1/17/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

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I did absolutely no meal prep over the weekend. The big kid has Covid-19, and little sister spent the week at home also, as she is in close contact and needed to quarantine. I’m vaxxed and boosted (and I tested negative on Tuesday), so I’ve been going to work and the usual. BUT- Every winter, after Christmas without fail I lose my voice. It’s been an “annual tradition” (honestly one I could live without) for at least…15 years. No other symptoms- just no voice. Or I sound like I’ve been a lifelong smoker.

Taking care of sick and bored kids is not fun, and it takes up every waking hour.

Luckily, we are back on the CSA train- We need some fresh produce in our lives and I hate carrying more groceries upstairs!

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, 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 $25. 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.

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.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year- Little Bit has been buying her lunch and expanding her palate.

Dinner: This week we’ll start enjoying some Dream Dinners, and I’ll be posting pics and deets all over my social media!

  • Monday: Roasted Veggies, Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches
  • Tuesday: Nug night- I’ve got 3 different types, krinkle fries, apple slices & orange wedges
  • Wednesday: Tortellini and Vegetable Medley Soup, Garlic Bread
  • Thursday:   Quesadillas, roasted corn salsa, beans & rice
  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Wings, Salad, cheesy mashed potatoes

Please stay safe you guys!

1/10/22 Weekly Meal Plan

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I spent some time yesterday cooking. I made broccoli rice casserole (recipe later this week), soup, brownies, and mac n’ cheese.  I also prepped the last of the veggies. I’ve got grown-up lunches covered for the week, and some of our sides for the week too.

Last week was busy and while we didn’t stick to our meal plan, we came pretty close… and that’s ok. I always have extra food on hand to make quick/easy meals for nights when.. stuff goes sideways.  Canned soup, stuff for grilled cheese, quesadillas, beans and rice, frozen entrees, leftovers.

We are back on the CSA train- We need some fresh produce in our lives and I hate carrying more groceries upstairs!

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, 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 $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

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.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year- Little Bit has been buying her lunch and expanding her palate.

Dinner: This week we don’t have a lot planned after school/work, so I should be able to get some yummy dinners on the tables.

  • Monday: Nuggets (both chicken and veggie), fresh fruit, noodles, cheese, and crackers
  • Tuesday: Oven Roasted chicken, roasted veg, Salad
  • Wednesday: Brocolli rice casserole, salad, garlic bread
  • Thursday:  Soup, Grilled Cheese, fruit
  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Baked pasta/veg casserole

Please stay safe you guys!

1/3/2022 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI did a big year-end fridge/freezer/pantry cleanout (did you know White Claw expires?) last week and we were in need of a lot of groceries.

I had a big shopping week, including a trip to Costco to pick up some staples, and of course… a rotisserie chicken.

We finished up the week yesterday consuming leftovers. And I prepared a pot of chicken stock to make chicken soup today.

We are back on the CSA train- We need some fresh produce in our lives and I hate carrying more groceries upstairs!

Veggies and fruit are delivered by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, 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 $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

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.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year- Little Bit has been buying her lunch and expanding her palate.

Dinner: I’ve got some tasty (and quick) meals planned for this week! It’s going to be cold this next week, so Soup will be on the menu a few times. I’ll make big batches and freeze the extra.

Please stay safe you guys!

Starting off 2022 Right: How to save money at the grocery store and beyond!

Saving money is my bag. It’s what I’m good at, and I’ve made a name for myself as the resident frugalista in many of my friend circles.

A lot of people want to save money as one of their New Years Resolutions, and with the price of everything going up (thanks to inflation and the global pandemic), it’s becoming more important for people to learn and use some frugality skills.

So let’s get started on saving you some money at the grocery store and other places as well. Since I’ve been writing about these topics since 2016 on various blogs, I have tons of great posts that will be linked to throughout this post.

Start by making a list of what you already have at home. I use inventory sheets that I made on Canva.  I have one for the Pantry, one for the fridge, and one for the freezer. They live in plastic page protectors, and I update them when I am cooking (or afterward). It makes seeing what we’ve got on hand a breeze.

  • Shop sales- Buy and eat what is in season. This doesn’t only mean produce. Various items are on sale during the year, usually to correspond with holidays. My list of sales cycles can be seen here.
  • Buy in bulk if you are able.
  • Utilize Store apps to save money- CVS, Walgreens, Target, Vons, Ralphs, Food4less, Sprouts, etc.) all have apps with digital coupons and savings. With a few clicks, you’ll be saving money without clipping coupons! This tip is a great way to save on cleaning supplies, health and beauty aids, and OTC meds. 
  • Utilize cash back apps. My list of favorites can be found here.
  • Take advantage of local farms and CSA’s. I love Yasukochi Farms CSA. They are a local farm and have great produce boxes.

Right now they are having a New Years Sale! Choose either a 1-month regular box subscription for $88, or a 1-month jumbo box subscription for $120. To learn more or order, check out their website.

For less than $30 a week, we get a big box of produce delivered to our door. It helps us stay on budget and eat healthy!

Basically, it boils down to being organized, which can be hard. Choosing 1 or 2 of the above to get started and adding them to your routine until they become second nature, and then adding in 1 or 2 more, and so on and so on.

 

12/20/2021 Weekly Meal Plan (Holiday Edition)

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgIt’s the First day of Winter Break! WOO! We’re making cookies and relaxing, but this week will be packed with adventures, including play dates and zoo trips!

I did some cooking (and cleaning) yesterday. I’ve got some tasty treats coming up this week, including Christmas Eve Pizza!

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.

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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year- Little Bit has been buying her lunch and expanding her palate.

Dinner: I’ve got some tasty (and quick) meals planned for this week!

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit, noodles, or cheese toast 
  • Tuesday: Chicken enchilada casserole
  • Wednesday: Roasted Veggie Soup, popovers with butter
  • Thursday:  breakfast burritos, hashbrowns, fruit salad
  • Friday: Christmas Eve Pizza!
  • Saturday:  Early dinner with my mom (dad is still in the hospital, prayers are welcome)
  • Sunday: Leftover Fiesta

Please stay safe you guys!

12/13/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis past weekend was BUSY! I haven’t had a chance to go to the store, but I think we’ll be able to stretch it for a few more days until I have some free time. This week is looking busy too. Little Bit gets her casts off Wednesday after school- Hooray!

I did some cooking yesterday- I made some side dishes, including Roasted veggies, Rice a Roni. I made lunches for the adults, and re-organized the lunch/snack basket for the kids in the pantry. I also used up some of the wilting fruit to make some zipsicle style popsicles (strawberry and banana, and pineapple). And I made cookies!

Since this week is so busy, we’ll be having a lot of quick-prep dinners, or we’ll be relying on the foods I prepped yesterday.

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.

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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: I am planning some great meals this week. I did some batch cooking yesterday and got the fridge organized.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (orange and apple slices are on tap), rice a roni
  • Tuesday: Soup and Cheese Toast, Fruit, Roasted Veggies
  • Wednesday:  Waffles or Pancakes (kids choice), Fruit, Eggs- And maybe Beyond Meat sausages
  • Thursday:   Bean, Rice, Cheese, and Roasted Veggie bowls
  • Friday: take out (Usually pizza and Chinese food)
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Fritatta, Salad

Please stay safe you guys!

12/6/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgLast week’s meal plan didn’t work out as I had planned. We got busy, stuff came up, and we ran out of eggs mid-week. I didn’t have time to run to the store, so…

We’re starting fresh this week. I did some meal prep yesterday, including some egg-free baking (banana bread and chocolate chip cookies). I hit the store for eggs, milk, and butter this morning. We’re ready to go!

With a reorganized pantry, I’ve got some great meals planned for the week.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: I am planning some great meals this week. I did some batch cooking yesterday, and got the fridge organized.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (orange and apple slices are on tap), cheese, and crackers
  • Tuesday: Grilled Meatloaf sandwiches (grilled cheese for the kids), fruit, Salad
  • Wednesday:  Vegetarian Enchilada casserole, salad
  • Thursday:   Breakfast burritos (eggs, cheese, potatoes, grilled veggies, bacon or sausage, salsa), fruit
  • Friday: take out (Usually pizza and Chinese food)
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Shakshuka, garlic bread, salad (since we didn’t have it last week)

Please stay safe you guys!

New Recipe: Chipotle Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

This is a super easy, yummy recipe. My kids love it because it’s cheesy, and vegetarian (important for my big kid). I’m making a big batch for dinner this week, with plenty of leftovers!

It freezes well so you can make a bigger batch and have some for later.

Chipotle Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag MorningStar Farms® Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles (12 oz)
  • 3 cups cheese, divided (I use Mexican blend)
  • 1 large (28 oz) enchilada sauce (I like green)
  • 16-19 corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bag (12 oz-ish) fajita blend (that’s onions and peppers)
  • spray release

Directions:

  1. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with spray release.
  2. Layer torn tortillas, black bean crumbles, fajitas blend, tortillas, sauce, and cheese.
  3. Layer until pan is filled, top with cheese.
  4. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly.
  5. Remove foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, and diced black olives (optional, but a family favorite). I serve with a Mexican Caesar Salad, or Cilantro Lime Rice-a-Roni.

To make this dish vegan, use vegan cheese.

Mexican Cesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • 1 small can corn, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa

Directions:

  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.

 

11/29/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

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Kids are back to school and I am back to work this morning!

After a week without any trips to the store, last night I broke down and did a big shop. I found some really cool spice blends at Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only, so we’ve got some yummy stuff planned over the next few weeks.

Now that the fridge is working, I’ve been buying a few condiments every trip. This week it was Salsa and Chili/ketchup.

I am pulling everything out of the cupboard this week to do an end-of-year overhaul/purge. Anything that is not expired that we won’t eat I’ll be donating. There is a blessing box about a mile away, and I’d love to fill it up. And of course, anything expired will get pitched. We have a super narrow and deep cupboard, so sometimes stuff gets pushed towards the back and forgotten about.

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: I am planning some great meals this week. I’ll try and batch cook tomorrow morning (sides, roast veggies, cookies) before work.

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (orange and apple slices are on tap), cheese, and crackers
  • Tuesday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, veggies
  • Wednesday: Beans, Rice, quesadillas, fruit or salad
  • Thursday:   Vegetarian Enchilada casserole (I’ll post a recipe this week)
  • Friday: take out (Usually pizza and Chinese food)
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Shakshuka, garlic bread, salad

Please stay safe you guys!

11/22/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

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This week is Thanksgiving break, so no school for the kids, and… Bitty Bird is in two below the knee casts, so it’s going to be an interesting week.

We’re taking a break from our CSA box for now- with everything going on, I’m trying to cut down costs for the time being.

We’ve borrowed a larger stroller, and we’ll be using it to get Bitty Bird around town this week. She’s still in pain from her surgery, so she’s not too keen on using her crutches all the time.

I reorganized the pantry and freezer the other day and we’ve got enough to last us at least through this week, excluding milk (which I’m going to go buy today).

And I’ve been getting a lot of really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.

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. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.

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. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.

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. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year, but so far, there is nothing on the menu that appeals to the kids.

Dinner: I did some batch cooking yesterday, so we’ve got all sorts of yummy stuff ready for this week. I even made brownies yesterday!

  • Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit (green grapes and bananas are on tap), cheese, and crackers
  • Tuesday: Cheesy hashbrown casserole, poached eggs, garlic bread, melon
  • Wednesday: Pollo Asada Taco Salad with cilantro lime rice
  • Thursday:  The kids are having dinner with their dad, and my mom and I are visiting my dad in the hospital.
  • Friday: take out
  • Saturday: Turkey dinner with my mom
  • Sunday: Pancakes and fruit

Please stay safe you guys!