Turn Your Junk Mail into Rewards!

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I love sharing all the ways I earn extra money, especially when they are quick and easy. The Small Business Knowledge Center (SBKC) is my ace in the hole! I’ve been participating in their program for over 10 years, and I earn on average $120/year.

It’s simple. As a panelist, you will earn rewards by sending SBKC direct mail and email communications that you might otherwise disregard. SBKC mails you postage-paid envelopes, you stuff your junk mail into it and drop it into the mail. I send one envelope each week. The more you mail in, the more you earn!

The Small Business Knowledge Center (SBKC) studies marketing techniques and practices.  They securely dispose of your junk mail after they are done with it- no need to worry!

pngYou will receive points for your junk mail, and once you receive 2000 points, you will receive a $20 pre-paid Visa GiftCard!

You can also forward emails to SBKC as well.

They email you once a month to update you on the number of points you have and with any special projects they have going on. A few times a year they look for special types of mail, open enrollment solicitations, IRA, or other investment/retirement info. When they want those materials, they’ll email you and let you know- usually, there is a bounty of extra points available too!

Unlike many other programs, you can sign everyone in your home who is over the age of 18!

If you are interested in signing up, visit the SBKC page here and click on the JOIN NOW button. In the box next to: How did you hear about the SBKC Consumer Panel? Please type my name: Abby Hewes. I get points for referrals, and once you sign up and refer your friends, you will too!

 

Faith Chapel’s Meet The Need is Drive Through Today 4/5/2020

I’ve posted about Meet The Need at Faith Chapel before– It’s a great way to pick up some groceries if times are tough for you. Usually, there is a little fellowship and the chance to pick up second-hand household goods and clothing (and they usually have diapers too- you just have to ask). Paster Josiah and his helpers aren’t letting the current crisis stop them from helping those in need!

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This Sunday Meet The Need drive-thru. In an effort to abide by the safety health ordinances within San Diego County due to the COVID-19 crisis, they are changing how they serve the community but certainly will not stop serving it. They will be providing a ready to eat meal & groceries this Sunday from 1:00pm-3:00pm.

The food will be distributed through your car window, so no need to leave your car, at the flagpole, outside the main sanctuary in the upper parking lot. They’ll be taking above and beyond precautions for health safety and social distancing.

No need to sign up in advance- all sign ups will be done on site!

Weekly Meal Plan & How You Can Do It Too!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgNow, more than ever, it’s important to plan meals and use what you have on hand. While the grocery store is still on “Ok to visit” list, it is important to limit our exposure to other people.

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.

  • Monday: Frozen Entrees & Veggies
  • Tuesday: Casserole (probably Chicken Tetrazzini)
  • Wednesday: Pasta with red sauce and garlic bread
  • Thursday: Frozen Entrees & Veggies
  • Friday: Breakfast for dinner: Bagels and cream cheese, smoothies, fruit
  • Saturday: Leftover fiesta!
  • Sunday:  Chicken Soup (from Scratch)

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?

1 Month of MyPanera+ Coffee FREE

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Thanks to Brooke from Crying Out Loud for the heads up on this sweet deal!

Weight Watchers and Panera are teaming up to give you one free month of MyPanera+ Coffeea new monthly subscription for unlimited coffee.

Enter code WWCoffee at registration to redeem.

When you subscribe to MyPanera+ Coffee you get unlimited light roast, dark roast, hazelnut, iced coffee or hot tea for $8.99/month. ANY SIZE!

If you live near a Panera and drink a lot of coffee, this is a pretty good deal.  If you do a drip coffee or hot tea 4 times per month at most coffee shops, you could have paid for a month of MyPanera+.

If you are staying in the cafe, Redeem your subscription once up to every two hours with unlimited refills while you’re in the cafe.

Coffee House Copycat Recipes & Enter to French Roast K-Cup® Pods!

I love Cross Country Cafe! They always have great deals, contests, and recipes!

Barista Prima French Roast K-Cup® Pods box of 24Right now, they are running a contest for FOUR full-size boxes of French Roast K-Cup® coffee pods! Enter to win before March 30th, 2020.

One of the ways that we stay on budget is to limit how many coffee shop beverages we have each week.  I load $25 every two weeks onto my Starbucks card. Honestly, it’s usually used on treats for the kiddos.

I make a big pot of French Roast Coffee each morning and make our coffee shop style beverages with it as the base. Here are a few of our favorites:

Quick & Easy Misto (aka a Cafe au Lait)

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Hot Coffee (prepared however you like)
  • 1 cup milk (whatever kind you like, I prefer whole or 2%).
  • Sweetener, if desired
  • Ground Nutmeg or Cinnamon, if desired

Directions:

  1. In a heatproof cup, heat milk for approx. 30 seconds in the microwave.
  2. Froth milk in a Magic bullet, blender, or using a Milk Frother. This takes about 30 seconds. The more fat the milk contains, the foamer the milk gets. Fat-free milk (either dairy or non-dairy) does not get too frothy.
  3. Pour Hot Coffee into your serving cup. Add your sweetener and stir. This is a great time to try a new sweetened syrup!
  4. Using a spoon, Push frothed milk to the side and pour milk over the coffee.
  5. Top with Foam if desired.
  6. Get extra fancy and sprinkle the top of the foam with nutmeg or cinnamon!
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Hot, frothy milk!
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The finished product, time for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick & Easy Mocha: If you love a Cafe Mocha to start your day, simply add 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix or instant hot chocolate (I like this dark chocolate hot chocolate) to the milk before your heat and froth it. Follow the same directions as above.

Caramel Macchiato: Pour 1 cup, hot frothed milk into your mug, followed by 6 ounces of very strong hot coffee. Top with a little more foam, and drizzle caramel syrup over the top of the foam.

Cinnamon Dulce Latte: Pour Coffee into mug, add steamed milk and two pumps/Tablespoons of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cooled/leftover coffee makes GREAT iced coffee. Simply pour over ice, add any milk and sweetener/syrup you’d like and serve. YUM!

For an Iced Mocha, mix 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix to the milk before adding it to your ice and coffee.

I love the Torani Sugar Free syrups, they come in over 40 flavors and most of them are great in coffee. We like the following flavors:

  • Irish Coffee (it’s non-alcoholic)
  • Caramel
  • Hazelnut
  • French Vanilla
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon
  • Almond
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Coconut (it’s good in a mocha)

unnamed.pngAnd Cross Country Cafe has a new recipe on their blog: Almond Milk Honey Flat White. Yum!

If you start your morning with a protein shake, here are a couple recipes for coffee drinks that use protein powder in place of milk.

3/19/2020 is the First Day of Spring- It’s Freebie Time!

71974a65b7f49aee0070fc46f9a63d4aSpring brings warmer weather, flowers, baby animals, and freebies.

Two of our favorite freebies will be available on the first day of spring:

Free Italian Ice at Rita’s on March 19th: Celebrate the arrival of spring with our favorite annual tradition – FREE Rita’s Italian Ice!

Stop by Rita’s for the First Day of Spring FREE Italian Ice giveaway on THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020, from noon to 9 PM (local time)

All guests who visit Rita’s will receive a FREE Italian ice in the available flavor of their choice served in our special First Day of Spring cup!

Free Small Ice Cream Cone at Dairy Queen on March 19th: Keep your eyes peeled for more details on their social media channels, but this deal has been going on for YEARS.

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?