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!

Cross Country Cafe: Win 96 hot cocoa K-Cup® pods!

Every month, Cross Country Cafe has a giveaway. This month, it’s hot cocoa time!

Enter to win FOUR full-size boxes of Hot Chocolate K-Cup® coffee pods! One random winner will be chosen on February 1st, 2022. Enter before January 30th, 2022 at midnight EDT.

If hot cocoa isn’t your jam, Cross Country Cafe has all kinds of great sales and deals on flavored coffees and more here.

Looking for more inspiration? Cross Country Cafe has an entire page dedicated to fun, easy recipes 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.

January 2022: New Healthy Freebies From Social Nature!

 If you are into Organic/Natural/Healthy products, then Social Nature is right up your alley. Sign up and apply to sample products that you are interested in. I get probably 1-2 products to sample each month. And most of the time it’s full-size products, not just a tiny sample.

Social Nature has rounded up products that are available to try at a local grocery store or mass merchandiser near you.  Apply to Try the products that interest you to see if you’re a match here.

Here are some of the new sampling opportunities:


And one of the things I love about Social Nature is that they don’t leave our friends with food allergies out.

There are sampling offers for Gluten-free, nut-free, meat-free foods frequently.

Canadian Friends- You are in luck, there are sampling opportunities for you too! So if you love trying new products, check out Social Nature!

 

 

 

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!

New PinchMe Samples Drop 1/18/2022

Sample Tuesday is Coming 1/18/2022- Mark your calendars, set an alarm on your phone!

Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? PinchMe! Join PINCHme and receive free samples that you can provide feedback on.

PinchMe is awesome! Once you are signed up, they will email you reminders when new samples are about to drop, and remind you when it’s time to leave feedback.

Answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. PinchMe learns what you like and offer samples just for you.

Once you’ve had a chance to try the samples, complete a short feedback survey to tell PinchMe what you think of the samples.

I get PinchMe samples every month. Here is what arrived at the end of June for the June 2021 boxes. The One Bar was really good.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here and get on the free sample bandwagon! I’ve gotten all kinds of awesome sample/trial size items, as well as full-sized items to try out from PinchMe!

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.

 

Free Food at Faith Chapel throughout 2022!

Pastor Josiah emailed this morning with some great news to share!

Faith Chapel will be having free food distributions on the 1st & 3rd Mondays throughout 2022 at 10:00am.

Faith Chapel
9400 Campo Rd.
Spring Valley, CA 91977

This is a drive-thru-style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. The types of food vary, but in the past, there has been milk, cheese, eggs, canned goods, seasonal fresh produce, shelf-stable dry goods (beans, pasta, etc.).

In addition to free food, there is also a boutique open to be shopped at during these distribution times. Everything in our boutique is FREE and available to any guests that come through. You can find everything from clothes to household furnishings, kitchenware, toys, etc.

To speed up the food lines, please RSVP here.