Why, Which, and How to use All of Your Veggies

Let’s start with the why. Why should you use all of your vegetables? And what does that even mean?

The answer is pretty simple: because it produces less waste and saves you money. What I mean by “use all of your veggies” is to use as much of the vegetable as you can. This means leaving the skin on when possible (potatoes, tomatoes for soups/sauces, carrots – they don’t even have “skin” but lots of people still take off the outer layer – etc.)

Which vegetables can I use entirely?

Lots and tons! I won’t name every single vegetable but here’s some that you might not have thought of using the whole thing:

Broccoli – Yes, even the stem. Chop it up into smaller bite sized pieces or shred it and add it to your dish (salads, roasts, soups, etc). Broccoli is absolutely delicious!

Caulifower – Just like broccoli, you can chop up the stem to use in soup, on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop. You can even steam it and just add butter! 

Carrot – There’s no need to shred off the outer layer of a carrot. The only part you shouldn’t eat is the very top (where the leaves normally come from). If there are little strings coming off the bottom, either pull them off or eat them. If you wash the top those, you can use it in a smoothie or soup (especially if you like to make your own veggie broth).

Celery – Try to eat as much of the celery as possible. The leaves of celery you use in soup/broth, a roast, a stir-fry or even eat them in a salad (choppped up or whole). The only part you might not want to eat is the base. Place the base of the celery into a glass container with a little bit of water on the bottom. Continue to water and watch as a new celery grows. Then, you can plant it in a small amount of dirt or keep it growing in your water.

Tomatoes – You don’t really have the cut out or off the top of the tomato. Just chop it up with the rest of the tomato and enjoy! This would be great for salads, soups, and even sandwiches.

Pretty much every vegetable – If there are parts that you don’t want to eat, wash them and freeze them. Once you have enough, boil them in water with your favorite herbs and make your own vegetable broth. This is another great use for your celery leaves!

To make your own vegetable broth with leftover vegetables, simmer your vegetables in a large pot with water and spices for about an hour (really, the longer the better). This will allow the flavor to really develop. Good spices for soups include: mixed herb, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. You can also add tomato paste or a can of tomatoes. 

Pro tip: you may want to sauté garlic and onions in olive oil (additional not just what was leftover) before adding the rest of your vegetables and water.

To read more about my recipes and why I create them the way I do (without specific measurements, times, and temperatures) check out this blog post. Post a picture of your soup and vegetables to your stories on Instagram and tag me (@its.mary.taylor) so I can see and share it to my story too!

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

© Susannah Lynn Photography

Anniversary Weekend (Turned Week) | One Year Anniversary Ideas

What a whirlwind the last week has been! We were supposed to celebrate our first year wedding anniversary the weekend before our anniversary, but something came up and we had to reschedule. Our actual anniversary wasn’t until Monday/Tuesday (depending if you want to count US time – where we got married – or NZ time – where we live but it’s a day ahead).

You can read all about our San Diego wedding and our New Zealand wedding reception. If you’re a current bride or bride-to-be and would like wedding inspiration, check out our FREE wedding Facebook group.

This blog post may contain affiliate links and ads. I may earn a small commission from clicks but they don’t cost you anything to use them and they help support me & my family. Thank you for understanding.

I had been planning my surprise for several weeks though and I couldn’t hold out much longer so I followed through with my plans on the Friday before our wedding anniversary. It was a combination of a few people helping me pull off the ultimate surprise! Thank you to my in-laws for secretly sneaking my wedding dress into our apartment (there’s a funny story about that) and to Suzanne from Stellar Backdrops for the INCREDIBLE wood prints.

I put on my wedding dress, laid out Robbie’s wedding outfit (even his bowtie) for him to put on then I set up the living room with my Stellar prints and a platter board and surprised Robbie! I had our wedding video playing in the background and we re-watched it and listened to our wedding speeches over again (while in tears). You can watch our wedding video here.

When I received my Stellar Backdrops order, I was absolutely speechless at how gorgeous they were. I was worried that like other wood prints I have purchased in the past, that the images would look blown out (too bright) and would lack the detail and color in the original image but they turned out perfectly! We love the 3D wood lettering on the wall hanging image and the shape, size, and stand for the hexagon print. We can’t wait to show these off in our home! You can find Stellar Backdrops on Instagram, Facebook, and even on their website! To receive a 10% discount towards your first purchase of their wooden print range – use code THANKYOU10. Valid until 30 September 2020. If you have anything from Stellar Backdrops already or use purchase from them after seeing this blog, take a photo and tag me on Instagram and/or Facebook, I would love to see what you got!

If you’re looking for anniversary gift ideas, prints are a great way to remember your wedding day and have beautiful home artwork! We’re even going to put the wall hanging print as the centerpiece for an entire photo wall in our hallway (if you want to see more about our home building process and home inspiration blogs, you can find me on Instagram @its.mary.taylor and read home-related blogs here).

On our actual anniversary, a few days later, we weren’t going to do anything but Robbie (my husband) convinced me to get off work and head to dinner! He didn’t need to do much convincing because I love exploring new restaurants. We had been wanting to go to a restaurant in the harbour for years so when he told me we were going there, I was even more excited!

The rest of the week included eating out almost every night, hanging out with friends, and relaxing at home. When the weekend came, it was finally Robbie’s day to plan! Saturday morning I slept in and was greeted with a list of activities for the day. I didn’t realize until later that evening why he had chosen all of these activities in the order that he did. Can you figure it out?

Photos, art, picnic, earrings (or errands – to go buy earrings), restaurant. I’ll give you a hint. Do you know what the traditional one year anniversary gift is?

It’s paper! We weren’t going to do gifts this year so he spelled out paper with the first letter of each activity! Although we didn’t actually do everything on the list (it was way too cold for a picnic so we got lunch with his parents instead – which was just as good), we had so much fun with each of the things we did!

I loved that he thought about me and really put effort into our day of celebration. I had been wanting photos for a while but we kept putting it off. It was actually so much more fun than I thought it would be! We walked all around looking for amazing street art and murals in Mount Maunganui. If you come here or you live around here and want to see some street art for yourself, check out this amazing map with locations of street art and murals in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui! Here are some of my favorite images!

Love a good (funny) outtake!

To finish off the day, we went to my favorite Italian restaurant in the Mount. They always spoil us and even set up an adorable candle for us at our booth right by the fireplace. We always get the sharing platter – value for money 100/10.

On Sunday, we got to have another relaxing, go with the flow day. We went to the local farmers market, had massages (best of our lives – and again, another local Mount Maunganui place we often go to), and even sat in the sun at our community pool. For dinner I made the most incredible pulled chicken tacos!

If you’re looking for one year wedding anniversary gift ideas (paper related gift ideas), here are some fun options:

💌 Tickets somewhere (a show, amusement park, plane tickets, etc)

💌 Printed pictures, artwork, or a wedding album (technically made out of paper and if you get a Stellar Backdrop wood print, wood makes paper 😉)

💌 Lottery tickets

💌 A new journal or book (here are some really cool marriage journals that could be fun)

💌 DIY coupons

💌 Magazine subscription

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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How to Get Notified When People Post on Instagram

Instagram posts can get cluttered but you know there’s always a few people that you want to make sure you see posts from. Did you know that you can get notifications when your favorite people post? And it’s super easy!

To turn on notifications, go to the user’s profile, click on one of their posts, tap the three small dots in the upper right-hand corner of the post, and choose “Turn on Post Notifications” from the menu that pops up. Later, if you want to stop notifications from this account, follow the same instructions but click “Turn off Notifications.”

Please note you won’t get push notifications unless you have notifications turned on for Instagram on your phone.

📲If you want to allow notifications on iPhone or iPad, go to “Settings,” then “Notifications.” Choose “Instagram” and then turn on the setting to “Allow Notifications.”

📲If you have an Android and would like to turn notifications on for Instagram: Go to “Settings,” then “Apps,” then “Instagram.” Select the option to show notifications.

For more social media tips and tricks, sign up to our email list below and join our FREE social media discussions, engagement, and learning group on Facebook here

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!


Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Apple Cinnamon Roll

Apple Cinnamon Roll Bites

One thing I miss about living in Encinitas is the local bakery and Cinnabon. I am not going to lie, Cinnabon is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. And although my homemade apple cinnamon roll, pull apart “bread” isn’t the same, it IS delicious and super easy to make (which kind of just makes it that much better, right).

This is the perfect homemade cinnamon roll recipe if you don’t have premade dough (or crescents) handy and you don’t have any yeast. You can even use this same recipe and roll out the dough, fill with apples, and place in the oven the same way but more “cinnamon roll looking.” The “pop open” premade “cans/jars” aren’t really common here so I had to find something that I could easily make with what I already had at home.

To read more about my recipes and why I create them the way I do (without specific measurements, times, and temperatures) check out this blog post

Here’s what you’ll need:

Apple Cinnamon Roll Bites

Who doesn't love cinnamon sugar and butter with apples and buns?! Yum!


  • Oven


  • Apples Sliced or Diced
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter Cold - Cubed
  • Butter Melted
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Milk
  • Cream cheese


  • First, combine flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix it together. Sometimes I like to add in a bit of extra sugar and cinnamon to the recipe so I add it directly to the dough.
  • Then, cut in cubes of butter and add it to the bowl. Make the bits of butter as small as possible.
  • Gradually stir in milk until the dough comes together (be careful that it doesn’t get too wet and sticky - if it does, just add more flour)
  • Preheat oven (350 degrees F - if you like to know that kind of stuff) and grease your pan with butter.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Cut apples into thin slices. Optional: squeeze lemon juice onto the slices and mix well.
  • Now, this part is kind of up to you, I like to reduce the number of bowls I use so I do this next part in the greased pan but you can also do this in a separate bowl.
  • Melt butter (either just add extra to your existing greased pan or have a separate bowl), make small balls of dough, and roll the dough balls into the melted butter.
  • Then, roll the dough balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until they’re well coated.
  • Line the bottom of the buttered pan with apples and/or place apples inbetween the dough balls.
  • Place the dough balls next to each other (touching) in the buttered pan.
  • Cook for 7-10 minutes or until dough is cooked all the way through.
  • While they’re cooking, make your chosen sauce!

Caramel Sauce

  • Melt butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan with a little bit of milk. Don't let the liquid get too hot for too long. Keep stirring until it slightly thickens. Remove from heat and pour on cinnamon rolls. Optional: Add cinnamon!

Easy Icing

  • Mix milk, vanilla, and icing sugar until desired consistency.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Mix cream cheese, vanilla, and icing sugar until desired taste and consistency. If you prefer it a bit thinner, add a touch of milk.

If you make this recipe, please tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can see your creations!

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!


Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


How to see all the Posts You’ve Liked on Instagram

Have you ever wanted to see all the posts you’ve liked on Instagram? You might have forgotten the image, quote, or post that you passed earlier but really loved and you want to see it again! Well, you can do that!

All you have to do is go to your profile, click the burger menu (the three lines in the top right-hand corner) if you’re on a mobile device, click settings, then account. Then, you’ll see “Posts you’ve liked” towards the bottom.

If you want to unlike a post all you have to do is click the heart again. Don’t worry, the user will not be notified that you unliked their post.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also search directly in the search bar.

For more social media tips and tricks, sign up to our email list below and join our FREE social media discussions, engagement, and learning group on Facebook here

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!


Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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What is Puddle Co?

If you’ve been around for a little while, you might have seen the release of my new company, Puddle Co. Maybe you have wondered what it is, who it is for or how you can get involved. I’m so excited to dive into what The Puddle Company is all about!

Read below to see how Puddle Co. is supporting non-profits and charities.

Puddle Co or Puddle, is a communication app for professionals and celebrities to give you advice. Whether you’re wanting your business plan reviewed or you simply want to ask a question, Puddle Co. is the place to get drops of knowledge from your most loved professionals and celebrities.

Personalized advice, answers, and feedback from your most admired people

We’ve created an easy, intuitive design so you can easily find who you are looking for – whether you know their name or know their expertise. You can check to see how valuable other users feel each pro’s advice really is so you know that authentic and helpful conversations are happening.

Meet the app that’s changing the game

Our main page features the top Pros of several categories and industries from sports, to entertainment, to management. With search options such as industry & profession, service, and name, it’s easy to start your first puddle of knowledge.

Click on the image to check out our app

“If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”

― Warren Buffett

Puddle Co. recognizes that although everyone deserves to be paid for their time, not all celebrities and professionals want or need all the opportunities (monetary or otherwise) they are given. We want to encourage those that can, to give back to their favorite charities, local communities, and worldwide non-profits. We allow our Pros to choose if they would like to donate their proceeds to a charity or non-profit of their choice*. We also donate 25% of our earnings from those services to a charity of our choice each month.

Who do you want to see on Puddle Co? What would you ask them? Let Puddle Co. know on their Facebook page or Instagram. You can even request Pros directly on our website.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

*as long as the charity is registered with Puddle Co. Users and Pros can request  charities that aren’t already on our platform.


Backyard Inspiration

We’re about four and a half weeks into our new home build! If you’re new here: Hi, I’m Mary! My husband Robbie and I are building a new home in New Zealand. For each room in the house, I am posting my inspiration board. Once the home is complete, I will be sharing the inspiration vs. the real thing. I am posting more current updates directly on my Instagram so you can see progress pictures!

See that little patch of grass in the back left corner of the above image? That’s part of our backyard! It’s hard to tell how big it is when I’m so far away. Even the home looks tiny!

One thing that was a must-have for us when we were searching for our home, was a backyard! We wanted something that we could use to host BBQ’s, lounge in the sun, have a garden, and have a dog. We knew that building a home, we would get less land but we still didn’t want to settle on a yard. Luckily, because of the shape of our land, we get the best of both worlds – a three bedroom, two bathroom brand new home with a backyard.

For those that don’t know much (or anything) about purchasing a land and home package: you’re given a home design and a piece of land for one price. But, you’re welcome to make changes as long as it doesn’t affect the outer walls (basically, you can’t make the home larger or reposition the home). You can do things like: upgrade materials, change inner walls, choose your paint colors, change doors and windows, add in heating, raise your roof, eliminate things you don’t want, and more. I won’t spoil all of our changes just yet!

You can take a look at where I got my inspiration and how to create all of my home inspiration looks here! I have even included a few extra items that I love for backyards. You can also check out my full Amazon home decor list here.

One thing that we decided to get rid of was landscaping. Landscaping was a huge cost (I think it was $4k) that we felt wasn’t necessary. With my father-in-laws tools we could spread our own grass seed and with my love for gardening, I could pick out and plant my own plants. In fact, we already have a lemon and lime tree and plenty of other vegetables for a veggie garden. We want to grow as many veggies as possible!

We also got rid of the concrete surrounding the home (on the side of the home and in the backyard which was a concrete deck). Again, this saved us a few thousand dollars. Instead, I wanted stepping stones on the side of the house and we want composite decking for the backyard. Composite decking is wood fiber, plastic, and some type of binding agent. It’s extremely durable and long-lasting. It will give us that wood effect but won’t warp in the rain.

I love coming up with vision boards because it helps me picture everything and how it’ll all come together. You might notice that my vision board has an image of a folding window. That’s one addition that we made to our home to really make it ours. This will be perfect for our wrap around deck. It will create a sense of flow within the dining room towards the BBQ area.

Don’t forget to shop these looks and all of my home decor inspiration blogs here.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


How to Add Special Fonts to Your Instagram Bio

Do you want to make your Instagram profile stand out by including fun and different fonts?


I’ve got a fun hack for you! Adding emojis is always one thing I suggest adding to your profile (my favorite place to find emojis online is but you can even take it a step further with new fonts.

Now, you aren’t actually able to do this directly in Instagram but you can use other apps to make it happen!

One program is called LingoJam. All you have to do is type in bio text, scroll through to choose the font you like best, select/highlight the text, hit copy, and paste it into your Instagram bio. This app is perfect if you want to change your bio directly on your phone or your computer.

Why stop at emojis and fonts? Let’s learn how to add special characters to your Instagram bio too! One easy way to do this is actually on Your HTML Source website. You can easily copy and paste symbols into your Instagram bio from there. They have everything from copyright symbols to greek letters and card suits. Here are some examples of the symbols you can copy and paste:

Now you know how to add special fonts and characters to your Instagram bio! Let me know which emojis are your favorite on this post. And if you use special characters or fonts in your bio, here’s how you can let me know: Take a screenshot of your bio/profile, post it to your stories, and tag me so I can reshare. Don’t forget to join my mailing list for free social media tips and tricks every month (fill out the simple form below). You can also join our FREE social media discussions, engagement, and learning group on Facebook here

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Birthday Weekend on Waiheke Island

It’s my birthday! Well, it was. And here’s a little bit about how it went!

Have you ever been to Waiheke or heard of it before? If not, this is the perfect blog for you!

I’m in the process of writing another blog about love languages but one of my greatest love languages is quality time! Robbie, my husband, knows me so well – he spent the several days leading up to my birthday with me exclusively. That’s a norm for us but this was EXTRA special because we got to take a vacation to Waiheke Island near Auckland, New Zealand. We had been wanting to go to Waiheke for over two years!

We started our long weekend with a trip to Auckland for the night so we didn’t have to wake up too early for our ferry ride the next morning. Robbie surprised me with the most romantic dinner ever at the Sky Tower (the restaurant is called Orbit 360°). WOW! The food was incredible and the prices weren’t actually bad for all that’s included (portions, the view, and access to the Sky Tower itself). We will 100% be going back.

I even figured out how to wrap my infinity dress is a new way and matched my beautiful Mesamie NZ earrings with it! Mesamie gifted me three pairs of earrings for my birthday and I wore one pair every day to celebrate. They were all so comfortable and unique. Find me on Instagram to see even more pictures of me wearing them! 

The next morning we woke up bright and early, walked to Krispy Kreme (which BTW if you sign-up for their email list you get free donuts on your birthday – I am going to add all the New Zealand birthday freebies that I got to my Deals Directory so you can check them out). It was Robbie’s first time at a Krispy Kreme and it definitely didn’t disappoint! 

Our ferry ride to Waiheke Island was NUTS. The water was so stormy, we were bobbing up and down like crazy. I actually said, “I can’t believe it’s legal to be on the water when it’s like this!” 

It was a bit calmer on shore and as soon as we arrived, we headed off to our zip line adventure on Waiheke Island! There were only three zip lines but to get back to the start, we got to hike through their private forest which was filled with natural wildlife (especially birds)! The best part of the zip lining tour/adventure, besides the zip lining itself, was that all of the proceeds from our tickets went to helping restore the forests natural habitats.

After zip lining, we headed to our Airbnb to get ready to continue our day with a few wine tastings. We went to everything from a smaller commercial tasting to a gorgeous, homely Italian winery to a beer and wine tasting at a larger restaurant/winery. One thing that I found really interesting about Waiheke was that every winery was SO different. You never knew what to expect!

The Italian winery, Poderi Crisci, was like something out of a movie. Imagine this: the moment you step out of your car you’re transported to an Italian chef’s backyard – you walk through his renaissance style garden lined with raised garden beds filled with vegetables and herbs that he uses for his dishes. You see a handmade swing hanging from the tree tops and as you sit down and lift your feet, you feel the fresh breeze flow through your hair as you gaze at the mountains, trees, and vineyard. You’re welcomed into the chef’s kitchen to enjoy a beautiful wine tasting accompanied by fresh baked bread and homemade olive oil. As you walk inside you immediately smell the freshly picked daffodils on the table. Each time the doors open, you hear the clinking of his pots and pans that are hanging from the ceiling on an old metal gate. 

The rest of the weekend was spent tasting wine, exploring the island, eating beautiful food, and having plenty of more tours!

One major highlight of our time in Waiheke was with head chef and winemaker, Connie Festa from Peacock Sky. We had our first and only Degustation Wine Tasting! What is does degustation mean? Degustation is “the careful, appreciative tasting of various food, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company.” Connie says, “[Degustation] is the fine art of food and wine pairing!”

Connie prepared several small bite sized dishes to accompany the wine we were tasting. The pictures don’t do it justice. We felt like royalty in our private tasting room as we got to hear directly from the chef herself. 

We loved hearing about Connie’s journey of opening Peacock Sky, her love of cuisine, and all of the wonderful classes and events she hosts (everything from cooking classes and tours to hen’s dos and weddings)! She even sell their divine brownie as a mix so you can make it at home!

We left Waiheke feeling like we had checked off everything we wanted and more. The saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” couldn’t have been more true. On Monday morning, we packed our things and headed back to the Ferry to spend the day in Auckland. We didn’t get a chance to go to the top of the Sky Tower after dinner, so we went up on Monday! We had the whole place to ourselves which was absolutely magical. We shopped and hit up all the birthday deals we could before heading back home (with a stop off to see Robbie’s parents).

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have seen that on top of the incredible weekend that Robbie put together, I also got a wine fridge (which I have been wanting for a long time) and a distiller (thanks dad)! 

Thank you SO much to everyone involved in making my birthday weekend so special! I couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Tips for Eating Healthy While on a Budget

Today we’re going to talk about budget-friendly grocery shopping and eating healthy while on a budget. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive (and sometimes, it can actually be cheaper). 

1. Buy frozen veggies – they’re usually cheaper!

2. Only buy the meat and veggies that are on sale – then bulk freeze

3. Ditch the processed drinks (if you love soda, get a SodaStream and add in fresh lemon, essential oils, or other fresh fruit to your bubbly water)

4. Simplify recipes and use what you already have

5. Buy in bulk

Some of the links included in this blog are commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission when you use them. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything to click on them.

6. Use all of the veggie (for the ones that you can)  – check out this blog for more info

7. Buy dried garlic (in bulk) instead of fresh garlic

8. Make sure what you do buy doesn’t go off. Wasting food is a HUGE expense not only to your bank account but also to the environment. 

9. Start a garden! Growing your own food is not only great for your wallet but also for the environment. Here’s a gardening kit to help you get started. You can even grow your own herbs.

10. Only buy what’s on your list. When you’re growing shopping, make sure to stick to your list. Even when you see something you really want. Only buy it if you need it.

11. Meal plan so you know exactly what you need for each meal. This means less waste and less money spent. It also helps you eat healthier. Check out these (cheap but awesome) reusable meal prep containers!

12. If buying rice, buy brown rice. Brown rice has more fiber and antioxidants, as well as a lot more important vitamins and minerals.

13. Skip the bread and potatoes and go for something healthier (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, etc).

14. Buy whole uncooked chickens instead of chicken breasts, etc. (make sure it actually works out to be cheaper)

15. Bulk cook (by bulk cooking you’re not only reducing your time in your kitchen but also your electric/gas bill).

16. Ditch the unnecessary items (chips, candy, chocolate, ice cream, etc. – swap chips for veggies and hummus, tzatziki, etc. – swap store bought ice cream and desserts for homemade coconut pudding). This way you know exactly what you’re putting into your body and you can alter the ingredients to fit a healthier lifestyle. 

Do you have any other shopping or cooking tips you can give us? We would love to see you in our FREE shopping and deals group:

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3