Green Mami: Meal (and Money) Saving Menus

You might not think about it but, part of living green is not wasting and for me, a big part of that is food.  I am guilty of not eating leftovers or not planning my meals right and wasting food.  Afterwards, I feel really guilty.  These days I need to be also conscious of the fact that I'm trying to save money while giving my family nutritious meals. Here's my problem: I'm creative and fabulous at all kinds of things.  But when it comes to cooking, I have a hard time putting meals together in a jiffy. I cannot whip up a four course meal with flour, rice, garlic and bread.  While my line sisters call me MacGyver, I'm afraid that I sorely let them down in trying to MacGyver my way through an unplanned meal.

I've been researching and thinking and thinking and thinking.  Finally, this morning I decided to just go for it and see how this turns out.  I signed up for e-mealz.  Initially I didn't want to because it seemed like more work.  But, let's face it, if we are trying to do something good for the earth and for our families, it's going to take a tad bit of work.

I got my plan for the week (though I'm all late since my meal plan is published on Thursdays).  Here's what I like:

I can select a meal plan based on where I shop which is awesome because they take into account the weekly sales at that particular store.  I selected the Walmart meal plan but I think that I can make changes if I need to. There's also a generic "any store" plan.  Not only do they have their plans by store but you can also select dietary needs (low carb, glutten-free, etc).

You get your meals AND you get your shopping list. Hello?! How easy is this?!  Here's a sample of what you would get: Walmart Meal Plan.  The only thing is that you have to make a commitment.  So, it comes out to $15 for 3 months worth of meals.  That's about $1.25 each week for a little organization in your life.  I found a coupon that saves you $2.50 (simply type in DAVE in the coupon code box).  So that's only $12.50 for the 3 months (you do the math on the weekly b/c I refuse!).

So I am off this afternoon to go food shopping in order to not waste money or food. I have my plan all set and I am on my way to being a greener mami for it!

Now, if I can only get someone to give me a snack plan...

Check out this link if you'd like to sign up for e-mealz:

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH E-MEALZ MEAL PLANS

While I am not being paid to write this post, e-mealz does have a referral service.  I'm trying this and hope you try it with me but as usual, I'm more interested in passing the information along to you so that you can make better decisions and have an easier life as opposed to because I'm a money hungry mami (well, I'm kinda that these days but, I just want what's best for you! How's that for a mami line ;-) )

Green Mami: Recycling Gift Bags

In my quest to be better to this world, I am trying to do a series on green living.  Today, as I was continuing what seems like the interminable move, I ran across some things that made me think of recycling and had me making some decisions.

I have a shitload of gift bags.  They accumulate with every birthday, Christmas, baby shower, etc.  I use some here and there but, inevitably, I still buy some as giving a little boy a Disney Princess gift bag seems inappropriate.  But you know what? I don't care anymore! I am recycling these bags.  I WILL NOT purchase any new bags until I use up all the ones I have.

So, my gifts will come with a note (on recycled paper of course) explaining my reasons for giving grown people gifts with "You're One!" and "congratulations!" on them.  This is how I am going to contribute on the paper front.

What can you do today to be better to mother earth?

Living Green In the 'Hood

I decided I wanted to start a series on green living.  My very first guest blogger EVER is my good bloggy friend Not Blessed Mama!  I love her.  And, after reading this blog, you will too.

Hi! I'm so grateful to Mama Sili for asking me to guest post on her lovely blog. I am Not Blessed Mama, and if you have ever seen my site, you know I'm all about going green. From re-usable shopping bags to wearing the same clothes for 3 days in a row, I am commited to our lovely planet. It makes me sad when I think about my great-great-great grandchildren living in a 2012-esque world, where New York is covered in water (or ice? I forget) and life is hard. We obviously need to take care of our world- so here is my NUMBER ONE piece of advice for green living:

Stop buying shit.

Yup, that's it. Stop buying crap all the time. What could you go without in your life, if you tried? When you pick up that super cute dress on clearance at Target, stop. Look at it. Think. Do I need this dress? Do I have dresses at home? Try this with all of your purchases. Think, and think hard. As unpopular as it may be, we simply have to stop consuming so much as a society.

Sigh. It's hard, I know. I like shopping. I love the thrill of a good bargain. And I still do shop. Sometimes you need to- or just really want to. But I've greatly cut down on my purchases and the frequency with which I shop. I also thrift as much as possible. (I also have been known to ask friends and family for needed items- you know how much crap people keep in their houses!)

So the next time that you're at the mall and those adorable ballet flats at Macy's are calling your name, just take a minute. Think, and think hard. Maybe you can resist their siren's song- at least this time around.

Mama sent this my way just as I got back from shopping at Ikea.  Mama, I promise I'll stop buying shit (after this ;-) ).

About This 'Hood Member: What's so special about you, Not Bless'ed Mama? You sound like a nutcase to me. Well, guess what- I'm not (that much of) a nutcase. I'm a hard working mom, just like a million others out there. But what makes me special is the fact that I'm going to keep it real with you, dear mama friend. N.B.M.'s not gonna force feed you another one of those "parenting is sunshine and roses" blogs. I'm tired of them, aren't you? Keep it real! Parenting is sunshine and roses, but what about all the pee, poop, barf, blood and tears? Who writes about that? You guessed it- Not Bless'ed Mama. I'm not going to write about how blessed I am everyday- my general rule is that the amount you dis-like your children increases exponentially with the amount of times you mention how much you love them or how great they are. Be real!