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Menu Plan Monday and Freezer Cooking Days Plan 07/05

My freezer is in need of prepared foods, so I thought my menu plan this week should consist of Freezer Cooking Days.  I don’t really have a full day to devote to marathon cooking, so I’ve decided that most of my menu will consist of meals that I can freeze. We’ll eat one for the night I cook it and use one for the freezer.  My plan is to add in an extra meal or two on Thursday or Friday.  My menu is based around what I have on hand, so I’ll need to do minimal shopping to pull this off. 

I’ll post my freezer results (and recipes) on Friday, so stop back by if your interested. 

Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole with salad (freeze 1) 
Jambalaya with salad (freeze 1)
Grilled Ratatouille (mixed veggies over pasta, will post recipe)
Spaghetti and Meat Balls with salad (freeze 1)
Meat Loaf with rice and whatever veggie is on sale Wednesday (freeze 1)
Dinner with friends
Turkey Burgers with baked sweet potato fries
~Extra meal: Brown Bag Burritos OR another burrito plus another meal if time permits.


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Freezer Cooking Day-My Plan

I’ll be participating in Freezer Cooking Day with Crystal and Jessica again this month.  My freezer is still pretty stocked, so I have only a few items I’ll be making.  I don’t cook all my meals in one day like some of the others ladies, but I do prepare several meals that help ward against the “what’s for dinner” questions at 5pm.  Most meals can come straight from the freezer and into the oven.  Further, my son has been sick which just throws everything off.  I plan to add on a few more items tomorrow if I’m feeling up to it. 

Chicken Stock

Brown Bag Burritos

Banana bread

Macaroni and Cheese X2

Chicken Tortilla Soup X2

Southwestern Wagon Wheel Pasta (except I’m using shells-they were free)

I’ll post the Southwestern Wagon Wheels recipe tomorrow.  I know you already link to Money Saving Mom, but I’d be interested to know if you have any recipes I should try next month.

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Hi! I’m Dana, the writer behind the scenes of The Coupon Challenge, a Hampton Roads based coupon blog. Are you looking for ways to save your family money? The Coupon Challenge provides coupons to help you save on groceries, restaurants, clothing, and everything in between.I strive to help you save on the products you need, so you can spend more on the things you want.
You’ll find store matchups to help you get more bang for your buck as well as links to score free products. I’ll keep you appraised of free/cheap events, give frugal advice and even offer chances to win giveaways!

Take a look at my getting started series if you’re new to the world of coupons. You may also be interested in my weekly menu plans and freezer cooking as a way to save time and money in the kitchen. Look around to find out how I can help you lower your monthly budget, so you can spend your hard-earned dollars on what is most important in your life.


More About Me:

I have been with my wonderful husband, Derrick, for 11 years. We have 2 energetic kids that keep me on my toes. Monkey is 6 and LuLu is 3. We live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  I welcome you to meet my family and learn about our spending habits.

After my son was born, my coupon usage became more of an obsession. I’ve always enjoyed finding a good bargain and watching my grocery spending become less each month. I have taken this further into frugal living by cooking more, wasting less, shopping for the best deals, and much more. I have found that I can put more money into things that are beneficial and enjoyable to my family by changing my spending habits.

Once we were debt free (except for our house), we continued saving money so I could stay home with our 2 children.  We enjoy using our savings to spend time together as a family and create memories.   We also love traveling and exploring the World – day trips camping or hiking, heading to Disney World or taking a Cruise.  My husband and I have fond memories of family vacations growing up and we want to share those same experiences with our kids.

I started blogging in January 2010. I used to send out emails to family and friends with all the deals I was finding. I felt like I was bombarding their inbox’s with deals (which I was). I wanted a place where they could go at their leisure to find coupons and deals, thus The Coupon Challenge was born!

I love comments and getting to know my readers.  Leave a comment or send me an email to say hi!  I’m always looking to improve The Coupon Challenge, so let me know your thoughts, needs or questions.

Thanks for reading!

Contact Me

Have a Question or Comment?  Want to Share a Deal or Event?

I’d love to hear from you!

Email me
dana @ thecouponchallenge (dot) com

Meet the Coupon Challenge Team:

Melissa – Content Contributor and Farm Fresh Matchups


Hi! My name is Melissa. I grew up in Virginia Beach and now live in Hampton, Va. I’m a Navy Brat and moved to Virginia Beach when I was 7 years old so I proudly call Hampton Roads home. I am a mother of 3 wonderful kids, Danielle, Cole and Mikey. These days it is just John (the love of my life & best friend) and I at home with our kitty cat Kathy. John is an Army Veteran, Tanker, and I am a Disabled Navy Veteran and yes I miss it so very much! :o) I was an FMF (Combat) Corpsman, EMT/ EVOC, Pharmacy Technician and even served time with the Marines. HooRah!

I have always couponed, even as a child with my mom, but not the strategic way that I do now. I would make a list, find coupons for items that were on my list and then proceed to shop and spend way to much on groceries for the family. I came across “strategic” couponing a couple of years ago while I was in the hospital. I was flipping through the TV channels one night and came across “THAT” show. Yes, you know which one that I am talking about. :o) And no, I no longer watch “That” show. So anyway, I was discharged from the hospital and I went home and eagerly started researching on the internet everything that I could about this type of couponing. That is how I came upon “The Coupon Challenge” and fell in love instantly. Especially with the Farm Fresh Matchups! I was so happy to find a website that was local with deals specific to this area. Soon after, I quickly realized that the show was a farce, but yes you can save LOTS of money and even get items for free doing it the “right” way. I was hooked to couponing immediately! It became my obsession and a game of sorts. How much could I buy for the least amount of money?

Read more about Melissa here
Contact Melissa:   [email protected]

Emily – Content Contributor and Giveaways


Hi! My name is Emily but most people just call me “Em” these days. I am married to the love of my life, Brock, and together we have the two best kids in the world, Jack and Lucy. Baby #3 is due in December 2013 and we couldn’t be happier to become a party of five!

I started couponing when I quit my commercial interior design job to stay at home with my babies. It was a hard decision to make since I loved my career, but I knew it was the right choice for my family. Hubs is an public school elementary school teacher and together we’ve found ways to live (and enjoy!) a debt free life, except for our mortgage. I always say “we have everything we need and almost everything we want” . . . with the exception of historic house in the country and a decked out minivan and a few ponies, right? Just kidding.

Read more about Emily here

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It’s Not All About Coupons…

You all know that I love coupons!  I use coupons daily in all aspects of my life, but saving money isn’t all about using coupons.  I’ve put together a list of other ways my family saves money.

-We use CASH!  Paying in Cash has been the most beneficial off all my money saving strategies.  Paying with cash hurts and when it’s gone, it’s GONE!

-We avoid going out to eat!  Although I love going out to eat, it’s expensive.  Don’t get me started on fast food and how crazy the price is for that for junk.  I’m not saying we don’t eat it on occasion; sometimes convenience over rules.

-I like to cook and participate in Freezer Cooking Day on a small scale.  I can’t tell you how many times grabbing something from the freezer at the last minute has saved me. Oh, last night.  I swore I’d taken out the turkey sausage.  I just grabbed a container of chicken soup from the freezer and dinner was served!

-We find free or cheap entertainment.  I’ve been working on an events/kids fun page which has been very helpful to me.  Sunday we will be taking the kids to Portsmouth City Park for the boat races.  It’s FREE, outside so the kids can run, and I’ll pack a picnic for lunch.

-We have weekly dinners with friends. We have friends with kids the same age, so we get together on Friday nights at one of our houses for dinner.  Everyone contributes to the meal and the kids get to run and play all night.  Although there is some cost, it’s minimal and a fun night out for all!

-We drink water!  We don’t buy a lot of juice and rarely buy soda.  My hubby and I can’t control ourselves if soda’s in the house, so I just don’t buy it!  We do drink a lot of milk but the beverage of choice around here is water.

-I avoid too many shopping trips.  I LOVE to shop, but I know my weaknesses.  I have to be very careful in Target.  It’s so easy to walk in an spend $100, so I limit my trips there and go with a list.  Unless it’s free or at a rock bottom price, I stay way.

I have a list of other ways we save money, but I thought a Part 2 on Earth Day would be nice.  A majority of my money saving strategies are also beneficial to our planet.

How do you save money?

This post is linked to My Coupon Teacher, Madame Deals and Melissa’s Bargain Blog


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