Weekly Menu ~ Meal Plan

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Easter has come on and gone… the Kelsey family sure enjoyed the day! We spent a lot of time over the weekend cooking and baking to have an awesome family meal on Sunday. Here is a small glimpse of our favorites….

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We have a big week ahead… Softball starts and Baseball is in full swing. Scouts for all and a MEAL APPEAL workshop this weekend. Definitely looking forward to the MEAL APPEAL session coming on Saturday as even my personal stash of FREEZER MEALS is dwindling!!

 

And here is a plan for the week ~

 

MONDAY

 

Pulled BBQ Chicken – one of our MEAL APPEAL meals served on the delicious rolls left from Easter Dinner and with the remaining “24 Hour Ambrosia Salad” (Recipe coming on Tasty Tuesday! It’s fabulous and just the recipe I have been looking for – like my Grandma used to make!!) Carrot and Celery Sticks are the perfect pre-dinner snack and cover our veggie requirements for dinner.

 

TUESDAY

 

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes – leftovers from Easter Dinner… I diced up some ham and will partially fry up some potatoes ahead, then put together this meal, in a casserole dish, the night before so we can just pop it in the oven. Perfect with a side salad.

 

WEDNESDAY

 

Garlic Lime Chicken – another MEAL APPEAL meal, so handy, easy and delicious! This can cook in the crock pot and we will serve it with a cheesy Lipton Sides noodle dish and peas.

 

THURSDAY

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Stuffed Shells – it’s Pasta Night and this was one of our favorite MEAL APPEAL meals… so nice to have them already in the freezer. Great to have with a nice salad while they finish cooking.

 

FRIDAY

 

Pizza Night – will probably order out, nice reward after a long “back to reality” week!

 

SATURDAY

Bubble Up Cordon Bleu (Click HERE) – I will be gone and cooking all day at the “Meal Appeal – Homestyle 2 Workshop”… so I picked a new recipe for K to make for us! I love all the recipes I try from this site and I was looking for something to use up the left over Easter Ham… not to mention everyone’s love for Cordon Bleus!! Can’t wait to try it.

 

SUNDAY

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Looking forward to a day at home after the craziness of the week… Depending on the weather, we may grill out (this is the hope!) or I will play in the kitchen and practice a few more yummy dishes for the next MEAL APPEAL session…. It is such a joy to have found something I sincerely LOVE to do!!

 

Weekly Meal Plan (FREEZER MEALS) ~ Our Menu with Shopping List

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Sunday:  Steak and Baked Potatoes

Such a beautiful Day! I tried out a few marinades for the Meal Appeal “Grillers” class (coming in June) and we grilled steaks and had an amazing baked potato bar with cheese sauce, broccoli and bacon.

cordon bleu

Monday: Chicken Cordon Bleu(Click HERE), Fried Potatoes and Creamed Corn

A Meal Appeal freezer meal with the extra potatoes I made when I baked them for the steaks! Even have the corn frozen from last summer…. Sure looking forward to FRESH this summer!

 

Tuesday: Beef Tips over Noodles, Peas

Beef is diced and frozen from our last Roast meal… I’ll make a gravy base and add some sour cream! Serving with a salad.

 

Wednesday: Pot Pie

Another Meal Appeal freezer meal… so easy to pop in the oven! Serving with sliced melon – YUMMO!!

 

Thursday: Baked Ziti

This is a Meal Appeal freezer meal as well, and a delicious one at that!! Serving with a simple salad – Quick, easy, PERFECT!!

 

Friday: Diner OUT for Good Friday! Attica Golf Club – Can’t wait!

 

Saturday: Garlic Lime Chicken

Another Meal Appeal freezer meal… going to grill the chicken and serve with easy micro. pack Rice Pilaf and some carrot and celery sticks!

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Sunday: EASTER DINNER

Appetizers: Antipasta Platter, Cheese and Crackers

Dinner: Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Gravy, Noodles, Mixed Veggies with Cheese Sauce, Rolls

Desserts: Berry Pie, Brownies and Hidden Egg Cupcakes

Come one, Come all!!   Happy Easter Day!!

 

SHOPPING LIST ~

So – based on this meal plan, other than EASTER DINNER, all I need this week is:

  • Potatoes
  • Frozen Corn
  • Large Bagged Salad (for 2 meals)
  • Melon
  • Package of Rice Pilaf
  • Carrots (WON a bag from Monopoly Game – YEAH)
  • Celery

MEAL APPEAL is AMAZINGthis shopping list is less than $10 at any grocery and I have FIVE full meals for the week. Sign up for a workshop now!!!

Chocolate Nests ~ Easter Treat

Chocolate Nests

CHOCOLATE NESTS ~ a perfect little project with the kids and a GREAT Easter Treat!

*I made a couple batches of these and this was our favorite recipe

Ingredients:

• 1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 2 cups (12 oz.) Chocolate Chips
• ½ cup Butterscotch Chips (optional)
• 1 bag (12 oz.) Chow Mein Noodles
• Chocolate Eggs, with colorful candy coating – I used WHOPPERS Mini Robin Eggs

Directions:

• Line 2 baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
• I melted the chocolate using a double boiler…. Bring a ½ pan of water to a boil, fit a glass bowl over/in the pan. Pour Sweetened Condensed Milk in bowl and stir with a rubber spatula.
• Add all chips to the milk and stir constantly until chips are completely melted.
• Add noodles and toss to coat completely.
• Drop by 1/3 cup mounds onto trays.
• Place 3 ‘eggs’ in the ‘nests’…. Then set all aside to SET – you may want to put them in the fridge for about ½ hour.

Cute and OH SO YUMMY!!!

Meal Plan (w/shopping list), Freezer Meals and Meal Appeal!

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MEAL APPEAL happened – AGAIN! Round 2 was 26 wonderful friends making 310 meals and we did it in 1.5 hours this time – whooohooo!! My freezer is a BEAUTIFUL place right now!!

The feedback has been amazing so far… and really – who doesn’t want to have 10 meals in their freezer, all ready to go?!! Personally, I am all about 2 week’s worth of meals and will do it twice a month. We have had quite a few telling us that was there plan too… I mean seriously, you will have 10 meals in the time it takes you to even go get groceries!! This go round we also met a few that ALWAYS cook at home but figured they would buy a set of meals every few months just for the last minute emergencies. Either way, we are here for you and will be offering many workshops – so JOIN US!!!

Be sure to like the facebook page and stay tuned for the web site! (Click HERE to link)

So – I planned our weekly menu and of course, the shopping list! Using 5* of my FREEZER MEALS which is half of my stash and cost $62.50 (1/2 of the $125 for 10 meals), the following list is all I will need to buy to complete the meals below and to have AMAZING dinners for my family of 5! And truthfully – none of the add-ons are really needed…. You may eat just the dinner as prepared but I am trying to get more vegetables and fruits in my family! LOL

* We are using 5 of the meals per week since I am assuming one night is generally leftovers or something you prefer – like CEREAL – and also if you are as busy as we are, there will be a 2nd night during the week that you have to order out, or in!

 

SHOPPING LIST ~

  • Frozen Stir Fry Veggies, Peas and Corn
  • Rice and Potatoes and 1 Noodle side dish (Lipton Sides)
  • Melon and Grapes
  • Taco Shells
  • Block of Cheese to slice
  • Soft Rolls

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN ~

 

Monday: Hawaiian Chicken  – in the crock pot – and will be served over a quick micro. of a bag of frozen stir fry veggies and rice (I already have rice made and portioned in the freezer from last time I made rice).

 

Tuesday: Taco Casserole –We have shells – hard and soft and fresh lettuce and onion. I also grabbed a musk melon and grapes today to go with it!!

 

Wednesday: Chicken Pot pie – The remaining melon along with a grape and cheese platter is the perfect addition!

 

Thursday: Sloppy Joes –gotta be quick and easy so I can get “my TV time on” ~ SCANDAL!! Rolls and a side of Lipton Noodles and Sauce and some peas rounds out this meal.

 

Friday: Chicken Cordon Bleu – and some fried potatoes and corn.

 

Saturday: PIZZA – I have 2 HUGE commitments along with a Date Night so this is a Pizza treat day for the kids!

 

Sunday: Pork Loin - Freezer Meal Practice Day… looking at Parmesan crusted pork and a teriyaki recipe – advice???

 

So – there you have it… a run down on the Meal Appeal Freezer Meals we are having in our own Meal Plan, including the shopping list to make it all work. Now make sure you LIKE the Meal Appeal facebook page and give us some feedback ~ Thank You!!!

Have a GREAT week friends!!

 

Weekly Meals and Menu Plan ~

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MEAL APPEAL happened!

Wow – I am completely EXHAUSTED! But in a HAPPY, completely satisfied kind of way!

We just put in 2-12 hour days – running and chopping and running and chopping… on my feet! I am a ‘desk jockey’ and CLEARLY extremely out of shape so there is a BIG learning curve there!

BUT again – getting a group of friends (27 of them) together to make 340 meals – was INTENSE and EXCITING and I honestly can’t wait to do it again!

The feedback has been amazing so far… and really – who doesn’t want to have 10 meals in their freezer, all ready to go?!! We are going to do it again this coming Saturday for anyone else interested and then we scheduled 4/26 to make 10 NEW meals.

Great Example – Today we had the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet and had an awesome spaghetti dinner so that covered today – but yet again another reason I love having these meals in the freezer…. Sunday’s WERE my cooking days and not being home all day would have ruined my meal plan for the week ~ NOT anymore!! I have 10 beauties right in my freezer!

Be sure to like the facebook page and stay tuned for the web site! (Click HERE to link)

So – I planned our weekly menu and of course, the shopping list! Using 5* of my FREEZER MEALS which is half of my stash and cost $62.50 (1/2 of the $125 for 10 meals), the following list is all I will need to buy to complete the meals below and to have AMAZING dinners for my family of 5! And truthfully – none of the add-ons are really needed…. You may eat just the dinner as prepared but I am trying to get more vegetables and fruits in my family! The bread sticks, rice and cheese just round it all out!!   LOL

* We are using 5 of the meals per week since I am assuming one night is generally leftovers or something you prefer – like CEREAL – and also if you are as busy as we are, there will be a 2nd night during the week that you have to order out, or in!

 

SHOPPING LIST ~

  • Taco shells
  • Melon and Grapes
  • Block of Cheese to slice
  • Garlic Bread Sticks
  • Minute Rice
  • Stir Fry Veggies
  • Asparagus – or other fresh veggie to go with Cordon Bleus

 

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN ~

 

Monday: Scalloped Potatoes and Ham  – using up the left over ham from a meal we made last week. We have salad and bread left from the spaghetti dinner so comfort food all around on the dreaded Monday, back to reality day!  This is an alternate day.

 

Tuesday: Taco Casserole – the first of my FREEZER MEALS, this was the families universal choice! We have shells – hard and soft and I grabbed a musk melon today to go with it.

 

Wednesday: Chicken and Biscuits – I have a work meeting and “The Grands” are coming! This will be a perfect FREEZER MEAL because it feeds plenty AND there will be plenty of leftovers for lunches! The remaining melon along with a grape and cheese platter is the perfect addition!

 

Thursday: Home Style Ziti – Another FREEZER MEAL that can be popped in and baked the minute we get home – gotta be quick and easy so I can get “my TV time on” ~ SCANDAL!! This meal is so hearty that I will simply offer small garlic bread sticks with it.

 

Friday: Hawaiian Chicken – you guessed it, it’s in my FREEZER MEAL stash and since I will be prepping at the bakery until late at night, my family can still have an awesome meal! K can make some minute rice and we have some canned sweet and sour peppers that we are going to toss in the crock. Or maybe they will heat up some frozen stir fry veggies.

 

Saturday: Chicken Cordon Bleu – it is MEAL APPEAL workshop #2 day (Wish us luck), I will not be home until late but these babies, from the FREEZER MEAL stash will cook in under 30 minutes – K can pop them in when I am on my way home and I will walk into a delicious meal!! I hope to come across some good asparagus this week that can be broiled and served with these amazing chicken bundles.

 

Sunday:  TO BE DETERMINED – I will be practicing more new freezer meals!  Alternate day #2.

 

 

OTHER DEALS ~

Rite-aid – especially because of the FREE mouth guard soaks! * Check out the deals HERE

 

So – there you have it… a run down on the Meal Appeal Freezer Meals we are having in our own Meal Plan, including the shopping list to make it all work. Rite-aid deals are also listed. Now make sure you LIKE the Meal Appeal facebook page and give us some feedback ~ Thank You!!!

Have a GREAT week friends!!

Rite Aid DEALS ~ week of 3/30/2014

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I love to find a DEAL on one item my family can definitely use, that works to continue rolling my UPS each week and this week at Rite Aid that item is the Guard Soaks ! We can definitely use these – with all the sports! It also looks like we can grab some FREE Loreal eye shadow and Mitchum Deodorant for only $.99… and if I were so inclined to play with false lashes, I MAY be able to get those for FREE too!!

Check out these deals:

 

Efferdent Fresh Guard Soak 24 ct or Wipes 20 ct – $5.99

-$1 Efferdent Product – 3/2 SS

Get $5 +Up (limit 2)

= FREE!

 

Loreal Eye Shadows – start at $4.89 SALE = 40% off

-$2 Loreal eye – 3/23 RP

AND -$1 Rite aid Video Value coupon

= FREE!!

 

Mitchum Deodorant – $3.99

-$2 Mitchum Product – 2/23 SS

AND – $1/1 “in-ad” coupon

= $0.99

 

And how about this doozy:

Revlon false eyelashes – many are in the $5 range…

Get $5 +up

= possibly FREE (gold bonus??)

 

Happy Shopping!!

MONEY Monday, a third try at balancing and a visit to the Utilities….

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It’s “MONEY MONDAY” again… if you are following this series, this is a step by step detail of how I am getting my budget under control – and how you can too!

Here was Step ONE

And Here was Step TWO

Both initial reviews had me realizing that my LEVEL 3 spending / “monthly, weekly, daily incidentals” are always WAY higher than I budget for… and in my case, I am talking WAY more!  I had to revamp my monthly budget to include a lot more items that I previously wasn’t counting (see the example in STEP 2) and even after  really trying to get a complete handle on it this week threw me for a curve yet again with a few little things adding up to BIG totals…  My daughter had not one - but 2 - field trips and each one cost a $20 spot and the kids had a school dance that was $10 each plus snack money… not to mention Lu needed something to wear cuz we all know you can’t wear something you already have….  I had to pay for our girl scout cookies and somehow my family managed to plow away 7 boxes in the past couple weeks… and my stupid key fob for my car quit working and I had to replace the battery, which mind you is NOT a $3 watch battery like I thought – and even though I completely redid my vehicle expense category, this was not something I ever thought of!  So $200 later, I am once again revisiting my budgeted expenses and revamping and realizing that the only answer is a sugar daddy I may also have to revisit my level 2 and even level 1 expenses to determine where I can draw the money from to make the Level 3 – monthly incidentals budget out.  This is where it gets very frustrating and I know for me, this is when I get sick of dealing with it and think if I ignore it will somehow fix itself…  WRONG!!! 

Because we have a very TIGHT budget (aka – live paycheck to paycheck) and I now can see why I am always “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”, I have to do one of 2 things:  either reduce my spending – somewhere… somehow…, or increase my income!  Increasing my income at this exact point in my life is not really possible so we definitely need to reduce our expenses! 

Looking at Level 2 expenses – all my monthly “BILLS”, I want to start with investigating all of my utility payments…  we have:

  • ·         Propane
  • ·         Electric
  • ·         Verizon (cellular and internet – UGH)
  • ·         Dish Network
  • ·         Also our vehicle Insurance

I am going to review each one of these expenses to see exactly what we are paying…  right off the bat I can tell you our VERIZON is outrageous and our DISH is useless….  I am thrilled with my insurance agent (HI MT) and I am more than happy that I locked in my propane this year.  So I will start with Verizon and Dish…  I’ll let you know how this goes!

Who’s playing along?  How are your LEVEL 2 expenses?

       

Weekly Menu ~ Meal Plan

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Wow – what a week we’ve had?  I don’t know about you, but I am ready to start fresh and new!  I had to travel for a work meeting so I was out in that horrible storm on Wednesday and even though we had already planned on staying overnight, the storm was so bad everywhere that the entire town shut down and we could not even go out for dinner!  We came home Thursday evening and realized we should have called ahead to have someone plow our vehicles out… what a mess, we were all buried!  I was never so happy to get home as I was on Thursday night.  Then – even though I had a planned three day weekend – I never had any down time, except for my special TV hour on Sunday when I watch Tricia and Ree on the Food Network!!  Hey, everyone has their vices – right??!!

I did make some pretty amazing food this weekend… I’ve been prepping and practicing for our FREEZER MEAL WORKSHOPS (Have you liked MEAL APPEAL on facebook yet?).  I made a delicious SHEPARD’S PIE (see the recipe HERE) and then I tried two versions of chicken… stay tuned for the MAPLE DIJON CHICKEN, it was truly amazing!!  Today I made my “sauce” (recipe HERE) and then I made a SKILLET LASAGNA – whoa… if you have never done so, you will have to try skillet lasagna; it was so easy and quick, yet tasted just as good as a lasagna you spent all day on.  I will share the recipe this week as well.

I planned out the HOT deals at Rite-aid… couple freebies and cheap ($.50/pack) pads so definitely worth a quick trip.  See the RITE-AID DEALS here!!

Then I planned my weekly menu ~

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN:

 

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas – using left over chunk chicken from my “Bourbon Chicken” meal last week

 

Tuesday:  Corned Beef and Cabbage – my family loves it… I do not!  We are having a work luncheon focusing on CB&C, so I am making same day so I only have to smell it and see it one day – LOL!!

 

Wednesday:  Taco Bar – taco meat is in the freezer, I will put it in a small crock pot and set out toppings since K and I have a dinner date with friends! 

 

ThursdayReubens – I have a meeting, so K and the kids can eat up the left over corned beef. {BLECH }

 

FridayPIZZA for all – Lu and I have a Girl Scout overnight so boys are on their own!

 

SaturdayBURGERSTROGANOFF – the next FREEZER MEAL on my “to-try” list.  I LOVE having these meals all set in my freezer and need the 29th to get here so I can get more in my stash!! 

 

SundayTURKEY DINNER – more because I need the space in my freezer (for next week’s new FREEZER MEAL stash) and I still have quite a few turkeys in there.

 

 

Wow – feeling much better about ANOTHER crazy week ahead now that I have this all planned out… How about you?

 Big shopping plans?  What are you eating this week?? 

 

 

 

 

 

Rite-Aid, Deals I gotta have (2 FREEBIES) ~ week of 3/16/14

thCA50QPHQI haven’t been couponing at the drug stores like I should lately, but this week Rite-aid had a couple freebies and the super cheap pads again, so I am all over it!  Anyone can do these few deals; it’s FREE deodorant, FREE toothbrushes and pads for $.50 package – who doesn’t need that??

See you at Rite-aid!!

 

Sure or Brut Antiperspirant or Deodorant  -  $1.50

-$1.00/1 Brut Classic Fragrance or Antiperspirant/Deodorant Coupon – 3/16 SS

OR -$1.00/1 Sure 2.6oz, 2.7oz or 6oz – 3/16 SS

= $.50

Get $.50 +UP Reward WYB 1 (Limit 2)

= FREE

 

Reach Toothbrush 1ct – $2.99

- $1.00/1 Reach Brand Toothbrush (except Crystal Clean) – 1/26 SS

OR -$.75/1 Reach Brand Toothbrush (except Crystal Clean)Rite Aid Load To Card Coupon

= as low as $1.99

Get $2.00 +UP Reward WYB 1 (Limit 2)

= FREE

 

Stayfree Pads 14-24ct – 2/$5.00, or $2.50 each (MUST BUY 2)

- $1.00/1 Stayfree Pad – 3/2 SS

OR – $1.00/1 Stayfree Pad – 2/9 SS

 = $3.00, or $1.50 each

GET $2.00 +UP Reward WYB 2 (Limit 2)

= $1.00 or ONLY $.50 each

SHEPARD’s PIE ~ Freezer Meal

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THIS…. This is a meal worth making – trust me!  I dilly-dallied around and had the recipe in my file for months thinking it would be an awesome FREEZER MEAL but I never got to it.  I kept thinking it was too ‘plain’, too ‘heavy’, too ‘old fashioned’, BUT you know what is all of these things?  COMFORT FOOD!!  And this,  my friends, TOPS the list!!  It sounds a little daunting, but really it is just three steps;  the “pie” mixture, the gravy, and the potato topping.   Give it a go!! 

 

SHEPARD’S PIE – me’o’my!!

 

INGREDIENTS:

‘PIE’ MIX

  • ·         1 lb. ground beef
  • ·         2 TBS butter
  • ·         1 regular onion – diced
  • ·         1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ·         1 cup carrots – sliced
  • ·         1 cup corn
  • ·         1 cup green beans   (I used frozen veggies and they were awesome)

 

GRAVY

  • ·         2 more TBS butter
  • ·         2 TBS flour
  • ·         1 cup beef broth (I always use water and bouillon cubes to make the broth)
  • ·         2 tsp of worcestershire

 

POTATOES

  • ·         2 lbs potatoes (about 5 reg. sized), peeled and chopped up into chunks
  • ·         2 MORE TBS butter
  • ·         ½ cup milk
  • ·         2 cups shredded cheddar – divided
  • ·         Salt and pepper

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DIRECTIONS:

 

1.       In a LARGE skillet, fry burger over medium heat.  Drain burger on a paper towel covered plate – set aside.  Remove remaining grease.  * OR pull 2.5 cups of cooked burger from your freezer stash!

 

2.       In same LARGE skillet, melt 2TBS butter, then fry onion and garlic until transparent.  Put in all 3 vegetables and stir as you heat through.

 

3.       Return meat mixture to pan, with veggie mixture, and mix together.  Pour into a casserole dish or large pie plate.

 

4.       Now melt another 2 TBS butter and mix in 2 TBS flour until you have a carmel-y color ‘paste’.  Pour in the 1 cup of broth and Worcestershire sauce… stir as you heat it until you have a nice gravy.  * You can of course use prepared gravy at this point.

 

5.       Pour gravy over meat/veggie mix in casserole dish and run your spatula through it to mix together.

 

6.       Now cook your quartered potatoes until fork tender, drain and proceed to mash the potatoes adding 2 TBS butter, the milk and 1 cup of the cheese… mix and mash them good – no lumps!!  * Any 3-4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes will work but these homemade ones are the best!!

 

7.       Dollop the potatoes on the mix and spread over the top… then sprinkle with remaining cup of shredded cheddar.  * At this point you can cover TIGHTLY will foil and freeze.

 

8.       To Bake –place thawed meal, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

 shepards pie - end

Serve with a small side salad or a fruit cup – COMFORT FOOD deluxe!!  YUMMMMO

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