5 Things You Probably Want to Know About My Week ~ Especially the Part About the Chicken

I have taken several pictures this week, knowing most certainly that you would want to see them and learn what’s been going on at our house. Haven’t you just been wondering if possibly I came across a new chicken recipe that was delicious? Yes, that’s exactly what you’ve been wondering. Let’s start with that picture then:

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That, my dear ones, is called Chicken Lazone. A friend of mine posted the recipe to Facebook, and since I saw that it had both butter and cream in it (and sure, chicken too, but whatever), I knew it was a “must try.” We had it for lunch today. It was awesome (and easy too). Find the recipe here.

In other news not at all related to chicken – flowers are popping up all over our yard. On Wednesday, my husband sent me a picture of 2lips while he was working outside. What? That’s what he called them in the email he sent me. I thought it was cute.

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I had already taken the following pictures of my very favorite purple wild flowers that spring up all over the yard.

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They are so very pretty to me. Sometimes when I am singing worship songs, I pretend I’m dancing in a field full of these purple flowers. Alone. Just me and Jesus. No one else wants to see me dance. No one.

One day this week was especially sunshiny and lovely. I made myself my first iced coffee of the season, then sat outside shivering while I drank it. Apparently it was still not warm enough to drink iced coffee. Oh well. At least it tasted delicious.

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Arm yourself for iced coffee this summer. Learn to make Coffee Ice Cubes. Learn to Cold Brew Coffee. I do both of these, then add just a little bit of cream to my glass. It is iced coffee perfection.

What else? Well, my Amazon Subscribe and Save order came in on Monday. It was a fun one: two cases of Izze Sodas that I got for less than $9 each. A case of organic corn starch. A box of Larabars to take to soccer games. A big box of Bearitos Organic Tortilla Chips. We love Amazon Subscribe and Save deals paired with online coupons. (I just updated our Amazon Deals page with the latest and greatest.)

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Tuesday we made homemade pizza for lunch. Well…it was mostly homemade. I’d ordered the crusts from Bountiful Baskets to give myself a little bit of healthy convenience. It was worth it. The boys did most of the work putting the pizzas together. We added fruit to the meal and had a delicious lunch.

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Yes, I just buy pepperoni from the store. Not the greatest, for sure. I do usually buy turkey pepperoni – which is really only a little bit better. Is it possible that if you don’t read the list of ingredients before eating something then it won’t hurt you? If only.

Many soccer games and practices, too many loads of laundry, hours of school work, and many other blessings filled the week too. And how about you? What are some of the highlights of your week? Have any flowers blooming in your yard? Tried any great new recipes?

This post contains affiliate links.

Order Soy Free Chocolate Chips Before They Melt in Your Mailbox!

I’m not joking. I’ve had this happen before. I ordered chocolate chips in the summertime, and by the time they reached my house, they had melted together into one giant clump.

Not to worry. I figured out ways to still use them. No chocolate left behind, as they say. But if you’re wanting your chocolate chips to stay chippy – I recommend you order now and stock up before the weather gets too warm.

Right now Amazon has a case of 6 – 10 ounce bags of Enjoy Life Soy Free Chocolate Chips for just $22.14.  This is a great stock-up price, so buy now and freeze them for later.

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Unless you like 10-ounce blobs of melty chocolate mess. Then, by all means, wait until July to order. ;)

This post contains affiliate links.

Menu Plan for the Week – And I Am Officially Finished With Our Pantry Challenge

Since the beginning of January, I have been challenging myself to see if we could live off the food we have in our pantry and freezers – purchasing only fresh produce and dairy products.  It’s saved us several hundred dollars and we haven’t starved even a little bit.  I have loved getting more creative as I’ve been digging deeper into our bulk food supply to use up the food that has been in storage.

My goal was to continue this challenge through January and into February as long as I could.  On February 9, I hereby declared this challenge to be over here in the Coppinger household.  It was time to buy pantry items because running out of minced onion, garlic powder, sucanat, pasta, and tapioca – well yikes – how would I make my pudding?  :)  One of the biggest ways I save money is by buying food in bulk – as needed – so that I always have a nice supply of all staple food items.  So I caved.  Here’s what the UPS man brought to my door this week:

I had some credit at iHerb (thanks to those of you who took advantage of the $10 free groceries deal), so I used it to get bulk garlic powder, minced onion, and my favorite brand of sucanat.

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I rounded out this month’s Amazon Subscribe and Save order by getting two cases of Bearitos Organic Tortilla Chips (with a coupon!), a case of Tapioca Pearls, and a case of Organic Delallo Gemelli Pasta.  (For whatever reason, that shape of pasta is my favorite right now.)

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I also bought milk and eggs from our farmer friends this week.  We have been well stocked on fresh fruits and vegetables with my huge grocery store purchase last week, plus our Bountiful Basket delivery (need I remind you of my 36 crowns of broccoli?).  I did send Matt and Elias to the store yesterday to pick up a few items (their first price-matching experience!), but we’ve all be a little under the weather, so I didn’t get a picture of their purchase.  They picked up apples, pears, cucumbers, avocados, and grape tomatoes for great prices.

Here is how our menu this week is looking:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

What do you have on your menu this week?  Did you do a pantry/freezer challenge the past month or two?

Gratituesday: Filling the Pantry

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Gardening. Canning. Preserving. Freezing. Slicing.  It is so much work.

I really don’t have time for this. But I also don’t have time not to do it. So I make time, or somehow, as always, God provides the time. The family pitches in to help, and eventually we get it all done.

The beauty of working so hard to get garden veggies and orchard fruit preserved in the summer and fall is that this winter it will all be convenience food for our family! It will be super easy to pull these goodies out of the pantry or freezer and serve them quickly with our meals. That’s why I make the time – that and because it saves us hundreds of dollars. That’s pretty nice too. :)

It’s been a few years since we canned any peaches. We’ve only had enough to freeze some for smoothies. This year, we got ourselves set for smoothies, and filled several jars to eat plain or with cottage cheese. These peaches turned out so pretty!

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We’ve made loads of applesauce. What you see below is barely a sampling. Thanks to cucumbers a friend passed along to us, we are all set with dill pickles and sweet pickle relish for the year. I also made a few jars of salsa (my mom’s recipe). Sometimes, I just open my pantry to stare at all the pretty jars full of food. That alone makes the hard work all worth it. :)

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It was ironic that I was gawking at my jars of home-canned produce and taking pictures to share with you today. Just as I was doing that, the UPS man showed up on our porch with part of our Amazon Subscribe and Save order. FUN!! (See many of the specifics here.)

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I snapped a picture of the packaged food (and household items) too. I thought it would be good to show you those along with my home-canned produce. Yep, sometimes I rely on packaged cereal on busy mornings. Sometimes we like chips for a treat.  It’s all about balance, right?

I just LOVE a full pantry, and thank God that he has provided so much (mostly) free produce to preserve. I also thank Him for the great deals I find online that are delivered to my door. How fun that I got to stare at so many household blessings for my family today. Thank you, God for the bounty!

How about you? What are you thankful for this Gratituesday?

My June Amazon Subscribe and Save Order, Plus Other Groceries That Came To My Doorstep

It was very fun to come home from our trip to a living room full of boxes to open! Thank goodness we have a young man living with us this summer since we were out of town when our monthly Amazon order came in. Bless his heart – I had forgotten to warn him that the UPS man drops by with boxes very frequently at the Coppinger house. :)

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The boys had a good time opening the boxes to discover what Mom had ordered this month. Besides our Amazon order, we had a box from NuNaturals (watch for a giveaway later this week!). Plus, we decided to give NatureBox a try.

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That was a super fun box to open! We tried some of the snacks yesterday afternoon and really enjoyed them. Having those snacks come to our door (free shipping!) is a treat. Whether or not we chose to keep our subscription or not remains to be seen, but we thought it would be fun to try it out. Have you looked into NatureBox?

Now on to our Amazon Subscribe and Save order. FYI: If you want to learn more about why I love Amazon Subscribe and Save and how I use this wonderful tool to save tons of money for my family, read this post. Remember, I have an Amazon Deals page that I work to keep updated with all the latest deals I find on real food groceries and homemaking items.

This month, I splurged a little on beverages. Typically, we drink water, water, water…and milk at our house. Okay, and one of us drinks a little coffee. But do you remember the post about how I get a soda fix without added sugar? My Amazon order shows you the most cost effective way I’ve found to keep these fun drinks on hand. What you see in this picture will last us for a LONG time. The Switch sodas will be lovingly rationed out for the next few months.

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Oooh. Aaah. Toilet Paper.

Next, you’ll see that we bought cases of sliced black olives and coconut milk. Having items like this on hand are so helpful so that I can just grab them when I need them. These cases were on sale for a great price, plus Amazon was offering coupons at the time. I got super good deals and stocked up! For the record, I prefer regular coconut milk instead of lite – but I couldn’t pass up the price. :)  The coconut milk coupon is still good, by the way…as is the sliced black olives coupon. 25% off!

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Last but not least, I went a little crazy buying cases of my favorite brand of tuna. Again, there were coupons, plus I got the additional 20% off because of subscribe and save. We go through at least 6 cans each time we eat tuna – so buying 72 cans seemed like a good idea, especially for cool, summertime meals. This deal is also still good with the 25% off coupon. Cans of high quality, low mercury tuna for as low as $1.37 each? Yes, please.

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Have you learned how to take advantage of Amazon Prime/Subscribe and Save deals with coupons yet?  You’ve got to join me, especially if you like buying in bulk!

My April Subscribe and Save Order Came!

Is there anything more fun than the UPS man bringing big boxes of food to the door? Yes, probably. But cases of groceries on my porch make my day. Wanna see part of what we got this month in our Amazon subscribe and save order?

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This time around, I got several different “grab-and-go” snacks to take with us to the soccer field. And yes, I even got a case of Annie’s mac and cheese. We love my homemade Creamy Mac and Cheese, but sometimes it’s nice to have the boxed stuff on hand for the boys to make when Matt and I aren’t around. I got it for super cheap, and the boys were really excited to find it in our boxes!

Are you wondering why I got a case of black tea? (800 tea bags, baby!)  I’m going to get a batch of kombucha started, and have big plans to keep it going throughout the summer for a healthy, refreshing drink. I also ordered a scoby so I am all set! If you have no idea what I’m talking about (kombucha, scoby, what’s that?!) – never fear. I’ll take pictures and share more about it once I figure out what I’m doing. :)

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I think we’re set on olives for a while. I couldn’t pass up the huge discount, plus I really like this brand. Opening a can of olives to help stretch a meal is always great!

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I’m almost out of my home-canned tomato sauce, so I took advantage of the coupon offer at Amazon and bought a case of Natural Value brand to hold me over. It was a super deal! That rice was also an incredible price, and I figured it would be a fun change of pace.

I also ordered a few other items like toilet paper, which I didn’t figure needed to be featured with a picture. It’s toilet paper. What more do you need to know? But yay for a discount and for having a case of tp on hand, which was lovingly delivered to my door by my dear UPS man.

I took advantage of many of the coupon offers to go along with the 20% discount I got from Amazon Prime/Mom. That means I got many items for 40-50% off, with free shipping. You can’t beat that!

Want to learn more about using Amazon Prime and Subscribe and Save to get the greatest Amazon discounts? Read this post for more information. Also, always check in with our Amazon Deals page which I try to keep updated with the latest awesome deals at Amazon. Some of the items I talked about are still being offered at a great discount. Details here.

Did you (or will you) receive an Amazon Subscribe and Save order this month? What did you get?  (It’s so much fun to talk about food…)

You CAN Save Money on Whole Foods! {31 Days of Real Food Reality ~ Day 25}

Let’s eat right and save money too!

When we were first changing over from processed foods and white flour/white sugar products, I was so discouraged at first when I saw the costs of healthier foods. I used to have so much fun shopping with coupons and finding good deals at the store. Now, it seemed, I would need to throw all my coupons away and maybe stop wearing shoes or paying the heat bill so that we could afford groceries. Healthy food seemed to cost twice or three times as much as I was used to paying!

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A few tears and several months of research later, I found that while yes, some foods were just going to cost us more money (since they contained real food ingredients instead of cheap high fructose corn syrup and the like) – there were many ways to keep our food budget reasonable. God knew my desires and blessed us with resources. He always provides – no matter where you live and what your circumstances.

My coupon clipping hobby has been replaced by a new healthier, money saving hobby:  Figuring out recipes for healthy meals and snacks that can be made at low cost. Seeking local sources of food that are reasonably priced, nourishing, and support our hard working neighbors and farmers. Finding deals online that are delivered right to my door – saving me gas money, time, effort, and energy.  I also had to recognize that the extra I am spending in food is money I’m often saving on health care costs – even if I don’t see the difference right away.

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Want to learn to make real food meals and snacks that are low in cost? My website is full of them. Want to find local sources of food that fit your budget? Keep your ears open, ask questions of those around you, and check out LocalHarvest.org to see what is available in your area. Want to find some online deals so healthy foods can be delivered to your door? I’ll continue to share them in blog posts as I find them (often!).

What’s fun is that online stores offer sales and sometimes even coupons too! Free shipping is my friend, so I’ve learned ways to make this happen for online grocery purchases. You really can’t beat the ease of having healthy food delivered (for free!) to your door.

Here are some great online resources and deals to check out:

Amazon Groceries

Did you know you can buy all kinds of groceries at Amazon? I am always amazed at the sales Amazon offers. If you have Amazon Prime, shipping is free on most products. If you choose five subscribe and save items in one month’s time, you get an additional 20% off those items. AND, Amazon offers many grocery coupons you can clip to add to the wonderful discounts you’re already getting. I have so much fun shopping Amazon groceries! (Some Amazon grocery coupons are for not-so-healthy foods, so if you see those, run far, far away.)

In addition, I use Swagbucks, which I redeem for Amazon gift cards. This means I can take advantage of all the great deals I find at Amazon, plus use a gift card to get the food for free or partially free! Learn more about Swagbucks here.

Price-Matching

I live in a small town, so my grocery options are not very competitive. But I have a Walmart in town that price-matches all the grocery stores an hour away from me in big cities! Taking the time to Price-Match has saved us thousands! I price match the good deals on fruits and vegetables each week and we load up.

Read more about price-matching here. I’ve found Pricematerz.com to be a fantastic resource to make the list-making easier.

What is Price-Matching and How Does it Work

Vitacost

Vitacost runs great sales, so I’ve learned to check their site frequently and stock up depending on the sale prices. If you’re a brand new customer with Vitacost, if you sign up through this referral link, you’ll receive an automatic $10 of credit to spend on your first $30 order.  If you buy at least $25 worth of Vitacost brand products, you’ll receive free shipping. Or, if you don’t want any Vitacost brand items, you’ll receive free shipping once you hit $49.

Here’s a sample of how to get the most out of your Vitacost free credit:

  1. Sign up through this referral link to receive a $10 coupon code through your email.
  2. Choose $30 worth of Vitacost brand items, such as…
    Organic Slivered Almonds  $4.75
    Organic Cacao Powder  $12.89
    Organic Thompson Raisins  $3.99
    Organic Dried Apricots  $5.49
    Organic Shredded Coconut  $2.49
    Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds $6.19  (such a delicious treat!)
  3. This totals $35.80 of Vitacost Brand Products. Use your referral code to receive $10 off your order. Because you still have $25 worth of Vitacost products in your cart, shipping will be free for all of those great groceries!

Once you are a customer with Vitacost, you can then refer your friends through your blog, email, facebook or twitter, and receive $10 of credit for each new customer who makes a purchase through your link! This is a wonderful way to earn some extra healthy grocery cash!

Vitacost also carries many gluten free items.

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iHerb

Have you ever shopped at iHerb? If so, you know how many great products they carry. If you’re a brand new customer, that means you get $10 off your first order of $40!

Here’s a sample $40 order that you can get for just $30 (with free shipping!):

Grand total for this cart full of real food is $40.15.  If you are a new customer, you can use my referral code: BID487 to receive $10 off your $40+ order. That means you get all that food I mentioned – or whatever you choose to put into your cart, for just a little over $30! Shipping is free on any order over $20.

Doesn’t that list look like fun? Think of all you can make! iHerb also carries a lot of gluten free products.

Tropical Traditions

The quality of Tropical Traditions food (and health and beauty) products is incredible. They offer free shipping every few weeks. This, coupled with their buy-one-get-one-free deals is wonderful. I just posted about a great coconut oil deal with free shipping. Did you take advantage of that yet?

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Don’t be discouraged as you learn new ways of purchasing food. Instead, look at it as an adventure! Have fun finding new sources for real food products. I’ll do my best to continue to make it easy for you!

This post contains affiliate links.

Want to learn all the best ways to save money?

You’ll definitely want to be a part of our Homemaker’s Savings Club! Not only do we start out by giving you a free cookbook full of our favorite low cost, real food recipes – we keep you updated with the best homemaking freebies and sale prices each week. People have saved big bucks being a part of this, not to mention time since we do all the hard work for you weeding out the so-so deals and finding all the best to tell you about!!

What Healthy Food Should I Have On Hand? Where Do I Buy Them? {31 Days of Real Food Reality ~ Day 11}

Not sure where to start when it comes to shopping for healthy, real food ingredients? No problem! I have an entire page on my site dedicated to sharing what foods I buy regularly and where I usually purchase them.

Real Food Ingredients Resource Page

Click the image above to head over to our
Real Food Ingredients Resource Page

Many people assume that you either have to live on a farm or live in a big city in order to find sources for healthy food. Not true at all! I live neither on a farm, nor in a big city.  I live in a small town with two locally owned grocery stores and a Wal-mart. The nearest Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers stores are about an hour away – which means we are only privileged to shop in those stores a few times a year when we happen to be in the city for appointments or soccer games.

So what are my options? I buy from farms close-by, I buy from a food co-op, I buy online, and I buy the rest from our local grocery stores and Wal-mart. When I do happen to be in the city and can shop at a more specialized whole foods store, it’s a blast! But since those opportunities are rare, I sure do love having access to the internet and my food co-op!

What food do I often buy to have on hand to prepare healthy meals and snacks? You’ll find that detailed list here. Even better, I have a printable Real Food Grocery Check-List included in my Let’s Do This! eCourse, which is very helpful to have in your kitchen as you transition to real food cooking. (That eCourse is a part of our amazing Real Food Reality Resources Package. Did you get yours yet?!)

Let these detailed lists offer you guidance as you transform your kitchen. Anytime I find online sales on these whole food ingredients, I always share them with you within a post so that you can benefit too.  The ability to order healthy food ingredients online is a wonderful blessing!

Head on over to our Real Food Ingredient Resource Page to learn more about how I shop.

What are your favorite places to shop for real food ingredients?

 

Get a 32-Ounce Jug Of Maple Syrup For As Low As $15.60

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I’m always on the look-out for a nice deal on real maple syrup. Typically, if I find a 32 ounce jug for under $20.00, I snatch it up!

Here’s what I found on Amazon today, and here are the price options:

Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup, Grade B, 32-Ounce

  • $19.50 with free shipping, or
  • $18.52 with Subscribe and Save, or
  • $15.60 with Subscribe and Save plus Amazon Mom

All of those prices are good, but that $15.60 price tag is motivating me to find four other items I need and use regularly so that I can get that Amazon Mom perk with this purchase!

This post contains affiliate links.