Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meal Planning Part 4

This one takes a bit more work and getting used to.

I have online circulars for my local grocery stores placed in my inbox when they come out each week. That morning, I check the circulars online, find the deals on stuff we already like plus things that we would like to try. Then, I hit my coupon websites (,, and and look for matching coupons along with whatever useful coupon I find. Another thing I'll do is go to the individual brand websites to look for coupons too. After all this, I'll make my list of what to get at each store (there are only 2 here, so it's not a big venture), and I'll go early the next morning with the kids. I go early for one main reason - markdowns. Every morning, the stores go through their produce and meats and mark some down. I look through what they have available and pick and choose the best. I save a ton on meat this way, and no, I've never gotten sick off of it, but that's probably because I don't buy meat that's dark brown or green, I only but meat that still looks fresh and has no smell. Produce has never caused me any problems either. My biggest items to buy at reduced are apples, bananas, squash, peppers and broccoli. Apples and bananas are good choices because if you are not going to be able to finish them before they spoil, you can always make a bread, muffin or cake out of them and freeze that. Squash, peppers and broccoli also freeze well for later use if you can't get to them in time.

Okay, when I have my shopping done, I put everything away, and then I add to my list all of the extra items like the reduced meat and produce that I purchased and I meal plan. At this point, I already have the following week's meal plan done, so I make the plan for the following week. This way I get to use some of the great finds along with rotating my current inventory.
Something to remember, when you are doing your meal planning, plan on using your leftovers as part of a new meal. For instance, Monday's roast chicken can become Wedneday's chicken pot pie or chicken enchiladas or chicken casserole or chicken salad, the list goes on. Leftovers do not have to be used the next day if stored properly, you can wait an extra day or so (depending on th item) so that you don't chicken or beef yourself to death. have fun with it and go online with your list of leftovers and find a new recipe to try!

Friday, June 20, 2008


I have discovered the Microfiber cloth! A friend of mine who also has small children was giving me her advice on keeping her home clean, eco-friendly and non-toxic (she has 3 children 3 and under). She told me about norwex and I looked it up. It turns out instead of a bunch of chemicals, they sell a lot of cleaning utensils like cloths. Well, I did some more research on microfiber cloths, and apparently you don't need a lot of chemicals with microfiber. In fact, they recommend that you just use water and a little elbow grease (not a lot though, about the same as if you were scrubbing a surface with a chemical cleaner and regular sponge or paper towel). It worked awesome! I had been trying the clorox greenworks glass and surface spray, and it left my windows streaky, but it cleaned surfaces well. I tried method stainless steel cleaner, and even though it smelled great and cleaned well, it left my appliances streaky. So, I went over both surfaces with a microfiber cloth wet with plain warm water and wrung out really well. To my utter amazement, my glass was clean and NO STREAKS and my appliances were clean and NO STREAKS. So, one good quality microfiber that will last a long, long time is still cheaper than 1 bottle of stainless steel cleaner or 2 bottles of windex! Happy Cleaning!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Meal Planning: Part 3

Now, take your inventory and your list of your family's favorite meals and plan your dinners based on these lists for the next 3 days, and stick to it! After you accomlish this, you will be ready for part 4

Monday, June 2, 2008

Meal Planning: Part 2

Take a quick inventory of your fridge, freezer and cabinets, this does not have to be exact, but get an estimate, and remember to write it all down, or put it on computer. Also try to keep in handy to check things off as you go so you always know what you've got available.