Blue Apron Review + Special Discount!

blueapron1

It’s no secret that I’m a below average cook. I’m not sure why either! I come from a family of amazing women that can cook their asses off. I even married into a family of women that can cook really well so I’m not sure where I went wrong. You’re probably thinking, “why do you care if you can cook or not? You have awesome cooks in your family, just let them do all the cooking.” Well, the truth is that I do care and I don’t know why. I’m a pretty creative person outside of the kitchen and I just figured that if I learned a thing or two or tried new things maybe something will click and I’ll turn into this Julia Child’esque chef and never depend on anyone else to make me a delicious meal!

So, with all of that being said, I signed up for Blue Ribbon Apron. I’m not sure why I want to keep calling it Blue Ribbon, but I do. Anyways, it’s called Blue Apron and if you don’t know what it is you can check out their website here. But to make a long story short, they ship you everything you need to make a great meal. They have two different plans. One plan is for two people meals and the other is for four people meals. The cool thing about it also, is that you can skip weeks if you’d like. I don’t want them mailing me stuff every single week so I skip every other week. We get three meals a week, twice a month. Sam and I eat really boring things. I only know how to make a handful of things so as long as Blue Apron doesn’t send us sloppy joes, Old El Paso tacos, chicken pot pie, or DiGiornos pizza, then I’m fairly confident that we’ll be making things that we’ve never tried before. I always see recipes online that I’d like to try but then get discouraged when I see things like sage, turnips, gochujang, gai lan, etc. I don’t even know what those ingredients look like, let alone where the hell I’d find them if I wanted to attempt to make these crazy dinners. So Blue Apron sends you all of that stuff and I don’t have to go to the grocery store and make an ass out of myself looking for them!

My first Blue Apron delivery came this week and this is what I got:

Korean-Style Tteok – w/ spicy pork “ragu” & gai lan

DSC_0013

Chicken Charlemagne – w/ roasted root vegetables & parsnip-potato mash

DSC_0021

Banana Leaf-Steamed Cod – w/ spiced rice, yu choy & coconut

DSC_0027

They suggest that if you receive any kind of fish in your package that you make that first, as it’s the first that will go bad if you keep it for awhile, so we made it on Tuesday. It was actually really good, really easy to make, and definitely something I would have never made if it weren’t for Blue Apron being so convenient. I’m not even much of a fish person and I liked it a lot. Last night I made the chicken charlemagne and I was quite impressed with myself because I’m usually awful at making chicken but it came out really tasty! And the potatoes AND parsnip mashed potatoes? Like, WHAT? Does everyone know about this? PARSNIP in the MASHED POTATOES? Because it was amazing and quite frankly blew my mind.

 So, let’s break it all down. Sam and I have a grocery/food budget of about $300-$350 a month. That includes all of our take-out money and going out to eat money. We only go out to eat or order take out when we want something that neither of us can cook so Blue Apron sends us stuff that we don’t know how to make and teaches us how to make it for only $120/month. Which I think is a fantastic deal and based on the dishes that I’ve made, I’d definitely say it’s worth it so if you were on the fence about giving Blue Apron a shot, my recommendation would be to GO FOR IT!

My first 50 readers get two free meals with their first Blue Apron Box – redeem here.

Happy Thursday/Almost Friday Day!

Travel Fund

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that Sam and I went to Boston for the weekend to visit some family. We had so much fun, even though it felt like it was below zero outside! But we survived and ended up eating and drinking our way through Boston.

Yes, that is our mess. We are pigs!

Yes, that is our mess. We are pigs!

I haven’t shared it on my blog yet, but my father passed away in early November of last year. He was pretty young and I think about him constantly! Anytime Sam and I are planning on going somewhere or doing something I think to myself, “Hmm, I wonder if my dad ever had the chance to do this, or go to this place.” Not sure if that is normal or not but whatever. I made my new years resolution to experience more things and go to more places.

On our 4 hour drive up to Boston, Sam and I decided that every year we want to travel to at least 2-3 places we’ve never been before. Doesn’t have to be to some extravagant place and doesn’t even have to be super far from where we live. Maybe just for a weekend trip or a few days longer, but just somewhere that neither of us have been before. I’m pretty excited to start coming up with ideas of places to go, but thinking about how much money it’s going to take makes me a little nervous. We save a lot of money each month and some of the money we save goes into our “travel fund” so that should help cover our trips throughout the year but I’ve also started doing the 52 week money challenge in order to save money that we can use as spending cash while we’re on one of our adventures. I don’t think people understand how easy it is to save with that damn challenge. I love it!

02f991a20ea134befbdeb0230f9f3402

Where have you traveled to? Your favorite vacation destination? Favorite weekend getaway location? Give me ideas!

Happy hump day!

Three of My Most Popular Budgeting & Savings Posts!

On Thursday I finally reached 100,000 views on my blog! I was kinda freaking out a little bit! Feels pretty crazy knowing that over 100,000 people have come to my blog at some point for some reason. So thank you to everyone for checking it out!

Anyways, in the past three weeks my views have spiked because at the beginning of every year everyone wants to get their budget in order, along with other things like lose weight, adopt a healthier lifestyle, out with the old and in with the new, and all that good stuff. A few of my budgeting and savings posts from 2013 and 2014 were getting a lot of attention because they’re super easy to use so I thought I’d link you to them in one post so that you can easily find them.

1. Monthly Budget Spreadsheet! – Before you can determine how much money you can and should be saving a month you need to figure out your monthly budget! I promise it’s not as painful as it sounds and doesn’t take too long to put it all together. But honestly, it’s a necessity!

aa3f6b9345f073749c066b04b50c79df

2. Yearly Budget Spreadsheet! – Once you get your monthly budget together the yearly budget spreadsheet is just a place to keep you on track all throughout the year. It’s also fun to see how much money you’ve saved at the end of the year!

yearlybudgetsample

3. The Revised 52 Week Money Challenge! – It’s not your average 52 week money challenge. Believe it or not it’s actually a little more challenging. See which of the three challenges tickles your fancy!

26-week-double

All of the links to download the spreadsheets and the 52 week challenges are in each of the posts. I hope they help you and happy saving!

IMG_0898

Retirement Calculator – Are you saving enough?

I’m fairly young to be thinking about retirement, even though I so often dream about those long, leisurely days, but I’d like to be prepared for when the day finally comes. I also want to have a plan well before then so I know how much money I should have saved. Thinking about retirement and the money I want to have saved for all of the things I’d like to do, quite honestly, terrifies me. It’s not on the top of my worry list right now but it’s only a matter of time before it nears.

Today I was surfing the CNN Money page and they have a retirement calculator.

retirement calc

You enter your age, what age you’ll be when you retire, how much money you have saved for retirement already, and your annual salary and the percentage at which you’re saving and voilà! It lets you know how much you’ll probably need and how much you’ll have if you stick to the same annual salary and percentage of contribution.

No matter how old you are, it’s a great tool to utilize once in a while to keep you on track. It probably sucks to be old but you don’t want to be old AND poor!

Check out the money calculator here.