This is to be my year to become debt free accept for my mortgage. I reviewed my spending habits last year and realized that I spend an astronomical amount of money eating out. I am a single parent of three and I have two adopted daughters as well. I use to be really good about menu planning and such but last year I just wasn’t motivated. I realized that we had so much more when I was disciplined. So this year I made a point to cook every night and try to stay away from eating out. I watched a television show where a woman was making lasagna and substituted ground beef with fat meat to stretch it. In this same television show she cooked the lasagna in the dishwasher. I am always looking for ways to save money but that is too extreme for my tastes. Plus it just doesn’t seem healthy to serve fat meat as a substitute for beef. With basketball, football, wrestling, bible study, etc. it is easy to resort to fast food to ensure everyone eats. However, this grocery trip I picked up some quick foods like nuggets and fish sticks. So tonight when I wasn’t able to complete my dinner in a timely matter chicken nuggets and raviolis to the rescue. I still fixed my meat so I have a head-start on dinner tomorrow. I even made some chocolate cupcakes for dessert. I am confident if I stick to the no fast food rule I can save money in 2014. If anyone has any tips on how to cut down grocery bills I am all for it. I currently use coupons for a majority of my grocery items and I shop for reduced meats in my local grocery store. I know that planning is key and I am motivated this year to plan my meals and grocery trips to save money. I will share my menu plans in a future blog in case they will be helpful to others trying to save money in the kitchen.