5/25/2020 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 kids at home learning schedules, and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. This is only kinda working- I need to do a better job of hiding the snacks that are meant for the future.

The big kid and I went to the store on Saturday- all masked up and ready to hunt for bargains. We went over budget by about $20, but we stocked up on some extra stuff like a big bag of frozen mango chunks, more eggs (we’ve been eating a lot more eggs recently as the price of meat keeps going up), and cheese.

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: Right now our local school district is serving lunch for a drive-through service for kids 18 and under M-F. It’s great because it helps stretch our budget and it gets the kids out of the house for a few minutes. They also include a cold lunch (usually cereal and milk and a piece of fruit) for the next morning. Often times, the cereal ends up being a snack for late afternoon.

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.

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.

We’re wrapping up distance learning in the next two weeks. That means I’ll be looking for more fun stuff for us to do. Our local parks are opening up to walking and I think we’ll be getting outside more as we are able.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers
  • Monday Cheese enchiladas, Right Rice, and Beans
  • Tuesday:Veggie Stir Fry with Lo Mein
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and veggie bowls (with rice)
  • Thursday: Pizza Night!
  • Friday:Cheesy Chicken Broccoli casserole, kale salad. The casserole has a very small amount of chicken, so I can scoop some out for the big kiddo and he can have some meat-free.
  • Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (possibly breakfast burritos)

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?

5/22/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesIt’s Friday- Time for some awesome Freebies and Deals!  As the stay at home orders in various areas are relaxed, remember to continue to be kind. And please wear a mask, wash your hands, and use common sense!

Freebies:

Free Pastry or Sweet at Panera
Free Sample of Grenade Protein Bar
Ulta – Free Lancome UV Expert Aquagel Defense for Your Birthday
FREE Amazon Baby Box Samples Back in Stock
Free Subscription of Hearing Health Magazine
Free Canyon Bakehouse Burger Buns
Free Poise Light Leaks Sample Pack
Free Subscription to People Magazine
Free Crew Carwash for First Responders & Healthcare Workers
Free $10 Starbucks Gift Card – LinkedIn Required (I’ve done this before- it’s totally legit)
Free Hair Treatment Foam, Shampoo & Conditioner
Free Donut Friday’s at Dunkin’
Free Medium 1 Topping Pizza at Pizza Hut – 1st 500,000
Free Subscription to CODE Magazine
Roku Owners – Free FandangoNOW Movie Rental

Free snacks and Infant Formula from Kabrita

Deals

Save $5.00 on Office Supplies on Amazon
Set of 3 Sterilite White Laundry Hamper ONLY $48.79 at Target
Royal Dansk Danish Cookie Selection ONLY $2.78 Shipped
Nivea Men Face Wash 3 for $8.74 at Amazon
Electric Ice Cream Maker ONLY $29.99 at Target (Perfect for making this ice cream recipe)
PAW Patrol Ready Race Rescue Deluxe Vehicle ONLY $9.84 (Reg $15)
Portable Instant Canopy on Sale $39.97 Shipped (Reg. $60)
Purex for Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent $3.25 Shipped on Amazon
Magic Bullet 11-Piece Set ONLY $29.99 Shipped (Reg. $50)
TP-Link WiFi Extender Signal Booster ONLY $17.99 (Reg $30) Great for working at home
Dungeon Mayhem Dungeons & Dragons Card Game ONLY $9.99 (Reg $24)

5/15/2020 Friday freebie and Deal Round-up!

bright boxesIt’s Friday again, but because time is a flat circle these days, that doesn’t mean much for most of us.  What it does mean is that it’s time for a round-up of the most exciting freebies and deals the internet has to offer.

So let’s dive in:

Free Magazine Subscriptions:

Free Stuff For Healthcare workers:

Other Mic. Freebies:
Free Burger on Your Birthday at Ruby Tuesday
And here is a Big Ol’ List of Birthday Freebies (updated for 2020)
Free Slider at White Castle
Free Sample of SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier Serum
Free Slush or Drink with the Sonic App
Free Samples of R5 Aminos Sleep Aid Supplements
Free Icy Hot Topical Pain Relief Products

Deals:

Up & Up Concentrated Bleach In Stock at Target
Great Value Family Napkins: In Stock at Walmart
SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys ONLY $1.97 (Reg. $4)
Equate Hand Sanitizer – Large Bottle in Stock
Colgate Toothbrushes ONLY $0.57 Each on Amazon
Westcott All Purpose Value Scissors 3-Pack ONLY $4.97 (Reg $11)
Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector ONLY $13.85 (Reg $30)

 

Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands- Flatten the curve!

Recipe: Hearty Veggie Soup

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This soup is vegan and high in protein!

I made this last month while it was cold and rainy. I keep forgetting to post this recipe. It’s so tasty. And easy. The leftovers (if there are any) freezes well.

 

It’s vegan and gluten-free as is, but you can make changes and use bone broth if you want, or even add meat of your choices I think kielbasa pieces would be really great in this soup!

I used Right Rice in this recipe in place of regular white rice. What I like about Right Rice is that it’s made from Lentil Flour, Chickpea Flour, and Rice Flour.  Those ingredients mean that this “rice” is high on protein! The “rice” thickens up the soup for sure.

 

AAVS2954.JPGI found Right Rice at Grocery Outlet, but you can also order it on Amazon.  You can substitute canned chopped tomatoes for fresh tomatoes- Use what you have on hand.

Hearty Veggie Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced (I used green)
  • 2 T. cooking oil (your choice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green or yellow zucchini (whatever is in season or you have on hand)
  • 2 quarts veggie stock
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (you can also use a large can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 14oz.-ish can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 cups Right Rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 T. Penzeys Forward Spice Blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottom stockpot, heat oil.
  2. Saute carrots, celery, bell pepper, and onions until onions are soft and clear, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and spices. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes, or until right rice is done and soup has thickened up.
  5. Soup can simmer on low as long as you like. I let it simmer on low for about 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with bread and butter and salad.

IMG_9957.JPGForward Seasoning blend contains extra bold black pepper, onion, paprika, garlic, turmeric, spice extractives (including oleoresin of celery, rosemary, black pepper, thyme, basil and paprika).

Turn Your Junk Mail into Rewards!

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I love sharing all the ways I earn extra money, especially when they are quick and easy. The Small Business Knowledge Center (SBKC) is my ace in the hole! I’ve been participating in their program for over 10 years, and I earn on average $120/year.

It’s simple. As a panelist, you will earn rewards by sending SBKC direct mail and email communications that you might otherwise disregard. SBKC mails you postage-paid envelopes, you stuff your junk mail into it and drop it into the mail. I send one envelope each week. The more you mail in, the more you earn!

The Small Business Knowledge Center (SBKC) studies marketing techniques and practices.  They securely dispose of your junk mail after they are done with it- no need to worry!

pngYou will receive points for your junk mail, and once you receive 2000 points, you will receive a $20 pre-paid Visa GiftCard!

You can also forward emails to SBKC as well.

They email you once a month to update you on the number of points you have and with any special projects they have going on. A few times a year they look for special types of mail, open enrollment solicitations, IRA, or other investment/retirement info. When they want those materials, they’ll email you and let you know- usually, there is a bounty of extra points available too!

Unlike many other programs, you can sign everyone in your home who is over the age of 18!

If you are interested in signing up, visit the SBKC page here and click on the JOIN NOW button. In the box next to: How did you hear about the SBKC Consumer Panel? Please type my name: Abby Hewes. I get points for referrals, and once you sign up and refer your friends, you will too!

 

BIG NEWS from Fetch Rewards: Earn points at ALL stores and restaurants

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Every store. Every restaurant. Every time.

It just got way more rewarding to snap your receipts. That’s because now you can earn at least 5 points no matter where you shop or dine. Pretty exciting, right?

  • Enjoying a burger at McDonald’s?
  • Updating your wardrobe at Marshalls?
  • Grabbing some toys from Target?
  • Loading up on groceries for the week?
  • Getting your favorite pizza delivered?

These are just a few of the unlimited number of places you can earn points. So be sure to save and snap your receipts every time you shop or dine. You’ll be picking out your next Reward in no time.

 

If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards yet, or want to learn more, check out my post here. Find the Fetch Rewards app in your app store, and when you download it, use my code ND2TB when you sign up and you’ll score Bonus Points.

In 2020, I’ve earned $35 in Amazon Gift cards! Sometimes there are extra point offers for buying specific brands or items, which is how I’ve earned extra points- but it was stuff I was buying anyway!

**Fine Print for this deal: The receipt processing function for the expanded set of retailer types and restaurants is currently only available on iOS devices on version 2.32.1.1, and only valid on receipts dated 4/27/2020 or later. At this time, we only accept paper receipts for these new retailers and restaurants.

4/24/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesFriday Friday Funday as my son says.

We finished up our week of distance learning with Zoom classroom time with his class this morning.

Now it’s time for the best freebies and deals!

 

Freebies:

Deals