Top reasons why shopping at ALDI is the best

When we first took a look at our budget a few years ago, we realized we had no idea what we were spending on food (and that we weren’t eating that healthy), so we started shopping at ALDI. We had heard ALDI had better prices, but we had no idea how many benefits we would find when shopping at ALDI!

Shopping at ALDI for Health

-Cheaper fresh produce

One of the keys to eating healthier is eating more fresh foods, but purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables can add up. ALDI produce is delivered fresh multiple times a week. Plus, it is typically cheaper than other grocery stores!

-Fewer distractions help us stay on track with our our goals

ALDI grocery stores are smaller and only about 10% of what they carry is name brand. This means we can stay focused on what we need and don’t get distracted by other options that aren’t helping us towards our goals. Plus, less distractions means less impulse buying, so our budget stays on track too!

-Many options including vegetarian, gluten-free

No matter what your health goals and needs are, ALDI has many amazing options. They have a fabulous selection of vegetarian options and gluten-free options. Not to mention their other awesome lines, like the “Never Any” meats that are from antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed animals. All of ALDI’s brands are truly high quality but at a fraction of the cost of other stores in our area, which makes eating healthier that much easier.

Shopping at ALDI for they way they do things

-Amazing return policy

Have you ever bought a bag of produce only to get home and realize that there’s a bunch of mold? Or buy a bag of flour only to find the rip in the bag as you put it in the pantry? These things happen, but ALDI’s return policy is amazing. They call it the “Twice as Nice guarantee” because they replace the item AND refund you as well!

All this will last us a week+ and was under $40!

-The way they run their store make it less expensive for us

ALDI doesn’t stock shelves as nicely as other places. They bring boxes straight out of the warehouse. It’s not as pretty, but it is more efficient. And it means they don’t have to pay stockers to keep the shelves looking picturesque.

-Fast and efficient

Along those lines, employees at ALDI share tasks and are very fast-paced! They have everything set up to be as efficient as possible – even putting big bar codes on everything so they don’t waste time trying to find the bar code!

Give ALDI a try!

Replacing even a few of your regular grocery items with the ALDI equivalents could save you tons of money each week! Give it a try, and see why we’ve made this our first and main stop each week for groceries. And remember to bring a quarter (for the cart deposit) and some reusable shopping bags to make your trip a breeze!

When I Pray For You

These four kids have my heart.  We’re not related, but I consider them family.

We took a five day babysitting gig 18 months ago. It turned out to be so much more. went from total strangers to literally talking about and praying for these four every day (and missing them like crazy).

When I Pray For You Book Launch

I love children’s books, so I jumped at the chance to be on the launch team for this book. As a former preschool librarian, I knew I had to jump at the chance. I’m excited to announce that Matthew Paul Turner’s newest children’s book “When I pray for you” has arrived! I was already familiar with his bestseller When God Made You. It tugs at your heart strings in all the right ways, and I knew this book would be even better.

From the first page, I could feel a lump in my throat as I thought about those precious kiddos I love so dearly.  How I pray that they would stop growing so darn fast, but mostly that they would love Jesus. I pray that they would not throw yet another tantrum when I watch them so I don’t lose my mind, but more that they would be loving to everyone they meet.

The lump in my throat grew as I flipped through this book (which, by the way, has INCREDIBLE illustrations that are so diverse and inclusive!), and read the words I think every time I see these kiddos:

“Cause when I pray for you, I imagine God’s view. And pray all that God sees comes alive inside you”

When I Pray For You

Do you remember “Love you forever” by Robert Munsch?  It has that kind of tenderness, but with the addition of prayer and God’s love. I think that is what transforms this book from simply a whimsical tale of growing up. Instead, it is a deeply moving narrative of a praying for a child as they grow into who God created them to be.

When We Pray for Them

Those four littles up there? I’ve babysat a lot of kids in my lifetime, but this was something different.  My love for them runs so deeply.  Cody has told me that he never understood how it was possible to love an adopted child as much as you love a biological child, but when he met these four, he finally began to understand.

We know the love we have for this family, and it’s humbling to think about how much more our Heavenly Father loves not only them, but me. These kids have given me the closest example of God’s love for me that I have ever experienced.

My deepest hope is that they can know how greatly loved they are and that they would reflect that love to others.

When I Pray For You

This book is a must-read for families with young children (or for anyone with kiddos in their lives that they love). You can pre-order it at, where you can also get his book “When God Made Light” for free!  I honestly can’t recommend this book enough!

Budget Friendly Date Ideas – Free Printable!

Looking for some budget-friendly date ideas? The Osegards have got you covered! Sign up here and we will send you a printable with some of our favorites!

Why ‘Spring Cleaning’

Even though it might seem cliche, there is just something about a good deep cleaning in the spring. Getting old clothes out of the closet, cleaning the oven, scrubbing the garage floor. You know, all the fun stuff that nobody wants to do! But for some reason, there’s a satisfaction that comes out of it that just fires us up here at the Osegard house.

Why Spring?

Food is prepped and organized for easy access!

Honestly, I couldn’t give you a great reason. You could really do this any time of year, as far as we’re concerned. Thanks to Marie Kondo, it would seem this year everyone is doing Winter Cleaning. Spring just seems to work well in our house, partly just because it’s easy to remember! For us northerners with our short days and wimpy sunlight, the spring seems to bring a new life to more than just nature. We start to venture out more, and time at home feels a bit less sad and a bit more productive. So why not harness the extra Vitamin-D-induced energy and get some work done?

Many of our spring cleaning tasks also have to be done at least one other time during the year. The difference is that with everything ramping up in the fall, it may not happen all at once like it often does in the spring.

What do we clean?

This is completely up to you of course, but some of our “big ticket” items are:

  • Clean the oven.
  • Deep-clean the fridge and freezer. Like, REALLY clean. Everything out, toss the old, scrub the shelves, and organize it on the way back in!)
  • Clothing and closets. Try on things you haven’t worn to decide if they’re worth keeping or not. Pare down and organize all closets too, not just the ones with clothes!
  • Garage. Cleaning out extra junk, and sweeping and scrubbing out all the grime from the winter makes it feel shiny and new each year!
Spring cleaning means that Cody's closet is organized!
Cody’s side – organized by sleeve length / warmth then by rainbow order!

We also like to deep clean the normal things as well, like the kitchen and bathrooms. These get cleaned much more frequently than once a year, don’t you worry. But this is still a great chance to really get into the cracks and crevices, take out the heavy-duty cleaners, and get them all super shiny! In the kitchen, we might soak and scrub drip pans (we have a glasstop now though). In the bathroom, this could mean pulling out the cabinet drawers and scrubbing them clean. These will be different for everyone, but take it as an opportunity to find the things you don’t typically clean, and clean those!

Make spring cleaning fun!

Spring cleaning definitely sounds like a chore, but we do our best to make it more than that. It’s a perfect time to jam out to some good music, goof off a bit with your spouse, and spend time together! It might not seem like a fun date, but spending hours together getting stuff done can we very enjoyable. We also like to plan purposeful relaxing time afterwards as well. Work all day, grab a pizza in the late afternoon, and spend the evening cuddling in the beanbag and watching a good movie in our CLEAN house. Now that sounds a bit more fun!

Are you a spring cleaner? What did we miss on our list, and how do you like to tackle your spring cleaning? We’d love to hear from you!

2019 Financial Peace University (FPU) Preview

It’s that time of year again- the Osegards will be back coordinating Financial Peace University (FPU) at Eagle Brook again this year! As we reflect on last year, we are SO excited to see what God has in store for everyone who will walk through those doors. But what’s the big deal about FPU at our church anyways? Well, let me tell you!

Why Financial Peace?

There are SO many different ways to handle money, and countless people that are willing to teach you any and everything they can about their way to do finances. What makes FPU different from most of the others out there is that the principles are based in the Bible, and rooted in good old-fashioned common sense. Dare I say that almost everything you will learn in the course is stuff you probably already know or have heard at some point? What Dave and his team do so well is connect the dots for us, and show us how to implement this in everyday life. It’s not a quick fix as much as it’s a new way of thinking of and dealing with money.

Why Eagle Brook Church?

This year, Eagle Brook made a big, hairy, audacious goal of seeing 10,000 people go through FPU. That’s an INSANE number, but here’s how that breaks down. Each of the seven campuses has a number of different sessions being held on-site each week. Woodbury, for example will have sessions on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays in the evening, and Monday morning. That means that for 9 weeks straight, we will have hundreds of people at the church, going through the same biblically-based curriculum at the same time. Talk about great accountability!

How does that work?

It is truly remarkable how many pieces and people come together to make something like this possible. From planning and marketing, to setup and teardown, there are so many people working behind the scenes. They all work to ensure that FPU runs smoothly for everyone. Plus, roughly 100 volunteers will be taking their time once a week to lead small group discussion. And that’s just at our campus!

As we are finishing up the planning and prep, we are both anxious and excited for the class to be here. It’s always a bit of a whirlwind honestly, especially on the first night. Alyssa will be helping coordinate getting people into small groups, helping people register, and lots more of those Type-A tasks. Seriously, the spreadsheet magic that she uses to organize and track everything for these sessions is the thing legends are born from. I’ll be helping wrangle our volunteers and make sure they have what they need, help with check in stations, directing people and answering questions, and lots more extroverty-type things like that.

On your marks…

Celebratory cake - the last credit card we had to cut up!
Celebratory cake – the last credit card we had to cut up during FPU

While it’s a huge undertaking for sure, it’s something that we genuinely LOVE to do. We are so passionate about the impact that this program has for people when they truly commit. We’ve seen such a change in our finances, relationships, and lives since we went through the course 4 years ago. Not only that, but the FPU course was just revamped. The new content is INCREDIBLE. The chance to share that with even more people this year is so amazing, and we can’t wait!

Money-Saving Tips for your Move

Is there anyone out there who enjoys the process of moving? I love a new place, a fresh start, bla bla bla, but the actual moving? Not the best part for sure. Plus, it can become very expensive very quickly! Cody and I have done our fair share of moving ourselves, and we like to help out friends as well whenever possible. Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way to help make a move more affordable!

First, the Purge

Moving time, and we've cleared out the junk!
After purging, it looks a lot more manageable! Bonus tip: check out the tool bag and box of cleaning supplies. That stays with us in the car, so we know right where they are!

Before you pack everything you own into boxes, take a good hard look. Dig through the things you maybe haven’t even opened from the last move. If you haven’t needed it until now, and it’s not sentimental, it’s probably not going to get used at the new place either. Now is a great time to make sure you aren’t bringing a bunch of unnecessary or duplicate things into a new space! Take the time to actually go through your things and pare down before you haul it to a new space. You won’t want to do it as you unpack, so the sooner the better!

Recruit friends

I know, nobody wants to help their friends move… But actually, we’ve found that people are much more willing to help than you would expect! The key here is to be prepared and let them know exactly when and where you are asking for help. If you need help boxing up the kitchen, ask a friend to just sit and chat with you as you pack! It’s a great time to catch up and talk, or throw on a few episodes of Friends and just pack for an hour or two!

When it comes to the day of the move, again the trick here is to be prepared. Have things boxed up, wrapped, lined up etc. before anyone shows up. If you have things that should get packed first (think, furniture or other bulky or heavy items), get them as close to the door as you can! When people arrive, they can simply start at the door and work their way through the place carrying boxes as they go. This takes all of the extra time waiting for direction out, and speeds up the process for everyone!

Find Free Boxes

Cody and I haven’t paid for boxes for any of our moves, and we intend to keep it that way! Check Craigslist or neighborhood apps or groups for used moving boxes. People will literally give them away, and all you need then is tape! Pro tip: get the good stuff, not an off-brand or discount tape. A good strip of quality tape holds up much better than 3 runs of sub-par packing tape.

Another great spot for free boxes: the liquor store. Walk into the store and ask if they have boxes, don’t just look out back by the dumpsters. Almost all stores have piles of these in the back room that they LOVE to get rid of. And liquor boxes are no joke! They’re built to hold heavy weight, fragile items, and stack in tall piles. That’s exactly what you need for moving! Especially a few good wine boxes (with the cardboard dividers). Those are perfect for all those glasses in the kitchen, bowls, utensils, jars of olive oil, etc. Super versatile, and free!

Overlap Dates

Moving one car load at a time - pack it FULL!
Pack the cars FULL!

If you aren’t moving far, try overlapping your dates a bit (2 or 3 days has been great for us). Take a day to clean and prep the new space, taking a couple loads of things in your cars each time you head over. Borrow a truck or SUV if you don’t have one for a few trips of the larger things, and take the rest as you can throughout the days! If you load the car up the night before, then unload it on the way to work, you can head right back after, unpack, and still have time for a few more trips before bed!

Limit the Rentals

If you have a larger home or big furniture items, there’s a good chance you’ll need to rent something. Be as strategic as you can in this area, and remember that you have other vehicles you can fill too. If you have your own cars, vehicles of people helping you, AND a rental truck, you might not need a huge trailer. Think about the largest items you have and work your way down. Be sure to pack those items first, them fill the space with smaller and smaller items. If you plan this well, you likely can get away with only renting a truck or trailer for a single day, which cuts costs!

Moving is done, and we LOVE being settled at our new place!
Moving is done, and we LOVE being settled at our new place!

What are your tips for a cost-effective move? What things are worth the money or not for you? Let us know!

40 minutes a day to a stronger life!

If you saw our recent vlog, you know that for the first time probably EVER,  I didn’t set a specific New Years Resolution.   Instead, I have a word that I hope will guide me this year as I pursue becoming the version of me I hope to be in the future.


Mornings are for growth!

For me this means a lot of things – full of faith, pursuing what I believe and making my faith a priority. I also want to be faithful to who I am by learning when to say yes and when to say no. Finally, I want to be faithful in forming the person I want to become by constantly showing up in the small rhythms and routines in life that will build me into the person I want to be.

One way this has manifested this year is that I’ve been trying to get up EARLY. I spend this time preparing myself for the day. Sometimes it means freeing up my mind by tackling a few things on my to do list, sometimes it means reading a good book or doing devotions. A few times a week, I follow this time with a workout with Cody.

But who likes mornings?

I can’t say I enjoy the process of waking up early, or working out for that matter. I love the time once I am actually OUT of bed, but when the alarm goes off, I think to myself “why don’t I just stay in bed a little longer. Reading isn’t going to change anything”.

My brain is right. On any given day, it won’t make a huge difference if I work out or read, or if I sleep longer instead. But, reading almost daily for a year, or five years or twenty years, will certainly shape who I become.  Working out multiple times a week will build discipline and create a stronger, more capable body for years to come.

Still, people call me out on my structured mornings.  “Why would you do that? Is it really worth it? Does God even care if you’re structuring your days?”

Honestly, I believe God DOES care about how we spend our time (note, I am NOT saying God wants you to always wake up early).  I couldn’t articulate why, but a sweet friend of mine said something the  other day that has stuck with me.  “We serve a God of order, not a God of chaos.  We are not built to live in chaos.”

When I sleep in, my world feels more chaotic.  If I don’t have a slow morning to prepare my heart and mind for the day, my soul feels chaotic.  What works for me is my time in the morning. 


Cody’s word this year is intentional. He wants to be more intentional with how he spends his time. and working out is a part of that. The more intentional with his time he is, the stronger his relationships, work ethic, and more!

But back to that morning thing. . .

We often motivate each other in the mornings, but some mornings it is so easy to be a bad influence on each other. Do you experience that? Someone who loves you so much that they want you to be happy even if it means sleeping in when you shouldn’t? That’s where you come in! We would love for you to join us on this journey.

What all is entailed?

Four workouts a week (that you can do from home)

30-45 minutes a piece (Can I get an AMEN?)

8 weeks (that’s only about two months!)

Our community, encouragement, and leadership!

Let’s see how trying this out for 8 weeks of our life can make us stronger, physically and mentally. If you’d like more info, please fill out this form:

Why come to Minnesota for the holidays?

As a native Minnesotan, I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with this great state. As so many people say, I love the seasons. Well, three of them at least. Even after 23 years in Minnesota (plus 4 “south of the border” in Iowa), I’m still just not really a fan of the bitter cold or the piles of snow! As a kid, yes, the snow could be fun. Snowmen, forts, snowball fights, skiing, bla bla bla. I get it, snow is cool. But now, I’m an adult and the winters here are just a pain!

Icy Minnesota Roads...

This time of year, there are so many things that are “special” about this great state though. So, as we approach the holidays, here are some signs you may be in Minnesota in the winter!

You might be driving in Minnesota if…

  • You realize that you look like the hunchback of Notre Dame, and you haven’t blinked for at least 30 minutes
  • Your knuckles hurt from gripping the steering wheel like it’s the last life preserver on the Titanic and you are NOT going down with the ship.
  • Your car decides that brakes are for decoration. Press ’em all you want, you’re just gonna keep sliding!
  • There are more cars in the ditch than on the road.
  • You are getting passed by pedestrians that look like the kid from A Christmas Story. It’s freezing out there, but they’ll probably get there faster than you because traffic just STOPS when it’s icy or snowy!

Signs you’re at a Minnesota holiday gathering

  • There are at least 2 kinds of jello salad to choose from.
  • At the end of the party, there is just slightly less than one serving of each food left. Because nobody wants to take the last of it.
  • The Minnesota goodbye. When “It’s time to go” means “we may actually leave at some point in the next 4 days, after saying goodbye approx. 14,000 times in 200 different locations.”

But while I wouldn’t wish the winter driving on ANYONE, there is something about the holidays that makes it almost worth the hassle. From the ever-present cookies, candy, and bars, to the friendly people who chat you up at the store about the weather. Minnesota just feels like HOME for the holidays.

For more Minnesota-isms, check out our post on strange things Minnesotans do!

Why following Dave Ramsey DOESN’T mean cutting the fun!

When people hear we got out of debt following Dave Ramsey’s plan, they frequently think we had to cut all fun and enjoyment out of life. It simply isn’t true.  What is true is that we didn’t let ourselves have all the luxuries our friends had. However, we simply chose what would take priority, and let our budget reflect that. Here are 3 of our top priorities and 3 of our easy cutbacks!

CUT #1

We rented while we were in debt. Most of the time we were in not-updated apartments. Granite would be nice, sure, but we can live with laminate for a few years!  We made sure our home was in a good location for us, and safe of course. Beyond that, we felt that with just two of us, it was fine to rent smaller places rather than buy.

We truly loved our first apartment, and it was very nice. It just was very short on storage!


Tithing was important to us.  We try our best to follow what the Bible says about money, not because we think God will help us win the lottery if we follow what He says, but because we believe that everything we have is ultimately HIS and we want our life AND budget to reflect that.   

CUT #2

Fancy cars. If you know us, you know that for most of the time we were in debt, we only drove one car. And believe you me, it is not a nice car.  My grandma deemed it the munchkin hearse, and it’s as loud as a NASCAR race. That’s right – a whole race, not just one car. However, it was safe enough to get us from point A to point B, so we stuck with our old car instead of spending money on a lease, loan, or new car.


Getting out of debt was a huge priority for us.  Not only because we were tired of paying for college, but because we knew if we freed up the money ($1200!) that was going to minimum payments each month, we could use that same $1200 a month for putting towards a house or travel, or supporting the people we want to support!

CUT #3

Going out. We don’t mind packing our own lunches and we drink our coffee black, so it wasn’t too much of a sacrifice to cut back here! It ended up being more fun because we learned to make new recipes like homemade mac and cheese, tikka masala, and falafels!

meal prep


We love to travel, but travel is expensive.  We found ways to cut costs when traveling – flying cheaper airlines, staying with friends or at an Air BnB, and making our own food.  Another tip is to combine business trips with extra days of travel and sight-seeing. We budgeted for 1-2 trips a year and were able to go to NYC, Madison, Chicago, Disneyland, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and the Grand Canyon! By setting aside a small amount of money, and being smart about our travel, we were able to keep doing the thing we love most – seeing the world!

What are some of the things that are an absolute must for you, things that are top priority in your life? What are a few things you could cut out or cut back on, without hardly noticing? Let us know over on our Facebook page!

Actively combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at Home!

I have Seasonal Affective Disorder – better known as SAD. Typically people write it off as just getting sick of winter.  “Yeah I get sick of being inside too”  “Shoveling makes me SAD too” But it’s really so much more than that.

Why So SAD?

Mayo clinic defines SAD as “a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer”.

The fall weather is on it’s way, and while fall is my favorite season, I already am feeling the effects in my body.  For me, SAD presents as having low energy, having issues sleeping (not being able to fall asleep and then sleeping too much), having a tough time focusing on anything, and losing interest in things.  All of these then usually lead to over-eating, which leads to weight gain, then to feeling more sluggish and gross.

While I can’t just “talk myself out of” feeling the effects of SAD, there are some things that help me avoid the brunt of it.  Here is a list of things that help me!

  1. Sticking to a sleep schedule.  SAD affects your circadian rhythm, so I work to be proactive with my sleep schedule.  I know I function best with 8 hours of sleep, so I do my best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day to help train my body.  I also use a light therapy sunrise alarm clock that mimics being woken up by sunlight.
  2. Moving my body.I truly hate exercising. I hate taking time out of my day to get sweaty and then have to shower etc etc.  But YES, I am a fitness coach and I do try to make working out a priority.  I know that when I move my body, it releases endorphins in my brain that help combat the negative chemicals. As an added bonus, exercise (especially weight lifting) helps me sleep better!
  3. My happy light. Mine is a used Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device.  I got it towards the end of winter last year, and haven’t used it consistently enough yet to notice a difference. I will be giving it a better shot this year (or more likely, purchasing a different light that isn’t blue and stands on it’s own).
  4. Eating well. This one is sooooo tough. I love comfort foods. I love heavycarbs and homemade breads. However, fueling my body with lighter, healthier foods always seem to have a better effect on my body and my mood than heavier foods often associated with winter.

Bonus Tips

Other things less backed by science that seem to help me:

  • My bonfire-scented candle. Since we can’t always get fresh air inside, this helps me feel a bit less “enclosed”!
  • Planning something exciting. Something to look forward to around the end of winter (late January and February have always been my hardest months. I think it’s because in March we start to get a little more sunlight).
  • Taking a warm bath. Grab a book and a glass of wine, and call it a win!
  • Getting out of the house.  This one is especially tough this year because I work from home AND I hate driving in the snow.  Often Cody and I will go walk around the mall (yes, I know. Totally touristy. But we can easily walk like three miles!)
  • Music. I’m building up a HAPPY playlist on Spotify so send me your favorite songs!

You’re not alone!

I know that I’m not the only person who feels the effects of SAD each year, and you’re not alone either! What are some things that you find helpful?