Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Stay Indoors Easier

file9831347376219.jpgA lot of people are posting about stocking up on essentials, or ways to make your own hand sanitizer in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

I don’t want to freak out or spread any misinformation, so instead, I’m going to focus on how you can get your home ready in case you have to quarantine, either because of illness/exposure or because of a government mandate.

What can you do to prepare your home?

Make sure that you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet. I don’t mean a years supply, maybe just enough to get you through an illness (like you would buy if someone in your home came down with a cold or cough), or in the case of #4, enough menstruation supplies for 1 period (most of us with periods have that in our homes anyway).

  1. Enough of your daily prescription meds for 14+ days.
  2. Pain relievers- Tylenol, Motrin, Advil.
  3. Cold /cough remedies- Sudafed, Mucinex, cough syrup. Don’t forget to have kid versions too!
  4. Menstruation supplies- Pads, Tampons, Cups, period panties.
  5. Any other OTC meds that you and your family use regularly.

Food– This is a tough one because each family is different. I recommend doing a pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory and make notes on what you have. I’d pick up a few extra things that are “must-haves” in your home. For us, that’s bagels and cream cheese. Bread products can be frozen, so I tossed a few extras in the freezer, as well a few extra quarts of milk.

I also picked up some of the shelf-stable milk quarts, like these. They are great for camping, as they don’t have to be refrigerated until after they are opened. They are also great for cooking.  I have also picked up some pantry staples so that we can have homemade baked goods (it gives us an activity and food!).

If you are worried about not having enough food because your budget doesn’t allow for an extra stock-up trip to the grocery store, there are food resources to help you. Check out this page for San Diego County food resources. If you are in Northern SD County, there is a list here. If you live outside San Diego County, but within the US, call 211 for assistance.

Cleaning Supplies-I cleaned out under our kitchen sink and organized all of the cleaning supplies- and I also have been cleaning the house. It was originally because we were hosting a birthday party, but, now it will be nice to have a clean house in case we are stuck inside.

A few of the cleaning supplies that are good to have on hand include:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia (but never mix it with bleach or any other cleaning chemical)
  • Pine-Sol or Fabuloso
  • Spray bottles for bleach/water mixtures, Ammonia/water mixtures
  • sponges
  • Magic Erasers
  • Paper towels
  • baking soda or Comet/Ajax (to scrub sinks/toilets/bathtubs)
  • White vinegar
  • Oxi-Clean
  • Laundry Soap
  • Laundry stain pre-treater

These are what we keep on hand all the time. I am pretty old school. I use ammonia as a degreaser to clean the stovetop, range hood, and mop the kitchen floor.

Something to do- I think this is something that most of us are forgetting about. Without school, work, the gym, clubs, or other outside activities, Netflix is going to get really boring really fast.

I did a craft supply reorganization yesterday and pulled together stuff for a bunch of different crafts the kids can do. If you have crafty kids, but not a lot of craft supplies, a quick trip to Dollar Tree with $20 can hook you up with a decent selection of supplies. If you don’t have a chance to go, Dollar Tree has “Pick and Pack” service. They have some craft supplies that would be great- canvases, construction paper, glue sticks, etc.

I will be finishing up the basket of UFO (Unfinished Outlying Projects) sewing, and probably start on a few new things that I’ve been planning (like curtains). I’ve got plenty of fabric and thread. No trip to the store will be needed.

We’ll be hitting up the library today or tomorrow for some books for the kids. But we’ve also got Epic on the iPads, and well as some other educational apps (I’ll be posting a list of free apps later today).

I went through all of our games and pulled out some newer ones that the kids haven’t played, or haven’t played in a while. I foresee lots of family game time.

Some government officials and municipalities are telling people to keep a 6-foot distance from others and no handshakes/hugs. That’s is great to control the spread of illness, but I can’t keep my kids inside all the time. Which is why we’ll be playing in our outdoor space/patio, and the green area outside our home, while carefully avoiding others. I may also take them hiking- many of the trails that we frequent are not heavily used. It is rare that we see other people. The fresh air will do them good. If you have a yard, send your kids outside to play or read outside. We want to avoid others to contain the spread of disease.

file801244167702.jpgAnd my final bit of advice: WASH YOUR HANDS FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS OF SCRUBBING. Use soap. Dry your hands with a paper towel. Use hand sanitizer as needed, but it is not a substitute for handwashing. Try not to touch your face (This is super hard, I know). 

Please be safe!

 

 

Getting Crafty with Dollar Tree!

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Now through 4/4/2020, Dollar Tree is hosting a Best DIY Spring Wreath Photo Contest! You could win a $100 Dollar Tree Gift Card. To enter or learn more, click here.

I’m going to check out the Dollar Tree next door and see what I can make!

Did you know that you can order from Dollar Tree Online and have it shipped for just $4.95 (*Restrictions apply. See website for details.)? Perfect for planning Easter events!

pick.pngI just discovered that if you don’t need an entire case of 1 item, Dollar Tree has “Pick and Pack” service. This would be great for restocking up craft supplies, household goods, or picking up seasonal or holiday goods!

 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Cash Back on GAS with Checkout 51!

file7371256164536.jpgYou read that right!

Save on every fill-up at participating gas stations, every single week (yeah, seriously!) with  Checkout 51!

Head to the app to find a station near you. I’ve done it for the past month, and I’ve gotten almost $10 cash back!

New to Checkout 51? Check out my post with more details here.

Checkout 51 is sweetening the deal too- When you sign up here and scan in your first receipt, you’ll get a $5 bonus!

If you are already a Checkout 51 user, refer your friends and you’ll earn $10 when a new user scans in their first receipt (and they still earn $5).  Everyone wins!

MyPoints: Refer Friends and You Both Earn 300 Points!

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I’ve been using MyPoints since 2011, and I’ve earned a lot of cashback just by doing my normal online shopping through MyPoints.

Right now they are offering a great deal! When you refer a new user, and they earn 300 points, you both get a 300 point bonus. It’s easy to earn 300 points!

I love using MyPoints. I can earn points shopping online and utilizing in-store pick up with stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and JCPenney.

  • I ordered new shoes for the big kid yesterday for in-store pick up from JCP and earned 310 points!

There are so many point earning opportunities.

  • We did our taxes using Turbo Tax and clicked through a link to Turbo Tax on Mypoints and earned 1500 points! That’s enough points for a $10 Gift Card!

You can double dip on earning points or cash back by using a point earning credit card like American Express or Discover Cards, or taking advantage of a points program that rewards you for purchases on their website, like JCP Rewards.

I love that I can earn Amazon Gift cards which I use to offset the cost of holiday gifts.

Talk Back: What is your favorite Cashback program?

 

2/3/2020 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgToday is my birthday, we will be redeeming a lot of my birthday freebies with this week. Little Girl and I will be enjoying a free lunch many times, as we can still share an entree.

My shopping week for this week was small:

  • Cheese
  • Avocados (Always on the shopping list)
  • Milk
  • Fresh Rolls (The local Food4Less makes incredible rolls and at .25/each, they are a tasty bargain)

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.

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For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Birthday Dinner (Not quite sure what this will entail)
  • Tuesday: Vegetable Soup- We’ve got a lot of little bits of veggies in the freezer and fridge- Time for soup!
  • Wednesday: Frozen Entrees
  • Thursday: Roasted Chicken and Veg
  • Friday:   Veggie Stir Fry & Brown Rice (We didn’t end up having this last week)
  • Saturday: Pizza
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

 

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

1/31/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxesI’m stoked for this Freebie Friday! My birthday is Monday, and my inbox has been flooded Birthday Freebies. The freebies and deal below are awesome!

Freebies:

Deals:

New To Costco? Join and Score a Free Gift Card!

We Love Costco. Seriously- Between the low prices on staples like toilet paper, trash bags, coffee creamer (I’m being serious), and PBFit, the samples (sometimes it’s the only way I can convince the kids to go with me), and their awesome return policy, if you havne’t joined Costco yet, I’ve got a really great reason- Free Gift Card.

Yup- Right now when you purchase a Costco Membership Activation Certificate to join as a new member (sorry current members, this deal isn’t for you) and you will receive a Costco Shop Card.

Gold Star Members receive a $10 Costco Shop Card, Gold Star Executive Members receive a $20 Costco Shop Card.

It’s quick and easy:

  1. Purchase your Costco Membership Activation Certificate Here.
  2. Receive your Costco Membership Activation Certificate by email.
  3. Bring your Costco Membership Activation Certificate to any U.S. or Puerto Rico Costco location to join as a new member.

You can use the Shop Card to buy anything in-store, online, or even at the Costco gas Station! WOO HOO- Free Gas!

My Hot Tip for Costco: Get a Rotisserie Chicken! They are $6 (or less), and they are so much bigger than the ones at the grocery store. We can get at least 3 meals from one chicken, and that includes using the carcass to make chicken soup from scratch.