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!

Tryazon: Bestway is Back with Triple Water Slides!

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.

Slip ‘n slide right into spring with this Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, sponsored by Bestway. The H20GO! Triple Water Slide has three lanes so kids can race their friends down the slide and land in the cushioned splash pool! Simply inflate and connect your garden hose to get wet and stay cool all summer long. Let the H20GO! Triple Water Slide be your passport to fun! Plus, you will have three weeks to complete the party so you have the flexibility to pick the best weather day for your area.

Tryazon has 400 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive the Triple Water Slide to share with friends and family! Learn more and apply here.

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!

Free Food Resources for January 2022(San Diego County)

A new year means new opportunities to find free food resources in San Diego County.

Keep in mind there are still supply chain issues, so there may not be a lot of food at some distributions.

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

Our friends at Faith Chapel are super ahead of the game and sent out information regarding their 2022 food distributions early on in the year.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for January 2022 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide). The San Diego Foodbank website also has resources for Diaper banks, free food resources for seniors, and more.

All kids in public school K-12 in the State of California are eligible for free breakfasts and lunches at school. More information can be found here

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

Smart & Final Now has and App and Digital Coupons!

Smart and Final, a California based grocery store has entered the 21st century! We have one close by, so it’s our go-to for milk or other mid-week items. They are known for having club-sized items without having to join a club, and they have a lot of foodservice sized products.

In their store flyer for this week, there was an ad for their new app, complete with a 15% off coupon when you download their app and clip the digital coupon! Woo Hoo!

Once you sign up and add your phone number and email, download the app from wherever you get apps. You can log on and you’ll find the usual manufacturer coupons, but you’ll also find these sweet coupons:

The Pepsi coupon snuck in there, but 15% off, and savings on eggs (valid in CA only, other states may get other coupons instead) are both great.

I don’t really do much paper couponing these days unless it’s coupons I receive in the mail (usually from Social Nature), so saving money at Smart and Final has been limited to apps like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards in the past. And with the prices of food going up, this 15% off coupon could be a great way to save if you need to start your year off with a large shopping trip. And you can combine that coupon with others, so you can still clip other digital coupons, and use rebate apps too!

Tips for Getting a Deal on Glasses!

Kids are rough on everything, including glasses. The big kid usually goes through 1-2 pairs a year, just in day-to-day wear and tear (and being a 10-year-old boy). Luckily I’ve found some ways to save money on glasses and I thought I’d share.

1- Take advantage of existing vision insurance. Look on the back of your kid’s health insurance card to find out which company handles the vision coverage, or give your child’s health insurance carrier a call. My kids receive one eye exam and 1 free pair of glasses per year. I’m not sure if it’s available in all states.

2-If you need help getting glasses or vision exams for your kids, check out Vision to Learn. They operate in 13 states and partner with the Boys and Girls Club, offering free eye exams and eyeglasses for kids. If you aren’t in a state where they operate, check out InfantSEE.  They offer Kids 6 months-1 year a free eye exam.

If you are 65+, you can obtain a free eye exam from Eye Care America.

3- Onto the deals. Once you have your prescription in hand, check out online stores like Abbe glasses. They have great deals on frames and lenses. I scored two pairs of glasses for under $50 for the big kid with their BOGO sale. ILoveGlasses also has good deals as well. Both of these companies are great for budget-conscious families. If you are looking for something a little higher-end (or for grown-ups), I also like Warby Parker.

They have a great glasses try-on program, and they also sell Contacts. In fact, they have a free contact offer.

Having used Warby Parker before, their glasses are great, and their service is amazing! We bought glasses online, and later when they needed to be adjusted (helpful tip: Don’t roughhouse with kids when you are wearing glasses), we took them to our local Warby Parker store and they “tuned up” the glasses FOR FREE!

And if you are wondering what to do with all of the old eyeglasses in your house that are no longer your current prescription…. The Lions Club helps recycle eyeglasses and get them into the hands of the needy. You can find out more about how and where to recycle your unwanted eyeglasses here.  I also recommend checking with your local optometrist’s office. They frequently partner with local Lion’s Clubs to collect old glasses. You could help a person in need get the glasses they can’t afford!

What are your tips for saving on glasses and contacts?

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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!

Chatterbox Opportunity: Try Maple from Canada

While mass-produced syrups come from highly processed ingredients, real maple syrup comes from mother nature. If it’s not real maple, you’re consuming loads of sugars, artificial flavors, and corn syrups which is what you’ll typically find in regular pancake syrup.

Apply to try Pure Maple Syrup from Canada and discover the sweet, delicious flavor of real maple. Use it as an alternative to sugar in a variety of dishes such as desserts, baked goods, beverages, and so much more!

If you are selected for this Chatterbox, you will receive:

  • 1 Bottle of Pure Maple Syrup from Canada
  • 3 Pure Maple Syrup from Canada recipe cards

You must apply and complete the required activity by January 18th to be considered.

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!

ADA Foundation: Give Kids A Smile Program!

This came into my email from the kid’s school yesterday.

Dental screenings, sealants, and fluoride varnish at no cost to families! Dental sealants and fluoride varnish are a safe and painless way to help present cavities. This program is for children 1-18 years of age at participating offices from February 14 – March 7, 2022. To find out more information, click here.

These services are done by appointment only. Find a list of participating dentists here.