Archives for January 2012

Meal Plan Monday: Family Favorites 2-week Meal Plan

Sometimes thinking up two weeks of meals is hard! I’m just getting over a few days of illness, and I have little energy to try out new recipes. Perfect time to rely on our “family favorites,” those meals we eat all the time (most are cooked without recipes, just made from memory). Does your family eat the same meals all the time? Tacos, pizza, mac & cheese, whatever your “usual” is, it’s perfect for your family’s meal plan. Just get it down on paper and make your shopping list around it!

If you’re just getting started with meal planning, see my tips about how to get started or my Meal Plan Video. Here’s the plan for this week and next:

Sunday–Homemade spaghetti sauce, spaghetti (for them, GF pasta for me), green beans, salad
Meatless Monday–Cheddar Corn Potato Chowder, leftover salad
Tuesday–Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, buns (GF for me), carrots & celery sticks
Wednesday–Chicken Fajitas, black beans, brown rice
Thursday–Sausage & Vegetable Medley
Friday–Hamburgers w/sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato fries, corn
Saturday–Slow Cooker Broccoli & Beef, brown rice noodles

Sunday–Ginger Chicken Soup, gluten-free cornbread
Meatless Monday–Fiesta Corn & Black Bean Toss mixed with quinoa
Tuesday–Ham & Broccoli Pie (I replace the chicken and use GF Biscuit Mix instead), salad
WednesdayGluten-Free Chicken Tenders, Homemade Fries,
Thursday–Slow Cooker Apricot Pork Roast, cauliflower, baked potatoes
Friday–Garlic Lime Chicken, brown rice, broccoli
Saturday–We’re going out to eat (first time in ages!) for hubby’s birthday, using a Gift Card I earned from my bank’s points program

Head over to Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie for more meal plans, recipes, and inspiration.

Valentine Cards just .99 shipped from TinyPrints

Tiny Prints is offering their Valentine Greeting Cards for just .99 shipped when you use coupon code VDAY99 at checkout. This code is good through Monday, January 30th. You can choose a card to personalize with your own photos and sentiments, or just choose one of their lovely designs. Have it shipped to you or directly to the recipient.
With the coupon code, you can order as many cards as you like for .99 each plus tax, and you can also personalize a card and send it right to the recipient by just paying for the stamp. Who do you know that needs a pick-me-up or a thank you? Head over to Tiny Prints to see the selection.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!

10 Hardcover Children’s Books just $16.98 shipped

It’s back! This Taste of Home book deal was so popular before Christmas that it sold out in hours. Many people (including me!) had our orders cancelled, which was frustrating. I’m going to go for it again and hope my order goes through! This time around, the books are $14.99 and there’s $1.99 for shipping. Still, at $16.98, this is an amazing deal for 10 Hardcover Classic Children’s Books.  Just use code LS105 at checkout.

These are some of my favorite titles, both as a mom and as a former first-grade teacher:

  • Mike Mulligan & the Steam Shovel
  • Lyle Lyle Crocodile
  • Curious George Gets a Medal
  • Bread and Jam for Frances
  • Goodnight Moon
  • A Little Prairie House
  • Paddington Bear at the Circus
  • The Berenstain Bears in the Dark
  • Richard Scarry’s Bedtime Stories
  • Katy No-Pocket

You can split them up to give as gifts, donate them to your classroom library, or stock a new baby’s room for cheap! This offer ends February 2nd or while supplies last. If you’re an Ebates member, you can shop Taste of Home through Ebates for 5% cash back on your order.

Shop Taste of Home
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!

Dill Ricotta Rolls

With all the soups I’ve been cooking lately, I look for new recipes to try as sides. I found these Dill Ricotta Rolls in an old recipe book and have made them twice now–once by the original recipe and once with ricotta cheese because I was out of cottage cheese. The family loved them both ways.

Dill Ricotta Rolls | Delicious side for your favorite soup or stew | MoneywiseMoms

Dill Ricotta Rolls
adapted from this recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp dillseed
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
Nonstick cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the yeast. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat and stir ricotta cheese with water, sugar, dillseed and salt just until warm. Add the mixture to the flour mixture along with the egg. Stir vigorously until smooth, then stir in remaining flour.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (approx. 45 minutes). Stir batter down, then let rest for 5 minutes.

Spray twelve muffins cuts with nonstick spray. Spoon batter evenly into cups, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let batter rise until nearly double in size (15-20 minutes).

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMomsFor more easy, family-friendly bread recipes,
follow my Bread & Baked Yums board on Pinterest.


This recipe is linked to  Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam, Friday Food at MomTrends, Feasting in Fellowship Friday at Comfy in the Kitchen, Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom, and Frugal Food Thursday at Frugal Follies.

Frugal Valentines for Kids

Valentine’s Day is three weeks away, and if you want to keep it frugal, it’s not too early to start planning! My kids know that we’re not spending any money for Valentine’s Day, since we’re deep into debt payoff right now. So while we’re flipping through magazines and looking online, I’m keeping in mind what supplies we already have around the house. I love these frugal valentines for kids that cost a few dollars at the most:

These Magnetic Bookmarks from Controlling My Chaos are so easy to make (my son gave them to his class a few years ago). You just print her FREE designs onto glossy photo paper, score and fold them. Then you attach a small piece of flat magnet (I reused the ones from the fridge from realtors and other salespeople), and voila! Jill has designs for Valentine’s Day, boys, girls, and more. They’re so fun!

I saw these Superhero Valentine Lollipops in Family Fun Magazine as well as on ZakkaLife. Since we love superheroes at our house, my girls love this idea. It’s just a matter of cutting paper scraps into freehand pieces, or you can print Jessica’s templates onto white cardstock.

These Valentine Bookmarks from Lu Bird Baby made from paint chips are so cute! I’m not comfortable with walking into a store and picking up 25 at once, but I could see taking a few each time I go to Walmart over the next few weeks. Use a heart punch (or borrow one if you don’t own one) and add a ribbon. Easy Peasy!

Another great non-candy Valentine option is bubbles! Dollar Store Crafts made these Valentine Bubbles for less than $5 of supplies. If you already had stickers and ribbon on hand, it would cost even less.

What are your favorite frugal Valentines for kids?

If you’re on Pinterest, you can see more of my Valentine favorites by following me. This post is linked up to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

Safeway Deals and Matchups 1/25

NOTE: This post is based on the Washington DC area weekly ad, which usually has the same prices as the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region. See your full local ad. Our stores double coupons to .99 here.

Rancher’s Reserve Boneless Beef Bottom Round is $1.99/lb. I use this cut for slow cooker meals like Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta Roast.

Red or Green Seedless Grapes are $1.48/lb.

All Detergent is $3.99. Use the $1.00 off coupon from the 1/1 RedPlum.

Buddig Lunchmeat 2oz. is BOGO at $1.09. Use the .75/4 coupon from the 12/11 SmartSource, which will double, and you’ll pay .68 for four packages.

Lysol Cleaners or Wipes are $1.99 each. Use the $1.00/2 from the 1/1 SmartSource. You can print a .50/2 Wipes coupon.

Lucerne Large Eggs 18ct is $2.49 with in-ad SuperCoupon, limit 2.

Safeway Apple Juice is $1.99/bottle.

Safeway Farms Bagged Romaine or Spinach is just $2.00/bag.

Yoplait Lactose-Free Yogurt is .69/cup. Print a coupon for .30 off, which will double.

Friday through Sunday only prices:

  • Classico Pasta Sauce is $1.79
  • Deli Counter Turkey, Ham or Domestic Swiss is $4.99/lb
  • Gala or Fuji Apples are .99/lb
  • Ken’s Salad Dressing 16oz is $1.50

Get a $5.00 off your next purchase Catalina coupon when you buy 3 Hallmark Cards, through February 14th.

Add E-coupons to your Safeway Club card Read Safeway’s Coupon Policy, but know that store managers are allowed to set their own policy.
For more DC-area store match-ups, see my network of NoVA Grocery Deals. For coupon matchups at stores nationwide, see The Frugal Map.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at coupon sites that help support MoneywiseMoms. Thanks for using them!

$10 for $20 at Body Shop

Today’s national LivingSocial deal is $20 of merchandise at The Body Shop for just $10. The limit is 1 per person, but you can buy 3 more as gifts. and it’s valid in-store only through April 14th. Pick up some little gifts for Valentine’s Day, or plan ahead for Mother’s Day gifts. I highly recommend their Almond Hand Lotion!

If you’re already a LivingSocial member, click here for your Body Shop deal. If you’re new to LivingSocial, sign up first and then go for it!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms!

Valentine Note Cards from Vistaprint

Get 10 FREE Valentine Note Cards from Vistaprint, and pay just $4.82 for shipping. You can personalize these cute designs with your child’s name (and even upload their photo!). With 3 per card, you’ll end up with 30 Valentines delivered right to your door.

If you haven’t ordered from Vistaprint before, just make sure and click “No” about receiving other offers and emails. Also, they’ll send you through a bunch of screens before you get to checkout–just keep hitting “Next” so you don’t end up ordering more than you planned. I’ve been ordering from them for years and am always happy with the quality.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!

Free Federal Tax E-filing

Have you started your taxes yet? I have! I like to get online right away in January and start plugging in numbers so I know if we’re getting a refund or not. Last year, we worked out how to avoid a big tax refund, by adjusting our withholding numbers on my husband’s W-2. It worked! It looks like we’ll be close to zero, which is the best position to be in. I love doing my taxes online because of that little ticker in the corner where you see the numbers changing as you plug in your information.

H&R Block

Two deals for you if you’re getting started: H&R Block online lets you e-file your Federal Tax Return for FREE. The TurboTax Federal FREE Edition also gives you FREE e-filing. I use TurboTax’s Home & Business (not free) because it helps me organize all my side jobs.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!