oh yeah, so we talked a lot about this recently so I have you know obviously some tips and tricks to get kids to eat their dinner. My main tip that I tell people is to stop snacking at 3:30 or 4 depending on when you eat dinner. Don't allow snacking 2 hours before dinner time and so that your kids come to the dinner table hungry. Because they're more likely to try foods and then always making sure that there is something on the dinner table that they you know that they like and that they will eat so they feel like it's a safe place that they can be so it's not automatically there's an objection and and then they have to have everything on their plate. So whether or not, you want to eat those brussel sprouts, I don't care, but it has to sit on your plate. So that way it's just introducing foods to them, they become more comfortable with it, they see you eating the foods and it just slowly over time. What do they say like, a kid has to be introduced and try a food 10 times before they eat them like think about liking that food. And then something that we learned from you was the two bites no fights. You have to eat 2 bites. Eat 2 bites, we won't fight you anymore. You can have dessert, whatever so just having them try the food and then there's no stress. And then there's no stress you want to eat it you don't eat it totally fine. You know there's this, there's these strawberries on the table that you can eat instead.
Amber B 43:47
Yeah, and I will say that you know my kids are a little bit older than your kids and it's been really cool to see as my kids have matured and gotten older, their willingness to now try more foods and be more open minded. You know Kate, especially my 15-year old over the last year she's just telling me she's like mom a year ago I wouldn't eat tomatoes. I wouldn't eat peppers like I wouldn't eat all of these things and her taste buds are developing we've exposed her lots of times, she desires to do it and it's been really cool to see her and even my 13 year old is is starting to be willing to try things and I think a lot of it is because we've just eaten them the whole time and we didn't force them to eat them, but they were always there. They were always available and they see us eating them and they kind of also associate. Here's a here's a tip. They also associate eating those foods with being more mature and being older, and I think as they're wanting to do that like adulthood or like being treated like an adult, being treated like more mature, they associate ohh eating like vegetables or eating, you know onions or Peppers or stuff. It's like the more mature thing to do I definitely see that in my kids are like wanting to step into that next phase of like maturing.
Rachel Coons 44:51
Oh interesting, yeah, yeah. So that's really cool. Yeah, I like that.
Amber B 44:56
OK, this has been so good. So good. I think people are going to really, hopefully take some of these tips and really start to put them into action. Definitely go and follow Rachel. What's your, drop your Instagram and your TikTok.
Rachel Coons 45:08
It's hey Rachel Coons.
Amber B 45:10
On both Instagram and TikTok?
Rachel Coons 45:12
On both, yeah.
Amber B 45:13
Kind of a big deal on both, so go follow her on those.
Rachel Coons 45:18
Just don't come give me hate please. I just don't want any more hate.
Amber B 45:22
Only only only people who are nice listen to this podcast like this is not like, we’re not like others.
Rachel Coons 45:28
We like this community.
Amber B 45:30
This audience is a very nice and pleasant community, be nice.
Rachel Coons 45:33
You know, I can take that hate, I can take it, you want to give it I can take it, you can dish it out. Be careful, I have a really good comeback for you.
Amber B 45:44
And you mentioned a little bit about your course. Tell us a little bit about more about that because I know it's coming up.
Rachel Coons 45:48
Oh yeah, OK, so I'm super excited. I'm launching a 12-week course at the end of the month and it's basically going to take you from overspending feeling overwhelmed, feeding your family and we're going to get you to $125 per person per month. That's the goal at the end. And then just feeling confident that you have the systems in place have everything in place so that you can continue doing what you're doing for the rest of your life, continue saving it's like I want people to get where I am. It took me, you know, two years to get to where I am but I want people to feel the same way and just feel confident in what they're doing, and it's going to be awesome. I'm really, really excited about it.
Amber B 46:27
Yes, you can either take two years to do it on your own or you can get it done really fast.
Rachel Coons 43:33
And imagine the money that you will save, that's why I'm like OK if we're saving $300.00 per person or per family, that's like OK great $300 or whatever that's $3600 in a year. Imagine what you could take your kids to Disneyland for $3600.00 you know treat your family to an awesome vacation with what you're saving on your grocery. Or you could invest in retirement you could do that too. But yeah, but I all I'm saying is it really it does add up. Imagine that for 10 years, imagine that for the rest of your life like there really is great power in in cutting back.
Amber B 47:07
Yeah yeah, it's awesome. So we will link all this up up in the show notes. We'll link up Rachel's Instagram and stuff. I'm sure you'll have information on your in your bio and stuff. So if you're interested in that we'll definitely have a link in the show notes to be able to to go and check that out. Any last words of wisdom or things that you feel like you don't get to say but you want to make sure, everyone hears.
Rachel Coons 47:31
Off the cuff? Off the cuff. No, I'm no, I don't I I say what I want to on my Instagram I'm no, no filter most of the time.
Amber B 47:38
Awesome. Well then let me go check out Rachel and thanks Rachel for moving on with my audience.
Rachel Coons 47:43
Amber B 47:46
OK, see ya. I hope you enjoyed that episode, it's always fun to have my sister on the podcast and be able to chat with her. She's phenomenal, she's amazing and I definitely recommend going and checking out her program. It should be launching around the same time that this episode is coming out. So if you're someone who is really wanting to be intentional about saving some money this year, and you have like this idea of being able to get your, your grocery budget down so you can spend that money elsewhere. I highly recommend checking out her stuff. Her Instagram is phenomenal. Her to talk's phenomenal and her course is amazing as well. And as a reminder, if we convince you to try grocery online grocery shopping, which has really changed the game for me this last year, I do have a referral code that you can access in the show notes. So if you go to bicepsafterbabies.com/263 it's just the episode number in there. I have a referral code that will get you $20.00 off your first order and it gives me $20 as well, so I hope you like it, like I said, it has changed the game for me in the amount of money that I spend at the grocery store and the amount of time that I save. So for me it's 100% worth. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber now, go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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