2020 Summer Lunch Programs for Kids (And Other Free Food Resources in San Diego)

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I am usually sooo much more on top of these free lunch posts, but…well, life has been a little crazy around here, and all over the world.

Better late than never, so, here we go. In past years schools, libraries, and community centers have hosted these free lunches, this year, however, the list of facilities has decreased.

GUHSDIf you don’t find any facilities near you offering free lunches, I recommend contacting 211, they may have more updated information.

table of hopeAnd if you are in need of food for your entire family, but you find yourself not qualifying for P-EBT or other social services, I recommend that you check out Facebook. There are tons of local groups of neighbors getting together setting up Tables of Hope. In San Diego, there are several. Tables of Hope are small groups of neighbors that have set up food distribution tables within neighborhoods to help those who might be experiencing food insecurity.

Churches and community organizations are offering free food distributions that require no proof of need, like Faith Chapel in Spring Valley. They are offering free produce each Friday through mid-August. You can find out more info here.

And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.

There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.

Even if you are not in dire need, if you need help stretching your budget, these resources are here for you!

Talk Back: How are you stretching your food budget this summer?

6/22/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. I’ve been doing this for about a month, and I’ve gotten really good at hiding the extra snacks.

I went to the store last night and spent a little more than I usually do- We were out of a lot of staples. I try to keep the weekly grocery budget to around $100, last night I spent $150.

I was looking over everything last night and I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself- we are all home all the time, which means that we are all eating (and drinking) at home, and that means an increase in both food budget and cooking.

4 people eating 3 meals a day, 7 days a week is 84 meals per week, plus snacks and drinks. That’s approximately $1.78 per meal, per person. And I cook a lot from scratch- which saves us even more than buying convenience foods or eating out.  As you can see from our meal plan below, I’m not making Haute cuisine- It’s healthy, wholesome food that the kids enjoy.

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. I’ll be posting more info about summer lunches this afternoon or tomorrow.

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.

School has wrapped up, but we are starting distance learning summer school. It’s a lot less, but it will still keep the kiddos brains sharp. And we’ve recently started playing Pokemon Go to help get our bodies active. We go out for walks each day to try and get some monsters and steps. I love that the big kid has a pokemon Buddy in the game and as part of taking care of his buddy, he has to “walk” the buddy daily. It encourages him to get exercise and it teaches him empathy- something that can be hard for kids on the spectrum.

  • Sunday:  Customized mini pizzas for Father’s Day (We cooked them on our new Pizza Stone)
  • Monday Chicken Enchiladas, Beans, Rice, and Salad
  • Tuesday: Breakfast night (Pancakes, Eggs, bacon, fruit salad)
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and salad
  • Thursday: Pizza Night (pizza and salad or fruit)
  • Friday: Veggie Burgers or chick’n nuggets, salad or fruit
  • Saturday: leftover fiesta

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?

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce! This Friday, June 19th

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Our friends over at Faith Chapel understand that with all that’s going on in the world that some of us still need help finding healthy food during this difficult time. And that’s it not always safe for us to go to the store or hit up a farmers market.

For the next NINE (9) weeks, Faith Chapel is offering FREE Fresh produce straight from the farmers to give to you! Distribution is happening this Friday, June 19th, beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. Take as much as you’d like! Tell your family and friends!

Here is an example of what was offered last week: unnamedNavel Oranges, Grapefruit, Plumcots, Lemons, and nectarines. All free.

Faith Chapel is located at 9400 Campo Road Spring Valley, CA 91977

5/25/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the kids at home learning schedules, and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier. This is only kinda working- I need to do a better job of hiding the snacks that are meant for the future.

The big kid and I went to the store on Saturday- all masked up and ready to hunt for bargains. We went over budget by about $20, but we stocked up on some extra stuff like a big bag of frozen mango chunks, more eggs (we’ve been eating a lot more eggs recently as the price of meat keeps going up), and cheese.

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.

We’re wrapping up distance learning in the next two weeks. That means I’ll be looking for more fun stuff for us to do. Our local parks are opening up to walking and I think we’ll be getting outside more as we are able.

  • Sunday:  Leftovers
  • Monday Cheese enchiladas, Right Rice, and Beans
  • Tuesday:Veggie Stir Fry with Lo Mein
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and veggie bowls (with rice)
  • Thursday: Pizza Night!
  • Friday:Cheesy Chicken Broccoli casserole, kale salad. The casserole has a very small amount of chicken, so I can scoop some out for the big kiddo and he can have some meat-free.
  • Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (possibly breakfast burritos)

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?

5/10/2020 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the kids at home learning schedules, and prepping the snack box for the week.

I’ve been buying snacks in bulk and only putting weeks worth out in the snack box. It keeps us out of the stores, and its healthier.

And I’ve been trying to visit the store once a week or less. I stocked up yesterday on stuff the kids love (and eat a lot of), so we should be good for the week.

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.

We’re on week 4 of distance learning. It’s finally become a habit, and there are plenty of chances to play and get our wiggles out. I bought the kids a kiddie pool for the patio and that is totally helping them get out the pent up energy.

  • Sunday:  Cheeseburger Salad (It’s a cheeseburger served sans bun on a bed of greens). The kids will have chick’n nuggets as Big dude is a vegetarian, and Bitty doesn’t like red meat.
  • Monday: Cheesy Chicken Broccoli casserole, fruit salad, Texas Toast and leftover nuggets. The casserole has a very small amount of chicken, so I can scoop some out for the big kiddo and he can have some meat-free.
  • Tuesday: Bean, Rice, and cheese bowls with grilled veggies
  • Wednesday:BBQ chicken and veggie bowls (with rice)
  • Thursday: Pizza Night!
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Waffles and fruit salad

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?

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!

 

4/13/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI went to the grocery store on Friday to stock up on essentials. I was hoping to go two weeks between trips, but the kids found the snacks. This time I’ve done a much better job of hiding them.

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.

The Big Kid is starting distance learning this week, so I’m trying to use the downtime I’ve got to do food prep and keep up on household chores.

  • Monday: Italian Feast Night (I’m making a batch of meat and veggie sauce, that I’ll be serving with pasta, as well as garlic bread, steamed veggies, and leftover pizza for the big kid since he doesn’t eat meat)
  • Tuesday: Baked Potatoes, Soup/Salad
  • Wednesday: Frittata and Fruit
  • Thursday: Pizza Night!
  • Friday: Frozen Entrees & Veggies
  • Saturday: Leftover fiesta!
  • Sunday:  Baked Pasta & Veggies

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?

Special Cash Back Offers from Checkout51!

89281_separate_list_image_1584553711.jpgCheckout 51 is hooking us up right now with some great savings on staples that most of us are buying right now. 51.jpg

Bread, Eggs, and fresh bananas or apples! .25 per offer isn’t a ton of money, but these days with coupons drying up, and most stores not running really great sales, you have to take savings where you can!

If you are new to  Checkout 51, it’s a great app that’s been around for 5 years or so.

Checkout51 is NOT store specific! Checkout 51 is a savings program that’s so easy to use, and no Smartphone is needed! It’s an app on your iPhone or Android phone, or you use your computer.

Checkout 51 is so easy: Purchase specific products (and these products change each Thursday, so make sure you check out the app/website before heading out to shop), scan and upload your receipts weekly.

In addition to saving on groceries, there is also a cashback on GASOLINE component to Checkout 51. You can learn more here.

Oh, and if you are new and sign up for Checkout 51, you will score a $5 bonus after you redeem your first offer! It keeps getting better!

Funovation Panel is Looking for New Members!

The Funovation Panel is a community of families that provide their feedback about new toys, videos, images, and much more.

They are looking for new members to help them understand what families want from toys today.

Members are invited to participate in projects such as in-home toy tests, early screening of TV shows, trend identification, and providing input on toys and ideas in the early stages of development. Help shape what will appear in stores and on screens across the world to better suit your family!

Also, to show our appreciation, for every Funovation survey you complete, you will be entered into a draw for one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. That starts with this one, so click here!

 

 

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!