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+

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce! Tomorrow, August 7, 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. This is going to be the last produce distribution at Faith Chapel for the next few weeks. Once it is back on, I will let you know ASAP!

Distribution is happening this Friday, August 7th,  beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. This week they are getting 1 truckload of produce delivered, so they will be only be given 1 box of produce to each vehicle.  BUT- Trust me- That’s plenty of quality produce for one family.

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

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce! Tomorrow, July 31, 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, July 31st, beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. This week they are getting 1 truckload of produce delivered, so they will be only be given 1 box of produce to each vehicle.  BUT- Trust me- That’s plenty of quality produce for one family.

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

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

7/27/2020 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.

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. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

So I haven’t kept up on getting snacks replenished, so I’ll be getting some new snackies this week. Otherwise, we are still ok on groceries and I’ll probably be able to skip a full grocery run.

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. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

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 in the final stretch of summer vacation. Summer School is over, and so now we are left to our own devices for the next month or so.  To that end, we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers
  • Monday Biscuits, Country Gravy, hashbrowns, poached eggs, and melon (I am not ashamed to admit I ate half of a cantaloupe)
  • Tuesday:Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • Wednesday: Pulled BBQ Chicken, rice, steamed veg
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Shephard’s Pie (I haven’t made this in AGES, and we have all the ingredients!)
  • 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?

2020 Summer Lunch Programs for Kids (And Other Free Food Resources in San Diego)

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I am usually sooo much more on top of these free lunch posts, but…well, life has been a little crazy around here, and all over the world.

Better late than never, so, here we go. In past years schools, libraries, and community centers have hosted these free lunches, this year, however, the list of facilities has decreased.

GUHSDIf you don’t find any facilities near you offering free lunches, I recommend contacting 211, they may have more updated information.

table of hopeAnd if you are in need of food for your entire family, but you find yourself not qualifying for P-EBT or other social services, I recommend that you check out Facebook. There are tons of local groups of neighbors getting together setting up Tables of Hope. In San Diego, there are several. Tables of Hope are small groups of neighbors that have set up food distribution tables within neighborhoods to help those who might be experiencing food insecurity.

Churches and community organizations are offering free food distributions that require no proof of need, like Faith Chapel in Spring Valley. They are offering free produce each Friday through mid-August. You can find out more info here.

And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.

There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.

Even if you are not in dire need, if you need help stretching your budget, these resources are here for you!

Talk Back: How are you stretching your food budget this summer?

6/22/2020 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.

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. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

I went to the store last night and spent a little more than I usually do- We were out of a lot of staples. I try to keep the weekly grocery budget to around $100, last night I spent $150.

I was looking over everything last night and I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself- we are all home all the time, which means that we are all eating (and drinking) at home, and that means an increase in both food budget and cooking.

4 people eating 3 meals a day, 7 days a week is 84 meals per week, plus snacks and drinks. That’s approximately $1.78 per meal, per person. And I cook a lot from scratch- which saves us even more than buying convenience foods or eating out.  As you can see from our meal plan below, I’m not making Haute cuisine- It’s healthy, wholesome food that the kids enjoy.

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. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

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.

School has wrapped up, but we are starting distance learning summer school. It’s a lot less, but it will still keep the kiddos brains sharp. And we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Customized mini pizzas for Father’s Day (We cooked them on our new Pizza Stone)
  • Monday Chicken Enchiladas, Beans, Rice, and Salad
  • Tuesday: Breakfast night (Pancakes, Eggs, bacon, fruit salad)
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and salad
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • 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?

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce! This Friday, June 19th

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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.

For the next NINE (9) weeks, Faith Chapel is offering FREE Fresh produce straight from the farmers to give to you! Distribution is happening this Friday, June 19th, beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. Take as much as you’d like! Tell your family and friends!

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

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

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?

4/13/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI went to the grocery store on Friday to stock up on essentials. I was hoping to go two weeks between trips, but the kids found the snacks. This time I’ve done a much better job of hiding them.

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.

The Big Kid is starting distance learning this week, so I’m trying to use the downtime I’ve got to do food prep and keep up on household chores.

  • Monday: Italian Feast Night (I’m making a batch of meat and veggie sauce, that I’ll be serving with pasta, as well as garlic bread, steamed veggies, and leftover pizza for the big kid since he doesn’t eat meat)
  • Tuesday: Baked Potatoes, Soup/Salad
  • Wednesday: Frittata and Fruit
  • Thursday: Pizza Night!
  • Friday: Frozen Entrees & Veggies
  • Saturday: Leftover fiesta!
  • Sunday:  Baked Pasta & Veggies

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?

2/24/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI forgot to push PUBLISH yesterday. OOPS. Well, last week I juggled stuff around and only posted the meal plan on Instagram. I may go back to that in the future, I’m not sure. I post on Insta about once a day, so not a lot, and I promise it’s not a feed full of perfectly polished, curated pics. It’s usually me, the cat, or craft projects pics taken with my iPhone 4S. Yes, I have a 4s. It still works, it’s a little slow (and small), but if it ain’t broke…

Back to the meal plan- I did a quick grocery trip on Sunday to stock up mostly on kiddo lunch goodies. I picked up a couple items we had run out of, like cream cheese and milk.

While rummaging through the freezer I found what I think is veggie soup, but we’ll find out once it thaws. Whatever it is, it’s for dinner tonight! This is a reminder to label the food in the freezer.

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: You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

Breakfast: I’ve gone back to a protein shake or coffee with a scoop of protein powder and a few pumps of Sugar-Free Syrup for me, and pancakes or something along those lines (Dave’s Killer Bagels are also a popular request for breakfast) 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.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch. Usually on pizza day.

I’m fixing to make a big fruit salad today- We’ve got a lot of fruit and I don’t want it to get funky.

  • Monday: Leftover Fritatta and fruit
  • Tuesday: Vegetable Soup (or whatever I took out of the freezer)
  • Wednesday: Chicken Soup, Grilled Cheese sandwiches
  • Thursday: Casserole (I’m thinking about Chicken Tetrazzini)
  • Friday:  Pizza & Fruit
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Beans, Rice, and Cheese bowls (with roasted peppers and onions)

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