Meal Planning Monday


Oh, am I glad I planned a month’s worth of meals last week! Monday night after our fabulously pre-planned dinner*, I had to rush my husband to the ER and then he spent several days in the hospital. He’s home now, and out of pain, but we’ll find out tomorrow if he’s having surgery. In the midst of chaos, there is food in the house, a meal plan on the dry erase board, and some semblance of calm (which I really need). And again, with that meal plan done, it only takes 10 minutes to write up a shopping list, find applicable coupons, and get to the store. It really helps when you’re working on less brainpower from high-stress and low-sleep.

Monday–Beef Tacos from the freezer, fixings, beans, rice (we never had this last week because of the chaos)
Tuesday–Spinach Pasta Salad, garlic bread
Wednesday–Chicken, Peppers and Potatoes, green peas
Thursday–Savory Omelets with Rosemary Potatoes, fruit
Friday–Trying a new recipe, Pizza Sticks, plus salad
Saturday–Hamburgers and buns, broccoli slaw, mandarin oranges
Sunday–We have company for the weekend, so I’m making Crockpot Coq Au Vin (one of our favorites), mashed potatoes and carrots.

*Hee hee. I just realized by reading above that it sounds like my dinner is what sent him to the hospital–it wasn’t! Just a coincidence.

For more of my family’s favorite recipes (all easy, because that’s all I’m willing to do), see my Recipes page. Then head over to the big Meal Plan Linky at I’m an Organizing Junkie. Happy cooking and eating!

Great Savings on Sesame Place Tickets

Last summer, we took a great trip to Sesame Place and I shared how to save on your tickets by purchasing at the group rate.

This year, there’s a coupon out that will save you $10 on each single-day admission for up to six guests. That’s huge! The coupon is good on weekend visits between September 12 and October 31. You can either print one here (change the zip code to a Philly zip like 19115) or purchase your tickets online with code sesame6abc.

Thanks to Moms Need to Know for the heads up!

New Printable Coupons from RedPlum

The RedPlum printable coupons that I offer here on Moneywise Moms have been updated again. If you haven’t printed them before, just install the coupon printer software, which is free and easy to use. They have a FAQ section if you need it. Remember that you can print two per computer.

RedPlum is one of the companies that puts out the coupon inserts in your newspaper, and you’ll see many of the print coupons available here as well. It’s great to have multiple coupons when you hit a sale or store promo. That’s how I am able to stockpile my favorite and most-used products.

Look for these helpful coupons:

  • $1.00 off two BallPark Franks
  • $1.00 off any three Del Monte Fruit Naturals
  • $1.00 off any three Del Monte SuperFruit
  • $1.00 off one Formula 409 product
  • $1.00 off one Hefty One-Zip Bags
  • $1.00 off any package of Hefty Waste Bags
  • $1.00 off any Meow Mix Dry Cat Food
  • Buy One, Get One Free on Pure Protein Bars
  • $1.00 off Snausages Dog Snacks
  • $1.00 off any Stayfree product. These come in handy when CVS, Rite Aid or Walgreens offers a BOGO sale and you can use two coupons.
  • $1.00 off Success Rice
  • $1.00 off any Thermacare
  • $3.00 off Advil and Thermacare when purchased together (CVS runs deals on Thermacare pretty often).
  • And don’t forget the $1.50 off two Kellogg’s Mini Wheats, perfect for the Safeway cereal deal going on through Tuesday.

Click over to my RedPlum coupons page to start saving, then see my other printable coupon site links for even more coupons!

FREE Lego Building Events

Do you have a Lego fanatic in your household? We sure do. Last month, we went to the Lego Store for their FREE Monthly Mini Model Build and made this great lobster, all from Legos! They offer this fun event to kids ages 6-14 on the first Tuesday of every month from 5-7pm. Check with your local store for participation. Next Tuesday, September 1st, you can build a mini Lego book and pencil for FREE. Models are not for sale and cannot be purchased.

And good news! Some Walmart stores are now offering similar Mini Builds on Saturdays from 10:00am-2:00pm, while supplies last. I received a postcard in the mail from my local Walmart with the following event dates:

  • Saturday, August 29: Crab
  • Saturday, September 19: Pencil Holder
  • Saturday, October 17: Pumpkin (this looks really cute!)

Check with your local Walmart for participation. I’m not sure if this is national or just a trial run in my area.

And finally, if you’re not close to a FREE event, sign your child up for a FREE subscription to Lego Club or Lego Club Jr. Magazine. My son loves getting his own mail, then poring through the examples and pictures. Happy building!

Free M&M/Mars Chocolate

Just a reminder that you can register for a coupon for FREE M&M Mars chocolate today and every Friday morning at 9:00am EST through Friday, September 25th. You can claim one coupon per email each Friday, for a total of four coupons per household. They come via regular mail.

Then, once you start receiving your coupons in the mail, keep an eye out for BOGO or better sales at your local grocery stores and drugstores. I turned two coupons into 5 FREE bars by using my coupons on a Buy 2, Get 3 Free sale. It was great having those treats to take to all of our FREE summer outings like movies, bowling, and hiking.

Custom Greeting Card Giveaway

Are you thinking about the holidays already? Me either, but it’s going to be here before we know it. I have two sets of Custom Greeting Cards to give away thanks to UPrinting. I have some great ideas for what to do with these cards if you win:

  • Create custom greeting cards with a great photo of your kids and send some to all the grandparents. A set of 50 cards tied with a ribbon would make a great gift!
  • Make a thank you card using your own photo (maybe the kids holding up the letters?) and use them all year long.
  • Use the cards in your home or small business by uploading your logo as the photo.

Two (2) winners will win a set of 250 7×5″ Greeting Cards in either matte or gloss with a full-color outside and a blank inside, perfect for writing your own message. Shipping will be paid by the winner, and it will run from $5-9 depending on your zip code.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below letting me know how you will use your 250 custom cards. You are welcome to post a comment as “Anonymous,” but you’ll have to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Be sure to space it out like username (at) yahoo (dot) com to avoid spam.

This giveaway is open until 10:00pm EST on Sunday, August 30th and is open to U.S. shipping addresses only. Please enter only once per household. Good luck!
**Update: This giveaway is closed. Thanks for entering!

If you’re a blogger, check out UPrinting’s Blog Sponsorship Program. They’re very supportive of small businesses and have great prices on business cards and custom postcards.

DIY Thursday: Photo Triple Play

More wall art! You really can’t have enough, can you? If the Mod Podge Circles looked too complicated for you, then this is right up your alley. This project combines three of my favorite things: IKEA, family photos, and no stress. You know I love a project that fits in with my lack of time and energy.


This is a great beginner project. It requires no crafty bones in your body or major photographic skill. You can do this! The steps:

1) Take three photos of something you love, OR go back through your photos and find three that coordinate (either by color, theme, etc.). I took these photos of my son trying on Halloween wigs at Toys R Us a few years ago.
2) Buy a Ribba Photo Frame at IKEA. They’re currently $12.99, which is over my price range for “frugal” wall art, but back when I bought these they were $9.00 or so.
3) Make prints, insert in frame, and hang.

Here’s another one! I took a bunch of photos on a trip to Chichen Itza many many years ago (waaaay before digital cameras). Of the 100 pictures I took, these three weren’t blurry! See, now you’ll look like a great photographer because you’re showcasing the best and ignoring the rejects.

Embarassing footnote: when I went around my house to photograph these, I actually had more than two. As in, wow, I have a lot of these triple frames. I think I need to lighten up a bit.

For more DIY projects–from makeovers to crafts to recipes–go to A Soft Place to Land.

Walgreens $5 off $25 Coupon

Walgreens has a printable $5 off $25 coupon good today through Saturday, August 29. It’s only good in-store. For the highlights from this week’s Walgreens ad, head over to Save at Home Mommy. Kerri also has a post explaining how Walgreens’ Register Rewards program works.

Super Double Coupons at Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter is doing Super Double Coupons (doubling coupons up to $1.98 face value!) running through Tuesday, September 1st. The limit is 20 coupons per customer, per day. Learn more about their coupon policy and find your closest Harris Teeter store here. There are lots of great deals, including these FREEbies:

  • Edge Shave Gel is $1.50. Use the .75 off coupon from the 8/2 paper to get it FREE.
  • Danimals Yogurt is $2.00. Use the $1.00 off coupon from the 8/9 paper to get it FREE.
  • Reach Dental Floss is $1.59. Use the .75 off coupon from the 8/2 paper to get it FREE.

Remember one of the great things about Harris Teeter–you only pay half price for one item that’s marked BOGO. For example, Yo-Plus Yogurt and Fiber One Multipacks are BOGO in the ad. Use a $1.00 off coupon on just ONE item for the lowest price or to get it FREE.

Look for a full list of coupon matchups at NovaThrifty.