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?

3/13/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesI won’t be posting any in-store events or freebies this week, or for the foreseeable future. It will all be online deals (like Amazon), or freebies that you can request to be mailed to you. Better safe than sorry.

I will probably be posting more ways to make money at home (surveys, online research studies, etc) too.

Legit Online Research Studies/Money Making opportunities:

 

Samples and Goodies:

 

Deals:

 

Have a good weekend friends! Be Safe and Wash your hands!

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.

Host a SlimFast Keto Made Easy Party with Ripple Street

The peeps over at Ripple Street (Formerly known as Houseparty) have a new opportunity. This is great if you and your friends and/or family are on the keto lifestyle or have wanted to learn more about Keto.

unnamedHost a SlimFast Keto Made Easy Party

Invite your friends over to see how easy a Keto diet can be with the help of SlimFast Keto. Download the new SlimFast Together App and learn about the convenient meal planning tool that includes an automatic macro calculator and a large database of Keto foods and recipes. Review features such as a tracker for weight loss, meals, snacks, water, and daily exercise activity. Everyone will love sampling the delicious SlimFast Keto appetizers you make together, plus delicious SlimFast Keto snacks and bars. It’s the most convenient way to get started on the SlimFast Keto Plan with everything you need right at your fingertips. This is Keto made easy™.

This event is only open to residents of the contiguous US.

If you’re selected and confirmed as a host, your exclusive Party Pack will contain:

  • SlimFast Keto items
  • SlimFast Together mobile app instructions
  • And more

*Based on the SlimFast Plan (a reduced-calorie diet, regular exercise, and plenty of fluids). Individual results may vary. Read label prior to use. Check with your doctor if nursing, pregnant, under 18, or following a doctor prescribed diet.
To learn more or apply, click here.

March is National Craft Month! Free Crafts & Crafting Deals!

MyBluprint.comI learned today that March is Craft Month, which is awesome because I am always down for a good craft!

If you are looking for craft supplies on a budget, here are my top five tips:

  1. Thrift Stores are a great place to start scouring for craft supplies. Frequently thrift stores bundle up craft supplies.
  2. Sign up for rewards programs at your local craft stores and/or download their apps. Both Michaels and Joann Fabric & Crafts have apps with coupons to save you more!
  3. Dollar Tree has great craft supplies. Our favorites are their wooden boxes, craft kits, pom-poms, chenille stems, and hot glue sticks!
  4. Craft supply swaps are a great way to trade supplies. I host once a year or so, right before school lets out. Everyone brings their excess/unwanted craft supplies and it’s a free for all swap. Leftovers are donated to a local school or scout troop.
  5. If you have liquid/wet supplies (like ink pads, glue, paint, etc), make sure to check them before plotting out a project. Nothing is worse than sitting down to do a project to discover that your glue/paint/whatever is all dried out. BUMMER!

If you’ve got kiddos, check out the free week of crafts at Michaels, starting today.

AllFreeKidsCrafts Spring Crafts eBook is now available for download here. I found 3 new crafts for the kids to do today- they are going stir crazy because it’s raining here.

I know some of my readers love their wine, and if you are one of them, FaveCrafts has something just for you! Their latest free eBook, 25 Cool Things to Do with Old Wine Bottles is available here.

If you are looking for something different, perhaps learning a new skill or skills, check out Blueprint!

Blueprint has all kinds of online classes, videos, and articles that you can access with an unlimited membership, or you can take a singular class online. They also have a great selection of free articles and patterns here. Whether you want to learn about sewing, cooking, quilting, embroidery, art- Blueprint has classes for everyone!

In celebration of National Craft Month! Get ANY Blueprint class for just $10 with coupon code “CREATE10”!

 

Apply for a Tryazon Silk’n Infinitely Smooth Party!

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Tryazon has a new party that is accepting applications! If you struggle with old-fashioned hair removal processes like shaving, plucking or waxing? Experience a better solution and discover your confidence with this Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, featuring the Infinity Hair Removal Device from Silk’n. Put the power of the most advanced home hair removal technology right in the palm of your hand, and get safe, painless, irritation-free hair removal from the comfort of your home.

They have 250 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack with an Infinity Hair Removal Device valued at $399, PLUS a selection of other Silk’n products to share with friends and family!
We’ve done several Tryazon parties- it’s a great way to try and share new products!

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.