Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday, July 23rd



Join us for What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy.

I didn't feel good last week (which is evident by the pictures - please forgive me for the crappy pictures) and I didn't spend as much time as I should have on my outfits.  I also missed linking up last week so this week you have two weeks worth of outfits!


Work Day

Black Tee - Thrifted
Khaki Pants - New York and Company
Shoes - Old


Work Day

Black Sweater - A Christmas Gift from my Grandmother that came from Sears
Skirt - thrifted
Shoes - Sears (similar pair)
necklace - Meijer




Work Day and Date Night

Sweater - Mossimo from Target
Tunic - Daisy Fuentes from Kohls
Leggings - Hanes from Wal-Mart
Shoes - Old
Necklace - Candies from Kohls
Bracelet - Sears



Work Day

Sweater - Mossimo from Target
Cami - Meijer
Pants - New York and Company
Shoes - Nine West
Necklace - Meijer





Work Day 

Sweater - Mossimo from Target
Tank - Target
Skirt - Wal-Mart
Bracelet - Sears
Necklace - Bought from LeTote
Shoes - Sears (similar pair)



Work Day

Shirt - Meijer
Skirt - Old from Kohls
Necklace - Kohls




Church

Dress - Meijer
Sweater - Mossimo from Target
Shoes - Guess Jeans


Monday, July 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, July 21st to 27th



Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Where did summer go?  It's hard to believe how fast summer has flown by and that July is already almost over!  I don't know what to think about it!  Last week was a good week for us.  We tried a couple of new recipes and they both turned out great!  So the Garlicky Baked Shrimp and the Baked Chicken and Wild Rice will definitely be added to our menu rotation.  With the Baked Chicken and Wild Rice we added in mushrooms which I definitely recommend if you try this recipe!

This week we are cleaning out our freezer and trying to use up some of the things that have been swept to the bottom of it.  So this week is all about using up what I have on hand.

Here's what I have planned for this week:
links to recipes are in red

Monday - Eating Out
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Fettucine Alfredo (this keeps getting skipped - definitely making it this week)
Wednesday - Honey and Thyme Brined Turkey Breast (we will be using turkey breast from one of the turkeys we raised last fall), mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday - Seasoned Swai Fish Fillets, Wild Rice
Friday - Baked Pork Egg Rolls (using my Baked Shrimp Egg Rolls recipe but using ground pork instead of shrimp), white rice
Saturday - Chicken Fajitas


Monday, July 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: July 14-20, 2014



Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.


Last week we tried a couple of new recipes and they were a huge hit.  The Paleo Chicken Marsala had an amazing taste and was easy to make.  The only thing I did not like and it could be something that we did, was that the chicken seemed a little powdery from the spices and flour.  We are going to make some adjustments next time and see if that improves this.  The Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Bacon was also a new recipe and was by far my favorite meal of the week.  If you are looking for an easy, delicious weeknight meal I highly recommend giving this recipe a try.

Here's what I have planned for this week:

Monday - Eating Out
Tuesday - Low Carb Chicken Enchiladas (we skipped this last week)\
Wednesday - Red Beans and Rice (also skipped last week)
Thursday - Baked Chicken and Wild Rice (new recipe)
Friday - Garlicky Baked Shrimp, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes
Saturday - Depends on Plans
Sunday - Grilled Chicken Fettucine (new recipe)



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dollar Shave Club Review

I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions in this review are genuine.  I pay for my subscription but the links included in the review are affiliate links.  This is just something that I found that I liked and wanted to share!
 
Recently ads for The Dollar Shave Club have been popping up all over my Facebook page.  After ignoring them for a while I decided to look into it.  After checking it out we decided to give it a try.

Basically The Dollar Shave Club works like this:  you choose a monthly subscription and each month they ship razor blades to you.  With your first monthly shipment they send you a handle which you keep to use with your monthly blades.  There are three subscription plans available which really are minimal in price.  The first plan is the The Humble Twin which is $1 a month plus shipping and handling charges.  The second plan is The 4X which is $6 a month with shipping charges included.  The third plan is The Executive which is $9 a month and also includes shipping and handling charges.

I went ahead and signed my husband up for the executive plan.


Within just a few days his box arrived.

I

The handle is much heavier than I expected it to be and it is very high quality.


And here are the blades.  


Sorry for the crappy photos I took them with my phone and it was at night.

My husband has been using these for a few weeks now and is very impressed with the quality of them. I think for the cost this is a great deal and am glad that we decided to give them a try.  We are most definitely going to keep his subscription.


 



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday - July 9, 2014


It's Wednesday and I a once again linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.



This is one of my most comfortable outfits.  I loved it so much that I wore it to work on Thursday and then again to church on Sunday!  I figured that it was two different audiences so wearing it twice in the same week wouldn't be the end of the world.


Tunic - White House Black Market
Leggings - Hanes
Shoes - old, old, old
Bracelet - TJ Maxx



This was my outfit for work on Thursday and I decided that with the comfort of the maxi skirt I would forego the Spanx.  Bad decision!  Next time I will wear my Spanx with this outfit.

Skirt - Meijer
Tee- Meijer
Necklace - Meijer
Shoes - old


Happy Fourth of July!  
Tee Shirt - Guess Jeans
Capris - Lee
Sandals -- Guess Jeans



Back to work on Monday with this dress from White House Black Market, heels are from Sears


And Tuesday's outfit.  Up until last week I hadn't worn leggings since I was 12, but I am falling in love with them.




Tunic - White House Black Market
Leggings - Hanes
Necklace - Meijer
Shoes - Guess


Monday, July 7, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: July 7-13, 2014




I hope everyone here in the United States enjoyed their three day holiday weekend!  Usually I am dying to get out of town on the Fourth of July but this year we decided to stay home for a relaxing weekend after spending the month of June running like crazy.  So it's back to work for me today, I hope it's a little more of a relaxing day for you.

Here's what we have planned for our menu this week:
Links to recipes are in red

Monday -  Paleo Chicken Marsala, Mashed potatoes, Asparagus

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken With Rosemary and Bacon, Roasted Red Potatoes, Lima Beans

Wednesday - Baked Shrimp Egg Rolls, Brown Rice

Thursday - Red Beans and Rice


Saturday and Sunday - depends on weekend plans





Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day! And some last minutes Fourth of July Ideas!





Happy Fourth of July!  After being gone EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND for the month of June we are gearing up for our first weekend at home since Memorial Day.  Our Fourth of July celebration will be very laid back with some time spent in the pool today, cooking out on the grill, and shooting off some fireworks of our own.  Normally we go all out for the Fourth but this year we are all just so tired and need some rest.  

Just because we are spending a low key Fourth of July at home it doesn't mean we don't want to do it in style.  So if you are like me and looking for some last minute ideas for your Fourth of July here are a few easy to put together treats.







You can find more Fourth of July Treat Ideas on my 4th of July Pinterest Page!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday - July 2, 2014




 Since I have gone back to work full-time in an office I am much more concerned about what I am wearing each day.  I have always been a fan of The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday but have never participated.  Now I am participating for my first time and I am super excited!

So here is my situation - I have not worked in almost ten years and my wardrobe is very limited when it comes to office wear.  I have also recently lost several pounds thanks to Trim Healthy Mama and I am still losing so what clothes I do own don't fit for the most part!  Add to that the fact that I am on a very limited budget when it comes to clothing and you can see the frustration I am running into every morning when I get dressed.
 
So here's what I have worn this week:


This was Saturday when we went to the museum and of course I forgot to take a full body shot.  
Shirt - BB Dakota Illeana Tunic Borrowed from Letote
Black Capris - Mossimo
Necklace - Meijer
Bracelet - Borrowed from Letote



This is what I wore to church on Sunday.
Tunic - White House Black Market
Leggings - Just My Size from Wal-Mart
Sandals - Guess
Bracelet - Borrowed from Letote


This was my Monday morning work outfit.  
Top - Collective Concepts borrowed from Letote
Pants - Nine and Company
Shoes - So old the brand is worn off of them
Bracelet - Borrowed from Letote (I loved this bracelet so much I almost kept it!)


This was my Tuesday work outfit.  Here's my thoughts on this dress - I love the pattern and color but I don't think it is the most flattering on my figure.  I think it makes me look wider than I actually am.  I also think it would look better with sandals but since I was wearing it to the office and had to meet with clients today I tried to dress it up with heels.

Dress- White House Black Market
Shoes - Sears





Monday, May 12, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - May 11 to 18, 2014

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
 
The past few weeks have been crazy for me and I haven't been eating correctly because of it.  I know I need my menu plan and this week I am going to get back on track with our eating,
 
Monday
Breakfast - Banana Cream Cake
Snack - Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes
Dinner - Beef Stroganoff 
 
Tuesday
Lunch - Dreamfields Pasta with peas and Parmesan Cheese, grilled chicken breast
Snack - 0% Greek Yogurt with Berries
Dinner - NuWave Oven Chicken with Wild Rice
 
Wednesday
 Breakfast - Banana Breakfast Shake
Lunch and Dinner - Eating Out
 
Thursday
Breakfast - Oatmeal
Snack - Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes
 
Friday
Lunch - Leftover Turkey Chili, Strawberries with Fat Free Reddi Whip
Snack- Fresh Veggies with Yogurt Dip
Dinner - Eating Out
 
Saturday
Lunch - Bunless Hamburgers, Crispy Seasoned Oven Fries
 
Sunday
Lunch - Eating out for Little Man's 11th Birthday

 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: April 13-20, 2014



Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.
 
So my first full week back at work is officially in the books.  It has been difficult trying to figure out how to eat healthy while away from the house has been a little bit of trial and error but at the same time I have done a great job at staying on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  My only problem?  Supper!  By the time dinner rolls around at 6:30 PM, I have been up since 5 AM, worked an 8 hour shift, and am exhausted.  That is why pizza sounded wonderful to me last Monday!  We  already have to eat out way more than we should because of our busy schedule and that is something that I need to work on.
 
Here's what I have planned for us this week:
links to recipes are in red
S, E, and FP denotes the type of Trim Healthy Mama meal they are
 
Monday 
Breakfast:  Apple Oatmeal Muffins (E)
Lunch:  Tomato Soup (E), Orange (E) for me
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Snack:  Cottage Cheese and Tomato (FP)
 
 Tuesday
Breakfast:  Volcano Muffin in a Mug (S)
Lunch:  Leftovers from Monday's supper for me (S)
Chicken Noodle Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for kids
Snack:  Cucumber Salad (FP)
 
Wednesday
Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs with Salsa (S)
Lunch:  Leftover Pot Roast for me (S), Greek Yogurt (FP)
Turkey Sandwiches and Pretzels for kids
Snack:  Cottage Cheese and Tomatoes
Dinner:  Eating out before church
 
Thursday
Breakfast:  Banana Cream Cake (E) 
Cheeseburgers with Homemade Fries for kids
Snack: Cucumber Salad (FP)
 
Friday 
Breakfast:  Volcano Muffin in a Mug (E)
Lunch:  Leftover Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage (S), Strawberries with Fat Free Reddi Whip (FP)
Snack:  Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes
Dinner:   Eating Out Before Church
 
Saturday
Easter celebration at my grandmother's
 
Sunday
To Be Decided
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - March 7th to 13th, 2014

 
 
 
 
 
 
Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
 
Life around the Modern Day Mom house is crazy any day of the week but here lately that craziness has been amped up a little bit not only are we a homeschooling family with kids in multiple sports but I have been attending college full-time with 18 credit hours this semester, on top of that I have accepted a full-time job in a lawyer's office and my husband began taking a college class of his own this month.  Needless to say we are a busy family who wants to eat healthy but need quick and easy right now! 
 
Here's what I have planned for us this month:
links to recipes are in red
S, E, FP, and crossover denotes the type of Trim Healthy Mama meal
 
Monday
Breakfast:  Volcano Mud Slide Muffin in a Mug (S) for me
oatmeal and fresh fruits for my husband and kids
Lunch:  Tomato Soup with Sour Cream & Cheese (S), strawberries with fat free reddi whip (FP)
soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for kids
Snack:  0% Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries
Dinner: Crockpot Lasagna (crossover) with garlic bread
snack:  brownies for kids
 
Tuesday
Breakfast:  Veggie Omelet (S) for me
Pancakes for kids
Lunch:  Tuna with Mayo (S), Cucumber Salad (FP), Wasa Crackers
Cheeseburger Pasta for kids
Snack:  1% Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes
Dinner:  Bunless Cheeseburgers (S), Crispy Seasoned Oven Fries (for kids), Zuchinni Fries (FP)
Snack:  jello for kids
 
Wednesday
Breakfast: Banana Cream Cake (E) for me
Oatmeal with fresh fruit for kids
Lunch:  Grilled Chicken Breast (FP), Cucumber Salad (FP), 0% Greek Yogurt with Berries (FP)
for kids hot turkey sandwiches
Snack:  1% Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes (FP)
Dinner:  Eating Out
 
Thursday
Breakfast:  Veggie Omelet
pancakes for kids
Lunch:  Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt and Apples, Strawberries with Fat Free Reddi Whip
hot turkey sandwiches for kids
Snack:  0% Greek Yogurt with Berries (FP)
Dinner:  Taco Salad 3 Ways (S)
Snack:  sugar-free pudding
 
Friday
Breakfast:  Berry Oat Breakfast Cake (E)
Lunch: Leftover Taco Salad 3 Ways, Strawberries with Fat Free Reddi Whip
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes
Dinner:  Monterey Chicken  (S), Baked Potato for kids, Green Beans
 
Saturday
Breakfast:  Crustless Breakfast Quiche (S)
Eating Out
 
Sunday
Breakfast:  German Pancake (S)
Lunch:  Hot dogs and Brats
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday for March 24 - 30, 2014

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
 
Spring is officially here!!! I am so excited for warm weather, gardening, birds singing....oh wait, there's snow in the forecast this week...  Never mind!  I have joked about it before but I seriously do feel like this is the winter that will NEVER END!  This will be another busy week for us and we are going to be doing a bunch of quick meals for dinner.  I am going to do my  best to stay on plan with Trim Healthy Mama this week but I am not so sure how well it will work.
 
Here's what I have planned for this week:
Links to recipes are in red
S, E, and FP denote the type of Trim Healthy Mama meal
 
Monday
Breakfast:  Banana Cream Cake (E) - scroll down to comments to see measurements for full sized cake
Lunch:  Eating Out will be an S
Dinner:  Stuffed Salmon Fillets
 
Tuesday
Lunch:  Grilled Chicken Breast (FP), Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes (FP), Strawberries with Fat Free Reddi Whip (FP)
Dinner:  Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce with Dreamfield's Pasta
 
Wednesday
Lunch:  Salad (S), Strawberries with Fat Free Reddi Whip (FP)
Dinner:  Eating Out
 
Thursday
Breakfast:  Berry Oat Breakfast Cake (E)  My FAVORITE!!!
Lunch:  Grilled Chicken Breast with Dreamfields pasta and green peas
Dinner:  Soy Ginger Pot Roast - adapted from recipe found in Better Homes & Gardens magazine (S)
 
Friday
Breakfast:  Berry Oat Breakfast Cake (E) leftover from yesterday
Lunch: Salad (S), 0% Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries (FP)
Dinner:  Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage (S) - this is one of my kids most requested meals
 
Saturday 
Breakfast:  Veggie Omelets
Lunch/Dinner:  Eating Out before church
 
Sunday
Brunch:  Pancakes
Dinner:  Cajun Hasselback Chicken (S), Mashed potatoes for the kids, Asparagus
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, March 17th to 23rd

 
 
 
Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
 
My kids love holidays and it's not for the presents or days off from school - it's for the food.  Every holiday I try to whip up a few special treats for them to make the day special and Saint Patrick's Day is no exception.  We will be enjoying our traditional corned beef and cabbage, along with some St. Patrick's Day Rice Krispie treats and some yummy looking Leprechaun Chocolate Marshmallow Popcorn (of course mommy will have some sort of THM friendly snack instead).  So they are super excited this week to be celebrating Saint Patrick's Day and the food we will be eating to celebrate it!
 
Here's what I have planned for us this week:
links to recipes are in red
 
Monday
Breakfast:  Berry Oat Breakfast Cake (E)
Dinner:  Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage (S), Mashed Potatoes (for the kids) 
 
Tuesday
Breakfast: Cottage Cheese Egg Scramble - recipe coming soon (FP), Strawberries sweetened with Truvia and Fat Free Reddi Whip
Lunch: Tuna with Greek Yogurt (FP), 2 Wasa Crackers, 1% Cottage Cheese with Tomatoes (FP)
Snack: Spice Cake (FP)
Snack:  0% Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries (FP)
 
Wednesday
Breakfast: Low Carb German Pancake (S)
Lunch:  Baked Basil  and Feta Tomatoes (S), Baked Chicken Breast
Snack: 2 Wasa Crackerss with Light Laughing Cow Cheese
Dinner:  Beef Stroganoff (E) 
 
Thursday
Breakfast:  Cottage Cheese Egg Scramble (FP)
Snack:  Going Bananas Shake (E)
Dinner:  Seafood Stir Fry (FP)
Snack:  Strawberries Sweetened with Truvia and Fat Free Reddi Whip (FP)
 
Friday
Breakfast:  Volcano Muffin in a Mug (S)
Lunch:  Tuna with Mayo and Pickles (S), 2 Wasa Crackers, (FP), 0% Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries (FP)
Dinner: Pork Loin Chops Smothered in Cabbage (S) - this keeps getting bumped we will get to it this week
Snack:  ???
 
Saturday
Breakfast:  Cottage Cheese Scramble (FP)
Lunch:  BBQ Pork Chops (S), Asparagus
Dinner:  Eating Out in a S Setting
 
Sunday
Breakfast:  Apple Pie Oatmeal (E)
Snack:  0% Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries (FP)
Dinner:  Crockpot Beans and Rice (E), smoked sausage for kids
Snack:  Banana Cream Cake (E)
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama is one of the latest diet plans (I am sorry lifestyle changes - not diet plan) that is quickly gaining popularity and I have been eating the Trim Healthy Mama way for six weeks now after taking a break from it over the holidays. While the book itself is over 600 pages and contains plenty of recipes, many of the people using the Trim Healthy Mama plan still want more recipes to choose from. Luckily, many recipes can be found online that are acceptable under the Trim Healthy Mama plan. If you are looking for more Trim Healthy Mama plan recipes here are four places where you can find them online. 

Gwen's Nest
Gwen, who blogs at Gwen's Nest, follows the Trim Healthy Mama plan and posts plenty of Trim Healthy Mama recipes on her blog. She has even created a categorized list of Trim Healthy Mama recipes that are organized by meal and type. The recipes are well written, and contain pictures, which make you want to make the recipe immediately. Among the recipes Gwen offers are recipes for appetizers, breads, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts. What I liked most about the recipes that were found at Gwen's Nest were that they contained what I considered more "normal" ingredients than some of the recipes in the book. By normal I mean they contained ingredients that I keep in my pantry normally, and aren't specialty ingredients that I need to buy. To find the Trim Healthy Mama Recipes from Gwen you can visit her blog Gwen's Nest.

Stacy Makes Cents
Like Gwen at Gwen's Nest, Stacy is following the Trim Healthy Mama plan and posts Trim Healthy Mama recipes to her blog Stacy Makes Cents. Stacy also has a master list of her Trim Healthy Mama recipes on her blog but hers are listed in alphabetical order instead of by category. What I liked about Stacy's recipes are that many of her recipes are crockpot meals, which are great for those who are busy and often use their crockpot. Also at the end of each recipe Stacy lists how it is compliant with Trim Healthy Mama, if it is an S, E, or Crossover. You can find Stacy's Trim Healthy Mama Recipes by visiting Stacy Makes Cents.

Trim Healthy Mama Forum
The Trim Healthy Mama Forum is ran by Serene and Pearl the authors of the Trim Healthy Mama book. The forum features an "In The Kitchen" section. The "In The Kitchen" section has four subsections that are divided into E Recipes, S Recipes, Fuel Pull Recipes, and Crossover Recipes. Each subsection contains recipes that were created by forum members or are recipes that are from the book that have been tweaked by forum members.

Pinterest
One of the best places to find Trim Healthy Mama recipes is Pinterest.  I usually use search terms like "Trim Healthy Mama Recipes", "THM recipes", "Trim Healthy Mama fuel pull", or even "Trim Healthy Mama lunch ideas".  I have four boards dedicated to Trim Healthy Mama on Pinterest myself (which you can find here) that are divided up by "Trim Healthy Mama S Meals", "Trim Healthy Mama E Meals", "Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Pulls", and "Trim Healthy Mama helpers". 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saving Money While Eating Healthy

 
Last week I was asked about my grocery shopping budget and shopping habits now that I am following the Trim Healthy Mama diet.  If you are a long time reader of my blog you will know that I was once a hard core couponer and have talked often about couponing in posts like "Using Coupons and Clearing up Coupon Confusions", and "Works for Me Wednesday - Coupon Binder".  Couponing was a lifesaver for me for the longest time because we were on a very tight budget and it allowed me to feed my family on a very tight budget.  As time progressed I began to change our eating habits and stopped using coupons altogether as we began a whole foods type of eating.  My grocery bill went sky high, my pantry started thinning out, and my kids were complaining because there were no quick snacks. This wasn't working for us either.  Now we find our family still eating somewhat of a whole foods diet, although not as rigid as we once were, and needing to tighten back up on our grocery bill. My weekly grocery budget is between $125 and $150 a week for a family of five this also includes our paper products, cleaning supplies, and health and beauty items. 
 
So the problem is this, if you are following a healthier way of living and are trying to save money on groceries how do you do that?
 
Use Coupons
Yes, there are many coupons for processed foods but you don't have to buy those items.  However using the coupons for items that you will use are a huge budget helper.  I stick to using coupons for items like shampoo, soap, deodorant, paper products, and pet foods.  I can also find coupons quite often for items like Dreamfield pasta, almond milk, and spices.  I will also use coupons from time to time to buy sugary treats for my kiddos - these are items that are just that treats, they don't get to eat them often and are given to them very sparingly.  Last week alone I saved $42.04 with coupons on these type of items.
 
Stock up When Items are on Sale
This is one of the biggest money saving principles that I have found and can't stress it enough.  Always stock up when items are on sale!!! I use this principle most often when it comes to meat.  This means some weeks my entire grocery budget is eaten up by purchasing meats, but on the other side of things I have not purchased any meat in three weeks because I have a well stocked freezer, and that frees my budget up to stock up on other things.
 
Plan Your Meals
Menu planning is such a money saver for me for multiple reasons.  The first reason is that it allows me to utilize items I already have at home by planning my meals around what is in my pantry. The second reason is that having a plan helps prevent me from resorting to the drive thru for dinner.  Thirdly, having a meal plan before I go to the grocery store means that I only buy what I need to fix the week's menu items,  which keeps me from spending money on items I do not need.  And lastly, it keeps me out of the store which saves me money because I can never run into a store and pick up just one item, I always end up spending way more than I plan to on those little runs, so for me staying out of the store saves me money!
 
 Meijer Mperks
If you have a Meijer near you than you most definitely should be using Meijer Mperks.  You simply sign up for an account that is connected to your cell phone number, then you may virtually "clip" coupons that are automatically applied to your order when you checkout at the store.  These coupons may be off of specific products or they may be save $1.50 off produce when you spend $15, or take $3 off of you paper product purchase of $10 or more, or get a free gallon of milk when you spend $25 or more.  They also have rewards that allow you to earn money each month.  This month the reward I chose was to save $15 off my order when I spend $425, the good thing about this reward is that it calculates the reward pre-coupons and Mperks.  So this week while I only spent $150.51 in the store I earned over $200 towards that $425. 
 
Shop Around
Learn where you can find the best prices for items you buy and shop from those stores.  For me I shop quite a bit at Meijer because it is across the street from our church and is convenient but I also shop Sam's Club.  I have been able to find great deals at Sam's Club on meat, dairy, and produce.  This is where I buy the majority of these items.  I also buy my toilet paper and trash bags here.  I can buy these items in bulk here much cheaper than I can buy them with coupons.  However, if I run across coupons for them that make them super cheap I will also buy them as well just to have on hand.
 
Grow it Yourself
We have 25 hens that supply us with our eggs each week.  We also raise a few chickens for meat.  We raised a few turkeys this year for meat purposes but for us they weren't the worth it and we won't be raising them again in the future.  We also have a few rabbits that are going to be used to supply us with meat.  We also have three goats, two nannies and a billy, once the nannies give birth they will be used for milk. 
 
We also grow a garden each year that allows us to have fresh produce.  This past year I began researching ways to extend the growing season and hope to reach the point where I can keep the garden growing year round.  The book The Complete Idiot's guide to Year Round Gardening  has been an extreme help to me here.
 
Preserve it!
One of the other big ways that I save money is by preserving foods when they are in season.  Everything from my garden that isn't used immediately is preserved.  Tomatoes are canned in salsa or whole, green peppers are chopped and frozen, and cucumbers are pickled.  My neighbor has an apple tree and offered me apples.  The apples were made into apple sauce, and apple pie filling then canned.  By buying these items when they are in season they are cheaper (or if you grow them yourself they are free) and then can be used throughout the year when their prices are much higher.
 
 
 
I am linking this post to  Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family