10 Questions with Meals Money Me from Instagram. I have followed Suze since she started and she is one of my favourite Instagram accounts! Suze is full of down to earth hints and tips of living the good life for less!
1. Who is behind meals_money_me?
Behind the IG name is me Suze – I’m a wife, mother and serious budgeting addict. I love walking on the beach, going to the movies and saving money. Shopping – except groceries – stresses me out!
2. What is the hardest financial area for you to control?
My children are all in high school or older so currently I am wanting to find more work, to make more money but I’ve not yet found the right job – I really want to increase my income.
3. What area do you find easiest to keep under control?
My budget! It’s set (reviewed quarterly) and I don’t have to think about it. We have categories for all scenarios so the money is saved and waiting to be spent. And our savings grow. I love saving money. Watching our account balances grow makes me happy.
4. What is your go to frugal meal?
I like to veggie pack meals especially when money is tight. Curries, stir fry and bolognese are great meals to make on the cheap.
5. What is your best tip on saving money?
Food is a huge money expense but you do have control over the amount you spend on it.
Meal planning & conscientious spending saves serious money. And since it’s a variable expense exactly how much it costs is completely up to you.
6. Have you always been good/frugal with your money?
No, not at all. My husband and I got into a lot of debt when we were young and we trusted a lot of money with someone close to us. We got burned badly and were drowning in debt.
7. How have you become so good at running your budget?
I picked up a super basic budget pamphlet at church one day and it just resonated with me. I started researching budgeting ideas and then I implemented them. We stopped spending, we created a budget and we started paying more than minimum payments. I got tired of being in debt. We were living pay check to pay check and adding credit card debt weekly. I realised one of our debts – paid at minimum which was all we were paying – would take us 48 years to pay off. We paid it off first – in 4 months.
8. What is your ‘big’ financial goal/dream?
Paying off our dream home and a European holiday.
9. What are some of your favourite blogs/Instagrams to get budget tips from?
I’ve follow the Non Consumer Advocate @nonconsumer for years. I like the reminder of the simple everyday things that make a difference.
I follow a lot of budget IG accounts but a few favourites are –
you 😃 Budget Mum Blog
10. How do you keep your grocery budget down?
I keep an ongoing inventory of our freezer and fridge. I shop at home first – the meat that we eat this week is usually bought weeks ahead at reduced to clear prices or on sale.
I write up a complete meal plan of dinners and I plan ahead our lunches and breakfast items.
My shopping list is made up of specials to stock our pantry and freezer – I love 50% off! The rest of the list is essential items for the current meal plan.
Our ‘sweet spot’ for groceries is $150 – includes cleaning and personal hygiene items. We’re feeding 5 people now (one son is married) 4 adult and 1 child appetites.
I hope you loved hearing from Suze as much as I loved interviewing her! I think her tips are so useful because of how simple and easy to do they are. If you would like to be interviewed or know someone who would be, please let me know!