6/27/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSummer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

Summer school started, and I’m back on campus helping teachers and kiddos for the next month.

We went to Knott’s Berry Farm over the weekend and had a really fun time.

I did no meal planning over the weekend- It was all hanging out with kiddos and playing/swimming. So tonight I’ll hit the store and grab some stuff (thankfully we don’t need too many items this week).

Our veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $28, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $28. Seriously. It’s a deal. They email a preview of what will be in the boxes over the weekend, so I can start thinking about what I’d like to make.

With the increase in food costs, we are leaning more and more on our CSA box each week as the base of most of our meals.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

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 try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

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 are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time. The kids get free lunch at summer school too!

Dinner: We finished our last Dream Dinner last week! I’ll be ordering more next month once the new menu comes out. I’m trying to get us to eat together as a family more often and get the kids into eating more fruits and veg, so you’ll notice that our meals are pretty simple this week.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fruit (apples or oranges), chips or crackers
  • Tuesday: Meatloaf sandwiches, salad, fruit
  • Wednesday:  Sonoma Grilled Steaks, Roasted broccoli
  • Thursday: Protein shakes and fruit
  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Peach Bourbon Chicken with Almond Green Beans

6/25/2022 Zero Waste Fair!

Thanks to our friends at I Love A Clean San Diego, there is a super fun and green event tomorrow.

In partnership with the City of Encinitas, I Love a Clean San Diego will be hosting the seventh annual Zero Waste Fair on Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 10 AM-1 PM.

Our Zero Waste Fair is back in person this year at the EUSD Farm Lab in Encinitas! Come ready to experience a wide array of zero-waste activities, including informative presentations, booths from sustainable companies, and hands-on low-waste DIYs.

This one-of-a-kind event will highlight tips on low-waste living, composting, recycling, sustainable swaps for everyday products, and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discover local zero-waste businesses, and win eco-conscious prizes!

To learn more or RSVP, check out the event site here. 

6/24/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals!

It was a week of frugal fun!

We swam, we built legos,  went to the zoo, the kids redeemed their Pizza Book It coupons for June, and had tiny pizzas! If you are looking for some frugal adventures for this summer, check out this post.

There are so many awesome freebies and deals this week, and the weather this weekend is supposed to be AWESOME (AND WARM) here in San Diego.

Mask Mandates are changing constantly in California and can vary by city and county, so please do your part if you are going to any in-person freebies.

2022 Birthday Freebies are here!

Freebies:

Free Products from Influenster
Free Discover the Beauty in Wetands Book Cover
Free Box of JonnyPops Popsicles Product
Free Old Spice Body Wash at Walmart
Free Year of AAA Membership for T-Mobile Customers
Free Discover Pen, Nail File, Decals & More
Free RowdyPower Burn Energy Drink
Free Constellation Viewer from Home Depot
Free Star Collection Bookmark
Free Baby Samples & Full Sized Products from Amazon
Free Best Nest Wellness & Munchkin Mom & Baby Products
Free Beard Wash, Balm, Beard Oil & More
Free Beckon Lactose-Free Ice Cream Pints
Free Bookmarks, Posters, Activity Sheets & More
Free Vegan Wonder Cookies Sample
Free PediaSure 6-Pack or Shake Mix Coupon
Free Pint of Wildgood Ice Cream
Free CandyCan Sample Pack
Free Lane Bryant Gift Card Giveaway
Free Dr. Brandt Skincare Products
Free NFL Fan Packs
Free pH Testing Strips for Women
Free Facial Wash, Body Soap or Balm
Free Humblemaker Coffee after Rebate
Free Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk After Rebate
Free Night Cream & Micropolish or Face Oil & Clay Mask
Free Sample of Zignature Dog Food
Free Sample of Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pacs
Free 256GB SSD at Micro Center
Free Crayola Summer Coloring Pages
Free Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 PC Game
30 Free Lactaid Care Club Points
Watch The Princess Bride for Free
Free Fall Guys for Xbox
25 Free Disney Movie Insiders Points

Deals

Cuisinart 17-PC Artiste Knife Block Set ONLY $49.99 (Reg $130)
Morphe 35T Sweetest Tea Artistry Palette ONLY $16.80 (Reg $28)
Cooks 30-Pc Nonstick Cookware Set ONLY $71.99 (Reg $180)
Kid Toddler Pillowcase 2 Pack ONLY $7.99 (Reg $20)
Up to 70% Off at Banana Republic Factory
NuWave 14-Qt Air Fryer ONLY $39.99 (reg $80-140)
Cooks 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker ONLY $11.69 at JCPenney (Reg $22)
Swing Hammock Chair ONLY $48.99 (Reg $130)
Kids Pajamas Only $3 Shipped at Walmart
5-in-1 Sport Center Game System ONLY $25 (Reg $49)
Intex 10ft x 30in Inflatable Pool ONLY $49.99 (Reg $100)
Save 50% on Select Bathroom Decor at Target
Insignia 24-Inch Fire TV ONLY $89.99 (Reg. $170)
LOL Surprise OMG Dance Virtuelle Fashion Doll $13.97 (Reg. $26)
70% Off PicassoTiles Magnetic Building Blocks + Extra 15% Off

2022 Free Parenting Classes (Online)

I got information about this class in my inbox from our local school district. This class is free and is all online.

Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) Classes.

 

I’ve never taken this class, but it looks like a great opportunity. After Finishing this 7-session course, you will:

  • Receive a Completion Certificate
  • Fulfill court and other requirements under the Welfare and Institution Code
  • Have a Better understanding of your child’s behavior and make steps toward building a happy home.

To sign up or if you have questions, contact Luz Alarcon at 619-203-2108. Pre-registration for this class is required.

Recipe: Making Pie Crust!

Pie crust is easy to make. It has few ingredients, but there is some finesse involved in making a light, flaky pie crust.

There are no special tools needed, but a pastry cutter is nice (You can use a whisk instead, or your bare hands).

This is the pie crust recipe that I use. I know it by heart and I make it frequently. It’s great for sweet pies like pumpkin, or savory meat pies like chicken pot pie (that recipe is coming later this week).

This recipe makes 1 pie crust for an 8 or 9-inch pie plate, if you need two (top and bottom), double it.

Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon AP Flour
  • 1/3 cup shortening OR unsalted butter -It needs to be cold butter or room temp shortening. This part is SUPER IMPORTANT.
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water (You may need an extra tablespoon or so if the weather is very dry).

 

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add flour and fat.
  2. Using a whisk, pastry cutter, or your hands, mix flour and fat until incorporated into little (pea-sized or smaller) pieces.
  3. Slowly add water and combine to form a large dough ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This will help ensure that your crust is flaky.
  4. Flour a clean, flat surface, and roll the dough out into a large circle. Do not over roll it or manhandle the dough- this will make it heavy and flat.
  5. If you are making a bottom crust, press it into a pie plate, and trim the edges.
  6. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times to keep it from bubbling.
  7. If you are making a pie that will be filled and baked again like pumpkin or quiche, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely before filling and baking a second time.
  8. If you will be using the pie crust as a top only (no bottom crust), once the crust is rolled out, fill your baking dish with whatever you are cooking, top it with the uncooked crust, pierce it a few times (to vent the steam), and bake per the directions of the recipe.

Substitutions:

If you are vegan, use shortening. Do not use spread/oleo/margarine.  They contain water and will make your crust turn out funky. Butter flavored shortening is great.

If you are gluten free, use 1 for 1 AP flour.

Talk Back: What kind of pie do you like?

6/20/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSummer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

We hit up the library last week, and we’ve got stacks of books to work through this week. In addition, I think we may try to visit night time zoo this week (we have zoo passes), and maybe the Natural History Museum (we got free passes from the summer reading program at the library). There will be pics on my Instagram feed.

I did a bunch of meal prep for the week yesterday afternoon: Roasted veggies, and chopped up fruit (including a seedless watermelon), and I did a slight reorganization of the pantry.

And the big kid decided that maybe he wants to try meat after being a vegetarian for 6-ish years. So, we are slowly trying to introduce meat back into his diet. I’ve planned meals this week that have some meat but also allow him to eat semi-vegetarian if he wants.

Our veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $28, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $28. Seriously. It’s a deal. They email a preview of what will be in the boxes over the weekend, so I can start thinking about what I’d like to make.

With the increase in food costs, we are leaning more and more on our CSA box each week as the base of most of our meals.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I received a few more coupons over the weekend, so I’ll visit Sprouts sometime this week to pick up the new foods. I’m focusing on snacks and treats from Social Nature.

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 try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

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 are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time. We’ll be hitting up the free lunch sites several times a week over the summer.

Dinner: We finished our last Dream Dinner last week! I’ll be ordering more next month once the new menu comes out. I’m trying to get us to eat together as a family more often and get the kids into eating more fruits and veg, so you’ll notice that our meals are pretty simple this week.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fruit (grapes, watermelon, strawberries), chips or crackers
  • Tuesday: Baked Chicken parm, served with pasta and red sauce, roasted veggies
  • Wednesday: Bean, Rice, and veggie bowls, and cheese quesadillas
  • Thursday: Protein shakes and fruit
  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Pancakes, eggs, and fruit

2 Free Donuts for Dads!

Hey dads! Do you like donuts? If you nodded your head or screamed out, “HELL YES!” This awesome deal is for you!

If you’ve read my past Birthday Freebie posts (the 2022 one can be found here), you’ve seen that I’ve posted birthday freebies from Birthday Club Hub, which works with businesses in eight states to disseminate birthday freebies and other freebies throughout the year to club members (BTW- it’s free to join).

Mary’s Donuts is part of the Birthday Club Hub, and they send out a free offer for moms.

Score 2 free regular donuts on June 19, 2022 at either their Santee or Lakeside Location. Simply show the email to the cashier/friendly donut seller- and don’t forget your kiddos!

Tryazon: Design, Wear, & Share with New Craft Kits from Cool Maker!

We’ve been participating in Tryazon events for three+ years. We’ve gotten to try all sorts of fun toys, games, and food.  You can learn more about Tryazon here.

Design, wear and share one-of-a-kind pieces with this Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, featuring Cool Maker craft kits from Spin Master! Learn real sewing skills with the Cool Maker Stitch ‘N Style and spin to create friendship bracelets and necklaces with the Cool Maker KumiKreator Bead & Braider. Express yourself through what you make and show your own unique style, with Cool Maker!

Tryazon has 250 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack valued at $50+ with a selection of Cool Maker products to share with friends and family! Learn more and apply here.

 

6/17/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals!

We survived the first week of summer break!

We did a bunch of free/frugal activities, including stopping by our local county and city libraries to sign up for their summer reading programs, we swam, played with friends, and built a lot of Legos. If you are looking for some frugal adventures for this summer, check out this post.

There are so many awesome freebies and deals this week, and the weather this weekend is supposed to be AWESOME (AND WARM) here in San Diego.

Mask Mandates are changing constantly in California and can vary by city and county, so please do your part if you are going to any in-person freebies.

2022 Birthday Freebies are here!

Freebies:

Free Sample of L’Oreal Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Free Subscription to Wine Spectator Magazine
Free Meal at PDQ
Free Wild Planet Wild Tuna Pasta Salad
Free Bikini Wax at Hello Sugar
Free ASPCA Pet Safety Magnet & Window Decal
Free Poise Light Leaks Pads Sample Pack
Free Hartz Disposable Dog Diapers and Male Dog Wraps
Free 19 Crimes Coasters, Hat, Tumblers & More
Possible Free $125 iPhone App Research Study
Free Ice Cream Magnet at JCPenney
Free Super HongKong Baseball Cap
Free Happy Hippo Kratom Sample
Free Rael Miracle Clear Barrier Cream
Free ZEISS Anti-Fog Wipes at Select Stores
4+ Free Disney Movie Insiders Points
Free Sample of Lancome La Vie Est Belle
Free $10 Every Friday with Samuel Adams
Free Azzaro The Most Wanted Fragrance
Free Mixmi Frozen Yogurt
Free MAC Cosmetics Studio Radiance Moisturizing Primer
Free Sample of Astroglide Toy ‘N Joy
Free Mars Chocolate Minis at Sam’s
Free Smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Today
Father’s Day Freebies RoundUp
Free Twix Cookie Dough Bar on June 21st
MySavings is Hiring a Work from Home Deal Expert
Free Subscription to The Red Bulletin Magazine
Free Original Family Meal Pollo Tropical Locations
Free Lane Bryant Gift Card Giveaway
Free Books, Journals, Stickers & More
Free Costa Brazil Face Serum Sample
Free Supraland PC Game
Free Fishing Days 2022
Free Father’s Day e-Card
Watch It Had To Be You for Free
Free PepsiCo Coupons Mailed to You
Free Cirque du Soleil 60 Minute Specials

 

Deals:

Compact Organizers ONLY $10 (Reg $30)
Bella Essentials Griddle ONLY $14.99 (Reg $30)
Linden Street Bath Towel 6-Piece Set ONLY $29.99 (Reg $80)
Morphe 8-Piece Rose Gold Brush Set ONLY $18.40 (Reg $46)
St. Ives Face Scrub ONLY $2.26 Shipped at Amazon (Reg. $5)
Name Brand Makeup Starting at $1.18 on Amazon – Stock Up
Professional Hair Cutting Kit ONLY $8.99 (Reg $23)
Amazon Essentials Men’s Fleece Jacket ONLY $9.32 (Reg $25)
Bella Pro Series Rotating Waffle Maker ONLY $26.99 (Reg $50)
Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday
Kate Spade Kali Small Dome Crossbody ONLY $59 (Reg $239)
Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch 4 LTE ONLY $179.99 (Reg $300)
Funkoverse Marvel 100 4-Pack ONLY $15.74 (Reg $40)
Automatic Pet Feeder & Water Dispenser ONLY $21.99 (Reg $32)
60% Off adidas Toddler to Big Kids + Extra 10% Off at Checkout
75% Off Wildfox Athleisure + Extra 10% Off at Checkout
LOL Surprise OMG Present Doll ONLY $15.98 (Reg. $30)
Philosophy Beauty Sale + Exclusive Extra 10% Off
Medal Sports 7-In-1 Combo Game Table ONLY $50 (Reg. $110)
Shampoo Massager Brush Scalp 2-Pack ONLY $6.97 (Reg. $13)
60% Off Lucky Brand + Exclusive 10% Off at Checkout
Chuckit! Ultra Tug Dog Toy ONLY $5.10 (Reg. $10)
Calvin Klein Pillow Standard/Queen ONLY $7.99 (Reg $34)
Sloosh Pool Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoop ONLY $19 (Reg. $38)
Kids Preferred Disney Princess Ariel Plush Toy ONLY $5 (Reg $19)
VTech Workout Buddies Bag ONLY $13.37 (Reg. $28)
Woods 6-Foot Extension Cord White ONLY $1.99 (Reg $10)
Curiod TV Stand for TVs up to 36-In ONLY $39 (Reg $99)
HART 5-Tool Combo Kit ONLY $79 (Reg $198)
Target Deal Days Sale July 11-13
Save 40% on Select Kitchen Appliances at Target
70% Off Photo Gifts + Free Same Day Pickup = HOT DEALS
Melissa & Doug Bath Book and Tugboat Toys ONLY $6.99 (Reg. $15)
Nike Benassi Slides ONLY $15.96 (Reg $25)
Amazon 50% Off Bed Sheets Coupon – All Sizes
Save 50% on Lady Gaga Makeup on Amazon
Ryan’s World Aquaplay Playset ONLY $19 (Reg. $40)
Macy’s Father’s Day Gifts Coupon + Free Same Day Pickup
Little Tikes Super Slam ‘n Dunk ONLY $99 (Reg. $250)

San Diego International Children’s Film Festival: Aug. 13

The San Diego International Children’s Film Festival is coming up on August 13, 2022. There will be short films from around the world in several categories: animation, narrative, & documentary.

  • 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, 8/13/22
  • Neil Morgan Auditorium at the San Diego Central Library downtown, 330 Park Blvd.
  • Free admission
  • Filmmaker and animator appearances!
  • Film schedule at www.childrensfilmsd.org
  • Register here