10/3/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgWoo! Halloween is in less than 30 days! Time to start planning and sewing my friends.

With the surprising increase in the price of gas over the past 10 or so days, I decided to inventory the pantry really well yesterday and plan meals based on what we already have, or that require not too many additional items.

For my lunches this week, I’m making a pasta salad using up marinated artichoke hearts, jarred roasted peppers, bow tie noodles, and some leftover veggies from the fridge. I may also add cubed cheese too.

I hit up the grocery store and picked up milk, bread, and a few veggies (onions and strawberries), and our meal plan for the week is ready to go.

No CSA box this week, we got a jumbo box last week and we are still munching through it.

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. I received 5 coupons last week, and I need to hit up Sprouts this morning before work to redeem 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 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. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: I’ve got a couple casseroles/freezer meals this week, and other than that we’re eating easy and quick stuff so I can spend time playing, coloring, building legos, and swimming, which is the plan for the week.

  • Monday: Protein shakes or smoothies (We’re going to a special advanced screening of Lyle Lyle Crocodile)

  • Tuesday: Chick’n nuggets, Buttered noodles, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Wednesday: Dream Dinners Pesto Tortellini bake, green salad, garlic bread

  • Thursday:   Dream Dinners Lucky Dragon Pork Tenderloin with Jasmine Rice, stir-fried veggies

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:  Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit

9/30/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

It’s Friday, Friday.. something something Friday, or however that Rebecca Black song goes.

Anyway, I’m stoked about the weekend. The kids and I are going to the library and park after school, we’ve got martial arts tomorrow morning, and I’m going to a bachelorette party tomorrow night!

And- there are a lot of really great freebies and deals this week.

Don’t forget all of the 2022 Birthday Freebies! Make sure to check this article out and sign up for birthday freebies at least 2-3 weeks before your birthday.

Freebies:

Text for $10 Off at Lane Bryant = Free Item
Free Home Security Camera
Free Culina Plant-Based Yogurt After Rebate
Free Baby Samples & Full Sized Products from Amazon
Free Blake’s Crispy Treat at Sam’s
Free Bottle of Super Coffee After Rebate
Free Sample of Sorion Herbal Cream
Free Carolina Herrera Very Good Girl Eau de Parfum Sample
Free Viktor&Rolf Good Fortune Fragrance Sample
Verizon Up Rewards – 4 Free Fandango Movie Tickets
Last Chance for a $1 Shipped Personalized Children’s Book
Free $5 Staples Rewards
Free Jar of Outrage of Love Spice at Penzeys
Free Gratsy Box
Free Motorola Baby Monitor
Free Planters Sweet & Spicy Peanuts at Select Stores
Possible Free $125 Beverages Research Study
Free LED Flashlight at Harbor Freight
Free Bluetooth Conference Speakerphone
Free Lupii Plant-Based Protein Bar
Free Rise Brewing Co. Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
Free Copy of the Jiffy Mix Recipe Booklet
Free Sample of Derma E Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner
Free Degree Dry Spray Sample
Free Core Barat Kroger & Affiliates
Free Subscription to W Magazine
Free Vanity Mirror or Spa Set
Free Aveeno Body Wash
25 Free Disney Movie Insiders Points
Free Bloomingdale’s Little Freebies Box
Free Bath & Shower Set or Vanity Mirror for Tweens
Free Golden Wing Barley Milk
Free Food, Drinks & a Big Yellow Cup at Dickey’s
Free Simple Mills Nut Butter Stuffed Sandwich Cookies
Free Smartypants Kids Multivitamins at Sam’s
Free Comvita Raw Manuka Honey
Free Purina EverRoot Calming Dog Supplement
Free Tea at McAlister’s Deli
Free Coffee Every Friday at Cumberland Farms
Free Sun-Maid Recipe Booklets
Free Nike Products

 

Deals:

Raffia Earrings ONLY $6 (Reg. $10)
Tie-Dye Pajama Set ONLY $10.34 (Reg. $23)
Sofia Active Fleece Shorts ONLY $7.48 (Reg. $18)
Wireless Charger ONLY $15.95 (Reg. $27)
Conair Vanity Mirror ONLY $28 (Reg. $90)
Wildfox Women’s Sweatshirt ONLY $16.61 (Reg. $88)
Bracelet Set ONLY $4.19 (Reg. $14)
100 Colored Pencils ONLY $13 (Reg. $27.49)
Women’s Apparel Clearance from $4 at Walmart
Cheap TV Deal – 65 inch 4K Roku Smart TV ONLY $368 (Reg $448)
Rimmel Eye Liner ONLY $0.69 (Reg. $4.49)
Professional Pedicure Kit ONLY $9.98 (Reg. $43.89)
Rimmel Eye Makeup Remover ONLY $0.69 ($4.49)
Rimmel Lip Gloss ONLY $0.39 (Reg. $3.99)

Cents of Style Amazing Deal of the Week: NEW Boyfriend Tee ONLY $9.99!

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

I love Cents of Style’s shirts: Cassie Crew Boyfriend Tee and Molly V-neck (I have ordered three) are on sale this week!

Not only are these shirts oversized and dreamy…but you’ll also fall in love with the price at ONLY $9.99 each!

Remember to us Coupon Code YESPLEASE to take 20% off which drops the price to $9.99! And don’t forget: FREE Shipping over $40!

MyPoints: Refer Friends and You Both Earn 300 Points!

I’ve been using MyPoints since 2011, and I’ve earned a lot of cashback just by doing my normal online shopping through MyPoints. About $550, to be exact.

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 Christmas Gifts and earned 1200 points.

There are so many point-earning opportunities.

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 gift cards which I use to offset the cost of holiday gifts.

Talk Back: What is your favorite Cashback program?

9/26/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI skipped meal planning last week. It was very busy, and there have been some kiddo-related issues that I’ve been dealing with, as well as working extra hours in the morning at my day job.

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday for milk, bread, and a couple things for school lunches. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which will be delivered this afternoon.

I did a mini bundle at Dream Dinners this month, and we’ll be enjoying a few of those meals as well.

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. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

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. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Dream Dinners Jambalaya (no shrimp for me), roasted veggies

  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner (bagels, fresh fruit salad, protein shakes)

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes – we didn’t have them last week, Salad

  • Thursday:   Chef Salad, garlic cheese toast

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Dream Dinners Central Park Chicken with Creamed Peas, fruit salad

Tea Collection: Up To 40% Off Sale & Clearance!

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

Tea Collection is hooking us up with 192 new Fall markdowns + take up to 40% off sale & clearance prices!

It’s true! Now is a great time to shop wear-now styles at super-duper prices—including dozens of new markdowns.

Deal: Extra 25% Off Sale and Extra 40% Off Clearance
Coupon Code: PUMPKIN
Valid Through Friday, September 23, 2022, through Monday, September 26, 2022.

9/23/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

Again this week we’ve had a lot of kiddo-based stuff happen, and I’m picking up more hours at work, so I haven’t had the energy to blog much.

Never fear, I’ve got Freebies and Deals for you!

Don’t forget all of the 2022 Birthday Freebies! Make sure to check this article out and sign up for birthday freebies at least 2-3 weeks before your birthday.

Freebies:

Free Moroccanoil Hydrating Mask & LesserEveil Puff Samples
Free Goody Bag at buybuy BABY Stores
Free Haircut at Sport Clips

Free Sample of TruSkin Vitamin C Facial Serum

Free Huggies Potty Training Kit
Free Ithaca Hummus Squeeze Hummus
Free Baby Samples & Full Sized Products from Amazon
Free Axe Antiperspirant Stick or Dry Spray Sample
Focus Group Pays with Visa Debit Cards
Free Sample of Enfagrow Toddler Formula
Educators – Free LGBTQ-Inclusive Books
Free Dunham’s Gift Card Giveaway
Free Body Care Gift at Bath & Body Works
Free Food & Drinks at Circle K
Free Chiki Organic Product
Teachers – Free Zollipops for Your Class
Free Fragrance Samples from Macy’s
Bed Bath & Beyond Wedding Registry Freebies
Free Natean Toothpaste at Walmart
Free Pizookie at BJ’s
Free Small Combo Meal at Taco John’s
5 Free Tickets to SeaQuest Aquarium
Free Big Zax Snak Meal at Zaxby’s
Free Bad Athletics Scary Strong Sticker
Free Tarte Foundation
Free Blind Fate: Edo no Yami – Dojo PC Game
Free Teach Your Monster to Read App
25 Free Disney Movie Insiders Points

 

Deals:

Womens Shoes 75% Off – Only $9 Free Shipping
Halloween Costumes for $5 at Walmart
Cookie Prep Set 17-Piece ONLY $10.13 (Reg $29)
Surprise Toy Mini Brands Collectors Case ONLY $5.70 (Reg $10)
Vitafusion Gummy Vitamins ONLY $6.99 (Reg. $15.99)
Get 3 Free Audiobooks
Men’s 2-Piece Pajama Set ONLY $10 (Reg $40)
Coach Umbrella’s Only $26.52 + Free Shipping (reg $78)
Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle ONLY $149.00 (Reg $300)
Ring Alarm Starter Kit 1st Gen ONLY $99 (Reg $200)
Lights & Easy Robot Vacuum Cleaner ONLY $149.99 (Reg $350)
Gibson 30-pc Ceramic Dinnerware Set ONLY $55.99 (Reg $120)
Get Rewarded for Paying Your Rent – Free $30 at Sign Up

Using CVS Offers to Your Advantage! How I Paid $5.47 for Over $50 in products!

I have posted about it before, and I am a huge fan of CVS. They have their CarePass, which is pretty inexpensive ($5-ish a month or $48/year if you pay for it all at once).  One of the perks is you get a $10 ExtraCare Bucks each month, for a total of $120 per year. I posted about it before but I got more information here, and overall I think it’s a pretty great deal.

You probably also remember one of the reasons that I love CVS is they have Pharmacy and Health Rewards. When you fill 10 prescriptions at their pharmacy you receive a $5.00 ExtraCare Bucks that you can spend any place in the store.

With the number of prescriptions my family has, we earn a $5.00 ExtraCare Bucks every two months. Which is pretty decent. Between the CarePass, and Pharmacy and Health Rewards, we usually have between 10 and $15 in “free“ money to spend at CVS at any given time.

I went in this morning to go pick up a prescription and noticed that they had a lot of snacks on sale/marked down, and with ExtraCare Bucks rewards. I quickly scrolled through my CVS app and noticed I had six dollars off any purchase of $30 or more and my $10 CarePass ExtraCare Bucks, and a $5.00 Pharmacy ExtraCare Bucks Reward.

Knowing that we needed both cereal and snacks and I walked up and down the snack/cereal aisle and quickly set upon a plan.

  • Chips Ahoy and Oreo cookies are 2/$7 or 2/$8 (depending on the product) this week. When you buy two select, you’ll receive a $2 ExtraCare Bucks (limit one per person/account). My kids loved both Oreos and Chips Ahoy, so I picked two of each.
  • We were also out of Motts fruit snacks, and they are buy one get one free so I snagged two boxes as well.
  • Rice crispy treats are buy one get one free, so I grabbed two of those.
  • Cereal was on sale buy one box get one free with select Kellogg’s varieties, so I grabbed two boxes as well.

Now, this may look like a lot of junk food, but this is about three weeks’ worth of stuff to go in lunches (and about 2 weeks worth of cereal for me). The cereal is for me, but the rest is going to go in kid’s lunches or be available for snacks- I portion out the snacks and put them into the snack box in the cupboard. I will be hiding about half of it so that they don’t know we have tons of it and just mow through it.

As you can see by looking at the video about and all the stuff I got, it’s a pretty substantial amount. I ended up paying $9.47 out of pocket, and I received $4.00 back in ExtraCare Bucks.

$2.00 for purchasing to select Nabisco Oreo cookies, and a second $2 ExtraCare Bucks for purchasing two chocolate bars, cookies, select chips ahoy, or premium crackers.

Making my grand total after ExtraCare Bucks $5.47. That is one heck of a deal. I’ve also submitted my receipt to Fetch Rewards for points, and to Receipt Hog for points!

And I was in and out of the store in less than 20 minutes (including time to wait in line to pay). Doing drug store deals doesn’t have to be long and tedious. And sometimes it’s a small deal.

It’s worth the time to download the CVS app, join the ExtraCare club to save money, and join CarePass. You’ll find deals weekly (or monthly in my case when I go in). You’ll be saving money in no time!

9/13/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’m so tired of it being so humid. Last week we were inside a lot between the heat/humidity and the rain from Tropical Storm Kay. We ate a lot of fruit last week, and the CSA box came yesterday, so we’re going to do it again!

I hit up the grocery store on Sunday. Again this week but we’re eating out of the pantry and our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box, which was delivered yesterday afternoon. With the increased cost of groceries, I’m really leaning on cooking meals from our pantry stables and using fresh produce.

I did a bunch of meal prep yesterday afternoon to cut down on cooking time:

  • Marinated Salad (I’ve been using pre-made vinaigrette dressings instead of making my own)
  • Mixed Veggies to roast (I’ll do that later this week)
  • Sliced watermelon
  • Sliced strawberries

I’ll make a fruit salad later in the week when the stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines) ripen.

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. I picked up 5 new products to try this week at Sprouts last night using my Social Nature coupons!

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. These snacks make up most of the kid’s lunches during the school week. School lunches are still free, but on most days, they prefer to bring their lunches from home.

Dinner: Now that school is in session and our weekday schedule is cemented, I’m using one weekend morning to do some baking/side dish meal prep, and Monday afternoons after school/work to prep the CSA box goodies.  As the price of groceries goes up, I find myself buying less meat, relying more on sale/clearance prices, and repurposing leftovers.

  • Monday: Home-Made Pizza, Fruit

  • Tuesday:  Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Veggies

  • Wednesday: Loaded Smashed Potatoes (Recipe coming this week), Salad

  • Thursday:   Grilled Cheese or Quesadillas, Soup, & Salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday: Fruit Salad, Funeral Potatoes, Toast

Office Depot: Recycle Toner/Ink Cartridges and Earn Money!

I haven’t talked about this in a while, but this is a good way to help the earth and your pocketbook.

If you have an Office Depot/Office Max nearby, you can recycle your ink or toner cartridges in-store and earn credit to spend in the store. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Bring your empty cartridges to the cash register. Any brand, from any store. Office Depot/Office Max will take it! Limit 10 cartridges per month.
  2. Make a $10 qualifying purchase during the same month.
  3. Get $2 back in rewards per recycled cartridge. Once the $10 qualifying purchase is satisfied, rewards will be paid out the next day as a rewards certificate online. Details and the fine print can be found here.

And if you need to buy more Ink/Toner, you can earn 30% back in bonus rewards when you buy your ink/toner at Office Depot/Office Max.

And if you are like me and don’t have time to pop out to buy ink during the week, Office Depot/Office Max offers Free next-business-day shipping on qualifying $45 orders. With back to school, I’m printing tons of permission slips and homework!