San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce! Friday, September 18th, 2020

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It’s Back!! Our friends over at Faith Chapel understand that with all that’s going on in the world that some of us still need help finding healthy food during this difficult time. And that’s it not always safe for us to go to the store or hit up a farmers market.

Distribution is happening this Friday, September 18th, 2020, beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles.

Here is an example of what was offered in previous weeks: unnamedNavel Oranges, Grapefruit, Plumcots, Lemons, and nectarines. All free.

Faith Chapel is located at 9400 Campo Road Spring Valley, CA 91977

Slow Cooker Recipe: Sausage and Peppers!

This recipe is dead simple and so tasty! The best part is you can use any kind of Dinner sausage you want. We used Italian Sausages (made with pork), but you can use whatever you like (including veggie sausages if you are meatless).

You can use fresh or frozen peppers and onions (Yes, you can buy frozen peppers and onions at the store- They are often branded as “Fajita Mix”), it’s really up to you.

And you can load your yumminess onto a hoagie roll, top with cheese and chow down, or top a bed of pasta or Zoodles- It’s really up to you.

The best part is this recipe makes a lot, so there are always leftovers!

Sausage and Peppers Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Dinner Sausages (Italian or your choice)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 20-ish ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 T Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In your slow cooker, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Turn up to high, remove the lid and cook for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Serve on a roll/bun, on pasta or zoodles.
  5. OPTIONAL- Top each serving with cheese.

$5 Prime Video Credit + $5 Cheez-It Credit For Watching Amazon Prime Movies!

Do you love Cheez-it’s? Do you love movies? Do you have Amazon Prime? If you answered two to at least two of these questions, have I got a deal for you!

 

 

 

Cheeze-It has partnered with Amazon to launch a campaign called Cheez-It Snap’d & Stream, where you can earn a $5 Amazon Prime Video credit and a $5 Cheez-It credit every month for watching 8 hours of select streaming movies. Movie titles change monthly, and each month has a different theme- This month it is back to school!

  • Amazon Prime Members can enroll in this program monthly.
  • You can save all your credits and combine them together for later use, however, credits need to be used by 1/31/21.
  • You will be notified via email once you have earned your monthly credits.

I’m excited because my kids love Cheez-it’s, and I love movies. I’m most excited about Heathers this month. There are 15 movies to choose from, from animated to adult.

More information about the Cheez-It Snap’d & Stream program can be found here.

 

9/13/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

 

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

Tomorrow the big kid goes back to physical (in person) school. The Special Education classes are going back first, and they get the entire campus to themselves for about a week. Big Kid is super excited to see his friends and show off his new masks. He has a new hand sanitizer for his backpack too.

I’ve been picking up school/lunch snacks over the past few weeks and hiding them in the back of the cupboard, so we are all set for tomorrow!

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunches will be whatever the kids want for the time being (Peanut butter sandwiches and baguettes toasted with garlic butter are high on the list as of late). I may make up a cheese pizza and serve that for a few lunches during the week with apple slices (or apple sauce), cheez-its, and milk (as well as some sort of dessert- I picked up a box of Ghiradelli Brownie Mix at Costco a few weeks back, and I’ve been making a pan of brownies once or twice a week. My secret is to use milk and coconut oil instead of water and vegetable oil).

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Sausage & Peppers (in the crockpot)
  • Monday:  Salad and Avocado toast (We have a bunch of avocados)
  • Tuesday:  Bean, Rice, and Cheese Bowls
  • Wednesday:  Chinese takeout (I have coupons)
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Breakfast for Dinner (Probably pancakes, eggs, and fruit salad)
  • Saturday: leftover fiesta

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

New Samples from PinchMe Drop 9/15/2020

Sample Tuesday is Coming on 9/15/2020- Mark your calendars, set an alarm on your phone!

Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? PinchMe! Join PINCHme and receive free samples that you can provide feedback on.

PinchMe is awesome! Once you are signed up, they will email you reminders when new samples are about to drop, and remind you when it’s time to leave feedback.

Answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. PinchMe learns what you like and offer samples just for you.

Sneak Peek of September’s samples:

  • bareMinerals Skinlongevity Long Life Herb Serum
  • Moroccanoil All in One Leave-In Conditioner
  • Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
  • Vero Gusto® Sauce Free Gratuity Coupon
  • Healist Calm CBD Drops and Healist Sleep CBD Drops
  • SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack Creamy
  • 3M™ Clear Repair Tape
  • Nut-Thins Hint of Sea Salt and Nut-Thins Cheddar Cheese
  • Nature Nate’s Honey
  • Organic Valley Egg Bites Free Gratuity Coupon
  • HARIBO Goldbears
  • Lumify® Redness Reliever Eye Drops
  • Compeed® Advanced Blister Care Cushions
  • Ocean Spray Growing Goodness
  • Better & Better Remarkably Pure & Fully Charged Toothpaste
  • Nexcare™ Tegaderm and Tegaderm™ + Pad Waterproof Transparent Dressings
  • Nexcare™ Max Hold Waterproof Bandages
  • Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Eco Pads and Micellar Cleansing Water
  • Klorane Detox Dry Shampoo with Aquatic Mint

Once you’ve had a chance to try the samples, complete a short feedback survey to tell PinchMe what you think of the samples.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here and get on the free sample bandwagon! I’ve gotten all kinds of awesome sample/trial size items, as well as full-sized items to try out from PinchMe!

Cents of Style Sale: BESTSELLING Boyfriend Tees $7.99 & $9.99

Favorite Tops ** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Cents of Style has a great sale this week! Their BESTSELLING Boyfriend Tees $7.99 & $9.99 with coupon code: STOCKUP

I have a few of these shirts, and I tie dyed the white one.

These shirts are a little oversized, and they go great with jeans, leggings, shorts, or maxi skirts.

I also love that these shirts are a bit longer than your typical t-shirt, so they can hide your quarantine pooch (I haven’t been to the gym in 6 months and that’s lame).

I love the color variety– and they come in a wide range of sizes!

This sale goes until 9/17/2020- but don’t wait! You don’t want to miss out on this great deal! I’ve ordered a few more white shirts to tie dye.

Favorite Tops

 

EXTENDED: 25,000 Fetch Points for 5 referrals

This popped into my inbox this morning and now that the kids are settled into Epic and reading (or being read to), I have time to share this great opportunity to earn rewards and share what I think is one of the best cashback rewards programs (it’s also the easiest).

Fetch Rewards has extended their deadline to get 25,000 points for referring five friends to Fetch to Wednesday, 9/9 – so you better get referrin’. You’ll get 4,000 points for each friend who signs up using your code, plus Fetch Rewards will give you 5,000 extra points if you refer five people.

There’s no limit to the rewards you can earn, and each friend who signs up gets 2,000 points. So, reach out to everyone you know and spread the word how easy it is to earn Rewards with Fetch.

Find the Fetch App wherever you get your apps.  Use my code ND2TB when you sign up, and I’ll earn some points to when you scan in your first receipt! If you would like to learn more about Fetch, check out this post. 

**This post may contain affiliate links, for more information about how we use affiliate links, please visit our Disclosure page.**

9/4/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals !

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This Friday’s freebies and deals: This week is chock full of Freebies! I’m stoked.

If you find a cool deal or freebie, please leave a comment!

Freebies

Free Sample of Aveda Nutriplenish Hair Care

Free Cold Brew Coffee

Free Tena Intimates Samples

Free Waterloo Sparkling Water Coupon

Free KIND Nut Butter Bar at Target

Free Cottonelle Ultra ComfortCare Toilet Paper

Free Save USPS Sticker

Free $20 If You Have a Fishing or Hunting License

Free Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Free Impossible Foods Product

Free Museum Admission – Bank of America/Merril Lynch Cardholders

Deals

Crayola Arctic Color Chemistry Set ONLY $13.60 (Reg. $25)

Crayola Pip Squeaks Markers 64-Count ONLY $11.20 (Reg. $22)

Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies 60ct ONLY $12.99

Miracle-Gro Quick Start Planting Tablets ONLY $3.80 (Reg. $7)

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Gift Set with 6 for ONLY $6.99

New Markdowns! Up To 60% Off Crocs Labor Day Sale

Teamson Kids Dollhouse with Elevator $59.99 (Reg. $150)

 

Planning for the Unplanned: A Lesson in Grace

So this started out as a post for Instagram, but it got a little wordy, so I decided to turn it into a blog post.

Last week’s meal plan was an epic fail. It was our first full week of distance learning with both kids, and I spent a majority of every day with one or both of them getting settled and accustomed to their schedules.

As a result, I didn’t stick to the meal plan, or get any writing done. This week, we’re trying it again, day by day. We didn’t starve either. We ate a lot of meals that came from pantry staples: Bean, rice, and cheese bowls, Spaghetti with red sauce and garlic bread (I made a huge batch of meat sauce a few weeks ago and froze portions for later meals- and the big kid had a vegetarian meal). And we had take out once… or twice. It was too hot to turn on the oven for our weekly pizza night, so we opted for delivery. Thanks to coupon codes (I love the Honey browser extension- it searches for coupon codes for me!) and the Dosh App, I was able to save $7 on a pizza and get free delivery! I also had coupons for free and BOGO bowls at Panda Express (Dinner for 4 was $8). I stretched them with some frozen Asian blend veggies, which I stirfried.

Every time I looked at our Meal Planning board, I felt discouraged, but after a few days, I realized that I needed to give myself some grace. I was doing the best I could. Everyone was still eating, we have shelter, clothes, we are all healthy. So I didn’t make Chicken Tetrazinni on Wednesday? Life still marches on. The kids have been working hard on their schooling, and its a hard thing to be accustomed to- learning alone with only little faces on an iPad screen a few times a day. I spend a lot of time helping them. Guiding them through worksheets, getting apps set up, encouraging them when they are upset or frustrated.

So this week:

Sunday night we had leftovers just to clean out the refrigerator and make room for the meal prep I was doing. I start our meal plan weeks on Sunday- It’s easier for me, since Sunday night tends to be quiet, and I can focus on it after the kids are in bed.

Monday was breakfast for dinner. I am absolutely in love with the Dehydrated hashbrowns from Costco. They make having hashbrowns at dinner (or really any time) a cinch.

I scrambled eggs with a little bit of half-and-half, and cooked them up with bacon crumbles, also from Costco, top with a little Mexican cheese blend, served with fruit, the aforementioned hash browns, and a half an avocado, and English muffins.

It was quick, it was easy, it was filling, and it was pretty cheap too.

Last night was supposed to be vegetarian chili, but I didn’t have a chance to get it into the crockpot, so instead the kids had what I like to call “Meal of Snacks”. I take a segmented plate and fill each section with something yummy: Peanut butter sandwich or hot, buttered noodles, goldfish crackers, apple or orange slices, fruit snacks, a juice box, or a glass of milk, cheese stick or cheese slices, and graham crackers for dessert. I had a frozen entree.

This week I’m just focusing on quick, easy meals with stuff that we already have on hand. I did a quick shopping trip to Food4less  Monday and picked up about $40 worth of groceries, which should get us through the next 10 days or so.

We have tons of pantry staples, and I have a lot of baking supplies on hand, so I will definitely be baking a pizza and cookies this week, maybe brownies too? We’ll see how the week goes. It’s already Wednesday, so who knows. And we are supposed to have a heatwave starting tomorrow. Again. I’ll be glad when it’s no longer in the triple digits for a week at a time.

 

I’m not gonna pretend that I’m perfect, I’m not gonna pretend that my life is all sunshine and unicorns.  Shit is hard right now for all of us. I wasn’t trained to be a kindergarten teacher or a 4th-grade special education teacher. Adding the stress of teaching daily to everything else that I am supposed to be doing is hard, and stuff falls to the side. Putting away laundry, sweeping up the living room, running the vacuum, washing my hair… But remembering that we are all in the same boat is what’s keeping me going.

Pushing out all of the “Insta-perfect” of my line of sight has done wonders for my mental health. All of those perfectly cultivated and curated pics can be detrimental to our mental health. There is a lot of comparing of ourselves to these photos we see online of perfect, clean, bright white kitchens and homes. Guess what- They aren’t real. These people have helpers: Housekeepers, nannies, mother’s helpers. They aren’t doing it alone. AND NEITHER SHOULD WE. Reach out to your tribe. You aren’t in this alone. We may be limited in our in-person, face to face contact with our friends and family, but we can still make phone calls, facetime, skype, zoom, email, or even write letters the old fashioned way.

You aren’t alone. I see you. I recognize you. I’m here for you.

Until next time: Wash your paws, wear a mask, flatten the curve.

September 2020: New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

September is typically the time when lunch box foods and back to school items are on sale, so there are frequently coupons or app deals to go hand in hand. However this year, because of the current pandemic, there are far less. If you aren’t finding coupons for items you want, check the apps. Ibotta and Checkout51 frequently have offers for lunch box foods (juice boxes/bottled drinks, fruit snacks, lunchable type food kits).

Here are a few of my favorite new coupons:

Save $5.00 on any ONE (1) aden + anais™ essentials swaddles (minimum purchase of $15 required)

Save $5.00 on any ONE (1) HALO® SleepSack® (minimum purchase of $15 required)

Save $0.75 on any ONE (1) 6-pack Horizon Organic® Single-Serve Milk

Save $1.00 on ONE (1) Nestle Pure Life Fruity Water 8-pack

Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Babybel® product

Save $1.25 on any ONE (1) Magnum® Ice Cream Tub

Save $1.50 off any FOUR (4) SMART ONES Products

Save $2.00 on ONE (1) 36ct or larger Advil or Advil Migraine or Advil Dual Action

Save $0.50 on any one (1) Pine-Sol® product, 40oz+