Meal Plan Monday

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I am taking full advantage of my subscription to Mealsbytheweek.com.  This week I am using most of the recipes found through their service.  Meals by the week combines meal planning with what is on sale at your grocery store helping you save even more money.

 

This week

Monday – Leftovers, Clean out the fridge day

Tuesday – Fried Chicken – recipe from a Bobby Flay chicken throwdown

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Braised Pork Chops

Thursday – Garlicky Baked Chicken

Friday – Toasted Walnut Chicken Salad w/ Caramelied Onions (with leftovers from Thurs)

Sat – Vegetarian Rice Skillet

Sun – Honey Dijon Baked Chicken

 

 

My Basic Shopping list for my meals this week…

red wine

raisins

italian bread

tomato paste

dijon mustard

honey mustard salad dressing

sour cream

parmesan cheese

greek yogurt

cheddar cheese

dried cranberries

cashews

almonds

balsamic vinegar

pearl onions

orange juice

lime juice

chicken

wild rice

carrots

salad greens

grapes

green beans

tomatos – 5

green onion

green beans

mushrooms

apples

pears

ginger

cumin

sesame seeds

 

 

 

Yoga with kids awake = almost impossible

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I don’t know if I am the only one that has this exact problem, but I have an issue trying to exercise, specifically yoga.  With having two kids it is difficult finding time to exercise between the housework, kids, and trying to exercise while at least one kid is napping.  My 3 yr old loves to ‘exercise’.  He loves it when I give him challenges like jumping jacks, pushups, wall jumps, crawling all sorts of things like that he loves.  And he LOVES it when it is time for Mommy to exercise.  He helps me start my yoga video, get out my yoga mat, and his yoga mat too.  It starts off great where we both try to copy the lady on tv.  But that doesn’t last 5 minutes before my ‘mountain pose’ because a tunnel for firetrucks to drive down.  And ‘down dog’ seems to be the best time to climb mommy aka a bridge.  So this battle goes on throughout my 30 minute attempt at working out.  And I love playing with him and it is quite comical most of the time, however still majorly difficult.  Does anyone else have this issue?  One of these days maybe I can get a video clip, because it is quite the hilarious event.

Money Saving Sunday

I love finding new ways to save money and saving an article of clothing or piece of furniture that just got a stain on it.   Getting new life out of something old is always fun.  I have blog hopped and searched for different homemade, safer cleaners.  Here is what I came up with.  Please visit each of these blogs for pictures, more info, and just because they are great.

Laundry

I have seen lots of tricks for getting stains out of your laundry.  My Mom swears by keeping the stained article next to the bathroom sink and every time she visits the bathroom she puts some hydrogen peroxide on it for a few days and then washes like normal in the washing machine.  Remember to check that stain before putting it in the dryer because heat can set the stain.

One Good Thing by Jillee has a great post about a cleaner she found for her laundry.  She says it is “the only spot remover you will ever need”.

1 part dawn dishwashing liquid

2 parts hyrdrogen peroxide

and if you need extra tough scrubbing power add a little baking soda for the scrubbing grit.  

Household Cleaner

I found another great cleaner recipe again from One Good Thing by Jillee.  This one is for a household cleaner.

1/4 C baking soda

hydrogen peroxide until you have a paste

Clean hard water stains, stainless steel, dirt, stain, grease, just about anything.

Drain Cleaner

Over at Tidy Mom she uses a natural mixture instead of the very harmful drano we have all become accustomed to.  

Pour 3/4-1C baking soda in the drain,

follow with 1/2C vinegar and immediately cover the drain  

let soak for 30 mins

run hot water for 2-3 mins

For really tough clogs, repeat.

Kitchen Cleaner

I found a great tutorial by The V Spot for cleaning stovetops and burners.

1/4C  ammonia in a ziploc bag with a burner

Soak overnight (outside)

She says the fumes, not the liquid are actually cleaning the grease and grime off.  Soak overnight (she suggests outside) and waaa – laaa you have a brand new looking burner.  A side note she mentioned – do not ever mix bleach and ammonia, it creates a toxic very harmful gas that is extremely bad for the respiratory system.  In fact just don’t ever mix bleach with anything to be safe.  A lot of common household chemicals have ammonia in them in some part.

Microsuede (couch)

Try using alcohol and a clean sponge to scrub away stains.  When you use water it can leave a water spot where you are cleaning because it takes a long time to dry. Alcohol dries a lot quicker and transfers the stain to the sponge.

Hard Water Build up on a Shower Head

A Real Life Housewife has great pictures of before and after using vinegar in a plastic bag over the shower head and tied on with a rubber band.  Let soak for about an hour, wipe clean, and shine all your fixtures with a vinegar soaked rag while you are at it.

All-purpose Cleaner

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp baking soda

1/4 gallon hot water

a drop pr two of essential oil (optional)

Mix all these ingredients, allow to cool, then pour into a clean spray bottle.  Make sure you label the bottle.

Found from Design Finch (along with other great homemade cleaner recipes).

Glass Cleaner

2 tsp white vinegar

1/4 gallon water

a few drops of lemon essential oil, lavender, or other clean scent essential oil

Mix together ingredients in a spray bottle, shake, spray on windows.  Try using a newspaper for a streak free shine.  This mixture could also be made like my homemade babywipes but as homemade windex wipes if you prefer to clean that way.  Found at Design Finch (along with other great homemade cleaner recipes).

Furniture Polish

1/4 cup olive oil

4 tbsp white vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

Mix ingredients well in a spray bottle or other bottle with a small easy pour spout.  Store extra in the refrigerator so it does not spoil.  Do you like like pledge wipes?  Make furniture wipes out of old flannel cut into squares and soaked in the homemade polish.  These can also be stored in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator.  Found from Design Finch (along with other great homemade cleaner recipes).

Dishwasher Soap

Equal parts borax and washing soda

Mix the ingredients and store in a labeled container. Use the amount normally called for in your dishwasher.  Found from Design Finch (along with other great homemade cleaner recipes).

Laundry Soap

1 cup unscented, dye-free soap (such as Ivory), grated or ground with a food processor

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup borax

a few drops of essential oil (optional)

Combine the ingredients and store in a labeled container. Use 1 tbsp for lighter loads and 2 tbsp for heavy loads.  And remember, try cutting your dryer sheets in half and using them twice.  Saves money and you get the same results!  Found from Design Finch (along with other great homemade cleaner recipes).

 

Another great thing at Design Finch, she has very cute printable home cleaning labels.  Check them out!

 

***Do not mix ammonia and bleach…EVER!****Do not mix bleach with anything!****

Top Deals to grab at Riteaid starting 1/22

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Here are the best deals coming up this week at Riteaid.  Thanks to iheartriteaid.com for the ad preview.

UP2U 3/$3 – $1 UP+ = 3/$2 (limit 4 UP+)

coupon $0.55/1 Mentos Gum, 15 ct+ (exp 03/01/2012) 01/01/2012 SS Insert

coupon $1/1 UP2U Gum Packs (exp 03/01/2012) 01/01/2012 SS Insert

3/$3

– $1 UP+

– (3)$1/1 coupon

= 3 for FREE limit of 4 UP+, that could be 12 free packs.  (**MM**)

Just For Men $5.99

-$1UPR

-$2 coupon 

There is also a MIR that would make this FREE, that can be printed HERE.

Conair brushes (start at $2.99) $2 UP+ = as low as $0.99

Finesse 2/$6 – $3 UP+ when you buy 2 = 2/$3 (limit 2 UP+)

coupon $1/1 Finesse Product (exp 01/30/2012) 10/16/2011 SS Insert

2/$6

-$3 UP+

-(2) $1/1 coupons

=2/$1

RA Valentine Candy 2/$1.98 – $1 UP+ on 2 = 2/$0.98

Post Cereals 2/$5 (11-24oz) $1 UP+ wyb 2 = 2/$4

coupon savingstar $1/3 Kellogg’s Cereals, 10 oz+ SavingStar

coupon $0.50/1 General Mills Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, Chex Mix, or Milk ‘N Cereal Bars

coupon $0.75/1 General Mills Fiber One Cereal

coupon $1/2 General Mills Cheerios Cereals

coupon $0.75/1 General MIlls Multi Grain Cheerios Cereal

coupon $0.50/1 General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

Buy 2 Fiber One or Cheerios

2/$5

-$1 UP+

-(2) $0.75/1 coupons

=2 for $2.50

OR

Buy 2 Cheerios and 2 Fiber One

4/$10

-$1 UP+

-$1 UP+

-(2) $0.75/1 coupons Cheerios

-(2) $0.75/1 coupons Fiber ONe

-$1.00 savingstar ($1.00/3)

=4 boxes for $4 or $1 each

KY B1G1 50% off, Buy 2 get $4 UP+

coupon ky.com

coupon walmart promo spin wheel (ky intense more expensive products

Cheapest starts at $5.49

50% off = $2.75

Buy 2

$5.49

+$2.75

-4 UP+

-$2 printable coupon (there used to be a $3 printable, I don’t see it available now though)

-$2 printable coupon

=$0.24

Riteaid starting 1/22

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In Ad Coupons

Advil $2 off

Loreal Preference hair color $9.99-2=$7.99

Loreal Sublime Mousse $8.99-2=$6.99

Loreal healthy look creme

4×6 digital prints $0.12

RA Omeprazole $19.99 – $5 coupon = $14.99

Style Sunglasses $19.99 – $5 in ad coupon – $5 UP+ = $9.99

 

UP+

Maybelline $3 UP+ wyb $10

Cereals 2/$5 (11-24oz) $1 UP+ wyb 2 = 2/$4

Folgers $8.99 – $1 UP+ = $7.99

Russel Stover, Whitmans candy $4.99 – $1 UP+ = $3.99

RA Valentine Candy 2/$1.98 – $1 UP+ on 2 = 2/$0.98

LUVS Family Pack $17.99 – $2 UP+ = $15.99

Nexxus $5 UP+ wyb $15

John Freida $11.99 – $2 UP+ = $9.99

Kushy Foot Socks, Tights, Flats – Buy 2 get $3 UP+

Finesse 2/$6 – $3 UP+ when you buy 2 = 2/$3 (limit 2 UP+)

Covergirl blast products $7.99 – $1 UP+ = $6.99

All simple skincare $5 UP+ wyb $15

Almay Eye makeup $5.99 – $1 SCR = $4.99

Garnier Skincare B1G1 50% off, Buy 2 get $3 UP+

Clearasil perfect wash face wash system $15.99 – $2 UP+ = $13.99

Clearasil Buy 2 get $2 UP+, B1G1 50% off

Loreal youth code or clinical repair Buy 2 get $5 UP+ ($5 off regular price)

Claritin D $3 UP+

Cold-eeze $9.99 – $5 UP+ = $4.99

Aleve $5.99 – $1 UP+ = $4.99

Prilosec $19.99 – $3 UP+ = $16.99

Naturemade Buy $20 get $10 UP+

Nicorette $59.99 – $10 UP+ = $49.99

$50 off roller walker or transport chair, and $20 UP+

Rohto, Similisan $2 UP+

coupon $1.50/1 Feb All You

coupon $2/1 SS 1/1/12

RA mens 2/5 blade razor or refill cartridge, womens 5 blade razor or refill cartridge 2/$11 = $2 Style Sunglasses $19.99 – $5 in ad coupon – $5 UP+ = $9.99 = 2/$9

Sandisk/PNY 8 G SD or flashdrive $19.99 – $3 UP+ = $16.99

Conair brushes (start at $2.99) $2 UP+ = as low as $0.99

KY B1G1 50% off, Buy 2 get $4 UP+

CFL light blulbs $3.99-$3 UP+ = $0.99

UP2U 3/$3 – $1 UP+ = 3/$2 (limit 4 UP+)

Coke 3/$13.98 – $2 UP+ on 3 = 3 / $11.98

Just for Men touch of gray $5.99 – $1 UP+ = $4.99

Schick Hydro $7.99 – $4 UP+ = $3.99

Dayquil/Nyquil = $9.99 – $2 UP+ = $7.99

 

Other deals worth noting

Finish, Ajax, Kleenex B1G1 FREE

Spend $25 get $10 UP+ select Oral Care (check scr for qualifying products)

 

 

 

Riteaid starting 1/15

Pepto $2 off in ad coupon

GE light bulbs $2.99 – $2 in ad coupon = $0.99

Free bag of candy w/ $10 American Greetings purchase with in ad coupon

Almay cosmetics

$4 off in ad coupon

$1 off SCR on eye makeup

 

Tide $8.95 – $1 UP = $7.95

coupon 1/1/12 p&g $2/1

=$5.95

Dove 2/$6 – $2 UP = 2/$4

coupon $1/1 Dove Men+Care Body and Face Wash, 13.5 oz.+ SavingStar

coupon printable

 

Optive & Refresh $8.99-$2 UP =$6.99

 

Skintimate 2/$5-$1 UP+ on 2 = 2/$4

coupon $0.55/1 Skintimate Shave Gel 01/15/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/26/2012)

=$2.90/2 or $1.45 each with 2 coupons

 

Intuition, Quattro (3 or 4 ct) $8.99-$3 UP+ = $5.99

coupon $2/1 Schick Intuition Razor or Refill 01/15/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/26/2012)

=$3.99 with coupon

 

Gillette fusion, proglide, mach 3 ($10 UP+ wyb $30)

coupon $5/1 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor 01/01/2012 P&G Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

coupon $1/1 Gillette Pro Series Fusion Skin Care Product 01/01/2012 P&G Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

 

American Crew, Chi, Rusk, Bigsexyhair ($5 UP+ wyb $30)

 

Blistex 2/$3 – $1 UP+ on 2 = 2/$2

$1/2 Blistex Lip Care Product 11/13/2011 SS Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

=$0.50 each with coupon

 

Depend, Guard, Poise $12.99 – $2 UP+ = $10.99

 

Dayquil/Nyquil 2/$11.98-$2 UP+ on2 = 2 for $9.98

 

Delsym adult/childrens, Mucinex $9.99 get $1 UP+ = $8.99

 

Pediacare/Little Fevers $5.99 – $3 UP+=$2.99

coupon $1/1 printable

=$1.99 with coupon

 

Prevacid $24.99 – $5 UP+=$19.99

 

ACT mouthrinse $4.49

$1/1 Act, 16.9 oz+ 01/15/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/14/2012)

 

Dove and Degree deodorant 2/$4 – $2 UP+ on 2 = $1 each

 

Tom’s (oral care products) $3.99-$3 = $0.99

 

7up 3/$3.99 – $2 in ad coupon = $0.99

 

Libman Freedom mop $19.99 – 3 UP+ = $16.99

 

Ziploc 2/$5 – $1/2 coupon – $1/2 UP+ = 2/$3

coupon $1/2 1/15/12 SS

 

Burt’s Bees $5 UP+ wyb $20

 

Pain Buster, nutra nail $1 UP+ and B1G1 50% Off

 

NYC Get $1 UP+ when you spend $1.99 or more

 

Aleve 100ct/liquigel 40 ct $8.99-$2 UP+ – $2 coupon – $1 vv coupon = as low as $3.99

coupon printable

coupon $2/1 Aleve Product, excludes D, 20 ct+ 01/01/2012 SS Insert (exp 03/31/2012)

coupon vv $1/1 Aleve, 40 ct,  Videos available to watch until 12/31/2011 Rite Aid Video Values

coupon printable

 

Bayer Aspirin 200c/advanced80ct   $8.99-$2 UP+ – $1.50 coupon = as low as $5.49

coupon printable $1/1

coupon printable $1.50/1

coupon $1.50/1 Bayer Advanced Aspirin 10/23/2011 RP Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

 

 

Oxy $4.99 buy 2 get $2 UP+

 

Loreal Skincare $5 UP+ wyb $15, B1G1 50% off

 

Cortizone, Goldbond anti-itch $6.99 – $1 UP+

 

Ace, Futuro, Nexcare $10 UP+ wyb $30

 

Riteaid baby bath, skincare, babywipes, swabs 2/$5

Riteaid toothbrushes, mouthwash, rinse, toothpaste 2/$7 – $2 UP+ wyb 2 = 2 for $5

Riteaid feminine products (pads, pantiliners, tampons) 2/$5 – $1UP+ on 2 = 2/$3

Grape, Pomegranate, cranberry juice, 64 oz 2/$5 – $1 UP+ on 2 = 2/$4

RA cat litter 2/$5 – $2 UP+ on 2 = 2/$3

coffee 2/$8 – $1 UP+ on 2 = 2/$7

Theraflu, Excedrin 3/$5 – $5 UP+ on 3 = 3/$10

use (3) $2/1 coupons, and 1 vv coupon = 3/$3 or $1 each

coupon printable

coupon printable

coupon printable

coupon vv $1/1 Excedrin,  Videos available to watch until 01/28/2012 Rite Aid Video Values

coupon $1.50/1 Excedrin, 80 ct 01/08/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/25/2012)

coupon $1/1 Excedrin,  20 ct+ 01/08/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/25/2012)

 

9 lives 3/$3.99 – $1 UP+ on 3 = 3/$2.99

 

Huggies $9.49 – $1 UP+ – $2 coupon = as low as $6.49

coupon $2/1 Huggies Little Movers Slip on Diapers 01/15/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/11/2012)

coupon $1/1 Huggies Diapers 01/15/2012 SS Insert (exp 02/11/2012)

 

Duracell $9.99 – $1 UP+ – $$0.75/1 = as low as $8.24

coupon $0.75/1 Duracell Coppertop, Ultra Power, Ultra Photo Lithium or Specialty Batteries 01/01/2012 P&G Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

coupon $0.50/1 Duracell Coppertop, Ultra Power, Ultra Photo Lithium or Specialty Batteries 12/11/2011 RP Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

coupon $1/1 Duracell Coppertop, Ultra Power, Ultra Photo Lithium or Specialty Batteries 12/11/2011 RP Insert (exp 01/31/2012)

 

How to do a meal plan

Making a meal plan is very simple but so many people don’t do it.  It is a great way to organize your home and save money.  Yay!  I love saving money!

For me grocery shopping used to be Friday night after work stop at the grocery store grab a little bit of everything to keep the cupboards full.  Then I would go home uninspired, stressed out, and about 8pm at night very exhausted.  Throughout the week I would throw together the same meals week after week and dread making dinner.  I would also feel like we had no groceries by the time the week was over even though I really did have a lot still in the cupboard, just not any of our average meals I was accustomed to making.  Now I have my meals planned out, if I defer from the plan I know I have an extra meal that can be made so I don’t have to get more groceries even longer.  We eat out less (from 1-2 days a week to none unless we are traveling out of town).  And I don’t grocery shop late on a Friday anymore (stress central), and when I do shop I have a plan, buy less, and enjoy cooking again.  I am actually learning a lot of new recipes, and techniques in the kitchen to boot!

Step 1. Create a list of family favorite meals, meals you want to make but never have, and look through cookbooks for more inspiring ideas.  Try to make  a list of 30-50 meals if you can.  If you are still having trouble thinking of ideas look through grocery circulars for what is on sale, and look in your cupboards for the inspiration for dishes you might already have some ingredients for.

Step 2. Make a shopping list.  I like to write out some of my favorite meal recipes on recipe cards that way when I pick what I want to make for dinner I have the recipes right there so I don’t forget to write anything down on my shopping list.

Step 3.  Organize your shopping list with the amounts of the different items you need.  Example.

I need 2 lbs of potatoes for mashed potatoes, and 1 lb for potato salad.  I also need 4 eggs for a quiche and 8 eggs for morning breakfast for the week, and 4 for french toast on the weekend, and 4 cups of cheese for macaroni.

potatoes ||| lbs

eggs || dozen

macaroni |||| C (1 C = 4 oz, so I need 16oz or 1 lb)

Bonus: Since you have your ingredients measured out for the week and you have your shopping done.  You can now save even more time for dinner by prepping for the week.  Instead of dicing 1/2 an onion three different days at dinner time, you can dice it all at one time, store it in the fridge in pre-measured proportions and by doing so you can save yourself time.  By doing your weeks prep ahead of time you will save yourself time and stress.

I challenge you to try meal planning for a month and see what you think!

Meal planning done for you, 13 weeks for $7.50

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There is a yp (yellow pages) deal for 50% off Meals of the Week mealplans.  This service makes meal plans for you and your family and it gives shopping lists for those meals as well.  The service says the meal plans are based on what is on sale that week.  So save money and time by having meals planned out for the week and a shopping list prepared for you.  Then an extra bonus – save extra money because these meals are planned out according to sales.

To purchase this deal on yp (11 days left) it is $7.50 for 13 weeks.  I had a $5 credit for signing up with yp which made this only $2.50 for me.  Yay!  I’d pay $2.50 just for more healthy recipes or a cookbook any day!

I so far like the service, the website is easy to navigate and it is very nice because you can choose for how many people the recipe will be made for and the recipe and if you are having fguest there is a double option.  Also if there is a meal you just know your family won’t eat you can skip it so your shopping list won’t include it.

 

 

Photo deals

I always want to get photos of ny kids printed off but it is usually so expensive I don’t.  This leaves me way far behind on scrapbooking (would you guess I am 2 yrs behind!).  My new years resolution is to get caught up this year.  So I decided I would post the best deals on photo price ts that I am finding.

Snapfish – Spend $10 and get up to 500 prints for a penny each

Target – $1.99/20 Prints and $1.99 printable coupon =20 free

Riteaid – 30ct. 4×6 Digital Prints – $2.99

Get Back: $1 UP+ (limit 1) Final Price: $1.99 for 30 Prints
Riteaid also has buy 2 photo calendars get 1 free and 50 prints for $4.99 (promo 499print)

Whenever I come across more deals I will post!