The PBJ Theory, Please Quit Complaining About Food Budgets

Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory

I’m about to save you thousands of dollars.

All the money you spend in your life, or even an average month. Chances are one of your largest expenses is food. It happens, literally to everyone.

Eating Out Is The Worst For Your Wallet

So when people start to track their budgets, they always come to the same conclusion. “I need to quit eating out more”. Get this, the average person eats out 4.5 times per week costing them $12.14 per meal on a national average according to a 2016 survey conducted by Zagat.

“the average person eats out 4.5 times per week costing them $12.14 per meal on a national average”

That means the average person spends $54.63 eating out a week or $218.52 a month on just eating out. Unless you earn lots of money, is the obvious answer to eat in?

What About Eating In?

Most people think they can quit going out to start having nice and relaxing meals in. Here’s the thing with eating in, the movies get it wrong.

It’s not always a romantic and soothing experience.

Often times it’s a “Crap, I need to eat. What should I cook?” experience that you pray to the food gods you have the right ingredients in your fridge and dishes are clean.

Let’s face it, we are busy in our lives and don’t have the time to visit the store every day buying new ingredients for a new recipe we found on the internet.

In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, researcher Eddie Yoon over two decades collected data as consultants for consumer packaged goods companies. He found that:

  • 15% of people say they LOVE to cook
  • 50% of people say they HATE to cook
  • 35% of people say they are ambivalent about cooking (mixed feelings)

If you’re one of the people that hate cooking, you should create a meal plan to make it as easy as possible. Plan a week in advance what you’re going to eat for each meal and know how to cook it. This way you’ll have the ingredients and can plan accordingly for time.

However, not all plans work out.

Introduce The Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory

When meal plans fail, let me introduce Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, otherwise known as a PBJ.

Let me first admit that I have an addiction to commenting on Finance forums, Facebook Groups, and Blogs. The mechanics of building wealth are simple and I’m always happy to remind people that things are often more simple than they appear. Like how I responded this comment and created “The Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory”.

I get it, you want to start saving money on food and you’re looking for suggestions from the personal finance community to help.

Answers ranged from getting a crockpot to make meals simple, cooking large meals on Sunday and eating leftovers throughout the week, to buying frozen meals that may not be great for you, but easy to prepare.

All of the responses skirted around the idea that a solid weekly meal plan is the best option to help you save money on food. However, sometimes these meals don’t work out for a number of reasons and one fall off the wagon can end up at the local McDonalds.

So I introduced the Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory. The cost-effective, quickest meal ever to keep your budget on track.

This is easily the most actionable thing you can do to start immediately saving on your food budget. In many cases when people eat out, it’s due to convenience because they don’t have anything at home that sounds appealing. That’s when the Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory comes in handy.

Stash emergency PB&J supplies in your kitchen. When hungry but have nothing else, eat a PB&J. If you’re not hungry for a PB&J, wait 2 hours until you’re hungry enough to eat a PB&J.

Sometimes a PBJ isn’t exactly what you’re craving and your favorite restaurant sounds better, or your “husband would not be happy about that” (see comment). Well suck it up, you’ll soon be out of debt and you can buy your husband a jet ski. Everyone loves a jet ski.

Try the Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory

If you want to save THOUSANDS on food budgets, you should try the Peanut Butter and Jelly Theory! Meals cost less than $1 to make, you’ll save time and money. Most importantly, you’ll have a secret stash of PBJs to make when you get those cravings to go out and spend money.

You’re welcome.

Disclaimer: Wallet Squirrel did not invent the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, just an advocate of saving money. Wallet Squirrel was not sponsored by big PBJ corporations to promote their superior and delicious product.

July Round Up – Our Favorite Income Reports From Around the Web

July Round Up – Our Favorite Income Reports From Around the Web

Today we take a look around the internet of our favorite income reports from around the web. These articles bring together seven to ten bloggers to see what they did in the past month. Some of these people will be fresh for this month while others will be regulars.

The point of this article is for all of us to learn what other bloggers are doing to bring in income each month. Hopefully, you will find something new to increase your own income next month.

Here we go with this month’s featured bloggers!

Sarah Titus – $75,226.10 (July 2017)

Sarah is a new comer to the round up post this month. I stumbled upon her blog while searching for some new income reports and was immediately blown away by how quickly she has grown her blog. This is only her third year and she is already making over $75k a year! That is amazing progress!

In July she has made $75,226.10. Most of her income comes from her own store on the blog. I thought this was really unique as we have not talked much about bloggers managing their own store with their own products. Her biggest seller is the Honest Blogger Bundle. This bundle is the starters kit to getting your blog up and running.

Matthew Woodward – $22,409.01 (July 2017)

Another newcomer to this post is Matthew Woodward from the UK. He made over $22k off of affiliate income and a mysterious project. What really caught my eye was the great detail that Matthew goes into for his income reports. He goes into traffic, its sources, social media share numbers, and so on. It really gives you perspective on where you need to go.

Nadya – Living Off Cloud – $1,661.87 (July 2017)

Nadya is fun to follow because she specializes in niche websites. She will purchase existing niche websites then work at increasing the existing revenue for them.

This month she brought in $1,661.87 compared to 1,672.04 when we checked in a couple months ago. Most of her income is coming from affiliate and AdSense income.

Looking for some niche website ideas? Andrew has written a great article that looks at examples of Amazon Affiliate websites.

Lanny and Bert – Dividend Diplomats – $133.27 (Bert’s July 2017)

I like to follow Lanny and Bert’s adventure for two reasons. One, they are two best friends seeking financial freedom just like Andrew and I. Second, you can get two different perspectives on dividend investing from one place!

Last month I focused on Lanny’s dividend income report so we will take a look at Bert’s this month. Bert had a little lower month compared to the last time we checked in with him bringing in $133.27 compared to $275.54 in May. Overall, he is showing continued growth compared to 2016 at 14.16%! That is an awesome return. Keep up the good work Bert!

Curious as to what the heck dividend income is? Andrew explains it really well in his What are Dividends and Dividend Investing article. Check it out to learn more!

Investment Hunting – $221.76 (July 2017)

A couple months ago we looked at Investment Hunting’s (IH) adventure with Lending Club. Curious? Check it out! Well, this month I wanted to check back into this creative passive income source. To date, IH has invested $5,000 in the peer-to-peer lending program. He has received a total of $1,041.99 (including interest) in payments back. In the month of July, he received $171.67 in returned principal as well as $51.99 in interest for a total of $221.76 in total payments.

I know you are interested in gaining returns like this yourself. Before jumping into Lending Club, check out Andrew’s review about the service, Lending Club Review, My Experience Investing With Them.

Keith Park – DivHut – $815.38 (June 2017)

Our last income report is a dividend report from Keith Park of DivHut. Keith had a modest month, totaling $253.27 for the month of July compared to $815.38 in the month of June. But, Keith explains that the end of quarter months tend to be much higher compared to the first month in the quarter. As he says, “As long as we can report progress each month and out annual goals are intact, who cares.” I completely agree with this long term outlook!

Keith has a very nice and clean strategy to gaining extra income from dividends. Andrew has also written up what his strategy is in his My Dividend Investing Strategy.


This month, we can take a page from Keith’s book by keeping our long-term goals in focus. Even if we have a lower month of gains, we need to remember that it is only one month. Within the perspective over the entire year that one month will average out. It is nothing to worry about unless goals are completely thrown off. Then it would be time to analyze and adjust your plan of action to get back on track.

Ready to add on another source of income to your plate? Maybe it is the first source for you? Check out our Ways to Earn More Money page. Here Andrew and I personally review as many different ways to earn extra money as we can to help you decide if it is right for you.